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Commission on Women seeks nominations for History Maker award

By Laura Wooldridge

Frankfort, KY - National Women's History Month begins the first of March and the Kentucky Commission on Women (KCW) is seeking nominations for women who are instrumental in helping other females achieve success. The women selected will be paid tribute to for their unselfish roles as mentors and role models. These women will be recognized with the "History Maker" award. This award seeks to shed light on the importance of women supporting one another as they make their own mark on history.

2018-02-23 18:24:18 | Comments | Printable version

Hale & Partin expeditions covertly explored Coffey Cave

Intrepid young scholars escaped the lunch line at Columbia Grade Center, in quest for greater knowledge. Poorly funded, they had minimal equipment: A watch to beat the back from lunch bell, and matches and a candle. Author writes '. . . our explorations were unfunded and poorly equipped we did not produce any mapping that could be used in today's development on the Cave system. Unlike Rogers and Clark we encountered no Indians or other hostiles but the challenge of keeping our mission covert provided sufficient excitement.' - TERRY PARTIN
Click on headline for complete story

By Terry Partin

I have long been aware of the Coffey Cave that now holds so much promise for tourism and economic growth for Columbia.

Considering that some Statute of limitations should provide protection to prevent the Adair County School System from inflicting punishment for indiscretions of years past I will tell of the primitive exploration of this Cave by Hale and Partin.

Although not commissioned by any government or country my life long friend Walter Hale and I took it upon ourselves to explore and become familiar with this natural phenomenon located just a short run over the hill from where the Columbia Grade Center once stood.

2018-02-23 15:23:05 | Comments | Printable version

Larry Walker: There IS a cave on Sales F. Coffey lot

Update: Since this article was posted, Junior Stotts used some of his bang-clang equipment and has cleared the brush which hid the entrance to this cave, which, as Larry Walker's revelation below asserts, is located between the cellar and Burkesville Street. One of the Stotts family plans being considered is to make the cave a tourist attraction, if Canadian Tour buses can be accommodated. Q: Does anyone know the name of the cave? Anyone have a suggestion if there isn't one??? - EW

Larry Walker writes:
Yes, there is a cave there. The entrance was to the right of the cellar the best I remember. I have been in it and had to crawl through part of it. - Larry Walker
Comments re photo 77317 Search for entrance to cave finds vaulted cellar instead

2018-02-21 18:04:12 | Comments | Printable version

George Rice: Sister lived across street from Hancock Hotel

George Rice writes:
Just talked to my sister, Margie Coomer, which was a young girl living in an apartment across the street from the Hancock Hotel and walking to the high school on the hill and remembers the hotel quite well. She remembers some of the residents who lived there at that time, naming one as Arthur Tucker. Noticing the dress of all the men as wearing white shirts and hats also gives some hint of the era. She also said that at that time the band director was W.H. Owens. - George Rice
Comments re photo 77315 Favorite old photo A parade in Columbia presents questions

2018-02-21 11:11:10 | Comments | Printable version

Mike Watson: Photo 77315 - Everyone loves a parade!

Historian Mike Watson says old photo circa 1930s-1940s, and was likely one of the many 'school parades' of that era. . . with details on the Ingram mercantile family . . . and these giants of Columbia's past: Luther Wheet, J.F. Patteson, Thomas Bramlette and more.
Comments re photo 77315 Favorite old photo - A parade in Columbia presents questions

By Mike Watson

There are several points of historical interest in this photograph. The W.I. Ingram store, now the Red Brick Studio, was a very important business on the Columbia Public Square for many years. Mr. Ingram, who hailed from Knifley, and who later lived on the corner of High and Guardian Streets, operated this establishment, at first with his father and brother, from about 1909 until his retirement about 1942. Many older residents of the county purchased school books here as it was one of the few retailers in the area that carried a variety of them.

