NOTABLE PEOPLE FROM MARION COUNTY


Stuart Hamblen - (1908-1989)

Born October 20th, 1908, in Kellyville, Texas, the son of a traveling Methodist  preacher, Stuart Hamblen's career as a Country Western Gospel singer, composer and radio-movie personality was simple... it was destiny. It all began in 1926 on radio KAYO in Abilene, Texas, where he became radio broadcasting's first singing cowboy. In 1929, he won a talent contest in Dallas, Texas and with the $100 cash prize in hand, he headed for Camden, New Jersey, to the Victor Talking Machine Company to seek his fortune. Recording four songs for the forerunner of RCA Victor, Stuart then set out for Hollywood, California, where he auditioned at KFI and went on the air as "Cowboy Joe". He also became a member of the original "Beverly Hillbillies", radio's first spectacularly popular western singing group.

In 1931, and for 21 years thereafter, Stuart stayed on top of the popularity charts on the West Coast with his radio programs: "King Cowboy and His Woolly West Review"; "Stuart Hamblen and His Lucky Stars"; and the "Covered Wagon Jubilee". During that time, his motion picture credits included: "In Old Monterey" with Gene Autry; "The Arizona Kid" and "King of the Cowboys" with Roy Rogers; "The Plainsman and the Lady" and "The Savage Hord" with Wild Bill Elliott; "Carson City Cyclone" and "The Sombrero Kid" with Don 'Red' Barry; "King of the Forest Rangers" with Larry Thompson; and "Flame of the Barbary Coast" with John Wayne. In 1979 he also narrated a gospel movie, "Mountain Lady".

During his long span on radio, Stuart composed western songs ... many of which are still being recorded today: "Texas Plains"; "My Mary"; "Golden River"; "Walkin' My Fortune"; and "Ridin' Old Paint". Later he wrote some of his greatest song classics: "It Is No Secret" (note: the original manuscript of which is buried in the cornerstone of one of the Copyright Buildings of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., and which has been translated into over 50 languages around the world and was the first song to 'cross-over' becoming #1 in Gospel/Country/and Pop categories and starting the trend for ballad style gospel songs) - SEE STORY BELOW; "This Ole House" (which was awarded 1954 Song of the Year, and was number one song hit in seven countries at the same time, and is currently on Brian Setzer's album, The Dirty Boogie, which has been on the Billboard's Top 100 for 36 weeks and counting!); "Remember Me, I'm the One Who Loves You"; "Teach Me, Lord, To Wait"; "Until Then"; "Open Up Your Heart (and Let the Sunshine In)"; "How Big Is God"; "His Hands"; plus over 225 other songs.

In 1945, Stuart became the first man to fly a horse when he flew his race horse, EL LOBO, from Los Angeles, California, to Bay Meadows on the Flying Tiger Airlines. EL LOBO won the Burlingame Handicap ... and they flew home the same day. The history of the race horse was forever changed. The Bay Meadows racing form, "War Horse" was called "The Flying Horse" the day after the race.

In 1949, he attended a prayer meeting in Los Angeles where a young man named Billy Graham was preaching. He gave up his radio and film work and publicly announced he was devoting his life to Christ.

In the early '50's, Stuart's radio show, "The Cowboy Church of the Air" was syndicated nationwide. This was also a time when commercials were done by the radio host. During this time, the syndicate sponsors wanted Stuart to do a commercial promoting alcohol, and when Stuart refused, due to the simple fact that
his show was called The Cowboy Church of the Air, the sponsors told him they would pull the plug on his show. So, the last several shows, Stuart used them to let his nationwide-listening audience know why he would be leaving the air. Because of this, in 1952, the Prohibition Party asked Stuart to run for the President of the United States on their ticket. He did, and when the first returns came in he was actually ahead! When the final votes were counted, he had set a new record for votes for the Prohibition ticket, running 4th to Dwight D. Eisenhower.

Married to his wife, Suzy, for over 55 years, Stuart lived with her on their horse ranch in Canyon Country (Los Angeles), California, where he produced his weekly nationally syndicated "Cowboy Church of the Air" program. They also bred Peruvian Paso Horses, and their stallion, *AEV Oro Negro+, was 3 times U.S.
National Champion of Champions.

