Monday, August 18, 2014

A Spring Of Diamonds


One of my favorite topics of our past history is the wonderful story of The Crittenden Springs and Hotel.  This interesting little article and picture appeared in a special 1902 Illustrated Edition of The Crittenden Press.  (used with permission).  This special edition was promoting the fluor spar and mineral  industry in our county and some other important points of interest at the time.  

I day dream of what it was like to stay at this wonderful place and enjoy the beauty of the Hotel and the scenic countryside when it was at its height of popularity in the early 1900's.

A lordly old style, four-storied, veranda bound, Southern hostelry.  A bounteous Kentucky hospitality, lavishly bestowed on the guests at that delightful Crittenden Spring hotel.

Great big waxed floors for the promenade, the musicals, the dance or social parties.

Forests of oak and maple and sycamores cover the great area of land comprising the estate.  Situated on a plateau overlooking a beautiful valley, with the grand views of the forest, the mountain and the mineral mines.

A spring of health giving water, sparkling as with diamonds.

Melancholy gives way to laughter, crutches to dancing, plainness to beauty.  It is a life giving spring.

Special traveling rates are made from all stations on the Illinois Central Railroad to the welcoming, open doors of the hotel.

Hotel  rates are more than moderate.  The address is Mr. John Wilson, Marion, Kentucky

( I would like to book mine today, please)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Great Riley Mine

At one time, especially in the early 1900's, Crittenden County had numerous fluor spar, zinc and lead mines.  They were especially many located all along one of the faults that went through southern Crittenden County.  One of them of the Riley Mine.  Here is an interested article that appeared in The Crittenden Press, June 29, 1905 (used with permission)

Located three miles west of Frances on Claylick Creek was the Riley Mine. From the archives of The Crittenden Press let's read about the new Riley mine just being finished in 1905. June 29, 1905 -The Great Riley Mine.

A scene of activity and life, with a shaft 174 feet deep and fine mineral being taken out, lead 98 per cent pure.

Very few people of Marion are aware that one of the best-concentrated zinc plants in this country is in two hours ride by buggy of this city. Scarcely a dozen miles to the southwest of Marion on the borders of this county, with only a creek intervening between it and our rich sister county of Livingston lies the Marion Zinc Company's Riley mine.

The concentrating plant is on an eminence several hundred feet above the territory surrounding it and here the shaft, 174 feet deep has been sunk, and around about it has been erected a plant the equal of any in America.

No money has been spared in the selection of the equipment. In the boiler and engine room, which covers an area of 50 feet long, 40 feet wide, 2 great steam boilers of 200 horse power capacity have been placed and their stacks reach high in the air and can be seen for miles around. They are of the best make obtainable, one being built by the John H. Bass Foundry Co., of Ft. Wayne, the other big boiler and the 80 h.p. engine were built by the Brownell Co., Dayton, Ohio. It seems to have been the aim of the management to get the best of everything.

One hoisting engine is the elevator of the Freeman pattern; another in the foundry is of the Fairbanks Morse type. The three crushers and boilers were built at Cartersville, Mo.

The shaft is a double compartment 174 feet deep, 8x12 feet, one of which is used for the ladder, pump and steam pipe for running mining drills, two of which are in the shaft and are of the Sullivan type, the best known for deep mining. The hoisting plant is 75 feet above ground.

The heavy timbers used in holding the elevator and in lining the shaft look as if they were put there to last a generation, all the work shows plainly it was put there for permanency; nothing cheap or secondary has been used in the construction.

The plant also has a workshop 25 feet square equipped with all kind of machinery necessary for repairing and putting in mining machinery.

One feature of the plant is the reservoirs, two of which are located at the mill on the hill, and one in the creek with a depth of 9 feet, which the two steam pumps throw the water to the reservoirs on the hill.

At present hundred of tons of ore rough, are on the dumps and many tons of crushed ore and concentrates.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Mott City


Although the name might they you this was a large place, but it is only a small area on the highway about seven miles from Marion at the junction of Hwy 641 and S. R. 70.

 Mott City started about 1928-29 when Mr. Elmer Mott purchased the store that was there and added 12 more feet. 

The first person to call the place "Mott City" was an old gentleman by the name of Dick Cruce, who lived on the other side of Crayne.  At the time there was only four old houses in the area.  I thought it should be just called Mottsville, but the name "Mott City" stuck (and has for all these years, even today August 2014, it is Mott City and it's even on our county maps)

In 1932 Mr. Mott built the store you see in the picture.  There were gas pumps and a grease rack on the side of the store.  Standard Oil was my gas supplier.  When the fluorspar mines were running we had a good business.

Later, my sons turned the store in to a lumber business and concrete business.  The business was known as Mott Lumber Company and they had a good business.

The store today is an antique store called the Picket Fence.

Monday, July 28, 2014

John Hinchee, Civil War Veteran


Not much has been written or published about the Crittenden County men that were in the Civil War.  In the year 1928, The Crittenden Press did a wonderful thing in trying to get information about the Civil War Veterans.  They ran several issues of the Press that had a picture and some information about that person.  If not for these articles, this information would most likely not ever be known.
This post is about one of those - Mr. John F. Hinchee. 

