Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Family Photographs

The old family photographs of long ago are a treasured item, especially so if they are identified.  Here are a couple that have the people named.

This picture was scanned from an old Crittenden Press.  It is the family of George Robert and Elexzea Catherine Brown.

Pictured are (back row) Daisy Pearl, Providence, Elmore Roe, Alvey Edward, Rebecca Jane, Frederick Udolphus.  (front row) Iler, Elexzena Catherine, John Clarence, George Robert, Martha Anne and Trovel Walker Brown.

It was taken it 1895, and was taken at the their farm west of Crayne, in the community of View, in 1895.

The family moved to Crayne in the early 1900s but retained ownership of the farm until the 1930's.  

George Robert Brown, died Jan. 28, 1911 and is buried in the Union Cemetery.  His wife, Elexzana Catherine (Fuqua) Brown died 1933 and is also buried at Union Cemetery in Levias, Ky.


          The Cochran Family about 1896.  (picture donated to the Museum by Don Foster, Burna, Ky)

The Cochran and Rochester families were prominent families in Marion in the early 1900's, associated with the city and county government and local businesses.
Front row: Healy Haynes Cochran, Nannie Rochester, Joseph Rochester, Nathaniel Gray Rochester, Nannie Moxley Cochran, Emmett Rodgers, John Thomas Cochran, Leona Miller, Mary Cochran Miller, Nannie Miller and Herbert Rodgers.
Back row: Elva Crider Cochran, Thomas Henry Cochran, Anna Cochran Rochester, Robert William Cochran, John Watts Cochran, Samuel George Cochran, Luther Miller, Dora Cochran Rodgers, and Robert Rodgers.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Look Back at Fords Ferry, KY

Once a busy bustling little river community located near the mouth of Crooked Creek where it flows into the Ohio River.  

In it's early days it was associated with the river pirates and evil doings that was part of our history during those years in the early 1800's. 

 There was a ferry here that carried pioneer folk from the Kentucky side over to the southern Illinois side.  

James Ford owned the ferry and had a ferry house here.  Thus the name was born for the town of Ford's Ferry.

By the 1900's Fords Ferry was a nice quiet village with several businesses located there and families that  called it home.

This picture shows how the town looked in the 1920's.  The first building on the right is a dwelling, middle building was the village store, post office and living quarters.  The last building was a millinery shop.  Picture shared by Patsy Ledbetter of Cave-In-Rock, Il.  Her mother grew up at Fords Ferry.  

There was even a hotel located here.  It was advertised in the local paper as the Bell City House, Fords Ferry, Ky.  M. D. Coffield, Prop.  Good rooms.  Dining room supplied with everything the market affords.  Special accommodation for commercial travelers.  Wish there had been a picture of it made and preserved for us to see today.
The Fords Ferry Post Office.  Sitting on the steps are: Virgie Price, with her daughters, Gertie and Elsie.  

Being so close to the river, the town got flooded several times.  It finally was the end to it after the 1937 flood.  Most folks moved away and didn't rebuild. 

Today there isn't anything left of the once busy river town of Fords Ferry.  A part of our forgotten passages.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Remembering Marion's Potter & Brumfield Plant

It was an exciting time for Marion and Crittenden County when the news of another plant was going to locate in Marion.  The hope of new jobs for our young people that could help them stay at home and have a good paying job.

The Potter & Brumfield Division of American Machine and Foundry Company first came to Marion in 1959.  It first opened in the former Southern Sates building on Hwy. 60.  

By January 1960 the firm relocated to a larger building that had formally housed Moore's Business Forms, on Moore Street.  Jack McWilliams was the plant manager.

In 1967 the plant employed about 400 employees.  They had outgrown the building they were now in and was going to built a new much larger plant on the Chapel Hill Road.

The new plant was started in 1969.

In Sept. 1984, the Potters and Brumfield plant celebrated with an open house.  Allen Summers was then plant manager.  

At this time the plant made thermoplastic moldings and electroplating for the P&B division of AMF. 

In 1985, the beginning of the end started when Siemens, A. G., a West German electronics conglomerate purchased the company.

Although it was several years before the company finally had closed, it never had the hometown feeling company it had been at the start, as many people from the new owners had leading positions in the company.

It was a sad day when we lost the Potter & Brumfield plant, later known as Siemens.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Remembering Marion's Moore Business Forms, Inc. Plant

                        Moore Business Forms -  1950-1984
It all started in March 1950, when citizens of Crittenden County, members of civic clubs, namely, Kiwanis, Rotary and Business and Professional Women's Clubs realized the economy of Crittenden County was dwindling, the population decreasing and our young people, especially young high school graduates, were leaving the county and even the state to make their ambitions a reality. 

The fluorspar industry was dwindling and there were no other industries to take it's place.  At that time all major fluorspar mines in the county except one, had closed for future use.  This affected more than 1,000 people directly or indirectly, and caused the number of unemployed to surge to a high number.   These were desperate thoughts and the time was right for doing something.

Then with the efforts  of the clubs and combined efforts of Boyce Moodie, Jr., Salem, and R. E. Rodgers, Marion, a search was started for new industries.  Moodie and Rodgers purchased the site and building of The Corod Minerals Corporation, on the outskirts of Marion hoping to interest an industry as a tenant. (This building is located on, what is today, Moore St.  Later this same building would house the new Potter & Brumfield plant)

Negations were made with several companies but nothing was available until May 1950 when an ad appeared in The Paducah Sun Democrat, the name of the concerned was not disclosed, but it was for a company in search of a location for a branch site within 75 miles of Cairo, Illinois.  The always alert Business and Professional Women's Club answered the ad with Rodgers' and Modie's permission to quote dimensions of their available building.  

