JUNIUS MARION FUTRELL, Arkansas’s 30th governor, was born in Greene County, Arkansas, on August 14, 1870. He attended Arkansas Industrial University (now the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville) from 1892 to 1893, studied law, and was admitted to the bar in 1913. Futrell taught school, farmed, and worked in the timber industry before entering politics. In 1896 he was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives and reelected in 1900 and 1902. He was elected clerk of the Circuit Court in 1906, and held that office for four years. Futrell served in the Arkansas Senate from 1913 to 1917, serving as president from 1913 to 1915. On March 10, 1913, Governor Joseph T. Robinson resigned from office, and William Kavanaugh Oldham became acting governor. Futrell, who was president of the Senate at the time, became acting governor following Oldham. He served in this capacity until a special election on July 23, 1913 after which George W. Hays took the oath of office on August 6, 1913.
In 1922, he was appointed Circuit Court judge for the Second Judicial District, and then served as chancellor of the 12th District from 1923 to 1933. On November 8, 1932, Futrell was elected to a full term as Governor of Arkansas, and on January 10, 1933 he was sworn into office. He was reelected to a second term on November 6, 1934. During his tenure, the Refunding Act was enacted, the Arkansas Prohibition Act was rescinded, and the State Planning Board was established. Also, the Arkansas Department of Public Welfare was created, the 19th and 20th Amendments to the state constitution were adopted, and gambling measures were enacted to help relieve the state’s financial problems. Futrell left office on January 12, 1937, and later served as the attorney for the Dyess Colony, Inc. Governor Futrell died on June 20, 1955, and is buried at the Linwood Cemetery, Paragould, Arkansas.
Sobel, Robert, and John Raimo, eds. Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. 1, Westport, Conn.; Meckler Books, 1978. 4 vols.
Donovan, Timothy P., and Willard B. Gatewood, Jr., The Governors of Arkansas, Essays In Political Biography, Fayetteville; The University of Arkansas Press, 1981
Old State House Museum