Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Ice Storms

Picture of Main Street in Marion after the ice storm of January 30th, 1902. You see the Masonic building on the left and the old Court House on the right.

The archives of The Crittenden Press dated Feb. 6th, 1902 tells us that the sleet and snow of the past few days have done much damage. The telephone lines are down all over the city and the streets are covered with ice.

Some of the greatest destruction in the county has been to the fruit trees; the damage to orchards can hardly be estimated, it runs into thousands of dollars. The larger trees are practically denuded of their branches, and this is in all of the orchards. Shade trees and forest trees also suffered the same damage.

And so the day worn along; trees were crashing and breaking, from the great loads of ice, telephone wires and poles and electric light wires were following suit. The trains were lost, so far as telegraphic communication was concerned.

When night came all the old oil lamps in town were brought out, the metal burnished, the oil poured in, and a little strip of red flannel placed in the reservoir of each to give a touch of color, for we were notified early in the day that the electric lights would be an impossibility and we all prepared for the dark, stormy, night.

But we Crittenden Countians have a special knack of making the best of things, and the stories that were told around the fire and the songs that were sung and the glasses that were drained that night, cemented more good fellowship than all the crickets on the hearth ever dreamed of.

We have faith that somehow or other, things will be gotten together, poles will be replaced, wires restrung, and the streets will again hum with people passing and with the traffic of countless wagons with their wealth of fluorspar, of zinc, tobacco, corn and lumber; the sun will shine again and Marion will be as before, the busiest, the loveliest and the best town in Western Kentucky, and it's people will rarely speak of the great ice storm of that January in 1902.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Common School Diploma Examination

This article is from The Crittenden Press, May 16, 1912

May 8th and 9th the examination for Common School Diplomas were conducted by the county board of examiners. The County Board of Examiners were composed of Supt. E. Jeffery Travis, George W. Perry and T. F. Newcom. There were twenty-five applicants The candidates were:
  • Carrie Morse, Iron Hill
  • Stella Dean, Iron Hill
  • Ruby Dean, Iron Hill
  • Myrtle Morrill, Marion
  • Orlan Horning, Marion
  • Willie Clark, Marion
  • Glenn Sullenger, Marion
  • Bessie McClure, Marion
  • Florence Larue, Marion
  • Susie Barnes, Marion
  • Minnie Marvel, Marion
  • May Drury, Marion
  • Eula Gass, Marion
  • Wanda Marvel, Marion
  • Sallie Fowler, Marion
  • David Postleweight, Marion
  • Sheffer Sullinger, Irma
  • Ray Deboe, Crayne
  • Grace Hill, Crayne
  • Vada Stovall, Crayne
  • Lecie LaRue, Levias
  • Letha Brown, Shady Grove
  • Joy LaRue, Sullivan
  • Grace Conditt, Mounds

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sunday School Convention at Glendale

Years ago Sunday School and Church were many times held in the community school houses. Such was the case in August 1917 when the Sunday School Convention was held at the Glendale School in Western Crittenden County.

From The Crittenden Press, August 2, 1917
  • West Crittenden Sunday School Convention met at Glendale School, July 18th. There were over 500 people for the occasion which seemed to be enjoyed by all.
  • The topics for the day were discussed by the following speakers. Our State worker the Rev. T. C. Gebaurer, who was at his best and whose talks are always edifying and inspiring, County President, R. H. Thomas, Dr. T. A. Frazer, Messrs Chastain Haynes, Edward D. Stone, George, W. Conditt and C E. Clark.
  • The Crayne choir, led by one of our worthy song Evangelists Bro. Ula Threlkeld, was present and dded much to the occasion by their excellent music.
  • The Marion Male Quartet also favored us with some splendid music which was much appreciated by all.Other music was furnished by the Senior and Junior Choirs of Glendale.
  • On account of the heavy rain fall, the Convention was compelled to adjourn without having completed t hie program.
  • East and West Crittenden united, installing a partially new staff of officers for the year 1918 which are as follows: Pres. R. H. Thomas, Vice E. F. Dean, Sec'y Herschel O. Franklin, Supt. of Elementary Miss Zula Threlkeld, Supt. of Adult Dept. O. G. Threlkeld, Supt. of Home Dept. Joseph Foster, Supt. of Teachers Training Dept. Joe M. Dean, Supt. of Missions, Mrs. Ed Cook, Supt. of Temp. and Purity W. W. Lamb, Supt. of Organizations Addie Franks.

Another interesting item is the notice of a grave yard cleaning. Something that was done once a years to keep the cemeteries in good shape. Or as good as could be with just one cleaning a year.

