In the 1930s leading up to the State Centennial, Walter J. Lemke (1891-1968), head of the Journalism Department at the University of Arkansas, published a series of articles and drawings depicting significant people and events in Arkansas history. In 1936, Lemke combined some of his previously published drawings with many new ones for a daily column about Arkansas history. In 1964, he sold most of his drawings to the Arkansas State Library. The collection was donated to the Arkansas History Commission by the State Library in 1996.
Lemke was born January 16, 1891 in Wausau, Wisconsin. He moved to Arkansas when he was recruited by University of Arkansas President, John C. Futrall. He served as head of the Journalism Department at the University of Arkansas from 1928 until his retirement in 1959.