charles m. meacham



Jefferson Davis Monument. The First Airplane. The Chamber of Commerce. Hopkinsville’s Benevolent institutions. Broadcastle Cemetery and Those Buried In It.


One of the outstanding attractions of Christian County, and destined to be one of the show places of Kentucky, is the towering concrete shaft, 351 feet high, erected by the people of the South as a memorial to Jefferson Davis, the only President of the Confederacy from 1861 to 1865. The monument stands within a short distance of the actual site of the two-room dwelling house in which the leader of the Lost Cause was born, June 3, 1808. The spot of his birth is marked by the Bethel Baptist Church, the plat of ground having been presented by Mr. Davis to the church in 1886, three years before his death. It had long been out of the possession of the family, but friends of the distinguished leader purchased it and deeded it to Mr. Davis, in order that the presentation might be made. At the same time plans were made for the erection in the future of a suitable memorial to Christian County’s greatest son. Ten years after his birth Todd County was cut off from the territory of Christian County and the Davis home was about fifty feet inside the new county, and the monument subsequently erected is also in Todd County. It stands upon a knoll, in the center of a tract of ten acres. In a grove in one end of the park area a replica of the old Davis home is used as a keeper’s residence and museum.

The work of raising $100,000 to erect the monument was not an easy task, but finally former Confederates of wealth became interested and the monument was brought to completion, largely under the leadership of Col. Bennett H. Young and Col. Thos. B. Osborne, of Louisville, Hon. Hunter Wood and Mr. Charles F. Jarrett and other local veterans, all of whom are now dead.

The monument itself was finished several years ago, but was not provided with an elevator until 1929. It was installed and power connections established and the formal dedication took place May 3, 1929, in the presence of a vast concourse of people.

As a special representative of Gov. Flem D. Sampson, Judge J. L. Hughett, of Madisonville, was present to formally present the monument  as a state attraction to tourists. The speech of acceptance was made by Lieutenant Governor James Breathitt, Jr., of Hopkinsville. Both paid eloquent tributes to Mr. Davis and each stated that he was the son of a Union soldier.

Since the elevator has been running, thousands of people have been up in the monument to view the landscape for many miles around, as Samuel Davis, father of Jefferson Davis, built his home in pioneer days in what was then known as the Barrens, the grazing grounds of vast herds of buffaloes, elks and other big game that were found in Kentucky.

The State Highway passing by the monument is known as the Jefferson Davis Highway No. 68, from Paducah through Hopkinsville to Bowling Green. This route is to be one of the most popular highways in the State for tourists, since it passes close to Soldiers’ Hospital at Outwood, Kentucky, the Davis Monument, and leads by a short detour to Mammoth Cave, and a few hours farther on to the Lincoln Home at Hodgenville. Near Hopkinsville on the highway, and a few miles from Fairview and the monument, is one of the best equipped tourists’ camps in Kentucky, with every modern improvement and a swimming pool on the grounds.


In the early years of the present century, the airship was exhibited as quite a wonder. The dirigible was shown in St. Louis about 1908, great crowds going out to the exposition grounds to see it guided and turned at will. The airplane was not far behind in its development and by 1911, a flying machine appeared in Hopkinsville and gave exhibitions in the Faulkner field south of town. A fee of 50 cents was charged to get into the field to see the airplane rise, circle the field and alight. No one thought of going up in it and the aviator was looked upon as a very daring, foolish man. Even before this excitement, Charles 0. Prowse, with an inventive turn of mind, conceived the idea of making an airplane himself, while everybody else was trying to perfect the Wright invention. Mr. Prowse went to one of the large cities and formulated his plans in 1909 and assembled his materials and the machine was actually constructed here in an improvised shop in a warehouse on Tenth Street by July, 1910, and tried out. By the summer of 1912, the word went forth that the Prowse machine was ready and would fly. Lloyd Thompson, an aviator from Chicago, was engaged to come and fly the Hopkinsville machine. Thompson came and spent a good deal of time inspecting and going over it. It differed widely from those fast coming into use, in that the motor was behind and pushed rather than pulled. Thompson at last announced that he was ready to try it out and late in July it was moved to the Faulkner field and tried out and found to be a machine that could fly. The tests were in secret and at last the 27th of July was set for a public demonstration and it was announced that the mayor would take a flight. The day arrived and a big crowd turned out to see the thrilling spectacle. Thompson first made a flight over the field and had much difficulty in turning the machine to come back to the starting point. When he alighted, it was discovered that a guide wire had caught in a tight staple, causing the trouble. This was adjusted and the mayor went up with Thompson and made a short flight, the first made by a citizen of Hopkinsville. On the next flight, Thompson took up with him the wife of his mechanic, the first lady to take a flight in the county. When the machine landed, one of its wheels was broken and it was put out of commission for the rest of that day. It was found that a piece would have to be ordered that would take several days and Thompson’s time to return to Chicago being close at hand, the machine was brought back to town and never took the air again. After being stored for some time it was sold and shipped away and later Judge Prowse himself left the city and that was the end of the first airplane venture here.

