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Last updated
Tuesday, 11-Sep-2018 03:30:55 MDT


Norman McLeod photograph.

Photograph is of Norman McLeod according to Stanley Lancaster who recently purchased this photograph. 

Happy Hollow was a "amusement park" of sorts established in the late 1880s or early 1890s by Norman McLeod.  Happy Hollow was located off Central Avenue on what is now Fountain Street.  Mr. McLeod not only had this amusement park, he delighted many with his photography skills.  Nearly everyone who has family that lived near Hot Springs in the early 1900s has one or more of the photographs.  The photos were so interesting that family members kept them even if they threw the rest of the family photos away.  McLeod used old buildings, animals, and "fronts" for backdrops.  We hope, on this web page, to bring back some of those memories of Happy Hollow and his guests. 

If you have a photo you would like to add, please email the scanned image to the Melting Pot Webmaster or bring it to the MPGS library.  Since this site is genealogical in nature, we would want to know something about the person that is in the photograph.

Words to a song on the back of a Happy Hollow photograph (sung to the tune of Just Tell them That You Saw Me).

While walking from my doctor's shop, in Hot Springs, Arkansaw,
    After bath and treatment for the day,
I met a gent, with troubles bent, who said to me "O, pshaw!"
    "Where can I find some pleasure light and gay?"
"I'll tell you, sir, I said to him, 'Just listen here; you see!'
    "Walk up Happy Hollow, sure you can,
"Pass bath house row and Arlington, and to your right you'll see?
    "Where you can find McLeod, the happy man."
"Just move on 'till you get there, and you will know the rest,
    "In fact, it is the only place to go;
"McLeod will make you welcome and treat you to the best,
    "Of all amusements that he has to show."

"Those donkeys cute, and animiles, will thrill you with delight,
    "The very air will fill your soul with joy;
"The music, songs and dancing, will soon set you all right.
    "You'll feel as gay and happy as a boy.
"You'll want to wander back again, I tell you, Mister Man,
    "For if the biggest crowd of folks you follow,
"You'll reach the ground, where joy is found, that will forever stand,
    "Just say you saw McLeod, of Happy Hollow."   
"He will show you nature's wonders and will not charge a cent,
    "He will make you feel so funny you will laugh;
"You will drop your woes, and strike a pose, just by accident;
    "And then McLeod will catch your photograph.
"you'll feel so proud, and crow so loud, and skip so light and gay
    "For it will be as charming as Apollo.
"You will have blest that place of rest, and all that you can say
    "Is:  'Let everybody go to Happy Hollow.' "

On the back of a Happy Hollow photograph this is said: "McLeod, The Wild West Photographer.  The man who made Happy Hollow famous the world over, and who has for the past ten years provided, free of charge, the most Popular Resort for out-door and innocent amusement in the south.  McLeod originates, his neighbors only make an effort to imitate.  A picture from Happy Hollow that does not bear the name of McLeod, would be a disappointment to the friend to whom it is sent.  Come see the animals, ride the donkeys and ponies and get your photo taken.  Choice saddle ponies and rigs at half the regular rates."

Photos are on three pages.  Please take a look at all three pages.

Page 1  |  Page 2 | Page 3

Rose Hamilton Cates and Ira Dean Cates.

Clonie and Mattie Roberts.

Ava and Winnie Cates.

Rose Hamilton Cates and her son Ira Dean Cates taken in 1909.  Rose was born 8 September 1882 to Thomas and Isabell Nancy Jane Merriott Hamilton.  She and Adam Cates were parents of young Dean.  Photo courtesy of Dean's daughter, Mary Cates Hall Clonie and Mattie Roberts.  Clonie was born June 1893 to Morgan Lawrence and Sally Sutton Roberts.  Photo courtesy of Patti Vance Hays Probably Ava and Winnie Cates, daughters of Rose Hamilton and Adam Cates.  Photo courtesy of Mary Cates Hall

Boyd Howard and Harry Howard.

Wilbert Howard.

Hiram Blocker, Harrison Blocker, Jim Castleberry.

Boyd Howard shaking his own hand.  Boyd is the middle son of Harry Howard, lifetime resident of Garland County.  Photo courtesy of Darcy Lee Howard Wilbert Howard on the right, with his cousin Mitt Howard (or Mitt's brother Gilbert).  Wilbert is the son of James Polk Howard and Martha Neighbors.  He married Sallie Houpt.  Mitt is the son of James Albert Howard and Lula Milliner.  He married Loretta Nielson.  All of them lived in the Hot Springs area.  Photo courtesy of Darcy Lee Howard Left to right:  Hiram Blocker, Harrison Blocker and Jim Castleberry.  They were all from Cedar Glades (Possum Kingdom).  Hiram Blocker died 26 January 2006 just a few weeks shy of his 94th birthday.  Harrison and Hiram were brothers and children of John Wesley and Sarah Elizabeth Fisher Blocker.  Jim Castleberry was a distant cousin.  Taken about 1930.  Photo courtesy of Jim Johnson

Ruby, Anna, and Vera Howard.

Earl Holmes.

John Staniford, Ralph Greenway, Jim Rushing.

Ruby, Anna, and Vera Howard, daughters of James Polk Howard and Martha Neighbors.  Ruby and Anna married the brothers Herb and James Ivy Allman.  Vera married Bert Bailey.  Photo courtesy of Darcy Lee Howard Earl Holmes on the right in the WWI uniform.  He is the son of James Holmes of Fairplay Community, Saline County.  Photo courtesy of Glenda Henry Jenkins John Staniford, Ralph Greenway, Jim Rushing.  Ralph Greenway is the son of Charles Oliver "Ollie" Greenway and Lydia May Barnette Greenway.  Ralph was born in 1911 and died 30 January 1968.  Photo courtesy of Sandra Hester Catton

John Kidd, Kirk Smith, LeRoy Boone.

