A touch of elegance now graces Hackney Library’s main floor research and information commons area. President and Mrs. Kneten have transferred a beautiful, circular study table with six straight-backed, cushioned arm chairs to the library. The table and chairs are rich in Barton College tradition.
The table was specially built for former Atlantic Christian College Vice-President for Business and Finance, Dr. Ben Hobgood, by a local furniture maker in the early 1980s. Dr. Hobgood’s executive assistant, Tina Hensley, remembers that the chairs were purchased from the old Batts Lamp & Shade Company on Highway 301. The table and chairs functioned as a conference table in Dr. Hobgood’s office until 1985, when they were moved to the President’s office while Harper Hall was undergoing a major renovation. Mrs. Kneten recalled that Dr. Norval Kneten, her husband and Barton College’s eleventh president, negotiated his first contract with the college’s Board of Trustees around the table in 2003. The table and chairs were moved to the library of the Barton-Graves presidential home shortly after the Knetens moved in.
The pieces now have a new home in Hackney Library, next to the rare book display and Barton Art Professor Mark Gordon’s three-dimensional work, “Plumb Bob III.” They blend naturally with the antique décor of this section of the library, and hint of the Library of Congress’s Main Reading Room. And like the furniture in that historic room, Mrs. Kneten insists that the table should be used and not just admired. So come by, have a look, and hold your next group study session on a piece of Barton College history.
NOTE: Special thanks to Kathy Daughety, Barton College Director of Public Relations, for research assistance.