Saturday, January 28, 2017


HERBERT B. KINSOLVING was born in Hartford, Ky., October 19, 1860, and is the only child of the Rev. George W. and Tula (Benton) Kinsolving. George W. Kinsolving came with his parents, Jefferson and Mary (Abney) Kinsolving, to Caldwell County, Ky., from Virginia in 1849. He graduated from Cumberland College, Princeton, Ky., and soon after was appointed to the chair of mathematics in the same institution. He was ordained to the whole work of the ministry in the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and at the breaking out of the war, was appointed chaplain of the Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry. From severe exposure he contracted typhus fever, and after a lingering sickness of six weeks, died, while en route for home, at Ceralvo, Ky., in April, 1863. His wife survived him until August, 1866. She was a member of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and a daughter of Joseph T. and Matilda J. (Woodward) Benton of Ohio County, Ky. Our subject, when two years old, with his mother made his home with his maternal grandparents, to whose care his rearing was entrusted after his mother's death. He attended the local school until thirteen years of age, when he learned the printer's trade in the office of the Hartford Journal. Then he returned to school in Hartford, whore he took a course in Greek and Latin, and in 1878 attended the Cumberland University at Lebanon, Tenn., where he completed his literary education. He then taught school in Daviess County, Ky., and during the time, while not engaged in the school-room, read law. In September, 1879, he was admitted to practice. In 1882, when less than twenty-two years of age, he was elected county attorney, his present official position. He stands six feet four inches in height, and although young in years and his profession, takes rank among the ablest and most promising members of the bar.

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

Note:  Herbert Benton Kinsolving died 14 Aug 1942 in Jefferson County, KY and is buried in Grove Hill Cemetery, Shelbyville, KY.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Midway, Ohio County

Midway was located at the top of the hill on US 62 between Broadway curve and Highway 85.  From Beaver Dam, you can turn right on Midway Road which runs to Highway 69S.  As you go down the hill toward 85 on the right would have been a coal tipple.  All remnants of this little community are gone now.  Here is a photograph of the Midway School  from 1931-32:

The photographer, Emory G. Schroeter, worked in Ohio & adjoining counties. His cameras are now at Ohio County museum.  He said his pictures were so good because they were developed in river water.  He had a floating studio and would move it along Rough and Green Rivers to different locations for a few days, then on to the next stop.  Home base was the tie up in Hartford.

Saturday, January 21, 2017


ROBERT E. KINNIMONTH, Ohio County, is the eldest of a family of five children, and was born October 12, 1855, in Warren County, Ky. He was brought up in Butler County, and received a fair education. His parents are David and Susan (Horton) Kinnimonth, the former a native of Pennsylvania, and reared in Warren County. His grandfather (now deceased) was Robert Kinnimonth, for many years a boatman - on the Green River, and a contractor and builder of dams and locks on the same river. He built the locks at Rochester, Butler County. The names of his sister and brothers are as follows: Mrs. L. A. Bunch, Jasper H., Charles C., and William D. He was married September 17, 1882, to Eunice I., daughter of Nathaniel Shultz, and grand-daughter of Joseph Shultz, one of the oldest and most prosperous farmers now living in Ohio county. Mr. Kinnimonth's farm consists of fifty acres of land near the town of Cromwell, on the Green River. He is also an excellent mechanic and a good citizen.

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

Note:  Mr. Kinnimonth died 14 June 1889 in Butler County, KY and is buried at the New Midway Cemetery, in Rochester, Butler County.

Sunday, January 15, 2017


James Cooksey Earp: Birth: Jun. 28, 1841 Hartford, Ohio County,  Kentucky.  Death: Jan. 25, 1926 Los Angeles, Los Angeles County,  California. Born in Hartford, Kentucky, he was the oldest brother of Virgil, James and Wyatt Earp.



     James was the son of Nicholas Earp (1813-1907) and second wife, Virginia Ann Cooksey - Nicholas had moved to Ohio County with his parents and siblings about 1826 when he was 13 years of age.

