Monday, July 11, 2016

Some Fluorspar History from Crittenden County in 1902

The Kentucky Fluor Spar Company is the only company in America that is able to fill their contracts and orders at the time specified.  Located near the depot at Marion in close access to the railroad.

The three great reserve dumps at Marion, at Mexico and at Crayneville, on the Illinois Central Railroad, enable the company to do this.  Good weather, bad weather, or muddy roads make no different.  Scores of teams and wagons do the hauling to the railroad and hundreds of men are at work in the mines.

The Eagle Fluor Spar Company of Wheeling W. Virginia have a great vein of this spar gravel in their Asbridge mine, situated near Mexico station.  The mining and raising of their product is carried on systematically and economically and a large tonnage is shipped for fluxing purposes.

The Crittenden County Lead, Zinc and Fluor spar company own lands in the immediate vicinity of the well known Memphis mine, a great producer of the best kind of grinding fluor spar. 

Located three miles west of Frances on Claylick Creek was the Riley Mine.  

(1905)  Very few people of Marion are aware that one of the best-concentrated zinc plants in this country is within a two hour ride by buggy from Marion.

  The concentrating plant is on an eminence several hundred feet above the territory surrounding it and here the shaft, 174 feet deep has been sunk and around about it has been erected a plant the equal of any in America.  

At present hundred of tons of ore rough, are on the dumps and also many tons of crushed ore and concentrates.    One feature of the plant is the reservoirs, two of which are located at the mill on the hill, and one in the creek with a depth of 9 feet, which two steam pumps throw the water to the reservoirs on the hill.
Did you know that Crittenden  County sent a very large mineral exhibit to the great 1903 World's Fair that was held in St. Louis?  It must have been an  impressive sight  to behold.

In the exhibit ores, forwarded by Blue & Nunn from the "Old Jim" mine were two huge lumps of sulphide of zinc, each weighing over 3,000 lbs., the two aggregating 3 tons; also one immense piece of mixed galena was sent weighing over 1,000 lbs.

The exhibit carload also contained a most impressive lot of choice fluor spar, as well as typical grades of fluor spar, several different colors of purple, blues, yellows and white, some of them weighing more than a ton each and are beautiful to look upon in their pearly luster.

(What a treasure of history we would have if only some pictures of this wonderful load of Crittenden County minerals had been taken and saved at the World's Fair of 1903.)

Friday, July 1, 2016

Geneva Dycus bids good-bye to her home in Dycusburg in 2001

Geneva Cooksey Dycus shared some memories of her home in Dycusburg that she had spent 93 years in.  She was born in this home. She had decided that due to some health problems she needed to give up her family home and move to an apartment in Marion.

She had lived in the house almost her entire life.  She moved to teach for several years but otherwise she had lived in the Dycusburg home.  After her husbands' death in 1946, and her daughter moving away in the early 1950s, Dycus had lived alone.

I've lived a wonderful life here.  Dycusburg is the greatest place to me, she said.

Mrs.  Dycus said she wouldn't have a hard time adjusting to life in town, she remembers when Dcusburg was a booming river town.

We had five grocery stores, an ice cream parlor and many other businesses.  

She also remembers when boats would dock in Dycusburg, many of the deckhands would come up to her house.  Hr parents and others would play music and they would dance way into the night.

She has had many positive memories of her home, however, there have been two unfortunate occasions when the home was broken into.  But despite these break-ins, she has never been afraid to live there.  

The home was built in 1857 by Mrs. Dycus' grandparents, Theopolis and Harriet Jacob Cooksey.  Then it became the home of their son and Mrs. Dycus' father, Robert P. Cooksey and family.   

Geneva Cooksey Dycus and husband Mark Dycus was deeded the home in Oct. 1936 by Mr. Cooksey.

Mrs. Geneva Cooksey Dycus, didin't live long after she moved to Marion, only a few months later she died Oct. 16, 2001 and is buried next to her husband in the Dycusburg Cemetery.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Eberle Hardin & Co.

In the late 19th century most whiskey was sold by the barrel to a liquor store, druggist or tavern. The whiskey was then sold to consumers who would often bring in their own bottle or jug, but distilleries and rectifiers often offered jugs for sale to the consumer.

What a treasure it would be to have one of Marion's old whiskey jugs from years ago when spirits or vinous liquors were legally sold.   

Marion at one time in the early 1900's had several saloons and drug stores along Main Street that had license to sell these.  

Some of these places had their own stone jugs made for use and for advertisement of their stores.

One of these places was the Eberle & Hardin, Co. Saloon.  It was located on Main Street next to Orme Drug Co., which also sold whiskey.

Here is a picture of one of the wonderful old jugs from the Eberle Hardin & Co.   cira. 1905. 

An advertisement from the Crittenden Press August 1905.  Although the business location burnt in the March 1905 fire that destroyed all of Marion's mainstreet businesses, the company must have set up somewhere else to sell their wares, as the advertisement was dated August 1905.  They didn't rebuilt their place of business back after the fire.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Stores Close on Wednesdays

Remember when Marion would just about close down come Wednesday at noon?  Most all the business on Main Street would close up at noon.  

Here is an interesting article from The Crittenden Press, April 19, 1957.

Most businesses in Marion will close at noon Wednesday from May 1 to September 25 as the result of a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

The meeting was called by Gene Beard, acting president of the Businessmen's Association, and was attended by representatives of 27 Marion business houses.

Others had sent word they would go along with the group's decision on the matter.

Votes at the meeting first approved the principle of closing one afternoon a week during the summer, then chose the period the practice was to remain in  effect, then decided to retain Wednesday as the closing day.

