Letters To The Kentucky Explorer - Shown without photos, etc.

Letters Which Appeared In The Sept. Issue:

Ghost Stories Wanted

Dear Editor:

Thank you for having such a great magazine to read. It has stories from everywhere. It is good to have the past years remembered.

I am looking for ghost stories from around Kentucky and Tennessee. Also, known witch tales and any old history on Indian burial grounds are desired.

I also have for sale a book entitled, "Traveling Kentucky's Back Roads," Vol. 1 and 2. Also for sale are the following books: "Christmas Stories," "Family Tales Around Kentucky," and "Christmas Stories Of Long Ago." Each book costs $19.95.

Thanks for your help.

Sharon Hackney

415 Bastin Creek

Kings Mountain, KY 40442

Left Buckhorn In 1944

Dear Editor:

I lived at Buckhorn, Kentucky until 1944. I graduated from high school in 1944, from Witherspoon College High School. The name of the school has changed. It was founded by Mr. Harvey S. Murdock, a fine gentleman from New York.

I have relatives living in Jackson, Kentucky.

Mable S. Doss

131 Inca Road

Savannah, GA 31406

Will Share Family Photos

Dear Editor:

My mom's sister-in-law, Beulah Bullock, was married to Jim Begley and also, Walter Raleigh Woods. They were both from the Leslie County area and were cousins. Aunt Beulah passed away in 1996, and I have some family pictures and items that really belong to Uncle Jim's and Uncle Raleigh's family. Uncle Jim passed away in 1960, and Uncle Raleigh passed away in 1985. Uncle Jim had several daughters, and Uncle Raleigh had one daughter that I know of.

The information I have from Uncle Jim's memorial records says his parents were John Begley, Sr. and Eve Hignite Begley. John's parents were Black Henry Begley and Polly Baker Begley. I have a photostatic copy of a birth record for Uncle Raleigh (Sir Walter Raleigh Woods) listing his parents as Pleasie Woods and Alice Begley.

If anyone from these families would like to have these pictures, I will gladly send them.

Janet Cook

2239 Bantas Creek Road

Eaton, OH 45320

e-mail: [email protected]

Algoma Coal Mine

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the wonderful magazine. My husband and I enjoy it very much.

In the May 1999 issue of The Kentucky Explorer, on page 24 and 25, the story of "Perry County Coal Mines Before 1936," left one out. It was the Algoma mine in Lothair. My father worked there. His name was Ellison Young, and he had a brother named Jim Young, who also worked there.

In late 1928 or early 1929, Ellison was injured by a ceiling slate falling on him. Jim, by himself, got the slate from Ellison. Later, it took six men to lift that slate. I am hoping someone who reads The Kentucky Explorer knows more about this accident. I understand that Ellison also worked at the Sapphire Coal Company. It could have been in this mine that the accident happened.

Also, on page four, some pictures of Perry County coal miners did not give any names. Does anyone know their names? Could one be my father, Ellison? I was only a year old when the accident happened, and I would not know a picture of my father. I do not have a picture of him at that time in his life.

If anyone has information about Ellison Young or the mine accident, I would love to hear from them.

Ruth Young Stephen

183 N. Second Street

Camden, OH 45311

Working On Turkey Creek Book

Dear Editor:

I need the help of your readers. I am collecting and assembling a pictorial and map book with hopes that it will be published by the Breathitt County Historical Society. It concerns the Turkey Creek region of Breathitt County, Kentucky. It will be about the area off of State Route 30, along Turkey Creek and including Four Mile, Short Fork, White Oak Fork, and the Bug Hollow area; as well as the Houston Mission area. I am trying to concentrate mainly on the years of about 1900 to 1950. If any reader has pictures or lived in these areas, I would like to hear from you. Your pictures will be returned.

Thank you for taking the time about a month ago to talk with my mother, Dorothy Sebastian McIntosh; my friend, Evon Herald; and myself when we stopped by your office. I could hardly resist looking at all the pictures and piles of mail your readers had sent in. It is no wonder the magazine is so loved, with the readers sharing so much of themselves with the rest of us.

Betty Estep

221 E. Main Street

Alexandria, KY 41001


Wayne County Families

Dear Editor:

My daughter and I wait anxiously each month for this treasure. I especially want to thank you for the articles written so long ago which give us a look into the past.

