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

October 2012

Woodsbend General Store
Dear Editor:
Does anyone remember trading or know of anyone who traded at the Woodsbend General Store, located at Woodsbend in Morgan County, Kentucky? The business was operated by my parents, John Burns and Zona Fugate May. The store opened in the early 1920s and closed in the 1970s.
I am compiling a scrapbook of memories about my parents' store and the Woodsbend Post Office.
The old store building no longer exists, as it blew away during the May 2, 2012, tornado. I am interested in any photos of the location of the store after the tornado.
Any memories or photos would be appreciated.
Edith May Gunnell
4918 HWY 705
West Liberty, KY 41472

Grandfather's Oral History
Dear Editor:
I grew up in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, in the 1950s. Once a year the family would drive up the snake-like road to visit the grandparents in Maysville, Mason County.
When we arrived, Grandpa would take me down to the basement, where he smoked cigars, drank Bourbon, and listened to Waite Hoyte on the "Burger Beer Baseball Network."
One day Grandpa told me the bricks in his house came from the Libby (Yankee) Prison in Richmond, Virginia.
According to Grandpa, some time after the Civil War a Yankee decided to take Libby Prison apart brick by brick and ship the brick to Chicago for the World's Fair. The train wrecked near Maysville, and my grandfather built his house.
I would like to know if anyone has heard this story?
Charles J. Dwyer
PSC 517 Box RCV
FPO AP 96517

Honaker Family Association
Holds 24th Annual Reunion

Dear Editor:
The 24th annual nationwide Honaker Family Reunion was held on August 10-11, 2012, around Honaker, Virginia, with accommodations in Lebanon, Virginia, with about 100 in attendance. The highlight of the reunion was a visit to the Coal Miners Memorial at Richlands, Virginia, which honors nearly 1,100 coal miners from surrounding counties who died in mine-related accidents. Among these were four Honaker men including Silas and his son, Fullen, who were instantly killed in a mine explosion on their first day in the Yukon Mine at Susanna, West Virginia.
The Honaker Family Association is a nationwide organization of some 300 members descended from the Swiss ancestor Hans Jacob Honegger who was born in 1718, and immigrated to America, landing in Philadelphia on August 30, 1749. Hans' first wife and his infant son both died on the voyage and were buried at sea. After serving as an indentured servant, Hans married Maria Goetz on July 8, 1753. He died in 1796 in Montgomery County, Virginia, leaving ten sons and four daughters. Three of these children moved to Kentucky and contributed to its pioneer development.
Peter Honaker was born in 1762 in Frederick County, Maryland. He served with General George Rogers Clark on the expedition to Vincennes, Indiana, and received bounty land for his service. Peter married Mary Music, and moved to Montgomery County, Kentucky, where he died in 1806, leaving six children.
Mary Honaker was born around 1767 in Frederick County, Maryland, married Henry Smith, and moved to Pike County, Kentucky, where she died after 1825, leaving seven children.
Issac Honaker was born around 1775 in Dunmore County, Virginia, married Susannah Penner, and moved to Butler County, Kentucky, where he established the Honaker Ferry across Green River. Isaac died in Butler County, Kentucky, in 1796 leaving a son, John. The Honaker Ferry was continuously owned and operated through five generations by Isaac and his descendants for 153 years and is credited with opening up all of South- Central Kentucky to development.
Charles Whalin
Volunteer Membership Director
2302 Newmarket Drive
Louisville, KY 40222

These are only two of the many queries inside The Kentucky Explorer.