Thursday, August 29, 2013

Mad Stones

Although I have heard about mad stones all my life, I have never seen one. According to those who are familiar with them, or say they are, a mad stone comes from the stomach of a cud-chewing animal such as  a deer or cow and is composed of hair and whatever the animal eats - a sort of hairball that has hardened.  Anyone owning a mad stone had a valuable property and it wasn't unusual for it to be loaned out to "draw up the poison" from the bite of a "mad" dog.

The value of a mad stone comes about when a rabid or "mad" animal bites a  human or another animal. To draw out the poison from the bite, a mad stone is boiled in milk and placed directly on the bite. When the mad stone is full of poison, it drops off the bite. The process is repeated until all of the poison is drawn out of the bite. The mad stone is very porous and absorbs the poison, so they say.

According to tradition, a mad stone should not be bought or sold, but may be shared with others. Does it work? Believers say it does. I do know it was used often during the lives of my grandparents and parents, but is rarely mentioned today.

Back in 1904, William Henry Newman, a boy living near Smithland, Livingston County, was bitten on the hand by a hog which had been bitten by a rabid dog that had "gone mad." A mad stone was sent for and applied to the bite. After several hours, the poison had been drawn out and the mad stone dropped off the bite. An account of this event appeared in the Paducah Sun of 7 July 1904. Did the mad stone work in this case? Hmmm, it does not say.

Have you heard of a mad stone being used on the bite of a mad animal? Although some of my relatives believed in them, I will reserve my judgment until I see one in action.

Published 31 October 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Wordless Wednesday - Mary W. Arvin

Fernwood Cemetery
Henderson, Kentucky
Photographed 6 January 2013
Published 28 August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Moses E.M. Jones

Moses E.M. Jones
Co. M
17 KY. Cav.
Buried Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 2 July 2011. The Fernwood Cemetery database lists a burial date of 17 July 1908. Moses E.M. Jones served in the Federal Army during the Civil War.
The 1860 Woodbury, Butler County, Kentucky census shows Moses E.M. Jones in the household of James R. and Martha Jones. Moses Jones continued to live in Butler County at the time of the 1900 census and his birth date is given as May 1848 on that census. Also in his household were his wife, Oma, born March 1869, and a son, Richard O., born August 1899.
Published 27 August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Caldwell County Guardian Appointments 1865

 The following information has been abstracted from  County Court Order Book J, Caldwell County Clerk's Office, Princeton, Kentucky. The court order book number is followed by the page number.

Daniel Goodaker, over age 14 and heir of Lewis Goodaker dec'd, chose Haywood Mason as his guardian.  16 Jan 1865. [ J:487]

John B. McGough, over  14, chose W.W. Morse as his guardian.  16 Jan 1865. [J:487]

Sarah Ann Clift, over  14, chose David S. Stevenson as her guardian.  16 Jan 1865. [J:488]

John R. Nichols was appointed guardian of William B. Goodaker, under  14 and heir of Wm. R. Goodaker. 16 Jan 1865. [J:488]

Amanda M. Towry, over 14, chose Edward C. Towry as her guardian. 26 Jan 1865. [J:491]

Amanda M. Wadley, over 14, chose James Dunbar as her guardian. 26 Jan 1865. [J:491]

David P. Glenn, over 14 and heir of David B. Glenn, chose Lucinda V. Glenn as his guardian. Lucinda also appointed guardian of Thomas Henry Glenn & James Andrew Glenn, under age 14.  1 Feb 1865. [J:492]

Addie Pettit, over age 14 and heirs of Thomas G. and Mary Pettit dec'd, chose James A. Cook as her guardian. 13 Feb 1965. [J:493]

Jonathan W. Stevenson, over age 14, chose James J. Dorrah as his guardian. 13 Feb 1865. [J:494]

John A. Winchester, over 14, chose A.N. Maxwell as his guardian. 27 Feb 1865. [J:498]

John W. Crown and William M. Crow, both over 14, chose James M. Crow as their guardian. James M. Crow was also appointed guardian of James H. Crow, Helen M. Crow, Ann E. Crow and Lucy J. Crow, under 14 and all children of James M. Crow. 3 Mar 1865. [J:499]

Samuel G. Kilgore, over 14 and heir of John M. Kilgore dec'd, chose Robert Mackey as his guardian. Robert Mackey was also appointed guardian for Nancy J. Kilgore & John G. Kilgore, both under 14. 7 Mar 1865. [J:499]

