HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN COUNTY KENTUCKY
charles m. meacham
THE DAWN OF A NEW CENTURY
First Rural Free Delivery In 1901; Tennessee Central Railroad Comes Into Hopkinsville, 1902; Dr. W. L. Nourse Resigns As Pastor of Westminster Church, 1903; Home Telephone Company Established 1904; D. A. R. Chapter Organized; Sewerage Franchise Sold In Hopkinsville; Company D in 1905; San Francisco Earthquake; Stock Law, 1906; Great Flood, 1906; Davis Home Purchased, 1907; Bar of 1908; Sketch of Maj. J. 0. Farrell, 1908; Dedication of Davis Park, 1909; Death of John C. Lctt ham, Jr.; City Donates High School Lot.
The beginning of the new century, in Hopkinsville, was made the occasion of quite a celebration in Hopkinsville. The nineteenth century closed at midnight, Monday, December 31, 1900, and watch parties were held in Hopkinsville, as in other parts of the country. As the city clock struck the hour of twelve, there was a noisy blowing of whistles, ringing of fire bells, popping of fire works, and a more solemn observance was held at four of the churches, with services of song and prayer.
The new century was given a happy welcome. At some of the watch parties, only two parties were present, and both parties were reticent as to just how the witching hour was commemorated.
Religious services were held at the Methodist, Episcopal, First Presbyterian and Catholic churches. At some of them, refreshments were served. At the State Hospital, a ball was given and a number of young people from the city attended, and danced the century in.
The first day of the new year dawned bright and crisp, with the mercury at eighteen degrees, and it remained clear and cold for several days.
At Paducah, a watch party was held, and at the hour of twelve, a couple arose and were pronounced man and wife, just as the year was ushered in.
THE FIRST RURAL FREE DELIVERY
J. S. Rathbone, of Washington, D. C., visited the county, and on January 8, went over the proposed new Rural Route No. 1, approved the route, and announced that the service would begin in a few days, with Elbridge Bradshaw as carrier, at $400.00 per annum.
John J. Reed, of Gracey, killed twelve hogs, that averaged four hundred and eight and a half pounds. The largest weighed six hundred and twenty pounds, and four of them weighed five hundred pounds or more. They were Berkshires, Poland China and Jersey Red stock.
Two survivors of the charter members of the Green River Lodge, I.O.O.F., organized in 1848, attended a banquet, February 1. They were Kirtley Twyman and Langley Bell.
February 5, Capt. C. H. Tandy, of Company D, K. S. G., tendered his resignation. Lieut. Hiram P. Thomas was promoted to Captain, and George W. Phelps to First Lieutenant.
February 5, Green H. Champlin found a pearl, valued at $500.00, in an oyster he had bought from J. K. Twyman, a local grocer, purchased in a shipment from New Orleans. A week later, Thomas S. Knight found a very similar one in an oyster purchased from A. M. Wallis, another grocer.
Jesup Tandy, one of the last of the local soldiers to return from the Philippines, returned, February 19, after three years’ service. He was formerly a printer in the Kentuckian office. Clarence E. Giles came with him. He had served two years.
Rev. Meredith Melton, aged eighty-five, who was an Indian fighter in the U. S. Army when a young man, died at his home at Crofton, February 18, 1901.
Dr. E. B. McCormick resigned as superintendent of the Western State Hospital and was succeeded by Dr. W. W. Ray, appointed May 10, 1901. He had succeeded Dr. T. W. Gardener.
Consumers Ice & Coal Company incorporated September 6, 1901; R. H. Holland, president.
Memorial services held following the death of President William McKinley, on September 14, 1901, from a wound inflicted at the Buffalo Exposition, by Leon Czolgosz, an assassin. Addresses by Judge James
Breathitt, Dr. Edmund Harrison and Rev. H. D. Smith; held at Union Tabernacle.
New building of Bethel Baptist Church, a duplicate of the one struck by lightning and burned August 23, 1900, was dedicated September 28, 1901, by Rev. E. C. Dargan.
Fiscal Court authorized by a vote to issue $75,000.00 in bonds to open toll gates and make fifty-seven miles of turnpikes free. The roads were made free July 1, 1901.
Cumberland Telephone Company added a new line to Gracey, and an exchange was put in, April 20, 1901.
Dedication of the New Christian Church at Pembroke, Ky. The dedicatory sermon was preached by Elder Rains, of Cincinnati, June 2. A large crowd attended, with dinner on the grounds.
Free delivery mail service was started in Hopkinsville, July 1, 1901.
Fred A. Wallis, of Lexington, for seven years with the Northwestern
Life Insurance Company, went to Baltimore with the New York Life Insurance Company, November 1, 1901.
Dr. Barton W. Stone, superintendent of the Western State Hospital, from 1889 to 1896, and assistant physician twenty years previously, died in Louisville, aged fifty-seven years.
Death of Dr. James Rodman, January 10, 1902. Born in Henry County, Kentucky, March 6, 1829. Came to Hopkinsville in 1863.
E. H. Armstrong elected Chief of Police of Hopkinsville, January 14, 1902.
The Elks Carnival Committee gave a carnival in Mercer Park for a week, with twenty or more attractions, in April, 1902.
F. E. Luttrell, near Pee Dee, while plowing in a field fleer Little River, uncovered an Indian burying ground. It was on a hillside, where the ground had been getting lower and lower for years, and the graves were only about a foot from the surface. They were enclosed with stones and the skeletons had about them tomahawks, arrow-heads and other articles made of flint. Mr. Luttrell re-interred in another place the bones plowed up. In one grave, especially, was a well-preserved skeleton, with a bundle of arrow-heads on one side and a grinding stone on the other.
Heating furnace installed in the Court House, in March, 1902, for the first time.
Twenty-third annual sale of Church Hill Grange, held May 25, 1902. These stock sales were started in 1879.
Town of Gracey destroyed by fire in July, 1902, and losses entailed on a dozen or more business men amounting to more than $30,000.00. T. J. Hammond and McGehee Brothers were the heaviest losers.