Isabelle Merriot Hamilton, Walter and Sam, Susie Mitchell.

Sam Hamilton.

John Kidd, Kirk Smith, and LeRoy Boone--taken about 1912.  Photo courtesy of Debra Slater Garner Isabelle Merriot Hamilton, Walter and Sam (two of her sons) and the other lady is Susie Mitchell, one of her daughters and Susie's two sons, Charlie and Alfred Mitchell...taken before 1911.  Photo courtesy of Mary Cates Hall The only person known is Sam Hamilton (the youngest to the far right).  Photo courtesy of Mary Cates Hall

Garner family.

Chenault, Barnett, Newkirk, Robinson, Deere, Howard.

Guy Emmett Cook.

Newton Hamby Garner holding Newton, Elsie, Paul, Alice holding Bill, Earl and Erma.  Photo courtesy of Rayma Johnson Edds (daughter-in-law of Erma Garner Edds) Left to right:  J. H. Reed Chenault, Nell Robinson Chenault, Geraldine Barnette Newkirk (John's mother), Jesse Barnette, Luttie Robinson Barnette, George Etta Barnette Deere, Molly Burgess Robinson, and Lloyd Hurley Howard, son of Gussie Robinson and Loyd Howard, son of James Polk Howard.  Photo taken in 1923.  Photo courtesy of John Newkirk, Jr Guy Emmett Cook and unknown gentleman.  Mr. Cook was born 19 June 1906 in Cabot, Arkansas, and died 22 February 1996 in Owensville, Saline County, Arkansas.  He married Lexa Ville Davis 8 October 1927 in Faulkner County, Arkansas.  Photo courtesy of their daughter, Charleen Cook Nobles

John Oliver.

Joseph Alex Baer.

David and Margaret Green Boyd.

John Oliver and some of his friends, John Lewis Oliver born about 1877, married to Sarah Nobles, daughter of David Randle Nobles and Patience Baggs.  Sarah was a sister to John Alexander Nobles.  Photo courtesy of Charleen Cook Nobles Joseph Alex Baer April 1944 at Happy Hollow.  Photo courtesy of Alex Baer This photo is believed to have been taken at Happy Hollow by the Arlington Studio.  Many of these pictured had head shots imposed on cutouts or sketches.  David and Margaret Green Boyd, with two of their children.  Photo courtesy of Lenny Green

Ed Eubanks and William Frank Witham

Mr and Mrs Eddlemon

Mozella Hughes Dribblebliss

Ed Eubanks and William Franklin "Bill" Witham sometime in the 1920s.  Bill was born 6 September 1865 in Saline County, Arkansas, and died 11 April 1930 in Saline County and is buried in James Cemetery in Saline County.  Photo courtesy of Sally Witham Bradley, granddaughter of Bill Charlie and Ellen Irene Weatherford Eddlemon.  Photo courtesy of Margie Hill Mozelle Hughes Dribblebliss, daughter of Charley and Oneal Carpenter Hughes.  Photo courtesy of Glenda Henry Jenkins

Marion and Dean Godwin.

Marion, Dean, and Danny Godwin.

Gates, Bessie Graham, Mary Kathryn Mantooth Graham and James Graham

Marion and Dean Godwin.  Marion was president of the 1949 class of Hot Springs High School.  Photo courtesy of Marion Godwin Marion, Dean and Danny Godwin.  Photo courtesy of Marion Godwin Unknown Gates, Bessie Graham, Mary Kathryn Mantooth Graham and James Finley Graham behind the bar in the late 1920s or early 1930s.  Photo courtesy of Mary Kathryn and James Graham's daughter Molly Graham Welch

Clara Zinn Williams.

Ben Chambers

Porterfield and Chambers Families

Clara Zinn Williams at Happy Hollow in 1928. Photo courtesy of her daughter Fran Maus Ben Chambers (behind bar) and unknown friend. This picture was taken around 1920. Ben Chambers (1900 -1986) was born in Pike County, Arkansas, and moved to Hot Springs in 1905. Ben was a very successful farmer living on Pittman Road in Hot Springs for over forty years. He attended Pleasant Hill School and is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. Ben married Verna Richardson Chambers in 1926 and they raised four children: Nelda Chambers Stokes, Betty Chambers, Gerald Chambers and Kenley Chambers. Photo courtesy of Kendra Chambers Left to right: Glenna Mae Porterfield, Dorothy Sue Porterfield, Gerald Chambers, Nelda Chambers, Ernest Porterfield and wife Violet Porterfield, Kenley Chambers, Verna Chambers, Ben Chambers. The Porterfield family was from Nashville, Arkansas. The Ben Chambers family lived on Pitman Road in Hot Springs. This picture was taken in 1937. Photo courtesy of Kendra Chambers

Maggie Sumrall Rountree

Gustave Kracht

John Mack Ballard and Martha Louise Henson

Maggie Sumrall Rountree with her brothers: Eli Theodore Sumrall, Maggie Sumrall Rountree and Warren V. Walters (with mustache). Maggie Rountree lived in Florida, Warren Walters in Mississippi, and Eli Sumrall in Oklahoma at this time. Warren was born in Jones County, Mississippi; Eli in Jones County, Mississippi, or Falls County, Texas; Maggie in Jones County, Mississippi or Falls County, Texas. Photo courtesy of Timothy Sumrall The gentleman to the far right is Gustave Kracht of Sigourney, Iowa. Photo courtesy of his great-grandson, Bob Lynn John Mack Ballard (1910-1998) and Martha Louise Henson Ballard (1909-2001) on their very first date, around 1929. Mr. and Mrs. Ballard are buried in Memorial Gardens Cemetery. Photo courtesy of John S. Ballard