HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN COUNTY KENTUCKY
charles m. meacham
A Prosperous Period; First Automobiles and a Rapid Increase; The K. 1. T. Baseball League Prospers; A Home-made Airplane Flies; The New High School; The Public Library; The Post Office Building; The Confederate Fountain; The Jennie Stuart Memorial Hospital.
THE LAST GRAY WOLF
A famous gray wolf, the last seen in Christian County, known for years, was hunted down and killed on Sinking Fork, January 20, 1910, by a party organized by Charles L. Dade. He was killed by one of the party named Tyler. The wolf measured forty-eight inches from tip to tip, and stood twenty-four inches high.
Miss Lucy Starling sent as a missionary to Siam, arrived at Bangkok, November 25, 1909. Miss Starling is still engaged in the missionary work of the First Presbyterian Church in Asia.
Rev. Wallace Logan Nourse, venerable Presbyterian divine, retired, died suddenly February 4, 1910, in his eighty-fifth year. His portrait is in this history.
January 5, 1910, fourteen inches of snow fell in Christian County, the greatest snowfall since February 2, 1886.
The Illinois Central Railroad Company took steps to rebuild its depots, burned by night riders in July, 1908, at Gracey, Cerulean Springs and Otter Pond.
Williams & Radford’s race horse sire, Albert, one of the great sires of his day, died January, 1910, aged twenty-eight years.
A. J. Webber and B. W. Summerford, on January 19, 1910, made a demonstration of a wireless telephone, in Hopkinsville, for the first time, at the Bank of Hopkinsville.
A. H. Anderson appointed census supervisor, for the Second District, work to begin April 15. Twenty-seven enumerators were appointed for the county.
Henry E. Edmunds, the oldest man in Hopkinsville, died February 16, 1910, at the home of his son, N. B. Edmunds. He was born in Virginia in January, 1814.
BOOKER WASHINGTON SPEAKS
Booker T. Washington, the leading negro educator of the United States at the time, lectured at the Tabernacle, November 22, 1909, to 4,500 people pie. He arrived on a special train from Nashville. A section of seats was reserved for white people, and many heard him. He died a few years later.
FIRST AUTO OWNERS
On March 15, 1910, the automobiles in the county had increased to twenty-nine, owned by the following persons: E. H. Higgins, Dr. J. E. Stone, Joe Claxton, George M. Clark, Sam Frankel, Dr. W. H. Ketcham,
A. H. Edwards, Noah McDonald, Dr. F. P. Thomas, Dr. L. R. Duncan, R. T. Stowe, Dr. J. B. Jackson, E. Bradshaw, Miss Sallie G. Blakey, E. K. Dewey, W. D. Humphrey, C. W. Jordan, T. T. Roberts, S. N. Fleming,
Forbes Manufacturing Company, John P. Thomas, M. H. McGrew, Dr. F. M. Brown, C. S. Jackson, J. H. Watson, Richard Leavell, T. C. Jones, J. P. Myers and Dr. J. A. Paine.
John H. Sergeant, the tallest man in the county, died near Pembroke, March 27, 1910. He was seventy-five years old. His height was six feet six inches. Second Baptist Church of Hopkinsville organized with forty-five members, and Rev. E. J. Weller as its first pastor. Otho McCord, A. E. Word and Walter East were elected deacons, and John T. Ricketts, clerk. Plans were made to build on West Seventh Street.
The laying of the cornerstone of the new high school was celebrated April 8, 1910, by a parade of 1,250 school children through the streets. From a stand on the school lot, speeches were made by Prof. Barksdale Hamlett, superintendent; Mayor Charles M. Meacham, County Attorney J. C. Duffy and Alvan H. Clark. T. L. Metcalfe gave away 1,500 carnations to the school children. A musical program was conducted by Miss Ellen Young. The architect of the building was Capt. B. B. Davis, with John T. Walker, resident architect. The building has a frontage of 233 feet, two stories and a basement. A picture of the building is in this book. It was completed and opened in September.
The town of Gracey was swept by a wind storm, April 14, 1910, and three stores and two residences were unroofed. Many barns were blown down.
KITTY LEAGUE ORGANIZED
The Kentucky-Indiana-Tennessee Baseball League, known as the Kitty League, was organized at Evansville, Ind., April 8, 1910, with Vincennes, Ind.; Henderson, Paducah, Madisonville, and Hopkinsville, Ky., and Clarksville, Tenn. This was a reorganization of the old Kitty League of 1906, that had three towns in Illinois, one in Indiana, one in Kentucky and one in Tennessee. The park was located west of the river on Seventh Street.
