Family Stories

Hospitality, Kentucky Style

Note by Phyllis Brown:  The following is a letter to my great-grandmother, Frances Barber Linton Montgomery, a great-granddaughter of Captain John Linton.  Hugh Linton was her cousin, a great-great-grandchild of the Captain.  They corresponded for many years – with interspersed trips to Springfield – I’m not sure that Great-Grandmother Frances visited Hugh in Hopkinsville, she being older by sixteen years.

Two things I know about her – she loved genealogy – wrote to many of her cousins gathering information about their ancestors – and did what research she could by other means.  I have many of her genealogy notes – written in her own hand – stories about the Captain, family lists and other things.

The other thing I know about her is she was a true southern lady whose hospitality knew no bounds.  Frances loved to cook and entertain people in her home.  My mom tells the story that one day a salesman stopped by the house at lunch time and Frances invited him to stay for the noon meal.  Alice, her daughter (and my grandmother!) was so embarrassed that they had only salt pork, biscuits, greens and potatoes.  But the salesman declared it was the best meal he had eaten in quite a while.  Sometimes it’s not exactly what you eat, but who you share the meal with!

November 18, 1941

Dear Cousin Frances,

We arrived home about 5:30 to 6:00 Sunday afternoon, in good shape and having had a wonderful trip there.

I don’t know which of us three had the best time; we were all treated royally by you and your good family, and even the weather was perfect for us.  It was a most enjoyable trip and visit for us, and we want to thank you, Cousin Margaret and Cousin Bob and both the boys for it.  We have really found homefolks in your family; and it reminds us of the days when we would go back to the home of my father and mother in Logan County, when they had time to talk and live in the unhurried atmosphere, different from that of the last few years.

It was a treat to get all the information you had for us.  We enjoyed the old traditions that you and Cousin Maggie O’Bryan told us of the old Captain and his home life, and to see your old treasures in the corner cabinet there.

Lydabel was very much taken with your husband, and kept talking about what a kind expression he had and the twinkle in his eye, and was distressed that he had difficulty with his hearing and recalled her mother’s same trouble for many years.

We trust you all keep well and enjoy life.  Let as many of you as can get off, come down to visit us, and we will take you to see the Logan County kin, who by the way live some 40 miles closer to Springfield than we in Hopkinsville do.

With love from Lydabel and Frances and thanks for your many hospitalities.

Your Cousin,


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