This is from the The Times Dispatch, July 30, 1970. DEPOT FOR SALE-Frisco-Missouri Pacific Depot at Hoxie, Ark. Contact Frisco Agent, Hoxie, for information.
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The above classified ad in last week's TD brought a bit of nostalgia among the older gentry in the county. The L-shaped building is to be torn down, and the area cleaned up.
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Weeds over two feet high grow alongside the building on the platform where many thousands of Northeast Arkansans have awaited trains. A light pole, no longer in use, is stored at the corner...An air of inactivity pervades the once-busy passenger station....The freight office, in another building remains open...No passenger trains make regular stops at the station...Southbound No. 1 at 9:55 p.m. and the Northbound No. 2 at 3:40a.m. list Hoxie as a flag stop, but the trains are seldom flagged.
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For three decades everyone within a radius of 50 and more miles came to Hoxie when traveling by train....Thoroughout this century, until the mid-1950's, 20 Missouri-Pacific passenger trains and six Frisco passenger trains stopped at Hoxie each day...The Sunshine Special was a train famed throughout the nation...The fast Mo-Pac, Texas Eagles were on the Hoxie board...The southbound Eagle early in the evening was so long it was broken into two sections and sometime three, nearly every day. It was the habit of hundreds of Lawrence countians to drive to Hoxie in the early evening to see who was coming in or leaving by train...Sunday afternoons, the parking area alongside Highway 67 was lined with cars, full of people...It was not uncommon on an ordinary day to see upwards of 150 people waiting on the platform for a train...When college sessions began, the many collegians from northeast Arkansas noisily and happily filled the station and scattered all across the country to their respective schools...During World War II, the station was the setting for poignant occasions when servicemen left for assignments far away and for joyous reunions as they returned home in late 1945.
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Boas Gibson of Little Rock, whose father, John S. Gibson and mother, Annie Boas Gibson, were leading north Arkansas hotel operators, recalls the the present brick building was erected in 1922 or 1923...The original frame station burned...Boas remembers "Two Greek cooks bought five gallons of coal oil to use under a coffee urn...They bought it at a service station in a gas can...The gasoline in the can exploded and burned the whole depot, including the Railway Express Office...This was about 1922 and six months later the present brick structure was erected at a cost of about $25,000."
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John S. Gibson operated the restaurant where the fire originated in the old frame building...The new depot did not have a restaurant, but to celebrate its completion, a banquet was held in the waiting room, attended by high officials of the Frisco and Mo-Pac along with the Mayors and City Councils members and wives of Hoxie and Walnut Ridge. The Frisco Railroad erected the building with the Mo-Pac contracting to pay rent.
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