Thursday, April 29, 2010

Kit and Jack Coal Mines

This rare old photo was made in 1901.  It is the only picture I have ever seen of any of the actual old coal mines in the Bells Mines area.

The two miners and the little donkey are unidentified.  The two little girls on the left are Mable and Nelle Nunn, and the older ladies are Eva Nunn, sister to Mable and Nelle , and Eva Phillips.  On the right, the man with his arm in a sling, is Elmer Gahagan, next Eli Nunn, father of Mable, Nelle and Eva.  The two other old timers are unidentified.  Mr. Nunn was a much respected farmer and business man of the area and probably owned some interest in the mines.

The picture was shared with me by  Don Foster of  Burna, Ky, who is a great-grandson of Eli Nunn, and the grandson of Nelle Nunn, who married George Coleman Foster, Sr.

The name Kit and Jack came from the originial owners of the mine.  They were two immigrants from England that came to the United States and ended up in Western Kentucky mining coal.  C. C. Barnaby was "Kit" and his best friend and co-owner of the mine, was "Jack" Hargraves.

I believe this old mine known as the Kit and Jack Coal Mines was probably one of the last of the coal mines in the area to be worked.Coal was still being mined from it in 1936.  People for miles around would bring their wagons and get coal for the winter at this mines.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Deer Creek Church

Another one of Crittenden County's rural churches is the Deer Creek Baptist Church.  It is located on S. R. 297 about 12 miles from Marion near the community of Sheridan.  In September 2003 the church celebrated its 180th anniversary.  (The picture at the right was made in the 1975)

The first Deer Creek Church was built in 1823 out of logs.  It had split logs for seats and one window for light, according to the church history.  It was located near a little stream called Deer Creek about a mile from the present building.  The second church, which was also located near the creek was built in 1859.  It was also a log structure.  The present church building was completed in 1882. 

Today the church has grown in attendance and has added a new fellowship hall, Sunday school classroom, and a new auditorium. 

The picture at the left was made in April 2009.  You can see the new additions that has been added.  The fellowship hall is on the far right.  

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Dunn Springs Cemetery W.O.W. Stones

June 10, 1921 W.O.W. Decorate Graves At Dunn Springs Cemetery

Members of Marion, Weston and Hebron Camps of Woodmen met at Dunn Springs Cemetery and conducted decoration exercises at the graves of Will Alvis and W. B. Turley.  

Members of Weston Camp had charge of the services.  Rev. Virgil Stone delivered a short but very appropriate talk.  A large crowd was in attendance.

Will Alvis died Nov. 16, 1918.  The Crittenden Presses for the year 1918 are very sketchy so was unable to find an obituary for Alvis.  
His marriage in 1903 was an interesting item in the April 23, 1903 edition of The Crittenden Press.  Last Wednesday Mr. Wm. Alvis, a popular young farmer of the Hebron neighborhood, went to the residence of Mr. W. L. Clement, a well known farmer of Clementburg, and astonished all the members of the family but one, by announcing that he had come for his wife.  When called upon to explain his seemingly absurd statement, he drew from his pocket his marriage certificate showing that he and Mr. Clement's handsome daughter, Miss Sallie, were married  in Shawneetown, Ill, last September.  They had been sweethearts a long time.  While over at the fair, they concluded to play a joke on their friends.  They were married, came home and each faithfully kept the secret until last week, when the groom grew weary of the time and distance and claimed his own.  After a friendly scolding, congratulations were mutual and the bride went home.

W. B. Turley died Oct. 20, 1915.  His obituary reads, Dec. 2, 1915:  Mr. Ben Turley, thirty-three years of age, died at his home near Forest Grove, of Bright's disease.  He had been in bad health for a year but would not give up until the end.  He leaves a wife, father and five brothers to mourn his death.  He was married to Miss Lillie Harness in 1905.  His father, Sanford Turley, of Fredonia and his brothers are as follows:  Messrs. Harve, Tom, Harrison and Burnett, all of this county.  He was a son of Sanford and Mary Walker Turley.

Next to W. B. Turley is his brother, Thomas.  His tombstone reads that he died Feb. 14, 1923, but his obituary says he died Feb. 24th. 
Crittenden Press, March 2, 1923.  Thomas Turley, 38 years old, died at the Soldiers Hospital in St. Louis, of afflictions growing out of injuries received while in service in France during the World War.  The remains were brought here for burial.  He is survived by four brothers, all of this county.  He was unmarried.  He suffered from shell shock, while in battle and never fully recovered.  His stone reads Kentucky Pvt. 305 Co. C INF, 77 Div

These pictures were taken April 15th, 2010.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tolu's Bank

Tolu, was once a thriving river port town, located near the Ohio River in the Western section of our county.  In the early 1900's Tolu was a rich agricultural section of our county and a bank was very needed for their town. The picture at the right is of the new bank built in 1904.

Mr. John W. Weldon of Crofton, Ky, was in charge of construction.  The brick and lime for the new bank was shipped by riverboat from Henderson, Ky to the landing at Tolu.  Mr. A. C. Melton was in charge of the brickwork. The impressive iron front for the bank also arrived by riverboat from Evansville, Ind.  

