Letters To The Editor

Each month, The Kentucky Explorer magazine receives literally scores of letters from our faithful readers. Whenever possible, we try to publish as many of them as possible in the 12 pages we have set aside for "Letters to the Editor."

Here are actual letters from April 2005

Seeds Wanted
Dear Editor:
I would like to have some of the old-fashioned ox heart tomato seeds and yellow and white dent corn seeds, not hybrid.
I would be grateful if someone would share these seeds with me.
Edna Barker
2076 Hannah Lane
Grayson, KY 41143

Researching Kilburn/Bowman
Family Tree

Dear Editor:
I am so happy that I was introduced to The Kentucky Explorer by a cousin, Kenneth Dale Walt. It is amazing that there are so many people researching their family trees. I love the pictures and the memories of others. Since I subscribed my husband and I have met and exchanged visits and pictures with many cousins we never knew existed. Some were so close by that we could quickly drive to their home. I also trade e-mails with many other cousins from many different states who have helped me so much with names, dates, and some very precious pictures.
While I have gotten a lot of help from the magazine, no one has been able to help me find any information on my second great-grandfather Simpson Kilburn. By the two census I have found in Breathitt County he was born ca. 1869 in Kentucky, as were his parents. He married Martha Jane Bowman in Kentucky (possibly Jackson County). Martha was born in Jackson County, the daughter of William Major Simpson Bowman and Mary Ann Stevens. Simpson and Martha's known children were born in Breathitt County: Nora, March 1893 (married James Gross); Mary Jane, October 1894; Lilly May, July 1898; Brack, July 1899; Hattie, 1902; Opsie, after 1910; and Ollie, January 1912.
Simpson Kilburn was recorded in Breathitt County Census in 1900 as Simson Cilbourne and in 1910 as Sim Cilborn. His wife Martha Jane Bowman Kilburn died December 24, 1953 in Butler County, Ohio. Her obituary states that her husband Sim died 40 years earlier. She came to Ohio 35 years earlier. She had surviving her at that time three daughters: Mrs. Earl Muncy of Irvine, Kentucky; Mrs. Mary Anderson, Paintsville, Kentucky; and Mrs. Hattie Barnett, Hamilton, Ohio; two sons, Brack Kilburn, Hamilton, Ohio; and Ollie Kilburn, Irwin, Kentucky; and two sisters: Mrs. Hulda Barrett, Lebanon, Ohio; and Mrs. Lula Kilburn, Lowe, Kentucky.
I have always thought it odd that Martha's father's name was Simpson and she also married a man named Simpson, but family members are adamant that his name was Simpson. I would appreciate contact from anyone with information on any of the above, especially Simpson Kilburn.
Family stories vary as to what happened to Simpson Kilburn. One story says that he ran around a lot, and at one time Martha caught him with another woman. A fight broke out, and the other woman was said to have cut off Martha's hand with a knife, and Martha may have killed Simpson and the other woman. Another story says that Simpson got another woman pregnant with no answer for how Martha lost her right hand. The truth in these stories isn't known for sure. It is true that Martha Jane (Bowman) Kilburn had a wooden hand. She always wore a black glove over it (see photo at left).
Anyone with information on any of the above names please contact me. Also, I would appreciate old photos or history of Breathitt County.
Paula Behrens
28 Thornhill Drive
Hamilton, Ohio 45013
[email protected]

Biggs-James Feud
Dear Editor:
I would like information regarding the Biggs-James feud in Carter County, Kentucky. I was told that the conflict between the families began over an incident during the Civil War. I do know that my Great-Great-Grandfather James was murdered.
Jennie James Ragland
2403 Ford Avenue
Owensboro, KY 42301