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’ve been a subscriber to The Kentucky Explorer for a little while now. I really enjoy it, being a lifelong Kentuckian. I was born and raised here.
Fellow Kentuckian Ricky Skaggs had a song “Don’t Get Above Your Raising” [Raisin’].
I’m afraid some of us are using the word “reared” to speak of our upbringing. Are we hillbillies afraid of not being politically correct in our speaking?
Well, I looked it up in Webster’s Dictionary. The two words mean the same thing. So, what’s the big deal?
I was and always will be raised in the head of a holler, or is that hollow? Remember, don’t get above your raising.

Greg Minix HC 60, Box 553 Salyersville, KY 41465

Dear Editor:

I picked up a copy of The Kentucky
Explorer and really enjoyed the articles. I was wondering if someone has some back issues they would like to share.
I am also interested in acquiring some Bluegrass songs and the music notes to the songs. I am learning to play the banjo.

Robert Lee Eismon, 517-490 C-57 P.O.Box59 Nelsonville, OH 45164

Dear Editor:

I look forward to The Kentucky Explorer each month. I laugh, cry, and enjoy all the things it offers.
My mother died when I was eight years old, and 15 months later my daddy passed away. There were 14 children in my family, and I am the 13th child. Three of us are still living: Horace Harrod, age 98, of Crestwood, Kentucky; Helen Stratton, age 89, of Shelbyville, Kentucky; and myself. I turned 92 on June 22, 2015.
I married Allen Brooks of Carroll County, Kentucky, in 1944. We had two daughters. One lives in Tennessee and the other lives in Florida. My husband and I moved to Dade City, Florida, in 1986. Allen and I were married 61 years when he passed away on December 6, 2004. We had a good and happy life, but we also saw hardships.
Remember, God loves everyone.

Madlyn H. Brooks 37553 Clinton Avenue Dade City, FL 33535

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 26, 1898

Charles Wooton, the ancestors of the Wootons in this part of Kentucky, came from North Carolina in the early settlement of Leslie County. He settled at the mouth of the creek that bears his name, a tributary of Cutshin. He had children as follows: Hiram, Hardin, Emmanuel, David, Charles, Wilson, my grandfather. Hiram lived and died on Cutshin; he left three sons and two daughters. His son, John Hyden Wooton, is in O. T. (?); Charles is a lawyer in Hazard; Wilson lives on Cutshin; and Hardin and Emmanuel emigrated to Daviess County, Indiana; Washington is the county seat. They are farmers. Prof. Bailey P. Wooton of Hazard is descended from one of them. His father lives in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky. Davis died at the mouth of Wooton’s Creek. He was peculiar. He left a large family who are still in this county. Ellison Wooton, my son, Malcomb B., is now in the regular army. U. S. is his son. Charles died in Perry County, aged 88 years. He had two sons in the U. S. Army, Elias and Irving. Elias died soon after the war. Irving died on Bull Skin, Clay County, with small pox contracted on a trip. Dr. Lane accidentally shot his son. Charley Wooton shot in the Howard- Baker feud. William had but one son, Irving, my father. He had four sons: Adam, William, called “Bangor,” Jackson, and myself; two daughters, Jennie and Elizabeth. The young Wooton, now in the U. S. Army in Cuba, is a grandson of one of these. His father was Sam Begley, ex-County Judge of Leslie. William had sisters: Polly, deaf mute; and Nancy, married Rev. Daniel Lewis, but is now a widow living in Campton. I am the present Circuit Clerk of Leslie County.

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 info. on my. g. g. g. g. grandfather, Jesse Adams, b. 1796, son of Spencer Adams, moved, 1803, from N. C. to Floyd Co., Ky. (now Letcher), were farmers and Baptist ministers, m. 6/9/1816, Rhoda Martin. Also, any info. on Adams families. Any help appreciated.

Kim Baldridge Johnson Bella Vista, AR 72715 heavnhlpme@att.net
Seek info. on the father of a Combs family, Perry Co., Ky., children: Eliza, b. 1835; Robert, b. 1840; Alexander, b. 1842; John, b. 1844; Virgil, b. 1846; and Mary, b. 1850. Mother of family was Serena ?, g. g. grandmother of my wife’s g. grandmother, Eliza Ansline, wife of Harvey Milton Barker, 1844-1910. Any info. appreciated.

Clifford A. Taylor
179 Mystic Lane London, KY 40744
Seek info. on Isabelle Donahue, b. 8/25/1852, Montgomery Co., Ky., the dau. of James Donahue and Julia A. F. Steele, m. John Saylor Minnear, b. 8/4/1842, Bath Co., Ky., d. 2/14/1899, Menifee Co., Ky. Who were Isabelle’s siblings? What is her connections to a girl named Crowley/Corwell/Cornwell. Any info. appreciated.

Phyllis J. F. Mossing 2003 Berdan Avenue Toledo, OH 43613
Seek info. and obituary for Frances Slone Bentley, b. 2/12/1942, Knott Co., Ky., d. 3/23/2004, either Knott Co., Ky., area, or Willard, Ohio, area, the dau. of Birtchell and Monnie Huff Slone. Any help appreciated.