2018-02-21 08:00:05 | Comments | Printable version

Hunter Durham: Stopping the bus on icy Muldraugh Hill

Hunter Durham writes:
Stewart Saniford, who drove the Greyhound Bus from Columbia to Louisville and back 5 days a week told me this story: The roads were covered with snow and ice and when he reached Muldraugh Hill headed to Louisville, it was blocked by police barricaid and he could not stop and went on down the hill slipping and sliding when a lady says "Mr. Bus Driver, let me off this bus!" He replied, "If I could stop this bus I would get off too." - Hunter Durham
Comments Re Photo 77297 Kentucky Color Rolling Fork From Muldraugh Hill

2018-02-20 10:19:18 | Comments | Printable version

Mike Watson: Sep 1942 difficult, but inspirational, time for U.S.A

Dedication services for Beulah Chapel, Edmonton Methodist Church, Stoner Creek Methodist, and Creelsboro Christian churches all occurred during September 1942, during World War II.
Click on headline for complete story

By Mike Watson, Adair County Historian

August and September 1942 was a difficult time for America, and a time of inspiration--

The United States was at war with the Axis Powers as the summer of 1942 was coming to a close. Concern for the fate of the nation, and the world, was upon the hearts and minds of every citizen. Young men were being, or had already been, called up for service in the Armed Forces, and many more would be sent soon for examination. Patriotism ran high. The war was new for the Americans, already years-old for our Allies.

2018-02-16 10:44:45 | Comments | Printable version

Mitzi Bault: Grandpa Waggener's WWII ration card

Click on headline for introduction with photo(s) and a question

By Mitzi Bault

I came across my Grandpa's ration card from near the end of WWII. The identification folder, with his last name misspelled "Waggoner" is pretty straight forward, and many families have similar items in family keepsakes.

2018-02-15 10:56:22 | Comments | Printable version

JIM: Chelf Motor Co. became Columbia Motor Co - Aug 1928

While this story is primarily about the change of ownership of the local Chevrolet Dealership from The Chelf Motor Company to The Columbia Motor Company, it also relates the the lineage of Columbia's funeral homes and to Coomer's Store, as well.
Related photo of the building where The Chelf Motor Company, The Columbia Motor Company, Coomer's Store, now a part of Stotts-Phelps-McQueary Funeral Home is located: Coomer's Store - How many years ago?


In late May 1928, the Adair County News reported that Mrs. J.F. Patteson (nee Bess Coffey) was having a garage building erected "on her lot between the County Jail and Grissom & Patteson's Undertaking Establishment." The article referred to the edifice, already well under construction, as "a modern concrete structure with a fancy brick front" that would be "complete in every detail."

2018-02-08 07:43:45 | Comments | Printable version

George Rice: Mr. Arnold Coomer really loved pawpaws

Memories of Coomer's Store
George Rice writes:
I bought a Homko riding lawn mower probably in the late 70's. It was a friction drive with handle bars steering system. I'm pretty sure that I also bought a chain saw from him. One of the outstanding things that I remember about him was his love for paw paws. He told me that he could eat a dozen any day. --George Rice
Comments re photo 77063 Coomers Store How many years ago

2018-02-06 09:44:31 | Comments | Printable version

Hunter Durham: Coomer's stored law records after hotel fire

Hunter Durham writes:
When the Hotel Miller burned down, my office and my dad's (Cotton) were burned up in the fire. At midnight, I received the call about the fire and when I got to the office there were five pickups backed up and we loaded the entire office into those trucks and most of the stuff was stored in Coomer's Building. It was just after Coomer's had gone out of business. - Hunter Durham
Comments re photo 77063 Coomers Store How many years ago

2018-02-06 05:17:58 | Comments | Printable version

You could buy almost anything at Hob's Store in Gradyville

It the news central in Gradyville, where people gathered to pick up their mail at the post office in the store, and shared news from Gradyvillians who had visited Columbia, Edmonton and even Glasgow. Hob extended credit until the farmers sold their tobacco crops, and usually, that credit was the first paid.
About: Comments re photo 77051 Favorite old card Hobs Store Gradyville KY

By Virginia Sparks Wonderling

Thanks for including the picture of Hob Walker's store in the magazine today.

