Each month, The Kentucky
Explorer magazine receives literally scores of letters from
our faithful readers. Among those letters we often find queries,
ranging from requests for words to songs and poems to trying
to locate former classmates and military buddies of long ago.
Here are a few queries from March
In Knott County
I enjoy reading The Kentucky Explorer very much and look forward
to each issue.
I was pleasantly surprised by the response to other letters I
have written, so I thought I would solicit the help of readers
My grandfather, John Lee Ashley, lived from 1894 to 1971 and
most of his days were spent living in Knott County, Kentucky.
I'm wondering if anyone might know where he went to school. According
to the U. S. Census reports I have of his early years, the reports
indicated he was able to read and write as a child.
Perhaps someone knows of a school that existed that long ago
in Knott County where Grandpa might have attended. The earliest
school I have come across in my research is the Hindman Settlement
School, which opened around 1905. I contacted the school, and
they were not able to find any records that far back.
Also, if anyone has an old photo of John Ashley at all, please
let me know. He worked for both the Knott Coal Corporation and
the Wisconsin Coal Corporation as a coal miner in Knott County.
Perhaps someone has an old photo showing some of the workers
at one of those mines. Or maybe someone has an old photo of John
showing him when he was much younger.
John Ashley was married to Norma (Combs) Ashley, and they lived
for a long time in Yellow Creek near the old school there.
2400 W. Clinton Street, Apt. 15
Goshen, IN 46526
Fire Down Below
I would like to know the title of the song that was featured
in the movie Fire Down Below. The movie was partly filmed in
Hazard in Perry County and Jackson in Breathitt County, Kentucky,
several years ago.
I was born and reared in Pike County. I left for a few years
but came back home.
I was one of 11 children. My parents were Bessie May Baker Anderson
and Thomas Anderson of Ashcamp.
In July 2004 we started a family reunion. I have hundreds of
cousins that I had not met, but now by letter and telephone we
are getting acquainted.
Alvin Anderson was my grandfather's brother. Alvin and Easter
Anderson were featured in the November 2005 issue of The Explorer.
About five or six years ago there was an article in The Explorer
about my sister, Margaret Hall, who made tapes for the blind.
If any reader has a copy of this magazine I would appreciate
hearing from you.
108 Swiney Road
Elkhorn City, KY 41522
I am searching for information on an attempted bank robbery in
1932 at Allen, Floyd County, Kentucky, where my great-grandfather,
Walter Wallen, was injured by the would-be robbers. He later
died from complications.
A Floyd County newspaper reported that after their attempt at
the robbery of the Floyd County Bank at Allen, two would-be robbers
fled to the neighboring hills. Leffie Hobson, 34 years old, formerly
of Auxier was captured near Allen. He admitted participation
in the robbery. His companion was still at large. Another man,
whose name was given as Frank Sillman, was held in the county
jail as a suspect after having been arrested on the Mayo Trail
below Allen. At least three men were believed to have been connected
with the robbery attempt, and an unnamed woman was sought as
Leaving Allen in a Wallys-Knight sedan, the would-be robbers
fled in the direction of Prestonsburg. Rounding a curve near
the home of D. B. May, a mile below Allen, the auto struck a
horse ridden by Walter Wallen of Dwale, seriously injuring both
horse and rider. Mr. Wallen was taken to Beaver Valley Hospital
in Martin, where it was found that his leg was broken in several
places. Walter died from complications with gangrene. His horse
was so badly injured that it was necessary to destroy the animal.
The woman mentioned in the case was driving a coupe. She appeared
at the scene of the wreck offering use of the car to take Wallen
to the hospital and was later seen driving to and fro along the
Mayo Trail. It is suspected that she was following the sedan
in which the bandits fled, planning to have them switch cars
and make a dash to escape capture.
The wrecked automobile bore license plate No. 455-082 issued
in Johnson County to Estill Robinson of East Point. The license
plate was reported by Mr. Robinson as stolen.
Any information would be appreciated.
4236 Hickory Lane, #301
Sioux City, IA 51106