Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day of the Past

In the past The American Legion Post would hold the Memorial Day Services at different cemeteries throughout the county and have the services at one of the graves of the soldiers that died during the war.  Today the services for Memorial Day and Veteran's Day are held at Mapleview Cemetery at the sight of the War Memorial.  In case of rain, as it happens many times, the service is held at historic Fohs Hall on  Walker Street.

The picture above was taken on May 26th of last week.  The War Memorial had been decorated with flags and flowers for the Memorial Day week-end.  A very touching sight.

The following item was taken from the Crittenden Press, May 1932, it tells of a Memorial Day Service many years ago.

The regular annual Memorial Day Services will be held this year at the Repton Cemetery, conducted at the grave of Lonnie Moore.  These services are held each year at some cemetery in the county, in honor and memory of our war dead.  The Legion Post decided at their regular meeting Monday night to conduct the services this year at the Repton Cemetery in honor of any veteran buried there.  H. C. Enoch is in charge of the program for that occasion and is preparing an impressive program suitable for the occasion.  The Community Band, sponsored by the Legion Post, will participate in the program, as well as a firing squad from Company I, this place.

Lonnie Moore was born Nov. 17, 1887 and died June 16, 1919, from the flue, as many of the young men did during that time in history.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Kevil Family Update

Just a couple of weeks ago I posted an article about the Kevil family and their monument at Mapleview.  

One day this week, I received a call from Tom Kevil of Knoxville, Tenn.  He is a descendant of J. Bell Kevil and was interested in visiting Marion and seeing the Kevil family plot.  Wednesday of this week we met and I showed he and his wife Helga some of Mr. Kevil's roots in Crittenden County.  The picture at the right is of Mr. Kevil standing by the family monument at Mapleview.

The Kevil family was located at Dycusburg before they moved to Marion.  Joseph Bell Kevil was also engaged in the milling business while living there.

The Kevil family in the early 1900's was one of the founders and original owners of the Marion Mill, (the location of the present Marion Feed Mill), and just across Bellville Street lives Kevil Street, which was named for the Kevil family.

 Another interesting fact and what turned out to be the highlight of the visit was that the Kevil family attended the Methodist Church.  The church was built in 1911 and the Kevil family donated one of the stained glass windows that grace the church's sanctuary.  We got to go inside the church and Mr. Kevil got to see the window donated by his ancestors.

The writing at the bottom of the window says.  "The Kevil Family."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Weston in 1913 Flood

Weston, a once thriving river-port town, is now just a small community with several families living in the area.  Once it was a docking port for the river traffic and was the unloading site for much of items needed at Marion.  Many items would be shipped from Evansville, Ind.  They would be unloaded at Weston and transported to Marion with horse and wagons.

All the river towns were always in danger of flooding, for when the mighty Ohio would overflow it spread it's waters into the town and fields along its way.

The picture at the right shows Weston in the 1913 flood.  The large building on the left next to the water is the tobacco factory, next was the lodge hall and to the right was the church.

The Crittenden Press Weston Community items for April of 1913 tells the history of the flood.

We have having more rain in this section.  It is the belief of everybody that the water will be higher than it has been for years.  The river is rising fast.  

There was a large crowd gathered on the bank of the river at Weston, looking at the great body of water, something that none of us have even seen in Weston before.  On Sunday about 500 people from different places were here viewing the water that has covered our little town.  Business in this place is closed down.

Weston is a beautiful little area, with a very scenic view of the river.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Burton Ford Homeplace

Crittenden County, like all other counties, have old  homestead houses sitting empty and deteriorating with time.  As time goes on these old homes are fast disappearing from the landscapes.  Some people may see them as an eye-sores to the area, but I see them as someones  home where they lived, raised a family, worked hard for a living off the land, and was a part of our past history.   

This is the old home place of Burton and Cynthia Ford.  It is located about 7 miles from Marion off of the Fords Ferry Rd.  It is on the right as you turn on to Pickering Hill Road.  The small family cemetery is located just to the right of the home.  (Picture made April 2010)

Burton bought this land in 1867, from the Williams family, and the family lived here until 1893 when  Burton died.  Cynthia returned to Caldwell Co. to live with a married daughter.  Burton is buried at the home place and Cynthia is buried at Bethlehem Cemetery near Crider in Caldwell Co.  The land today is still in possession of descendants of Burton and Cynthia. 

