Tag Archives: Springfield Kentucky

Dear Aunt Lil

Goodrich Nursing Home in Lexington, Kentucky. My Aunt Lil’s nursing home, run about 1940-1960? Not sure about the dates. Aunt Lil is in the dark dress at the bottom of the photo.

This is a great photo of my Aunt Lil and her nursing staff at the Goodrich Nursing Home in Lexington, Kentucky.  Aunt Lil, actually my great-aunt, was born Lillian Catherine Montgomery, March 11, 1900 – always easy to remember old she was – in Washington County, the daughter of Robert E. Lee Montgomery and Frances Barber Linton.  She married Guy Goodrich in 1933.  They had no children, but Aunt Lil devoted her time as a registered nurse, a graduate of St. Joseph Hospital School of Nursing in Lexington.  She began Goodrich Nursing Home and ran it with an iron fist.  Patients always came first.  She was a stickler for cleanliness and demanded superior work from her staff.  She was well known in this field, and well loved by those who worked for her.

I have very vague memories of visiting Aunt Lil and Uncle Guy’s home in Lexington – I always thought it very fancy!  I particularly remember her plates with pink flowers and green leaves in her china hutch.  In later years, after Uncle Guy passed on and she sold the nursing home, she returned to Springfield, in Washington County, and lived near her sister – my grandmother.  It was at this point our relationship grew, since the genealogy bug had been handed down to her, from her mother – and also handed down to me from the same, my great-grandmother.  As far as I know, we were the only two in the family so obsessed!  I would visit her for lunch and we would pore over all the delicate pieces of paper of our ancestors, handed down through the years, and look at those faces in photographs of so long ago.  Sometimes I miss her so!

Aunt Lil was rather a roving senior citizen.  She would move to Springfield, be there several years; miss Lexington; move there for several years, miss Springfield, and move back.  Torn between two worlds.  In her last years she lived in a nursing home in Springfield, but acted like she was the one taking care of things.  I suppose once a nurse, always a nurse!

Do you recognize any of the nurses in the photo?

Edward B. Edwards 1821 Receipt

Scan_Pic1484 2Edward Barber Edwards, the son of Jonathan Edwards and Sarah Barber, was born in Maryland April 21, 1768.  He and his family moved to Loudoun County, Virginia, where he met and married Nancy Linton, daughter of Captain John Hancock Linton and Ann Mason.  In 1818 Captain John moved with all his family to Washington County, Kentucky, sharing his 2,000 acres of land with his children.

Edward and Nancy Edwards had eight children:  Susan Clark, John L., Catherine Kitural, Jonathan Joseph, Benjamin M., Mary Jane, Martha L. and Sarah Barber Edwards.  Edward and Nancy are my 4th great-grandparents.  I descend from their daughter Susan who married John Cotton Taylor.

Edward died in 1824; Nancy lived on with her children until 1861.

The above receipt was found in my great-grandmother’s genealogy – Frances Barber Linton was the granddaughter of John and Susan Edwards Taylor.  The receipt reads as follows:  Received this 5th day of April, 1821, of Mr. Edward B. Edwards sixteen dollars fifty cents, it being the full amount of his account up to this date for Elias Davison, Sr., Elias Davison, Jr.

The Davison’s were store owners, selling merchandise to local residents.  In the Pioneer History of Washington County, Kentucky it says ‘Local merchants, including the firm of H. & A. McElroy, E. Davison, and others, after exchanging store goods for whiskey, furs and other articles of easy sale on the southern markets, would load their stores on flat boats at Fredericktown and start with their cargoes down the Beech Fork to Salt River, thence to the Ohio and on down to New Orleans.  Having disposed of their goods at New Orleans, they would oftentimes take passage on a sailing vessel up the coast to Philadelphia where they would proceed to invest in such articles of merchandise as were needful to replenish stores here at home.  To get the eastern-bought goods out here to Springfield was a tedious task.  They were shipped by boat down the Ohio to Louisville, from which point they were hauled in wagons to Springfield.  The entire trip frequently required six months.  Generally the trip and the trading for all the local merchants was made by one representative.’

Small Town Life Is Okay!

Small Town Life Is Okay!

Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

The other day I happened upon a list of historical populations for Washington County, Kentucky. Since more of my family is from Washington County than any other county in Kentucky, it has always been of great interest to me. This list included the populations of Washington County from 1800 to 2010. In 1800 there were 9,050 individuals living in the county. Hm, how many of those am I related to? Quite a few I would venture to guess! By that time my Carrico, Spalding, Edwards, O’Bryan, Smith, Cusick, Moran, Lyons, and Montgomery ancestors – with their huge families – had been in Washington County for several years, most arriving about 1795 from St. Mary’s County and Charles County, Maryland, a few from Loudoun County, Virginia.

In ten years, 1810, the population had grown by half again, to 13,248. Although Captain John Linton was not in Kentucky at this time, a few of his sons and many of his wife’s sisters and brothers had made the journey to this new land.

By 1820 there were an additional 2700 souls in Washington County. This now included the captain and wife, Ann Mason Linton, all their children and numerous grandchildren. Also by this time my Coulter, Crow and White families were part of the 15,947 in the county.

By 1830 the county’s population had doubled to 19,017. This was the ‘red letter’ year for Washington County. With people arriving from Virginia, Maryland, the Carolina’s and other places Springfield was a booming town! This was the pinnacle.

In 1834 Marion County was formed from Washington County and a little over half of the inhabitants were in that portion of the county, becoming Marion County citizens. Strange as it may seem, all my families were still in Washington County! The 1840 census shows 10,596.

After a surge of 1600 in 1850 to 12,194, the population keeps steady for the next 20+ years. There were many who ventured on to Missouri during the 1850 to 1870 time period. My 3rd great-grandfather, John Cotton Taylor, was one of those. He moved his family to Cape Girardeau County in Missouri, leaving only his eldest daughter (and my great-great-grandmother) in Kentucky. Life was not as easy as they thought, most of the family dying until one son and his three young children, a daughter and the widow came back to Washington County about 1870. Many others found the move to Missouri to their liking, others continued the westward movement every further from their old Kentucky home. My Hill family moved from Garrard County to Washington County during the late 1850’s, rounding out the full frame of both my paternal and maternal lines – all in one county!

After a stagnant two decades the population of Washington County increased by 2,000 by 1880. For the next 40 years it varied very little. The 1930 census shows a decline of 2,100 – with 12,623 living in the county. And a steady decline over the next 70 years, until the turn of the 21st century, gives a total of 10,916 for the county.

What can be reason for this decline? Springfield and Washington County have remained the same small town and rural outlying area for at least 150 years. When visiting my grandmother, Mary Alice Montgomery Carrico, in Springfield in the 1960’s, I remember the small, home-town appeal Springfield held for those who visited as well as those who lived there. Robertson’s and The Louisville Store on Main Street were where locals shopped for clothing. Restaurants were small establishments with names such as The Snappy Grill and Cecconi’s. I remember my aunt talking about men putting a nickel tip under their ten cent coffee cup! Ritchey and I ate at Cecconi’s a few years ago – it’s a small ‘hole in wall’ restaurant, but the food is still marvelous! The Snappy Grill is long gone, but in the back room there was more enjoyed than the food – the local poker games were well known for their $20 antes!

My mother’s uncle, Edward Montgomery, ran a movie theater. She helped make popcorn and sell tickets on the weekends. This was in her younger days in the 1940’s. By the 1950’s everyone went to the drive-in on Friday and Saturday nights – which happened to be just across the street from where my grandmother lived. On the Fourth of July they always had fireworks, and we sat on grandmother’s front porch and oohed and aahed at the beautiful colors and sparkles! We were so close to where they shot them off that we heard the great boom and whoosh rushing into the sky – then the boom of explosion!

There were two grocery stores, my grandmother using the one who delivered – I can’t remember the name but I believe it was Joe something – named after the proprietor! She called in her order and it was delivered within a couple of hours. It was safe enough that we were sent to the small market about a mile down the road for cookies or ice cream for dessert – which my grandmother had to have! She used saccharin tablets religiously in her coffee, but there was always room for dessert!

