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The Silent City 2012 production was splendid success

Adair County Library, Adair Genealogical Society are elated and thankful following a perfect evening of history
Click on headline for photo(s) as added and for additional presentations, as added

By Lee Ann Jessee, Director, Adair Public Library

The Adair County Public Library and the Adair County Genealogical Society would like to say "Thank you" to everyone who made last night a success! First of all, our cast of presenters were entertaining and informative.

Linda Lewis, our newest presenter, was splendid telling about Anna Wethington from the porch of the beautiful Magnolia House.

Thanks to the other new presenters, Dr. Max Downey and lovely daughter Laura, for bringing to life the wonderful story of Stanley Downey.

J.D. And Ellen Zornes who, as always, give historical and entertaining reports on Adair County couples. They were fabulous last night as N.M. and Mary Tutt.

Jennifer Smith, who gave an accurate and believable account of Laura Feese, a relative of hers. She also mentioned the Feese Mill located off Pelham Branch Road that burnt in the 70's.

Mr. Richard Phelps, for his great re-telling of the life of Herschel Clay Baker. As always, Richard was totally in character!

Caleb Ricketts appeared courtesy of Adair County Historian, Michael C. Watson. We were invited inside Professor Rickett's classroom and I think everyone learned a lesson or two!

We would also like to say a big 'thank you" to the crowd of almost 70 who braved the chilly winds and supported these presenters.

We appreciate t the tremendous support from the community and we hope everyone had a wonderful time! I would like to also say thanks to Ernestine Bennett, Adair County Genealogist who makes this event what it is every year.

She consistently locates characters who have contributed to what makes Adair County! Jewel, Anita and Aleina thank you for working extra hours to make sure everything is in place and ready to go! You gals are wonderful!

Jane Grant for stepping in at the last minute and carrying the portable sound system for the presenters.

Lila Curry for documenting as much as possible through video.

Thanks to Columbiamagazine, Adair Progress, Community Voice, WAIN, and Printing Creations for getting the word out. - Lee Ann Jessee
Presentations will be added separately on CM and below, as received and posted

Caleb H. Ricketts... presented by Mike Watson

Caleb H. Ricketts was known in Adair and surrounding counties as a classical educator, businessman, and land surveyor of considerable distinction. It was he who surveyed and marked the lines for the new county of Russell in 1825.

For many years, Professor Ricketts, as he was commonly known, taught subscription schools and was private tutor in this county for many of the young men who advanced to prominence in later years. He was known as a classical scholar, one who taught not only the basic rudiments such as reading and writing, but also mathematics, Latin, logic and the sciences. His reputation increased to the point where he was often engaged to teach one or two children of a family, and would reside in the family home, to be paid both room and board, and a salary based upon the curriculum and the number of pupils he taught.

Caleb H. Ricketts, born 15 March 1782, died 3 November 1849, buried in the Columbia Cemetery, was married in 1809 in Adair County to Anne T. "Nancy" Powell, a daughter of Major Robert Powell, Sr. Anne, generally called Nancy, as was the custom of the time, died "about" 1821, according to her grave marker in the Columbia City Cemetery. She and Caleb, who outlived her by nearly three decades, were buried in an old section of the cemetery, near where the old Powell family was interred, though no markers now remain for this venerable clan. Caleb and Anne left no issue.

His death was chronicled by a former pupil, James L. Johnston, of Adair County, a well known and wealthy businessman and gentleman farmer. "On the 30th of November one thousand eight hundred and forty nine our reverend and much esteemed friend Caleb H. Ricketts died at the house of Robert Lyon where he was keeping scholl (school) & his death was caused by violent cold terminating in Numonia (pneumonia). He went to school Monday and Tuesday, turning out school on Tuesday about two o'clock, being very much indisposed with cold sweats and chills passing through his sistem (sic), and was about 3 hours in reaching the house of Mr. Lyon, a distance of not more than a half mile, his attacks being so violent, and he lingered on until Saturday night about nine o'clock when his soul return[ed] to Him that gave it."

