Monday, September 27, 2010

Community of Rodney

Crittenden County at one time had many small communities with unusual names.  Some are identified by the names of people that owned the area, a creek nearby, or other things that had some significance to the area.  When the postal service started in the 1800's sometime a person's home would be the post office and the area would be named for that reason.  Some of our community names have been identified, but some remain a mystery as where the name originated.  One of these is the community of Rodney. 

Rodney was located on Hwy. 365 about half way between Hwy. 60 turn-off and Sturgis.  The location is shown on the map at the right.

In the late 1800's this area was also known at Flatwoods.  From an item in the Crittenden Press dated July 29, 1899:  News reaches us from Flatwoods that through the work of James T. Hicklin, there has been a post office procured for that community.  The office will be known as Rodney and will be located at the residence of Mr. Hicklin.  This would seem to be the first creation of the community known as Rodney.  This location is the now  where the home of Danny and Patsy (Travis) Guess is located at 4111 S. R. 365.  You can see the old road bed not to far from their house.

Also found in the archives of The Crittenden Press are community news items titled Rodney.  Areas covered in these news items are Baker, Dempsey, Bells Mines, Greens Chapel and Weston. 

In the Nov. 19, 1903 edition of the Press some of the items say that the Rodney grist mill grinds every Saturday, J. S. Newcomb has moved into the Baker neighborhood.  John Waggoner of Repton, visited near Bells Mines Sunday.  Protracted meeting in progress at Baker now.  E. M. Gahagan says that all he needs now to make his happiness complete is a pretty and industrious wife.  So the Rodney news items covered rather a large area.

The Rodney post office also had other postmasters:  1899-James T. Hicklin; 1900-Wm. L. Hicklin; 1901-Joseph L. Sullivan; 1902-Hamilton L. Sullivan; It was discontinued Oct. 15, 1907 and the mail was sent to Weston.  Whether the location of the post office was moved from James T. Hicklin's house to another location is not known.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

First Train through Crittenden County

It was exciting event when the first train stopped at Marion, in September 1887.  The citizens of Marion welcomed the passengers and took time for a photo.  This was the beginning of a new era for the county.

The picture at the right shows the first passenger train to run the rails through Marion.  

Interest in a railroad through Crittenden got started in 1883 but it was 1885 before the actual work began, with the purchasing of land for the rails to be laid and the the work of installing the actual railroad tracks was started.  There would be depots built at the fluorspar mining district at Mexico, at the community of Crayneville, the town of Marion, and the communities of Repton and Nunn's Switch.  The depots were strategically placed along the line to benefit the different ares of the county.

These depots were a wonderful thing for these small communities.  Besides being used as a means of hauling fluorspar, coal, timber and other large items, passenger cars were available, and people could travel to Marion to purchase supplies, do business, and then return home later in the day on another train.  In the beginning there were as many as four passenger trains running in both directions during the day.  The picture above is the old Marion Depot.  It was torn down in 1985.

By the 1930's and 40's the train-passenger travel had fallen off to the mode of car and truck.  The old depots were soon not in much demand, and they were sold, moved or town down.

The end of the railroad in Crittenden County came in the summer of 1999, when the last of the railroad tracks were taken up throughout all of Crittenden and the land went back to the original owners.  Nothing was left of the once active railroad.   With gas as expensive as it is now, I think many are sorry that the railroad industry was removed from our county.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Historical Home

Marion still has a few of it's old historical homes that are well taken care of.  We are lucky to have these and the families that live in them and take care of them.

One of the oldest residential homes is located  at 251 East Bellville Street. In the 1850's, David Bourland, an enterprising young man that came here in Marion's very young days, from Hopkins County, built the first part of this house, which consisted of only two rooms.  In 1870, the owner of the house was Thomas Jefferson Nunn, and he built on to these rooms and made the home as it looks today.

