Tag Archives: Robertson County Kentucky

Johnson Creek Covered Bridge in Robertson County

During our genealogy trip a few weeks ago Ritchey and I visited the Johnson Creek Covered Bridge in Robertson County.  It is about four miles north of Blue Lick Battlefield State Park, in the southern part of the county.  We drove east on US68 from Harrodsburg, turned left onto Hwy 165 after entering Robertson County, then right onto Hwy 1029.  The bridge is just a few miles up the road.

Built in 1874 by Jacob Bower, it is the only known example of Robert Smith’s truss system in the state.  In 1912 Jacob’s son, Louis, added an arch on each side for additional support due to increased traffic – I suppose it went from horse and buggies and wagons to cars!

A fire in 1910 partially destroyed the bridge, but it was rebuilt.  Pictures in 1966 show a ramshackle bridge that looks too dangerous to cross.  It was reconstructed in 2007-2008.

The bridge is 114 feet long and 16 feet wide.

Our visit was on a pleasant day, not too hot, giving plenty of time for photos and for Ritchey to find his geocache.

Even though there is a picnic table outside, we chose to sit in the middle of the bridge to eat our lunch, enjoying the breeze!  Happy to visit another place in Kentucky’s history.

James Marshall and Jennie Lee Rankins Buried in Mt. Olivet Cemetery

James M. Rankins, 1844-1917.  Jennie Lee, his wife, 1854-1918.  Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Robertson County, Kentucky.

James M. Rankins was the son of Marshall Rankins and Mary Steel, born June 4, 1844, according to his gravestone, 1849 according to his death certificate.  He died September 25, 1917 of stroke.

Jennie Lee was the daughter of E. A. Lee and Mary Lee, born December 3, 1853, according to her death certificate, 1854 on her gravestone.  She died November 18, 1918, from diabetes.

In the 1860 census of Mason County James M. was 15 years of age, living with his parents, and three older brothers – John A., 23; Thomas J., 19; and George W., 17.  In the 1870 census of Fleming County, Jennie, 16, is living with her mother, Mary, 48, and sisters Sarah, 19; Emma, 14; and Mary, 8.  Her father, E. A. Lee, must have died about 1862/1863 – possibly during the Civil War?

James and Jennie married after the 1880 census was taken, since she still lived with her mother at that time.  From a short notice in the newspaper we can estimate that marriage in March of 1882.

The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Thursday, March 30, 1882

There are three children of the couple listed in census records – James L., Grover C., and Louise N.  In the 1900 census, when these three are listed with their parents, Jennie is listed as having five children, three living; the couple is shown as married 18 years.

In The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky, of Monday, February 13, 1893, is a notice that ‘Morris, the four-weeks old son of Mr. and Mrs. James Rankins, died Saturday afternoon at 4 o’clock, of pneumonia, and was buried yesterday.  The parents have the sympathy of their friends in their loss.’  I found nothing about the fifth child.

In 1910, only James and Jennie are in the census records for Robertson County .

In one newspaper article I found James Rankins was noted as ‘Colonel’.  Was he in the Spanish-American War?  He would have been an extremely young colonel for the Civil War.

James drove what was known as a ‘bus line in Maysville.  In January of 1903 the icy roads were hazardous and he and his passengers narrowly escaped injury.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Monday, January 12, 1903

He purchased Mr. C. T. Anderson’s interest in this line in 1895, and was then known as Trigg & Rankins.  In other articles I found that he owned a livery stable on Third Street, which he sold in 1885.  in 1886 he was Deputy Marshall.

In 1885 he and several others helped Charles Johnson, an ex-confederate, renting a house for Mr. Johnson and his family during their time of need.  Evidently James Rankins was very conscious of helping others, as well as being civic minded.

The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Saturday, November 21, 1885

James Rankins also carried the mail between Mt. Olivet and Maysville.

The Public Ledger, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Monday, February 15, 1904

In a 1906 article about his son Grover, he is also noted as Colonel.

The Public Ledger, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Saturday, February 17, 1906

I could not find an obituary for James M. Rankins, but did find one for Jennie Lee Rankins.

The Public Ledger, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Monday, November 25, 1918

 

 

 

Two Counties, Six Cemeteries, Four Covered Bridges and a Battlefield

Yesterday was a glorious day in Kentucky.  A reprieve from the 90+ temperatures we’ve had in the last several weeks – and no rain!  The high managed to get to 82, the skies were a bright blue, grass and trees wonderful shades of green.  We left at 8:00 a.m.

Our goal was to visit Robertson and Fleming counties and take photos in several cemeteries each.  You know how much Ritchey loves geocaching.  There are four covered bridges in the two counties – those beautiful, historic structures that are slowly dwindling in our country – and they each had geocaches hidden in them!  They were added to the list.  And on the way home, we planned to visit Blue Licks Battlefield State Park – what some have called the last battle of the Revolutionary War, fought in Kentucky on August 19, 1782.  The British and Indian forces slaughtered many of the Kentuckians.  I have posted several wills written by men from Mercer County that did not survive the battle.

