Hugh McElroy, born September 19, 1795, died February 8, 1877. Susan Frances, wife of Hugh McElroy, born December 29, 1807, died June 22, 1844. ‘She had a smile for the joyous, an ear of sympathy for ill, and in act of kindness for all within her reach.’ Cemetery Hill, Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky.
If only all ancestors left diaries with the everyday happenings and the history they remember about their ancestors!
Pioneer History of Washington County, Kentucky, by Orval W. Baylor and Others, from newspaper articles
Hugh McElroy’s Diary
January 1, 1870. This day I have read a long account of my grandfather, Anthony Hundley, and his family in the Christian Observer of December 22, 1869. They moved from Charlotte County, Virginia, to this country in the year 1793, seventy years ago. He settled on Pleasant Run near Sandusky’s Station. The Indians were very troublesome on the road which they traveled. They traveled with a large number of emigrants, as alone was very dangerous. There was not a human habitation except a fort at Laurel River beyond the Cumberland Mountains and between Beams station at Crab Orchard in Kentucky. Indian deprivations along the line were frequent. On the route they saw the newly made graves of a large number of persons who had been massacred at night while encamped after a day’s journey. My mother, then a young lady, and seventeen, was one of the company. About the same time, my grandfather, Hugh McElroy, moved from Pennsylvania to this place and built the first brick house in the county. Many of the bricks are now in this house I now live in, between the weatherboards and plastering. My father helped to make them before I was born. He married my mother in 1794 and I was born in 1795, 74 years ago.
June 30, 1873. Sixty years the 20th of next November I came to this town (Springfield) to live, as a store boy with Mr. Elias Davison. I lived with him six years. I commenced my fourth year with him before I lost my first whole day. My salary the first year was $50, the last year $100. This has been a very wet, rainy Sabbath day and the first time I have been detained from Sunday School this year.
Deaths, 1873. Ben E. Montgomery died last October, age 80 years. Judge Booker on May 11th, age 87 years. May York Sandusky on May 21st, age 80 years. All these were neighbors. Old Mrs. Briles died on the 9th June, age 97.
November 1, 1874. Died this day, cousin William McElroy, 99. July 18th Mr. Charles Powell died, age 83, and Presley Briles, age 74.
This day, September 19, 1873, I am 78 years old, have lived in Springfield 60 years, have been a school teacher over 40 years and superintendent over schools 20 years. The cholera has been bad in several counties. Lebanon and Marion County has suffered much, 84 deaths, most in the county. Our town has escaped and very few cases in the county. The Yellow Fever is very bad in the towns south, particularly in Memphis and Shreveport.
In October 1871, while at Louisville, I met an old uncle, Joel Hundley, which I had not seen for 20 years, he had come to Louisville to see his sister, Aunt Jane Thomas. Courier Journal describes the meeting as follows: A Romantic Meeting. Mr. Joel Hundley and Mrs. Jane Thomas, as brother and sister, met in this city at the house of John H. Thomas, son of the venerable lady on Saturday last, after an absence of 54 years. Mrs. Thomas was born in Virginia at the Charlotte Courthouse, in 1793, he was born in 1791, making her 78 years old and him 80. She arrived here from her residence in Litchfield, Kentucky, and he, being informed of the fact, started from his home in Mt. Washington, after a late breakfast, and walked to Louisville, a distance of 21 miles to see her. The meeting of so long a separation was a happy one. His walk is remarkable, considering his advanced age, but it is not the first long tramp he has taken. In olden times, before steam boats and railroads were known, and when flat boats were the only means of transportation down the river, he often made the trip from New Orleans to Kentucky on foot. Mrs. Thomas is the mother of O. W. and J. H. Thomas. Mr. Hundley is the father of Doctor Hundley.
September 19, 1874. This day is my birthday, 79 years old. How thankful I ought to be. I never had better health in my life and have no pains in my limbs, yet I cannot walk without help, owing to my getting crippled ten years since. I ride to my counting room in town every day and have missed but one or two days from Sunday School this year.