The June issue reprinted an article about the 1901 oil boom in Wayne County. My mother, Mamie Rule Wallen, was born in Sunnybrook in 1885. My late husband, Leon Lester, and his siblings were born there also. His parents were Otto and Dora Bertram Lester.

I am familiar with the communities and some of the people mentioned in the article. We are researching these families: Rule, Wallen (Walden), and Lester. I would like to correspond with anyone having information.

Thanks again for a wonderful magazine.

Eva Wallen Lester

59 Scott Drive

Anderson, IN 46016

In The Louisville City Jail

Dear Editor:

This is a coverall letter of comments on past issues and to request information. I have been a subscriber to The Kentucky Explorer for several years now and thoroughly enjoy it. I always read the letters first, then the Kentucky Genealogy Help Line, then the rest of the magazine.

First, on the request for gourd seeds. There is a gourd festival at Taylorsville, in Simpson County every May. They sell seeds, plants, and other items pertaining to gourds; plus a lot of free information from talking with the vendors. They also have a great pork chop sandwich.

Second, some comments on Renfro Valley. I made my first trip there in the early 1950s, before the Interstate highway. The last time I was there was three years ago. In the naming of celebrities I don't believe anyone mentioned Earnie Lee, one of their singers; or Granny Harper that played a harmonica and danced. I think she was in her 80s back in the 1940s. Also, there was Emory Martin, the one-armed banjo player. He would cord the banjo with a stub of his left arm. Also, he would lay the banjo on the floor and cord it with his toes.

Members of Renfro Valley would make appearances at school auditoriums around the state. I went to one at LaGrange around 1948. The auditorium probably didn't hold more than 300 people, if that many. It was filled to capacity. I think they charged about a quarter, possibly 35 cents admission. Considering their trip, dividing the money among ten performers, and rent on the auditorium that wasn't much money, even in 1948.

Finally, let me mention my dad. He was born in 1888 and died in January 1953. Back before we had a radio he would entertain the family by singing folk songs. One was about a young man who got locked in the Louisville City Jail. I have never heard anyone sing this song, except my dad. Some background on the story suggests that about once a year, possibly after harvest and the tobacco crop was sold, a group of young men from the hills would travel to Louisville (their Sodom and Gomorrah) for a good time and socializing at the bars, not unlike the cowboys at the end of the trail drive.

I am interested in hearing if anyone else remembers this song. The words to the first stanza are: Once I had a comrade, I shall not tell his name. But when he got in trouble, on me he lay the blame. For cursing and for scolding on me he would never fail. Until he got me locked up in the Louisville City Jail.

I know all the words to the song, and I would like to hear from anyone else who remembers this song.

Thanks again.

Willie C. Flack

2610 S. HWY 393

LaGrange, KY 40031

Recalling Lee County's Fincastle

Dear Editor:

I am a new subscriber to The Kentucky Explorer. My daughter, Marlene Jump, is also a subscriber. I read it from cover to cover.

I would like to ask your readers if anyone has any information about a town called Fincastle. It was a town in Lee County, Kentucky, about 50 or 60 years ago. It was situated on Walker's Creek near Big Andy Ridge, about 20 miles from Beattyville, Kentucky. It had a railroad running through it, because there was gas, and they had a gas line rack. There were homes and a church called the Cartwright Church. The church was moved when the gas ran out, so I am told. I was also told the train ran through twice a week.

I am not sure of my facts, but maybe some of your readers could set me straight, and give me any information they may have.

I think your magazine is well worth every penny.

Mrs. Gilbert Harris

24641 Plumosa Drive

Leesburg, FL 34748

A Larue County Moonshiner

Dear Editor:

Your article about moonshiners in Kentucky was delightful. I thought I might share a thought or two with you and your readers about my grandfather, who operated a moonshine still in Larue County from around 1929 to 1932.

