Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

JIM: Railroad talks were dragging on 100 years ago in Adair


A number of interesting articles greeted readers of the News a century ago this very early May. The railroad talks dragged on; Charles F. Montgomery, a resident of Casey County whose parents were natives of Adair, announced his candidacy for the US legislature from Kentucky's Eighth District; and word had arrived of the unexpected passing of Rollin J. Keltner. Young Keltner, 21, died at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, of complications from measles, scarcely a month after joining the Army at Springfield, Illinois.

Dr. Z.A. Taylor, a "graduate of Optics and watchmaking" (a not uncommon combination of the era) had just returned to Columbia after practicing in the West for a number of years and located his office over the Albin Murray store. Dr. Taylor was equally prepared to examine eyes, fit glasses, and repair time pieces.

Sam Lewis, who ran a produce house in Columbia, somewhat testily informed the public that two packages, one addressed to Mary A. White, the other to a Miss Annie Shepherd of the Tarter section, had been in his store since 1915 and that if they weren't claimed within 15 days, he was going to sell the contents.

On the matrimonial side, perseverance won the day -- and a sweet bride -- for Mr. Ernest Y. (better known as Pete) Garvin, a brother of Mr. Payne Garvin. It seems that Pete and young Miss Bessie Rhodes of Campbellsville were quite in love but Miss Rhodes' step-mother refused to give her blessing for the marriage. However, said the News, Pete "sawed the wood" and kept in touch with Bessie, who "never wavered in her plighted love" for him. Sure enough, "the old lady seeing that it was no use to stand out against the determination of the young couple, consented to the union."

(Bessie and Pete had but little time together. She died a few months before their third wedding anniversary, a victim of the influenza pandemic of 1918-1919. She was only 22 years old.)

Prof. E.F. Richardson, of Buffalo, Ky., had just completed teaching "a very successful" penmanship class at the Lindsey Wilson. Among those who took advantage of the offering and made marked improvement were Adair Countians Opal Garnett. Herbert Holladay, John Rose, and William Browning; Pulaski County cousins Susan Rainwater and Howard Garner (Susan was a younger sister of Lindsey Wilson's first superstar athlete, Fred Rainwater, and Howard became a surgeon of some renown); Russell County brother and sister Attis and Laura Hopper (Laura taught full time until she was 70 and did substitute teaching until past her 80th year) and sisters Ovalene and Ora Humble. (The sisters Humble were from the southern end of Russell County. When their mother Thenora passed in 1959, her obituary noted the family had lived on the Cumberland River until "the impoundment of Lake Cumberland forced them to leave. In fact, the dam itself is built on part of the property they owned.")

At the close of the above-name class, the prize for most-improved penmanship went to May Feese while Dudley Hayes claimed second place. Mr. Hayes was also of an athletic bent. At the statewide track and field meet held recently at Danville, he had claimed second place in the broad jump event. At the same meet, Casey Countian and fellow Lindsey Wilson student Oliver Popplewell "broke all former State High School records in the one-mile race, time 4:59." Mr. Hayes became a teacher but died quite young. After leaving Lindsey Wilson, Mr. Popplewell served in World War I, then continued his education and became a lawyer. During his long career in law, he served as Master Commissioner and twice was elected to the office of Casey County Attorney, among other accomplishments.

Several short items dotted the front page landscape. The Self Culture Club had postponed its regular meeting with further announcement to follow; Rurel Hutchison lost "a great deal of corn and hay" when a barn burned on Monday afternoon, May 1st; and the ladies of the Presbyterian church announced they would open a "market for edibles" at 9 a.m. Saturday in the Butler building, with proceeds from same to go toward the purchase of a furnace for the church.

Very few ads from local merchants appeared anywhere in this edition of the News but those with money to spend and an inclination to swing a brush could buy PeeGee brand semi-paste roof & barn paint at the Paull Drug Co. or Green Seal paint at Jeffries Hardware. J.F. Patteson offered the "New Type 'Z' Fairbanks-Morse Farm engine." The three-horse version cost $60.00 while the six-horse model ran $110.00.) Those with a larger budget could purchase the International Harvester Low Cloverleaf manure spreader, available at Jeffries Hardware. This handy implement was guaranteed to give the manure "two healthy beatings" between stable and field. (An advertising booklet for this beauty noted it came in two sizes - the No. 5 and No. 6 - and a full color photo therein revealed a spectacular paint job: deep green body, deep yellow wheels and trim, and splashes of blazing bright red.)

And finally, this "disaster averted" entry from the Rugby newsletter:

"Bill Turner, our mail boy, came near getting badly hurt last week here. He stepped up on the sill of the store porch of J.M. Shives' and he had so many catalogues that the sill broke and the entire porch fell down, but did not hurt Mr. Turner seriously."

Compiled by JIM

This story was posted on 2016-05-01 12:21:16
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


Quick Links to Popular Features

Looking for a story or picture?
Try our Photo Archive or our Stories Archive for all the information that's appeared on


Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270.403.0017

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.