When I was a little girl you could go there and buy anything and I mean almost anything.

That store was a gathering place for people in Gradyville to come and discuss the happenings in the area and maybe outside the area if someone had driven a distance to Columbia, Edmonton or even all the way to Glasgow.

2018-02-04 15:18:22 | Comments | Printable version

Headlines from Adair County News, February 1943

News from World War II dominate weekly paper headlines of 75 years ago
Income tax chart accompanies this story


In early February 1943, the duration and outcome of World War II was far from certain. Headlines on the front page of the February 3rd edition of the News reflect the tenor of the times:

Plans Underway for Red Cross War Fund Campaign and Roll Call

Volunteers for Service in US Air Forces

Restrictions on Sale of Gasoline

No Deferment for Married Men

Volunteers Needed by Local Rationing Board

Adair County Boy Held Prisoner by Japs

Canned Goods Rationing Will Begin on March 1

War-related items also took a fair amount of space on the interior pages. Among them were a PSA urging readers to purchase War Bonds; a blank 4-H Victory Membership form to be clipped, filled out, and mailed in (Adair County's membership goal was 2,400 boys and girls); and the Victory (i.e., Federal Income) Tax chart linked.

2018-02-04 09:15:27 | Comments | Printable version

Mike Watson: Adair County as seat of learning, in the law

The centerpiece is by Cumberland County native and famous Adair Countian, Herschel Clay Jones, which touches on the lives of Zach Wheat, Thomas E. Bramlette, Thomas T. Alexander, James Garnett, William Wallace Jones, Charles A. Hardin, William E. Russell, Parker C. Hardin, Timoleon Cravens, William Stewart, James Garnett, Jr., E.L. Dohoney, Nat Gaither and Ed Butler and even presidential politics - touching on many counties primarily in South Central Kentucky as well as statewide and nationally, including Texas.
Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with the partisan party designation for offices of judge in the upcoming primary election, but thought it might give one or two readers a moment of historical enjoyment. MW

By Mike Watson, Adair County Historian

There was a time when Adair County was considered not only the seat of great learning for south central Kentucky, but also in the law, as illustrated in the following item from Judge Herschel Clay Baker, of Columbia, but native of Cumberland County, from 1898:

Looking Back--A Contributor of the News Writes Interestingly of Prominent Men Who Were Born and Reared in Columbia, and Who Filled High Stations in Life, Other Noted Characters--

Columbia, without indulging in any vain, glorious praise of itself, has reason to be proud of its past history, and the records of its public men. Somehow, without ever being a good point for the practice of law, particularly to make money, Columbia has always been a good point to make judges. It has enjoyed a distinction in this respect, as it has furnished quite a number of men to wear the ermine in this and other districts of the State.

2018-01-30 06:29:55 | Comments | Printable version

Bicycles, Lunatics and a Crazy Old Witch

A wonderful, scary and sweet, story of childhood in Adair County. How an imagination of Stephen King proportions provided inspiration to escape the challenges of a young city gang and to begin a lifetime friendship with two misunderstood people.
Be prepared to drop everything if you click on the headline to read this absorbing, ready-for-the-movies classic.

By Rob Collins

"Get him!" I can't remember who said it. But, it was one of them. I was too busy peddling my bicycle as fast as a nine year old could. It was a typical summer afternoon routine. For the last two years that my family lived in the subdivision, a group of 11 to 13 year old boys had made a sport of chasing me through the neighborhood.

In retrospect, I understand why I was an easy target. I didn't play sports. I was a goofy kid with locks of unnaturally curly hair and I was just plain weird. Instead of playing baseball, I was busy watching episodes of Star Trek and Lost in Space. My imagination was off the chain and it wasn't unusual for me to spend hours of time pretending to be a super hero, alien or a sleestack from Land of the Lost. My future as a band geek was already secure.

