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William Augustus Singfield arrived in Arkansas about 1898 from Wilkes County, Georgia, where he was born on January 1, 1875, to Mr. G.W. and Mrs. M.C. Singfield. Prior to becoming a lawyer, he worked as a carpenter and, later, founded the weekly Little Rock Reporter in 1901.
Singfield was cashier and then vice president of attorney Mifflin Gibbs’ bank in 1903, resigning after two years due to ill health. The bank failed shortly thereafter. He later began real estate and grocery businesses and operated a printing plant behind his real estate office. These ventures brought him sufficient income to own several properties in Little Rock and Argenta (now North Little Rock) and a farm in the country. His wealth in 1907 was estimated to be $7,000-8,000.
Singfield was enrolled with the state supreme court on April 3, 1916, but had been admitted to the Pulaski County bar in 1911. Singfield’s practice was primarily in real estate although, of four cases before the state Supreme Court, three involved family law.
Sources: Judith Kilpatrick, “(EXTRA)Ordinary Men: African-American Lawyers and Civil Rights in Arkansas Before 1950,” 53 Ark. Law Rev. 299, 347 n350, 351 n378, 358 n442, 359, 364 n483, 371, 372 n541, 377-78, 380 n626, 388 (2000); African American Biographical Database, Profile available at http://aabd.chadwyck.com/bbidx/full_rec (visited 6/21/1999); 1900 U.S. Census for Arkansas; E.M. Woods (ed.), Blue Book of Little Rock and Argenta, Arkansas 101-03 (1907); AR Supreme Court Admission Records; Papers of the NAACP, Part 12, Reel 4, p. 785 (Application for Charter, dtd 7/4/1918), p. 806 (letter dtd 7/29/1920 from Singfield, showing he was President of the Little Rock chapter), p. 808 (letter dtd 9/24/1921 from Singfield to Director of Branches), p. 851 (Pledges of Little Rock Citizens Made to Dr. Robert Bagnall, 10/2-3/1924), p. 1015 (letter dtd 6/28/1928, showing Singfield as “Grand Atty” of the Mosaic Templars of America);
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