Letters To The Kentucky Explorer

Readers, please feel free to write any of the following if you can help them. Our readers are so kind and many of you do help. For this we are thankful!
Bell County Web Site

Dear Editor:

I have a web site for anyone interested in Kentucky history and Bell County. The address is: http://genweb.net/KY/southeastky.html

I have the two history volumes of "History of Bell County," by Fuson. I have my cemetery page of Bell County cemeteries now at 416, with 17,000 names. I have two manuscripts about South America, a section of Bell County, and 126 pictures of Bell County taken in 1946. I have a Knox County page. I have a link to Breathitt County, and the Trimble book "History of Breathitt." I will add other counties as I find information.

I also have a surname site for all spellings of Hammonds. I have information from the census, marriages, 1,000 family group sheets, and a researcher's list. This site is for the whole world, not just my family.

I am looking for old photos of Bell County to add to my site. I am going to put the Four-Mile disaster of December 26, 1945, on the site. I would like to get a recording of the Four-Mile song to add to the site. Thanks for everything.

C. Richard Matthews

113 Paula Drive

Pineville, KY 40977

A Song From 50 Years Ago

Dear Editor:

I wish to express my appreciation for a very fine magazine. I am convinced that it is the best ever. I recommend it to all of my friends.

I am looking for a song that was around in the late 1940s, or maybe early 1950s. The title of the song, I believe, was "No Letter In The Mail Today." I don't know who wrote the song, nor do I remember who was singing it at the time. I will pay the postage, or other cost, if someone will send me a copy of the song. I would appreciate receiving the words to the song. I can remember a few of the words. Keep up the good work.

Glen Begley

273 Bowman Drive

Fairborn, OH 45324


Wants Old-Fashioned Recipe

Dear Editor:

I am looking for a recipe for "Shepherd Pie." I would like to have the old-fashioned recipe, if possible.

Thank you for any help.

Ann Hargis

415 Bastin Creek

Kings Mountain, KY 40442


Clark Family History Wanted

Dear Editor:

In my research, I have found that several lines of my family have come from different parts of Virginia. I have locations, such as several county names; also names of rivers, streams, old parishes, and other things, but I don't know where these locations are.

I am looking for copies of old maps for the time period between the French and Indian Wars to just after the Revolutionary War. Those maps would have counties listed, as well as rivers and streams.

I am also looking for information on a Thomas Clark who came to America about 1742. He came to Charleston, South Carolina. He later returned to Ireland. He came back to America, landing again at Charleston, South Carolina, where he died or was murdered.

I have found several references that he was a close relative to the father of George Rogers Clark. This relationship is the object of my inquiry. I have found a few circumstantial facts to support this relationship, but no concrete proof.

I hope that there is someone who has researched George Rogers Clark's linage that could help me find this connection. I am descended from Thomas Clark through his daughter, Nancy Agnes Clark. I have reason to believe that George Rogers Clark lived with her and her husband, James McAfee, for a while. Thank you for any help with this matter.

Luther Davenport

1419 Harrodsburg Road

Lawrenceburg, KY 40342

Collins History Of Kentucky

Dear Editor:

In the February 2000 issue of your wonderful publication, I was reading about historian J. Winston Coleman and was surprised to see mentioned Collins History of Kentucky. I have two volumes of this book. (It has been in our family for three generations.) These apparently are reprints, since the publishing date is 1912.

My Revolutionary ancestor, Capt. Abraham Chapline, is featured on page 1164, and there is even mention of my mother, Amelia Chapline, who was then attending Beaumont College (now Beaumont Inn in Harrodsburg). Other ancestors, McAfees and Alexanders, are also included, so you can understand why this is a treasured article. I wonder how many Kentuckians are fortunate enough to possess these books.

All of my family was born in Mercer County, and I lived there until I was three, and my parents moved to Washington, D. C. I have been a resident of Orange County, Virginia, since 1944. Mercer County was once a part of Orange County.

Virginia Chapline Scott Schafer

P. O. Box 665

Orange, VA 22960

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

Dear Editor:

First of all, I want to say how much I enjoy your magazine. My brother, James Miller, of Stanford, Kentucky, shares his magazine with me.

I am wanting a "Double Wedding Ring" quilt pattern, where you piece four pieces, and then sew the four pieces together to make a square.

If anyone has this pattern, I would like to have it. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for making The Kentucky Explorer so interesting.

Mrs. Donnie Shelton

30 Slate Branch Road

Crab Orchard, KY 40419

A Clay County Feud

Dear Editor:

I want to tell you that I really enjoy your magazine.

I would like to find out more about the Benge/Philpot feud that took place in Clay County, Kentucky, in the early 1900s.

