Saturday, March 2, 2013

Arkansas History Commission



Arkansas History Commission

One Capitol Mall
Little Rock, Arkansas 72201
(501) 682-6900
http://www.ark-ives.com/

Monday-Saturday 8:00 a. m. – 4:30 p. m.


According to EncyclopediaofArkansas.net, the Arkansas History Commission and State Archives “is the official state archives of Arkansas and houses the state’s largest collection of documents, publications, photographs, and other material relating to Arkansas history.”  Read more about the history of the History Commission here.


Collections

The Arkansas History Commission has many primary and secondary sources for researchers to use.  These include manuscripts, newspaper archives, county records, military records, books and maps, photographs, land records, and a biographical index file that contains information from obituaries and other sources.  More information on holdings is available at their website.

Research Requests

The History Commission does not do research for users. 


Procedures
  1. Bring government-issued photo ID (such as a driver’s license).
  2. Sign in and complete a registration form.
  3. Bring cash.  There are no ATMs on site. 
  4. No use of cell phones or other personal copying equipment is permitted. 
  5. The only fees are for duplication.  Printing from a computer or photocopier is $0.10 per page.  Fees vary by size for photo duplication and map reproduction. 
  6. Printing microfilm is $0.25 per page.  Money must be pre-loaded on a card.  The card must be loaded with a minimum of $1.00 and the money is nonrefundable.    The staff will not make change, and there are no refunds, so unless you intend to print a lot of pages or don’t mind losing the money, bring $1 bills.
  7. Directions to the State Capitol Complex are on the Arkansas History Commission website.


The Research Topic

My ancestor Gus Luhrsen, born in Iroquois County, Illinois, lived in North Little Rock, Arkansas with his aunt, uncle, and two of his brothers who ended up settling in the area for good.  Gus was the older brother of William “Wild Bill” Luhrsen, who played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 1913 season. 

In August 2009, my cousin gave me a copy of a picture of Gus wearing a baseball uniform that reads “HUB.”  The date printed at the bottom was 1911, and “Gus Luhrsen” was written on the side of his headshot.  Looking at the photo, I could tell that it was Gus.  The cousin told me that he was on a local team while he was young man; he was 28 in 1911.   She said she would be interested to know more about the team, and that I could keep the copy to reference when I researched. 



I could find nothing about the team online, and numerous phone calls led me to an Arkansas baseball expert who hadn’t heard of the team but who gave my question to a local baseball historian.  This man and his wife took time out of their own research to look into the question of who the Hubs were, and I am still so grateful for their help.  The two articles they shared with me gave me hope that there were more about the 1911 baseball season.  I hoped I might find some mention of Gus by visiting the Arkansas History Commission myself.  


The Results

First I looked up several obituaries for Arkansas relatives in the Arkansas Gazette and the Arkansas-Democrat GazetteThen I sped through the Gazette for mentions of the Hubs in 1911.  What I learned is that the team was started that year by the owner of the Hub Clothing Company, which was located at 114 Main Street.  The other teams were Argenta, Bakers’ Union, C. Wells, Fort Roots, Lloyd’s, and Uniteds (United Clothing Company).  Together they formed the Little Rock City League. 

The Hubs won the championship that year. I don’t know if the teams played in subsequent years.  The articles did not mention Gus, but it is clearly him in the photograph, so perhaps he served in a managerial position.


Comments

I intend to post more information about the Hubs and the City League season as I transcribe the articles.  If you are interested in reading the Hubs articles I have found, I will share them if you leave your contact information below.  If you know anything about the history of any of the Arkansas teams, or if you have a similar photo, please leave a comment. 

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