Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Resolutions of Respect


For a genealogist these old Resolutions of Respect placed in the paper by the Masons and Woodmen of the World organizations to  honor a deceased member are wonderful.  Some give more information than others but all are good information resources.

Crittenden Record Press - Sept. 12, 1912
Resolutions of Respect.  Whereas, it has pleased the Grand Architect of the Universe, in His infinite wisdom, to call from his labors on earth to eternal refreshments in the Celestial Lodge on High, our brother, Andy E. Rushing, who departed this life September 7th, 1912.

Whereas, Bro. Rushing was one of the oldest members of Bigham Lodge, No. 256, F. & A. M., having been born Sept. 26, 1831, and had he lived nineteen days longer would have been 81 years old. (the birth date in the paper and what is on his stone are a couple days off.) He was initiated Jan. 8, 1876, and until his death remained one of our most faithful members.  Therefore be it  Resolved, That in the death of Bro. Rushing, this Lodge has lost a true and faithful member, the community a useful and honorable citizen, and the family a kind and loving father.

Resolved, That a copy of these resolutions be spread upon the records of our Lodge, that a copy be sent to the children, of the deceased brother, and a copy be furnished the Marion News and the Crittenden Record-Press for publication.
C.W. Lamb, Jones O. Gill and Robt. E. Wilborn.

Mr. Andrew E. Rushing was buried in the Mapleview Cemetery.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Shady Grove Lodge


The picture at the right is of the Shady Grove Lodge.  Picture was made in the early 1920s.  The people on the porch were unidentified.   The writing on the old photo says Odd Fellow and Modern Woodman of American Hall. W of A

An article in the Jan. 21, 1909 Crittenden Press tells us some history about this old building.

Friday, January 1st, was a great banner day in the history of Shady Grove Camp No. 12422 Modern Woodmen of America.  They met at the Hall in regular session.  Officers for the ensuring year were installed and future work of the order was planned.

The past year has been a most prosperous one and the ensuring year promises to be a more prosperous one.  Following are the officers elected for th ensuring year:  S. D. Asher, Consul; W. F. Brown, adviser; C. M. Drennon, banker; Kelley Simpson, clerk; S. W. Towery, escort; J. C. Skelton, watchman; Thomas Travis, secretary; Bert Woods, Chief forester; Rev. Eman Bosster, Chaplain; Dr. R. O. Davis, camp physicion; T. B. Kemp, Henry and Johnnie Birchfield, board of manager.

They went on with the good work until 4:00 in the afternoon, they they marked through the village of Shady Grove and back to W. H. Birchfield's residence, where they found a sumptuous supper awaiting them.  Mrs. Birchfield certainly had everything on the table that could have been appetising.

There were three new members to be iniated and the ceremonies held the camp in session long after midnight.  The meeting was long to be remembered and strikingly illustrated the growth and healthy condition of the Shady Grove camp.

This camp No. 12422 was organized August 26, 1908, has more than 50 members and is rapidly increasing in membership.

The ladies present at the supper were Mesdames Will Birchfield, Jane Tudor, Willis Tudor, Sam Asher, Jim Skelton, Will Brown, Sheek Towery, Jeff Elder, Rassie Eskew and Miss Auda Campbell.


This picture of the Shady Grove Lodge was made in March of 1996.  It still looks almost the same as it did in the other photo, but for a few changes.  It stands at the intersection of roads S.R. 139 and S. R. 1917.

The Lodge is still used today for the meetings of the Eastern Star organization.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Gazebo on Court House Lawn


The picture at the right is of the Crittenden County Court House that was finished being built in 1961 and had its dedication ceremony on Dec. 9, 1961. 

The gazebo at the right wasn't built until 1998.  Marion's Zeta Alpha Chapter of Beta Sigma International Sorority headed the project of having a new bandstand gazebo constructed on the courthouse lawn.  This gazebo was constructed at the intersection of Main and Bellville Streets at nearly the same location as the original bandstand was located.  The purpose of this bandstand gazebo was to restore some of the old history, and with this new structure perhaps keep alive the memories of a simpler time, and that music will play, policicans will speak, and friends will sit and visit on the public square once again.

Funds to help build this gazebo were raised by the selling of memorial bricks that are laid all around the foundation of the building.

These are bricks that were purchased by myself and my husband in memory of our parents, and my grandfather.  They include, In Memory of Billie M. & Evah Lee Travis.  In Memory of John & Jewell Underdown, and In Memory of my Grandfather, Judge E. Jeffrey Travis, who was the County Judge for Crittenden County for several years.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Illinois Central Centennial Marker


This is a picture of the Illinois Central Centennial Marker that was shown in the previous post.  The marker has been relocated and now sets of the side of the Court House facing Farmers Bank.  The front faces Main Street.

I bet if you showed most of the people in Marion and Crittenden County a photo of this marker, they would not have a clue what it is, or where it is located.

Marion, once proud, and thankful for having a thriving Depot and the use of the railways was honored to received this monument. The railroad, once such a vital part of our history, is now just a memory of the past, as this once distinguished marker is.

The history of this markers is as follows:
This 1500 pound Indiana Limestone Boulder, symbolizing a century of service to Mid-America, was presented to our community on Thursday, September 27, 1951 in the Courthouse yard, in a dedication ceremony by the Illinois Central Railroad.

The two 11-inch bronze medallions set in the face of the boulder are the work of the famed sculptor Julio Kilenyl.

Lon Kavanaugh, Agent for the Illinois Central Railroad and chairman, made and interesting talk and C. S. Collier, Train master, of Princeton, presented the marker to Crittenden County. Acceptance for the county was made by our County Attorney C. D. Chick, and for the City of Marion Hollis C. Franklin, Vice-President of the Farmers Bank & Trust Company.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Marion Court Square 1954


A view of how the court house square looked in the year 1954.  To the right of the court house is the popular old gazabo that for many years was the center of entertainment and gatherings of all the city and county folks.

All kinds of entertainment took place in this wonderful old structure.  All kinds of musical entertainment, political and religious speakings, much sharing of the local business news and gossip of the town, and there were games of checkers and the big thing on Saturday's - the swapping and trading of knives.  It was also a wonderful place for the local children to play and always fascinating to go inside and see what the big people were doing.

The concrete foundation in front of the gazebo was the covering of the old community well.  The well was, is the early days of Marion, the main source of water for the business district.  In later years it was filled in and covered with the concrete slab.  On top of it is a Illinois Central Centennial Marker.  I'll use the history of it in the next entry.

The beautiful old Court House and Gazebo were torn down in 1961 to make room for the new court house.  The local officials decided that this court house had served it's purpose and was beyond saving or trying to update, and the same for the Gazebo.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Fluorspar Usage

From my previous article about the Fluorspar Mining History in Crittenden County, many people do not know what Fluorspar is or what it was used for at one time. The picture at the right will only give you a small glimpse into the Fluorspar world. These are small specimens and do not really show how beautiful the mineral can be.

