Bicentennial Celebration 1775 – 1975
Think the photo's were taken
about 1925 - 1927.
Bryon Reynolds was born 1916
Lucille Dishon was born 1914
Imogene Smith was born 1918
This is from Bicentinnial paper photo # 7 and photo # 8 as mentioned in Kings Mountain text.
The History of Kings Mountain – Page 1
By Marcella Wall
Kings Mountain, located on the crest of one of Kentucky’s beautiful knobs, has a history centered around the Southern Railroad.
In the late 1800’s, approximately 200 men were employed to construct a passageway for trains pulled by the old coal-burning, steam locomotives. This passage was perhaps considered a masterpiece since all of the work was done by the muscle power of men.
In 1876, the well-known Kings Mountain tunnel which is nine-tenths of a mile in length with a steep upgrade leading to a high elevation, took its place in the history of this community as well as that of the Southern Railroad. However, the first village was located on top of the tunnel. When the railroad tunnel was constructed, the tunnel was moved to its present location.
Before the tunnel was arched, several families by the name of King lived here and being a small village, this community was known as Kingsville. As late as January, 1908, mail was received addressed as such, although by May 1910, the address was Kingsville Post Office, Kings Mountain, Ky.
Beginning with the arching of the tunnel, Kings Mountain became a railroad “boom town” and sometimes this place was called “Kings Mountain Tunnel” bearing out the influence this had on the locality. An old boarding house operated by Mr. and Mrs. Steve Reynolds accommodated railroad personnel who worked out the Kings Mountain Station. This old hotel was burned several years ago.
Because the tunnel could only be equipped with single track, trains must be watched carefully so signal and Western Union towers were erected and manned 24 hours a day. The tower located at South Fork (Post Office known as Arabia, Ky.) kept a watchful eye on the North and while the Kings Mountain signal tower watched over the south end, keeping trains side traced or throwing switches to let them pass. A Railroad ticket and freight depot also was erected and conducted a large volume of business.
Some of these telegraph operators and agents were, V.M (Pete) Bastin, Bill Leach (father of Randy Leach), T. F. Dunaway (the writer’s father), Mason Caldwell, Earl Hughes, a Mr. Strunk and Mr. Dumes.
railroad company constructed a large pond located about a mile south of the
old depot. A Pumping station and huge elevated reservoir furnished water for
the old steam locomotives. One of the operators of the station for many years
was A. D. Martin.
Due to the length of the tunnel and with the use of coal burning locomotives a suffocation hazard was produced. Many trainmen and hobos were victims of suffocation, sometimes they could be revived by the local doctors, but often it was fatal. One time a circus train became stalled in the tunnel. Some of the animals suffocated, while others were released, temporarily, rather than die.
some shafts were installed at the top of the tunnel which helped but usually
with the passing of a train, Coal smoke was so dense for miles around, one
could scarcely see a few feet away.
Grew at a Fast
The town now grew rapidly! Many people were employed by the railroad, homes were built, and stores, hotels, livery stables, a school and churches were established.
Several stores were in operation and the salesmen traveled by train and had their merchandise shipped here by rail.
Most of the time, the salesmen had to stay overnight, and railroaders must accommodate, so two hostels were built. One was the Pennebaker Hotel, located on the west side of the railroad about the location of the present day home of Stanley Falconberry. This building, then owned by John Hart, father of the late Claud Hart, burned several years ago. Later a house was built there which for many years was the home of the Ashford Dishon family.
Dan Hester built and operated the other hotel below the present Pilcher Store, formerly operated by Gabe Walters. The structure had 16 rooms and a lobby. Through the years, it housed stores, cream purchasing stations, apartments, barber shops and at one time, the post office. This building burned on February 2, 1950.
Family was quite prominent in this era. They donated land for the Kings
Mountain Christian Church, owned property of a local canning factory, built
and operated a store on the northwest corner of Kings Mountain. This building
was later sold to Dr. C. M. Thompson,
who later sold it to Ira Patterson,
and built on the opposite side of the street. Noble
Padgett owned the Patterson building at the time; it burned on February 2,
At one time, Kings Mountain was an incorporated town, holding town meetings and court on the second floor of the Patterson Building when Major Smith was the judge. Around the late 1930’s and early 1940’s Patterson completely remodeled this building and made new additions, bricking the structure. In the late 1920’s and early 1930’s the upper side of the Patterson warehouse was the office of Dr. Davidson, a dentist, who later moved to Stanford.
Creating a booming business for the lumbermen of this area was a demand for wood ties to be used under the rails. This opened the way for a tie yard, located just south of the depot which did a huge quantity of business for many years.
During the time of the arching of the tunnel being not many years past the Civil War era, the Klu Klux Klan was still an organization and several lynching were held on top of the tunnel. Switches and crosses were burned at many door steps. Also, Kings Mountain at this time was credited with having five saloons, giving the town a rough name.
Miss Josephine Tucker is credited for bringing the following account of history to Kings Mountain in 1952, furnished her by Mrs. Alvin Adams of Crab Orchard. In the late 1800’s, Elder J. G. Livingston recorded the following.
“Kings Mountain on the Southern Railway was decidedly the most ungodly and sin-cursed place in the country. At one time over 200 men were engaged in arching the great tunnel at that point. On Livingston’s way there he met a man who advised him to go back home, “You will be mistreated. They killed a man there last Sunday and whiskey flows up and down the streets.”
Elder Livingston continued to Kings Mountain to preach. In 13 day, there were 25 additions and a congregation was organized. From time to time, he visited as county evangelist and held several meetings. J. L. Allen came to his assistance and as a result a $1,250 house was built and the congregation rejoiced in the regular ministry of Bro. James L. Allen.
This was the beginning of the Kings Mountain Christian Church, completed in 1892. This historic church still stands and has been renovated.
year later, in 1893, the Pleasant Point Baptist Church had a log building
located about the center of where the cemetery is now. When the old frame
church was built with the assistance of John
A. Singleton, father of Claude
Singleton, the log structure was removed to the Toab
Jeffries farm and was used as a barn. This farm was later owned by Mr. and
Mrs. Claude Singleton but is now
the residence of the Jack Blairs.
Around the turn of the century, a red-haired Methodist minister, Rev. Newsom, came to this country and built a ‘brush harbor’ at the site of the old Claud Hutchinson store (across the road from the present Woodrow Watts residence). A few people split for the Pleasant Point Church, but later returned, and under the leadership of Rev. Newsome established the Methodist Church.
The old Methodist Church, erected at this site, was later used as a store and the present church. At one time services were held at the old school house which has been moved across the street.
Nazarene Church was not organized until the early 1940’s, under the
leadership of Mrs. Jessie Puttett,
wife of Otis Puttett. The basement of the church was used several years before
the erection of the present building. Mr.
and Mrs. Virgil McGuire are two of the charter members.
