Sunday, September 29, 2013

Civilian Conservation Corps and the Work Projects Administration

      Did any of your aunts, uncles or grandparents with Ohio Co. connections ever work for the CCC camps (Civilian Conservation Corps) during the Great Depression, or were they involved in WPA (Work Projects Administration) work?  Was there a headquarters for signing up in Hartford?  I'm looking for real life accounts/stories  from Ohio Countians about these two govt. programs - 1933-1939.  Some of the work accomplished by the CCC included the improvement of millions of acres of federal and state lands and parks, building of new roads, placement of new telephone lines, building of fire towers and fighting forest fires, protection of natural wildlife habitats, improvement of streams, fish restocking, and planting of billions of trees. The CCC had great public support and was one of the most successful New Deal programs. About 80,000 Kentuckians served in the CCC, and nearly 100 camps were built across the Commonwealth. This, of course, was in the depth of the Great Depression and there were no jobs available. The CCC employed millions of unmarried men between the ages of 17 and 25 on projects in rural areas owned primarily by federal, state, and local governments. Enrollees usually served a term of six months, but they could serve up to four terms. They earned $30 a month, $25 of which was sent home to their families.

     WPA workers built many roads, streets, etc.,  concentrating on the construction of large-scale public works such as new schools and hospitals, dams and bridges, with the goal of providing employment and helping build or repair our infrastructure.  

     I have previously published an item about the WPA that described the Livermore Bridge on US 431, a WPA project, that was opened November 13, 1940;  the Hartford Municipal Waterworks, constructed by the WPA in 1941; and the County Courthouse in Hartford, constructed by the WPA in 1936-37, as was the Hartford City Hall and Fire Station Annex.

     If you have any information, family tales, or newspaper articles about the CCC or WPA, please contact me and I will publish them on this blog.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Ohio County Tourism Commission

For those of us that do not have the pleasure of actually living in Ohio County, we might not be aware of the following web site published by the Ohio County Tourism Commission.  The web site is very interesting and can be viewed at:

Be sure and click on the different pages shown on the menu on the left. Here is a taste:



Bill Monroe Birthplace - 6210 Hwy. 62 East, Rosine - (270) 274-9181
Winter Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9am-4pm; Sun. 1pm-4pm
Summer Hours: Mon.-Sat. 9am-5pm; Sun. 1pm-5pm

Guided tours of the restored birthplace and childhood home of the 
father of Bluegrass music, Bill Monroe. The home is located in 
a natural setting high on picturesque Jerusalem Ridge.

Bluegrass Motorcycle Museum - 5608 U.S. 231 North, (270) 298-7764
Appointments preferred.
Unique display of vintage American motorcycles and memorabilia from 1906 to present. 

Ohio County Museum - 415 Mulberry Street - (270) 298-3749
Open May–October, Thurs–Fri, 1pm - 4pm
Includes a historic log cabin, one-room school house, historic home and 
genealogy library, Elfie Autry’s Little Country Store and Rustic Relics Building

Ohio County Veterans’ Museum - 415 Mulberry Street - (270) 298-3749
Open Saturday 9am - 4pm and by appointment

Uniforms and memorabilia from all branches of service

Home of Kentucky Folk Artist Liz Davis - 270-274-2140.
"Regional Treasures" handmade dolls at Barns Antiques


Fordsville Depot & Museum 
Open Friday- Sunday 11AM – 5PM
Built in 1916. Rich with railroad history and reminiscent of early L&N train stations

Wednesday, September 25, 2013



My paternal great-grandmother was Finis Louise Swain (1857 – 1937), who married Samuel William Leach (1851 – 1918) in 1874. They lived their entire lives in Ohio County and had four children (Henry Oscar, Harney Leslie, Clyde Fielding, and Chester Finis).

Her obituary is as follows:

Venerated Woman Dies at Beaver Dam.  Mrs. Finis Leona Leach, 79 years of age, died at her home in Beaver Dam at 4:15 p.m., Wednesday, April 21, after having been ill for a number of years and bedfast for the last two years.  Her death was attributed to a complication of diseases.  Mrs. Leach was a native of Ohio County, born near Cromwell, a daughter of the late Allen and Lyda Morton Swain.  She was the widow of Samuel William Leach, who preceded her in death a number of years ago.  She was an admirable woman and a member of the Baptist church.  Surviving relatives are three sons, Oscar, of Cincinnati, Clyde, of Lexington, Chester, of Owensboro, eight grandchildren; a sister, Mrs. Frank Cooper, and two brothers, Sip and Harper Swain, Ohio County.  Funeral services were conducted at the home at 1:00 p.m. last Thursday, and also a short service at the Leach cemetery, near Rob Roy, where commitment was made.  Services were in charge of the Rev. J. L. Sullivan, pastor of Beaver Dam Baptist church.  Ohio County News, April 30, 1937.

