Below is the reply I received after donating copies (words and music) of an hymn published by The Hartford Music Company to the Fort Smith Museum of History.
Dear Ms. Gamble… the letter reads.
I am pleased to convey that the Collections Committee approved your donation for inclusion into the Fort Smith Museu7m of History’s collections. Hartford Music Company is a little known part of the Fort Smith surrounding area’s history, but had such a large effect on the national music scene. We are proud to have an exhibition that discusses this local institution, and now to have a piece of that history for this exhibition and the collections, thanks to you. Signed: Connie Manning, Curator, Fort Smith Museum of History.
Well know gospel songs published by the Hartford Music Company are “I’ll Fly Away,” Written by Albert E. Brumley. “Victory In Jesus” written by E. M. Barrlett and “Just A Rose Will Do” written by J. A. McClung. All three of these composers have been posthumously inucted into The Hartford Music Company.
This incident reminded me of a time back in 1997. The reason I remember, it was our Jenny Lind School Reunion in June that year. She had traveled from Colorado to attend. She has since moved back to Arkansas and some time ago, I got a telephone call from her. What a pleasant visit. We had lots to talk about. Like me, she grew up in Jenny Lind. We have visited by phone since then, but that one call she made from Colorado has always stayed with me. After bragging and telling me how much she enjoyed the reunion, before hanging up, she asked…”Mary Ann, do they still sing old hymns over at the Howard Hill Church like they used to?” “I’m pretty sure they do,” I replied. “I know they do at Jenny Lind’s Faith Baptist.” Mary Ann Gamble can be reached at 2623 Gate Nine Rd. , Greenwood, AR 72936.