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Hope Kiwanis Hears From Dennis Ramsey On Writings of Roy Anderson

By Mark Keith, 10/18/22 3:03 PM

Hope Kiwanian Dennis Ramsey gave the program Tuesday at Kiwanis.  He spoke on the writings of Roy Anderson.  Anderson lived from about 1888 to 1978 and founded Anderson-Frazier Insurance.  He was also a civic leader and chronicled much history on Spring Hill and Hope.

Ramsey’s program included some humorous items as well as such newspapers characterizing big watermelons grown in Spring Hill as Hope melons but making sure any still found in the Spring Hill community was noted it was found in Spring Hill.

The writings lamented some lost opportunities such as the Arkla Gas compression station in Hope instead of Emmet as well as the loss of what became Southern Arkansas University to Magnolia.  “Mr. Roy” ( as he is still remembered) did cite as victories the establishment of the “experiment station’ (now the Southwest Research and Extension Center) and the coming of Red River Vo-Tech School (now UAHT).

Ramsey related Anderson’s writings about how the current brick depot came to be placed at the head of Main Street (at the behest of the owners of the Barlow and Capitol Hotels) and an early restaurant in Hope opened to cater to train passengers called Van Noy’s.

It was also noted Anderson was an early proponent of an agricultural program called “the cow, the sow, and the chicken” to develop farming of these commodities.  Hempstead County is now one of the biggest producers of chickens and cattle in the state.

Ramsey noted “Mr. Roy” lamented in his writings that the downtown streets were developed too narrow…because the founding fathers could not envision cars needing parking places!  “Mr. Roy” also noted the original Garland and Brookwood schools were built too small and were overrun with students the first year they opened.

Ramsey’s program on “Mr. Roy” also detailed a humorous story about an early railroad warning system in which a watchman was on duty to warn wagon traffic about ongoing trains.  It was determined the watchman dutifully waved his lantern at the farmer to warn him of the train but the farmer and the train still collided.  In a lawsuit, the watchman said he was sure glad the lawyers didn’t ask if the lantern was lit!

The program also detailed the construction of Hammons Stadium in 1936 and how Coach Foy Hammons came to Hope.  He also detailed the development of Hope Water & Light.

The club greatly enjoyed the historical program.