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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
APRIL 23, 2015  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 $32.00 per year out of state.

All the rainy weather has curtailed our outdoor activities and given us time to consider our "to-do" lists of projects we are working on and to actually make some headway in working toward a finish line on them.

One of these projects is the book of events that took place in Magoffin County during our Sesquicentennial year (2010).

One of our retired teachers, Betty Jo Arnett Lykins wrote and produced dramas depicting various parts of Magoffin’s history at each of our elementary schools early in June 2010. At South Magoffin the 6th grade students performed a play entitled "Creating Magoffin County". The play the 6th grade students at Salyersville Grade School participated in was named "Early Magoffin County". The play at North Magoffin was called "The Last 90 Years in Magoffin" and was presented by that school’s 6th grade students.

We mention these events because we do not have any pictures of the student’s participation in either of these plays and we are hopeful that someone in our reading audience may have photos they could share with us. We would need these immediately as we are trying to get that volume into print. Betty Jo provided us with copies of the manuscripts and it would be great to illustrate them with photos of the students in the plays.

We have added several pages to our Volume Five Cemeteries in Magoffin County book, thanks to Judy Wireman Salyer. Judy took advantage of the few nice weather days we have had this spring to copy several new cemeteries and to update others in the Puncheon Creek and surrounding areas of our county.

In this volume are also cemeteries in our county copied and updated by Diana L. Howard, Claudette Gullett, Barbara Arnett, Mary Britt, Willie & Nellie Montgomery, Flora Darnell, Ann Patrick Gehring, Evaline Allen Lykins and others. Katherine Bailey and her daughter Amanda copied several cemeteries in the Middle Fork area.

At this time of the year, many of you are working on or preparing to clean family cemeteries. We would like to ask that you take a few moments to record names and dates found on the cemetery, also listing any unmarked gravesites, and send them to us at Magoffin County Historical Society, PO Box 222, Salyersville, KY 41465 (email magoffin@foothills.net). Photos are also welcome. Be sure to include the location and directions to the cemetery.

We are aware that a great many of our county cemeteries were not copied during our early years of helping with the Kentucky Historical Society Cemetery Mapping Project. We also know that several new cemeteries have been made in these intervening years.

One of our visitors this week, Baxanna Arnett McClure provided us with cemetery information for the Haden B. Arnett and the Bryan Arnett cemeteries in 2004 and updated the information during her April 2015 visit. On this trip they also visited the Gose-Risner Cemetery at Hendricks, KY.

Baxanna is the paternal granddaughter of Haden Arnett (24 Apr 1882-May 1971) and Josie Risner (12 Nov 1884-12 Feb 1981) of the Hendricks community. Haden was a son of Ambrose Arnett, Jr. (1855-1903) and Sarah Jane Perkins (1857-1922). Josie was the dau of Ben F. Risner (1858-1896) and Lydia Lykins (1862-1933).

Ambrose Jr.’s parents were Ambrose Arnett, Sr. (1814-1854) and Susan Ray. Sarah Jane’s parents were John Joseph Perkins (b. 1822 VA d. 1873) and Usley Salyer.

Ben F. Risner’s parents were William "Stringer Bill" Risner (1812-1900) and Abigail Salyer (1823-1892). Lydia Lykins’ parents were Rolly Coffee Lykins (1832-died between 1860 and 1862 Civil War) and Sarah Buffington b. 1832 KY.

Baxanna’s father Baxter Arnett, born in Magoffin County, and a well-known lawyer who lived in Ashland, KY in his later years. Her mother Elizabeth was born in Illinois, the daughter of Valore Neinick and Marina Lamont of Belgium.

Visiting with Baxanna was a cousin, Dawn Haney Warner whose paternal line is based in Magoffin County. Her mother’s family, the Briley’s, were from Ohio.

Dawn’s grandparents were Fred Haney (1893 Magoffin-1975 OH) and Myrtle Arnett-Risner (1899 Magoffin County-1993 OH). Myrtle told her family that her father was an Arnett; her mother was Lydia Lykins.

Fred was a son of Thomas F. Haney (1862-1936) and Nevada Patrick. Thomas was a son of William Henry Oditt and Margaret Simmons. Nevada was a daughter of Wiley Patrick and Cynthia Gullett.

During his lifetime, David Risner did much research on the families from this area of our county and his contributions to our historical society have been very helpful down through the years.

We like to read the comments our members write to us who receive our quarterly Journals. Many of them mention how much they enjoy the family stories we print. We would like to encourage any of our readers who have Magoffin County roots to contribute a family story to us for printing in one of our publications. Pictures are also welcome.

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Last modified:      Monday, April 27, 2015