Sunday, July 29, 2018

Part 7: Sarah Eva Howe's Stroll Through 1890s Carrollton — Friends Who Lived in the Area of the County Courthouse

In this final chapter in the series, Sarah Eva Howe continues to recall her neighbors in the area bounded by Main, High (now Highland), Fourth, and Sixth.

As before, she is addressing her memoir to her daughter, Mary Alice Salyers Hays. Her references to "Dad" mean Mary Alice's father, William Levi Salyers. "Papa" is Sarah's own father, Robert James Howe.

Miss Kate and Miss Jinny[?] Eblen lived in the little double house next to the church, and they owned it and rented out the other side. When we came there, the brother of Miss Kate and his family lived there — he had two sons, Frank and Homer (and Homer was in my room at school), but not long after that several other families in succession lived in it — the Staples family, I believe, were next (you remember our Mary Hill married Lyter Staples — “Tuff” we called him? He worked for Dad and thus met Mary. 
Carroll County Courthouse circa 1890. Photo from Carroll County by Phyllis Codling McLaughlin (Arcadia Publishing, 2012); courtesy Darrell Maines.
The Court House, of course, took up the whole square from Court to Fifth; but just down on Court lived the Logeman family (whose mother was a Huhn, “Augie’s” daughter ...) and farther down the street was the engine house and near it was the blacksmith shop of the Logan brothers. (The city hall was built later on, during the nineties, also the band stand in the courthouse square, when “Prof. Gentry” organized a town band and gave concerts on summer nights (about ’92 or ’93).

On the other side of High Street between 4th and 5th, as I said, was a row of good brick houses. On the corner stood the McCann house; old Mr. Allen McCann, his wife and his sister (or sister-in-law) and a niece lived there. Mr. Baker’s fine new house came next; he had two children (had lost one boy), Rose and Pryor (who was about Dad’s age).

Next to this was the house where Mr. Will Winslow and his wife Kate, who was a Fayette County lady, lived; however, they left Carrollton about ’92, and Dr. Hiner and his family lived there for several years, not wanting to go to the rather dilapidated and far-out parsonage (tho they were there for a short while) on 7th Street. After they left, the Orr family came down from Ghent and settled there, living there for many years, either they or Mrs. Lee’s family (Mrs. Ora’s daughter).

Next lived the Glaubers – Mr. John and his mother and his two brothers, Fred and Henry, and his sister Bertha. (It was from them in ’93 that I got my longed-for first dig, Solon.)

I think the Sanders family was already living in the “Holmes” house. Next, Mrs. O’Donnell (for she had remarried) and the three daughters, Betty, Sallie and Lou (who was there about ’93). No, of course not! They didn’t move there till after the death of Dr. Meade; he was living there then. (I must find out where the Sanders family did live; Charlie K. will know.) Dr. Prentice Meade (for whom all the Prentices in the county, black and white, were named) was a very fine doctor, but when we came there he was at the end of his life — in fact, I believe he died about 1891, and a relative, Dr. Lyter Conn, took his practice but was never a really trusted doctor to the “best people,” tho many Lyters were named for him, including, I think, Lyter Donaldson! (He was someway kin to them, too, I believe. I must find out this connection.) Anyway, I don’t believe the Sanders family moved there till at least ’93 or ’94, but Dr. Homes married Bettie Sanders, and they were all living there when Philip was born in the summer of 1896.

On the corner of 5th & High lived, of course, the Donaldson family. I don’t know whether he was called “Judge” then or not. (His wife was Sue Giltner, aunt of Mr. Mike Giltner and Aunt Sue Salyers) and there were three boys and a girl, Velma. Lyter was born the year we came there.)

I am going to stop this installment of the history at the corner, before we cross to the Winslow house — because there will be so much to say about that! However, I am going to go back a square and tell of a few families who lived on 4th Street below the Baptist Church on both sides. Nearest to the Kellar house lived Mrs. Losey and her mother — Mr. Losey with Mrs. Losey, and Mrs. Winter and her little girl Malina, with Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Losey’s mother — it was a double house. Mr. Losey was the chief salesman of the men’s side of the store [Howe Brothers] and was bookkeeper as well in his “spare time.” Mrs. Losey was a fashionable dressmaker and had a little building for her shop erected at the side of the “old store.” They were all from Mississippi and had accents you could cut with a knife! It seems to me the Moormans[?] lived down there on that side (Miss Mary’s people) for a long time, and at the corner was a big livery stable. I know I should remember someone else down there, and probably will later.

