Monday, October 27, 2014

Vincent McKinney Stone Dedication

On a beautiful hillside in southern Crittenden County this past Saturday, Oct. 25th, a new memorial stone was dedicated to an early pioneer settler of our county.  It was located at the Asbridge Cemetery.  A beautiful and well kept and cared for cemetery.

As so often in the early days, there wasn't a tombstone to mark his passing, as times were hard and just keeping alive was the most important thing.  

Matthew Patton, a descendant from this family spearheaded this project, with help from Doyle Polk of the Frances community, also a descendant.

                                                          This is the front of the stone.
This the back side of the stone listing the children.

This family genealogy research is shared by Matthew T. Patton.

Descendants of early Crittenden County settlers Vincent and Nancy (Newton) McKinney will dedicate a memorial tombstone in their honor at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 25. at the Asbridge Cemetery.

The McKinneys moved to Kentucky from Jefferson Co., Tenn., raising a family of several children whose descendants still live in the area. Their children were: William A. McKinney, John M. McKinney, Mary E. McKinney, Mariah J. McKinney, James Harrison McKinney, Prudence V. McKinney, Calvin F. McKinney, Joseph Newton McKinney, Sarah Ann McKinney, Lorena E.A. McKinney, Thomas Jefferson McKinney, and Martha C. McKinney.

Vincent McKinney, born in 1808, died Feb. 1868. Nancy Newton-McKinney lived from about 1816 and died after June 1880. Now more than 145 years later, the family collaborated to erect a tombstone in their memory. A farmer by occupation, the Vincent McKinney along with his family left Tennessee around 1850 and migrated to Crittenden County. On Jan. 4, 1853, for the sum of $100, he purchased a parcel of about 400 acres, part of which bordered Claylick Creek.

They apparently lived there the rest of their lives, and are likely buried at this homestead. Several children and grandchildren of the couple are buried at Asbridge Cemetery. For this reason and its proximity to the McKinney farm, the family chose this cemetery for the memorial marker.

 Attending the dedication from left to right.  Rita Owen Travis, Judy Riley, Danny Riley, Doyle Polk, Jenny Sosh, and Billy McDaniel.  Matthew was unable to attend, his sister, Jenny filled in for him.

It was a beautiful day and a beautiful thing done to remember these people that help settle our county.  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Sid Johnson's Airport

The Johnson family moved to Marion in 1940.  Mr. Johnson first built an auto and truck repair garage and service business where he serviced and repaired cars and trucks.

He took flying lessons and became an excellent pilot and when WWII was over he built a small airport behind the service station, and taught G. I's to fly, which was sponsored by the G.I. bill.

The building on the left was the first building which was his auto and truck repair garage.  It was located about 4 miles from Marion on 641 before you get to Crayne.  The buildings are still there today.

Some of the men that Mr. Johnson trained to be pilots were: Keith Norman, Donald Clark, Barrett Little, William LaRue, Paul Belt, Leslie Freeman, Louis Myers, Thomas Leon Hughes, Blake Douglas Fritts, Lonnie Hodge, Guthrie and Roger Linzy.

This is a picture of the hanger in 1947 and one of Mr. Johnson's places.

On Sept. 5, 1947 there was a large air show sponsored at the air port.  The show featured parachute jumps, wing walking, stunt flying and contests of spot landing bombing, and many other exciting events.

The airport continued to operate until 1949.  When the government stopped the G. I. bill for flying instructions Mr. Johnson closed the airport.

In it's location Johnson strated a business of being the Packard Auto Dealer and when the Packard Company, in a couple of years went broke, he then started the John Deer Implement Dealership.  The John Deer Dealership was in business 27 years in this location.

Sid and Lucy Johnson were fine people, and are remembered still by many local citizens.

Pictures are courtesy of Joni Morris Durfey, granddaughter of Sid and Lucy Johnson.  Her mother was Joan in the picture above.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Knights of Pythyas Hall

Crittenden Press 1890 - Three years ago a number of the Knights from Ivy Lodge, Henderson, came over to Marion and instituted a new Lodge, with a membership of twelve.

Since that time the order has been gradually growing and now numbers forty.