The family cemetery is located very close to the house.  Although there are only 4 engraved markers, and 3 sandstones visible, it is known that several more are buried there without markers.

Burton's obituary dated Nov. 23, 1893 reads.  Mr. Burton Ford, one of the old and well known citizens of the county died at his home 7 miles north of Marion Thursday, Nov. 16th.  Thursday morning he was up as usual but complained of feeling unwell, later in the day he grew worse, but it was not thought that he was very ill.  Suddenly he grew worse and died in a few moments.  It is supposed that he died of heart disease.  He was in his 87th year; about 1865 he moved from Caldwell Co. to the farm upon which he died.  Burton has a marked stone.

Others buried there without markers:  
  • Gale Ford, an old and respected citizen of the Fords Ferry neighborhood, died Friday night after a few day of illness of pneumonia. Born Jan. 14, 1832,  Died Nov. 8, 1901, son of Burton and Cynthia.
  • Mrs. Mary Ford, Born Oct. 14, 1876. Mrs. Mary Ford of the Crooked Creek section died Monday, March 14, 1926.  She was 45 years of age and was the daughter of Levi an Isabel Gass Brown.  Besides her husband, James Mansfield Ford, she is survived by one son, Oliver, who is ten years old.
  • James Mansfield Ford, 75, died at his home near the foot of Pickering Hill on the old Fords Ferry Road, Aug. 23, 1943, after being in failing health for some time.  For many years he had resided in this county and in the spot where he died.  Interment in the Ford Family Cemetery.
  • Mrs. Lucy Ford, departed this life Saturday, Sept. 29th, 1906.  Mrs. Ford was a good Christian woman and leaves a family of four sons and two daughters to mourn their loss.  Her funeral was preached at the residence  and she was laid to rest at the family graveyard.
  • Joseph Ford, born abt. 1881 and died about 1906 and Ross Ford, born about 1887 and died about 1903-04, both of typhoid fever.  Sons of Gale and Lucy Harrold Ford.  (information from Glen Leslie, a cousin of mine that I haven't heard from in many years.)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Community Names

This interesting little article appeared in The Crittenden Press in October of 1931. 
 Various Reasons Assigned For Names In This County.

The name "Going Springs," has been a puzzle to many residents of Crittenden County, but a simple explanation of why this community is so called lies in the fact that back in 1802 an early settler, John  Going, came from South Carolina, bringing a lot of slaves, and located in Crittenden County by a spring, later known as Going Spring. As time passed on the whole community became known as Going Springs.  This locality lies about midway between Marion and Repton. (In the early 1900s there was a county school located here, it was also known by the name of Going Springs School.  Later it was closed and consolidated with the Mattoon School district.  The name, as the community, today has slipped away into history.  Not many people today ever heard the name Going Spring. )

Mexico, named for that revolutionary republic just south of us, was once known as "Harold," but when Uncle Sam found that mail addressed there often found its way to Herald, Ky., the name was changed.  The first railroad station at Mexico was known as Annora, but difficulty arose because that Illinois Central often mixed freight shipments intended for Annora with those marked Aurora.  When the railroad changed the name to Mexico, Uncle Sam changed the post office name to match.  Thus the similarity of names which led to confusion, caused this little town to become known as Mexico. (Today Mexico is a  very small community located about 7 miles south of Marion, it's name is still listed on the county maps to show it's location.)

For much the same reason Crayne is now officially known by that name, instead of the earlier "Crayneville."  The Illinois Central cut off the "ville" and left it Crayne because freight often got mixed with that intended for Caneyville farther up the line.  (Crayne is also a very small community, located 5 miles south of Marion.  It is the  home of 3 churches and is very fortunate to still have it's original Post Office.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Electricity in Marion and Crittenden County

The first electricity was put in Marion in 1900 by R. W. Wilson.  This first small plant consisted of a 100 horsepower steam engine which would produce 1150 volts, single phase.

This power plant was located on Depot Street near the railroad and train depot.  It was a small plant that only ran at night.  There was a special time for people with electric washers to wash their clothes, which was on a Tuesday morning.  The plant ran on Thursday morning until dinner so people with electric irons could iron their clothes.

The plant also had a moonlight schedule which meant that they didn't burn the street lights on a moonlight night.

