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Silent City 2017 - Eleventh Annual Event a near perfect one

The wrap-up: Five performances, featuring six performers highlighting six great Adair Countians from history drew great audience - again. Plans are already underway for the 12th Annual Silent City.
Click on headline for story with photos, links

By Ed & Linda Waggener

An Adair County tradition now 11 years old was presented with five flawless performances, to an audience which numbered some 65-75 in attendance, on a clear, shirt sleeve warm Monday, October 3, 2017.

This year, almost all of those in attendance chose to gather at the Adair County Public Library, at 307 Greensburg Street, and then walk to the Columbia City Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, accessing the cemetery from the N Monroe Street lane between the Adair Judicial Center and the Columbia-Adair County Fire Department. A few drove to a parking letter immediately beside the first station.


At each station, re-enactors, all in period apparel, appeared before their character's grave marker and spoke of their experiences as though they had arisen for this occasion, and each speaks in first person.

The performances were as follows in these links: Library Director Lee Ann Jessee was very pleased with the day's events,, and issued the following thank you: "The Adair County Public Library and the Adair County Genealogical Society would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came out last night to see the 9th Annual Silent City Cemetery Tour. We appreciate the support that this program has had over the years. We would also like to say thank you to all the presenters-as usual they did an awesome job!! Columbia is a great place to call home!"

According to the program handout for "Silent City Cemetery Tour, Celebration 2017," materials for the performances came genealogy research and reference materials, including obituary records, newspapers on microfilm, family files, surname books, Adair and surrounding counties records, out of state records, census records, Civil War records, church records, community records, Ancestry.com, and Heritage Quest.com information which can be accessed at home with a library card.

After the final performance, the cast and audience walked back to the library for additional discussion and refreshments.

The event took the place of the regular Adair County Genealogical Society meeting. All citizens with an interest in genealogy, history, re-enacting, and performances such as the ones in the Silent City, are urge to join the Adair Genealogical Society. Annual membership fee is only $20 per year, and includes a subscription to the Quarterly "Adair Review" magazine.

Dues can be sent to: Adair County Public Library, 307 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY.

ADAIR COUNTY GENEALOGICAL SOCIETY holds its regular monthly meetings at the Adair County Public Library, 307 Greensburg Street, Columbia, KY, each first Monday of the month, at 5pmCT. Everyone is welcome to attend. Contact Adair County Public Library, 307 Greensburg Street, Columbia, Ky. 270-384-2472 ask for Ernestine or Lee Ann or Jewell.


This story was posted on 2017-10-08 16:20:04
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Silent City 2017 - Historian Mike Watson as William Stewart



2017-10-03 - Columbia Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Adair County Historian Mike Watson portrayed William Stewart (1830-1904) in the 11th Annual "Silent City Cemetery Tour" Celebration on an absolutely perfect, Monday, October 2, 2017. Some 65-70 were in attendance. Mr. Stewart, a "read" lawyer, was four times Adair County County Attorney, but was always appointed, never elected. - EW.
William Stewart, Attorney, Farmer, Confirmed Bachelor--

William Stewart, son of John and Elizabeth Slater Stewart, was born at Columbia on 18 October 1830, died 14 July 1904 with heart failure at his home, near Columbia, with burial in the Columbia Cemetery, alongside and near his parents and siblings. He did not marry. William, who read law and was admitted to the Columbia Bar in May 1853, was a gifted attorney and practiced at the Columbia Bar for many years.

He was a local office holder, serving as Adair County Attorney on several occasions, and was Clerk of the Kentucky State Auditor's Office during the administration of fellow Columbian ,Governor Thomas Elliott Bramlette. He was also secretary to the Honorable James Speed while Speed was Attorney General of the United States, serving under President A. Lincoln.

While serving as county attorney, Stewart was noted for his vigorous and effective prosecuting before the Court. Considered a fine orator, his command of the English language was second to none, his speeches interspersed with wit and humor, "...[his] wit was scathing and his satire scathing." He continued his practice until age and failing health caused him to retire. During his lifetime he was, like most men of the day, a farmer and continued in that occupation until just prior to his death. A Baptist, he was a long-time member of the Columbia Baptist Church. Considered a natural mathematician, he was known to solve complicated math problems to steady his nerves.

