Thursday, February 26, 2015

Crittenden County Estate Administrators 1890

Administrators of estate were usually appointed in county court shortly after a person's death. The appointment will be recorded in the county court minutes and sometimes in a separate administrator's bond book. The administrator was required to post bond with at least one person as surety for the faithful performance of his duties as administrator. If a person left a valid will, he usually named an executor, whose duties were the much the same as those of an administrator - to see that debts owed were paid, debts due the decedent collected and the remainder dispersed to the heirs. The following appointments of administrators have been abstracted from Crittenden County Administrator Bond Book 1885-1897.[1]

Emma J. Watson was appointed administrator of the estate of Columbus Watson. 28 January 1890.

David West was appointed administrator of the estates of Mary J. Walker and W.W. Walker. 31 January 1890.

R.B. Gass was appointed administrator of George W. Twidwell's estate. 15 February 1890.

J.E. Stephenson was appointed administrator of Martha Taber's estate. 8 March 1890.

W.H. Fowler was appointed administrator of the estate of J.T. Fowler. 22 March 1890.

W.J. LaRue was appointed administrator of the estate of F.G. Allison. 21 April 1890.

M.E. King was appointed administrator of Alex King's estate. 10 June 1890.

John J. Sunderland, with will annexed, was appointed administrator of the estate of Thos. J. Sunderland. 11 June 1890.

J.L. Alexander was appointed administrator of W.W. Alexander's estate. 7 July 1890.

Thos. H. Carter was appointed administrator of the estate of James T. Jones. 22 July 1890.

Thos. A. Harpending was appointed administrator of Columbus Watson's estate. 11 August 1890.

P.K. Cooksey was appointed administrator of R.L. Cooksey's estate. 21 August 1890.

B.S. Kennedy was appointed administrator of Chas. E. Kennedy's estate. 8 September 1890.

Mrs. P.J. Farley was appointed administrator of Frank M. Farley's estate. 8 September 1890.

W.H. McChesney was appointed administrator of Joseph L. McDowell's estate. 9 September 1890.

W.B. Crider was appointed administrator of the estate of Jas. S. Ashley. 13 October 1890.

W.H. Beard was appointed administrator of Jas. I. Beard. 13 October 1890.

W.H. McChesney was appointed administrator of the estate of Mrs. Retta J. McDowell. 3 November 1890.

Geo. W. Jones was appointed administrator of J.C. Bennett's estate. 20 November 1890.

Mrs. Mary Hughes was appointed administrator of the estate of W.H. Hughes. 26 November 1890.

Wm. B. Yandell was appointed administrator of Charlotte Spurr's estate. 26 November 1890.

Mrs. Annie Cook was appointed administrator of the estate of W.L. Cook. 2 December 1890.

J.S. Bell was appointed administrator of John Bell's estate. 10 December 1890.

L.H. James was appointed administrator of the estate of Geo. Luke[?]. 22 December 1890.

Published 26 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

[1] Administrator Bond Book 1885-1897, Crittenden County, Kentucky Clerk's Office, Marion, Kentucky.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - George Church

George Church
June 18, 1851
AE 29 ys, 2 ms,
21 ds

Buried Bells Mines Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 23 March 2013.

George Church was issued a bond to marry Mary Phillemore 15 January 1850 in Crittenden County. No marriage return was recorded. Both were of legal age (age 21 or over) to marry at that time.

There were two Church families headed by young men, Robert and Enoch Church, on the 1850 Crittenden County census. Both were miners living in the Bells Mines area and were born in England. It is possible George Church was related to those families.

Published 24 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hurricane Church and Camp Meeting

Hurricane Tabernacle
Photographed 7 November 2014

One of the historic spots in Crittenden County is the site of Hurricane Church, along with its cemetery  and campground.  "The church dates back to 1843 when Richard Minner gave the land to build the church. In 1850, Robert H. Haynes sold a tract of land to Andrew Jackson but reserved 4 acres, which he deeded to the Methodist church in 1875 for a general burying ground."[1]

The first camp meeting dates from 1899. In that year, the local newspaper reported that "The Hurricane camp meeting for 1899 closed Sunday night and although there was some dissatisfaction relative to the keeping of the hotel, it is claimed that the meeting was successful."[2] The Rev. J.J. Smith was evangelist for the camp meetings for the next 50 years or more.

The church, shed and some camps suffered a fire in September 1920.[3]  The fire caught under the shed where sawdust had been left after the camp meeting. Also destroyed in the fire was a new piano. The fire was discovered by two lady teachers and a child who arrived for a school institute scheduled to be held there. The fire was too far along to save anything but a few benches and the Bible. 

The church was rebuilt on the same spot. Camp meetings continue to be held every August.

[1] "Old Hurricane Methodist Church," Crittenden Press, 22 August 1952.
[2] "Tolu," Crittenden Press, 7 September 1899.
[3] Untitled article, Evansville Courier, 30 September 1920.

Published 19 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - John F. Costello

John F. Costello
1901 - 1942

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 2 August 2013.

According to his Kentucky death certificate, #22812, John F. Costello was born 6 October 1901 in Edgewood, Illinois and died 28 October 1942. He was the son of Richard Costello, born Illinois, and Lottie Waters, born Missouri. John F. Costello was married to Isabel Perkins.

John F. Costello was enumerated with his parents on the 1920 census in Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. John F. Costello and his father were employed on the railroad at that time. According to his obituary, which appeared in the 29 October 1942 issue of the Livingston Leader, he had lived in Smithland the last 20 years and had helped build the highway to Paducah.

