Tuesday, March 31, 2009

A Pioneer Citizen

Meet Mr. James Hickman Walker, a pioneer citizen of Crittenden County.

This interesting and informative article was written in 1903 and appeared in The Crittenden Press.

Mr. James Walker is one of the oldest and best known residents of Crittenden County, and he is one of the very few men now living who has been connected with the affairs of the county since its organization, sixty odd years ago. He was born in the county in 1827 and spent his early life on a farm.

In 1851 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff and served until 1854, when he was elected Sheriff, and was re-elected in 1856.

In 1862 he was elected Circuit Clerk, and served as Clerk twelve years.

In 1879 he was appointed Master Commissioner and Trustee of the jury fund, which office he held until 1894, thus serving the people of Crittenden County thirty-four years in various official capacities. He was a splendid official, and he is a life-long Democrat.

Mr. Walker has a wonderful memory, and until some years ago knew every man in Crittenden County. He can recall the names and faces of hundreds of people unknown to the present generation, and relates incidents that occurred many years ago. He rarely forgets a date and knows more regarding the history of the county than any living man. He was acquainted with many notable Kentuckians of "the days long gone," and can associate their names with pleasant and interesting incidents, and is thoroughly familiar with the history of Kentucky from its early days until the present time.

Mr. Walker is one of the most interesting characters in Marion; one of the old land marks of Crittenden, and when the history of the county is written his name will occupy a place of honor and prominence.

James Hickman Walker was married to Hortense Gregory. They are buried in our Mapleview Cemetery. Mr. Walker passed away June 16th, 1906.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Historical Home Welcomes Spring

Barbara and Floyd Wheeler Home

This historical home in Marion sets on the corner of East Carlisle and College Street. It welcomed spring to Marion this week with a show of green leaves and white blossoms of the Bartlett Pear trees lining it's entrance on College Street.

This home was built by the David Woods family in 1905. It has been in continual use ever since, being used once as an annex for the old Crittenden Hotel, that was located a short distance up the street from the house. During this time the home fell into a bad state of repair.

The house was purchased by Barbara and Floyd Wheeler in 1963, and it took them about 15 years to get it restored to it's present day grandeur. The interior is furnished with antiques, which most of them were restored by the Wheelers. The home has five bedrooms, three have working fireplaces, five baths, two living rooms, a dining room, study and kitchen. You can tell as you look at the home as you go by, that is loved and well cared for.

Most any time during the warm weather you will see Floyd, or Rip, as his friends call him, working around the house and yard or enjoying a rest in the shade of their patio, which is also charmingly furnished with antique furnishings. A favorite place of mine to stop and visit for a while with Rip.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Our Grocery Stores of Yesteryear

J. D. Hubbard Grocery Store at Shady Grove, KY.

Our old community grocery stores are no more, once the vital spot of a community, they were forced to close down due to larger and more economical stores located in the larger city towns.
Are you one of the lucky ones that got to go to these county stores as a child? Purchasing a cold coke from a coke cooler with ice in it, a 10 cent popcycle from the ice cream freezer, or maybe a bologna and cheese sandwich made right there at the counter. I'm thankful that I grew up during this era and was able to do these things.

Once the Hubbard Grocery Store, located at the cross roads of Shady Grove, was well known and drew customers from the surrounding farms, as well as people from Webster and Caldwell Counties.

In 1983, Mrs. Hubbard said the store had been in her husband's family for 81 years. The store had supported the family well for all those years. The store was closed April 13, 1983, due to Mr. Hubbard's death. Mrs. Mary Hubbard wasn't able to operate the store by herself.

I know this was a sad time for the family and for the community of Shady Grove. This store was the last of five groceries that were once in Shady Grove. I know they hated to see it close.
The store building was used at different times over the years for an antique store, and a craft store, but now it sets empty and is decaying with the time. Truly a part of our past history that has been lost to modern times.

I will share more history of some of our old grocery stores in future articles.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Review of The Week

Review of the Week, Breezy News Items of Interest That Our Reporters Have Gathered and Reported to The Crittenden Press. These communities were active and busy places of yesteryear. It's amazing how the news was collected and sent to the Press for publication each week.