Fluorspar was the major dependent for some industries survival and existence. Hundreds of things about the home and the everyday life are possible because of Fluorspar.

Major uses included making steel, hydrofluoric acid, glass and enamel and iron foundry.

Fluoride can also help strengthen bones and teeth with thousands of tons of the substance going into the water to prevent decay and breakdown.

All of the aluminum that man uses can also be attributed in part to Fluorspar as Fluorspar salts and cryolite are used in the process to form the aluminum.

High octane gas, insecticides, refrigerants, dyes, plastics, solvents, clothing fibres, synthetic rubber, all get minor contributions for this mineral in their production.

During World War II, Fluorine (taken from the mineral fluorspar) was second only to uranium in making the atom bomb.

Marion in Crittenden County is very fortunate to have the Ben E. Clement Museum, home to the most unique collection of Fluorspar and minerals in the world. Many of the Fluorspar specimens were taken from the many mines located in our area.

The reason the mining industry was taken from Crittenden County and Southern Illinois, causing many, many familes to be without an income and many of our families having to move up North to the car and steel factories for a living to support their families, was that the fluorspar had begun to be imported into this country from foreign land in large quanities, and which has been produced by cheap foreign labor. This being allowed due to low tariff and poor import restrictions on foreign goods being brought into our country.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fluorspar Mining in Crittenden County

The picture at the right is of the Lafayette Mine that once was located at Mexico, KY. The mine was owned by several different companies through the years and was known by different names.

In 1948 it was known at the Tabb No. 1 plant of the Fluorspar Division of the U. S. coal and Coke Company. When the mines closed for the final time in 1973, it was known as Calvert City Chemical Company Mexico Mill.

When the mines finally closed it was a devastating blow to Crittenden County, and it's largest industry was gone. Many men lost their jobs and had to look elsewhere for work.

There is a lot of history recorded about the early days of the fluorspar mining industry in the Mexico, area. In 1904 it was recorded that thousands of tons of fluorspar was in the freight yards ready for shipment by train to plants up North. Mexico was the natural shipping point for a large scope of mining territory, embracing the Hodge, Riley, Pogue, Yandell, Asbridge, Tabb, Wheatcroft and other mines located near by.

In 1924 the mines in the Mexico and Frances area were the largest producing fluorspar mines in the nation. The mining district provided hundreds of jobs for the men in the surrounding towns and communities.

The underground mining of fluorspar was a dangerous and health threatening job, but it was a risk they took to provide a good living for their families.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Matthews Cemetery, Frances Kentucky


Matthews Cemetery is located near Frances, KY on State Route 855 South.

Crittenden County has many small family and community cemeteries that are uncared for, not that there aren't family members left, but for different reasons they are unable or just forget the need to care for them. Maintenance of these cemeteries is expensive for one or two people to have to bear the load of the fees, and time consuming if you have to try and keep the area mowed and trimmed yourself. So most of them are just left uncared for and nature takes them over.

Rita Owen Travis through a local grant application has acquired a small grant to help get the Matthews Cemetery cleaned. In the picture at the right is Steve Underdown with power saw cutting and trimming hanging limbs and overgrown shrubs that have become overgrown and out of control. The ice storm of Jan. 2009 also caused a lot of damaged to fence rows and tree limbs.

Rita also wants to have some of the over-turned and broken monuments reset and restored to their former state.

Some of the families that are buried in this cemetery are Matthews, Brown, Perkins, Tabor, Shewcraft, Millikan, Polk, Parish, and Asbridge. These are just a few of the family names you will see on the tombstones.

Hopefully with this initial cleanup family members will take a renewed interested in their family history and possible help with future care of the cemetery.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Carlyle Towery - Walking Legend

A familiar sight around Marion is Mr. Carlyle Towery. Although pushing 90 years old, he takes his exercise walk everyday. This morning he was walking around one of our local grocery store parking lots.

Carlyle Towery is one of our local sport heroes from yesteryear. In 1936 he was co-captain of the Shady Grove Bear Cats. He was the high point star for the team and measured 6ft 5 in tall. He received much praise from spectators for his good basketball style.

After graduating from Shady Grove High School Mr. Towery went to school at Western Ketncuky University. At 6'5" Towery played center for the Hilltoppers, leading them to the NCAA tournament in 1940 in Indianapolis where they lost to Duquesne 30-29.

Towery made the All-American team in 1940, just the second Hilltopper to earn the honor. He is listed as the 21st all-time scorer for the school although, judging from the words of praise of some of his peers, it is clear he is much more well thought of than that.

Following his collegiate career, Towery went to the old Nation Basketball League, forerunner of the National Basketball Association, with the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. The club won the league title in 1944. Towery's pro career was delayed by military service and then was ended by a near-fatal automobile accident in 1950.

Our hats off to you Mr. Towery.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Marion Light Company

When Marion first got Electricity.
From the files of The Crittenden Press comes the history of this important event for the people of Marion. The picture at the right is the Marion Electric Light and Ice Company August 1901.

August 15, 1901.
The machinery for the Electric Light Plant reached the city a few days ago. The power house is complete and the work of wiring the business houses and residences will begin at once, and the plant will be in operation in a few weeks.

The rates are very reasonable indeed. The rates for business houses are as follows: Less than three lights 75 cents each, Three or more, 60 cents, Ten or more, 50 cents.

For residences; Three of more, 33 cents, Ten or more 30 cents each.

The strength of the ordinary light will be sixteen candle power; however, lights of greater power can be secured. The streets of the city are to be light with eighteen arc lights.

Oct. 17, 1901 - 20 Arc Lights Illuminate The City.
Thursday, Oct. 10, 1901, is another historical day in Marion. On that day twenty arc lights flashed their rays up and down the streets of Marion, driving away the murky darkness that has so long enveloped our thoroughfares and announcing to the world that Marion is rapidly becoming a city.

The lights are in every particular up to the expectations of the people. No towns, and very few cities can boast of a better system of street light than ours. The lights are turned on at six o'clock in the evening and burn all night. The work of wiring the business houses and residences is being pushed rapidly along.

The power plant only ran at night. It was also on a "moonlight schedule", this meant they didn't burn the street lights on a moon light night. Certain times of the week were also set for people to use their electric washing machines and their electric irons.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Baker Missionary Baptist Church

Baker Baptist Church is located on S. R. 365 in Crittenden County approximately 10 miles from Marion. It is set in a beautiful rural area of the county.

There are two cemeteries located here, one in front of the church near the highway and another in the rear of the church accessed from Baker Hollow Road.

