Sunday, July 22, 2018

Part 6: Sarah Eva Howe's Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton – in Her Own Neighborhood, Close to the Methodist and Baptist Churches

In the previous post, we stood at Third and High, where the Haffords and the Websters lived. Today, we continue down Third Street and then over to Fourth. You can follow Sarah using a modern map of Carrollton or the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Carrollton in 1898. As always, my own comments are in brackets. All parentheses are Sarah's own.

Please remember that Sarah is writing in the early 1940s, and her memories of dates and places may not always precisely match history.

Down on Third Street, next to Mrs. Webster’s, lived the Beelers, Irish as the Isle itself and good Catholics. Miss Mary still lives there in the same house, I believe; I saw her not long ago. I believe her brother John is still living there too. They had a cow, and we sometimes used to get milk or cream from them. I am not sure the DeMints lived next door then or moved in afterwards in a small frame house sort of “on stilts.” Of course, the Howe home occupied the half square opposite, stretching halfway from High to Main and halfway from Third to Fourth, or to the alley, before you came to the church. I am not going to describe the place here but will do so when telling how it unfolded on my dazzled sight when we took up our residence in it.

At one side of it on Third was the big brick house (with nothing but a large bare room on the lower floor, which was afterwards the home of the famous Hutchinson family, colored, all of whom worked for our family in some capacity) belonging to the Masonic Lodge, where the entire upper floor was given over to Lodge doings. I went up there just once, I forget on what errand or pretext, but as I was as, as always, looking for animals I was disappointed in not finding any goat, or signs of one, as I had been led to expect. Instead, a lot of ashes and dust and stuffy looking costumes were all that could be seen on a cursory inspection.

Next to this brick building was the Harrison home, Mr. & Mrs. Harrison, older people lived there, and Maggie Branham and her mother, who was the Harrison’s daughter. Maggie’s mother was DIVORCED from her husband, someone said in a whisper, and he had married again and lived on Main Street with his new wife, and kept Maggie’s brother Harry, while her mother took her. The father’s name was Ophalius Branham, yes, it was indeed -- really grounds for divorce in itself, and he was generally called by it without much shortening, except by some of the men. There was a Harrison boy who had been Papa’s [Sarah's father Robert James Howe] friend, but he died -- I am of the faint idea that it was he who owned the little volumes of poetry we gave Wally. Theodore, I believe his name was. Maggie was about my age, Harry a little older, thinking of it, I imagine maybe he was named Harrison, Harry for short.

The home of Sarah's grandparents, John Howe and his second wife Jane Hopkins Bell Howe. Photo and caption from Carroll County by Phyllis Codling McLaughlin (Arcadia Publishing, 2012)
Gracefully leaping over Howe’s yard, or going in at the “churchyard gate” and under the summer kitchen porch and up the diagonal path by the ice house out by the side gate on the way to the church, and passing on High Street the house temporarily the home of the Haffords, we could see two houses on the corner of 4th and High, but only one had its front gate on High Street, a long low red house with a high wall terracing its yard, topped with an iron fence, and a large cedar tree on each side [of] the front walk. This was next to the Methodist Church and with it, the only occupant of the whole square on that side. Mr. & Mrs. Fishback lived there (of them more later on), (for they were the ones who moved out when we moved in). The house opposite us, fronting on 4th St., was the home of a Swiss-German couple Jacob Keller and his wife Mary, and his sister Lizzie, a tiny squat picture book person who could have stepped out of an Alps prospectus -- as indeed so could Jake and his wife. They had lived farther out in town, near the cemetery and near the Scheiffelbeins, who I suppose were Swiss, too -- anyway, Papa and Uncle Joe [Sarah's paternal uncle William F. Howe] used to play with the boys of the family right where both are now buried (as Uncle Joe said with real pleasure when we bought Papa’s lot), before that was part of the cemetery. [Note: It's my understanding that William F. Howe, his wife Louisiana Winslow Howe, and their unmarried daughters Lillie and Jenn lived in what became known as the Winslow-Howe Homestead on Fifth near High (now Highland). He bought the house in the late 1870s.]

Jake’s [first?] wife died, and finally he induced Mary to come and keep house for him. (I suppose Lizzie hadn’t come to town then.) [Mary] trial marriaged him for a week or a month, I forgot which, then they invited the wedding guests (of whom Miss Hallie Masterson’s mother (and Miss Hallie) were counted, and I imagine perhaps the other neighbors (they didn’t know the Howes yet, as [the Keller's] lived so far out at that time), and Mary got the wedding supper, served the guests, cleaned up, then took off her apron and came in and was married (by a preacher, not a priest, for she, tho a Catholic, had neglected her connections and Jake was a rigid Protestant). She was a good neighbor and friend to my own Grandma Howe, living there even before Aunt Lizzie [Sarah's paternal aunt Elizabeth M. Howe, who died in 1869] died.

Of course the Baptist Church was across from Mrs. Keller’s, with doors opening on High St. In the basement of this church (before it was rebuilt of course) was the Academy or private school which the Howe children, the Winslows, and Conns and others attended, and where I suppose Professor Joyeaux (who fell in love with Papa’s sister Lizzie), the French writing teacher, plied his trade. I saw a letter from him to Papa written after Aunt Lizzie died, in violet ink, that was really a beautiful thing, so exquisitely written, as became a teacher of the graphic arts.

Now on the side of the street we afterwards lived on, across from “our house,” were good looking brick buildings clear up the street to 5th; while on the other side, from 4th (after the church) to the corner were almost tumble-down little lonely frame houses, flush with the street, with a deep basement, dark and damp looking, beneath them, and long, rickety steps down -- a small town is like that. In all my experience, those houses were never painted, nor ever occupied, of course, by “prosperity.” 

In the farthest house from the church lived a Catholic family, the Niemillers, a big family, too, in a small house, but they spread out some, for they were industrious and smart and soon had good jobs. Theodore, the oldest, as I said, drove the bus & horses back & forth from Worthville; it was a big affair, almost like a stagecoach, and very cold in winter when they put straw over the floor. 
The "bus" of that day probably looked much like this one, which was refurbished for use in the 1940s. (Farm Security Administration - Office of War Information Photograph Collection, Library of Congress)
The oldest girl married one of the Grobmeyer boys (not Ed or Cass’s family, but another cousin) and was the mother of Harold Tambrink’s wife, and “Bill” Grobmeier, remember him? Rebecca or “Becky” was a fine cook and housekeeper and worked for Mrs. Winslow for years from the time she was a little girl. She finally married Casper Feller, and they lived on 5th Street, you remember, next to “Grocery Ed Hill,” when we lived out there. One of the boys, Albert, married Maggie Donnelly, and Amelia, “Melie” as we called her, married and went to Cincinnati to live. I think her name is now “Majolinsky.” But they all grew up there on High Street. 

************************ Coming next week: The final part of this series ************************

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Part 5: Sarah Eva Howe's Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton; From "Way Out Past Seminary" to High and Main Streets

In Part 5 of Sarah Eva Howe's "Book of Recollections," Sarah recalls some families living beyond Seminar on 7th before returning to Main and High streets – the heart of old Carrollton, Kentucky.

