The Washington County Historical Society will honor Ellen Compton and Carl Collier as the 2017 Distinguished Citizens of Washington County at the society’s annual meeting and luncheon.
The luncheon will be at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8, at Mermaid’s Restaurant, 2217 N. College Ave., Fayetteville. Tickets are $30 each. Purchase tickets online or reserve tickets by calling Tess Kidd at 479-521-2970 or email her at email@example.com, or call Mahlon Rice at 479-935-7423 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tables for eight are also available for reservation. Purchase tickets for a table for eight. Reservations are required by Sept. 28.
Ellen Compton was born in Little Rock and grew up in Bentonville. She is a 1960 graduate of the University of Arkansas where she earned both a B.S.Ed. and an M.A. in History. She taught Western Civilization at the University of Arkansas from 1963 until 1976.
From 1980 until 2010 she was employed as a research assistant, field archivist, and archivist for Special Collections in the University of Arkansas Libraries. Before her retirement in 2016 she was the lead archivist for the E. Fay Jones Papers.
She was first elected to the board of the Arkansas Historical Association in 1982 and re-elected in 1985. She went on to serve as AHA’s president in 1986-1987. Ellen was the fourth woman to serve in that position since the AHA’s founding in 1941. Six women have followed her as AHA president in 1987. From 1979-1996, she served on the Arkansas Natural Heritage Commission. Locally she has served on the board of the Washington County Historical Society from 2009 to 2016.
She has served twice as an editor of the Washington County Historical Society’s quarterly publication, Flashback. Ellen first served as assistant editor from February 1978 to November 1978 under Mrs. Jean Newhouse; and later as editor from February 1979 to May of 1981. Ellen has also published articles for the Arkansas Historical Association’s quarterly, the Arkansas Historical Quarterly and Arkansas Libraries, the magazine of the Arkansas Library Association. She was the co-author, with Charlie Alison, of Images of America: Fayetteville, a pictorial history published on behalf of the Washington County Historical Society.
Ellen is the proud mother of her sons, David Shipley, mother-in-law of Jamie West Shipley and grandmother of Rhys Shipley and Braden Shipley; and Neil Shipley, mother-in-law of Sally Mounts Shipley and grandmother of Sarah Anne Shipley and Harrison Shipley.
Born and raised in Fayetteville, Carl Collier grew up working in his family’s drug store on Dickson Street, starting in the soda fountain in 1951. He attended Washington Elementary and Hillcrest Jr. High School. After attending Fayetteville High School for one year he transferred to Kemper Military School in Booneville Missouri where he graduated in 1959.
Carl attended the University of Arkansas, where he completed the pre-pharmacy requirements. He graduated from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences with a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree in 1964. After graduation he joined his brother Morris and their father in the family business, Collier Drug Store.
As Collier Drug Stores grew and expanded, Carl became widely known for his ready smile, cheerful personality, and his commitment to serving his patients, creating therapeutic solutions to patient dilemmas and becoming a compassionate friend to many hospice patients. On many occasions he has risen from bed in the middle of the night to fill an emergency prescription for a patient in acute pain.
Collier Drug Stores has grown to ten stores in Washington and Benton Counties, employing 21 pharmacists and close to 100 staff members. Carl received the Eagle Award from the Washington Regional Foundation in 2010 for his commitment to improving health care in Northwest Arkansas, and he has also received the Community Service Award from the Arkansas Pharmacist Association.
Carl has also been active in several national pharmacy organizations, the American Red Cross, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Rotary, the Dickson Street Improvement Committee, Fayetteville Public Schools, and many other civic activities. He has been called the “Mayor of Dickson Street, for all of his work on insuring the street in preserving its home town flavor and where the flagship Collier Drug store sits at 100 W. Dickson Street.
He is a past president of the Fayetteville Rotary Club and former chairman of the United Way of Washington County fund drive.
During the luncheon, the membership of the Washington County Historical Society will also elect the 2017-18 board of directors and executive officers.