Wednesday, April 13, 2016

History of Askins

History of Askins
Some Interesting History of the Town and the Man Who Founded It.

            Askins, Ky, Dec. 24th 1897. – Mr. Editor:  Askins is a station on the Fordsville and Irvington branch railroad, fifteen miles west of Hardinsburg.  It lies adjacent to the big cut on the railroad and the public road between Breckenridge, Hardin and Ohio counties, splits it in the center.  I don’t suppose Askins would ever have been known, but for the railroad people making it a stopping point for their cars.  Long before the railroad was built the surrounding country was almost a wilderness.  The Askins got in here and cleared up a good deal of land, and when the railroad got to coming this way, they were right in it.  Some of them live around here yet.  They helped to build the road, that is, cleaned up the right of way, and making themselves useful generally, they got a station named for them.  Lum Askins is right here now, bordering on to sixty years.  I think the town was named principally in his honor.  Twenty-five years ago he cleared up one hundred acres here and it came right up to the railroad, and of course when they got to mapping things out for a town, Lum had to come in for a part of the honors.  Besides naming the station for him they permit him to keep a boarding house.  But that isn’t all yet.  Lum gives me a bit of his personal history tonight that the public had not yet heard of. Those who do know him, know that he was a soldier in the late war fighting for Uncle Sam.  They must know, too, that if he isn’t drawing a pension, it is something singular.  I supposed, when I casually broached the subject, that he was down at a rating of about thirty dollars per quarter, but he informed me that he had never received a cent.  His application has been before the pension department at Washington, he informs me, for twelve years, yet it has never gone through.  Mr. Askins has suffered many serious afflictions as the result of his work as a private for Uncle Sam.  His is totally blind in one eye, caused by exposure in the army and the other one, too, is almost gone, so he is, in fact, about blind.  Yet here he is at the age of sixty or more, with an application for a pension before the department for twelve years, and has never yet received a cent.  His case struck me as being a rather strange one, as hundreds are receiving pensions who fought for Uncle Sam and never got a scratch.  He says, however, that he hasn’t give up all hope, that he will be successful and bring Uncle Sam to time.

            Here at Askins is where one of the costliest pieces of work was done by the railroad when they built the branch from Irvington.  The station is right on the divide between Breckinridge and Ohio counties.  In order to get through it, they made a cut fifty feet deep, and about three hundred feet long, and most of the work was through solid stone.  They were engaged at it about five months, working often as many as fifty men at a time.  The job, I heard, cost the company over twelve thousand dollars when they got it completed.  The grade on each side is yet pretty heavy and the iron horse has to do some pretty heavy puffing to get along.

            Fordsville is just five miles below here and viewing the situation from a railroad standpoint, I figure it out that some time in the future the road will be extended to Hartford and thence on to make a through connection at some point.  This must be done to save its respectability, and give the people better facilities than they have at the present.  Hartford would levy a considerable tax on her people to make this sort of a connection.  As it is she is out in the cold, and retrograding for want of railroad facilities.  If you remember, when the tax questions was run in the Hardinsburg district it was sprung in Ohio county at the same time and those people did not oppose it very bitterly.  They seemed to be ready for the thing, but the railroad-builders concluded to stop at Fordsville.  Thus Hartford’s chances for a bid at the iron horse were knocked out, but she may get it yet.

            The telephone fever has struck the people down this way.  They say that they want a line from Hardinsburg to Fordsville.  In the event it is built, of course it wouldn’t do to leave out Askins. 

            And there are a dozen other points that want it, too.  Kirk, Jolly and Gleandeane are all bidding for the telephone connection.  Out at Garfield, Custer and McDaniel’s, where they already have lines, the people are delighted with the telephones.  Farmers are putting boxes in their houses, and they appear to be a wonderful convenience.  So it is down this way-the people want to move up front.

Source:  Breckinridge News (Cloverport, Kentucky) December 24, 1897


  1. Lum askins was my Great grandfather I was pleased to read this information about him

  2. Lum askins was my Great grandfather I was pleased to read this information about him