William Stewart volunteered for service in the Union Army during the Civil War. He was Sergeant Major in 13th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry, having enrolled in Company B on the 23rd day of September 1861 at Columbia, and mustered into service on 1 January 1862 at Camp Hobson. He was quickly transferred to Field & Staff, on the day of enlistment. He was discharged on 16 April 1862 on a Surgeon's certificate of disability, from the field at Shiloh, Tennessee.

A physical description of Stewart, from his medical discharge gave the wrong age, as "25" years, born Adair County, 5 feet 7 inches, fair complexion, blue eyes, light hair, a lawyer, and "has been delicate all his life and the continued exposure in camp has caused continued ill health so much so that he is utterly unfit for duty." He was later a pensioner.

"An effort at one time was made to introduce barbed wire fence in the county [Adair], but it met with little favor... There has been a prejudice to its use except in a modified form. This may be due in part to a remark made by Wm. Stewart, Esq., upon his inspection of the first one built in the county. After giving it a critical examination, he said, 'Well, it may keep the stock inside, 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.' Following this the man took down the fence, and no one has used it since except as a top wire, or in connection with woven wire of plank." --"Sketches of Adair County" Number 30, by Judge Herschel Clay Baker, Adair County News,28 August 1918

"Do You Remember...The time when Steve Humphress sued a man in the county for tying some brush to his (Humphress') horse's tail, causing him to run off, getting hurt? Mr. Wm. Stewart was employed to defend the suit. In arguing the case, Mr. Stewart's point was, that his client had nothing to do with the horse running. That he tied the brush, but left it to the horse to choose his own gaits. He won." -"Do You Remember?," Adair County News, 7 March 1922

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Silent City 2017 - Library Director Lee Ann Jessee as Minnie Triplett



2017-10-03 - Columbia Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com.
No one could have been better cast for the 2017 Silent City portrayal of Adair County's first librarian, Minnie Triplett, than Adair County's current Librarian Lee Ann Jessee, left. Above - Genealogical Librarian, local author, and Sound Techician for the performances Earnestine Bennett adjusted the speaker as members of the anticipating audience awaited the fascinating portrayal. Photo 02 Oct 2017. - EW
"Minnie Lewis Triplett was born December 5th 1865 to Lewis and Frances Murrell Triplett. Miss Minnie is considered to be the mother of the modern day library in Adair County. She occupied an office space in the courthouse and checked in and out books every Saturday for twenty years. Miss Minnie obtained her passport in 1917 and traveled to Panama. In 1939 she made her home in Panama for twelve years. Miss Minnie died suddenly in Wichita Kansas September 4, 1952 at age 86." - Lee Ann Jessee

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Silent City 2017 - J.D. & Ellen Zornes portray Millers



2017-10-04 - Columbia Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Mike Watson, Adair County Historian.
J.D. Zornes portrayed Dr. Samuel Miller (1865-1936) and his his wife, Ellen Zornes, portrayed Dr. Miller's wife, Susan Patterson Miller (1866-1936) in the 2017 Silent City Cemetery Tour, the 11th production of the annual event.

About the Millers, by Ellen & J.D. Zornes

Dr. Samuel Preston (aka Tink) Miller (1864-1936) was a well-known and well-liked doctor in the Glens Fork and Columbia areas. He was born in Crocus and bought property in Glens Fork as a young man. He attended medical school in Louisville and during his 48 year medical career served as County Physician and County Health Officer. He practiced in Adair County for 48 years.

"He was married to Susan (Susie) Patteson Miller (1866-1936) the eldest child of Capt. Oliver Bomar (O.B.) Patteson and Mary Belle (Mollie) Russell Patteson. They made their home in the Montpellier area where Capt. Patteson obtained land holdings there and in Columbia. Capt. Patteson commanded the Kentucky 13 th Infantry, Company B, during the Civil War where many Adair County men served in his company. His first wife died while he was away fighting the war in Tennessee and his second wife bore their seven children. He received a pension from the government due to contracting rheumatism from pneumonia while fighting and was unable to farm upon his return home. Susie’s youngest brother, Joseph Patteson, co-founded what is now Stotts, Phelps, McQueary Funeral Home and another brother, William B. Patteson, served as Sheriff of Adair County.

