WESTARK AREA COUNCIL HISTORY
The Council (Westark Area Council) was originally organized July 1920. The territory at that time included only the city of Fort Smith and the name of the council was “Fort Smith Council.”
Early in 1922, the Council territory was extended to include the city of Van Buren. The Council then became known as the “Fort Smith-Van Buren Council.”
The territory remained unchanged for 5 years until the Council re-registered in January 1927. At that time, the council was extended to include all of Crawford and Sebastian Counties, together with that portion of Franklin County south of the Arkansas River. The council’s name remained unchanged.
In December 1928, the council took over 13 additional counties which included the counties of Polk, Pope and Scott counties and the 10 counties which had previously constituted the “Ozark Council” in the northwest part of the state of Arkansas. (The counties were as follows: Benton, Washington, Carroll, Boone, Madison, Newton, Franklin (North half), Johnson, Logan, and Yell).
The council was re-registered in 1929 under the name of the “Northwest Arkansas Council”. This was changed at re-registration time in 1930 to the “Fort Smith Area Council”. Since the time of the council’s re-registration in 1937, the Council has been known as the “Westark Area Council” until 1947.
On June 23, 1947, the council was incorporated in the state of Arkansas and from that date to present has been known as the “Westark Area Council, Inc., Boy Scouts of America”.
In 1953, Russellville and Pope County were transferred to the Quapaw Area Council in Little Rock. At the same time the following counties: Baxter, Fulton, Izard, Marion and Searcy counties became a part of the Westark Area Council.
In January 1955, Mena and Polk County were transferred to the Caddo Council in Texarkana, Arkansas.
Pope County, which formerly had been in this council but transferred to the Quapaw Area Council in 1953, came back in and became a part of the Westark Area Council in January 1957.
Fulton County transferred to Eastern Arkansas Area Council, August 1, 1965. This transfer included 1 Pack, 1 Troop and 34 boys.
The Westark Area Council today consists of the following counties: Crawford, Sebastian, Scott, Benton, Madison, Washington, Franklin, Logan, Johnson, Pope, Yell, Baxter, Boone, Carroll, Marion, Newton and Searcy counties.
A campaign for the building of a new Boy Scout Camp was conducted in 1953-54. Land for the camp was purchased and developed and the camp has been used since 1955.
The Scout Service Center, 1401 South 31st St., was built in 1963.
Renovation of the Scout Service Center was completed in 1996.
In 2016 the Shewmaker Scout Service Center was opened in Springdale. Now the Westark Area Council has 2 service centers to meet the needs of its Scouts, Leaders and its communities.
Since its organization in 1920 the Westark Area Council has had fifty-one Presidents.
|C. H. Patzell||July 1920-December 1921|
|W. H. Johnson||January 1922-December 1925|
|Robert C. Coffey||January 1926-December 1926|
|J. W. Ramsey||January 1927-December 1927|
|Harry Robinson, Sr.||January 1928-December 1929|
|A. G. Williams, Jr.||January 1930-December 1931|
|S. Bernie Harper||January 1932-December 1933|
|Dr. W. R. Brooksher||January 1934-February 1935|
|Sam A. Galloway||February 1935-1936|
|L. N. McAfee||February 1936-December 1937|
|John P. Woods||January 1938-December 1939|
|Ed Wright||January 1940-December 1941|
|Sam D. Tressler||January 1942-December 1943|
|Stanley E. Smithson||January 1944-December 1945|
|R. K. Rodgers||1946-1947|
|Raymond F. Orr||1948|
|Harry G. Barr||1949|
|Frank W. Youmans||1950|
|J. Clib Barton||1951-1953|
|James S. Beckman||1954-1957|
|Jim D. Meek, Sr.||1958|
|William M. Eads, Jr.||1959|
|Claude H. Turney||1960|
|R. W. Bitter||1961-1962|
|Donald H. Flanders||1963-1965|
|H. L. Hembree, III||1966-1967|
|William C. Morton, Jr.||1968-1969|
|Richard J. Udouj||1970-1972|
|Robert A. Young, III||1973-1974|
|Travis A. Miles||1977-1978|
|Stewart M. Condren||1979-1980|
|Danny J. Butler||1981-1982|
|W. K. Mac McGehee||1985-1986|
|J. Barton Hudspeth||1987-1988|
|Dr. Richard Cameron||2000-2001|
|Donnie R. Green||2002-2003|
|Lawson Hembree IV||2005-2007|
|Dr. Paul B. Beran||2008-2010|
There have been fifteen to serve as Scout Executive/CEO:
|William J. Carter||August 1920 - December 1920|
|W. I. Mayfield||December 1920 - December 1923|
|Nelson F. Dickey||December 1923 - December 1925|
|J. Fred Vantrease||December 1925 - February 1936|
|I. W. Wall||February 1936 - December 1940|
|L. Malcolm Rogers||March 1941 - December 1961|
|Hoyt Hunt||January 1962 - December 1965|
|John E. Stauffer||December 1965 - February 1969|
|Cecil E. Weller||February 1969 - September 1981|
|Clarence E. Baker||November 1981 - March 1987|
|Cliff Takawana||April 1987 - December 1992|
|Ron Turpin||February 1993 - August 1996|
|John Morton||August 1996 - May 2004|
|Bryan Feather||August 2004 – July 2017|
|Chris L. Daughtrey||November 2017 - Present|