The World War came on and aviation developed rapidly. During the time the Prowse machine was being experimented with, a small school boy, named Thomas Wilson, was daily an on-looker and every day grew more and more enthusiastic about the new science of aviation. As soon as he was out of school, about the close of the war, he left for an aviation school and when next heard from, “Top” Wilson was a licensed aviator. Hopkinsville saw little of him until in the spring of 1928, Col. Edgar Renshaw established an airdome on the Nelson farm near town, bought a plane and engaged “Top” Wilson to do passenger flying. “The Kentucky Colonel” as it was called, was soon making daily fights over the city and many passengers were taken up. In the meantime, “Top” Wilson had married and  accepted a business proposition that made it necessary to give up flying. A successor named Charlie Hoffman was secured, but “Top” still remained about the airdome until the day arrived for him to depart. One day a young man rode out to the airdome on a motorcycle and Wilson got on the machine to try it in a ride up and down the road. Unused to riding a motorcycle, he lost control of it, smashed into a post and was killed. The Hopkinsville boy who had flown for years without injury, met his death riding a motorcycle on the ground.
The Kentucky Colonel finished the season of 1928, but the following spring its owner sold it. The airdome is still in use at the present time by planes arriving from other places. In the summer of 1929, steps were taken to provide and equip a much larger airdome near the city, in expectation that it will in time become a landing place for mail and passenger planes between the Northern and Southern cities.


For fifteen years or more, Hopkinsville has had some kind of a community civic welfare organization. These organizations have been known as Board of Trade, Commercial Club, Business Men’s Club, and Chamber of Commerce. Each left an impression upon the community, and all have served a good purpose in the program of civic development. However, late in 1928, the Rotary and Kiwanis Clubs of Hopkinsville recognized the need of a modern Chamber of Commerce, and, under the sponsorship of these clubs, the citizens financed and made possible a new Chamber of Commerce, which became operative in January, 1929.

The present Chamber of Commerce was organized and is operating in an approved way under plans advocated by the Chamber of Commerce of the United States. One of the promises to the subscribers or members was that a full-time, trained and experienced manager would be employed to direct the work of the organization. After much inquiry and personal research, the board of directors secured the services of W. N. Porter, who had had a number of years of practical and successful experience in Chamber of Commerce work, as well as the technical training.
The present Chamber of Commerce, in its plan of activities, first diagnosed the needs of the community and laid plans for meeting those needs. Much good work done has already produced results for the betterment of the community, and a well-identified program is mapped out for the future, and under the guidance of those unselfish men who were named as its board of directors, there is no doubt but that the Chamber of Commerce will go down in history as having been one of the most important agencies contributing to the upbuilding of Christian County. The first board of directors of this Chamber of Commerce were:

President—-Oscar L. Bass, president of Bass & Company.
Vice-President-—C. L. Morgan, laundryman and capitalist.
 Secretary and Treasurer—W. 0. Stone, owner of Stone Printing Company.

B. B. Blaney, manager of Wadsworth-Campbell Box Company; K. 0. Cayce, president of Cayce-Yost Company; B. C. Barnes, vice-president of E. P. Barnes & Brother; Ed L. Weathers, vice-president of First National Bank; L. K. Wood, lawyer and judge of Christian County Court; Tom C. Jones, insurance, capitalist and farmer; S. L. Cowherd, farmer, livestock dealer, and sheriff of Christian County; Albert Wettstein, manager of Kentucky-Tennessee Light & Power Company; Harry A. Keach, president of Keach Furniture Company.

