Billy Higgins

Billy Higgins

Associate Professor of History


Billy D. Higgins, associate professor of history, has taught at UAFS since 1994.He is a member of the Arkansas Historical Association, the Fort Smith Historical Society, the Arkansas Methodist Historical Society, the Southern Historical Association, the Society for American Baseball Research and the Arkansas Association of College History Teachers. 


Higgins has published three books: “A Stranger and a Sojourner: Peter Caulder, Free Black Frontiersman in Antebellum Arkansas,” which was the co-winner of the Ragsdale Award for the Best Book on Arkansas History in 2004; “Fort Smith:  Vanguard of Western Frontier History;” and “The Barling Darling: Hal Smith’s Life in Baseball.”


In 2013, the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith published The First 85 Years, a history of the university that was co-authored by Higgins, Dr. Henry Rinne and Dr. Stephen Husarik. 




UAFS, the 85 Year History

The University of Arkansas - Fort Smith has a rich history dating back to its inception in 1928, when the college opened with an enrollment of just 34 students. Learn about the rise of UAFS from a small university in Fort Smith to the premier regional institution it is today.


Maj. William Bradford, Builder of the First Fort Smith

Maj. Bradford, a veteran of the War of 1812, led an elite company of riflemen up the Arkansas River in the fall of 1817 to establish a post that came to be known as Fort Smith. Learn the details of Bradford's mission as well as hear about the character of this wry officer who was a personal friend of Andrew Jackson.


Life and Times in the Arkansas Ozarks

Folk life in the Ozark Mountains once revolved around cattle- and hog-raising, covered-dish gatherings, rural schools, Grange Hall dances, timbering, woods lore, fast-rising creeks and whiskey-making. Find out about these old-time patterns and how much still survives today.


David Hall and Peter Caulder: Free Black Pioneers of Arkansas

Hall settled near upper White River in 1819. Caulder, a soldier of African ancestry who helped build Fort Smith in 1818, married Hall's daughter after leaving the Army. Both men and their families, yeoman farmers of antebellum days, were leaders of a substantial Free Black Community that existed in a unique valley in the rugged Ozarks.


The Barling Darling: Hal Smith in American Baseball

Tag along through not only Hal Smith's baseball career but also the history through which his life intersected. Through a heightened sociological imagination, join the author as he locates the life of Hal Smith as an individual within the wider social context of mid-20th century America. Although Harry Caray gave Hal Smith the rhythmic handle of "The Barling Darling" it belies the more humble nature of the real Hal Smith who is revealed to be a genuine, honest, hard-working man who traverses the tumult of history with a particular elegance and style.


The C-124 Globemaster: Cargo Airplane of the Vietnam Buildup

The first strategic long-range airlifter that performed yeoman service through two wars and nearly 25 years, the C-124 nicknamed "Old Shaky" was a major redesign of the C-74. The C-124 was developed by the Douglas Aircraft Company during 1947-1949 and was operational during the Korean War and also used to assist supply operations for Operation Deep Freeze in Antarctica The C-124 was used to support troop buildups in Europe during the 1961 Berlin Wall Crisis. It was capable of handling up to 74,000 pounds of cargo such as tanks, field guns, bulldozers, and trucks. It could also be converted into a transport capable of carrying 200 fully-equipped troops in its double decked cabin or 123 litter patients. This presentation zeroes in on the C-124 Globemaster’s service in Vietnam.


2013 Report from Egypt

Travel through Lower Egypt with Higgins as he takes you on a photographic tour of Egypt with street scenes of Cairo, Giza, Alexandria, and Port Said on the Suez.