Texarkana, TX 65° Thu H 88° L 69° Fri H 88° L 69° Sat H 90° L 70° Weather Sponsored By:

Jonesboro man remodels 114-year-old dream home in Imboden, Ark.

Jonesboro man remodels 114-year-old dream home in Imboden, Ark.

September 26th, 2016 by The Jonesboro Sun in Arkansas News

IMBODEN, Ark.—Even as a 13-year-old boy growing up in Jonesboro, Jim Bobbitt knew there was something special about the old Hatcher house in Imboden.

"Something about it says, 'I bore the test of time, and I'm still here,'" Bobbitt said. "It makes you like it when you look at it."


Bobbitt said he first noticed the house during family trips to the Spring River. Every year, he looked forward to seeing the house as the family car passed through Imboden. When he grew up and took his children by the house, they grew to love it as well.

As the house passed into the hands of different owners decade after decade, Bobbitt always hoped he'd be able to own the home he fell in love with as a boy.

Now, after more than 50 years of waiting, Bobbitt owns it and is hoping to move his family in after remodeling the 114-year-old home.

"It was an emotional experience," Bobbitt told The Jonesboro Sun. "I tracked down the owner and was able to get it."

The house was originally built in 1902 by Dr. J.W. Dalton, an area doctor, as a wedding gift for his daughter Nellie, who married J.O. Hatcher. The Hinshaw family bought the home in 1945, and after raising nine children, sold it in 1986 after the matriarch of the family passed away. The next owner was the Rowsey family, who tried to turn it into a steakhouse, before selling it to Bobbitt.

"There's a lot of good history in the house," Bobbitt said.

Bobbitt, who's worked in construction all his life, has owned the home for three years and has been fixing foundation issues and the exterior. He said previous remodels helped short term, but he wants to ensure the home's survival for future generations.

"It's had a lot of Band-Aids," Bobbitt said. "Band-Aids are good; they save lives, and they've helped it stand so long. I want to help it stand for another 100 years."

Bobbitt is putting in new siding and leveling some floors. The home is technically three stories, but the third story is not finished. Bobbitt said he may finish it at a later date.

Even with all the work the home requires, Bobbitt said he has yet to feel he's made a mistake.

"It's not been too bad," Bobbitt said. "It's a labor of love."

The home is about 2,600 square feet, Bobbitt said, after he took out the back porch. The front porch is particularly noticeable, measuring about 80 feet and wrapping around the side of the house.

Bobbitt's childhood was spent in both Fort Meade, Fla., and Jonesboro. His father was a pastor, and Bobbitt grew up singing in church, like many other kids in the South back then. That experience led to his career as a country gospel singer.

"I spent years in country, and then realized my first love is gospel (music)," Bobbitt said. "But because I'm country, my gospel comes out country."

Bobbitt traveled across the United States between 1987 and 2005, going toward the Canadian border and all the way down to Florida. He estimates he traveled about two-thirds of the continental United States before settling down in Jonesboro with his wife Cheryl and children Paul and Lisa.

Bobbitt's wife and son are the only other help he receives with construction.

"It's a family deal," Bobbitt said.

He hopes to have most of the work finished by the end of the year. Despite almost single-handedly remodeling a historic landmark, Bobbitt said he doesn't think too highly of himself.

"I'm just an average guy trying to fix an old house he's fond of," Bobbitt said.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com