Good Mourning Augusta! 10/24/19
Updated: Nov 19, 2019
"A Good Education is Never Forgotten - Monument to Ms. Laura Conner"
By Bonny Gregory
The monument for Emerson H. Conner and Laura C. Conner show a broken column chiseled into the left side of the monument with an opened scroll in the middle. The broken column was indicative of a life cut short, or a broken life, while the scroll could represent the law or scriptures of the bible. Both Mr. Emerson and Ms. Laura Conner were well-educated and prosperous residents of Augusta.
Ms. Laura Conner should be a role model for us all. She taught in Augusta’s first public school, was a lifetime member of the Augusta School Board, and taught Sunday School at the Methodist Church for thirty years. Education was so important to Ms. Laura that between 1910 and 1912, she donated land for a new school building.
Beyond education, Ms. Laura was a humanitarian that was the first woman to serve on the Arkansas Penitentiary Commission. She advocated for better treatment of the prisoners, and drafted a proposal that was defeated in a vote of five to one: she was the only one to vote for her own proposal and the other five men were all against her. Because of this defeat, she resigned in protest which became publicized state wide and made Arkansans all over conscious of the problem.