The first school at Kings Mountain was built on land donated by the Murphy family, ancestors of Mike Murphy. At first this was a two-room school, with a third room added later. A part of the school was used by the Methodist Church and in 1913; a brick building was erected for the elementary school. In 1924 a new addition was made for the high school. A gymnasium was completed by the WPA in 1940. Some of the best Kings Mountain teams represented the school.
an independent school system, it was overseen by a local board of trustees,
including Dr. C. M. Thompson, Dr. W. D.
Laswell, Ruff Woodie, Peter Bastin, Creed Roberts, W. D. Johnson, J. B. McKee,
W. C. Dye, and H. C. Leach.
Around 1943, this school system was merged with the county school system and in 1974; the elementary school was moved to the old Memorial High School Building. The old building was then sold. Today it’s being remodeled for some type of business.
There have also been several medical doctors in the history of Kings Mountain. Dr. O’Bannon in the late 1800’s lived and practiced medicine at the Laswell Place and later moved to Stanford to continue his practice.
Dr. C. M. Thompson moved here in 1892 from Pulaski County; Dr. Acton practiced here for many years where Edna Thompson Preston lives now, before moving to Glasgow; Dr. Smith was located where the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Nelson Bastin is today.
Dr. W. D. Laswell came from Rockcastle County to Kings Mountain around 1916. His office was on the second floor of his residence, now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Lee Rogers.
Other interesting history behind the small community of Kings Mountain includes a short line from Kings Mountain to Duncan and Yosemite. This railroad was short and did not operate many years.
For years, there were at least two wood mills located in Kings Mountain.
Various blacksmith shops have been operated here by the late Bill Dye and others. Ab Greer also had a blacksmith shop on the farm of the late Harvey Jenkins.
The ‘Kings Mountain Echo’, a newspaper was published here around 1913. In one edition, there was a “Temperance Page”, which included a poem entitled “The Hell Bound Train”, informing the people about the problems of alcohol. “Rouse them, Freemen, Come from hill and valley: Fathers, brothers, earnest, brave and strong! Onward, forward, all united rally.” “Death to Alcohol, your battle song, “was written across the top of a page.
The newspaper also included advertisements and news from Waynesburg and Pleasant Point.
The Bob Puttett family operated a variety of businesses a short distance from the overhead bridge. This consisted of a grocery, barber shop, garage and feed mill. Noble Padgett later owned this business until the railroad purchased it.
In the early 1900’s, the railroad company bought all the land on the northwest side of the county road for the purpose of making a new cut to eliminate the tunnel, now closed.
Many people have come here looking for rare geodes, after this deep ravine was made by modern machinery.
There are several cemeteries located in this area and many private family plots on farms. Some of these are Pleasant Point, Gooch Graveyard and the Knights of Pythias Cemetery. The Methodist Church cemetery was closed many years ago due to the fear of water contamination since everyone used wells.
The Waters Graveyard, located on the Cook Ridge Road, is seldom used. The Sims Graveyard is located on Robertstown Road where burials are occasional. A very old cemetery is on the farm owned by Pete Perdue, and when the writer was a small child, it was told that this was an Indian cemetery. Small family plots are located on farms owned by Jack Blair, Mike Murphy, and John R. Wall, and others.
One of the oldest houses in Kings Mountain is the home of Mrs. Edna Thompson Preston and son, Hershell. This is a two story frame building first occupied by Isom and Patsy Vaught. It was built by Ison, and his father-in-law, a Mr. Blankenship over 100 years ago.
Kings Mountain’s oldest citizen today is (1975) Mrs. Mary Ann Haggard, who celebrated her 100th birthday on June 8, 1975. She lives with her son, Cicero Haggard.
of Mr. and Mrs. J. W. Thompson posing in front of their house. (Date unknown) It
is now owned by Mr. and Mrs. Ralph McKinney. (1975)
Doctors of Kings
By Marcella Wall
Kings Mountain had two medical doctors whom together gave 93 years of medical services here and to surrounding counties. They traveled by walking, horse back, buggy and car, their working hours were whenever needed—it was never too hot or too cold; too early or too late. Dr. C. M Thompson and Dr. W. D. Laswell, both will be long remembered here.
Born in the Bee Lick section of Pulaski County, December 19, 1866, Dr. Thompson grew up there and taught school for a few years. Then he graduated from a Medical College in Cincinnati in June 1891. On Nov. 25 that same year, he married Emma Thompson, also of Pulaski County.
After a short term of practice near Somerset, he moved to Kings Mountain on Aug. 1, 1892, where he practiced continually for 64 years. He also was a doctor for the Southern Railroad.
Dr. Thompson traveled throughout Lincoln, Casey, Pulaski and Rockcastle Counties and has been credited for around 3,800 obstetrical deliveries, including two sets of triplets and several sets of twins. The last delivery was a child from Ottenheim when he was 89 years old.
Dr. and Mrs. Thompson had three children, Mrs. Bertha Dunaway, Mrs. Grace Hill and Russell Thompson, all deceased. They were the grandparents of nine grandchildren, all of whom are living.
Mrs. Thompson died in March, 1953 and Dr. Thompson died in October, 1957. Both are buried at Buffalo Springs Cemetery in Stanford.
Thompson, grandfather of Mrs. Marcella Wall, spent his last three years with
her, spending many hours telling about his life as a doctor.
Dr. Laswell, born in Orlando, Rockcastle County on October 7, 1875, came to Kings Mountain in 1916. He attended high school and college at Berea and was a graduate of Louisville School of Medicine.
The doctor began his medical career in Willdee and Mt. Vernon in 1904. After coming to Kings Mountain, he practiced medicine in the former location of Dr. O’Bannon’s office after he moved to Stanford.
Dr. Laswell continued his career in Kings Mountain for 29 years until he became ill around 1944. He died July 14, 1945 and was laid to rest at Pleasant Point Cemetery.
He had a large family. He was married to Miss Cumile Reams and their children were: Edith, Leita, who died very young; Orville, Harrison, David and George.
After Mrs. Cumile Laswell died on Sept. 13, 1913, he later married Eunice Ball of Honaker, VA., and their children were Mary Elizabeth, Margaret, Haskew, Cynthia, Shirley, and Cleia, a twin to Shirley who died in infancy.
Mrs. Eunice Laswell died October 28 1928. The doctor then married Lucille Young of Highland, a daughter of Cyrus Young. Their children were June, Billy and Roberta Sue.
Mrs. Lucille Laswell resides in Dayton, Ohio with her daughter, Roberta, and they visit Kings Mountain each summer.
Both Dr. Thompson and Dr. Laswell owned farms here and were leaders in the civic affairs of the community.
[Editor’s Note: The information about Dr. Laswell was furnished by his son, David, who is a retired naval officer, living in Stanford.]
