Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hartford Herald 6/8/1881 - Pine Knob and McHenry

A Visit to Pine Knob.  May 29th, 1881

Editor Herald:

            After some time spent in walking company with Mr. E. Rowe, we arrived at the grand scenery. There stood the rocks almost straight up towards the heavens, 80 or 100 feet high - with pines scattered here and there, seemingly without anything to support them but rocks. A little further on we found a cave or house made by the rocks projecting over some 60 or 80 feet.

            On a flat rock we found where the Indians had mortars some 18 or 20 inches deep. Near this rock house is a good spring of cool water where we rested and took dinner which we had taken along with us. After resting we climbed a large hill where we found the graves or John Brown and son. On these grave stones were the following Inscriptions:

John Brown was born : October 17, 1776,
and departed this life May 21,1848.
P. H. Brown was born November 18, 1816,
and departed this life February 1,1848.

            The ground around the graves was at one time in cultivation, though at this time it is in the woods, and a lonelier place I have never seen.

            At the foot of the hill and below the spring is the dwelling of the sleepers just mentioned. I have been told that the way the old man come to his death was from a pistol ball fired by his son. The old man had climbed up to the window and shot at his son whilst he was in bed and missed his aim whereupon the son drew a revolver and shot his father dead. I saw the window the old man fell dead from. The house was a good log one of its day and is creditable at this time. I feel at this time that I am well paid for my walk as I have got back and am resting. W.

Note: Pine Knob is east of Hartford in neighboring Grayson County, located about two miles north of Caneyville. John Brown was a famous outlaw that was known as Dock Brown. Dock Brown and his gang terrorized Grayson County and surrounding counties from about 1841 till his death in 1848. There is a book titled, Dock Brown, The Outlaw of Grayson County, that was written in 1876 by Colonel William R. Haynes. It is almost certain that Ohio Countians suffered from Dock Brown


McHenry   June 1, 1881

      Having for sometime had a desire to know something of the life led by the coal-digger, I this morning, in with a goodly number of miners, boarded the first “train” and were soon whirled from the outer world to the inner, which was strangely new to me. I must confess that strange sensations passed over me as we were being conveyed from the light and life without to the almost impenetrable darkness within, and had it not been for the jest and song of the miners who were with me my courage would without doubt have forsaken me, but their indifference was my inspiration, and we were soon, without exception, a gay party. We stopped at the "lie way" and changed cars for the "fourth north," where we were soon landed without mishap. Here, after a short rest, we commenced a short tour of that portion of the mine. We found the miners in their rooms busily engaged with pick, drill and shovel in dragging from hidden coffers the great wealth of Kentucky. In a reclining position, their shoulders resting on the coal, they will pick patiently for hours in making a drilling, and then the main part of the work is done. It is a hard life, but the men on the whole seem to enjoy it. They work hard till "snack time," and men assemble in groups, eat, drink and make merry by song and jest.

            After being conducted around for a while and becoming thoroughly mystified with the devious windings of the rooms and entries I was seized with an unaccountable desire to stand erect once more, and being Impossible in the Render mines we made preparations to leave. After being shown the main entry we were placed under the care of the driver, on the rear of whose car we were directed to hold, which we did like grim death and were safely conducted to the blessed sunlight, which we hailed with pleasure while we breathed again the free air of heaven. Our thanks are due the miners and drivers alike for courtesies and kindness shown us during our short sojourn with them.

            Quite an accident occurred in the McHenry mine on Thursday, the 2nd inst., by which Lee Fisher was disabled. He was mining a “standing shot" when a huge block of coal fell unexpectedly on his right shoulder crushing it and the arm. His injuries, however, are not thought to be serious.          

            Dr. V. M. Taylor has disposed of his house and lot to Dave O’Bryan and will attend a course of lectures in Louisville the coming term. Doctor and his amiable lady will be much regretted, and their return and permanent establishment in our midst will be eagerly looked forward to.

            Prof. Hodlel of  Evansville, is giving a series of  lessons in penmanship. The Professor is a through master of the science and should be liberally patronized.

            Considerable excitement is rife in regard to mad dogs and we hope that it will continue until every yelping cur in the two towns has been killed.

            The work at the two mines is still good, though the operators declare their intention of reducing the price for digging per bushel one-half cent, and a strike is imminent.

            Married, at the residence of bride’s parents in Hamilton, on the 25th ult., Mr. Smith of Taylor Mines, and Miss Harlan. May joy, peace and prosperity attend them.

            Success to the Herald is the wish of SEMPER FEDELIS

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