  • Mrs. Tinnie Bebout, wife of Everett Bebout died at her home near Tolu, April 1, 1909, after a lingering illness. The funeral service was conducted at this place and the remains were laid to rest in the Chapel Hill Cemetery. Mrs. Bebout was a kind and loving wife and loving wife and mother and a devoted Christian. She leaves a husband and five children, the youngest being a three-week old baby; a father, mother, four sisters, a brother and a host of friends.
  • Al Adams and wife were the guests of H. S. Hill's family Sunday
  • W. W. Ward bought a fine Jersey cow and calf from Frank DeBoe last week.
  • R. M. Franks, of Silver Heights, was called into our midst Saturday on account of the serious illness of Mrs. Essie Clement's cow.
  • Jefferson Yandel is still confined to his bed and is very feeble.
  • Miss Ruby Bigham has been sick for several days with the grip.
  • Crayne is on the boon, growing in population and business. She has two general merchandise stores, two blacksmith shops and a millinery store which is opening up a fine assortment of hats and laces and ribbons, all in the latest styles, and prices to suit all.
  • James Alexander Hill, P. M. Ward and Misses Willie and Kittie Clement attended Presbytery at Sturgis last week.
  • Francis Daniel and wife, who are visiting friends in this precinct, will to to housekeeping in Marion on Monday.
  • William Fowler, of Marion, passed through our neighborhood Wednesday on his way to see his son Jimmy. Billy like the country breezes and the melodious songs of the sportive frog.
  • Guy Lofton and Tom Flower, of near Fords Ferry, were the guests of W. H. Bigham and family.
  • Mrs. Clement's fine two-year-old mare kicked the bucket Wednesday.
  • Eura H. Bigham bought a fine milk cow and calf from Charlie Byrd, of Fredonia, for $35.00.
DYCUSBURG the week of April 15, 1909.
  • Mrs. Fannie Charles, who spent several weeks here with her children had gone to Calvert City to visit her daughter, Mrs. A. A. Myrick.
  • H. B. Wolfe, D.D.S., of Salem, is here in the practice of his profession.
  • Mrs. Elmore, of Louisville, and Miss Georgie Boaz, of Fredonia, visited their aunt, Mrs. Owen Boaz.
  • Miss Minnie Cassidy of Eddyville is the guest of her sisters, Mesdames J. M. Groves and Carl Glenn.
  • Mrs. Charles Brasher, of Tiline, was the guest of her father, G. M. Yancy Tuesday.
  • Mrs. Jennie Fosier is visiting her children in Paducah and LaCenter.
  • Mrs. Fannie Harp, who has been quite ill for some time is improving.
  • Edgie Gregory, of Tiline, is visiting his mother.
  • Mrs. Noah Duncan is quite ill at her home near this city.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hints for the Household

How about attending a ladies luncheon in October 1933. Sounds very inviting and fun.

Don't you often tire of attending a series of luncheons at which each hostess tries to out do the previous one in the richness and elaborateness of her food? I recently went to a party prepared to be overfed and utterly bored. However, the hostess must have felt as I did for she surprised us all by having - what do you suppose? - bakes beans! I guess all of us were delighted and we showed our appreciation by actually "gorging."

The spread - The table was spread with a red and white checked cloth and a red and white checked napkin lay at each place. There was no centerpiece save a big brown earthenware pot of beans flanked on one side by a dish of catsup and on the other by one of pickles.

A maid brought in a plate of hot Boston brown bread and the tea in an old fashioned silver tea-pot. Sliced tomatoes were served as the necessary vegetable and the dessert was applesauce and ginger bread.

The luncheon was unique and has caused all the prospective hostesses in that set to don thinking caps for original ideas for their parties.

Here are the recipes for Baked Beans and and Boston Brown Bread.

Baked Beans: Soak one pound of navy beans overnight. Then cook over a low fire until the beans can be mashed with a fork. Put a pinch of baking soda into them before removing from fire. Pour into casserole, add salt and pepper to taste and one-fourth of a teaspoonful of mustard; add four tablespoonfuls of molasses and, if the mixture does not seem moist enough or if your casserole in not quite full, add more water. Slice half a pound of salt pork and place on top of the beans. Cover and cook for two hours in a very slow oven.