1. Dr. and Mrs. C. M. Thompson’s three children, from left, are Russell, Bertha and Grace.
2. Dr. C. M. Thompson
3. Dr. W. D. Laswell
4. Back when most babies were born at home, Eunice Dunaway of Kings Mountain, right, was there to assist the doctor. Dr. George Griffith, left, delivered this unidentified infant at home. (Shows mother and child in bed}
5. Dr. Thompson is standing in his buck wheat field, from a photo postcard of about 1938. This farm is now owned by Otis Hannah
6. Pictured in Front of the old Kings Mountain High School, from left, are Randy Leach, Wilburn Hill and Columbus Dunaway.
7. Kings Mountain School, showing a group of students, not all identified. Those identified: Bertha Bell, Mary Agnes Dunn. Dr. Laswell, Glenn Cheruillett, Jap Pumphrey, Garland Miller and Oliver Smith on the back row.
Second row, Zelda Floyd, Bessie Pumphrey, Lucille Dishon, Some of the third row are; Christine Reece, Bernice Benson, Byron Reynolds. Seated in front. Connie Walter, Bessie Reece, Josephine Smith, Imogene Smith, Margaret Cheruilett, Jeanette Cheruillett and Robert Bell. [Picture courtesy of Marcella Wall.]
8. Kings Mountain School students pose for this picture of the building. [Courtesy of Marcella Wall]
9. Old House-One of the oldest in Kings Mountain Community, is now the residence of Mrs. Erthelene Reynolds. At one time it was owned by the Dee Baxter family. Note the different styles of clothing worn by the men. [Picture courtesy of Marcella Wall.]
10. Section Crew going to work around 1930 when Hayed “Bud” Skidmore was the foreman. [Photo courtesy of Marcella Wall]
11, In Kings Mountain’s heyday, this old coal burning steam locomotive traveled the Southern Railway.
12. At Tower – Telegraph operators who worked at the Kings Mountain signal tower around 1908, are; left to right, V. N. “Pete” Bastin, not known, and T. T. Dunaway. ORT is for Order of Railroad Telegraphers. [Picture owned by Marcella Wall]13. Kings Mountain Railrond ticket and freight depot before it was remodeled. (Very light) [Courtesy of Marcella Wall]
The History of Kings
Mountain – Page 2
“Queen and Crescent” Runs Through Lincoln County
Southern Railway System’s 336 mile line from Cincinnati to Chattanooga has been unique among American Railroads since the day it opened. This is the only major rail line built and owned by a city.
It was completed by the city of Cincinnati in 1880 and was originally called “The Cincinnati Southern Railway.” Since 1881 it has been leased for operation by Cincinnati, New Orleans and Texas Pacific Railway Company, now a Southern Railway System line.
There was much opposition to this project of building a railroad to the South because of the great cost and by the time war broke out in 1861; Cincinnati’s closest approach to a rail link with the South was a combination of two railroads running from neighboring Covington to Nicholasville, Kentucky.
A Cincinnati merchant introduced a bill in the Ohio legislature in 1865 providing for the construction of a railroad to the south. He did not specify, however, who would build it or where the money was to come from. Various attempts to extend the line south from Nicholasville came to nothing, largely because of a provision in the Ohio constitution prohibiting a city from lending financial support to a private railroad venture. Nothing in the state constitution, however, barred the city from building its own railroad. Edward A. Ferguson, a city attorney was responsible for raising a large amount of the money needed for the project and on December 12, 1873, the first excavation contract was awarded for the south entrance of the Kings Mountain Tunnel.
The Kings Mountain tunnel was the longest and most expensive one on the line. It was more than a mile long and was cut through solid limestone in Old Muldraugh Hill and was used until 1963 when the new mile long and 145 feet deep cut was made bypassing the old tunnel. This was necessitated by the use of the new “piggy-back” flat cars that were too large to go through the tunnel.
By February 1874 the location of the entire line had been announced. Millions of dollars went into clearing, grading, and excavations for 27 tunnels, track laying, bridges and stone masonry. Before the end of 1876, grading and masonry had been completed to within seven miles of Chattanooga, and rail and crossties in place from the Ohio River to Somerset. High Bridge over the Kentucky River was completed in February 1877. It was the first cantilever bridge on the American continent, and was one of the engineering’s feats of the Cincinnati Southern Railway. At the time of its completion and for a number of years afterward, it was considered to be the highest railroad bridge over a navigable stream in the country.
The Ohio River Bridge at Cincinnati, its 515 floor channel span, the longest truss span in the world, reached completion in April. In July 1877 the first passenger and freight trains operated between Ludlow and Somerset. By 1881, Cincinnati’s railroad link with the South extended to Chattanooga and all the way to New Orleans – the “Queen and Crescent Route”.
Railroad stations were built in Lincoln County at Moreland, McKinney, Kings Mountain and Waynesburg. Meeting the train was a popular pastime in the late nineteenth century. Crowds gathered at the depots just to see the train go by, and to see who was departing and coming home from a trip. That is a thing of the past, since no passenger trains now run on either railroad through Lincoln County.
Lumber Mills Built
In 1877 a large lumber mill was set up at Walltown, a few miles from Kings Mountain and another at Staffordsville, just west of the Casey County and Lincoln County line. Houses, shanties and a grog drop arose, and the town soon contained three or four hundred people, who worked in the woods and at the mills.
In 1879 a train track was built from Kings Mountain to Straffordsville. The cars, which ran on wooden rails, were pulled by oxen or mules, which were taken out when the cars reached the top of the hill. The volume of traffic was too great to be handled in this manner for very long, and after a year the train was replaced by a narrow gauge railroad.
The mills at Duncan and Staffordsville supplied the railroad with great loads of lumber which were brought to Kings Mountain to connect with the Southern Railroad and shipped to all parts of the country. Within a few years the lumber was gone, The panic of 1893 cut short any efforts toward the extension of this narrow gauge Railroad, and it gradually fell into neglect as the timber disappeared.
Dunaway Twins Brought Fame to Kings Mountain
The Dunaway twins of Kings Mountain brought fame to Lincoln Count in September 1935. Eunice Dunaway and Isabel Dunaway, who were 24 years old at that time, won the national contest for being the best identical feminine twins in the fourth convention held at Warsaw, Ind.
Daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Troy Dunaway, telegraphers for the Southern Railway, the girls competed with 1, 200 contestants representing 600 pairs of twins. At the time, they were presented keys to the city by Mayor C. C. Dubois of Warsaw.
They entered the contest through a newspaper story and were called a “perfect Specimen of young womanhood and are proud of their Kentucky birthplace.
The Dunaway twins were educated in their home town school, attended Campbellsville College and also attended the State Normal School at Morehead, Ky.
Eunice and Isabel was the elder of eight children, and were reared on a 360 acre farm at Kings Mountain.
When asked what they would like to do in the future, the girls said, “Get a job and help pay dad and mother back for all they have done for us and we would like to return some kindness to them.
When asked how they got along, they replied, “Well, we are the best of friends and always hope to be.”
