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Lucille and Parker Westbrook collection

Lucille and Parker Westbrook collection

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Finding aid for the Lucille and Parker Westbrook collection


Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
100 Rock Street
Little Rock, Arkansas, 72201
(501) 320-5700

July 2, 2015

Repository: Butler Center for Arkansas Studies
Creator:Westbrook, Lucille, 1918-2004; Westbrook, Parker, 1926-2015
Title: Lucille and Parker Westbrook collection
Dates: 1875-2007
Quantity: 114.63 Linear feet
Abstract:This collection contains personal papers, including correspondence, photographs, and business records from Lucille Westbrook and Parker Westbrook, as well as some of their family members and neighbors from southwest Arkansas.
Identification: BC.MSS.07.65
Language: English


This collection is arranged alphabetically and chronologically, as appropriate.

Series I contains papers and a few photographs related to Parker Westbrook's career in politics and government. Series II contains papers and many photographs from Lucille and Parker's careers in Historic Preservation and Local History. Series III contains research notes regarding genealogy, largely from Lucille's work. Series IV contains personal papers (including photographs) from Lucille Westbrook. Series V contains personal papers (including photographs) from Parker Westbrook. Series VI contains personal papers from other members of the Westbrook family, including Walter (Lucille and Parker's father), Wincie (Lucille and Parker's mother) and James (Lucille and Parker's brother) Westbrook, as well as more distant relatives. Series VII contains personal papers and many photographs from other residents of southwest Arkansas as collected by Lucille and Parker Westbrook.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains personal papers and other records from Lucille Westbrook and Parker Westbrook, as well as some of their family members and neighbors from southwest Arkansas.

Among the materials in this collection are papers from Parker Westbrook's years of work for U.S. Representatives Boyd Tacket and "Took" Gathings, U.S. Senators John McClellan and William Fulbright, and Arkansas Governor David Pryor. Also included are papers and other materials from Parker Westbrook's activity in Historic Preservation, including many photographs. Notes from Lucille Westbrook's career, including her work for the Nashville newspaper and her private genealogical research, are also included. Personal papers of Lucille Westbrook, Parker Westbrook, the Westbrook and Parker families, and other southwest Arkansas residents include correspondence, photographs, and many personal items. The collection richly illustrates life in southwest Arkansas from the late nineteenth century into the middle of the twentieth century, as well as the efforts of both Lucille and Parker Westbrook to preserve the history and memory of those times.

Biographical Information

Edith Lucille Westbrook was born in Nathan, Arkansas, on May 12, 1918, to Walter Westbrook and Wincie Parker Westbrook. She was their eldest child and their only daughter. The family moved to Nashville, Arkansas, around 1925, where Lucille graduated from high school in 1934, having finished twelve grades in ten years. She then attended Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas.

Lucille worked from 1937 to 1940 as a clerk for the Employment Security Division of the state of Arkansas, then worked one year for the federal Agriculture Stabilization Committee in Howard County, Arkansas, before gaining a clerical position with the Ordnance Department of the United States Army. During World War II, Lucille worked at the Southwestern Proving Ground; after the war she was transferred to the Army Corps of Engineers where she worked another twenty years for the Vicksburg District. Retiring from that position in 1963, Lucille worked six years in the office of Senator James William "Bill" Fulbright. She was appointed Howard County Historian in 1968 and oversaw a column called "Early Files" in the Nashville News. The column featured photographs and timelines that educated readers about the history of Nashville and Howard County.

Lucille was president of the Howard County Library Association and helped to found the Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives in Washington, Arkansas, serving as the director of the archives from 1990 until 2002. In her work at the archives she assisted many patrons in researching their ancestors. Lucille was also a charter member of the Mine Creek Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). She died in Nashville on January 31, 2004.

Parker Lucas Westbrook was born in Nashville, Arkansas, on January 4, 1926, to Walter Westbrook and Wincie Parker Westbrook. He was their third child and their second son. Parker graduated from Nashville High School in 1943 and then attended Chillicothe Business College in Chillicothe, Missouri, for two years. Afterward, Parker was appointed court reporter in the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Arkansas and also returned to Chillicothe to teach occasional courses at the business college.

Boyd Tackett, being elected to the United States House of Representatives, hired Parker to work in his Washington DC office, which Parker did for four years; afterward, Parker worked in the offices of Senator John McClellan, Representative "Took" Gathings, and for sixteen years in the office of Senator James William "Bill" Fulbright. While living in Washington DC, Parker was active for several years in the Arlington Players, which performed several plays each year in Arlington, Virginia. Parker also began his interest in historic preservation, helping to restore an 1807 cottage in Waterford, Virginia.

In 1975, Parker returned to Arkansas, where he was named Special Assistant to Governor David Pryor. Governor Pryor appointed Parker Westbrook to the State Review Board of the Arkansas Preservation Program in 1975. The next year, Parker was chosen as an advisor to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, a capacity in which he served for nine years. Parker helped to organize the Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas and was elected its first president. He was also active in the Arkansas Territorial Restoration Commission, the Pioneer Washington Restoration Foundation (of which he was director for several years, spending two hundred days each year overseeing the work of the Foundation in Washington, Arkansas), the Main Street Arkansas Advisory Board, the Arkansas State Capitol Association, the Department of Arkansas Heritage Fund Advisory Board, the Board of the Texarkana Area Regional Arts and Humanities Council, the board of the Old State House Museum Associates, and the board of the Quapaw Quarter Association. In 1986, Parker was given the Distinguished Citizen's Award by Governor Bill Clinton. In 1995, President Clinton appointed Parker to the President's Council of Historic Preservation, where he served until 2003. He died November 29, 2015.

Not only did Lucille and Parker retain many of their own personal papers, photographs, and other items of interest; they also preserved the papers and photographs of their father Walter Westbrook (1890-1980), their mother Wincie Parker Westbrook (1892-1982), and their brother James Allen Westbrook (1921-1960), as well as many other relatives in the Westbrook and Parker families. Additionally, they preserved papers and photographs from various other southwest Arkansas citizens and families, including William Champs Rodgers, Zida Sain Pope, the Chesshir family, the Power family, the Holbrook and Sullivan families, and the Hutchinson and Thomasson families.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Architecture -- Arkansas
Architecture -- Arkansas -- Little Rock
Arkansas -- Biography
Arkansas -- History -- 19th century
Arkansas -- History -- 20th century
Arkansas -- History -- Sources
Arkansas -- Politics and government
Arkansas. Governor
Associations, institutions, etc. -- Arkansas
City and town life -- Arkansas -- Little Rock -- History
Governors -- Arkansas -- Election
Hempstead County (Ark.)
Historic buildings -- Arkansas
Historic buildings -- Conservation and restoration -- Arkansas -- Little Rock
Howard County (Ark.)
Little Rock (Ark.) -- Politics and government
Little Rock (Ark.) -- Politics and government -- 20th century
Nashville (Ark.)
Nonprofit organizations -- Arkansas
Parades -- Arkansas
Political participation -- Arkansas
Polk County (Ark.)
Public schools -- Arkansas
Rural schools
Southwestern Proving Ground (Ark.)
United States -- Politics and government
Vietnam War, 1961-1975
Washington (Ark.)
Westbrook, Lucille, 1918-2004
Westbrook, Parker, 1926-2015
Women -- Arkansas


Restrictions on Access

Unrestricted access.

Restrictions on Use

Non-circulating, in-house use only.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Lucille and Parker Westbrook collection, MSS.07.65, Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Studies Institute

Acquisition Information

Donated by Parker Westbrook, 2007

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