Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Winning Shady Grove Basketball Team of 1936

March 13, 1936 – All District Team
Shady Grove swept to the championship of District Five Saturday night at Fohs Hall by defeating Tolu 35-25.

In the afternoon session the semi finals, Tolu defeated the Marion Terrors by a one point margin, 23 to 22 and thus won the right to enter the finals against the upper bracket winner, Shady Grove. 

This game was the most hotly contested and hardest fought of the meet and especially so because of the fact that both of the favorites, Marion and Tolu, were placed in the same bracket.

In the opening session Mattoon defeated Frances 16 to 12 and Shady Grove emerged victorious over Dycusburg 57 to 16.

 Friday night Marion won over Smithland 54 to 6 and Tolu swamped Salem 58 to 8. The result of these games placed Marion against Tolu in the lower semi final bracket and Shady Grove and Mattoon in the upper.

Semi Finals
Saturday afternoon, in the semi final play Tolu won over Marion and Shady Grove beating Mattoon 25 to 17. By far the largest crowds of the tourney witnessed these two games and not until the final gun sounded did anyone know the outcome of Marion and Tolu so close was the score and the play. Both fives resorted to all teaching and strategy that was at their command with the result that it was the star game of the meet.

In a game marked by speedy play and featuring Towery, the star performer of Shady Grove, and the slanting shots of Belt and Hardin, of Tolu, Shady Grove won the meet and the right to represent the district in the regional play at Earlington this week. Tolu, the runner up, is also accorded the right under the ruling of the association and will likewise enter.

March 20, 1936 – Athlete From Shady Grove is Honored Player.

Carlisle Towery, pivot man of the Shady Grove quintet, Fifth District champions was named on three all star teams and second on another. 

Towery, a junior in the school is sixteen years of age and six feet and three inches tall. He was named on the Crittenden and Caldwell counties all start five and also that of the Fifth District; finally concluding the season by being placed on the regional second group at the meeting at Earlington last week.

Nebo winner, defeated Shady Grove, in one of the opening games but only after a hard fought battle.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Crittenden County Folks - Dr. Ollie T. Lowery

Crittenden Press   Aug. 12, 1938 –
In the passing of Dr. O. T. Lowery the county has lost a good citizen, and the community in which he lived has lost a public-spirited physician whose fine services will be sorely missed in the days that are ahead. 

Ollie T. Lowery, born 1883 in Tolu, Ky., was a son of T. W. and Sallie Matlock Lowery. O. T. Lowery also attended and received his medical training at the Hospital College of Medicine at Louisville, Ky. He was first married to Effie Parker of Salem. They had two sons, Thomas Wood, and Guy Allen. Effie died in 1922 and Dr. Lowery later married Jennie Pell Houston of Carrsville.

After serving in World War I, he opened an office in Marion but later moved back to his hometown of Tolu to be near his family.

Dr. Lowery’s obituary tells of his tragic death at his home in Tolu. Crittenden Press, August 12, 1938. Dr. Ollie T. Lowery, prominent physician, was accidentally killed by his own gun early Sunday morning at his home in Tolu.

Having been absent from his home at the bedside of a son in a Memphis, Tenn., hospital, Dr. Lowery was advised that his chickens were being killed by some unknown cause. Hearing a noise in the chicken house early Sunday morning, he aroused his housekeeper and the two of them went to the structure, about 75 feet from the house. Dr. Lowery took with him a .38 caliber pistol.

Upon reaching the chicken house he instructed the housekeeper to watch the outside of the building and see if a mink should escape through several holes in the foundation and walls. The housekeeper did as told and Dr. Lowery went into the building. Shortly thereafter the report of a gun was heard and Dr. Lowery moaned. Rushing into the building the housekeeper found her employer dead.