My paternal grandfather's name was Lester Carter. He was born somewhere in Green County in January 1899. He died in December 1979. This story was handed down to me by my dad Kenneth Carter, Lester's oldest son. My father was born in January 1924. As the story goes, my grandfather and a man named "Boss" Gibson operated a still near Buffalo, Kentucky, in Larue County. They made whiskey for a man named "Rooster" Strayley, who in turn made his whiskey runs to Chicago and St. Louis during the Prohibition years. According to my father, Rooster had a 16-cylinder Stutz Bearcat and a Cord. Both were fast automobiles for their time. Any leftover whiskey was loaded into the back of an old Model T Ford and covered with a blanket, whereupon my dad sat when he was but a boy. They took this whiskey to Radcliff and sold it to the soldiers at Ft. Knox.

My father told me that he remembers the Larue County sheriff, whose name was Melvin Scott, bringing revenuers to the sight of the still. Scott would talk loud enough so my grandfather could hear him. He would say something on the order of, "Yeah, you men have it right. The still is over the hill!" It would be loud enough for Grandpa to hear it, and he would break down the still, move it off site, and rebuild it when the Federals left. It seems that Sheriff Scott was related to my grandfather somehow, and he didn't want him to get caught.

My father recently told me of all the moonshiners along Brush Creek, near Sommersville in Green County, Kentucky, during Prohibition. Dad told me that they were so thick that they sold whiskey to one another.

I am not sure as to the way Grandpa made his rot-gut, but my dad told me it was good whiskey. According to Dad, Grandpa used some sort of coloring that made the whiskey red like it should be. No charred barrel coloring here. As most all good things come to an end, so did my grandfather's still.

Dad said it quit operating when Roosevelt became president. It is now just a memory hidden in the minds of those fortunate enough to remember.

Don Carter

1101 Markwell Lane

Taylorsville, KY 40071


Who Named Cornettsville?

Dear Editor:

I would like to hear from anyone who might know how Cornettsville (Perry County) got its name. When was it founded? Was it founded by a person named Cornett? The oldest Cornett I ever knew was Archibald Cornett born 1830 in Perry County.

I enjoy The Kentucky Explorer. I have been to many of the places in Eastern Kentucky. I was raised in Leslie County. I know where Jackson is in Breathitt County. I have heard the county called "Bloody" Breathitt County.

I am looking forward to hearing from anyone who knows about Cornettsville, Kentucky. I am 79 years old, and I would like to learn more about Kentucky.

Bethel Callahan

4938 Eichelberger Avenue

Dayton, OH 45406

Searching For War Veterans

Dear Editor:

I am looking for information on service men who were in WWI and WWII. I need a list from Powell and Estill Counties. I also would like to have stories of special events that happened to them while in the service; stories that have been passed down.

I am looking for some flower seeds called "cockscombs." I have red, but I need other colors.

Any help would be appreciated.

Sharon Meadows

P. O. Box 1205

Stanton, KY 40380

Glen Dean's Earlier Days

Dear Editor:

I would like pictures or any information on old store buildings and living quarters in Glen Dean (Breckinridge County), Kentucky. We know of three owners, Henry Harrison, John Braswell, and Stanley Spaulding.

Any help in this matter would be appreciated.

Russell Spaulding

RR 2, Box 65B

Falls of Rough, KY 40119


Greentown, A Small Coal Camp

Dear Editor:

My family and I lived in a small mining camp called Greentown, located at the mouth of Rock Fork, at Garrett, Kentucky, in Floyd County. It was in the 1930s. We then moved to Garrett, where Standard Elkhorn Coal Company owned several houses, also a store and a theatre. Some of the houses are still there.

I often wonder about some of the people who lived in Greentown: George Climmons, Wise Fuget, Ballard Adams, Lenord Pace, Jess Smith, Zack Duff, Jim Duff, Ira Duff, Jim Mullins, Kiser Mullins, Landon Shepherd, Julis Hall, Guy Swafer, John Dugan, Arthur Miller, and Milt Litteral. I would like to hear from them or have information of them.

Grace Moore

942 KY Route 114

Prestonsburg, KY 41653

A Note Of Appreciation

Dear Editor:

Thank you for the June 1999 issue of The Kentucky Explorer that corresponded so well with our Memorial Day weekend. I appreciate your arranging of the copies that you sent for me to my brothers and sisters. They are number one to me. We connect within the family circle. I send love and prayers to them and their families. Someday we will meet with those loved ones that we have lost in a heavenly reunion.

