Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Fords Ferry Road, August 1925


Here's is an interesting article found in the August 21, 1925 Crittenden Press.

FORDS FERRY ROAD GETS FEATURE PAGE STORY.

Courier Journal of Sunday, August 16, Devotes Page to New Project and to Historical Legends of Early Days.

In the feature section of the Courier Journal of last Sunday a whole page was devoted to our new Ford Ferry and Cave in Rock.  It said in part:

On a decision of the Illinois Highway Department, expected next month, hangs the hope of a large section of Western Kentucky for the early construction of an inter state highway which, in Kentucky and in Southern Illinois, will traverse a section as filled with history of dark deeds, romances, crimes, and unmentionable tales as the landscapes of the section are filled with midsummer haze. 

The road, which will connect the section through which it is to be built with concrete roads Illinois is building, now financed partly by bond issues totalling $160,100,000 and give to Southern Illinois a inlet to the Louisville-Paducah road, now under construction, will run from Hopkinsville to Princeton, Marion, Fords Ferry and Cave in Rock.

Mystery surrounds Fords Ferry.  The man whose name is attached to that Ohio river point remains a man of mystery after a century.

Historians are as yet unable to unravel his secret.  Legends ascribed to him the leadership of bandit in the section during the early years of the Nineteenth Century, but his character and life will ever remain in doubt - whether it was the whole truth or not.

Cave in Rock, which is on the Illinois shore near the ferry, is a most interesting point. About it centered crimes of which many early voyageurs of the Ohio river were victims.

The pirogue, the batteau and the flat boat of the early trader often found Cave in Rock thier last port of call, and the brave crews saw their last glimpse of earth near it's portals.

The bandits and pirates of Cave in Rock would have shamed Blackbeard and Jean Lafitte by their misdeeds.

The status of the road, is Kentucky's treasury will have no funds available for roads until July 1926.  The possibility of its construction before that time is to have it designated a federal highway and let the surrounding counties aid in the construction.  Mack Gailbraith, federal engineer in Kentucky, has recommended it as a federal highway on condition that it be so designated by Illinois.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Marion Graded School Building


Evelyn Graves wrote this about the Marion Graded School building in1926.

The graded school building stands on the corner of College and Carlisle streets, its front entrance facing the post office building and the side entrance facing the Methodist church.

The main part of the building was constructed in 1894 when Charles Evans was superintendent of the Marion school system.

The building was used for the first time Jan. 19, 1895 and in it seven teachers were employed.  Both the graded and high school were housed in it.

In 1904 the school district realizing that the new graded and high school building was entirely too crowded, voted bonds for an annex.  With this new section, the present auditorium and the class rooms above the building, now used for the graded school alone, the school was completed as it now stands.

The first high school class that graduated in Marion consisted of two, Edward Gray, now of Ardmore, Oklahoma, and Perry Maxwell, also of Ardmore, who graduated in 1896.  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Some Early Crittenden County Pioneer Citizens


Here is some history and genealogy of some of our early pioneer citizens.

Crittenden Press, Nov. 9, 1903.

James Hickman Walker. 

He was born on a farm near Tolu, Nov. 14, 1827 and spent his early life on a farm.

As a young man he became associated with the government of the county.

He was appointed deputy sheriff of the county for three years and four months, beginning in 1851.

 He was elected sheriff in 1854, and re-elected in 1856. He was deputy U.S. Marshall in 1860, and census enumerator in 1860, taking the census of half of the county.

He was elected Clerk of the Circuit Court in 186t2 and served in this office until 1874.

He was a splendid official and served in each office with credit to himself and the people who elected him.  

James Hickman died June 16, 1906 at the age of 79.  He is buried at Mapleview Cemetery with his wife, Hortense Gregory Walker.  


Crittenden Press, Sept. 19, 1895

Robert W. Foster

R. W. Foster was born in Oldham County, KY., Sept. 7, 1817, and was a son of A. G. and Lucy Duerson Foster.  His parents came to Kentucky at an early day.

 Mr. Foster came to Crittenden County in 1852, and settled on a portion of the land he owned at his death.

He was a most successful farmer and at his death owned one of the finest farms in the county.

He was postmaster at the Hurricane post office for several  years.

He was never married and for years his widowed sister, Mrs. Threlkeld, has kept house for him.

He had a lovely home overlooking the valley of the Ohio and there surrounded by all that was needed to bring comfort to him.  

He passed away on Sept. 14, 1895 and is buried in Mapleview Cemetery.  His sister, Susannah F. Threlkeld is buried next to him.


