Wednesday, July 29, 2015


DR. LEONARD THOMAS COX was born May 3, 1843, near Cromwell, Ohio Co., Ky., where he was reared to manhood, and in 1870, located at Rosine, becoming the first merchant of the place. In 1861, he enlisted in Company H, Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry, and remained in the service until the regiment was mustered out at the end of three years and four months. His father, Thomas J. Cox, was born in Ohio County, February 25, 1811, and is now living. He is the son of James Cox, a native of Maryland, and a Revolutionary soldier, who came to Ohio County in 1801 and died about 1840. Thomas J. married Marinda, daughter of William Leach, of Ohio County, born May 15, 1807, and died June 7, 1859, and their offspring are Mary E. (Pool), James W., Leonard T., and John B. (deceased). Dr. Cox was first married, December 24, 1865, to Emma E., daughter of Henry L. Her, of Ohio County; she was born February 9, 1847, and died September 21, 1871, and to them were born Ola T., Mary M., and Ada. March 14, 1872, Dr. Cox married his second wife, Frances E., daughter of Henry and Louisa London, of Butler County; she was born February 8, 1847, and this union has been blessed with the birth of two children: Carrie E. and Emmett. Dr. Cox is now the police magistrate of Rosine. He was for thirteen years engaged in the drug business, in the meantime applying himself to the study of medicine. In 1883-84 he attended lectures at the Medical University of Louisville, and has now been engaged one year in the practice of his profession, with encouraging success. He served as Master of the Masonic lodge, and is a member of the I. O. O. F. His first vote was for Abraham Lincoln for president, and he still has faith in the tenets of the Republican party.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Dr. Cox is buried in Rosewood Elmwood Cemetery, Owensboro, KY.

Note:  The following was furnished to me by a descendant of  Dr. L. T. Cox:

"As a young man, he became a member of the Cromwell Home Guard and later volunteered for Civil War service in Company H, Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry.  He remained in service until his regiment was mustered out three years and four months later.  

According to Leonard T. Cox, while he was still in the army, he cast his first vote for Abraham Lincoln against George McClellan, when Lincoln ran for a second term as President of the United States in 1864.  He took great pride in relating the story about casting his first vote at age 21 while serving his country as a Union soldier.

Like his brother, James,  Leonard Cox and his bride chose Christmas Eve for their wedding day.  On December 24, 1865, he married Emma E. Iler, the daughter of Henry L. Iler.  They had three children:  Ola P. who married L. C. Leach; Mary M. who married M. L. Heavrin; and Ada Cox who married Cicero Maxwell Heavrin.

About 1870, Leonard moved his family to Rosine and became the first merchant of that community, specializing for thirteen years in the drug business there, compounding his own medicines.  He proved both the safety and palatability of each bottle by shaking it briskly and tasting it a bit himself.  In that day and time people had herb gardens and used home remedies when trying to cure themselves; when they could not, they called on the local drug merchant.  

While a resident of Rosine, Leonard also served as a police magistrate and was active in the Masonic Lodge and a member of the IOOF.  Shortly after moving to Rosine, his wife Emma gave birth to their fourth child.  What should have been a happy event turned very sad when both Emma and her infant child died on September 21, 1871.  She and her newborn babe are buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery on the Rosine-Mt. Pleasant Road, about two miles south of Rosine.

After Emma’s death in the fall of 1871, Leonard Thomas Cox found a wife and a mother for his three motherless young daughters.  He married Frances “Fannie” E. London the following spring on March 4, 1872.  They had five children of their own:  Arthur L., born 1873; Elmer Osker, born 1874; Bertie, born 1881; Emmett, and Carrie E.  The first three sons died when they were less than two years of age.  Emmett died May 7, 1897.  Carrie E. Cox later married Lyman B. Rosenfield and they had one daughter, Carolyn.  Fannie Cox, second wife of Leonard T., died September 8, 1885 and she and three of their sons are also buried in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Ohio County.

While still operating his drug business in Rosine, Leonard Thomas Cox became interested in the study of medicine.  He attended lectures at the Medical University of Louisville during 1883 and 1884.  Later, he became a physician and served the Rosine community for a number of years.  

Leonard Thomas Cox was an old-fashioned doctor who packed his saddlebags and rode horseback in all kinds of weather to ease his patients’ pain.  His bag contained a variety of powders, pills and potions.  In inclement weather, he used his horse and buggy; on cold nights when he was called out, he hitched up his rig by lantern, covered his legs with a heavy robe, and trotted off into the frosty air without a grumble.   He was often late coming home at night or in the early morning hours, even when it was raining and cold.  

