Thursday, April 24, 2014

An Elkhorn Tale

The following article can be found in the 16 May 1907 issue of the Crittenden Record-Press, published at Marion, Crittenden County, Kentucky.

Mr. Presley S. Maxwell lives in Marion, Ky. If an historian should attempt to chronicle the events of the early settlers in western Kentucky the family of Maxwell with its connections would certainly occupy a space in his history.

About two years before the death of George Washington and sometime in the year 1797, a young hunter and frontiersman of western Kentucky shouldered a long rifle and strove forth after meat. Armour's sweet sugar cured and well canvased bacon was undreamed of and the only meat eaten in western Kentucky homes at that time was wild meat. The name of this particular young hunter was Robert Smith, the great grandfather of our townsman, Mr. P.S. Maxwell.

On Stephen's hill, which is about two or three miles this side of Princeton, Kentucky, he shot and killed an enormous elk. His horns measured six feet from tip to tip. The elk was killed for his meat, but he was such a fine specimen and his antlers so large that Mr. Smith preserved them. He lived at the forks of the road, just above the large two-story brick house now occupied by Mr. Johnson Crider at the station known as Crider, Ky. These elk horns preserved by him were put on a post at the horse-mill and used as a hitch rack. They were removed from there and placed on the sign post of the tavern kept by Mr. Robert Smith and known as the Smith Tavern.

The name of the tavern was then changed to Elkhorn Tavern, and known by that all over the west. After Mr. Smith, the tavern was kept by Mr. Jimmie Blue, uncle of mayor Blue's father and after him it was kept by Dr. King.

These elkhorns remained on this sign post until 1861, when they were taken down and put in Dr. King's cellar. At the sale of Dr. King's property, they were obtained by Mr. Perry Maxwell, father of Mr. Presley Maxwell, and were then nailed to a sign post in front of Dr. J.A. Maxwell's drug store in Princeton, Ky. Here they stayed until the drug store was destroyed by fire. They were then rescued and remained in the possession of Dr. Maxwell until his death, when they were brought to Marion and adorned the hall of the Maxwell residence on Depot street now owned and occupied by Judge L.H. James.

After the erection of the new Maxwell residence at the corner of Depot and Main streets, they were again moved in this new home where they stayed until Mrs. Carrie Maxwell moved to Ardmore, Indian Territory. Mr. Perry D. Maxwell lives in an elegant residence in Ardmore and the elkhorns are now there.

Published 24 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - James T. & Lou Rorer

In Memory
James T. Rorer
Feb. 18, 1848 - Dec. 13, 1913
Lou His Wife
Sept. 18, 1854 - Aug. 16, 1914

Buried Hill Cemetery, Caldwell County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 10 October 2013.

Death certificate #5384 (1913) of James T. Rorer shows he was born in Caldwell County and was the son of J.C. Rorer, born Virginia, and Mary Ann Lott, born Crittenden County, Kentucky. J.T. Rorer and Lou Rorer married 12 February 1878 Caldwell County. It was the first marriage for both parties. Lou Rorer is shown in the household of Rich and Sarah Rorer on the 1870 Caldwell County census.

Published 22 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Buried Treasure

A lot of stories are told about Smithland - some true and some not true. A couple of years ago a friend told me about some people finding something under the floor of a house so I was pleased to find the following article in the 4 August 1929 issue of the Evansville Press. The St. John property owned by the heirs of J.W. Gautier in 1929 is Lot #1, located at the corner of Front and Walnut Streets on the Smithland plat of town lots. At that time there was a two-story brick house on the lot. That house is long gone and there is a rental house there now.

What do you think? Did the strangers find a treasure box?  What did it contain? Who buried it?



Published 17 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog, http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Ira D. and Sarah A. Nunn


Ira D. Nunn
Oct. 5, 1835
Apr. 19, 1913
Sarah A.
His Wife
Oct. 27, 1845
Jan. 18, 1938
Buried Rosebud Cemetery, Crittenden County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 15 October 2010.

Ira D. Nunn married (1) Mary C. Delaney 13 December 1865 Union County, Kentucky and (2) Miss Sarah Ann Shaw 6 December 1874 Crittenden County, Kentucky.

Death certificate #9791 (1913) shows that Ira Duke Nunn, the son of John Nunn and Emily H. Love died 20 April 1913. Sarah Ann Shaw Nunn's death certificate #2825 (1038) lists her parents as John Shaw and Mary Phillips. Her birth date is given as 27 October 1844.

Published 25 March 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Conant Family of Smithland

In 1842, Peter Horace Conant, a native of Massachusetts and later a resident of Louisville, Kentucky, purchased a tract of land lying on the bank of the Cumberland River, just above the town of Smithland in Livingston County, Kentucky.[1] Peter, along with his brothers, N.W. Conant and A.P. Conant, established a tanyard on this land, which became one of the largest commercial businesses in Smithland. By 1846 when the property was mortgaged to another brother, Joseph Conant, the assets of the company also included one keel boat, seven flat boats, a ferry flat and a skiff.[2] This indicates P.H. Conant was involved in river traffic.

