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.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Early Marion, Busy Town


Once, not even that long ago, Marion was a busy, business-filled town.  All of Main St. was filled with 2 banks, and all kinds of businesses that one could find all that was needed to fill your needs, whether for the farm, the home, or just for yourself.

This picture of Marion Main Street was made in the late 1940's.  This People's Bank, on the corner with all the windows, building was built in 1920 to replace the one that burnt in 1919.  The Bank front looked like this until 1971 when they enlarged and remodeled the whole building as it looks today.  

You can also see the Williams Dept. store name on their awning on the right.  Which today in the Law Offices of Frazer, Rogers and Peek.

 This picture also made in the 1940's, looking south from the corner of W. Bellville.  The court house would be to the right.  As one can see, it looks like all the parking places are filling from one end of the business district to the other.  

People are gathered at the court house square and also many are walking along the sidewalk on the left.  Amazing isn't it. 

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Baker School


The Baker School was located on Hwy. 365 or what most of us think of as Baker Church Road.  The school was located on the same site as the Baker Church is today.  Will Hughes gave the ground for the school location and perhaps the church too.  The school was started in the late 1880's.

 The old Baker School House, torn down in the late 1940's after the school had closed and the land went back to the owner.

Children attending Baker School were allowed to attend revival services at the Baker Baptist church, which was located across the road from the school.

The usual pie and box suppers were annual events for raising money to buy items needed for the school and perhaps some new playground equipment for the students.

Games played were leapfrog, ball, hopscotch, marbles or drop the handkerchief. 

Some of the families in the Baker School district were, Chandlers, Collins, Duncans, Jennings, Longs, McDowell, Nelson, Newcom, O'Neas, Phillips, Quertermous, Samuels, Scott, Vinson, Simpson, Truitt and Walker.

In the late 1940's the road was improved enough for school buses to travel, so the students at Baker school  and near-by Bells Mines school were taken to Mattoon.  The last teacher was Irene Truitt.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Railroad and Depot and Water Tower


This picture made in January 1981 shows a lot of past history for Marion and Crittenden County.  It was taken as a news item, for at this time in our history the Illinois Central Gulf railroad had filed for the abandonment of the railroad line.  


Later that year in Oct. 1981 the ICG railroad was allowed to shut down its 105-mile line stretching between Henderson and Princeton which also went through the heart of Crittenden County.

The old Deport was torn down just a few years later, I guess not considering that it might be turned into a historic landmark and could have been turned into something useful for the town.

The Marion water tower in the back ground, once seen from miles around, also would also be just a memory for it was no longer in use as the water source for the town.  The tower would be sold for scrap metal.  It came down in January 1981 also, probably soon after this historic picture was made.

The railroad crossing flashing light pole is still standing today on East Depot Street.  But that is all that is left of the items in the photo.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Blackford Shed and Families that Attended Camp


Not many people are left that remember the big camp days at the Blackford Church and camp grounds.  I have done a post on this church several years ago in 2009,  but didn't show the old shed or introduce you to some of the local families that attended church and camp here.

This is the old shed, it was really a large shed made from local timber and constructed by the local farmers. The sides were open and the roof was made also of wood and was covered with rolled roofing.  It was approximately 50 foot long and 20 feet wide.

It finally had to be torn down in the 1950's because it had deteriorated so bad and was really unsafe to use anymore.  The meetings then were moved back inside the church.

Standing along side the shed are some of the local families that lived in the surrounding area and attended church here and also the camp meeting.  This picture was made in the 1920's.

L-R.  1.  James Tosh, 2. Flora Tosh, 3. George Ford, 4. Bell (Brantley) Ford, 5. Leota (Thurman) Clark, 7. Finnie Orr, 8. Mrs. Jerry Belt, 9. Will Hughes, hold his son 10. John R., 11. Bessie Hinchee, 12. Bob Ford, 13. Mrs. Marty Ford, 14. Lizzie Ford, 15, Clarence Jeffreys, 16. Willis Brown, and 17. Manus Clark.