Here is some of the history of this church.
  • The council met on Monday, August 19, 1901 to organize the church. The council composed of Elders and deacons from churches in the community read the Articles of Faith and the "Church Covenent."
  • The eight constituent members were Brother Sam Merritt, Sisters Deasdie Merritt, Nancy R. Sullivan, Sallie Simpson, Lou Simpson, Mary H. Simpson, Annis O'Neal and Garbrilla Crisp entered into the Constitution.
  • T. W. Walker made the motion to name the church Baker.
  • The first minister was Rev. U. Grant Hughes and the first treasurer was A. B. Crisp. The first clerk was W. P. O'Neal.
  • The land for the building was donated by W. U. Hughes.
The new church was built in 1902 and the formal dedication was to be held the fifth Sunday in August 1903.

A large crowd was present. The liberal seating capacity of the church proved inadequate for the occasion. A merry dinner was spread in the grove. The preaching was a telling example of devine oratory.

The day will long be remembered by the members and families of the new Baker Church.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Past

It seems from reading the old Crittenden Presses that Thanksgivings of yesteryear were more important to the people than it seems today. From the following article it is all about Thanksgiving Day, not just a day to hurry through and get ready for the biggest shopping day of the year.

Nov. 1928 - Marion's Annual Thanksgiving Service.
Tuesday morning of this week the annual Thanksgiving proclamation was signed by Mayor J. V. Threlkeld. In the document the mayor requests all business to be suspended during the Thanksgiving service scheduled for 10:30 at the Main Street Presbyterian Church.

The text of Mayor Threlkeld's proclamation is as follows: Thanksgiving Proclamation
  • Marion has passed thru another year of progress. We have as a community and as individual citizens been blessed in many ways. Therefore we should not forget the gratitude we owe our heavenly father for the prosperity and happiness we have enjoyed. At the same time we should not be forgetful of those less fortunate, but by deeds of charity we should make our acknowledgement of our blessings more acceptable.
  • Whereas Calvin Coolidge, president of the United States has set apart Tuesday, the twenty-ninth day of November as a day of general Thanksgiving and prayer.
  • Therefore I, J. V. Threlkeld, mayor of the city of Marion, Ky., hereby recommend that on that day our citizens shall cease from their daily work, at least from 10:30 A.M. during the time of the Thanksgiving service, and either in their homes or place of worship give thanks to the Supreme Ruler for the blessings of the past year.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Marion Business Matters

This little interesting article appeared in The Crittenden Record Press in Sept. 12, 1912. It's titled "DOGS."

We are of the opinion that another ordinance should follow the "chicken ordinance" this one should prohibit the dogs of this city from being at liberty to go where they please.

We strictly endorse the "chicken ordinance" provided that dog ordinance follows which will stop the dogs from prowling in our yards and on our porches.

As to the chickens, "we had much rather have our neighbors' fowls in our yards than to have our neighbors, and those who are not our neighbors' dogs, prowling in our yards and houses, scratching up our flowers and burying bones and pieces of refused beef from the slaughter yards.

It may do over in Hog Wallow where dogs are raised for the fun of hearing them chase Eleck Hellwagger's mule off of Musket Ridge, but in a civilized and growing city we strenuously object to that method of employing the canine race.

With the chicken ordinance it is different, for many poor people who rent houses would love to have a few chickens, but as the owners of the property will not fence it, they can not have the fowls, and yet they are compelled to be harassed by the yelling of a pack of dogs all night.

In our end of the town we would all be much obliged to the Board, if they would kindly use some of their surplus influence to bring the proposed ordinance to pass.
Signed - A Friend.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Gladstone, Kentucky

This little interesting article in from The Crittenden Press, April 8, 1915.

The Press scribe visits the little village of Gladstone located on the I.C.C. Railroad track in the North East part of our county.

Our Press man made Gladstone last week. This is a business burg on the I. C. Railroad north of Marion.

D. Crowell is a dealer here in groceries and county produce.

M. Crider, in general merchandise, postmaster and millinery goods. The telephone central office is located here. His daughters, Misses Ambie and Sadie Crider are the "hello" girls and they are very attentive and polite in performing their duties.

J. B. McKinney is a dealer in groceries.

During the time when the article was written, the Nunn Switch depot sat in the field near the railroad crossing sign. The store was also located close by.

The picture above was made in 1997 before the railroad tracks were removed. This is a picture for the history books, since the Rail Road crossing sign and tracks are sill visible. Today the track and the crossing sign are gone, just a faded memory for some of us older folks.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Crooked Creek Covered Bridge









The old covered bridge that was across Crooked Creek on the Ford's Ferry road has been gone many years. Although some records in Frankfort says Crittenden County had several covered bridges, this was the only one that was ever talked about or had stories written about it. There were several iron bridges that had a metal frame above it but none with the wooded structure like the one in the picture on the left.

An article in our local paper printed in October 1954 tells us that this Covered Bridge that spans Crooked Creek has been a landmark for nearly a century. It has lost it's cover but not it's prestige. In a severe wind storm in Nov. 1940 the covered portion of the bridge was completely blown away and only the frame was left. It stood like this for several years. (picture on the right is after the storm blew the wooden sides off.)

In the horse and buggy days it was a shelter from rain; a trysting place; a place to cut names; to carve images; cut dates, and a place to post local notices of speakings (when political aspirants made stump speeches) and for the coming attractions in town.

One night in October 1875, during a torrential rainfall, a son was being born to the wife of James M. Gilbert. A neighbor was sent to Marion several miles distant, on horseback to get a doctor. During the late hours of night, being guided only by lightening and the intuition of his horse he reached the Covered Bridge. The creek was rolling high and rapidly. He got about half way across the bridge when it pulled loose from its mooring. He held to the saddle and the horse swam back to the same side on which he entered the bridge.

The baby son that was born that night was Ben Gilbert. He lived to be quite a financier for his day and an outstanding farmer.

The couple in the wagon in the picture on the left are Fred and Lillie Gilbert. Barry Gilbert that lives in Marion today is a descendant of this family.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Veteran Window Display

When I was a child growing up in the 1950's, going to Marion and seeing all the business windows displays was really exciting. All the stores on Main Street would take special care in decorating their windows for all the different occasions. Halloween and Christmas displays would sometime have a special night for the grand showing of each window. Sometimes there would be a contest for the best window display.

Memorial Day and Veteran's Day also were special days that the places of business showed their respect by honoring the Veteran's with some kind of special window display.

This year Roy Rogers and Tim Harrison's Barber-Shop on South Main Street has their window's decorated for Veteran's Day with pictures, stories and two Crittenden County soldier's uniforms on display. The two Veteran's that were honored in their window are Floyd "Rip" Wheeler and Jesse Hughes.

Rip Wheeler was a member of the Third Army Battle Corps of Engineers. His duties included building bridges, constructing camp sites and planting land mines. Wheeler fought in the deadly Battle of the Bulge and also Hedgerow. Wheeler and his fellow soldiers were called upon to lay land mines and keep German troops back. Their jobs were done under constant fire from the Germans.

Jesse Hughes flew cargo planes on dangerous missions for the U. S. Air Force. His plane carried medical supplies to the hundreds of wounded soldiers in Okinawa. One of his missions included being sent to evacuate allied survivors of a prisoner of war camp. Hughes was in the military for 21 years of service.