     Unlike his brothers, James was not present at the gunfight at the O.K. Corral Oct 26, 1881. He enlisted in the Union Army at the outbreak of the Civil War and was wounded in the shoulder, losing the use of his left arm, in a battle near Fredericktown, MO in 1861. James was a saloon keeper in Tombstone, AZ but settled permanently in California in 1890, where he died in 1926.

     Brother Virgil Earp was also born in Hartford July 18, 1843.  Brother Wyatt is thought to have been born March 19, 1848 in Monmouth, Illinois.  Brother Morgan was born in Pella, Iowa in 1882 and brother Warren was born in 1855, also in Pella, Iowa. 

     An older half-brother, Newton, was also born in Ohio County to Nicholas Porter Earp and his first wife, Abigail Storm, on Oct 7, 1837.

     Virgil, Wyatt and Morgan became well-known lawmen as a result of their part in the Gunfight at the O. K. Corral, a thirty second shootout between lawmen and a gang of outlaws.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Musker Louis Heavrin (1859-1944)

Musker Louis Heavrin (1859-1944)

     A man of distinction in Ohio County, Kentucky, Musker Louis Heavrin is one of the most obscure public officials I've had a chance to write about in quite some time. This mysterious man has a few brief mentions on popular genealogical websites like Rootsweb or, but other than these references not much else could be found on him......that was until I managed to locate a May 1899 edition of the Hartford, Kentucky Republican! This paper (found via the wonderful Chronicling America newspaper archive) breathed new life into Heavrin's story and yielded a substantial amount of facts on him, as well as the picture of him above! During a long life of nearly 85 years, Heavrin rose to become a noted attorney in Ohio County, a Republican candidate for Congress, and was a two time delegate to the Republican National Convention, among other accomplishments.

    Born in Ohio County on June 12, 1859, Musker L. Heavrin was the son of Francis Marion and Atelia Felix Heavrin. Described as being "born and reared on the farm", Heavrin attended public schools local to his home county and later began a teaching career, in addition to attending the Hartford College. He began studying law at the University of Louisville's School of Law and is recorded by the Hartford Republican as "graduating with high honors" from that institution in the mid 1880s.

   After his graduation Heavrin returned to Hartford and opened a law practice. Within a few years of embarking on his chosen profession, Heavrin acquired a reputation as a lawyer of "sound judgement, tact and ability" and this sterling character assessment "soon placed him at the head of the bar in Western Kentucky." He married in September 1888 to Ms. Mary Mollie Cox (1868-1925). The couple were married for over thirty years until her passing in February 1925, and it is recorded that no children were born to them during the course of their marriage.

    Heavrin began his pursuit of public office in 1897, running successfully for Ohio County Attorney. In 1899 he was mentioned as being a prospective Republican nominee for Attorney General of Kentucky, and this warranted a large write up on his life in the Hartford Republican. The Republican notes that Heavrin was a "lifelong Republican and a leading factor in the politics of this section. He has fought the battles for the success of the party on which depends the future of the country." It is uncertain whether or not Heavrin ever became the official Republican candidate, as newspapers mentioning him and his candidacy are sorely lacking!  

An article mentioning Heavrin's "possible" Attorney General nomination in 1899

     While Heavrin's candidacy for Attorney General remains rather mysterious, he did venture into the field of politics once again in 1900, serving as one of Kentucky's delegates to the 1900 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia. A small passage bearing Heavrin's name and home district of Hartford was featured in the Official Proceedings of the Convention and is shown below. Heavrin later became a RNC delegate for a second time, going to the 1916 Republican National Convention in Chicago that nominated Charles Evans Hughes for the Presidency.

     In 1906 Heavrin mounted a campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives, running as a Republican candidate against Kentucky state senator Ben Johnson (1858-1950). When the results were tallied that November Heavrin came up short in the vote count, losing to Democrat Johnson by a vote of 15, 128 to 9, 819. Ben Johnson would go on to serve ten terms in Congress (1907-1927) representing Heavrin's home county of Ohio for twenty years. A result from that years election appeared in the Chicago Daily News Almanac and Year Book for 1907 and is posted below.

