This Crittenden County material is provided by Brenda Joyce Jerome , publisher of The Western Kentucky Journal.
History of the River Villages Dycusburg - Tolu Present inhabitants of Dycusburg, that quaint little town on the Cumberland River, say that it was first settled about 1840 by Berry Dycus, in whose honor it was named. In 1842 Dycus had the town incorporated and in 1848 established a ferry there. At one time Dycusburg was quite an important place; that was back in the days before the coming of the railroad, when much of the traveling was done by river. Although the establishment of the railroad deprived Dycusburg of a great deal of its importance to the remainder of the county, it still remains the trading center for people of its adjacent territory. It now has several well patronized stores and a post office with one rural route. It is the only grade school district in the county outside of Marion and Tolu. The man for whom Dycusburg was named is the grandfather of F.B. Dycus, well known Dycusburg business man of this time. Tolu, the largest river town in Crittenden County, is situated overlooking the Ohio River and takes its name of Tolu for a very quaint reason. A once popular brand of medicine, known as a splendid tonice and much used for its exhilirating effects, was known as Tolu Tonic or Tolu Bitters. Reports say that a traveling salesman suggested this name to Uncle Sam, when the Tolu post office was established, as a good one for the place as it was not only a popular name, but one easy to remember by everyone, especially those who chewed Tolu gum and drank Tolu Tonic. Hurricane Landing was the old name for Tolu. Hurricane Landing derived its name from Hurricane Creek nearby. In turn, Hurricane Creek was so called by early settlers who found that section devasated, having been in the path of a terrific hurricane, which a few years previously had piled the gigantic forests, which abounded in the Ohio Valley, in tangled heaps. It is said that this same hurricane in some places changed the course of Hurricane and Deer Creeks. [18 Sep 1931] Mattoon - Sheridan - White Hall - View Famous characters from history provided names for certain of Crittenden County localities, fanciful names from the brains of prominent citizens for other communities and post offices. Most of the post offices have long since been discontinued with the extension of a thorough system of rural routes, but the territory in which they are located still goes by the old name. Mattoon was originally selected as a name for Bart Moore's store, but now the whole community is so called because the fame of the store spread for miles around. Mr. Moore was known as one of the most successful country merchants in Western Kentucky. When the Sheridan post office was established, it was named in hnor of Gen. Phillip Sheridan at the suggestion of A.J. Bebout, who was post master there for several years. Out west of Crayne is a one room school called White Hall, which was originally used also for church gatherings. Col. A.H. Cardin gave a good donation towards its erection, as did Senator Clement, A.B. Hodge and others. Mrs. Cardin took an especial interest in the new building. It was she that suggested it be painted white and called "White Hall." A much smaller building occupies the spot at this time. The post office, just below at the cross roads, was named "View," suggested also by Mrs. Cardin. This post office has been discontinued. Now the name White Hall and View are applied to practically the same community. [16 Oct 1931] Shady Grove - Larrapin Springs - Deanwood Piney Bluff - Piney Creek - Piney Fork Church When the early settlers first came to the community now known as Shady Grove, they found a delightful camping place shaded by beautiful forest trees like an attractive park, hence its name. One of these early settlers, it is said, once claims to have stood in Hopkins County and shot across the corner of Caldwell, killing a deer in Crittenden County on the present site of Shady Grove. Shady Grove is on the water shed between the waters of Piney and Donalson Creeks. Larrapin Springs was named after its early owner, David Larrapin, miller and distiller who resided on the spot where Ike Stone now lives. Deanwood, formerly Iron Hill, took its name from the Deans, prominent family of that community. Piney Bluff nearby is so called because of the profusion of beautiful pine trees over the picturesque cliffs and bluffs. Piney Creek gets its name for a similar reason. Piney Fork Cumberland Presbyterian Church is on a fork of Piney Creek. [20 Oct 1931] Mt. Zion Church Mt. Zion Methodist Church was organized in 1838 by Presiding Elder Cain. The log house was built near that date. The charter members were Rilan Heath and wife, Wm. Hill and wife and son, Dr. Bristow and wife, William Hughes, Ezekiel Porter, James Broadfoot and wife, Ingram Lucas, Patsy Hughes, J.B. Hill, James T. Taylor and wife came later. Some have thought that Ira Nunn and wife were also charter members as services were held at his house and also at Dr. Bristow's before the church was built. Mt. Zion can well be called the Mother of Methodism in this county. On January 25, 1859 a deed was made to the Church and Masonic Fraternity by William Williams and wife for the sum of $5.00 and recorded in 1864 by Berry S. Young, County Clerk. Bro. Big Truitt went out from this church to preach the gospel. On March 27, 1890 the house was blown down by a cyclone, this being the second house and more land was secured by deed made by Robert Heath in 1901 to L.R. Hughes, J.W. Coon and G.P. Wilson as Trustees. Then a new house was built and was dedicated by Rev. J.W. Bigham. Bro. Thrasher was pastor at that time. It has been under the care of Bro. Gibbons, Archey, Boggiss, Crowe, Smithson, Roland and Love. [19 July 1906] Brenda Joyce Jerome, CGRS