A brother of my great-grandmother was Percipal Aurthine Swain, who was called “Uncle Sip.”  The following is taken from my notes on him:

Uncle Sip Swain told his barber one autumn day in 1888 that this was his last haircut until a Democratic President was elected. He wanted a Democrat in office to help obtain post office service. Grover Cleveland was soon thereafter defeated, and Uncle Sip wore his hair long for four years. He was determined that his neighbors should have mail service, so for a full year he walked nine miles each way to town twice a week to carry the mail himself. He was the object of such Republican ribaldry as changing a popular song, "Johnny, Get Your Hair Cut" to "Sippy, Get Your Hair Cut." When Cleveland was elected in 1892, Ohio County held a parade led by a brass band and a huge wagon converted into a float and escorted Uncle Sip to Beaver Dam for his haircut which was watched by 3,000 Democrats. A blue ribbon was tied around a lock of his hair and sent to Grover Cleveland. He served as the Postmaster for Prentiss, KY for more than 40 years.

Parcipial Authine "Sip" Swain died on 07 March 1951 in Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky, at age 97. His obituary stated that he was a sterling citizen of quaint individuality and would be remembered for his dapper manner, long locks of hair, and friendly jollity. He was an accomplished fiddler and maker of fiddles, a horse racing devotee and hiking enthusiast. He was a farmer, merchant, blacksmith, and postmaster, living most of his life in the Prentiss community. He was buried in Slaty Creek Cemetery, Ohio County, Kentucky.

In addition to Uncle Sip, my great-grandmother had eight other brothers and sisters, i.e  Mary Frances, Peridope, Peyton Timoleon, Laura Lelah, Jefferson Davis, Ellis Harper, John Wilkes Booth, and Elida Quantrilla. All born between 1851 and 1871 in Ohio County. Most of the foregoing lived out their lives in Ohio County, although one or two moved to neighboring counties.

Their parents were Henry Allen Swain (1827 – 1878) and Elizabeth Jane Garner Morton (1829 – 1901) who also lived their entire lives in Ohio County.

            Obit from Jerry Long.  Died of pneumonia near Cromwell last Sunday.  Published 3 Apr 1878.

Hartford newspaper April 24,1901: MRS. ELIZA G. SWAIN died on the 19th at Prentiss, Ky.  Wife of ALLEN SWAIN, who died 23 years ago, she was called AUNT LIDA.

Henry Allen’s father was also named Henry (1780 – 1856) who moved to Ohio County about 1824. He was married to Mary Howell (1790 – 1843) and they had nine children: Peyton T., James H., Nancy, Mary D., Martha, Elizabeth, Henry Allen, Rhoden Burgoyne, and Homer C. (all born between 1810 and 1837).
The following is taken from my notes on Henry Allen:

Henry volunteered at Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky, on 19 August 1813 as a private for 3 months on the expedition to Canada and served with Capt. James Tyler's Company, 10th Regiment Kentucky Mounted Volunteer Militia in the War of 1812. He served until 20 September 1813 and was paid for 1 month, 2 days in the amount of 8 dollars, 51 cents. He was paid 13 dollars, 20 cents for the use of his horse at 40 cents per day.

Henry "Harry" Swain died on 07 February 1856 in Ohio County, Kentucky, at age 75. He was buried in Swain Cemetery, Ohio County, Kentucky. The cemetery [also called the Hudnall Cemetery] is located above Green River at the mouth of the Thoroughfare on Highway 169 below Prentiss and Schultztown.

Some members of the Swain family have tried to locate a Swain Cemetery in Ohio County.  I have two saved emails discussing the cemetery (although it appears that the Hudnall Cemetery is probably the same as the Swain Cemetery).

Date:    Tue, 11 Dec 2001
From:   "Swain, Ed"

Charles, I just ran across this message in my files and am passing it on. Doug, my brother, was looking for the cemetery that had Henry and Polly Swain and we had not found out that it was on the farm or where the farm was located.

