May 2009

Scroll down and view just a sample of the many

photos you will see each month

in The Kentucky Explorer magazine.

Carole Sue Sparks Thomas, P. O. Box 35, Delano, TN 37325; [email protected]; 423/263-0541, shares these photos and writes: "My grandmother, Martha Ann Sparks Bringer, passed away in 1979. She and my grandfather, Elijah Sparks (bottom photo), grew up around Station Camp near Irvine in Estill County, Kentucky. My father, Edward D. Sparks, often spoke of his childhood and of the hard work it took to scratch a living from the soil. I'm sure there are many relatives still living in the area that I know nothing about. As I get older, I am more interested in my family history and the areas that my family talked about. While visiting with my aunt, Dixie Sparks Hardy, in Florida, I asked if she might have something from my grandmother that I may have as a keepsake. My grandmother had stayed with Aunt Dixie for several years before she died. After thinking for a few minutes, she got up and left the room returning with my grandmother's old photo album. She stated I could have it, and maybe I would appreciate it more. Little did she know that she gave me so many memories from my grandmother's life. Many of the photos have no names or information. Aunt Dixie gave me what information she could remember, but there are so many photos unidentified. The photo shown above is one of the unidentified photos. It was possibly taken in Estill County. I am hoping readers can help with the identifications. Please feel free to contact me with any information."

Jennifer Fussnecker, 115 W. Home Avenue, Trenton, OH 45067;, shares this photo and writes: "I have been working on my family genealogy for a while. My dad's side of the family is from Kentucky. I want to share this photo of my dad's mother's family. From left is my great-grandfather, Joseph Franklin Prichard; my great-grandmother, Melissa J. Bundy Prichard; my grandmother, Nettie Prichard; and Nettie's brothers, Hubert, Robert, Clayton, and baby Dexter, who is sitting on Melissa's lap. Joseph was a farmer and a jack-of-all-trades. He, as well as many others in my family, was very capable when it came to any kind of hand work. Joseph built a stone wall around a curve on a mountain road and the curve was named Prichard's curve. My aging uncle believes that the wall should still be standing somewhere in Lee County. I would like to know if anyone has any information on this wall. Joseph and Melissa were divorced. Melissa made her way to Ohio and Joseph stayed in Beattyville. I have been informed that Joseph had a relationship with a married woman. Someone cut the brakelines on Joseph's car, and he, of course, lost control and plunged to his death over, perhaps, Bear Paw Mountain on July 10, 1928. I would like to know more about this accident. Joseph was the son of Jilson Prichard and Elizabeth Holland or Hollingsworth. Jilson was the son of John Prichard and Elizabeth Ward. It is thought that Elizabeth may have been part Indian, but I have not been able to find the evidence that supports this story. John Prichard served in the Union Army during the Civil War; however, it appears that he deserted at Cave City on November 5, 1862, about one year after enlistment. His wife, Elizabeth, was receiving a widow's pension. I would like to know if he took advantage of the pardon and came back to the Army, but I don't know how to find such information. I doubt if they would have given his widow a pension if he were a deserter and was executed for his crime. Melissa Bundy was the daughter of Benjamin Bundy of Virginia and Eady(?). I would like information on Eady. It appears Eady died when Melissa and her two sisters were very young. I don't know anything else about the Bundy family. I would appreciate any information on my Kentucky family."


Wayne Whitaker of Letcher County, Kentucky, operates a hand quern gristmill, which he built by hand, at the annual Gristmill and Old Engine Weekend in Powell County, Kentucky, in 2008. In making a pair of stones for this mill, he estimates it took one million hammer blows. This mill, along with others, will be demonstrated at the Gristmill and Old Engine event scheduled for Friday and Saturday, May 8-9, 2009, in Powell County, Kentucky. See complete article on how Mr. Whitaker built this gristmill beginning on page 17 of May 2009 issue of The Kentucky Explorer.
(Photo courtesy of Wayne Whitaker.)

David R. Hereford of Prestonsburg, Kentucky, shares this photo given to him by his daughter, Laura Goble, 4124 Boone Creek Road, Lexington, KY 40509, of Alex and Agnes Auxier Spradlin and their son, Alex Harmison, at their home in Auxier, Floyd County, Kentucky. Date of photo not given.


Betty Gillock Richardson, P. O. Box 343, Pleasureville, KY 40057, shares this photo taken ca. 1918 in the Ghent Barbershop, Ghent, Carroll County, Kentucky. The man in the chair on the right is Betty's grandfather, Sim Lowry, 1871-1922, the son of Patterson Lowry and Lorena Thompson Lowry. Sim was the husband of Birdie Messink. Betty would like more information on the others in the photo. Feel free to contact her with any help.

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The Kentucky Explorer Contains Over 100 Photos Each Month.