On the night of May 18, 1910, Halley’s comet, after being visible for several nights, changed its position from the east to the west, the earth passing through the comet’s tail. There were many “comet parties,” but nothing unusual occurred, so far as the observers could see.
Rev. George W. Latham, a Methodist preacher, holding meetings in Christian County, was gifted with a remarkable memory. He could repeat eighty chapters of the Bible without reference to the book.
The streets in the city of Hopkinsville were oiled for the first time in 1910.
Caron’s Directory Company, of Louisville, began the issuing of a city directory every three years, taking the place of Meacham's Directory, last issued in 1907.
Dr. H. P. Sights, of Paducah, appointed superintendent of the Western Asylum, June 17, 1910.
A HOME-MADE AIRPLANE
Judge Charles 0. Prowse, on July 11, 1910, made his first flight in an airplane, of his own invention, on the Phelps’ farm. It left the ground only a few feet, but made a short flight, with Judge Prowse in the pilot’s seat. Two years later, the airship was perfected to a point where it made real flights in the county near Hopkinsville.
The Hopkinsville Water Company names its new lake for W. T. Tandy, calling it Lake Tandy. The Hopkinsville Hunting and Fishing Club organized January, 1911.
The Elk Brand Shirt & Overall Company, from Lewisburg, Ky., locates its factory in Hopkinsville. It is still operating with L. D. Browning as its president, and now has two hundred employes.
Joseph Fry, former citizen of Hopkinsville, claiming to be a hundred and one years old, returns from New York to make a visit in Hopkinsville. He was born in Poland in 1810 and came to America in 1828.
W. T. Tandy succeeded E. B. Long as president of the City Bank in February, 1911. Mr. Long died June 1.
THE GREAT COMMONER
On February 20, 1911, William J. Bryan lectured at the Tabernacle on “The Prince of Peace.” Following his lecture, he was given a banquet at Hotel Latham. The toastmaster was T. C. Underwood, and speeches were made by Rev. H. D. Smith, “We’re Here Because”; by Charles M. Meacham, “In Old Kentucky”; by W. T. Fowler, “A Man’s a Man for A’ That”; by Dancey Fort, “A Look Ahead,” and by Mr. Bryan, “And Finally, Brethren.”
The seventeen-year locusts, last seen in 1894, made their appearance, but not in destructive numbers.
Thomas Miller appointed postmaster at Pembroke, to succeed C. E. Mann.
John T. Markham, an aged Confederate veteran, found a baby brother he had not heard from in fifty years. The long lost brother was found to be Charles Markham, president of the Illinois Central Railroad. Seeing Mr. Markham’s name in print, Thomas R. Hancock arranged a conversation between them over the ‘phone, and the older brother soon learned that the railroad magnate was his brother. The veteran was poor, but his brother enabled him to pass his last years in ease and comfort. He had lived in Christian County many years. He served under General Tighlman, was born in Ireland, June 24, 1839.
Elks Home, on Ninth Street, destroyed by fire, March 31, 1911. Rebuilt in the fall, on corner of Ninth and Water Streets.
Three inches of snow fell while a “Spring carnival” was under way at Mercer Park, the first week in April.
Hopkinsville’s population for 1910 shown to be 9,419.
First aviation meet in Hopkinsville November 2, 3, and 4, 1911. Admission to the field, fifty cents, to see six flights every afternoon. James Ward and A. H. Lockwood, aviators, made alternate flights, going up twelve hundred feet. No passengers were taken up. Ward made one flight of 4,000 feet altitude, circling over the city.
William J. Bryan and James B. McCreary, candidate for governor, on the Democratic ticket, made early morning speeches at Peace Park, from a special train touring the state, October 3, 1911.
U. D. C. FOUNTAIN PRESENTED NOVEMBER 19, 1911
The Christian County Chapter U. P. C. presented to the city of Hopkinsville a public drinking fountain, located at Ninth and Main Streets. Charles K. Wheeler, of Paducah, delivered the formal address. The formal presentation was made by Mrs. W. E. Warfield, and the acceptance speech was made by Mayor Charles M. Meacham. The work had been under way for several years. The fountain cost about $1,500. Free water was provided by the Hopkinsville Water Company.
The Princess Theatre, the first movie theatre in the city, with quarters specially built, was opened by George A. Bleich, the night of November 26, 1911. At that time, there were ten thousand picture shows in the United States. The proprietor had come from Arkansas, in the fall of 1910, and had been running a small show in a store room for about a year. The building was erected by L. H. Davis for Bleich, on the site of the Elks Club building, burned a short while before.