From:     Doug Swain
Sent:       Sunday, March 29, 1998
To:          Swain, Ed
Subject:  Ohio County

       I went to Ohio County today looking for the Swain Cemetery. I don't  know if I found it or not. The first cemetery I went to was south of  Schultztown. There was one stone with Swain on it. It was of the young  daughter of P.T. and L.E. Swain, named Premley E., born Nov 21  1883 died Aug 7 1884. There were a few graves with just rough sandstone  rocks for markers, with no names.
       The second cemetery I went to was in the area called Schultztown. It  was the Schultz Cemetery. There were no markers in this cemetery with  Swain on them.
       The third cemetery was between Prentiss and Schultztown called Slaty Creek. There were a number of Swains in this  cemetery. I didn't write them down, just took pictures. I will let you  know the complete details when I get the pictures back. Some names I can  remember are Mittie, Willie, and Leonard.
       I talked to a couple of people in the area and they did not know of  a cemetery named Swain. It could be possible that the first cemetery or  the last might have been the Swain Cemetery. The second cemetery was the  Schultz cemetery and it had some very old Schultz stones in it, so it is  doubtful that it is the Swain Cemetery, and there were no Swains there  either.

Email from Glenda Price:

I have these dates:
        Henry Allen Swain, born March 26, 1827 in Ohio (or Butler) County, KY, married on February 20, 1851 in Ohio County, KY to Eliza Garner Morton, born October 21, 1829 in Kentucky, and died April 19, 1901 in Ohio County, KY.  Henry Allen Swain died in 1878. 
            I have copied information from an Ohio County Will book that says:  "p. 435, Will of ELIZA G. SWAIN, gives to son ELLIS H. SWAIN the farm on which she now resides, about 25 acres, to be his for as long as he lives and then to descend to his heirs.  Should he die without children, then said land to descend to his brothers and sisters or their heirs.  To other children or their heirs, she gives farm lying on Green River, about 118 acres, which farm is to be sold and the proceeds divided equally.  This bequest to P. A. SWAIN, P. T. SWAIN, F. L. LEACH for LELAH BUCKLEY, dec'd, J. D. SWAIN, J. B. SWAIN, ELIDA COOPER, and ORPHA BUCKLEY, granddaughter, daughter of Lelah Buckley.  What goes to Orpha Buckley is to be held in trust for her until she reaches the age of 21 years or marries, with JAMES READ as trustee.  All of the personal property to go to her children and grandchild, said property to be sold and proceeds equally distributed.  Said personal property not to include certain articles of household and kitchen furniture which Ellis H. Swain, her son, owns in his own right and which articles he shall be allowed to select.  Appoints James Read, son-in-law, as sole executor.  April 15, 1901.  ALLEN GENTRY and H. B. TAYLOR, both of Prentis, Kentucky, witnesses,  Probated May 6, 1901."

I also have a listing of graves at the Swain farm, which I believe to be the 116 acres mentioned above.  Martha Leach, 1876-1917 is there. Henry and his wife Mary "Polly" Howell is there.  According to one reference, there are also 16 unmarked graves and evidence of more graves there. 

Here is what I have for Henry Allen SWAIN and Eliza Garner MORTON's children: 
Mary Frances SWAIN, b. 1851, Ohio Co, KY, m. James R. READ 
Parcipial Authine "Sip" SWAIN (1853-1951), b. Prentiss, Ohio Co., KY, m. Willelmina Elminia "Willie" ANGLE;
Peyton Timoleon SWAIN, b. 1855 in KY, m. Laura E. TURNS
Finis Leona SWAIN , b. 1857, KY, m. Samuel W. LEACH
Laura Lelah SWAIN, b. 1860, Ohio Co., KY, m. John S. BUCKLEY
Jefferson Davis SWAIN, b. 1863, KY
Ellis Harper SWAIN, b. 1865, KY
John Wilkes Booth SWAIN, b. 1868, KY, m. Iona CARTER
Elida Quantrilla SWAIN, b. 1871, KY
(I love these names--very unusual!)
This information came from a direct descendant of Parcipial's.

I agree that the Swain farm and cemetery are in the Prentiss vicinity.  The descendant I referred to above gave me a picture of the house in which he was born in Prentiss.  Yesterday I ran across this notation that the Hudnall cemetery (which is sometimes called the Swain cemetery and is where Henry Swain and Mary Howell are buried) is located on the north bank of the Green River at the lower mouth of the Thoroughfare at Hudnall's Landing.  (Hudnall owned the land, at least some of it, after the Swain's.)  Now, if I could just figure out which is the lower mouth of the Thoroughfare as it looks like both ends of the river meet the Green River.   Another description says that HudnaIl's Landing is just below the mouth of the Thoroughfare and up river from Rochester. I have been told that there is nothing left there any more due to damage by the cows. 