Boston Brown Bread: 1 egg, 1 cup of sour milk, 1 heaping teaspoonful of soda dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling water, 1 cup of molasses, 1 cup of yellow corn meal, 1 cup of rye flour, 1 cup of wheat flour, 1 teaspoonful of salt. Beat egg; add milk; add dissolved soda to molasses and beat until foamy; add to egg and milk; sift in the dry ingredients. Raisins may be added if desired. Flour about half a cupful and mix with the batter. Put into greased mold and cover tight. Steam for three hours. Let cool before removing from mold. If you like your bread crusty, when you remove it from the mold place it in a moderate oven for about five or ten minutes.
Sounds like a fun time and some good eating too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Rosebud Methodist Church

Another one of Crittenden County pretty rural churches is the Rosebud Methodist Church located about 10 miles from Marion on Highway 60 East.

Here is some history of this church. The first church was a log church build on 1 1/2 acres of ground donated by Mr. Ira Nunn. The exact year in not known.

In 1898 a new church was built and was called Rosebud Methodist church. Mrs. Nida King, a member of the church, painted a glass window pane with a rosebud for the new church. It was dedicated July 29, 1900.

In 1956 the church was remodeled with brick and looks like the picture you see above. On the left is a close up of the hand painted rosebud window. The church is still being used today.

On the hill behind the church and on both sides is the Rosebud Cemetery. It is a very large and well kept cemetery and has many Crittenden County pioneer family members buried here.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Clubs of Yesteryear

Crittenden had many clubs and activities in the early 1900's. This one may be a pre-4-H club or Future Farmers of America organization, but it was known in 1915 as the Pigs Club.

Saturday was a Gala Day in old Crittenden. It was the Boys and Pigs Club day. There was plenty of boys here, and each had his pig with him and all were good, pigs and boys.

Everybody was interested and glad to see the great enthusiasm of all who attended. Of course all the boys could not get first prize and some had to be disappointed but they each deserved a prize and will make an effort for it next year. Below we publish the awards and names of all contestants who won prizes.

Crittenden County Pig Club Show, Aug. 28, 1915.
  • Class 1. Best pig six months and under one year. First prize - Ernest Minner, Second prize- Sylvan Moore, Tire prize-Tillman King.
  • Class 2. Pig showing the largest daily gain. First-Johnson Postleweight, Second-Ernest Minner, Third-Sylvan Moore.
  • Class 3. Pigs showing the largest gain at least cost during feeding period. First-Jeff Travis, Second-George Dollar, Third-Milton McAdams.
  • Class 4. Best pig for breeding purposes. First-Johnson Postleweight, Second-M.Y. Nunn, Third-Bruce Nunn.
  • Class 5. Best kept record. First-John William Blue, Second-Milton Adams, Third-Bruce Nunn.

Monday, March 9, 2009

W.O.W. Unveiling Ceremonies 1907

This is another interesting article about the Woodmen of The World and the impressive ceremonies they conducted when one of their members died.

The Woodmen stones at the right are for: W. B. White who died Feb. 5, 1908, Thomas Roscoe Rochester, who died July 16, 1907 and Winifred Sleamaker who died March 23, 1908. The photo does not do justice to the two stones made in the pattern of a tree. They are very intricately carved with many symbols on them. These stones are located in our Mapleview Cemetery.

From the archives of The Crittenden Press, Oct. 8, 1908.
Sunday afternoon, October 4th, will be long remembered by the W. O. W. Lodges of this vicinity and their friends. It was the date agreed on and advertised to unveil monuments and do honor to the memories of Sovereigns Winifred Sleamaker, W. B. White and Roscoe Rochester, who were all taken within a short space of time by the ruthless hand of death.

The day was auspicious and was bright and beautiful as a dream and this lent aid in bringing a great throng of people form all sections. The early train brought many, and each following train augmented the crowd. They came also in wagons and buggies and on horse back, until perhaps the largest crowd ever assembled on a similar occasion.