Thank you for your help.

Earl Hampton

15200 Highway 39

Eubank, KY 42567


Seeks Ghost Stories

Dear Editor:

First, I want to thank you for the great piece on Pond Creek, in the February issue. I am from Pond Creek. The Kentucky Explorer is something that I can't wait to get each month.

I am looking for ghost stories from all around Kentucky, haunted places, haunted travel sites, and also any old photographs of yesterday's theaters or movie places.

I have a book for sale, Traveling Kentucky Backroads. You can order a copy by contacting me.

Sharon Hackney

415 Bastin Creek

Kings Mountain, KY 40442

e-mail: [email protected]

A "Dognapped" French Poodle

Dear Editor:

The Kentucky Explorer brings us many hours of pleasurable reading, as well as fond memories of bygone days. It has helped many of us in our genealogical research, as well as searches in other areas.

I wonder if any of your readers remember the story of a French Poodle named Muffaloo that was in our third grade reader in the late 1920s or early 1930s? The poodle was "dognapped," and I remember that I could hardly read my "lesson" for weeping, as I shared the grief of the little laddie who was the master of Muffaloo. I have not found anyone who remembers the story, or the readers in which it appeared.

Keep up the good work.

Marjorie E. Wood

314 Wood Road

Princeton, KY 42445

Once Lived At Belfry

Dear Editor:

I was reading the February issue of The Kentucky Explorer about how the Pond Creek Reunion was held every year; and it caught my interest how the people get together and manage to stay in touch with friends, neighbors, and classmates.

I am one of eight of Fred Cerecere's children. We lived in Belfry in a mining camp. Our neighbors were the Hatfields and McCoys. Troy Deskins owned a coal mine and owned a store across the railroad tracks in front of our house. Our family used to go back to the homeplace until it was sold. It ran down in the 1960s. My father worked at Eastern Coal Mine for years. My mother was from Mexico, so the people called us "the Mexicans."

If anyone remembers me or my family, please contact me. I would love to hear from you. My husband, Obie Ash, is from Neon, Kentucky. He was born and raised there. He lived there until 1950, when he came to Cleveland to work.

Esther Cereceres Ash

4122 W. 145th Street

Cleveland, OH 44135

Old-Time Seeds Wanted

Dear Editor:

I wish to thank you for printing one of the best magazines for people who want to know about Kentucky that could ever be published. It tells of Kentucky's past and present. I have kept all of the issues of the magazine to give to my grandchildren. I am sure that they will cherish them.

I would like to obtain bean seeds from the 1930s and 1940s to raise and share with people before the seed companies cross and pollinate them. We used to name seeds after the people who gave the seeds to us.

Keep the Explorer going.

Marcus Combs

535 Madison Street

Beaver Dam, KY 42320

The Shackleford Family

Dear Editor:

Thank you so much for printing my article on my Shackleford great-great-great-grandparents in the January 2000 issue. I've had such nice letters and phone calls in response to it. There are two corrections I need to make to the article on page 67, in the first full paragraph. Where it read "One hundred pounds cash to Henry, Sr.'s children" and "If Henry, Sr. wanted the children's money," both phrased should read Henry, Jr., rather than Henry, Sr.

Thank you also for printing the very appealing picture of Paul Preston, Jr. and "Bossie" on page 91 of the same issue. We all enjoyed it so much, and I think it could win a prize in a photo contest.

We continue to enjoy the magazine, and we are learning more about our beautiful home state. We eagerly look forward to future issues. Thanks for a great magazine.

Lorraine Miracle

P. O. Box 6205

Bryan, TX 77805


Preached In Owen County

Dear Editor:

I am doing research on particular Baptist churches and preachers of the 1800s in Kentucky. My fourth great-grandfather was Tobias Wilhoite, a particular Baptist preacher. His church was in Owen County. I think the name of it was Old Cedar Baptist Church. He possibly preached at El Bethel Baptist Church in Owen County. He belonged to the Franklin Association. Tobias died on June 9, 1864. I would like all and any information concerning him and the churches that I can obtain.

You have a great magazine. I read each copy at least once, if not twice. Thank you for your help.

J. Wilhoite

P. O. Box 5325

Mayfield, KY 42066

Recalling Yancey, Kentucky

Dear Editor:

As a child in the 1950s, I grew up in a coal mining community in Harlan County, Kentucky. This community was/is Yancey, Kentucky. I was born and raised there, as well as my father, and his father before him. My father's name was Stanley Fee, Sr., and his father was John Dee Fee, Sr. My father was born in Yancey (then Slater's Fork), Kentucky in 1902. This was long before the coal mining companies began to get a foothold in Harlan County. The Fee family heritage in this area goes back to the early 1800s. David Fee was the first Fee to settle in this area after the War of 1812.