Tennessee Central Railroad officials signed a contract, September 1, 1902, to bring the railroad to Hopkinsville. The subscriptions paid as a consideration amounted to $10,027.
Green River Lodge No. 54, Odd Fellows, entertained Kentucky Grand Lodge, October 10, 1902, with three hundred and twenty-one lodges represented; headquarters at Hotel Latham.
Southern Kentucky Medical Association held its meeting in the city of Hopkinsville, October 22, 1902, and Dr. F. M. Stites, of Hopkinsville, was elected president.
Rev. A. W. Meacham died at his home near Gracey, December 11, 1902, in his eighty-fifth year. He had been a Baptist minister for sixty-four years.
R. R. Donaldson, leading tobacco buyer, died February 23, 1903.
Spring Carnival given by I.O.O.F. the last week in April, 1903.
Miss Alberta Baker won a popularity contest of the Hopkinsville Kentuckian as most popular young lady in Christian County.
Rev. W. L. Nourse, pastor of the Westminster Presbyterian Church for seventeen years, resigned May 19, 1903.
In a contest to decide the ugliest man in Christian County, Charles W. Smithson, of Longview, was winner. Other contestants were J. P. Meacham, of Gracey; Olney M. Wilson, of Pembroke; L. A. Tuggle, of Hopkinsville; S. S. Spicer, of Beverly, and others.
Esq. James M. P’Pool died January 27, 1904, aged eighty-five years.
Dr. Milton Boord succeeded Dr. W. W. Ray as superintendent of the Western Hospital, February, 1904.
Hopkinsville Baseball Club organized with W. M. Hancock, manager, in April, 1904. K.I.T. League formed with opening game at Cairo, May 17. Teams from Cairo, Clarksville, Henderson, Hopkinsville, Paducah and Vincennes.
Rev. M. F. Ham held a union revival at the Tabernacle in April, 1904, with a hundred and thirteen persons becoming members of the various Hopkinsville churches.
First open session and banquet of the Athenaeum held at Hotel Latham, May 5, 1904. T. C. Underwood, president, presided, and speeches were made by W. T. Fowler, Rev. W. L. Nourse, Ira L. Smith, J. T. Hanbery, J. W. Downer and Charles M. Meacham.
Rev. John 0. Rust, D.D., died of a paralytic stroke in Seattle, May 24, 1904.
Home Telephone Company, with automatic dial instruments, was installed July 1, 1904, with four hundred and eighty subscribers. It ran about five years and was sold to the Cumberland Telephone Company.
Sixty-five wheat growers of Christian County produced an aggregate of 333,400 bushels of wheat in 1904.
Largest crops: R. F. Rives & Son, 24,000 bushels; Mason & Wills, 14,000; J. T. Garnett, 10,000; J. D. Clardy & Son, 9,500; J. F. Garnett, 9,000; E. D. Jones & Son, 8,700; Richard Leavell, 8,500; L. L. Leavell, 8,500; Thomas H. Elliott & Son, 7,500; J. J. Garrott, 7,300; Dr. John P. Bell, 6,500; John C. Willis, 6,400; Mrs. M. E. Williams, W. J. Garnett, W. S. Moore, C. W. Garrott, J. T. Edmunds, T. M. Barker, each 6,000; J. R. Caudle, 5,500; W. A. Radford, 5,200; Steger Bros. and P. B. Pendleton, 5,000 each. The highest price was ninety-seven and a half cents.
Hopkinsville City Council authorized sewerage system, with septic tanks. Bond issue of $50,000 defeated by a hundred and seventy-five votes, in election held in November.
First steps taken, November, 1904, to organize the Farmers Dark Tobacco District Association to fight against the tobacco trust. E. D. Jones was chairman of the meeting.
The Daughters of the American Revolution organized a chapter, with twelve charter members.
Dr. Charles Shackleford died, eighty-five years old; born in Hopkinsvile in 1820.
Serious epidemic of smallpox in the county, with hundreds of cases in December. A hundred and ninety-six cases under treatment at one time in hospitals in Hopkinsville, Gracey and Julien.
Y.M.C.A. building planned to be erected on Ninth Street, in spring of 1905.
Christian County’s new jail was completed at a cost of $18,500, January 7, 1905.
C. A. Thompson died at Hot Springs, Ark., February 9, 1905, aged sixty-three years.
Marcellus A. Garrott died February 14, 1905. Born January 4, 1832.
Capt. Sam R. White, Captain of the Christian County Hunting Club for many years, died March 8, 1905. He was born in Virginia, March 2, 1821.
In March, 1905, a bill was passed putting the Western State Hospital, and all other eleemosynary institutions in the State, under the control of one central board, instead of local boards, which had served without pay.
American Snuff Company built its big factory in Hopkinsville in the summer of 1905.
An earthquake destroyed a great part of San Francisco in April, 1905. Mrs. Jesse L. Edmundson, wife of a Hopkinsville man, was among the hundreds killed.
Great revival in the Hopkinsville Christian Church, conducted by Dr. R. H. Crossfield, last half of April, 1905, resulted in a hundred and fifty additions in two weeks.
Hopkinsville Canning Company organized, and began the erection of a factory at First and Railroad Streets.
Hopkinsville Baseball Company placed in K.I.T. League (called Kitty), organized in April, with Will D. Cooper, president; John Stites, secretary; and Bailey Russell, treasurer.
Jim Holloway, a negro, who killed Andrew Bradshaw, another negro, at Belleview, August 4, 1879, and escaped, was arrested in Paducah, after twenty-six years, brought back and tried. He had been living under an assumed name. A few witnesses were found, one of them C. R. Clark, and Holloway was sent to the penitentiary for seven years. He was fifty-seven years old.
Dr. Hector McNeil Grant, a cousin of Gen. U. S. Grant, a native of Christian County, a school mate of Maj. John W. Breathitt, died in Helena, Ark., April 7, 1905, aged eighty-three years. He was a cousin of George Boddie, of Lafayette.