As before, I will occasionally omit some  descriptions and indicate each omission with an ellipsis. If you want the omitted information, please email me at the address included under the "About" tab.

You can follow Sarah using a modern map of Carrollton ( or the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Carrollton in 1898.

As always, my own comments are in brackets. All parentheses are Sarah's own.

And now I’ll just have to skip around, for when I get beyond the schoolhouse, it is unknown country of my early years. Stamp’s Store was the grocery where Jasper’s is now — Laura Stamp was a very little girl (she afterwards was my nurse when David was born). About ’91, the Garretts moved to town and came to our church, where we saw a lot of them — more about them later; they lived in a big house with large grounds on the other side of the big house where Mr. John Tharp lived for so long. In one of the houses along there lived the Allie Pulliams. . . . ; further on lived Mr. Tate, a carpenter, very nice looking old man with a tiny VanDyke white beard, whose son Randall . . . was a great baseball player. Miss Mary King and he were sweethearts at one time (opposed by James G. King [James Guthrie King, grandfather of Sarah's husband William Levi Salyers]). Then at last came the two-story frame in the big farmland that belonged to Grandpa King, of whom in those days I knew less than nothing! I don’t know just when they bought the place and moved to town, but I suppose it was almost 1890; and on the other side of the road (for the “street” had become a “road” a good deal further down toward town) was the Bridges place, a big house, a big farm, and a remarkable family. (More about them later.) The road led on down past the Blue Lick or “Lick Well” as everyone called it, to the river. 

As to 7th Street, from Seminary on out, it was more than unknown to me. Even in 1900 it was still “way out on 7th Street” to me and seemed an immense distance from the heart of town where most of our life went on. I will mention just two interesting families, one of which stayed out in town while the other moved down to Main Street before I really knew any of them. The first was the Marlett family, who seem to have moved out there from upper Main Street — as both George & Charlie worked at the woolen mill — and started a store. (“Artie’s” father it was who kept the store. They probably had French blood — they always had a voyageur-piratical look! — but they didn’t spell their name Marlette then. 

The other family came to Carrollton “way back there.” I don’t know whether they came direct from the old country there or not, but they were from Scotland, tho they had lived in Ireland for awhile, where Miss Lydia, the youngest, was born. Their name, of course, was Shaw. They lived in 1890 in the house where the McCrackens have lived on 7th Street for many years now. Mr. Shaw was, I imagine, brought to Carrollton by M. I. Barker, who with his family caused more speculation and conversation than almost anyone who came in. Mr. Barker, a huge man, gave a lot of people work and made a good deal of money himself. He used to go to Maine every summer to a camp, and from there about 1892 he brought the Maddox family — “Maddocks” I believe they spelled it. They took the house after the Shaws moved down to the big brick on Main Street a little up the street from the “Old Store.” The oldest Shaw, daughter Lizzie, married a Mr. Clark and was already separated from him and living at home when we came to town; she had a boy, Will, a tall, gangling youngster of about 12 or 14. Mary, the next daughter, had married John Lewis, the elder half-brother of George Lewis, who married Ida Booker, Josie King’s friend. Another daughter, Jennie Shaw, . . . studied music. . . . Lydia [presumably another Shaw daughter] was “going with” Jim Goslee [for a while].  . . . 

Jennie was a member of the Methodist Church, as were all of her family except Miss Maggie (and by the way, I left her out in telling about the sisters; . . .  She was the one who became matron of the orphanage at Anchorage), who was a strict Presbyterian. . . . 

Well, with the exception of a few families I will speak of later who lived on these side streets toward the river (Kentucky) and a few out 4th Street near the factory, I have covered the town away from the waterfront and now, at last, have come to the place where we really lived, which will have to have a diagram all its own. [Unfortunately, I have found no diagram in Sarah's papers.] I will start with High Street [now Highland], leaving out Second, which by that time, mostly because of floods in '83 and '84, were so bad — was being vacated by all the families at all able to go elsewhere and was being known as “Frogtown” already, tho the Albert Jetts didn’t move for several years after 1890 from their big home back of Grandma Howe’s, not till after the funeral of their little boy James, which I well remember (I was about 8 years old, I guess, when he died). Dad [Sarah's husband, William Levi Salyers] was born in the house across the street from the Jetts, but by this time it was in pretty bad shape, and of course Grandad [possibly Charles David Salyers] had moved “out in town” about 11 years before we came.

Here then is High and Main and intersections. I’ll take High Street first, as it will take up less time than the intensely interesting area of over-populous Main Street.

Portion of Sanborn Fire Insurance Map, Carrollton, Kentucky, 1898
Coming up the hill from the Kentucky River -- only a ferry crossed it then, of course — the first large house was the one newly built on the highest part of that end of town — the Hafford house; but when we came, it was not yet finished, and the family were living in the house afterwards bought and now occupied by John Glauber[?], opposite the Methodist Church. Before the family was able to get into the new home, Mr. Hafford died of a heart attack as he was cleaning up the yard preparatory to moving the family in. This was another remarkable family, and as Mr. Hafford was pretty close kin to Granddad, you should know about them. Mrs. Hafford was a Malcolmson from back of Lamb[?] or near where the Lamsons lived; Mr. Hafford's Uncle or Cousin Eben, as the Salyers boys called him sometimes, was the son of one of the Lamson girls (Uncle Wallace’s sister or aunt, I’m not sure which, but Mrs. Adkinson, mother of Buford and Austin Sr., was another sister. I must ask Cousin Ed, but I believe Grandad’s mother was a first cousin of Mr. Hafford and the Adkinson boys’ mother. 

Mr. Hafford as a very just, fine man, tho he claimed to be an atheist follower of Tom Paine — an agnostic, rather. Mrs. Hafford was a woman of strong character, strong likes & hates, but devoted to her family and very shrewd to say the least, in a business deal.  . . . The boys of the family, except Wilbur, the baby, had died young, one as a small child, another was drowned, and Will died of heart failure just a little while before his expected wedding day. The girls were all good looking; all were smart and given good educations, but Lida was the most brainy and talented of all. Julia married T. H. Karn of Owensboro and lived there many years. (Lida went to high school there and stayed with them.) They had one child, Hafford Karn, who died in his second summer on a visit to Carrollton. Except for Wilbur’s children, long after, he was the only grandchild of this large family. Lucy married George Winslow, but not till about 1892; Mary married Sid[?] Wood some time later; Nettie never married at all, nor did Flora; Nell and Linda both married rich elderly widowers with grown children. Wilbur married a Southern girl and became a specialist (eye ear etc.) and lives in Waycross, Georgia. But when we went to Carrollton he was a very small boy, Lida next older than he was, two years older than I, or eight years old, and Nell, next older, was about twelve.

That was certainly a lovely yard to play in, full of flowers and fruit trees, and especially fine apple trees. When Wilbur was able to pull a little wagon, he sold apples from his own tree, about 15 cents a dishpan full – the juiciest eating apples I ever ate.

 Between the Hafford's new house and the church was a pasture, a steep hill going down just like the church yard does, with quite a big pond at the bottom. This used to freeze over, and lots of people went skating on it, tho most preferred “Winslow’s pond” farther up High Street. It made a good coasting place, too, but I didn’t believe I ever went on it; mostly little boys went there, and Mama was always afraid I’d get hurt.

