Arkansas Farm Table

Arkansas Farm Table leg detail

My great, great, great grandfather, John Gib Roork (1854-1937), who emigrated from Cork County, Ireland, lived on a farm near Pyatt, AR and built this table with native wood. The table was in the home of his son and daughter-in-law, Arch and Daisy Estes Roark, until her death at the age of 107. My grandmother Betty Roark Morrow has kept the table since the passing of her grandmother. During the 2020 pandemic my father and I helped refinish the table.

My grandmother recalls the table being on an enclosed back porch of the farm house. A bucket of water and a long handled dipper was kept on the table for many years, to refresh oneself on a break from farming. Thus, in 2020 my father replaced the table top with new wood. The table is sturdy. The detail of the legs is quite intricate for circa 1900 woodworking. It is a treasured tribute to Arkansas craftsmanship and farming. It represents hard work and, my father says, “a hardscrabble way to make a life” in the Ozarks.

Contributed by: Emma Claire Morrow
Created by: John Gib Roork
Origin: He built it with native wood on his farm near Pyatt, AR