Dr. Cox brought several hundred babies into the world.  During a childbirth, he might spend the night, depending on how the patient got along.  He never turned anybody down; whether or not they had money didn’t matter.  If they needed something done for them, he treated them the best he could. He cut and sutured when needed; he allayed symptoms and fears alike.  There were many hardships in that day and time - scarlet fever and typhoid fever were common.  He always claimed that he treated his patients, but God healed them. 

In those years, physicians accepted goods for services, and more often than not, Dr. Leonard Cox often received produce, meat, and labor in return for his administrations. There were debts in his ledger that were never collected, but most patients tried to pay something - by cash or barter. Bushels of peaches, a quarter of beef, shoeing horses, garden work, hoeing…were just some of the items or kinds of labor he accepted from patients for his services.  These methods were the only way some people had to pay their debts.  

After his second wife died, he married Mattie B. Layton.  They had no children.  Leonard Thomas Cox eventually opened a drug business at Stanley, nine miles northeast of Owensboro in Daviess County, where he lived for several years.  His name was listed in an 1878 business advertisement in the Souviner edition of the Owensboro Examiner."   Author:  Janice Brown 

Saturday, July 25, 2015


SAMUEL K. COX was born June 16, 1838, in Hawesville, Ky., a son of Samuel K. and Caroline (Davidson) Cox. The father, a steamboat man on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, was a native of Virginia, and came to Kentucky with his parents. He was born in 1799, in Norfolk, Va., and died at Lewisport, Ky., in 1860. The parents were for many years members of the Methodist church. They had nine children, four now living: Mrs. Margaret A. Jarboe (widow), Mrs. Jennie P. Mosely (widow), Samuel K., and William T., a carpenter in Hartford. Our subject was reared in Hawesville, attended the schools of that place, and at the age of fifteen began supporting himself by clerking in a store at Hawesville, and was thus chiefly engaged until twenty years of age. He then accepted a position as clerk on a steamboat one season, and came to Hartford in 1860. He entered the county clerk's office as deputy, under R. S. Mosely, and after five months went to Morgantown, and was there deputy county clerk one year. In September, 1861, he enlisted in Company A, Seventeenth Kentucky Infantry, as private. In May, 1862, he was promoted by order of Gen. Nelson, to second lieutenant, and transferred to Company F, same regiment. In the spring of 1863 he was made first lieutenant, and assigned to company E. In March, 1864, he was made captain and put in command of the old Company A, and served until January, 1865, in all three years and four months, and never lost a day from his command. He participated in the battles of Ft. Donelson, Shiloh (both days), Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, and in the Atlanta campaign. It was his regiment that brought on the fight at Franklin. After his return to Hartford he entered the county clerk's office as deputy in 1865, and served five years, when he was elected clerk. He was elected three times consecutively, and from 1870 to 1876 was master commissioner. In 1882, at the time of his expiration of office, he organized the Bank of Hartford, with Mr. McHenry, and took the position of cashier, which he still holds. April 20, 1870, he married Miss Irene Brotherton, of Owensboro, Ky., daughter of John and Rebecca Brotherton. They have four children living: Mary W., Ella W., Corinne, and Samuel S.  Mr. and Mrs. Cox are Methodists.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Note:  Mr. Cox died 26 April 1924 in Ohio County and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Hartford.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Registered Physicians of Ohio County - 1890

Registered Physicians of Ohio County - 1890

1. William H. Swearinger, place of birth, Bullitt county, graduated from University of Louisville , 1888.

2. B. L. Boyd, born in Logan county, Ky., graduated from University Louisville, 1888.

3. M. W. Duvall, born in Muhlenberg county, Ky., authority for practicing, a certificate of recommendation from Dr. J. E. Pendleton, dated June 1st, 1889.

4. J. M, McCarty, born in Ohio county, graduated from Louisville Medical College, 1876.

5. A. B. Baird, born in Ohio county, graduated from Jefferson Medical College, 1880.

6. J. T. Miller, born in Ohio county, graduated from Jefferson Medical College, 1871.

7. John S. Smith, born in Pennsylvania, certificate from local board, Owensboro, dated March 17, 1886.

8. L. T. Cox, born in Ohio county, graduated from Louisville Medical College, 1886.

9. Henry F. Bean, born in Ohio county, graduated from University of Louisville, 1876.

10. G. Mitchell, born in Hancock county, Ky., graduated from University of Louisville, 1877.

11. S. D. Taylor, born in Warren county, Ky., graduated from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn.

12. N. G. Mothershead, born in Scott county, Ky., graduated from Hospital College of Medicine, Louisville, 1879.

13. J. J. Mitchell, born in Hancock county, Ky., graduated from University of Louisville, 1875.

14. David S. Cooper, born in Spencer county, Ky., Botanic system, began practice in I838.

15. J. G. Hendricks, born in Meade county, Ky., graduated from University of Louisville, 1868.

16. J. W. Patton, born in Daviess county, Ky., graduated from University of Louisville, 1875.

17. Joel H. Roach, born in Ohio county, began practice in 1853.

18. J. S. Morton, born in Ohio county, graduated from University of Louisville, 1850.

19. S. J. Wedding, born in Ohio county, graduated from University of Louisville, 1881.

20. Isaac Sanders, born in Hancock county, Ky., began practice ten years previous to act of 1874.

21. B. N. Patterson, born in Logan county, Ky., began practice ten years previous to act of 1874.

22. C. W. Layton, born in Daviess county, Ky., graduated from Medical College, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1873.