A. D. Noe & Son purchased Hotel Latham from Mrs. John C. Latham and Miller Brothers for $40,000. It was erected in 1893, and cost $104,000.
The hotel is still being run by Col. A. D. Noe, whose biography appears elsewhere.
Charles Lockwood made successful flights in the Hopkinsville-made airplane of C. 0. Prowse, on January 1, 1912. In July, DeLloyd Thompson made flights in the machine.
January 14, 1912, Pembroke was visited by a severe conflagration that burned ten business houses at a loss of $60,000, with but little insurance.
Vincent M. Williamson succeeds Major John W. Breathitt as postmaster of Hopkinsville, January, 1912.
Dr. Frederick A. Cook, Polar explorer, lectured on his discovery of the North Pole, January 21. He said Commander R. E. Peary reached the Pole, but a year after he did.
Fire destroyed McLean College, formerly South Kentucky College, February 4, 1912,. It had been rebuilt after being partially destroyed November 2, 1905. The college was under the control of A. C. Kuykendali and H. C. Smith, and had a hundred and sixty boys and girls as pupils. It was rebuilt and re-opened October 1.
Tom Slaughter, colored, murderer of Lee Jenkins, at Edgoten, was tried in March, 1912, and sentenced to death. Was granted a new trial later, and was given a prison sentence.
Hopkinsville Business Men’s Association organized, with R. E. Cooper, J. T. Wall and A. H. Eckles, officers, April, 1912.
Major John W. Breathitt died April 16, 1912. Was born January 9, 1825. Was a brave soldier and public official for many years.
Little River dammed at Second Street, and bathhouses built at the bend of the river by the city, for swimming and boating parties; opened May, 1912.
The city of Hopkinsville compromised the suit of Mrs. John C. Latham, growing out of Mr. Latham’s bequests to the city, by giving her $24,000 of the $50,000 Poor Fund.
Hopkinsville Council contracts for first improved streets, fourteen thousand yards, about twelve blocks, for $21,000, the city to pay half and the property owners half.
First consolidated school of the county made of the Elmo, Gordon-field, Longview and Oak Grove districts. Charles E. Barker, chairman of the meeting, in June, 1912. Christian and Mason first counties to try the schools.
Circuit Judge J. T. Hanbery upheld a contract between the City Council and the County Board of Education for $15,000, for five years’ free tuition of county pupils in the new city high school, to be paid in advance. It was opposed by Miss Jennie West, county superintendent.
Cumberland Telephone Company and Home Telephone Company, using automatic dial instruments, consolidated; the Home Company established five years before, retired from business.
New Christian Church building at LaFayette dedicated July 28.
Free aviation meet given, with machines made by C. 0. Prowse. Five passengers taken up, one of them Mayor Charles M. Meacham.
Hiram Phelps Thomas, a young veteran of the Spanish-American War, for whom the local post is named, died of typhoid fever, August 1912, aged thirty-nine years.
Hopkinsville city schools opened with a thousand and forty-six pup in September. The new high school building was opened. Davis A. Clark was superintendent of schools.
The ninth annual Horse Show was held at Pembroke the first week September.
Number of automobiles in the county increased to a hundred seventeen during the year 1912.
The following farmers, in Christian County, by 1912 had erected modern silos on their farms: A. J. Culver and W. T. Fowler, two each, Holland Garnett, Fox Holloway, John C. Gary, J. B. Walker, F. B. C die, J. R. Caudle, C. H. Cayce, W. L. Caudle, A. H. Wallace, W. L. G and J. B. McGee, one each.
John C. Hooe resigned as agent of the L. & N. Railroad, September 27, and was succeeded by R. F. Brasher, the present agent.
Women voted for the first time, in school elections only, and t hundred and seventy-six registered in Hopkinsville.
The old Brick Church, six miles west of Hopkinsville, one of the old Baptist churches in the county, was replaced by a new building, and dedicated October 27.
Rex Theatre opened with Dr. R. F. McDaniel, president of the company owning it.
New parcels post law put into operation for the first time, with liveries made by carriers in Hopkinsville for Christmas.
Carnegie Library Board of Directors, appointed by Mayor Meacham as follows: Frank Rives, W. T. Tandy, Ira L. Smith, Mrs. W. A. Radfo Mrs. T. C. Underwood, January 7, 1913. The Carnegie appropriation $15,000 was made upon condition that the city furnish a lot, and a sizable site was selected upon the corner of Eighth and Liberty Streets, the building was erected during 1913.