On the other side, from the church on, there was built a small house used as the Baptist parsonage; below that lived the Welch family (one of the girls married John Clahue[?] and one [married] Henry, his brother); and in an identical house next to it lived Mike Grasmick and his wife. She was a fair-haired, retiring sort of person. . . . 

Also in one of the little houses lived Mr. & Mrs. Siersdorfer and her daughter Mary.  ...    They were very intelligent. They looked like Dutch people. The father was a cousin of the “show people” whose shop was on Main at Court.
Somewhere along there lived the Lees, of which George, the father, was editor of the News, and Somers, the oldest boy, was Dad’s friend.
Louis M. and Margaret (Kurre) Siersdorfer. They married 7 June 1910, so that doesn't fit with Sarah's memory of the Siersdorfer family living "in one of the little houses" in the 1890s. In the 1900 U.S. Census, a Louis Siersdorfer is living with his mother and his brother John in a house between the Frammes and the Grobmyers and not far from the Donaldsons. Another household of Mrs. G. Siersdorfer and daughter Mary were neighbors of Mr. and Mrs. Mike Grasmick, the family Sarah mentioned. A genealogical mystery for another day. Photo contributed by Del Brophy and published in Carroll County by Phyllis Codling McLaughlin (Arcadia Publishing, 2012); used with permission.
So abruptly end the pages of Sarah's neighborhood recollections. If you found your ancestors in one of the seven posts in this series, I'm glad. If your family was in Carrollton but is not accounted for in this series, please remember that Sarah was writing her memories of 50 years before. She no doubt forgot some of her neighbors of the 1890s and their precise locations.

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

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. 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.1 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’s2 friend, but he died. ... 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 Joe3 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.

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.) She 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 Kellers] 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 Lizzie4 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 and horses back and 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. Winslow5 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. 

1An inside joke among Masons is that a candidate for membership must "ride a goat" as part of an initiation or degree ritual. Freemasonry has never required any such thing, but members often make jokes about it to initiates prior to the ceremony.
2Sarah's father Robert James Howe (1855-1910)
3Sarah's paternal uncle William Ficklin Howe (1846-1916) 
4Sarah's paternal aunt Elizabeth M. Howe, who died in 1869 

     ************************ 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 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. King1. 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 Marlette family, who seem to have moved out there from upper Main Street — as both George and 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 [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 was 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 in Louisville). They were there just a little while after we came to live at Uncle Joe’s,2 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's3 good friend when he was in school and even afterwards in Lexington where Harry was in business.

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

1James Guthrie King, grandfather of Sarah's future husband William Levi Salyers
2Joseph Brown Howe, brother of William Levi Salyers
3Sarah's son Robert King Salyers (1907-1977)

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 to her daughter's father and Sarah's husband, William Levi Salyers.

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.

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
Next to Wilsons, between them and the Salyers1 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 [the 1940s], opposite Forbes’s on 7th and Seminary. Uncle Tom Salyers2 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 Mr. 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  ********************

1Charles David Salyers (1849-1926), Sarah's future father-in-law
2Thomas D. Salyers (abt 1858-?), brother of Charles David Salyers


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 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.

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.

I don’t know who lived in the two cottages then on the left, on the “Aunt Lou1 side on 5th & Sycamore, but on the other corner, opposite Aunt Josie’s2 (and they were living there; if not right then, they moved there soon after Katherine3 was born Oct 11th, 1889, just before Chandler4 died, and on Mama’s 7th anniversary — Aunt Josie and Uncle Will had been married six 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 and the poor. (He was from Belfast, Ireland.) [Vance and his family left Carrollton, possibly 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 Howe5, and Pauline, born in '87 or '88, a beautiful, pale, blond child with very long curls.

As before mentioned, the Christian Church and 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. Salyers6 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 I 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 Kentucky River.

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 Salyers7 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.3 She [the daughter of Bob Booker] 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. and 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   ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

1Louisiana Winslow Howe (1852-1944), wife of Sarah's uncle William Ficklin Howe (1846-1916)
2Josephine "Josie" King (born abt 1846), daughter of James Guthrie King (1829-1919) and Mary Catherine Mayfield (1840-?); Married William "Will" Fisher in 1883
3Katherine Fisher (1889-?), daughter of William Fisher and Josephine King Fisher
4Chandler Harper Howe (1888-1889), Sarah's brother
5Sarah's first cousin Beverly Winslow Howe (1885-1941), son of William Ficklin Howe and Louisiana Winslow Howe
6Charles D. Salyers (1849-1926), Sarah's future father-in-law
7Katherine "Kate" King (1857-1883), first wife of Charles D. Salyers; mother of Sarah's future husband William Levi Salyers (1878-1944)

* 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.