23. J. W. Taylor, born in Butler county, Ky., graduated from University of Louisville, 1875.

24. Eugene B. Pendleton, born in Ohio county, graduated from University of Louisville, 1889.

25. H. S. (William Henry Smith) Crabb, born in Warren county, Ky., graduated from Central University, Louisville, 1885.

26. J. E. Pendleton, born in Washington county, Ky., graduated from University of Louisville, 1854.

27. J. M. Everly, born in Muhlenberg county, Ky., Elective system, ten years practice previous to act of 1874.

28. C. E. Cotrell, born in Shelby county, Ky., certificate by State Board of Medical  Examiners.

29. J. D. Howell, born in Hardin county, Ky., graduated from Louisville Medical College, 1889.

30. Robt. L. Ford, born in Muhlenberg county, Ky., certificate issued by Medical Board of Examiners.

31. Isaac Westerfield, born in Ohio county, began practice in 1848.

32. Joseph Jett, born in Daviess county, Ky., ten years practice previous to Act of 1874.

33. H. L. King, born in Muhlenberg county, Ky., graduated from University of Louisville, 1885.

34. W. C. Hedden, born in Illinois, began practice in 1872.

35. E. H. Whittinghill, born in Ohio county, Electie (sic) system, 29 years practice, having began in 1859.

36. John Dayton Maddox, born in Ohio county, graduated from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, 1889.

37. S. A. Gillespie, born in Shelby county Ky., began practice in 1859.

38. J. M. Tilford, born in Ohio county, began practice in 1849.

39. B. F. Mitchell, born in Shelby county, Ky., began practice in 1867.

40. Chas. W. Felix, born in Ohio county, graduated from University of Louisville, 1890.

41. George F. Chapman, born in Ohio county, graduated from University of Louisville, 1890.

Source: Hartford Herald
March 26, 1890

The Licensing of Physicians in Kentucky

            In the article above you will note several references above to the Act of 1874. Prior to 1874 the practice of medicine in Kentucky, and most of the U.S.A., was unregulated. The condition of the American medical profession at the close of the Civil War was, in almost every particular, significantly different from that of  today. The profession was, throughout the country, unlicensed and anyone who had the inclination to set himself up as a physician could do so, the exigencies of the market alone determining who would prove successful in the field and who not. Medical schools abounded, the great bulk of which were privately owned and operated and the prospective student could gain admission to even the best of them without great difficulty. With free entry into the profession possible and education in medicine cheap and readily available, large numbers of men entered practice. 

            Because people "are liable to be imposed upon by charlatans and incompetent physicians and surgeons" and because "it is of the highest importance that none but persons with competent qualifications should be allowed to practice a profession to whose skill and ability the life of an individual is entrusted,” the General Assembly of Kentucky passed "an act to protect the citizens of this Commonwealth from empiricism*" on February 23, 1874. The act prohibited the practice of medicine to anyone "who has not graduated at some chartered school of medicine in this or some foreign country." Physicians who had been practicing "regularly and honorably" for ten years were exempt from this requirement and those practicing for five years were given one year to comply with its provisions.

            The governor was empowered to appoint five-member boards of medical examiners in each of the state's judicial districts to meet annually "to examine all applicants who desire to practice medicine in any of its departments: chemistry, anatomy, physiology, obstetrics, surgery, and so much of practical medicine as relates to the nomenclature, history, and symptoms of disease." Persons found in violation of the act were to be fined fifty dollars for the first offense and one hundred dollars for each subsequent offense and imprisoned for thirty days.

            On April 25, 1888, an act was passed amending the act of 1874, by repealing those sections creating ”the board of medical examiners” and authorizing an examination of applicants and certificate of qualification. And instead thereof it was provided by Section 3 of the act of 1888 that thereafter authority to practice medicine in this State shall be a diploma from a medical school legally chartered under laws of this State, or 2nd, a diploma from a reputable and legally chartered medical school of some other State or country; or 3rd, an affidavit from the person claiming the same that such person is exempt from obtaining a diploma under Section 2 of the act of 1874 and stating where he has practiced.

