Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Electricity In Crittenden County

This interesting history article appeared in The Crittenden Press in 1959.

The first electricity was put in Marion, Kentucky in 1900 by R. W. Wilson.  This small plant consisted of a 100 horsepower steam engine which would produce 1150 volts, single phase.

This was the best thing that ever happened to Crittenden County in an improvement toward its future business production.

This power plant was located on Depot Street near the railroad.  It was a very small plant that only ran at night.  There was a special time for people with electric washers to wash their clothes, which was on Tuesday morning.

The plant ran on Thursday morning until dinner so people with electric irons could iron their clothes.

The plant had a moonlight schedule, which meant they didn't burn the street light on a moonlight night.

In 1921 Mr. Marshall Jenkins, who had taken over the plant in 1915, put in two diesel engines.  One hundred horsepower and one fifty horsepower, 1150 volts three phase.  They ran steam in the day and diesel at night.

The only line going out South Main in 1900-1920 was one line going to Travis Street.

The Curry Nichols place (where the Crittenden Health Nursing Home is now) was the only one to have electricity in that neighborhood.  Nobody had electricity on Cherry Street.

In 1926 the Kentucky Utilities Company bought out Mr. Jenkins.  They ran lines to Mexico, Dycusburg, Frances, and Crayne.  

This helped the natural resources very much, thus enabling  the mines of that area to operate much better and they could get out more ore and ship out more.
In 1942 the R. E. A. came into the county.  The line ran down the Ohio River bottoms to Weston, to Dam 50, and to Tolu.  From Tolu the lines of the R. E. A. went all over the county.

Thus electricity again helped the county for this enable farmers to have electricity on the farm. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hills Dale Methodist Church

One of our old churches that has faded into the past, without much history recorded or any known pictures of it for us to see, is New Salem or Hills Chapel Methodist church. 

It was one of the first churches established in the county with it's beginnings starting in the 1830's.

The first structure sat on the little knoll on the left side of Copperas Spring Road (Flynn's Ferry Rd.) a short distance before you reach Piney Fork Cheek, just across the road from the James Conger Rd.

This building burned, as so many of the log structures did in those early days, and then the congregation was moved to a location near Tribune. 

They remained there for several years and then moved to where the Copperas Springs School house used to be, in front of where Paul Edward and Ruby Crowell live today.  (The old school has been torn down)

From this location it was moved back to Tribune in a new wooden frame structure and the named changed to Hill's Chapel, named for the person who donated the land for the new church.

Uncle Billy Joel Hill, as he was known to everyone, donated the ground for the new church house.  It sat on the left side of the road in the corner from Hwy. 120 and Hwy. 654 south.

The building burnt in the 1950's and the congregation formed the Union Grove Church that was located close to the Repton bridge on Hy 60 East.

In 1918 in honor of the Crittenden County boys serving in WW I.  Felta Virginia Hill designed and made the service flag in this picture.  A star for each young man in service.  It was dedicated to the Church.
Left to right:  John Marshall Hill, Ettie Maydew Hill, Felta Virginia Hill, Mary Adelia Hill and Henry Clay Hill.  This was the "Hill Family" of Tribune.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Towns of 1890

In a special Illustrated Edition of The Crittenden Press in August 1894, it tells about "Towns" in Crittenden County.
  • Tolu is located on the Ohio River, and is situated in the midst of a fine farming district giving it prominence, to say nothing of its importance as a shipping point.  There are dry good stores, groceries, a hard-war store, a gristmill, a sawmill, repair shops and other industries that go to make a thriving village.  The town was founded by J. W. Guess, some years ago, and has grown right a long.
  • Fords Ferry is one of the busiest towns of the county.  Early in the century it was a great crossing place and it is associated with the name of Ford.  The town has lost much of its ancient glory, but there is still considerable shipping don from that point, and there is one large general merchandise store and other smaller business affairs.
  • Weston is also on the Ohio River and is still a good business point.  The stores have good stocks of goods, and the cheap river freight rates gives it some advantages.  A good schoolhouse and church are among the institutions of the town.
  • Shady Grove is on the line that divides Crittenden and Caldwell counties and is not for from Webster and neighbors with Hopkins Co.  There are several stores in Shady Grove and the merchants enjoy a good patronage.  In the village are merchants, doctors, and ministers, and all the industries that make a complete community.
  • Iron Hill is a post office and country store, on the Marion and Shady Grove Road and a good deal of business is done there.
  • Repton is a new town new the Ohio Valley Railroad.  The railroad is a shipping point for a large scope of the surrounding country. There is a good store and the town promises to grow.
  • Crayneville is one of the most prosperous towns on the Ohio Valley Railroad.  There are two splendid business men here that run grocery stores and they keep goods stocked.  They have a small depot and a large tobacco factory.
  • Frances between Crayneville and Dycusburg, is a post office.  It has three stores and some good citizens.  Here is also located Liberty Lodge F. & A. M. and they have a nice hall.
  • View, another post office, is near A. H. Cardin's farm.  A well-filled country store, handled by a thrifty, stirring business man, and a splendid blacksmith shop constitute the business portion of the town.
  • Levias gets daily mail from Marion, has three stores and other enterprises.  There are some good business men here.
  • Sheridan has three stores, a blacksmith shop, a Masonic Hall and plenty of good citizens.  A daily mail runs out to Sheridan from Marion, and by Irma, another post office, and a good business point to Tolu.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Oak Hall Box Supper

In October of 1939, one of our little county schools was getting ready for a fun night at their school.  Probably to help raise some money for items needed at the school.  These were much looked forward to events, and the custom carried on for many years.

The old Oak Hall school.  Located on the old Ford's Ferry Road about six miles from Marion.  