Across from the Haffords on the other corner of 3rd and High lived Mrs. Webster and the boys, but before that Mrs. King and Mr. [T.C.] King and Ernest, their little boy, lived there (she died last year — her son Ernest, also dead, was the husband of Mary Masterson, who lived here in Louisville). They were there just a little while after we came to live at Uncle Joe’s, then the Websters moved in. Mr. Webster kept a grocery at the corner of 3rd & Main opposite Howe Bros. — of which more “anon.” Mrs. Webster was not (as I said a little previously in my narrative) the half-sister but the step-daughter of Mr. Lowe, the Englishman, I remembered afterwards. . . .  She had a little daughter, Cora, and she married Harry Grigsby, whose son Harry Jr.was Bob's [Sarah's son Robert King Salyers] good friend when he was in school and even afterwards in Lexington where Harry was in business.

                                ********************  To Be Continued  ********************

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Part 4: Sarah's House-to-House Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton, Kentucky; Meet the Wilsons, the Hanks, the Strattons, and Others Who Lived on Seminary and 6th

In Part 4 of Sarah Eva Howe's "Book of Recollections," Sarah recalls some families living on and around Seminary Street and Sixth Street. Sarah is writing to her daughter, so her references to "Dad" refer not to her daughter's father and Sarah's husband, William Levi Salyers.

As before, I will occasionally omit some  descriptions and indicate each omission with an ellipsis. If you want the omitted information, please email me at the address included under the "About" tab.

Again, you can follow Sarah using a modern map of Carrollton ( or the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps of Carrollton in 1898.

As always, my own comments are in brackets. All parentheses are Sarah's own.

From Sarah's writings:
Going back to Seminary again, and taking the left side of the street, as you go out, the Wilsons lived on the corner (not in the house that Cora’s husband built that stands there now). R. J. Wilson was a strange man, a maker of tombstones, and I think his family too had a pretty hard time as they grew up.   . . . There were five sisters and two brothers; Marion, the oldest, married Amy Lanham (kin to Edith, Anna’s mother, and also to the Lanham who married Dad’s cousin Mary Jane Tilley in Vevay). Cora was still single and worked with Mrs. Alice Smith Conn as assistant “trimmer” when they put in millinery at Howe Bros. in 1891. The younger girls were still in school. Nannie had a lovely voice; one of my early memories was hearing her sing. She married well --  Otto Oster from Eminence -- and Julson[?] Oster was their son. And of course Cora married Mr. Sutton[?], a wealthy merchant from Ohio who then helped out the whole family.

Well, I clean forgot about the oldest sister, who married Mr. Calvert, then a druggist at Worthville; Marion’s mother (I think she had another child who was older and died.)

A segment of the Sanborn Fire Insurance map for Carrollton in 1898
[This paragraph was difficult to read and follow.] Next to Wilsons, between them and the [Charles David] Salyers house, and Mrs. Davis, the widowed daughter of “Uncle Dave” Bridges,  . . . [who] moved in with her four sons.  Scott Wilson [Davis], the older boy, such a nice boy, too. (R.J. [Wilson] was born after we moved to Carrollton or just about that time.) . . . Anyway, the in-between house belonged to John Davis.  . . .  He lived there with his wife and daughter. They too belonged to the Christian Church. The Wilsons were strong Baptists; Mrs. Wilson was Aunt Prudy’s older sister, their name was Scott, of a good Carroll County family.

And just now it has come to me: The Hanks family, Mrs. Atha Gullion’s brother’s people, lived in the big house where Cay[?] Tandy lives now [referring to the 1940s], opposite Forbes’s on 7th and Seminary. Uncle Tom Salyers married a Hanks (the second time). I suppose she was kin, but I don’t know how close.

. . . The next houses to the C.D. Salyers home . . .  were those of the two Renschler brothers, Gus and Billy, both good carpenters with happy-looking . . . wives, excellent cooks, and several children apiece. Ida, one of the girls, afterwards married John Kuhlman, Harry’s son, and Clara, another girl, married Andy Westrick, I think. The Westricks were not in town when we came. They were still living in Hunters Bottom and farming. There was a big German colony down there, some Catholics, some Protestants; the Westricks and Fellers though were mixed with French, as it is easy to trace yet. Mrs. John Hill [and] Mrs. Henry Kuhlman were Westricks, I believe, and Mrs. Pete Feller was kin some way, besides marrying a Westrick girl.

Across the street, on the left (on Sixth St.) from the Renschler’s was the Stratton house, a rambling big frame (corner of Clay Street). The two daughters were already grown, and Ida had married Norvin Green and moved to the farm out near Worthville. She had a boy and girl near my age who were often my companions in the early days as their mother used to let them visit at their grandmother’s. Norvin [Junior] and Cora were their older children.   . . .  Of course she had others: Dan, Joe (who died in the World War, or rather after he came back from it), Bess, who taught school -- you remember -- at the Old College when it began to be used again as a Public School, and Francis. Her husband had a brother, Joe, who used to come in often to the Stratton’s during the eighties and in that way met Nannie King when she stayed at the Salyers home and went to school. They became very good friends, in fact sweethearts.  . . .  But Mr. King bitterly opposed Nannie’s marriage to Joe and broke up the match.  . . .  Miss Lou Stratton, the other sister of the house, taught school for some time, and it is said she loved to wear beautiful clothes, hats with plumes, a wine-colored satin dress, etc.  . . .

A portion of the previous paragraph in Sarah's handwriting
Next door to Strattons (still on 6th between Clay and Polk) was the McElrath house -- at least I suppose they lived there then, as they did in the nineties. Mr. McElrath was a lawyer, a very bright man, but peculiar looking, with small, bright eyes and bushy whiskers, quite tall.  . . .  His wife had two daughters, one his, Helen (who married Fletcher Peters)  . . .  and one older by her first husband (deceased), Ida.  . . .  Miss Ida married first Harry Stringfellow, who died, leaving a tiny son, who at the time we went to Carrollton was almost 9 or 10; she had married again, a brother of the Pryor sisters; he went as consul to Cuba, and there his daughter was born and named “Catalina Cuba Pryor."  . . .

On the corner of 6th and Polk, left side, was the low brick building. I am “hazy” about who lived there in 1890, but soon after George James and his wife went there to live, and he kept a store there for many years. The “James Brothers” (no kin to Jesse, I imagine, though they came from Indiana) were named Elmer and George. Both of them came to the Methodist Church. . . .

Just across the street, where Miss Katie Vallandingham and her parents lived afterwards, I think her uncle the Baptist minister (at that time not preaching regularly, but in the business) with his wife and little Mary, their daughter, afterwards one of my friends when they kept the Vallandingham house in the Vance mansion on 5th Street, where Brother Williams lived, and where we had the nice parties at various times. And of course from the house to the corner of Taylor Street was the schoolhouse and the big yard, surrounded by a high fence.

