Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happenings in December 1948

As a child time seemed to creep along, an hour could seem forever, but as we grow older times slips by so very fast. It's hard to believe that 1948 was 60 years ago.

From the files of the Crittenden Press, here are some happenings in Marion and Crittenden County in December 1948.

December 3, 1948

  • The Marion quartet, composed of Messrs. Hillis Hunt - soprano, Mrs. Otha Smith - alto, Otha Smith - tenor, Charles Drennan - bass with Mrs. Hillis Hunt, as accompanist, are appearing over radio station WKYB at Paducah each Sunday morning from 8:15 to 8:45. Tune in and listen to your "home town" quartet on the air.
  • At the annual Thanksgiving Pep Rally held on November 23, at Fohs Hall to honor the football boys and the new football queen, Molly Ferguson. After the entrance of the Queen's attendants, Doris Clark, Jo Ann Bealmear, and Jerry Tabor, a trumpet fanfare announced the entrance of the Queen. She was crowned by the Captain of the Football team, Buddy Foster.
  • Princeton scored a rather surprising 20-0 victory over the Marion Blue Terrors at Princeton at the annual Thanksgiving Day game. Playing their last gridiron game for Marion were Percy Cook at full back; Runt Johnson, Billy Boy Williamson and Bill Morrill at halfback; Bud Foster and Jimmy Rice at end; Harry Easley and Bobby John Crider at tackle; John Ed Thomas at guard.
  • Births at Crittenden County Hospital included: Mr. and Mrs. Carl Maroney, a daughter, Arlena Mae, on Novembr 25th; Mr. and Mrs. Harold G. Moore, a daughter, Brinda Louise, on November 27th; Mr. and Mrs. Allen Hosick, a daughter, on November 30th; and Mr. and Mrs. Odell Fletcher, a son on December 1st.

December 10th, 1948

  • Marion will be decorated for the Christmas holidays and work is now underway in preparing the bright lights to be strung around the business section and a large tree has been erected in the court house yard and is ready for the decorations. The merchants have opened their newly decorated windows showing the latest in Christmas gifts and when the lights are turned on the city will take on a different appearance.
  • Funeral services were held on Dec. 7th, at the Marion Baptist Church for Mrs. D. H. Postlehweighte, who died at her home on West Bellville St. Saturday following a heart attack, which she suffered only twenty minutes previously.
  • Recruit Roy A. Crider, son of Mrs. Eva Crider, of Marion, was graduated this week from the 3rd Armored Division Leaders' Course. Prior to his entrance into the Army on July 31, 1948, Recruit Crider attended Shady Grove School for four years.
  • James Bragdon, Mexico resident, barely escaped death last Friday afternoon when a train struck the truck which he was driving while crossing the railroad tracks at Mexico. It is said that the body was dragged several hundred feet down the track before being brought to a stop. Mr. Bragdon was rushed to the local hospital where he is resting comfortably after being treated for several broken ribs and lacerations on the heads and face.

Friday, December 26, 2008

County and City Officers for the year 1922

In January 1922, new and re-elected county and city officers were getting ready to take their turn at leading the citizens in a better and brighter journey than their past officers. From The Crittenden Press dated Jan. 6, 1922 we can find out who these officers were and maybe something about their characters.

List of City Officers
  • Mayor: Bebe Boswell
  • Clerk: E. L. Harpending
  • Councilmen: Charles Daughtrey, R. S. Elkins, Ab Henry, C.J. Pierce, Eb Sullenger, O. L. Tucker
  • City Judge: A. M. Gilbert
  • City Attorney: J. G. Rochester
  • Marshall: Albert Cannan
  • Assessor: Tom Wring
  • Collector: W. D. Cannan
  • Treasurer: Miss Kate Yandell
  • Clock Winder: Levi Cook

At the regular meeting January 2, the City Council accepted a contract made by the Mayor and S. M. Jenkins for lights from the first of the year till the first of May. Street lighting is reduced 25 percent saving the town $75 per month.

