Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Life and Times of Lindsey Travis

This interesting article contains some early history about life in our area and genealogy on one of our pioneer families. It was written by the late Braxton McDonald, a local teacher, superintendent, artist, and historian of Crittenden County.

One of the earliest recollections of the writer is of passing a little log cabin near Tribune and seeing an old man sitting in an old hickory-bottomed chair, musing, perhaps, of days past and gone.

The man, Uncle Lindsey Travis, was then over 90 years of age. He was born in 1821 and died in 1916 being in his 96th year at death. Many interesting incidents of his life are told.

Once when he was about 16 years of age his mother sent him and a Negro boy to old Centerville to swap some chickens for coffee. Centerville was about 12 miles from the Travis home and Uncle Lindsey and the Negro boy walked and carried the chickens. They took along a pillowcase in which to get the coffee. 

Coffee was very difficult to get at that time, but at this particular time President Jackson had sent several hundred Indians via Centerville to Illinois. These Indians were camping at the ford at Centerville. Government agents had supplied the Indians with quantities of coffee, sugar and other supplies. They traded these supplies for produce of the surrounding countryside.

Uncle Lindsey walked up to a large group of Indians and offered them his chickens for coffee. The Indians in front did not, or pretended not to understand him, and reached out their hand to feel how fat the chickens were. They kept passing them back to the Indians behind them and saying "Me feel, me feel" until they had taken about all the chickens.

By this time Uncle Lindsey was becoming suspicious and began to press them for the coffee in exchange. They gave him a small amount of coffee and told him to go. Feeling very resentful, he walked slowly down toward the creek, and seeing a small Indian boy near the path he said "I'll stomp you in the ground." The Indians, hearing this and seeing that there was some excitement gave a great war whoop and started toward Uncle Lindsey. 

Years later when he would tell this incident he would start by saying, "One time I out ran 2,000 Indians, but – they were after me." He said that this was the only time he out ran the Negro boy in his life, and also the only time he ran across a wide creek without getting his feet wet.

Several large groups of Indians were sent through Crittenden County by President Andrew Jackson. Most of the time they would camp a few days at the ford at old Centerville and then go on toward the Ohio River, passing near the present location of Marion. Traditions have it that they were paid large sums of money for their Eastern lands, and hid this money in a cave near Marion, wishing to hide the money before crossing the river. It is said that many years later small groups of Indians would come to this locality looking for the hidden treasurer.

Some family genealogy about Lindsey Travis.

Lindsey M. Travis was the sixth child of James and Rachel Travis. He was first married to Elizabeth McDowell. They lived on the Flynn's Ferry Road north of Copperas Spring.

His obituary from The Crittenden Press, July 20, 1916 tells some more history about his old gentleman.

"Lindsey Murray Travis was born January 20th, 1821, and died July 16, 1916. He was married three times. His first marriage was to Mary Elizabeth McDowell, August 20, 1842. To this union there were born five children.

He professed religion when young at the old Wilson Campground on the Flynn's Ferry Road, located between Repton and Tribune. He and Uncle Billy Lamb professed the same year and both joined the Methodist Church, he remained a faithful member of that church until his death.
Uncle Linze was one of the oldest men in the county at his death and lived longer than any of the Travis family. He was 96 years and six months old, lacking four days.

His mother, Aunt Rachel Travis lived to be 92 years and six months old, his brother, James Harvey Travis, lived 92 years and three months, and his sister Susan Elvira Travis Brantley lived 87 years and six months old at her death.

Uncle Linze was a quite, inoffensive man. He did a great deal of pubic business, but never meddled with business that did not come before him. He was generous and hospitable and everybody found a warm welcome in his home. He was appreciative any kindness shown him, and warmly made you feel that appreciation.

Lindsey Murray Travis is buried in the little, but historic James Wheeler Cemetery, located on Just-A-Mere Road, as are many of his descendants of Crittenden County.

Monday, March 21, 2016

Construction of Fohs Hall -1926

The building of Marion's historic Fohs Hall is quite interesting.  It's beginning in 1925 was very exciting for the city of Marion.  Never before had someone donated such a wonderful gift to Marion and Crittenden County.  
The building itself will be a beautiful one and will be not only be a school addition for the educational and recreational facilities of Marion, but a public building that will enhance the beauty of an already charming building site with it's stately trees and green lawns.

The general type of architecture of the building will be colonial, with four large columns in front of the Roman Corinthian period design.  These are the same design as those of the Pantheon at Rome.
The cornices will be of stone, as also will be the columns.  The windows will all have metal sash and the design is very artistic.  Foundation material will be local limestone.  The steps will be of the same material as the cornices.