Spreading the alarm, nearby resident’s came to her assistance and the body was removed to the house. Coroner C. T. Boucher, Co, Atty. Stone and Sheriff J. E. Perry were notified and rushed to the scene. Boucher conducted an inquest and the jury returned a verdict of accidental death.
Survivors are five sons: Tom, Detroit, Guy, John, Herman and Ollie, all of Tolu; a brother Leonard, Sturgis, and a sister Mrs. Tom George, Salem. 

Dr. Lowery was a respected and loved family Dr. of Tolu. He never had office hours or appointments; he was on call when anyone needed him. In his last years, he wrote his prescriptions, filling them from his own drug room. He made house calls when needed, day or night. His referrals to a hospital for surgery were accurate, and his diagnoses were without any modern tests. Many remember how he stayed by a bedside, or the times he put the patients in his own car, took them to the hospital and stayed there until they were better. He was a comfort to the patient and also the patient’s family.

These old time doctors of long ago deserve a lot of credit. Dark nights, mud, roads, rain, snow, sleet, hail, wind and storm are but trifles in the lives of most of them, but for the average doctor back then, they were conditions, many times repeated, which must be met and endured. Irregular hours, sleepless nights, long grinds of watchful waiting, all were but parts of the day’s work for the average doctor in the small town and rural communities of yesteryear.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Fire Truck and new City Hall Building Signaled Exciting Times In Marion in 1927.

May 4, 1920
Marion City Council Meeting
The matter of the purchase of a fire truck equipped with the necessary apparatus for extinguishing fires came before the council. It was explained that with this apparatus costing only $2,500 would save the residents of Marion about $5,000 annually in fire insurance premiums, providing the city have the necessary volunteer fire department. It was voted that the truck be purchased.
Nov. 19, 1920
The new chemical fire engine which the city council purchased last spring arrived on Tuesday. A demonstrator from the factory came with the machine, which he assembled it immediately.
The apparatus is mounted on a Ford chassis and has a capacity sufficiently large to extinguish a fire of considerable size and will do it quickly. The engine is equipped with chemicals which when mixed produce Carbon Dioxide, the most effective gas known for fighting fires.
The new engine cost the city about $2,800, however the reduction in fire insurance premiums will be en ought to repay this in a very few years.
A volunteer fire department will be organized immediately. On their hands will be the responsibility of subduing in its early stages any conflagration, which might happen in Marion.
Jan. 7, 1927 – A New Fire Engine
The new fire engine ordered several months ago by the city arrived this week. This engine has already been tried out and is ready for use when the occasion arises. The guaranteed capacity of this new piece of fire fighting equipment is 500 gallons per minute and under test this week pumped 420 gallons in one minute.
With the old engine the firemen had to depend on water pressure alone in fighting flames but the pumping equipment on the new adds increased force and provides for the use of a larger number of gallons per minute.
April 8, 1927 – Council Votes to Purchase a Lot. According to plans presented to the city council, at their regular meeting Monday evening, by Councilman C. B. Hina, Marion is to have a municipal building.
Mr. Hina was the chairman of a committee named to look into the matter of securing a site for a proposed city hall and fire headquarters, and reported to the council that the lot belonging to W. E. Cox, located just north of the Masonic building on Bellville, could be purchased for $1,275.00
The proposed building would contain offices for the police judge, city clerk and mayor, with ample storage room for the fire truck and equipment, and a storeroom for other city property.
It is planned to construct this fireproof building at a cost of about $3,000.
April 22, 1927- City Installs Fire Alarm Controls. Marion has three new remote control stations for the operation of the fire siren. The installation was completed on Monday of this week by Guy R. Lamb and his assistants.

One of the new stations is at the corner of Main and Carlisle streets, on the Marion Bank side of the street, another is at the garage of the Stephens Motor company, where the new fire truck is kept (until the new location is finished) and the other is at the residence of the fire chief, D. E. Moore, on College Street.

The fire alarm system of the town now operates more systematically than ever before. During business hours all reports of fire are to be telephoned to the Stephens Garage, and after business hours to the residence of D. E. Moore or turning in from the street station by the Marion Bank.

