Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Tolu, Kentucky

The whole section of the county around Tolu was known as Hurricane in the beginning.  There was a general store, Weldon and Beard and a post office at the mouth of Hurricane Creek on the Ohio.

When the post office washed down the river in the flood of 1884, the governement set up a new post office in th elittle settlement about one-half mile from the river, where was located the general store of Weldon and Beard, a grist mill and blacksmith shop.

The general store was selling a very popular patent medicine made from the South American Tolu tree.  This medicine was good for man and beast alike.  Especially for man as a whiskey base it was very pleasing to man's taste.  It was suggested the new post office be named Tolu, so it was, and that it how Tolu got its name.

There were steamers, the Joe Fowler and the John Hopkins, which unloaded mail, freight and passengers, on their way to Paducah.  Late in the afternoon the packet would land again on its way to Evansville.  Farmers sent their corn, hay and cattle to Evansville markets.  There were the beautiful packets going to Cincinnati, Ohio, and their bluetopped pilot house, the white collar on the smoke stacks and the gleaming beauty of the boat.  Big tows, and the Showboats, with their calliope, bands that would come up through town and at night the show on the boat.

Tragedy struck the town in the early 1900 in the form of a fire and complete business district burned.  Tolu never recovered from that night's fire.

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