The coal companies are gone from this area now; and along with them, went the homes, schools, and churches. Nothing remains now that would be a reminder of past times there. Their community had become a ghost town reminiscent of the ghost towns of the West, with the exception of the absence of the hundreds of dwellings that were there. The only item that remains is the Fee family cemetery, which is situated on top of the mountain near what was then known as Fighting Gap. This is a low gap in the mountain between Yancey and Smith, Kentucky. The exact location of the cemetery can be found on the U. S. G. S. 7.5 minute topographic map of the Rose Hill Virginia quadrangle. The community of Yancey can be found on a similar map of the Harlan, Kentucky quadrangle. If you are interested, you can obtain these maps from the United States Geological Survey, or the Kentucky Geological Survey, Lexington, Kentucky.

I would be interested in hearing from anyone who has ties to the area of Yancey; and anyone who has photos of the old commissary, Methodist Church, Baptist Church, the old coal tipple, and the school.

Thank you, Kentucky Explorer, for a fine publication. Keep up the good work.

Kenton Fee

117 Fee Drive

Cawood, KY 40815


e-mail: [email protected]

Dale's One-Room Schoolhouse

Dear Editor:

I need the help of you and your readers. I'm looking for a picture of a one-room schoolhouse and a variety store in which the Dale, Kentucky, Post Office was located. The land was owned by Henry Clay Keeton, of Magoffin County, Kentucky, in the early 1800s and early 1900s. The land is still in the Keeton family. The Dale, Kentucky, Post Office was changed to Cutuno, Kentucky.

Henry Clay Keeton, of Johnson Fork, was my grandfather. He died in 1929. My grandmother, Mellie Susan Hoskins Keeton, was the postmaster at Dale, Kentucky. She taught all eight grades in the one-room schoolhouse. My father, Orley Rickey Keeton, and my first cousin, Hubert Caston Keeton, taught school in the one-room school. Rickey Keeton moved to Cannel City, Kentucky, around 1935.

Any help will be appreciated. I will be glad to reimburse you for copies of pictures or other information you might have about the Keetons.

Anna Rose Arnold

5885 Highway 227

Carrollton, KY 41008


Seeks Father's Grave

Dear Editor:

I want to thank you for publishing a great book, with great photos.

I am looking for my father's grave. His name was Donald Butcher. He was born in 1908 in Inez, Kentucky. He worked on drilling rigs for a gas company. He was the son of Richard (born 1886, Johnson County) and Mary Haney Butcher (born 1889, Martin County). The Butcher Cemetery is at Whitehouse, Kentucky. I am not sure if my father is buried there or elsewhere.

Thank you for any help.

Norma J. Butcher Burgess

3414 W. 54th Street

Cleveland, OH 44102

e-mail: [email protected]

A Real American Hero

Dear Editor:

I just received my first copy of The Kentucky Explorer, and I couldn't put it down, until I had read it halfway through. Thank you for publishing such an enlightening and informative magazine for former and current Kentuckians. I am a native of Clay County. I lived there the first 18 years of my life. Although I have lived in the Cincinnati area for the last 46 years, I still like to read about interesting things in the Bluegrass state.

The February 2000 issue has a very special meaning to me. The article on page 26, "Clay County Native Describes Atrocities In Nazi POW Camp," was about my uncle, Mr. Martin Sizemore. This man will never say it, but he truly is an American hero.

Today, far too many people are called heros, just because they hit 70 home runs, score 36 touchdowns, or score 50 points in a basketball game. Those people are just doing what they are paid to do, or are very gifted in some way. A real hero is someone who puts his or her life on the line for his family or country. Mr. Sizemore is here today because of the grace of God. There are many more veterans who never came back from that terrible war. They paid the ultimate price. They are heros. Those who somehow came back home, may they never be forgotten. They are indeed heros.

I was just a ten-year-old boy when Mr. Sizemore came home, after being thrown into a German concentration camp and nearly dying. His mother owned a small farm, and I worked on the hillsides along with other family members. I remember looking at my uncle and thinking, "God, please don't let him die." He was so thin and malnourished. Today, he is doing very well for the most part. Thank you for publishing his story.

Also, I want to thank T. C. Sizemore for suggesting to me to subscribe to The Kentucky Explorer. He was right. It is a fine magazine.

Ray C. Lewis

2584 S. Kathwood Circle

Cincinnati, OH 45236

Editor's Note: This is only about half the letters found in the April 2000 issue. For remaining letters, stories, photos, and other features, get your hardcopy of the Kentucky Explorer at your favorite news stand or vendor. Thank You!