The Chamber of Commerce is located in the Federal-State-City-County Building, known as the Armory.


The Masonic Order was established in Hopkinsville as early as 1816, but in 1834 the lodge surrendered its charter, until in 1840, it was revived as Hopkinsville Lodge No. 37.

Green River Lodge No. 54 of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was organized not long afterwards. (See extended sketch.)

Evergreen Lodge No. 38, Knights of Pythias. was instituted March 28, 1876.

These lodges and others have flourished, and their members have often been honored by leadership in their respective state divisions. The following list of lodges, in the city now, is taken from the latest issue øf Caron’s City Directory of Hopkinsville:


Hopkinsville Lodge No. 37, 200½ East Ninth Street.
Oriental Chapter No. 14, 200½ East Ninth Street.
Moore Commandery No 6, 2001/2 East Ninth Street.


Carrie Hart Chapter No. 83, 200½ East Ninth Street.


Hopkinsville Lodge No. 545, 123 West Ninth Street.


Green River Lodge No. 54, 200½ East Ninth Street.


Evergreen Lodge No. 38, 200½ East Ninth Street.


Hopkinsville Camp No. 11533, 200½ East Ninth Street.
Pearl City Camp No. 5, 120½ East Ninth Street.


Evening Star Lodge No. 26, Good Samaritan Hall.
Solomon’s Temple Lodge No. 27, Good Samaritan Hall.
Pearl City Lodge No. 52, Good Samaritan Hall.
Arthur’s Pride No. 12 (Juvenile), Good Samaritan Hall.
Excelsior No. 18 (Juvenile).


Booker T. Washington, No. 1473, Good Samaritan Hall.
White Rose Chamber, No. 4296 (Ladies’ Auxiliary).
Eastern Star Chamber, No. 2878 (Ladies’ Auxiliary).
Eureka Chamber, No. 5171 (Ladies’ Auxiliary).
Carnation Chamber, No. 5199 (Ladies’ Auxiliary).
Estella Chamber, No. 5168 (Ladies’ Auxiliary).
Elliott Temple, No. 1703, 120 West Second Street.
Elsie J. Bell Chamber, No. 6159 (Ladies’ Auxiliary), Good Samaritan Hall.


King Lodge No. 41, 120 West Second Street.
Chrispus Attucks Lodge, Good Samaritan Hall.


Mystic Tie Lodge No. 1907, 120 West Second Street. Household of Ruth No. 112, Good Samaritan Hall.


Naomi Chapter No. 12, 120 West Second Street.
Progressive Chapter No. 63, Good Samaritan Hall.


Freedom Lodge No. 75, 120 West Second Street.


Musafora Temple No. 38 (Ladies’ Auxiliary).


Rising Star Temple No. 80, Good Samaritan Hall.


Pennyroyal Lodge No. 20, 120 West Second Street. Court of Calanthe (Ladies’ Auxiliary).


Phillis Wheatley No. 1919, Good Samaritan Hall.


American Legion meets in the public building.


Pennyroyal Council, 201½ East Ninth Street.


Athenaeum Club. Meets at Latham Hotel.
Democratic Woman’s Club of Christian County.
Magazine Club.
Kiwanis Club. Meets at Hotel Latham.
Rotary Club. Meets at Hotel Latham.
Woman’s Club. 708 Liberty Street.
Hopkinsville Golf and Country Club. East side Palmyra Road.
Hopkinsville Hunting and Fishing Club. Chamber of Commerce.
History and Literature Club.
Palace Social Club. 713 S. Virginia Street.
Pennyroyal Recreation Club. 705 S. Virginia Street.
Philomathean Club.
Wednesday Morning Music Club. 708 Liberty Street.
Young Woman’s Literary Club. 708 Liberty Street.