 September 30, 1927 - New Modern Garage.  J. N. Boston and Sons are the builders of one of Marion's finest and most modern garage buildings in the state of Kentucky.  The building, which when completed, will be occupied by the Stephens Motor Company, and will have a front of pressed brick and side walls of glazed red tile.  It is to have a steel structure, and part of the front space will be occupied by a filling station.  Entrance to the main part of the building will be through the front and also from the side street.  A large show room with spacious windows will occupy the front part of the building.  The new Marion fire truck will also be housed in this new building.
(Pictures of the new Stephens Garage on South Main Street.  In later years it would house the Crittenden Motor Company and T. and W. Electric.  It's still a beautiful old building sitting empty.  (H & R Block uses a section during tax season each year.)  How about those gas pumps on the side walk next to the street.) 

Dec. 30, 1927 – Passing Year One of Activity. As the bells Saturday night ring out the passing of the old and herald the arrival of a new year, Marion people will perhaps be reminded by the triumphant ringing of the progress that this year, 1927 has brought to the town.

This year has seen the erection of a much-needed public building, Marion's new city hall, which occupies the Bellville Street lot adjoining the Masonic Hall. 

Council members at this time were: A. J. Baker, Albert Henry, George James, M.O. Eskew, C. B. Hina and E. F. Sullenger, Mayor – J. G. Rochester, Clerk – John G. Bellamy, City Attorney - John A. Moore, Fire Chief - D. E. Moore.

Monday, October 28, 2019

How The Ohio River Got It's Name

      A view of the beautiful Ohio from the hills of Bells Mines.

Away up in the Alleghenies, a tiny streamlet starts rolling, and tumbling, and foaming over rocks, leaping over toy cascades, gathering the water from a thousand ravines and gulches till it becomes a roaring mountain torrent; and still sweeping on, now skirting a rich meadow of bottom land, and now passing beneath the shadow of towering bluffs and beetling crags, it becomes a beautiful and romantic little river, and meets another stream that rises within the hearing of the awful thunders of Niagara, and after receiving many a sportive branch and rippling rill and foaming creek and watering many a farm and garden in Western New York, and Pennsylvania it, too, reaches the magnitude of a river. These are the Monongahela and Allegheny. Like two merry, rocking, romping children they unite their destinies and form the beautiful Ohio. 

How did this river get its name, and what does the name signify? What do we understand by the word Ohio?" Here is the legend:

An Indian chief of the Miami tribe then occupying the shores of Lake Michigan, with a small band of his tribe, wandered southward on a hunting excursion. A few miles from the Ohio they startled a deer from his cover and despite all their wiley maneuvering the wary animal eluded the hunters, frequently in sight but always escaping the winged shafts sent after him. 

The deer led the hunting party southward till late in the afternoon, when they suddenly emerged from the dense forest into an open spot on a high piece of ground overlooking the river. About the middle of the stream was the deer, bravely swimming for the Kentucky shore, and safely beyond the reach of it's pursuers arrows, but all thought of the deer was lost in contemplation of the exquisite beauties of the scene before them.

For five miles above and ten below the majestic stream was in full view. Kentucky, then an unbroken wilderness, presented a landscape of undulating hills and fertile valleys, all clothes in the rich, green foliage of May, that looked like a land of enchantment. 

The Indian Chief, in appreciate of the beauty of nature and in his wonder, and admiration, uttered the ejaculation, "O High O."  And the chief had unconsciously given to the noble river a name that was destined to go with it through untold centuries.

At a later day the French came to this territory and explored the river from Pittsburgh to Cairo, and reveled in its beauties. They called it "La Belle Rivire" – Beautiful River.

 Looking from the bluffs of Cave-In-Rock, Illinois to the Kentucky side.  The mighty Ohio River is a beautiful sight.

