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.