Amanda M.C. Traylor, over 14, chose George D.E. Traylor as her guardian. 10 Mar 1865. [J:500]

Per the express wish & will of John T. Carter dec'd, Nicholas W. Egbert is appointed guardian of Carter's only child, Alice Carter, under age 14. 14 Apr 1865. [J:507]

John T. Board appointed guardian for William H. McGough and heir of John McGough dec'd. 14 Apr 1865. J:508]  John T. Board tendered resignation as guardian for Wm. H. McGough. 15 May 1865. [J:515]

Henry H. Sisk renewed bond as guardian for John H. and Jane D. Hayden. 29 Apr 1865. [J:512]

Thomas Towry, over 14, chose George R. McDowell as his guardian. 4 May 1865. [J:513]

Elizabeth L. Rowland, over 14, chose James T. Guess as his guardian. 30 May 1865. [J:518]

John G. Pettit, former guardian for Susan Pettit and George W. Pettit, minors and heirs of Thomas G. Pettit dec'd, has departed this life & they have had no guardian for 3 months past and no one applying to serve, ordered that the estate of Susan & George W. Pettit be confided to the custody of James H. Leech, Public Administrator.  5 Jun 1865. [J:519]

Pernecia F. Pettit appointed guardian for Thomas M. Pettit, who is under age 14 and heir of John G. Pettit. 5 Jun 1865. [J:519]

The estate of Richard M. Rankin, minor and heir of Thomas M. Rankin dec'd, confided to James H. Leech, Public Administrator and Guardian, Wm. S. Johnson, former guardian, having been removed. 17 Jul 1865. [J:529]

Wright Nichols appointed guardian for John A. Martin, under age 14 and heir of Benjamin Martin dec'd. 30 Aug 1865. [J:538]

Ellen E. Cole, infant orphan over age 14, made choice of B.T. Crayne as her guardian. 27 Aug 1865. [J:545]

Ewing P. Crowder, over age 14, made choice of Willis T. Crowder as his guardian. 9 Oct 1865. [J:546]

Ann Eliza Pinner, over age 14, chose William E. Harrald as her guardian. 16 Oct 1865. [J:547]

The estates of Luella Simms, Elizabeth Simms and Missouri Simms, infant children of William R. Simms dec'd, confided to James H. Leech, Public Administrator and Guardian for Caldwell County. 16 Oct 1865. [J:547]

Thomas B. Johnson appointed guardian for James T. Dollar and Martha E. Dollar, both under age 14 and heirs of Silas Dollar dec'd. 16 Oct 1865. [J:549]

Thomas S. Johnson tendered his resignation as guardian of Francis M. Stone, one of the children & heirs of Isaac K. Stone dec'd. The estate of Francis was confided to the Public Administrator and Guardian. 6 Nov 1865. [J:557]

Eliza C. Morse, over age 14, chose Mrs. Sarah Crow as her guardian. 17 Nov 1865. [J:559]

Written order of Prince A. Morrow, over age 14 and heir of Wm. Morrow, to choose W.G. Morrow as his guardian. 20 Nov 1865. [J:562]

Emma Morrow, over age 14 and heir of Wm. Morrow, chose Mary A. Morrow as her guardian. 20 Nov 1865. [J:563]

Lucy A. Bond and James M. Bond, over age 14 and heirs of W.B. Bond, chose B.J. Spratt as their guardian. Spratt also appointed guardian of Sarah F. Bond, under the age of 14. 29 Nov 1865. [J:565]

P.H. Calvert renewed his bond as guardian for his daughter Hellent A. Calvert, under 14  years. 29 Nov 1865. [J:566]

Wm. A. Harper, over 14 and heir of Robert Harper dec'd, chose James M. Harper as his guardian. 29 Nov 1865. [J:566]

Virginia Walker, over 14 years, chose Marion Hammond as her guardian. 14 Dec 1865. [J:567]

John M. McGough appointed guardian for George D. and William H. McGough, both under age 14 and heirs of John S. McGough. 18 Dec 1865. [J:568]

John Ausenbaugh, over age 14, chose Bryant N. Dawson as his guardian. 18 Dec 1865. [J:570]

Published 22August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - J.W. and Missouri Stegar