On the day they won the contest, they were dressed alike in pretty crepe suits, right up to the minute in style and cut. They wore their hats differently, so the photographers would not get their names mixed up.
Today, Isabel Dunaway Denny lives at Science Hill. Eunice Dunaway died in 1969.
This historical account of the old Hanging Fork Church and other information
about facts and stories pertaining to the Hustonville Community and its
families was first printed in the Kentucky Advocate at Danville. The facts
were compiled by Flonnie Carson Walton,
a well-known historian in Lincoln County. Mrs. Walton has written many
articles that have appeared in newspapers about the early settlers in the
county. The following article appeared in the June 10, 1973 edition of the
Advocate.] (Carole’s notes
are in italic’s)
By Flonnie Carson Walton
At the time when Kentucky and the nation are preparing to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the American Revolution along with the 100th running of the Kentucky Derby, the settlement around Hustonville in Lincoln County will be within six years of its 200th birthday.
Some 38 years after Carpenter’s Station settlement in 1780, descendants of such families as Russell, Morrison, Carpenter, Bailey, Huston, Spears, Logan, Powell, Murrell, Riffe, Cooper, and Allen were among those settling around a post village in 1818, located about two and one half miles east on Hanging Fork crossroad which is the only settlement known to have borne four names. The last name of Hustonville became permanent. Here, early explorer trails crossed and as the crow flies, it is some 25 miles from Lebanon, the approximate geographical center of the state. These trails were near what have become the present day highways.
The boundary of Carpenter’s Station is said to have extended from one mile east of Hustonville to a mile west of Wesley’s Gap in Casey County and from Moreland Station, eight miles south to about five miles distance from Liberty, county seat of Casey County, forming an area eight by four square miles. It also states there was a trace of trail from the Station north through Neal’s Gap to Fort Harrod which was then a part of Lincoln County.
John Carpenter, the eldest of the Carpenter brothers at the Station, was the first of the three to die and make a will. His will is the first will recorded in Lincoln County Clerk’s office at Stanford.
Nealy’s Gap was named for a family by that name that came to the Station. Although the first name of this man is unknown at the time, it is known from legendary stories that he was discovered scalped and hanging from a tree in the area of the Gap. It was supposed to have been an act of the Indians. However, there were probably no more that two or three direct attacks by Indians upon the Station at any time. Men remained at the Station to protect the women and children and alternated with other men who tended the crops. Two daughters of Mr. Nealy are known. They were Mary and Christiana who married two Spears boys, George and Jacob of the George Spears family. This all took place before Casey became a county in 1806.
Although the town has never had more that three or four hundred population, it has maintained two banks, three or more churches, a high school, a post office, a barber shop, a dry goods store, and at one time, a weekly newspaper and until recently, a drug store. Later years have brought two or three gas stations, an electrical appliance and furniture store, a restaurant, and two farm equipment and hardware stores. Hustonville once had an Academy and a Parochial School.
In 1968 when the first new post office building was erected and dedicated, a story appeared in the Sunday edition of the Advocate-Messenger on August 18, giving some of the early history of the Post Office, the banks and businesses, the ante-bellum Christian Church and Academy and some early history of the town settlement. This article will feature the first church erected in the town, first known as the Hanging Fork Congregation of Presbyterian Church, along with some of the families and their descendants, their association with the church, the progress and culture of the town, plus a bit of folklore.
There is much likeness in the structure of the brick Hanging Fork Church and the Christian Church, erected in 1855. Both church buildings followed the most modern and progressive lines of brick and stone architecture of that era. In front of the Hanging Fork Church’s left front window was a stile where horses and carriages stopped to permit the ladies in their long skirts to step more gracefully from the vehicles onto the walkway to the church entrance. Before the Hanging Fork Church, with its spire and stained glass windows was erected, members of the denomination attended services in a log structure thought to have been near the new brick structure. The exact date of the beginning of the new brick building is not known. But it is know that it took a few years to complete the edifice.
The Hanging Fork Church is said to have been the most beautifully constructed and detailed piece of architecture ever erected in the area. Those who recall the old church always mention the beauty of the red carpet under the light of the stained glass windows.
Some further information on the old church is to be found in Deed Book L, 1821 -25, page 164 at the Court House in Stanford and is given here in part: (It will be noticed in many of these old hand-written deeds that the spelling is different and there is no punctuation marks and few capital letters.)
“This indenture of bargain and sale made and entered into the eleventh day of May in the year eighteen hundred and twenty-four between Samuel Shackleford of Lincoln County Abraham Vanice and Sarah his wife late Sarah James and Jacob Curtner and Leah his wife late Leah James of Mercer County parties of the first part by Thomas Helm Commissioner appointed by decree of the Lincoln Circuit Court and Stephenson Huston, Benjamin Briggs, Robert Givens, and John Blain and their successors who may be duly appointed by the Hanging Fork Congregation of Presbyterians parties of the second part Witness that whereas by decree of the Lincoln Circuit Court pronounced at the January term thereof in the year 1824 in the suit in Chancery pending in the said Circuit Court wherein the aforesaid Stephenson Huston and Benjamin Briggs were complaintans and the said Samuel Shackleford Abraham Vanice and Sarah is wife Jacob Curtner and Leah his wife should on or before the first Monday in April last part convey to the said Stephenson Huston, Benjamin Briggs, Robert Givens and John Blain and their successors who may be duly appointed by the Hanging Fork Congregation of Presbyterians in trust for the use and benefit of the said Hanging Fork Congregation of Presbyterians all the right title claim interest and demand which they the parties of the first part have in and to the following tract or parcel of ground lying and being in Lincoln County on the Hanging Fork including the meeting house of the Hanging Fork Congregation of Presbyterians and bounded as follows to wit Beginning at a stake in the big road near the place where a line of tree stood which was a corner to the lot of ground laid off by Samuel Shackleford acquired in his lifetime to the elders of the Hanging Fork Congregation of Presbyterians” --. The boundary continues but has no meaning today in as much as the trees, poles and rocks which were used as markers no longer exist. (This may not be the correct spelling of the names Vanice and Curtner, due to the age of the handwriting in the old deed). The described area consisted of one acre and a half located across from the Masonic building on Main Street.
In Deed Book U, 1840-50, page 280, a tract of land was purchased from John M. Lewis and wife Mary Ann located on the “big road”, beginning at a cove spring corner which is now covered by a private driveway at the big white frame house built by Bailey Hill after the Parochial School was discontinued. This house is located opposite the Mt. Salem Road off Highway 78. The tract was further specified as being on the south bank of the Samuel Williams property on Hanging Fork. The boundary was also in line with the church property and became the site of the Parochial School.
The deed was made August 8, 1848. The plot of ground consisted of a little more that two acres at $40 per acre, totaling $81.75. Acting for the church business was: David Williams, Tilman Hocker, George W. Walsh, Walter Nichols, George B. Anderson and James Blain. Witnesses were John W. Reid and S. H. Slaughter.
