Hobson City, Alabama
As told in 1947 by:
Ross Blackmon: Attorney
“Progress and Achievements of the Negro Race”
At an early period in my career there came into my office one day, in the City of Anniston, Alabama, a committee of colored citizens, who advised me that they had been excluded as members of the population of their home town Oxford, Alabama, and restricted to certain circumscribed limits in which to reside, soliciting my professional aid in their behalf. At that time they were duly qualified electors under the Alabama Law. I advised them to incorporate the excluded territory into a municipality of their own. This was done. They called their municipality “Hobson City”, naming it for the southern hero of “Merrimac Fame”. I have watched the career of these people during subsequent years, and, although their lives have been rooted deeply in poverty, they have grown in character and Christian statue to an extent that respect and admiration of the Christian people of all races throughout our land and country.
Hobson City, on the date of its organization, July 20, 1899, became the second municipality in the South composed exclusively of colored people, upon whom developed solely the right and duties.
Its development and progress at the time of the incorporation of Hobson City, its population consisted of 135 people or 12 families. There has been corresponding growth and development of residential and business section, of recreational facilities, of schools, churches and cultural organizations. In addition to continuously developing and improving residential and business sections, Hobson City has developed a beautiful park of seventeen and a half acres situated at the foot of the Blue Mountain Ridge. This park bears the name of “Booker T. Washington”. This park has a swimming pool, tennis court, a baseball diamond, and a bowling alley, as well as a pavilion for dancing or picnicking. Its principle street is designed as Carver Drive, having been named after the world’s renowned Negro scientist.
In 1905, Professor C. E. Hanna organized the first school, known as the Hobson City and Oxford Academy with about seventy pupils. One of the outstanding features for which the school has received recognition from the State and County is its handcraft and manual training projects. Citizens of this community take pride in sending their children to Hobson City Training School. Quite a number of these students from the Hobson City Training School are found studying at many colleges and institutions of higher learning in this country. The people of Hobson City are devoutly religious, and at the present time has four churches, consisting of three denominations: Methodist, Baptist, and Church of God.
The leaders in the public affairs of Hobson City from the very beginning have sought to inspire its people with the duty of patriotism, which they emphasized by selecting Richard P. Hobson, by which the town was to be named and called. They have ever sought to inculcate in their people the doctrine that to the industrious and humble come over the greatest of blessings. The exemplary and toilsome lives of the Negros of Hobson City have served to establish the truth in mortal life that in the end success will come to those who possess a high and noble character regardless of race.