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 June 2009
To Be Featured
The 31st Annual Magoffin County Founders' Days will be celebrated the first week of September 2009, just before Labor Day. Since 1979 the Magoffin County Historical Society, located in Salyersville, Kentucky, has sponsored the family-oriented event which spotlights a different family surname each year, complete with parades, pageants, and contests. This year "The Mann/Manns Clan" is being featured and the historical society is gathering family information on the earliest known Mann/Manns ancestors who settled in Eastern Kentucky.
The earliest members of the Mann family to settle in the area appear to be two brothers and a sister, all born in the late 1770s in Virginia. The group has found that most people who have Mann ancestry descend from Samuel Mann whose children were William, married Rhoda Howard; Sally, married Reuben Arnett; John, married Lucinda Craft; Thomas, married Eliza Craft; and Mary. No descendants of Samuel's brother, William Mann, are presently known. Samuel's sister, Nancy Mann, married Jeremiah Patrick, and they had at least three children: Jeremiah, Jr.; Delila; and James.
Another line of ancestry being compiled leads to Charles Mann, born 1796, and Lucinda Whitaker Giles, whose son, Joel Richard Mann, was born in 1831. Joel was first married to Martha Ratliff and had a daughter, Patty Mann, who married Henry Green Gardner. Children of Joel's second marriage to Nancy Caroline Baker were Minnie B. Mann and Henry Camille Mann. Minnie married Tone Gardner, and Henry married Florence Gardner and Susan Hyte.
The historical society holds meetings each month on the third Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at 191 S. Church Street in Salyersville. Everyone is welcome to attend.
P. O. Box 222
Salyersville, KY 41465
Thanks To Explorer Readers
I would like to thank Brett Young for the CD and the songbook I ordered recently which was advertised in The Kentucky Explorer. Also, thanks to Bob O'Flynn for the tomato seeds I requested.
I think there are more honest people in Kentucky than anywhere else.
I really enjoy the magazine.
806 Trust Way Court
Mason, OH 45040
Thanks For Song Lyrics
I want to thank those who answered my request for the words to the old song Ezekiel's Bone Yard. I got many responses, and I am thankful for each one.
I enjoy The Kentucky Explorer and tell everyone about the magazine.
Keep up the good work.
W. R. Lloyd
5311 E. Manslick Road
Louisville, KY 40219
Revisiting The Floyd County
Bus Crash of 1958
As a young boy growing up in Georgetown, Scott County, Kentucky, my parents and I would often make the brief, two-hour trek to Prestonsburg to visit family. My mother grew up in Floyd County and spent her entire youth there until 1955, when most of her family uprooted to Michigan when her father found work there. Just three years later, tragedy struck Floyd County when a school bus carrying 48 children crashed on the morning of February 28th. The bus careened into the Big Sandy River, quickly sinking into the dark and violent waters that had swollen to a depth of 30 feet. Although 22 of the children on board managed to swim to safety, 26 children, as well as the driver of the bus, perished in the accident.
In the years that followed, I often wondered what had become of the 22 children who survived the accident, but more importantly I wondered how the families of the victims were able to cope with these most unimaginable circumstances. Last year, inspired by an article in the Lexington Herald Leader that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the crash, I decided to make a documentary film about the tragedy. I began researching the accident, accumulating pictures, newspaper clippings, and conducting several interviews with those who were personally touched by the tragedy.
The film, which will be completed in early summer 2010, is titled The Very Worst Thing, and it will be shown theatrically at film festivals across the country, bringing the story of the bus crash a brand new audience who might never have heard of the incident. More importantly, I hope to bring a better understanding of the strength, resolve, and perseverance of the people of Floyd County and Eastern Kentucky as a whole.
As I move closer to post-production, I am still searching for video footage from the crash site, and I am hoping that someone reading this article might assist me. During the two-day search for the bus that fateful February, WSAZ-TV, out of Huntington, West Virginia, sent a television news crew to the river to cover the story, and they took video of the scene. The footage was eventually donated by WSAZ to Marshall University, however Marshall's library lent the footage out to a private individual, and it was never returned. According to Marshall University the footage was soon reported lost in a fire.
According to some people I have spoken to, the footage aired sporadically throughout the years on local television, occasionally on programs that would deal with the Kentucky history or life in Appalachia. Two people claimed to have clips of the footage on KET many years ago, and one Ashland resident says he thinks he saw it on a military newsreel while serving in Germany just days after the crash.
If anyone knows where I can find a copy of this footage, or has a program that might contain the footage, please let me know.
Reared In Lincoln County
I enjoy The Kentucky Explorer very much and look forward to its arrival each month.
I was born and reared on a farm in Lincoln County, Kentucky. I can identify with many stories in the magazine, some of which bring tears and some laughter.
I have lived in different states, but to me there is none other like Kentucky.
1219 Lakeview Drive
Somerset, KY 42603