HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN COUNTY KENTUCKY
charles m. meacham
Beginning of War in Europe; Ferrel’s Boys Organize; Border Trouble in 1916; Woodrow Wilson Re-elected President; Work for State Guards.
BEGINNING OF THE WORLD WAR
On June 28, 1914, the Archduke Francis Ferdinand was assassinated in Servia, and after a month of diplomatic exchanges, Austria, on July 27, declared war on Servia. This was the beginning of the World War. Russia supported Servia, Germany became allied with Austria, and other nations were rapidly drawn into the war that the United States entered in April. 1917.
The Jennie Stuart Memorial Hospital was opened for business July 1, 1914. The board of directors, selected by Dr. E. S. Stuart, was J. E. McPherson, Ira L. Smith, Thomas W. Long, W. T. Tandy, Dr. Austin
Bell and Dr. T. W. Blakey. Mr. Smith, Mr. Tandy and Dr. Bell are still living and holding their positions as trustees. President Wilson received a delegation of five hundred women suffragists in July, but told them woman suffrage was not a national issue, but a problem for the states.
CARNEGIE LIBRARY COMPLETED
The Carnegie Library, begun in December, 1913, was completed in July, 1914. It was designed by John T. Waller, architect, and cost $16,500. Mrs. Virginia Lipscomb has been the librarian since it was opened.
NEW POST OFFICE BUILDING
The beautiful new Hopkinsville Post Office Building, begun in 1913, was completed in the autumn of 1914. It has a frontage on Ninth Street of eighty-two feet eight inches, two stories and a basement.
Envoy Phillips and Envoy Valuer, from Nashville, established a Salvation Army post in Hopkinsville, September, 1914.
A vote on prohibition for Christian County was taken in September, 1914. and the county went five hundred and seventy-four majority against prohibition.
William A. Wilgus, who committed suicide November 1, 1914, in his will left to the city of Hopkinsville his estate of $36,000, to be invested in public playgrounds.
S. L. Cowherd reports the yield of Prolific corn from a field of twenty-three acres to be ninety-one bushels to the acre.
Postmaster V. M. Williamson occupied the new Government Building February 15, 1915.
Raymond Skerritt granted permission to operate a jitney bus line in Hopkinsville, giving a five-cent fare.
Ed L. Weathers, cashier of the Bank of LaFayette, becomes vice-president of the First National Bank of Hopkinsville, March, 1915.
J. E. Moseley succeeded V. M. Williamson as postmaster of Hopkinsville, March 15.
Governor McCreary commissioned Henry J. Stites as Captain of Company D.
A stock law for Christian County went into effect in April. All livestock prohibited from running at large.
Former pupils of Major J. 0. Ferrell’s High School, from 1873 to 1903, met at Lake Tandy, with nearly a hundred and fifty of the total of six hundred and Twenty-one, present, and organized the Ferrell Boys’ Association, August, 1915, which has since held reunions every year except 1917 and 1918. Col. M., H. Crump and Hon. F. T. Glasgow, two of the former teachers, attended the reunion. Pupils from ten states were present.
Commission form of city government for Hopkinsville authorized by a vote of the people.
Christian County Poultry Improvement Association adopts White Wyandottes to be bred by the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs.
A bond issue of $400,000, to improve the roads of the county, was voted in November, 1915, and in January, 1916, the following road commissioners were named to supervise the road construction: W. C. Binns, Dr. W. W. Durham, D. T. Cranor, Howard Brame, Wailer Martin, 0. E. Layne, Ben F. Wood and J. P. Myers.
Commission government for Hopkinsville was started in January with F. K. Yost, hold-over mayor, and F. H. Bassett and W. R. Wicks, commissioners. Lawson B. Flack was elected clerk and James Breathitt, Jr., attorney.
Joseph Fry, the oldest K. of P. in the United States, died in Roanoke, Va., February 11, aged a hundred and five years. He was a former merchant of Hopkinsville.
A LEAP YEAR BRIDE
Accepting a proposition made in the papers of Hopkinsville to the first Leap Year bride who would be married as the result of her own proposal, a young couple from Crofton appeared, Feb. 14, 1916, and, making the required affidavit, were married in the offices of Richard Leaveil’s sales stables. Their names were Sallie Eldora Brown and James Herbert Tweddell. They received the following bridal presents: L. J. Harris, license; Judge J. W. Knight, ceremony; W. T. Cooper, $100 worth of premium store tickets; Wall & McGowan, $200 worth of premium store tickets; George’s Bakery, a cake; T. L. Metcalf e, a bouquet; J. L. Freedman, a beef roast; McClaid & Armstrong, a tombstone; Mrs. P. L. Mitchell to make the bride a dress; Keach & Fears, a $5 rocker; George McCord, groceries; H. L. Lebkuecker, box cigars; G. W. Southall, side of meat; Blakey, Bass & Barnett, wedding ring; Hopkinsville Bottling Works, 24 bottles Coca-Cola; Hopkinsville Auto Company, gallon gasoline; Dixie Cafe, supper; Ben Winfree, fire insurance on all awards; J. R. Renshaw, setting Rhode Island Red eggs; W. R. Bowles, life size picture; Mrs. D. E. Foster, setting Plymouth Rock eggs; Ellis rice Company, 1,000 pounds of ice; Anderson & Fowler, 12 bottles of Castoria; J. H. Reese, setting White Leghorn eggs; and last but most valuable of all, a $150 mule by Richard Leavell. The bride was a pretty brunette, a daughter of James H. Brown. A large crowd attended the wedding at Mr. Leavell’s stable, and a picture was taken. The young couple returned home, taking most of the presents with them. The rest were sent later.