Voted down were supporters of both longer and shorter inclusive periods, and setting Thursday as closing day, desired by some to provide an afternoon off without having to return to town for prayer meeting and to meet Princeton's off day.

As has been the practice in past years, stores will remain open Wednesday afternoons when a national holiday falls during the same week.

Stores and offices agreeing to close Wednesdays were:
  • T. H. Cochran & Co.
  • Hill's Hardware,
  • Hunt's Department Store
  • Williams Department Store
  • Marion Dry Cleaners
  • The Peoples Bank
  • Franklin-Biggs
  • Phelps Grocery
  • Woodall Insurance Agency
  • Farmers Bank & Trust Co
  • Andrews' Jewelers
  • Fritts Grocery
  • Red Front
  • City Barbara Shop
  • Arflack Radio & TV
  • Johnson Electric Co.
  • McConnell Barber Shop
  • Grady's Super Market
  • Marion Barber Shop
  • Taylor & Vaughan
  • Western Auto Associate Store
  • Rose Cleaners
  • Cox Five and Dime Store
  • Crittenden Grocery
  • Ben Franklin Store
  • Marion Shoe Store
  • South's Grocery
  • Aubrey Grady & Co.
Sad now to see our main street so empty of businesses, only The People's Bank and Farmers Bank & Trust are still in Business.   Their hours are on Main Street are different from the older days, as they are open Mon-Fri, 8:30 to 4:30 and closed on Sat.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Regarding the Piney Fork Camp Meeting- 1905

This interesting article appeared in The Crittenden Press in 1905.  -

 Regarding the Piney Camp Meeting Postponement.  August 25, 1905.
Yes, the camp meeting was postponed at Piney.  The writer of this article think the church did a righteous deed in not having camp meeting this year.  

Yes, there is always some soul saved without doubt, but there are at the close of the meetings so many nearer hell than they were before.  For many years some have gone away from camp meeting with stained characters and heart-broken parents.

Yes, they have been having camp meetings at Piney Fork for nearly a hundred years, but the camp meeting now are not like they used to be.  Years ago people would come from miles away to camp meeting, but they came to honor God.  Nowadays it is more of a picnic than anything else.  The people go and camp, but they don't do so in order that they may honor God, but merely to have a good time and be in in the fashion.

There are some faithful ones, I know, but what can they do with the sinners when there is everything that can be thought of to draw them away?   There are six or eight stands every year and the Lord only knows what they sell.

As I said before, some will go just to have a good time.  Yes, they will sit at their camps in time of meeting talking and laughing with their friends.  I have heard so many say:  "Well, I would not go to camp meeting, only I see so many people I never see any other time."  The Lord is not going to bless people until they come to Him right.

I think they would do away with camp meeting and have protracted meeting they would do more good.  I have heard many of the Piney Fork members say they would rather have a protracted meeting, then maybe those who came would do some good.  

Anyway we would not have all these stands to draw the people away.  Oh, that the people of God would pray earnestly for a revival throughout our country.

When we used to go to Piney Fork to the camp meeting the people would leave their camps when the horn blew and there were quite a number of times the shed wouldn't hold them - they would come as close as they could to hear the gospel and their meeting did good back in those days.  Now they have the modern bell, and when it rings some will go and others won't - they are now putting on more style.

Three years ago the people began on the first of April, people began preparing for camp meeting.  Every time they met for Sunday school one could hear on every side:  "Well, are you ready for camp meeting?"  There were more finely dressed people than were ever known to be at camp meeting before; and they didn't have much of a meeting either. Some blamed the preacher's wife for not carrying the meeting on longer; some said they would never camp any more.  So I think it would be best to drop camp meeting and have protracted meetings.

May the people of God pray for the up-building of Piney Fork church.  Yes, I say water the the gold plant, but be sure you use the right kind of water, in the fervent desire of one who, for years, has been a  - Silent Observer.
Piney Fork continued to have the Camp Meetings until 1955.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Marion Attorneys At Law in 1895

Attorney's played an important role in our County's early history, for not only did they have many cases in Court at Marion but when the need arose, they would travel to the different districts in the county and would have court there.

 J. W. Blue, Jr. of t he law firm of Blue and DeBoe, was educated in the public school  and Marion Academy, and graduated from the Marion Academy in 1880.  He then entered upon the study of law in his father's office and also supplemented that knowledge by attending lectures in the Louisville Law School, graduating in 1885.

By his oratorical powers and persuasive presentation in addressing a jury, the force of his argument is very powerful. 

John Wm. Blue, Jr., died in 1934 and is buried in Mapleview Cemetery. 

John W. Blue, Jr. in 1895.

Wm. J. Deboe the second partner of this firms, also received his early education in the public schools of the
county and at Bethlehem Academy.

After graduation, he taught for five years in Crittenden and adjoining counties.

He then attended Ewing College in Illinois, studying both law and medicine.

He was admitted to the bar in 1889.  His magnetic personality and easily recognizable abilities soon place him among the top attorney's in the area.

William J. Deboe died June 14th, 1927 and is buried in Mapleview Cemetery.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Business In A Tent

The business men of Marion didn't sit around idle and wait for a new store to be built after the devastating fire of March 28, 1905 that destroyed all of the east side of Main Street.

 Just a short time after the fire, they had gathered what they had saved from the fire and sit up in tents around the court house square, or in other businesses places that had been saved from the fire.

Here is an ad telling about Woods & Orme, and R. F. Haynes, and how they were doing business.  It's from the Crittenden Press of April 1905.  

Thankful that the Press was spared from the fire, or we wouldn't have these wonderful history items from the past.