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 2010


"Kentucky's Giant"
Dear Editor:
I just finished reading the article about "Kentucky's Giant," Captain Martin Van Buren Bates, in the February 2010 issue of The Kentucky Explorer. He was my great-great-great-uncle on my mother's side. The article stated that he and his first wife, Anna Swan, the Giantess of Nova Scotia, had no children. They actually had two children, the first died at childbirth, and the second child lived 11 hours.
Captain Martin Van Buren Bates and Anna Swan met in 1870. They went on a tour in England in 1871. They met Queen Victoria in June 1871. They were married June 17, 1781, at Saint Martin-in-the-Fields Church in London. As wedding presents, Queen Victoria gave Anna Swan a cluster diamond ring and Captain Bates a watch and chain.
On May 19, 1872, Mrs. Bates gave birth to a daughter in London who died at birth. She was 27 inches in length and weighed about 18 pounds. Captain and Mrs. Bates settled in Seville, Ohio, in 1874. On January 18, 1879, Mrs. Bates gave birth to a son. He died on January 19th, 11 hours after birth. He weighed 23 3/4 pounds and measured 30 inches in length. His feet were five-and-one-half inches long. Mrs. Bates died in 1889 at 49 years of age, and Captain Bates died in 1919 at 74 years of age. He remarried in 1900 to a woman of normal size.
Captain and Mrs. Bates are buried at Mound Hill Cemetery in Seville, Ohio. Captain Bates had a statue of a young woman in the replica of Mrs. Bates as a young girl erected over her grave.
Captain Bates was 7' 7", and Mrs. Bates was 7' 9".
Dana J. Dwenger
13377 N. Penntown Road
Sunman, IN 47041


Interested In Robinson Creek One-Room Schools
Dear Editor:
I would like to thank everyone who sent seeds that I requested. I enjoy planting different garden seeds.
Also, I would like to get any information or photos on the one-room school that was located at the head of Robinson Creek in Pike County, Kentucky, on Fed Hall's land. Two of the teachers were Nobel Newson and Dorothy Newson Damron.
I am also interested in the one-room school at Little Fork. One of the teachers I remember was Joe Jack Milam.
If any reader has information on the students who attended these schools or any photos to share, I would appreciate hearing from you.
Edith Stone
355 Park Avenue
North Vernon, IN 47265


Last Dollar I Ever Took
Without Earning It

Dear Editor:
I so look forward to The Kentucky Explorer. My husband and I read it and then pass it on to others. We both try to keep up on what goes on today through the news media.
I spent the first 12 years of my life in Nicholasville, Jessamine County, Kentucky. We lived on Central Avenue and would go down Oak Street on our way home from school.
I had taken one dollar from my mother's purse. In the 1940s that was a lot. I was thinking how I was going to explain to my sister how I came up with that dollar. So, I dropped it, picked it up, and exclaimed, "Oh, look what I found!" Judge Brumfield was working in his garden beside the sidewalk. By this time I was thinking I was one smart cookie. I asked him if he had lost a dollar. He felt in his pocket and said, "Yes, I did." I passed it to him through the fence. I never forgot that incident.
Of course, I told my mother years later. That was the last dollar I ever took without earning it.
I do wonder if the Judge ever remembered it.
Faye Benningfield
2196 Janlyn Road
Louisville, KY 40299


These are just samples of the many letters in each issue of The Explorer.