Monday, May 20, 2019

The Panther, By Miss Ruby Dean

In the early days of our county, the panther and catamount silently roamed our virgin forests, ever once in a while making themselves known to an unsuspecting traveler. Sometimes the story would be handed down through the family.
Another wonderful story from the Dean family collection.
It was a dark afternoon in early February, about 1875. A few snowflakes fluttered through the air but not enough to stop John Lamb from chopping out fence rows and cutting bushes.

In the shelter of the big family room warmed by a log fire, Sara Ann was knitting. Annie Maria, now more than four had been playing with her brothers, Bob and Edgar, until suddenly their activities were not in accord with her mood. So she pulled up a stool at her mothers feet and said. 'Ma, tell me about the panther.”

Well, said Sara Ann, when your grandmother, Evaline Phillips, was a young woman she had to ride quite a distance one afternoon on horseback to take care of an errand for her father. She was riding through a thickly wooded section and before she reached home the shadows began to lengthen, then all of a sudden it seemed almost night.

Oh, Well! She wasn't afraid or Was she? For there on the branch of a tree just ahead she saw a darkish figure sprawled. It was not a raccoon, nor a possum, nor a mink.

No, no it was much too large. It looked more like a cat had it not been quite so big.

She would have preferred to turn her horse and ride back in the other direction, but there was no other way home.

Suddenly she had no choice. The horse wheeled and changed directions. At the same moment, the animal disappeared. Although she had difficulty persuading her horse to right about face, she finally did. But what was that touching her from behind? It felt soft. Then she felt nothing. In both mind and body she seem to become numb.

Sara Ann continued, what light there was had now faded into darkness. Her horse took the imitative now and galloped off.

When he reached the big gate which led into the barn lot, he stopped short. Evaline came to herself in time to hear a THUD behind her. Looking quickly she thought she saw something shiny and black slink away into the night. Just then she saw her father coming toward her carrying a large lantern.

“Evaline, Evaline! What happened,” he said, “Why are you so late?”

Father, she said, I think a panther rode behind me all the way from Dawson's Wood.

Annie Marie said, Oh Ma! Do you think it really did?” Sara Ann replied, “Well, we'll never know for sure.”
Little Annie Maria Lamb grew up and married J. N. Dean. This article was written by Ruby Dean, daughter of J. N. and Annie Dean. 

The Dean family were great writers, and have written several wonderful colorful stories about the Deanwood area and things that happened in their lives.   

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

An Ancient Road

This interesting piece of Crittenden County History was published in a little booklet that was prepared for the Frontier Festival that Crittenden held in September of 1961.  

An Ancient Road

One of the oldest roads in Western Kentucky, Flynn's Ferry Road, is probably the oldest in Crittenden County.

Geologically a natural break formed by parts of Camp Creek (entrance of this creek is located at the little river town of Weston), and Piney Creek in the eastern part of the county (near Piney Fork Church) in very early times formed a basis for a North-South trace or trail from the Tennessee country into Southern Illinois. 

The road, after being developed by the Indians and early settlers, formed an almost straight line from Weston on the Ohio River to Princeton.   

George Flynn opened a ferry at this end of this trail at the Ohio River and established a good road from there to the home of William Prince, who lived at the big spring which later became the site of Princeton.

This road was heavily traveled for many years before the formation of Crittenden County.  Goods were unloaded at Weston, then an important river port, and were transported south by wagon as far as Princeton  and to many other inland settlements.

Settlers going north to Illinois and beyond, plied this road almost constantly.

So important was this road that it gave access to and was important in the formation of Illinois, Indiana and Missouri.

Monday, May 6, 2019

New City Lake gets Named - 1969

Crittenden Press article - April 1958
New City Lake Park Attractive. With the return of spring local people are again turning to the park on the shores of the newest city reservoir, Lake George, a little over two miles from the city limits. 

The park, never officially named, was completed last year. It is the result of a cooperative effort by the Marion Business and Professional Women's Club and the city government.

To get to it is a drive of about three miles from Marion. You drive by the city waterworks on Chapel Hill Road, proceeding along the road, one crosses a bridge, climbs a hill, then turns left onto a grave road. This road goes past Earl Patmor's farm house to the earthen dam of the new lake. A right turn here takes you to a parking lot by the park.

The site is shady and restful. Sturdy concrete picnic tables and grills are available, and a shelter house is there in case of rain. Half the money for the facilities, $700 was provided by the Business & Professional Womans Club. The money came from prizes awarded for the Community Development Scrapbook that was entered by the club in the statewide contest in 1954 and 1955.

