Hartford High Says Goodbye, A Look Back At Town History

HARTFORD (KFSM) — The Hartford Hustlers basketball team will play its final home game against the Lavaca Golden Arrows Friday (Feb. 2) night.

The school will be closing at the end of the 2017-2018 school year due to funding issues.  It’s the end of an era for a town with a rich history.

Here are three things you may not known about the history of Hartford:

Hub of Gospel Music

The Hartford Music Company was founded in Hartford in 1918 by Eugene Monroe Bartlett. He came to Hartford to teach people how to read music and sing with or without an instrument. By 1931, Bartlett merged the company with David Moore. The company was printing gospel books and shipping more than 100,000 books a year to 35 states. Bartlett wrote most of the songs, including his most famous song, “Victory in Jesus.” The Hartford Music Company is still known as one of the most successful gospel publishing companies in the first half of the twentieth century.

First Socialist Mayor in Arkansas

Hartford was also known for coal mining, and several coal miners supported the socialist movement. Eighteen socialist mayors were elected across the country in 1911 and 1912, including Hartford Mayor Peter Stewart in 1912. He was the first elected socialist mayor in the state of Arkansas.

Lights at the Hartford Football Field

Hartford High was the first high school in Arkansas to play under electric lights. The school had a love for football that dated back to the 1930s. The football team played its final home game in October of 2014.

Tonight on 5NEWS at 10, sports director Bobby Swofford will speak to Hartford faculty and alumni about what the school meant to the small town.