            By Section 1 of the act of 1888 it was made the duty of the county court of each county to purchase a book of suitable size, to be known as the “medical register” of the county, and to set apart one full page for the registration of each physician. And by Section 2 it is made unlawful for any person to practice medicine in any of its brandies in this State who has not exhibited and registered in the county clerk's office his authority for so practicing.

* Empiricism: The theory that all knowledge is derived from sense-experience.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fidella (Porter) Sanders

Fidella (Porter) Sanders
(Feb 20 1837- Jan 11, 1913)
of Spencer Co. IN and Ohio Co. KY 

Fidella Porter was the oldest daughter of Felix Walker Porter (1816-Abt 1857) and his first wife, Nancy McKim, (1816-1843).  She was born in the winter, February 20, 1837 in Spencer County, Indiana, but she lived most of her adult life in Ohio County, Kentucky.  She was the oldest child of the family.  Fidella was seven years old when her mother died.  She married Charles Sanders, an Englishman, born in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England, the son of John and Sarah Ann Smith.  Charles and Fidella (Porter) Sanders became the grandparents of my grandmother, Eva Caroline (Smith) Cox (1889-1988) who married Jasper Newton Cox, September 6, 1908 at Select, Ohio County, Kentucky.


Alexander M. Porter (1770/80) and Elizabeth Chittim (7-24-1840)
Robert McKim (1778-1862) and Elizabeth “Betsy” Tate (1780/85 – Before Aug 18, 1842)

Early Life

Fidella and her younger brothers and sister were raised largely by her father and step-mother, Mary Margaret (Dugan).  We don’t know how much education she had.

Brothers and Sisters

By Nancy McKim:
All born in Spencer Co. IN
Robert L Porter, abt 1838, b Spencer Co. IN
Felix A Porter, Dec 8, 1839-13 d. Nov 1917, Girdner, Douglas Co MO
Mary E Porter, bet 1842-43 – no further information

By Mary M Dugan:
All born in Troy, Perry Co. IN
Stephen L. Porter, 1844
Isaac M. Porter, 28 Aug 1845
Mary Josephine Porter, 27 Sep 1851 d Owensboro, April 19, 1902
George E. Porter14 Feb 1854 – d Gallatin, IL 18 Aug 1924


Cousins have reported that Charles Sanders and Fidella Porter met where she was working in a cafĂ© in Evansville.  She had probably gone there to live and work because she had an older brother living there.  Charles had gone to the cafe to eat and probably started flirting with her, and a romance developed, and a serious kind of happiness.  He always affectionately called her “duck” – an old English custom.

When they married it was in Troy, Indiana, most likely at the home of her step-mother or another relative. The marriage license which Michael Cook, C.G. obtained for me was issued in Troy, Perry Co. Indiana - to Charles Sanders and Fidelia Porter on the 21st day of February 1857 - issued by Joseph M. Gest, Clerk.  They were married the next day by Nicholas Marks, Justice of the Peace. - Marriage Book 2, Perry Co. IN, pg. 292.

Evelyn Elmore told me in a December 2010 letter the following story:

“It was a neat story how they met – Grandpa Charles Sanders and John, his brother, stopped off at Evansville.  He brought his wagon and kiln on the wagon to bake pottery and made beautiful dishes, jars, pots, etc.   He set his wagon up outside of Evansville and would go to a restaurant to eat.  After a while he called the proprietor and said “he wanted to meet the cook to congratulate her on the food, etc.”  He expected to meet an older lady – when a young girl stood before him and said “did you want to see me?”  He said, “No, I wanted to see the cook.”   She said, “I am the cook.”  Said he didn’t expect so young a girl.  And she was attracted to the young Englishman…handsome and speaking English.  So they began to date and he asked her to marry him and come to Ohio County with him.  And she did.  She was Fidella Porter (daughter of Felix Walker Porter and Nancy McKim of Spencer Co. IN) and her sister and husband came often even when I was young (I remember her) – Aunt Caddie and Uncle Mose Stinchfield).  She was small.  (a sad story).”

Evelyn also told the following story about Fidella Sanders, grandmother of Aunt Della:

“Yes, Mother was the oldest child and was named for my Great Grandma Fidella (Porter) Sanders (and aunt Caddie Stinchfield – her name was Della Catherine (Smith) Taylor.  (Actually, I believe Aunt Della was named for both grandmothers – Fidella (Porter) Sanders and for Catherine (Kitty Ann Jenkins) Smith.) JB.

Grandma Fidella came and got my mother when she was born and kept her almost 2-1/2 years til Uncle Charley was born.  (She was spoiled – by her two uncles and the Sanders).  So they told Grandma (Fidella) to get Della’s (mother’s) clothes ready – Grandpa was coming to get her (so she could watch her Baby Brother and rock the cradle, if or when he cried.  She said Della kicked and screamed for Grandma Sanders as she was handed up to Grandpa Jimmy on a horse. So…Mother said she cared for each child as they came along.  Next was Aunt Lizzie).  Then Uncle Ellis, then Aunt Eva, then Aunt Ella and then Uncle Harb, (Ollie Perry died at 4 years old).  Then Aunt Fannie Mae.”