Written in June 1928.  John D. Hinchee, 84 year old resident of the Cave Spring community, Civil War veteran in Crittenden county fought in the battle of Gettysburg.

Mr. Hinchee enlisted in the Union Army July 23, 1861 and was mustered out Sept. 16, 1865.  Some of the major Civil War engagements in which he participated in were the battles of Winchster; Antiteum; Chancellorsville; Gettysbug, Resaca, Ga.; Peachtree Creek, Kennesaw Mountain; Siege of Atlanta; Black Swamp, Savannah, Averysboro and Bentonville.

Mr. Hinchee was 40 days under fire at the siege of Atlanta; was wounded through the arm at Resaca; was wounded during the battle at Winchester, and was captured by the Confederates.  He was a prisoner for 3-4 months at Lynchburg and part at Belle Island.

Mr. Hinchee was born in Logan County in 1844 and moved to Crittenden 30 years ago.  He was first married to Miss Martha Chandler, of Columbus, Ind., and later to his present wife, Miss Bessie Silvey, of Hopkins County.  

John Hinchee died Feb. 11, 1931 and is buried in the Crowell Cemetery.  Many of his descendants are buried here.   He still has several descendants living in Crittenden County today.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church


In 1844 the founding fathers of Shady Grove Missionary Baptist Church had a vision to provide a place of worship for people living in that eastern part of Crittenden County.  This first church was originally called Clear Spring Church.

They met in a grove of trees near Piney Fork Creek and organized a presbytery, appointed an elder and a moderator.  The members of the presbytery included Elders I. W. Mansfield, moderator and I. E. Grace clerk who together with Elder Clayburn Wilson and brother I. G. Calvert, Wm. Hobby and John Crider.  The following day they set the time and date for the first service - May 24, 1844.

The original log structure of Clear Spring Church burned.  It was rebuilt in 1921 and the name was changed to Shady Grove Missionary Baptist church.

In Sept. 1994 the church held a 150th year celebration.   It is still an active church today.
Picture made in March of 2010.

Monday, July 14, 2014

First Sunday School Convention


Rev. James F. Price, shared the history of the first Sunday School Convention.  It first appeared in the
Crittenden Press, June 7, 1888. 

One of the first Sunday school mass meetings in Crittenden County was a denominational mass meeting held at Piney Fork Church about 1875.  The schools were represented as classes, and eac class sangy by itself.

The next meeting of this kind was held at Bethel Church in 1879.  It was called a Sunday School Celebration, and it was not denominational.

In the fall of 1880 another meeting was held at Piney Fork Church.  It was a very enthusiastic and full meeting.  The Rev. Crumbaugh, stated the relation in which he sttod to the couty as the representative of the Kentucky Sunday School Union, and the name of the b-annual meetings were changed from Celebration to Convention.

This was the origin of the organization of the Kentucky  Sunday School Union in Crittenden County.

The next convention was held at Chapel Hill in the spring of 1881.  Both of these meetings were largely attended and full of interest.

At the Hurricane Convention the county was divided into four districts and a district superintendent appointed for each.  This redistricting the county was due to the efforts of Uncle Wesley Minner.

At the Sunday School Convention that was held at Piney Fork July 9, 1896, these were some of the activities that were on the program.
  • Song service was lead by George M. Travis
  • Bible reading by W. A. Jacobs
  • Prayer by W. B. Crider
  • Piney Fork sang Fall into Line, followed by Piney Creek, Keep your Lamps Trimmed and Burning, followed by Crayneville, Bells Mines and Greens Chapel Classes
  • The Bible a Standard, given by Rev. H. B. Fox.  The speaker made many good points and opened the way for a good days work.
  • More music by Chapel Hill, Oak Grove and Dunn Springs classes.
  • All districts gave a report on their services
The next convention was appointed for Marion, but for a want of cooperation the convention was not held.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dr. J. O. Dixon Home


Located at the end of East Carlisle Street is the family home of Dr. J. O. Dixon .


Dr. Dixon had this handsome residence built in 1901.  I always called it the Turret House.  No other information about the unusual architecture of the home is known.   It would be wonderful to know who drew up the plans for the home and what kind of architecture it was.

Myra Dixon was the daughter of Dr. Dixon and his wife, Mae Croft Dixon.  She later married Maurie Nunn.
Galen Dixon was the son.

Other families that have lived in the home after the Dixon's were: J. C. Bourland, Pinky Loyd and the Gleaford Rankin family.  Most people now remember the home as the Rankin home. 

After Mr. and Mrs. Rankin died, their daughter Mary Hall Rankin lived here.  She was an only child.  When she died she left the house to Donnie Winters.  He and his family live there now.

                                                          Ancient Tree from the front yard.

This ancient tree, which had probably been around as long as Marion has, was taken down in August 2009.  The tree was on the East side of the house facing N. Walker St.

There wasn't anything noticeable wrong with the tree, but after the ice storm destaster of Jan.-Feb. of that same year, many of Marion's oldest trees were cut down, in fear of other ice storms perhaps in the future.

But one can tell by the solid trunk that it was still a healthy tree.  It may be safer with it gone, but still a loss to Marion's past history to lose one of it's earliest trees.