Narratives are personal stories that help enrich the reader’s understanding of a time period, person, place, or event. These are first-person views of history taken from personal recollections, memoirs, diaries, and oral histories.

Information included in this section is not fact checked by the Encyclopedia staff. The author of the Narrative is entirely responsible for its content.

My mother, Alma Carter Davis, ran for the Arkansas legislature in the early 1930s in Chicot County. Women did not do such a thing in those days, but my father evidently supported her—she may have used the name Mrs. Ed L. Davis. My twin sister and I remember riding in the back seat of her campaign car (Mother did not drive, so a young man—a former CCC member, I believe, drove for her). We went all over the district, stopping at houses to ask for votes and handing out her cards.
When election day came, we were sent to stay at a friend’s house on a plantation across Lake Chicot; the next day, we learned that our mother had lost by only a few votes. Many years later, I saw a news article in the Dermott paper that said she lost by only 12 votes. She did not ask for a recount, probably so as not to harm our father’s law practice. Judge Carneal Warfield from Eudora won the election and served for several terms. Records from the Chicot Spectator were destroyed by fire, so there is no hometown record.
We wondered why our mother ran, but we think Roberta Fulbright’s newspaper columns in the 1930s encouraging women of Arkansas to become active in the political process may have encouraged her.
My mother was born in a small farming community near Monticello. I know little about her parents, but I think Mother may have been the first in the family to graduate from college; she was in the first graduating class of Monticello A&M (now UA at Monticello). After the election, Mother (a former school teacher) became a member of many organizations in Lake Village and served on the school board, becoming president during our high school years.

Jane McCain
Little Rock, AR