City Considers Monument to Honor Historic Figure - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Jonesboro, AR--Tiffany Blankenship Reports

City Considers Monument to Honor Historic Figure

April 11, 2005--Posted at 6:30 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO-- A monument is in the making for two historic figures buried right here in Jonesboro.

They call her "Silent Hattie," and today she rests quietly on a hilltop in the Oaklawn Cemetery with her husband, Arkansas Senator Thaddeus Caraway.

Danny Honnoll of the County Historical Society says, "Thaddeus was elected to congress and elevated to senatorship and then he lost his life or died and Hattie took his position."

And that's the day Hattie made history. She became the first female senator in the United States.

"I don't think we've ever capitalized on Hattie Caraway's significance in this country. 1917 is when women got the right to vote in Arkansas and you're talking about within 15 years, she became state senator," Honnell says.

Some say this simplistic resting place needs some enhancement in order to draw attention to these historic people who called Jonesboro home.

City Parks Director Jason Wilkie says, "The national historical society could have some money available for preserving their grave sites or maybe enhancing their grave sites to be more of a monument or a marker to the first female senator in the United States."

More importantly, a tribute to a women who always helped others before thinking of herself.

"I know a lot of people went to and talked to Hattie when they needed her or needed a senator's influence. She was always there to listen," Honnell says.

"I think, historically, because of the importance of her as a person and what she did for women politicians and women in general, I think it's a very significant accomplishment that somebody from Jonesboro was that person," Wilkie says.

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