Greene County, Arkansas

Inquiry On Reports Of A "Wild Man" Once Seen In Greene County

Published below is a letter of inquiry that has been passed along. Anyone who is familiar with this bit of folk lore may contact of the letter. Thus far the editor has not found anyone who has heard of the "Gorilla Legend."

                                                                                          November 18, 1969

Crowley's Ridge State Park
Walcott, Arkansas
Dear Sirs:

Would you please send me data on your park? Also, I would like some specific information if you have it. Although I realize the Park was only established in 1934, perhaps you have had cases similar to the following, regarding which you could supply me with further details.

It appears that in the years between 1834 and 1851 reports of a "Wild Man" being sighted in St. Francis, Greene and Poinsett Counties were reported in the press. A Memphis Enquirer article on the "Wild Man" was reprinted in the Galveston Weekly Journal (May 26, 1851) and the New Orleans Times Picayune (May 6, 1851). As you know these Counties are bound on the East by Crowley's Ridge. I have a case from the Folklore Archives of Indiana University in which a similar "Gorilla" report is told of in the Great Swampy Area that existed in the "Boot-Heel" section of the of Southeast Missouri over fifty years ago. This swamp was bound on the West by Crowley's Ridge. Therefore, I feel Crowley's Ridge may be the seat of a great deal of lore (if not truth!) on this subject.

I would appreciate any and all data you could send me on any reports, strange animal sightings, etc. from your area. If you would like more information from me, I will be glad to supply you with the 1851 newspaper article, or any other pieces I have on these "hairy beasts."

Thank you for your time and help with my research on this subject.

                                                    Sincerely yours,
                                                    Loren E. Coleman
                                                    202 East College
                                                    Carbondale, Illinois 62901


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