A few months ago the idea of building a hall of their own was conceived and on Friday night last the new building was ready to be occupied.

Henderson and other neighboring Lodges were invited to assist in dedicating the handsome building.  A special train brought twenty-seven visitors.  They were met at the depot and escorted up town by Blackwell Lodge.  After supper a large crowd gathered at the opera house and the visiting Knights were welcomed by Sir Knight A. C. Moore.

The new hall is a substantial brick handsomely finished without and within and is a credit to the popular and rapidly growing order and an honor to the town.  

The new KP  was built in 1890 and this pictures appeared in the Illistratued Edition of the Crittenden Press in 1894.

The building may look familiar to some of us Crittenden Countians because in later year is was the Lottie Terry store and then her son's James Terry's. 

It was located on West Bellville Street where the Christian Church and Gilbert's Funeral Home parking lot is today.

The old building was torn down in the mid 1980's and I'm sure not anyone really knew the age or history behind this once new and impressive building.

I do not know when the Knights of Pythyas discontinued their lodge here.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oakland School

Another one of our old one-room schools was Oakland.  It was located about half-way between Mattoon and Tribune on the east side of the Flynn's Ferry Road (now known as Hwy. 654 South).

The school building itself was probably as good, if not better than the average.  Having been built for a church originally, it had a large hall across the front of the building, which provided ample space for the children to put their hats, coats, gloves, galoshes and lunch pails.

There was a stage in front of the school room, which no doubt served as a pulpit when it was a church.

The school was heated by by coal in a pot-bellied stove.  In addition to the standard school furniture, which consisted of double desks with movable sets to stand and long benches around the stove, so students could sit near the warmth of the stove.

The water for the school was furnished from a well with a bucket drawn by a pulley, with a rope.  Adjacent to the well shed was a coal house to store the winter supply of coal.

There were two out door toilets on the north side of the play ground.

There was a black board which ran the full width of the room.  In addition to the regular school classes there were spelling bees, oratorical contests, and debates.  Sometimes a neighboring school would visit to participate in the contests.

Some of the families attending Oakland School were: Bateman, Brantley, Brown, Butler, Clark, Cole, Cullen, Hendrix, Henley, Manley, Marvel, McDowell, Moore, Newcom, Norther, Parish, Payne, Powell, Railey, Roberts, Samuel, Shuttleworth, Slaughter, Small, Stanley,Steven, Threlkeld, Traylor, Utley, Wade, Wagner, Woodall and Woodring.

The school building also served as an auditorim for the community.  Sunday school and church services were held here and communities meetings, such as the Farmers Cooperative Association had their meetings here.

Oakland School consolidated with several other one room schools in 1929 and students were sent to the Mattoon school.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Mapleview Moments, Sept. 27, 2014

On Saturday, Sept 27, the Fohs Halls Community Arts Foundation presented Mapleview Moments.  This was a visit to our city cemetery, Mapleview, with a visit with some of our past citizens who once shared some of their history with us.  A very interesting tour was given.

Greeting the visitors as they arrived was Mamie Mapleview.  (aka Becky Tyner-Belt)

She was a ghostly spirit that roamed the earth visiting from place to place.

This day she chose Mapleview to land so she could welcome the visitors to the tour.

 Dressed in all her finery she was a sight to see.

Some of the other stops on the tour included:

Mr. and Mrs. Thomas H. Cochran (aka Chris and Allison Evans)

T. H. Cochran came to Marion from Livingston Co. in 1882 and began working in the hardware business.  He began the Cochran Hardware Co. in 1895.  The Cochran Hardware Store was one of the best stores in Western Ky.

Mrs. Clara Nunn Cochran came from the little community of Rodney, located on Hwy. 365 not too far from Bells Mines. 
She married T. H. Cochran in Oct. of 1933, being his second wife.  She worked in the store with him for several years and helped manage the displays and hardware.

Mr. Cochran died in 1952 at the age of 90 and Mrs. Cochran lived until 1968, being 87 years old.

Mrs. Mary Witherspoon Wilson (aka Phyllis Sykes).

