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Mike Watson: Adair County Writers IV

Adair County Writers IV: In this list - Rev. Carl Loy, Darlene Franklin Campbell, Robert Bailey, Jim, Vista Royse Allison, Ernestine Smith Bennett, Susie Grant, Paul Patton, and John Smiley Collins, D.D.
2nd Annual Adair Co. Genealogy/History Book Fair, 10am-3pmCT/11am-4pmET
at Historic Adair County Courthouse, 500 Public Square, Columbia, KY

By Mike Watson, Adair County Historian

Here is my fourth and, I hope, final Adair writers...I'm not sure, but this looks like the ramblings of one who has fallen from the high end of the porch and taken a nasty crack about the skull, creating a knob of nonsense or some such medical suspicion. Temperature has risen above 75 here, that causes one to think randomly, perhaps foolishly... MW

Adair Writers IV

The more I read, the less I seem to know - or at least remember. Someone once told me, and I have adopted the line, "I try to learn new things each day, but some old things seem to be pushed off the back side of my memory shelf." We are told that no thing is forgotten, just not as easily accessed as more and more is processed. An anecdote told of Albert Einstein says he was once asked for his address and his reply was that he didn't know. Why?, he was asked. His reply, that he saw no reason to try to remember such trivial information; if he needed to know, he'd ask someone.

Well, I have been collecting and reading Adair County materials all my adult life. I often "re-find" things new to me. Then later, I find I have three copies in my library...and never shelved together. The following are some additional writers of Adair, near and far--in time. I do not intend to do any of them an injustice by writing a sketch that is too-brief, but perhaps they, or their works, may be found at the Historic Adair County Courthouse book sale this Saturday!

Rev. Carl Loy

Brother Loy was so well known to those of my generation and previous ones. Most may remember him for his wonderful sermons and prayers, his singing, or his kindness, but some may remember him as a gifted author and song writer. He penned numerous hymns, including As I Think of Glory, Take Your Troubles to The Lord, and When We Gather Around the Throne are but a small sampling. Published in the 1980s, his three books They Followed The Christ, The Greatest Power in the Universe, and Reverie About an Apple Tree, are thoughtful works now as when first published.

Darlene Franklin Campbel

A most versatile artist, Mrs. Campbell is by profession a teacher of the youth of Adair County, but by night she is a super hero, walking on glass and more. Looking for Pork Chop McQuade debuted in October 2012 to an enthusiastic readership. Other titles include Uncommon Clay; I Listened, Momma; Dragon's Heir; and Journey to Ak'ras. Her poetry has been included in numerous journals and anthologies. Come out to see Darlene on Saturday.

Robert Bailey

The first newspaper of record to be printed within the confines of Adair County was the Reporter, founded in 1825 or 1826, continuing, perhaps intermittently, until 1828. In 1826 it was operated by Hopewell Miller, printer, and Robert Bailey, entrepreneur. Milton P. Wheat operated the paper in 1828 and became postmaster of Columbia in the same year, so may have discontinued the paper at the time of his appointment. In 1826 Miller brought suit against Bailey in the Adair Circuit Court claiming that he could not properly carry out his part of their partnership, the printing of the paper, since Bailey had not kept his part of the bargain, selling subscriptions and putting the money collected toward the paper and the publication of a volume of Bailey's own autobiography. That book was eventually printed as Life and Adventures of Robert Bailey., supposedly in 1822, but most likely later. An original copy is about as scarce as copies of the Magna Carta. However, it was resurrected in 1978 and reprinted, with commentary, by Frederick Newbraugh, of Berkeley Springs, West Virginia. If anyone has an original copy, bring it Saturday, I want to see one! Same for any copy of the Reporter!


"Who is Jim?" I hear this often, and so does Ye Olde Editor Waggener. So far as is known, no one will tell. However, Brother Cousin Jim is a prolific author, having submitted many, many articles to Columbia Magazine and other print publications. His list of books is a long one, but here are a few of the more popular titles: From Hope to Hilltop: The Establishment of the Lindsey Wilson Training School, Late 1899-Early 1904 (and Glimpses Through 1910) as Reported in the Adair County News, 2009, since revised; Judge Herschel Clay Baker's as published in the Adair County News January 23-November 6, 1918--with Additional Material, 139 pages, 2006; A Handsome New Business House: The Russell & Co. Building,1910, Columbia, KY. with additional information as found in the Adair County News, 2009; Adair County, Kentucky Prisoners of War: World War II, 2012; and most recently, Death Come Calling: Columbia, Ky. Undertakers, c1896-1929, 2013.

Vista Royse Allison

Mrs. Allison produced one of the most influential books on Adair County Methodist history after long and diligent research. Under the title Methodist History of Adair County Kentucky, 1782-1969, she prepared a wonderful chronology of the Methodists in Kentucky and Adair County, a much sought ofter tome today.

Ernestine Smith Bennett

The ever-helpful Adair County Public Library's genealogy and local history curator, Ernie Bennett, seems to be satisfied with her two wonderful works on the county store in our history. The Old Country Store: Adair County, Kentucky, first printed in 2003, and The Old Country Store: Adair County, Kentucky, Second Edition, which was first printed the following year, take the reader through the now nearly-lost world of the good old country store. We must encourage Ernie to come up with an additional volume...or more.

Susie Grant

Mrs. Susie Pelz Grant is perhaps best known for her long career as columnist for the Adair County News, Daily Statesman, and Adair Progress. She chronicled story of her life in The True Story of a German War Bride, printed in Baltimore, MD by Publish, 2008, spans 225 pages. The story of coming of age in Nazi Germany, meeting and marrying an American soldier, moving to Adair County, and rearing a family is a most touching autobiography. Local collectors prize the original, two-volume version. Other titles by Mrs. Grant include: The Hanging of Two Brothers in Columbia, Kentucky, story of the Fitzpatrick brothers; The Hotel Fire: Columbia, Kentucky; and Town of Neatsville, Kentucky.

Paul Patton

Brother Paul Patton, a natural historian, steeped in the history and traditions of the area, has written extensively on the Christian Churches and people of this region. A History of the Christian Churches in Adair County, Kentucky, printed in 1990, is still one of the most used books in the church history collection of the Adair Public Library. [There was quite a sensation some time ago when it appeared Bro. Patton's history of Casey County Churches had disappeared; but it was found.]

John Smiley Collins, D.D. -

Dr. John Smiley Collins, a native of Adair County, had published in 1971, Man of Devotion: Francis Asbury. by Upper Room, Nashville, TN, an 86 page treatise on the faith of Rev. Francis Asbury, pioneer Kentucky Methodist.

- Mike Watson

This story was posted on 2013-05-30 12:26:32
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Adair Co. Writers: Cover of Death Comes Calling, by Jim

2013-05-30 - Columbia, KY - Photo photo by Mike Watson. Jim the mysterious writer with the astounding store of knowledge about Adair County, Lindsey Wilson, and Russell County, wrote this dandy volume with information about the history of the undertaking business with more accurate, detailed information than most would have thought possible.
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Adair Writers: Ernestine Bennett

2013-05-31 - Adair County, KY - Photo by Mike Watson. Ernestine Smith Bennett's first volume of "The Old Country Store," was so well received a second volume (cover pictured above) was written. She's one of the Adair writers celebrated in the book fair coming up this Saturday in the Historic Adair County Courthouse. Read more about Adair Writers by Clicking ReadMore.
2nd Annual Adair Co. Genealogy/History Book Fair, 10am-3pmCT/11am-4pmET
at Historic Adair County Courthouse, 500 Public Square, Columbia, KY

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