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Lanny Tucker publishes Green County history

The book was printed by South Central Printers, Columbia, KY, one of Kentucky's foremost printers of works by local authors. President Ralph Waggener was extremely proud of the cover on this book. "I believe it may be the most beautiful one we've ever printed," he said. The book has several local ties, as a reading of this wonderful book review by Ronald Curry will show. The author's sister, Jelaine Phillips, Columbia, KY, is a health education instructor with the Adair County Health Department.
A Review by Ronald Curry, Greensburg, KY

"Time and tears went by, and I collected dust, for there were many things I did not know." J. C. Fogerty (as quoted in "History Among Us")

If you live in or have ties to Green County and enjoy history but realize that the second line of the above quote hits home, you might want to pick up a copy of Green County native Lanny Tucker's recently released book, "History Among Us."

For instance, did you know that Green County once had a female academy? Were you aware that Harry Truman had a connection to Green County? And would you believe that our area, which today boasts an ambiance reminiscent of "Mayberry," was once referred to as being "filled with nothing but hunters, horse thieves and savages" and was noted for its "splendid taverns?"

Having been a local history buff for most of his life, Tucker began a concentrated effort in October 2003 to collect and assemble Green County history. His goal in writing the book is to present an accurate history of the development of Green County, while highlighting some of its people and places.

"I realized early on that you don't have to go look for history#it is right here, among us," recalls Tucker. From the earliest expeditions to Green County in the 1770s, to the railroad coming to Greensburg, to the oil boom and beyond, Tucker retraces many of the events that have shaped our county and molded its citizenry.

Beginning with Camp Knox, Tucker highlights the earliest stations, camps and forts that were located in Green County and reveals the impact that the Cumberland Trace had on Green County--identified as the "last outpost."

As you thumb through the pages of "History Among Us," you'll come to understand the importance of Green River and the use of flat boats and an occasional steamboat and learn locations of ferries. And since Green County has plenty of rivers and creeks, you'll read about thriving water mills.

You'll learn of the struggles to get a railroad, the fight over bond payments and the reason why the line stopped in Greensburg. You'll read about the slave trade, our counties involvement in the Civil War and the evidence of its involvement in the Underground Railroad.

You'll read about Nathanael Greene, for whom our county is named. This distinguished Revolutionary War general from Rhode Island was considered as "second in ability only to Washington and in some ways at least his equal." You learn details of the plight of Jane Todd Crawford and gain insights to the short courtship of Abraham Lincoln with Green Countian, Mary Owen. And, of course, no history of Green County would be complete without a thorough investigation of the Carrington Simpson murders and the shooting of George Al Edwards.

You'll also read about the early history of some of Green County's communities and learn about the few that didn't survive, such as Port Royal. You'll even discover how many communities got their names#didn't you always wonder how Grab and Penitentiary Bend got their names?

If trivia is of interest, you might enjoy knowing that in 1890 an acre of land was worth $4.20. In 1919 you could purchase a Ford Coupe for $707. The highest temperature ever recorded in Kentucky occurred in 1930 in Greensburg with 114 degrees. And one of the largest caves in the county runs under Greensburg!

Even those with a limited affinity towards history will enjoy the stories that were relayed as Tucker interviewed several people who remember Greensburg and Green County from the first half of the last century. Contributors including Bob T. Blakeman, Mickey Cowherd, Jimmie Montgomery and Elizabelle Wade, all now deceased, share memories and experiences from their childhoods and relate oral history of Green County from earlier times.

And as the title of the book would indicate, history is still being made in Green County. Tucker highlights individuals such as Myrtle Wynn who became the "Rosa Parks" of Green County by being the first African-American to attend public school--death threats included and Larry Gumm, who is known statewide as the only baseball coach in Kentucky to win 1,000 games.

Several fascinating documents are reprinted in the book including a copy of a threatening note written by a Night Rider, a diary of a farmer from the 1870s, and a copy of a school newspaper from September 1946. The book also includes over 40 pages of photographs.

Tucker has already gained a measure of notoriety regionally with his plays such as "Lincoln's Other Mary," which captures bits of Green County's earlier history. To date, he has written five historical plays and 10 church plays. Tucker is a lifelong resident of Green County whose great-great-great-great-grandfather, Pascal Tucker, moved to Green County from North Carolina in the early 1800s.
The book "History Among Us: Green County in Photographs, Interviews, & Stories," is available from the Green County Historical Society. The book may be purchased for $21.20, which includes Kentucky sales tax. Orders may be mailed to the Green County Historical Society, P.O. Box 276, Greensburg, 42743. Include $4.60 for shipping. The book is available in Greensburg at the Old Courthouse on the public square, the Greensburg Deposit Bank Drive-In on South Main Street, and the Hidden Valley Beauty Shop on North Hodgenville Avenue. A copy of "History Among Us" is also at the public libraries in Columbia, Greensburg, and Campbellsville. Lanny is the brother of Jelaine Phillips of Columbia. The book was published by South Central Printers, Columbia.

This story was posted on 2007-09-10 10:03:18
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Lanny Tucker: Author, History Among Us

2007-09-10 - Greensburg, KY - Photo By Jelaine Phillips.
Lanny Tucker author of the new work about Green County History, is shown with a blow-up of the artwork for the cover. Tucker is the brother of Adair County Health Department health educator Jelaine Phillips, Columbia, KY. The book was printed by South Central Printing in Columbia, KY. President Ralph Waggener was pleased with the book. "I think it has the most beautiful cover of any book we've ever printed," he said.

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Sisters with History Among Us author

2007-09-10 - Old Depot, Greensburg, KY - Photo From the album of Jelaine Phillips.
Author Lanny Tucker, Greensburg, KY, with sisters Kalon Bagby, Greensburg, and Jelaine Phillips, Columbia, KY, at a book signing in the Old Depot in Greensburg.

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History made, History Among Us

2007-09-10 - South Central Printing, Columbia, KY - Photo By Lee Grider, SCP.
HISTORY MADE WHEN HISTORY PRINTED AT WAIN STREET, COLUMBIA, KY, PLANT: Author Lanny Tucker and Ralph Waggener, president of South Central Printing, hold historic copy of First Edition, First Printing, and first bound copy of Tucker's new history of Green County, "History Among Us."

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History Among Us reviewer Ronald Curry

2007-09-10 - Greensburg, KY - Photo From Curry family album.
Ronald Curry, who wrote the wonderful review of Lanny Tucker's new book, History Among Us, is a financial services advisor in Greensburg, KY, specializing in retirement plans, college savings plans, and general investing.

Though he shares a name in common with one of Adair County's largest families, he says, he's not sure of any kinship with the Currys of Adair County.

"I researched my family tree 25-30 years ago, but never found any ties to Columbia. I can go back to my great great great great grandfather, Bartholomew Curry who was a Green County constable in the early 1800's. He came here from Pennsylvania County, Virginia in 1804," he wrote. "But that doesn't mean I'm not related to Adair County Currys. I would bet we are related."

He is related by twinship-in-law to Charles Grimsley, Grimsley's Jewelry owner and senior member of the Columbia City Council.

"Even though I have no Curry connections in Adair County, my wife is from Adair County.She is Charlotte Grimsley, the daughter of Myrtle and the late Ples Grimsley,which makes me Charles Grimsley's brother-in-law. I married his twinsister," he wrote. "I don't think I have met anyone from Adair County who doesn't knowCharles!"Possibly someone well versed in Curry genealogy can enlighten us on that aspect of the writer's background. -CM

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