Leader Blues

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

TOP STORY > > Harry K. Dougherty: Businessman dies in Florida

Longtime Jacksonville businessman Harry K. Dougherty, 87, passed away Monday while vacationing in Key West, Fla.
He operated Indian Lake Park in Lonoke County and before that was a prominent Jacksonville businessman and alderman.
Dougherty moved to Jacksonville in 1954 to open a Western Auto store.
“He found out the air base was coming to Jacksonville and he bought the Western Auto franchise,” Bob Dougherty, one of his sons, recalled on Tuesday.
The store was in downtown Jacksonville near the railroad tracks and First Arkansas State Bank, where he was a longtime board member, as well its successors, First Jacksonville Bank and First Arkansas Bank.
“He was instrumental to help secure that Rebsamen Hospital (now North Metro Medical Center) came to Jacksonville,” Bob Dougherty said.
“He was quite active on the Little Rock Air Force Base Community Council. He was also an alderman and ran for mayor twice, losing once by just seven votes,” his son said.
Despite the shock of his father’s sudden death, Bob Dougherty said he died peacefully in an area that he loved and where he had hoped to spend the winter.
Larry Wilson, president and chief executive officer of First Arkansas Bank, said he appreciated Dougherty’s insights while he served on the bank’s board.
“He was a very astute businessman and was willing to give of his time and resources to help the community grow, and he did that for many years,” Wilson said.
Dougherty was born in Little Rock on April 28, 1921 and attended Central High School. He joined the Army Air Corps before going the University of Arkansas, where he was a pitcher.
He graduated in three years and went to work for Sears in Hot Springs and Natchez, Miss., before moving to Jacksonville to open his business.
His grandson Scott Tedder remembers him as “always very free-wheeling. He always enjoyed what he had. I miss him.”
Other survivors include his son Butch and daughter Patty McLean.
Funeral arrangements were incomplete at press time.