Dr. John N. Prestridge, former pastor of the Hopkinsville Baptist Church, on May 24, 1905, was elected secretary of the Baptist World Congress, to meet in London in July, 1905. Dr. Prestridge was a son-inlaw of Dr. John D. Clardy, and died in Louisville a few years later.
Prof. J. B. Taylor resigned as superintendent of the Hopkinsville City Schools. Barksdale Hamlett chosen superintendent.
The sale of a sewerage franchise for Hopkinsville, made to R. C. Hard-wick, was ratified by the council.
Hopkinsville tax levy for all purposes fixed at $1.50 on a hundred for 1905.
Hopkinsville Belt Line Railroad Company incorporated by H. M. Dalton, J. B. Jackson, L. C. Cravens, William R. Wicks, and others.
Hopkinsville’s new Fire Station on Ninth Street opened with ceremonies. Jouett Henry was mayor, and the Fire Department was composed of George E. Randle, chief; E. P. Fears, Ellis Roper, E. H. Hester, John Turner, Ed Schmidt, William Turner, Ernest Haydon, Lee Morris, R. M. Tunks, Ed Marshall and J. D. Thompson.
Dr. M. W. Williams left June 25 for New York, with sixteen yearling thoroughbred colts and fillies for sale.
Christian County sent the following delegation of veterans to the Confederate Reunion, held in Louisville, June, 1905: J. C. Adcock, J. P. Braden, Capt. C. D. Bell, J. R. Berry, J. C. Boxley, Julian Boxley, Capt. Darwin Bell, Charles L. Campbell, W. H. Cox, John R. Dickerson, Dr. J. M. Dennis, C. G. Duke, J. H. Eggleton, T. G. Gaines, J. T. Greer, John B. Harned, George T. Herndon, P. P. Huffman, E. D. Jones, C. F. Jarrett, W. H. Jesup, T. J. Ladd, John Markham, R. C. Moorefield, Ezekiel Marshall, J. C. Marquess, D. F. Morris, G. S. Morris, R. V. Moss, Frank Monroe, G. L. McKinney, Dr. J. R. Paine, John Pattillo, W. F. Petty, R. F. Rives, Dr. W. Williams, Hunter Wood, W. H. Whitlow, N. B. Wilkins, E. W. Walker, Judge W. P. Winfree and R. F. Vaughan.
COMPANY D IN APRIL, 1905
Major E. B. Bassett commanding First Battalion; Capt. Gordon Nelson, Captain Quartermaster; Adjutant, C. H. Tandy; Lieut. Charles W. Head; Lieut. E. W. Clark, commanding Company D; First Sergeant, F. H. Merriam; Quartermaster Sergeant, E. B. Courtney; Sergeants: Charles Jackson, E. White, Ed Lawson; Corporals: J. C. Giles, Lawson Flack, Stanley Bassett, John E. Bennett; Privates: Lawrence Adams, Clifton Adcock, W. A. Bailey, B. Brumfield, Garnett Bennett, Earl Broaddus, Ed Boyd, Claude Cason, Tom Cavanah, W. H. Clark, Howard Courtney, }iefman Chappell, V. E. Chappell, E. B. Cartwright, E. W. Gore, Hardy Hadden, R. V. Hanbery, R. E. Hille, Douglas Hancock, Herbert Johnson, Chas. Ingram, Mat Kelly, Simpson Mayton, J. C. Marquess, Charles Quarles, James Quarles, Wallace Roper, P. C. Smithson, C. J. Sisk, E. Snodgrass, Leslie Tate, Earl Thornton, Ben S. Winfree, Will Heisley.
A SMART REPORTER
One day in 1885, an officer arrived with a young man, who had been adjudged a lunatic by a county court somewhere in the state. Dr. Rod-man examined him and put him through such a course of questioning that he forced the young fellow to admit that he was a reporter for a Louisville paper, named Joe Eakins, seeking inside information about the asylum, of which Dr. James Rodman was superintendent. He was much chagrined and made a clean confession. Dr. Rodman showed him through the institution in every detail. Eakins went to New York, and became famous on the World. He died at Colorado Springs, in July, 1905.
Annual Horse Show given at Pembroke in the week of August 22, 1905. Col. F. G. Ewing, president of the Tobacco Association, and Congressman A. 0. Stanley made speeches.
A distinct shock of earthquake was felt at 11 :10 o’clock P.M., August 22, 1905.
The Fiske Stock Company, on September 29 and 30, presented the first moving picture ever seen in Hopkinsville, at Holland’s Opera House, showing among other scenes, local pictures taken a few days before.
Commercial & Savings Bank organized in October, 1905, and began business with James West, president, and Gus Brannon, cashier; subsequently was merged with Planters Bank.
South Kentucky College partially destroyed by fire. Only the brick walls left standing. It had twenty-two young lady pupils in the boarding department.
A fire, starting in C. M. Dulin’s dry goods store in Crofton, burned seven business houses, at a loss of $15,000.00, November 6, 1905.
Latham mausoleum in Riverside Cemetery completed at a cost of $30,000.00.
STOCK LAW PASSED
By a vote of four to three, the City Council of Hopkinsville passed an ordinance prohibiting live stock from running at large in 1906. The ordinance was resisted in the courts by owners of cows, but eventually the law was upheld, and, May 31, there was a rush to take down yard fences, greatly changing the appearance of the city.
