Thursday, April 30, 2015

View of Marion, Kentucky in 1927

Newspapers of larger cities often contain information on nearby smaller towns. The Evansville, Indiana newspapers regularly published articles on western Kentucky towns, including the following article on Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky. This article appeared in the Evansville Press on Sunday, 8 May 1927.

This little town of 1800 souls boasts of being the smallest town with a seven-day Chautauqua, the smallest town with a Kiwanis club, and of having the biggest high school of any town of its size in western Kentucky.

The townspeople point with pride to Marion as the home of two United States senators, the late Ollie M. James and W.J. Deboe.

One of its native sons [Lee Cruce] was the second governor of the state of Oklahoma.

Founded in 1840
Founded in 1840 by Dr. John S. Gilliam, Marion was incorporated two years later and elected its first mayor, J.W. Blue Jr., in 1897.

Marion is a church-going community, with two Missionary Baptist, one Methodist Episcopal South, one Presbyterian, one Cumberland Presbyterian, one Presbyterian U.S. and three churches for colored people.

One graded high school and one graded common school provide educational facilities. Marion is essentially a milling town. Fluorspar milling and two grinding mills, two flour mills, one saw mill, two lumber yards, one fluorspar mine and three coal yards represent the town's industries.

The farmers raise mostly corn and livestock. The town owns part of the water and light plants.

The Crittenden courthouse at Marion was burned down by General Lyon in the Civil War.[1]

The first railroad was built in 1886 and practically destroyed by fire in 1905 and 1909. The new school, community auditorium and library, Fohs Hall, was dedicated in October 1926.

[1] It was more likely guerrillas were responsible for burning the courthouse.

Published 30 April  2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Jennie Watson

Jennie Watson
1874 - 1915

Buried New Union (Ditney) Cemetery, near Lola, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 8 December 2014.

According to Kentucky death certificate #30909, Jennie Watson was born 29 August 1874 Kentucky and died 12 December 1915. She was the daughter of Tom Hardin and Nellie Barrett, both of whom were born in Kentucky. 

Jennie Hardin is listed as the youngest child (age 6) in the household of Thomas F. and Nellie A. Hardin on the 1880 Crittenden County, Kentucky census in Hurricane Precinct.

Published 28 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Friday, April 24, 2015

Old Time Sayings - Are They Part of Your Heritage?

Many of us grew up hearing odd sayings from our parents and grandparents. Taken literally by outsiders, they usually made little sense, but to those of us living in the South or had parents from the South, they were perfectly understood.

My grandmother Joyce had several she would pull out when the occasion warranted. Many of these sayings pertained to the weather. If the sky was getting dark, she would say, "It's coming up a cloud."  Other times she would recite the following: "Red sky at night, sailor's delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor take warning." I wonder how accurately the sky can predict the weather.

If Grandma was planning to do something, she always added the word " fixing." In other words, if she was going to town, she was "fixing to go to town" and she might add the word "dreckley" to the end of the sentence to tell when she was going. Now, Grandma lived very little in the South, actually just a few months were spent in Arkansas. The family was there just long enough for my father to be born in January 1913. Then they returned to Hardin County, Illinois, just across the Ohio River from Crittenden County, Kentucky and Hardin County's population included many folks from the other side of the river. Also, her mother, Mary Ann Wolstenholme Smith, was born in Davidson County, Tennessee so perhaps those old sayings came from her.

Grandma had a couple of other sayings that are probably familiar to you. If someone didn't move fast enough, she would say they were "slow as molasses" and if they were angry, she would say they were "mad as a wet hen." There is another one she often said that is my favorite. If someone had their dress on backwards, she would said it was on "hind part before." That is so much more colorful than saying backwards.

Another one I have heard - not from Grandma, but from a Kentucky friend. Describing someone who is contrary and hard to get along with is said to be "meaner than a junkyard dog."

Are there sayings in your family that have been passed down to your generation? Do you use them, too?

Published 24 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, April 23, 2015

High Water at Smithland

Almost every spring the rivers overflow, sending water to uncomfortable heights. So far, the rivers aren't as high as they have been in the past. When you live along a river, however, you keep an eye on it to make sure it behaves.

The Point from the river bank at Smithland

A closer look at The Point.
Note the muddy Ohio River separating itself from the Cumberland River. 
Photographed 22 April 2015.

Published 23 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - Franklin Sipes

Franklin Sipes
Born Feb. 28, 1892
Died Sep. 23, 1923
There is no pushing in heaven

Buried Shady Grove Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 11 March 2011.

According to his death certificate #26969, Frank Sipes died 25 September 1923 in Providence, Webster County, Kentucky. He was the son of J.W. Sipes and Nancy E. Bean and is shown with his parents on the 1910 Caldwell County, Kentucky census.

The 1920 Caldwell County census shows Frank E. Sipes as head of the household with his wife Lisy M, age 24; Ediline E., age 3 11/12 and Mary A., age 1 1/2.

Published 21 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Livingston County, KY Apprentices 1879 - 1886

Children who were orphans were often apprenticed or "bound out" to someone in the community to learn a trade. Males were usually bound out until they were 21 years old and females were usually bound out until they were 18 years of age. In addition to teaching the child a trade, the master was to provide the apprentice with food, clothing, lodging, medical attention and was to see that the apprentice was taught to read and write and learn arithmetic to and including the "Rule of Three." At the end of his service, the apprentice was to be given a new suit of clothing. Occasionally, the apprentice was to receive a sum of money in lieu of receiving an education.

