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E. Grainger Williams Papers, 1958-1971

E. Grainger Williams Papers, 1958-1971

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E. Grainger Williams Papers, 1958-1971 UALR.MS.0038

UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
401 President Clinton Avenue
Little Rock, AR, 72201

Profile Description

Creation: This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-04-21T16:28-0500

Repository: UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture
Title: E. Grainger Williams Papers, 1958-1971
Dates: 1958-1971
Quantity: 1.0 Linear feet; 2 document boxes
Identification: UALR.MS.0038


Arranged by type of item.

Scope and Contents Note

This collection contains correspondence, documents, and printed materials related to the activities of E. Grainger Williams, a Little Rock businessman, Chamber of Commerce president, and member of the Little Rock University/University of Arkansas at Little Rock board of trustees, concerning Williams' term as president of the Chamber of Commerce during the Little Rock School Crisis and details the Chamber's activities during the Crisis, and the merger of Little Rock University and the University of Arkansas.

Series I: Little Rock Chamber of Commerce: This series contains papers that relate to Williams' 1959 term as president of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. The materials in this series are mostly related to the chamber's activities during the Little Rock School Crisis, including correspondence, newsclippings, statements, resolutions, and notes. The series also contains materials related to the chamber's routine functions, represented in correspondence and other general materials, during this time period.

Series II: Little Rock University Board of Trustees: This series contains materials related to the merger of Little Rock University and the University of Arkansas. It includes correspondence; merger agreement drafts; materials from LRU board meetings; committee reports; background and printed materials. The series also includes a file on LRU's attempt to acquire nearby land belonging to the Methodist Children's home.

Historical Note

Ebissa Grainger Williams, son of John Henry Williams and Ann Burden Grainger, was born in Little Rock 1911 July 23. He attended Little Rock Junior College before graduating from Davidson College in North Carolina in 1933. On 1939 April 20, Williams married Frances McKean Bulwinkle; the couple had two children, Ann and Alfred. From 1933 through 1937, Williams served as secretary to Congressman David D. Terry. In 1938, he formed the Williams and Rosen partnership, an insurance business. Williams was active in local civic affairs, serving on the boards of the Chamber of Commerce, Little Rock University, the Rotary Club, the Red Cross, and the National Conference of Christians and Jews.

In 1959 January, Williams was selected to serve as president of the Little Rock Chamber of Commerce. Three months prior to Williams' taking office, Governor Orval Faubus had closed Little Rock's public schools in the face of integration. Realizing that the school crisis was adversely affecting Arkansas's image and business climate, Williams used the Chamber as an advocate for public education. Under Williams, the Chamber adopted a pragmatic view of the school situation; while it did not speak in favor of integration, it did advocate re-opening Little Rock's schools, whether integrated or not. Assisting such groups as the Women's Emergency Committee and Stop This Outrageous Purge, the Chamber played a small role in shaping public opinion and re-opening Little Rock schools.

While Williams was serving on Little Rock University's board of trustees in 1966, the University of Arkansas approached LRU about a possible merger. The University of Arkansas's need to expand services in central Arkansas, combined with LRU's troubled financial situation, made the merger desirable for both parties. The University of Arkansas wrote the original proposal in 1966; it went through a number of revisions before being approved by both boards in 1968. The General Assembly approved the agreement in1969 February, creating the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.

Williams was president of the Rotary Club of Little Rock from 1963-1964 and a recipient of its first Paul Harris Award. He was a member of the Pulaski County Board of Education 1965-1997, and on the Advisory Board of the YWCA from 1950-1995. He was active in the American Red Cross, both the Pulaski County Chapter and the Midwest Area Council,1951-1960. He loyally supported Little Rock University as a member of its Board of Trustees from 1959-1969, serving as its chairperson during its merger with the University of Arkansas, and later as a member of the Board of Visitors UALR. He also gave his time to the Better Business Bureau of Little Rock, the United Way, Community Council of Central Arkansas, Arkansas Professional Malpractice Commission, Executive Service Corps of Arkansas, and the Alternative Committee on Professional Conduct of the Arkansas Supreme Court. Finally, he served on the Ottenheimer Board of Trustees and Board of Directors, from 1985 until his death.

Williams died in Little Rock 2013 April 2.

Business enterprises--Arkansas--History--20th century
Jacoway, Elizabeth, 1944-, donor
School integration--Arkansas--Little Rock
University of Arkansas at Little Rock
Williams, E. Grainger, 1911-2013


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is available for viewing at the Arkansas Studies Institute.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright law of the United States (Title 17-U.S. Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. The person using this material is liable for any infringement.

Copyright for correspondence in the collections belongs to those correspondents or their beneficiaries. Persons wanting to re-use those materials are advised to obtain permission from copyright holders.

Administrative Information

Citation Notes

Bibliographic citation:

E. Grainger Williams Papers, 1958-1971, UALR.MS.0038. UALR Center for Arkansas History and Culture, Arkansas Studies Institute, Little Rock.

Footnote or Endnote info:

Description of item, file number, box number, series number, E. Grainger Williams Papers, 1958-1971, UALR.MS.0038.

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