Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Crittenden County Review by The Evansville Press in April 1930

This interesting article about Marion and Crittenden County was published in the Evansville Courier and Journal, in April 1930.

Marion, Ky.  What peculiar properties of greatness does the city of Marion hold?

A strange question, and an unanswerable one.  But this little city of 2,100 inhabitants has brought forth three men who have written their names on the pages of United States history.

Ollie M. James one of the most brilliant orators and certainly one of the greatest figures in Kentucky history, became United States senator.

W. J. Deboe, also a United States senator from Kentucky, claimed Marion as his home.

Oklahoma's second governor, Lee Cruce, was Marion born and reared.

The homes of both Senators James and Deboe still stand in this city, directly opposite each other at the same street intersection on East Depot Street.   The bodies of both lay in the Marion cemetery.

Center of Mining
Marion, the county seat of Crittenden County lies in a section of the most scenic beauty in western Kentucky.  All about are sweeping hills that break the monotony of the broad plain common to this section of the state.

The city was named for Gen. Francis Marion, Revolutionary war hero.

Marion is the center of a rich mining industry, lying in the midst of one of the only two fluorspar districts in the United States of any consequence.  Consequently Marion is the headquarters for several companies engaged in this industry.

In four counties in the country is most of the fluorspar produced.  Crittenden and Livingston counties in Kentucky and Pope and Hardin counties in Illinois. 

Among the companies operating in the Crittenden county field are the Franklin, a subsidiary of the Aluminum  Corporation of America; the Lafayette, a subsidiary of the United Sates Steel corporation; the Holly, controlled by Cincinnati capitalists; the Eagle, under control of Wheeling W. Va.; capitalists; the Independent, Gugenheim; and Kentucky Fluorspar companies, privately owned and developed.  The mines normally employ about 1,000 men.

The first mining in this county was done under General Andrew Jackson, later president of the United States, who operated lead mines where the fluorspar now is being mined.  Lead now is a by-product.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Buzzard Roost School - Lost in Time

Buzzard Roost
The school of Buzzard Roost was located a little north of Pigeon Roost Creek in the southeastern part of Crittenden County. The school was located on the Henry Brantley farm off of Fish Trap Road and the Barthel Crowell Road. There were no census records of this school, either they weren't taken, or they somehow got lost over the years.

The log school building had one room and a huge fireplace in which logs were burned. The building had a roof of boards which were made by hand and the doors were also handmade.

Benches for the children were made by splitting a log in half and trimming some of the splinters off the flat side. Round pegs were driven in holes for legs and to support the bench. 

There were no desks on which to put writing material, which was only a slate in a wooden frame. The slates also served as a blackboard. Blackboards were unheard of at that time, as were tablets, notebooks and paper.

School lunches were cold, fixed by mothers at home, and placed in a tin pail or small basket. Lunch was usually wrapped in an old newspaper, after we began having one newspaper each week. Ants also enjoyed our lunches with us. Drinks were water or a bottle of milk brought from home. There was no running water, only what was in branches nearby.

Bathrooms were also unheard of in our area but woods were always a refuge. Children walked through rain, snow, ice and sometimes a distance of one to three miles. 

A few of the children who attended Buzzard Roost were from the families of Hugh Givens, John Tosh, Henry Brantley, Hugh McKee, Evans Crowell, James Edward Crowell, Bob Edwards, Cebe Canada, Bird Ashley, Field Brantley, William Chandler, Marian Clark and John Price.

Some of the teachers were John A. Reynolds, Rev. W.C.M. Travis, Jimmie Canada, Rev. James F. Price and James Harvey Travis.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Prospect School of Long Ago

One of the old one room schools that not much history is known about was the Prospect school.  This school was located in the Cave Spring are of the county.

Prospect school set nestled up next to the wooded bluff in the Cave Spring-Nunn Switch area of the county.

It was located off of the Nunn Switch Road and the Chappell Rd.

The children like to play on the rocky bluffs that were located behind the school during play time.

