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.”

Dear Editor:
I would like to share the following information from old newspaper clippings from Independence, Missouri. “Christopher Mann celebrated his 110th birthday. He is possibly the oldest man in Missouri, having 25 children, 72 grandchildren, 164 great-grandchildren, and many great-great- grandchildren.“Mann is of splendid health generally, though his eyesight and hear- ing are slightly impaired. Some reports read that when his oldest child was 72 years of age, his youngest child was 17. At that time 17 of his 25 children were still living.
“Mann talks intelligently upon subjects known to him in his earliest days. When asked in what county in Virginia he was born, he laughed heartedly and said he came into the world before Virginia was divided into counties. It was afterward Daniel Boone, his three sons, and six dogs were in Kentucky.”
Mr. Mann is one of the pioneers of Jackson County, Missouri. He died at his home near Independence at the age of 111.

Stanley Kincaid Frankfort, KY 40601
Dear Editor:
I found the following news clipping in an old 1970s metal detecting magazine which is no longer in publication. The article was written by John K. Ward.
“Fear of bank failures has caused many people to use the earth as their personal depository. The death of the depositor has caused many of these buried caches to become treasures worth looking for. Such is the case of Amos Dadisman.
“When Dadisman died in April 1910, he was one of the oldest residents of northeast Daviess County, Kentucky. He had been a farmer. Until about 15 years prior to his death, he also served as a preacher in Daviess and surrounding counties.
“According to reports circulated at his death, Amos once lost several thousand dollars due to a bank failure. Thereafter, he refused to place any money in any banking institution. Instead, Dadisman concealed the money about his house or buried it.
“A month prior to his death, Amos Dadisman’s wife died. Amos had one daughter living in Evansville, Indiana, and a sister who lived in Mt. Zion. But he apparently never got around to telling either of his kinfolk where this money was buried.
“At the time of Amos’ death, there seems little doubt that he had buried money on his place. The only controversy concerned the amount. Not a penny was ever reported found.”

Larry Helton 6570 Crest Circle Middletown, OH 45042
Dear Editor:
In response to the person asking about Rabbit Tobacco or Life Everlasting in a letter that appeared in the November 2015 issue of The Kentucky Explorer.
I’m 87 years old and was born in Inez, Martin County, Kentucky.
Yes, I remember Rabbit Tobacco which was also called Life Everlasting. I also smoked it when I was a young boy. If I remember correctly the plants grew about 12 or 14 inches high. When it was ripe or matured the color was dark grey or silver. I‘ve heard it does have a medicinal use, but I don’t know what use that is. Thanks for a great magazine.

Herbert H. Horn 144 Amanda Northern Road SW Lancaster, OH 43130

A few of the great stories inside!

One of the popular features found in The Kentucky Explorer each month is genealogy, often published in the form of letters, queries, photographs, and stories. Several serial features, such as Kentucky Genealogy Help Line, Genealogy From The Long Ago, Strictly Kentucky Genealogy, and Kentucky Kinfolk are dedicated solely to this purpose and continue from month to month.

May 24, 1898

I was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee, October 20, 1871. My father was Thomas Howard. He was born in Washington County, Tennessee, April 19, 1839. He was the son of Joseph Howard, who was born in Johnson County, Tennessee, near Doesville. He was the son of Thomas Howard who, with four brothers, came from Ireland near the close of the Revolutionary War. Of these brothers one was named Samuel, one Michael, one Joseph, and the other I do not remember. I got these statements from my grandfather, Joseph Howard, who died in Washington County, Tennessee, 10 or 12 years ago, perhaps the fall of 1888, aged about 88. My grandfather had brothers, Samuel and Jack. My great-grandfather founded the Doe River Iron Works, in Johnson County, Tennessee, and owned an immense estate. His son, Samuel, succeeded him. My grandfather had a good estate of land, slaves and stock. He traded largely in stock. He took cattle and horses to New York. One of my great- grandfather’s brothers settled in (the) valley of Virginia, but I do not know which one. One located in the lower part of Tennessee. I have heard that one located in New York state. (In Sullivan County, Tennessee, runaways have paid $13,000 in the last ten years, as marriage licenses. Myself and the county clerk made the calculation.) The Howards are not numerous in Tennessee now. Some are at Greenville, some at Bloomingdale College. I live at Kingsport. I do not know that we are related, but I suppose we are. I do not know what the relationship is. The Howards of Tennessee have all been prosperous people. I have been told that when Samuel Howard first came to Harlan County the blight killed his corn, and he returned to his former residence and remained 12 years and came back to Harlan and remained permanently. (Mr. Felix Farmer says the “lower Howards” are descendants from Ben and Jack Howard, and are not descendants of old Sam Howard. Michael is a name among these. J. J. D.)