James R. Slone 432 English Avenue Harrodsburg, KY 40330



White Bread
Washington Chowder
Winter-Best Gingersnaps
Macaroni With Tomato Sauce
Spanish Eggs
Creamed Egg Plant
White Sauce

The Devine Family Of Muhlenberg County
John Cromer Family

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.

The following was written by Edna Ruth Fish.
“My family and I wrote some history about our Dad and Mom who were from Rockcastle County, Kentucky. My dad was James Harvey Mullins. He was born at Wildie, Kentucky, on February 24, 1897, and died on July 12, 1981. He was the son of James Fredrick ‘Fed’ Mullins and Susie Mullins. Our mom, Mary Elizabeth Peters
Mullins, was born at Wildie,on February 20, 1899 and died on August 13, 1996. She was daughter of Henry Peters and Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Long Peters. Ninety-eight years ago, they rode the L&N train 25 miles to Richmond, Madison County, Kentucky, and were married at the courthouse on June 30, 1917. On their wedding day, Dad bought Mom a little glass lantern and a glass pistol full of candy, which the family still has.
“Their first residence was near Wildie up Jim Mullins Hollow. For chairs they used nail kegs and their table was a small spool that wire comes on. We’ve heard them say that the first time they…
I think most people just love their memories of attending one-room schools, especially in Eastern Kentucky. I have thought quite a bit about this. I think it takes us back to a time in our lives when we were young and in the first Garden of Eden, so to speak. Our parents had all of the worries of raising us and providing for us at that time. The students were, for the most part, smaller in number and knew each other. The one-room school was very much an integral part of the community. Most one-room schools were also used by church denominations on weekends. Political speakings were held there as well as it being the voting place. Some funeral services were held there, but for the most part, they were held at the home. Sometimes teachers would have the students put on a play around Thanksgiving and Christmas. There would also be pie socials. It wasn’t any wonder the community hated to see their school (way of life since the early settlers) come to an end as better roads and consolidated schools brought changes. The first schools in the mountains were built of logs, and one of those still stands in Martin County after more than 100 years, but is used as a barn. This speaks volumes of the hewn log structures built by the early settlers. The frame buildings replaced the log schools around 1920. These generally had several windows on the east and west sides due to the fact that electricity didn’t arrive until the late 1940s.
These school buildings were roughly three miles apart and were often located near an area where the creeks forked. Parents had a strong bond with their school, and most communities would keep an eye out for any vandals lurking around. I know that I did not like the transition from a one-room school to Warfield due to the fact that one seems to…..
Growing up in Estill County in the 1930s and 1940s were sweet times, even though we were working our way through a deep Depression. Money and jobs were scarce items, but the pioneer blood that flows through this county kept all our parents focused on the future. Our mothers and fathers had been reared by good, hard-working parents who knew how to save and how to stretch a penny. Most every family had a milk cow. Chicken coops and pig pens were in almost every backyard and always a vegetable garden. If any one knew of a family that was in need then, miraculously, help would usually appear in the form of food and clothing. Things just seemed to always turn up on the porches of our friends in need. No one felt that they were any better than anyone else, and they all felt that it was their God-given duty to help take care of their neighbors, if they were having a hard time.
No one had to worry about the children, as they played outside and ran all over the neighborhood. We all went outside to play as soon as possible after having breakfast, making our beds, and cleaning our rooms. This was an unwritten rule, “you did your chores or you did not play.” It was plain and simple and everyone knew my parents (Ezart and Cloria Mae Brandenburg Ashcraft) would enforce the rule. Daddy was the…
As a young boy growing up on Flax Patch Creek, Knott County, Kentucky, we lived about one-fourth mile above the school where eight grades were taught. Born to Dad and Mom (Troy and Sallie Fields) at this time were Willis, Elmer, Maewood, Troy (Jr.), and Wallace.
Mom had her hands full with so many youngsters to look after, along with her love of gardening. We grew almost everything we ate, except for flour, pepper, salt, sugar, etc. We boys picked blackberries in season to be canned or made into jelly or jam. Wild grapes were used to make jelly, and apples were dried, sulphured, and canned. Beans were dried, canned, and pickled.
Everything was recycled that was possible, including worn out clothes. Chicken feathers made soft mattresses.
There was a deep well close to the house, and it was used for duel purposes. Well water was cold, and Mom would lower milk containers into the water to keep the milk cold. It was “natural refrigeration.” The well furnished water for drinking, cooking and bathing. There was no running water or electricity, and no bathroom, just an outhouse.
Mom was the first one up in the mornings. The old wood-burning cookstove had to be fired up, so breakfast would be ready for Dad who operated a sawmill and always left early for work. The horses had to be fed, children roused from the bed as everyone ate at the same time, except for babies as there seemed to be one all the time.
Washday came more than once a week. It was easier to fill the iron kettle as it was placed near the creek. An old black kettle with three legs was placed on a rock in order to build a fire to heat the clothes. Mom made lye soap and would slice some from the bar and put it in the boiling water. The rough clothes were stirred and boiled until deemed clean. Rinsing bib overalls and jeans was hard work. We had no electric dryer, but we had an alternative, a clothes line and sunshine. The lighter clothes were cleaned on a scrub board after boiling.
After getting Dad off to work we…

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.