January 10, 1913, Little River reached a flood stage only two flower than the great flood of November 6, 1906. Several stores were flooded.
Bronze tablets, containing the names of thirty-nine Revolutionary soldiers, buried in Christian County, placed upon the gates of Rivers:
THE AVALON OPENED
The Avalon, a new assembly hail, erected by Thomas L. Metcalfe, was opened with a luncheon to the Christian County Medical Society, attended by twenty-six doctors and six druggists, January, 1913.
Revival at First Baptist Church, held by Dr. J. W. Porter, of Lexington, resulted in eighty-seven additions to the church.
Pennyroyal Fair Company organized, with S. L. Cowherd, president.
JENNIE STUART MEMORIAL HOSPITAL
Dr. E. S. Stuart, of Fairview, announced a donation of $50,000 to erect a hospital in the city of Hopkinsville, to be controlled by a self-perpetuating board of directors named by him. The hospital was to be named the Jennie Stuart Memorial Hospital, in honor of his deceased wife. Dr. Stuart ‘was eighty years old at the time, and died a few years afterwards. The hospital was erected on Seventeenth Street, and since its completion has been under the official direction of Mrs. Wanda M. Williams, superintendent.
Miss Emma Noe made her debut as an operatic soloist with the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music March 25, 1913.
In May, 1913, the City Council added several more blocks of batholithic streets to the twelve blocks put down in 1912, about nine thousand yards.
A reunion of the pupils of a school taught by Quintus M. Tyler at Garrettsburg, Ky., in 1867-8-9, was held, July 25, 1913, with the following present: J. T. Steger, Thomas H. Major, C. K. Fleming, John S. Northington, Irving Davie, Thad J. Giles, Virgil Bradshaw, Whit W. Radford, H. H. Abernathy, Mack Radford, James L. Taylor, J. F. Giles, John F. Taylor and Dr. W. B. Radford.
Imported Cyclades, by Cyclene, out of Vale Royal, died at Adelbert Stock Farm, owned by Williams, Radford & Company, August 25, 1913, worth $15,000.
Ordinance creating a Board of Commissioners for the City Park was passed by the City Council, and the Mayor appointed: Charles F. Jarrett, Dr. F. P. Thomas, Thomas L. Metcalfe and B. F. McClaid, with the mayor as ex-officio member.
Rev. J. N. Prestridge, Baptist minister, editor and author, of Louisville, died October 31, 1913, and his body was brought to Hopkinsville for interment.
WOMAN SUFFRAGE LEAGUE
The Christian County Woman Suffrage League was organized about 1914. A public meeting, April 7, was addressed by Judge W. P. Winfree, Miss Lily Ray Glenn and Judge W. T. Fowler. A large audience was
present. The officers of the League were Mrs. W. T. Fowler, president; Mrs. A. R. Kasey, vice-president; Miss Martha Kelly, secretary, and Mrs. Ed C. Gray, treasurer.
Rumors of war with Mexico caused Gen. Roger D. Williams to put the three thousand Kentucky troops on a war footing. President Huerta of Mexico refused to accept President Wilson’s demand for an unconditional salute of the American flag, for an insult offered to a body of American marines. On April 22 Vera Cruz was seized and occupied by American troops, with the loss of four Americans killed and twenty wounded. The next day three more Americans were killed and twenty-five wounded in holding the city. War fever ran high. The Mexican minister was sent to Canada, and American affairs in Mexico were turned over to Brazil. Villa, who was at war with the American Government, announced that he would not be drawn into war with the United States.
Volunteers were clamoring to fight all over the United States, even military schools’ cadets in many states. Vera Cruz was put under martial law. Then negotiations for peace were put under way, and in the end there was no more fighting. Huerta was eliminated, and General Carranza became President of Mexico.
A movement was started by business men in Hopkinsville in May, 1914, to bring about a physical connection of the I. C. and L, & N. Railroads. This was ultimately successful, when a belt line was constructed.
Augustus W. Miles, Union veteran, aged sixty-eight, and John H. Patillo, Confederate veteran, aged seventy-five, near neighbors and friends for fifty years, died the same day, May 12, 1914, near Bennettstown.
The Hopkinsville Presbyterian Church, Westminster, celebrated the hundredth anniversary of its organization June 2-9, 1914. Rev. J. C. Tate preached Sunday morning, and Rev. C. H. H. Branch closed on Tuesday evening.
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