 The club, after considerable debate, offered the money for a park if the city would match it. This the city did. The site is now in use and is one of the best picnics ground in the area.  (This picnic area was never used as it was meant to be, there were no bathroom facilities and no electricity to the area and actually awkward to get to.   It is seldom, perhaps, never used today and has set unused for many years. 2019.  But the lake is a popular fishing location for local fishermen.)

The new lake has been stocked by the state Fish and Wildlife Department, as has the older lake nearby and excellent catches have been reported in its waters.

In March of 1969 a marker was erected near the entrance to what was usually just referred to locally as "the new city lake". It was erected in tribute to the man who made the original survey for the lake back in the early 1950's. 

George Strickler moved to Marion in 1951 from Auburn, Kentucky and was with the soil conversation service here until 1954. Mr. Strickler is now deceased and the marker is a tribute to him and his dedicated service to the people of Marion and Crittenden County. Mr. Strickler received no remuneration for his work and the marker is a fitting tribute to the man and a job well done.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Threlkeld Memorial Lake

A post card showing the newly built city water filtration Plant, located on the Chapel Hill Road.  Cira late 1930's, early 1940's.

Threlkeld Memorial Lake
In 1933 Marion's long awaited for water project was finally becoming a reality. A WPA project for the city was to beautify the water works lake site on Chapel Hill Road. 

December 8, 1933 – After the filter plant and dam were completed, Marion's next project was to turn the water works lake sight into a park and it would be called Lake Side Park. 

June 8, 1934 -Mayor J. V. Threlkeld, passed away on April 22, 1934. Mr. Threlkeld was one of Marion's most popular Mayors. Through two administrations and entering upon the third he served his city and in that capacity was instrumental in securing the R. F. C. loan for the financing of the filtration plant and water works reservoir recently completed.

Through the efforts of Dr. T. A. Frazer, a lasting tribute will be paid to former Mayor J. V. Threlkeld, by naming the grounds of the new Marion water plant the “J. V. Threlkeld Memorial Lake Park.

With the cooperation of the council, local citizens, the Marion Kiwanis Club, other interested individuals and the Kentucky game and fish Commission, the lake site will be beautified and made one of the most appropriate memorials ever imagined. At the earliest possible date the lake will be stocked with game fish and such as may be furnished by the State and Federal government . The lake site will be beautified and made one of the most appropriate memorials ever imagined.

(These park plans were not completed until the fall of 1952 when the Marion Kiwanis Club decided to make it one of their 1952 projects and placed six concrete picnic tables and brick or stone furnaces where people might go for an outing. ) But it never was the popular community site that they thought it would be. I can remember doing some child hood fishing in the lake with my dad and having a family picnic on the grounds. It is one of our forgotten passages of time as nothing is there to show it as it once was. The old treatment plant was torn down in 1983.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

General Joseph Hughes Resting Place

This little family cemetery is located on the Mt. Zion Cemetery Road, off of S. R. 654 North in northern Crittenden County. 

Joseph Hughes played an important role in the early history of Crittenden County.  The Hughes family had deep roots in the early days, even when Crittenden was still a part of Livingston County.   He was the son of Thomas I. Hughes and Nancy Roe Williams Hughes.  

The Hughes family history states that he was a general in the War of 1812, thus the General on his tombstone.

Joseph was present at the first county court held at Cross Keys Inn, the home of Samuel Ashley, on April 4, 1842.  (Located near the present day Crooked Creek Church.  The spot is marked by a historical marker)

He was a justice of the peace in Livingston County as early as November 1823, and also served as a member of the state legislature from Livingston County before Crittenden County was formed, then when Crittenden county was formed, (Jan. 1942) he was appointed county treasurer, and he was also the first man in the newly formed county to solemnize the rites of marriage.

Joseph, at this time, was the oldest magistrate of the county(but was only 53) and by virtue of his office he would have been sheriff, but Joseph declined the post and recommended W. B. Hickman to be appointed in his stead.

Joseph married Mary Sellers on Jan. 12, 1809 in Livingston County. 

