Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Weston's By-Laws Established Town's Order

In May of 1880 the town trustees of Weston met and organized with J. H. Lamb as chairman and R. I Nunn as clerk. 

One of their first duties was to write the By-Laws of their town of Weston. Later that year the new Weston By-Laws were printed in the August 25, 1880 issue of the Crittenden Press. There were 23 Sections, but I've only used part of them for this article. By reading these By-Laws, you know these men wanted the best for the citizens of their busy river port town. 

Crittenden Press - August 25, 1880
 Section 1st. Any person or persons who shall be found guilty of disorderly conduct within the town of Weston, or shall be found loitering around about is said town, not employed in some visible or laudable occupation, shall be fined not to exceed ten dollars for each offense, and, in default of payment, shall be committed to the lock-up of said town, not exceeding one day for every two dollars of the fine.  

Section 2nd. Upon all theatrical performances, each exhibition of wild animals, menagerie or circus, and for all other shows, concerts, etc, there shall be paid for license to the Marshal or Clerk of the town of Weston a tax of not more than ten or less than two dollars, the amount at the discretion of the Marshal or Clerk

Section 3rd. Retailers of ardent spirits within the town of Weston shall pay a tax of ten dollars per annum in addition to the State tax, imposed by the laws of the State of Kentucky, for license to retail ardent spirits in said town in any quantify not less than a quart and not to be drank in the house, on the premises, nor adjacent thereto, which sum shall be paid by the person or persons desiring such license to the Marshal of said town, who, upon receipt of same, shall give his receipt therefor, stating of whom received and for what purpose and the amount; and, upon said receipt being produced and filed with the Clerk of the Board of Trustees, the Clerk will issue to such person or persons a license to sell ardent spirits within said town of Weston for the space of one year from the date of the Marshal’s receipt; Such license shall not be so constructed as to permit or authorize the applicant to sell in quantities less than a quart, and that not to be drank in the house or on the premises, or adjacent thereto.

Section 8th. Any person who shall be guilty of drunkenness within the town of Weston shall pay a fine of any sum not to exceed ten dollars, and in default of payment of said fine, shall be committed to the lock-up of the town for the space of twelve hours, unless bond and security be given for the amount of fine and cost.

Section 9th. Any person who shall be guilty of profane swearing in a clamorous manner in the town of Weston shall forfeit and pay a fine not less than one or more than ten dollars for each and every such offense, and, in default of payment, shall be committed to the lock up of the town for not exceeding ten days or may be so fined and imprisoned.

Section 13th. Any person who shall be guilty of any indiscreet or boisterous conduct, such as disturbs the peace and dignity of the town, or any boisterous conduct on the Sabbath, crying aloud in a disorderly manner, by day or night, blowing of horns, or any disorderly or strange noise, or any riotous act not enumerated in any of the foregoing sections shall be fined in any sum not exceeding ten dollars for each offense, and, in default of payment, shall be confined in the loci-up not exceeding one day for each two dollars of the fine, or maybe imprisoned not exceeding ten days

Section 14th. Any person who shall be guilty of any grossly improper or indecent conduct in any public part of the town of Weston shall be fined in any sum not exceeding ten dollars, and in default of payment, shall be confined in the lock-up of the town not exceeding one day for each two dollars of the fine.

A Weston Community picture made in April during the 1913 Ohio River Floor.  C. W. Grady's house is pictured in the background.  A grand house for it's time.  In the boat on left is: Joseph Hughes, Mae Holeman, Mamie Hughes and Tommy Hughes.  In boat on right is Cassie Cain and Myrtle Hill Cain.   Weston Cemetery in on the hill in the background.  Almost bare of any trees at this time in history.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

James Ford Family Cemetery, Tolu, Kentucky

James Ford Family Cemetery located near Tolu, Ky, on the old home place of James Ford.  The land today is owned by the J. T. May family.  David May, son, gave permission for the clean up of the cemetery in 2011.

Who Is Buried Here? 

James Ford along with his sons, Phillip and William, and his daughter-in-law, Alma G.

There are most likely more unmarked graves that have never been located and are not on record.

James Ford's plantation home once stood a short distance from the cemetery, but it's location has not been

The story has been told down through the years that James Ford's boxlike sandstone tomb was undisturbed for many years, but a farmer who once owned a parcel of the land, used Ford's crypt and the crypt of other family members buried around him to cover some holes in a nearby pasture.

The fellow's cows started dying mysteriously after that and so did a child of his.  Thinking that his misfortune might have something to do with his taking the tombstones, he returned the stones to the family cemetery and just stowed them about.  Gladly putting them back where he got them, but the damage had been done to the little cemetery and it would never be the same.

 There the stones lie broken and off their bases, and leaving the actual grave site of each person unknown to man.  

Although the two large flat stones of the sons, William and Phillip, are in the cemetery, James Ford's stone has not been located.  It has been searched for for many years, but it is still lost to us history hunters. 

