Monday, February 8, 2016

Robert F. Wheeler, Early Crittenden County Pioneer

Robert Franklin Wheeler born Dec. 19, 1865, died Aug. 13, 1966, the eighth child of Isaac and Elvira
Wheeler, was born on a farm five miles east of Marion in the house built by his father in 1852.

Uncle Bob, as he was known by his friends in the county, operated the farm after his father's death.  

After graduation from High School he entered college in Southern Indiana.  He was forced to drop out and return home to help the family when his father died in 1896.  He taught school for almost twelve years in the one-room county schools in Crittenden County.

Besides his farm, school teaching and banking experiences, he was also in the mercantile business.  He owned a retail grocery business from 1913 to 1917, but sold the business and went into the wholesale grocery market for fourteen years.  

He was president of the Farmers Bank and Trust Company for five years, and had been on the Board of Directors of the bank since 1918 .

After that he devoted his time to this two hundred acre stock farm.

He also served as a Sunday School teacher, lay leader, and elder in the Marion First Presbyterian Church.

He is buried in the James Wheeler Cemetery, which is located on Just-A-Mere-Road off of Hwy. 120, on the farm which he was born and raised.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Meeting Place For The Birth Of Crittenden County

This old historic home was located on Hwy 641 a couple miles south of Crayne.  It was build about 1815 by James Cruce.  

When Kentucky's General Assembly passed an act creating the county of Crittenden from Livingston Co., at Frankfort, Ky. on January 26, 1842, the act also included a provision for the commission to accept a donation of land upon which to erect public buildings and offices for the new county.

The Justices of the Peace for the new county were Joseph Hughes, Jame Cruce, Robert H. Haynes, Abner Larrowe, Peter Clinton, John D. Gregory, Martin Williams, Robert Hill, Henry R. D. Coleman and Samuel L. Phillips.

These men met with John S. and Nancy Gilliam (the people that at that time owned the land where Marion would soon be located), at James Cruce's home and drew up the deed for the land that was to house the public buildings and offices of the newly formed Crittenden County.

Many years later in the 1940's, the well-known and well-respected Dr. O. C. Cook and his family lived in this home.  That is the Cook family in front of the house.  

The old home was torn down in 1948 and a new ranch-style home was built for Mr. Allie Myers.  It was located at 5143 Hwy. 641.  The house is still there today, although it has been re-styled and updated to look more modern.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Moore & Pickens Women's Department Store

One of Marion's past businesses was Moore & Pickens.  A favorite place to shop and buy fashionable women's clothing.  They were also know for their beautiful and unique millinery section.

   Here are Mildred Moore Croft and Elvah Pickens Bennett with some of their very fashionable hats.

Here are two interesting items from the Crittenden Press that helps preserve the history of the old store.

August 1951:  Moore & Pickens who have been in the ladies ready-to-wear business for thirty-six years and have been in the same location on Carlisle Street for the past twenty-eight years, have moved into the Grady Building on South Main Street.  (The pare of the Grady building was right next to the Farmers Bank Building before the bank purchased it and expanded their building.)

July 27, 1967:  Moore & Pickens closes after 51 years.  Fifty-one years ago, two young women in Marion formed a partnership, which through the years became one of Marion's best known business establishments. They were Mildred Moore, now Mrs. Weams Croft, and Elvah Pickens, not Mrs. Frank Bennett.  The firm has carried its original name Moore and Pickens, throughout the years.

This week Moore and Pickerns, the oldest business in Marion operated by the original owners, closed its doors.  The Farmers Bank and Trust Company sometime ago, acquired the building, which has housed Moore and Pickens for the past several years, and will use the extra space for an expansion program.

Unable to secure suitable space elsewhere, Miss Mildred and Miss Elvah, as they were known affectionately to most of their friends, decided to quit business and have been holding a liquidations sale for the past six weeks or so.

Mrs. Croft  and Mrs. Bennett have both been actively interested in every civic and religious movement undertaken for the advancement and betterment of Marion and Crittenden County during their fifty-one years on business here.

Mrs. Croft and Mrs. Pickens have both expressed deep regret at no longer being an active part of Marion's business life.

They are especially grateful to the people of Marion, and Crittenden County for their patronage over the years, and for the friendships they have made through their association with their customers.

Marion will miss Moore and Pickens.

The location of Moore & Pickens when they closed in 1967.  In this picture it shows the Farmers Bank getting ready to expand and the empty store on the left, where they used to be located. (1974)

Monday, January 18, 2016

Hazards Of Early Automobiles

This exciting event happened in July of 1911 in the community of Union Grove, located near the little community of Repton.

On July 12th, 1911, Drs. Baily and J. T. Moore, run out to Walter Wigginton's in Dr. Baily's auto to see Mrs. Wigginton, and finding her much improved, soon got ready to return to Marion.

After starting the auto and running a few feet, the auto refused to go any further.

After many efforts and hard labor it would not move.  It was decided to run it down a bank into the road with the hope that it would go, but it still refused to move, so it was turned around and Walter brought out "old Sam" with the harness on, hitched him to the stubborn auto and struck out up the road in a trot to a shade, yet there was no life in the machine.

After half an hour of close watching and busy time was given to find the trouble, but all efforts were in vain, so they sent for an expert, who soon arrived, and after watching and hard work, they decided to to send a message for another auto to pull the stubborn auto into town.

The summons was promptly answered, but while resting and meditating, they thought of the parable of the "ten virgins," so they hastened to the phone and said, "bring us some oil, boys, which they did in quick time and after a free application with the oil and a turn of the crank, lit their lamps, pulled a lever and the auto began to buzz and moved out as gracefully as a bird on the wing.

