Friday, June 16, 2017

S. H. Hodge & Company, 1894

1894 - From Marion's early history, the town has been wonderfully favored with men of capital and advanced ideas, who have sought the dry goods and clothing parade, located within it's precincts and through its tempting displays, and made it a mart where dry goods are dispensed in volumes that would do credit to much larger cities and brought to its doors a trade that is far-reaching and steadily growing.

In this respect S. D. Hodge & Co., placed as one of the leaders for their enormous annual sales.

The individual members of the firm are S. D. Hodge and R. E. Bigham, both of men of superior business qualifications and marked executive and financial abilities, such as are destined to lead successfully an important mercantile life.

Their store building in 22.80, beautifully finished in hard wood, and made attractive by tasteful decorations and has ten thousand stock in fine display.

they carry dry goods, clothing dress goods, boots, shoes, and the very best of goods that can be bought in the wholesale houses of the north and east.

Mr. Hodge is a native Kentuckian and has been for ten years in the mercantile business.  He received his schooling from J. N. Woods, the merchant of Marion, who has sent from behind his counters into the active business world, scores of men whose success has been imminent since they opened their business to the public, and Mr. Hodge's success has been exceeding flattering.

S. D. Hodge & Co., have gained a fine reputation as dealers in clothing and have just opened up a stock to which they respectfully invite attention.  These suits are made from the most fashionable cloth, cut in the latest styles, so you can not fail to be suited, and they guarantee to fit you perfectly.
      ***
This store, I'm sure, had to have burnt in the 1905 fire of Marion's business district.  I don't have any knowledge of where it was located on Main St.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Ben Franklin Store Going 'Self-Service' 1956


 An inside view of the popular Ben Franklin Store in the 1950's.
It had anything that one would want or need. A wonderful place to shop.

An interesting article from The Crittenden Press in 1956 about the old Ben Franklin Store that was on Main Street.  One of everyone's favorite places to shop.

Joe H. Jones, owner of the Ben Franklin Store in Marion, this week announced that his completely remodeled store will re-open Friday, June 29.

The store is being completely remodeled for self-service, featuring all the most modern fixtures and equipment designed for the ease, convenience and pleasure of everybody's shopping.

In keeping with a rapidly growing trend, many home-owned Ben Franklin Stores all over America are going 'self-service' - because folks have proved that they prefer to shop this way.  They would rather look around, take their time, just the way they do in a library, or in a cafeteria, or in a super market, until they find what they want.

According to Mr. Jones this new self-service system is also the answer to all those exasperated shoppers who left their shopping lists at home on the kitchen table.  Actually, he says, shopping lists may  just as well be left there, because each self-service counter is a shopping list in itself.

A wide assortment of new, popular priced merchandise will be displayed everywhere, and every article will be within easy reach, with prices clearly marked.

Customers will find self-service shopping very simple.  When Mrs. Shopper finds what she wants, she places it in one of the handy light-weight baskets which are provided for her convenience.  The friendly Ben Franklin sales staff will be ready as always to give information and assistance when needed.

Every Marion resident is cordially invited to the grand re-opening of the new Ben Franklin Self-Service Store.


The store as it was announcing it's closing in June 1978.






 

* This store was last used by Paula's China Shop.  It has now sit empty for several years.  A sad, lonesome reminder of Marion's once busy Main Street.  As are several other empty stores on Main Street.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Rail Road Rumors


Railroad rumors in 1909 were that a new railroad would be coming to the county.

Crittenden Record Press Aug. 13, 1909 - Lige Curry, who is lumbering below Golconda tells his brother-in-law, Lee Yeakey a day or two ago that a actual work was in progress on the new railroad building from Golconda up the river to Elizabethtown and that from inside sources he had also learned that this road was heading for Cave-In-Rock where, in due time the system promulgating the scheme expect to bridge the Ohio River and run out to Marion, Ky., via the famed Crittenden Springs, as now a vast summer resort with a large hotel, crowded at this very time, with visitors, mostly from Evansville and Louisville, yet this new line is designed to open this great watering place more advantageously to St. Louis and Chicago society people.

The railroad would also run near the great Commodore mines on it's way to Marion and would be most useful in transporting their stock piles of zinc and spar to the depot in Marion.

It is 7 miles due south of Cave-In-Rock. This was good news to Mr. Yeakey who owns the Cave-In-Rock near where the north piers of the contemplated bridge will rest on solid limestone. 

As we all know, these were only rumors as the plans for this railroad never was even started.  These railroad dreams ended in 1910.  The Crittenden Springs Hotel was soon to be only a wonderful memory of it's glory days, and the Commodore had to continue to transport their minerals to Marion by horse and wagons.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Oxford, Marion's First Post Office


A post office was established in Marion, in 1843 and it was called Oxford.  It is believed this was the post office of old Livingston County that was at Oxford Academy, which was located near the former Piney creek Baptist Church site on Flynn's Ferry Road (now State Road 1077). 

 Early history states that the academy was named Oxford from its teacher, or teachers that were from Oxford, New York.