Only three houses occupied the square on the right side -- on the corner of Polk & 6th was the home of Mr. And Mrs. “Jule” Geier; she was the sister of the Gullions, Ed and Emmett, and a devout Methodist like the latter. (I imagine Ed had joined the Christian church with his wife, Miss Atha.) The Geier children, Florence and Frances (Frances was a little baby in 1890 or at least a small child; Florence about five), could slip right across to school (when they became of school age). Across a big, fine garden (vegetable) was the double house in one side of which lived Mr. & Mrs. Emmett Gullion and their two girls, Mildred and Louise. . . .  (Mildred married Joe Morris and was the mother of H.H. and Jo Campbell, and Louise of course married Mr. Harrison and had Emmett Hollis[?] and Tommy.  . . . 

The other side of the house was occupied by “S.” Williams (whose mother was Miss Sue’s sister), the father of Paul Williams and Agnes, who was my schoolmate. (She married O. M. Hardesty.)

Across the street from the double house lived the Gaunt family, I believe families, for I think both of them lived in the same house, one on each side. They were attorneys (and their name was pronounced Gant). “John M.” was a pompous “large-tummied” man without children; his wife was named “Chella.”  . . . “Jim” Gaunt was another matter. He was “slick looking” tho he had a wife and a little girl, Kathleen, and a boy, Alfred. His wife was sickly.  . . .   After his wife died, he married Eva Rice . . .  a very handsome girl, much younger than he, and they seemed to live very happily down in Tennessee.

                          ********************  To Be Continued  ********************

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Part 3: Sarah's House-to-House Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton, Kentucky; Neighbors Near 5th and Sycamore

In Part 3 of Sarah Eva Howe's "Book of Recollections," Sarah proceeds up 5th Street to Sycamore and picks up her stories about friends and neighbors in the Carrollton of her childhood. I have used 1880 and 1900 U.S. Census records to verify spellings, but some still may be off. Please forgive understand if Sarah's memories are not always on target. When she wrote these recollections for her daughter in 1943, Sarah was 60 years old and had not lived in Carrollton for about 30 years.

Again,  I will occasionally omit some of her descriptions and indicate each omission with an ellipsis. If you see your own ancestor's name followed by an ellipsis and want the omitted information, please email me at the address included under the "About" tab.

Maps make it easier to understand Sarah's descriptions. You can see a modern map of Carrollton online at, but I recommend that you also check the Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps for the time period. Sanborn maps of Carrollton in 1898 are the latest available online. Check for earlier maps, too.

As always, my own comments are in brackets. All parentheses are Sarah's own.

I don’t know who lived in the two cottages then on the left, on the “Aunt Lou” [Louisiana Winslow Howe] side on 5th & Sycamore, but on the other corner, opposite Aunt Josie’s (and they were living there; if not right then, they moved there soon after Katherine [Fisher, daughter of William Fisher and Josephine King Fisher] was born Oct 11th, 1889, just before Chandler [Howe, Sarah's brother] died, and on Mama’s 7th anniversary –- Aunt Josie & Uncle Will had been married 6 years -- they were married Oct. 1, 1883). [Apparently, Sarah got so distracted about Aunt Josie that she neglected to name the residents who lived on the other corner.] 

On the left side was the very large two-story frame known as “Vance’s Folly,” directly opposite the Fisher home. Mr. [David N.] Vance and his family had been gone for such a short time that their memory hung like a fragrance about it, and my cousins talked intimately of “Bessie” and the other children. I think it was empty for a year or so (and of course when we came to town). Mr. Vance . . . was the kindest, most hospitable and free-spending of men.  . . . He gave liberally to the church & the poor. (He was from Belfast, Ireland.) [Vance and his family may have left Carrollton before 1900. Sarah said they moved to Canada.]

Next to “Vance’s Folly” was Mr. Henry Winslow’s home. He had married Miss Lucy Cooper, from Shelbyville I believe. She was (it was whispered) in love with another man, Marshall Foree, brother of the Pryor Foree who married Sue Conn, also of Shelby County, but her father insisted on the “fine match” with Mr. Winslow. They had two children -- John Cooper, as old as Beverly Howe, and Pauline, born in '87 or '88, a beautiful, pale, blond child with very long curls.

As before mentioned, the Christian Church & the Grobmeier house across from it came
Carrollton Christian Church, 1889*
next. There was a vacant field where Dr. Donaldson’s house is.  . . .  The brick house next to it was bought by Mr. Albert Jett about 1905 -- I don’t know who lived there before that. Oh, the Vallandinghams lived there for almost four or five years before that, but I don’t know who was before them. Miss Katie and her parents moved from there (about the time I was married [December 1905]) to the house next to the Sixth Street school, and from there in 1908 to Mr. [Charles D.] Salyers house up on High Street [now Highland], the one that finally burned down in 1919. But when we first came to town, the “Vals” lived opposite the Masterson house and next to “Miss Sue” Kirkpatrick Davis (on the corner of 7th and High).  . . .  I don’t know whether there were any houses after the Berg house on the left of 5th beyond Seminar or not, but imagine the “Mattie King” house was; It looked pretty old. Of course the other houses were built much later, Mr. Casper Hill’s and the rest.

The Catholic School and Church (the old one -- the new one was just begun about 1902) and the cemetery behind them, and the vacant lot where the church was afterwards built occupied almost a whole square, just a small frame house or two were at the end of the street, and of course the houses on the other side were not there, except one frame one, where I believe the “Lafunts,” as they were called, lived (near where Hill’s grocery is). LaFontaine was their name; they were Alsatians, I believe, and among the few French people in town. Gretchen -- called “Lady Lafunt” -- married a Cincinnati man; another girl (Mary) married Claude Raney (father of the Claude Raney who was the basketball star). He was a faithful member of the Christian Church and raised all his children in it.

Out beyond what we long afterwards called Railroad Street [Polk Street], the only house I know of for sure was the Henry Kuhlman house, and the Beemer house across the street (at Taylor). Perhaps the Suetholtz house was built then. . . .  Just about 1890 Harry Kipping built the house where we lived, and he married his first wife, a lovely black-haired girl (I forget who she was), and his two daughters were born there. (Fred, I think, too.)

Farther out 5th St. was called “Skilletville” and only small scattered frame houses, dangerously near the shanties, were built there, and farther out was Andersonville, where only Negro cabins were to be found, out over the paths leading toward the river (Kentucky).

But over on 6th Street the town was already pretty well built up in 1890. Let’s go back to 6th and Seminar, across the street from the Gullion house, and the big house where Ed Cameron lives, I don’t know who lived there till they came (almost 1896, I guess).

On the right-hand corner, toward the south, was where Miss Anna Glauber and her parents and sisters lived. Old Mr. Joseph Glauber was the cutest old man; he kept the shoe store. John Glauber his assistant, later his partner, then successor, was a man out of a German
John Glauber at his store c. 1910.*
fairy tale, a real cobbler.  . . .  They had a wide, beautiful yard (where houses are now built) stretching to the Booker house. “Bob” Booker was a small, quiet-spoken man who kept [a saloon]  . . .  in town. He had a very nice, refined wife and a gentle, lady-like, pretty daughter, who because she lived across the street from Kate [Katherine] Salyers during her lifetime (that is, during the three or four years she lived in the 6th Street house) became an intimate friend of Kate’s sister, Josie King. She married, too, into a very good family -- George Lewis, one of the families prominent in the Methodist Church. . . .  His son was a real nice man, Leonard, or Len, Booker, and quite popular with the other young men of the town, but was not up to his sister.

