Saturday, March 18, 2017

Barnett School


The first Barnett school, was a one room log building built in the 1800's and was located in southwestern Crittenden County near Tolu.   It stood on the property of William Barnett.

Later Mr. Barnett gave the school trustees enough land to build a new school building.  It was located just east of the original log building in a corner of his land.  

                                                 Barnett school before it as torn down.

In 1879 the school census showed 22 students attending.  Julius Newman was the teacher.  Some family  names in the area were Ferrell, Hardin, Dooley, Belt, McMaster, Tinsley, Lawrence, Curry, Davis, Kemper, Hardesty, Hale, Glore, Croft, Stone, Kimsey, Stone, Barley, Lynn, Wright and Turner.

In 1913 a church was built on land deeded by Buckner Croft and joined the Barnett School lot.  The church was named Barnett Chapel due to the Barnett School being there and widely known.

In 1948 the school ceased operation, along with several other one-room schools in the area, and consolidated with the Tolu School.

In 1949 the members of the Barnett Chapel church voted to build a new church where the schoolhouse stood.  

The school building was sold to Russell Hardesty for $300 and the Barnett Church, as is is now, was built on the old school lot.

As with so many of our old schools, they are almost forgotten now, a thing of the past, and most all who attended gone also, leaves nothing to carry on the wonderful memories of these one-room schools.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Business's in 1958


Marion, Once a busy place with several industries providing many jobs for our local county.  The growth of the city and county looked promising for the future.  Things have changed a lot in the past 59 years.

April 24, 1958
  • Moore Business Forms, Inc. which started operations in Marion in November, 1950 is Crittenden County's leading industry.  The firm employs about 125 people, 55 percent of them women.  The local plant's principal product is what is known in the trade as "salesbooks."  This actually covers all kinds of bound printed forms as well as those used in selling.  Moore Corporation, Ltd. of Canada, the parent company, is the world's largest producer of business forms.
  • Mi-Marker makes stamping kits widely used by men and women in all branches of the armed services.  The little plastic boxes containing the kits and marked "Marion, Ky." are familiar sights on post exchanges around the world.  The kits basically contain an alphabet of rubber letters and numbers, a wood block for mounting the letters on, a stamp and a pad of ink.  It employs about 20 people.
  • Watson Produce, in business here for 10 years, deals in poultry and eggs, furs and hides, and walnuts.  It buys throughout West Kentucky and southern Illinois and makes deliveries throughout the Midwest.
  • Henry & Henry Monuments on Sturgis Road in Marion produces fine quality monuments and has been operating in the same family since the 1870's.  
  • Winn & Tobin Milling Company mills flour, meal and feed.  it serves customers in Crittenden, Livingston, Webster, Caldwell and Lyon Counties.  It has been in business since June 1949.
  • Marion Silica Company on the edge of Marion is now on a stand-by basis.  Formerly locally owned it was bought in 1956 by Continental Uranium Company, a subsidiary of the Helene Curtis cosmetic firm.  Its property includes a large quantity of some of the finest quality sand available.
  • Alexander Stone Company, the large quarry on U. S. 60 north of Marion, employs about 35 men during is peak season and has an annual payroll of $90,000.  It produces agricultural lime, concrete stone, all sizes of road stone, rip rap and ready mixed concrete, its latest line.
Henry and Henry and  is the only one of the above that is still in business today.  Alexander Stone is also still in operation, although at a different location and was bought by Rogers and Company.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Watch Charm Mystern, by J. N. Dean


One of my favorite families of Crittenden County is the Dean family that lived at Deanwood. 


What a colorful and interesting family.  Mr. Joseph Nathan Dean was a wonderful story teller and was also a wonderful historian.  He kept all kinds of interesting items written down for future generations to enjoy and learn from.

Here is one of his true short stories, it's titled "Watch Charm Found After 70 Years".  It was written in 1956.

Late one afternoon in the year 1880 (when the writer was 12 years old) a government official, who was taking the U. S. census for that year, called at Madison Dean's home nine miles east of Marion, now known as the Turner farm, to take my father's census list and spend the night.

At supper our visitor told us that as he rode down Piney Hill, one mile east of us, his watch charm in some way came loose from the chain and fell to the ground in a rocky, sandy place.  He got off the horse and searched for some time but failed to find it.

Early next morning, at his request, two of my older brothers went t the hill with him and searched with no luck.

If I remember correctly the census official was a Mr. Cruce of the same family as the late Mr. Dick Cruce.

A few years ago, about 70 years later, Mr. and Mrs. Edd Clark, formerly of this community but now of Providence, rode up in front of my store at Deanwood, and called to me and said, "Joe as we were riding down old Piney hill a bit ago I saw something bright in a rocky place in the road. I got off my horse and found it to be a nice diamond shape watch charm. - I don't need it and make you a present of it."

It was some time later that it dawned on me that it was the one lost by the "Census taker," in 1880.

It just goes to prove that nothing in the old world in ever really lost, no matter the circumstances - somebody will someday find it.

                          The old Deanwood General Store that Mr. Dean owned.

Friday, February 24, 2017

Rev. John Travis



Rev. John Travis, whose family settled in what is now Crittenden County in the early 1800s, was distinguished by being the first Methodist preacher circuit rider sent west of the Mississippi River to lead men to God.

Rev. Travis after traveling eight years relocated back in Crittenden County and married Miss Cynthia Traylor.  They married in Caldwell County on Sept. 23, 1815.

They settled on a farm not far from his brother, Arthur Travis, Revolutionary War veteran.  This land was in the Piney Fork area, located on the Travis-Alexander Road.  