From other past history recorded the Oxford Academy must have been in the former site of the Brown Academy which was closed in 1824. 

 As you can imagine, history in this time period is hard to located.  

Since the new town of Marion was not on a main mail state road until after its incorporation, its mail was sent eastward to be mailed from the post office at Oxford Academy on the Flynn's Ferry Road.

When the new post office was established at Marion on April 29, 1843, Sumner Marble was the Postmaster.  The mail was postmarked Oxford until April 14, 1846, when the named was changed to Marion, alsmost two years after the towns incorporation. 

Postmasters during this time were Sumner Marble, April 29, 1843, James M. Smith, July 12, 1844, and Milo L. Smith, Dec. 16, 1845.

The post office was discontinued from January 21, 1862, during the Confederate occupancy and then reestablished again on April 2, 1862 under David N. Stinson, and has been in continuous operation ever since, although at different locations.

This is believed to be the Post Office, book store, and home of Mr. George Perkins when was postmaster in 1859-1861.  

It sat on the southwest side of the court house, where the Ambassadors of Christ Church is located today.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

May 10th, 2017 - Confederate Memorial Day in the South


Crittenden County In The Civil War -

  Crittenden County appeared to have been fairly regularly visited by Federal troops, although it by itself rarely served as a military target. More commonly it was an east west through route for Federal troops.

The largest military action in the county took place at Weston on June 21, 1864. The steamboat Mercury, carrying the entire 7th Ohio Infantry was fired on by Confederates as it passed the north end of town, the attackers firing from behind a bluff and buildings on or near it. The attackers apparently didn't realize the strength of the unit on the boat and were readily driven off by the firing of whole volleys from the boat. There were casualties on both sides, but the boat's captain refused to land to allow the infantry to burn the town, citing orders to not land on the Kentucky shore.

The second documented military action in the county occurred at Bell's Mines in the extreme northeastern corner of the county. Lt. Thomas W. Metcalfe with 46 men of Company C, 56th Kentucky Mounted Infantry departed Cloverport, Ky. on July 5th traveling through the Green River Country. They were attacked at Bell's Mines on July 13th by a reported 300 guerrillas and the force was reported captured by the Evansville Daily Journal of July 19, 1864. The company record gave its loss as one killed, 11 captured and 22 horses and rigging. 

The next dated incident in the county took place, again at Weston on September 4, 1864, when 14 Confederate prisoners who were being transported under guard on board the steamboat Colossus, overpowered their guards, killing several of them, and forced the boat to the Kentucky shore at Weston, from which pint the escaped.
(Some of this information from research History Pays, by James E. Jacobsen who was gathering information for the Civil War markers that were placed in our county in April 2005.)

Following are local stories handed down through families of some of the plundering and terrorizing that was done to innocent people. Most of the stories, that I have been fortunate to learn about, have been in the north and northeastern part of the county.

Out in the Cave Spring area on top of a hill was the home place of William and Mourning Brantley, (Now owned by Paul Edward Crowell). William was killed in his own yard standing by his well by a Capt. Fountain Hawkins as he and his troops plundered and terrorized the neighborhood. William wouldn't pledge his allegiance with the Union troops, so they shot him. The date was Jan. 13th, 1863. William was 70 years old. He is buried in the Brantley family cemetery not far from the old homestead.

 This happening is documented in a book titled "Incidents From The Farm Account Books of James Beard Crutcher 1857-1893, Union County, KY. By Tess Elliott". 
The entry in this book states "Nov. 14, 1865, The Grand Jury of Crittenden Co. found a true bill against Capt. Fountain Hawkins for the killing of William Brantley whilst in command of a Company of US troops. Brantley was a citizen and was killed at his own house some 2 or 3 years ago. Hawkins is arrested and was committed to the Crittenden Jail not allowed bail. Fountain P. Hawkins commanded Company A of the 48th KY Volunteer Infantry (North) all Union Co. men. 

I don't know what happened, but Hawkins didn't stay in jail, for later he was documented as raiding Robertus "Bart" Moore's store, (in the Mattoon area), cleaning out his smokehouses, and taking all of his metal farm implements and other items.

There were more men in Crittenden County that joined the Union Army than the Confederate Army.  There is only one government Confederate monument in Crittenden County, it is at the Repton Cemetery.  It belongs to Stephen F. Crider.
           Sir,  Thank you for your service, we salute you.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Crittenden County Folks - Jennie Clement

This article was written in the fall of 1936. It is about one of our Crittenden County folks, and a member of one of pioneer families that settled here and help make us what we are today. These articles give us a glimpse back in time to another way of life, a time when life was very different than we know it today. 

 Miss Jennie Clement with a group of her students at the White Hall School, just West of Crayne.

One fine autumn morning, nearly sixty years ago (abt.1876), a young woman, still in her teens, auburn haired and fair, gathered together books, a slate, tablets and pencils were few and far between in those day, and, dressed in her daintiest frock, tripped, light-hearted and gay, hopeful and ambitious, down a shady country lane in the southern apart of Crittenden county to open her first school.