Eunice T. Adams

HC 68, Box 122

West Liberty, KY 41472

Found A Long Lost Friend

Dear Editor:

It is a small world after all. I found my long lost friend, Emma Jane Richardson Kin, through your wonderful magazine. Her sister, Pearl, gave her my address, and I got a most welcomed letter from her. Now that I have found her, I hope that we can get together soon, because we have a whole lot of catching up to do.

Thanks for a wonderful magazine. Without this magazine, I probably wouldn't have found my friend.

Janice Henry Sexton

235 Marathon Avenue

Dayton, OH 45342

Considerate Subscribers

Dear Editor:

Thank you so much for publishing the "Develance and Levincy Hatfield" photos. I had a lot of response from the descendants of this family saying that they are 100% sure it is their ancestors. In fact, I sold them to a family member from Lexington, Kentucky. I am glad that they are back in the family now.

Thank you for your help. Without it I would never have known for sure who they were. You have a great magazine, with a lot of good, considerate subscribers.

Geneva Richardson

380 Millville-Oxford Road

Hamilton, OH 45013

Father Served In CCCs

Dear Editor:

I just recently subscribed to your magazine, and I think it is wonderful to learn how the "real world" was.

I would like to see something about "the three Cs (Civil Conservation Corp). My father served in the C.C.C.s from 1935 to 1938 and was at the McKee camp in Jackson County, Kentucky. This is also where he met my mother.

I am looking for any information on the Dees and Kelleys from Jackson County, Kentucky.

I truly look forward to getting my magazines. They are great. Keep up the good work.

Helen Dees Heflin

4003 Forest Avenue

Cincinnati, OH 45212

e-mail: [email protected]

What Does It Mean?

Dear Editor:

My dear ex-Sunday School teacher, Mildred Hodge Hahn, born February 8, 1906, in Barren County, Kentucky, would like to know the meaning to an old saying, "She was told she was born with a veil over her face." Do any of your readers know what this means? She has asked a lot of people, but no one seems to know.

Thanks for your help.

Carole Mayberry

7012 Monty Lane

Louisville, KY 40291

A Salute To A True Riverman

Dear Editor:

I would like to write to you about my father-in-law, Hubert D. Hall, of Maysville, Kentucky. He is 90 years old.

Mr. Hall has been a river man all his life. He started working for the Army Corp of Engineers back in the Depression. This old gentleman worked at several of the dams on the Ohio River and ended his work as lock master of Dam #33, at Maysville, Kentucky.

He retired shortly after the dam was destroyed to make a larger pool, when the Meldhal Dam at Foster, Kentucky was built.

I never seem to tire of hearing of his experiences while he worked on the river, including locking through the old paddlewheel tow boats. Most of the barges were wooden back then. He often tells of the ice jams and all the damage that they caused.

We all know waterways and railroads had a big hand in making this country what it has become today. I salute Mr. Hall for this great part in helping to move the country forward.

John R. Mitchell

716 Forest Hills Drive

Maysville, KY 4105

Old-Time Pence School

Dear Editor:

Thanks for your great magazine. I have been a subscriber for less than a year, and I enjoy it greatly.

I am hoping one of your readers can help with some information. Is there a listing of students and teachers at the Pence School in Pulaski County, Kentucky? I need a list especially from 1905 to 1912. Where would the children who lived in the Ocala and Elgin area of Pulaski County have gone to school during this same time period?

Thanks in advance for any help on these questions.

Bill Nelson

6070 S. County Road 525 W.

Coatesville, IN 46121

e-mail: [email protected]

Thanks For The Help

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank you for printing my letter trying to find the book "On A Slow Train Through Arkansas," and thanks to Virginia Threet and all the others for pointing me in the right direction. Turns out it was republished by the University of Kentucky Press in 1985, and I now have a copy.

Thanks for a fine magazine.

Owen Dawson

5375 Peacock Drive

Holiday, FL 34690

e-mail: [email protected]

Readers Respond About Ezel

Dear Editor:

Thank you for printing my query in The Kentucky Explorer.Your readers were great to respond with directions to and location of Ezel, Kentucky.

A special thanks to all who helped.

Greta Halloman

519 Gulf Street

Providence, KY 42450

Kentuckians In War Of 1812

Dear Editor:

My brothers and I have been enjoying your magazine for many years now.