If you have never seen the view of the Ohio from high atop the hills of Bells Mines, or from the top of the bluff on the Cave-In-Rock, Illinois side, you have missed a beautiful sight. Truly one of Crittenden County's treasures.  But the river can have a destructive side too, when the heavy rains cause it to flood into the low lying areas of her shores.  But today we look at the beauty.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

The Church That Was Never Finished

I wrote this article in April of 2008.  Has some good history about Tolu.

The Church That Was Never Finished
This is an interesting article concerning another church that was planning to be built at Tolu in 1921 but never got any further than a corner stone built and a marker engraved. The article appeared in the July 8th, 1921 edition of The Crittenden Press.

The Cornerstone of the Tolu Methodist Church was laid Monday, July 4th in the presence of the largest crowds that ever assembled in Tolu.

The ceremony was under the auspices of Hurricane Lodge 571 F & A M with Dr. Arthur Mather acting as Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Kentucky.

The program for the day was started by a concert by the Marion and Tolu orchestras, followed by the Marion Methodist Male Quarter. The concert was followed by a number of speeches by some of the most prominent men of the country. T. C. Bennett acted as Chairman. Addresses were made by Dr. A. Mather, Rev. J. W. Turner, Hon. C. S. Nunn, W. D. Cannan and Hon. J. W. Blue Jr. Miss Mary Elizabeth Bennett, daughter of T. C. Bennett recited the Declaration of Independence.

Immediate after the speeches came one of the most enjoyable features of the day, the barbecue dinner. There was an abundance of meat, which was cooked in true barbecue style. Hogs, cattle and sheep were prepared for the feast and then there were salads, pickles, breads, pie and lemonade. It was estimated that over 2000 people were fed. The feast was spread on the spacious lawn of Mrs. J. W. Guess adjoining the lot on which the new church is now being built.

Immediately after the barbecue the members of Hurricane Masonic Lodge No. 571 with members from adjoining Lodges met in their hall about the Farmers & Merchants Bank with the following officials in charge. Dr. Arthur Mather, Grand Master, W. D. Cannan, Deputy Grand Master, T. T. Guess, Grand Senior Warden, A. J. Bebout, Grand Junior Warden, C. S. Nunn, Grand Secretary, J. W. Blue, Grand Treasurer, E. R. Williams, Grand Senior Deacon, E. J. Travis, Grand Junior Deacon, R. W. Wilborn, Grand Marshal, C. E. Mayes, Grand Steward, Lem Bozeman, Grand Steward, M. V. Arnold, Grand Architect, C. W. Love, Grand Tyler.

       This was the corner stone that was talked about in the article.
The procession was then formed and the company marched to the site of the new church.
After the ceremonies of laying the cornerstone Dr. Mather read an inspiring and eloquent address. A copper receptacle containing the following articles was place beneath the stone, Bible, Discipline, Nashville Christian Advocate, Central Methodist Membership roll, names of Bishop Denny, Rev. T. L. Hulse, Rev. O. M. Capshaw, Dr. A. Mather, those of the building committee and a copy of the deed.

The new church will be one of the most magnificent for the size of the town in the state. It is to cost $22,000. and will be most modern and well built. 

Everyone present had the best time that could be possible. There was an abundance of eats, entertainment for everyone, good speeches, good music and a shady lawn to rest on.

Mrs. Myra Guess Hamilton who lives on her ancestor's home place, the J. W. Guess place, told me that she wasn't sure why the church never was built, unless the money was never raised to finish the church.

 The old corner stone still stands in the empty lot adjoining Myra's yard, and the engraved corner marker has a home in Myra's flowerbed.

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Marion's 1958 Pony League


Front row L-R: Truman Croft, Jim Guess, Lynn "Lefty" Birdwell and John O. Hodge; 
Middle row: Jimmy Alderdice, Eddie Joe Burkalew, Donald "Hurtsey" Easley, Buck Travis, W. A. Franklin and asst. manager Gerald Tabor.
Back row: Carson Davidson, manager, Frankie Browning, Allen Franklin, Jesse Bennett and Asst. manager, Lonnie Burkalew     (not shown that was in the group were Jerry  Abell, Jimmy Love and bat boy Steve Davidson.)

