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

June 2014

Photo Wanted
Of Stonecoal School Building

Dear Editor:
I am interested in a photo of the Stonecoal School building in Garrett, Floyd County, Kentucky.
I would like the photo to add to the collection of the Garrett Historical Society.
Randy Bentley
P. O. Box 221
Garrett, KY 41630

Brashear Family History
Dear Editor:
I am searching for a copy of The Brashear Family History. I am unsure of the author or when/where it was published, but I saw the book many years ago.
Teri Strong
4530 Lake Lowery Road
Haines City, FL 33844

Are There Big Cats In Kentucky?
Dear Editor:
Dennis Feeback of Frankfort, Kentucky, wrote an article about big cats in Kentucky in the December 2009 issue, page 23, of The Explorer. He wrote that this subject has always interested him.
He has heard or read that they have been seen in Fayette, Kenton, Crittenden, Scott, McCreary, and Whitley counties, as well as other places. I have also read that they have been seen in Perry, Harlan, Harrison, Campbell, and Graves counties.
I have never seen one of these big cats, but that doesn't mean they do not exist.
These cats are black, brown, tan, or other colors. They have been called panthers, painters, pumas, mountain lions, cougars, or catamounts.
State wildlife associates say what people are seeing are feral house cats, but house cats do not have a blood-curdling scream such as what witnesses say they have heard.
I think these cats have always been around, especially in Eastern Kentucky.
Gary Ison of Lexington, Kentucky, wrote an article which appeared in the April 2013 issue of The Explorer. His was the best big cat story I have ever read. In that article he wrote: "Grandpa Hampton had told me a few stories about his father going on hunting trips in the 1880s and having to fend off black panthers at night around the campfire that he and an Indian friend had built for such protection."
Ison went on to write in his article, "Just as I got to the gate, I heard a sound like none other I had ever heard."
If one hears a big cat scream, that sound will never be forgotten.
Animals killed by these big cats include hogs, deer, chickens, pets, and others. In Colorado it is said these cats have killed people.
These big cats are found in Ohio. I feel that if they are that close to Kentucky, it is safe to say they are here.
James Steed
2465 Eastway Drive
Lexington, KY 40503

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