George Washington Donaghey
George Washington Donaghey was born July 1, 1856 in Oakland, LA. He attended the University of Arkansas and studied education, carpentry, and structural engineering. In 1883 he settled in Conway, Arkansas. He then began work as a contractor, working on various projects in Arkansas and Texas. In 1908 he was elected governor of Arkansas; he promised to complete the state capitol, which at the time was still unfinished. During his tenure, much of Arkansas' infrastructure was improved, including roads and rail lines. He also founded four agricultural schools that would later become ASU, ATU, SAU, and UAM. He pardoned 360 convicts and made the convict-lease system worthless.
After his time in office he continued to commit his time and energy to public construction, education, and charity. He even wrote a book entitled "Build a State Capitol," which used as a model the Capitol in Little Rock. He was a "jack of all trades," having been reported as being a farmer, cook, carpenter, casketmaker, cowboy, cabinetmaker, hunter, plantation owner, town marshal, and philanthropist among others. He married Miss Louvenia Wallace of South Carolina in September of 1887, and remained married to her for 50 years. He acutely understood the need for higher education in the state of Arkansas and served on the boards of Philander Smith College and Hendrix College.
Among his noteworthy jobs as a contractor were the Faulkner County Courthouse, the Bank of Conway, the Arkansas School for the Deaf in Little Rock, and Old Main on the campus at UCA. After seeing the madness of his drunken father, Donaghey worked tirelessly to rid Conway of liquor.