Family Stories

Squire W. S. Aldridge Lives Long Life – Boyle County

Winfield Scott Aldridge and Martha Rachel Hamilton were married April 29, 1873, in Boyle County, Kentucky.  P. F. Webb was bondsman.  According to a note written on April 28th, John Hamilton gives consent for his daughter Martha Rachel to married Mr. Scott Aldridge.  The note was witnessed by P. S. Ray.  W. S. was the son of Sandy Aldridge and Cynthia Anderson, taken from his death certificate.

In the 1880 census of Boyle County, W. S. is 32, born in Kentucky, his father in Virginia and his mother in Tennessee.  Martha R. is 27, she and her parents born in Kentucky.  Three children are included in the census record, John H., 6; George T., 3; and Carrie A., 6 months.  Winfield is listed as a worker in a flour mill.  In the house next door lives Susan J. Hudson, 42, and Irena H. Aldridge, 35, a weaver in a woolen mill.  Susan is a widow and Irena is single.  This leads us to believe they are sisters of W. S.

In 1900 W. S. Aldridge is a magistrate and census enumerator for his district.  He now works at a sawmill and is 52; Martha is 47.  The couple has been married 27 years; Martha has given birth to 10 children, 7 are living.  Five children (none from the 1880 census) are listed – Sophia, 18; Sadie R., 15; James Ray, 10; Jeff B., 8; and Frank, 6.  I believe daughter Carrie died between 1880 and 1900 – I found no further record of her, and the two older sons, with the five children in the 1900 census give us seven living children.

Two years later Martha dies ‘of a lingering illness.’  Several children survive her, but they are not listed.

Martha R., wife of W. S. Aldridge, born May 20, 1853, died August 2, 1902.  Perryville Cemetery, Boyle County, Kentucky.

In the 1910 census W. S. and four children are listed.  I believe daughter Sadie died within that time period since she is not with the family.

Beginning in 1912, as with many small newspapers of the time, little bits of information are given about the residents of the county, and W. S. Aldridge is no exception.  May 17th of 1912 announces that, ‘Squire W. S. Aldridge has installed a new engine and will grind corn every Saturday.’

In October of that same year a notice gives W. S. the title of ‘Finest Apples Yet Seen.’

Esquire W. S. Aldridge, of the Parksville neighborhood, brought to the Advocate office this morning the finest apples that have been seen this year, either foreign or home-grown.  They were of the Black Ben Davis variety and were beautifully colored and all of an unusually large size and very symmetrical.  They were raised right in the knobs and Squire Aldridge believes that there is great wealth awaiting capitalists who will take up land in that vicinity and turn it into orchards.  This is worth the serious consideration of farmers who have lands in that vicinity.

I am very familiar with the knobs that are mentioned in the above article.  Parksville is located in the southwestern part of Boyle County.  To the west is Marion County and to the south is Casey County.  I grew up in Marion County and have many times rode through the areas of these ’rounded hills.’  There is not a prettier drive to be found.

In June of 1914, sons of W. S. Aldridge open a restaurant

The Advocate Messenger, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Friday, June 19, 1914

New Restaurant

Messrs. Jeff and Frank Aldridge, sons of Squire W. S. Aldridge, of Parksville, will, on next Tuesday, June the 23rd, open their restaurant in the Mills building, just west of the post office in this city.  Everything is brand new and up-to-date.  Their place will be known as the Dairy Restaurant, and they tell us, the service will be first-class.  The members of the firm are both young men of good habits.  They are industrious, are deserving and should succeed.

Perhaps the sons were not the best at running a restaurant since in October of the same year it was sold.  Perhaps it did not give them enough time for running their farms or other businesses.

In August 7th edition of the 1914 Advocate is a notice about a storm that hit earlier in the week.

‘The storm last Monday afternoon did much damage in the vicinity south and south-east and south-west of this place.  Hail fell in large quantities.  The crop of corn and tobacco belonging to Squire W. S. Aldridge was almost ruined.  Also the crops of Messrs. L. S. Thomas, Henry Abbot, William Montgomery were seriously injured.  We understand the hail was very destructive in the Alum Springs community.’

