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

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This article, written by Todd Preston, President of the Magoffin County Historical Society, was taken from the
August 5, 2010 issue of THE SALYERSVILLE INDEPENDENT newspaper.

The Salyersville Independent , a weekly newspaper.
P. O. Box 29, Salyersville, KY 41465. 
Telephone (606) 349-2915. 
Yearly subscription rates are $24.00 in Kentucky and
$30.00 per year out of state.

            “Shape up or ship out!” was the command given to old Todd recently by his daughter Jessica as she attempted to straighten up my work table recently.  I’ve shuffled my mountain of papers around a bit and I can actually see bare places on the table. In addition, I have re-found queries I am unable to answer.  Are the queries getting harder or is my memory getting weaker? (Smile) 

            I’ve also re-found some materials that I enjoyed taking a second look at such as the Helton research that Bob Whittaker found for me on the Internet.  My older brother Henry failed to find this in his lifetime.  Our mother was Mollie Helton, the daughter of Ephraim Helton and Abigail Conley.  Ephraim was a son of George Helton and Anna Eastridge. Anna was a daughter of William Eastridge and a granddaughter of Henry Eastridge and Phoebe Taylor.  Phoebe was a daughter of Stephen Taylor and Sarah Roark. Sarah was a daughter of Charles Roark and Abigail, believed to be of Cherokee Indian descent and my 8th generation grandmother.  The info also tells that Ephraim Eastridge served in the American Revolution.  Our family was surprised to find the surnames Roark and Taylor in our ancestry so thanks again, Bob!

            I’ve also learned that my grandmother Ida Thornton Walker was a direct descendant of Dr. Thomas Walker, an early explorer of this area. Dr. Walker gave the name to several landmark areas, such as Elk Creek and others.  Dr. Walker described this area at the time as “a great sea of cane teeming with elk”.  We have a monument erected in his honor here in our log home village.  He married twice to Thornton women from near Castlewoods, VA.

            A query came from Mr. Jenkins ( concerning Warren Clay Crace who married Goldie Gladys Conley.  Warren Clay was born in 1893 and died in 1979 in Jackson, OH. He was the son of Campbell M. Crace b. 1861 and Susan Blanton. Campbell was the son of Nehemiah Crace b. 1841 and Mary Franklin b. 1843.

            Nehemiah was the son of Campbell C. Crace b. 1814 and Mahala Craft b. 1813.

            Campbell C. Crace was the son of Peter Crace b. 1792 VA and Annie Adams b. 1798. Peter Crace was the son of George Crace b. 1770 and Charity Morgan b. 1775. George Crace was the son of George Crace, Sr. and Christina whose surname is not presently known.

            Goldia Gladys Conley was born in Feb 1876, the daughter of Benjamin Elwood Conley whose first wife was Sarah Burk. Sarah was born in 1880, the daughter of Charles W. Burk b. 1853 in Indiana.

            The 1920 Magoffin County census lists Leander Burk b. 1875 with a Mary A. Burk b. 1855.  They are buried in the Burk Cemetery on Mine Fork: Leander Burk b. 1873 d. 1930, son of Charles Burk and Nancy C. Tackett.  Mary A. Burk b. 1856 d. 1933, wife of Lee Burk.

            I’ve interviewed Mary Wheeler, wife of Lonzie Brown about the Burk family years ago and there seemed to be lots of stepchildren and it was confusing to get a clear picture of the Burke-Brown family.  Lonzie was a step-brother to Noah Brown, both of whom I knew very well. 

            Please contact us with more information, especially as to who were Susan Blanton’s parents and who were Benjamin Edward Conley’s parents.

            I have just finished reading again the 18 pages on Sgt. Herman Lacy brought in to us by Jim Mortimer. This tells his experiences in World War One and has been inserted into our Salute to Veteran’s series that we are working on.  Those soldiers went through some horrifying experiences to say the least.

            I also watched the KET television show telling of our World War One soldiers sent to Russia under British command. I’ve read the book by Dennis Gordon “Quartered in Hell” which is the story of the American-North Russian Expeditionary Force 1918-1919.

            If you read how our troops suffered under the unbearable conditions such as having to boil the leather harness of their mules (which they had already eaten) to try to get a little sustenance from the leather brew, it is unthinkable.

            We had some of our local men in that conflict.  Jack Smith’s father, Adam Smith stated it took about three years to get back home.  Adam is buried in the Earl May Cemetery.

            The USA did send food and supplies but it never reached our troops as their foreign command feasted on them instead.  Do you watch our troops today who are seemingly fighting a battle already lost?

            Bob Whittaker and his son James from South Carolina arrived here Sunday evening about 6 p.m. with some materials for marking local cemeteries.  We traveled up to the Marshall Cemetery on Puncheon Creek near the home of Tom Marshall and set a cemetery sign in the drizzling rain at the Estill Marshall Cemetery.

            Tom Marshall, Henry Clay Sizemore, Jack Sizemore, Randall Risner and a couple of others met us there so we had plenty of camaraderie, a wee bit of bossing, plus a lot of laughter so all went well.  Tom has volunteered to cut a bunch of small trees so the sign will be more visible.

            Bob and James are going to the Floyd County court house today to hunt for the burial site of Revolutionary War soldier Cudberth Stone as he has a monument ordered for him and also has plans for another monument to be engraved with the names of his wife and children, etc.  I have walked a good many miles in my search for the Cudberth Stone burial site.  I found Cudberth, Jr. on Rt. 114 at the Hensley’s Nursery. I imagine very few people know of its location.

            In addition to all these activities around here, we are also planning our 32nd annual Magoffin County Founders Days, an event which is rapidly approaching!  Your help would be appreciated in bringing these plans to completion.

            Write us at Box 222, Salyersville, KY 41465 (email or come in at 191 South Church Street here in Salyersville.

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