On August the 8th, we will meet and clean off the graveyard at Hurricane. Should any one wish to come before that time and clean off their part there are no objections, provided they will remove all trash from graveyard. Everyone interested is invited. Come and bring dinner and tools and spend the day. Signed, Grave yard committee.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Welcome to Nunn Switch, Gladstone and Hood's Creek

Brantley and Arflack General Store

Picture made in the early 1900's. Left to right.
Robert Henry and wife Martha Brantley, Walter Winders, Martha's nephew, Deedie and Minnie Brantley, daughters of Robert Henry and Martha, and Mary and Greenberry Brantley. Robert was the son of Greenberry.

The Brantley's ran the general store in Nunn Switch.

This little rural community was know by three names, Gladstone, Hood's Creek, as this creek ran through the community, and Nunn Switch. Here is the history of the Nunn Switch name. When Marshall Nunn was one year old, in 1886, the Illinois Central Railway bought his home, from which emanated the village of Nunn Switch. There used to be a railroad depot here and a track switch. The school located on the hill behind the general store was knows as Hood's Creek School.

The was written about the community in April 1913. The little hamlet was situated in northeast part of Crittenden in a fertile valley on Hood's Creek and was also situated on the I. C. railroad. The train has four passengers stops a day and picks up and delivers goods to the town. The community also has one general store, post office, one grocery store, blacksmith shop, saw and grist mill. It has about 20 or 25 inhabitants, and among whom are John Gilbert and his wife, Pernecia about the oldest couple in the county. Uncle John as he is called, being in his 88th year and Aunt Necia in her 86th year. Although growing old they are enjoying good health and are quite jovial. They were married April 8th, 1852, and had seven children.

Today the railroad track is gone, there are no signs that a store of any kind was ever here. There are several families that still live in the area, and Hood's Creek still runs it's same course as in did a hundred years ago.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Court House News

News Items from the Crittenden County Court

Oct. 17, 1922

  • William Binkley was tried in county court Thursday, on a charge of selling intoxicating liquor in violation of the prohibition laws. After hearing the evidence returned a verdict of guilty and fixed his punishment at 30 days in jail and a fine of $100.
  • Clarence Deboe was tried in Court charged with transporting liquor. They jury returned a verdict of guilty and fixed his punishment at a $100 fine and 30 days in the County Jail.
  • A still was discovered under a concrete bridge just south of town. It is a copper still of about 25 gallon capacity and has evidently been unused for some time. It is suppose that the owner, becoming fearful of being overtaken by the law hid it under the bridge as the best way available of getting ride of it. It is now in the Sheriff's office and has attracted considerable interest.

Nov. 17, 1922

  • A large crowd attended the November meeting of the County Court on Monday. The weather was ideal.
  • The will of the late J. H. Nimmo was probated. His widow, Mrs. Jane Nimmo, was made administratrix and is made beneficiary of the estate during her life or widowhood, at the close of which the estate goes to his two sons.
  • The will of the late W. P. Loyd was probated. His widow, Mrs. Ellen Loyd, is made administratrix and is made a beneficiary of the will. Other heirs are also made beneficiaries.
  • The will of the late A. J. Pickens was probated. His wife was made administratrix and beneficiary under the will.
  • George Henry, plead guilty to a charge of being drunk and was fined $10 by the court.
  • S. Frazer plead guilty to a breach of the peace and was given a fine of $10 by the court.
  • A number of automobile owners plead guilty of operating their machines without license and were given fines from $10 to $20 by the Court.
  • The County Clerk has issued marriage license to Buel Allen and Mrs. Fannie Pulley.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Beautiful Home - Deanwood

This beautiful restored home is located on S. R. 120 about 6 miles from Marion. It's known as Deanwood. It was built in 1894 by the Dean family, hence it's name Deanwood. There is so much history in this area of the county and the scenery is breath taking. I must admit it is one my very favorite places in all of Crittenden County. Thanks to my good friends who own this home, Carlos and Kathy. I am able to visit it when I can.

The home had been neglected for some time when Carlos Travis purchased it at auction in Oct. of 1998. He and Kathy have restored it to it's beautiful appearance today. Kathy has also built and maintains her beautiful rock gardens on the grounds. Carlos also keep the old historic Deanwood store, which is located near the home, in good condition. As you drive by you would almost think it was open for business as it was many years ago.

This home and the Travis-Terry home are certainly homes that Crittenden County can be proud to acknowledge. If you are wondering about J. T. Travis and Carlos Travis, yes, they are brothers, something isn't it, that they both have purchased and restored two of the most beautiful old homes in Crittenden County.