Maps showing the approximate location of the Swain farm and possibly the cemetery. Note: These two maps show the same location - the scale changes with the second map.

Saturday, September 21, 2013



The following photo is titled “Ohio County Club” and is dated 1921.

The officers of the Club were: President, Otis Howard; Vice-President, H. B. Lloyd; and Secretary-Treasurer, Martha Carolyn Pate.

Members were: Marshall Barnes, F. P. Bell, Manning Bennett, Oscar Bennett, Webber Clark, James Coleman, Howard Glenn, Gilmore Keown, Hinton Leach, H. B. Lloyd, William Maddox, Martha C. Pate, O. E. Richardson, Powell Tichner, Glenn Tinsley, and John Allen Wilson.

Sorry, I cannot specifically identify the people in the photo.  If you can help identify any of the people in the photo, please let me know.

UPDATE:  5:20 p.m., 9/22/13.  The lady in the photo is probably Martha Carolyn Pate (there is only one lady mentioned as a member of the Club).

Janice Brown adds the following regarding Martha Carolyn Pate:

Birth:  20 Nov 1902, Hartford, Ohio County, KY
Death: 7 June 1979, Grand Prarie, Tarrant County, Texas
Daughter of Ada Cecil Pate and Etta Lena Carson of Ohio County, KY
Married: Earl Maxwell Heavrin on 1 June 1925

"For several years, I corresponded with Martha Pate Heavrin, the widow of Earl Maxwell Heavrin, grandson of Dr. Leonard Thomas Cox. Both were graduates of the University of Kentucky. Martha lived at Grand Prairie, TX and she had invited me for the weekend to compare our collection of Cox data, but a few weeks before our scheduled visit, Martha died unexpectedly.  It made me so sad because we had become good friends through our correspondence. I missed exchanging thoughts and ideas with her. Martha volunteered many hours at the library in Grand Prairie, Texas and she was a good genealogist.

Her husband, Earl Maxwell Heavrin, a government attorney, had worked on the Cox family history for several years and had collected a number of Cox legal documents and records.  He died in May 1971.  I’ve never forgotten what Martha wrote to me in an early letter, “Working on the family genealogy has filled many lonely hours for me since my husband’s death.”  Martha and I exchanged quite a few Cox records and history over time, and she filled out her own family charts for me prior to her death on June 7, 1979.

~~ Written by Janice Cox Brown, 2317 Dietz Lane, Tyler, Texas 75701, great-great granddaughter of Thomas Jefferson and Susannah Miranda (Leach) Cox, and great niece 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Wyatt Earp

On March 19, 1848, Wyatt Berry Stapp Earp was born in Monmouth, Illinois to the late Nicholas Porter Earp and Virginia Ann Cooksey Earp. Wyatt had 5 brothers, including Virgil, James, and Morgan Earp. 

As an adult Wyatt was a city policeman in Wichita, Kansas and Dodge City, Kansas. He also served as a deputy sheriff and deputy U.S. marshal in Tombstone, Arizona. He was also at different times a farmer, teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon-keeper, gambler, miner, and on one occasion a boxing referee. He was never a cowboy or drover. He is best known for his part in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral during which three outlaw Cowboys were killed. The 30-second gunfight defined the rest of his life. Earp's modern-day reputation is that of the Old West's "toughest and deadliest gunman of his day."

Earp spent his early life in Iowa. His first wife Urilla Sutherland Earp died while pregnant less than a year after they married. Within the next two years he was arrested, sued twice, escaped from jail, then was arrested three more times for "keeping and being found in a house of ill-fame". He landed in the cattle boomtown of Wichita, Kansas where he became a deputy city marshal for one year and developed a solid reputation as a lawman. In 1876 he followed his brother James to Dodge City, Kansas where he became an assistant marshal. In the winter of 1878 he went to Texas to gamble where he met John Henry "Doc" Holliday whom Earp credited with saving his life.

