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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
December 2, 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.

            We trust you and your loved ones had a good Thanksgiving holiday.  We here at the historical society were pleased to see some of the visitors to Magoffin County at our library and to be able to glean a little more history of our county and people.  Now that December is here, the material for Magoffin County’s 150th birthday book is being wrapped up so if you intended to send anything in for the book or if you needed to finish up a story or send pictures of family or past events in Magoffin County, now is the time.  With all that needs to be done around here, this will probably be the last request for information for the Sesquicentennial book.  We were looking for stories about our churches, businesses, civic organizations, post offices/landmarks, family/individuals, etc. Don’t let this opportunity pass by to commemorate that part of Magoffin County history that is important to you.

            A final cook book in our series of cookbooks is in the works.  This cookbook is also being prepared for the year 2010.  We are looking for your recipes along with family pictures.  We invite you to participate in this project but please do so within the next two weeks.  

            I’ve spent quite a few hours during the last few evenings working to clear up the debris from a giant beech tree that fell on the gravesite of the “Unknown Union Soldier”.  This unfortunate event happened in 1862 during the skirmish or battle at the Ivy Point.  A soldier was wounded and was taken downhill to the old bridge which was located about a quarter mile upstream from the new Route 30 Bridge, now known as the Connelley Farm.

            This wounded man is said to have been left at the bridge and died there.  He was later found by neighbors who buried this soldier near the present Caleb May Cemetery.

            Randall Risner and I found this burial site last year but before we could get it marked suitably a freak windstorm toppled a large beech tree and that tree broke down a few other trees as it fell.  I’ve about got the area cleared up again and the owner of the land, Ray Reed, has given permission to set a marker.

            We intend to put a metal marker and perhaps later, be able to set a more appropriate monument.

            This brings on more thoughts, being that there are more unknown Civil War soldiers buried in our county, especially in the Middle Fork area.  I think they all need some type of marker, be they Confederate or Union.

            I got an email from Mary Gough ( who writes that she read my column online and that we share some common lineage through the Thomas Reynolds Walker line.

            She writes she has been working on her Thomas Walker b. 1798 line.  He married Mary Ann “Dolly” Rosser.  This Thomas was the son of George Reynolds Walker.  Dolly’s obituary led her to George R. Walker, Jr. who founded the town of Milwaukee in Wisconsin. Now Mrs. Gough believes her Thomas is the son of George R. Walker, Sr. and that George Sr. is the son of Thomas Walker.

 I have been researching the Walker line for the benefit of my little great grandson Jesse Brown as he is fascinated with learning more about his Civil War ancestors as well as the Revolutionary War and finding information on any ancestors who served.

            My grandmother was Ida Thornton Walker and I had always thought her middle name was an odd one for a female, unless, of course, she had a Thornton ancestor. 

            We had erected a monument in our courtyard here at our Log Cabin Complex several years ago as it has been said that Dr. Thomas Walker stood in the vicinity and could see a “great sea of cane teeming with elk” across the river and named the river “Frederick’s River”.  The river had already been named the Licking River by the Indians near its confluence with the Ohio River at what became Cincinnati some two hundred and thirty miles downstream.  Dr. Walker did leave a hollow he called “Elk Creek” and it still bears that name.

            My grandmother Ida Thornton Walker was born in 1867 and was the daughter of John Wesley Walker and Rebecca Vaughn.  John Wesley was a son of Delaware Walker b. 1803 and Amy Howse.  Delaware was a son of Capt. George Reynolds Walker b. 1776 and Lucy West.  Capt. George was a son of Thomas Reynolds Walker and Sarah. Thomas Reynolds was a son of Dr. Thomas Walker b. 1713 and his first wife Mildred Thornton.  Dr. Walker married secondly to Elizabeth Thornton.  Dr. Walker was a son of Col. Thomas Walker b. 1670 and Susan Peachy, daughter of John Peachy.  Col. Thomas was a son of John Walker.

            I hope you can follow the outline I’ve given.  It seems I am about the 7th great grandson of Dr. Thomas Walker.

            We are located between the WRLV Radio station and the Hall Community Center here in Salyersville. Our mailing address is Box 222, Salyersville, KY 41465 (email:

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