Next to them was the house of Mr. Smith, Uncle John’s father; Uncle John was the oldest of the children (almost 27 in 1889). Joe was next in age, then his sisters, Alice and Ora and “Yulie” and Lucy. Alice and Ora were very talented as “couturiers” -- Alice was the best milliner Howe Bros. ever had (the first one, too), and Ora made beautiful dresses. “Yulie” married and went to live in Milton, but Lucy had a sad marriage. (Alice did, too). When we came to Carrollton, Uncle John’s father was dead, Alice was married, and Ora and Lucy and Joe and his wife lived in that home. Lucy married [about a year before] her boy, Carroll, was born. . . .
[Her husband apparently left Carrollton.] As soon as she could leave her child (who grew into a pale, pretty child with golden hair and whom she adored), she began teaching. She was a good teacher and ambitious and kept rising, till she finally became the first woman county school superintendent (about 1892), a wonder in those days. But soon after that, Carroll took sick and died. I believe she wore her black, long veil for four or five years for him. I well remember seeing her in it.

Across the street (Clay Street, though we never knew it as that) from Smith’s lived the Helmas[?] family, whose mother was a sister of Mrs. Elizabeth (Mrs. Ed) Grobmyer, with her children, of whom Katie was the oldest, Anna (Mrs. “Grocery” Ed Hill) next, and the two boys, John and Joe, youngest. 

Next to them lived the Raneys in a double house -- Mr. & Mrs. Raney Senior on one side, and Claude and his family on the other. On the corner of “Railroad” (Polk) Street was the house where the Abel family lived; Annie, who married John Horan (Bud’s mother), and her sister Phene[?] (they made nice dresses), who married a Wiesmiller; Theodore, the one who drove the bus to and from Worthville, and the sister who married Henry Luhn, who now lives in the house. I have heard that Annie and Phene gave the big altar statues, the crucifix and descent from the cross, to the new church, and earned the money just by their sewing. It is almost like “the alabaster box” of ointment. They were all such delicate girls, Annie looked the frailest of all, but she is still living.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••   To Be Continued   ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

* Images in this post are published with permission from Phyllis Codling McLaughlin, who included them in her book Carroll County (Images of America series, Arcadia Publishing, 2012). Image of the church courtesy the church congregation and staff. Image of John Glauber courtesy Carolyn Glauber.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Part 2: Sarah's House-to-House Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton – It Almost Makes Up for the Missing 1890 U.S. Census!

In the second chapter of Sarah Eva Howe's "Book of Recollections," we join Sarah at 5th and Seminary as she continues to take us from house to house, family to family, remembering Carrollton, Kentucky, circa 1890. Folks, this is as close to a replacement as we're likely to find for the missing 1890 census of the town!

As I transcribe this journal written by Sarah in 1943, I want to stay faithful to her writing – even her long, convoluted sentences full of parenthetical phrases. However, because Sarah was writing to her own grown-and-married daughter, she felt free to "tell it like it is" – or was –  according to her own memory. A few stories about her neighbors are unflattering. While I have the right to publish info and images from Sarah's scrapbooks and journals, I don't have the right – or desire – to publish anything that could cause hurt or shame among living descendants. After all, without proof, these stories are merely gossip.

Throughout this series of posts, I will indicate omissions with an ellipsis, a series of periods. If you read something about your own ancestor and want the omitted information, please email me so we can discuss it. My email address is under the "About" tab.

And now, on with Sarah's virtual stroll through Carrollton. As always, my own comments are in brackets. Numbers in brackets indicate endnotes for those who want clarification. All parentheses are Sarah's own.

From 5th Street on, there were no houses on Seminary that I know of until almost 1894 or 5, when the little brick on the corner was built, probably for Pearce Winslow and Maynie (Bond), his wife, for they were living there when Pearce . . . left her. Just in passing, isn’t it sad and strange that of the three most prominent families then in the Methodist Church, not a great-grandson of the names survives. Mr. Will Winslow’s son died, so did the child[1] Maynie bore Pearce after he left her; Mr. Henry Winslow left a son, Cooper, who never married. Mr. George [and] Mr. Jim left no children –- the girls of course, as Aunt Lou, had sons of different family names. Of the Howes, you know of course, Papa’s son[2] died, Uncle Joe’s boys[3] had no children, Aunt Sallie’s son[4] is a Froman, my children are Salyers[5]; Uncle John’s baby died, Aunt Lou’s and Uncle Will’s boys[6] had no sons. Of the Conns, the daughters had sons of different names, of course, and even in the Rowland family, with three sons, there was not a son born to any – only to one girl in the family, Louise, who married Harry Stringfellow. Looking around at all the multitude of babies I see, I think it isn’t fair somehow that there is not a Howe, a Conn, or a Winslow left of the old families by name among the youngest generation.
One house built on 5th Street was the Methodist Church parsonage. It was completed in 1899 
at 219 5th St. The first resident was the Reverend J.D. Redd.

But to go back to geography? topography? –– I am going to skip down 4th Street, on which no one lived that I remember except the Thoma family –- he was the harness maker, and his wife was so pretty. They had three boys and a girl. I’m not sure they were living in the house they now occupy (Mrs. Thoma). In fact I believe they bought it later, but they lived there in 1903, I know, or about the time Mabel graduated and married Charlie Griffith.

The Schuermans had moved to Carrollton about 1884, almost the time Mama came to live at Grandma Howe’s[7] home for a year, when I was little, for Aunt Sallie Howe, as well as several other girls, had quite fallen for Henry, who had a certain rough masculine charm, though a German ruthlessness with his employees (however, he was an impulsive, kindly fellow at heart, good to his family and the best of the three boys). About the time we came to Carrollton, he had won the heart of Ruth Winslow, tho the great opposition of her mother, who however afterwards was devoted to him. Will Schuerman had married Julia Berg, and their first child[8] was born late in 1890, I think. Julia had a brother, Bob Berg, but he never made much history except as a hard drinker, like Jim Winslow who was, however, of a far superior intellect and amiability. I suppose the Schuermans lived where Miss Hattie did, but they rebuilt the house several times or fixed it over.

Oh, I forgot! In the brick house where cousin Ruth and Henry [Schuerman] lived afterwards, Mr. James Lowe was living when we went there; he was an Englishman or Canadian, I forget which, but I remember him, a quiet, small, oldish man. His much younger half-sister[9] lived down near Grandpa Howe, and I played with the two boys Jim and Charlie, when I was living at Uncle Joe’s.