It was good to see this old tradition of a store window being displayed to Honor Our Veterans. Thank you Roy and Tim for honoring our Veterans this way once again.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Crittenden County Remembers


Veterans Day

This Wednesday, Nov. 11th, being Veterans Day is always a day we should reflect on our country's past history and be thankful for those young men that died in the fight for our Freedom.

Crittenden County lost several young men in World War I, some on the battle field, but as many or more, died from diseases. The list of these diseases were measles, influenza, pneumonia and typhoid fever. There was a list of fifteen young men from Crittenden County that died from these diseases.

Charles Ervin Davis, was one of these young men. He died during training at Great Lakes, Ill. on Sept. 28, 1918.

On January 16, 1920, the Woodmen Of The World organization erected a monument for him. The announcement read - A splendid W.O.W. monument has been erected at the grave site of Ervin Davis in the Crooked Creek Cemetery. The work is carved of fine Vermont marble to resemble the body of a tree. This memorial was made in the works of Henry and Henry monument Co.

As you can see by the picture above, the monument is still an impressive monument today, as it should be to honor one of our past Veterans. The writing at the base of the stone says "Died in U.S. Service, Great Lakes, Ill. Picture was made Nov. 7, 2009.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Dickey Springs

Home of the first Presbyterian Church
One of the most historic springs in Crittenden County is the Dickey Spring site. A quiet little place located in undisturbed forest land about 5 miles from Marion on the home place of Debbie and Roger Roberts.

From the earliest information of this area, which is in 1803, history tells us that the first Presbyterian Church established in what is now Crittenden County grew out of brush-arbor services that were held at Dickey Spring, by a Presbyterian minister, Rev. William Dickey. Rev. Dickey had a home site located close to the spring. He was known to also hold services at his home.

Other sources of our past history, some by J. N. Dean and also from The Travis Family history by Rev. James F. Price, tells us that there was also a cemetery located near this site. There is nothing now to show there were any graves there. From these sources we know that Daniel Travis, the first Travis (from this line) to come to Livingston Co. (now Crittenden) is buried here. Daniel served in the American Revolution in South Carolina under Capt. Edward Lacey's Co. John and Benjamin Wheeler, young sons of John and Susannah Clark Wheeler are also buried in the old cemetery. Probably several more members of pioneer families are buried in this place, but nothing to tell of us their lives or deaths.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Frances Presbyterian - Marked In Time

Frances Presbyterian Church held it's 100th Anniversary Celebration of the church on June 7, 2009. The tiny community of Frances is located about 7 miles south of Marion on S.R. 70.

In December 1908, Rev. James F. Price and Rev. A.J. Thompson held a series of evangelistic services at Oliver School near Frances under the auspices of the Crayne Presbyterian Church.

Accordingly on the afternoon of February 25, 1909, the group who had petitioned the Presbytery to organize them into a church, met again with thirty-five charter members.

The church was dedicated in 1910. The building was built on land donated by George L. Whitt, who also donated the land for the cemetery. The first pastor was the Rev. A. J. Thompson, who served for many years. Some of the early active members were the Matthews, Pogue, and Whitt families.

On June 7, 2009 at the 100th Anniversary nearly 100 people attended the services. The church grounds, home to 28 members and an average congregation of 25, hosted an array of activities to mark the centennial festivities, including burial of a time capsule by pastors Butch Gray, and A. C. Hodge to mark the occasion.

A granite marker donated by Henry and Henry Monuments in Marion will forever denote the location of the underground museum. (shown in the photo above)

Also in attendance that day was D. E. Owen, who was honored as the person with the longest membership, who has been on the rolls for 75 years. The congregation's oldest member, however, is Elsie Stone, who is 87.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Flynn's Ferry Road

An Ancient Road.
One of the oldest roads in Western Kentucky, and the oldest in Crittenden County, is the Flynn's Ferry Road (now Piney Fork School Road and Copperas Spring Road). It used to be just the one name from here to Princeton.

The picture at the right was made several years ago standing on the bank of the Piney Fork Church grounds. The melted snow on the road in the distance made it look as it might have many years ago as it wound it's way through the county side. The barn on the left at one time was the Piney Fork school house. The owners build sheds on each side of it to store hay.

Geologically a natural break formed by parts of Camp Creek and Piney Creek in the eastern part of the county in very early time formed a basis for a North-South trace or trail from the Tennessee country into Southern Illinois.

Wild animals, that were plentiful at the time, first made this trace from the hills of Tennessee across the area of Kentucky to the Salt Licks in Southern Illinois. Later the Indians coming to this area to hunt for meat to feed their families followed this cleared trace through the wilderness that was created by the buffalo and deer herds.

This trail, after being developed by the Indians and early settlers, formed an almost straight line from Princeton to the town of Weston on the Ohio River. It was here at Weston that the animals, as well as Indians, would cross the then shallow Ohio River to get to the other shore.

When early settlers located at Weston, this road was known as the Chicakasaw Trail, for the Indians that had helped create this trail. Soon after George Flynn came to this river crossing and established a ferry and then the road was known as Flynn's Ferry Road. Flynn's Ferry Road ran from the town of Weston to the home of William Prince, who lived at the Big Spring which later became the site of Princeton.

Flynn's Ferry Road has been a part of this area since 1803. Sometime within the past 10-15 years, without thinking of the historical significance of this road being named Flynn's Ferry Road, the name was changed to Copperas Spring Road. Many of us would like to see this action reversed and the road once again having it's historical name of "Flynn's Ferry Road."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dr. Forrest Carlisle Pogue, Jr. Marker

Historical County Markers

Over the past few years Crittenden Countains have been trying to help preserve our local history by having several history memorial markers made and placed in areas so that people will see them as they visit the area.

On June 30, 2006, this impressive black marble marker was placed at the entrance to the Crittenden County Public Library on W. Carlisle St. to honor Dr. Forrest Carlisle Pogue.

The life's work of a famous and influential Crittenden Countain, Forrest Carlisle Pogue is forever etched in stone.

In honor of Dr. Forrest Carlisle Pogue.. war journalist, professor, military biographer, research and pioneer of oral history techniques, reads the new black polish marble monument in from of the Crittenden County Public Library honoring Pogue.

Dr. Pogue grew up here in the rural community of Frances, and graduated high school at the the age of 14. He was later educated at Murray State, the University of Kentucky and he also studied abroad. Pogue wrote several books on World War II, military generals and United States history. He was often referred to as the "congenial historian" by others in his field.

This project was spearheaded by Matthew T. Patton, formerly of Crittenden County, now living in Pennsylvania, along with Chris Evans, publisher of The Crittenden Press. Henry and Henry Monuments of Marion made the marker.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Boston Planing Mill and Lumber Yard

Boston Lumber Company was a thriving business in Marion since the year 1902. It was a family owned company and in later years was known as the J. N. Boston and Sons Lumber Co.

