Today, Hulbert is an old section of town in West Memphis, but one hundred years ago, it was its own little community. In 1909, Brothers H. Rupple Dabbs and E.O. Dabbs built the first general store in Hulbert. Unfortunately, the little wooden structure could not stand up against the spring flood waters of 1912. Determined to stay in Hulbert, the Dabbs brothers rebuilt with the aid of a Little Rock architect. By the end of 1912, a new brick Dabbs Brothers General Store opened on higher ground.
Because the structure was lauded as permanent, it became a host to the community. A school met in the store until the one-room school was built across the railroad tracks. It served as the first Post Office from 1923-1948. The Dabbs brothers were deeply invested in Hulbert. In addition to serving as merchants, they owned a cooperage company, lent money to residents to purchase land and homes, and E.O. Dabbs held elected offices, including Justice of the Peace and County Coroner.
The original brick building is still standing in West Memphis and today functions as an office for Pat Kelley Magruder Architects. Rupple sold the store to Pat Magruder, Sr. in 1979. The new owners placed the building on the National Register of Historic Places and expertly renovated the space, preserving the majority of the original structure and details.
Along with the papers and books, a small box of store inventory was donated. These items included a pair of pants, buttons, sew-on snaps, cookware hole repair, bobby pins, and embroidery patterns. Because these items added no value to the collection, they were removed.
This collection contains ledger books for the Dabbs brothers' various businesses and undertakings, sales advertisements, tax assessments, mortgages, court cases, magazines, and school books. Included is an informational brochure about the Dabbs Brothers store and a copy of the National Historic Register of Places application for the building.