Now, coming from Seminary to Sycamore on Fourth St., across from the Schuerman house lived the Blessings, a remarkable German family of the most creditable kind (alas, almost extinct, it seems). The Schuermans were German but more well to do and not of a deeply religious or kindly nature like the Blessings, nor as eager for education. The house of this big family was on the same corner of 4th & Sycamore as our house (afterwards) was on 4th & High St. There was Mr. Blessing, who was a butcher and not highly educated himself, and Mrs., who was everything you ever read about a homely, hard working, ambitious-for-her-children immigrant mother. But I imagine she had a background, and certainly she had the drive. Mary (you remember her as Mrs. Told) was one of the first graduates of Carrollton High School –- she and Lena Smith and Lucy Wafford graduated together in exercises held at the 6th St. Schoolhouse in 1890, I believe, or thereabouts; Mr. Weaver was the principal, tho he left and Mr. Melcher came in the year I started to school (the fall of 1890; I may be a trifle off in these dates, but I can verify them later. The three graduation addresses were Mary’s in German, Lena’s in Latin, and Lucy’s in English.
A portion of Sarah's writing about the Blessing family, who lived at 4th & Sycamore in the 1890s.
The oldest Blessing son went on to college, was a Kappa Sig and I believe a Ph.D.; he was a very outstanding boy –- went to Swarthmore, I think. George, his name was. Mary married Mr. Told of Vevay; he came from a pretty good family -- his brother’s daughter, Mabel Told, used to visit them and she was a very attractive and [a] child who could both recite and sing –- one of those “infant prodigies” of the 90s. (Sallie Howe [the writer herself] was rather considered on the verge of one but I am thankful to say lacked some of the characteristics). . . . [The information is ambiguous here; apparently, Mr. Told left the family after three children were born.] Mary raised them (very creditably for the material at hand) and worked for years at Howe’s Store[10] to support them.

The second son graduated with John Howe[11] and went to “State College”[12] with Lewis Darling. I imagine he, too, was a Kappa Sig, for Lewis was. His name was Charlie Blessing; he was one of the “Dirty Dozen” with your Uncle Bob Salyers[13], cousin John Howe[11], Charlie and Oscar Kipping, and Allen Gullion and Frank Grace. Then it seemed the rest were not so outstanding – there were two deaf & dumb children, Lily and Violet (you remember Lilly; she was very smart, worked for years at the store). Both attended the Deaf Mute Institute, and Violet married another boy who went to school there. Clarence and Rose were around my age (Rose a little older), and Clarence was not as smart as the other boys. Rose was bright, but not like Mary. She married a Craft and taught school for years up at Hindman. The youngest boy was called Bolivar Buckner [Blessing], or "BBB" by most of the children, and there was another boy, Paul, a little older, rather effeminate, who was quite talented in music (but not a genius) and also, strangely enough, a fine mathematician, quite a wizard at it. He taught it afterwards at school somewhere. But the truth was that after the first four or five children came, they shouldn’t have had the others, for they had neither the health themselves or money for the education of the last ones. Buckner just ran wild, tho I believe he afterwards did very well when his brother George took him after the death of his parents.

Right across the street from the Blessings lived the Linnishes. He had only one leg, had lost his other I think in one of the wars in Germany. His daughter Lizzie (who married Clem Roche – they pronounced it Rick!). Come to think of it, they were probably Irish, tho her mother was German, I’m sure. All of them were Catholic, but the Blessings were Lutherans, I imagine. Anyway, with the Stamlers and other non-Catholic Germans they formed the backbone of the Presbyterian Church there at Carrollton. Lizzie was a very pretty girl, we could see them across from our house, as our hill-gardens touched at the bottom. Across from them on the fourth corner of 4th & Sycamore lived the Kreutzers. Mr. K was a protestant, I think, his wife was Catholic and raised the girls that way. One of his daughters married Bud Horan’s uncle, Jim, the handsomest Irishman who was ever 
seen on the streets of our fair city, it was said. (She was good-looking, too, and Elinor, their daughter, was a real beauty; she was Leonora’s age.) The other, Annie, married a brother of Laurence Grobmeier[14] of the family of which I told you earlier. (You remember their children Osmond[?] and Florian Grobmyer, I’m sure.) Annie was one of those flamboyant dressers, wore big hats turned up on the side, and was suspected of using a little rouge.

A queer combination made up the people who lived on the left on Sycamore (as you went down 4th to High). In a tiny frame cottage lived old Mrs. Rhodenbach, an aunt, I believe, of Mrs. Glauber, Bertha’s mother (those early Catholic families are hard to untangle as to relationship). She had a daughter who married an Irishman named Donnelly and had the boy I mentioned, Eddie, and two daughters, Maggie, who lived with us when Leonora was born (Mrs. Weismiller next to Miss Rose’s, you remember) and Katie, who married Ernest Lawrence

Next to her lived Ben Myers, who was a bricklayer, and his wife and a pretty niece, Grace Covington. I’m trying to think whom she married. Next lived the Schonlows[15].  . . . 

Next to the Schonlows (a step down an alley, but almost on the same street) lived the Washingtons, of color, with a whole family of children. These two houses were back of the church. On summer evenings we could sit in our back yard (at 4th & High) and see the Washingtons disporting themselves in their back yard, with enough distance to make it a lovely picture of the old south and Stephen Foster.[16] The littlest girl, Mesie, was a perfect little “topsy.” The old grandmother, a good old woman, who lived with them, fell down the steep back steps and broke her neck, but we weren’t looking over at the time, I’m glad to say. Alec was the name of the father. I’m “hazy” about the other side of the street of that square.

Of course, no one lived on 4th St. between Sycamore and High St. because those wonderful gardens stretched down from the houses on each street corner to a little stream which ran through a kind of culvert at the very depth of the little valley where the line fence ran. (When the “backwaters” came up, this filled out into a sizable stream.) And by the way, before leaving this part of town I find I didn’t mention the youngest Schonlow girl, Elizabeth, who married Ed Hill, the dairyman, and died with her second child, I believe. She was a very nice girl, too. His first wife was Laura Glauber, and of her family I will tell when we get to upper Sixth St. beyond Seminary, and there we might as well go after slipping out Fifth Street from High, first (and now we are getting down into where I lived). 

Leaving the Winslow and Donaldson homes to be described with High Street, Aunt Lou & Uncle Will lived at the same house then that Aunt Lou has lived in all her married life, but of course the place where the parsonage and the Robertson house and the one next to it are now was just their side yard and pasture, where we played many a happy hour. I don’t know who lived in the gray brick across the street, but the Goslees moved in there about 1891 (but when I first went to Mildred’s house, they were living on Main Street).

************** To Be Continued **************

Did you recognize any names or houses in today's post? If you have images of people or places and want them to be included, please send them to me via the email address under the "About" tab. I'll be glad to add them, with credit to you.

Several of the people named in this post were close neighbors and friends of Sarah's family. Go to the search bar at the top, enter a name, and click "search" to see if it appears elsewhere in this blog.