Continually drawn to boomtowns and opportunity, Earp left Dodge City in 1879, and with his brothers James and Virgil, moved to Tombstone, Arizona. The Earps bought an interest in the Vizina mine and some water rights. There, the Earps clashed with a loose federation of outlaw cowboys. Wyatt, Virgil, and their younger brother Morgan held various law enforcement positions that put them in conflict with Tom and Frank McLaury, and Ike and Billy Clanton, who threatened to kill the Earps. The conflict escalated over the next year, culminating on October 26, 1881 in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, during which the Earps and Holliday killed three of the Cowboys. In the next five months, Virgil was ambushed and maimed and Morgan was assassinated. Pursuing a vendetta, Wyatt, his brother Warren, Holliday, and others chased down the Cowboys they thought responsible.

After leaving Tombstone, Earp continually invested in various mining interests and saloons. He and his third wife, in their later years, moved between Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert, where the town of Earp, California was named after him. 

So, you may ask, what is Wyatt Earp's connection to Hartford, Kentucky. Wyatt's parents, Nicholas Porter Earp and Virginia Ann Cooksey Earp, were born and raised in Hartford and married in Hartford, Kentucky in 1840. Nicholas and Virginia Earp's owned a "plantation" in Hartford where their first two sons, Virgil and James Earp were also born before the family moved to Illinois in 1843. Property records at the Ohio County Court House reflect property transfers with the Earp family dating from 1839 until 1841 but no clear marking of where the plantation was located. It is believed the plantation was located along Rough River in Hartford.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


I found the following in a book titled History of KY by William Elsey Connelley and E. M. Coulter, Vol 5, published 1922. 

"GEORGE L. EVERLY, M. D.   Twenty-five years of con­tinuous work in his profession as a physician and surgeon in Ohio County has brought Doctor Everly a position of prominence and secure esteem. In his chosen vocation he followed in the footsteps of his honored father, whose life was one of genuine service and high attainments in the field of medicine and surgery, and father and son have been factors in the medical history of Ohio County for considerably more than half a century.

George L. Everly was born in Ohio County November 10, 1862. His grandfather was a life long resident and farmer of McLean County, son of a pioneer settler from Virginia. Dr. J. M. Everly was born in McLean County in 1837, was reared and acquired his early education in that locality, and was a graduate of the Eclectic Medical College of Cincinnati. He was still a young man when he located in Ohio County, and he continued his work as a physician at Ceralvo practically until the close of his life. He died in August, 1911. He had the qualities of mind and character that made him an exemplary physician and surgeon, widely known over his section of the state for his success in practice, and was greatly beloved by the community which he served so many years. Always a busy man, he was, nevertheless, active in local affairs, was postmaster at Ceralvo a number of years, also owned and operated a drug store and grocery store there, was a democrat in politics, a very loyal member of the Methodist Epis­copal Church and was a Royal Arch Mason. Dr. J. M. Everly married Susan Mary Kimbley, who was born in Ohio County in 1842 and died at Ceralvo in 1920. Of her large family of children Dr. George Everly is the oldest and the only one to take up his father's profession. Lizzie, the second in age, died at Ceralvo, wife of J. W. Garrett, now a merchant at Nelson in Muhlenberg County; Charles B. is a merchant at Cer­alvo; Minnie L. is the wife of L. P. Fulkerson, a farmer at Ceralvo; Emma B., of Ceralvo, is the widow of Virgil Fulkerson, a merchant; Jesse was a boat carpenter and died at Evansville, Indiana, at the age of forty-five; Marvin is a coal miner at the Williams Mine in Ohio County; W. N. Everly is a miner living at Rockport; and Eddie G. is the wife of W. S. Hill, residents of Ceralvo, though Mr. Hill is a teacher of the schools of Rockport.

George L Everly spent his early life at Ceralvo, attended public school there and under the inspiration and guidance of his father determined at an early date to become a physician. In 1895 he graduated from his father's school, the Eclectic Medical College of Cincin­nati, and in the same year took up active practice at Ceralvo. He remained in that community until 1911, when he removed to Rockport, where he has a busy general medical and surgical practice. He is a member of the Ohio County Medical Society, and had the honor of being elected president of the State Eclectic Medical Society in 1917. He owns a modern home and offices in Rockport, also four dwelling houses there. He offered his services to the Medical Reserve Corps in 1918, but was never called for active duty, though he shared with other prominent leaders in the community the responsibil­ities of promoting the success of various war campaigns.

Doctor Everly is a democrat, is a past junior warden of Ceralvo Lodge No. 253, A. F. and A. M. member of Rockport Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and Rockport Tribe of the Improved Order of Red Men.