2018-01-29 19:47:17 | Comments | Printable version

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  99. Thoed in a friendly manner, of course
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  102. Ol' Dave: Hardships at Breeding nothing compared to Yellowhammer
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  104. Query: When was Porter Waggoner Show at AC Fair?
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  111. Joseph Flowers will speak at Genealogy meeting at Adair Library
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  112. Col. Wm. Casey descendant writes from Hannibal, MO
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  113. Jean Shisler: My search for the three Marys
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  116. A Favorite story in Adair County Aviation/Aerospace history
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  118. Byron K. Watkins: Fond memories of the Garnett House
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  119. Adair County Fair Factoid II - 1868 event true forerunner
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  120. Mysteries in favorite old photo: Elva Marshall is second from left
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  121. James Murrell: Dr. Pepper 'artifact' in cave worth 1986 fortune
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  122. Mike Watson: Sano/Santo name changes & county-jumping
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  123. JIM: Buchanan-Lyon comes to Columbia, 1917-1918. Episode II
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  124. QUERY: Seeks documentation, Lapsley kinship
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  125. JIM: Buchanan-Lyon comes to Columbia, 1917-1918. Episode I
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  126. Patty Edwards: Comment on Favorite Old Photo
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  127. That Contested 2014 Columbia Mayoral race: Held in Abeyance
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  128. Trilby Vance: Mr. Brown always had smile; was very patient man
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  129. Margaret Feese: Suggests old photo where Mackie Jo is now
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  130. Mike Watson: Livery stable photo likely ca. 1909-2016
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  131. Thanks to JIM for story on PFC Marion Nordine
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  132. WWNI super salesperson Handy started The Saddle Horn
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  133. Linda Burris: Remembers visits to Mollie & Milton Watson home
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  134. Chris Reeder: Is Molly Reeder Watson related to Ed Reeder?
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  135. Breeding family history: There were four George Breedings
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  136. Query: Writer seeks information on early settlers, Breeding, KY
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  137. JIM: Declaimants in 1916 LWTS contest later successful in life
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  138. Mike Watson: More on photo, 134th Illinois Volunteer Infantry
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  139. As Decoration Day Approaches: Fighting for North or South?
    Posted: 2016-05-24, Story ID: 83368

