Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Pilot Knob Cemetery

 Pilot's Knob Cemetery is a peaceful, normal rural family cemetery, but somewhere over the years an untrue and terrible grave myth somehow got started about a little witch girl being buried there and would haunt the cemetery at night. 


The tale went like wild fire and is even on the internet featuring this false information. It has caused many curiosity seekers, and out of town ghost hunters, which over the years have vandalized the cemetery grounds and been disrespectful to the dead buried there. 


Several times this harmful and erroneous information has tried to be removed from the internet but with no results, it's like the old saying, Once the words are out of your mouth there is no taking them back, so it is with this tale of the little witch girl.


The real story is that they were just a normal farm family that lived on the Fords Ferry Road. The little girl was Evelyn Ford, who did die a sad death at a young age, she was born May 9, 1911 and died May 31, 1916.  The cause of death, according to her death certificate, was a ruptured appendix. 


 Her father was James Andy Ford, who was a farmer, he died Sept. 17, 1927 and her mother was Mary Rebecca (Davis) Ford who died in the Crittenden County Hospital on March 13, 1955. The family is buried side by side at the cemetery.

Little Evelyn is buried in the grave with the fence around it and her parents, James "Andy" and Mary Rebecca are buried right next to her.  Her mother Mary Rebecca dying in 1955 and in our local hospital, I think proves that there was no witch burning going on then.

If anyone wants to tell you this story I hope you will set them straight and let them know there is no truth to this terrible tale.  It is upsetting to family members that live here.

On another note, no relationship has been found to connect this Ford family (descendants of Burton Ford) with the James Ford family that founded the town and ferry of Ford's Ferry.


Thursday, January 20, 2022

The Old Mineral Display Case by the Court House


 This piece of past Crittenden County History was located on the side of the old clerk's office that was located next to the Court House.  It was torn down in 1961 with the old court house to make room for the new Court House that was built in 1961.  Here is the history of the once fascinating item.

The Crittenden Press, Nov. 4, 1954

 Offering a new interest to local folks as well as visitors, a new mineral display case has recently been erected on the outside wall of the County Clerk's office on the Courthouse Square.

Attractive and unusual specimens of fluorspar and other minerals from this area will soon be placed in the exhibit case. 

 It's easy visibility from Main Street, plus display lights to show off the specimens at night, is expected to attract many out-of-town visitors and call attention to our resources in this area.  Mr. Ben E. Clement is pictured standing in front of the new display.

Citizens are invited to submit unusual or interesting specimens for the exhibit which may include fluorspar samples, "coal plant fossils" and other unusual specimens.  Contribution will be acknowledged on an identification card placed on each specimen displayed.

The new mineral display case has been made possible by the Crittenden County Development Association and by a committee formed for this purpose, consisting of Mr. B. E. Clement and Mayor Sylvan Clark.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Some Noted Early Marion Business Men of 1894

 In August of 1894, The Crittenden Press published a three-part illustrated edition of the paper.  In the papers were all kinds of information on people and businesses that were important to the city and county at the time.  I have found these articles to be a vital source of our past history of who and what was helping shape our county at the time.   Let's meet a few of these noted men in this week's post.  Will have more in later posts.

A. J. Bennett was born and reared on a farm in Livingston County. Several years ago he moved to Crittenden and is now one of our leading citizens.

He owns a fine farm in then Tolu famous corn belt of the county, and his industry as a farmer, his skill in the management of a farm, place him among the leading agriculturists of Southern Kentucky. He is a citizen full of enterprise and one who delights in the prosperity of the country. He has a splendid home, surrounded by the fruition of his labors.

Mr. Bennett takes great interest in political matters. He is a staunch Democrat, and last year his name was frequently mentioned in connection with the race for the legislature.

No man stands higher in the estimation of the people who know him than Judson Bennett, and such citizens make Crittenden a leading county in the proud galaxy of counties that constitutes the good old Commonwealth of Kentucky.

(A. Judson Bennett was born Feb. 14, 1847 and died Sept. 6, 1928. He is buried in the Mapleview cemetery.)


Robert Newton Walker. The senior member of the firm of Walker & Olive, the leading furniture dealers in the county, was born in this county in 1833, near the Ohio River and lived on their farm there until 1868.

In 1868 he was elected sheriff, defeating Robert Coffield, the ex-postmaster of Marion. In 1872 he was re-elected and is regarded as one of the best sheriffs the county has had. For awhile he sold goods at Marion, and handled leaf tobacco several years, finally embarking in the furniture business with Mr. Jesse Olive.

Mr. Walker is regarded as one of the best citizens of the county. In all positions, either as a private citizen or an officer, he was and is popular with the people. The firm of which he is the senior partner, carries a large stock of furniture, of all descriptions, and handles building lumber of all kinds. They have a splendidly equipped undertaking department.

(Robert Newton Walker died Jan. 24, 1906 and is buried in the Mapleview cemetery. He was married to Sarah J. Clement, she died May 18, 1918 and is also buried at Mapleview.)


J. Frank Loyd.  "He is the best Marshal Marion ever had", that is a remark one hears applied to our present city marshal, Mr. J.  Loyd, every day, and nobody disputes the truth of the assertion; if there be any man wedded to duty and its demands it is Frank Loyd.