The fine young woman who not only knew how to teach school well but how to make friends and get along well with both patrons and pupils closed her first school year with the praises of the community, still sounding in her ears.

The next year came and the next and then one and on, and this young woman continued to teach school, always giving her best in service to those communities in which she taught and teaching always, in addition to the Three R's, reading', riting' and 'rithmetic, those qualities which make of school children the finest types of citizens, common honesty, sobriety, truthfulness and an appreciation of the good and wholesome and worthwhile things of life.

For forty-six successive years, this girl, grown into mature womanhood now taught in Crittenden County Schools. Then she decided to leave the teaching of Crittenden County's

Young Americans to younger pedagogues and for a few years she watched the process of education in this part of Kentucky from the sidelines. 

Then she found that the old urge to teach was too much for her to resist so she went back to the work which she knew and loved best.

Four more years she taught. Then she came to realize that she tired too easily, the days were, oh so long, and that her eyes that only yesterday, it seemed, were aglow with the joy and sparkle of youth, were growing dim and that her vision was no longer dependable. Then this woman of high ideals and noble character, removed the clapper from her little school bell, closed her school record book for all time.

Looking back over the school records of Crittenden County for more than half a century, we find this Crittenden County teacher taught that first year, nearly sixty years ago, at Owen. Later she taught thirteen years at White Hall, two at Chapel Hill, two at Brown, two at Fairview and one or more years at Lily Dale, Crayne, Lone Star and possible at other places.

This woman in now 76. She always votes. If things are not run, politically, in the county, state and nation as they should be run she has the satisfaction of knowing that she did what she could to remedy them. She exercises her right of suffrage whenever the opportunity to vote presents itself. Is she worn out? No! In the local option election held in Crittenden County two weeks ago she had no way to come to town to register her vote against the sale of intoxicating liquors in her home county so she walked into town, a distance of some four or five miles, and voted.

Her parents were Henry and Sarah Clement. She makes her home now with her sister, Mrs. Susan Bigham, near Crayne, Ky.

A few days ago this Crittenden County woman who almost sixty years ago opened her first school at Owen in this county became the first person in Crittenden County to be awarded and Old Age Pension.

All Crittenden County will join in extending to this woman felicitations and good wishes and will unreservedly give their approval to the pension authorities of the county and state who saw fit to award this benefit to this most excellent woman. Her name? Possibly we did neglect to mention that – Miss Jennie Clement.

Miss Jennie Clement lived to be 82, she died at her home in the Chapel Hill community August 16, 1939 and was buried in the Chapel Hill Cemetery. For the past several years advanced age had prevented activities in school and school affairs around which her entire life was centered. 

One of the oldest school teachers in Western Kentucky, "Miss Jennie" was known, loved and respected throughout the county. For many years she was an instructor in the public school system and numbered among her pupils many of the successful men of today.
*******


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

City By-Laws - March 22, 1882


In 1882 the town trustees had been busy preparing some by-laws for our fair city.  The laws were to be abided by in order to make our town a better place to live.  Here are a few.  They still sound like good rules to live by even today.
  •  Any person or persons violating the law by not paying for a license to sell liquor, and continue to sell ardent spirits in the own of Marion, shall forfeit and pay a fine.
  •  Any person or persons, who shall be drunk within the town of Marion, shall be fined in any sum not less than $1 nor more than $10 or may be imprisoned in the county jail not more than 24 hours or may e both fined and imprisoned at the discretion of the court.
  • Any person or persons who shall be guilty of profane cursing or swearing, not in a clamorous or boisterous manner, in the town of Marion, shall be fined $1 for each offense and any person or persons, who shall be guilty of profane cursing or swearing, in the town of Marion, in a boisterous or clamorous manner, shall be fined not less than $2 or more than $10 for each offense.
  • Any person, who shall be guilty of an indecent exposure of his person in any public place or any grossly improper conduct in the town of Marion, shall be fined in any sum  not less than $5 nor more than $20 in each offense and in default to payment may be sentenced to hard labor upon the streets or other public works of the town.
  • Any person or persons who shall be guilt of running immoderately or recklessly riding or driving any horse or horses, or mules through or on the streets or alleys of the town of Marion, shall be fine in any sum not less than $1 or more than $10, in default of payment of any fine imposed under this section, the party so offending shall be committed to the county jail at the rate of $2 per day to pay said fine.
  • Any person, who shall be guilty of selling directly or indirectly an goods, ware or merchandise of any kind or quality in the town of Marion on the Sabbath day, except it be for shrouding, medicine or other articles of extreme necessity shall pay a fine of $2.50 for each and every offense.
  • Any person or persons who shall shoot off any gun or pistol loaded with powder in the town of Marion, shall be fined in the sun of $5 for each offense, except the same may be done in the protection of life or property.
  • Any person who shall engage in any game of chance playing of dice, cards, or either device whereat anything of value is be, won or lost, shall be fined for every such offense not less than $10, nor more than $50.