What a team. First Little League squad was probably Marion's best ever

It was 1950. The “Korean Conflict” was on everyone's mind. The post WW II prosperity was hitting full stride. A strange new sound called rock-and-roll was eminating from radios in teenager's hands all across the country.

In Marion, 1950 was the first year for Rotary Club Little League baseball. That first team was coached by Orville Pfunder and Carson Davidson. Mr. Pfunder one of the organizers of this group and surely never in the history of the community has any one man done more towards making a success of this project. 

Davidson believes, and with good reason that that first team was probably the most successful, on or off the diamond, that Crittenden County has ever fielded. Fourteen players, a bat boy and Davidson worked their way from little league in '53, '54, '55, and '56 to Pony League in '57 and '58, American Legion ball in '59 and the Marion High School team after that.

Six of the team went on through college, three on baseball scholarships. One was named to the Murray State Hall of Fame, and one had a tryout with the St. Louis Cardinals.  

Lynn "Lefty" Bridwell was named to the Murray State Hall of Fame for his southpaw pitching.

 Donald "Hertsey" Easley was the shortstop.  Easley graduated from Marion High School, and was given the opportunity to try out for the St. Louis Cardinals. 

 Jim Guess was the man behind the plate.  He won a baseball scholarship from U. K., but went to Kentucky Wesleyan in Owensboro.

Jimmy Alderdice played second base. Alderdice played baseball at David Lipscomb College in Nashville.
Davidson said, one of the thing that always stood out to me about these boys was that they were such an intelligent and hard working group. The most rewarding things is to know that baseball helped these boys going out into everyday life, some of them got scholarships for school, and seeing how these boys turned out in everyday life.

Mr. Davidson said he was assistant coach under Orville Pfunder when the team took to the field the first time as Little Leaguers. He took over during their last Little League season and guided them through Pony League and American Legion play.

The best season was 1954. The boys were in Pony League and went 20-1 on the season.
The boys biggest opposition came after they moved into Legion ball in 1955. They came face to face with the Paducah Chiefs.

The Chiefs weren't your standard American Legion team. Their roster boasted names like Hawk Taylor, who went on to play catcher for the Milwaukee Braves, and who was thrown out of a ball game here by umpire Jim Fred Mills. Phil Roof, who shuffled around the big leagues for a while, and Charlie Loyd, U. K. pitching ace, were also with the Paducah Chiefs.

The teams split regular season games and met in the finals of the sectional tournament after winning their respective regions. The Marion boys suffered one of their infrequent defeats, 4-3.
The boys moved into high school the next year, a few going to Crittenden County High and most to Marion High. Lefty Bridwell transferred to MHS from CCHS to play with his long-time teammates.

The MHS team took the runner-up position in the regional tournament, losing to Murray High School 1-0 on a balk. The call was one of the most controversial in the history of high school baseball in Kentucky.

Davidson said, “I still think we had a better ball team than they did. Our pitcher (Bridwell) had a no -hitter until the balk call. I believe the umpire was honest in his thinking, but it just didn't work out for us. He said later that he never would have made the call if he'd have known what it would have started.”

As with any group of young people, the boys went their separate ways after high school. In later years, Davidson said, he felt that this first little league team gave a strong start to the Little League program in Marion, a program he feels has improved over the years and been good for our youngsters.

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

Declamatory Contests - An Important Part Of School Activities Of Long Ago

A much looked forward to event of the schools of long ago were the Declamatory contests. The dictionary states that Declamatory is a formal speech made in public and spoken with great emotion and force. The matches must have been full of tension and emotion as to see who the best and forceful speakers were.
From the archives of The Crittenden Press lets go back visit some of these exciting events. Memorizing daily assignments were very much a part of school then, it called for much focusing and concentration on what you were trying to learn.