Who was James Ford, some may not know the history of this mysterious person.  

James Ford was a well known citizen of Crittenden County (at that time Livingston County) he served as a sheriff and was an entrepreneur running the Ford's Ferry and providing loans to his neighbors when money from traditional banking services was hard to get. 

Some sources also list him as a leader of the much talked about Fords Ferry Gang.  The Gang that was responsible for the robbing and deaths of many a westward bound settler who crossed the Ohio River using his ferry.

Others say people that owed him money helped to brand him as an outlaw and that he really wasn't the person behind the gang.  

Henry Shouse was formally charged with the murder of James Ford in 1833 in Livingston County, charges were later dropped.

Tradition has James Ford was buried head first in his grave, he was a large man, over 300 lbs at his death.  He was buried by slaves and Arthur Love during a thunderstorm.  Due to the weight of the casket and the slaves fear of Mr. Ford he was dropped head first and was wedged diagonally in the grave.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Happenings In Our City and County for the start of 1939

At the start of a new year, I always find it interesting to look back in our past history and see what was taking place in our home town during that time period  Let's take a look back 80 years ago to the first few months of 1939 and see what was going on in our town and county.

 A downtown scene from 1939.  Marion was a busy and bustling place during this time.  The Court House always the center of the activity, whether for business or visiting.

In the first issue of the paper on Jan. 6, 1939 it is reported that there were no arrests during the New Year's holiday. New Years Eve and the day following passed uneventfully in the city and county with no arrests, no accidents nor violations reported. Many private parties were held Saturday night but the revelers were calm and quiet.

Perfect weather greeted the arrival of 1939 with a temperature of 66 being reported in the afternoon. A bright sun shone all during the day.

1939 Tax Levy ordinance for the City (partial list)
The Board of Council of the City of Marion, Ky., do ordain as follows: (1) That an advalorem tax of Seventy-five Cents be, levied on each One Hundred Dollars of value of all real and personal property in the city of Marion, Ky., excepting shares in Bank and Trust Companies. (2) That an advalorem tax of Twenty Cents be levied on each One Hundred Dollars of fair cash value of the shares of all Bank and Trust Companies in the city of Marion. (3) That a poll tax of One Dollar and Fifty cents be levied on and shall be collected from every male resident of the City of Marion, Ky., who is over twenty-one and under the age of seventy years.

Polio Drive
The drive against infantile paralysis annually undertaken at the time of Pres. Roosevelt's birthday, begins in the city and county Monday according to Mrs. Edwin C. Frazer, chairman.
One half of the funds, so raised will remain in the county and be used here. It is at present planned to sell chances on a cake, to place receptacles in the schools of city and county for donations and to canvass residential and business sections. The campaign this year carries the slogan of “March of Dimes”. The quota is one and one-half per cent per capita and it is estimated that there are about 11,300 persons in Crittenden County. This would set the county quota at $169.50. Homer McConnell is treasurer.

Dorothy Riley, Piney neighborhood, will appear at a specially arranged chapel program at Fohs Hall next Tuesday morning for the purpose of assisting the local committee in its drive for funds to combat infantile paralysis. Miss Riley is a victim of the disease and has been materially aided by the treatments made possible through funds collected from past drives. At one time Miss Riley was unable to walk but treatments at Louisville were made available for her and she is decidedly improved, being able to walk with the aid of crutches. She told Mrs. Edward Frazer, drive chairman, that she would do anything she could to assist members in the campaign.

Rural Electrification Is Favored All Over the County
From all parts of the county come reports that rural Electrification is the foremost thought in the minds of county residents. A party headed by W. R. Cruce consulted with Area Engineer Hardin, Morganfield, for preparatory to perfecting plans for rural electrification in Crittenden County. Appointed groups were formed including, County Agent Shelby, Tom Board, Hiram Parish and Jack Shepherd. George Conditt, Chapel Hill, Hiram Parish, Dycusburg-Frances; Howard Hurley, Sheridan, I. W. Cook, Hebron, Frank Hill Shady Grove, Marion Brantley. All members of the appointed groups have reported progress in the respective districts and that all consulted are in favor of and want improvement.
Within the near future Cruce said meetings will be called to sound out sentiment of rural residents of the county preparatory to perfecting plans for establishment of the system. It is much needed and I believe that it can be accomplished without unnecessary delays. It is proposed to form a county organization and to include in the project as many lines as possible to serve the greatest number of residents.

So another year begins for the residents of Marion and Crittenden County with it's hopes, dreams, disappointments and happy moments to then become memories of our forgotten passages of time

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Greetings From The Past

A visit to Christmas past through the beauty of vintage Christmas Postcards.

All from the early 1900's.  Very different from what we have now.  All beautiful and unique.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tolu's Touchstone

This past history happened in July 1983.