One of the popular features found in The Kentucky Explorer each month is genealogy, often published in the form of letters, queries, photographs, and stories. Several serial features, such as Kentucky Genealogy Help Line, Genealogy From The Long Ago, Strictly Kentucky Genealogy, and Kentucky Kinfolk are dedicated solely to this purpose and continue from month to month.

Seek photos and info. on Henry Baker, b. Leslie Co., Ky., ca. 1877; and Sarah Ellen Parks, b. Knott Co., Ky., ca. 1874, had Bonnie, David, Mitchell, Polly, and others. Any help appreciated.
Dan Miller 10860 Midnight Pass Fishers, IN 46037 danmiller487@yahoo.com
Seek info. on the families of Randolph, Sebert, Jessie, and Samuel Pearman; and other Pearmans, late 1700-mid 1800s, in and ca. Hardin Co., Ky. Any info. appreciated.
Ken Pearman ken.pearman@hotmail.com
Seek info. on Alric G. Talbott, b. 10/10/1884, Rockcastle Co., Ky., d. 12/29/1948, Lancaster, Garrard Co., Ky., m. 1/9/1917, Nellie T. Taylor, b. 9/29/1894, Rockcastle Co., Ky., died 12/11/1971, Boyle Co., Ky. Also, info. on Talbott Tavern. Any info. appreciated. Will share info.
Elaine T. Shields 514 Myers Road Carlisle, KY 40311
Seek photos and info. on John Thompson; along with wife, Jane, and children, moved to Johns Creek, Floyd Co., Ky., 1840s. One son, Burwell, m. Susan Hatfield, had John Wesley, m. Teley Vaughan, had Ayres, m. Effie Dials, had Robert Lee (b. 1821, my dad), m. Polly Wallace; Venis; Franklin; Lydia; Corbett; Jesse Willard; Russell; and Richard. Any help appreciated. Will share info.
Jerry W. Thompson 506 Shirley Lane Danville, WV 25053 jerry_shirleyt@hotmail.com
Seek info. on relatives of my grandparents, Joseph Duncan Combs (b. 1888, d. 11/7/1940, son of John W. Combs) and Ella Combs (d. 5/11/1918), had my dad, Shelby Combs, b. 10/29/1916, Knott Co., Ky., d. 2/17/1996, m., 1946, Mary Alice Lumpkins, b. 8/24/1926, d. 3/12/2008. What is the connection between Joseph and William Lorenzo Combs and Jeremiah Combs. Any info. appreciated.
Brenda Combs Costello 13229 W. Darrow Road Vermilion, OH 44989 440/396-9139
Seek photos and info. on William Sebastian, 1859-1931, son of David Sebastian and Elizabeth Stamper, m. Sylvania Davidson, 1856-1893, Breathitt Co., Ky., had children: Florence, Rash (my g-grandfather), Harsh, and Sophronia. Any help appreciated.
Tanya Sebastian 345 Marrell Street Gallatin, TN 37066 tnkeifer@hotmail.com



Dinner Soup
Fish Balls
Caramel Bread Pudding
Chicken Paprika
Corn Souffle
Baked Tomatoes
Vanilla Wafers
Hashed Brown Potatoes

Every reader of The Kentucky Explorer, no doubt, has a special memory. Why not write it down and share it here in this column? Help preserve the story of our vanishing past for today and tomorrow. We need memories and photographs from every part of Kentucky and beyond.