Thomas Blain was clerk of Lincoln County Court at the time.
Those who remember early services in both of the old brick churches say there was always co-operation and friendship between the two congregations. In an article written for the Christian Church Stanford, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1873 there is an article telling of the Presbyterian members and minister, who at that time was Rev. J. A. Bogle, attending most of the services at the Christian Church, both morning and evening and “manifesting the kindest spirit. J. B. Green, an elder of the Presbyterian Church, a zealous Sunday School man, and a valuable citizen as well as an earnest Christian gentleman, was with us regularly.” The Rev. W. L. Williams was pastor of the Christian Church at the time of this meeting. The article was written by the visiting minister, but his name was not given.
One of the influential families located here in the early construction and improvement period (1840 -60) was the Welsh family. Mr. George W. Welsh was one of the first trustees of the Presbyterian Church. He was a native of Hustonville and was said to have been an uncompromising member of the Presbyterian Church, as was his brother-in-law, James Nichols. Both men were merchants in Hustonville and Danville before and around the building time of the Hanging Fork Church. The Welsh name is found on the earlier stones in the old part of the cemetery here. It is thought that some members of the family may have been buried in the old burial ground located a few hundred yards west of the church school built in 1848 near the intersection of what is now known as the Stanford and Mt. Salem intersection of highways. Mr. George Welsh disposed of the local store and joined Mr. Nichols in Danville in early 1850’s
In the early days of the church the Williams family was one of the largest families in the town. Much is learned from the 1849 will of Mr. David Williams obtained from the Louisville Theological Seminary’s scrapbook prepared by Dr. Robert Stewart Sanders of Lexington.
In Mr. Williams’ will he stipulated that much of his estate was to be contributed to the church and school, with a request that if after his bequests were granted, “the remaining residue be turned over to the trustees of Centre College to be invested in scholarships for the use and benefit of members of the Williams family, the most indigent to have the precedence.” One bequest was that “at the death of his wife, should she survive him, the remaining possessions be sold at public auction and the amount of $5, 000 be paid to the trustees, Tilman Hocker, James Blain and George F. Lee or their successors to be by them lent out or invested and the proceeds used for the benefit of such school or schools as said church may be its session establish for the purpose of securing a sound Christian education and the said Trustees be hereby requested to apply to the Legislature of Kentucky for such power as many be necessary to enable them to hold, manage and use such amount as devised above for the purpose aforesaid.”
Mr. Williams also “required further of the session of the church that the school or schools be conducted and taught by qualified teachers in good standing of the said church and school under the supervision of the Pastor or Elder of the Hanging Fork Presbyterian Church.”
He also provided and secured two scholarships for members of the Williams family. A niece, Margaret Allen, was bequeathed the sum of $400. Named as his executors were his neighbors; Robert H. Givens and James Blain. At his further request after his death, rites and ceremonies were held at the church and interment took place “on the one acre of ground around my grave on the hill, Pleasant View reserved for a permanent public burying ground.
Another prominent family whose lives touched and enriched the church, the community and adjoining counties, was that of George B. Anderson whose will was filed August 3, 1869, having as executor, George W. Riffe, his nephew.
The will read in part, “I devise my executors my certificate of stock in the Danville and Hustonville, Liberty and Hustonville Turnpike Roads, to the elders of the Hanging Fork Presbyterian Church for them to apply the dividend to the support of the regular Pastor or supply of said Church.”
Names and dates of members of the Blain family found in local burial grounds, old deeds and elsewhere may prove helpful to descendants in this area. Nancy (Martin) Blain died 1819. Her sons were John and James. John married Betsy Ann Reed, June 25 1823 and James married Mary P. Lee, October 8, 1824. John M. Blain, born Nov. 23, 1798; died May 29, 1845. His wife Betsy Ann was born Dec. 10, 1806; died Aug 27, 1836. Their daughter, Henrietta died at the age of six months.
Another John Blain married Sally K. Hays, May 24, 1853. And still another John Blain married Emma Wright and they were the parents of Mrs. Robert Cunningham. Lexington, Susan and Elizabeth, deceased. Residents here think this Mr. John Blain was County Clerk at one time and later became postmaster at Hustonville assisted by his sister, Miss Kate Blain. Members of the Blain family were Presbyterians.
Neighboring Casey County history is closely interwoven with Lincoln County, beginning in early times. Family ties and the history of old burial grounds are proudly shared by the people of these two counties. Intermarriages and other common interests have to the present time. With the recent reprinting of Peter “Bim” Baniridge Riffe’s book “Celeste” and a recent book entitled “Legend of Casey County” by H. F. Lucus of Middleburg and a book of historical value entitled “Men, Women, Events, Institutions and Lore” by W. M. Watkins, which has seen its second printing, we are further reminded of the relationship of the two counties.
In the Riffe’s book, first printed in 1876 at Lebonon, reference is made to “old man Anderson” of the Hanging Fork Presbyterian Church. It is said he was present to greet his fellow Christians when and wherever the door was open for services. He was at the great meeting held at the Casey County Court House in the mid 1830’s, at which time the people sat on hard wooden benches by candlelight to hear a visiting minister who on the one occasion was the Rev. Leban Jones, Presbyterian. It is said that the converts at this great meeting were baptized on the banks of Green River and “old man Anderson” was there to assist the ladies from the water in their long skirts weighted down by metal weights to keep them from ballooning in the water. Walter Anderson, 1775 – 1865 married Sarah Anna or Sally Blain. There were the parents of George Anderson 1804 – 69 who married Janetta Page. They were regular attendants at the Hustonville Presbyterian Church. Mr. George Anderson served as an officer in the church and was also a trustee in the church and school. It is said the mare he rode so regularly to church continued to go there after his death and waited till someone took her home.
Walter Routt is another known member of the church and is said to have engineered the painting of the church. With two men he erected a scaffold for the painting of the cupola. This caused much concern among the townspeople to see men working at such a height. Some predicted they would surely fall before the job was finished. Mr. Routt lived on Frog Branch in Peyton’s Well area. He married Miss Martha Jane Dodd. Their son, Jesse Routt, a merchant for many years in the town, was baptized in the old church. Two living grandchildren of Walker Routt are; Mrs. Ed (Margaret) Leake, Stanford and Robert Routt of Bowling Green, Ky.
One incident happening at the church is well remembered. A Hustonville resident said that when he was a boy attending the church, a group of local Ku Klux Klan members, wearing their robes and masks, walked into the church and made a considerable cash donation, which was their custom at that time. Now a grown man, this citizen says that he has never been more frightened in all his life than he was when he looked up and saw the group entering the church. There are a few members of the former Klan now living in the town. All of the activities of the Klansmen were of good report.
