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One Monticello Life: Sheilla Lampkin

December 9th, 2007 by

(This week’s One Monticello Life was not authored by me, but was instead the introduction speach given by Anna Koonce, 2007 Woman of the Year, announcing this year’s honoree.) 

It was truly an honor for me to make this presentation this year.  When I was chosen 2007 Woman of the Year, I said at the time that there were so many women out there that were more deserving of the honor than me, and tonight I have the opportunity to make this presentation to one of those women that I was talking about at that time.

The first time that I was aware of the contributions that this lady makes to the community, was when I saw her picture in the newspaper, picking up litter during a county-wide clean-up project.  She does not mind getting in the trenches and working for good.  I wonder when she sleeps, because she has so many things going on at the same time.  I don’t think that she knows anything about the word “No.”  She has helped me on several occasions, whether it is decorating for a chamber project like “Weevil Welcome”, or serving in numerous capacities of the Historical Society.

Her husband is in a position with many demands on his time.  She is always there giving him her support.  She has been by his side, supporting him for over 40 years.

While many persons spend their retirement years relaxing and enjoying leisure time,  this lady’s retirement, after teaching in public schools for over 30 years, has merely provided her with more time to dedicate to her community.

I must share with you a few of her many accomplishments/achievements/services that she provides to our community, state, and even nationally.  When I do this there will be no doubt who I’m referring to, but I want all of you to know this.

Drew County Historical Museum- commision member & secretary

Drew County Historical Society-member & board member

Weekly Volunteer-Drew County Museum-maintains records, acquisitions, etc.

Drew Memorial Hospital Auxiliary-historian, newsletter editor, information desk committee

Northside Extension Homemaker’s Club-member & current president-chairs fair booth committee, education committee, and community service committee

Drew County EHC council member

Drew County Education committee-chairperson scholarship committee

Delta Byways member-representing Drew County

Board member of the Selma Community Center (Rosenwald School)

Cornerstone Leadership Developement Institute (EDED) board member

Drew County Historical Journal contributor and “production assistant”

Historic Preservation Alliance of AR-board member

Weekly writer-contributer-“From the Museum” column, in the Advance Monticellonian.

She is dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the Historic Selma Community Center (Rosenwald School), and helped secure a grant for, and get National Registry Recognition, for it.

She also secured National Registry status for the Jerome Elementary School.  However her favorite project is volunteering for the Veteran’s Oral History Project, which takes oral memories of WWII veterans for the Library of Congress.  She has interviewed more than 50 WWII veterans for this Library of Congress program, and help set up AETN interviews of WWII documentary premiering before Ken Burn’s film,”The War”.  She lovingly tells veterans’ stories in the weekly column in the Advance.  She also volunteers to help research their own historic topics.  She will help with the veterans books project of the Advance, later this year.

She has documented and photographed historical monuments and markers in Drew & Desha counties for the AR Historic Capital Preservation Program for the Arkansas Dept. of Heritage and it’s website.

She also readily volunteers with other community projects including “Weevil Welcome” and the “Santa Train”.  She is an avid supporter of the Drew County Fair Board.  She is a member of Second Baptist Church of Monticello.

Her literary and research skills have resulted  in ,state-wide recognition.  She was honored in 2006 with the Arkansas Historical Association Award for the best school history, for her article entitled, “Rosenwald School: an experiment in ‘Black Education'”, published by the Drew County Historical Journal in 2005.

I can think of no other woman that better exemplifies a love and joy for promoting Monticello & Drew County, and particularly for preserving wonderful history of our area.

Her dedication and historical preservation work will forever serve as a tribute to past Drew County residents, while providing a wonderful record for future Drew County residents to study and appreciate.

This lady is very modest about what she accomplishes, and does not go around “tooting her own horn”.

It is truly a joy and a privilege for me to present my friend, and a very deserving 2008 Drew County Woman of the Year to You, Sheilla Lampkin.

To read other editions of One Monticello Life, click here. 


Sheilla Lampkin, shown here accepting her plaque, accompanied by her husband, Judge Damon Lampkin.  As UAM Chancellor Jack Lassiter and Governor Mike Beebe listen to her comments.

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5 Responses to “One Monticello Life: Sheilla Lampkin”

  1. Wade Newman says:

    I have known Mrs. Sheila for as long as I can remember, and I’m sure she’s known me much longer. Since your retirement from teaching you have done an absolutely wonderful job with keeping the historical society up and running. I have learned so much from the articles you put into the paper, as well as built a fair collection of vintage photographs of the city because of it. You’ll have to come by and see what we’ve done with the old Cruce house so far in our slow renovation process. And thank you for sending me a birthday card every year, it means a whole lot to know you think of me.

  2. K. Jordan says:

    I remember her in school, and she was a wonderful teacher to have.

  3. Paul Dickson says:

    Congratulations Ms. Sheilla. An honor to a very deserving lady.

    Paul Dickson

  4. Teresa says:

    Ms Sheilla, I did not know you before woking with the Judge, but getting to know you has been a delight. You are always happy and smiling and very giving to all of us girls that work for the Judge here at the courthouse. I love reading your articles in the paper and learning lots of history of Monticello. Congratulations and keep up the good work.

  5. Bryan McCammon says:

    I remember both Damon and Sheila from years and years ago from at least 35 years ago. At the time, I lived almost directly across the street from them. In fact, we saw them nearly every day. Either we went to their house or they came to our house. They also watched our cat when we were out of town (they had a cat too).

    My entire family has moved to the Little Rock area but its good to see that Damon and Sheila are still around and are doing very well. I was glad to hear that Damon is now the County Judge. He really does care about the community that he lives in.

    Bryan McCammon
    Webmaster of Monticello High School Class of 1986

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