It never gets too hot, nor turn too cold for him to look after the work he has sworn to perform, and in the discharge of official duty he knows neighbor friend nor foe, and Marion may well congratulate herself upon securing such a man to wear the uniform as her chief peace officer.

Mr. Loyd was born on a farm in this county August 23, 1864, and is a son of Mr. Wm. P. Loyd, one of our best farmers. In 1883 Frank concluded to try his fortune in the west; he attended the State Normal School at Warrensburg, Mo., one year and having secured through the influence of a friend, a school in the Indian Nation, he set out to take charge of his new work, but en-route he was taken ill and had to return to Kentucky.

In 1891 and 1892 he served as deputy sheriff under sheriff Cruce, and distinguished himself as a pains-taking, watchful, faithful officer, making a reputation that easily won for him the marshal-ship of Marion. At present he is marshal, assessor, tax collector, and street commissioner, and under him the streets are improving, the taxes are being collected promptly and evil doers around Marion do not find smooth sailing. Marion is proud of her faithful officer.

 (Mr. Loyd died June 26, 1922. He was married to Nannie E. Bradley. They are buried at Mapleview Cemetery, with a large impressive stone, which is graced with their picture.

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Some Happenings 100 years ago this month, January 1922

 From the archives of The Crittenden Press we can see what was happening 100 years ago in our fair city and county in the month of January 1922.

New Officers

  • E. Jeffrey Travis was sworn in and took charge the fist of the month as County Judge. He served as County School Superintendent for several years and as County Road Engineer for some time. He was elected County Judge without opposition. Mr. Travis is a vigorous young man and has had wide experience in the affairs of the county. The people are expecting an efficient administration of the county's affairs and the Press predicts the people will not be disappointed.
  • Edward D. Stone was sworn in and took charge as County Attorney the first of the month and had his first trial on the third of this month. He was educated in the schools of this county and graduated at Cumberland University in t he Law school. He once represented this and Livingston county in the Kentucky Legislature. He was elected to the office without opposition. He is a young man of good morals and the people are expecting him to look well after the interests committed to him.
  • Mr. James T. Wright was elected Sheriff of the County and took over the office on last Monday. He appointed Messrs. Joe Hunter Travis and John T. Pickens as his deputies.
  • Mr. James E. Sullenger was elected Circuit Clerk without opposition and took over the office Monday.
  • Mr. Learner E. Guess succeeds himself as County Clerk and was elected without opposition. Mr. Guess has served as County Clerk for several years and is a most efficient and painstaking officer.
  • John C. Spees took possession of the jail and began operation on the first of the year.

List of City Officers

These men will be in charge of the business affairs of the city of Marion for this year. 

  • Mayor, Bebe Boswell, 
  • Clerk, E. L. Harpending, 
  • City Judge: A. M. Gilbert, 
  • City Attorney, J. G. Rochester,
  •  Marshall, Albert Cannan, 
  • Assessor, Tom Wring, 
  • Collector, W. D. Cannon, 
  • Treasurer, Miss Kate Yandell,
  •  Clock Winder, Levi Cook.


New Theatre Named the Rex

Mr. Dewey Gray, who is manager of three theatres in Illinois, is now preparing the building formerly occupied by the Marion Hardware and Grocery Company and will remodel this building and open a moving picture show.

The new amusement place will be known as the Rex Theatre and the first show will start at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Bound and Gagged Pathe News will be showing. Admission is .35 cents and .25 cents. The theatre will run every evening of the week and we are assured that every evening's entertainment will be of the best. (The Rex theatre was locate in the building next to Gilbert's funeral home on West Bellville St.)


The New Bridge

The iron bridge over Tradewater river at Fishtrap connecting Crittenden and Webster counties was completed without an accident and opened for traffic Saturday morning December 31.

We wish to express our thanks to Judge R. L. Moore, Esquire W. D. Drennan, and Esquire F. M. Davidson of Crittenden County and the officials of Webster county, and all others who did anything to promote this important work.

On December 31 a celebration was held at Enon Church. After the service a bountiful dinner was served by the good ladies of this community.

This is one important step that both counties have looked forward to for several years.


Law Enforcement Meeting

Quite a number of our citizens met to discuss the importance of organizing the citizens of Marion and Crittenden County in a league to seek the enforcement of the laws.

After several rousing speeches given by the Mayor, Revs. J. F. Price, E. N. Hart, and Judge Clem S. Nunn and others, which resulted in every man present pledging himself to do his part to enforce the laws by standing behind the officers of the law and furnishing the necessary evidence for the conviction of law breakers and their punishment.

The spirit and enthusiasm of the meeting was enough to alarm the moonshiners and boot leggers as well as all law breakers.

The following resolution was unanimously adopted: We the citizens of Marion, Crittenden County, having met this 9th day of January 1922 in a meeting of the Law Enforcement League, after due and careful discussion, have arrived at the following conclusions:

The the anti prohibition forces are making a great effort to thwart the prohibition laws of this country, to introduce and pass a measure to permit the sale of beer and wines; Therefore: Be it resolved that we express to our Senators Hon. A. O. Stanley and R. P. Ernst, a vote of renewed confidence and that we urge upon them to stand firm and steadfast in all measures to prevent this law for the sale of beer and wine becoming effective. And we urge measures that shall compel a stricter enforcement of all laws, especially the prohibition law, thruout the country.

On behalf of the citizens of Crittenden County, Kentucky. Signed by 53 citizens of Marion.