THE FLOOD OF 1906
The greatest overflow of Little River ever recorded occurred on the night of November 20, 1906. The previous record had been on November 24, 1900, when the water rose in the I. C. depot to a depth of 16½ inches. This time it was thirty-six inches deep, and at the Gish corner, the water was seventeen bricks above the stone foundation. Many stores were flooded. The crest was reached at 3 A.M., when the flood began to slowly
recede. At the intersection of Main and Ninth, in the business section the water was three feet deep. Some young men, who owned a boat, got it out and went in it from the I. C. depot to Virginia Street. Some residences on North Main Street were flooded, and a part of Riverside Cemetery was under water. The Union Tabernacle, on the west side of the river, on Seventh Street, was flooded to a depth of three feet. The vacant lot, known as Mercer Park, looked like a great lake. Heat plants in basements and cellars were put out of commission generally. No lives were lost. A colored man named Enoch Phelps, a janitor, was found unconscious in the furnace room of the Planters Bank, where he had probably fainted from fright. The’ worst damage done was to the Garnett Building, where the Keach Furniture Store now stands. A part of the building, two stores occupied by W. H. Martin, druggist, and W. H. Olvey, jeweler, collapsed. Mr. Martin had waded in to rescue his books at 6:30 A.M. and, hearing some ominous cracking of timbers, rushed out just ahead of the crash. The upper rooms were used as a furniture store, and the stock had been sold by A. W. Pyle to Waller & Rogers only three days before. The adjoining store, occupied by J. L. P’Pool, was wrecked, but no one was in it at the time. The front of the building, fifty feet high, was left standing and had to be pulled down. In the county many bridges were swept away and stock drowned in low lands. At Lafayette, one man lost forty hogs and another two calves. Much corn, in the Flat Lick section, was destroyed.
Three iron bridges over Tradewater and one at Steger’s mill were washed off their abutments.
There was great mortality among the rats that infested many of the buildings. On Seventh Street the roof of a flooded livery stable was literally alive with them. The schools were suspended and the day was given over to sight-seeing. The City Light Company’s plant was inundated, but the damage was not serious, and as the river fell rapidly, things were soon put in order. The damages were roughly estimated at $40,000 in Hopkinsville and probably as much in the county. The sewers of the city have since been enlarged and the river channel is kept cleaned out, so that there has been no recurrence of the disastrous flood since 1906.
A revival at the First Baptist Church, conducted by the new pastor, Dr. Millard A. Jenkens, resulted in eighty-seven additions to the church.
Lucy Darby, the last survivor of the hundred and thirteen patients, transferred from the Lexington State Hospital to the Hopkinsville institution in 1854, died, aged seventy-seven years. She was born an idiot in the Lexington Asylum, her mother being a patient, and her entire life was spent in the two institutions, at a cost to the State of more than $10,000 in per capita payments.
The Hopkinsville Water Company completed its lake, afterward known as Lake Tandy, north of Hopkinsville. It covered twenty acres, but was later greatly enlarged.
The Consumers’ Ice & Coal Company sold its property to the Ellis Ice & Coal Company in June, and retired from business in Hopkinsville.
Much dissatisfaction was created by the operation, in June, of a new state law placing a tax on every dog more than four months old.
Company D of the Kentucky State Guards was ordered on duty at Mayfield, July 28, to prevent the lynching of a negro who was tried, convicted and hanged the same day.
George V. Green, a member of the State Prison Committee since 1900, resigned May 27, 1907, and moved to Alabama.
Twelve Confederate veterans, in May, attended the annual reunion at Richmond, Va., viz.: George T. Herndon, C. F. Lacy, Dr. J. M. Dennis, L. N. Lowry, Dr. L. J. Harris, E. D. Jones, John B. Harned, R. C. Moore-field, J. B. Thompson, John R. Dickerson, T. G. Gaines and Julian Boxley.
Col. Gano Henry, a former prominent citizen, died June, 1907, in Los Angeles, Calif., aged eighty-seven years. He was the last survivor of the jury that convicted Alonzo Penningtcn in 1846.
James H. Anderson, a leading merchant, bought a Knoxville, Tenn., dry goods business, in July, 1907, and removed to that city, retaining his interests in Hopkinsville.
SERVED ON BOTH SIDES
William Coburn died, near Newstead, May 24, 1907, aged a hundred and eight years, three months and fourteen days. He was born in Scotland, February 9, 1799. His father’s name was Morton, but he ran away from the English army, and changed his name to Cockburn. His son corrupted it to Coburn, and came to America in 1832, and at Nashville enlisted in the Union Army, but in a short while left and joined the Confederate Army, and remained until the war was over. He then came to this county as a stonemason. He had a wife and two children, but outlived them all. At a hundred and seven years old, he sat by the roadside and broke stone by the yard for the county. About this time, he sustained a severe fall and the shock restored his eyesight to a large extent. He was a hard drinker, but in his old age would be taken care of, when on a spree, by his friends. He was buried in the corner of the yard where he had lived for many years. He had a partner in his business, as a stonemason and drinker, whom he outlived about eight years, who was a much younger man.
On July 15, 1907, Midshipman Faulkner Goldthwaite, of Hopkinsville, and eight other officers and men were killed by an explosion on the battleship Georgia in Cape Cod bay. Twelve others were injured. Goldthwaite
was one of the men operating the gun in target practice. In some way two bags of powder became ignited. His body was brought to Hopkinsville for interment.
Sixty miles of new turnpikes were ordered in Christian County, a bond issue having been voted.
The Climax Mills, organized by James West, W. T. Cooper, R. A. Rogers and others, began business August 24, with James West, president. This mill, a few years later, was merged with another mill.
Gen. Simon B. Buckner, Maj. S. A. Cunningham, Dr. C. C. Brown and Capt. J. T. Gaines from points in Kentucky and Tennessee, came as a committee to negotiate for the purchase of the Jefferson Davis homestead. To this committee was added: W. B. Brewer, of Fairview; John B. Trice and W. H. Jesup, of Hopkinsville, and M. H. Clark, of Clarksville. As a committee from the Davis Home Association, they were escorted to the home by Judge W. P. Winfree and Hunter Wood, Sr. They found that the original site of the house was occupied by the Bethel Baptist Church. The lot was presented by Mr. Davis, in person, in 1886. Adjacent to it were eight acres of the place, occupied as residence lots, that were found to be available at reasonable prices. The movement ultimately resulted in the purchase of the property.
In the latter part of November a deer was seen and shot at in Todd County by John W. Shanklin, near Goshen Church. It was the first deer seen in this part of Kentucky for a long time.
Asher G. Caruth, former attorney of Hopkinsville, and ex-Congressman from the Louisville District, died in Louisville November 28, aged sixty-three.