The picture at the right was was made in October of 2002, but it still looks the same today.  The caring owners of this historical home today are Tommy and Mary Tabor.  Thomas and Ethel Tucker lived here prior to Tommy and Mary.

This home has a unique attraction, it has it's own Kentucky Historical Marker, telling of it's history.  It is titled "Family of Judges."  The marker reads:  T. J. Nunn represented Crittenden and Livingston Counties in the 1890 Convention which framed the present constitution of Kentucky.  He was Judge of Kentucky's Court of Appeals, from 1903-1914; resigned because of ill health.  His son, Clement "Clem" S. Nunn was appointed to complete his father's term.  C. S. was state senator, 1920-24.  T. J. .lived in this house many years; C. S. was born here.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Autumn Display of Merchandise

The Marion of today has no Department stores lining the main street and no brand name car dealerships available for viewing, but in the early and mid 1920's, Marion was a very busy business district with many stores to do one's shopping. Anything one would need or want would be available. The following article appeared in The Crittenden Press in September 1925, 85 years ago this month.

If any one thinks that Marion is not an up to date town from the merchandising point of view, a look over the ads in this paper will dispell the delusion.

Arriving at the stores of J. H. Mayes &  Sons, Yandell, Gugenheim Co. and C. W. Grady, are all kinds of new dry goods.  Among the new things in dry goods this fall are herdered flannels, and some beautiful new designs in crepes and satins. 

In the shoe department are to be found a new wide soft toe grogue for men and women can find something new in pumps with buckles.

Automobiles advertised this week are Hudson, Essex, Chevrolet and Ford.  These are distributed in the community by W. W. Runyan & Co., T. H. Cochran & Co. and Foster & Tucker & Co.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mapleview Cemetery

Another visit to Mapleview Cemetery and some history of two that are buried there. 

In March 1918, the Crittenden Press tells us that "Erected last week in the new Marion Cemetery by Davis and Son of Princeton Monument Company, is one of the handsomest and neatest pieces of granite ever erected in the County.  It is massive and clean cut and an extremely beautiful memorial to one of the County's wealthiest land owners, a greatly beloved citizen."

William Barnett was born Nov. 22, 1852, son of Phineas and Janette Threlkeld Barnett.  He was a man of high ideas, generous nature and indulgent to those he loved. The deceased was a founder and ruling elder for twenty years in the Miley Memorial Church at Tolu and was Vice President of the Farmers and Merchants Bank at that place.  Mr. Barnett was survived by his widow who was Miss May Fleming of Livingston County.  He was the last male descendant of his family name in Crittenden County.  One brother James Barnett lived at Ravine, Miss.

Another stone that has engraved on it's face some history of it's own it that of W. H. Guess.  It tells that he was born in Orange Co. N. C. on May 4, 1831.

Willoughby Hudgeons Guess died at the age of 92 years, ten months and 24 days.  He was married three times to the following:  first marriage to Frances Ann Deboe, daughter of Phillip Deboe and six children was born to this union; second marriage was to Patience Ann Hughey and to this union two children were born.  His third marriage was to Sarah Riley, to this union was born eleven children.

He leaves us with a haunting verse on the reverse side of his stone.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Marion's Tobacco Factory

As early as 1882 the crash crop in Crittenden County was tobacco. 

There were two tobacco factories located in the town.   The tobacco would be hauled into Marion by wagon. 

The picture at the right is one of the factories owned by A. B. Jarvis.  This factory was located on the north side of town.  Today there is a street named Jarvis Street named for the owner of the factory.  The old factory has long been gone, torn down from years of decay.

The other factory of Mr. Jarvis was located on the east side of town, near the railroad tracks.  

By 1946 the growing of tobacco in Crittenden had dropped to where the old factory wasn't needed for the storage of tobacco and it was used to house other small businesses, and also as a storage building.  This factory burnt in 1946.  Nothing is left but these wonderful old pictures of our once flourishing tobacco industry.