According to legend around Tolu, if you touch or step on a certain rock - no one seems to know for sure just where or which stone it is - that you will always come back to the small Ohio River town.

But in July 1983 some regularly attending members of the yearly Tolu School Reunion got together and had Henry and Henry Monuments create a real Tolu Touchstone.  

At this time there was a large number of the past school students and teachers who would attend these yearly gatherings at Tolu.  

The simple inscription engraved in the face of the rock, "Welcome Home," meant a lot to some of the Tolu graduates that would come from many places to visit their former friends and classmates from Tolu School.

The stone sits on a masonry foundation built by Darrell Sherer in front of the steps to the former Tolu Methodist Church site across from the old Tolu Bank building on the corner of First Street and Orchard Avenue.

The crowd this day in July 1983 gathered around the stone, some placed pennies on the stone for good luck and in hopes they would be able to return the next years for the reunion. 

When one bystander was asked if he had anything to say, he quietly answered, "Just being here is enough."  

The group slowly  made its way back up toward the school building and everyone stopped and placed their hands on the Touchstone.

Now the legend of Tolu will last as long as the stone itself.

These were wonderful times, all of these early reunion attendees are gone now, and the wonderful rural school closed its doors in 1998 to the so-called sound of progress and the students were then bused to the Elementary and Middle school at Marion. 

The Tolu community still has the annual school reunion in the summertime, I wonder now if any of these later graduates of the school know the history of the "Tolu Touchstone."

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Owen School

1st row: Rodney Brown, Rawles Hodge, Eugene Guess, Bruce Hodge, Doyle Polk, Shelly Asbridge, Chastine Maxfield.
2nd row: Mildred Riley, Dorothy Brown, Mary Brown, Teacher- Mr. E. Jeffrey Travis, Billie Polk, Evalee Myers
3rd row: Mildred Hodge, Elma Brown, Georgia Polk, Nina Brown, Anna Simpkins, Margaret Polk, Fannie Simpkins, Kelly Asbridge.
4th row: Donald Kirk, Vernon Maxfield, Leroy Brasher, J. E. Asbridge, Harold Hodge, Raymond Riley.

Owen school was located on S. R. 855 N. from the community of Frances.  It was located on the same place that the Owen Cemetery is now located.

The school's time period in history was the 1800's until 1953 when many of the little one room county schools were closed and consolidated with one larger school, when it closed what few students were left were bused to the Frances Elementary  School. 

Here is parts of an essay written in 1937 by one of the students.  It was shared by Doyle Polk and was written by one of his older sisters that attended school there.

The school house is surrounded by a natural forest on all but one side.  During the hot summer days at the beginning of the school term we have shade on all sides and it is usually pleasant in the school ho use until in the late afternoon.  The noon day sun shines in the front door, and we have a mark on the floor to tell us when it is time to eat.

We are not blessed with drinking water like some schools, but have to carry our water from a spring far down in the field.  But it is fun to go after a bucket of water.

In the winter when it is cold we can run and skate on our slide as we have a pond right in the corner of our school yard.  Sometime we fall while skating, but this in only fun after it quits hurting.

There has been a school here longer than the oldest people can remember.  First it was a log house with puncheon floor, and split log seats, then a boxed house.  Then when Mr. Asel Hodge and Alvery Elder were boys, just big enough to use a hammer and saw, they built a new house, framed, with two windows to a side.  One door in the front and one window in the rear where we watched the squirrels play.  

While our school house is old and small, the water far removed, the desks worn and too few, it is still the dearest place on earth to me.  I may live long and travel far from here, my duties in the future require that I live in other communities, yet the loving friendships formed, the pleasant associations formed, the many truths taught by my teachers, all go to make "Old Owen School" a place I will always remember.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

A Crittenden County Tree in Frankfort?

Crittenden Record Press, Sept. 12, 1912.
Every county is to have a different kind of tree set on Capital Square, Nov. 13, Planting Day.

H. S. Hillenmyer and Prof. Harris Garman of Lexington have reported the selection and allotment of trees to be planted on the State Capital grounds by the different counties of Kentucky.  If each county should agree, Kentucky will have a complete arboretum as a beautiful background for the new Capital.

Crittenden's tree is a Sycamore, Caldwell a Sugar Maple, Livingston a White Ash, Lyon's a Cottonwood, Webster a Shell Bark Hickory and Union County a Persimmon.

Nov. 21, 1912 - Crittenden County was well represented at the State arboretum and tree planting at the Capitol Grounds last week, by three trees of the variety chosen, Sycamore.  

Judge Blue, who was present to see the job well done, and reports that all three were planted.

As previously noted in these columns, the trees were donated by John W. Wilson, and were selected and the shipping supervised by J. F. Dodge, who is not a novice in the culture of trees and flowers.

William H. Wallace lent his friendly aid also in helping to dig the trees.

These gentlemen did what they did gratuitously and the trees should be named John, Will and Frank in their honor to ensure them living and doing well.