Darkness, having settled down, the two autos looked like meteors flying through the air.  In a few minutes they were safe in the city rejoicing with their friends and loved ones, who were anxiously waiting their return.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The New Orme Drug Store

The Orme Drug Company building was rebuilt after the 1905 fire in Marion that wiped out all of the business district.  They had their grand opening on September 8, 1905.  It was call The Crystal Palace Drug Store.  It was owned by Henry K. Woods and John H. Orme.

The interior was elaborately finished and equipped.  The ceiling was of ornamental steel and handsome design, the tints of which harmonize with the general interior of the store and from which myriads of electric lights line the entire length adding beauty and radiance to the scene.

The floor is finished in tiling of exquisite design and color, and as one enters the store the myriads of tinted electric globes reflect a dazzling beauty over the French plate mirrors, glass showcases, counters and the marble top, onyx column fountain.   

The handsomest of mirrors adorn the walls from floor to ceiling.  Perhaps the prettiest of these mirrors is the one which adorns the back of the prescription case.  It is six feet square surrounded by ornamental glass trimmings which make quite a pretty combination with the wire glass windows in the rear at the top of the balcony.  But by far the most beautiful addition to the store is the handsome $2,000 fountain on the right as you enter.  It is of mahogany with marble and onyx fixtures and counters.

This beautiful building went through several owners over the years, and also new renovations, but the beautiful and colorful tile floor has remained the same as it is still beautiful today.  

Then after it ceased to be a Drug Store, it was an Ice cream and sandwich parlor, and later the Cline's bought the building and most of us remember it as the home of the popular Marion Cafe for many years.  

Today it is home to the Florist and Gift shop named the Botanical's.  

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Marion a Good Town of Thriving Mercantile Establishments In 1926

From the Crittenden Press, Oct. 22, 1926.   
Located in a beautiful valley, with just enough gently rolling hillsides to its natural beauty, the little city is an attractive one. 

 Marion's schools, her churches, her clubs and societies are all alive and flourishing.  Her business enterprises are as thriving and as varied in their field of activity as are found in any community. 

  • Banking Institutions - The banking institutions are both splendid ones.  Both banks are located on the same street, at the same street intersection.  The Marion Bank stands on the southeast corner of the intersection of Main and Carlisle.  The present building was constructed in 1919 to replace the old building that was destroyed by fire. It is an attractive design.  The officers of the Marion Bank are: John W. Blue, president; Sam Gugenheim, vice president; Thomas J. Yandell, cashier; Katherine Yandell Runyan, J. V. Threlkeld and Orville Lamb, assistant cashiers.
  • The Farmers Bank and Trust Company stands on the northwest corner of Main and Carlisle and is the youngest of the two banks.  The building it now occupies, while not a very old one, has been recently remodeled and enlarged.  The officers of the Farmers Bank and Trust Company are: W. T. McConnell, president; R. F. Wheeler and C. C. Wheeler, vice presidents; O. S. Denny cashier; Hollis Cl Franklin and Neil Guess and Mary Cook assistant cashiers.

    • Drug Stores - There are two drug stores in Marion, both of which have been conducting business at the same location for a great many years.  The Orme Drug Company on Main Street is now owned by S. M. Jenkins, Ted Frazer and Gleaford Rankin.    J. H. Orme, one of the original owners is still connected with the business. 
    • The Haynes and Taylor Drug Company is located on Carlisle street and still occupies the same location and has the same owners that it has for years, Robert F. Haynes and C. C. Taylor.
    • Many Dry Goods Stores - Marion is well supplied with dry goods stores, most of them also carrying a line of shoes and notions.  Several stores carry a full stock of this class of merchandise.

    • The Yandell-Gugenheim Dry Goods Company have the same location on the corner of Main and Carlisle that they have occupied for several scores of years.  The firm as it now stands and the sales force consists of W. B. Yandell, Sam Gugenheim, George Gray, J. L. Clifton, Robert B. Cook and Ernest Butler.
    • J. H. Mayes and Sons, another of the Main Street firms is managed by J. H. Mayes two sons, C. E. Mayes and L. E. Mayes.
    • The McConnell Dry Goods Store, on the same street, has been conducted under that name for only a short time.  The owners are W. T. McConnell, Homer McConnell and Charles Stewart.
    • The Marion Pure Food Bakery, owned and managed by R. K. Butler, is situated on North Main Street and is the only one in town.  Loaf bread, rolls, doughnuts, cakes, cookies and pies are baked and find a ready market.
    • McConnell and Wiggins' Barber Shop, owners are Walter McConnell and J. B. Wiggins, with two others, Mason Daniel and R. H. Winters.
    • The Marion Barber Shop, E. E. Mackey, owner, Fonnie Bealmear, J. R. Johnson and W. L. Johnson are the assistants.  The two shops are located on opposite sides of Carlisle Street.
These are a few of the businesses that were doing a successful business in the month of October 1926.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Christian Church Has New Quilt Squares

The placing of Quilt squares on structures throughout Crittenden County has become very popular in the past two years.  They started out as being called Barn Quilt Squares and were only placed on barns.  Lately they have been showing up on homes, garages, and all kind of out buildings. 

 The latest addition of these beautiful and colorful pieces have been placed on a local church, Marion Christian Church, on West Bellville Street.

They were placed there by a member of the church, Merle Myers, as a tribute to her late husband Jim Myers, who died in March of last year.  

The quilt squares also serve as a nod to the state's quilting heritage and the church's participation each year in is displaying quilts during Marion's Back-roads Tour and Festival, each April.

This church building was built by a Methodist congregation, the Methodist Episcopal Church South, in 1890 after a storm destroyed their first church.  The Methodists worshiped there until April 12, 1912 when they moved into their present church on College Street.

Various organizations used the building until it was sold to the Christian Church congregation in 1947.