John James Doyne

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John James Doyne was the first president of the University of Central Arkansas, at the time known as the Arkansas State Normal School.

Doyne was born in Farmville, Virginia, on October 28, 1858, to John and Agnes (Stratton) Doyne. He was educated in local schools, including Farmville High School. Doyne attended the University of Virginia for three years, graduating in 1879. From 1879 to 1888 he taught school in Lonoke, Arkansas, and in Fort Smith schools from 1888 to 1890. He then served as a teacher and administrator in Lonoke from 1890 to 1899. During this time he also held the posts at various times of the Lonoke County examiner and Sebastian County examiner.

From 1898-1902 and again from 1906-1908 he served as state superintendent of public instruction. He was responsible for writing Arkansas Act 317 in 1907 enabling founding of the school, dedicated to the teaching of educators. Doyne served as president from 1908 until 1917. In that year he returned to Lonoke to serve as the superintendent of the public schools there. In 1937 he accepted a post as superintendent of the Arkansas School for the Blind. He retired from the school in 1939.

Doyne was also the editor of The Arkansas Teacher for five years.

Doyne married Ida Beard on November 1, 1882, wit whom he had three children. Doyne died on September 6, 1944.


  • Jimmy Bryant, The Centennial History of the University of Central Arkansas (Virginia Beach, VA: Donning Company, 2008), 8-9, 28.
  • John F. Ohles, Biographical Dictionary of American Educators, volume 1 (Greenwood Publishing Group, 1978), 394.

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