Crittenden Presss, July 1896

Phineas C. Barnett

Phineas C. Barnett was born in Warren County, Ky., Feb. 16, 1809.  His family moved from Kentucky to Missouri, where he remained until he was 17 years old when he returned to his native state, and a little later he entered Cumberland College at Princeton.

In 1835 he came to what is now Crittenden County and settled on the farm where he spent the last 60 years of his life, located a few miles outside of Tolu. 

He had a love of fine horses and had several of these on his farm.  He was an industrious man of his day and owned a large amount of land and operated a successful farm and livestock herd of cows and horses.

In 1831 he was married to Miss Jeanetta Threlkeld.

Mr. Barnett died at his home near Tolu, on Friday July 24, 1896.  He was buried in the Barnett-Miles Cemetery located outside of Tolu on his farm.

The old Barnett-Miles Cemetery is located today on land that belongs to the J. T. May family.  It has been destroyed many years ago by cattle.  All the stones are knocked down and some even missing. 

The Barnett name today is remembered  by the Barnett Chapel's Church and also the county road that is named the Barnett Chapel Rd where the church is located. 

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Marion's Newspapers


There is a saying that goes "The local paper is the fabric of a town, they give small towns their identity."

Here is some history on the newspaper of our town.
  • In February, 1878, the MARION REPORTER was founded by J. J. Nall, R. H. Adams and James M. Clement.  It was ran under this management until October 1878, when it was turned over to C. F. Champion and R. C. Walker to see if they could increase advertisement subscription, the lifeblood of an infant newspaper.  But unable to put the Reporter on a profitable basis by the end of the year, the paper was returned to its owners.  Murrell Adams issued one number in January 1879.
  • R. C. Walker founded the CRITTENDEN PRESS, May 28, 1879, on a five-column outside patent as a weekly.  Like the other Marion businesses it experienced an amazingly rapid growth from 1879 to 1894, and it grew to a seven-column outside patent to an eight-column all-home- print patent by 1894.  Press subscriptions grew from two hundred (200) to five hundred (500) in the first few years to fourteen hundred (1,400) in 1886 to eighteen hundred (1,800) in 1894.  The PRESS no doubt prospered on a similar scale under Walker until it was sold to S. M. Jenkins about 1903.(The paper was first known as "Crittenden Press", when Mr. Jenkins took over the paper in 1894 the word, "The" was official added to the title.)
  • A few years later the MARION MONITOR made its appearance before the public, B. F. Copeland being the editor and publisher of the new paper.  After a short and financially unsuccessful run, Mr. Copeland sold out to S. C. Haynes and at the death of Mr. Haynes a year later, the paper passed into the hands of A. C. Moore and W. S. Adams, and finally into non existence and restful oblivion, the Press taking over the type and fixtures of the plant.
  • On July 15, 1904, the firm of  James E. Crittenden and C. H. Whitehouse founded The CRITTENDEN RECORD which was greeted with almost instant success by the growing community as is shown by the subscriptions which grew from fifteen hundred (1,500) soon after it started to over two thousand (2,000) by the time of dissolution of the Crittenden-Whitehouse Firm in November 1905.    In 1912 the homeless Crittenden Record merged with S. M. Jenkins' Crittenden Press and Jenkins edited and published The Crittenden Record Press through 1917.  The name was eventually changed back to just The Crittenden Press as we know it still today.
Although The Crittenden Press has changed hands several times through the past years the name has stayed the same.  And although many of the younger generation prefer to get their subscription to the paper on line, many of us still love to be able to hold our beloved Crittenden Press in our hands and leaf through the pages to read about our town and community.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Early Beginnings of Our County Roads


Some interesting county road names and their origin.

