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Hobbtown Days set Oct. 26

Descendants and former residents of a local community will gather to share stories and memories Oct. 26 during Hobbtown Days.

Hobbtown - known at different points in its history as Bobtown, Hobbs and Hobbstown - is a community set in a rural section of Crawford County between Cedarville and Rudy.

Darrel Coleman, a former resident who now lives in Little Rock, is organizing the event. Everyone is invited to come share in the stories, pictures and memorabilia of Hobbtown, Coleman said.

Another former resident whose grandmother grew up there, Glen Parker, also is gathering information for a book on the tiny hamlet, Coleman said.

Hobbtown Days will be held at 4400 Big Tree Road, off Hobbtown Road from Arkansas 162, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. A light lunch will be served at noon, Coleman said.

While not much evidence of the previous community is still there, it once held a post office, school, cotton gin, blacksmith and school, Coleman said.

Though Hobbtown “is a small community that doesn’t get much recognition,” Coleman hopes the event can help remind people of how it once thrived.

A general store, owned by “Uncle” John Hobbs and his wife who moved to the area from England, was the center of the community, Coleman said.

Hobbs, for whom the town is named, was a church leader and head of the community, Coleman said. He helped pioneer rural electrification in the region, he said.

“He was the glue that held the community together,” Coleman said. “He contributed to the community spirit.”

Pearl Stanfield, 93, was born in Hobbtown and lived there until she was married in 1944, she said. She called Hobbs the “ringleader of Hobbtown” for the part he played in local society.

Stanfield, who grew up on a farm outside of Hobbtown with her six siblings all raised by her widower father, remembers Hobbtown fondly. Families often would gather at each others homes for parties and to socialize, she said.

“Everybody was friendly and it was just a nice place,” Stanfield said. “If you needed something, there was always somebody there to help you.”

She tells a story of how when her fiance, Homer Stanfield, was home on leave from World War II, church was turned out early on Easter Sunday so that they could get married.

Coleman himself grew up in Hobbtown and remembers going to school for a time in the one-room schoolhouse, before Hobbtown was consolidated into the local school districts.

“I still have fond memories and appreciation of the things that happened there,” Coleman said.

Coleman hopes Hobbtown Days will bring together people such as himself and Stanfield, and others who shared in the small-town life in Hobbtown.

For more information on Hobbtown Days, contact Coleman at (501)225-6483.

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