"Early Settlers of Osceola, Arkansas-Final Study". From the National Archives, Washington, D.C. Used with the permission of the United States Postal ServiceŽ. All rights reserved.
Artist:Orville Carroll (1912-1978)
Title:Early Settlers of Osceola, Arkansas
Medium: oil on canvas
Location: The mural was destroyed in 1966 when the post office caught fire. It is the only Arkansas mural that no longer exists.
About the Mural:Orville Carroll was commissioned for $-- to create a mural for Osceola, Arkansas as a result of competent work submitted in previous competition. He visited the town in search of a pleasing scene, but instead found miserable farming and dilapidated shacks. His mural design was composed from sketches he made along the riverbank in Louisville, Kentucky and drawings of boats that were generally seen along the Ohio River, not the Mississippi.
The mural at the time of installation. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
Early settlers are landing their boat on the shore of the Mississippi at appoint about where the city of Osceola now stands. The time is 1855. Among the dangers which faced these early pioneers were the swift eddies of the water and the half-submerged trees that often did great damage to the boats, sometimes submerging them.
About the Artist: Orville A. Carroll was born in New Albany, Indiana on February 18, 1912. He was a pupil of Fayette Barnum, Isabel Bishop, John Steuart Curry, and John Sloan. He created murals for the Public Library, Marine Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, and for Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia. His other work for the Section includes a mural for the Batesville, Indiana Post Office.
About the Location:Osceola, the first of two county seats in Mississippi County, was incorporated in 1838. The town was originally named Plum Point, which is how Mark Twain refers to it in his writings. The town was later renamed in 1938 for the Seminole Indian Chief who led his tribe in the Second Seminole War in Florida. Just a note, Osceola was also the childhood home of Francis Smith, a B-movie actress and songwriter commonly know as the cowgirl 'Queen of the West' and Kemmons Wilson, founder of Holiday Inn.