Biographical Sketch of Larry A. Morrison
Larry Morrison aboard the Nina (a replica of Columbus'
ship) which visited Camden on June 9, 1995
- Larry A. Morrison was born in South Arkansas and spent most of his
life there. He was born on October 25, 1940, at the Kennedy Clinic in Smackover,
to B. A. "Doc" Morrison and Tiny O. Williams Morrison. He attended
his first six school years in Norphlet, El Dorado, and Camden, Arkansas.
- While just beginning the seventh grade in 1951, he moved with his parents
to the northwest corner of Montana to the small town of Popular. His father
worked for the O. C. "Jack" Evans Construction Company which
had moved from El Dorado, Arkansas, with every man and piece of equipment
to help develop a sizeable oil field for El Dorado-based Murphy Oil Company.
- The oil field just happened to be on the Fort Peck Sioux-Assiniboin
Indian Reservation. What seventh grader would not be impressed with such
a setting? He heard handed-down stories of the exploits of the warrior
ancestors of local Indians; saw many Indians living in primitive, earth
covered hogans; attended many authentic powpows; and with an Indian friend
and as the only white person present, witnessed an ancient ceremony which
included a plantive death-song for a local Indian youth who had died in
Korea. It was while living this adventure among the descendants of the
very Indians that had defeated General George Armstrong Custer that he
gained his first appreciation for the past and people and events in general
that would spark his lasting interest in history.
- After attending the ninth grade in Phoenix, Arizona, he returned with
his family to El Dorado, Arkansas, where he finished high school in 1958.
He completed a B.A. in English with a minor in history at Southern State
College (now SAU Magnolia) in 1964. Upon completing teaching certification
at SSC, he began teaching history at Harmony Grove Junior High and High
School, near Camden, Arkansas, in January 1966. In 1976 he completed an
M.S.E. with an emphasis in history at Henderson State College in Arkadelphia,
- In the fall term of 1978, he began teaching history at Southern Arkansas
University Tech, a two-year affiliate of SAU Magnolia. It was here that
he became involved in collecting, copying, printing, and publishing local
historical photographs. This was a result of the influence he had received
from Dr. Robert Walz, a history professor at SAU who had given him the
original inspiration to be a teacher and then encouraged him to start collecting
the photographic history of Ouachita County. The original intent was to
supply copied photographs to decorate offices and meeting rooms at SAU
Tech, but the project expanded to include historical slide programs which
were shown in numerous classrooms about the county, in historical association
meetings, and at community meetings. The crowning part of the project was
the publication of Historical Ouachita County: A Photographic Collection
which was SAU Tech's contribution to the Arkansas Sesquicentennial celebration.
This collection process continued and hundreds of images were added.
- Morrison's writings are of the people and events associated with the
history of Ouachita County. He wrote several articles that were published
in the Ouachita County Historical Quarterly, including the following:
- "Steamboats at the Port of Camden"
- "The Development of Roads, Post Roads, and Stage Lines at Camden,
- "Laverne Domanski: WWII Nurse in the Pacific Theater" and
- "The Bell-Lamkin Cotton Gin"
- He also revealed his deep interest in local and state history by his
involvement with historical associations. He served board terms with the
Ouachita County Historical Association, the Southwest Arkansas Regional
Archives, and Arkansas Historical Association.
- He and his wife, Patricia A. (Ainsworth) Morrison (SAU, 1965) both
retired in 1995 after 30 years of teaching, she at Camden and Fairview
Public Schools. They now  reside in Siloam Springs, Arkansas, near
several family members, including their one-and-only grandson, Troy Marsh
Henderson (two years old on July 4, 1999).