     After his unsuccessful campaign for Congress, Heavrin was named as the Postmaster of Hartford, Kentucky in 1907. He served in this post until 1912 and afterwards returned to his earlier career as an attorney. In 1918 Heavrin again threw his hat in the political ring, becoming a candidate for the Kentucky State Court of Appeals, and a large portrait mentioning his candidacy is shown below. Again, it is unknown whether or not Heavrin was successful in his campaign due to the lack of online information on him!!

     M.L. Heavrin's life after 1918 is almost totally unknown, although Kentucky newspaper notices on him give mention that he continued in the practice of law. He died of apoplexy in Owensboro, Kentucky on February 8, 1944 in his 85th year. Heavrin was later interred at the Rosehill Elmwood Cemetery in Owensboro alongside his wife Mary "Mollie" Cox Heavrin.

Source: I am embarrassed to say that I cannot remember who sent this to me, although it was probably Janice Brown. I apologize to the researcher. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017


W. T. KING was born May 10, 1841, in Henderson County, Ky., the youngest child and only son of Felix G. and Mary (Jones) King. The father's parents were from Virginia, and settled at King's Ferry, opposite the city of Evansville, Ind., at a time when there were but three houses in that place. Felix G. King was the youngest of eight children; was twice married; the first wife, Miss Jones, was a sister of Col. James G. Jones, of Evansville, Ind., at one time attorney-general of the State, and colonel of the Forty-second Volunteer Infantry in the late civil war; she died in 1843. After the death of his wife, Mr. King engaged in mercantile business at Cromwell, Ohio Co., Ky., and married Miss Cynthia Angle, a kind, beautiful lady, of Sumner County, Tenn. His death occurred at Cromwell, in 1846. After the death of his father, W. T. was taken to Henderson County, Ky., and apprenticed to the tinner's trade, but ran away from his employer in 1850, after which he worked at his trade, at farming, and carried the mail from Rockport to Rome, Ind.; clerked in the postoffice in Cannelton, Ind.; boated on the Ohio River; traveled in the interest of the stencil engraving business in various places in Kentucky and Indiana; was in Cromwell, Ky., at the beginning of the war, and in August, 1861, enlisted in Company D, Seventeenth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, and participated in the battles of Fort Donelson and Shiloh, and was transferred to Company H; made an orderly sergeant, and with Capt R. M. Davis, was the first Federal soldier inside the Confederate works at Corinth, Miss. He was promoted first lieutenant of Company F, and honorably discharged in 1863. After returning from service he was engaged in contracting and building and farming in several places in Kentucky until 1870, when he was appointed assistant assessor of internal revenue, with Ohio, McLean and six other counties afterward added to his division, and moved to Hartford same year. In 1872 he was appointed deputy collector of internal revenue, and soon after appointed deputy United States marshal under Eli H. Murray, United States marshal of Kentucky. In this branch of the service he was noted for his bravery, and had eminent success in suppressing illicit distilling. So efficient was he that the last year he served he was allowed extra pay by Hon. B. H. Bristoe, secretary of the treasury. In 1877 he went into the hotel and livery business in Hartford, Ky., which latter he still conducts on a large scale in connection with selling wagons and agricultural implements. Mr. King is a descendant of Whigs, and is himself a zealous working Republican in politics. He was united in marriage with Miss Parmelia Nichols, December 3, 1863. They have four children, viz.: Maggie E., who graduated with first honors from Hartford College, and now with her talented husband, Prof. J. D. Crow, is conducting the schools at Nacogdoches, Nacogdoches Co., Tex.; William M., and the twins, Lulie and Katie — the last three at home.

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

Note.  William T. King died 10 June 1904 in Hartford and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery, Hartford.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Local Communities and Their Names

Local Communities and Their Names

 • Select was suggested by the Post Office Department in Washington after community residents wrote and asked what they should name the local post office. Washington had answered by saying, “Select a name…” so the residents had no trouble.

Equality was centered around an old log cabin church building, a good sized community where each family was a large one; all the people made a living of about the same, none were rich, none were poor and the church going people were all “equal.” A railroad station later built in the community was called Kronos by the railroad and since there was another Kronos post office in Kentucky a different name had to be selected for the post office, which was located directly across from the railroad station. The residents who had been attending Equality Church decided on Equality post office and the same community had two names.