Fidella and Charles had eight known children.  Their first, a son, was born in 1858.  They named him Clarence, and they learned the special kind of happiness that comes with the birth of a first child. Clarence was followed by Sarah, Mary, Charles John, George E, and Thomas – all born in Indiana; Fannie, born in November 1873, and Caroline “Caddie,” born in April 1876, were the only two children born in Kentucky.

Troy, Perry Co. Indiana
Moved back to Evansville to live.
Started a Family

In the 1860 census, Charles was age 30; Fidella was age 24, and Clarance was age 2, and the little family was found living in Troy, Perry County, Indiana (pg. 117). 

In the 1870 census, Charles and Fidella were living in Ward #2, City of Terre Haute, a city in Indiana, near the state's western border with Illinois, found on page 80, listed as:
Charles. age 40, peddler, born England
Fedella, age 32, keeping house, born IN
Clarance, age 12 - at School, born Kentucky
Sarah, age 9, at School, born Indiana
Mary, age 7, at School, born Indiana
Charles, age 5, born Indiana
George, age 2, born Indiana
(Thomas born Indiana and Fannie and Caroline were born in Kentucky after the census was taken in Terre Haute in 1870.)

Move to Ohio Co. KY
Keeping the Home

Child care, cooking three meals a day, hauling water, keeping the fire burning in the stove, sewing and seasonal preservation of fruits, vegetables and meat took up all the daylight hours for Fidella.  Sometimes her work may have extended to the farm itself.  She also had charge of the farm garden, livestock, poultry, and farm yard in general.  Lived there for about forty years.

By the time the 1880 census was enumerated, Charles had moved from Indiana to Ohio County, Kentucky, where he is reported to have lived once before in the 1860s, and where his brother Thomas Sanders lived near Horse Branch or Cane Run.  They were living near Cromwell, Ohio Co. KY on their farm, about one mile from Select.  Their home was surrounded by a summer kitchen, several outbuildings, and well-tended fruit orchards.  Charles was listed as 51; Fidella was listed as 43.  Children in the home were:  

Mary Sanders, age 17, b. Indiana                                       
Charles J. Sanders, 15, born Indiana
George Sanders, 13, born Indiana
Thomas Sanders, 9, born Indiana
Fannie Sanders, 7, born Ohio Co. KY
Caroline Sanders, 4 (called "Caddie"), born Ohio Co. KY

Farm Near Select, Ohio County, Kentucky - 1900’s

In the 1900 census, Charles 70, and Fidella, 64, were living on their farm located between Cromwell and Select, with their youngest daughter Caddie, age 24, still living at home.  They had been married 43 years.   

1910 Census – enumerated by Henry C. Crowder – no date but next page was given as April 24, 1910.

I found Fidella Sanders, age 73, (born about 1837 - Indiana); living by herself – in her home  (Rosine post office), Ohio Co. KY. -  Head of Household.  Occupation:  Controls farm.  She was widowed.  Father’s birthplace was Indiana; Mother’s birthplace: Indiana.  Could read and write.
(Actually, her father was born in Kentucky).

She had borne 8 children, 5 of whom were living. The three deceased children were: 
1)  Clarence, her first born Feb 8, 1858, who died when he was 22, March 27, 1880, place unknown;
2)  Thomas Sanders, born Mar 14, 1870; died May 11, 1899, at age 29, at Terre Haute, Vigo Co. IN;
3)  and Fannie, born Nov 18, 1873; died July 19, 1909, at age 35.

Neighbors were:  John E. Miller, son Orville, 18, and Mary Daughter – age 8, and also Elsie, 18 – daughter-in-law

On the other side, her neighbor was  – Jacob A. Rhoads, 33, and wife Myrtle – md. 4 years, with 1 child.
According to the 1880 census records, Charles did not move his family from Indiana to Kentucky until sometime between 1871 and 1873.  His first five children were born in Indiana.  Fannie, the sixth child (and mother of Mary Fannie (Howard) Rogers), was born in Kentucky in 1873.  Charles oldest daughter, Sarah Sanders - the mother of my grandmother, Eva Caroline (Smith) Cox - married James Thomas Smith of Ohio County, Kentucky on New Year’s Day, January 1, 1880.

In the early 1870s, Charles Sanders and his wife lived on their farm near Cromwell, Kentucky, two miles from the small community called Select (pronounced See'-lect).  My grandmother said he loved to read the newspaper and walked two miles to Select to purchase his paper.  Grandmother remembered her grandfather very well and Mary Fannie Rogers gave me a picture of Charles Sanders and one of his mother, Sarah Ann (Smith) Sanders, made in Stoke-on-Trent, in Staffordshire, England.

