Chicot Trace Chapter, NSDAR

Welcome to Fordyce, Arkansas!

Welcome to the Chicot Trace, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, chartered in Fordyce, Arkansas!

On December 1, 1979, State Regent Mrs. James H. Stevenson, met at the Dallas County Library with three members of the Centennial Chapter, one member from Champagnolle Chapter, one from James Bate Chapter, and several other ladies interested in organizing a DAR chapter at Fordyce. On April 16, 1980, the group received news from National that the chapter was approved.

The name, “Chicot Trace”, was the first choice of the chapter, and was approved. Prior to 1825, Chicot Trace was the name for the mail route between Point Chicot, a boat landing on the Mississippi River, and a trading post in Ouachita County known as Ecore a Fabre, now Camden.

Prior to 1825, Chicot Trace was the name for the mail route between Point Chicot, a boat landing on the Mississippi River, and a trading post in Ouachita County known as Ecore a Fabre.

Fordyce on the Cotton Belt Festival
The small town of Fordyce (Dallas County) celebrates the railroad and its historical significance with the annual Fordyce on the Cotton Belt Festival, which is held each year on the fourth Saturday in April. Along with fun for the community, the festival has a major financial impact on Fordyce and the surrounding area.

One of the biggest highlights of the festival each year is the “Redbug Reunion Rally.” Friday night of festival week is set aside as a time for former students and graduates of Fordyce High School to get together and reminisce. This popular event is a major part of the success of the festival.

Dallas County Museum
The Dallas County Museum was chartered by the State of Arkansas in September 1993. It occupies three historic buildings in Historic Downtown Fordyce and is custodian of thousands of valuable artifacts that record the history of Dallas County. It also has approximately 25,000 envelopes of negatives from the Alexander Photography Studio in Fordyce from the 1930-1960s with names, addresses, and dates. 5X7 photos of these negatives are available for $5.00 each.

The museum is directed by a hardworking Board of Directors and staffed with dedicated volunteers, which include a number of the members of Chicot Trace Chapter who consider this one of their major projects. In every sense of the word, this is a museum “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

Pictured above is the Military Room at the Dallas County Museum, where some members of the Chicot Trace Chapter are mounting photos of Veterans. This is one of the chapter’s main projects along with volunteering at the museum.

Officers
RegentBarbara Drye
Vice RegentLori Brown
ChaplainDonna Massey
Recording SecretaryBarbara Jones
Corresponding SecretaryDonna Massey
TreasurerMelrose Bagwell
RegistrarLori Brown
HistorianKatrina Abbott
LibrarianSarah Drye
ParliamentarianVirginia Frost

Paul “Bear” Bryant
Paul “Bear” Bryant (1913-1983) is considered the world’s greatest college football coach and remains one of the most successful coaches in history. When he neared his teens, the family moved to the nearby town of Fordyce, where the large-framed boy (six feet one and 180 pounds at age 13, according to some sources) played football and basketball for Fordyce High School. A visit from a traveling circus resulted in the teenage Bryant earning the nickname that became permanently associated with his name. While attending a sideshow at the Lyric Theater, Bryant was unable to resist the offer of a dollar-a-minute to wrestle a bear. During the match the bear’s muzzle came off and Bryant jumped out of the ring and did not get paid in the confusion. Bryant, in his senior year in high school, was a member of the 1930 Arkansas state football champion “Redbugs.”

“Bear” Bryant, the Sparkman Sparklers, Coach Larry Lacewell, Coach Jimmy “Red” Parker, the Nutt Brothers, Kevin Williams, Jim Benton and other Redbugs and championship teams are featured in the Dallas County Sports Museum.

Fordyce Arkansas mural
Downtown Fordyce Mural

Prior to 1825, Chicot Trace was the name for the mail route between Point Chicot, a boat landing on the Mississippi River, and a trading post in Ouachita County known as Ecore a Fabre.