Thursday, June 30, 2011

Proclamation of 1864

Designed to appeal to the emotions of Southern sympathizers during the Civil War, the following Proclamation was printed in the Evansville, Indiana Daily Journal on Tuesday, 11 August 1864 and was issued by Adam Rankin Johnson, CSA. No reason is given for this appeal to have been printed in a northern newspaper, but Adam R. Johnson was well known in the Evansville area for his 18 July 1862 raid on nearby Newburgh, Indiana.

Citizens of Kentucky
The alternative is now presented to you of entering either the Federal or Confederate army.

All persons between the ages of 17 and 45, who are not lawfully exempt, will be required to go into service at once. You must now see that after the sacrifice of all freeman should hold dear to avoid the evil and to save our property - that the one has not been rendered secure and you have not saved yourself from the others, even by the sacrifice of principle and honor.

Your country has been overrun by lawless bands whose depredations are only equaled by the outrage of large bands of the Federal army, who neither feel nor have any respect for the submissionists, and you are plundered, robbed and murdered with impunity. How long do you intend to continue? To what depth of depredation and shame are you to lie reduced before you will cut loose the bond of slavery and assert your rights as freemen.

Men of Kentucky, are you willing to see your families reduced to the level of our slaves? Mothers, can you realize an affiliation of your daughters with the African. Young men, can you expect to have any claim to manhood? Can you hope to share the smiles or claim the love of the bright eyed daughters of the famed land of beauty, while those gentle beings are subjected to the insults of Yankee Hirelings and negro troops? If not, then speedily seize the only way to bring you true liberty and honor. Too long have you listened to the syren [sic] song of the traitors of the country. Already too much has been sacrificed to no advantage. Your only hope of peace is in the success of the Southern armies. Not alone your liberties but your lives are involved in this issue.

I appeal to you again, as I did two years ago, to rally and strike a blow for the freedom of your country.
Col. A.R. Johnson,
Commanding Confederate forces in Southern Kentucky


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - Rosella Wilson Frayser

Rosella Wilson
Dec. 27, 1853
Jan. 14, 1938

Buried Mapleview Cemetery, Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 9 June 2011.

Rosella, also known as "Aunt Rose," was the daughter of George P. Wilson and Margaret Crabtree, who lived in the Bells Mines area of northern Crittenden County. She married Henry C. Frayser of Cave-In-Rock, Illinois 31 October 1894.  Henry C. Frayser died in 1923 and is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery in Illinois.  Rosella was living with her sister and brother in law, Mr. and Mrs. George Hill, at the time of her death. She had no children.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Old and the New - Smithland Cemetery

Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky photographed 14 April 2011.

Tombstones from the 1840s intermingled with modern tombstones.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review of Webster County, Kentucky 1891

From Legislative Document No. 20:  Ninth Biennial Report from the Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics of the State of Kentucky by C.Y. Wilson, commissioner, in 1891, we get a decent view of Webster County at that time.

Webster County was formed from parts of Hopkins, Union and Henderson counties about the year 1860. It was given the name of Webster in honor of Daniel Webster. Dixon, the county seat, was given that name in honor of Gov. Archibald Dixon, of Henderson county.

Large quantities of stone-coal are found in nearly all parts of the county. A great number of small mines are worked to supply the home demand.

There are about 15 miles of railroad in Webster County. Our roads are very good for travel ... In fact, they are fair for any dirt road system.

The principal agricultural products, of which there is a surplus grown for market, are corn, wheat, hay and tobacco.

Several new roller flouring mills have lately been built and put in successful operation.

Farm laborers are plentiful in this county.  The average price paid to a laborer without family, board and lodging furnished by employer, is $12.87 per month. Average price paid the laborer, where he furnished his own board and lodging, is $17.25 per month.

The county has 40 churches, 4 parsonages, and 68 school houses.

The average assessed value of land in this county, according to the Assessor's returns for 1890, is $6.86 per acres - 197,273 acres.

Webster county has two mines of bituminous coal, employing 80 men and the total output for the year ending June 30th, 1891, was 818,412 bushels.


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - A.G. Wilson

A.G. Wilson
May 7, 1829
Sept. 4, 1901

Buried Hill Cemetery, near Fredonia, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 13 May 2011.

The last Will and Testament of A.G. Wilson was produced in open court and proven by the oath of J.A. Garner, a subscribing witness who also proved the signature of C.W. Byrd, another witness. Named in the will are Sarah C. Wilson, the beloved wife of A.G. and three children, Anna M. Wilson, Lillie A. Wilson and John M. Wilson.
Copyright on text and photographs
by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Church Dedication at Frances, Kentucky 1910

The following article comes from The New York Observer, a Presbyterian church publication, 7 July 1910.

