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Casper Cable was a prosperous merchant in Campton as owner of the Cable General Store and they owned the first automobile in town as well as the first indoor bathroom. My mother (Eugenia Cable) was probably one of the first females in the whole county to learn to drive and perhaps the youngest at 14. Their indoor bathtub was such a novelty that friends came from far and wide to see it and take baths in it. On one occasion, a dying neighbor was baptized in it during the winter months when the water in the church baptismal was cold.


After the stock market crash of 1929, Casper lost everything. Customers could not make good on their outstanding bills and what Casper had left he gave to needy families, knowing he would never see his money. Within a year, he was nearly broke and he bought a house on the hill above the Trace Fork School (it has since burnt down) so they could raise what they needed.


Within a few years (about 1933), Casper got the urge to own a store again and he traded his remodeled house even for the (I believe) Silas Rose store and farm at Stillwater. They reportedly settled the deal on a handshake. So unusual was the transaction that old timers still recall the deal today.


The Stillwater bridge washed out during the great flood of 1939. The store never prospered after that and he eventually moved to a farm at Fincastle in Lee County. While he lived at Stillwater though, my mother returned from college to find them in their traded home and that is where she met my father (Rodney Barker) at John and Arzelia Barker's house just up the lane.



Submitted by Gary Barker    February 2005