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100 Years (and more) Ago: News of Adair Co., KY

Writer's note: These items are from outside sources, from all over the State of Kentucky. I hope CM readers have a much fun perusing these news clips as I had putting them together. -JIM

by "Jim"

This eclectic assortment of articles and advertisements -- from horse racing to the hilarious, from solemn to the sublime -- appeared in various newspapers across the state from the early 1800s through 1910. Many of the pieces appeared in years for which no extant copies of The Spectator or the Adair County News exist, and of the others, few drew mention in those two worthy papers.

George W. Basee, of Hills County, Iowa, went to Columbia, Adair County, Ky., to wed Miss Susan Gadberry, but she backed out. It was a matrimonial agency match. -- Bourbon (County, Ky.) News, December 31, 1897. (Apparently, Ms. Gadberry reversed course and backed back into the marriage shortly thereafter, as Adair County records indicate she and Mr. Basee -- also variously spelled Bay, Bays, and Bayse -- were made as one on January 3, 1898. The groom was 47; this was his second marriage. Ms. Gadberry was 32 and had not previously sailed the sea of matrimony.)

Tom Hall, Louisville correspondent of the Cincinnati Enquirer and Police News (so he says), was kicked all around the public square at Columbia, Adair County, by a lightning rod peddler about whom [Hall] had been wagging a slanderous tongue. We know Hall, and will bet that the kicker had to fumigate his boots after the performance. -- The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Ky, December 25, 1878.

A Remarkable Record

William Curry, a resident of Adair County, Ky., is one of the most remarkable men on record. He has been married sixty-three years to his present wife; is eighty-four and his wife eighty-three years of age. He has owned and raised a crop on the same farm since his marriage, and has paid taxes to the Sheriff of Adair County for sixty-three consecutive years. His children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren number over.... [the last two lines are illegible from heavy over-inking]. -- The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Ky, November 7, 1884.

A number of Adair County people are dying from a disease known as black-tongued erysipelas. -- The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Ky, Feb. 10, 1897.

Adair County in the wake of Edmonson [County] has gone dry. Let the good work go on. -- The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Ky, October 12, 1898.

Busy as a Bird Dog

N.H. Moss, Judge of Adair County, has been a Republican always, and has been as busy a s bird dog in politics since 1886, having served 12 years as justice of the peace. Mr. Moss was born September 1, 1860, near Gradyville, where he lost his wife and five children in the Big Creek flood, which happened there June, 1907. His home is at Columbia, Ky. Judge Moss is a Master Mason. -- The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Ky, June 15, 1910, in a column headed "Distinguished Kentucky Judges."

Mr. Cecil Humphrey, and Miss Nell Price, of Adair County, Ky., were married Sunday, he had never seen her until Saturday before, they were married on Sunday, they have been in correspondence some time. We wish them a long and happy life. -- The Central Record, Lancaster, Ky., May 10, 1907, in the Buckeye community newsletter.

The First Automobile Line

Glasgow, Ky., Jan. 8.--The first automobile line in Kentucky was started between Columbia, Adair County, and Campbellsville, a distance of 20 miles. There will be two trips a day. In addition to the mail and express it has a capacity for 18 passengers. -- The Citizen, Berea, Ky., January 11, 1906. (The line was started by Paul Azbill, the son of Prof W.K Azbill and Adair County native Anna Page Azbill. The vehicles proved too light for the job and the line was short-lived.)

Miss Katherine Euphalia Murrell is a talented young woman and represents the Louisville Times at Columbia. Miss Murrell is the niece of J.E. Murrell, who is in partnership with C.S. Harris in publishing and editing the Adair County News. Her father, the late C.H. Murrell, was traveling representative for that paper ten years. -- The Citizen, Berea, Ky., March 31, 1910. (Excerpted from a lengthy article titled "Kentucky Women Succeeding in Newspaper Work." Ms. Murrell is better remembered as Lindsey Wilson's most beloved ray of sunshine, "Miss Katie.")

Shot His Sweetheart's Father

Columbia, Ky., July 27.--John Smith, a young man, shot Bige [Abijah] Humphrey in the lower part of Adair County, because Humphrey would not allow his daughter to elope to Tennessee with Smith. Humphrey is seriously injured. -- The Crittenden Press, Marion, Ky., August 2, 1900. (The shooting occurred on Thursday, July 25th, and young Mr. Smith soon thereafter became the recipient of free lodging in the county bastille. Mr. Smith was given a one-year sentence in the state penitentiary at Frankfort for pulling the trigger.)

Mr. A.G. Lewis, a former citizen of Adair County, died suddenly at Gainesville, Tex. Mr. Lewis and four brothers resided in Adair County when the Civil war broke out, and he joined the Confederate army. His four brothers went in on the other side. -- The Daily Kentuckian, Hopkinsville, Ky., June 21, 1898.