The following entries are from Livingston County, Kentucky Apprenticeship Bond Book 1876 - 1904, pages 6 - 13.

John Rose, age four on the 15th day of March 1879 and orphan of --- Rose, bound to Antene Lavique to learn the trade, art and business of a farmer.  13 Feb 1879. [p. 6]

Charlie Crawford, age 15 years on the 25th day of Dec 1878 and orphan of Rosa Crawford, bound to J.M. Gardner to learn the art and business of a farmer. Master to pay $100 in lieu of being taught to read and write and arithmetic to the Rule of Three.  12 May 1879.  [p. 7]

Lorenzo Jones, age 5 years on the 5th day of January 1880 and orphan of F. Elizabeth Jones dec'd, bound to E.M. Jones to learn the art & trade of a farmer. 23 Sep 1879.  [p. 8]

Benjamin F. King, age 11 years on the 13th day of Mar 1881 and orphan of F.M. & Janie King dec'd, bound to R.D. Cullen to learn the art and business of a blacksmith. "Said apprentice will arrive at the age of Twenty one years on the 13th day of March 1891."  21 Jun 1881. [p. 9]

Elisha Dowell, age 9 years on the 4th day of Nov 1882 and orphan of R.W. Dowell and Laura Dowell, his dec'd wife, bound to J.H. Dean to learn the trade of a farmer.  11 Nov 1882.  [p. 10]

Silas Dukes, age 4 years on the 1st day of Jun 1884 and orphan child of Lina Dukes, bound to J.L. Fleming to learn the trade of a farmer. 2 Jun 1884.  [p. 11]

Silas Dukes, age 6 years on the 1st day of Jun 1886 and orphan of Lina Dukes, bound to Allen Sexton to learn the trade of a farmer. 6 Sep 1886.  [p. 13]

Apprenticeship Bond of Lorenzo Jones

Published 16 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - John Flint

to the Memory
Mr. John Flint
who was born Aug. 9th
and died Feb. 5th

Buried Hill Cemetery, off Hwy. 91, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 13 May 2011.

There were two men named John Flint who lived in the area at the same time, causing quite a bit of confusion. The above John Flint died first. The inventory of his estate is dated 5 Marcy 1817 with Hugh McVay, Wm. Ford Senr., and William Johnson as appraisers.[1]  The other John Flint left a very detailed will dated 23 November 1819. The appraisers of his estate were John Craig, Elijah Stevens and Tacy Cooper.[2]

[1] Caldwell County Will Book A:305.
[2] Caldwell County Will Book A:333.

Published 14 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Col. E.L. Starling 1840 - 1910

Col. E.L. Starling, age 70, died at his home in Henderson 15 May 1910. He was survived by his wife, Mrs. Mary B. (Stewart) Starling  and seven children, five of whom lived in Henderson and two who lived at a distance.

Col. Starling was highly regarded as a writer in western Kentucky, having been owner of the Reporter and managing editor of the Henderson Gleaner.[1]  He also served as mayor of Henderson twice and was responsible for the building of the city water works. He was a veteran of the Civil War. Col. Starling is also well known to genealogists as the author of Starling's History of Henderson County, Kentucky.

 Col. Starling is buried in Fernwood Cemetery, Henderson, Kentucky. His tombstone was photographed 19 April 2014.

[1] Evansville Journal, Monday, 16 May 1910, p. 7

Published 9 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Tombstone Tuesday - J. Elbert Ellis

At Rest
J. Elbert
Dec. 31, 1873
July 10, 1899

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 19 July 2010. Notice the handshake, symbolizing an earthly farewell.

Elbert Ellis, age 6, was enumerated as a son of James (age 54) and Agnes A. Ellis (age 36) in District 80 on the 1880 Livingston County, Kentucky census.

Published 7 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Genealogy Kick-Off - Willard Library

Published 4 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Mary Fisher Barnett Hosick 1841 - 1919

Mary Fisher, daughter of George Fisher and Sarah Vaughn, was a young woman when the Civil War broke out and probably knew the young men who enlisted from her western Kentucky neighborhood. That was not the last time she would witness men leaving home to fight in a war. When she was middle-aged, newly-enlisted soldiers left to fight in the Spanish American War and, finally, when she was an old woman, the Great War (World War I) called men to fight in Europe.

But what could a woman do? A woman's work was at home.  Her job was to help on the farm, rear the children to be God-fearing, honest citizens and hope they survived whichever war was being fought.

Mary was twice married, but had no children of her own. By her first marriage to Columbus O. Barnett on 27 November 1866, she was called on to rear his five children by his first wife, Adelina E. Stephens, with the children ranging in age from eight down to one. The marriage of Mary and C.O. Barnett ended with his death in 1871. His father, Samuel S. Barnett was appointed guardian of the children and they went to live with him.

On 19 December 1875, Mary married William B. Hosick, who was 20 years her senior. The 1880 Livingston County census shows William B. and Mary Hosick living in Carrsville. Living with them were William D. Hosick and Mary's brother and sister, Martin V.L.B. Fisher and Catherine Johnson.

William B. Hosick died 21 June 1901 and is buried near his first wife, Mary Cope, in Hosick Cemetery #1 in Lola, Kentucky. Mary Fisher Hosick died 19 June 1919 and is buried in New Union (Ditney) Cemetery near Lola. Her tombstone is surrounded by four rocks which possibly mark the graves of her siblings,

Mary F.
Dec. 20, 1841
June 20, 1919
Gone but not

Published 2 April 2015, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,