In a recent issue, Mr. Luther Davenport asked about Kentuckians getting killed in the War of 1812 in Grant County, Indiana, on the 17th and 18th of December 1812. Twelve men with Lt. Col. John B. Campbell's army were killed in a battle with Miami and Delaware Indians. Six of the dead were Kentuckians: Tom Smith, William Scott, Salem Piatt, Thomas Carmahan, Beverly Brown, and Thomas Bedford. Over 40 Indians were killed along with 100 horses. Lt. Col. Campbell had over 600 men in his army. This was the first order that General W. H. Harrison gave to fight the Indians. The battle is known as the "Battle of 1812."

Murrell Caudill

2802 E. Monroe Pike

Marion, IN 46953

Relatives From Kentucky

Dear Editor:

I really have enjoyed your magazine this past year. It is a great source of the history of Kentucky and its people. All of my relatives came from Kentucky, all the way back to Roger Williams. So you can see why I love Kentucky so much. My husband, Robert, is 83 years old, and I will be 78 years old.

Thanks for everything.

Shirley Thompson

7900 Snider Road

Mason, OH 45040

The Swamp Valley Museum

Dear Editor:

We got to review your magazine through some friends of ours. They showed us the April 1999 issue due to one letter on page 104 in the magazine. We had been talking to them about a school chum of my husband that had a museum in front of his own home.

The letter was from Clayton Wells, and it was about the "madstone." Mr. Wells also mentioned a museum in front of his home called "Swamp Valley Museum."

Well, to make a long story short, the log cabin which houses his museum was my husband's home when he was growing up in Kentucky. Mr. Wells went up in the mountains and took the home down log by log and brought it back to Denniston (Menifee County), and put it back up log for log. He turned it into the "Swamp Valley Museum." The last time my husband and I saw his homestead up in the mountains, the cows had been running through it, and it was quite a mess in there.

Mr. Wells is quite a historian about the history of the area where he lives with his wife, Jeannette. If you ever get down that way, you should stop in and see him.

It is quite a small world to happen across this letter about the "madstone" and the Swamp Valley Museum.

Maude L. Denny

66717 Winding River Road

Constantine, MI 49042

Enjoying The Kentucky Explorer

Dear Editor:

I just received my first issue of The Kentucky Explorer, and I have devoured it. My neighbors and friends have enjoyed it also. I thank you for the opportunity of running our genealogy in your magazine.

I received the back issues of your fine magazine and was pleased to find pictures of the historical marker in Paint Lick mentioning Wm. Champ. I got a kick out of an article relating the knock-down drag-out fight over the establishing of the county seat. I was glad to note other states have resorted to stealing courthouse records; that it is not just "a Texas thing!"

Thanks for publishing such a wonderful magazine.

Lorena Purcell

1313 Jolly Street

Borger, TX 79007

Skaggs Book For Sale

Dear Editor:

I would like to let your readers know that I have one copy of the book, Skaggs, The Right To Be Proud by Ida Lancaster. It is a hardback, 638-page book that has barely been used. I will sell it for $40, which includes postage.

Thank you.

Janet Rosenbaum

40 LaRue Place

Atlanta, GA 30327

Explorer Readers Are Helpful

Dear Editor:

I want to thank the readers of your magazine for the wonderful response to my queries about James L. Boggs, Lydia Birchfield, and Martha Jane Rudd. The information was far more than I ever expected, and I was thinking the records no longer existed after searching for them for many years.

We have many caring people of Kentucky origin, from across the whole country, who took the time to send many pages of the names of my ancestors. Their letters have given me new hope in people.

I am so glad that I found a copy of your magazine in Sandy Hook, Elliott County, Kentucky. I was born in Elliott County, and I also lived in Lawrence County. I attended Morehead State Teacher's College before it became a university.

Ruby Boggs Stoner

8370 Lumley Road

Bear Lake, MI 49614

Wants Onion Tea Recipe

Dear Editor:

I need the help of your readers. As a boy, I remember onion tea being made to drink for colds and respiratory problems. I would appreciated it if anyone can send me the recipe.

