The Reuben Curd family graveyard is located at the gates of the E. W. Brown Generating Station on Dix River Road in Mercer County. In the 1960’s this property was known as the University of Kentucky Experimental Farm, formerly the Henry Ison farm on the Dix River. Since one side of the driveway slopes down rather far, it wasn’t obvious where the graveyard was located. We drove to the gate to ask, thinking it was perhaps inside the gate, not realizing this was a restricted area. Thankfully we were allowed to turn around and drive out and found the cemetery down the hill by the drive.
Only four gravestones are in this small cemetery, surrounded by a wire fence. Reuben J. Curd, husband, and Susannah M. Curd, wife, and two infant children are buried here. But, as always, there’s more to the story.
In the 1850 census of Mercer County, Reuben, 13, is living with his parents, John and Mary Curd, and siblings Susan, 15; Joseph, 11; Rebecca, 6; Jeremiah, 3; and Edward, 1. All family members are listed as born in Missouri. But in later census Reuben is said to have been born in Kentucky. A little more research will be needed.
Reuben and Susannah, both with last name Curd, possibly cousins, married in Jessamine County, Kentucky, May 23, 1855. Jessamine and Garrard counties are just across the Dix River, where it runs into the Kentucky River, a short distance from the old cemetery.
In the 1860 census of Mercer County, Reuben and Susannah are both 23; one daughter, Frances, 4, is listed in the household. Susannah died May 23, 1865, possibly due to childbirth since daughter Ella Nora was born that year.
December 17, 1867, Reuben Curd marries again, this time to Susan Belle Cook, of Mercer County. She is a daughter of Rev. Strother Cook and Lucy Jenkins.
In the 1870 census Reuben is 33 and Susan B. is 23. The daughter by his first wife, Ella Nora, is 6 and Strother Cook, a son of six months, are listed. In 1872 a son, Luther Truehart Curd is born, and daughter Lucy Belle Curd in 1874. Son Reuben Munday Curd, known as Reubie, was born in 1877. The youngest daughter, Amy Ruby Curd, was born in August 1878, and had died by the end of December of that year.
Two family members are listed in the 1880 Mercer mortality schedules, a list of those persons who died during the year ending May 31, 1880. Many people are confused by this and assume 1880 is the death date. Reuben Curd, aged 42, died in July 1879 of tuberculosis, seen by Dr. Price. In October of the same year Reubie, aged 2, died of croup, also seen by Dr. Price. These deaths occurred in 1879, as listed on the gravestones.
Of the eight children of Reuben Curd, only John C. and Ella Nora, from his first wife, and Strother Cook, Luther Truehart and Lucy Belle, from his second wife, lived past childhood. John Coleman Curd lived long enough to marry and have a son, Lawrence, before his death in 1881. He is buried in the Curd Cemetery with his grandfather.
Ella Nora Curd married William David Scrogham, and Lucy Belle Curd married John William Ison. Strother Cook Curd married Mary Jane King and had two children – Hannah Bell and Reuben Davis Curd. Luther Truehart Curd married Amanda Ellen Smith and had four children – Mary Bell, Ella Truehart, Nowlin Moore and James Garr Curd. Susan Belle Cook Curd remained a widow for 42 years, raising the children and keeping the family together. She died March 28, 1921, and is buried in Shawnee Run Baptist Cemetery with her parents, near Burgin.
There are many members of the Curd family located in Mercer County. Curdsville Road in the Burgin area is named for them.