UA Center for Continuing Education

UA Center for Continuing Education

Tour Stop 18

UA Center for Continuing Education

The first building on the corner across the street was a grocery store built by one of the first settlers, William McGarrah, shortly after he purchased the lot in 1836.

None of the McGarrah's could read or write, so he never kept any books – just marks and scratches on the wall. It was said that the only mistake he ever made was to charge a customer for a cheese when they had purchased a grindstone. When the error was pointed out to him, he reportedly looked at a round circle he had drawn on the wall, and after studying it for a moment said "I'll be durned, if I didn't forget to put an eye in that cheese." He had drawn a picture of a grindstone but forgot to put the hole in it.

Burned in the Civil War, he sold the site to Reed & Ferguson who erected a large 2-story brick building in 1869 that lasted until 1979. It was a hardware store, bank, furniture store, Ownbey's Drug Store, and the Darling Store.

This new building was designed by Warren Segraves, a modernist Fayetteville architect who designed many public buildings in the area, including the Federal Courthouse, SWEPCO Building, the Fulbright Public Library, and the Campbell-Bell storefront we saw at the first of the tour. After graduating from the University of Arkansas School of Architecture in 1953 he established his own architectural firm in 1956. He was a champion of the International Style, and over 4,000 of his drawings are now in the Special Collections of the University of Arkansas Library.

Photo Courtesy of: Special Collections, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville
History provided by: Gary Coover, Coover Consultants

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