  1. The first child, as far as I know, was unnamed and died shortly after birth. The second child, William Beverly Winslow, died in 1907 at age 6. (Several Winslow families gave their children the name William Beverly, honoring the ancestor of that name who lived in Carrollton from 1814 to 1883.)
  2. Chandler Howe, Sarah's brother, who died 10 Nov 1889 at age 19 months.
  3. James Goslee Howe and George Thompson Howe, sons of Joseph B. and Sallie Goslee Howe
  4. Robert Hiram Froman, b. about 1885 to Sarah Varena Howe and Hiram M. Froman
  5. Sarah married William Levi Salyers on 14 Dec 1905
  6. Sarah's paternal uncle William Ficklin Howe and wife Louisiana "Lou" Winslow Howe had two sons, Winslow B. Howe and John Junior Howe. 
  7. Reference to Alice Ada Cost Howe, who was Sarah's mother and her children's grandmother.
  8. Henry Burg Schuerman, born 17 Feb 1889 
  9. Sarah later corrects this relationship to step-daughter.
  10. Howe’s Department Store was owned and operated by Sarah’s grandfather, father, and uncles.]  
  11. John Junior Howe (1879-1939), son of Sarah's uncle William Ficklin Howe
  12.  University of Kentucky, Lexington
  13. Robert King Salyers, Sarah's father's brother, who died while in his teens
  14. Possibly Grobmeyer; Sarah wrote one, then wrote the other over it.
  15. Sarah wrote that this family had several sons and three daughters, but she named only Rudy, Annie, Mamie [or Marnie?], and Elizabeth.
  16. This paragraph reveals attitudes of that time period. While I wish our ancestors hadn't had such attitudes, we can't change history. 

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Newly Discovered Writings by Sarah Eva Howe Take Us on a House-to-House Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton, Kentucky

Dear Readers,
After writing posts that shared Sarah Eva Howe's story from her birth in 1883 to sending her youngest child off to college 50 years later, I was planning to continue with stories about the adult children and of Sarah's later years.

But a Howe-Salyers descendant in Iowa found a treasure: dozens of loose pages full of Sarah's handwritten memories of Carrollton – and he gave those pages to me!

On those pages, Sarah names people and describes places and events of that town in that time. People today would likely come across their Carrollton ancestors' names in her writings. People who live in Carrollton now would recognize the streets, buildings, and landmarks she mentions.

That being the case, I feel compelled to take a break from the 1930s and return to the 1880s and '90s. Starting now and in the next few posts, we will visit 1890s Carrollton. Be warned. Sarah is not always kind in her opinions about some of the folks who lived there. She hints at attitudes that may be considered inappropriate today. Consider that my disclaimer.

And now: The beginning of Sarah's recollections of late-19th-century Carrollton, when she was about 6 years old – the age she is in the photo below. My clarifications of meaning and my uncertainties about interpreting her handwriting are noted in brackets. Near the end of the post, a modern map shows the area of town Sarah recalls in her writing.

In order to follow the story of our early years in Carrollton, it seems best to describe Carrollton . . . straight through town, from the river (the Kentucky) on to the “Ghent road” [apparently the road that is now Highland Avenue/US 42.] This was crossed, as now, by the numbered streets; Sycamore St. lay south of it, and Seminary beyond that; farther than Seminary seemed as the “farthest isles of the sea.” 
Sarah and her little brother Chandler, c. 1889

Seminary boasted few homes. I suppose Capt. Adcock’s was there, tho the family only swam into my ken when I remember “Daisy” as being in the 8th Grade, tho I heard Mildred mention “Aunt Leotah” and “Uncle Anson,” and I knew the latter at our church and in the drug store (Miss Sue’s brother, he was) and of course they lived there. The big house across the street, facing on 7th St., I forget who lived there, but the house next to it, afterwards Kirby’s, was our Methodist parsonage, considered really preposterously far from the church in those days when the parsonage was supposed to be next door. I think the Ginns lived next door even then. Mr. James Ginn was a [word unreadable] politician, Democrat of course, tho Harrison was President when we went there –- the county politics were Democratic. I think Mr. Ginn was county clerk for a long time. Mrs. Ginn was quite a prominent worker in temperance societies, which were soon quite a feature of our life. They had two boys, Bob and Earl. Bob was studying either medicine or dentistry –- I remember hearing them say nobody would think of having him, he was too young, tho he was called “Doctor.” Earl I knew real well later, tho he was at least 5 years older than I.

The Methodist minister at the time was Brother Nugent, from Mississippi, a fine pastor but not an interesting pastor; his wife and he both had lovely Southern accents; she seemed greatly his inferior in character, being very “gossipy,” of which more “anon.” They had one boy, Clarence (“J.C.”), who was indeed a splendid fellow and well liked by everyone (sometimes, alas, not the case with “preacher’s boys” of the day). 

These were on 7th St. near Seminary –- I don’t know whether Mr. And Mrs. Forbes were already living at the other corner or not, but I believe they were, as Theodore was already in school then. Mrs. Forbes was a daughter of Theodore Bates of Worthville, a really good family. Mr. Forbes was a pillar of the Presbyterian church and wore what is known as Dundreary or mutton chop, whiskers –- one of the few who did. (Of course, the fact that he was prominent in the 1st National Bank when all our family were completely tied up with Carrollton National made him anathema to us; added to this, it was reported on good authority that he had refused to attend the Methodist Church after one [visit], saying he “found no food for his soul” there. (Imagine the reaction of the Howe family!)
Sarah's handwriting about Mr. Forbes and his mutton chop whiskers and connection to 2st National Bank
[Picking up Sarah’s text here after an unreadable portion of a page]  . . . a story told of him by Miss Lou Sanders. When they were together in the first grade, he gave her a card on which he had written “Be my Valentine” (she says it took her years to realize why he didn’t buy a real one or put a stamp on it as most of the other boys did). Coming down to 6th Street (I believe there was only one house between, afterwards occupied by Miss Carrie Moreland, who lived there when she died by burning with splashed gasoline) on the corner was the low, long house occupied by the Gullions –- who were the current editors of the Carrollton Democrat. (Their entrance was on 6th St.) They had three boys: Allen, a very precocious, bright boy four years older than I, Carroll, one year older, and Walter, almost a year old in 1890. Mrs. Gullion was such a wonderful, outstanding woman that she deserves a page or two all for herself, and I shall have it later. This was Mr. Ed Gullion, and Mrs. Gullion was a Hanks, of the famous Kentucky family, and especially the Carroll County branch. All of them were all members of the Christian Church. Mr. Gullion’s father, from “the Ould Sod,” was Wyant O’Gullion (Allen’s middle name was Wyant.) Ed Gullion’s brother Emmett, was a fervent Methodist and longtime member of our church. He lived farther out 6th Street, across the street from [name unreadable]. His wife was a Campbell, from a prominent Northern Kentucky family. She had a sister who was almost a dwarf, who lived with her, a great wonderment to us children; the two daughters, Mildred and the baby Louise, were raised in the “faith” of their mother, Baptist. 

Indeed, the church lines were so sharply drawn that some spoke with regret of “mixed marriages” between Baptists and Methodists, and indeed it did often cause family quarrels and dissension. As to the few Protestant-Catholic marriages, these were considered real tragedies. One such marriage, however, was managed with some skill –- simply by the husband announcing that all his children were to be raised in the Methodist church –- and sticking to it. This was the family that lived catercorner on 6th Street (2nd from the corner) from the Ed Gullions –- Fred Kipping and his wife who had, when we moved there, two grown sons, both married, and two married daughters and two small sons, one six years, the other four years older than I –- Charlie [Kipping] and Oscar Geier [Kipping], named for his cousin, the young druggist of M.A. Geier and Company. These all were faithful attendants, with their father, of our church -– their placid Catholic, sunny-faced mother (Miss Kraut[?] from Madison, she was the aunt of Mrs. [?] in Lexington) seemingly never protested (no use anyway).