Even though Marion has been paying a high rate, it is an acknowledged fact that few towns are better lighted, and with a day service of the same quality added to our present service, Marion would be on an equal basis with other towns of same class and could expect her share of individual growth.

From the county court house comes the announcement of the new County Officers:

  • E. Jeffrey Travis was sworn in and took charge the first of the month as County Judge. He served as County School Superintendent for several years and as County Road Engineer for some time. He was elected County Judge without opposition. Mr. Travis is a vigorous young man and has had wide experience in the affairs of the county. The people are expecting an efficient administration of the county's affairs, and the Press predicts the people will not be disappointed.
  • Edward D. Stone was sworn in and took charge as County Attorney the first of the month and had his first trial on the third of the month. He was educated in the schools of this county and graduated at Cumberland University in the Law School. He is a young man of good morals and the people are expecting him to look well after the interests committed to him.
  • Mr. James T. Wright was elected sheriff of the County. He appointed Messrs. Joe Hunter Travis and John T. Pickens as his deputies.
  • Mr. James E. Sullenger was elected Circuit Clerk without opposition and took over the office Monday.
  • Mr. Learner E. Guess succeeds himself as County Clerk and was elected without opposition. Mr. Guess has served as County Clerk for several years and is a most efficient and painstaking officer.
  • John C. Spees took possession of the jail and began operation on the first of the year.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve Rains

It is Christmas Eve in Crittenden County, but as for the weather- it couldn't have felt less like December 24th. It was 58 degress this morning with rain storms. The hills were full of extra water and it made the streams and creeks run and gurgle like a mountain streams sounds as it tumbles over the rocks.

The weather is a fickle thing, who knows by the morning hours the ground may be covered with a blanket of snow.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Vintage Christmas Card

Christmas Card from the Past.

Old vintage Christmas Cards were an item of beauty. This card is from the 1930's. A small card and envelope 3x5 in size.

They remind me of art work, some of the colors are different from what we see today.

Another thing so unique about them is that the envelope was lined with a delicate piece of tissue paper that the colors corresponded with the colors on the card. The red patterned paper at the top of the card is what this one was lined with.

I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

O'Possum Ridge School

Our county was dotted all over the country sides with small one room schools. Many were named for families that donated land for the school or for a community located close by. Others had unusual names which made us wonder how they came by their names.

The Heath School, or "Possum Ridge", as it was nicknamed was located in the northern part of Crittenden in the community of Mt. Zion. On Sept. 4, 1885, Robert Heath and wife conveyed approximately one acre of land for a school with the understanding at which time there was no more school the land was to go back to the Heath family farm. This land was bought by M. L. Clift from Robert Heath in August 1927, so when the school closed in 1951 the land was burned back to the Clift family by the Board of Education.

Much fun and community entertainment was held at these school houses. From The files of The Crittenden Press, dated July 29, 1909, comes the news about the debate at Heath School and what a success it was.

The fist fry, ice cream supper and debate at Heath School house Saturday evening was well attended. After everybody had eaten plenty of fish, ice creams and all the trimmings, and refreshed themselves with cold drinks, they listed to a debate of about one hour and a half duration upon the following subject. "Resolved that money is of more benefit to mankind than friendship."

The speakers selected for the debate are as follows: Affirmative, Rufus Robinson, Wilson Rankin and Wesley Clift. Negative, Lonnie Clift, William Fowler Sr., and Wallace Clift.

The debate was commenced by Mr. Robinson, from the affirmative side, who declared that money is the life of the country. He warned the opposition not to confuse love, sympathy and pity with friendship, saying they are different. That money is solid and substantial, while friendship is fleeting as the winds.

On the negative side, Mr. Wallace Clift, pointed out without friendship the world would be full of indescribable wretchedness and misery and loneliness. He held up the miser as an example of a human soul debased by the love of money.