Many of Marion's business section buildings were built by this respected company and they were awarded contracts for Fohs Hall and Marion's Woman's Club building in 1926 also, the Marion High School in 1936. The also had contracts for other large construction in other counties.

The firm was sold at auction in July 1973 to Darben Developers, Inc. The business didn't continue for too many years after this.

Although a well-known name for many years in Marion and Crittenden County, the Boston family name is gone from Marion now. There are descendants from the Boston family that live in other areas.

The picture above was made in 2006.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Pleasant Hill Regular Baptist Church


Pleasant Hill Regular Baptist Church is located just outside the Marion City limits on Pleasant Hill Road east of town on S. R. 120.

The church was organized in 1853 in a log home near the present church building by 13 people who migrated to this area from Tennessee. The congregation met in the log structure until 1867. The year before, Obaediah Paris, deeded two acres to the Pleasant Hill Church. The building was used for several years before it was given to the school district and moved to become Pleasant Hill School. The present church building was built in 1906 .

Significant for the church, the oldest and only remaining Regular Baptist Church in Crittenden County. In May 2003, the church celebrated the 150th anniversary of the the church's heritage. Many of the descendants of the original founders were present to celebrate the occasion. At this celebration, William Eldred Hunt, was the longest-serving minister in the church's history. He was pastor at the time and had served the church for 43 years. Only the first pastor, Paul Lee Herralson Walker, came close to Hunt's tenure with 32 years. Rev. William Hunt died Feb. 13, 2009 and is buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery.

Pleasant Hill Church has it's own cemetery and many of the founding fathers of the church are buried in this cemetery. There are two parts of the cemetery. One part is located to the side of the church and the newer section is across the road in front of the church. As you can tell by the picture, it is a beautiful church and cemetery.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Crittenden Furnace - Iron Ore

Crittenden's Iron Furnace Historical Marker

The picture on the right is a marker erected by the Kentucky Historical Society between Dycusburg and Frances. It sits at the junction of Axel Creek Road and S. R. 70. It was erected in 1969. The inscription reads - Crittenden Furnace built 1 mile west of this marker by G. D. Cobb in 1847. Inside dimensions of the furnace were 9 feet across and 30 feet in height. Charcoal fuel was used to generate steam power for the machinery, which in 1855 produced 1300 tons of iron.

The furnace was named for the, then newly formed county of Crittenden (1842), and was one of the last of several iron furnaces built by the Cobb and Lyon families who came to this area in about 1800. The Cobb and Lyon and other families of iron masters came to this part of the country as a result of President Andrew Jackson telling them of the rich iron ore deposits in this area.

On the back side: Iron Made In Kentucky - A major producer since 1791. KY. ranked 3rd in US in 1830's, 11th in 1965. Charcoal timber, native ore,and limestone supplied material for numerous furnaces making pig iron. The old charcoal furnace era ended by depletion of ore and timber and the growth of railroads.

These old iron furnaces were always constructed on a hillside and near a creek. The picture on the right at the top of the page, shows the colorful pieces of slag, a by-produce of producing the iron ore. When iron ore is heated in the blast furnace, the impurities or slag, which contain large quantities of calcium and silica, become molten and are separated from the raw iron. These pieces of slag are very beautiful in color. All shades of blue from this furnace. The Patty's Creek that runs at the foot of the hill were the old furnace used to be still has many pieces of this slag in it's creek bottom. Imagine, after 160 years there are still traces of the slag from the Crittenden Furnace.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Seth Ferguson Farm - 1958

In 1958 The Crittenden Press ran a mystery farm photo picture each week. This picture was featured in the September 18th edition of the paper.

At the time this farm belonged to Seth Ferguson. The article read - Mystery Farm No. 17 belonged to Seth Ferguson, postmaster at Crayne. The 273 acre property lies northwest of Crayne.

At present the Clarence Jennings family lives on the farm and shares crops. A general farming program is carried out on the property, known as Walnut Hill.

Mr. Ferguson has owned the farm for eight years. Previous owners were Morris, Dorroh, Gugenheim and Clements, according to Mr. Ferguson.

The owner's crops are corn and wheat, and his favorite livestock is milk cows. He practices crop rotation, with clover alternated annually with corn and wheat. He grows his own feed and supplements.

Mr. Ferguson and his wife, Velma, were married Nov. 15, 1941. They have two children, Sandra, 15, and Sheryl, 14.

The farm stayed in the Ferguson family for several years after this photo was made. Anyone that remembers this old home tells what a grand place it was. The rooms were large with 14 foot ceilings. There was a large stone step by the front porch that was used as a stepping stone to mount your horse. Clarence and Jerry Jennings and their two boys lived here for several years and, as the article said, worked on the farm for Seth. They were friends with the folks that lived in Crayne and were a part of the community.

It was originally the Fred Clement home, a well-known, and prosperous land owner of the area. The Clement farm joined land with another early pioneer family, A. H. Cardin. It was Mr. Cardin's wife, that loved this area so much and thought it was so beautiful that she named the area "View." Back in the early 1900's View was a well-known community, but the name with all the families that lived there are about faded into history.

I believe the owner today is Mrs. Bonnie Turner and she rents the crop land out to Van Hunt and a trailer sits on the location of this once beautiful and proud family home.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Some Travis Family History


My Travis Family.
The picture at the right is of Lula Culley Travis and her two sons, Clement Culley Travis, standing, and my father, Billie Minor Travis, sitting on her lap. Lula died at the young age of 28, on July 21, 1918. Uncle Clem would have been 4 years old, my dad, Billie was 2 years old and a baby daughter, Katie, at only 2 weeks old.

When her death was first reported in the paper, it read: July 25, 1918. Mrs. Travis, wife of County Road Commissioner and former Superintendent of schools, E. Jeffrey Travis, died Tuesday morning of child bed fever. Her remains were taken to her old home, Bells Mines for interment Tuesday afternoon. In the next week paper, Aug. 1, 1918, it report that Mrs. Jeffrey Travis' illness was not child bed fever as was reported but was quick consumption. Her sister was with her, also her married step-daughter and a trained nurse. She had never been up since the birth of her little girl two weeks ago, and for several days prior to her death was unconscious, and several physicians were in consultation over her case which had been considered hopeless for almost a week.

Being this young when their mother died, Clem, Billie and Katie were raised by different family members. My father, Billie, never talked much about these early days, I guess were just rather unhappy days for them not really having their own home and family to grow up with. I only found out in the 1980's that he really didn't know where his mother, Lula, was buried or even the exact date of her death. He supposed in the Bells Mines cemetery since that was were other family members were buried and since his sister Katie was about two weeks old, she must have died in 1918.