In 1896, in Ohio County, he married Miss Clemmie Park, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. William Park, both of whom are now deceased. Her father was a farmer in Ohio County. Mrs. Everly, who died at Rockport in October, 1911, was the mother of four children who survive: Hazel, born in 1898, was educated in the high school at Bowling Green, Kentucky, was a teacher for one year in Muhlenberg County, and is now a book­keeper for the Rockport Coal Company; Gladys, born in 1899, is the wife of Homer Boyd, of Rockport, a securities salesman of the Trustees System Service Corporation; Jesse Levy, born in 1901, and Addis, born in 1903, both students in the Rockport High School."

Friday, September 13, 2013

Our Milk Cow

At Christmas 1977 my dad Gilbert Cox told a story about the good times and hard times their family had when he was growing up in Ohio County, Kentucky.  He told this story about their new milk cow that his dad bought so they would have milk to drink and cook with.  My dad was about six years old at the time.  They were living on their little farm near Rosine…about 1914-1915.  I tape-recorded this tale.  

                                                                                                                  ~ Janice Brown


Our Milk Cow

The Family of Jasper Newton and Eva Caroline Cox
– About 1914-1915 - Ohio County, Kentucky

I know we got us a milk cow one time, and boy, we were tickled to death because we had us a milk cow and had fresh milk to drink.  My mother made hot biscuits and we had fresh butter, and everything, see. 

“And just about this time of the evening, but it was summertime.  And the train was coming.  And the banks were as high as this house here, or higher, on both sides.  All you could see was the smoke stack on the engine.  It was going through this cut, see.  And all at once we heard that train…toot, toot, toot…toot, toot, toot…toot. 

“Well it didn’t occur to us, you know, that it was our cow it was blowing at.  But that night, the cow didn’t come up.  And then Daddy thought about that train whistle blowing, so we went down there to see, and sure enough, there laid our cow, and she wasn’t even dead yet.  We went down there and looked at her. 

“I never have forgot that.  And we hadn’t had it long either!  Maybe a month, something like that.  And she was just laying down there, and when she saw us, she tried to get up, and we had to go back and tell mama that the cow was dead.

“It took a lot of money and hard work to get a good milk cow then.  That’s one incidence I remember when we had a sad time.  Other times, we would have good times.”


Sunday, September 8, 2013

James Thomas Smith Family


James Thomas Smith
December 13, 1856 – July 18, 1926

Sarah Sanders
January 4, 1861 – November 20, 1931


The James Thomas Smith Family
Select, Ohio County, KY

Seated is:  James Thomas Smith and Sarah (Sanders) Smith
(Back Row:  Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” Sandefur, and standing next to her is Eva Caroline (Smith) Cox, (perhaps someone reading this can identify the other children here? -- Janice Brown)

Children were:  Della Catherine (1880-1975); Charles Thomas (1882-1970); Mary Elizabeth “Lizzie” (1885-1975); Ellis James (1887-1982); Eva Caroline (1889-1988);
Ella Jennie (1891-1978); Ollie Perry (1894-1898); and Harb X “Hobby” (1897-1982).


In Memoriam

   J. T. Smith, son of Thomas and Kittie Smith, departed this life July 18, 1926, after being a great sufferer for about 20 years.

   The deceased and Sarah Sanders were married January 1st, 1880. To this union nine children were born.  Three sons and five daughters survive him, one son having preceded him to the world beyond.

   Deceased was 69 years, seven months and five days of age at the time of his death.  He professed faith in Christ at the age of 18 and lived faithful to this profession.

   He was buried at the Brick House burying ground on July 19, in the presence of a large assembly of friends and relatives.

   Funeral services were conducted by Rev. Gherman W. Riggs, of Leitchfield, who preached the funeral sermon from Job 14th chapter, after which his remains were laid to rest to await the resurrection morn.

   May the God of Heaven console his wife, children and relatives and may they all be prepared for the great summons when it comes.

Card of Thanks

We wish to thank our friends
for the kindness and sympathy
shown us during the illness and
death of our dear husband and

The Death Certificate of James Thomas Smith - File No. 18703 - indicates date of death on July 18, 1926.  He was born in Meade County, Kentucky. 

 R. W. (or B. W.) Kettinger, M.D. signed the death certificate indicating that he had attended the deceased from July 1, 1926 to July 17, 1926 and the last time he saw him alive was on July 13, and that the date of death occurred at 4:00 p.m.    Cause of death was Pernicious Anemia and Dysentery with duration of 3 months and 10 days.

