In 1907, Sebastian Schwab saw an advertisement seeking a blacksmith in Crockett’s Bluff, Ark in a Chicago newspaper. He applied, however, the position wasn’t to be.
Hallie, Keithley, a 92-year-old Crockett’s Bluff resident, said the blacksmith store owner kept Schwab waiting for a long period of time and when he finally appeared at lunchtime, he told Schwab “to stay and do some work” while the owner ate.
“He told me he was so darn mad that he welded everything he could get his hands on,” she said laughing.
Schwab ended up setting up his own blacksmith shop, which was expanded as his son, Eddie, added a general store to it with their supplies coming in on a steamboat during the early years. The store was “the center of all activities in Crockett’s Bluff for half a century.”
Gardner’s father eventually closed it in 1985 for health reasons.