Blog

Arkansas Properties on the National Register of Historic Places: Leake-Ingham Building, Camden, Ouachita County

Arkansas Historic Preservation Program - Sunday, February 03, 2019

The Leake-Ingham Building at Camden in Ouachita County was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 2, 1975. 

STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE

The white frame building which now rests on the rear lot of the McCollum-Chidester House has long been a landmark in Camden, Arkansas. Built circa 1850, this small commercial structure stood for over 100 years at the corner of Washington and Harrison Streets in the heart of the historic south Arkansas community. The Classical style of this small building lent dignity to its use as a law and government office, and as a library. Greek Revival features on this simple rectangular structure include the portico supported by columns and the balanced entry with a large double hung window on either side of the paneled door.

The building was originally constructed to serve as a law office for Mr. William W. Leake, a prominent Camden attorney. An 1859 advertisement in Camden’s States Rights Eagle announced that Mr. Lyon and Mr. Leake, lawyers, were in business in the Washington Street office formerly occupied by lawyers Jennings and Leake. Mr. Leake later changed partners again, and in 1866 was working with Mr. R. E. Sallee. By that time Leake had vacated his first office, and it was rented to the United States government.

In the years following the Civil War the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen and Abandoned Lands had district offices in urban areas all over the South. The Camden office of the Freedmen’s Bureau was established in the building formerly used to house Mr. Leake’s law practice. Supervising a seven county area in south central Arkansas, the Freedmen’s Bureau in Camden played an important role in shaping Reconstruction era history in the State.

Among a collection of miscellaneous papers from the files of the Camden Freedmen’s Bureau is an 1860 fire insurance policy certificate issued to W. W. Leake. For a $16.00 premium Leake received $1,000.00 coverage on his Washington Street law office.

Following its use by the Freedmen’s Bureau, the Leake building served as a Government Land Office for a number of years. It was afterwards purchased by Mr. A. A. Tufts, who used the building as a business office for some time, then rented it to others for the same purpose.

In 1904 a group of women in the New Century Club of Camden started a movement for a public library in the city. An organizational meeting resulted in the formation of the Camden Library Association. The first goal set by the Association was the purchase of a building to house the library. This goal was accomplished on April 1, 1906, when the Leake building was purchased for $1,100.

Mr. H. M. Ingham, Rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Camden, supervised the preparation of the Leake building to house the library. He and his wife made such valuable contributions to the library that in June, 1906, it was named Ingham Library.

For the first half of the twentieth century this small structure housed Camden’s only public library. However, a new library building was constructed in the 1950’s and the Ingham Library was abandoned. Urban growth threatened destruction of the building and in 1954 it was removed from its original downtown lot. After temporarily resting at two different sites, it was moved in 1963 to the rear of the McCollum-Chidester House property (added to the National Register on June 24, 1971).

The Ouachita County Historical Society, which owns both the Ingham Library and the lot on which it stands, plans to restore the building and use it in conjunction with the adjacent McCollum-Chidester House. As one of Camden’s earliest existing commercial structures, the Leake Building-Ingham Library is an important ante-bellum landmark in this historic south Arkansas community.

BIBLIOGRAPHY
“Fifty Years of Camden Library History.” Ouachita County Historical Quarterly, Vol. 5.

Freedman’s Bureau Records: Arkansas: Camden. Roll 2, Entries 297-305. Microfilm, Arkansas History Commission.

Ouachita County Tax Records, 1861-1867, Microfilm, Arkansas Historic Commission.

Records Assistant Commissioner: Arkansas: Freedman’s Bureau: Abandoned and Confiscated Lands: 1865-1868. National Archives Microfilm Publications, #M969, roll 29.