A note on Major Robert Powell--Robert Powell joined the Continental Army in 1776 and served until the close of the Revolution, attaining the rank of Major. He married in 1779 to Ann Wert in Alexandria, VA, and they were the parents of eleven children. Major Powell moved to KY and lived in Adair County at the time of his death and, therefore, is almost certainly buried in the Columbia Cemetery. Major Powell died on 14 or 15 May 1815. Ann Wert Powell, born 29 July 1762 at West Grove, near Alexandria, VA, died 5 January 1837 at Danville, then Mercer County, KY. Major Powell was awarded 4,000 acres of land in 1783 for his service in the Revolution. Dr. Nathan Gaither drafted a letter in 1833 to help prove Major Powell's service; he had been the Major's physician from 1809 until his death in 1815. - -Mike Watson

Fannie B. Smythe. . . presented by Lee Ann Jessee

Fannie B. Smythe was born January 18, 1862 in Columbia, KY to Henry and Sarah Williams Smythe.

Fannie had six siblings: Mary, Sallie, Laurie, George Paul, Robert L. and Henry Jr.

Fannie was a school teacher for over 40 years. Between her sisters Mary, Laurie and her, they taught in every school district in Adair County.

Fannie was a teacher at the the Montpelier Academy or the Williams Academy in 1901 when the school was destroyed by fire. All students and faculty escaped without harm.

Fannie made a profession of faith in 1881 and was a life long member of the Columbia Baptist Church.

She was very well educated in the Scriptures and often gave help to others who were struggling. Fannie died on March 7, 1935 at her home after several months illness.. - Lee Ann Jessee

Laura Montgomery Feese ... Portrayed by Jennifer Smith

Hello, My name is Laura Montgomery Feese. I was born in Adair Co. on 04-29-1856. My Parents were William and Elizabeth Montgomery.

My Father was a farmer, and we lived in the White Oak Community. I had one brother Scott, and 5 sisters. I married James Conover Feese who was also from Adair Co. and born 03-07-1856.

His parents were Samuel and Malinda Hardin Feese.

He had 12 brothers and sisters. His Father built a grist mill on Russell Creek around the time of the war between the states. I think you call it the Civil War. The mill was later used for Hydroelectric power and was the first to provide electricity to the City of Columbia.

James and I had 4 lovely children. The oldest, a daughter Ora born 1879. The second. Samuel, was born 1880. He came to rest here in 1916. My third born, Lula, born 1883 died in 1905 at the age of 22. She died of Consumption. My baby was Guy, born 1885, He, his wife Carrie and baby girl Margorie are here also.

The baby died in 1911 at the age of 11 months, Carrie Sept. 1913 and Guy Dec. 1913 all of Tuberculosis.

I died 09-13-1905 of consumption I was 49. My dear James lived until 01-14-1930. He was 74. James and Guy are also buried here but have no headstones. Leave it to the men to lose their headstones. - Jennifer Smith

Anna Dohoney Wethington . . . portrayed by Linda Lewis
Anna Dohoney Wethington was born in Gradyville in 1905. She was the daughter of Lillian and Stonewall Dohoney. She had 4 brothers (one of whom was also named Stonewall) and 2 sisters. She was a teacher in Adair County for most of her adult life. Her husband's name was Charles.

In 1947 (the time of the re-enactment) Anna bought the house at 307 Merchant Street (now Magnolia House B & B) at a very cheap price, and there were two stipulations in the deed: Anna''s parents could live there until their passing and Anna must maintain the property. After their passing it was to be Anna's. - Linda Lewis

This story was posted on 2012-10-30 10:26:44
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Twilight procession at the Columbia City Cemetery

2012-10-30 - Columbia City Cemetery, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
An Adair County Tradition grows each year, and the 2012 "The Silent City," was very successful. The scene above occurred during the presentation of the Columbia City Cemetery Walking Tour, Monday evening, October 29, 2012. The tour started at the Adair Public Library, continued to the Magnolia House Bed & Breakfast, and then came to the Columbia City Cemetery for vignettes presented at gravesites by Stanley Downey, N.M. and Mary Tutt, Fannie Smithe, Laura Feese, Hershel Clay Baker, and Caleb Rickett.

