Thursday, April 17, 2014

Buried Treasure

A lot of stories are told about Smithland - some true and some not true. A couple of years ago a friend told me about some people finding something under the floor of a house so I was pleased to find the following article in the 4 August 1929 issue of the Evansville Press. The St. John property owned by the heirs of J.W. Gautier in 1929 is Lot #1, located at the corner of Front and Walnut Streets on the Smithland plat of town lots. At that time there was a two-story brick house on the lot. That house is long gone and there is a rental house there now.

What do you think? Did the strangers find a treasure box?  What did it contain? Who buried it?



Published 17 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Ira D. and Sarah A. Nunn


Ira D. Nunn
Oct. 5, 1835
Apr. 19, 1913
Sarah A.
His Wife
Oct. 27, 1845
Jan. 18, 1938
Buried Rosebud Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 15 October 2010.

Ira D. Nunn married (1) Mary C. Delaney 13 December 1865 Union County, Kentucky and (2) Miss Sarah Ann Shaw 6 December 1874 Crittenden County, Kentucky.

Death certificate #9791 (1913) shows that Ira Duke Nunn, the son of John Nunn and Emily H. Love died 20 April 1913. Sarah Ann Shaw Nunn's death certificate #2825 (1038) lists her parents as John Shaw and Mary Phillips. Her birth date is given as 27 October 1844.

Published 25 March 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Conant Family of Smithland

In 1842, Peter Horace Conant, a native of Massachusetts and later a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, purchased a tract of land lying on the bank of the Cumberland River, just above the town of Smithland in Livingston County, Kentucky.[1] Peter, along with his brothers, N.W. Conant and A.P. Conant, established a tanyard on this land, which became one of the largest commercial businesses in Smithland. By 1846 when the property was mortgaged to another brother, Joseph Conant, the assets of the company also included one keel boat, seven flat boats, a ferry flat and a skiff.[2] This indicates P.H. Conant was involved in river traffic.

Peter H. Conant (1809 - 1890)


Peter H. Conant, born in Leominister, Massachusetts on 24 May 1809, married (1) Mary Ann Bowers of Leominister 8 February 1832 and (2) Sarah Maria Bowers on 29 November 1877.[3] Peter H. and Mary A. Bowers Conant had the following children: Horace A., George H., Sarah Elizabeth, Mary Sawyer, John Heywood, Abbie Maria, Peter Andrew, Charles Withington, and Edward Taylor.[4]  Peter H. Conant died  testate[5] in 1890, according to his obituary:[6]
"Mr. P.H. Conant, of Smithland, died Sunday evening. He was an old sailor and steamboatman, and one of the oldest residents of Smithland. He was born in Massachusetts, and came West in his early life. He was an old acquaintance of Miss Clara Barton, of Red Cross fame and aided her in her work during the flood of '84. Mr. Conant was a spiritualist, and was an earnest believer in the faith. He leaves four sons, all grown. He was a leading business man of the place ... Mr. Conant was 82 years of age and up to a week ago, was in his usual health, and was seen riding a horse on the streets. His death was from old age, and a sudden breaking down of a strong constitution."

Charles W., son of Peter H. Conant remained in Smithland and married Cora Cade, daughter of James W. Cade, in 1881. Charles W. and Cora had no children and continued to live in the family home until their death, Charles W. dying 7 December 1936[7] and Cora dying 17 April 1939.[8]




Cora Cade and Charles W. Conant
At their home in Smithland



[1] Livingston County Deed Book GG:440, 5 December 1842.
[2] Livingston County Deed Book HH:323, 12 September 1846.
[3] Frederick Odell Conant. A History and Genealogy of the Conant Family in England and America 1520-1887, (Portland, ME:Harris & Williams, 1887), 510-511.
[4] Ibid.
[5] P.H. Conant will (1885), Livingston County Will Book C:116-117.
[6] Evansville Journal, p. 3, column 4, 16 July 1890,
[7] Kentucky Death Certificate #33857 (1936) of Charles W. Conant.
[8] Kentucky Death Certificate #10794 (1939) of Cora Cade Conant.


Published 10 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Cuba Waters

Come Ye Blessed
Cuba
Wife of T.W.
Waters
Born
Oct. 4, 1892
Died
May 24, 1920
Passed Through The
Golden Gate Into
The Beautiful
Shining Land
 
Buried Ferguson Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 8 April 2014.
 
Death certificate #14470 (1920) shows that the decedent was born in Missouri. She was the daughter of Wash Stearns and Lou McCray, both of whom were also born in Missouri.
 
 
Published 8 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lyon County in 1898

The following information comes from Legislative Document No. 7, Thirteenth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics of the State of Kentucky, 1898-1899. There is a section on each Kentucky County.

Lyon County was formed in 1854 out of the southwestern half of Caldwell. Bounded north by Livingston and Crittenden, east by Caldwell, south by Trigg, west by Marshall.

Some of the finest iron ore known can be found here, including blue hematite. There have been several blast furnaces, but the ore was mined by slaves principally, and they were not allowed to use powder, consequently, much of it was not worked. Even since the war only surface veins were worked and untold wealth of it lies deeper, as have been proven by prospectors. There was also a rolling mill, in which some of the finest finished iron ever known was made. No boiler was every known to explode that was made of its product, when run by D. Hillman & Sons, the famous iron kings, who made charcoal iron almost exclusively.

Eddy Creek, a few miles above Eddyville, has in time supported three flouring mills, only one of which is now running.   Eddyville has a fine spring flowing out of a cave which has been explored for half a mile. Kuttawa has a very fine mineral spring used as a health resort but not extensively.