Across from the Kippings lived the Pryor girls and their mother in a rambling old frame house. They were the wife and daughters of a famous Civil War fighter (Confederate, of course). I don’t know of any house then built between 6th and 5th, but on the corner of 5th was the old low brick occupied by the Bergs, the old jeweler, his wife and two daughters, Julia and Tillie. Julia married (by 1890) Will Schuerman, and Tillie (the older, I believe) [married] one of the Dean boys, cousins of Miss Sue Browinski, and they lived out in the country on the Dean place, near Dean’s Woods, where we had the Sunday school picnics, now all a part of Butler Park. 
This portion of today's Carrollton map illustrates the segment of the town Sarah describes in her writings. Based on her description of the 1890s, the Methodist Church and the Christian Church were in the locations marked on this modern map. (Google Maps)
I think the Grobmyers were living in the big house on the corner then, and over on the other side the old Seminary took up the whole square. When we went [to school] there in 1890 it was a ghost school, the whole student body, high school and all, having been moved out to the new 6th St. one. The big yard, surrounded by a high iron fence, was used to pasture cows and for different kinds of ball games and children’s antics. The old frame house on the corner opposite Grobmyer’s I have no remembrance of, but I know it must have been there, with some one we knew living in it; there was no house between it and the Christian Church (newly built) on 5th St.  
Grobmyer home on 5th in Carrollton. With permission from Phyllis Codling McLaughlin, who published the image (courtesy Carolyn Glauber) in Carroll County (Images of America series, Arcadia Publishing)
Across from that church was the small brick occupied by Mrs. Grobmeier (they were cousins of Cass and Ed but spelled their name differently). It was this family (one of the boys was Arthur’s father and married Miss Katie Seppenfeld) and one [boy named Tim?] married Emma Brink and was Jeannette’s father. . . . This Mrs. Grobmeier was washing for the Seppenfelds when [some in the Seppenfeld family] took smallpox in the early '80s. Mrs. S. didn’t tell Mrs. G. about the illness but sent the bedclothes to her to wash as usual. Two Grobmeier children [caught smallpox and] died; the others also had it. For that reason Mrs. G. held out for years against the marriage of her son and Miss Katie. There was a baby of the family, Laurence, who went to school with me for several years, tho he was several years older. 

In those days the Catholic school children -- after confirmation -- came over to the “White school,” as they sometimes unthinkingly echoed the joking name given it by the Protestants. They were several years behind the corresponding grade generally, and I can still see the eager, obedient, slightly dull big boys and a few larger girls, in among our small fry in the 4th and 5th grades: George Abel (the twins’ father), Laurence, Eddie Donnely (Maggie’s brother) and others.

Also we had large children from the country schools, who sometimes started in the spring after their terms ended in February. Stella Carrico, who I am sure was Paul’s aunt or near relative, was in the second grade with me.

To Be Continued

In the next post we'll meet more of Sarah's neighbors and hear a bit more about entanglements between members of the local Methodist, Baptist, Christian, and Catholic churches. 


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Sarah's Baby Enters College: Memorabilia of Freshman Life at the University of Kentucky, 1933-1934

David Hillis Salyers II, the youngest child of Will and Sarah Eva Howe Salyers, made quite a name for himself at Henry Clay High in Lexington. He must have been a "Big Man on Campus" in high school by the time he graduated in 1933.

That fall he enrolled at the University of Kentucky. In those days, the college freshman year was steeped in traditions and rules that were intended, I thought, to put freshmen in their place – to deliver what my grandmother called a "considerable comeuppance" to new students who arrived from high school full of self-confidence and senior sensibilities. Apparently, I was wrong about that. Freshmen apparently basked in those traditions and rules.

For example, each freshman had to learn the college song, written just eight years before David started college.
Every freshman boy had to wear a cap and could be penalized if found on campus without it. This campus newspaper article explained:
The story ended: "Freshmen: Display your caps proudly! In wearing them, you are doing much more than merely distinguishing yourselves as freshmen. You are preserving a tradition of your University." His mother, Sarah, liked the caps herself. On Oct. 15, 1933, she wrote to her mother and sister:
David has just finished his fifth week at U of K and is quite a seasoned freshman now. In a few more days the freshies will have to begin wearing their caps and we are so glad, for it makes them look more "authentic."
 David, who like his siblings before him joined the staff of the Kentucky Kernal student newspaper staff, wrote this article about the history of the freshman cap:
Unfortunately, I have yet to find a photo of David in his freshman cap. I'm sure it was more attractive than a shaved head would have been!

David was a busy freshman! Here's a section of a newspaper clipping showing him
as a member of the university's Men's Glee Club, directed by Professor C. A. Lambert. Someone (probably Sarah) marked him with an "x."
As in high school, he participated in school drama productions. In his freshman year, he appeared in the university production of "Peter Pan." The following article, apparently from a newspaper in his home town of Carrollton, Ky., brags about him. The next item, the playbill's Cast of Characters, lists David in the starring role.
As mentioned in the Carrollton newspaper article, David was also a member of SuKY (an honorary student pep society) and a pledge (and later a full-fledged member) of Kappa Sigma fraternity. The next clipping from the Kentucky Kernel names members of the chapter's pledge class of 1933. Do you recognize any of your own ancestors on the list?

And, of course, there was sports. David attended college athletic events but, as far as I know, was not on UK teams (except, later, possibly tennis). Apparently he preferred watching basketball more than football. The scrapbook for his freshman year included these bits of basketball ephemera:
 I'm puzzled about the following piece. It seems to be an editorial statement that David wrote about college sports.

The scrapbooks also mention that David was for at least a semester a member of some sort of military drill corp. So many activities, yet apparently he took a robust academic schedule and made better than average grades. Like his siblings, it seems the busier he was, the higher his achievements.

Because it is fascinating to compare costs of times gone by to costs today, I'll close by posting the receipt for David's first semester at UK. His $47 cost for fees in 1933 represents $506 in today's dollars – a 2430.8 percent inflation rate. I don't know what "fees" covered in 1933 and if tuition was included in that category. According to the College Board, the average for tuition and fees at a public, in-state college/university in the 2017-2018 was about $5,000 per semester, so $506 sounds pretty good!
Note the headline pasted over one corner of the receipt. Imagine UK with only 2,347 students!

Now that we have all four of the Salyers children through high school and into college, I'm hoping readers will guide me on where this blog goes from here. As I mentioned in the previous post, I recently acquired pages and pages written in the 1940s by "The Scrapbooker," Sarah Eva Howe. The pages record her memories of childhood in Carrollton. While I have not yet read this "new" memoir, I anticipate it will build on stories told in the early scrapbooks, adding more names, dates, and places – and adding new stories as well. Where shall we go next, dear reader? Do we continue watching Sarah's four children grow up, get jobs, serve in the military, fall in love, and marry? Or do we double back to pick up Sarah's memories of the 1890s before picking up again where we left off in 1933? I'm eager to hear your opinion. Just click "Post a Comment" below.