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JASON HARMON recalls those cherished kin on Burton Ridge
Even with a lot on his plate, he still has time for history and sends several real-good stories in this short read, including a wonderful account of the beloved midwife, Sarah Ellen Bryant Harmon
He shares a wonderful old photograph given to him by Danny Goodin, too. +Links
Thank you for the accolades from yourself and Cathy Burton. I still have a lot on my plate, but I always have spare time for history and storytelling.
Wesley Burton was actually Milton Wesley Burton, but went by his middle name. He was born in 1890 and died in 1961, all in Adair County. He married Lucretia "Lou" McQueary in 1910. She passed away in 1925. He then remarried to my grandmother's sister, Bert Dile. Wesley had children with both wives. I think he had a total of 11 children. Quite a few of the children are still living and I see them from time to time.
Lester Burton and wife, Agnes have always been held in the highest regards by my family. Agnes is a Burton by her own right. being the daughter of former merchants, Odie Felix and Effie Burton. I was very fortunate to sit down and talk with Lester and Agnes a few years ago at the Burton Ridge Get-Together. I could have kept them both up for days talking and Agnes didn't seem to mind. I can still see Miss Agnes fondly remembering her son who passed away a number of years ago. It was a conversation I will never forget.<
The most precious story told to me by the couple was that of my Great Great Grandmother and their neighbor, Sarah Ellen Bryant Harmon. Sarah Ellen was a midwife and delivered numerous babies on Burton Ridge. Sarah died in 1949 at the age of 81.
Agnes Burton told me she didn't think there was a ever a woman that walked closer to God than Aunt Sarah Ellen Harmon. Agnes recalled that Sarah Ellen would walk around the hills and hollers, kinitting a pair of socks and you could hear her praying, "Please God, help Gordon get saved." Gordon was Sarah Ellen's youngest son who had been in some trouble and turned to the bottle.
What wonderful stories. I'm curious as to Sarah Ellen Bryant Harmon's professional fee schedule. Was it 25 per baby? Or was it higher if the baby looked more promising? One fellow, and I will mention only that his initials are Arvist "Pewee" Sinclair, claims that he was delivered by a midwife who charged his parents 25. Mr. Sinclair noted this cost one day when the discussion of new babies costing in the neighborhood of $10,000, FOB Glasgow, Somerset, or Campbellsville. Though over 600 babies a year were once delivered at Adair Memorial Hospital, unless you go third world, there's hardly a recent native born Adair Countiy baby around. What a shame! Mr. Sinclair's daughter, Debbie is one of your biggest fans, and has the Fine Art of Burton Ridge Storytelling down pretty good, herself. I'd rank her at least a PhD, on the college scale.-Ed Waggener
To read Debbie Sinclair's story, "The Day Momma Didn't Throw Kenny from the Plane," Click here.
In this age of growth at Louisville and Columbia Internationals, it is easy to forget the pioneer fields, the Bowman Fields and Streeval Fields which did so much to advance progress in air travel. By clicking on the above link, there are also links to great stories on the subject from Cyrus and Larry Walker.
This story was posted on 2006-09-19 06:07:02
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