Reader Queries

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

December 2008/January 2009

Searching For Gravesite
Of Abijah "Bige" Couch

Dear Editor:
When I found the graves of my grandfather and great-grandfather in Owsley and Clay counties of Kentucky, there were only rocks marking the graves. Someone had cut their names into the rocks.
My great-grandfather, Elijah Couch, fought in the Civil War, and "14th KY CAL" was etched into his rock. It was then that I decided to try making new tombstones for them. I went to a stone quarry in north Alabama and bought some stones. I used a hammer and chisel to make tombstones for them. Later, we placed a military stone at Elijah's grave.
As of now, I have hand-carved 91 tombstones and still have a few more to do, not only for the Couch families, but for anyone that needs a stone. These stones are for older graves that are about to be lost forever. I have not charged anything for the stones or taken any money for gasoline to take the stones to Kentucky. I am not doing it for the living; I am doing it for the memory of the person buried in that grave.
I would like to place a stone at the grave of my grandfather's brother, Abijah "Bige" Couch, who is buried in the Bellevue Cemetery in Danville. When we went there to find his grave, we were told he was buried at plot 482, but could not tell where it was located. They showed us the area, but unless we know ourselves which plot it is, we cannot place a stone. There are many unmarked plots in that area.
Bige died December 25, 1944. There was a big snow, and the family were unable to take him back to the hills of Owsley County. The funeral, casket, and clothes cost $45.
All of Bige's brothers now have a tombstone, and I would like so much to place one there for him.
If there is anyone that knows if Bige Couch was buried next to one of their relatives, please feel free to contact us.
Marion and Martha Couch
3500 Margerum Annex
Cherokee, AL 35616

Would Like To Find
Dexter Cornett

Dear Editor:
In 2001 I located a man with whom I had taken basic training with at Fort Knox in 1949. We both made it through the Korean War. While reading his letter over recently, I see he mentioned a Dexter Cornett from Hardin County. He thought a lot of Dexter. Somehow I failed to try and find Dexter. If he or anyone who knows of him would, could they please write to Marvin McCloskey, 29699 County Road 215, Bangor, MI 49001; 606/427-5747.
I hope they contact each other and can visit to talk of old times. The letters are the first part of The Kentucky Explorer that I read when the magazine arrives. I have never found a magazine any better.
John Watson
7287 Murnan Road
Cold Spring, KY 41076

Thanks To Readers;
Hibiscus Seeds Wanted

Dear Editor:
I would like to thank readers who took the time to answer my request for a song and poem. I received so many letters that I could not send thank you notes to all of the replies.
I would like to have some pink and red hibiscus seeds.
I will send a SASE if anyone has any available.
Doris Jean Fletcher
485 Deepwell Wood Road
Crab Orchard, KY 40419