Good farm labor can be had for $13 or $14 per month  and board - the more inferior and unreliable are less - the average being about $11. Without board the average is about $16 or less.

We have some of the best county schools, most of the buildings being of the modern type, with seats, charts, blackboards, maps, etc., each occupied by live, well trained teachers, all moving upward and onward. In many districts, a "pay" school is conducted for three or five months after the public school is out, it holding five months. In each town is a high school ten months each year.

Eddyville, the county seat, was founded in 1799, on the north bank of the Cumberland river, 45 miles from its mouth, 190 miles from Louisville by the Illinois Central railroad, is a flourishing town, the seat of the branch penitentiary, with a large brick roller mill, a bank, newspaper, tobacco factory, two blacksmith shops, a full line of churches, ministers, lawyers, physicians, stores and hotels.

Lamasco, 10 miles southeast of Eddyville, founded in 1864, has 200 inhabitants, two churches, Methodist E. South, and Baptist, three physicians, two stores, two tobacco factories, two blacksmith shops and a flourishing school.

Kuttawa, one and one-half miles below Eddyville, founded in 1880 or '81, by Chas. Anderson, ex-governor of Ohio, lies on the Illinois Central railroad and Cumberland river - a live, wide awake town of 1,000 inhabitants. Has three churches, three lawyers, there physicians, five dry goods stores, seven groceries, three general stores, two hardware stores, one tobacco factory, one large spoke factory, four blacksmith shops, one jeweler and watchmaker, one large roller flouring mill, two hotels, two saloons and one bank, and a fine high school.

Star Lime Works, though not a town, has three stores, five lime kilns, one grist mill, two blacksmith and wood work shops and the best country school in the county.

Mon, Carmack and Eureka are country stores, the latter having three or four houses.

I am told that many years ago a John Brandon mined and smelted and coined into money silver he found in Lyon county, and was sent to the State prison, not for counterfeiting, but for making silver dollars, as they were of purer silver than standard money. He would never tell where he obtained his ore, but carried it some distance to his furnace, which was in the hills just across the river from Eddyville. A high grade of silver ore has been mined in the northwest corner of the county, at a spring known as the Silver Spring.

Postoffices in Lyon County - Carmack, Confederate, Eddyville, Eureka, Hughey, Kuttawa, Lamasco, Mont, Rinaldo, Saratoga, Star Lime Works.

Published 3 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Robert & Elizabeth Adamson

Adamson
Robert M. Adamson
Nov. 23, 1839
Mar. 9, 1922
____
Elizabeth G. His Wife
Apr. 1, 1844

Buried Bells Mines Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 26 April 2013.

Robert M. Adamson and Bettie Murphy married 12 April 1860 Crittenden County.

According to her death certificate #5505 (1929), Mrs. Elizabeth Adamson was born 1 April 1843 and died 11 February 1929. She was widowed and the daughter of Robert Murphy and Rebecca Jane Shields.  Robert and Elizabeth Adamson last appeared together on the 1920 Crittenden County census.

Published 1 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, March 27, 2014

According to Buz ...

Those of you who follow this blog know that I have spent a lot of time researching Smithland, Kentucky and its residents. One of the town residents I enjoy most is Ben F. Egan, more commonly known as Buz. I've written about him Here and Here .

Buz was a steamboat captain on the Ohio and Cumberland rivers for many years and knew just about everyone in the business or connected to the business.  He also knew the men who reported the news of steamboats. So, when he was in a town, he visited the reporter who wrote the river news and talked. And talked and talked some more. He talked about old steamboat men in Smithland, calling them "old mariners." He talked about which ones were buried on "graveyard hill" in Smithland, which was often called "mouth of the Cumberland" or "mouth of Smithland."  Because of his talking, we get an inside look at people he knew in Smithland and on the rivers. Thank you, Buz!

Below are some of the news items found in the Evansville, Indiana Journal, which is available on microfilm at Willard Library in Evansville:

15 December 1884:  Speaking of his life-long friend, A.J. Duncan (deceased), Ben F. Egan says: Allen and I were boys together at that good old town at the mouth of the Cumberland river. When I first learned to know him well he and I were officers, in 1855, on the Nashville and St. Louis packet, Aleonia ... Capt. Duncan married  the niece of Capt. J.V. Scyster, of Smithland ... The widow of Wm. Mantz, a favorite engineer on the Cumberland river, is the niece of Capt. Duncan.

22 April 1885: [Speaking of J.W. Mills] His earthly voyage is ended, and he now sleeps on the graveyard hill down at the mouth of Smithland, and near him lie his old-time friends R.C. Weston, J.V. Throop, D.G. Fowler, N.F. Drew and Blount Hodge.

11 October 1886:  When a boy down at the mouth of Smithland, I played with the Matheny boys, Clem, Will, Tobe and Jim. Clem died at the pilot's wheel of the W.A. Johnson; Will committed suicide; Tobe was executed at Paducah by a military order issued by Gen. Payne, and now comes the intelligence from Evansville that Jim died there a few days ago, a victim of that dread disease, consumption. All of these boys were boatmen, and all, except poor Jim, died with their boots on. W.S. Gupton, a well known pilot, is their nephew.

3 December 1890:  Recalling ante-bellum days, Buz says: In the long ago Dixon Given drove a stage and kept a tavern on the point opposite the Mouth of Smithland. The old gentleman is dead and forgotten, and not a vestige of that house, nor of the ground on which it stood, remains. It has tumbled into the Ohio River. H.F., D.A., Mildred, Emily and Kate are dead. Judge W.P. Fowler married the oldest daughter. There [sic] sons are Dick, Joe, Whyte and Gus. Only Joe survives.

This is just a sample of what Buz had to say. I'll share more in the future.

Published 27 March 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/