About the Mural:The mural depicts several early scenes of Pocahontas and the surrounding areas. In the lower right is the community of Davidsonville, where the state's first post office was established in 1817. On the left is the old dam and mill as it existed around 1835 in the community of Birdell on the Eleven Point River. The central part of the mural depicts Pocahontas around 1900 when it was a prosperous river town. The image includes the old county courthouse, the Biggers Hotel, which at the time was the largest in between St. Louis and Little Rock, and the old Hamil residence, the first large home constructed within Pocahontas.
The mural at the time of installation. National Archives, Washington, D.C.
About the Artist:Harry Louis Freund was born in Clinton, Missouri, on September 16, 1905. He attended Clinton High School and the University of Missouri (1923-1925). He also studied art at St. Louis School of Fine Arts (1925-1929), Washington University, Princeton University and Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center.
He was awarded the Edmund H. Wuerpel Scholarship for Foreign Study (1929) which enabled him to travel to several countries and study in Paris at the Colorassi Academy (1929-1930). He also spent an extended period of time in Mexico and Central America to complement his studies. During his career Freund served as a mural designer for the State of Missouri Exhibit at the Chicago World's Fair of 1933; he was appointed Artist in Residence under the Carnegie Corporation at Hendrix College and spent World War II as the Visual Aids Director for the 8th Service Command.
Later he was an illustrator for the Ford Motor Company as well as working as a faculty member for several schools. He founded the Art Department at the Little Rock Junior College (now UALR) and served as the head of the Art Department at Hendrix College. He founded the summer Art School of the Ozarks at Eureka Springs and was an Artist in Residence at Stetson University, where he subsequently served as the head of the Art Department.
-Biography provided by Arkansas State University
About the Location:Pocahontas is the county seat of Randolph County. It was originally founded by the family of Dr. Ransom S. Bettis. The county, and subsequently the town of Pocahontas, was officially formed in 1835 from part of the area then called Lawrence County. Arkansas's first post office was constructed in Davidsonville, a town located five miles from Pocahontas.