The decision of the judges was unanimously in favor of the affirmative teams arguments.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

On The Road with the Press Scribe

Deanwood Historical Marker and the old Deanwood General Store. This store is the only store mentioned in this article that is still in any kind of good condition today. Carlos Travis who owns this property, has a love for the history of the area, and has preserved the store as you see it in the picture.

This article was written in April 1915 by an agent for the Crittenden Press. They would go out traveling over the county side gathering subscriptions for the paper. This is Mr. John B. McNeely's report of one of his trips. These articles make for interesting reading as they tell of the little communities in our county that were then - a busy place.

Our representative J. B. McNeely makes a trip by the way of Starr, Shady Grove, Deanwood and Tribune. Starr is a country store near old Piney Camp ground. J. S. Crayne is the merchant in charge and is doing a good business in general merchandise.

Shady Grove is one of the business centers situated in the eastern part of Crittenden County, near Caldwell, Hopkins and Webster Counties, and is surrounded by a good farming county.

There are two churches, Baptist and Methodist. The sign "Hotel" hangs out at the front gate of Mrs. Josie Towery's and if you choose to walk in and take dinner, you can get a square meal. Across the street from the hotel is Mrs. Birchfield with a fine stock of Millinery goods for the ladies, all new and up to date.

At the corner of main street is the large general merchandise store of Dennie Hubbard. Mr. Hubbard, from all appearance has a large trade and is doing a good business. He is also one of the stock holders in the Shady Grove milling Co., that is doing custom business, and shipping mill stuff to other points.

On main street is the general merchandise store of W. D. Tudor. Mr. Tudor commands a large trade and is doing a fine business.

Then as you pass around you will be sure to meet E. Taylor McConnell. He is the news boy and wants to sell you a paper.

All in all Shady Grove is a pretty little town, the merchants say they have a good trade. It has a blacksmith shop, with Mr. Lamb at the forge. Dr. McConnell, attends the sick, and Mr. Lamb will give you a clean shave.

Our next stop was at Deanwood, this is a country store and post office, J. N. Dean is the merchant and post master. He has a fine trade in merchandise and produce, and is another post master who take the Press. Take notice: Deanwood is the new name for Iron Hill.

Tribune, here you will find W. M. Towery. He runs a store, grist mill and blacksmith shop and commands a good trade in all these lines.

All the merchants we have named in this article do business with us. They are all polite and courteous and will treat you right.

Friday, December 12, 2008

More Community News Items

These news items are from the Aug. 26, 1915 edition of The Crittenden-Record Press. This Midway community was located midway between Marion, Crayne, and the Piney Fork area. Maybe you will recognize some family names from this area.

  • Aunt Mat Wilson died Aug. 15th, after a long illness at the home of her son. She was laid to rest at Piney Fork, where a large crowd gathered to show their last respect. Weep not dear bereaved ones, Aunt Mat is gone from us bu we will soon meet her upon the golden shore, where she'll shake hands with all of us and say "I've been watching for you to come."
  • Mrs. Rose Hughes and daughter, Vennie, left for their home in Stratton. Colorado.
  • Miss Clara Crayne, of Princeton, is visiting relatives in this section.
  • Dozie Hill and W. S. Paris and family attended the funeral of Mrs. Phil Deboe at Marion Sunday.
  • Kirby Hunt and wife visited C. L. Hill last week.
  • Mrs. Martha Sigler and son, Tiller, visited her brother, J. W. Hunt, near Hurricane Sunday night.
  • Henry Agee has returned from Kansas where he has been working in the wheat harvest.

The community of Bellmont was located near by close to the Piney Fork neighborhood.

  • Camp meeting closed at Piney Fork last week, with twenty-four converted and some renewed up. We had a fine preacher, and he did some good preaching.
  • Several from this neighborhood attended the funeral and burial of Mrs. Phil Deboe at Marion Sunday.
  • A goodly number from this place went to Marion Monday.
  • School is progressing at this place with Miss Cordie Smart as teacher.
  • Aunt Jane Travis is quite feeble and confined to her bed.
  • Aunt Katherine James is no better at this writing.
  • Emerson Ethridge and Miss Myrtle Conger eloped one night the last of the camp meeting and got married.
  • Some from this place attended the tent meeting at Jim McConnell's near Blackburn Sunday night.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Friendship Quilts

Friendship Quilts

Do you have a Friendship Quilt? If you do, you know that is a special gift that was made especially for you or someone in your family.

