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James M. & Samuel H. Mobberly; nephew Sam
Posted by: Pat ALMQUIST (ID *****6917) Date: March 21, 2009 at 16:58:42
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DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT AND DO NOT research the Mobberly surname. The following is excerpted from an article written by Van Craddock that appeared in the March 21, 2009 issue of the LONGVIEW NEWS-JOURNAL, a local newspaper:

MOBBERLY HAD WARM FEELING FOR HIS HOTEL

James M. "Jim" Mobberly knew all about poor accommodations. After all, he had escaped from a miserably cold Union Prison during the Civil War. Twenty years after his daring getaway, Mobberly opened a fancy hotel at Longview Junction. The Mobberly was promoted as the "best hotel between New Orleans and El Paso." And Jim Mobberly made sure every room had a fireplace.

Mobberly was born in Kentucky in 1841. When the Civil War started, he joined a Confederate cavalry unit. He was captured and sent to a prisoner-of-war camp at Rock Island, Illinois. After escaping the prison camp (to Canada), Mobberly came to Texas in 1868 with other family members. He established a lumber plant on the Sabine River four miles east of Longview. He married Mary Noel in 1874, got into real estate and construction and became one of the town's civic leaders. He served on the City Council, Longview school board and was a three-term county commissioner.

In 1883, Jim and his brother, Samuel H. "Sam" Mobberly, began construction of the new hotel at what today is Mobberly Avenue and Pacific Street. The hotel was situated near the International & Great Northern Depot at Longview Junction, a lively railroad settlement just east of the incorporated town of Longview (in Gregg County, Texas).

Jim Mobberly, involved in the hotel business until 1893, died in 1917. Brother Sam (1842-1910) and his son, Sam E. (1879-1941), operated the Mobberly for many years. The hotel passed from family hands in the 1940s when a Shreveport, Louisiana businessman bought the property.

Age and competition finally caught up with the Mobberly Hotel and it fell into disrepair. The historic building was being renovated in June 1965 when it was destroyed by fire.


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