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 May 2013
Formerly Of McCreary County
My wife and I enjoy The Kentucky Explorer and look forward to
it each month.
I grew up in McCreary County, Kentucky, and came to Sidney, Ohio,
in 1955. We go back to Kentucky when we can.
Keep all those wonderful old photos coming in the magazine.
Rev. Leamon D. Branson
407 E. Lyndhurst Street
Sidney, OH 45365
Reared In Perry County;
I enjoy every page of The Kentucky Explorer.
I was born and reared at Bonnyman, Perry County, Kentucky, on
a small farm where my parents raised everything from fruits and
vegetables to popcorn and peanuts.
I would like to buy heirloom seeds, such as white half-runners,
and the type of peas (I can't remember the name) that can be
cooked with the shells, and also some muskmelon seeds.
Anna M. Baker
2390 Coffee Pot Road
Austin, IN 47102
The French-Eversole Feud
I would like to share this old news clipping from 1889, which
reports on a battle that lasted about 52 hours. The John McKnight
mentioned in the article was of the Eversole faction of the widely-publicized
French-Ever-sole feud. John was my grandfather, and he had a
brother named Preston.
"Reports from the fight of the French-Eversole factions
in Perry County continue to be conflicting, but, there is no
doubt that a desperate encounter commenced at Hazard, Perry County,
Kentucky, and is perhaps yet in progress."
A letter dated November 11, 1889, from Hyden, Leslie County,
"A fight occurred in Hazard Thursday, beginning at 4:00
p.m. and continuing 52 hours, resulting in the death of three
or four and the wounding of several others. About 50 on one side
and 15 on the other were engaged. It would have continued longer,
but the ammunition gave out on the Eversole side, and they left
the town in the hands of the French party. Persons from that
section reaching here today say that Ed Campbell and John McKnight,
of the Eversole party, were instantly killed Thursday, and Jesse
Fields, Jailer of Perry County, and four others on the French
side are badly wounded. Fields will certainly die.
"Since the soldiers were in Perry a year ago, things have
been comparatively quiet, though several persons have been killed
at intervals. B. F. French, the leader of one of the factions,
is engaged in merchandise in Breathitt County, near the Perry
line, and very seldom goes to Hazard, but when he does he is
accompanied by a strongly-armed crowd. He stands indicted in
the Perry Circuit Court, charged with complicity in the assassination
of J. C. Eversole, which occurred years ago. Nearly all the parties
most intimately related to Eversole and otherwise friendly to
him have been away from Perry County for several months, fearing
to go there at the risk of their lives. French was present at
Hazard during the fight Thursday and Friday.
"County Judge George Eversole, a brother of J. C. Eversole,
is here tonight, but could not be seen. Further news from Hazard
is anxiously awaited.
251 Beattyville Road
Jackson, KY 41339
A Sad Memory:
Could They Have Been Angels?
I was living in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, in 1969,
at Hill Court, across from the Christian Church.
It was around 7:30 p.m. and I heard a knock at my door. When
I opened the door, I could hardly believe my eyes. There stood
a little girl, around eight years old, holding a baby girl. Neither
had on shoes or a coat. It was a week before Christmas, and it
was snowing and bitter cold.
I told the little girl to come in with her sister. I knew they
had to be freezing.
The little girl said, "Mister, they are giving away clothes
at churc, and Daddy dropped me off to get some. I asked my wife
to see if our daughter, who was age nine, had any spare coats.
My wife returned with a coat and a pair of shoes. We also gave
her a blanket to wrap her little sister. The girl sat at the
window, watching the church. Finally, a light came on and the
girl said, "They are there now."
I took $15 from my billfold and gave it to the little girl and
told her to not give the money to anyone, that it was for her
and her sister.
My heart was breaking. The little girl hugged me and thanked
me for the coat, shoes, blanket, and money. She left as soon
as the door went shut.
I had to cry when I got to thinking what kind of father would
drop off two little children in the dead of winter and drive
off. I asked myself could they have been angels and had chosen
my home to test my family.
Today, I'm 74 years old, and many years have passed, but I still
wonder about it all.
James E. McCoy
399 Seminole Trail
Georgetown, KY 40324
just samples of the many letters in each issue of The Explorer.