There are two family cemeteries located near by.  John's wife, Cynthia, has a stone in the little Travis Cemetery, but John does not have one, or it has been lost over time.

The other cemetery is the Wilson-Travis cemetery, it was located near Arthur's home place, but he or his wife, Patsy Ramsey Travis have a stone.

So much history lost in these little cemeteries through the years, by either not ever having a tombstone or the tombstone being lost or destroyed over the years.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

School News from 1937


Always fun and interesting to remember are the school days from yesteryear.  With items from the old Crittenden Presses we can enjoy once again the simpler days of our local community schools, the good times they shared and he memories that were made.  Here are some 1937 school items.

Mattoon School March 1937 - The Senior class gave an interesting chapel program recently.  The program was opened by the school singing "America."  The class then gave a brief history of the flag and showed how it should be displayed.

The 7th and 8th grades have been practicing on the filed day events for the fair that will be coming up shortly.

Those on the honor roll are: First Grade, Everett Ray Marvell and Jackie Riley; Second Grade, Douglas Brantley, Leon Cook, LaRene McMurrey, Willie Jewell Walker, Georgia Tudor,Georgia McDowell, Kathleen Walker and Alberta Marvell; Third grade, Grace Arflack, Irene Brantley, Charles Conyer, Dorothy Kappler, Anna Katherine Railey and Helen Joe Stone; Fifth grade, Harold Stone, Glenn Newcom, Burnie Perry Howerton; Sixth Grade, Evelyn Lowery and J. C. Howerton; Eighth Grade Geneva Gahagen, Glenna Nunn, Jane Truitt, J. C. Little, Robbie McDowell and Henry Vanhooser.

                                                                               ******

Sept. 1937 - The regular monthly meeting of the Crayne P. T. A. was held Friday afternoon.  Mrs Cozette Scott is president.  The ladies were entertained with singing by some of the girls and the children enjoyed a fish pond very much.

The ladies are patching an apron at the present time to raise funds for the school.  A small sum of money is placed under each patch.  

We are having a fine school with Mrs. Opal Wicker Scott a teacher.

                                                                 ********

October 1937 - Frances School - The basketball boys have  been doing unusually well under their new instructor, Mr. Gardner.  They are expected to play some good games in the near future.

The junior class are working on the play "Wild Ginger" which will be given some time during the month of November.

Miss Virginia Wallace from Symsonia, Ky., has taken John Yandell's place as teacher of the intermediate grades here.  She is a graduate of Murray State Teachers College.

At an official class meeting Monday the seniors decided to wear caps and gowns at their commencement exercises.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Marion's Two Oldest Businesses


HENRY AND HENRY MONUMENTS


Prior to 1881, J. S. Henry was engaged in the monument business in Madisonville, Ky.


At that time he moved his family to Marion and Established Henry and Henry Monuments.

After being located at his home on South Bellville Street for several years, he purchase the Concrete Building on East Carlisle St. in 1906 (Where Wheeler Antiques are today).

After his death his sons, Albert M. and Howard managed the business until their death, at which time their sons, J. Albert Henry and Searcy Henry became owners.

In 1947 J. Albert, son of Albert M. having bought out Searcy, built the above building at their present site on Sturgis Road.

The business is still family owned today, with grandson, Billy Fox handling most of the everyday business.


                        THE CRITTENDEN PRESS

The newspaper was founded in 1879 by R. C. Walker.  It changed hands five times from then until Evers Mick purchased the newspaper in 1960.  

Since that time his descendants have owned and operated The Crittenden Press.

Evers Mikc, a Marion native, had been working in Madisonville in the printing and radio industries before he bought tne newspaper in 1960 from Charles Pepper.  

Mick owned Modern Printers, a commerical letterpress and offset printing shop in Madisonville.

Evers graduated from Marion High School in 1932 and worked on electronics equipment for the U.S.Government during WWII.

Mick and his wife Lucille, along with sons, Charles and Paul, returned in 1960 to Marion where he had grown up while his father, W. E. Mick was active in the fluorspar mining industry.

Paul and wife Nancy ran the paper after Paul's parents passed away.

And today Paul's daughter, Allison and husband Chris Evans own and operate the paper.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Logging Adventures By J. N. Dean


Mr. J. N. Dean was a wonderful historian and history writer.  I love his wonderful history stories and stories about the colorful and fascinating Dean family.  Here is one of his stories about Matt Dean and a logging adventure in the Piney Creek near Deanwood.

Many times in rafting did Uncle Matt or his helpers stumble off into cold, deep water, and have to swim out or be rescued by others.

Logs to be rafted were floated down small creeks into Piney, Tradewater River and on into the Ohio, thence down to Golconda Metropolis or Paducah.

Jim Ellis was a dealer in all kinds of timber, and bought on all these streams.

The logs were usually collected in backwater, along-side-by-side, a whallen (a small tree split open) laid across each side of the raft and fastened by wooden pins to each side of the raft, and fastened by wooden pins to each log. 

There were often 50 or more logs in a raft.  It required two or more men to float the raft down stream.

Spike poles (a 12 foot pole with a spike and hook combined and fixed at the end) was used to pull or push the raft from trees and other obstructions along the stream.  The speed was slow in backwater, but in head water, though faster, it was more difficult and dangerous.

Mr. Ellis devised a two-wheeled log wagon.  These wheels were about 12 feet in diameter, and the logs were swung under the axle, and the front ends lifted by a device that secured them.  With three or four yoke of oxen he could haul-in the largest logs, some of them six feet in diameter. 

When this monster of a wagon went from Weston over the old Flynn Ferry road, it created more excitement among the country people than a circus.


An old photo of one of Crittenden County's giant trees being hauled on a wagon and pulled by many oxen.