On the death certificate, his father's name was given as Thomas Smith, also born Meade County, KY, and his mother's name as Kitty Ann Jenkins, also born Meade County.  Wife was listed as Sarah Smith, Select, Kentucky.  (They are found there in the 1850 census, newly married with a small baby, Benjamin Franklin Smith).

Place of burial or removal was listed as Cedar Field, July 19, 1926 which is in error unless there are two names for this cemeterywhich was an earlier name of the Brick House Burying Ground.  (I know Cedar Field is in error because he was buried at the Brick House Burying Ground beside the church.  I have a picture of his tombstone when we visited there.)

        James and Sarah had been married 46 years when James Thomas Smith died.


Obituary of Sarah (Sanders) Smith

Friday, November 27, 1931, page 1, column 5:

"Mrs. Sarah Smith Passes at Cromwell"

"Mrs. Sarah Smith, whose age was 70 years, 10 months, and 16 days, died at the    home of her daughter, Mrs. Roy Stewart in Cromwell, at 10 a.m., Friday, November 20, 1931.  Her death was due to miocarditis and her illness had been brief.

She was the daughter of Charles and Della Porter Sanders and on January 1, 1880 was married to James T. Smith, whose death occurred several years ago.  She was a member of the Methodist Episcopal church and a splendid Christian woman.

Surviving relatives include:  Five daughters, Mrs. Letcher Taylor, Rt. 1, Cromwell; Mrs. Everett Sandefur, Palestine, Texas; Mrs. J. N. Cox, Kilgore, Texas; Mrs. Roy Stewart, Cromwell, Mrs. Everett Taylor, Beaver Dam; sons Charles Smith, Ellis Smith and Harve Smith of Cromwell, Rt. 1; two sisters, Mrs. James Howard and Mrs. Cicero Taylor, of Cromwell, Rt. 1; two brothers, George Sanders of St. Louis, and John Sanders of Indianapolis.

Funeral services were conducted from the home at 1:30 p.m., Saturday.  Interment was in Brick House cemetery."

Tape Recording dated May 1, 1977:

When we asked my grandmother, Eva Caroline (Smith) Cox (1889-1988)
to tell us about when she was baptized, she told this story:

Baptizing at Bald Knob Church, Ohio Co. KY

“Why yes, I wouldn’t mind telling you what.  Well, it was there at Bald Knob Church.  And the revival was going on.  But now in that day and time, they would say “protracted meetings” are going to start.  And of course there was a lot of boys and girls, and people saved.  Aunt Ella and I was two of them.  And we were baptized in white dresses.  And Pearl Leach.  She was an awful sweet girl. It was in the afternoon at a pond.

“We were the only three that was baptized.  The rest of them were sprinkled.  And that was Uncle’s cousin, Pearl Leach. (Uncle over at Palestine).   I just can’t recall where we went.  There was a pond of water.  I know that.  There was no bank – it was level ground, and they had a little house where you went and changed your clothes after you were baptized.  And they all went to the baptizing.  Pa took us – And we all went in the wagon…well part of us.  Some went in the buggy.  (Laughing).  I can’t hardly remember, but we were all there.  There was a lot of folks there.  It was in the afternoon.”   (part of this story was also retold in a June 1982 tape.)

“Bald Knob was a Methodist church, but you had your choice to be immersed or sprinkled. The preacher’s name was Emory – Brother Emory.

“And we was the only three that were baptized.  All of the rest of them were sprinkled.  I was about sixteen or seventeen.  It has been a long, long time ago.  They used to have such wonderful meetings there.  They really did.  They had a mourner’s bench.  And everyone would come up and be prayed for and all.

“Sometimes we visited other churches.  Oh yes, we always went to church.  Bald Knob had prayer meeting on Wednesday nights…every Wednesday night we always went.  And then if there was something on Saturday night, we went.  On the third Sundays, there was services.  But that was the only service.  But they would have church at Mt. Pleasant, or down at Select, or Mt. Zion.  And we would go.  We always went to church.  Sometimes, in the afternoon, they would have singings.  And dinner on the ground…homecoming…they called it.  And everybody would come and spend the day.”

“Bald Knob was where Ma and Pa belonged, and Grandma Sanders, too.  They all went to church there.  That church is old.  And they have kept it up real good.  It was about two miles from our home.”

