Thursday, February 26, 2009

Court House News - 1923

Here are some interesting tidbits from the Crittenden County Court House session of Feb. 23, 1923. From the archives of The Crittenden Press.

  • A warrant was issued to the Sheriff authorizing him to search the premises of Jim Farmer, a farmer residing in the Frances section. When Sheriff J. T. Wright, Deputy P. R. Taylor and Jailer J. C. Spees arrived there Mr. Farmer readily gave the officials permission to search the premises. While searching in the smokehouse the officers discovered a moonshine still in a barrel covered up with boards. Mr. Farmer admitted, it is said, that he knew the still was there, but that it was brought there by Earl Farmer and that he had nothing to do with it. The still, one of about eight gallon capacity, was brought to Marion and is now in the office of County Judge Travis.
  • The will of George G. Baker was filed for probate. His widow was made executrix.
  • The will of Lone Travis was probated. Thomas A. Travis was made executor and his widow and children are beneficiaries under the will.
  • The will of the late W. H. Porter was probated. His widow was made executrix and she and four children are beneficiaries under the will.
  • The County Clerk has issued marriage license to Thomas DeHaven and Mrs. Minnie Oldham, both of Blackford.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Street Fair In Marion

This sounds like a good time was had by all who attended the street fair in Marion in October 1929. From the files of the Crittenden Press, we can go back and enjoy the good times from the past.

October 18, 1929
Last Friday, as a celebration of the opening of three of Marion's new concrete streets and the rapidly nearing completion of another, a street fair was held in Marion with the Parent-Teachers Association in charge.

One block of Belleville Street from Main to Court was roped off and a series of booths constructed for the use of the various committees who had charge of different parts of the program.

At noon a barbecue dinner was served in the court house yard and thruout the day refreshments could be purchased at a number of stands.

At some of the booths games and contests were conducted, while one of the features of the day was a motion picture at the Kentucky theatre.

During the afternoon the picture shown was Tom Mix in "Deadwood Coach" while at night the program was changed to "Three Week Ends" a Clara Bow picture.

The largest crowd of the entire program was in attendance at the Old Fiddlers Contest and the Square Dance that followed. In the fiddlers contest first prize was awarded to Everett Brewer while second prize went to Jonas Rushing. In this contest in which the fiddlers played tunes of the past. In the square dance people participated with the dances called by Byrd M. Guess, of Fredonia.

First prize for the guitar pickers was to Lacy Gass, second prize went to Hawk Fritts.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Marion's Whiskey Distillery

Did you know at one time Marion had it's own whiskey distillery? The jug at the right is a rare treasure from this industry. The distillery was located in the building that housed the old Marion tannery. This building was where Conrad's Grocery Store is today. There was a free-flowing spring that was located close by and the tannery and later the distillery used the spring water for the manufacture of their products.

In December of 1900 the distillery of Doss, F. E. Robinson & Co. opened up and started manufacturing whiskey. The brand of their whiskey was Old Hickory. The Old Hickory Distillery produced some of the finest sour mash whiskey around. With a mash capacity of 25 bushels a day, the distillery could yield up to 112 gallons a day. One of the advertisements for this product stated that "Old Hickory is as pure as dew and is as good for medicinal purposes as fever, take home a bottle t'will keep off malaria and drive away the blues."

Some of the saloon's in Marion during this 1900-1906 period were: Doss & Co., The Victor Bar, The Palace Saloon, Eberle, Hardin & Co, and the drug stores also sold Old Hickory for medicinal purposes.

In 1906, once again, local areas had the choice of going dry or wet. The people voted to go dry. The distillery had always been a controversy as long as it was operating. After it closed it's doors, soon after the dry vote, there were no complaints about it going out of business. No legal whiskey was sold in Marion after then although it wasn't until 1919 that prohibition came into effect. The wet-dry vote has always caused a lot of controversy in Crittenden County.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

1905 Fashions

In November of 1905, Miss A. S. Cavender announces to The Crittenden Press that she had bought out the entire stock of Miss Harrig's millinery business.

To get acquainted with the people of Marion Miss Cavender is having a wonderful sale on all the millinery goods in her new store. The hats are of the latest styles in pattern, trimmed and ready-to-wear hats from the New York, Chicago, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Nashville markets. She also has beautiful little baby caps, laces, ribbons and other millinery notions.

I want all of my friends to secure some article of value from this sale, and I believe it is large enough for all my friends both far and near to profit by it. The large stock of millinery is not old, shelf-worn, out-of-date goods, but new up to date, stylish millinery, bought for this fall and winter by a fashionable milliner. Call and examine the goods for yourself.