Also buried here are: 
  • Louisa J. Crow, Born Sept. 16, 1839 and Died July 10, 1892.  She was the daughter of Francis and Adaline (Lynn) Gill.
  • Martha P. W. Nunn, Born Jan. 31, 1819, Died Dec. 24, 1851.  Daughter of Joseph and Mary Sellars Hughes and wife of Otha Nunn.  Her full name was Martha Percenia Washington Hughes. (Could have died from childbirth, from child listed below)
  • Martha P. W. Nunn, Born Dec. 3, 1851 and Died July 9, 1852.   (Daughter of Martha and Otha Nunn)
There are likely more of Joseph's family buried at the location, since no stone has been located for Joseph's wife, Mary Sellars Hughes, and she and Joseph had several more infants who died as infants and there are no stones for any of them.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

Boaz School

Schools of today are so much different from what they used to be, there is no comparison. 

The little white school house that stood beside the road in so many communities played a very important role in the neighborhood.  It was their school, and everyone worked hard to make it a success.

 There were all kinds of activities the parents would provide, if items were needed to supply a school room or play ground with new and useful items for the students.  There would be pie suppers, ice cream socials, or maybe a night of music by the local musicians.  Not a lot of money was made, but then, it was enough to get the things needed to make the school a better and brighter place for the students and teachers.

One of these long ago forgotten schools is Boaz.  It was located in the southern part of the county and set across the road from the front of the Caldwell Springs Church, just outside of the Frances community.  Located across the road from the school was the Caldwell Springs, a large natural spring and creek.

According to some old school history, Sarah (Brasher) Boaz, wife of George Boaz donated the land for the school, so the school was named for her.  The school was started in the late 1800's.

It started as one room building but later another room was added.  

As with many schools of the past, if located near a church, when a revival was going on at the church, the teacher would take the students to the morning church services.   So did the Boaz school students attended the services at the Caldwell Springs Church during revival morning services.

Some of the teachers were: Minnie Brasher, Lucy Wheeler, Marion Pogue, Mr. Hillyard, David Postlewhweighte, Nathan Ward, Myra Campbell, Lee Linzey, John Griffin, Stella Simpkins, Harley Sunderland, Alice Brookshire Sunderland, Mildred Paris, Reba Henry, Raymond Schandemyer, Allie Hodge, Juanita Linzey, Irene McConnell, Mrs. Moore, Geneva Dycus, Lette Thompson, T. A. Martin, Mayme Lott and Sally Sullenger.

In 1955 the Boaz School, with several others in the surrounding area, were closed and the students sent to the Frances school.

The Boaz School was then torn down, today there is no evidence that a school was ever there.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

A Visit To Fords Ferry in November 1917.

As the Crittenden Press  scribe traveled through out the county gathering subscriptions for the paper.  He would share his adventures and news of the places he visited with the paper.  His reports made interesting reading and provides us with some early history of the county that otherwise would be lost.

                                       A View of A Fords Ferry Home in the early 1900's.

A Visit to the  Community of Fords Ferry.    November 29, 1917
A number of splendid potato crops have been harvested in this part of the county during the past few weeks. The potatoes of the present year are unusually large and thrifty and some of the crops in this county have averaged at least 1000 bushes per acres.

The river is rising, rising and the steamboats are chugging, chugging as they play backward and forth up and down the great stream. The river commerce seems to be unusually active the present year and a large amount of stuff is being shipped by water.

The transportation facilities of the railroads are completely over crowded at the present time, which explains is a large measure the greatly increased activities of the steamboats.

A patent medicine vender recently visited this community and he endeavored in a most conscientious manner to convince some of the people that his medicine was the real, genuine stuff for all people who are afflicted with bad health. He refused to put any satisfactory guarantee behind his medicine, however, and was somewhat disappointed on account of his lack of success in this neighborhood. Your correspondent has got but little confidence in the great majority of the medicines which are being advertised and at the present time. There is no medicine in the world which is equal to the pure air, good water and bright sunshine which God has given us.

A large amount of splendid sorghum were produced in the neighborhood during the present season, which is quite remarkable when we take into consideration the unusually inclement weather which prevailed during the month of October.

Uncommonly large frost and even freezes failed to damage a large part of the cane in this vicinity and only one crop was damaged so badly that it could not be made up. There is something rather strange and un-explainable about sugar cane. Sometimes a single frost will ruin a crop of cane but there are other things when even a series of continuous freezes will not seriously damage it.

Your correspondent recently visited the Seminary School and he was treated in a real nice manner by the teacher and the pupils. Your pencil pusher was ardently requested to deliver a speech for the benefit of the school and after some persuasion he finally ventured upon the floor and gave his listeners a number of his ideas and opinions in regard to education and also narrated a number of his school experiences when he was a little boy. 

Both teacher and pupils seemed to appreciate the address and your correspondent was invited to come back again and make another talk, all of which he agreed to.