Hobart, Claire William. Collection of Music and Poems, 1922-1981. CAMC Collection 19. 1 ½ Hollinger boxes and 2 flat boxes.
The Claire Hobart collection consists of manuscript and published versions of Hobart’s hymns, song books, and music along with poems, letters, and observations. Hobart wrote Christian themed songs and hymns and served as director of La Luz del Mundo, a school for the blind. Hobart and his wife Norma founded the school in Laredo, Texas during 1949. Hobart helped fund the school in part with money that he raised by traveling around the country as a concerteer playing for church groups. Many hymns and scores were published by Hobart, but dozens are unpublished. Letters in the collection were written primarily from Hobart to his mother. Poems date from the 1930s and concern Hobart’s world and various Christian themes.
Claire William Hobart was born prematurely to Fred and Bergine Hobart in St. Peter, Minnesota on 19 January 1914. Although born a twin, his sibling died shortly after birth. Hobart lost his eyesight at three-months of age. His mother taught him to play piano as a toddler, and he was able to play “America” by the age of two. From 1st through 6th grade, Hobart was tutored by Lydia Adolfson. At the age of ten, Hobart’s mother died. His father married Adolfson approximately 1 ½ years later. Hobart graduated high school in 1931 and went on to attend Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter Minnesota where he graduated during 1935.
He married Norma Lien on 29 August 1948. Shortly after their wedding they opened La Luz del Mundo, a school for the blind, in Laredo, Texas. The Hobarts strived to spread the Christian faith and were active in the Latin American Lutheran Mission. To help raise money for the school, Claire and Norma traveled around the country providing gospel concerts to various church congregations.
In 1993, the Gustavus Adolphus College Associations of Congregations honored Hobart with The Service Award. The honor is given to those “who have made distinctive commitments and contributions to the service of others."
Claire Hobart died on 4 December 1993. Norma Hobart died on 22 November 2000.