Among some of the teachers over the 30 year period of the Parochial School, built and maintained by the Hanging Fork Presbyterian Church were; the Rev. Mr. Bogle and his family, James C. and George O. Barnes and family. Selecting the teachers were the first names trustees, Messrs. Tilman Hocker, G. F. Lee, James Blain, George Anderson, Walter Nichols and George W. Welsh. The school was placed under the charge of Centre College at Danville and the Board Members of Centre College visited the school and made whatever recommendations they saw fit for the school, according to papers by Joe. T. Embry, retired educator and former principal of Stanford High School.
Three of Lincoln County’s Superintendents of Schools were members of the Hanging Fork Church, two of whom were women. The Rev. J. A. Bogle was in office in the early and mid 1880’s and several years later, his daughter Miss Kate Bogle was elected to the office. Miss Kate Blain was Superintendent around 1898. Another Lincoln County woman (not a member of the Hanging Fork Church) served in this office. She was Miss Mayme Singleton. Stanford, who like Miss Bogle, later followed her father, Mr. Garland Singleton in the same office.
There were few children in Hanging Fork Church in latter years and those who were members either married and moved away or took up profession in other places. The church membership could no longer carry on and at a meeting on January 14, 1932 in Danville, an appointment committee composed of the Rev. C. E. McLean, minister of the Stanford Presbyterian Church, J. B. Paxton, an elder of Stanford Church and the Rev. J. J. Rice, minister of the First Presbyterian Church of Danville, “looked into the advisability of dissolving the Hanging Fork Church.” Mr. P. M. McRoberts, of the Stanford Church was added to the committee and acting jointly with the Church Trustees of Hanging Fork Church, a motion prevailed “to sell the church building and direct the payment of the fund held under will in accordance with the laws of The Presbyterian Church in the United States and laws of Kentucky, and that they be empowered to use their discretions as to time, manner and place of the sale of said church and report their action to the next meeting of the Presbytery after said sale, for disposition of proceeds of the property sold.”
Present at the call of the “Moderator Presbytery in Danville at 10:15 a. m. on March 19, 1933, were Dewey Kimbal, J. W. Carpenter, W. A. Stevenson, T. C. Vison, Herman Jones with Elders: P. M. McRoberts, W. H. Cunningham, M. W. Durrett and Woods Walker, at which time “arrangements were made for the sale of the property.
It was reported by the commissioners that the “sale take place at public auction on January 3, 1933.” The highest bidder at the sale was Mr. James H. Yowell, farmer and banker of Hustonville. The sale price was $950 and a title bond for same was executed and delivered to him. Funds from the sale from the sale were delivered to the treasurer of the Presbytery’s Home Missions committee and were held in trust by the committee” subject to orders by the regular spring meeting of the Presbytery.”
At the called spring meeting of the Presbytery on March 27, 1944, “the matter of the sale of the manse of the Hanging Fork Presbyterian Church (now dissolved) was placed in the hands of the Rev. Joe T. Sudduth and Ruling Elder, P. M. McRoberts. These gentlemen proceeded by turning over the advertising and sale of said property to Mr. E. B. Cochran, local real estate agent” (The parsonage property of the Hanging Fork Church, located diagonally across from the Christian Church on Danville Street, was held for a time and used the Church’s Auxiliary Society).
On April 8, following, Mr. Tom Bell was the highest bidder and a deed was transferred to him on the receipt of the highest bid of $2,925. After expenses, the sum was placed in the Stanford State Bank “to be disposed of as the Presbyterians directed, respectfully submitted by Joe T. Sudduth, chairman; S. Evans Brown, clerk; P. M. McRoberts and R. A. Wailes.”
The remaining members of the Hanging Fork Church became members of the Stanford Church. They made the request that Transylvania Presbytery allocate the funds to be used toward the purchase or construction of a manse for the Stanford church and the request was granted.
Members from the Hanging Fork Church who became members of the Stanford Church were; A. J. Adams and wife, Jennie McKinney Adams and niece, Miss Marilee Terhune; Mrs. Mary Bishop, Mrs. Ephriam Newell, Mrs. Sam M. Owens, Mrs. Thomas Tupman and sister, Miss Kate Blain; Misses Bell and Kate Gogle, Miss Mack S. Logan, and Miss Lucy Alcorn. Miss Alcorn’s sister, Mrs. Catherine Spaulding transferred her membership in 1957.
According to records, Mr. A. J. Adams was a former deacon in the church and became an Elder shortly before the church was dissolved.
At one time
there were a few families of Methodists in the community and they were granted
the privilege of worship as a church body in the Hanging Fork Church. Among
them was the family of Sam Vaughan,
formerly of Burnside (Pulaski Co.)
Mr. Vaughan operated the town mill, once located a few hundred yards west of the junction of highways 78 and 518 or the Mt. Salem Road.
In 1895, the Charles Wesley Wheeler family came here from Washington in Mason County. They became members of the Hanging Fork Church and this family enriched the community in both business and church affairs. Mr. Wheeler’s first wife died. They were the parents of a daughter, Miss Lelia Wheeler. Mr. Wheeler later married Miss Jennie McCarty, a relative of a local family. There were the parents of Carl Wheeler, who later became a physician and practiced his profession in Lexington until the time of his death. Dr. Wheeler married Miss Minnie Bell Hall of Shelby County. Their children were Dr. Carl Wheeler, Jr., Lexington and Mrs. Mildred Wheeler Young.
Mr. and Mrs. Charles W. Wheeler operated a store on Main Street known as the Wheeler Emporium. Their residence was over the store, an addition they made after purchasing the building. People came here from neighboring towns to buy the finest satins, velvets and brocade in wearing apparel and hand made hats. To assist the customers aside from the proprietors were Miss Bess Worthington, a relative and Miss Eria Wright, a close friend. All of whom were active in church affairs. Miss Mayme Wheeler, a niece of the Wheelers lived in their home and attended the Presbyterian Church. Mr. Wheeler was an Elder at the time of his death. Church bazaars were held frequently in the Wheeler Emporium. During the big town fire a bucket brigade of both men and women saved the building by pouring water on the weatherboarding from the upstairs windows.
Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler built the two story frame house across the street from the store. They were the first to own an automobile in the town and children at that time remember the treat it was to ride with the Wheelers wearing their dusters and bit hats tied with scarves.
Mr. M. B. Carson and wife purchased the building from Dr. Carl Wheeler and Miss Lelia Wheeler in 1927 and like the Wheelers they made their home above the store. They also operated a general store until 1958 when they retired and built a brick home on the site of the former Presbyterian manse. The store building burned in the winter of 1959.
The early and mid 1900’s were influenced by the Adams Brothers, their business, their families and their memberships in the two ante-bellum churches. Mr. A. J. (Jerry) Adams and his brother, Mr. Charles W. Adams, were born in 1867 and 1869 respectively, in Bolivar, Tenn. They bought the original store in 1898 from Mr. J. Green. This building served not only as a store building but also as a post office at one time. It was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in 1908 by contractor William McKinney. This two story brick stands at the southeast corner of Main Street and Liberty Road.