Christian County Strawberry Growers’ Association incorporated May,1916.
Contract let by city of Hopkinsville for the erection of the colored high school building, for $17,372, in May.
City of Hopkinsville ordered $13,000 to be expended in putting tarvia on certain streets.
THE BORDER TROUBLES
The internal struggles between the Mexican Government, headed by President Carranza, and the insurgents under Villa had been growing acute for a year, the insurgents making attacks on Americans, to bring about hostilities with the United States. Several thousand troops were sent to border towns in 1915, but by June, 1916, there came an order for more troops, and the Hopkinsville Company of State Guards was ordered into national service. The company recruited, to a hundred and fifteen men, and officers as follows: Col. Jouett Henry, Lt. Col. E. B. Bassett, Capt. B. G. Nelson, Capt. Ben S. Winfree, Sergeants R. T. Hayes, Lawson B. Flack and Ernest Cravens, Capt. Henry J. Stites, Lieutenants A. H. Clark and Riley B. Butler, Sergeants Cecil Armstrong and W. B. Bohannon, and Corporals James L. Moss, P. M. Lackey, William L. Tandy, Cooke Edwards and Allen Radford. This company remained on duty until the World War was ended.
Gen. George W. Littlefield, of Texas, in September pledged the financial aid necessary to complete the monument to Jefferson Davis at Fairview. He visited the scene and arranged for the work to be started without further delay. Soon after the famous Orphans’ Brigade, with forty-eight present, held a reunion in Hopkinsville and visited the Davis home.
The chapel in Riverside Cemetery was erected in the summer at a cost of $4,000.
Hopkinsville Golf and Country Club incorporated for $10,000 by J. E.
McPherson, George C. Long, T. B. Fairleigh, Ed L. Weathers, L. M. Cayce, John Stites, George E. Gary, John E. Byars and T. C. Underwood.
Grounds were purchased south of Hopkinsville, on the Nelson place.
Senator W. L. Gore, the blind Senator from Oklahoma, spoke to three thousand people at the Tabernacle, October 9, for the Democratic ticket of Wilson and Marshall. He was introduced by W. R. Howell. The next week Hanly and Landrith, Prohibition candidates for President and Vice-President, spoke from a train at the L. & N. depot in Hopkinsville. On the night of October 27, Charles W. Fairbanks, Republican candidate for Vice-President, spoke at the court house. The night of October 30, C. G. Tefteller, Socialist candidate for President, spoke at the court house.
Woodrow Wilson re-elected President by an unexpected victory in California. The Democrats of Christian County held the greatest jollification meeting and parade since 1892, when Cleveland was elected.
Road connecting Pembroke and Fairview designated as Littlefield Highway by the Fiscal Court.
Kee R. McKee, formerly of Hopkinsville, made president of the Oklahoma Refining Company, a $2,000,000 corporation.
E. L. Foulks, the oldest man in Hopkinsville, died February 26, 1917. He was born on January 12, 1823, at Belleville, Ill., and came to Hopkinsville as a photographer in 1858.
First services held in the new Methodist Church in Hopkinsville by Rev. Lewis Powell, the pastor, first Sunday in March, 1917.
Inauguration of Woodrow Wilson as President and Thomas R. Marshall as Vice-President, March 4, with the country on the verge of war.
The homestead of the late R. J. Cooper, at LaFayette, burned, April 11, and C. M. Horn, aged eighty-seven, father of R. L. Horn, who occupied the house, lost his life.
December 11, 1917, the coldest day in sixteen years in Hopkinsville. The thermometer registered thirteen degrees below zero, and snow was fourteen inches deep.
Thomas R. Hancock, one of Stonewall Jackson’s men, died in Hopkinsville, January 14, 1917. He was born in January, 1842, in Charlotte County, Virginia. He came to Hopkinsville in 1872, and was engaged in the tobacco business for more than forty years.
THREE HOPKINSVILLE MEN HONORED
Dr. G. P. Isbell, of Hopkinsville, made president of the Kentucky State Veterinary Association. Robert A. Cook was president of the State Board of Control and Lucian H. Davis Grand Chancellor of the Order of
Knights of Pythias in Kentucky.
A COURAGEOUS JUDGE
During a murder trial at Murray, Ky., Judge Charles H. Bush, the presiding judge, was threatened with violence by a mob, intent on lynching a negro, and had the negro sent in the night to the Hopkinsville jail. The Hopkinsville bar adopted the following resolution:
“We, the bar of Hopkinsville, hereby reaffirm our confidence and respect in Hon. C. H. Bush, and commend him for saving the life of the negro defendant, and call attention to the fact that he is one circuit judge in this section of Kentucky, and in the south, who has placed his own life in danger for the protection of prisoners on trial before his court, and we hereby feel that the full credit for saving this negro’s life is due Judge Bush.” Committee: Thomas P. Cook, John Stites, Ira D. Smith.
Soldiers returned with the prisoner, February 17, to Murray, and the trial of the negro, Lubie Martin, for the murder of Guthrie Diuguid, proceeded without further disturbance, and Martin was tried and sentenced to death. The bars of all counties in the district adopted resolutions commending Judge Bush’s bravery and prompt action.
Company D, Kentucky National Guards, on duty on the Mexican border, was ordered home, January 18, 1917, with other Kentucky companies. Col. Jouett Henry and Lieut. Col. E. B. Bassett were each presented with a silver loving cup, at El Paso, by their troops.
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