This collection contains State Senator Olen Hendrix's correspondence from 1971-1976. Almost all letters concerned pending legislation, most notably: the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), car insurance, savings and loans reform, teacher retirement, and kindergarten. This collection includes a letter dated January 23, 1973, from future Governor Mike Huckabee when he was governor of Boys' State, a model government for high school seniors.
Olen Clay Hendrix (1909-1998) was an Arkansas politician, businessman, and banker. In 1909, Hendrix was born in the Piney community in Pike County, Arkansas. He opened a general store during the Great Depression and later he entered the lumber industry. Hendrix began his career in politics with his appointment to the Arkansas State Highway Commission under Governor Sid McMath in 1952. Governor Orval Faubus appointed Hendrix to State Hospital Board in 1955. During this appointment, Hendrix was inspired to run for office by the deplorable conditions in Arkansas mental health facilities. In 1958, he was elected to the State Senate where he served until 1982. Hendrix served as Senate President Pro Tempore from 1971 to 1972. During his civil service, Hendrix chaired the Committee on the Charitable, the Legislative Council, and the Joint Budget Committee. He was actively involved in the establishment of the Old Washington State Park. Red River Technical College at Hope, and CARTI. Outside of politics, Hendrix served on the Harding University Board of Trustees, as well as banking, lumber, and oil ventures. Although he had an eighth-grade education, Harding gave him an honorary doctorate in law. He married Carmen Cornish on October 25, 1929. They had four children. Their son, Gerald Hendrix (1932-1996), followed his father into politics serving in the Arkansas State House of Representatives. Olen Hendrix died on August 5, 1998, at the age of 89.
Document, 8.5" x 11"
Olen Hendrix papers, MS.001061
Arkansas State Archives
Arkansas State Archives
Olen Hendrix papers, Arkansas State Archives, Little Rock, Arkansas.
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United States History