Since husband Mr. Wilson was unable to be present for the visit he sent Mrs. Wilson to do the talking.  She brought alone his picture to share with us.

The Wilson family was very prominent in farming and well as Mr. Wilson was a very prominent business man in Marion.  He helped with bringing the railroad into Crittenden County, and at one time owned the Crittenden Springs Hotel.  He also helped with the organization of the Marion Bank.

Mr. Wilson also built the first permanent residence home in Marion in 1846.  It was known as the Wilsonia.  A grand home in it's time.
Mr. Wilson died Jan. 2, 1920 and Mrs. Wilson died March 25, 1925.

Next we met and spoke with Rev. James F. Price (aka Frank Pierce)

Born in 1853 in the Cave Springs area of Crittenden County.

Rev. Price was one of the most prominent ministers in Presbyterian circles.  He held many high offices in the church in addition to holding pastorates in eight Wetern Ketnucky cities.

He was also the organizer and founder of Crittenden County Singing Conventions. Was ordained a CP minister in 1881.

Rev. Price was also noted genealogist and historian. Many of his writings and articles have helped supply many of the historic facts that we know of today about the county.  He also wrote a small book on the Travis Family.  

He died Sept. 10, 1937 at the age of 84. Before he died he said  "I had a good life and tried to contribute to my community and be a faithful servant of the Lord."

Mrs. Grace Conditt McKee  (aka Ramona Ford) waited for the visitors under the shade of one of the Maple trees.

Grace was born in 1895 on the family homestead, located in the Forrest Grove Community.  Her parents were William and Martha Witherspoon Conditt.  

She was born in the original home of her grandfather, Uri Witherspoon, which is still standing today and we know it as the Wheeler Log Cabin on the Forrest Grove Road.

After attending school and teachers college she returned to Marion and got a job as instructor in the county school system.  Later she lived with her aging parents and took care of them.

She met her husband the Rev. Samuel McKee while attending church at the U. S. A. Presbyterian Church,  she was by then, 42 years old.  They married on June 28, 1937.

Grace didn't have a long life and she died on May 10, 1941 at the age of 46 years.
Ah, the wonderful old cemeteries, silent story tellers I call them.  They are so full of history.  Most everyone one has a story to tell.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Entrance To Mapleview Cemetery

The impressive stone entrance into the Mapleveiw cemetery,
 built in the winter of 1941.
In spite of bad weather, a former Marion boy, now a Major in the United States army, succeeded last winter in building a beautiful and lasting entrance to the Marion city cemetery, Mapleview.

The stone is native granite from Missouri, the home state of his mother. (from The Crittenden Press, May 1942)

On the right ride side of the entrance on a square piece of granite imbedded in the 
entrance wall are these unadorned words
 "A Memorial to my Mother, 
Sallie Hunter Hayward."

Mr. E. J. Hayward and family lived in Marion until 1916 when they moved to a farm across the river in Hardin County, Ill.  They didn't stay there long and in 1920 moved to Danville, Ky.  

Mr. Hayward was a prominent business man in Marion and was also very active in local and civil affairs. He is the gentleman that built the beautiful mansion, at the time, of the Hayward House, which is known by local's today as the old hospital.

The family must have loved Marion, for the family, though all died away from Marion, were brought back and buried in the Hayward family plot in Mapleview Cemetery.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Marion Baseball Teams

In the early 1900's baseball was a very popular sport.  There are several pictures of the baseball teams, but most of them are only identified with a last name.  I have tried to find first names for them, but have so far only found a few.

 In this post card pictures is Front row L to R: Butch Taylor, John Grimes, Gray Rochester, and __ Brown.
Middle row: ___ Moore, Bunk Perryman, ___Guess, ____Lamb, and ___Clark
Back row: Paul Gossage, ____Mitchell, Manager Baird, ___Justice and ____ Conley.

In 1919 still going strong and some of the baseball stars of that era were:
Front row: Bradburn Wheeler, Arnold Driskell, Ernest Conyer, Orville Lamb and Floyd Wheeler
Back row: Clifton Crawford, Schley Frazer, Jack Johnstone-Manager, Jimmy Kimsey, and Homer McConnell