J.W. Stegar
Oct. 17, 1836
Feb. 9, 1899
Missouri Jane, His Wife
Dec. 18, 1840
June 1, 1916
Buried Cedar Hill Cemetery, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 23 May 2013.
J.W. Stegar and Miss Missouri J. Jackson  married 13 June 1858 in Caldwell County. Giving consent for the bride was her mother, Rachel Jackson. The 1850 Caldwell County census lists J.W. Stegar's birthplace as Mississippi.
Published 20 August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Life and Death of George W. Hagey

George W. Hagey first appears on Livingston County, Kentucky census records in 1840. In October of the following year he obtained a bond to marry Julia Elmira Bryan, daughter of John P. Bryan. The Hageys bought lot #29 and settled into life in a small river town. It didn't take long for George W. Hagey to become part of the business life in Smithland and served on the board of town trustees in the 1850s. In May 1869, George W. and Julia Hagey sold their land in Smithland and moved to Cairo, Alexander County, Illinois, where George died 1 November of that same year. The following article was published in the Cairo Evening Bulletin  on the day of his death.

Death of Mr. Geo. W. Hagey

"At 7 o'clock this morning George W. Hagey breathed his last, and entered upon the realities of that other world accessible only through the portals of the tomb. Although the community is sensibly shocked by the announcement of his death, the sad event was scarcely unexpected. He had for many days, even weeks, been lingering on the border of eternity - that fell destroyer, Consumption, meanwhile weakening the hold he had upon life. Yesterday morning [sic] he passed away calmly and without a struggle, as if he were composing himself for a sweet sleep.

Mr. Hagey, and a twin brother, were born in Huntsville, Ala., on 22d day of February 1816, and was named George Washington Hagey, on the public square in Nashville, under a salute of cannon - his twin brother receiving the name of Thomas Jefferson at the same time and place. His father, John Hagey, did gallant service as one of Gen. Lafayette's body guard.

When quite a young man, Mr. H. located in Smithland, where he married and raised a large and intelligent family, ten of his children and his wife surviving him. In 1860 he formed a business copartnership with Capt. Geo. D. Williamson which continued up to within about 6 or 8 months of his death. In that relation, and as a citizen and a father, he sustained a character entirely above reproach. Kind hearted and indulgent, consistent and affectionate as a husband and a father, his death will strike a deep and lasting sorrow to the hearts of his widow and children.

The remains will be buried in Smithland, Kentucky, to which place they will be conveyed by the packet tomorrow evening."

Tombstone of George W. Hagey
Smithland Cemetery
Smithland, Kentucky

Published 15 August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - Elizabeth Harman

Elizabeth M. Harman
Daughter of
R. Leeper
was born Feb. 25, 1807
died May 15, 1837
Buried Old Fredonia Cemetery, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 15 March 2013. This tombstone style is of sandstone and was very popular during the 1830s and 1840s in this part of western Kentucky.
Henry A. Harman obtained a marriage bond to marry Elizabeth M. Leeper 31 October 1831 in Caldwell County. Surety for the marriage bond was John C. Leeper.

Original Marriage Bond of Henry A. Harman and Elizabeth M. Leeper
Caldwell County Clerk's Office
Princeton, Kentucky
Published 13 August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Calvary Episcopal Church, Smithland, Kentucky

The earliest documented religious presence in Smithland, Livingston County, Kentucky was that of the Protestant Episcopal Church. In July 1837, William Croghan sold Lot #77 on Charlotte Street to the Diocese of Kentucky for the use of a congregation to be called Calvary Church..

The Rev. A.A. Willis was rector of Calvary Church and was officiating at marriages in 1837 and 1838.  He was still there in 1839 when the Rev. Thomas Horrell wrote the following in his journal of his travels and labors in the ministry: "I ... returned to Smithland at the mouth of the Cumberland, where the Rev. Mr. Willis was laboring as Missionary."
The Rev. Willis reported to the diocese that he had performed two marriages, one infant baptism and two burial services in 1839, according to the Journal of Proceedings of the 11th Convention of the Protestant Episcopal Church. The Rev. Willis usually held two services on Sunday for the white congregation and one service for the black congregation. He also taught a female Bible class in the afternoon and lectured on Wednesday nights.

