Texarkana Texas Arkansas historical items




1940 - 1949


A Chronology Of Events

Submitted by Wayne Adcock

Other articles submitted  will be marked with person name.  The items not marked were submitted by Wayne. 



1940 population of Texarkana AR; White  8,143, Negro 3,678
1940 population of Texarkana TX; White 11,892, Negro 5,127


22 Feb. 1946         The Phantom Killer Strikes
The first assault happened somewhere near the intersection of Robison and Richmond roads. In 1946, this was the undeveloped countryside surrounding Texarkana, this is also where friends and lovers went to park. The first victims was Mary Jeanne Larey, 19, and her date, Jimmy Hollis, 24.

24 March 1946 the bullet riddled bodies of Richard L. Griffin, aged 29, a Texarkana War Veteran and Miss Polly Ann Moore, aged 17, employed at the Red River Arsenal in Texarkana were found in Mr. Griffin's parked 1941 Oldsmobile on South Robison Rd. road outside the city limits on the Texas side of the city. Mr. Griffin was found in the front seat of the car and Miss Moore was found face down in the back seat although she was killed outside the car and placed in the car. The girl's body had been abused.

14 April 1946  the bodies of Paul Martin, aged 17, of  Kilgore, Texas and Betty Jo Booker, aged 15, of Texarkana were found on a country road in the vicinity of Spring Lake Park.  Paul's coupe was found near the entrance to the park but Paul's body was found about 1.5 miles from his car near what is now Cork Lane North of I-30. Betty Jo's body was found about a mile and a half away near what is now Fernwood., They had both been shot to death and it was discovered later that Betty Jo had been raped.

3 May1946  in the farm home of Virgil Starks, age 38, the Texarkana Killer strikes again. Mr Starks' farm was located on Hwy 67 about 12 miles northeast of the city in Miller County, Arkansas. Mr Starks was siting in his living room near a window listening to the radio when the killer fired two shots to the back of Mr. Starks head with a .22 caliber  rifle. Mrs. Kate Starks who was in an adjoining bedroom, heard the sound of breaking glass and ran into the living room where she discovered her husband slumped in the floor and ran to her telephone where she was shot twice in the face. Mrs. Starks, hearing the intruder breaking in the screen door in back, stumbled out the front door and made her way across the road to a neighbor  to get help. It was discovered later that the killer entered the house and dabbled his hands in the pools of blood. Mr. Starks died from his wounds and his wife was taken to Michael Meagher Hospital in Texarkana where she was listed in critical condition. Mrs. Starks later recovered from her wounds.  


1947 Henry Grady Holmes appointed as Chief of Police, Texarkana Ark. to 1948 ( a uncle to Elvie Davis )

Sun. 26 Sept. 1948
Fine spring water, a natural lake and land set in a frame of lovely trees lured a young man from TN to settle on the site, build a house and raise a family. His name was W. W. Wootten and the year he first saw the spring was 1836. The young man from Tn gave to this pioneer country the work of his hands, the love of his heart and seven children to carry on his name and work. In 1873, Mrs. Martha Wootten, widow of the young man from TN, attended the town lot sales with two other widows. Mrs. Wootten purchased the two lots at Fourth and Pine where the family home still stands (1948) The other widows were a Mrs. Ward, who bought the corner lots where Cargile Moter Co is located, and Mrs. Blankenship, mother of Mrs. George Bottoms, who bought the corner lots where Creekmore Moter Co stands.
Mrs. Agnes Wootten came to Texarkana 50 years ago from Lewisville Ar. a town that bears her family name Lewis. She and Benjamin were the parents of one child, now Audis Wootten Hesterly. Benjamin Wootten died in 1932. Mrs. Wootten can recall the time when there were so many saloons in Texarkana and so many fights and killings that women did not go to town unescorted.

15 Nov. 1948 Max Ambrose Txckett appointed as Chief of Police, Texarkana Ark.and served until 1968. Pryor to 1948 Max was a criminal  investigator for the Ark. State Police

Tues. 16 Nov. 1948 Charlie Boyd, Ark. State Trooper, moved up to State Police Supervisor of district four Monday. Boyd has been with the dept. ten years and twice turned down  permotions but last week accepted the spot vacated by Bob Porterfield. Porterfield moved up to become an investigater, a position vacated by Max Tackett who became Texarkana Arkansas Police Chief.

Mon. 29 Nov. 1948 Police Chief Max Tackett announced Sunday that he has added four patrolmen to the Texarkana Ark. police force. Tackett listed them as, Ed Williams, 37, married with one child, Curtis Lee Blaylock, 36, married with 5 children, Ralph E Phillips 29 married and Mitchell Garrison, 37, married with two children.  

Sat 16 July 1949 Appointment of James E. Grimes, 47, as assistant police chief of the Arkansas side police department, and Andrew C Ober, 48, as desk sergeant, was made permanent Friday. Assistant Chief Grimes, who has been with the department five years is a former Red River Arsenal security officer. Sergeant Ober is a former Navada County sheriff and has been in law enforcement for a number of years.


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