The new church house at Frances, Crittenden county, Ky., was dedicated to the service of God June 19. This church is in the central part of Princeton Presbytery. The originator and promoter of this thrifty new church, with its beautiful church edifice, is due to the untiring energy, wise management and earnest zeal of the Rev. A.J. Thomson, Kuttawa, Ky. Less than two years ago he made an appointment to preach in this community, in which there is no Presbyterian church, and no other church nearer than 3 or 4 miles. About 18 months ago, with the assistance of the pastor-evangelist, he held a meeting in this community, which resulted in a great revival and in the organization of a Presbyterian church of about 35 members. In a short time he projected a church building. He secured a beautiful lot, appointed his building committee, plans were adopted and the work begun.

The third Sunday in June was the culmination of these earnest efforts, when a large crowd assembled to witness the dedicatory service of this, the most beautiful country church building in Crittenden county. The local choir and Fredonia choir furnished delightful music. Bular Threlkeld and Professor McDonald were the musical directors. The Rev. James F. Price took up the offering to meet the deficit on the building. The dedication sermon was preached by the Rev. Edward S. Landis, Paducah, Ky. The pastor, the Rev. A.J. Thomson, dedicated the building to the service of God.

In the afternoon the Rev. J.N. Andre, Fredonia, Ky., preached an excellent sermon, showing that while they had done a noble work, the real work of the church had only begun; that all the work hitherto done was only preparatory to the salvation and edification of the entire community.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Moving the Livingston County Seat - 1884

Livingston County, Kentucky has had four county seats - Eddyville (now in Lyon County), 1799-1804; Centreville, 1804-1809; Salem, 1809-1842 and Smithland, 1842- to the present. However, the county came very close to having its seat of justice moved a fifth time.

On the 7th day of March 1884, an act was passed which authorized the voters of Livingston County to vote on the question of the removal of the county seat, including building a court house, jail and clerk's office. In accordance with this act, the judges of the County Courts of McCracken, Marshall, Lyon and Crittenden Counties met to fix the location "deemed practicable for the location of sd. county seat."

After careful consideration, the judges decided the word "practicable" meant "accessible" and they should select a site near the territorial center of the county that would be most accessible to all the people of the county. That territorial center fell about one and a half miles from the Cumberland River on the North side. Unfortunately, that site was inaccessible. After visiting other sites, they settled on a location near the North bank of the Cumberland River on a tract of land belonging to the estate of George G. Rappolee, near Hampton at a site named "Cleveland.". It was felt that this point gave access to people residing on the Cumberland and Ohio rivers by boat as well as by public road.

The land on which the prospective county seat would be located had been left to Eliza M. Rappolee by her late husband during her natural life. The widow and the executors of her husband's estate agreed to sell the property to Livingston County for $25, provided the land was adopted as a county seat. That was in October 1884.

Nothing happened for several years except for the payment of $50 each to the four judges who fixed the new seat of justice. Five years later, in 1889, repairs were being made to the courthouse and jailer's residence as if there was no hurry to relocate the county seat. It wasn't until January 1894 that C.O. Lowery, Livingston County clerk, presented a petition asking for an election on the removal of the county seat from Smithland to Hampton. At the November 1894 election, voters signaled their willingness to relocate the county seat. 889 voted yes and 848 voted no.

In the end, it all came down to money. Apparently, the citizens realized that building a new courthouse and jail would cost them money by way of higher taxes and decided "whereas the said county of Livingston now has a good and sufficient Court house & jail equal to all demands for the transacting of public business and it appearing to the satisfaction of the court that the levying and collecting of sd. tax for the purpose aforesaid would be very detrimental to the interest of the tax payer ..."

There was no further mention of building a new courthouse for many years. Today, the county clerk still operates in the old courthouse, built in 1845. In the fall of this year, it will move to the new county office building next door.

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

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - James Huey Hamilton

James Huey
Son of
J.E. & L. Hamilton
Dec. 30, 1851
June 23, 1852

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 14 April 2011. The lamb is often found on tombstones of children.

James Huey Hamilton was the son of James E. Hamilton and Lucinda Bishop, who married in Gallatin County, Illinois 4 December 1839. James E. Hamilton was a blacksmith, according to the 1850 and 1860 Livingston County census records. 

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

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Reminder! Midnight Madness June 20 - 24

Just a reminder that Willard Library will host their annual Midnight Madness Monday - Friday, June 20 - 24, on the second floor of the library at 21 First Avenue, Evansville, Indiana. Special Collections will be open from 9 am until midnight and various classes and presentations will be featured throughout the day and evening. For a look at the line up of events, check out Calendar of Events  Seating may be limited so register for classes Here

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Lyon County in 1878

The following information has been abstracted from Kentucky: Its Resources and Present Condition. The First Annual Report prepared by Winston J. Davie, M.A., Commissioner of the State Bureau of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Statistics of 1878 and  provides a brief look at Lyon County.

This county was formed in 1854 from the southwestern part of Caldwell, and called in honor of Chittenden Lyon. It is bounded on the north by Crittenden and Caldwell, east by Caldwell and Trigg, south by Trigg and Marshall, and west by Marshall and Livingston counties.

