Arkansas History Commission Elects New Chairman
At its March 8 quarterly meeting, the Arkansas History Commission elected Jason Hendren as chairman. A central part of his mission as chairman of the commission will be to increase awareness of the need for donation of historical artifacts and documents to the Arkansas State Archives, and the need for proper preservation and accessibility. He is particularly impressed with the Archives' new large format scanner. "When people see what the Zeutschel AO 14000 OS planetary scanner can do, I predict there will be tremendous interest on the part of historians and collectors to have their large, fragile documents, photographs and books digitized for posterity," he said.
Hendren has been singularly impressed with the outstanding work not only of the ASA, but also of both the regional archives. He hopes to visit them regularly and bring greater attention to all their fine efforts on behalf of the people of the State of Arkansas. Perhaps most importantly, Hendren wants to work closely with the Black History Commission to help ensure that the history of all our citizens is preserved and honored.
Jason Hendren's family moved to Northwest Arkansas in the mid-1850s. Two of his grandfathers served in the 2nd Cherokee Regiment (CSA) under General Stand Watie, and fought in the battles of Wilson's Creek and Pea Ridge. From earliest boyhood, Hendren enjoyed learning about history in general, and Arkansas history in particular. While attending the University of Arkansas, he enjoyed his studies under esteemed Civil War scholar Daniel E. Sutherland, Ph.D. He has since deeded a gift to the State Archives (a newspaper: The Sovereign Odd Fellow, printed in Gravette, Arkansas, in November 1914), and plans to continue contributing artifacts from his family's extensive collection so that they may be better preserved and studied by future generations.
Following graduation from the University of Arkansas, Hendren obtained his law degree from the UALR (now William H. Bowen) School of Law in 1997 and practiced for many years as a partner at the law firm of Friday, Eldredge & Clark in Little Rock and Fayetteville. During that time, his interest in Arkansas history continued to develop. He proudly served on the MacArthur Military History Museum Commission (1999 - 2008), and the Historic Arkansas Museum Foundation Board of Directors (2006 - 2011), the latter position being one also held by his mother, Janet Sue Hendren previously, and by his wife, Tracey Hendren currently.
Hendren accepted an Of Counsel position at the law firm of Wright, Lindsey & Jennings in December 2014, and became a partner in December 2017. He offices in Rogers, and focuses his practice on the defense of medical care providers throughout Arkansas. His work has been recognized by Mid-South Super Lawyers and Chambers USA. He has served in a variety of capacities in the legal community, including President of the Arkansas Association of Defense Counsel (2013 - 2014), Arkansas State Representative for DRI -The Voice of the Defense Bar (2014 - 2017), President of the Bowen School of Law Alumni Board (2014 - 2015) -- and current member of the Dean’s Advisory Council, Barrister of the W. B. Putman American Inn of Court, and (Sustaining) Fellow and Vice-President of the Arkansas Bar Foundation. In 2017, he served as a Special Associate Justice on the Arkansas Supreme Court.
Hendren and his wife Tracey live with their children in Bentonville - just down the street from where she lived when they were in high school and started dating.