By this time in my life, I had become very interested in our family history and began the search for her death and burial place. I finally found her death announcement in The Crittenden Press, as noted above, and it gave me the burial location. I was able to get her death certificate and this gave us more information and dates of birth and death. Her father, John N. Culley had come to Crittenden County from Tennessee and settled in the Bells Mines area. Probably to find work in the then operating coal mines. Her mother, Katherine Snodgrass Culley, family was from the Union County area. They are also buried in the Bells Mines Cemetery. The Culley family name is now none existing in Crittenden County.

I stewed and worried for some time that my Dad's mother, and my grandmother, did not have a stone to mark her grave site and honor her name. In 2002, with the help of Henry and Henry Monuments here in Marion, I got her a small tombstone to mark her resting place. Such a sad ending to a young wife and mother, who never got to know her 3 children. I feel it is never to late to mark a grave, even if one doesn't know the exact spot, the marker could still be placed near the other family members.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Tobacco in Crittenden County

The picture at the right is during the time Crittenden County grew tobacco for a cash crop. It was a busy day at the tobacco factory as this line of wagon loads of tobacco and men came into town to unload their crops.

From the files of The Crittenden Record-Press, Sept 1906, tobacco farmer, A. H . Cardin wrote the following letter to the Record.
Editor Record. I ask a small space this week to speak to the tobacco growers, as I am anxious for them to house and cure this crop of tobacco in good shape.

From all I have seen this is the best crop we have had for fifteen years and it will not do to handle it carelessly. If you expect to get a good price you must get it in the barn in good shape and fire it well, let it yellow well, then start your fires slow, say for 24 hours, then increase them for one day and night, then fire slowly for about ten days, just enough to keep the leaf dry.

If it comes in order a little at night dry it out during the day until it is thoroughly cured. The best color is a cherry red, the next best color is a rich brown or a solid dark.

This year you will need more barn room and more sticks, and you are liable to put too much on the stick and crowd it in the barn. You will have to guard against this or you will have house burnt tobacco. House burnt tobacco is almost worthless as well as sun burnt tobacco. You can make or ruin a crop of tobacco from the knife on.

Since the Trust has got control of the tobacco business they are very particular as to how the tobacco is classed, and if you are curing your tobacco by bad management, get mixed colors, it is hard to class, which will cut the price fully $1.00 on the 100 pounds. If you do not want mixed colors let your tobacco yellow well and fire slow in the start and fire until your tobacco is well cured.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Crittenden Springs Hotel - The Ending

Crittenden Springs Hotel Beginning and End

I've written a couple of articles about the old Crittenden Springs Hotel and how grand and beautiful it was. Looking at the early pictures of it, when it was in it's prime, we realize what a great treasure that we have lost. What a shame it couldn't have been preserved and we could have had it today for a bed and breakfast or a Hotel.

One might wonder what ever happened to the grand mineral spring resort and if the spring is still running today. Here's the rest of the story.

The Crittenden Springs resort flourished until about 1910 when people began to doubt the medicinal purposes of the sulphur water and the final end came when the near by underground mining operations caused the water to disappear from the springs.

In 1915, Mr. R. W. Wilson, business man from Marion, was the owner of the now unused Hotel. He dismantled the top part of the building and build himself and his family a bungalow from the lumber. I'm not sure where he built this house.

The ground floor was made smaller and used as a single family dwelling for many years. Forrest Shewmaker family was the last to live in the house.

The Gazebo over the mineral spring at the base of the hill has long been gone, no one seems to know just when it was taken down or what happened to the materials it was made from. The flourishing mineral spring that bubbled up under the gazebo floor has dried up and only the rock formation of the opening of the spring is visible. No medicinal waters now flow from this spring. There is a small opening in the hill side that the sulphur water still flows from.

The bottom picture is all this is left of the house. Picture was made in October 2006.

A sad ending to a beautiful memorial time in our past history.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Marion's First Permanent Residence

Picture on the right is of the home known as the Wilsonia.

This house was build in 1846, by Harvey W. Bigham. It was Marion's first permanent family residence. It was located on the Centerville Road (now South Main St.) and fronting a lane or tract line (now East Depot St.)

It was sold to R. W. Wilson in 1890. In 1916, the home was remodeled and many improvements were made, converting it into the Park-Wilsonia Hotel. The building, already equipped with steam heating and water works including bath and commode, has a lavatory on each floor, and is lighted throughout with electricity. Spacious west and north colonial verandas, office, parlor and dining room have been provided.

At this point in time the location of the Wilsonia was located in a park. A park of grand old Oaks and stately Maples with the tall and graceful Lombardys interspersed with the other trees. It was named the Wilsonia, by R. W. Wilson's daughter in honor of her father.

After Mr. Wilson's death it was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Marshall Jenkins and family. Mrs. Jenkins was a daughter of R. W. Wilson.

In August 1926, the Wilsonia, a historic landmark, was razed to make room for two new bungalow style homes to be built by Mr. J. N. Boston. One was to be his new home and the other for his son, Mr. Thomas Cochran, which would face East Depot Street.

These two homes are still standing today. Gordon Dicky is the owner of the J. N. Boston home facing South Main Street. The Thomas Cochran home sold last year to someone from out of town.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Amish Country

A trip through Amish county is always a rewarding sight, that is, if you love the peaceful sittings and beautiful county side views that you will see along the way. Take your time as you drive through the area, so that you can take in all that there is to see. The pictures at the right were made on Mt. Zion Cemetery Road, off of S. R. 654 N.

The season's are changing and so are the sights along the way. Corn is being picked and the stalks are put in fodder as only the Amish can do. Horse drawn equipment is being used to cut the hay and get the land ready for winter.

Hundreds of beautiful colorful fall flowers are on display at several of the nurseries and pumpkins and gourds are for sale also.

The Amish started their settlement in Crittenden County in 1977 with thirteen families. Over the years they have grown and many more families are located here today. Many of the homes along the way will have signs out telling the passersby the items that have some sale. Homemade goods and furniture are a few of the items you will see for sale.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Visit to the new Dam 50 area

Genealogy Group Field Trip to old Dam Site.

Picture left to right: Don Foster, Don Taylor, Fay Carol Crider, Me, Doyle Polk and Dot Kunnecke. A fine group we were and a good time we had. We had a picnic lunch at one of the new sheds and then a hike down to the river's edge.

The Crittenden County Genealogy Group went on a field trip this past Saturday to the newly restored Dam 50 site. It has a new name now, being called River Side Park. But to those of us that grew up here and visited this area and went to the park for church and family picnics, it will always be Dam 50.

The Lock and Dam 50 site was built by the United States Government and the project was completed in 1928. At this time in history the area was known as Clementsburg, named for the man who created the town, John Clement. Another town just down from Clementsburg was Fords Ferry, and up the river a short distance was the river port town of Weston.

The old wicket-time dam had become obsolete by 1980 and it was destroyed in the fall of 1980. Soon gone were the nice homes of the families that worked there and the power house. The area was misused and vandalized over the years and people didn't use it as it was suppose to be used. Now, almost 30 years later the area is finally a clean, safe and beautiful area for families and organizations to enjoy once again.