Feb. 23, 1923 – Oratorical and Declamatory Contest
The preliminary oratorical and declamatory contest was held at the Marion Graded School auditorium. Mr. Richard Hicklin, son of Mr. and Mrs. James Hicklin, was the winner of the gold medal in the oratorical contest.

 Richard  Hicklin - Gold Medal Winner

 Miss Thelma Travis was the winner of the medal in the declamatory contest. The subject of Mr. Hicklin's oration was The Masked American. It was a great composition and was effectively delivered. 

 Thelma Travis - Gold Metal Winner for her story telling.
 Feb. 22, 1924 – Declamatory and Oratorical Contestants Draw Crowd
Weeks of preparation had put the contestants of all the grade schools on edge and eager for the opportunity to display their talents to a large audience which was just as eager to hear them. So many young ladies had wanted to enter the contest that an elimination contest had been held in private, the five winners of which appeared last Friday.

The two winners were, Miss Elizabeth Haynes, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Haynes of Marion and Mr. Ryvers Sarlls, of near Bells Mines. Miss Lois Hicklin read "The old Nest" as the opening number, following an invocation. Miss Hicklin's portrayal of this literary gem was a very charming one. Mr. Avery Reed then appeared with "The Self Supporting Student" as his subject. "Peg O' My Heart", one of the sweetest stories in all English literature, was then read by Miss Virginia Terry.

"The Master Passion" was the subject Mr. Thomas Nelson had chosen. Misses Margaret and Blanche Guess sang a beautiful number at the close of this and were heartily encored. Miss Dorothy Haynes then appeared with "Flaming Ramparts" a reading requiring much dramatic ability to effectively render and Miss Haynes did wonderfully well. Mr. Ernest Hughes then spoke on "A Nation's Honor," Mr. Hughes has the possibilities of making an unusually good public speaker.

Miss Ada Nelle Frazer had chosen "Why the Chimes Ring," a reading which requires much natural ability and intensive training to render at all effectively. Mr. Ryvers Sarlls then appeared with the winning oration, "Character." It was well delivered and with further training Mr. Sarlls should make on the county best young speakers.

Miss Elizabeth Lee Haynes then appeared with a dramatic reading , entitled the "The Valiant," It was beautifully read and presented.
October 26, 1926 – Contest at Mt. Zion A Great Success
The declamatory contest for Division Four of the county schools was held at Mt. Zion last Friday evening. The contestants were; Gretna Woody of Seminary School; Vivian Sullivan of Prospect; Eugene Beard of Baker, Bertha Kirk of Heath, Gwendolyn Gahagan of Weston, John Fowler of Oak Hall, and Hughie Wilborn of Post Oak.

The gold medal was won by Hughie Wilborn and the silver medal by John Fowler. The Cave Spring quartette, composed of Mr. and Mrs. Virgil Drennan, Ray Brantley and Dallas Little added much to the program. They will sing at the final contest on November 20.
Nov. 19, 1926 - Contest at Frances
The declamatory contest in Educational Division Two was held last Friday at Frances. All of the contestants from the different schools had splendid readings and had been well trained.
The gold medal was won by Miss Ruth Hard, a pupil of Mrs. Bessie Oliver at Caldwell Spring. The second prize, a silver medal, was awarded to Miss Anna Belle Hunter, of the Mexico School. Miss Hunter is a pupil of Wilton Yandell.
This beautiful gold pin that was the prize for the person that won the Declamatory Contest.  

Much hard work and time went into the students practicing to be in this speaking contest.

But this pin was worth all the hard work and effort.

I wonder how many of these once prized pins are still out there somewhere, tucked away in the back of a drawer or in a dusty box or trunk in a family's attic or basement and them not knowing the history of the Declamatory Pin.