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JIM: Digest of Adair County News of September 6, 1916

Several news letters graced the pages of the September 6, 1916 News to give a good cross section of the every day late summer goings-on in rural Adair County.
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Compiled by JIM

From the upper reaches of the county the Neatsburg correspondent reported that Miss Lida Grant was somewhat better after a serious bout with typhoid fever. Otherwise, "some good work" had been done on the road in that section; Revs. Z.T. Williams and W.G. Montgomery planned to open a protracted meeting at Tabernacle on Wednesday, September 6th; and Neatsburgian Logan Grant and Miss Reda Chatman (Reeda Chapman) of the Garlin section had eloped "last Thursday" to Jeffersonville, Indiana. (As was common in that era, the Newsletter was delayed several days, as Miss Chapman and Mr. Grant were married on Friday, August 25th. He was almost 24; she was a bit past 17. Their marriage lasted until her passing, just short of their 63rd anniversary.)

In Sparksville, tobacco looked better than it had in years and the more industrious farmers already were applying knife to stalk and others were turning their wheat grounds. Elroy Rowe was down with consumption, and in a local baseball game, Bird Schoolhouse had eked out a 12-11 victory over Wilson. Cooksey & Reed had recently passed through Sparksville with their wheat thresher, everyone who attended the Friday night apple peeling at James Reece's reported a good time, and everyone was pleased with the successful school in the Wilson district being taught by Mr. George Aaron (grandfather of Dr. Phil Aaron).

Meanwhile, a "large delegation from Rugby had attended the Fair (held in mid-August). A bad storm had ripped through that part of the county "last Tuesday night week" (another delayed letter; the storm had hit on August 15th); it "tore down the corn and washed away some of the fences on the creeks." The correspondent reported that he had at Antioch the best school he'd ever taught, with 67 enrolled and with the full support of students and parents. The Henry Esters family, who had moved to Texas in March, had returned to the Auld Sod, proclaiming there was no place like Kentucky.

Dirigo was such a happening place that century-ago September it took two letters to sufficiently cover the News. Mr. and Mrs. A.D. Stotts had given an apple peeling for the younger set and after the apples were finished, Mr. Warfield Estes had entertained the crowd with several fiddle tunes. S.H. Mitchell had recently purchased several yearling calves in the community, paying good prices; Mose Wooten was temporarily operating a saw mill in the vicinity; and John Lacy, of West Fork in Cumberland County, had bought the stock of goods in Picnic and removed said stock to his home, leaving the latter-named place without a store. Tom Wooten's wife had been terribly ill but was on the mend.

The other Dirigo letter informed readers A.D. Stotts had purchased a set of blacksmith tools and set up shop there. A recent singing at Bird schoolhouse, led by V.W. Campbell, had been quite the success, and Martha Stotts was having a house erected for her son H.M. Stotts on land recently purchased of G.C. McKinney. Meanwhile, Mr. McKinney and Allen Wooten were hauling singletrees from Dirigo to Columbia; Lafe James had disposed of his personal property and was ready to head to Texas, his proposed new home; and Miss Pate Stotts had enjoyed a visit of ten days with friends in the Bliss section of the county.

Over near Joppa. W.A. Brockman, "one of our best young men," was on the mend following an appendectomy in Louisville. Oma Selby had typhoid fever, W.W. Kirtley was on the sick list, and Miss Mattie Barger, who'd had the misfortune of stepping on a nail some weeks earlier, had healed enough to resume her school work. Miss Margie Buster of Creelsboro recently had visited Miss Opal Garnett; the sale of the late Sam Epperson, near Roy, had drawn a large crowd; and Miss Mary Young had "last week" purchased a piano from a Mr. Sanders of Campbellsville.

In and around Roy, the Revs. Caldwell and Sexton had a meeting in progress at Freedom churchhouse, and a recent Sunday singing, conducted by W.F. Epperson, had been quite the success at White Oak. On the 3rd day of August, Mr. John Combest and Miss Nancy Roy were declared as one in the eyes of God. (They later moved to Illinois where she passed in 1979, he in 1980.) Mrs. Granville Bailey was quite sick, and the correspondence noted the same August 15th storm noted by several others but stated, "no damage was done."

At nearby Ozark, the Arvin Conovers had welcomed a baby girl to the family on August 17th. A few days earlier, another family had been bereft of a member when George Reeves, the 21 year old son of Mr. R.B. Reeves, was killed in August 11th on the job on Morton, Va.

Wheat threshing was the order of the day in the Simpson section, and corn was "looking fine." John Rice and wife were visiting from Texas. John. along with brothers Joe, James, Sinc and Millard, had removed from Adair County to the Lone Star state some 30 years earlier. Milt Cundiff was new owner of the farm known as the Gallatin Bradshaw place, having purchased it of Hardin Aaron for $350. The Wilkersons - Eva and little son Willie, and Mrs. S.V. and son Elmore -- were recovering from light attacks of typhoid fever but Willy Kelly was still low with the dread ailment. Eva Wilkerson had "recently built and equipped the most complete cannery in this part of the state" to take care of the "large quantity of tomatoes, corn and peaches with which she had been left." Said the letter of her, "The plucky widow is preparing in spite of adversities to carry out their original program."


Of the oft-mentioned storm, the Aught 23rd News stated that "lightning struck the comb of the Presbyterian church, this place, ran down into the vestibule, doing slight damage. It also struck a pine tree in Mrs. Ann Lizzie Walker's yard, almost demolishing it."

In the same edition, Mr. Wm. M. Wilmore, the long time and ever faithful Gradyville correspondent, gave this account of nature's ravage:

"The most water that has fallen here since the disaster of June 7th of 1907, when so many of our people lost their lives [including Mr. Wilmore's mother, his sister Ada, and Ada's daughter Mary], fell last Tuesday night. There was an interval between the hard rains is all that saved our people that lived so close to the creek of having their property washed off. The stoppage in the rain gave the creek time to run down before another would come. We are glad to say there was no serious damage done except washing our lands considerably."

This story was posted on 2016-09-05 07:04:13
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