Don't forget my new location, it's on the corner of Main and Salem Street across from the Court House.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Oak Hall School Goes on Hike

This is a cute story about one of our old one room schools. This picture is of the Oak Hall school building made many years ago. As with all of our schools they have been torn down or made into farm storage building.

This article was in The Crittenden Press October 28, 1915. A good time then is much different than what is considered a good time today. O'possum grapes, acorns and polkberries made for an exciting day, where as today it might be a playground full of modern play equipment or watching cartoons on TV or a video game.

Last Friday afternoon, after a week's hard work, our teacher consented to take us grape hunting. We marched four abreast to a neighboring woods where there was reported to be loved of grapes. Some of the boys climbed the tree and proceeded to throw down some o'possum grapes to the clamoring crowd. We all got enough to black our teeth and then went to another tree, which was an oak tree, and of course their were lots of acorns.

The girls began to throw acorns at the boys, which caused an acorn battle, which lasted some minutes. We found to cap off the jubilant manner of the children, a merry-go-round which caused lots of fun and laughter.

We then returned to the schoolhouse Indian file and all reported a nice time. All escaped unharmed except for a few bruises from the acorns. The teacher got the worst end of the acorn battle.

Although we all returned unhurt we didn't look it - for someone happened upon some pokeberries and such smearing of juice on faces no one ever saw before.

Lafey Claghorn certainly was a sight. He kept picking on all the girls and they got their hands full of polkberries and after Miss Eulah had dismissed they caught him, and well, if you could have seen him you'd believe they certainly did smear him.

We all had a nice time and intend to be good so we can go again.

Written by, A Pupil

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Whitt Family Cemetery

Crittenden County has many abandoned cemeteries. They were family cemeteries located near their homes. As the families died, moved away and the family land would be sold to others, the cemeteries were left uncared for. I'm sure they are many that have been destroyed by new land owners, but some were left alone, unkept and uncared for.

The Whitt Family Cemetery was one of these. It is located in Frances, Kentucky about ten miles from Marion, on top of a high buff, known as the Whitt Bluff. Evelyn Whitt Cruce, in June of 2000 told me the following history.

Sarah Whitt came to Kentucky from Virginia in a covered wagon and purchased the original Whitt family farm of 365 acres. There were 3 Whitt infants and 1 Yandell infant buried in the Whitt cemetery, and also a Mr. Utterback, that didn't have any place to buried and her father let him be buried in their family cemetery. A white rose bush was planted as his marker.

As you can see by Sarah's tombstone, it is beautifully crafted with intricate design around the Whitt's "W".

Others buried in the cemetery are:

  • Whitt, Sarah, born 11-Apr-1825, died 11-Dec-1899, Mother of G. L. Whitt
  • Whitt, Infant Son, only date 01-Jan-1892
  • Whitt, Infant Daughter, only date 30-July-1896. These were children of G. L. and Elmira Jnae Moore Whitt.
  • Whitt, Lindsay G., born 3-Apr-1886, died 22-Nov-1912
  • Whitt, Paul R., born 8-July-1913, died 21-July 1913, Son of W. I. and Myrtle
  • Whitt, Henry T., born 17-Aug-1883, died 28-July-1919.

This family cemetery is recorded in the Crittenden County Genealogy's book "Crittenden County Cemetery Book, Volume I."

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One For the History Books - 2009 Ice Storm

Ice Storm of January26th, 2009

This ice coated tree has almost three inches of ice coated on its branches. Our woods look as if they had been in a war zone, all the tops are splinted and broken. Not just one or two, but the total forest in our county.

When I posted my last article on January 26th, I knew the weather forecast for Western Kentucky called for freezing rain. I thought it would be interesting to show a past ice storm that had hit Crittenden County in the winter of 1902 and how the people survived it with good spirits and a hope for a better day coming.

Little did I know at the time, that the ice store of 2009 will go in our history archives as the worse wide-spread natural disaster to ever hit Marion and Crittenden County. Many of you may have been reading about the ice storm and all the havoc that it has caused. We haven't been able to know what was being told, as our power didn't get restored until 2:30 Wednesday afternoon. We are some of the lucky ones in Marion to have this wonderful item returned to us. Never take it for granted. So many thanks go to the utility workers from everywhere that have come to our aid, as our own men that have worked day and night.

Crittenden County, as in olden times, have worked together as friends and neighbors and shared heat, water and phones, if we were lucky enough to have it. Neighbors that lives out in the rural areas, have worked hours and hours with their own farm equipment just to help clear the roads to make them accessible to vehicles. The first few days the state and county roads were impassible to traffic, trees were falling as fast as they could clear them. Our State Road Department has worked around the clock for days just trying to clean the highways, also the County Road Department has done the same. Today the two road departments are working together to clear the rural road to the little river town of Weston. I hope they realize how much their hard work is appreciated.