  • Flynn's Ferry Road - As named in the County Court Order book, dated 1845, had already been established and was probably the earliest trail through the county.  It was George Flynn, who opened his Ohio River ferry in 1803, and caused the widening of the trace or trail into a wagon road.  This wagon road was improved all the way from Flynn's Ferry landing to the the home of William Prince, who lived at the big spring, which later became the site of Princeton.  When the early pioneer migration started the Flynn's Ferry Road became the main highway for the overland-traveling pioneers to Illinois and the trans-Mississippi region to the west and northwest, and it is said that a covered wagon was always visible on this road.
  • Ford's Ferry Road - Was named after James Ford that ran a ferry from the Kentucky side to the Illinois side of the river.  In the early days before we were Crittenden County, this was also a main trail that was traveled to get to Fords Ferry in order to cross the river to the Illinois side.  The little village where the ferry was located was also named Ford's Ferry.
  • Daniel's Ridge Road - Was named for the Drury M. Daniel family that lived there.  The Daniel's family was an early pioneer family that came to Crittenden County from Bedford Co. Tennessee in 1850 and settled in the area.  Drury M. Daniel was a country Doctor, he was engaged in the practice of medicine in the county for 24 years.
  • Cotton Patch Hill Road - According to Uncle Bob Heath, an old gentleman of years past, tells us that in the 1800's a wild, fierce woman, named Mrs. Clayton settled on what we know as Cotton Patch Hill.  Here she built a cabin, hunted wild animals, and cleared and fenced about an acre of ground on which she planted cotton.  After living on the hill a few  years she went away as suddenly as she came.  After she left the hill was always referred to as "Cotton Patch Hill."
  • Nunn Switch Road - Back in the 1880's the family of Samuel and Sarah Nunn lived in this area.  In 1886, the Illinois Central Railway bought their home place and some of their land, as it was needed for the new railorad that would be coming through the county.  The extra land was needed for a place to build a depot and loading pens.  After the Nunn's sold part of their land to the railroad the depot was built there, and it was given the name of Nunn's Swith.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The Noirma Club Of Marion


The Noirma Club of Marion.  Mrs. J. W. Blue, Mrs. G. M. Crider, Mrs. Charles Evans, Mrs. T. H. cochran, Mrs. A. Wilborn, mrs. W. B. Yandell, Mrs. Carrie Maxwell, Mrs. J. T. Franks, Mrs. A Dewey, Mrs. P. H. Woods, Miss Nellie Walker, Mrs. S. M. Jenkins, Mrs. J. H. Orme, Mrs. G. C. Gray, Mrs. R,. F. Haynes, Mrs. J. J. Clark, Mrs. H. A. Haynes, Mrs. H. K. Woods.

Oh yes, Marion in its day had societies for the town ladies, clubs of different kinds, musical gatherings and many interesting things to keep them busy.

One of these was The Noirma Club.  It was formed in 1900.  The officers were: Mrs. T. H. Cochran, president; Mrs. W. J. Deboe, vice-president; Mrs. G. M. Crider, treasurer; Miss Nelle Walker, Secretary. 

The president made the following address.
 We are all familiar with the old saying, "We can not stand still; we must not go back."  I wish we each might say, "we will not go back,"  Let us hitch our wagon to a star as we used to do when we were school girls.  

We can not rise higher than our ideals, as we all know.  I know of no more royal road to success in all that is broadening and elevating in thought, in enriching and happifying our lives, in teaching us to be of service to others than this same course of study.

Another thing, let us be more punctual in attendance.  We have read and heard all of our lives, of the value of punctuality, but we have scarcely begun to appreciate its importance. 

At some of their meetings they studied about music.  At one meeting at the pleasant home of Mrs. W. O. Tucker,  Schubert composition both instrument and vocal and his life was discussed. 

 The object of these musical meetings was to create a greater interest in music, to study the music and the lives of the old masters and the history of music. 

My note: I wasn't able to find any information if the Noirma Club was a nationally known club for women, or perhaps it was just formed locally.  The name is an odd one,  if you un-jumble the letters it also says "Marion."

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4th of July - Once A Big Event In Marion


(From the files of The Crittenden Press, July 4th, 1949.)

All Roads Will Lead To Marion Monday, July 4th.  It is going to be one one of the biggest and best ever to be given in many years. 

The fun starts at 8 o'clock on the court square with the High School band assisted by Ray Wilson and the boys of his band.

There will be hand sawing contests and nail driving contests, and for the women, egg contests, and cracker eating contests for children, and most of all let's not forget the babies.  There will be a baby buggy rolling contest and the mother must bring long the babies in their buggies and strollers and enter the fun.

From there the fun moves to Grady Field where there will be many games and plenty to eat.  Barbecue, hot dogs, hamburgers, soft drinks and ice cream and other goodies will be available.

Boxing matches will be one of the main featues of the morning.  Paul Woodall has promised plenty of action for all attending.

At 2:00 p.m. there will be a softball game between the Marion Globetrotters and Frances.  This is expected to be one of the hottest games of the year.

The bands will give another concert at 7:00 o'clock which will be worth traveling miles to hear.

There will be ponies to ride for the kiddies, the well-known Bingo game, and other games where the older people may enjoy themselves.

The most complete arrangements of fireworks ever to be displayed in Western Kentucky will start at 9:00 o'clock sharp, so let nothing keep you away from Marion on this glorious 4th of July. 

***
My thoughts:  These wonderful old days of community fun gatherings are gone, for now nearly everyone leaves town to find entertainment somewhere else, and it's just another empty day as usual.