Beautiful Old Restored Homes

J. T. and Rita Travis Home
This home is located in the North West area of Crittenden County on the Forrest Grove School Road. Built around 1891, it originally belonged to the Rufus Terry family. Though loved and cared for by the Terry's during their lifetime, it had sat empty and abandoned for several years.

J. T. and Rita Travis, a young couple that lived in Marion, and who loved antiques, were looking for an old home to buy and restore. When they first saw this house, they saw beyond the tattered state of the house and could see the beauty that lay within it's structure. They purchased the neglected home in 1985 and started their journey of restoring the home to it's former state of beauty.

This is the way the home looks today, beautiful, loved and well cared for on it's lot nestled in the grove of trees on the Forrest Grove School Road.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fiscal Court Meeting Jan. 29, 1929

The Crittenden County House before it was taken down in 1961 and a new modern one built. The present court house, no longer modern, was new and modern in it's day but it sure lacks the character and historical value that this one had.

From the archives of The Crittenden Press let's go back to January 1929 and see what is happening at the Fiscal Court meeting.

January 29, 1926

Judge L. E. Waddell called the magistrates of the county to a meeting of the fiscal Court and presided over the deliberations of the day.

Though the day was bitter cold, following one of the heaviest snow storms of the winter, every member was present except J. L. Rankin, of Fords Ferry. Long disagreeable rides on horseback, or in a buggy, held no terrors for these staunch men who had promised to look after the financial interests of the county for the next four years.

From way out near Rosebud came Squire W. A. Newcom; T. H. Chandler from near Sugar Grove; from Dycusburg neighborhood came C. B. Daughtrey; C. H. Bealmear from near Levias; U. S. Graves came in from his home in the Oak Hall community; P. P. Paris from hear Hill Springs and W. H. Hardesty from the Tolu section. (The communities of Dycusburg and Tolu are about seventeen miles from Marion. Quite a journey on a cold winter's day on a horse or even in a buggy.)

The new members of the court, after the first few minutes to get adjusted, conducted themselves like veterans in the discussion of the county affairs.

Considerable time was spent in the adjustment of claims for fencing the right of way of the Federal Highway, which were all satisfactorily adjusted. A considerable number of minor claims were also allowed.

County Clerk, D. A. Lowery, looked after the clerical duties connected with the meeting, and County Attorney Edward D. Stone was present in his official duty.

Though this was the first meeting of this new court under County Judge Waddell, he presided over the session as quietly and calmly as if he had spent a lifetime presiding over such meeting.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Marion's Civilian Conservation Corp

Marion's Civilian Conservation Corps or the CCC Camp
Picture made in the summer of 1933. Names of men are unknown. Some look like a working crew with building tools in their hands, and perhaps a supervision officer.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an effort to help the nation from unemployment and economic chaos in 1932, created the Emergency Conservation Work Act, more commonly known as the Civilian Conservation Corps or the CCC's.
In May of 1933, Marion gets the news they they are to have a conservation camp from the forestry and soil erosion program to locate Marion.
Soon a site is selected and construction begins on the camp. Four barracks were constructed for the men to live in. A large recreation hall offered indoor entertainment; games, magazine, newspapers and also a canteen for all their personal wants and needs. A large kitchen and mess hall were built, as well as a bathhouse and medical facility. Out doors a ball diamond, basketball and tennis courts were made and also an amphitheater for out door spectator programs.
In July of 1933 one hundred and forty-eight men had arrived in camp. After working on the camp, the men next started their field work, which was the purpose of the camp at Marion. Correcting erosion of the soil and planting trees were the order of the day. Fields that had been eroded were repaired with culverts and new tree seeding were planted to help correct the problem. Over a period of time the men planted 120,000 black locusts, and 63 bushels of black walnut seedlings on the farms where they were needed. The men also helped with the repair of roads and other projects that had been created by the weather.
The work at the Marion site went on until 1935. In November of 1935 the camp had been emptied and the men sent somewhere else. Their mission in Crittenden County had been completed. The buildings were razed and the materials were all moved to other camps to be rebuilt. The land was returned to the former owners and Camp Marion was no more, even the streets and sidewalks had been removed. It was if the campsite had never been there.
Today the area is concrete lot with business buildings occupying the area, and the other land has homes built on it. The picture above is the only picture I have ever seen of the original camp. Camp Marion is now only a faint memory of Marion's past, but it's presence being here left a legacy to the people and to the land of Crittenden County.