In addition to my grandmother, and sometimes my Great-Aunt Lil who moved between Lexington and Springfield for her last twenty years, the attraction to me was the Washington County Court House! After getting my license at 16 year of age, many summer afternoons were spent there – down into the dungeon as I affectionately call it – the smell of old ledgers and books, shelves filled to the brim (and sometimes overflowing), filing cabinets about to burst and Miss Olive Walker sitting at a small desk, with sunshine coming in the two small, rather dusty windows at the very top of the wall – just a hint that there was an outside world! But why go outside when everything I was interested in was within those four walls! Marriages, deeds, wills, lifetimes of many Washington countians who were long gone, but never forgotten! It was there I honed my genealogy skills under the tutelage of Miss Walker – and will always be grateful that she helped turn a passion into a life-long glorious experience! So perhaps a small town is not bad after all!

Robertson Family Buried at St. Dominic

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A large plot at St. Dominic Catholic Church Cemetery in Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky, is dedicated to the family of George Dudley Robertson and Lucinda Hamilton Robertson.

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George was born February 14, 1834.  In the 1850 Washington County Census, at the age of 16, he is living with his brother Austin, a blacksmith, 28.  Included in the household is Austin’s young wife, Elizabeth, 21, and infant son Dudley B., born January, 1850.  George’s father must have been named Dudley since his son and grandson are named for him.

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In the 1850 census Lucinda Hamilton is a tiny girl of 4 years, born March 1, 1845, living with her father, Alexander Hamilton, 62, born in Maryland.  He is one of the Maryland to Kentucky pioneers that came around the turn of the 19th century.  Born January 6, 1788, he outlived four wives – 1.  Harriet Edelen, 1791-March 13, 1823, married February 19, 1811; 2.  Theresa Jarboe, 1796-September 6, 1825, married January 4, 1824; 3.  Elizabeth Smith, 1804-March 31, 1834; married November 21, 1826; and 4.  Lucinda Hayden, 1815-March 30, 1845, married June 2, 1835.  Lucinda was named for her mother and was the youngest child in the family – her mother died 29 days after she was born.  Alexander lived for another 33 years, to the great age of 90.

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Ten years late in 1860, George is living with another brother, William J. Robertson, a mail contractor.  Included in the family was William’s wife, Lucy, children Sarah, George, Mariah, Nellie and Susan, and his mother-in-law, Susan Knott.  George Dudley is 26 and is listed as a merchant.

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In 1861 William J. and wife Lucy, had a son, William Knott Robertson.  He was later the owner of Robertson’s clothing store in Springfield.  It was a staple for many, many years, located on the corner of Main Street and Lebanon Road.  The brick building has the date at the very top – 1896 – along with W. K.’s name.  Evidently George started out in the merchandizing business and continued throughout his life.  Was this business eventually sold to his nephew W. K. – or did George Dudley Robertson have another store location in Springfield – or did he remain a grocer as he is listed in later census records?

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Lucinda, listed as Louisa in the 1860 census, is 15, living with her father Alexander, age 72, older brother Richard, 48, and brother Alex, L. A.  I wouldn’t be surprised if her name was Lucinda Louisa Hamilton – or perhaps the other way around – or possible the two were interchangeable.

George Dudley Robertson and Lucinda Hamilton were married May 12, 1863.  In the 1870 census they are listed with George as a grocer, and children Florence, 3, and Annie, 1.  We know by the tiny graves listed in the St. Dominic Cemetery plot that another child was born during this 1863-1870 time period – Clarence Robertson.  The years are difficult to read on the stone but I believe it says born December 28, 1864, died September 17, 1866.

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The 1880 census gives a bit more information.  George is still listed as a grocer, but we find out that his parents were born in Virginia.  Lucinda’s father, of course, was born in Maryland, but her mother was born in Kentucky.  In addition to the two girls listed in the 1870 census, Joseph B., 7, and Mattie, 3, are included in the family unit.  But the years between 1870 and 1880 were difficult for the family.  Three babies died young – Mary Catherine Robertson, May 12, 1871-July 23, 1871; George Dudley, July 6, 1875-July 19, 1876; and Mary Lettie Robertson, May 12, 1879-October 20, 1879.  Four little stones in remembrance of four little children.

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By 1900 there are 4 children living with George and Lucinda – Mattie M, age 23, born April 1877; Hamilton A., 19, born August 1880; George D. (the second child with this name), 17, born February 1883 and William T., 14, born February 1886.  It also shows the couple has been married for 36 years, have had 11 children – 7 living, and George is a merchant/grocer.