Isham G. Scott, an old man from Sparksville, Adair County, was convicted in the Federal Court at Louisville this week on three charges of forging pension papers. He was charged with having forged seventy-two papers, but sixty-nine of the cases against him were disbarred by the statute of limitations. -- Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Ky., March 5, 1896. (Mr. Scott was a not-quite-ancient 55 years of age. An article in the November 16, 1916 News noted that Mr. Scott had served in the Federal army, and that he "drew a pension of $12 per month up to 1876, and in that year, on account of an indiscretion on his part, his pension was stopped...He has been notified that he will again be placed on the [pension] list and in February, 1917, he will be paid $19, and thirty dollars per month so long as lives." Mr. Scott crossed the dark river the latter part of October 1923, age 81.)

A post office has been established at Turk, Adair County, and James K. Robertson appointed postmaster. -- The Hazel Green Herald, January 22, 1892, in a column titled "State Sunshine and Shadow."

The Hon. John Young Brown will address the people at the following times and places:...Columbia, Adair County, Thursday, July 30 [1891]. -- The Hazel Green Herald, June 26, 1891. (J.Y. Brown was the Republican candidate for Governor in 1891; his Democratic opponent was Adair County native Parker Watkins "P. Wat" Hardin. Come November, Brown triumphed, but in the latter days of his term, Brown's administration was rocked when his son Archibald & Archibald's paramour were gunned down by the latter husband's at a disreputable boarding house in Louisville. The paramour was the daughter of Columbia native Cornelia Bush and the granddaughter of longtime Adair County resident Judge Zachariah Wheat.)

Mrs. Elizabeth Smith, of Adair County, while passing through a field to visit her brother, was attacked by a vicious sheep and butted to death. She had been dead several hours when found... -- The Hazel Green Herald, January 27, 1910.

The following two articles appeared on the same page of the same paper:

Foul Play Suspected

Louisville, Ky., April 6.--Friends are alarmed about the disappearance in this city of Z.I. Samuels, a tobacco grower of Glenn's Fork, Adair County, who came here ten days ago with a large quantity of tobacco. he had a large sum of money with him, and it is feared he has been murdered. The last time he was seen was Sunday evening, March 26, when he left his hotel presumably to see some of the sights...


Only Celebrating
Columbia, Ky., April 8.--Z.L. Samuels, the Adair County man for whom the Louisville police have been looking for a week, turned up at his home in Glenville. He said he had been celebrating and walked home. He went to Louisville to sell his tobacco crop and left his team standing... -- The Hickman Courier, Fulton County, Ky., April 14, 1899. (Mr. Samuels was about 65 when he took this long celebratory walk home. He was a veteran of the Civil War, having valiantly served in the Federal army, 13th Ky. Infantry, Capt. O.B. Patteson's company. He was a few months short of fourscore years when he answered the last roll call in the summer of 1914.)

Proceedings of the Legislature (brief excerpt from a lengthy article)

A bill making wire fences and Osage orange hedges lawful within the meaning of the statute was passed [by the Kentucky House of Representatives on April 23rd]. Adair County was exempted from its operation. -- The Hickman Courier, Fulton County, Ky., April 28, 1886.("Wire fences" most likely refers to barbed wire. Upon first viewing barbed wire in use, tart-tongued Adair Countian William Stewart was quoted by H.C. Baker as saying, "Well, it may keep the stock inside from getting out, and the stock outside from getting in, but my judgment is that the wires can never be put close enough together to keep the man out of h--- who would build such a fence.")

The citizens of Gradyville, in Adair County, are trying secure the location of a college there. -- The Kentuckian, Hopkinsville, Ky., March 12, 1897.

E.V. Miller [of Crocus] and Miss Lenia Powell; R.O. Young and Miss Emma Strange, all of Adair County, were married in a single ceremony at Jamestown. -- The Interior Journal, Stanford, Ky., March 30, 1906. (Mr. Miller died almost exactly four years later.)

Horse Sporting (paid adv.)

The subscriber, Inn Keeper, in the town of Columbia, Adair County, Ky., is now preparing and will have in complete order by the 10th of April ensuing the Columbia Turf; which is in sight of the Town. On this Turf will be run a match race on the second Thursday in May next (the 12th of the month) one mile and repeat for $1400: Sampson Casky's Esq., Florazel horse, against Andrew Barnett's Whip mare, Spoil-letter. Several other races are contemplated. This turf is about the centre between Lexington, Nashville, Louisville and Huntsville; equal and by man said to be superior to the Lexington turf...Gentlemen from those quarters with their fine horse, meet on the Columbia Turf there to try their speed and bottom.
-Robert H. Burton
N.B. The editors of the Frankfort Argus, Louisville Advertiser, Russellsville Messenger, and Nashville Republican will be so good as to insert the above three times in their respective papers and forward the amount of their respective charges to me which shall immediately be paid or remitted.
Robert H. Burton, Columbia, Adair County, Ky., March 28, 1825. -- Kentucky Gazette,Lexington, Ky., April 21, 1825.
(Classified adv.)Taken up by the subscriber, living in Adair County, on Cumberland River, a Strawberry Roan Mare. Four years old, neither docked nor branded, a small star in her forehead, appraised to 11L 10s [eleven pounds, 10 shillings]. Daniel Vinson, August 17th, 1802. -- Kentucky Gazette, Lexington, Ky., August 20, 1802.

This story was posted on 2010-11-21 05:20:13
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