A new City Council taking office the first week in December, on recommendation of the mayor, Charles M. Meacham, increased the license on twenty saloons and three wholesale liquor houses from $500 to $1,000 per annum. Most of the surrounding counties were “dry,” and Hopkinsville had become a distributing point for a large territory.
George W. Thompson, of Sandusky, Ohio, succeeded Capt. L. W. Whit-low as manager of Hotel Latham, on October 15. Capt. Whitlow had been its manager eight years.
The Council ordered the construction of a large sewer from Virginia and Eleventh Streets, down Virginia to Tenth, and down Tenth to the river, at a cost of $3,900, the sewer to be built by the city engineer, B. F. McClaid.
Hanson Penn Dietz died October 25, 1907, aged forty-eight years. He was born in Augusta, Ky., February 29, 1860, and came to Hopkinsville as a clerk in the drug store of Gish & Garner. He had a literary turn and published three books while living here, one a book of poems. He was gentle as a woman and esthetic in his tastes. One of his pastimes was making quilts and one of his quilts had a thousand pieces. He was also a press correspondent for years.
Dr. J. W. Venable died January 29, 1908, aged eighty-five years. He was rector twelve years of Grace Episcopal Church and retired in 1895.
John C. Latham, in May, donated a building site to the Hopkinsville Methodist Church.
A. D. Noe, on July 6, 1908, leased Hotel Latham, succeeding J. N. Brewer, and eventually purchased the hotel, which he still runs.
THE BAR OF 1908—LAWYERS AT PLAY
The annual picnic of the Bar Association of Hopkinsville was held at Campbell’s Cave, July 9, 1908. There was music by the “Famous Quintette,” speeches by everybody present, and a dinner of barbecued mutton, shoat and other good edibles. After dinner Moses L. Elb, a guest, was arrested on a charge of eating hog meat, and a moot court was organized to try him, and a hard-fought legal battle lasted for an hour. John Stites and C. R. Clark were attorneys for the prosecution, and Mr. Elb was ably defended by Denny P. Smith and W. T. Fowler. Charles M. Meacharn was elected special judge to try the case. A jury was empaneled, most of the jurors lawyers. Witnesses testified that the prisoner was a Jew and that he had eaten some barbecued shoat. His defense was that he had been inveigled into eating it by one of the prosecuting witnesses, who assured him that it was mutton. Able and eloquent speeches were made, Circuit Clerk Clark especially distinguishing himself in an oratorical outburst that surprised his best friends, and was applauded, even by the jury. The court gave instructions to the jury to find Mr. Elb guilty, but to give him the benefit of mitigating circumstances. The verdict was:
“We find the defendant guilty of being both a Jew and a gentleman, and fix his punishment at a supper to be given to the jury.”
Pembroke was visited by a destructive fire Sunday, October 25, 1908. Twelve buildings, three warehouses, two shops and seven residences were destroyed. The Hopkinsville Fire Department went to Pembroke on a speci’al train and the business section was saved by hard work, though stocks were much damaged. Water was pumped from cisterns. The losses were estimated at $30,000.
SKETCH OF MAJ. J. 0. FERRELL
Maj. J. 0. Ferrell was a native of South Carolina, and was a gallant soldier of the Lost Cause for nearly four years.
He received a liberal education in the schools of his native State and completing his education, first taught a school at South Boston, Va., and in 1857 went to Edgefield, S. C., where he became a professor in a boy’s school at that place and continued to teach for three years, until the outbreak of the Civil War. His school was brought to a close in 1861 and the young schoolmaster enlisted in the 19th Regiment of South Carolina Infantry as a private. He went to Columbia, where his regiment was assigned to Gen. A. M. Manigault’s brigade in December, 1861. About this time he was made Adjutant to the 19th Regiment and afterwards held the same position when the 19th and 10th Regiments, depleted by heavy fighting, were consolidated.
His first active service was around Corinth, Miss., Farmington in the same State and at other points where there was almost constant fighting. His brigade was a part of the Western Army of Gen. Jos. E. Johnston and the young Adjutant Major followed that intrepid leader through many of the most stirring scenes of the war. Later he was assigned to Gen. Bragg for service in the Kentucky campaign. He missed the battle of Perryville, as his division was detained to engage Gen. Sill, who was chased out of reach and his provision train taken, which was an important capture at that time. He was in the fight at Munfordsville, Ky., and was in the bloody battles of Missionary Ridge, Chickamauga and other fights in North Georgia. He took part in all the fighting around Atlanta and was in the battle at Jonesboro, Ga., August 31, 1862. When this battle began Adjutant Ferrell was suffering with a blinding sick headache and was hardly able to hold up his head. When the bugle sounded he responded with his regiment and went into the fight with a handkerchief tied around his head. He soon forgot his headache and during the hottest part of the fight when General Manigault galloped by him and asked: “Adjutant, how’s your head ?“ he replied: “I forgot I had a headache when the battle began.”
In this battle many soldiers became demoralized and it was his duty to rally them. At one time he halted three or four men in a squad who were going to the rear. One of them claimed that they were being sent for a litter, but when they were ordered back one young fellow came close to him and said, “Major, I can’t take the chance. In my first battle I was shot through the body and spent months in a hospital. The first battle after I returned I was shot the same way and am just back. I have a presentiment that I will be shot the third time and killed. I haven’t the heart to fight.” After the battle he answered roll call, looking shamefaced when his name wasP called, but in a subsequent battle the gallant young soldier fell dead with his face to the foe. He conquered his temporary faintheartedness, but his presentiment came true. Major Ferrell, in telling the story, said the incident was one of the occurrences of the war that were vividly impressed upon his memory.
At Dalton, Ga., his stern sense of duty caused him to report himself for neglect of duty.
His General sent a courier with orders that Adjutant Ferrell detail a squad of men to construct a bridge early the next morning. The Adjutant was sitting down to his dinner and placed the paper on his table to be attended to as soon as dinner was over; before he finished eating he was summoned for some other duty and in his haste forgot the important order. Morning came and about nine o’clock another courier dashed up and handed him a demand to know whose fault it was that the previous order had been disobeyed.