Alpha Delphian Society. 708 Liberty Street.
American Red Cross. 706½ South Main Street.
Associated Charities. 706½ South Main.
Christian County Baptist Association. 1400 South Main.
Christian County Farm Bureau, Armory Building.
Christian County Medical Society. Meets at Hotel Latham.
Confederate Veterans (Ned Merriwether Camp).
Daughters of the American Revolution.
United Daughters of the Confederacy.
Hopkinsville Elks’ Home Association, 123 West Ninth Street.
Journeymen Barbers International Union of America, Local No. 901, 108 East Ninth Street.
Women’s Christian Temperance Union.
Christian County Board of Health, 2-12 Cherokee Building.
Spanish-American War Veterans, Hiram P. Thomas Camp No. 12.
Travelers’ Protective Association, Post J.
Christian County Colored Farm Bureau (Auxiliary).
Good Samaritan Association (Colored).


First Baptist Church, 1400 5. Main Street.
Second Baptist Church, 720 West Seventh Street.


Ninth Street Christian Church, 229 East Ninth Street.

Eighteenth Street Church of Christ, 1100 East 18th Street. Seventh Street Church of Christ, 503 West Seventh Street.

Grace Protestant Episcopal Church, 220 East Sixth Street
Adath Israel Temple, 309 East Sixth Street.

Church of God, 735 Younglove Street.


Methodist Episcopal Church, 1305 South Main Street.

Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 205-207 East Seventh Street.
First Presbyterian Church, 301 East Seventh Street.
Westminster Presbyterian Church, 303 East Ninth Street.

Saints Peter and Paul Church, 900 East Ninth.

First Universalist Church, 301-303 South Main Street.

Salvation Army, 1112 South Virginia Street.


Cedar Grove Baptist Church, 1131 Howell Street.
Durrett Avenue Baptist Church, east side Church, south of Nineteenth.
First Street Baptist Church, 816 East First Street
Gainesville Baptist Church, west side New Greenville Road
Main Street Baptist Church, 402 S. Main Street.
Moore’s Mission Baptist Church, 411 Cypress.
Virginia Street Baptist Church, 209 South Virginia.

Campbell Street Christian Church, 123 South Campbell.
Good Shepherd Protestant Episcopal Church, 604 East Second.

Freeman Chapel C. M. E. Church, 129 South Virginia Street. Lane Tabernacle C. M. E. Church, 101 South Vine Street.


Thomas Green  Born 1775—Died 1821,
Jack B. F. Edmund,  . . Born 1815—Died 1855,
Lucy Green  Born 1780—Died 1845.
George McAfee Born 1809—Died 1840,
Ann F. Green  Born 1784—Died 1860
Eliza Nichol Born 1817 - Died 1848 ,
John Rouzee Green  Born 1817—Died 1875
Mary Carmichael Moore. Born 1762—Died 1850 ,
Elizabeth Taylor Green  . . Born 1822—Died 1892
Mary C. Moore, Infant.,
J. E. Spott Born 1817—Died 1862
Thomas Y. Moore, Infant.,
Sarah Watkins  Born 1825—Died 1852
Mrs. Eliza H. Edmunds . . Born 1821—Died 1849,
Memucan Hunt Green  . . . Born 1847—Died 1864
Mrs. Lucy Ann Nelson . Born 1825—Died 1843 ,
Infant of J. R. and  Lucy Green.,
Daniel Henry        Born 1796—Died 1837 ,
Cornelia Green  Born 1875—Died 1889 ,
Lucy W. Moore Born 1809—Died 1872 ,
John G. Wood  Born 1871—Died 1871
Joseph P. Moore Born 1838—Died 1862 ,
George Ward Green.
 John Thompson Moore . Born 1830—Died 1838 ,
Mrs. Ann Randolph  Born 1807—Died 1827
James C. Moore Born 1797—Died 1872,
Mary Moore.
Caroline, wife of Thos.,
Mrs. Sarah Green  Born 1806—Died 1829
Green Born 1824—Died 1857 ,
Clara Munsel Green  Born 1841—Died 1843 ,
Thomas, son of T. and William S. Moore  Born 1801—Died 1860
 C. E. Green Born 1853—Died 1856,
Mary Peyton Moore  Born 1810—Died 1881
Duff Green Born 1858—Died 1857 ,
T. W. R. Edmunds Born 1811—Died 1833
Thomas Green Born 1832—Died 1901,
Edward Randolph  Born 1783—Died 1830

 Return to Table of Contents

All Rights Reserved