We began at Piqua Methodist Church in Robertson County, a small, rural cemetery.  While there, the gentleman who takes care of the cemetery stopped by.  He showed me a list of those buried here, useful since many did not have gravestones, or have long since broken.  He related that the last person buried in this cemetery was his elementary school teacher, Gladys Shepherd, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 104.

Ritchey finding a geocache at Johnson Creek Covered Bridge in Robertson County.

Just about a mile north on Highway 165 was the small church and cemetery of Piqua Christian.  Mt. Olivet Cemetery, just outside the town of the same name, was our last cemetery for this county.  On the way to neighboring Fleming County we stopped at Johnson Creek Covered Bridge, and Ritchey found his first geocache of the day.  Sitting in the middle of the bridge eating a chicken salad and croissant sandwich, the breeze was heavenly.  Butterflies were plentiful, and there was no noise, just an occasional moo or bird chirp.

Top stone – In Memory of Edward Dulin, Sen., Born in Virginia, August 6, 1769, and Died in Kentucky, September 25, 1830.  Lower stone – In Memory of George, twin son of John W. and Elizabeth D. Dulin, Born October 23, 1851, died July 30, 1852, age 9 months and 7 days.  Evergreen Hill Cemetery, Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky.

In Fleming County we visited Elizaville Cemetery, a lovely small town, only few miles from Flemingsburg, the county seat.  Evergreen Hill Cemetery was quite impressive with its old stones.  I wanted to share this one with you today since it was so unusual.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an old above ground stone with writing on the side.  There were at least ten or twelve in this cemetery.  Other beautifully carved stones were for cholera victims in 1833.

Goddard White Bridge

On to the three covered bridges in Fleming County – Goddard White, Grange City and Ringo Mills.  One more cemetery stop in this county – Mt. Pisgah on Oakwood Road.

It was about 6:00 p.m. and we still had one more stop – Blue Licks Battlefield – in Nicholas County.  I was so impressed with the granite monument that names those who fought and died in this battle.  After taking photos we had a picnic supper before starting home.  It was a full day but so much fun!  And think of all the great information I have to share with you!

Bratton Obituaries – Bracken County, Kentucky

Bracken County, Kentucky – Obituaries

Mrs. Richard Bratton

December 6, 1936

Mrs. Martha Adaline Bratton, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Zack Stevenson, and sister of Dr. J. M. Stevenson of this place, died at her home at Bratton, Sunday morning at 7 o’clock, after a long illness. She was born in the neighborhood where she lived all her life, August 14, 1884, and passed away there December 6, 1936.

She was united in marriage to R. C. Bratton, and to them were born three children: one died in infancy, and two, Mrs. Hazel Culp and Jennings Bratton, both at home, survive. Besides her husband, son and daughter, the deceased leaves two grandchildren, Betty and Barbara Culp, her parents and two brothers, Dr. Stevenson and N. H. Stevenson of Bratton. Another brother, John, preceded her to the grave at the age of one year. Mrs. Bratton was a member of the Methodist church since girlhood, and was loved and esteemed as a good Christian woman, a loving wife and mother, and a kind friend. The funeral was held at Foster’s Chapel, Tuesday at 2 o’clock p.m., followed by burial in the church cemetery.

 

Follows Wife to Grave in Week

December 13, 1936

R. C. Bratton was taken to Hayswood Hospital, Maysville, the same day his wife, who died last week, was buried, and just one week after her funeral was held, last rites were conducted for him.

Almost a week to the hour after the death of his wife, R. C. Bratton, substantial Robertson County farmer living near Mt. Olivet, died Sunday morning at 5:25 o’clock at Hayswood Hospital after a brief illness of pneumonia and complications. He would have been 61 years old next February 2nd.

Mr. Bratton was admitted to the hospital in critical condition, late Tuesday, following funeral services for his wife, Mrs. Martha Adaline Stevenson Bratton, whose death followed a long illness of more than a year.

A native of Robertson County, Mr. Bratton was among its best known citizens and most influential farmers. He was a member of Foster Chapel Church. He and Mrs. Bratton were married December 23, 1905, and had three children one of whom, Claude D., died in infancy.

Surviving are one son, Jennings Bratton, a daughter, Mrs. Kenneth Culp, and two grandchildren, Bettie Bratton and Barbara Ann Culp, all of Robertson County. Also, one sister, Miss Jessie Bratton, and one aunt, Mrs. Dave Casey, both of Claysville.

Final services took place Tuesday afternoon at Foster Chapel, with the pastor, Rev. I. C. Wright and Rev. A. D. Houglin, officiating. Burial was made beside his wife in the church cemetery.