He wrote out a brief statement of the fact, saying that it was entirely his fault, due to the disturbed condition of his mind and the conflicting demands upon his time.
He waited expecting to be ordered to the guardhouse and relieved from duty, but the kind-hearted General sent back a note: “Adjutant Ferrell’s excuse is entirely satisfactory. We are all liable to mistakes. Hurry up the detail.”
Major Ferrell was in many bloody battles during the four years he was in the army, but was never wounded. He surrendered at High Point, S. C., and was paroled, being allowed to retain his horse.
The following fall he returned to Greenville, S. C., and resumed teaching in the Greenville Female College. While there he was married to Miss Elizabeth Austin, the devoted wife who was his beloved helpmeet for more than forty years. In the Greenville College he taught under the late Prof. Chas. Hatlette Judson, who died in January, 1907, shortly after having been awarded a Carnegie Fund annuity.
From Greenville he went to Catonsville, Md., five miles from Baltimore, and taught one year in a military school, and in 1869 came to Frankfort, Ky., and for the succeeding four years taught in the Kentucky Military Institute.
In September, 1873, he came to H.opkinsville and established Ferrell’s Military Academy, afterwards known as the Hopkinsville High School. The school was a success from the start and it became necessary for him to employ two assistants. Col. M. H. Crump, of Bowling Green, Ky., Judge Frank D. Glasgow, of Lexington, Va., Hon. Francis D. Peabody, of Augusta, Ga., and Prof. C. C. Thach, of the Alabama State University, were his assistants from time to time during the next ten years.
The school was conducted according to Major Ferrell’s rigid ideas of discipline gained in the army and from teaching in military schools and the fame of his school soon spread far and wide. The curriculum embraced languages, higher mathematics and the sciences and the course was practically the same as taught in many colleges. He added a boarding department and his school prospered from year to year and hundreds of young men received a liberal education in the academy that stood near the river at the foot of Thirteenth Street.
Conditions changed in 1881 when the public graded school system was inaugurated and Major Ferrell changed his school from a military academy to a high school for young men. But ten or fifteen years later the public school added high school grades and he again adjusted himself to new conditions and changed his school to a select training school, where boys were given a course that fitted them to enter any college almost without an examination. During this period he trained boys who entered some of the larger colleges and attained highest honors. Here while quietly pursuing the course he chose for his life work, he taught until February, 1903, lacking but a few months of being thirty years in the same school room. One night after a day as usual in the school room, he retired seemingly in good health, but during the night was stricken with paralysis of his left side. For a while his life was despaired of, but he slowly improved until he ceased to be a constant sufferer, but for more than five years remained a helpless invalid. His school was of course immediately closed down—for no one could be found to take his place—and his long and useful career was at an end.
Maj. Ferrell died December 21, 1908.
Frank Bell, a gifted young journalist, who came from Natchez, Miss., critically ill of tuberculosis, died at the home of his sister, Mrs. M. W. Williams, March 18, 1909, aged about forty years.
A large delegation of members of the Tennessee Legislature came to Hopkinsville, in March, to break a quorum, and remained several days. Finally Gov. John I. Cox submitted a compromise proposition, and they returned.
Hugh Martin, a native son of Hopkinsville, returns to Kentucky as the leading tenor of the May Musical Festival, in Louisville, under the stage name of Riccardo Martin.
Dr. Edmund Harrison, President of Bethel College for thirteen years, retired June, 1909.
Post J Travelers Protective Association was organized in Hopkinsville, April 30, 1909, with a banquet following at Hotel Latham.
Miss Irene Boyd, daughter of Ben C. Boyd, was seen in dancing specialties at one of the earliest picture shows in the city, shown at Holland’s Opera House, the first week in May, 1909.
The one hundred and first anniversary of the birth of Jefferson Davis, at Fairview, Ky., was celebrated by a big meeting to promote the building of the monument to his memory. Col. Bennett H. Young formally Dresented the property purchased for the Davis Park.
Mayor A. 0. Dority, of Pembroke, died suddenly, May 10, aged fifty years.
The Church Hill Grange sale held its twenty-seventh annual sale of live stock, May 28, 1909, disposing of two hundred head at $3,804.90. The usual bountiful dinner was served.
Closing exercises of McLean College, formerly South Kentucky College, a co-educational school under its new name, were held May 28, and diplomas issued to nineteen graduates. A. C. Kuykendall was president.
DEDICATION OF JEFFERSON DAVIS PARK
The Jefferson Davis Memorial Park was simply and appropriately dedicated at one o’clock Thursday, June 3, 1909, in the pretty grove, the central and attractive feature of the park.
There were showers in the early morning, but the sun came out by ten o’clock, and all the roads leading to Fairview were soon crowded with vehicles. Despite the threatening aspect of the weather, there was a period of sunshine from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the exercises were held under the most favorable circumstances.
Long tables were erected in the grove, and dinner was served at 12 o’clock, and the great crowd, estimated at 3,000 to 4,000 people, was fed with open-handed Kentucky hospitality.
Mr. Chas. F. Jarrett was master of ceremonies and was assisted by Messrs. Jas. R. Wiles, T. M. Barker and other Confederate veterans. Mr. Jarrett introduced Maj. S. A. Cunningham as presiding officer. After an invocation by Rev. Mr. Daniels, of Texas, Major Cunningham first presented Dr. E. S. Stuart, who welcomed the great gathering on behalf of the people of Fairview. The venerable physician, one of Fairview’s oldest and most prominent citizens, feelingly spoke of the great movement and of the pride his people felt in the undertaking.
Col. W. A. Milton, of Louisville, a member of the Memorial Commission, read the oration of the day, prepared by Col. Bennett H. Young, who was detained by business in Chicago.
Maj. John H. Leathers next spoke, filling the place on the program made vacant by the failure of Capt. W. T. Ellis, of Owensboro, to come.