David J. Ray

312 Clear Water Way

Mt. Sterling, KY 40353

The Old Hatfield Cemetery

Dear Editor:

In May of 1990, after the death of my mother, Katherine Marie Hatfield, I was told by some of my relatives about the Hatfield Cemetery located in an area that was once known as Lacon, in Grayson County, Kentucky. My mother had never mentioned the cemetery, or I probably would have started my research many years ago when she or her family could have passed on some of its history to me. My mother's name was Hatfield, and she married my father, Raymond Hatfield. They were very distant cousins, who stemmed from a common relative, who probably settled in Grayson County in the middle 1700s. When I was a small child, I was in and about the Lacon area often (but never heard it referred to as Lacon), to visit relatives. At that time (45 or 50 years ago), it was referred to as Bloody Ridge. I think that name came from stories handed down of arguments and fights involving people living on the ridge many years ago.

The cemetery which I visited, along with friends and cousins, in October of 1990, is located between Shaw Creek Road and Highway 720; a few miles southeast of Big Clifty, Kentucky. We had to walk in, because the old road that once ran close by the cemetery and joined the two roads is no longer passable. The surroundings are grown up in bushes, underbrush, lots of trees, and is well hidden from the outside world. The cemetery was in a sad state. It had not been cared for in years and a tree had fallen onto some of the stones and markers. I took several pictures the way it was then and jotted down all the inscriptions and dates on the headstones that could still be seen. We had to rub chalk on some of the inscriptions and dates to make them more visible. I recorded those later, along with some other information about my relatives buried there, that was related to me by my cousin. At least, I will have a little history of this place to pass on to my daughters.

I would like to know if any Kentucky Explorer reader might have a picture of the cemetery in the days when it was not far off a traveled path and cared for by my Hatfield ancestors. I was told that some of my relatives once lived in a house that was built very close to the graves, but it has been gone a long time. I think someone told me it burned. I would really be thrilled to see a picture of the house if one is still in existence. Any information about the history of the cemetery or the Lacon area would be greatly appreciated.

Sue Carol Vertrees

P. O. Box 173

Rineyville, KY 40162

Glenwood, Kentucky

Dear Editor:

I enjoy The Kentucky Explorer. I would like to hear from some of the people I attended school with at Glenwood (Lawrence County), Kentucky, especially Louis and Virginia Coburn, Reba Wright, and Shirley Diamond.

If anyone knows about them, please contact me.

Robert McCormick Stephenson

737 Hudson Avenue

Romeoville, IL 60446

Shepherd Cemetery

Dear Editor:

I want to thank you for printing my letter in The Kentucky Explorer. I have had several letters from people wanting to help me find more of my relatives, the Shepherds and Halls.

I would like to thank all of those who wrote to me. I am wondering if anyone who has family buried in the Shepherd Cemetery, near Hyden, would see if there is a marker for Levi Shepherd. I am told that he is buried there. He is my great-grandfather, and he died in the late 1800s. His tombstone may not be found. He lived near Black Mountain.

I was told a story about the time Levi was hunting. He found three rocks to set his kettle on, and he built a fire. Well, the rocks caught fire and burned up. He had actually found coal there.

Again, thank you for everything.

Martha Hall Williamson

17 State Route 10

Ranger, WV 25557

Cassuis Clay, An Emancipationist

Dear Editor:

In your current issue of The Kentucky Explorer there is a mistake on pages 27 and 28. Cassuis M. Clay was, in fact, an emancipationist, not an abolitionist. He was a slave owner himself.

I enjoy your magazine and look forward to more articles on our early pioneer periods. The truth about the brutality and savagery of the pioneer era needs to be covered to set the record straight. The creation of a great nation was not without its blood, sweat, and tears.

Steve White

242 Stourbridge Street

Versailles, KY 40383

First Creek School

Dear Editor:

I have an 8" X 50" panoramic picture of the entire enrollment of the (old) First Creek High and Elementary School at Blue Diamond, Kentucky. I counted 305 students and teachers, including the principal, O. B. Montgomery. M. C. Napier, Superintendent of the Perry County School System, is also in the picture.

I took the picture to the First Creek/Blue Diamond Reunion on September 13, 1998, at the A. B. Combs Elementary School, at Combs, Kentucky. There were many people attending who had not seen the picture before.

