Doyle Hurst


On May 19, 1941, Doyle Hurst was born at the Gassville Hospital, in Arkansas, then called Rawlings Hospital. Doyle Hurst has a sister two years younger than he is.

Doyle Hurst had many memories about growing up in the Ozarks and of his father's jobs as a construction worker. Doyle Hurst's father worked on several different construction sites. The most famous site was the Bull Shoals Dam on the White River. The Bull Shoals Dam was built in 1952 and had a large impact on the surrounding area. The most noticeable impact was that this rural Ozark area thrived. This was because the dam had so many workers living here that the small cities could not keep up with the growing needs.

After the dam was finished in 1952, there was a severe job shortage. Flippin, like other small communities, did not have very much industry to supply the former boomtown with jobs. This change in the supply forced the Hurst family to move frequently in the summertime. The family moved to different locations such as Texas and Montana. In Montana Doyle Hurst obtained his first job. His first job put him working at a grocery store for fifty cents an hour. Doyle worked a forty-eight hour week between his seventh and eighth grade years of school.

Life in Flippin, Arkansas and the surrounding area was totally different from present day. Families were more self-sufficient and could go for longer periods of time without having to go to town; the reason was that the Hurst's had a full garden and canned food, too. Doyle Hurst's favorite thing was to go to town. He liked to go to town because when the family went, he always got a soda-pop and sometimes he got a candy bar too. In 1950 a soda-pop cost only a nickel and so did a candy bar.

A large impact on the life of Doyle Hurst was his education. Doctor Hurst remembers when he was a student at Flippin Schools that there were only handwritten or oral tests. He remembers when school consisted of first through twelfth grades. Currently, Flippin also has a preschool, a head start program and kindergarten classes before the child enters the first grade. There were also fewer subjects to choose as elective courses when Dr. Hurst attended school. Math was one of the core school subjects in the 1950's. Algebra did not even become available until Dr. Hurst was in the twelfth grade. Doyle never took a chemistry or physics class in high school. Agriculture classes were obviously important classes then because Doyle had two class periods of it each day. English was the other core class and was devoted to grammar. Dr. Hurst said that about twenty percent of the class was devoted to grammar. The other eighty percent was spent on literature. Doyle also remembers that the rate of learning was much slower in the 1950's and 1960's than in our present school system.

After graduating from Flippin High School in 1915, Doyle Hurst went to the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Dr. Hurst double majored in mathematics and physical science. He earned a masters degree and also went to Oklahoma State University and earned his Ed. D. in education.

Dr. Hurst, now a math teacher at Flippin High School teaches Algebra I and II, geometry, and trigonometry. He, like many other people from the Ozark area, came back to his roots and home to give back to the Ozarks what was given to him. Those gifts include heritage, memories, childhood friends, and most importantly, a home to come back to.