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/


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