Mr. Jerry Adams married Miss Jennie McKinney of the traditional, Presbyterian family. The couple had no children but reared a niece, Miss Marilee Terhune. She married into the Reid family who lived in the old home at the intersection of the Black Pike and Bradfordsville Road.
Mr. Charlie Adams married Miss Mattie Powell, a descendant of the pioneer family here. Born to the union were three sons; C. W. Adams of St. Augustine, Fla. Beecher Adams, deceased and J. Frank Adams of Lexington. They were members of the Christian Church. Mr. Adams was an Elder in the church at the time of his death.
It was at the Adam’s Drug Store that the young people of that day first learned of ice cream sundaes and soda pop served at old fashioned ice cream parlor tables and chairs. One little boy learned by an unforgettable experience. The town children were already aware of the possible effects of a most enjoyable effervescent drink. The young lad came in one day with his father. It was evident that he had on his best overalls, billed cap and boots. He had a look of great anticipation but was too shy to ask for the treat his father had promised. His father made the request for soda pop and as the boy sipped this delicious drink it was plain to see it tasted better with each sip. It was plain to see that his parents had taught him some of the niceties in manners, but they had not told him about soda pop. Suddenly he fell to the floor and let out a wail of a banshee, continuing in like manner while other stood by in utter dismay. A customer ran for a doctor but by the time he arrived the father had calmed his son long enough for him to say. “My nose hurts.”
Pioneer stone houses, whether built in Kentucky, or in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia in early years sheltered many prominent families. Hustonville is marked by having grown between two such housed, one of which is still standing. Another such stone house was built in Lincoln County a short while prior to the two in Hustonville. The name of this stone house some eight miles distance was “Traveler’s Rest”, the home of the first governor of Kentucky, Isaac Shelby, built in 1786, about the time William Whitley was hauling brick from Virginia for his home, “Sportsman’s Hill”, located eight miles from Stanford.
The earliest records known at the time of families living in the east end stone house in Hustonville were Henry Carpenter, 1793- 1873 and his wife Amanda Powell Carpenter 1817- 80 . They moved to the stone house from Carpenter’s Creek around 1823. Their daughter, Ann Drye Carpenter, born 1851 married Florence Moses Yowell, born 1843 and they lived here until 1902. Children born to this union were Smith, Lena, Rose, Annie, Jessie, Cora and James H. Yowell. Moses Yowell of Dutch-Irish descent came to Kentucky with four boys says the old records. Later records show that Moses Yowell married Phoebe Crownover and they lived on North Fork Creek near what is now known as Bradfordsville. The record also shows that Mr. Yowell and those accompanying settled in this area before 1799. The name of Mose or Moses was a traditional family name. So it was that Florence Moses Yowell carried the name into the fourth generation. Florence Moses had a sister, Sarah Frances, who married J. W. Snodgrass. They were the grandparents of Mr. M. C. Minor of Danville.
The old stone house was sold in the early fall of 1902 to Mr. George Brent Barnette and his wife, the former Miss Frances Belle Cockrell. The Barnette children of this union were; George, Ella, Blanche, O.F., Edith and Elizabeth. Arthur Filmore Barnette and Winfrey Menefee Barnette were sons of a former marriage. The Barnette’s tore away the west side entrance, closed that entrance and built an elongated porch entrance on the east side of the house. This necessitated a change in the roadway to the house among many large trees along the avenue from the main road. They also tore off the original split-shingled roof and replaced it with a tin roof.
Mr. O. F. Barnette, now living in Louisville, is quite a historian and an authority on Hustonville folklore. He is a 50-year member of the local Masonic Lodge No. 184 F. and A.M. and now with degrees in Shrine and Scottish rite, he makes frequent travel talks. Now and then he relates some of his town’s early history and folklore. He says he was always told by the older townspeople that his former home here was the first of the two stone houses built and that it was built in Fincastle County, Va., while Kentucky was a part of that State. Fincastle County became the frontier county in 1772. It extended to the Mississippi and embraced all of what is now Kentucky and a good part of Southwestern Virginia. The Barnette family owned the old house and property at the time the house was destroyed by fire in the late 1950’s.
The two stone houses in Hustonville and the stone house of Governor Shelby are very comparable in overall stone structure, with the same detail in stone over windows and doors. Each house is two stories with an attic and small windows at the upper chimneys. It is known that the Shelby house and the east end house had original split shingle roofs and resembling chimneys; with one flush with the outside wall and the other extended from the opposite end wall. It is presumed the west end house also had a shingle roof at one time. The two chimneys of the west end house are flush with the end walls and the house is built on a slightly smaller scale. The panes in the windows of the Shelby house and the east end house are identical and the windows and panes are the same in number and size. The west end house has larger panes in its windows and it has two second floor doors, one in front and the other in the rear, unlike the other two stone houses. These three stone resemble each other more than any other stone houses in mid- Kentucky.
Traveler’s Rest, located near Knob Lick, just south of Danville, in Lincoln County Kentucky, was the home of
Isaac Shelby, first governor of Kentucky. (Photo courtesy of Kentucky Progress Magazine, 1933.)
Both the Hustonville houses have full basements and high foundation. From two different pictures of the Shelby home, there was apparently no basement. The west end house has one stone wing resembling the two stone wings of the Shelby house. The single wing of the east end home was of frame work. The door facings, the window facings and other woodwork were held together with wooden pegs. Each of the stone houses in Hustonville had several outbuildings, including meat houses, made of either cherry or walnut logs. One such house still is in use at the west end place.
It is known that the Shelby hose and the east end house were wainscoted in polished cherry panels, waist high throughout the two houses. All woodwork in all three houses was of cherry and walnut, with a few poplar floors. The stairways were of cherry. Architects, Hill-Halley, Danville, agree that it is altogether possible from pictures of all three houses that they may have been designed and built by the same man. A legendary story which is still told about the two stone hoses here is that the man, who made the mortar for the hand-hewn stones, never revealed his secret mixture which has held so wonderfully well for almost two centuries.
A grave stone marker of an infant, bearing the name of Slaughter, led to further research of the first residents of the west end stone house. Some of the townspeople recalled the old grave yard on the hill back of the house near the town cemetery. A sixth generation descendant of Stephenson Huston was located in Tulsa, Okla., and something has been learned of this family through Mrs. R. E. (Ruth McKee) Loving. She writes “I am the daughter of Samuel Wallace McKee and Maude (Price) McKee, Fannin County, Texas. My father was the son of Dr. Samuel Wilson McKee and Arabelle (Slaughter) McKee who married in Lamar County Texas in 1853. Stephenson Huston Slaughter married Catherine Wallace, daughter of Joseph Wallace in 1833 in Kentucky. Dr. Slaughter was the son of Matthew Slaughter, son of James Slaughter of Kentucky. Matthew marred Mary Huston, daughter of Stephenson Huston and Jane (Feland) Huston. Mary Feland Huston died Oct. 1, 1827. The will of Stephenson or Stephen Huston, as it was sometimes written, dated 26 Jun 1830 and proved 14 Feb 1831, is recorded in Lincoln County Kentucky, Will book M. pp 31-33.