The earliest record found for the school was the year 1891 and Sarah Carmen was given as the name of the teacher.

Schools in the early days were of short duration, having only three months in the fall, usually beginning about October and continuing until the end of December.  Sometimes in the spring there was a term of six weeks.  Parents needed their children at home during the spring and summer months to help with all the farm work.

There was running water in a little branch on each side of the school yard.  Drinking water was brought from the branch to the school each day.

During lunch hour in the fall of the year children would gather huckleberries, persimmons, hickory nuts and walnuts.  The small girls liked to find a big flat rock and gather moss to cover it.  That would be their sofa.  they would break a bushy limb from a large bush for a broom to sweep off a place around the sofa for a room or playhouse.  

Many programs were given on the last day of school.  Children and parents always looked forward to that time.  Parents would bring big boxes and baskets of food to be served at the noon hour, and several short programs were given by the students to show what they had learned during their school term.  

Some of the teachers were Rev. James f. Price, Rev. W.C.M. Travis, E. Jeffrey Travis, Jimmie Canada, and Mana Crowell Little.

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Some Interesting Facts about Crittenden County, KY

The county was formed in 1842, taken from Livingston County. 

The county is named for John J. Crittenden, one of Kentucky's most famous U. S. Senators of all time (1848-60).  

Marion was named for Gen. Francis Marion, the famous "Swamp Fox" of the Revolutionary War.

The area has an abundance of pioneer and Indian history.

The Chickasaw Road, part of the old Saline Trace used by Indians in pursuit of herds of buffalo, deer and elk, ran across the northern part of the county.

These large game animals crossed the Ohio River here to the salt licks in Illinois.  The trail crossing here became an important route of migration and commerce when Flynn's Ferry was established on the site in 1803.

The county's mining history goes back to around 1815, when Andrew Jackson organized a prospecting venture to hunt for silver ore in the area.

Small quantities of silver were found in the lead sulfide, too small for the cost of mining so Jackson disposed of the large tracts of land he had acquired.

Many years later Andrew Jackson Jr. built one of the first iron furnaces in the area, near Hurricane church off of  Hwy 135.

Near Dycusburg are the ruins of another pioneer iron furnace, the last of several iron works operated by the Cobb and Lyon families who came to the area when Jackson told them about the ore deposits.

The history of these furnaces parallels that of the other early iron-making ventures in Kentucky, which lasted from around 1792 to 1865.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

William Hughes at Pilot Knob Cemetery

Crittenden  Press Aug. 29, 1918 -  Large Monument at Pilot Knob

A large monument has just been erected at the burying plot of Wm. Hughes and family at Pilot Knob Cemetery.

The  monument is made from the famous Bleaching Stone, nicely carved and is beautiful.

The individual graves on the lot are marked with a nice grave marker.

W. U. Hughes, of this county, and his brothers purchased this work from Henry & Henry.

Crittenden Press, March 15, 1917

William Hughes died at Paducah at the home of his daughter, Mrs. J. W. Hamby, Tuesday night at 12 o'clock.  The remains arrived at Marion at 3 o'clock Wednesday and were taken to the home of his nieces Mesdames A. M. Henry and H. V. Joiner on Depot Street.

The funeral will be preached this morning at the residence and the interment will follow at Pilot Knob graveyard where his wife and daughter and ancestors are buried.

The deceased was 75 years of age and had been ill of pneumonia only three days.

He is survived by two daughters, Mesdames Robt. Gibbs of Caldwell Springs and Jesse W. Hamby of Paduch, and four sons, W. U. of Rodney, C. H. and F. E. of Jackson Micnh., and D. G. , of Olney Ill.

His wife, Annie Gilbert died 15 yeears ago and 5 years ago he lost a beautiful daughter, Carrie.

Also surviving are two sisters Mesdames Charles Sherrell of Stephensville, Texas, and Ellen Bigham, widow of the late J. W. Bigham of Gainesville, Fla, and one brother, Lee of Stephensville, Texas.

He was a charter member of the 1st Baptist church of this city.