May 1, 1915, W. S. Aldridge was involved in a serious accident.  ‘While returning home from this place, carrying a glass oil can, he fell, breaking the can, a piece of which severed an artery in his arm between the wrist and elbow.  Before a physician could be called, he bled profusely.  The arm was horribly lacerated, and several stitches were necessary to close the wound.  While doing nicely, he is still weak from the loss of blood.

In September of the next year Squire Aldridge was suffering asthma.  Could this be a result of working in flour and saw mills in earlier years?

A joyous occasion occurred in August of 1917.

The Advocate Messenger, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Tuesday, August 28, 1917

Ford-Aldridge

Miss Sophia E. Aldridge, of Parksville, and Mr. Allen K. Ford, of Perryman, Maryland, surprised their numerous friends by motoring to her brother, Mr. George Aldridge, at Danville, Monday, August 27th, and were married by Rev. Dr. Horace Turner at eleven thirty o’clock.  After a very elaborate dinner at Mr. Aldridge’s they left on No. 6, for points of interest in the North and will afterwards be at their home in Perryman, Maryland.

The bride is the beautiful and attractive daughter of Squire W. S. Aldridge, of Parksville.  The groom is an industrious young man of Maryland.  Their many friends wish them a happy and prosperous life.

1918 was a year of several points of interest in W. S. Aldridge’s life.  After a hard winter his apples survived.

The Advocate Messenger, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Friday, April 12, 1918

Squire W. S. Aldridge, of Parksville, stated to a Messenger reporter that the fruit was not killed.  He had examined the apples and pears, they were surely safe.  He added that some of the early strawberries were killed, the late varieties were not.  Peaches, he said, were killed during the extreme cold last winter.  Squire Aldridge is giving much time to fruit growing.  Is increasing his orchard each year, is well posted and what he says is authentic.

August 24, 1918, a seventy-first birthday lunch was planned.

An elaborate luncheon was served at the home of Squire W. S. Aldridge last Saturday in honor of his seventy-first anniversary.  Only the immediate family was invited.  The day was a most enjoyable one.  Squire Aldridge is enjoying almost perfect health and his numerous friends will all hope that he will live to celebrate many more anniversaries, yes and then some more.

Later in the year Mr. Aldridge was struck with Spanish flu, but miraculously recovered.  In early January of 1920 he was ill with pneumonia, but again survived.

In July peaches were ripe in the Aldridge orchards.  ‘This reporter is indebted to Squire W. S. Aldridge and son, of Parksville, for a box of peaches grown on their fruit farm.  They were extra-large, of fine quality with a flavor that can not be excelled.  We understand that their crop of peaches is fairly large and are the soundest they have ever grown.  They have several hundred trees, possibly not all bearing yet.’

Nine years later, at the age of 92, Squire Aldridge’s body is slowly giving way.  April the first of that year his farm was sold.  He went to Louisville to stay with his son Jefferson and wife.  Returning to Boyle county at the end of the month, W. S. had not improved.  He lived with son George and wife and was in a very weakened condition.

W. S. Aldridge died October 24, 1929.

The Advocate Messenger, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Thursday, October 24, 1929

Aldridge

Mr. W. S. Aldridge, 82 years old, died this morning at the home of his son, Mr. George Aldridge, in West Danville.  He had been a resident of Boyle County for 60 years and engaged in the profession of farming.  He was a member of the Perryville Christian Church.  He is survived by the following: George Aldridge, Danville; John Aldridge, Indianapolis, Ind.; J. B. Aldridge, Louisville, all sons; and a sister, Mrs. A. K. Ford, of Maryland.  Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Notice that Mrs. A. K. Ford (Sophia) was a daughter, not a sister.

W. S. Aldridge, born August 24, 1847, died October 24, 1929.

Thus ends the life of a man who lived it to its fullest, enjoying his family, his role as farmer and his friends.

 

Any thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s