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, Arkansas.
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, Arkansas"
    "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 [1999] 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).