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story.lead_photo.caption Bobbie Smith stands by a large, weatherproof small library she helped set up on a Nevada Country road. Photo by George Smith

NEVADA COUNTY, Ark. — There was a time when the Sutton Community was the largest town in the area of what is now this county.

More than 125 years ago, Sutton had a school with a large library, three general stores, a brick works, a cotton gin, a grist mill and was a growing area with more than 250 residents.

It was incorporated and had a street plat with more than 220 lots. There was talk of the railroad coming through.

Then, in 1890, the Northwestern Railroad was built in Prescott to connect to the area's fertile timber lands and Sutton's fate was sealed.

Commerce struggled along in the rural community with the last general store closing in the 1950s.

In 2010, George S. Smith, a native of Sutton, and his wife Bobbie, built a dogtrot house on the site his great-grandfather built a similar structure in 1870.

In 2014, Bobbie, a retired teacher and elementary school principal, purchased a plastic cabinet and set up a lending library box on County Road 31.

Time and critters made the box less than weatherproof, so with the couple's COVID-19 stimulus money, a new, larger library box was bought, plastic-lined, polyurethaned and put in place.

Area residents as far away as Prescott, Emmet and Rosston pick up and exchange books. The new larger library box will hold up to 250 books.

This community lending library is open to anyone "who loves to read," Bobbie said, "no charge." She also encouraged anyone with extra books — any genre, paperback or hardback —to drop them off.

(If anyone has any questions or need directions, call or text 501-259-8545.)

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