The Southwest Arkansas Regional Archives recently acquired a collection from the estate of Dr. Jo Ann “Jody” Carrigan.
“This collection is a welcomed and important addition,” said Melissa Nesbitt, archival manager. “The Carrigan family was prominent and active in Washington, so this collection helps us preserve and connect to our collective past, historically significant figures and our shared experiences.”
The collection includes family photos, letters and copies of Dr. Carrigan’s essays from professional journals.
Dr. Carrigan was born in Washington, Arkansas, in 1934 and graduated from Washington High School. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Henderson State in 1953, a master’s degree in 1956 and a doctorate degree in American History from Louisiana State University in 1961. She taught high school for one year in Sheridan, Arkansas, then taught at the college level for several years at LSU. Later, she became the first female, full professor at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 1971. While at UNO, she also became an advocate for women’s issues.
As a historian, she favored research in medical and social history and specialized in U.S. urban history and medical and public health history. She was a volunteer adjunct professor for medical history at the UNO Medical Center and active in organizations such as the Organization of American Historians.
Dr. Carrigan wrote “The Saffron Scourge: A History of Yellow Fever in Louisiana, 1796-1905,” a book that was called the “definitive account of the story of yellow fever in Louisiana,” in an editorial review by The New England Journal of Medicine. SARA has copies of both her 1994 and 2015 book editions.
Dr. Carrigan retired from UNO in 1996. She passed away in 2018 at the age of 84.
At her passing, UNO lowered its flag to honor her. In a news release this year, Henderson State University accepted Dr. Carrigan’s estate gift that established the school’s Carrigan History Scholarship Endowment.
Dr. Carrigan was a descendant of the Carrigan, Monroe and Dugger families, all of whom settled in Washington in the mid-19th century. These families were all prominent in local and state history and were some of the wealthiest families in Washington. The new material will be added to Carrigan, Monroe and Dugger items that are already in SARA’s archival materials.
For more information about the collection or about SARA, contact Melissa Nesbitt at email@example.com or 870-983-2633.