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J.D. and Ellen Zornes as N.M. & Mary Tutt

2012-10-30 - 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener. J.D. and Ellen Zornes are familar cast members at The Silent City presentations by the Adair County Public Library and the Adair County Genealogical Society. This year they played N.M. and Mary Tutt in the Monday evening, October 29, 2012 presentation at the Columbia Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY.
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The Silent City 2012: Judge Henry Clay Baker

2012-10-30 - 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener. Everyone in Adair County knows the name: Judge H.C. Baker. Now they can put a face with it, the face of Mr. Richard Phelps, a member of the original The Silent City cast. This year, the versatile re-enactor gave another outstanding performance as Judge Baker. He's also been Circuit and County Court Clerk William Caldwell, and Christian Church leader Elder Z.T. Williams.
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The Silent City: A Light show, before curtain rises

2012-10-30 - 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Actually, it's nightly, not just for the Annual The Silent City performances, but last night's natural light and shadow, before the performances began, bordered on spectacular. Taken Monday, October 29, 2012. The vistas from the Cemetery are reasons the paved lanes and grassy passages are favorite evening and early morning walking and bicycling paths for many.

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Former cast member, Dr. Rogers, performs impromptu

2012-10-30 - 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, official portraitist. Dr. Ron Rogers, who gave an unforgettable portrayal of his kinsman Cy Barger in an earlier The Silent City production, struck his best impromptu visionary pose at the 2012 The Silent City production. Dr. Rogers was at the event as a spectator, but his presence, just after Dr. Max Downey's performance as great baseball player of the past, Stanley Downey, evoked memories of Rogers' own re-enactment portraying the life of kinsman major league star Cy Barger.
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Welcoming committee: Adair Public Library

2012-10-30 - 307 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener. These two figures - not sure of names of these two staffers are the welcoming committee at the Adair County Public Library, 307 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY. The library is not just a repository for great reading, great internet access and facilities, and genealogical help, lately it's building a great tradition for drama and outdoor theatre. The latest production of "The Silent City" more than lived up to the tradition of excellence the series has established, but expansion plans are underway for the 2013 re-enactments.
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Caleb Ricketts chats with The Silent City 2012 visitors

2012-10-30 - 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener. Adair County Historian Mike Watson performed the final act in the 2012 The Silent City presentation last night, Monday, October 29, 2012. He portrayed a little known figure who made considerable contributions to the county, Caleb Ricketts. Ricketts was an educator, a surveyor, and a man who liked to dabble in a little light business. He married Ann Powell of Adair County. Ricketts was responsible for surveying the Adair-Russell County line Russell County was established, an achievement he took great pride in. Ricketts died after succumbing to pneumonia after a three hour, one-half mile effort to reach his lodgings in the Knifley area after teaching school all day. He explained that his gravesite, right beside the Campbellsville Street sidewalk, wasn't originally that close to the busy road way. "They took about 30 feet from us," he said of the highway incursion, in a tone revealing a bit of irritation with eminent domainery. - EW
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The Silent City: A meeting out of time

2012-10-30 - 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener. Up and out of the grave as their characters, Laura Feese and Herschel Clay Baker, presenters Jennifer Smith, in distance, left, and Richard Phelps chat before The Silent City audience arrives at their Campbellsville Street side of the historic Columbia Cemetery.
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The Silent City 2012: Stanley Downey

2012-10-30 - Columbia Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Erin Downey Eubank was snapping a photo of Stanley and Nellie Downey's children Mary Ann Mathews, left; Dr. Max Downey, and Laura Downey Brummett, Max Downey's daughter. The uniform was the uniform Stanley Downey wore to play semi-pro baseball. It was 100% wool, itchy and scratchy, and was worn throughout the season, regardless of the heat.

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The Silent City 2012: Mary Tutt, painting

2012-10-30 - Columbia Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia - Photo by Anita Riddle. Ellen Zornes portrayed Mary Tutt, the artistic wife of N.M. Tutt, portrayed by Zornes' husband, Columbia Attorney J.D. Zornes.
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The Silent City 2012: Anna Dohoney Wethington

2012-10-30 - 307 Merchant Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Anita Riddle. Linda Lewis, portraying Anna Dohoney Wethington, on the steps of the exact house at 307 Merchant Street, Columbia, KY, which Mrs. Wethington purchased for a home for her parents, Lillian and Stonewall Dohoney. The house is now owned by Linda Lewis and her husband Carson Lewis and is operated as Magnolia House Bed and Breakfast.
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The Silent City 2012: Fannie Smythe

2012-10-30 - 307 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Anita Riddle. Adair County Library Director Lee Ann Jessee in costume for her portrayal of Fannie Smythe. The photo was taken in the library; Mrs. Jessee's protrayal of Fannie Smythe was in the Columbia Cemetery.
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