My grandmother told me:  “I remember about her good cooking better than anything.    One time I spent the night.  I stayed…and then I got to crying and I wanted to go home.  And I could hear them all hollering over there at home and having a good time, and it was dark.  I stayed one night and all day, and I was so lonesome…and homesick.  And there was a big snow that night…up to your knees.  And I said I wanted to go home, and grandma said, “No, you can’t go tonight …cause we have no phone, and you might fall.”  Well, I just set into squalling.  (Laughs.)  And it was after night, and she couldn’t do nothing with me.  But I remember enough that she got a pair of grandpa’s wool socks and pulled up over my shoes and fixed them where they wouldn’t fall down, and she let me go. 

“And I come in, and Mother was so surprised.  All of them.  They had the lights on… lamps… and they hadn’t eaten their supper…they always ate late.  And grandpa eat early…about 4:30 in the wintertime.  So I had already had my supper.  And I really wanted to go home, and I was so happy when I got there.  There wasn’t any wind blowing.”                   


One day when I interviewed my grandmother, she said that she could remember her grandparents very well.  They lived less than two miles from her house on the same road near Select.  She and her brothers and sisters used to stop by her house on the way home from school every day and she would give them homemade bread, spread with butter and jam.  Grandmother said she always kept a “stand” of jam or preserves setting on the kitchen table.  But they never told their mother that they stopped by for this “treat.”

Charles Sanders had an endearment that he called his wife – “Duck” – a term used in England, with the same meaning that “Darling” has in our country.  My grandmother told me she never heard him call her anything else other than “Duck.”


Charles and Fidella Sanders
of Select, Ohio Co. KY

Fidella and Charles enjoyed a long and happy marriage.  One of her interests during her lifetime was her ancestry.  A year before she died, she made gray canvas, ledger-type books for each of her children, outlining the family generations. 

They had been married fifty-three years when Charles died in 1910.  Fidella (Porter) Sanders lived three years after her husband’s death and continued the operation of her farm with the help of her children.  She died at age seventy-five, ten months and twenty-two days at her home.

(No obituary was found for Fidella Sanders in the Hartford Herald or in the Hartford Republican). 

They were buried in the old Brickhouse Burying Ground near the Bald Knob Church in Ohio County, Kentucky.

Obituary for Charles Sanders:

Beaver Dam, Ohio County, News Article, March 16-1910:

"Uncle Charles Sanders, an old and honored citizen of this county,
who lived near Select, departed this life last week.  Uncle Charlie
was 87 and was a well-known character.  He leaves an aged widow
and a large family of children and grandchildren to mourn his life."

From the Hartford Herald, March 9, 1910. page 1, column 3:

"Mr. Charlie Sanders of near Oak Grove died the 4th of la grippe
and old age.  He was one of the oldest residents of the county and
was well respected by all who knew him.  He will be buried at Old
Cedar Hill today."

(The burial place of Old Cedar Hill is in error; according to my grandmother because Charles and Fidella Sanders are buried in the Old Brickhouse Cemetery, according to and we saw their grave there when we visited.  Of course, in Ohio County, it must be taken into account that some cemeteries were called by two different names.  However, I have visited the Brickhouse Burying Grounds and Bald Knob Church where Charles and Fidella are buried and other family members are buried.   Since the obit for James Thomas Smith said he was buried in "Old Cedar" - I believe this was one of the cemeteries known by two names.  But our family called it "the Brickhouse Burying Grounds."   Janice Brown)

One more obituary came from the Hartford Republican, Friday, Mary 11, 1910, Page 1 - Bald Knob column:

"Uncle Charlie Sanders died of pneumonia at his home near Select,
March 5th.  His remains were interred at the Brick House burying ground.
  He leaves an aged wife who is very ill, besides three daughters, one son,
and a host of friends to mourn his departure.

                        “Weep not dear ones for he has gone to a world above, where saints
 and angels meet, to realize our Saviour's love and worship at his feet. 
 May God so help us all to live right and meet him in Heaven."


