Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Early Rural Mailbox

Not to many years ago Crittenden County had many rural post offices and they meant a lot to the community.  All gone now but Crayne and Dycusburg and they are only open on a half-time basis.  Dycusburg in the morning, and Crayne in the afternoon.  These too will eventually fade away into our forgotten passages of time.

The late R. F. Wheeler of Marion, helped establish one of the first mail routes in Crittenden County from which some of the star routes grew.

This box was first located at the intersection of the Shady Grove and Porter Mill Rd.   On the left side of the metal box was a "penny case" on which a penny could be left when mailing a letter.

The letter was left in the "letter hook" inside the box.  The mail carrier would then stamp the letter and it was then on its way at a cost of only one penny.

This invention must have been a very modern convenience for the rural folks who weren't able to get to a community post office when they were in a hurry to mail a letter.  (This wonderful old piece of long ago history is on display at the Crittenden County Historical Museum.)

A letter that was post marked at the Shady Grove Post Office in 1947.

I love to see these old postmarks of long ago telling of the post office that they went through.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Honoring Our Veterans

The Veteran's Memorial that is located on the Courthouse square was dedicated in a special ceremony on Nov. 11, 1984.  It was sponsored by the local American Legion Post No. 111.

The marker, a black granite slab, was dedicated to the memory of all Crittenden County veterans who have died in wars this century.

Artwork, commemorating 
all five branches of the U. S. armed forces - Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard are engraved on the front of the marker.

On the date of the dedication, post members B. C. McNeely and Paul Sullenger removed a flag which had been draped over the marker prior to the ceremony.  Jimmy Watson lit five candles commemorating the efforts of the five branches of the American military.

Located close by the American Legion monument is a marble bench dedicated to Marion's National Guard unit.

Engraved on it "Defending Our Freedom" Co B 2nd Battalion 23rd Armor Kentucky Army National Guard" Marion, Ky.

The present day American Legion Post always has a meaningful Veteran's Day Program, but the Celebration's of yesteryear were very different.  Here is one that was in the Crittenden Press for Nov. 11, 1957.
Fohs Hall was the scene for a very colorful and interesting Veteran's Day assembly presented by the Marion American Legion Post.

After the student body and guests were seated, an honor guard, consisting of William Duke Taylor, J. R. Tharp, Wendell Travis and Guy Sullenger, presented the colors.  The Marion High School band played the National Anthem and then the pledge to the flag was given by all.  

Mr. William Allen, Judge advocate of the state, gave a stirring talk of wars starting with earlier ones and working up to the Korean conflict, and told the meaning of our Flag and what Veteran's Day will mean in years to come.

The band kept the theme of the day by offering their rendition of two patriotic numbers.

An American flag was presented to Mrs. Reba Gilliland, principal of Marion Grade School.  

To add to the celebration, the band marched from Fohs Hall to Main St., down Main to Carlisle, down Carlisle to the high school, playing the individual songs for each branch of the service.

Let us never forgot our brave soldiers and veterans and what they gave for us to have the freedoms we enjoy today. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Marion, A Thriving Town of Mercantile Establishments in 1926

This interesting article is from The Crittenden Press, Oct. 22, 1926.  Things were looks promising for the town of Marion.

Located in a beautiful valley, with just enough gently rolling hillsides to enhace its natural beauty, the little city is an attractive one. 

It is becoming and promises to continue to grown and become more attractive so as the residents, both native and adopted will continue to want to live here.  Her business enterprises are as thriving and as varied in their field of activity as are found in any community.

  • Banking Institutions.  The banking institutions are both splendid ones.  The Marion Bank stands on the southeast corner of the intersection of Main and Carlisle.  (now The People's Bank).    The officers of the Marion Bank are:  J. W. Blue, president; Sam Gugenheim, vice president; T. J . Yandell, cashier; Katherine Yandell Runyan, J. V. Threlkeld and Orville Lamb, assistant cashiers; Virginia Flanary Vaughan, bookkeeper.
  • The Farmers Bank and Trust Company stands on the northwest corner of Main and Carlisle and is the youngest of the two banks.  The building it now occupies, while not a very old one, has been recently remodeled and enlarged.  The officers of the Farmers Bank and Trust Company are: W. T. McConnell, president; R. F. Wheeler and C. C. Wheeler, vice presidents; O. S. Denny, cashier; Hollis C. Franklin, N. G. Guess and May Cook, assistant cashiers; Melba Williams, bookkeeper.
  • Dry Goods Stores - The Yandell-Gugenheim Dry Good Company; J. H. Mays and Sons, The McConnell Dry Good Store; The Carnahan Company; Taylor and Company; The H.V. Stone Company.
  •  Hardware - Two hardware stores are at present doing business in town.  The T. H. Cochran and Company hardware firm, located on Main Street, now consists of T. H. Cochran and L. E. Crider.  The assistants in the store now are Miss Clara Nunn, bookkeeper, and Dow Little salesman.
  • The Marion Hardware and Grocery Company devote one side of their building to their stock of hardware and the other to the grocery department.  The firm members are C. A. Daughtrey, E. F. Sullenger and W. D. Sulleger.  Mrs. Lee Mose is bookkeeper and Gabe Wathen asists as salesman.  The store is located on Bellville Street.
  • Hotel and Restaurants - Marion at the present has only one hotel, that being found aequate to the needs of the town.  A. S. Cannan is the owner and manager.  He has added to the original brick hotel on Carlisle the former Woods residence on the corner of Carlisle Street.  
  • The Sunrise Cafe occupies one section of the newly erected A. M. Shelby building on Bellville Street.  Guy G ivens is the propietor and has been in business at his new place only a short while although he is experienced in that business.
  • The newer of the two restaurants is the Marion Cafe, J. A. Elder, proprietor. Mr. Elder's business is located in Miss Mary Cameron's building on Main Street.  The building was formerly occupied by the Babb Cafe, owned by A. C. Babb.  Mr. Elder, the present manager is also police judge.
These are just a few of the many store that were located in  Marion in 1926.

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.