Friday, May 21, 2010

Old Photos: Ruby Jett Hightower Collection

The old photos below are a selection from the collection of the late Ruby Jett Hightower whose family was an integral part of the modern-day Brockwell area. The Jett family built a store in Brockwell, operating it for many years after the "Batesville-Mammoth Springs Highway" (Highway 9) was built. In fact, the original settlement near Brockwell was given the name "Jett" after C. E. "Clerk" Jett opened a post-office there sometime after 1904.

Mr. Jett had earlier operated a store on the court square in Melbourne after moving there from the family's farm northeast of Brockwell in order to allow his children to get a better education. He was unable to afford to board so many children away from home as they attended the school terms. It was after his girls all "made teachers" and began moving away from home that he moved back to the farm sometime after 1904, opened the store at Jett, and later managed to get a post-office opened.

The post-office of Jett was short-lived as the community became Brockwell and moved along the route of present-day Highway 9.

The photos below are from the closet of one of Clerk Jett's girls, Ruby, who became a Hightower and later moved to Violet Hill. Most of the photographs have no notations and it is possible some of them are not even taken in Izard County. This particular selection of Mrs. Ruby Jett Hightower's shoe-box collection, however, was the result of an attempt to choose the examples most likely made somewhere in Izard County.

The one location clearly notated on the back of one photograph is that of the old Band-Mill Schoolhouse (second photo from top). Note the similarity in construction to the Old Dockins Store at Band Mill! The Store Building at the top is the original building the Jett Family built at Brockwell.

Note- Thanks to Heather for the use of these photos. It's was a wonderful experience seeing the early twentieth century through the eyes of whatever photographers snapped the many photos we got to browse through while choosing these photos for the post. Heather is actually displaying several more of her Great Aunt's photos currently at the Paul Weaver Library at Ozarka College. She has promised to allow us to scan any of those we want once the exhibition is finished so readers can look forward to another selection of photos from the collection in the coming weeks.

Note #2 - A wonderful article about Brockwell appeared in the January 1984 issue of the Izard County Historian with a lengthy history of the Jett Family. The article included a copy of the photo of the original store at Brockwell (circa 1927) pictured at top.

















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