By: Janice Brown

Wednesday, July 15, 2015


JAMES R. COPPAGE was born March 9, 1833, in Green County, Ky., and is a son of Hardin and Sarah (Robinson) Coppage. The father was born and reared in Marion County, to which county his parents, James and Polly Coppage, had come while yet Kentucky was a part of Virginia. The blockhouse in which they lived, still stands. James R. Coppage was reared on a farm, and given all the advantages the times in that locality afforded. At twenty years of age he rented a farm for three years in Marion County; after making numerous moves throughout Kentucky, and living awhile in Indiana, he finally settled on his present farm, consisting of 150 acres, nearly all of which is under cultivation, and well improved. June 8, 1852, he was united in marriage with Sarah A. Thornton; they have eight children living. Mr. Coppage is a member of the A. F. & A. M., Hudsonville Lodge No. 262. Politically a Democrat, and with his wife a member of the Christian Church.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Mr. Coppage died of cancer 1902 ans is buried in Black Cemetery, Ohio County, KY.  This cemetery is located on the old John Brown farm now owned by a Mr. Webb. From Hartford, go out Highway 69 toward Dundee. Turn right on Hamlin Chapel Road. Go beyond Hamlin Chapel Church (now a Clubhouse) a short distance. Turn left on gravel road where an old two-story frame house is on the right side of the road and a brick house just beyond where you turn back from road on left. Recorded by Mrs. Earl Davis. Typed by Jeff Black and provided on US GENWeb.  NOTE: There is another reference on the internet to this cemetery that refers to it as the Brown Cemetery.

Saturday, July 11, 2015


J. WILL COOPER, Ohio County, is the son of W. P. and Catherine Cooper, both natives of Ohio County, Ky.; the former born in 1819, and died in September, 1884; the latter born in 1829, and is still living. Both were consistent members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. J. Will Cooper was born near Beaver Dam, August 19, 1852; was brought up in the same county, and was educated in Hartford College, under the principalship of Prof. Griffin. He has two brothers and two sisters: Ed. W., deputy county clerk and farmer; Mrs. Mary Austin (deceased); Charles, and Annie living on the old homestead, near Beaver Dam. Mr. Cooper went into business in 1868, at Beaver Dam, under the firm name of Cooper & Brother. Theirs was the iirst business house in that town. In 1875, he removed to Cromwell and went into the hotel and saloon business; afterward engaged in general merchandising, and was one of the leading dealers in that town. His store comprises general merchandise, furniture, agricultural implements, hardware, etc., etc. He is a young man of energy and ambition, and is doing a fine business in town and county. June 7, 1874, he married Annie Tilford, eldest daughter of W. G. Tilford, a leading citizen of Cromwell, and for many years a hotel keeper in that town. They have one daughter — Tomie, born in November 1876. J. W. Cooper moved from Cromwell, July 4, 1885, back to Beaver Dam, and is now engaged in the hotel business under the firm name of Beaver Dam Hotel Company.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Barns and Tobacco

Barns and Tobacco

To farmers, barns were as essential as houses. Tall hay stacks were stored at the side of the plank or log barn and also in the hayloft, which had doors that opened on both ends.  Wagons could drive through and hay could be pitched up through a set of overhead hay doors, from either end, into the hay loft. Rooms were built to hold tack, equipment, and grain bins for oats and corn.  Stalls that sheltered the animals were built with feed boxes where several cows were milked twice a day, morning and evening, without fail.  Most of the time, the boys did the milking unless they had to get out to the fields early.  When that happened, the girls pitched in and did the milking.  Milk was kept for family use to be used for cooking and making butter and the rest was either poured into the hog troughs or large buckets to sour.  The hogs, chickens and geese liked the curdled milk and whey.

The barn was a great place for farm kids to play, especially on a rainy day when the hay was dry and sweet and the rain could be heard peppering down on the roof.  Barns provided a good place to play hide and seek, and it was fun to climb up the ladder into the hayloft and hide and play in the straw stacks.  The barn was also a place where a lot of work was turned out in all seasons, like shelling corn, rubbing linseed oil on the shovel, axe, rake and hoe handles to make them last longer, oiling the leather harnesses, bridles, and saddles to soften and preserve them, or straightening out a keg of bent nails.


If a farmer raised tobacco to bring in a little cash to help make ends meet every year, then he also needed a tobacco barn.  In Ohio County, they raised burley tobacco.  To make a tobacco crop required an enormous amount of back-breaking work and it was pretty much a year around job.  Everyone in the family who was old enough was expected to help with tobacco work.  It constantly had to be manipulated, hoed, handled, and every leaf examined to oversee its development, from the time the seeds were first planted in the “burn beds” until it was delivered and weighed for sale at market, usually in the months of November or December. 

To begin the laborious process, the farmer burned the previous year’s old plant bed site.  Plant beds were usually about 9 feet wide and about 100 feet long or so, depending on the number of tobacco acres he planned to cultivate. The farmer piled wood on the old plant bed and set it on fire to kill and get rid of the weeds and grass seeds.  Burning was usually done near dusk and the farmer raked the fire and spread the ashes to make sure every inch was covered. 

Then he planted the seeds and kept the plant bed weeded until the little plants grew large enough to set out in the field.  Next he transplanted the tobacco sets to newly plowed, fertilized fields, and later as it grew, walked up and down the rows, picking off the big horned, speckled green tobacco worms.  Fields were plowed and grass and weeds chopped several times, then the tobacco was primed, stripped and cut.  Finally it was time to take the cut tobacco leaves, load them onto wagons, and take them to the barns to be fire-cured for ten days or so. 