The main entrance to the building will be very ornamental.  A rise of four long stone steps will lead one up on to a large tiled floor portico.  

The main entrance will be through a massive front door into a spacious lobby.  To the left will be a lounge room beautifully appointed.  The room will have a coatroom and lavatory. The family of the late T. J. Nunn gave the furniture for this room in memory of their father.  (Today this room is known as the "Nunn Room").

To the right of the lobby will be a music room, also with coatroom and lavatory.

The auditorium, one of the principal features of the building will be a combined gymnasium and auditorium.  When used as a gymnasium the playing floor will be thirty six by sixty three feet, with two balconies for spectators to watch the games.

When needed as an auditorium there will be seats on the playing floor facing the large state, making the total seating capacity about 800. 

The stage is large with a dressing room on each side, these occupying the entire width of the building.

On the second floor will be the library and balcony of the auditorium.  The library and reading room in to be seventy feet long by twenty four feet wide with a fireplace at each end of the moor.  Fireplaces area also to be in the music and lounge rooms.

On the second floor will also e a fireproof booth for motion picture machines.

In the basement will be found rooms that will be of considerable interest to the school students.  There are to be shower baths for boys and girls; locker rooms for each sex and a storage room, all with cement floors.

There will be a sewing room for the Home Economics girls and a domestic science room with cement floor.  The basement will also contain a large room for agriculture class work.

No a single feature has been omitted for this project that will make it serve its intended purpose.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Ollie James Special

February 20, 1913. - The Ollie James Special train car was in Marion to pick up the hometown folks going to Washington for the inauguration of their own Senator James.  Travelers included local business men from Marion, P. S. Maxwell, J. H. Orme, H. K. Woods, John W. Wilson, Dr. F. W. Nunn, Sam Gugheneim, W. G. Clifton, C. J. Pierce and T. H. Cochran.  From Tolu were J. B. Croft, W. E Dowell, Bob Dowell and Wm. Barnett.

Asa compliment to their fellow townsman, who has been so signally honored, the residents of Marion, Ky. will leave the depot on Feb. 27th, at 4 0'clock aboard their "Ollie James Special," which will arrive in Louisville Friday morning.

After stopping for breakfast they will attach to the C & O train leaving for Washington, D. C.  They are going there three days before the inauguration in order to see Washington before inauguration day, March 4th, when their favorite sons will take his seat as United States senator.

While in Washington they will be under the personal charge of Senator-elect James, who will accompany them to New York for a couple of days.  

 First the Senator elect had them all to a buffet luncheon in his apartments.  There were nearly two score of them, but Mrs. James, Misses Lizzie and Ruby James, sisters of Mr. James, and Miss Nancy Johnson, daughter of Rep. Ben Johnson, served them beautifully.

Mr. James then brought the whole party to the Capital  where he showed them the building and put them all in the galleries, although the doorkeepers insisted there was no room.

It was always thought that Senator James would most likely be nominated for President for the Democratic Party.  The Louisville Times of Friday, June 16, 1916, places Hon. O. M. James of Marion in nomination for President in 1920.   But this wonderful expected event never got to happen, as Senator Ollie James died at the age of 47 with a kidney disease on August 28, 1918.  His wife, Ruth Tomas James, didn't die until Sept. 16, 1961.  They are buried in the Mapleview Cemetery.


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Merchants of Weston in 1880

In 1880 Weston was a town of about 200 residents.  It was a thriving river port town and was the home of several places of business.

 Harry A. Haynes, ran the town drug store. 

The store was small, but the bottles were large and full.  Mr. Haynes was thinking of building a larger store to hold more stock, and meet the growing demands.

 During the last year his sales were $4,000.00

Weston had two hotels.  R. L. Wallingford is proprietor of the American House, and C. T. Davis is the clerk.  Bar rooms are kept in connecgtion with the hotels.  The clerk of the American House estimates his sales for the past  months at $3,000.00

Joseph L. Hughes is proprietor of the Weston Hotel.

 John Heath is his clerk.  The hotel was known for it's sumptuous meals

J. W. Adams was the town's blacksmith.

 He was kept busy striking the red-hot iron making plows and other farm and home implements.

His ad appeared in the Crittenden Press in June 1881.

 John Nunn and Co. owned and operated a hardware store.  they carried saddles, tin ware, all kinds of farming implements, household furniture, everything that was needed in the community and surrounding area.   

Such wonderful and rich history surrounding the old town of Weston.  Any signs of the old buildings of this once busy river town has disappeared through the years, mostly on account of all the flooding that happens most every year.

Today it is still a beautiful place, but now with several beautiful  homes built alone the flat area a short distance from the Ohio River, but nothing to remind one of times past.