Born at Pearson in Cleburne County in 1880, Clay Fulks became a notable figure in the limited history of radical leftism in Arkansas.
Working as a school teacher and a writer for White County newspapers in the early twentieth century, Fulks’ writings showed an increasing interest in religious skepticism, economic leftism and radical labor doctrine. A delegate to the 1917 state socialist convention when it opposed World War I, he ran for governor on the Arkansas Socialist Party ticket in 1918 and 1932. In 1927 he testified before the state legislature, opposing a law banning the teaching of evolution.
He was affiliated with Commonwealth College in Mena between 1927 and 1940, which led to scrutiny by the F.B.I. from 1941 to 1952, though no actions were taken against him because he never participated in overtly anti-government activities.
Clay Fulks died in Missouri in 1964. To learn more, visit the Encyclopedia of Arkansas.