“Firing” (fire-curing) tobacco took a lot of close attention and work.  Sawdust was used in low-smoldering trenches or pits.  The farmer had to manage and control the heat, humidity, and air circulation in his barn, extremely necessary to market good yields of high quality tobacco.  

Occasionally, a few tobacco barns burned down every year, in spite of all the care the farmers took to keep their fires at a low smolder.  One newspaper article in the Hartford Herald reported a barn that burned in September, 1905, for example:

            “The large tobacco barn of Mr. Jeff Smith was burned Tuesday night,
            with about 175,000 pounds of tobacco in it.  The loss was covered by

Another news item reported in the Centertown Record on January 6, 1915:   

            “A tobacco barn burned in Centertown.  It belonged to Sam Smith
of Rochester, was worth $2,000, and was not insured.”

Burned barns of any kind were a major loss for farmers.  If it contained both tobacco and hay, it burned fast and hot.  Not only did they lose their tobacco (their livelihood), but they may have also lost the feed for their animals and their farm equipment, not to mention losing their wagon or perhaps a horse-drawn buggy parked there, and perhaps a bushel or two of walnuts that had been picked up in the fall. 
"After the curing process, the tobacco was ready to move and had to be packed up in a pile with all the tips turned one way, then pinned with all the sticks to the outside for ventilation purposes, then graded, by sorting into three or four grades, depending on the color. 

Lastly, the farmer bundled the cured tobacco into bales, before it was sent off to market or warehouse auction, where he prayed for a good price when it was auctioned off to the highest bidder.

In Ohio County, old weathered tobacco barns, some as old as eighty to a hundred years, could be seen with practically every curve of a country road.

On a farm there was always something for everybody to do – every minute of every day - sunup to sunset.  All said and done, most farm work was a matter of survival.

Submitted by Janice Brown

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Note:  The following comments are from Billy Morris, a long-time resident of Ohio County:

           "My father raised tobacco. We burned tobacco beds but I don’t remember using the same location twice.  This was early in the year. I know logs outlined the bed and canvas was stretched over the bed. We usually put tomato and cabbage seen in one corner of the bed.         
          I know the tobacco seed was real small black seeds. They usually mixed corn meal with them so you could see where you had put the seed and not sew it twice. I never liked working in tobacco as it was hot and sticky job. The green sap would get all over you some of the meanest looking worms you can find. Most people grew burley but some raised dark. Ours was always air cured; the old barn had so many holes in it the air blew through. The amount you could grow was controlled by the government. All we had was 1/2 acre."

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Map showing major growing area for burley tobacco:

Typical Burley Tobacco

                    The origin of White Burley tobacco was credited to George Webb and Joseph Fore in 1864, who grew it on the farm of Captain Frederick Kautz near Higginsport, Ohio, from seed from Bracken County, Kentucky . He noticed it yielded a different type of light leaf shaded from white to yellow, and cured differently. By 1866, he harvested 20,000 pounds of Burley tobacco and sold it in 1867 at the St. Louis Fair for $58 per hundred pounds (Note: I think this price is totally inaccurate). By 1883, the principal market for this tobacco was Cincinnati, but it was grown throughout central Kentucky and Middle Tennessee. In 1880 Kentucky produced 36 percent of the total national tobacco production, and was first in the country, with nearly twice as much tobacco produced as by Virginia, then the second-place state. Later the type became referred to as burley tobacco, which is air-cured.  Source: Wikipedia

Thursday, July 2, 2015


LORENZO DOW COOPER was born March 31, 1819, in Daviess County, Ky., and is the only child of Joshua G. and Alice Rowan Cooper. The father was reared on the banks of the Susquehanna River, in Pennsylvania, till a young man; then came to Kentucky, first locating in Ohio County, and soon afterward married Mrs. John Douglas. After making several moves he settled in Ohio County, where he died in 1826; his widow survived until April, 1851. Lorenzo D., while yet a boy, materially aided his mother, and finally became her entire support, and continued so up to her death. At twenty-four years of age he married Mary P. Bennett, and to them were born nine children, only two of whom are now living: Samuel O. and Alice P. (wife of William J. Riley). Mr. Cooper's present wife was Mrs. Elizabeth Henry, nee Polley. They are members of the Methodist Church, of which he is a trustee. He is a Democrat politically, and renders much aid to the furtherance of the temperance cause, having in early life been a Good Templar. He has a fine, improved farm of his own making, upon which he has resided since 1847, and has given over 100 acres to his children.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Lorenzo Dow Cooper is buried in New Bethel Cemetery.