The Marion Silver Cornet Band furnished the sweetest music or the occasion and added, as it always does, much to the pleasure of the occasion. Those who assisted in the ceremonies were J. H. Nimmo, J. W. Wilson, W. H. Clark and R. I. Nunn.

Miss Nelle Sutherland's recitation was well delivered and was much enjoyed. Little Miss Hazel Pollard also recited and acquitted herself admirable. The speech of eulogy was delivered by J. R. Robinson in his usual good form and was a masterpiece of oratory and rhetoric.

All in all, the day was one long to be remembered and was a bright one in the annals of the Woodmen of The World.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Marion's Pioneer Bank

The Marion Bank was chartered as a State Bank February 15, 1884. It's incorporators were W. C. Carnahan, R. W. Wilson, R. L. Moore, Sr, and J. W. Blue, Sr., all prominent and important business men of the young city of Marion. The founders were largerly instrumental in the early development of Crittenden County's enterprises.

The Marion Bank began its career as a banking institution in the spring of 1887 and developed a reputation for progressiveness and distinction for sound banking.

The difficulties and inconveniences attending the banking business in the early days of its history may be better appreciated when we reflect that there were no railroads connecting Marion with the outside world. No telegraph, telephone, no fast mail and no automobiles.

This first bank, pictured above, was destroyed by the great fire of of March 1905. In November of that same year, the founders had already gotten a new building designed and built. The new building, which was about ten feet wider than the former one, stood on the old site, on the northeast corner of Main and Bank Street.

For those familiar with Marion today, this first bank of Marion was located where the People's Bank is today.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Enon Community Items - 1907

From the archives of The Crittenden Press we can visit the little communities of the past. Here is what was going on at that time in the Enon community. A small area in the Eastern part of the county. The picture of their church, at right, was made about 30 years ago. The building has since been made larger and has other modern imporvements made and it is still active today.

April 7, 1904

  • As the Press comes to our house every week, and I read the items from almost ever where but Enon, I thought it not amiss to send you a few items from this section.
  • There is one store, a blacksmith shop, a Baptist Church with over two hundred members, and a school house here.
  • Our farmers are busy stripping and delivering their tobacco, but that is about all there is to it; the boys all come home with empty pockets, as they don't get enough for their tobacco to buy sugar and coffee, pay their tax and get on a whiz when they haul it to town. It would take about 4 pounds to get one jigger, and about 20 lbs to pay for a plain, old fashioned drunk.
  • A number of people have left this part of the country recently for the west and others are preparing to follow. If they keep on leaving our neighborhood will soon become depopulated.
  • I don't want to leave my dear old home and neither do I want to be left alone; I could not bear the thought of being alone. I can count more than twenty dwelling houses now empty in a radius of four miles; so if anybody ever sees me pass on the trail end of an imigrant flyer they can say, there goes the last; I will be bringing up the rear.
  • Bud Riley has gone to Missouri and Alfred Crider goes to Arkansas Tuesday.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Marion's Old Bandstand

The old Crittenden County Courthouse and Bandstand.

Many years ago Marion was a very musical town. There were several bands that were formed by local musicians and they were always looking for a place to gather and play music.

In the summer of 1907, some of Marion's local businessmen, realizing that if the bands had a proper place to gather and perform that these concerts would draw large crowds to the town square and their businesses would also profit from the gatherings. So they got together and had a grand bandstand constructed on the court house lawn. It was centrally located down town and all would benefit form the crowds.

This bandstand was enjoyed by all residents of Marion and the county. When not being used for the bands performances it was a favorite place to gather, especially on Saturday's afternoons. Someone was always ready to trade knives, play checkers, share gossip and perhaps a local minister would share the gospel from the steps of the bandstand. Children loved to run and play around the old building too. Fore many of us it was a much remembered sight on the courthouse lawn.

This old bandstand and court house was a part of the scene until 1960 when they were both torn down to make room for the new modern court house that we now have.

As with so many of our old buildings that have been torn down to make room for the new, the lovely old architecture and the character of the buildings are gone, and we realize that was part of what made our town so unique and picturesque.