Thursday, April 30, 2009

Taking Up of Slaves and F.P.C.

Runaway slave notices commonly appeared in Kentucky newspapers through the end of the War Between the States. The advertisement shown above appeared in the 17 July 1862 issue of the Henderson, Kentucky Weekly Reporter.

Blacks, both free and slaves, who hoped to escape living conditions in the South during the War often traveled through western Kentucky while attempting to reach freedom in the northern states. Being Free Persons of Color did not guarantee freedom from capture as they, along with runaway slaves, were in danger of being taken up by persons hoping to make a profit from a misfortunate human situation. The Taker Up, as the capturing person was generally called, received a reward, usually $75, for blacks caught in Livingston County, Kentucky. After being captured, the black person was turned over to the county Sheriff, who placed him in jail to await his fate. A notice was then placed in area newspapers with a physical description given of the runaway slave or Free Person of Color. If not claimed within a period of time, advertisements of the impending sale of the person was placed in four public places within the county and also on the doors of neighboring county courthouses. When the captured person was sold, the Sheriff, Jailor and sometimes the county clerk, received a portion of the sale. The remainder went to the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The end of the War signaled an end to this dark period in the history of our country.

You can also find information on the proceedings of the capturing and sale of blacks in the county court minutes of this era.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Crittenden Springs Hotel

Crittenden Springs Hotel, Crittenden County, Kentucky real photo postcard dated 1909. This was a popular resort for a number of years, drawing visitors from a wide area.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Alfred and Mary Grayot

May we meet in Heaven
Alfred A.
Born in the city
of Lyons France
May 28, 1823
Mar. 27, 1883

May we meet in Heaven
Mary A.
Wife of
A.A. Grayot
Oct. 29, 1872
40 yrs 9 mo
13 da’s

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstones photographed 16 April 2009. Click on photograph for enlarged view.

Buried next to the Grayott tombstones are their children, Charles R. Grayot, who died May 18, 1856, and Alfred A. Grayot, whose dates are now below ground.

Alfred A. Grayot, a druggist, first appears with his family on the 1860 Livingston County census. He lived in the two story red brick home next door to the county courthouse.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

News From Uniontown, Kentucky 1925

The following entries were transcribed from the Evansville, Indiana Courier and Journal, Sunday, 5 July 1925

Uniontown, Ky., July 4 - Charles Henry Perry, 71, prominent farmer of this county, died at his home near here Friday after a lingering illness of several years. He is survived by his wife, Mrs. Mamie Perry, and a daughter, Mrs. Roy Howard.

Mr. O. Nally died Sunday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Charles Blandford, near Robinsonville. She is survived by her husband and nine children. Funeral services here held Monday afternoon at St. Agnes Church. Interment in the St. Agnes Cemetery.

Mr. and Mrs. Walter Clements entertained a number of guests at dinner Thursday evening in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Louis Roberts of Wichita, Kans.

Miss Vardine Russell of Evansville is the guest of her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Vard Yewell.

Mrs. James T. Minton and children and Mrs. A.D. Reid have returned from a visit with Mrs. W. Walden at Baskett, Ky.

Mr. and Mrs. O.T. Haywood, Miss Elizabeth Yancey and Jake Stone left Tuesday for an overland trip to California.

Elbert Brown of Crayne, Ky. is visiting his aunt, Mrs. R.T. DeBoe.

Mr. and Mrs. James Rice and nephew, James Rice, left Friday for Rising Sun, Ind.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - City of the Dead

Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Photographed 16 April 2009. Click on photo for enlarged view.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Aaron B. Waller

Aaron B. Waller
Dec. 2, 1861
Feb. 23, 1887

Buried at Masonic Cemetery, Morganfield, Union County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed April 2009. Click on photograph for an enlarged view.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fire Sweeps Sebree 1914

Fire has always been a fear in small towns. What started out as a small fire would often spread to engulf many buildings due to their wooden construction and fire fighting equipment was usually insufficient or non-existent. Local residents formed bucket brigades to fight the flames, but often were unsuccessful in stopping the spread of the fire. Whether or not the building was insured – and the amount – was of great interest to residents.

A major fire swept through the little town of Sebree, Webster County, Kentucky around midnight on the evening of the 18th of January 1914. The details of the fire were given in the Sunday, 18 January 1914 issue of the Henderson Gleaner.

Shortly before midnight a fire broke out in Marion Ashby’s grocery and undertaking parlor on Main Street in Sebree. The alarm was sounded and every male citizen joined the bucket brigade in an attempt to save the town’s businesses.

From the Ashby store, the business of C.S. Cox next caught fire and then the barber shop of Lambert Walden. From the Walden shop, the flames burst through into the store of Mattingly and Beggs, then to B.F. Jewell, then the Opera House building and then the store of C.S. McCullaugh.

When the Opera House began to burn it was evident that nothing could save the Sebree Hotel from destruction. The fire fighters removed every thing they could from the building before it caught fire.

When the hotel began to burn, the wind changed and drove the flames in the direction of the L. & N. passenger and freight depots. A water train from Henderson arrived, and water from the tank cars was used to save the buildings.

Some of the losses were as follows:
Marion Ashby, $800 on grocery stock, insurance $250; no insurance on undertaking stock, loss $1000.

Lambert Walden, loss $1000, insurance $600.

Mattingly and Beggs, loss $800, insurance $500.

Cumberland Telephone Co., loss of cables, $500.

C.S. McCullaugh, loss $1800 on stock groceries, insurance $1050.

Opera House buildings and stores, $20,000, insurance not known. Building belonged to H.H. Holeman of Madisonville.

O.B. Sellars, building occupied by Oakley & Parker, $800, covered by insurance.

American Bell Telephone Co., loss of cables $300.

C.S. Cox, loss $1000, insurance $600.

Sebree Hotel, loss $10,000, insurance carried in Madisonville.

J.A. Vaughn, office, loss $200.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

98 Years of Memories

The following article was transcribed from the Henderson Gleaner and Journal, Sunday, 2 August 1925.

By Spalding Trafton

Mrs. Mary Jane Hicks Overby, who will celebrate her 98th birthday next Tuesday, August 4th, is probably the oldest resident of Henderson County.

“I never whiled away my time foolishly, and always kept busy,” was the answer of this successful wife and mother to the question of what she attributed her long life. And she still keeps busy. Mrs. Overby brought a beautiful quilt that she had pieced four years ago at the age of 94.

She is the last of seven brothers and sisters, three of whom lived to be 80, 81, and 82 years old, and four of her aunts on her father’s side lived to be 98, so that it may be readily seen that she comes from a family noted for their longevity.

“I was born, “ says the good woman, “just beyond Zion on August 4th 1827 and my father’s name was Archibald Jordan Hicks. I rode horseback to school at Zion where there were a few houses. There were dense woods and no roads to amount to anything, mostly paths. I have seen many changes since then, the country has been cleared up, roads have been built, and Henderson has grown from the village of Red Banks.”

Mr. Overby told of her first visit to “Red Banks” with her mother and there were only about three or four stores, one kept by Mr. Ingram, and other by Mr. S[illegible]. I had set my heart on a … reticule made by the Indians, which was on sale, and the storekeeper told mother that it was too costly for a child to have.”

“The seasons have changed,” said she, “as the winters when I was a girl were very, very cold and we kept warm with log fires. Shortly after I was married in 1849, my father brought home the first cooking stove I ever saw, and Ely Cheatham drove the first carriage I ever saw into Zion.”

After telling of her school days, Mrs. Overby said that she was married in 1849 at the home of her father to William H. Overby, who in 1836 rode all the way from Petersburg, Virginia to Kentucky on horseback. In the Old Dominion, he followed the trade of a hatter, but after coming to Kentucky he took up farming, he having purchased a farm near Zion. He died in this city April 23rd 1895.”

I was married by the Rev. William Wayne, a Baptist minister, and I had two bridesmaids, Fannie Hicks and Ann McFarland. We had quite an “infair,” as it was called, and I rode horseback to the new log home already furnished by my husband.”

Mrs. Overby explained that in those days it was the custom for the bridegroom to present the bride at the wedding with a horse and side-saddle, but that this was not done on this occasion as “my father had given me a horse and saddle.”

“My new home was a two-story log house all furnished with everything necessary that could be procured in those days.”

“I never saw any Indians, said Mrs. Overby, “although I was told that there were quite a number of them around. There was plenty of wild game, wild turkeys, wild geese and ducks, and deer.”

“I remember one Sunday morning my father and all of us had just started to church at Zion, when he saw a wild turkey in a tree, and he went back to the house and got his gun and killed that turkey on Sunday morning.”

“Quilting parties were the principal social functions in those days, and the young women would meet at our house, where we would serve supper and have dancing to the music of a French harp, and sometimes a fiddle.”

She remembers about the war with Mexico, although she says that none of the men in her immediate neighborhood went and the Civil War with her was modern history. She lived in the days of “Tippecanoe and Tyler Too” campaign, and when Charles Dickens made his visit to Henderson in 1842. Also she remembers very distinctly the cold winter of 1851 and 1852, in which the thermometer went to 30 degrees below zero, and the Ohio River was, for the first time, frozen over within civilized memory.

Mrs. Overby has during her 98 years witnessed the progress in methods of locomotion and travel, from the ox cart to the automobile. Also she has passed through and is now in the age of invention. During her time, the telegraph, the telephone, wireless radio and aeorplanes have put into use and commission, to say nothing of the hoop skirt period …

Nine children were born to her, three of whom are now living, namely William H. Overby, cashier of the Peoples Savings Bank; J. Lacy Overby, who is a clerk in the postal service at the local office and W.S. Overby of Harrisburg, Illinois.

Mrs. Overby makes her home with her son, J. Lacy Overby, North Main Street, who, with his most estimable wife, takes great pleasure and pride in looking after the comfort and welfare of “Grandmammy,” who bids fair to attain the century mark. Mrs. Overby takes great pride in her 10 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren. Especially does she mention Dr. Otis Lewis, her grandchild, who is famous as a specialist in Philadelphia.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Ora Drewry

Ora Drewry
born March 27
died March 13

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed February 2009. Click on the photograph for an enlarged view.

Ora Drewry married Elizabeth Kingston, daughter of Richard Kingston, 6 November 1827 and appears on the 1830 and 1840 Livingston County census records.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Joshua V. Throop - Steamboat Captain

Copyright on photographs and text by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
May not be copied without written consent

Tombstone of Maria R. Throop, Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky.

The past couple of years I have been photographing tombstones in Smithland Cemetery, which is in Livingston County. I am rather partial to Smithland Cemetery and many tombstones from this cemetery have been featured on Tombstone Tuesday. The tombstones are varied here – some showing the artwork and epitaphs common to the mid-South and others are similar to those found in other parts of the country. Being located at the confluence of two rivers, Smithland experienced a great deal of river traffic in the past, which resulted in people from various parts of our country making this their home. When they came to this area, they brought with them their beliefs and traditions. Subconsciously or not, these traditions are revealed in the artwork on their tombstones.

Some tombstones are very plain with only the name and dates of births and deaths. Many others have a weeping willow tree, the universal symbol of sorrow. And there are the tall, elaborate monuments marking the final resting places of the more affluent. None grab my attention more than the plain, simply carved stones. One such stone (see above) is that of Maria R. Throop, whose inscription is this:

Maria R. Throop
Born Novr. 8th 1822
Died Decr. 19th 1842

Weep Not for me Nor Shed a Tear
My tender husband and relations dear
My debt is paid my grave you see
You all must die as well as me
Depart my friends and dry your tears
I must lie here till Christ appears.

This inscription is a variation on the well-known epitaph of “Pause as you pass by, As you are now, So once was I …”

Maria died just one month past her 20th birthday. Surely there was a story here – if not about Maria, then about her family.

As she died so young, I did not learn much about Maria, but her husband had a wonderful life story. Maria married Joshua V. Throop 8 April 1842 Livingston County. Just eight months later, she was dead. Was it from consumption, that dreaded disease that racked the body and stole the life from the soul? Or was it a premature childbirth? No records have been found to tell us what happened and there is no record of the birth of a child. We do know that on 12 April 1847, her widowed husband married her younger sister, Eliza Johnston. Both were the daughters of John Johnston, who is buried next to Maria.

Joshua V. Throop descends from the Throop family that was part of that large migration from Vermont to the area that is today Lyon County. He began working on the Cumberland River early in life, commanded his first steamboat at the age of 19 years and spent his entire adult life either as a commander or pilot. He is found in Smithland on the 1850 and 1860 Livingston County census records and by 1863, he and his two sons had moved to Evansville. Steamboatin’ on the Cumberland by Byrd Douglas describes the family in the following words: “The patriarch of this family was Captain Joshua V. Throop, who started on the river as early as 1830, and continued until the outbreak of the War Between the States. John Throop and George S. Throop succeeded their distinguished kinsman after the War, and their boats during this period brought heavy cargoes of grain and other commodities from the rich Ohio Valley section up to Nashville.”

Joshua V. Throop died 25 November 1874 in Evansville, Indiana. His remains were taken to Smithland upon the steamer Silverthorn for burial beside other members of the family. It is of interest that the only tombstone for any Throop in Smithland Cemetery is that of his first wife, Maria. If Joshua or Eliza ever had tombstones, they have disappeared.

The Evansville Daily Journal of 30 November 1874 describes his return to Smithland and funeral as follows:
“The Silverthorn came up from Smithland at 2 p.m. Saturday. She reached Smithland at 9 a.m. Friday, and the whole population attended the funeral services of Capt. Throop, which were held in the Methodist Church, and followed the remains to the grave. Judge Fowler pronounced a beautiful and touching eulogy over the remains of the son of an old and intimate friend, for such had the father of Capt. Throop been to the venerable Judge, who spoke feelingly upon this occasion, his voice at times being suppressed by his emotions.”

Death did not extinguish the name Joshua V. Throop. A steamboat carrying his name distinguished itself by being the first inland vessel in America to fly the America Red Cross flag and, along with Clara Barton, carried emergency supplies to the victims of the Ohio and Mississippi river floods of 1884. A fitting tribute to a good, honest man.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Resolutions Against Change 1861

Tempers ran high in western Kentucky during the early days of the War Between the States. Citizens often met to discuss the War and to offer their own brand of beliefs. A group consisting of James W. Willett, John Payne Jr., R.C. Harrell, Stephen Pike, Ben Compton, Mat Higginson, Jas. Roberts, Thos. J. Robb, Thos. Barker and Geo. Phipps met in the Cross Roads neighborhood of Union County, Kentucky on the 20th of July 1861, drew up and adopted the following resolutions, which were published in the Henderson Weekly Reporter, Thursday, 9 August 1861. It is important to remember that these folks were fighting not so much for something as they were fighting against change.

Resolved, That we look upon all Yankees, or Northern men loitering around our neighborhood, without having any visible means of support, as dangerous to our interests and the interests of the good citizens of our county and State, and we hereby invite the same to leave our country, and more particularly this neighborhood, and especially one CHAS. WRIGHT, formerly a School Teacher at Cross-Roads.

Resolved, That we call upon all our fellow citizens of the county to unite with us, believing it to be the best and only means by which we can secure our property against the hired Abolition negro thieves of the North (or South) and will discountenance boarding or furnishing a home for the same.

Resolved, That we will not hold ourselves bound to associate or treat, as neighbors should be treated, persons trading with or equalizing themselves with negroes.

Resolved, That we believe it to be the duty of every good citizen to watch his negro quarters, and keep down all assemblages of negroes and see that they are at home, particularly of nights, and that they be not allowed to leave home without special permits.

Resolved, That we respectfully suggest to the consideration of the County Court the propriety of appointing a large and efficient patrol throughout the county, to aid in carrying out the above resolutions.

Resolved, That we believe it to be the duty of every good citizen of our county, who can, to become patrol free of charge.

Resolved, That the proceedings of this convention be
published in the Uniontown News and Henderson Reporter. Jas. M. Willett, Chairman. Jno. Payne Jr., Secretary.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

To Some Evil Minded Person

Some things are just too good not to share, even if they have little genealogical importance. The following advertisement appears in the Henderson Weekly Reporter, Thursday, 19 September 1861.

To the Public
Some evil-minded person has put in circulation a report concerning me which I desire to be forever set at rest. The person who said that I was a married man, and had two children, is an infamous liar and the one who started it is a d--d rascal. I defy the originator of the lie to come before me and prove it, and from what I can find out, some of you Henderson class has started it. [signed] G.W. Boone. Corydon, August 1, 1861.

Wordless Wednesday - Hopkins Monument

Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky. Click on the photograph for an enlarged view.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Thomas Coon

Thomas Coon
April 3, 1813
July 14, 1853

Buried Koon Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Photograph courtesy of Marty Hodge of Marion, Kentucky.

Thomas Coon, the son of Jacob and Sarah Coon/Koon, was born in Harrison County, Virginia and died of an abscess in the chest, according to Crittenden County Vital Statistics – Deaths. Jacob and Sarah Coon appear on the 1830 Livingston County, Kentucky census in the area that would become Crittenden County in 1842. In 1832, they purchased land on the waters of Livingston Creek [Livingston County Deed Book CC:314].

Friday, April 3, 2009

Execution in Henderson 1864

Charles W. Thompson
Pierman Powell
Confederate Soldiers
Executed in the City of Henderson KY
July 22, 1864
By Order of Gen. Burbridge.

Photograph from St. Alphonsus Cemetery, St. Joseph, Daviess County, Kentucky 25 March 2004, courtesy of Christopher Myers of Evansville, Indiana.

On July 16, 1864, Major General Stephen G. Burbridge issued Order No. 59, which declared “Whenever an unarmed Union citizen is murdered, four guerrillas will be selected from the prison and publicly shot to death at the most convenient place near the scene of the outrages.”

Burbridge, a native of Georgetown, Kentucky, had been “given command over the state of Kentucky to deal with the growing problem of Confederate guerrilla campaigns. During his rule in Kentucky, he directed the execution and imprisonment of numerous people, including public figures, on charges of treason and other high crimes, many of which were baseless.”

The Henderson Reporter of Saturday, 23 July 1864 gives the following details of one senseless execution.

“On Friday … the day dragged lazily along, until about 3 o’clock, when it was bruited about that an order had been received by the Federals to execute the two men without delay and leave the city … A Catholic Priest had administered religious comfort to the prisoners – both of whom were Catholics. The soldiers being fully prepared for departure, marched from the Court House with the prisoners, assuring them that they should be unharmed. They then marched to the river bank and held a conference with the gunboat – a skiff being sent from it for that purpose. A sky-rocket was shot up from the other side of the river, and immediately a signal was displayed by the gunboat.

“The prisoners were then taken back up the bank, two chairs were secured in which to seat them, and their arms were tightly fastened to the boards of the fence opposite Howard’s Livery Stable, on First Street. Their eyes were bandaged and 12 soldiers were detailed to execute the sentence upon Powell first, who bore his fate with modest silence and unflinching firmness. The soldiers were placed at a distance of about 18 yards from the prisoners. At a word given, an irregular volley was discharged upon Powell, 10 balls entering his body … Strange to say, groans of acute anguish emanated from the mangled body … A thrill of ineffable horror pervaded the missaneous assemblage. The other platoon was now ordered to fire upon Thompson, who manifested considerable trepidation, and bitterly moaned the cruelty of his fate. The galling silence was broken and the leaden sheet of death rolled upon his unoffending bosom. A shudder, a gasp, a struggle and his life eddied out … The bodies, lacerated and sticky with blood, were handed over to a few citizens, who washed, properly dressed and promptly sent them to their friends in Curdsville, Daviess County, Ky.

“John P. Powell, the first unfortunate in this diabolical disgrace, was a young Kentuckian and a resident of Daviess County two months ago, and active in the vigor of strong manhood. He was about 23 years of age, a little over medium height, well-proportioned and a seemingly athletic man. He had soft, expressive eyes, and a bright florid bloom upon his cheeks. Red whiskers and bristly hair of a sandy color … We noticed a remarkably pleasant expression upon his face even in death.

“William Thompson, the other victim, was a youth of 19 years, medium height, bronze complexion, a sickly wanness overspreading his features, a high forehead, black hair and no beard. The expression upon his face in death seemed to us as one of violent pain and fierce determination.”

This ended one of the saddest tragedies ever witnessed by citizens of Henderson.

Burbridge was dismssed from his role of overseeing operations in Kentucky in 1865 and soon thereafter resigned from the army. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Copyright on text and photographs
Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

Thursday, April 2, 2009

News From Providence 1914

News from Providence, Webster County, Kentucky as seen in the 15 January 1914 issue of the Henderson Gleaner.

Lewis Buckner, who was injured in the explosion at mine No. 3, at the same time Will Coleman was killed, and who had a narrow escape from death himself, is able to be out again.

Mr. John Mundo of Henderson is here assisting R.M. Brooks on the plumbing work of the Luton Hotel. Everything has been completed but the interior work of the new building and this is progressing rapidly.

Mr. W.M. Young, of near town, has been on the sick list for two weeks or more and his friends are growing uneasy about him. Mr. Young rarely misses a day in coming to town when he is well and his familiar figure is missed on the streets.

Mr. Willis M. Yarbrough, of this city, has purchased from the Powells a tract of 110 acres near Jericho in consideration of $2,200. The property is known as the John Broadus place.

The new Dreamland Theatre will be thrown open to the public Wednesday night. This new play house, built by A. Niswonger, especially for Hurley Bros., is one of the handsomest buildings of its kind in the state.

Mr. and Mrs. Percy D. Berry are moving into their beautiful new home on South Railroad street. Of all the new residences built in the city recently, this is one of the most modern and elegant.

Through his brother, D.L. Barnhill, of near town, the livery business of the late E.B. Barnhill, at Madisonville, was sold Saturday to Thos. H. Stone, of that place. This property is the W.A. Nisbet old stand.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Oether K. Croft

Great uncle Oether K. Croft, Australia, probably during World War II.

He was the youngest son of James Newton Croft and Josephine A. Bebout of Crittenden County, Kentucky.