Centertown was first called Rowe Town for the many families by the name of Rowe who settled there. Also because Ceralvo, Point Pleasant, and Hartford were about the same distance from Rowe Town the community was named Centerville, which later became Centertown.

Dundee was first Hine’s Mill, so called because a man named Hines had a mill there on the Rough River. When a post office was designated for the community, they named it Dundee because of the famous goat weathervane was made in Dundee, Scotland.

• The Post Office in Matanzas was established during the Spanish-American War that was being fought in Cuba. The state of Matanzas in Cuba was often featured in the news.

McHenry was named for Colonel Henry D. McHenry, successful businessman and congressman, and leader in getting the construction of the Elizabethtown and Paducah railroad (which later became a part of the Illinois Central’s Kentucky Division) through Ohio County in 1871.

Rosine was the second railroad station above Beaver Dam, so christened in honor of Col. McHenry’s wife, Jennie Taylor, who wrote poems under the nom de plume, Rosine.

Hartford is believed to have been “Hart’s Ford” or deer crossing of the Rough River near the bluff where the Fort was built in 1782.

Update:  Cromwell was named for Oliver Cromwell Porter in 1852, who built the first home there in about 1835. Originally called Porter's Landing, it had a post office established in 1846 with Felix J. King named as Postmaster.  Cromwell was a thriving river town and one of the most important Green River towns until the new railroad, built in 1871, took trade away from the river community.

Source: Ohio County Historical Society

Friday, January 6, 2017



If you grew up in the south or southwestern parts of this country, then you can relate. I grew up with this belief, but did not know the real reason. My mother always served black eyed peas on New Year's Day, and she said it would bring good luck in the New Year. I've carried this tradition forward, but never knew the reason behind it. It became a way of remembrance of my mother and grandmother.

Black Eyed Peas "The Real Story," is much more interesting and has gone untold in fear that feelings would be hurt. It’s a story of war, the most brutal and bloody war in US history. Military might and power pushed upon civilians, women, children, and elderly. Never seen as a war crime, this was the policy of the greatest nation on earth trying to maintain that status at all costs.

An unhealed wound remains in the hearts of some people of the southern states even today. On the other hand, the policy of slavery has been an open wound that has also been slow to heal as the media never ceases to talk about it.

The story of THE BLACK EYED PEA  being considered good luck relates directly back to Union General Sherman's Bloody March to the Sea in late 1864. It was called The Savannah Campaign and was lead by MGen William T. Sherman. This Civil War campaign began on Nov. 15, 1864, when Sherman's' troops marched from the captured city of Atlanta, Georgia and ended at the port of Savannah on 12/22/1864. When the smoke cleared, the southerners who had survived the onslaught came out of hiding. They found that the union aggressors had looted and stolen everything of value, and everything you could eat, including all livestock.

Death and destruction were everywhere. While in hiding, few had enough to eat, and starvation was now upon the survivors. There was no international aid, no Red Cross, no meal trucks. The Union Army had taken everything they could carry and eaten everything they could eat. But they couldn’t take it all. The devastated people of the south found for some unknown reason that Sherman's bloodthirsty troops had left silos full of black eyed peas.

At the time in the north, the lowly black eyed pea was only used to feed stock. The northern troops saw it as a thing of least value. Taking grain for their horses and livestock and other crops to feed themselves, they just couldn’t take everything. So they left the black eyed peas in great quantities, assuming it would be of no use to the survivors, since all the livestock it could feed had either been taken or eaten. Southerners awoke to face a new year in this devastation and were facing massive starvation if not for the good luck of having the black eyed peas to eat.

 In another Southern tradition, black-eyed peas was a symbol of emancipation for African-Americans who had previously been enslaved, and who after the Civil War were officially freed on New Years Day.

From New Years Day 1866, forward, the tradition has grown to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s Day for good luck.

