|City/Town: • Hopper|
|Location Class: • Commercial • Residential|
|Year Built: • 1868 | Year Abandoned: • 1990's|
|Status: • Restored (2016)|
|Photojournalist: • Michael Schwarz • Eddy Sisson|
Entire communities come and go and, like the people that we simply meet passing us on the street, they frequently leave very little to mark their passing. While some communities last for a mere span of decades, others might last for well over a hundred years, and yet in their passing they all generally bear one thing in common: They just don’t leave very much by way of marking their passing. And this is probably nowhere more true than in the smaller rural communities far removed from the more populated centers of our land.
Once upon a time, deep in the heart of Arkansas, there was a place known as The Hopper Community. Located along Highway 240 just below the community of Caddo Gap, it sat on the southernmost edge of Montgomery County and rested just below Tweedle Mountain where The South Fork Creek ran from the foot of the mountain and emptied into the nearby Caddo River.
The community of Hopper was originally known as Parks because of Jack Parks, an early resident who gave land for a community building which was used for a school, a Masonic Lodge, and as a church meeting house for any group wishing to make such use of it. When William Jacking hopper came around 1868, however, the regular mail was left at Hopper’s store which sat about a mile north of the community where the Hopper Church of Christ sits. It was from this first mail drop that a post office was establish and that the name of “Hopper” was adopted.
Over the years and the decades that followed, the small rural community saw a gradual stream of Post Masters beginning with John C. Smith in 1888 and ending with Avedelle Whisenhunt who was serving when the Post Office was discontinued in 1968. A total of 12 different Post Masters served the small Post Office over the 80 years of its operation and service.