"Dr. S. P. Miller had the Miller home, located on the corner of Jamestown Street and Miller Avenue, built on the nine acres he acquired from Susie’s father, Capt. O. B. Patteson. Dr. Miller and his family sold their property in Glens Fork and moved to the Trabue-Russell House while their home was being built. A dress owned by one of Susie's sisters is currently on display at the Trabue House.

"The Dr. S. P. Millers had six children all of whom survived and went on to be prominent adults including Dr. Oliver Preston (Ol) Miller who was head of the Veteran’s Administration in Kentucky and Mr. James Patteson (J. P.) Miller who was a well-known Columbia merchant. Their daughter, Julia Miller Horton, married Dr. John B. Horton who served as president of Lindsey Wilson College in its early years. Another daughter, Mary Miller Welch, helped form the Jane Lampton Adair County Chapter of the Daughters of the Revolution. Their daughter Susan Russell Miller was never married because her parents broke the engagement and left her a bitter person that people said explained her sometimes outrageous behavior. She was the last Miller of the original family to live in the Miller house. After her death, Don and Shirley Miller lived in the house. It is now the David Eubank home." - Written by Ellen & J.D. Zornes

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Silent City 2017 - Mr. Richard Phelps portrays Nathan Kelsay



2017-10-04 - Columbia Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Mike Watson, Adair County Historian.
Mr. Richard Phelps, as Nathan Braxton Kelsay (1881-1945) points to the location of the onetime home of Mr. Kelsay, a great community leader from a great Adair County, KY family. The photo was taken at the last stop on the 11th Annual Silent City Cemetery Tour Celebration, Monday, October 2, 2017. The event was attended by some 65-70 individuals with, perhaps, the most perfect weather for the occasion in its history.

"Nathan Braxton Kelsay 1881-1945 was one of 9 children born to Dr. Eugene Butler Kelsay and Louvenia Miller Kelsay, Dr. Kelsay was a dentist in Glensfork He married Annie Sandusky in 1906 she was the daughter of Samuel and Joanna Wilkerson Sandusky they had six children Nathan Kelsay Jr., Samuel Eugene Kelsay, Gordon Miller Kelsay Sr. Marjorie Nell Kelsay, Frances Elizabeth Kelsay, Ruth Sandusky Kelsay/ His work was that of a NB Kelsay Standard Oil Distributor in the 1930' and 1940's. He died at the age of 63 in 1945. - RICHARD PHELPS

Richard Phelps is the great grandson of N.B. Kelsay. Richard Phelps is the only great grandchild who still remains in Columbia. All others are scattered across the United States. Richard Phelps has portrayed in past years Silent City programs, William Caldwell, Judge James Garnett, Bro. Z. T. Williams, J O Russell, Judge Herschell Baker, as well as a Columbia founder Daniel Trabue.

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Silent City 2017: Laura Jane Gupton as Anna Gupton Beard



2017-10-04 - Columbia Cemetery - Photo by Linda Waggener, columbiamagazine.com.
Laura Jane Gupton, above, portrayed her second great Aunt Anna Lewis Gupton Beard whose birth and death dates of 1870-1957 are carved on the stone to her left. The event was the 11th Annual Silent City Cemetery Tour Celebration, Monday, October 2, 2017. Laura introduced Anna as the little sister of Laura's grandfather Thomas Virgil Gupton, born in Green County, KY to John Phenton Gupton and Elizabeth Ermine Spillman Gupton. Anna Lewis Gupton became the wife of James Perry Beard who was one of the founders and subsequent director of the First National Bank in Columbia. They wed December 30, 1903 and had one son, John Howard Beard. They made their home on Jamestown hill in the vicinity of the present location of Jeffries Hardware Showroom. The event enjoyed perfect weather for the occasion. - LW

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Earnestine Bennett provided sound for 2017 Silent City production



2017-10-10 - Columbia Cemetery, 315 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener, ColumbiaMagazine.com.
Earnestine Bennett, Genealogy Librarian at the Adair County Public Library, provided perfect sound for the actors in the 2017 Silent City production. The equipment she used was provided by Burton Real Estate & Auction Service. Clicking Read More accesses the wrap up for this year's production - a near perfect one on a near perfect day.

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