Daughter Florence Robertson married George Lloyd Hayden, a hardware merchant, February 8, 1888.  In the 1900 census they have four children, Mary, 10; Louise, 8; George R., 3; and Lloyd George, 5/12.

In the 1910 census George is listed at 76 years of age, Lucinda, 66, with 11 children, 6 living.  Martha, 32, and William T., 23, live with their parents.

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Son Alexander Hamilton Robertson, born 1880, died 1942, married a woman by the name of Cecilia.  They are buried in the Robertson plot.

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Son Joseph B. Robertson married Effie Mudd.  They are buried with the family.

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J. B. Robertson, 1872-1907

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Effie Robertson, 1873-1944

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Daughter, Martha R. Brown, 1877-1922

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Son, William T. Robertson, 1886-1938

George Dudley Robertson lived to the age of 79.  He died May 28, 1913.  Lucinda lived another eleven years, dying also at the age of 79 on May 12,  1924, the same day and month as two of her children.  This was an ordinary family, living their lives during times of happiness and sorrow, just as we all do.  I’m glad we pieced their history together!

Early Morning Blaze on Main Street in Springfield, Kentucky

The Springfield Sun, Washington County, Kentucky

Thursday, May 2, 1907

Fire Destroys Frame Buildings on Main Street

Heroic Work of the Fire Department Saves the Town

What has been expected by Springfield citizens for years has happened!

At about 3 o’clock this morning George B. Taylor discovered fire in the rear of his repair shop.  When the fire was discovered the flames were under much headway, and were leaping up the rear of the building.  An alarm was at once given, but by the time the fire department arrived the building was a complete mass of flames.  The fire soon spread in the adjoining buildings, all of which, with the exception of Mrs. Williams’ millinery store, were frame structures, and of light material.  It was soon seen that it would be impossible to save these buildings and the fire company gave its attention to Grundy and McIntire’s dry goods store and W. P. Lawrence’s grocery, and the fact that these buildings remain standing is evidence that the boys did good work.  In fact, it was the best and most heroic fire-fighting ever seen in Springfield – indeed as good as that ever seen by anybody, anywhere.  It seems a miracle that Grundy and McIntire’s and Lawrence’s grocery were saved.  The building occupied by Mr. Lawrence is frame, but is covered with iron.  these buildings were only saved by level-headed firemen and powerful streams of water.

The origin of the fire is unknown.  Mr. Taylor says that when he closed his store last evening there was no fire in the stove.

The fighting of this fire clearly demonstrates two things – we have the best fire department and the best system of water works in Kentucky.  Those boys of the fire department who did heroic work, so far as The Sun is able to learn are:  Chief John H. Moore, William Berry, William Roberts, Clifford Roberts, Gwinn Marks, George Robertson, Evan Hagan, Robert Marks, Robert Robards, Harry Shultz, Willie Green, Con. O’Gara and William Noe.

If The Sun has omitted any names from this honor roll certainly it is unintentional.

Boys, our hats are off to you!  You did your work well.  Through your fearlessness Springfield was saved from “the gluttony of flame” and today, by reason of your heroism, there yet remains the prettiest and most substantial portion of our city’s business houses, where, had you not stood determinedly to your duties there would have been naught but ashes, debris and smoldering fire.

And to the man behind the pumps at the power house “we doff our hats and give a cheer”.  He gave the boys behind the nozzles a mighty stream of water.

Forevermore, let naught but good be said of our water and fire companies!

The News-Leader, Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Disastrous Fire

Early Morning Blaze on Main Street Destroys Several Business Houses

Springfield was visited early yesterday morning by one of the most disastrous fires in the history of the town and at one time it looked as if one entire block in the heart of the business part of the town would be destroyed.  By good work of the fire department however, the fire was confined to five buildings which were almost totally destroyed.  The principal losers by the fire are as follows, the loss being estimated:

Mrs. Kate Williams building partially destroyed and stock of goods and household furniture damaged.  Loss on building $1,500, damage to contents $500.  Insurance $2,000 on building alone.

