Dr. Marvin Singleton has a soft spot in his heart for Newtonia and the Newtonia Battlefields Protection Association. As a result, he has donated an old school desk to the group to use as a fundraiser.
The desk is the last one from the Owens Bluff School House in McDonald County. The school was located on Buffalo Creek, between the crossroads communities of May and Yukon.
In the 1930s, Dr. Singleton's grandparents, Dr. and Mrs. Ernest Mitchell, bought the property. In the 1940s Dr. Singleton's brother attended the school. That brother also grew up to be a doctor like his grandfather and brother.
Years later, Dr. Singleton bought the property. The old school house was still there. But, it was in bad shape, having been used to store hay, and cattle had even been in and out of desk the building. When he was cleaning out the building, he found a lot of hay and this old desk which had been pushed off in a corner. He brought the desk out and has kept it all these years.
Dr. Singleton, who served as the state senator representing Newton County, is now retired in Arkansas. However, being retired does not mean he spends his time in a rocking chair. One of the things he has enjoyed is “covering” for a doctor who needs some time off. This has allowed him to spend six months in New Zealand, three months in the booming oil fields of North Dakota and several other interesting places. While in temporary service he takes advantage of an opportunity to trek (hike) and bicycle.
Photography has become a hobby since retirement, and he has taken up woodcarving. He took lessons in Branson and goes back for more instructions two times each year.
He has a small workshop in his garage. One of the latest projects is to make a pair of rockers for his daughter’s rocking horse. His daughter had it as a small girl and Dr. Singleton hung onto it. Now his daughter wants it for her children.
Music is a lifelong enjoyment for Dr. Singleton. Living in northwest Arkansas, he takes in the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra and Bella Vista’s Arkansas Philharmonic. This year both Christmas concerts were performed in the same week, and Dr. Singleton enjoyed them both.
Even though he lives in Arkansas, Dr. Singleton hasn’t forgotten his friends in Newton County. He offered the old school desk to be used as a fundraiser. The desk is now in Neosho and is for sale. If it isn’t sold soon, it will be placed in the silent auction held each year at the Newtonia Fall Festival.