Casey County Deed Book 6, p. 103 in Kentucky shows land patented to Stephenson Huston sold by Stephen H. Slaughter and Catherine, his wife, of Lincoln County, to Owen Southerland of Casey County, Kentucky, dated 28 March 1849.
Executors of Stephenson Huston’s will were Archibald Huston, Stephen H. Slaughter and Thales Huston. Witnesses were John Montgomery, A. H. Carvin and George Huston. Several familiar names are found in this old will. Another relative of Mrs. Loving, Major Andrew Wallace, on of the founding fathers of the Stanford Presbyterian Church (1788) is buried at Stanford. He was also a brother of Judge Caleb Wallace.
The late Mr. Calvin Morgan Fackler mentions the Wallace family, of local interest, in several places in his book entitled “Early Days in Danville.” Mr. Fackler says that Caleb Wallace was a representative of the Assembly of Virginia for the County of Lincoln and later was one of the Judges of the Supreme Court of the State of Kentucky. Judge Wallace was also listed as a member of the Political Club of Danville. In another place it was stated that he had a grandson, Caleb B. Wallace who married Magdalen McDowell of Danville. They were the parents of J. McDowell Wallace, long time Mayor of Danville. In Mr. Fackler’s book on “Historic Homes of Boyle County, Kentucky and the Three Courthouses.” He writes about Samuel McDowell’s home. “Pleasant Vale” and mentions Caleb Wallace in two places. One of which is self-explanatory for early settlers, who traveled in groups to ward off the Indians. He states, “Caleb Wallace and his people will be with us though the Wilderness, and a large number more.”
James Slaughter, mentioned in the Loving’s family history, father of Matthew Slaughter who married Mary Huston, was a brother to Governor Gabriel Slaughter (1816-20) a native of Virginia. James Slaughter died in Logan County, Ky., 1833. The Slaughters were of English descent.
Mrs. Loving adds more information about her ancestors. Stephenson Huston entered into the active service of the Virginia Militia in Robert Barnet’s Company in 1782. He served 20 days in the Revolutionary War.
It may be
noted that Stevenson Huston’s first grandson, Stephenson Huston Slaughter,
is mentioned in the Hustonville Presbyterian Church part of this article,
along with John Blain and others. An old letter from John Blain to Stephenson
Huston Slaughter in 1855 tells of Mr. Blain’s depression following the
recent death of his wife and infant child. (Sarah
Hays Blain died Oct. 13, 1854 of typhoid fever, daughter of Hugh &
Elizabeth Hays. Son, John Jr. died Oct 16 1854 only 7 days old. John Blain Sr.
and Sarah Hays Blain married May 24, 1853 in Lincoln County KY)
He was asking Dr. Slaughter if he thought it would be possible for him to find work there, probably as a school teacher or a clerk. Mrs. Loving verifies that Mr. Blain did go to Texas shortly thereafter and is buried there.
The Hustons came to this country from Scotland. They were of Scotch-Irish descent and Presbyterians. The name was sometimes spelled Houston but the family living here spelled their name without the letter O. Another item from Mrs. Loving tells the probable reason for the family migrating to Texas. She says, “In the life of Sam Houston “The Raven” mention is made of his visits to Wallaces and Hustons, his kin so we think, and it was on these visits that he set the Hustonville Slaughters afire to go to Texas. They all came to North Texas.
There is a record of the P. Jenkins family living in this old stone house in 1879.
Later, the Good family lived here and a daughter of John S. Good was married in the old house. A wedding supper was prepared on coals in the basement fireplace after which dancing was enjoyed on the third floor which was traditional with old homes at that time. In Colonel William Whitley’s home there was also dancing on the third floor. Planks of old west end stone house were some one and three quarter inches thick and eight to ten inches wide. They were highly polished and very smooth.
The Newton family, mentioned in the 1968 article, once lived here but probably the longest resident known in the family of John Madison Back, born 1854, and his wife, the former Miss Molly Goddard, born 1860. They came from Steubenville in Wayne County in 1907 and purchased the old stone house and some 200 acres of land from the Goode heirs. There were seven children born of this union. They were sons: John, Sam and Tom and daughters: Lena, Sarah, Mary and Flora. Mr. Back sold the property to Mr. Nathan Hall and his wife Sarah A. Hall in 1919, and Mr. Hall later sold the place to Mr. W. D. King. The King family never lived here, but the property again came to a member of the Back family when Miss Lena Back married Mr. Stoner Stephenson in 1914 and purchased the property in 1949 from Nathan Hall and wife Sarah A. Hall. They lived here until Mr. Stephenson died in 1959. The Stephenson’s still own the house and some 54 acres of land.
Several older townspeople remember the limestone spring located under the little hill toward the creek east of the house where families obtained their water supply. The spring flowed from an underground cave and many homespun tales have been told about the cave. Some say it goes an unlimited distance underground past the house where Mr. Back dug a hole and tapped the water near the kitchen floor, using a hand pump.
Children played in and around the cave and Mr. Back had concerns for their welfare, lest a tragic accident should happen to some young person. After tapping the water near the house, he filled the entrance to the cave with rock. It would be difficult to find the entrance now unless someone remembered playing there in younger days. Mr. Back is known to have cared for the old family burial ground. It is said he would send one or two boys to reset the stones as they fell over.
Records show that Governor Shelby had a very close relationship with the early pioneers in this area. His name is written as a witness to many of their wills. He also had business transactions with these early settlers. There was a direct trace to Shelby’s Traveler’s Rest and the same salt lick was shared. There were intermarriages between Shelby families and also with his close friends and the first settlers here. All of which lends much credence to the opinion that the two stone houses here and the stone house of Governor Shelby may have been designed and built by the same stone mason, in as much as the three of them were almost identical in stone design and structure. The Shelby home was also destroyed by fire. For many years Governor Shelby was a member of the Presbyterian Church and like Colonel William Casey, he was instrumental in erecting a house of worship upon his own land.
An old diploma issued on paper resembling parchment and yellow with age, dated June 21, 1867, is on of the Hustonville Academy graduation. It was signed by the principal, P. L. Barnes and trustees, G. B. Anderson, J. A. Bogle, Loton Barnes, James B. Green and J. Hocker. The lies in Old English and Script read, “This diploma is awarded to Miss Annie Drye Carpenter, a graduate of the Hustonville Academy, for good moral character and as an evidence of High attainment in Science and Literature, and of the respect and confidence entertained by the Board of Education and the Instructors.”
Lincoln County Post Bicentennial Edition 1774- 1974