Recent Posts


Tags

Booneville Historical Preservation Society Cemetery Preservation Library Pope County Arkansas Camden Arkansas Arkansas Design Network Central High School Neighborhood Historic District historic telephone booth Civil Works Administration Carlisle Rock Island Railroad Depot Montgomery County Arkansas National Historic Landmark slipcover removal grants Mississippi County Courthouse Osceola Monsanto Chemical Corporation Perry County Arkansas Craftsman style architecture Arkansas History Lesson Plans Wingmead Camden to Washington Road Historic Preservation Restoration Grants Tudor Revival Architecture Abolition of Slavery Main Street Texarkana Sandwiching in History Barney Elias House Camden Public Library Russellville Arkansas Arkansas Preservation Awards Arkansas History Pope County Courthouse U.S. Army Corps of Engineers 13th Amendment Classroom Presentation Folk Victorian Architecture Little Rock Fire Station No. 2 free historic preservation workshop County courthouse Restoration Grants Arkansas Historic Preservation Mississippi County Arkansas Elias Camp Morris Art Deco Architecture Walks Through History Evelyn Gill Walker House African American education Ouachita County Arkansas Houston Methodist Episcopal Church South Arkansas Historic Preservation Program Arkansas Register of Historic Places Flood Control historic architecture Main Street Arkansas Arkansas African American Civil War History Centennial Baptist Church Huntsville Arkansas Estes-Williams Post #61 American Legion Hut Montgomery County Courthouse Marked Tree Arkansas Saline County Arkansas Monroe County Courthouse Kiblah School Little Rock Central High School Marked Tree Lock and Siphons Miller County Trail of Tears in Arkansas Mississippi Main Street Association Freedmen's Bureau Benton Arkansas Mosaic Templars Cultural Center Booneville Arkansas Henry Koen Office Building Rosston Arkansas Newton County Arkansas Free Cemetery Preservation Workshops free history tours steel window restoration workshop Forrest City Cemetery Prairie County Arkansas Pike County Arkansas Gothic Revival architecture Duck Hunting Ozark Farming American Legion Louisiana Main Street program Paris Arkansas Monroe County Arkansas Bogg Springs Hotel Forrest City Arkansas Old U.S. Post Office and Customs House Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council Skillern House New Century Club of Camden Roe Arkansas White County Courthouse 13th Amendment Historic Preservation Alliance of Arkansas Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission 19th Century Road Construction Dionicio Rodriguez Free Lesson Plan Historic Preservation Alliance Free Courthouse Poster most endangered historic places Erbie Arkansas Let Freedom Ring Renaissance Revival Architecture Madison County Arkansas Mid-Century Modern Architecture Burdette Arkansas Dr. Ruth Hawkins Delta Cultural Center North Little Rock Arkansas free teacher resources Morrilton Arkansas historic Arkansas properties Rosenwald Schools Civilian Conservation Corps Arkansas religious history Edgar Monsanto Queeny cemetery preservsation Main Street Searcy Phillips County Arkansas downtown revitalization Arkansas State University Heritage Sites Poinsett County Arkansas cemetery preservation Huntsville Commercial Historic District Destination Downtown Conference Fayetteville Arkansas Real Estate Transfer Tax Buffalo National River Doddridge Arkansas Helena Arkansas National Register of Historic International-Style Architecture Main Street Arkansas:Real Estate Transfer Tax Stearns/Gehring Chapel Cemetery Polk County Arkansas Naturalistic Architecture Bogg Springs Arkansas downtown economic development News Release Pulaski County Courthouse Historic County Courthouses Arkansas Business History St. Francis County Historical Society Conway County Library Arkansas Railroad History Nevada County Arkansas Main Street Ozark "Let Freedom Ring" Travel Grants Arkansas Humanities Council National Register of Historic Places Clarendon Arkansas historic resort communities Sunken Lands Three States Lumber Company U.S. Forest Service Downtown Revitalization Grants Turner Restoration Parker-Hickman Farm Historic District Main Street Batesville Arkansas Tuberculosis Sanatorium Museum Freedom Park Tolbert Gill Cumberland Presbyterian Church Rustic Architecture Houston Arkansas Burdette Plantation Main Street Dumas Pike County Courthouse Leake-Ingham Building Main Street Siloam Springs

Archive