Senator Dale Bumpers was Governor of Arkansas when the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System was opened. He was closely involved in the subsequent development of ports and waterway improvements during the span of his career as Governor and ensuing 24 years as U. S. Senator. He was a visionary in support of development along the waterway, seeing the advantages it could bring the residents of the Arkansas River Valley, the region, and the nation.
Montgomery Point Lock and Dam was identified for construction after the navigation system was opened for use. Senator Bumpers, when informed of the deteriorating conditions at the entrance to the Mississippi River, lent his considerable influence to the construction of the new lock and dam. He ignored the shortsighted views of those who would have allowed the McClellan-Kerr Arkansas River Navigation System to become a seasonally operational waterway. His tenure in the Senate of the United States coincided with early commercial development and "fine tuning" improvements along the waterway. Some of these included the development of ports at Pine Bluff, Little Rock, Fort Smith, Muskogee and Tulsa, authorization of a bridge across Emmett Sanders Lock and Dam, removal of previously undetected rock encroachments on the navigation channel, and the addition of tow haulage equipment on the navigation locks. Support was provided annually for the funds needed to keep the 445-mile long navigation system adequately maintained and operated in a time of restricted budgets and other national priorities.
Senator Bumpers served as the Honorary Chairman of the Silver Anniversary of opening navigation on the waterway. He actively led in a number of activities and functions that illustrated to people of Arkansas, Oklahoma and the nation the multi-faceted benefits brought by completion of the project. Senator Bumpers steadfastly supported protection of the environment while recognizing the opportunity to harness and utilize the power of the Arkansas River.
Gerald H. Holman is Senior Vice President of the Wichita Area Chamber of Commerce. From an early career in aeronautics with The Boeing Company in Wichita, and later the McDonnell Douglas Corporation in St. Louis, he has become a leader in development and maintenance of area water resources.
Mr. Holman is currently chairman of the Five-state Arkansas Basin Development Association (ABDA), past chairman of the ABDA Interstate Committee, current chairman of the Kansas delegation of the ABDA Interstate Committee, and member of the Lower Arkansas Basin Advisory Committee (advisory committee as called for under the Kansas State Water Plan). He has been appointed as a delegate to the Public Wholesale Water District #10 by the Wichita City Council, and is a supporter of water resource and general development of the Arkansas River in the Five-state ABDA region. Holman was an active participant in the development and approval of the first Kansas State Water Plan. He encouraged and helped to receive approval of the first City of Wichita water conservation program, and successfully completed a 3-year lobbying effort to enact change in the Kansas Water Transfers Act which allows water resource development to take place more easily. He has provided staff support for all Wichita Chamber water resource and environmental resource programs since 1980.
Houston Adams was born in Fort Towson, Oklahoma. He served during the Second World War with the 101st Airborne Division in Europe and received several medals including the French and Belgian Croix des Guerres. After the war, Adams attended Oklahoma State University where he met his future wife, and earned a degree in agricultural education. He taught for six years at Okarche, where he organized the first vocational agricultural classes.
His first visit to Tulsa was to exhibit livestock at the Tulsa State Fair where he met Chamber of Commerce officials who induced him to move to Tulsa in 1956 to head the chamber's agriculture and area development committee. For six years Adams was in charge of raising local funds to match state and federal dollars to build area expressways including the Muskogee Turnpike, the Okmulgee Beeline and the Indian Nations Turnpike. But Adams had always wanted to be a banker, and in 1961 he got his chance. He joined the Farmers and Merchants State Bank. Four years later he had climbed the ladder to president. In 1976, he became president of Southeastern State Bank, which later became the Bank of Tulsa.
Adams was instrumental in creating the Tulsa Port of Catoosa and the surrounding industrial park. He was one of the founding members of the City of Tulsa-Rogers County Port Authority. He served as chairman of the Port Authority from November 1968 to October 1969 and from May 1985 to April 1986. Adams also served a term as chairman of the National Waterways Conference. He resigned from the Port Authority Board in 1986, after being elected to the Tulsa City Commission. He resigned from the City Commission due to health reasons in 1988, and passed away later that year.
Return to Hall of Fame Index