Published 17 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Genealogy Workshop

Willard Library, 21 First Avenue, Evansville, Indiana is sponsoring a free all-day genealogy workshop on Saturday, 21 February 2015. Four classes will be held in Special Collections, second floor of the library. Reservations are requested, but not required. For more information, go to Registration

Published 15 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Registered Pharmacists 1902

The Kentucky Pharmacy Law, enacted 16 March 1898 and amended 17 March 1902, stated that it was unlawful in Kentucky for anyone who was not a registered pharmacist to sell, compound or dispense any drug, medicine, chemical, poison or pharmaceutical preparation for medical use or to compound and dispense doctors' prescriptions.[1]

The following are registered pharmacists in two Kentucky  counties.

Caldwell County
Bunton, J.T. - Kelsey
Coleman, R.S. - Princeton
Cox, Wm. E. - Kelsey
Loyd, Charles B. - Fredonia
Patterson, Robert B. - Princeton
Reynolds, John L. - Creswell
Terry, W.B. - Princeton
Towery, Willis M. - Creswell

Crittenden County
Brantley, Bennett I. - Marion
Burks, Charles L. - Dycusburg
Dixon, John O. - Marion
Elder, Jefferson D. - Shady Grove
Guess, O. - Tolu
Haynes, Robert F. Jr. - Marion
Hughes, Ansel Roe - Weston
McMurray, James Silas - Repton
Mantz, David Berkley - Tolu
Moore, Robert A. - Marion
Orme, James H. - Marion
Ramage, Edward - Dycusburg
Ranking, James L. - Ford's Ferry
Woods, H.K. - Marion

[1] Report of the Kentucky Board of Pharmacy, for the Year Ending October 15, 1902 with an Alphabetical List of Registered Pharmacists, (Frankfort, Ky:1902), 121,123, 151; digital images, Google Books ( accessed 10 January 2015).

Published 12 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - I.W. Kimsy

I.W. Kimsy
Sept. 2, 1830
Feb. 14, 1902
Blessed are they that have
part in the first resurrection

Buried Hurricane Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 7 November 2014.

According to his death notice in the Crittenden Press on 20 February 1902, "Mr. I.W. Kimsey died at his home in Tolu Thursday. He sustained a paralytic stroke several weeks ago and never recovered ... 'Uncle Ike,' as he was familiarly known, was born in this county in 1830. Except for 6 years spent in Iowa he has always been a resident of the county."

Isaac W. Kimsey married Mrs. Caroline C. Black 4 September 1861. He was the son of David Kimsey Jr. and Elizabeth Hamilton. Caroline, the daughter of Timothy Taylor, was first married to John R. Black. 

Original Marriage License and Certificate
of Isaac W. Kimsey and Mrs. Caroline C. (Taylor) Black

Published 10 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, February 5, 2015

They Only Stayed a Short Time ...

The 1840s was a time of expansion for Smithland, Kentucky. Many people moved into the little river town - some became permanent residents and some moved on to other places. David G. Butler and his wife, Eliza, settled in Smithland probably in early 1839 and appear on the 1840 Livingston County census.

David never bought land or acted as a witness to others buying land. He is not found in the county court order books as a road worker or serving on a jury. We would know nothing more about him if it were not for a snippet of an unnamed Smithland newspaper dated 22 November 1839. D.G. Butler "tenders his thanks to his customers and friends ... for the liberal support ... and informs them he has removed his Cigar manufactory" from one location to another. This supports what was found as his occupation on later census records.

Even though the Butler family only stayed in Smithland a short time, three of their small children died and are buried in Smithland Cemetery.

J.H. Butler
Born Jan. 15, 1836
Died Feb. 8, 1844

___ Butler
Born June 21, 1844
Died Oct. 13, 1844

L.A. Butler
Born Nov. 18, 1845
Died Aug. 9, 1846

The 1850 Montgomery County, Ohio census shows the family of D.G. Butler living in Dayton, Ward 5. In addition to D.G. and Eliza Butler, listed are John F., age 19; Sarah E., 17; Henry S., 12; and Flora C., 2. The last two children were born in Kentucky. By 1860, the family is listed in Lafayette County, Missouri. In both census records, D.G. Butler is listed as a tobacconist.

Published 5 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, February 2, 2015


If you do research in Lyon County, Kentucky, you are probably familiar with Willis Benson Machen. He was born 5 April 1810 in Caldwell County, Kentucky, but lived in the area that later fell into Lyon County.  He had a distinguished career  in iron manufacturing and the mercantile business before studying law and being admitted to the bar in 1844. He went on to perform public service, including serving in the Confederate Congress during the Civil War.  

He was famous in his own right, but he was also related to someone else who was famous, albeit in a different way. W.B. Machen was the grandfather of Zelda L. Sayre, who married F. Scott Fitzgerald, the famous writer of the 1920s and 1930s. The Fitzgeralds were known for their turbulent life style and marriage, events of which were fictionalized in Scott's books. Zelda, called the "Original Flapper" by her husband,  achieved some fame as a writer, artist and dancer, but her life was clouded by her emotional problems with much of her last years spent in hospitals.

Zelda was born in 1900 and was reared in Montgomery, Alabama. Her parents were Minerva "Minnie" Buckner Machen and Anthony D. Sayre.  Minnie Machen was the daughter of W.B. Machen and his third wife, Victoria Theresa Mims. Scott died in Hollywood in 1940 and Zelda perished in a fire in a hospital  in which she was living in 1948. They had one daughter.

W.B. Machen died in 1893, seven years before Zelda was born. Did her parents tell her about her Kentucky heritage?  Did this Kentucky heritage influence her life? Did she know of her grandfather's service to Kentucky? Did she ever visit western Kentucky?

Published 2 February 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy  Blog,