The school was made from pupils from the Forest Grove district and the Heath district.

The schoolhouse was used through the summer months for church and preaching occasionally.  

The school formed a Literary Society and would meet every other Friday night.  The school children with the help of their teacher, gave programs, speeches, debates and recreation.  

An ad to announce the Box Supper to be held.
Don't forget the box supper at Oak  Hall Friday night, Oct. 6th.  Everybody come.  
If your think you are too old come - bring a box and see how young you feel -
 if you think you are too young - come and bring a box and see how "grown up" you feel.

These county schools formed a close social group with their community and everyone knew each other and worked together like a family.  That is why these schools were so important for a community.  

I attended Crayne school in the community of Crayne.  Although a few years later than this advertisement, we still had Box Suppers to raise funds for the school, what fun they were.  

Wonderful times to remember.  Thankful to have these memories.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Press Scribe Visits Shady Grove

Mr. J. B. McNeely, was the press scribe back in the year of 1912. As he visited all the little towns selling advertisements for the paper, he would write about them and then share the news with the readers of the Press.   Through these entertaining articles we can learn a lot of history about our towns of long ago.

August 25, 1912
Shady Grove is situated in the eastern part of Crittenden County near the Webster County line.  It is a village of about three hundred inhabitants and the merchants are enjoying a good trade.  
There are three dry good stores, one drug store, grist mill, post office and cold drink stand.  Here are the names of the business firms as we take them from our note book.  
  • Drs. Jeff McConnell and G. C. Collins are the physicians, and there are no better to be found in this end of the State.  They carry a stock of drugs in connection with their professional trade.
  • Owen Beard wants to sell you cold drinks.  Give him a call.
  • Messrs J. H. Lamb and W. F. McDowell are the blacksmiths and they can make anything from a horseshoe nail to a steam thresher.
  • Mrs. B. C. Birchfield wants to supply you in  the latest styles of ladies hats.  Call and see her.
  • Fred Lemon wants to trade with you, he handles a variety of goods.
  • W. D. Tudor is the postmaster and no better can be found than Willie Tudor.  He is polite and attentive to everyone that has business with him.  
  • T. C. Land is the barber; he is careful in his work and gives satisfaction.
  • Richard McDowell is the carpenter and is kept busy.
  • Tudor and Horning are dealers in general merchandise and controls a large trade, in fact, all that Shady Grove need to do is advertise her business for she is situated so as to draw a large trade.
  • Sheck C. Towery and wife, Josie, keep one of the best hotels in this section of the state.
  • Opportunity for worship is well provided for.  There are two churches, Baptist and Methodist.  
  • There is also a splendid school building.
All this wonderful old establishment buildings are gone now, only the Baptist Church building is still standing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hunt Brothers Feed Store

In January 1984, one of Marion's favorite stores was getting ready to close it's doors.  It had to happen sooner or later.  But the closing of Hunt Brothers Feed Store would be a sad day for many friends and customers.

The feed store was always a favorite loafing place for folks with a little time on their hands.  A good game of checkers or just a laugh or two could always be found at Hunt Brothers, and the 35-cent soft drinks were an attraction too.

But time just wouldn't stand still for the feed store.  After nearly 30 years in business at the East Bellville Street location, an era had ended.

The feed store opened its doors for the first time July 1, 1954, as Guess and Hunt, a partnership between Bill Hunt and Homer Guess.

On Jan. 1, the following year, 1955, John A. Hunt bought out Guess and the name became Hunt Brothers.

A few year later, in January of 1959, Arnold 'Shorty" Hunt replaced John A. in the business after John A's health wouldn't allow him to continue to operate the store.

Since then Shorty and Bill became fixtures in the place, and they catered to the needs of even the smallest gardener.  

Over the years, as the feed mills came to town, the large volume feed and seed business dropped off.  Where the store once sold 25 tons of feed per month, recent sales dropped to about one ton per month.  

But the slack was taken up by the paint business which remained good all along.  The store started with a line of Jim Martin paint, and also sold Vanex Color, Inc., paints.  

After 30 years of faithful service to the public, the friends and customers would miss stopping by Hunt Bros., and Bill and Shorty said they would also miss their good customers and friends.

Just one of our old county stores that has left good memories for a lot of people, and good memories of some fine Crittenden County folks.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Marion's Cannery

In 1943, Mr. W. R. Winfrey, county extension agent was working to get Marion to have a community cannery.  

A boiler was needed to establish the local center, after the boiler was accrued and placed the other equipment would be gotten without delay.  

The best location was found to be behind the Marion High School building on College Street.  (The building is still standing today.  It was later used as a Band room for Marion High School and then the location of the mentally challenged pupils.  Today it is an apartment.)

In August 1943 the cannery was ready for operations.  Facilities were available to anyone at the rate of two cents per can, or anyone could bring their own jars and lids if they wanted to.  If you didn't, these items could also be purchased at the cannery.

Someone would be present who was acquainted with the use of the equipment and proper methods of preparing foods for canning and preserving them.

All cans were to be sealed electrically with skilled workmen to handle the operation of the sealer.

The cannery was open all day and and also at night.  It was also equipped with tables and everything that was needed to prepare your meats and vegetables for canning.  There was only a small fee charged for people that did their own work, it was to pay for fuel, water and electricity.

In October of that year the Press tells that over 4,000 cans of corn and pumpkin had been cleaned, prepared, processed and canned by approximately 100 families.  Eighteen pints of jelly was made in 30 minutes and more than 2,000 quarts of vegetables canned.

In July of 1951 the cannery was still open and running, on a three day week schedule.

I don't have any information on when the cannery closed down or what happened to the machinery that was used.