Peter H. Conant (1809 - 1890)


Peter H. Conant, born in Leominister, Massachusetts on 24 May 1809, married (1) Mary Ann Bowers of Leominister 8 February 1832 and (2) Sarah Maria Bowers on 29 November 1877.[3] Peter H. and Mary A. Bowers Conant had the following children: Horace A., George H., Sarah Elizabeth, Mary Sawyer, John Heywood, Abbie Maria, Peter Andrew, Charles Withington, and Edward Taylor.[4]  Peter H. Conant died  testate[5] in 1890, according to his obituary:[6]
"Mr. P.H. Conant, of Smithland, died Sunday evening. He was an old sailor and steamboatman, and one of the oldest residents of Smithland. He was born in Massachusetts, and came West in his early life. He was an old acquaintance of Miss Clara Barton, of Red Cross fame and aided her in her work during the flood of '84. Mr. Conant was a spiritualist, and was an earnest believer in the faith. He leaves four sons, all grown. He was a leading business man of the place ... Mr. Conant was 82 years of age and up to a week ago, was in his usual health, and was seen riding a horse on the streets. His death was from old age, and a sudden breaking down of a strong constitution."

Charles W., son of Peter H. Conant remained in Smithland and married Cora Cade, daughter of James W. Cade, in 1881. Charles W. and Cora had no children and continued to live in the family home until their death, Charles W. dying 7 December 1936[7] and Cora dying 17 April 1939.[8]




Cora Cade and Charles W. Conant
At their home in Smithland



[1] Livingston County Deed Book GG:440, 5 December 1842.
[2] Livingston County Deed Book HH:323, 12 September 1846.
[3] Frederick Odell Conant. A History and Genealogy of the Conant Family in England and America 1520-1887, (Portland, ME:Harris & Williams, 1887), 510-511.
[4] Ibid.
[5] P.H. Conant will (1885), Livingston County Will Book C:116-117.
[6] Evansville Journal, p. 3, column 4, 16 July 1890,
[7] Kentucky Death Certificate #33857 (1936) of Charles W. Conant.
[8] Kentucky Death Certificate #10794 (1939) of Cora Cade Conant.


Published 10 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Tombstone Tuesday - Cuba Waters

Come Ye Blessed
Cuba
Wife of T.W.
Waters
Born
Oct. 4, 1892
Died
May 24, 1920
Passed Through The
Golden Gate Into
The Beautiful
Shining Land
 
Buried Ferguson Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 8 April 2014.
 
Death certificate #14470 (1920) shows that the decedent was born in Missouri. She was the daughter of Wash Stearns and Lou McCray, both of whom were also born in Missouri.
 
 
Published 8 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Lyon County in 1898

The following information comes from Legislative Document No. 7, Thirteenth Biennial Report of the Bureau of Agriculture, Labor and Statistics of the State of Kentucky, 1898-1899. There is a section on each Kentucky County.

Lyon County was formed in 1854 out of the southwestern half of Caldwell. Bounded north by Livingston and Crittenden, east by Caldwell, south by Trigg, west by Marshall.

Some of the finest iron ore known can be found here, including blue hematite. There have been several blast furnaces, but the ore was mined by slaves principally, and they were not allowed to use powder, consequently, much of it was not worked. Even since the war only surface veins were worked and untold wealth of it lies deeper, as have been proven by prospectors. There was also a rolling mill, in which some of the finest finished iron ever known was made. No boiler was every known to explode that was made of its product, when run by D. Hillman & Sons, the famous iron kings, who made charcoal iron almost exclusively.

Eddy Creek, a few miles above Eddyville, has in time supported three flouring mills, only one of which is now running.   Eddyville has a fine spring flowing out of a cave which has been explored for half a mile. Kuttawa has a very fine mineral spring used as a health resort but not extensively.

Good farm labor can be had for $13 or $14 per month  and board - the more inferior and unreliable are less - the average being about $11. Without board the average is about $16 or less.

We have some of the best county schools, most of the buildings being of the modern type, with seats, charts, blackboards, maps, etc., each occupied by live, well trained teachers, all moving upward and onward. In many districts, a "pay" school is conducted for three or five months after the public school is out, it holding five months. In each town is a high school ten months each year.

Eddyville, the county seat, was founded in 1799, on the north bank of the Cumberland river, 45 miles from its mouth, 190 miles from Louisville by the Illinois Central railroad, is a flourishing town, the seat of the branch penitentiary, with a large brick roller mill, a bank, newspaper, tobacco factory, two blacksmith shops, a full line of churches, ministers, lawyers, physicians, stores and hotels.

Lamasco, 10 miles southeast of Eddyville, founded in 1864, has 200 inhabitants, two churches, Methodist E. South, and Baptist, three physicians, two stores, two tobacco factories, two blacksmith shops and a flourishing school.

Kuttawa, one and one-half miles below Eddyville, founded in 1880 or '81, by Chas. Anderson, ex-governor of Ohio, lies on the Illinois Central railroad and Cumberland river - a live, wide awake town of 1,000 inhabitants. Has three churches, three lawyers, there physicians, five dry goods stores, seven groceries, three general stores, two hardware stores, one tobacco factory, one large spoke factory, four blacksmith shops, one jeweler and watchmaker, one large roller flouring mill, two hotels, two saloons and one bank, and a fine high school.

Star Lime Works, though not a town, has three stores, five lime kilns, one grist mill, two blacksmith and wood work shops and the best country school in the county.

Mon, Carmack and Eureka are country stores, the latter having three or four houses.

I am told that many years ago a John Brandon mined and smelted and coined into money silver he found in Lyon county, and was sent to the State prison, not for counterfeiting, but for making silver dollars, as they were of purer silver than standard money. He would never tell where he obtained his ore, but carried it some distance to his furnace, which was in the hills just across the river from Eddyville. A high grade of silver ore has been mined in the northwest corner of the county, at a spring known as the Silver Spring.

Postoffices in Lyon County - Carmack, Confederate, Eddyville, Eureka, Hughey, Kuttawa, Lamasco, Mont, Rinaldo, Saratoga, Star Lime Works.

Published 3 April 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,  http://wkygenealogy.blogspot.com/