Hon. D. H. Kincheloe, of Madisonville, who was present, was next called upon, and made an eloquent and patriotic speech, that created much enthusiasm and when at its conclusion, the Elkton Band played “Dixie,” the grove rang with the cheers of hundreds of voices.
The speaking exercises Were concluded at two o’clock, and the benediction was pronounced by Rev. W. E. Mitchell, of Pembroke.
Among the prominent visitors from Louisville were Col. Thos. D. Osborne and Capt. Geo. C. Norton, who occupied seats on the platform.
The following historical resume was sent as a special article to the Courier-Journal by Mr. T. C. Underwood:
“Dr. C. C. Brown, of Bowling Green, conceived the project of the purchase of the Davis homestead, with a view to converting it into a memorial to the great leader, and at the annual reunion of the survivors of the Orphan Brigade, at Glasgow, September 12, 1907, the proposition was formally presented by Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner, and met immediately with hearty and unanimous approval. Commander John H. Weller appointed the following committee to investigate the feasibility of the plan:
Gen. Buckner, Capt. George W. Norton, Capt. J. T. Gaines, Thomas D. Osborne, Dr. C. C. Brown, Esquire W. B. Brewer, Gen. Basil W. Duke and Col. Bennett H. Young, all of Kentucky, and Maj. S. A. Cunningham, of Nashville, editor of the Confederate Veteran. Esquire Brewer, a Fairview citizen, who rendered valuable service on the committee; later died and Col. W. A. Milton was appointed as his successor.
“The cordial indorsement met with everywhere, led to the organization of the Jefferson Davis Home Association at a meeting in Louisville, September 23, 1907. Officers were elected as follows: President, Gen. Simon Bolivar Buckner; secretary, Thomas D. Osborne; treasurer, Capt. John H. Leathers. Articles of incorporation were filed and the object of the association, it was set forth, was “To acquire and improve in such manner as hereafter may be determined such portion of the native place of Jefferson Davis, situated in the counties of Christian and Todd, and in the State of Kentucky, as may be necessary to carry out the purposes desired.”
A committee composed of Gen. Buckner, Capt. Gaines, Dr. Brown and Major Cunningham visited Fairview, made a thorough inspection of the grounds, investigated the titles of property and held conferences with the people of the community, whom they found to be in full sympathy with the objects of the organization. The project was presented at the next reunion of the United Confederate Veterans, and the same responsiveness was evidenced as at the meeting of the Orphan Brigade. The following honorary State presidents were chosen to have charge of the work of keeping the people of the South informed as to the plans and purposes of the association and to arrange for the soliciting of contributions: North Carolina, J. S. Carr; Kentucky, W. A. Milton; South Carolina, T. W. Car-wile; Virginia, T. White; Maryland, A. C. Trippe; Tennessee, George W. Gordon; Florida, F. P. Fleming; Alabama, George T. Harrison; Mississippi, Robert Lowery; Georgia, C. M. Wiley; Texas, K. M. Van Zandt; Missouri, J. Robertson; Oklahoma, W. M. Cross; Montana, Paul A. Fusz; California, Thomas L. Singleton. Of these, Robertson, Carwile and Flemifig soon afterwards died.
There were about 600 acres in the original farm, on which Samuel C. Davis, father of Jefferson Davis, settled, when he came to Fairview, in 1793, from Georgia, and opened his inn, “The Wayfarers’ Rest,” famed for its hospitality. As much of the present village of Fairview had been erected on this farm, there had never been a possibility of “restoring” it to what it was when Jefferson Davis was born. But the association had obtained between sixteen and seventeen acres of the homestead, beautifully situated, and this land was regarded as ample for the purposes to which it was to be put. Nine acres comprising the home of Dr. C. B. Woosley and containing a large two-story residence, was the first property taken over on the day before the options expired. For this $5,000 was paid. Other property was paid for by Col. Young as follows: J. W. Yancey, $800; T. H. Combs, $300; J. W. Hurt, $350. A hitch occurred in securing the title to the house of Mrs. Amanda Harned, used as the post office, but a few days later this property was obtained, Mrs. Harned being paid $300 for her life interest and Mr. and Mrs. John Carroll $300 for their interest.
The exact site of the log house in which Mr. Davis was born is covered by the Bethel Baptist Church, a brick edifice that cost $10,000. On a marble slab in the vestibule is this inscription:
of Mississippi, Was Born
June 3, 1808,
On the Site of This Church
He Made a Gift of This Lot
March 10, 1886,
To Bethel Baptist Church
As a Thank Offering to God.
Mr. Davis made two visits to his old home subsequent to the war. The first was on Friday, October 8, 1875, when he spoke at the fair in Hopkinsyule and remained in the city three days, and made a visit to Fairview.
His next visit was November 21, 1886, when he dedicated the Bethel Church. He was then 78 years old and very feeble.
Mr. Davis presented the congregation a solid silver salver and chalice for the communion service. Shortly after the dedication Mr. Davis returned to Elkton, went thence to Clarksville, Tenn., and after a short visit there proceeded to his home on the Gulf. This was his last visit to the scene of his birth. During a storm in August, 1900, Bethel Church was struck by lightning and totally destroyed by the fire that followed. While the elements raged, Fairview citizens bravely forced their way into the building and rescued the memorial tablet.
The church was rebuilt within a few months, and the historic tablet again placed in the vestibule.
The log house in which Mr. Davis was born, and which was constructed from timbers cut in the neighboring forest, was purchased in 1897 by the Rev. J. W. Bigham and associates, and removed to the Nashville Centennial
Exposition, where it was placed on exhibition. It is now said to be in Richmond, Va.
The county line passes through the Davis Park, though when Mr. Davis was born, Todd County was a part of Christian.
AUTOMOBILES COMING INTO USE
The first automobiles in Christian County were brought in about 1905, small, crude affairs, by one or two of the doctors. They gradually came into use, and a few were added each year. In 1909, Joe Claxton bought a second-hand Reo after Ben Winfree had tried it awhile, and Henry M. Frankel ordered a brand new Oldsmobile, and had to wait some time to get it.