The park area has 3 new sheds with metal picnic tables and grills, concrete pads for campers and there is a grassy playground area for the kids and even some rope and plank swings hanging from the large limbs of the beautiful Maple trees that are there. These trees are the only things left from the original Dam 50 park, and the beautiful Ohio River as if continues it's journey down south.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Busy Bee Street

The Busy Bee Street

Picture on the right is of the new city block that had just been rebuilt after the disastrous fire of March 1905. Buildings include at the far left the new Marion Bank, next the Jenkins building, then Haynes and Taylor Drug Store and then the new Marion Post Office. All buildings were completed by the fall of 1905.

What we know as Carlisle Street today was, at that time in history, known as Bank Street. The new nickname for this street and its new buildings was the "Busy Bee Block." The reason being of all the hustle and bustle around this street and all the new offices opening for business.

There were twelve new offices on the second floor of the Jenkins building. This building was adjoining the new Marion Bank, some included: Dr. Frederick Nunn, dentist, Z. A. Bennett and J. B. Kevil owners of Bennett and Kevil Insurance Company, Joe B. and James W. Champion Attorneys-at-law, McConnell's Parlor Barber Shop, and the Crittenden Record Press also had offices in this building. The barber shop were open from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. and on Saturday night they were open until 12:00 p.m.

The new Marion Post Office building was completed at this time and was ready for business. Above the Post Office were more business suites to be rented out. (This is the Coaches Cleaners building today.

Marion was a busy place and this street was one of the busiest at that time.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Off Schedule

Just to let you know.
If I have any readers that check the Forgotten Passages Blog regularly, I have had a killer virus on my computer and have been unable to post anything this week. I will have some more history items to post shortly. Thank you for checking my Blog.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Lewis Walker Funeral Ceremonies

Monument of Lewis Walker, located at Sisco Chapel Cemetery, Crittenden County. He was in Co. A 48th Ky Vol. Mounted Infantry.

Crittenden Press March 27, 1896

At a meeting of Crittenden Post, G. A. R. held at its hall in Marion, August 4th, 1896, it was decided to hold the funeral service in memory of comrade Lewis Walker, deceased, at the grave of said deceased comrade, at Sisco's Chapel, on Friday September 4, 1896.

This service is held in consequence of the fact that on the day on Comrade Walker's funeral the rain prevented the members of the Post from meeting and performing the service.

A large attendance of the surrounding county is expected. As it will be impossible to get through with the services in either the forenoon or afternoon, it will be necessary to have dinner on the ground. All are requested to bring the dinner baskets.

After the funeral services there will be a decoration of the graves of all soldiers at that and a neighboring cemetery. Everyone that can will please bring contributions of flowers, and as flowers will be scare, it will be necessary to use evergreens to a great extent, all who can please bring evergreens.
Isaac Sisco donated the land for use as a cemetery.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Cameron Hotel - 1893

Marion was a busy town in 1893. Lead and Zinc mines in the Crittenden Springs area were being opened up and business men from out of state were coming to see the operations. Salesmen from different areas were coming to Marion to sell their wares.

Folks from other towns in Crittenden County would also come to Marion to do business and since travel was so hard and slow, many would just spend a few days in Marion rather than try to travel to and from their homes in one day.

The Cameron House was the place to stay, as you can see by the advertisement at the right. A first class Hotel, with Stable attached and a Barber shop, all available in the same location. A grand place to stay in 1893.

Hotel arrivals for Feb. 11, 1893 included:
  • J. B. Heart and W. G. Louis, Evansville Ind.
  • Charlie Teets, Weston, Ky.
  • W.N. Claggot, Louisville, Ky.
  • M. C. Givens, Providence, Ky.
  • S. T. Lamerok, Paducah, Ky.
  • Joseph Reeves, Mt. Vernon Ind.
  • J.J. Dollar, G. C. Dollar, J.K. Woodsides, A. H. Cardin all from Crittenden Co.
  • Harry Clement, Weston, Ky.
  • Joe Cassidy, Dycusburg, Ky.
  • Tom Wallace, Hurricane, Ky.
  • Bill Hill, and M. Baker, Fredonia, Ky.
  • H. McGoodwin, Princeton, Ky.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hayward Fishpond

Another piece of interesting history to share about the old Hayward Mansion and lawns. Located in the front lawn was a item that was very unique for our small rural town of Marion. It was a concrete fish pond. Many beautiful gold fish occupied this little pond. In the middle was a water fountain and benches sat around the pond so people could sit and enjoy the view.

During the 1950's when the house was serving as the hospital, this was a very special entertainment for the visitors to the hospital. To small children the gold fish were a magical thing to watch as they swam around the pond.
The fish pond lies empty and full of leaves and other people's litter today.

Marion's Lost Treasure

The former E. J. Hayward Mansion. Picture on the left is the front entrance, and picture on right is of the side entrance on N. Walker Street.

As I was out on one of my early morning picture taking jaunts I once again drove by the former Hayward family home, located on North Walker Street. Stopping and getting a closer look, one can see that we, as a community, have lost a one-of-a-kind treasure that could have graced our city for many years to come. I used to say "if I win the lottery, I want to renovate the old Hayward home to it's former glory." But as it stands now, it would probably cost close to 2 million dollars to do this.

The history of this building is as follows:
  • E. J. Hayward, a prominent business man of Marion had this home built for his family in the year 1904. It was to be a type of colonial built home with buff brick, white mortar and stone trimmings. The roof would be of black slate. The cornices and corners are finished in store effect and are sufficiently large to break the line of the roof in a pleasing manner.
  • The porches are all of stone with stone steps and buttresses with artificial stone steps. The columns to the porches are also of solid stone. The entrances to the resident are protected by porches giving access at front and sides through vestibules entered directly into the front and side halls.
  • The rear entrance is through a vestibule into the kitchen. The entrance to the cellar is from the outside and also from the side hall.
  • The main hall or reception room in 14x35 feet, located in the center of the building and forms a large sitting room as well as giving access to stairs, side hall parlors, library, dining room and breakfast room
  • The Library is on the left of hall as you enter and occupies the front part of the house being 15x19 feet in the clear with connecting sliding doors into hall and reception hall.
  • The parlor is 15x15 on the opposite side of the reception hall, finished off in white with gold trimmings.
  • The dining room is at the rear of the reception hall on the left and is 17x19 feet circular at one side, forming a bay window. The combination of rooms allow an opportunity of throwing the parlor, reception hall, side hall, library and dining room into one large room for reception purposes.
  • The second floor has five large bed rooms, bath room, linen closet and den. The attic is one large room plastered and floored making a large playroom for the children, with light and ventilation from four sides.

The Hayward family lived here until 1915, they sold the house and relocated from the city of Marion. In 1921 the Marion Board of Education bought this home and renovated it to make it usable as the city High School. It served as a high school from 1921 until 1938.

