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  Magoffin County Historical Society 
"Preserving Our Past for the Future"

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This article, written by Todd Preston, the president of the Magoffin County Historical Society, was taken from the February 2, 2006 issue of THE SALYERSVILLE INDEPENDENT newspaper.

The Salyersville Independent is a weekly newspaper published and edited every Thursday. For inquires or comments, please write to , P. O. Box 29, Salyersville, KY 41465. Yearly subscription rates are $22.00 in Kentucky and $26.00 per year out of state.


My wanderings thus far this week include a trip to Orville Adams' home on Rt. 114, Middle Creek.   We went up behind his residence to where he thought Cuddy Stone was buried and he possibly could be but we only found one readable grave at elevation 1091: George Woods b. 4 Aug 1900 d. 20 Jul 1923 . There was one other field rock and the footstone had been grasped by the roots of a large hickory tree. There was the sunken impression of an adult plus a baby's grave.   My GPS reading was N-37-40.629, W-82-55.810.   If anyone might have more info on this apparently abandoned cemetery, let me know.

Then on Friday evening, I crawled into Harlan “Sarge” Rowe's 4-wheel drive “puddle jumper” pick-up for a ride that was akin to bungee jumping off the San Francisco Bridge !   We first went up to Harlan's house on Lick Branch where he pointed out all the cemeteries on that creek then we traveled on up Middle Fork.   He knew all the residents, their history and cemeteries.   We turned up Scott's Branch and over into the head of Cow Creek where we stopped at the Kash Alsept Cemetery (N-37-42.750, W-83-10.276), elevation 997. We traveled on down to the Robert Alsept Cemetery (N-37-42.876, W-83-10.521). This Robert Alsept/Patrick was a Civil War soldier.

We then went up a hollow to the Bennie Patrick Cem. (N-37-42.684, W-83-10.938), elevation 1069, thence to the Dave Patrick Cemetery (N-37-42.499, W-83-11.765) elevation 1020. Here I found a Lonie Lacy, dau of Clay Lacy. I would like to learn more about this Clay Lacy. Was he actually Clay Fugate, adopted by a Lacy?

From there we went to the Joseph Dyer Cemetery (N-37-42.572, W-83-11.765), elevation 1103, which is a well-kept cemetery. Then we jumped, bounced, and finally got to the top of a hill to the Cliff Holbrook Cemetery (N-37-42.217, W-83-11.765), elevation 1103, another well-kept cemetery. Actually, it could be classed as two cemeteries as the upper portion of the cemetery were all Stephens'.

If you are still with me, we traveled around the ridge and down a road fit only for a mountain goat to the left hand fork of Johnson and on up stream then up a hill where Sarge would hit the mud holes and rock cliffs, sort of like a person would climb a fence with a Brahma bull on his heels.   Yep, we made it to the top of the Town Flats.   He wanted to explore some caves but the truck began to sputter occasionally and fearing it might chug to a halt, I coaxed him to start towards home.   When we hit the blacktop down off the hill (a road I had helped work on back in the fifties), instead of heading home, Sarge turned up Back Branch, took a left on a strip mine road, went around a group of horses and four-wheel riders by going off the road and around them, to the Isaac Back Cemetery (N-37-39.678, W-83-12.042) elevation 1088. Now, folks, I was copying these cemeteries and this was a very large cemetery. Sarge would point out graves and say something like “He died in 1968” and, by doggies, he would be right.   He showed me the tree where some young men treed a bear a few years ago. They shot it with a 22-caliber rifle, and it came down and they ran over a high wall, breaking some ankles. This cemetery is located in an old strip-mined area.

Well, I finally ran out of pencil and paper and I feared Sarge's pick-up wouldn't make it back home but the more it sputtered, the harder Sarge mashed on the gas peddle.   We made it out and was I relieved!

Now, if you have a strong heart and are a thrill seeker, Sarge and his Ranger pick-up is the name of the game! (smile)

We have heard from Bob and Betty Whittaker. They attended the Fort Gibson United Methodist Church board meeting on Tuesday, Jan 17 th . The church board set dedication times for the granite memorial marker for Mark Whitaker, the progenitor of all our Whitaker families, to be at the cemetery on Saturday, April 15 at 2 p.m. and the bronze marker dedication at the church at 3 p.m.   Bob says he certainly would like to see a big turn-out from Magoffin County !

He writes that he has been asked what an appropriate amount would be to contribute to the plaque fund and he suggests $5 to $25.   A suggested amount for the granite memorial would be $10 to $50 or whatever amount that one could afford.   An address for contributions to the plaque: Fort Gibson U. M. C., C/O Rev. Layell, 3225 Dogwood Dr., St. Paul, VA 24283.   Contributions for the granite marker can be mailed to Magoffin County Historical Society, Box 222 , Salyersville , KY 41465 . These memorials are to be placed in Castlewood , VA where Mark died. Sometime after his death, his widow, Martha “Patsy” and several of his children relocated to the area of Puncheon Creek that became Magoffin County in 1860.

Here in Magoffin, we are getting ready to get the memorial marker for Smith and Sally Reed engraved and set. We may wait until spring or a time when some descendants can be here to have a dedication. This beautiful marker will be set in the Penix Cemetery on Mash Fork.

We think we have zeroed in on the George Washington Hammond gravesite. There is no marker but we hope to have one made by Mike Walters and Toddie Preston that would be appropriate.  

We have had some nice mail this week and we have enjoyed all the kind words sent by those renewing their memberships.   Some gifts have been received and we would like them to know how much we appreciate it.   Thanks go to Robert Skaggs of Jeffersonville, KY, to James E. Jackson of Estaconda, OR, to Pam Krafezinski of Lorain, OH (Ray Conley's dau), to Tilmon Blair of Dayton, OH (he also sent a little history of the Kozy Korner) and to my ol' buddy Winfrey Prater of Heath, OH.

We want to send birthday good wishes to Kennie Wireman, 24007 V Drive N, Olivet, MI 49067. He will be 104 as of February 2nd.   Kennie was the 4th child of Lewis Wireman and Viney Oliver.   His paternal grandparents were Fielding Wireman and Sally Sizemore.   His maternal grandparents were James “Jim” Oliver and Polly Shepherd.   He has many relatives in our area and we know you will want to send him greetings on this memorable occasion.

Vivian May Tackett and her mother Ruth are continuing their collection of pictures, info and stories of Magoffin County people who have served in the armed forces.   The latest info concerns Charlie Rice, Elmer Tackett, Dorsey Wheeler and Basil May.   We have also received late this week some very nice material from Sue Hamilton Shackleford on her three brothers Wilburn C., Joe Forrest, and Lowell H.   We urge you to help us honor all military persons of our county.   Take some time to look through your photographs and write down info that you know.   We have forms that can be completed or you may just send what you may know of each soldier.

Our mailing address is included in reference to the Whitaker marker. Remember that our email address is and we may be reached by telephoning 606-349-1607.

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