2008

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Frank W. Chitwood left Oklahoma State University in 1958 with a bachelor's degree in architecture. As a fifth year student at OSU, he worked for Ralph Ball and Ed Hudgins, founders of HTB Inc. Following graduation from OSU in 1958, he was called to active duty in the Air National Guard. When he returned from active duty, in 1963, there was a position open for him at HTB in their new Tulsa office.

Chitwood became President of HTB in 1993, and Chairman of the Board in 1994. In 1996, HTB was renamed Dewberry Design Group following its acquisition by Dewberry Companies, a firm based in Fairfax, Va., and Mr. Chitwood was named Senior Vice President.

During his 42 years of professional experience, he has been the "Principal in Charge" of more than 65 major projects, many being developments for the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. Projects designed and developed at the Port by HTB & Dewberry during 35 years of providing architectural-engineering services there, include the Port Authority Office Building, main entrance to the Port facilities, OK Grain Facility, ConAgra International Fertilizer additions, Terra Nitrogen Terminal, low water wharf, floating boat docks as well as various roadways, railroad tracks, storm sewers and bank stabilizations. The most recent project is the "Oklahoma Maritime Education Center," featuring the retired Charley Border towboat.

Frank has always been enthused with the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. He is a former president of the Propeller Club, member of the Arkansas River Development Authority, and serves on the board of the Arkansas River Historical Society.

 

Coleman Fite was a geologist; realtor, farmer, rancher and avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish with his family and friends. He co-founded the Fite Reynolds Real Estate Company and was a founding member of the Board of Directors of City Bank of Muskogee. More importantly, Coleman Fite loved his hometown Muskogee, Oklahoma, and devoted much of his life as a volunteer and public servant to the betterment of the community in which he believed so much.

Born in 1930, Fite served as Mayor of Muskogee from 1978 to 1983, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, Dr. Francis Bartow Fite, who first arrived in Indian Territory in 1886, permanently settling in Muskogee in 1889, and serving two terms as Mayor, the first beginning in 1905, prior to Oklahoma Statehood.
As a very young man, Coleman Fite developed a life-long love of the Arkansas River, travelling by horseback with his brothers to and from the family farm, on the banks of the Arkansas River, and Swannanoa, the family's ranch on the banks of the Illinois River, where they worked during the summer.

For many years, Fite served as the Muskogee Chamber's representative to the Arkansas Basin Development Association. In that role, he made numerous trips to Washington D.C., promoting the construction of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. At home, he was actively involved in the planning and development of the Port of Muskogee. As Muskogee's Mayor and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Muskogee City-County Port Authority, Fite actively promoted funding for Montgomery Point Lock and Dam, a project that was ultimately constructed, insuring the continued viability of the Port and the waterway.

 

William F. "Bill' Norrell was born in Milo, AR, (Ashley County) on Aug. 29, 1896. He attended what was then Arkansas Agricultural and Mechanical College at nearby Monticello and The College of the Ozarks at Clarksville. He later earned a law degree from the University of Arkansas Law School in Little Rock. In 1922, he married Catherine and had one daughter, Julia.

Norrell was elected to the Arkansas State Senate in 1930. He served until he successfully ran for the Sixth District House Seat, vacated by future Senator John L. McClellan. The District at that time included the City of Pine Bluff and counties along the Arkansas River including: Jefferson, Arkansas, Desha and Lincoln.
While serving in Washington, Norrell was chairman of the Legislative Appropriations Subcommittee and was the sixth ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

The United States Government and the State of Arkansas combined to honor Mr. Norrell for his dedicated work to see that funding was in place for completion of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. As a symbol of this regard, Lock and Dam #1 is named for Bill Norrell.

Upon his death, Mrs. Norrell was elected to succeed her husband. She continued his programs to benefit the economic interests of what had been her husband's district. Mrs. Norrell retired from government work in 1969, after serving as director of the State Department's reception center in Honolulu. She subsequently returned to Monticello where she died in 1981.

Norrell was a member of the Arkansas Bar Association and the American Bar Association. He was a 32nd degree Mason and a charter member and past president of the Monticello Lions Club.

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