I will have my Black Eyed Peas this New Year's Day.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017


EZEKIEL V. KIMBLEY, Ohio County, was born in Muhlenburgh (sic) County, Ky.,
March 4, 1817, and is a son of Francis E., and Esther B. (Vallandingham) Kimbley, the former of whom was a native of Kentucky and the latter of Maryland, and were of Norman and English descent, respectively. At the age of thirteen, in 1804, Francis E. Kimbley removed with his parents from Nelson to Muhlenburgh County, Ky., then almost an unbroken wilderness. There his father, Andrew Kimbley, who had immigrated to America during the Colonial period, and served in the employ of the Continental government during the war of the Revolution, bought some 400 acres of wild land on the Green River, near the present village of Paradise, and subsequently improved a farm, upon which he resided until his death. There Francis E. was educated and married; after attaining his majority he bought wild land in the neighborhood of the old homestead and improved a farm, upon which he remained for many years; afterward he sold this place and bought another in Ohio County, upon which he resided until his death, which occurred in August, 1861, in his seventy-first year. He and wife were from early life members of the United Baptist education in youth as the schools of the time afforded. He was employed on his father's farm until he attained his majority, after which he bought 215 acres of wild land near Ceralvo, Ohio Co., Ky., and subsequently improved the farm upon which he now resides. In 1869 he left the farm and engaged in general merchandising at Ceralvo, in company with his son. Some five years later, they also engaged in the tobacco business in connection with the same. In the fall of 1884, he sold out the store and returned to the farm, but still continues the tobacco business in company with his son in connection with farming. For four years he held the office of police judge at Ceralvo. He was first married, in July, 1840, to Margaret Graves, a native of Muhlenburgh County, Ky. Six children were born to them, only one of whom, William A. J., is living. Mrs. Margaret Kimbley departed this life July 13, 1879. She was a member of the United Baptist Church for over 40 years. Mr. Kimbley was next married May 1, 1883, to Mrs. Elizabeth (McConnell and Fulkerson) Dexter, also a native of Muhlenburgh County, and a daughter of James McConnell, who was one of the early pioneers of Muhlenburgh County, and was a veteran of the war of 1812, having gone into the services at the age of eighteen and served under Gen. Jackson at the battle of New Orleans and under Gen. Harrison at the battle of Tippecanoe. Mr. Kimbley and wife are and have been for many years, members of the United Baptist Church. Mr. Kimbley's paternal grandfather was a veteran of the Revolution. Mr. Kimbley is a Democrat.

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

Note:  Ezekiel V. Kimbley died 11 Sep 1889 in Ohio County. and is buried in the Ceralvo Cemetery.

ISAAC F. KIMBLEY, Ohio County. Among those who came to America from
Germany prior to the Revolutionary war, was Andrew Kimbley, who settled on Bear Grass Creek, at the old fort near Louisville. He found the Indians troublesome and did some fighting with them, then became a Revolutionary soldier. After the war he removed with his family to Muhlenburgh (sic) County, near Green River, and engaged in farming. He reared a family of ten children, Jacob, the father of our subject, being the eldest. He was was educated in the schools of that time, and was married in 1820, to Elizabeth McLaughlin, and in 1832, to Maria Hickson. He had in all nineteen children. Isaac F. was one of the children of the first wife, and was born November 8, 1821, in Muhlenburgh Country; when he was one year old, his father removed to Indiana, and died there in 1865, having spent twenty-nine years in the meantime near Fort Scott, Kas. Jsaac F. remained in that State until he was twenty-two years old, when he returned to Kentucky. He was married January 1, 1848, to Julia Gill, who died September 10, 1857. His second wife, to whom he was married October 12, 1858, was Lucy Ann Curtis, who died in June, 1859; he married his third wife, Mary A. Shuley, in 1860; she died April 25, 1867, and Mr. Kimbley married his present wife, Matilda Coleman, daughter of Richard Coleman. His third wife bore him two sons; Charles Martin and Andrew J.  Mr. Kimbley has been a life long Democrat. He is a member of the Grange, and owns a good farm near the town of Cromwell, where he has a wide reputation for honesty and integrity.

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

Note:  Isaac Franklin Kimbley died in July 1898 in Ohio County.