In 1943 it was purchased for the purposed of being Marion and Crittenden County's first, and much needed, hospital. The building was once again renovated and made usable as a hospital. It housed the local hospital until 1972.

Since that time it has sit empty, with staircases and fixtures being stolen or sold. As each day goes by the honorable old building decays more. This old building has served it's community well, first as a stately home to a loving family, then a notable school for educating our young people, and last a much needed hospital for the care of our citizens. What a shame it has to end its life of service in this manner.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Crittenden's Covered Bridge

The old covered bridge that used to span Crooked Creek. It was located a few miles from Marion on the Fords Ferry Road. It has been a landmark for nearly a century. As the years went by it lost it's cover and the covering on the sides, but it never lost its prestige.

In the horse and buggy days it was a shelter from rain; a trysting place; a place to cut names; to carve images, cut dates, and a place to post local notices of speakings, when political candidates made stump speeches, and any events that were to take place in Marion.

A story about the bridge was told by Mrs. Lillie Gilbert in 1954. One night in October 1875, during a torrential rainfall, a son was being born to the wife of James M. Gilbert. A neighbor was sent to Marion, several miles distant, on horseback to get a doctor. During the late hours of night, being guided only by lightning and the intuition of his horse he reached the Covered Bridge. The creek was rolling high and rapidly. He got about half way across the bridge when it pulled lose from its mooring. He held to the saddle and the horse swam back to the same side on which he entered the bridge. The baby son, Ben Gilbert, lived to be quite a financier for his day and an outstanding farmer.
In 1940 there wasn't much left of the old covered bridge, it had a tin roof but most of the side planks were gone. On Nov. 11th, 1940 a severe windstorm struck the county and blew down the familiar landmark and so Crittenden County lost it's only covered bridge.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Hebron Church

Hebron Church was located about 12 miles from Marion on Hwy. 91 North. This is the way the church looked in 1975 when the church had to close its doors due to lack of support and membership.

In the beginning Hebron Methodist Church was located close to the school. The church came into being following a tent revival held near Dunn Springs on what was then known as the Jeff Love place.

Following the revival Lewis J. Daughtrey and his wife, Narcissa, deeded an acre of ground of their farm to the following Trustees of the newly formed Hebron Methodist Church: William D. Williams, L. J. Daughtrey, J. W. Sleamaker, R. C. Flanary, Wesley Watson, R. Williams, Z. T. Terry and James Love.

On Nov. 8th, 1896, the Methodists dedicated their new church at Hebron. The name was chosen because it was a Biblical name. The church was a neat frame building. A large crowd was in attendance and a collection more than sufficient to pay the indebtedness was readily raised. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Rev. S. K. Breeding. Dinner was served on the ground, and it was a great occasion for the neighborhood.

This church served the community until April 3, 1938 when it was completely destroyed by fire. A prayer meeting was in progress when the fire was discovered and as a result all of the contents were able to be saved.

The commuity lost no time in constructing a new church building. On June 2, 1940 the newly constructed Hebron Methodist Church was dedicated at the noon hour. Trustees of the Hebron Church were I.W. Cook, E. T. Franklin, and Ed Cook.

The Hebron Church held services, revivals, and fellowship gatherings for many years. In closed about 1975 and sat empty for several years until it was sold to a family in the 1980's. Today it has been turned into a family dwelling. Although you wouldn't recognize it once being a house of worship. It has been transformed by being painted several different colors.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Spreading The Word About Livingston's County New History Book

The picture at the right is of the Livingston County Log cabin located at Smithland, Kentucky. It houses many research records in their reference library. As you know, Crittenden County was created from a part of Livingston County in January 1842, so most of our early records are located in Livingston County. Many of our early pioneer families have roots in each of these counties today.

To help collect and preserve this history and family genealogy for future generations the Livingston County History and Genealogical Society is working on a Volume II History and Pictorial book. Please consider contributing to this worthwhile cause. Don Foster, a member of both counties Genealogy Societies shares the following information.

  • The Livingston County Historical & Genealogical Society is working on their new Livingston County Kentucky, Family History Book, Volume 2, and are requesting family histories, stories, and photos for inclusion from anyone who has family roots in Livingston County (or areas that were once encompassed as part of Livingston County). All submissions are welcome, even reworked versions of histories published in the 1990 Volume 1 book. A September 30th deadline has been set for getting them in.

    You do not have to purchase a book to be included, but they will be available if you decide you want one. You can leave your submissions at the “Log Cabin” in Smithland, or mail them to: The Livingston Co. Historical & Genealogical Society, P. O. Box 138, Smithland, KY 42081. If you have any questions or would like to receive an informational flyer, call Mary Lou Smith at the Log Cabin at (270) 928-4656 between 1:00 and 4:00 Monday-Friday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Old Marion Cemetery

This old cemetery is located on the corner of Highway 60 West and Moore Street. At right is the new sign placed at the cemetery, and to the far right is the stone of George Witherspoon, almost completed grown over by the giant old tree.

This cemetery was the first burial place for the early citizens of Marion, in fact before Crittenden County was broken off from Livingston County.

The first burial we have recorded was for Mary Elder Mayes, who died of cholera, July 18, 1833. The next person was Margaret Wilson, who died Nov. 1833. Mary Elder Mayes does not have a stone today. Over the years it has either been stolen, broken or is lost somewhere under the grass and soil.

Margaret Wilson, who died Nov. 1833 still has a stone. There is a mystery of who Margaret is, some of us think that it is possibly Margaret Travis that was married to John M. Wilson. But nothing to prove this has ever been found. John N. Travis, also a member of this same Travis family has a tombstone here, his stone reads - John N. Travis, Co. H. 20 KY Inf. I have oftened wondered if at some time these two stones were removed from their original location in the Piney Fork area and placed at this location for some reason. Nothing to prove this, just a feeling.

Also buried in the Old Marion Cemetery are many of Marion's founding fathers and pioneer family members. John S. Gilliam and his wife Nancy, who built Marion's first log house in 1840, and also donated the land for our courthouse. Their stones have also disappeared over the years.

Major Berry S. Young, County Clerk, from 1851-1866, and also Paymaster US Volunteers is buried here. He has a stone standing today, other members of his family are also buried here.

John D. Gregory and Robert Hill, both were first Justices of the Peace, chosen in the first court meeting of the newly formed Crittenden County in 1842.

The W. C. Carnahan family has a burial plot inside an ornate iron fence. Mr. Carnahan was one of Marion's first pioneer businessmen; other things he did included being a town trustee in 1855 and sheriff in 1866.

The picture of the stone being over taken by the tree belongs to George Witherspoon, a member of the first county court, and a member of the 1st grand jury impaneled in the newly formed Crittenden County. George's stone reads - Born 1776, Died March 16, 1844. Martha his wife is also buried here. She also have a marker, it reads Died Nov. 19, 1843 in her 63rd year.

These are only a few of the historic old stones that are in this cemetery.