Quilting is very popular today with the many fancy designs and difficult patterns, but a Friendship quilt made many years ago with it's simple pattern and hand embroidered name is a special thing.

Many times these quilts were made for a special teacher in the little county schools as a gift from her students. They would have the teachers name and year on the center block and then each student's name would be hand-written and then hand-embroidered by that student's mother. After all the blocks were finished the quilt would be assembled and then put on quilting frames at one of the student's homes and there the parents would gathered and finish their quilt by doing all the quilting themselves. Much laughter and good times were had by the mother's at these quilting sessions. Not all were experts at making the tiny quilting stitches, but everyone did their best and it was the love that went in the work that mattered the most. All the time this would be kept secret from the teacher so it would be a surprise at the end of the school year.

The 8th grade class at Crayne School in 1959 made one of these special Friendship quits for their special teacher, Mrs. Annabell Alexander. It was a special gift made especially for her from the students and their parents.

These wonderful times of doing things together in a small rural community are gone now, the closeness and friendships that were formed at these gatherings are only memories. I am so thankful that I have these memories of when I was growing up in the Crayne community and going to school and church in the same neighborhood. All these memories brought back by the sight of just one old worn quilt, maybe it should be called a memory quilt.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Caldwell Springs Still Flows Today

Caldwell Spring

Major Caldwell's spring still flows today. He descriped it as limpid, beautiful and refreshing.

Caldwell Springs History

The Caldwell Springs Church and the new marble marker the church members purchased last summer to mark their cemetery.

This history was written and read by Mr. Marion F. Pogue, of the Frances Community, at the close of his school at Caldwell Springs in 1896.

Backward, swing backward the pendulum of years, we pass through the happy childhood days when we attended the services at the old brick church; backward still it takes us through the mist of half a century before our existence; backward still it goes past the memory of the oldest inhabitant of these sacred precincts today. There we are left like a stranded mariner on a lonely island with only our imagination to paint the scene of this lovely valley.

There we saw the luminary of the day and an unbroken forest which extended for a mile in every direction. But these same hills were here and they guarded this same beautiful valley as jealously as they do today.

This valley was a hunter's paradise, covered with a tangled growth of cane, paw-paw and sumac. Here is a winding path; let us follow it; it is soon lost in a larger one. Onward we go, though we have frightened a flock of wild turkeys, and yonder goes a drove of deer, scampering down the valley. Here is an open spot. The ground bears evidence of many visitations. We notice many half burned sticks, the remains of a Shawnee campfire. A step further and there bubbles up, as pure and fresh as today, the crystal waters of Caldwell Spring, limpid, beautiful and refreshing. For untold centuries has this life-giving fountain sent forth his precious water to appease the thirst of man and beast.

Later came the pale face and the savage, the buffalo, and finally the deer retired before the crack of his unerring rifle. Over 100 years ago the hardy pioneer adventurers began to pour through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. Onward they came westward and one afternoon the savage wilderness of this valley was disturbed by its first white settlers - Major Caldwell, of the English army, was the man.

Seeking the security and solitude of this valley he drove before him his cattle, scores of slaves and a train of well laden pack horses. He entered this beautiful valley; drank from the spring; was charmed and looked no further; but forthwith erected temporary residences and slave quarters on the hill above the spring. A large brick kiln was burned and the foundation of a great manor house was laid near where the school house now stands.

But all this was stopped as suddenly as it had begun; only the decaying building and crumbling foundation met the eyes of the next comers. This is all we know of Major Caldwell and his group, why the departure so soon without completing his home and farm land is unknown. But this is how the area came by it's name "Caldwell Springs."