Stuart Hamblen died on March 8, 1989. Besides his wife, Suzy, he leaves two daughters, Veeva and Lisa Obee, and 10 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.


Bob Mabry - ("Spokane and The Spokane Country - Pictorial and Biographical - Deluxe Supplement." Vol. II. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Company, 1912. (No author listed.) pgs. 54-56.) 

Mining and the lumber industry constituted for many years the chief sources of revenue for the northwest and the rich mineral resources of this section of the country still offer splendid inducements to the men whose judgment is keen enough and whose industry is persistent enough to seek success in that field. Bob Mabry is well known in this connection as the head of the firm of Bob Mabry & Company, operating in various mining districts. He was born in Jefferson, Texas, August 7, 1867, and is a son of H.P. and S.A. (Haywood) Mabry, of that place. The father was a distinguished lawyer of Texas, one whose record was a credit and honor to the bar of the Lone Star state. He was born in Georgia in 1824. The progenitors of the Mabry family in the United States came for England about 1700, first settling in Georgia and Virginia. During the war of the Revolution many of the family took active part on the side of freedom. H.P. Mabry removed from Georgia to Texas when young. During the Civil war he enlisted as captain and was afterward commissioned brevet brigadier general of the Third Cavalry of Texas, where he served with distinction in the Confederate army throughout the war. He afterward served as district judge of Texas and was a member of the legislature and also of the state senate. He died in March, 1884. General Mabry was married in Jefferson, Texas, to Miss S.A. Haywood, who was a direct descendant of the Haywoods of Tennessee. Mrs. Mabry was born in that state in 1838 and went to Jefferson, Texas, when young. She is now living in Spokane with her son, Bob Mabry. Seven children were born of this union but only two are now living. H. Mabry is associated with his brother Bob in the mining business. Another brother, W.H. Mabry, now deceased, was at one time adjutant general of Texas. He was also colonel of the First Texas Regiment during the Spanish-American war and died in Havana, Cuba, during the war with Spain. Bob Mabry supplemented his early education by a course in the Agricultural and Mechanical College at Bryan, Texas, from which he was graduated in 1889. Soon after the completion of his studies he accepted a position as traveling representative for a large chemical house, with which he remained for a number of years, traveling all over the United States in the interest of that business. His extensive travels brought him knowledge of various parts of the country and, believing that the northwest had the most promising future, he determined to locate permanently on the Pacific coast. Accordingly, leaving the road, he spent a short time in California and then came to Spokane in 1902. Here he engaged in the mining and promoting business and among some of the best know and most successful properties which he has handled are those located in the Republic Camp of Republic, Washington, the Slogan country of British Columbia and Eureka Camp, Nevada. Judicious and prudent investment has been the source of his advancement in business, winning for him a prominent position in industrial and financial circles. During Mr. Mabry's experience in mining propositions and business, he has found that the majority of mine failures have not been due to lack of paying ore but to insufficient capital and poor management, and he has demonstrated that mining can be conducted on a legitimate business basis and be made to return excellent results. By his system of first securing capital and never over-estimating the value of a property he has been successful from the start. However, the first year was a hard struggle, but he gained confidence of the men with whom he became associated in the many mining projects which he promoted without a failure, and all such mines have paid satisfactory dividends to the investors.

On the 21st of May, 1898, Mr. Mabry was married to Miss Katherine Hope, a daughter of Colonel W.B. and Katherine Hope, of Knoxville, Tennessee. Her father held a commission as colonel in the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Mabry have one daughter, Hope Mabry. The mother is a prominent member of the Cultus Club and Mr. Mabry is equally well known and popular in the Spokane Club, the Spokane Amateur Athletic, the Spokane Country, the Inland and the Rotary Clubs. He also belongs to the Oriental Lodge, No. 74, F. & A.M., having attained the thirty-second degree, and El Katif Temple of the Mystic Shrine and to Spokane Lodge, No. 228, B.P.O.E.

He is a man of marked personality and has the genial qualities which make his favorite with all. He is ever approachable yet possesses that measure of dignity which prevents familiarity. Business has never held out to him elusive promises, for his sound judgment leads him to place correct valuation upon opportunities for investment and his powers of organization have enabled him to so coordinate and direct interests as to bring forth a harmonious whole, productive of desired results.


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