 Cumberland river runs entirely through the county from southeast to northwest, and Tennessee river passes along its southwestern border, so that no part of the county is further than from six to twelve miles of never failing steamboat navigation, on two of the principal streams of the Mississippi Valley. The Louisville and Paducah Railroad also passes through the county from northeast to southwest, affording daily communication for freight and travel to all points South and North.

One of the largest and most successful rolling-mills in the United States is that of Hillman & Sons, Empire Iron Works, of this county. The amount of iron made here in bars and boiler sheets equals that of any similar mills in the West.

 Eddyville, the county seat, is pleasantly located on the north bank of the Cumberland river, and contains about 500 persons. It has a good court-house, four handsome churches, large warehouses and tobacco factories, wagon and carriage shops, woolen factory, tan-yard, a well-taught academy, half a dozen mechanic shops, and may near private residences.

Parkersville, ten miles southeast of Eddyville, is a thriving town of 200 population. It has a flourishing academy, steam mills, and several churches and mechanic shops.

Eureka, at the crossing of the railroad over the Tennessee, and Kuttawa, at its crossing over Cumberland, are young, growing towns, with great expectations.

Star Lime Worksand Empire Iron Works are villages doing a large local trade with the families of the workmen engaged in the iron business.

The churches are numerous and generally well attended, and the people are a high-minded, moral community. The free public school system of the State has been inaugurated in every district, and a commendable spirit of schooling all the children is apparent. The academies in Parkersville and Eddyville are under the control of well-qualified professors.

The good ladies of Lyon still practice regularly on those fine old instruments, once so popular throughout the State, the spinning-wheel and hand-loom, and manufacture every year jeans, cotton-ades, linseys, linen, blankets, counterpanes, and other goods for home wear, and a surplus to traffic for "Sunday clothes." Butter, eggs, poultry, feathers, beeswax, ginseng, and cotton socks are sold extensively at the river towns and railroad depots.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tombstone Tuesday - John P. and Mary D. Gracey

John P. Gracey
Jan. 27, 1832 - Aug. 31, 1879
Mary D. Gracey
Sept. 16, 1838 - Aug. 20, 1914

Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery, Princeton, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 18 March 2011.

John P. Gracey married Miss Mary D. Henry in Princeton on 15 September 1857, just one day before Mary's 19th birthday. As she was under 21 years of age,  her father, C.B. Henry, gave consent for the marriage license to be issued.

Mrs. M.D. Gracey, widow of J.P. Gracey of Princeton, was listed as a child in the will of Mrs. Angeline Henry, written 5 April 1880 and recorded 19 July 1881 in Caldwell County Will Book B, page 316.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Kentucky Vital Statistics Law of 1911

Excluding the Sutton Law of 1852, which requested that each county keep a record of births, deaths and marriages, there was no statewide Vital Statistics Law in Kentucky until 1911. The Sutton Law was rescinded during the Civil War and then re-instated in the 1870s. Compliance with the request  was spotty and varied from county to county. That changed with the new Vital Statistics Law of 1911.

Dr. T. Atchison Frazer, the Health Officer of Crittenden County, wrote an article on the new Vital Statistic Law in the 19 January 1911 issue of the Crittenden Press. Below is a portion of that article, which explains the reasons for having such a law.

The Doctors of our country have known for years that untold thousands of lives are sacrificed each year. They have been working all these years to enlighten the laity upon the vital importance of preventive medicine. The "Old Time Physician" had done their duty when they visited the sick and gave them pills and powders, they did the best they could under the state medical knowledge in their time and God bless them, they laid the foundation upon which medical science is built, but if we did not do better than they did, the community in which we live would be better off without us.

The State Board of Health and the State Medical Association went before the Kentucky Legislature and urged upon them the importance of a Vital Statistic Law.

The Vital Statistics Law in Kentucky requires the Doctors of the State to report births within ten days and to make death certificates immediately after the death occurs. The time and place must be included in this certificate, but most important is the cause, also date in regard to the personal and family history.

It is unlawful to bury anyone without a permit from the local Registrar. There is a Registrar in each voting precinct in the County, except the five Marion precincts, they are for convenience placed under the control of one Registrar. It is the duty of the undertaker to secure certain data from the family of the deceased or some other suitable informant, then to secure the certificate of the attending physician and present this to the local Registrar who issues the burial permit. Each birth and death certificate is forwarded to the Superintendent of Vital Statistics and will be preserved in a fire proof vault for future reference.

These certificates are the legal records of births and death, which in the future will be of untold value to the Citizens of the State in establishing proof of births and deaths, in the settlements of wards and guardians, to determine the age for holding office, voting, jury service, military service, entering professions, liability under Child Labor Laws, age of consent, irresponsibility for crimes, and various other things.

The death certificates will show the cause of deaths; the number of lives wasted by preventable diseases. The Superintendent of Vital Statistics can make an inventory at the first of each year, which will give the State Board of Health and the local Health officers a basis upon which to lay their plans for the work of conserving the lives of our citizens.