By 1841, the Rev. Robert Ash was rector of Calvary Church. The Rev. Ash reported in 1841 the following: "In reviewing the condition of the missionary station committed to my care, I find nothing very special to mention. I have endeavored to preach the Gospel faithfully to all classes - to the master and to the slave - to the young and to the old. Though little good has apparently resulted from my labors, yet I consider it my duty to persevere, and feel assured, that as far as the truth has been faithfully preached to the people, the divine promise will be fulfilled in due time." The Rev. Ash reported he had 12 families attending worship services in Smithland, had baptized one infant, no adults and 43 children were catechized. He died 24 July 1846, at the age of 43 years, and is buried in Smithland Cemetery.

Shortly before 1850, it is believed that the Rev. G.G. Moore began serving as rector of Calvary Church. He had served several other Protestant Episcopal churches in Kentucky - Trinity Church in Covington in 1844 and St. Peter's Church in Parish, Kentucky in 1847. His time in Smithland was short as he died in 1850 and is buried in Smithland Cemetery.
The best information on the church building is found in a letter written 12 April 1878 by M.H. Carson of Smithland to Bishop Dudley of the Diocese of Kentucky about the condition of the church. He wrote that the church was "rapidly going to decay; the roof is so bad that the plastering overhead and the floor is ruined, and I fear the sheeting and rafters are rapidly decaying. The church was built in 1839, so my wife informs me. Her former husband [ Timothy Alvord ] did a great deal of work on the building as a donation, he being a carpenter and my wife a member of the church and held a pew, but afterward joined the Presbyterians. From that time the Episcopalians ceased to hold service here. The house is a frame building ..."  Carson stated he had heard rumors that the building was to be sold. If not sold, he offered to lease the building for 10 years. The following year, 1879, at the annual council of the church, it was resolved to sell the church property in Smithland.

In January 1881, the property was sold  to Clifford Dooms, Levi Pippin and Nathan Dorroh, deacons of the Coloured Baptist Church of Smithland.  It was specified that the property was not to be used for any unhallowed or unholy purpose.

The Protestant Episcopal Church was active in Smithland about 40 years. There is no Episcopal Church in Smithland today.

Rev. G.G. Moore
was born July 1, 1803
died 5 of April 1850
He left us for his home
in Heaven  [broken]
[The bottom part of the stone is standing,
but difficult to read]
Published 22 August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday - James Lee Wilson

James Lee
Dec. 16, 1864
Apr. 17, 1940
Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 29 October 2010.
According to his death certificate, James Lee Wilson lived in Smithland, but died in a hospital in McCracken County. His parents were listed as H.H. Wilson and Pernicia Chandler, both born in Kentucky. Livingston County Marriage Bond Book 6, page 62 shows that J.L. Wilson obtained a bond to marry M.B. Presnell 2 February 1887. At that time, Wilson was age 22, born and lived Livingston County, and this was his first marriage. M.B. Presnell was age 18, born and lived Livingston County and this was her first marriage. As she was under age, written consent was given by W.B. Presnell. On the consent note, her name is given as Martha J. Presnell.
Published 6 August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Along the River Front ...

Nearly every town along the Ohio and Cumberland rivers that had a newspaper, had a column covering news of boat arrivals and people who were connected to the rivers. The Evansville, Indiana newspapers had one of the best columns, in my opinion. The titles changed - sometimes being called "River News," other times "River Intelligence" and, in the case of the Evansville Courier in 1895, "Along the River Front."  The following sketch comes from the 23 January 1895 issue of the Courier, but was reprinted from the Paducah News.

"Just 40 years ago on January 11, 1855, Jos. H. Fowler, a 24-year-old wharfboat clerk, and Miss Mattie E. Leech, a belle of Smithland, were married at the capital of old Livingston [County]. Among the witnesses to that ceremony were the groom's father, his stepmother and his four brothers; the bride's mother, her six brothers and a host of relatives and kinspeople. Of all that number, only three are now alive, the couple that were united that winter evening and one brother of Mrs. Fowler, Colonel W.T. Leech, of Cape Girardeau.  The wharfboat clerk has grown to be Captain Fowler, of Paducah, superintendent of two steamboat lines and proprietor of several wharfboats, but not a single member of his family has survived the two score years since his wedding. He has neither a brother, sister, uncle, aunt or parent. In fact, he is the only living representative of the Fowler line. One of the most honored and prominent names in the history of western Kentucky and of the establishment of navigation of western waterways. His wife, a handsome matron, like the stout mariner himself, is still in the prime of life, but only a few of the friends and invited guests of Smithland, who were present at their union, are above the sod, and these are dying fast."

Published 1 August 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,