Hobart was born full grown out of the rolling, grassy prairie of the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation in August 1901. Overnight, there was a mass of people, gathered from all over the United States. It was a city of dreams. Dreams for a piece of land to build a future for a family.

There were 2,000 tents before any buildings were in sight. Over 13,000 people waited for the drawing. After the lot sale, 2,530 people became the base for Hobart today.

Like Cinderella, Hobart moved from a Ragtown to a city with electricity, ice plant, flour mill, many large department stores and 2 large cotton gins within a year. There were 12 lumber yards, 6 coal yards, 7 wholesale houses, 19 hardware stores, 15 hotels and restaurants, 3 steam laundries, 3 newspapers, 20 lawyers, 23 doctors, 10 fraternal orders, 4 banks, library, telephone office, 8 livery and feed stores, 6 wagon yards and 5 furniture stores.

Gamblers, Preachers, Outlaws and Businessmen fitted into this melting pot on the prairie. With so many people milling around the main street, it would become ankle deep in squishy mud after a rain, which earned it the nickname of "Goo Goo Street". Hobart lived through the tent stage and early hardships, typhoid fever, crop failures, small pox, floods and fires. Floods and Fires, Feast and Famine, the way of life on the prairie.

In May 1903 was the first big flood following an 11 inch rain in 24 hours. The creeks rose, ravines became rivers and low spots became lakes. Many houses were floated off their foundations. The first big fire followed the flood in July 1903. It swept up main street from 5th then west on 4th burning about 100 businesses in 2 hours.

World War I came along and Hobart sent her share of young men off to fight in a foreign land. Some did not return, lives cut short by the ravages of war. Those that returned picked up the threads of their lives on the prairie and continued.

The crash in'29 and the dust bowl days of the thirties tested these hearty families again. As crops failed year after year, the drought and the ever constant Oklahoma winds carrying the soil away, money problems caused the loss of farms. The people packed up and moved on as their ancestors did, looking for a place where they could provide for their families. Many ended up in California and other places in the west.

A second World War loomed and again, Hobart sent her young men and women off to a war on foreign soil, the children and grandchildren of the pioneers that started Hobart. They fought in far off places with exotic sounding names. They fought in the Pacific, Phillippines, Guadalcanal, Okinawa, ever island hopping toward Japan. In Europe they fought in Frances, Belgium, Italy, North Africa, and finally into Germany. Places like Paris, Rome, Brussels, Berlin. And again, some did not make it back to the red soil of home.

The fifties and sixties came along, and two more times the young people left to fight in Korea and Viet Nam. Hobart waited again for her children to come home. The air force bases at Altus and Clinton-Sherman boosted the population of Hobart, with the airmen's families living there. Oil production started expanding and drilling rigs moved in, to stand sentinel across the farms of the prairie.

Hobart grew, expanded, then began to slow. Young people still went into the military, or off to college. Then they began finding jobs away from Hobart and moved on.

Today, the population of Hobart is about 3,000. Many businesses have come and gone. The first generation is gone, their grandchildren are now the elders of the town. Farmers and businessmen still meet at the local coffee shop to get the news of the day, discuss the weather, politics, crops, and the children that have moved on. Life goes on..................just at a bit slower pace.

This photo shows the Old Hobart High school that burned some years ago, as it was being built in the 1920's, (according to the vehicles parked in front). It was submitted by Kenneth Aday. Thanks Kenneth.

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