October 1901 was a historical day in Marion.  On Oct. 10th, twenty arc lights flashed their rays up and down the streets of Marion, driving away the murky darkness that had so long enveloped the town.  No towns and very few cities could boast of a better system of street lights that  those of Marion.  The lights were turned on at six o'clock in the evening and would burn all night during a moonless night.
In 1921 Mr. Marshall Jenkins, who had taken over the plant in 1915, put in two diesel engines.  They produced much more horsepower.  The plant ran steam in the day and diesel at night.

In 1926 the Kentucky Utilities Company bought out Mr. Jenkins.  They ran lines to Mexico, Dycusburg, Frances and Crayne. 

In 1942 the R. E. A. came into the county.  Their line ran down the Ohio River bottoms to Weston, Dam 50 and Tolu.  From Tolu the lines went all over the county.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Kevil Family

Many of the prominent family names in the early history of Crittenden County are here no more.  Perhaps a descendant that married into another family may still live here, but in many cases, the name is remembered by their tombstones in the Mapleview Cemetery.  Such is the case the the Kevil family name.  

In the late 1880's the family name of Kevil was very familiar to the local citizens.  Joseph Bell Kevil was honored in many ways by the people of Marion and Crittenden County.  

Some of the offices he held included County Attorney of  Crittenden County, Mayor of Marion, Police Judge and he also held offices of trust in lodge, church and other important bodies.  Mr. Kevil was married to  Sarah Frances Montgomery, of Providence, Ky, who died in July 1911.   Mr. Kevil died March 10th, 1917 at Sikeston, Mo, where he was staying with his son, David B. Kevil.

In the June 13, 1918 edition of The Crittenden Press, there is an article that tells about the new Kevil monument being erected.  Judge Kevil's monument has been erected in the Mapleview Cemetery.  On the lot where the late Judge J. Bell Kevil is buried, a large granite monument has been erected which stands nine feet high and weighs 15,000 lbs.  (The picture at the top right).

All lovers of art will find in this memorial that the utmost skill in monument making was put forth.  This work was erected by Henry & Henry Monuments, having been purchased by the Kevil heirs of this city.

There are three graves there now.  Judge Kevils, his wife's, and his daughter Miss Mable's and each has a large full size slab over the graves.

(Pictures made in Nov. 2009)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Glendale Baptist Church

 Crittenden County has many beautiful rural county churches, set in scenic settings.  One of these churches is the Glendale General Baptist Church.  It is located on State Road 2123, what we used to call the Glendale Church Road, not too far for the tiny community of Sheridan.

Sunday school and church services were first held at the Glendale School. When the school closed in 1953, due to consolidation with the Tolu school,  people in the community purchased the building for use as a community church.  

The Glendale General Baptist Church was formed in Sept. 1954.  Charter members of the church were: Evans Ingram, Bertha Ingram, Charley Travis, Everett Travis, Clara Travis, Jimmie Stalion, Vera Stalion, Lois Stalion, Royster and Evalyn Stalion, Virgil and Mildred Ryan.

By 1968, the membership had grown to 43.  The church continues to prosper and within the last few years the church building has undergone major renovation, plus a covered picnic pavilion added next to the church and just recently a new parking lot with a picturesque bridge spanning the creek between the parking lot and church.

These pictures were made April 20, 2010.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Court of Claims

The Kentucky Constitution of 1850 provided for a county court, made up of a county judge and two associates, to conduct the business of the county, and it also established a court of claims in each county, composed of the County Judge and the Justices of the Peace.  In 1890 the Court of Claim's was abolished and the county governing body was then titled the "Fiscal Court" with the justices of the peace being our magistrates with the County Judge presiding Judge of said Court.

This old picture has been another great treasurer for several Crittenden County folks.  For in it are pictures of their ancestors that no pictures had ever been seen before.  One of these is of my paternal Great-Grandfather, John N. Culley.

The picture is from an old Crittenden Press dated 1894 and titled, The Court of Claims.

Back row, L to R: Thomas A. Harpending, John W. Blue, L. A. LaRue, W. B. Rankin, J. W. Ainsworth, Wm. Morgan, John N. Culley, W. E. Todd, George Williams.
Front row sitting:  J. A. Myers, Dave Woods, John A. Moore, (Judge), Theo. Vosier, Robert W. Taylor, Charles W. Fox.