Hodges Collection: Indian artifacts now on display

The first stage of renovations to Henderson State University’s Caddo Center is complete, and artifacts from the Joint Educational Consortium’s Hodges collection are now being installed in the display cases in the front entrance hallway.

The building is open on Thursdays so faculty, staff, and students can visit and see the progress.

Henderson State University and Ouachita Baptist University, as the Joint Educational Consortium, own a large collection of Native American artifacts amassed in the 1930s and 1940s by Thomas and Charlotte Hodges of Bismarck. The collection of about 50,000 objects includes ceramic vessels and stone tools from Caddo sites in the Ouachita River valley in Clark and Hot Spring counties.

The Joint Educational Consortium acquired this significant historical collection in 1977, and it has been curated on campus by the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s HSU Research Station.

Artifacts have been exhibited in Arkadelphia (in Henderson’s Huie Library, in Ouachita’s Riley-Hickingbotham Library, in the Ross Foundation headquarters, and in the Clark County Historical Association Museum), but until now the entire collection has not been on display.

With grants from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council and university funding, Henderson is preserving and rehabilitating the historic Caddo Center, formerly the university cafeteria. When completed, this building will serve as a consolidated center for student services. The front entrance hallway will be a permanent space for exhibiting artifacts in the JEC Hodges collection and interpreting Caddo Indian history in the local area.

For more information, contact Dr. Mary Beth Trubitt, Arkansas Archeological Survey HSU Research Station, at 870-230-5510 or trubitm@hsu.edu.