Several folks asked me if I remembered the physical features of the old school building in the background of the picture. The accompanying sketch shows the building as I remember it. The building was two-story, about 30 feet wide and 100 feet long. There were four classrooms, serving grades one through eight, and the principal's office was on the ground floor. Two classrooms upstairs served the high school students, grades 9-12.

There was a small science laboratory across the hall from the classrooms, and an auditorium used once a week for assembly of the entire student body. Assembly was on special occasions, and twice a week we had community church.

Bill Manning

7180 Iron Works Road

Winchester, KY 40391

Is Mt. Pleasant Church Older?

Dear Editor:

I really enjoy receiving and reading The Kentucky Explorer every month. Most of the time, I will read the magazine from cover to cover, but sometimes I find my time running out and have to put it aside. I do like to go back through each magazine and read the articles I may have missed the first time through.

I was re-reading the January 1999 edition a couple of weeks ago, and an article on page 68 caught my attention. "Kentucky's First Methodist Church," from the Louisville Times - 1910, goes into great detail describing the first Methodist church erected in Kentucky, which the article claims to have been built in 1788 at Masterson's Station. The article goes on to describe the first annual conference and lists some prominent names associated with it.

The reason this article aroused my interest is because I live very close to an old cemetery, which has a small brick monument, with a plaque that reads: "Mt. Pleasant ME. Church. Erected 1777. Destroyed By Tornado April 3, 1974."

I realize that the marker in this old cemetery is not recognized by the Kentucky Historical Society or by anyone else that I know of, but if the date is correct as to when the church was erected, it would predate the church at Masterson's Station by 11 years.

The cemetery and marker discussed above are located on Oddville-Sunrise Road, in northern Harrison County. If anyone has any information about the old Mt. Pleasant ME. Church, I would appreciate hearing from you.

James E. Mann

RR 2 Box 342A

Cynthiana, KY 41031

Researching Prater Family

Dear Editor:

On page 95, Vol. 12, Number 3, August 1997, you printed a picture of Thomas Allen Mays' family. There were a lot of Prater family members in that picture. The picture belonged to Leberta Potter, but there was no address for her. I am trying to research my Prater family. I would like for Mrs. Potter to contact me, or anyone else that is researching the Prater name.

Mary Brown

5092 Huggins Road

Michigan Center, MI 49254


e-mail: [email protected]

Sharing Tilton Family History

Dear Editor:

Through your publication I have reached two members of my father's family, and we are exchanging information. Another gentleman also found great information and agreed to help further.

My father was Rev. John L. Tilton, a Methodist minister in Kentucky for over 40 years. If anyone remembers him and has interesting information about him, I would love to have it. It would be helpful to hear from folks who knew us from years past.

Many thanks. I enjoy reading the magazine. Keep up the good work.

Robin T. Boswell

P. O. Box 453

La Plata, MD 20646

Boating Days On The Big Sandy

Dear Editor:

In the June issue, I was pleasantly surprised to find the article "Catlettsburg's Steamboat Trade." I am very familiar with this subject. In fact the "Mayflower" mentioned belonged to my great-grandfather, Solomon "Sol" Williamson, also mentioned in the article. He had a steamboat repair business, about a mile above Catlettsburg, on the West Virginia side at Belomy Rocks, in Wayne County, across the river from Hampton City.

I have a collection of the local steamboats, mostly the "batwing" type that traveled the Big Sandy River from Catlettsburg to Pikeville. There are several historical incidents concerning these boats, especially during the Civil War, and such people as General James A. Garfield supplying their troops.

I was fortunate enough to see what was probably the last of the log rafts on the Big Sandy. In fact, as very young and foolish boys, while swimming, we would dive under the rafts and come up on the other side. These rafts were tied off along the bank. I have a copy of a court record showing the different marking of each log identifying the owner. There are numerous pictures showing how crowded the river was with rafts; some logs were loose, and their buyers would pay people for catching them. The rivermen would float the rafts down river and walk back up-river.

Another of my great-grandfathers, "Captain" Jack Beasley, cut timber for shipment to Catlettsburg. He was what was called a "mule-skinner." He snaked logs to the Levisa Fork of Big Sandy and waited for high water to float them to the Big Sandy. In later years, he moved to Lucasville, Ohio, where he helped grade U. S. Route 23 from the Ohio River to Columbus, with his mules pulling the old bucket-type scraper.