Rodgers and Moodie and other citizens of Marion were successful in their negotiations and about Sept. 1, 1950, it was disclosed that Moore Business Forms, Inc., had chosen Marion to locate its branch plant.  Thus, the first industry to bolster the waning economy of the fluorspar industry.

 It wasn't long until the company had outgrown it's first location and a new, larger, more modern building was built near the main Highway, Hwy. 641.  It was a wonderful business to have in Marion, it provided jobs for many Crittenden County families, and gave the opportunity for people to stay and live in their own hometown.

The plant continued until the end of 1984, when the management announced that it's manufacturing plant here would could be the end of the year.  Many people lost their positions or had to be transferred to other locations if they wanted to continue their jobs with the company.  It was a devastating blow to the county and many surrounding families as well.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Casad and Clear Pond

I've written before how people's names and items of interest have been used to create names for post offices, roads and communities.  One of these long ago places was Casad, Ky.  What as odd name, and how did a post office and community become to be known by this name.

Some tidbits of information I found in the old Crittenden Presses led me to, what I think is the answer, to how Casad got it's name.   From the Crittenden Press, Aug. 8, 1897, it told that Mr. M. F. Casad of Cave-In-Rock was in town Monday.  He came over to perfect arrangements for putting up a mill on the R. N. Walker place, a mile this side of the River.  At the time the land was owned by Robert N. Walker.

Casad is located off Hwy. 91 North about a mile on the Easley Road.  In the early 1900's this was the location of a general merchandise store and also where the post office was located.  There was also a grist mill located next to the general store.  The mill was known as Casad's mill since Mr. Casad had built the grist mill.   

In 1915 when the post office was established for the section, it would be the natural thing to do to name it Casad as it would be located in the general store located next to the mill.  By now the surrounding area would be known as Casad.   Mr. F. M. Casad is buried in the Cave Hill Cemetery in Cave-In-Rock, Ill, just across the Ohio River. 

This area was also known for it's numerous naturals ponds.  The ponds were know for miles around and folks would travel here by horse and wagon to enjoy a day of picking and fishing around the waters.  The starting of these ponds were started by sink holes that had become stopped up. 

Clear Pond, in the picture above, was one of the larger ponds, it was also the scene of many baptizing form the area churches.  It was a very popular fishing place, and in later years 4-H camp would be held here and even a church service or two was known to have taken place here.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Civil War Story - The Blackberry Cobbler

Many incidents happened during the period of the Civil War that we will never know, perhaps even in some of our own ancestors life's.  A few incidents are known as they were handed down from generation to generation.  These stories are priceless to our history.

Here is a true story shared with me by Miss Helen Moore, who is now 95 years old.  It's titled "The Blackberry Cobbler."   Brownie Moore was her father.

Brownie Moore stood beside the kitchen table as he was being tantalized by the delicious smell of a blackberry cobbler that had just been taken out of the oven.  Brownie had gotten up early that June morning and picked the blackberries.  Now he could hardly wait to taste the pie.

Just then the salve boy, who was suppose to keep a lookout during the day for raiders, came running into the kitchen saying riders were seen coming.

It was Brownie and the slave boy's job to take what stock they had left to the woods behind the house and hide them there until the raiders were gone.

Brownie started out the door to help hide the animals, when he turned and ran back in the kitchen and grabbed up the blackberry cobbler saying, "I'm not going to let any raiders have my pie," and off he ran with his prized Blackberry Cobbler. 

The raiders came and searched the house.  They emptied out the flour barrel and found the silver that Brownie's mother, Nancy, had hidden in the bottom of it.  One of the men said, "Won't you women ever learn that the flour barrel is the first place we look for valuables.  All you women hide your silver in the bottom of a barrel."

The raiders took all the food and valuables they could find, but Brownie had saved his Blackberry Cobbler.

Robert Moore, Jr. and his wife, Nancy, had moved from Orange Co. North Carolina to Kentucky in 1834 and settled on a farm, on a high hill in what is now Crittenden County, about four miles west of Marion.  Today it is known as Moore Hill.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Train Wreck

Exciting days when the big black locomotives ran through Crittenden County, wheels turning and black smoke bellowing from the smoke stack.  So much history lost when the rails were removed forever in 1999.  

I'm sure there were many accidents and incidents caused by the big trains, but few were reported or written about in the local paper.  A few photos were taken of some of the wrecks and here is one of them.

Crittenden Pres, Feb. 1938.  Broken Rail Causes Wreck.  Six cars leave track early in the morning on thru freight from Evansville to Princeton.

A broken rail was the cause of a wreck of a thru freight on the Illinois Central lines about one mile south of the city early Monday morning.

Six cars left the track and three of them overturned.  The cars leaving the track and not overturing were loaded with coal while those overturning were loaded with starch, wheat, and potatoes.

None of the train crew were injured as the freight was reportedly moving at a slow rate of speed when the accident occurred.

The train, a thru freight from Evansville to Princeton, had left the local yards about two in the morning and the derailment occurred several minutes later.

A wrecking crew and crane were on the scene within a short time and traffic was not delayed as a result.

The damage was estimated at several thousands of dollars.