There is nothing like celebrating important historical events and milestones, especially if it is to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of something.
Back in 1916, there were several significant milestones that come to mind. In 1916, the first issue of “Journal of Negro History” was published; Woodrow Wilson was re-elected as president; the Professional Golfers’ Association of America (PGA) was officially created; Weeghman Park, (now known as Wrigley Field) opened in Chicago; Coca-Cola brought its current formula to the market; a Boeing Aircraft flew for the first time; the first “super” market, PigglyWiggly, opened in Memphis, TN; the Workmen’s Compensation Act was passed by Congress; John D. Rockefeller became the world’s first billionaire; and Mrs. Carrie Bell Cunningham Hobbs was born.
This past Sunday, September 11, the family of Mrs. Hobbs hosted a Centennial Celebration Birthday Party to celebrate her turning 100 years of age, at the First Colony Health and Rehabilitation Center, located at 4710 Lexington Street in Missouri City, Texas.
Mrs. Hobbs was born on September 7, 1916 to parents Silas and Cynthia Cunningham. She is the eighth of nine children, all of whom have preceded her in death. Her father, Silas, was a cotton farmer. They all lived in Richmond, Texas until her father’s death, after which some of the siblings were sent to live with other family members. Hobbs was sent to live with her aunt and uncle, Mattie Bell Chappel and Eugene Chappel in Houston’s Third Ward on 2709 E. Alabama Street. The house is still standing and occupied today. She attended Blackshear Elementary and graduated from the historic Jack Yates High School in 1935.
On October 27, 1938, Carrie married the late Robert Taylor Hobbs. To that union was born three children – Patricia Hobbs Smith, Robert Hobbs, Jr., and Valresa Hobbs White.
Carrie’s aunt and her cousin, Bessie Starghill, started her with piano lessons at an early age and she played for various churches for many years. She was the musician at Progressive New Hope Baptist Church on Elgin in Houston’s Third Ward for over 30 years until her health began to fail. During her lifetime, she has worked as a cafeteria worker at the University of Houston, HISD, and Harris County Court House, all while teaching private piano lessons after work. Hobbs and her husband Robert lived in Vallejo, California between 1940 and 1946, where they both worked on Mare Island, which had to be accessed by boat. They were there when bombs were dropped in Hawaii, sparking WWII. Hobbs has not only lived a long and productive life, she has also touched the lives of many other people over the years with her giving nature and love of music.
The Forward Times would like to wish Mrs. Hobbs a wonderful 100th birthday, with many more to celebrate for years to come.