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Mr. Murray Scott Kidnapped By Gypsies

This article first appeared in issue 34, and was written by Lorena F. Jackson.

Juanita Scott told the story of Gypsies kidnapping her husband when he was 1 1/2 or 2 years old, around 1935 or 36. Around this period of time Gypsies occasionally came through this part of the country traveling in one or two vehicles instead of caravans.

Juanita's husband is Murray Scott. His parents had a booth at the Adair County Fair where they sold hamburgers and hot-dogs. They had arranged a tent over their booth, and had little Murray on a pallet sleeping in the back.

After awhile Murray's parents missed him, began searching frantically, and describing him to many people. His outstanding feature was having heavy curly hair. Right away visitors at the fair were telling Mr. and Mrs. Scott they had seen their child with Gypsies who were at the fair.

Soon the Scotts learned that the Gypsies were headed toward Russell Springs. Mr. and Mrs. Scott went to Russell Spings, located the Gypsies, and got their son who was not harmed.

Bereka Willis and Myrtle Grimsley, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Dillen Breeding, told about a long caravan of covered wagons occupied by Gypsies, coming by their home in the edge of Gradyville when they were children. Their home was on the road that is now Highway 80.

The breeding family was ready to go to church services when the caravan arrived. These wandering people asked Mr. Breeding if they could setup camp at his home. He thought it over and told them they could camp in his barn lot as it was fenced in.

Mr. Breeding thought it best that he not go to church that evening, so he stayed around home to be sure all went well; however the rest of the family went to church.

Neighbors from all around Gradyville came the next day to see and talk to the Gypsies. It was interesting to see all the clan sitting in a huge circle around a big black kettle of soup, each enjoying his own bowl of hot soup he was holding.

Big Creek ran close by, and the Gypsy women had washed their clothes in the creek. When they hung their wash to dry, the clothes completely covered the fence around the barn lot.

Bertha said she and the other neighborhood children had a great time running and playing with the Gypsy children.

Mrytle went inside their home and one of these roving ladies followed her inside. Then Mrs. Breeding followed the visitor as she walked all around in her home, guarding her belongings, being sure nothing was stolen.

This band of people had cash on hand for they bought feed for their horses, also eggs and milk from Mr. and Mrs. Breeding.

The Gypsies spent one night at the Breeding farm, then moved on by the middle of the afternoon.

(Writer Lorena Farris Jackson's first story appeared in February 1999. She lives in Cane Valley and has shared several of her collected stories about local families and events.)



This story was posted on 2001-04-15 12:01:01
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