Here at Catlettsburg, we are getting ready for a 150-year celebration. At our 100th year, our principal speaker was none other than our neighbor from Louisa, Fred M. Vincent, a well-known national politician. He also had a law office in Catlettsburg in his early days. Some say that he attended Thomas R. Brown High School, but that has never been proven.

I have been searching for some information about the "John F. Hager" who wrote the article about Catletts-burg's steamboating trade published in your magazine. Any help from your readers would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Paul R. Williamson

7143 Christina Drive

Catlettsburg, KY 41129

Thanks For The Seeds

Dear Editor:

I am writing to thank all those nice people for the plum granny seeds that they have sent me. I received 12 packages of them. I am truly grateful to each and every one of you.

The Kentucky Explorer cannot be beat. It is a great magazine. A person can sit and look at it all day long. It sure takes you back to the good old days. I will be 84 years old at my next birthday.

Sallie Brady

4221 W. Highway 146

La Grange, KY 40031

Finally Found Hi Hat

Dear Editor:

For months I have been searching maps for Hi Hat, Kentucky. Thanks to the article on page 41, of the July/August 1999 issue, I now know where it is.

Keep up the good work.

James R. Slone

432 English Avenue

Harrodsburg, KY 40330

Looking For Faubus Article

Dear Editor:

I am looking for any information on the article about a murder by James Robert Faubus, around 1890. I think it was called "The Fiddler on the Roof." If any of your readers have any information on this article, I would love to have a copy of it.

I enjoy reading The Kentucky Explorer. I thank you all very much.

Amos Jones

26 N. Kealing Avenue

Indianapolis, IN 46201

Who Is The Man On The Horse?

Dear Editor:

On the back cover of the June issue of The Kentucky Explorer is a picture with the caption that reads: "A beautiful view of Two-Mile Falls, near Louisa." I want to know if anyone can identify the man on the horse on the bridge. I would love to hear from anyone who knows this information.

Luke Kitchen

RR 4 Box 10890

Louisa, KY 41230


A Breathitt County Native

Dear Editor:

I want to say what a wonderful magazine The Kentucky Explorer is. I can't hardly lay it down when I start reading it. I am in the hospital a lot, and I always take it with me. I read it over and over again. My doctor kept picking it up and wanted to take it with him. I finally ordered it for him. Two nurses from the hospital are now subscribers.

My family all came from Breathitt County. I was seven years old when my mother moved to Newport, Kentucky. I still tell people that I am from Breathitt County. I will always love it. We lived at Altro. I can remember many happy times spent at my grandparents', Brant and Polly Deaton, home. They lived on "Big Hill." I think it was close to Buckhorn, Kentucky. My parents were Abe and Isabell Turner.

I am 71 years old, but I never forget the happy times spent with loved ones. I would love to hear from anyone who remembers my family.

Thank you.

Rose Kammerer

1139 Columbia Street

Newport, KY 41071

Recalling Piqua School

Dear Editor:

Every letter I read in The Kentucky Explorer begins with how great everyone thinks the magazine is. I am no exception, since my cousin, James Shepherd, is president of the Kentucky Historical Society. Kentucky is one of the few things we agree on.

I am writing to see if any readers are familiar with the old Piqua School in Robertson County (Mt. Olivet). It is still in a good state of repair due to the concerned citizens of the little community of Piqua.

At one time, as many as 80 students attended it, with only one teacher. Both my brother and I went there through the sixth grade. We both later graduated from the University of Kentucky; so the quality of education wasn't too bad at Piqua.

Also, please, if any reader knows of any Brumagem people, I would love to hear from you. My family came from Bath County almost 100 years ago. It may be spelled Bromagen or Brumagem. Some exist in Nicholas and Fayette Counties.

Jerry Brumagen

RR 2 Box 207

Mt. Olivet, KY 41064

Seeks A Lost Friend

Dear Editor:

I am looking for a friend of mine. His name is Gene Siler, and he lived at Evarts, Kentucky, when he was young. I would love to hear from him. I would also like to hear from any of my old friends and family.

Frankie S. Gosa

6215 Terry Road

Louisville, KY 40258

Readers are invited to write The Kentucky Explorer. We appreciate your letters!

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