The City Bank re-organized July 1, 1909, adding the trust feature. The officers were E. B. Long, president; W. T. Tandy, cashier; John B.
Trice, vice-president. The bank had run for 28 years. It was first organized in 1880, with Lucian Jones its first president.
Twelve yearling thoroughbreds, belonging to Dr. M. W. Williams, Dan Claggett and W. A. Radford, were shipped to Sheepshead Bay, N. Y., to be sold.
The Government purchased from C. W. Ducker, Dr. J. A. Gunn and Mrs. R. D. West, a hundred and thirty-five feet fronting on Ninth Street and running back a hundred and thirty-five feet, to erect thereon the proposed new post office. The site was selected July 6, 1909. The price paid was $12,000, and adjoining property owners gave a bonus of $900.
Wheat market opened in July, with the mills paying $1.10 to ‘$1.13 a bushel.
J. B. Walker and J. B. McGee, prominent farmers of the Newstead neighborhood, erected modern silos on their farms. At that time only a few silos were in the county.
An ordinance was passed by the Hopkinsville City Council requiring all automobiles to be numbered.
Fifty-nine farmers of Christian county reported wheat crops of from 16,000 to 3,000 bushels. Six of 10,000 or more were R. F. Rives, 16,000; M. A. Mason, 15,500; E. D. Jones, 13,000; Steger Bros., 10,500; Jno. C.
Thurmond, 10,000, and Dr. J. P. Bell, 10,000. There were fifteen others who produced 2,000 or more bushels.
DEATH OF JOHN C. LATHAM, JR.
John Campbell Latham, Jr., died in New York, August 18, 1909. He was a native of Hopkinsville, born October 22, 1844. Was a Confederate soldier when 17 years of age. After the war, he went to New York, and became a member of the brokerage firm of Latham, Alexander & Co., and the firm lasted until his death. He was a benefactor to his native city in many ways. In 1886 he erected the Confederate Monument in Riverside Cemetery at a cost of more than $20,000. He led the movement to free the toll roads of the county; gave $7,000 to the Methodist Church, and in his will left property for park purposes, valued at $30,000, to the city; $50,000 to create a Poor Fund, and the income from $50,000 was left to the Grace Episcopal Church. On the day of his funeral, the mayor issued the following proclamation:
To the People of Hopkinsville:
In the death of John C. Latham, in New York, August 18th, the city of Hopkinsville has lost a native son who never ceased to cherish an affection for his old home, though forty years of his useful life was spent in a distant state. I’Iis public benefactions, his works of charity, his acts of benevolence, his generous donations and his deeds of kindness to the charitable institutions, religious bodies and deserving mdividuals of the city he held so dear to his heart were numberless and all combine to make his death a cause of universal sorrow. In order that the citizens may in some degree express the great grief that is felt and show a proper respect to the memory of the deceased philanthropist and benefactor, I, Charles M. Meacham, mayor of Hopkinsville, hereby call upon the people to close such places of business as may be open on the Sabbath during the hours of his funeral, to show respect to his memory in every appropriate way and to ever hold in loving remembrance our former townsman whose body will be laid to rest in Riverside Cemetery, our city of the dead, that he did so much to beautify and improve.
Done under my hand this August 19, 1909.
CHARLES M. MEACHAM,
Mayor of Hopkinsville, Ky.
At his funeral, an escort of Confederate veterans was provided, and a great crowd attended. His body was placed in the Latham Mausoleum, in Riverside Cemetery.
In August, 1909, some old landmarks around the Court House were taken down. One was a pair of huge stone posts that originally held a big iron gate. When the fence was taken down, they were left, and many a tired citizen had leaned against them. They were eighteen inches in diameter, and surmounted by huge stone balls. A low wall around the square was also taken down, that had a history. Away back in 1882, the county judge of that day painted a coating of tar on the walls to keep loafers, mostly colored men, from sitting on them. When he ran for reelection, he was badly beaten by a Democrat, who promised not to take from the public the privilege they so much enjoyed.
Bleriot, a Frenchman, gained much fame in 1909 by flying across the English channel in an airplane.
September 1, Dr. Frederick A. Cook, returning from the North, reported his discovery of the North Pole, April 21, 1908. His claim was afterwards disputed and credit was given to Commander Peary, of the U. S. Navy, who claimed to have reached the Pole April 6, 1909. Upon his return to this country, Dr. Cook lectured over the country and later appeared in Hopkinsville.
Halley’s comet, that returns every seventy-four years, was observed in Hopkinsville, September 17, 1909.
THE LAST OF HIS TYPE
Rev. J. U. Spurlin, aged minister of the Baptist Church, died near Sinking Fork, October 30, 1909. He was born May 3, 1824, and had been active in the ministry for sixty-five years. He was engaged in a revival at the Brick Church when he became ill, in which he was assisted by his son, Rev. John H. Spurlin. He has a grandson, Rev. L. L. Spurlin, who has since preached to the same church. Mr. Spurlin was of patriarchal appearance, tall and straight, and in his preaching had a stentorian voice of great power. He often preached out of doors, in tents, and his powerful voice could be heard for a long distance.
CITY DONATES HIGH SCHOOL LOT
The City of Hopkinsville, in October, 1909, through the Board of Council, exercised an option secured by the Public School Board, and purchased a lot on Walnut Street, 279½ feet by 958 feet, upon which to erect the High School building. The purchase price was $9,300, and the city agreed to do some required filling to grade the lot, thus donating to the Board outright the sum of $11,000 to be paid in 1910. This money was provided by raising the saloon licenses from $500 to $1000 a year.
The L. & N. Railroad Co. began the reconstruction of its roadbed into Hopkinsville and along its line of a hundred and forty miles, at an expense of $2,500,000, making underpass crossings on Walnut Street and Eighteenth Street.
On November 1, H. C. Gant retired as president of the Bank of Hopkinsville, and was succeeded by Nat Gaither.
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