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McRae marker dedicated

By Staff, 05/21/19 11:17 AM

PRESCOTT – Dedication ceremonies were held for a historic marker honoring Gov. Thomas C. McRae.

The ceremony was held in the D’Ane Cemetery near his burial plot. This is the first such marker for Prescott and Nevada County and was spearheaded by the Nevada County Depot and Museum. Judy Duke, curator, said such markers preserve the historic culture of the community as they create a visible and lasting tribute to the heritage of the state by acknowledging historically significant people.

McRae was born in Union County in 1851, attended Washington and Lee Law School in 1872 and opened a law practice in Rosston, the Nevada County seat at the time. He marries Amelia White and the couple had nine children. The marriage lasted 54 years.

He served one term in the Arkansas House of Representatives before representing the Third District in the U.S. House of Representatives for two terms. When he retired from Congress, McRae returned to Nevada County and practiced law, organized the Bank of Prescott, serving as the banks president until his death. He was the president of both the Arkansas Bankers Association and Arkansas Bar Association.

McRae was elected governor and served from 1921-25 on the progressive platform. Under his leadership women were appointed to civil offices, and he laid the groundwork for the state’s modern highway system while improving funding for education.

It was a blustery day for the dedication, as winds made it difficult to remove the covering from the marker. Duke said the museum obtained a 50-50 grant from the Arkansas Marker Heritage Program. The double-sided marker cost $2,000 with another $200 needed for maintenance. The museum, she said, raised $1,200 with the help of the McRae family and local citizens, along with the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office and Charitable Foundation.

Duke said plans are to erect similar markers each year to recognize those who have contributed to the history of Prescott and Nevada County.