This topic is a little old fashioned, or one that took place back in an earlier generation when most country guys, and maybe gals, some way or another remember that “first kiss.” In most cases, it was a simple little “peck,” very mysterious, impressive, and quite memorable.
Most of the country boys my age were naive, insecure, and very much uninformed on techniques of romance. As a lad of 14, I became interested in the opposite sex, but was a little confused on how to proceed. I knew the initial step began with a kiss, but had concerns about when and with whom this first step would be taken.
I was worried about my “buck teeth.” They stuck out in front, and I feared that if I ever gave a girl a kiss, my teeth would make contact with hers. I had other worries: This one girl in my class had a long pointed nose, and I feared our noses would make contact and get in the way; I was also bothered by not knowing whether to close my eyes when kissing or to leave them open; I did not know whether to grab her in a tight embrace and bend her back, or settle with a modest “peck.” I was confused to say the least!
Kisses at this time were much more reserved and modest compared to the passionate laden kisses of today. Kisses of today are “bare all!” It seems as when lovers on TV kiss, they attempt to eat each other’s mouth and face. Quite shocking! They strive for passion and include very little romance and love.
I don’t think the scene in the movie “It’s A Wonderful Life,” staring Jimmy Stewart as George Baltey and Donna Reed as Mary, could be topped. This kissing and hugging was timed when each committed their love for each other and pledged to be married. There was no tongue twisting or gulping in mad passion, only modest kissing and hugs that radiated true love and devotion. It was so beautiful; I shed a tear or two.
I think the account that I want to share happened in the…
The tobacco allotments assigned by the state policy in Frankfort to the farmers in the Cumberland Plateau (Laurel County, Kentucky) in the 1930s was determined by the acreage of the grower’s property. Today, the agency that regulates tobacco is the Farm Service Agency, part of the USDA. I am not sure what it was called then, but in the early years the farmers could grow as much tobacco as they desired. In fact, they were growing so much that they were getting as little as ten cents per pound. To protect the tobacco growers, the government placed an acreage control on each farm. I remember the agency would send a representative to measure the field with three pipes and a measured amount of chain. This was done after the crop was planted, and if the farmer was over his allotment, the agent chopped down the extra rows (usually with a borrowed hoe). Much later, of course, ……
Heaven only knows why this hideous little wooden structure from my childhood has uninvitedly invaded my memory bank, which is otherwise filled with fun memories from my childhood days. The vast majority of people living in our neighborhood, when I was growing up, had an outhouse rather than an indoor bathroom. Some people called them a privy or toilet, but we country folks just called them the outhouse.
Our outhouse was down a path about 200 feet from our house. Although I can’t seem to withdraw a fond memory from my mind about this little humble building, I can remember….
Mom was always a great cook and baker. Mom always saved her egg whites to make meringue for her chocolate pies, coconut cakes, and divinity candy. Our refrigerator was always full of fresh cow’s milk, eggs, and homemade butter.
Mom had saved her egg whites from a dozen eggs; to be sure she would have enough to make her desserts. Mom was getting ready to do Christmas baking, so she separated a dozen eggs that morning. The yolk of the egg was separated from the white of the egg. After she separated them she put them in a glass bowl and set them on the wire shelf in the back of….
In the September 2015 issue of The Kentucky Explorer, there was an article I wrote with Becky Smith about our very own mountain lady, Judy Elizabeth “Sis” Lowe Parsons (3/1882-1/10/1962). What I had not realized is that even many Brushy (Pike County) people have her confused with our other Sis who also lived on Brushy at the same time. It is doubtful that the two ladies ever met, although they lived within a very few miles of each other for a number of years. Sis Parsons was a very quiet little lady who lived up a hollow with her husband, Eleck, and mostly stayed at home. Very few people a few miles away knew she even existed.
Our other Sis lived beside the main road on Lower Brushy. She was known as “Aunt Sis,” and, because of the circumstances of her death, will forever be a part of Brushy history. Even 70 years later, those born long after her death still argue about how she died.
The hill area is known for its many floods, and in those days residents were often stranded until the creeks went down after torrential rains. The solution was to build swinging bridges to …..

100 Photographs Inside!

Other popular features found in our magazine each month pertain to items that our readers have for sale. These generally appear in our Kentucky Explorer Classified Ads and Kentucky Explorer Book Page, but occasionally are found in Letters To The Editor or other pages, too.

Classified ads may be placed in The Kentucky Explorer

at Ten Cents Per Word – Minimum $3.00 per issue – Payment Must Accompany
All Advertising Copy. Sorry we cannot accept classified ads over the phone.


Here are a few queries from this issue

Dear Editor:
Does anyone remember the song entitled “Barbara Allen” from the late 1920s? I would like to know the name of the artist.

Lois Rutherford 1473 Fisher Fork Road Lancaster, KY 40444
Dear Editor:
I am a subscriber to The Kentucky Explorer and have submitted various articles and photos for publication.
I would like to get in touch with Maxine Quillen of Whitesburg, Letcher County, Kentucky.
If she would contact me, I would really appreciated it.

Wilma Hatter 6492 N. KY 837 Whitesburg, KY 40442
Dear Editor:
I am interested in information on
Breckinridge County Caves and Indian graves at Cloverport.
Also, I would like information on Cujo (Cudjo) Cave
Jackie Doss 12956 State Route 155 SE Corning, OH 43730