                                                          ~ Janice Brown, Tyler, TX


Friday, September 6, 2013

Going After the Cows

Going After the Cows

My grandmother, Eva (Smith) Cox (1889-1988) was the daughter of James Thomas and Sarah (Sanders) Smith.  She grew up on their family farm near Select (pronounced SEE-lect, she said), about two miles or so from Cromwell. She said when she was about eight or ten, one of the daily chores for her and some of her younger brothers and sisters was to go after their eight or ten milk cows and heifers every evening and bring them home to be milked. 

Cows had to be milked twice a day, morning and evening. With a family household of eleven people, they used a lot of milk. Their mother first strained the milk, and then used it to cook with, to churn and make butter with, and to drink three times a day at each meal.  Sometimes her mother made yellow cheese.  Any left-over buttermilk or soured milk was fed to the pigs, ducks and chickens. 

After the cows had been milked in the evening, they were penned overnight, and then milked again the next morning.  Then the gate to the barn lot was opened, and the cows were turned out to the pasture to stray and graze where they pleased.  Most of the time, they wandered over a high hill on the backside of a large pasture about a quarter mile from their house near the woods.  They watered quite a distance away in a nearby spring-fed creek.  Another pasture held their ten or twelve sheep, and the children could always hear them bleating while they were looking for the cows.  

At milking time in the evening, the children went after the cows to be milked and always listened for the tinkling bell that one old mama cow wore around her neck.  All the other cows followed her lead and were always grazing nearby.  When they heard the tinkling of the cow bell, Grandmother said it sent them in the right direction to find the other cows.  Then they herded all of them together and started driving them up to the top of the hill, following a well-worn path toward the barn on the other side.  At the bottom of the hill, they each grabbed a younger cow’s tail, started them to running up the hill, and let the cows pull and drag them to the hilltop. The bell on the old lead cow would always be ringing like crazy while they were running.  

When they got to the pen lot at the barn, the cows were driven through a gate and put in stalls, where they waited their turn to be milked by the older children.

Going after the cows was one of their regular chores, but the kids made it great fun.  She said if her daddy had known what they were doing, he would not have been happy!  And they would have been in big trouble!   In that day and time, kids thought up all kinds of games and activities to entertain themselves.
                                                                                                   ~ Janice Brown, Tyler, TX


Monday, September 2, 2013


SARAH LEE (b. May 6, 1773) was also a Charter Member, when the Church was organized in her log-cabin home on July 16, 1836. She continued in the membership until her death, on October 20, 1852, at age seventy-nine.

Her kinsman, Samuel Lee, was converted in the revival of 1838. It is possible he was her son, and was born about 1802. His wife, Lydia, according to the Ohio County Census for 1850, was born about 1804. Sarah Lee was living in their home at that time. 

HANNAH LEE, who also a Charter Member, was probably a daughter to Sarah Lee and a sister of Samuel Lee. She married William H. Porter on December 21, 1848. She was born about 1816 and died in the year 1888, at the age of   seventy-two and after having been a member of the Green River Church for fifty-two years. In the 1870 Ohio County Census, Samuel Lee was living with the Porters. Sarah and Lydia Lee are buried in the Green River Cemetery, near Cromwell. 

A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.

RICHARD H. MILLER, a son of Andrew Miller, and an older brother of the well known Dr. A. B. Miller, and Dr. A. J. Miller, was a native of LaRue [sic] county, but was carried by his parents to Ohio county where he grew to manhood with but a few educational advantages. He was converted in early life, and was baptized into the fellowship of Mt. Zion church, in Ohio county. In this church he was raised up to the ministry, and, in 1856, succeeded his brother, A. B. Miller, in its pastoral charge. He was also pastor at Cool Spring, and, perhaps, of some churches, in Goshen Association. He was a warm, animated preacher, and "labored with great zeal and good success." The Lord was pleased to take him away in the prime of life. 

A History of Kentucky Baptists, From 1769 to 1885, by J. H. Spencer, 1886, Reprinted by Church History and Archives, 1976, Lafayette, TN. Gasper River Association. 

EDWARD AND NANCY NATION were also Charter Members of the Church, on July 16, 1836. He was already an ordained Deacon from Beaver Dam, and was elected as the first Deacon of the new Church together with Joseph James, on September 17, 1836. His was the first death in the membership, as he died on December 11, 1837. He was a Messenger to the Gasper River Association when it met with the Green River Church in 1837. Nancy Nation was lettered out of the membership shortly after her husband's death. She returned to the membership by letter on May 28, 1848, only to be lettered out again on February 11, 1865. She became a member again by letter about 1870 and eventually lettered out for the final time on September 8, 1877.

A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.