  140. Query: Seeks more information re - Jose Massilenia Pablo
    Posted: 2016-05-23, Story ID: 83361

  141. Grand Daddy Cliff can be seen looking across Goode Bottoms
    Posted: 2016-05-14, Story ID: 83163

  142. Encore Classic: Gordon Crump - 'How I discovered Columbia . . . '
    Posted: 2016-05-14, Story ID: 83149

  143. Ann Curtis remembers Miller Farm, Miss Hattie's bluff
    Posted: 2016-05-09, Story ID: 83043

  144. MIKE WATSON discovers A Natural Spectacular Scene...
    Posted: 2016-05-09, Story ID: 83034

  145. JIM: Miss Oma Winfrey's Reverie, 1916
    Posted: 2016-05-06, Story ID: 82990

  146. ACHS Class of 1981 holds 35 year reunion Sat 30 Apr 2016
    Posted: 2016-05-02, Story ID: 82923

  147. JIM: 144 years ago today: the Bank of Columbia robbery
    Posted: 2016-04-29, Story ID: 82850

  148. Ruth Smith: Father helped build landmark barn
    Posted: 2016-04-24, Story ID: 82737

  149. Author Ron Wolford Blair at Hiestand House 1 May 2016
    Posted: 2016-04-23, Story ID: 82712

  150. JIM: 100 years ago: Road construction, vapor trails, and more
    Posted: 2016-04-17, Story ID: 82573

  151. JIM: Warm memories of Edd & Helen Williams
    Posted: 2016-04-14, Story ID: 82509

  152. Prehistoric: A macabre story from 100 years ago
    Posted: 2016-04-13, Story ID: 82498

  153. Tine Reynolds: Cabin Creek mentioned in early Adair deeds
    Posted: 2016-04-13, Story ID: 82497

  154. Charles Marshburn: Railroad Tracks in Adair County?
    Posted: 2016-04-11, Story ID: 82440

  155. D. Rochelle Walls comments on Dirigo article of 19 Mar 2006
    Posted: 2016-04-11, Story ID: 82437

  156. Robert Cumming: Mr. Miller kept general store by Crocus home
    Posted: 2016-04-10, Story ID: 82417

  157. ACHS class of 1976 reunion is Sat 16 July 2016
    Posted: 2016-04-08, Story ID: 82377

  158. Query: Still looking for graves of John & Nancy Brawner
    Posted: 2016-03-30, Story ID: 82210

  159. Becky Kessler claims Grabite status by lineage
    Posted: 2016-03-29, Story ID: 82187

  160. Mike Watson: Queen Elizabeth Janes maybe 6,024 in line for throne
    Posted: 2016-03-25, Story ID: 82120

  161. JIM shares research on Billy Joe Fudge's royal lineage
    Posted: 2016-03-24, Story ID: 82092

  162. JIM: So much 100 years ago is relevant today
    Posted: 2016-03-14, Story ID: 81799

  163. CM honors reader request on Wet/Dry issue from 100 years ago
    Posted: 2016-02-27, Story ID: 81364

  164. Travis Garmon: On Caney Fork Creek bed of creek
    Posted: 2016-02-26, Story ID: 81354

  165. JIM: 100 years ago the News called for Cleaner Columbia
    Posted: 2016-02-19, Story ID: 81199

  166. Query: History of landmark Milltown House
    Posted: 2016-02-19, Story ID: 81188

  167. Danger lurking: the perils of drink
    Posted: 2016-02-14, Story ID: 81052

  168. JIM: Wheats, Williams families of Montpelier, KY store
    Posted: 2016-02-08, Story ID: 80875

  169. Tax check-off program to help KY communities showcase history
    Posted: 2016-02-07, Story ID: 80868

  170. Billy Collins comments on School which never was
    Posted: 2016-02-04, Story ID: 80778

  171. Russell Co., KY: Memories of Gosser Ridge / Green River Knob
    Posted: 2016-02-01, Story ID: 80663

  172. Brawner-Smith Cemetery comment: Nancy Ann Speake
    Posted: 2016-01-08, Story ID: 79997

  173. Mr. Marshburn researches meaning of Fairplay family name
    Posted: 2016-01-08, Story ID: 79986

  174. Walter Montgomery (1886-1901) died of spinal meningitis
    Posted: 2016-01-07, Story ID: 79968

  175. Darryl Smith: A Brawner buried in Brawner Smith Cemetery
    Posted: 2016-01-07, Story ID: 79965

  176. Brawner-Smith Cemetery is off Pelly Lane on Linda Taylor farm
    Posted: 2016-01-06, Story ID: 79952

  177. Mike Watson: Melvin Alvah Traylor
    Posted: 2015-11-30, Story ID: 79266

  178. Von Price: Varying memories of Paw Paws - good; not so good
    Posted: 2015-11-28, Story ID: 79241

  179. JIM- One hundred years ago: late November, 1915
    Posted: 2015-11-27, Story ID: 79226

  180. The day the Nazis weren't bombing Bridgeport, Metcalfe Co., KY
    Posted: 2015-11-24, Story ID: 79175

  181. Operation Christmas Child, Adair Co., KY now in history book
    Posted: 2015-11-24, Story ID: 79168

  182. Billy Joe Fudge: The day JFK was shot
    Posted: 2015-11-22, Story ID: 79122

  183. Roger Lacy: Old Breeding Grade School closed after 1962-63 school year
    Posted: 2015-11-21, Story ID: 79113

  184. JIM: The Wit & Wisdom of Adair County's Melvin L. White
    Posted: 2015-11-12, Story ID: 78898

  185. A brief sketch about Seth Wade, Jr.
    Posted: 2015-11-09, Story ID: 78821

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