Butler Center for Arkansas Studies 100 Rock Street Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201 (501) 320-5700
October 1, 2012
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Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Henker, Fred, Dr.
Dr. Fred O. Henker papers
8.0 Linear feet
The collection contains biographical material and articles of early Arkansas physicians, especially founders of what is now UAMS. The majority of the articles were written by Fred O. Henker III and published in various historical journals.
This collection is arranged topically and alphabetically.
Scope and Contents
The collection contains biographical material and articles of early Arkansas physicians, especially founders of what is now UAMS. The majority of the articles were written by Fred O. Henker III and published in various historical journals. It also contains items that had belonged to his father, Fred O. (Waldo) Henker, Jr., including vaudeville publicity photographs, correspondence and photographs of family members in Germany, military and other personal documents.
Fred O. Henker III, a little Rock psychiatric, was born September 20, 1922 in Little Rock, Arkansas, the son of Fred O. Henker Jr. and Blanche Crawford Henker. He graduated from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine (now the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences-UAMS) in 1945. He was appointed to the faculty of psychiatry at UAMS in 1958 and retired emeritus professor in 1989. Henker also had a great interest in history and geology with memberships in various geological and historical societies. He wrote and published numerous medical and historical articles and was especially interested in the founding physicians of the Arkansas Industrial University (which eventually became UAMS). Dr. Henker married Virginia Cassady in 1945 and the couple had three children, Virginia Gail (died an infant in 1949), Gloria, and William (Bill) Henker. Dr. Henker died March 15, 2005 in Little Rock.
His father, Fred O. (Waldo) Henker Jr. was born August 27, 1891 in Arkansas, the son of German immigrant parents, Oswall and Augusta Busch Henker. Fred Henker, Jr. was a Little Rock bookbinder. He served in the U.S. Army during World War I and was past commander of Shoemaker VFW Post in Little Rock. He married Blanche Crawford and the couple had two sons, Dr. Fred O. Henker III and William O. Henker. Fred Henker Jr. discovered at an early age that he was very limber and could perform tricks of twisting his body into unusual positions. After training and studying other traveling contortionists, he began his amateur career in April 1909 at local theaters and shows. By the end of 1910, he started collecting costumes and stage props with the intent of performing professionally in vaudeville shows. He decided that his stage name would be Waldo (his middle name Oswald rearranged), but was sometimes referred to as Fred Waldo. He left Little Rock for St. Louis, and then moved on to Chicago. Sometime after 1911, he began to achieve show business success, touring the country from coast to coast and spent some time in New York. While on the road, he collected autographed portraits of other vaudeville performers of the day. During World War I, Henker was assigned to a military show group that entertained troops throughout Europe, but returned to his printing career in Little Rock at the end of the war, raising his family there. Henker died at age 77 in April 1969, and his wife Blanche died in June 1979, in Little Rock.
This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Henker, Blanche Crawford, 1897-1979
Henker, Fred O., Jr., 1891-1969
Henker, William (Bill), 1924-
Physicians -- Arkansas -- Little Rock.
Restrictions on Access
Restrictions on Use
Non-circulating; in-house only.
Dr. Fred O. Henker papers, MSS.03.19, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute