Friday, October 30, 2009

News From Eddyville, Kentucky 1879

The Paducah (McCracken County) newspapers covered a wide area in western Kentucky and the Jackson Purchase. Among the events covered were social activities, vital statistics and a little gossip. The following items appeared under Eddyville Letter in the Paducah Daily News of Thursday, 24 July 1879.

Eddyville, July 21, 1879 – On Saturday night the Dycusburg string band came up and favored the young ladies of our town with some excellent music. They serenaded till 2 o’clock, and were laden with bouquets and cards.

Last week some of the machinery of Woods Bros. saw mill boat broke and one of the men employed there was struck with a chain and severely wounded. At last account he was improving, but still suffers considerably.

Quarterly meeting was held at the M.E. church on Saturday and Sunday.

On Saturday last as Mr. Tom Johnson (who lives in the “bend of the river,” ten miles from here) was on his way home from Eddyville, he was waylaid and shot. The party who did the shooting was armed with a double-barreled shot-gun. At the first fire he thought it was accidental, his horse receiving most of the charge (buck-shot). He spoke to the man telling him to look out he had shot him. The fellow then squatted and shot him with the other barrel, making wounds in his neck, breast and back. He was doing tolerably well this morning, though recovery is extremely doubtful. The shooting occurred within a mile of Mr. J’s house. It is hope that the damnable, cowardly assassin will be caught and think that Judge Lynch should preside and mete out to him his deserts.

Capt. Cantrell addressed the people here at the Court-house today. He is a splendid orator, is well posted on the issues of the day and is altogether a most entertaining speaker and an elegant gentlemen.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Pleasant Grove Church

Pleasant Grove General Baptist Church, Crittenden County, Kentucky

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Milly C. Gill

Milly C.
Wife of
Wm. R. Gill
Mar. 1, 1821
July 13, 1894

Buried Bells Mines Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 28 September 2009.

W.R. Gill and his wife, Mildred “Milly” appear on the 1850 Union County, Kentucky census. Thereafter, Mildred appears only with her children.

In 1860, she was living in Crittenden County and is shown as a washerwoman with children James S., Henry C. and W.F. in her household. On the 1880 Union County census, Milly is listed as Malissa, age 59, and was living with her son, Henry C., a coal miner in Caseyville, and a grandchild, William W.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Lamb Family Dedicates Memorial Marker

By Matthew T. Patton and Linda Lamb Monticelli

Nearly 100 descendants and friends of the Lamb family gathered Saturday, Oct. 10, 2009 at Cedar Hill Cemetery in Princeton, Kentucky, to honor Revolutionary War patriot Longshore Lamb (ca. 1748 – ca. 1828) and his wife, Sarah (Lee) Lamb (ca. 1760 – ca. 1844).

The day began at noon with a welcome speech by Matthew T. Patton of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. Patton submitted a supplemental application for Longshore Lamb in 2008 to the Sons of the American Revolution. His early research was aided by fellow Lamb descendant Janet Humphreys, the first to join the Daughters of the American Revolution under Longshore Lamb.

The program also consisted of a flag presentation, including ten flags associated with the early Lamb family, as well as a large flag flown over the United States Capitol on June 15, 2009. A certificate accompanying the flag states, “At the request of the Honorable Jim Gerlach, Member of Congress, this flag was flown for Caldwell County Settler and Revolutionary War Patriot Longshore Lamb, who assisted in establishing American Independence.”

Following the pledge of allegiance to the flag, Tyler Clay Collins played “Taps.” Afterwards, attendees joined to recite a tribute to Longshore and Sarah and to “all of the men and women who have served the United States with integrity and devotion.” After the Lamb memorial marker was unveiled, Matthew T. Patton and Linda Lamb Monticelli placed a red, white and blue wreath at the memorial site. Patton and Monticelli organized the day’s events, which also included a family reunion reception catered by Riverside CafĂ© of Dycusburg, Kentucky.

Caldwell County resident Richard P’Pool secured a government-issued marker from the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and placed the stone at the site. P’Pool, also a Lamb descendant, was honored in 2003 for his efforts to place markers for U.S. veterans. P’Pool has helped apply for and received more than 300 markers from the VA at his own expense. This process requires hours of tedious and detailed research because the documentation required, including the muster rolls and the extracts from State files or land warrants, is often not readily available. The marker reads, “Longshore Lamb. Pvt SC Militia. Revolutionary War. 1748-1828.”

Longshore Lamb was the son of Thomas Lamb and Alice Longshore; he was born sometime between 1747 and 1754 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania or about 1755 in Fairfax County, Virginia. The Lamb family lived in Bucks County from 1744 until 1754 when they moved to Fairfax County, Virginia. The Quaker Fairfax Monthly Meeting was located on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains south of the Potomac River. The Fairfax Meeting was located in Fairfax County until 1757 when they divided Fairfax County leaving Fairfax Meeting in Loudon County. In June 1766, the Lamb family moved from Loudon County, Virginia to Kershaw County, South Carolina.

On October 30, 1779, the Friends at the Bush River Monthly Meeting, located in Newberry County, South Carolina, disowned Longshore Lamb who was a member of the Padget’s Creek Meeting house, located in eastern Union County, for marrying someone who was not of the Quaker faith. Since the state of South Carolina had no laws requiring marriage licenses or registration until 1911, we use the date of October 30, 1779 as the marriage date for Longshore Lamb and Sarah Lee, daughter of Michael Lee.

In late spring or early summer of 1780, Colonel Thomas Brandon, who was camped five miles south of the present town of Union, South Carolina was in the process of recruiting volunteers to support the Patriot cause. It was sometime after the fall of Charleston on May 12, 1780, that Longshore Lamb was recruited into the Second Spartan Regiment of Militia under Colonel Thomas Brandon in Union County, South Carolina. Longshore’s brother William Lamb was also in this same Second Spartan Regiment of Militia under Colonel Brandon.

It is not known how many or which military engagements Longshore Lamb may have actually been involved in while serving under Colonel Brandon. These militiamen served for 4 months, oftentimes working one day and fighting the next. The Patriot militia spent much of their time protecting the local rebel population from the Indians and the many Tory loyalists in the area. On June 12, 1786, Longshore Lamb received ten pounds, two shillings, and ten pence farthings for Militia duty after the fall of Charleston in Brandon’s Regiment. Longshore Lamb signed his full name on this receipt for his service during the American Revolution.

On September 13, 1788, Longshore Lamb purchased 163 acres on Frenchman’s Creek of the Enoree River in Ninety Six District, present day Union County, South Carolina. It is possible that Longshore used at least some of the money he received for his military duties to purchase this land.

Between 1779 and 1800, Longshore and Sarah Lamb had nine children: Mary, Elizabeth, Levi, William, Margaret, Jane, John, Moses, and Martin. All of these children were born in South Carolina. After Longshore Lamb and Sarah Lee were married they lived first in Union County, South Carolina and then in Spartanburg County, South Carolina before finally settling in Caldwell County, Kentucky by 1809 or 1810. Longshore Lamb and his family and Longshore’s son-in-law William Crow and his family were among the very early settlers of the Lewistown community in Caldwell County, Kentucky.

Longshore’s mother, Alice Longshore Lamb, died about 1791 in Union County, South Carolina and his father, Thomas Lamb, died in early August 1800 in Union County, South Carolina. Sarah’s father, Michael Lee, died in early December 1807 in Union County, South Carolina. We do not know who Sarah’s mother was; some researchers say that Michael Lee’s wife was Drusilla Murphy.

Longshore Lamb died intestate sometime from about 1826 to about 1828 in Caldwell County, Kentucky. His wife, Sarah Lee Lamb, remained a widow for the next 16 years or so until her death about 1844 in Caldwell County, Kentucky. Martin Lamb, the youngest child of Longshore and Sarah, and his family moved into his father’s home after his father’s death to care for his mother.

The exact location of the graves of Longshore and Sarah remains unknown, there has never been any grave marker found for either Longshore or Sarah and there are no records known to exist indicating where the graves of Longshore and Sarah Lamb are actually located.

Fourteen states were represented at the reunion: Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Georgia, Indiana, Mississippi, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Oregon and Washington. Sharon Lamb Davis traveled from Redmond, Washington to the ceremony to honor her great-great-great-great grandfather. “If he hadn’t joined so many others to fight for our future we would not be where we are today. And I am thankful that I live in this free country,” Davis said. “Also, of course, because of the 13 years I have communicated with fellow Lamb researchers Linda Lamb Monticelli and Janet Humphreys, I had a need to meet them face to face and cement our family relationship and thank them for the work they have done over so many years.”

She added, “We are who we are, in part, because of our ancestors and what they passed from generation to generation. I truly believe the morals, integrity, and respect that we may possess is a direct link to our ancestors’ beliefs.”

Because the exact burial location is not known, the memorial, funded by donations from descendants and friends of the family, was placed in the Princeton city cemetery because of its ensured perpetual care.

“By erecting this Lamb memorial marker, the descendants of Longshore and Sarah have marked a spot, if not their final resting place, then at least a place in Caldwell County where Longshore and Sarah Lamb’s journey upon this earth ended,” said Linda Lamb Monticelli.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Florence Littlefield - A Woman Ahead of Her Time


Florence Littlefield
Nov. 9, 1842
July 19, 1879
How desolate, bereft of thee

S. Littlefield
April 26, 1877
66 years
A man of usefulness

If Florence Littlefield had been born in the 20th century, she could have been the CEO of a large corporation or a banker. But Florence was born long before it was acceptable for women to be successful in business. Her world was confined to a small, river town where the Cumberland and Ohio Rivers merge.

She was born 9 November 1842 in Smithland, Kentucky to Solomon and Mary J. (Shaw) Littlefield. Of the four Littlefield children, only Florence is thought to have lived to adulthood. Details of her early life remain a mystery, but we know that she followed in the footsteps of her father in the financial affairs of Smithland. Solomon was also a steamboat captain, storekeeper, town marshal and loaned money to others. When she was barely 28 years old, Florence also began loaning money to local residents who needed money.

Her first financial transaction was as a partner with William H. Mantz in granting a mortgage to Mary A. and Mary E. Brownell. As collateral, the Brownells put up two brick storehouses on lot 17 on Water Street and lot 53 for the sum of $660. The next month, Florence Littlefield alone granted a mortgage to S.K. Green, who put up a mule, a horse and a crop of corn to guarantee payment of the loan.

Florence’s business career was short lived, though, as she passed away in 1879, at the age of 36 years. Her tombstone stands beside that of her father in Smithland Cemetery. It is likely her mother, Mary Jane, who died in late August or early September 1893, is buried there too. In her will (Will Book C, p 137), Mary Jane Littlefield left a house at the corner of Mill and Adair Streets to her friend, James Campbell Hodge, and bonds and household furniture to other friends. No mention is made of any children so it is likely they had all died before 1893. There is no tombstone for Mary Jane in Smithland Cemetery, but, in her will, she requested a friend to “keep in order and care for the lot in the cemetery wherein my loved ones repose and where I expect soon to rest.”

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Cedar Hill Cemetery

Box or chest tombs marking graves in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Kentucky. This type of tombstone is fairly common in western Kentucky, especially during the 1820s – 1840s. The monument is a box with a “lid” over the top. The body is not buried inside the box, but is interred below ground. The inscriptiion is on the "lid." Photograph dated 10 October 2009.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - William A. and Mary E. Heater

William A.
Mar. 19, 1842
Sept. 8, 1926

Mary E.
Apr. 16, 1850
Oct. 9, 1920

There will be no parting there.

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 14 August 2009.

The 1860 Livingston County census shows William A. Heater enumerated in the household of Elisha Heater. William Heater and Mary Gupton were married in Livingston County 1 November 1870. Mary Elizabeth Heater’s death certificate lists her death date as the 10th of October 1920 and her parents as Oscar Gupton and Elizabeth Matheny.

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

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Civil War Memories of Jeremiah V. Hair

Henderson, Ky. - The thing that Jeremiah Vard Hair recalls best about the Civil War is that he was hungry most of the time.

To this starvation diet of Civil War days he attributes the fact that he now weighs but 133 pounds while he is just a fraction shy of being six feet tall.

Mr. Hair is going on 94 years old come next Sept. 14, and he was as spry up to a week ago as any of his youngsters. (These youngsters range from 50 to 65 years of age.)

“Why, he never used the front steps to get off the porch,” said Youngster Pedry Hair, age 65. “He always jumped up or down.”

The jump is about two and a quarter feet.

Jeremiah Hair was born down in the mountain country near Marion. He enlisted Sept. 14, 1861 in Company H., First Kentucky Cavalry.

He was mustered out in ’64 with nothing more serious by which to remember the war than a gnawing, hungry ache in his stomach and a burnt finger. The burnt finger came about this way:

“We were marching thru the mountains,” said Mr. Hair. “I was hungry, who-ee, but I was hungry.

“I asked the captain if I could drop out of line and go to some house along the way to get a piece of bread. He just cussed at me.

“So I asked my lieutenant. He said ‘sure, and bring me a piece.’

“I stopped at the next house and asked for water. The woman gave me a cup. Thru the open door I could see some corn bread cooking in a skillet.

“I was so hungry I didn’t even ask whether I could have a piece. I just stepped in, picked it out of the skillet, broke it in half, and walked out again.

“That’s how I got the burnt finger. That corn bread was sure hot. But it was the best I ever ate.”

The cavalry took part in many a battle. The mounted men were used hard under General Thomas. They even aided in chasing Morgan and his raiders.

“I was in so many fights that I can’t remember half of them,” complained Mr. Hair. “We did a lot of bush-whacking.”

On one occasion the mountain boy had a taste of the inside of a military “booby-hatch.”

“I had a fight with Capt. Jim Dick when he ordered me to stop whistling,” he recalled. “I licked him, but they tossed me in the guardhouse. They made me tote around a big log that it took two men to lift, on my shoulders.”

Mr. Hair retired from farming some 50 years ago and moved to Henderson, where he lives now in a little home near the old Marshall Furniture Company.

“I remember exactly when I came to Henderson,” he says. “It was in the fall of that real dry year.”

It took a bit of finger figuring on the part of his wife and two of his sons to determine that this must have been in 1874.

Mr. Hair’s hair is one of the most vigorous things about him. He’s got a thick black thatch of it and a mustache to boot.

[Jeremiah V. Hair was born 10 August 1840 Kentucky and died 17 May 1940 Henderson County, Kentucky, according to his death certificate. He is buried at Fernwood Cemetery. Marion most likely refers to Marion County, Kentucky. The article above appeared in the Sunday, 26 April 1936 issue of the Evansville, Indiana Press.]

Friday, October 16, 2009

Newspaper Ads Entice Settlers

Have you wondered why your ancestor decided to move to a new area? To entice settlers to take up land in the West and Southwest, advertisements were often placed in newspapers in the Midwest and South. These ads extolled the wonders of the new land and the benefits of settling in that particular area. The following ads appeared in the 15 February 1876 issue of the Evansville (Indiana) Journal.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Caldwell County, Kentucky

Caldwell County was created from Livingston County, Kentucky in 1809 and was named for John Caldwell. Ironically, John Caldwell never lived in Caldwell County. He lived on the side of Livingston Creek that is today in Crittenden County. This historical marker is situated in the corner of the Caldwell County courthouse lawn and was photographed 10 October 2009.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Lucy B. Callaway

Lucy B. Callaway
Consort of
W.D. Callaway
Now [sic] departed this life
July 4th
In the 24th year of her age

Buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 10 October 2009. Click on the tombstone for an enlarged view.

Lucy Brown Barnard, daughter of John Barnard, married William Dudley Callaway 10 June 1828 in Caldwell County. Buried beside Lucy is her infant daughter. One year after Lucy’s death, William Dudley Callaway was issued a marriage bond to marry Miss Amanda Wigginton. This couple later moved to Missouri.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Champion vs Champion: Divorce 1865

Prior to 1849, divorces were granted in Kentucky either through an act of the legislature or through circuit court. After 1849, only circuit courts granted divorces. The filing and conclusion of the case will be mentioned in the circuit court order books, but the particulars of the case can be found in case bundles. Most counties have transferred their circuit court case bundles to the Department for Libraries and Archives in Frankfort, Kentucky. To order a divorce case bundle, fill out a request form here: Request Form

Details of the private lives of a man and woman usually go untold unless they file for divorce. This was the case of James W. Champion who filed for divorce from his wife, Margaret, on 11 July 1865 in Crittenden County, Kentucky. The following information has been abstracted from circuit court bundle #123 at KDLA.

The parties married in 1863 in Crittenden County while he was in the Federal service as a soldier. They lived together about two months when the “defendant became forgetful of her marriage vows and became too familiar in her conduct ...” Champion stated her behavior was unacceptable for a married woman.

Giving a deposition for the plaintiff was Emanuel Barnes, age 20, who stated he had known James W. Champion all his life. In the summer of 1863, he enlisted in the 48th KY Regt. and was connected to that regiment some 3-4 months. After his discharge, he lived in Crittenden County. He stated the defendant, Margaret Champion, lived with her father at Walker’s old furnace while her husband was in the army. He also stated that Margaret acted improperly while her husband was in the army.

William Champion, age 26, stated he had known the plaintiff all his life and the defendant about three years. He stated that James W. Champion was informed of his wife’s improper conduct a few days after his return from the army and they immediately separated.

Further testimony as to Margaret’s behavior was given by Sarah Barnes, age 33 and who lived eight miles west of Marion. Sarah also testified that Margaret acted improperly for a married lady.

In each deposition, it was stated that Margaret was in the company of another man who was not a family member.

What the divorce file does not tell you is that Margaret’s maiden name was Kimsey and she married J.W. Champion 25 August 1863 in Crittenden County. After the divorce was granted, Margaret disappeared from Crittenden County. Her father, Wm. F. Kimsey, moved to Osage County, Kansas and perhaps Margaret went with him. J.W. Champion married Martha J. Gilliland 3 October 1866. They appear on the 1870 Crittenden County census.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Rest of the Story of Henry Fenn

Sometimes information pops up when you least expect it. An article in the Evansville Journal on Monday, 7 February 1876, provides details of the death of Henderson resident, Henry Fenn, whose tombstone was featured in the 30 March 2009 blog.

"As a mail carrier entered the post office this day, he observed a man resting in a stooping position in a corner next to the door. The immobility of the figure and the fact that anyone would be there at that hour (5 a.m.) induced the postman to look closer. He discovered that the man was Henry Fenn, a well known German citizen, and that he was dead.

"The coroner was called and a jury empanelled. The evidence showed that Fenn had been seen as late as midnight the night before sitting in a saloon and left when it closed. It is supposed that he went into the Post Office, which is kept open and where a bright light burns all night, to make himself comfortable. It was a very cold night and it is likely he froze to death. There were no marks of violence on his person.

"Mr. Fenn was formerly a member of two well known clothing firms here, first Leslie & Fenn, afterwards Fenn & Kleindofer, and was once well to do, but financial disaster had lately overtaken him. He was adjudged a bankrupt on his own petition. He has since, brooding over his troubles, taken very freely to drink. He was well thought of, though, and possessed many good points of character. He was almost 40 years old and leaves a wife and several small children."

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - McMican Cemetery

McMican Family Cemetery, located on Bridwell Loop Road, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Cemetery photographed 28 September 2009. Click on photographs for enlarged views.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tombstone Tuesday - Parthenia B. Thurman

Parthenia B.
Wife of
Aug. 26, 1839
May 9, 1903

Buried in McMican Cemetery, Bridwell Loop Road, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Photographed 28 September 2009. Click on the photograph for an enlarged view.

Robert L. Thurmond married Miss Parthenia Carrick 24 September 1857 at the home of James Carrick. Crittenden County Vital Statistics (Marriages) show that Parthenia Carrick was born in Livingston County, Kentucky.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Smithland First Baptist Church

Smithland First Baptist Church, corner of U.S. Hwy 60 and Court Street, Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky. The church was organized in 1887 and the present sanctuary dates from 1913. Photographed September 2009.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Weather News Is Important

The weather has always been of utmost importance in the lives western Kentuckians. Any storm, big or small, was reported in the local newspaper. When scanning old newspapers for genealogical information, be sure to read weather articles and learn how it impacted the lives of our ancestors. The following article covering a spring storm in Livingston County appeared in the Crittenden Press on Friday, 29 April 1921.

Smithland, Ky. – Damage of approximately $10,000 to $25,000 was done Tuesday afternoon by a storm that swept over Smithland, unroofing business houses, breaking windows, toppling over trees and causing general disorder. Although the wind reached a velocity of 30 to 40 miles an hour none of the citizens were injured seriously.

Will Hollingsworth, a young man, had a narrow escape from injury when he was driving down the street and a large tree crashed down on the buggy he occupied. He was thrown to the street and stunned but escaped with only a few minor bruises.

Shortly after 2 o’clock Tuesday afternoon a dark cloud appeared from the southwest and it was accompanied by the hard wind that unroofed the Masonic building and damaged the roofs of nearly every business house in Smithland. During the windstorm a heavy rain descended and large hail stones dropped for several minutes. The hailstones rivaled in size that of large marbles, broke window panes in every section of Smithland. It is feared that the hail did damage to growing crops.

The roof of the building occupied by the produce store of Rudd & Wilson was lifted off, also that of the residence of Mrs. M.B. Smith. Trees in almost every section of Smithland were blown down and caused considerable damage to the telephone wires.