The new bank was completed in July of 1904 and it was name the Farmers and Merchants Bank.

 The first stockholders of this bank were: P. M. Whitt, Forest Harris, Wm. Barnett, E. R. Dowell, P. B. Croft, L. A. Weldon, Mrs. A. S. Bennett, S. S. Sullenger, W. D. Sullenger, Dr. I. H. Clement and J. B. Perry.  Mr. P. B. Crost was chosen to be the President, J. Bethel Perry, vice-president, and E. F. Smith of Owenton, Ky., cashier.   The town was very proud of their new bank and honored to give it their support.

This bank mysteriously burned on the night of August 2, 1923.  Things at Tolu were never the same after the fire.  Claims were made and people accused of sitting the fire.  The damage was done and the prosperity of the town was hurt.  This incident in Tolu's colorful history is still talked about today.

The brick that remained from the fire was cleaned and reused to built a general store for Rudell Jacobs.  The picture at the left is of the old abandoned building, made in 2004.  It is trying to hold it's own, but weather and time are surely taking it's toll and it's now unsafe to go inside.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Milford and Hardesty, Kentucky

This little community had two names, but it started out with the name of Milford.  Mr.Gus Hale who lives in this area said that it got its name from a grist mill that was located by the ford in the creek at the bridge site, by an early pioneer, named Jacob Hardesty.  Mill ford or Milford was an easy description of the place.  It is located at the end of Barnett Chapel Road off of S. R. 297.  Jacob Hardesty and his wife, Kitty, came to Crittenden County about 1856 and purchased land at this location and made their home here.

Crittenden County used to have many of these old iron bridges.  Remember the noise the planks would make as you drove over them.  This picture is of the old Milford bridge built about 1890.  it connected Crittenden County with Livingston Co.

A post office was established in 1900 and Luther Richard Hardesty, known as Dick, was appointed postmaster.  The little community now became known as Hardesty, Ky. Hardesty was a busy little community was a gristmill, general store, cream and poultry station.  Saturday was the busiest day, as all the farmers in the surrounding area would bring in their produce and poultry to sell and exchange for good and supplies at the stores. The post office continued until Jan. 1913 and is was discontinued and the mail sent to nearby Tolu.

There used to be a cemetery on the hill above the creek but there is now only one stone left standing.  It was called the Ellington Cemetery.  It has been told that the stones were thrown in the creek below, by young boys playing.  
This is a picture of the new bridge that replaced the old iron bridge sometime in the 1960s.  Deer Creek continues it's journey below the newer more modern bridge.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Historical Museum Opening Today

The Crittenden County Historical Museum will be opening for the season today.  It is located at 128 East Bellville Street across from The Crittenden Press office.  We will open at 10:00 am this morning and close at 3:00 pm. Tuesday -Saturday from April 6th until Oct. 31.

If you enjoy local history of Crittenden County or just enjoy seeing the old items from a bygone time, you will like visiting our Museum.

Our building itself is full of history.  The beautiful stain glass windows are a treasurer in themselves.  Original to the building, which was built in 1881 by the United Presbyterian Church members.  These windows have a special glow, and the colors change according to the weather outside.  If it's sunny they have a more golden glow, and if it's cloudy the blues, greens and purples seem to come alive. 

For the month of April the Museum will have on display several colorful and interesting quilts.  They include Friendships quilts, Crazy Block quilt, Log Cabin quilt, and Crazy quilts.  A very special one this year, that Carlos Travis, has loaned for visitors to view is a Crazy Quilt make in 1898.  Carlos purchased the Crazy Quilt at the Deanwood sale in 1998 when he purchased the old Dean homestead as well.  The Crazy Quilt is not a typical quilt.  No quilting stitches nor batting were used in its construction.  The Crazy Quilt is a unique conglomeration of randomly pieced fancy fabrics with embroidered embellishments on nearly every seam and patch.

If  you are in our area, we welcome you to visit the Museum and see our treasures.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Johnson Cemetery

The Johnson Family Cemetery is located about 14 miles from Marion on Hwy. 120, not far from the Webster Co. line.  You can see a few of the stones as you drive by this time of year, as the weeds and brush haven't fully leaved out yet.

At an early time in history this must have been an impressive family cemetery as the stones were large and looked to be of fine quality.  Now after years of neglect most of the larger two piece stones have been knocked over and are laying on the ground.  Only a few of the smaller single piece ones are left standing.

The bright yellow spring Daffodils or Jonquils, probably planted many years ago, were still blooming brightly as to hide the broken and fallen stones.  

This is the large stone of William Johnson and his wife Sophia M. Johnson.  William was married to Sophia Malinda Towery.   His dates are: Born: Oct. 27, 1829, died May 8, 1882.  Age 52 years, 6 mos, 12 days.  

Sophia reads: Born Feb. 22, 1843, died June 28, 1922.

Crittenden County is a burst of color right now as the yellow spring flowers are seen all along our road sides and in fields as you drive by.  I do believe they were as anxious for springtime, sunshine and warmer weather as us humans were. 

The roadside of flowers shown in the picture above was where an old homestead used to be years ago.  The flowers have kept their home place and continued to grow and spread all the many years although the house has long been gone.