Wayne Bennett, Lonoke, Arkansas. He is a farmer who has supported the Arkansas River Navigation Project for many years. He has been a board member of the Arkansas Basin Association and served a multi-year term as president. He also was one of Arkansas' representatives on the five-state Arkansas River Interstate Committee for many years. He attended many congressional hearings in support of the navigation system. Internationally known in soybean farming, he has represented the United States in matters pertaining to trade. He is an active soybean, rice, and wheat farmer in Jefferson County. He is past president of the American Soybean Association and the Arkansas Soybean Association. He is a member of the Arkansas Rice Council and the Arkansas Farm Bureau. He is an advocate of removing salt from the Arkansas River and has supported studies for its reduction.
Arthur V. Ormond, Morrilton, Arkansas. He was one of the founders of the Arkansas Basin Association and served for 42 years as a board member, treasurer and president. His interest in improving the Arkansas River began in 1927 when he spent most of the night sandbagging the levee that later broke. He realized then the river was a national problem and the federal government would have to tame it. Calling himself a "river rat," he traveled to Washington, D.C., many times to testify before congressional committees in an effort to get the project underway. He was cited by the U.S. Army for patriotic service and assistance to the Little Rock Engineer District. The citation read, in part, "His untiring efforts were of major importance to the ultimate and successful completion of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System."
Emmett Sanders, Pine Bluff, Arkansas. He was a pioneer in the development of the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System. His interest in the river project began after the destructive 1927 flood. He was a longtime member and a past president of the Arkansas Basin Association which was formed in the 1930's to promote the development of the river. He was the first chairman of what is today's Pine Bluff-Jefferson County Port Authority. He was instrumental in the planning and development of the Harbor Industrial District that brought hundreds of jobs and waterborne commerce to the area. The four-lane road bisecting the district is named in his honor as is the lock and dam at Pine Bluff. He was former mayor of Pine Bluff and served six-terms in the city council. While he was mayor, the recommendation by the Corps of Engineers to create the Boyd Point Cutoff was approved by the city. This resulted in the development of what has become Pine Bluff's slackwater harbor, Lake Langhofer, and gave Pine Bluff its unique waterway resource.
Frank Liebert, Coffeyville, Kansas. He is an attorney who became involved in promoting flood control in southeast Kansas in the 1950's because of annual flood damage on the Verdigris River. To accomplish this, he joined the Arkansas Basin Development Association. He served in various offices and made annual trips to Congress with delegations from Kansas and Oklahoma. George Fox, Emmett Wilson and Glenn Beale were his Kansas colleagues who favored the navigation system as well as projects on the Verdigris and Neosho rivers in Kansas. He was on the Interstate Committee for many years and was its chairman for one term. He was a big booster for Pearson-Skubitz Big Hill Lake on a tributary of the Verdigris River and was master of ceremonies at its dedication. He also obtained an engineering study of the feasibility of extending the navigation system from the Port of Catoosa up the Verdigris River to Kansas, but the project was abandoned because of the unfavorable cost to benefit ratio.
C.A. "Charley" Border, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was an organization man who made things go in Tulsa. Among the projects he helped create during his 38-year career with the Tulsa Chamber of Commerce were the Spavinaw water system, Mohawk Park, Tulsa International Airport, the stockyards, the Turner and Will Rogers turnpikes, the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and the Arkansas River Navigation System. When he retired from the Chamber of Commerce, the navigation project was still on dead center but it really took off when Border began his second career as secretary of the Arkansas Basin Development Association. He began building sentiment for the project, organization by organization. One of the towboats at the Port of Catoosa is named the Charley Border.
Early R. Cass, Tulsa Oklahoma. His civic contributions extended over 70 years and were a major factor in Tulsa's growth and prosperity. For many years he was a dominant figure in milk marketing in northeast Oklahoma and the distribution of dairy products in the Tulsa area. He was chairman of the Chamber of Commerce's water resource committee when the Tulsa Port of Catoosa was first planned. He was a leader in the Arkansas Basin Development Association, served in its board of directors, and chaired its advisory Committee. He was a founding member of the Arkansas River Historical Society and an ardent booster of the Society. He also was a prime mover in the founding of the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority and served on its board of directors for 22 years. He served two terms as chairman of the board.
Jacques Cunningham, Tulsa, Oklahoma. He was assistant manager and later manager of industrial development for the Tulsa Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce from 1948 to 1954 when he joined Public Service Company of Oklahoma. He took early retirement from PSO in 1977 to form his own company. He was chairman of the water Port Sub-Committee of the chamber that conducted tours by Tulsans of 14 inland waterway ports to observe port organization and operations and made a report on which the development of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa was based. He also served as the first chairman of the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority and later was chairman of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa Facilities Authority. He has been active in the Arkansas Basin Development Association since 1960 and has served as president, vice-chairman, and chairman of the board. He also served on the board of the Water Resources Congress, Oklahoma Water Resources Board, Kansas-Oklahoma River Compact, and the National Waterways Conference. He was director of the Tulsa Port of Catoosa from 1980 to 1984.
Harold Scoggins, Muskogee, Oklahoma. Born in Sedalia, Missouri, in 1903, he relocated to Muskogee in 1935 and established a retail appliance store that he operated until he retired in 1969. His interest in water supply from the Arkansas River dates back to the drought of 1936 when he tried to help farmers get water to save their crops. His interest in flood control began with the floods of 1943. From 1943 to 1969, he was chairman of the water resources committee of the Muskogee Chamber of Commerce. In 1945 he was a member of a team lead by the governors of Oklahoma and Arkansas which spent a week in Washington, D.C., giving slide presentations of the needs and opportunities of the Arkansas River valley for members of Congress, the first step in the campaign which brought about authorization of the Arkansas River project in 1946. He was chairman of the Muskogee Port Authority from 1961 until 1969, and today to get to the Muskogee Port you drive over the Harold Scoggins Road.
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