W. E. Leachman stock of furniture, valued at $2,400, totally destroyed.  Insurance $800.

John Y. Mayes, undertaker, stock valued at $2,000, total loss.  No insurance.  Mr. Mayes also suffered the loss of all of his account books which will result in a great inconvenience and material loss in collecting.  The building occupied by Messers. Mayes and Leachman was owned by Mr. T. Scott Mayes.  It was valued at $2,000 and was a total lose with no insurance.

The building adjoining Mays’ owned by Messrs. I. H. Thurman and G. B. Cunningham was destroyed.  Value $2,000.  Insurance for $700.  George B. Taylor, who occupied this building, lost practically everything.  He conducted a repair shop below and lived with his family above.  He saved only a few articles of wearing apparel and carried no insurance.

Alex Adams lost contents of his restaurant including a soda fountain valued at about $200.

The old building known as the McAuliff property was occupied by Logan McPherson.  Almost everything was lost.  No insurance.

Building adjoining owned by Dr. J. M. Burton, valued at about $500 with no insurance was destroyed.  Mr. E. A. Cox who operated a photograph gallery in this building and also lived in it suffered the loss of some of his property and did not have insurance.  J. J. Graves, the jeweler who also was a rented in the same building, succeeded in saving practically all of his stock.

The next building on the east, owned by T. J. Graves, was threatened but by good work of the fire hose brigade the flames were checked at this point.  W. P. Lawrence, who owns a grocery in this building, suffered considerable damage to his stock by having it moved.  Drs. Robards and Hyatt, whose offices are on the second floor, also had considerable damage done to their furniture by having it moved from the building.

The immense stock of dry goods of Grundy and McIntire, who occupy the building on the west of the burned district was carried into the street and consequently was damaged.  The flames were checked before they reached this building.

Several large plate glass windows on the opposite side of the street were cracked by the heat from the fire.  Those to lose this way are Schultz & McElroy, McElroy & Shader and Cunningham & Duncan.

The telephone exchange, which is located on the same block, was put out of commission by the fact that the switch boards were removed and all wires disconnected.  One of the cables stretched along Main Street was also burned in two at a point opposite the fire.  Manager Dickerson informs us it will probably be three or four days before local service will be resumed.  Temporary quarters for long distance service have been established at the Walton Hotel.

The cause of the fire is a mystery.  It started at the back of Taylor’s repair shop, but whether on the outside or inside is not known.  Mr. Taylor, who lives above the shop says that he was aroused by the smoke and noise of the fire and on going downstairs found the smoke raging over the back part of the shop.  He says there had been no fire in the shop at all that day.

There is already talk of replacing the burned buildings with new ones and although it is too early to make plans, the public may confidently expect to see a row of modern business houses arise Phoenix like from the ashes of the burned district.  Springfield needs the houses and the location is a good one.

Edward Cusick Obituary

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from The News-Leader, Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Thursday, November 21, 1912

Instantly Killed

One of the most frightful accidents that have happened for a long time was one last Saturday afternoon in which Mr. Ed Cusick lost his life.  Mr. Cusick and several others were moving their clover huller with a traction engine.  In attempting to couple the engine and clover huller, Mr. Cusick got beneath the back carriage of the engine in order to couple the tong of the clover huller.  In backing the engine, the party on the engine was unaware of Mr. Cusick being beneath the machine, and in backing, the heavy rear wheels of the engine struck Mr. Cusick’s body, crushing him so severely he died within a few minutes.

Mr. Cusick was about 52 years of age and was a man highly regarded in the county.  He had for years been engaged in running a thresher machine, and was held in the highest regard by all for his fair dealing and uprightness.  He is survived by his wife and 9 children.

Funeral services were conducted at Manton Monday and burial was in St. Dominic’s Cemetery.  The large crowd which attended was testimony of the respect in which he was held.

Ed Cusick, April 20, 1860 – November 16, 1912

Josie, his wife, September 5, 1860 – October 18, 1938

Edward Cusick married Josephine Brent, April 4, 1883, in Washington County, Kentucky.  The 1880 census for Washington County lists Jane Cusick as a 60-year-old widow with a 21-year-old son, Edward W. Cusick.  Eleven houses down was William Brent, 23, with brothers Rucker and Thomas, and sister Josie, 15, living with him.  In the 1900 census Jane Cusick still lives with her son and daughter-in-law, Edward William and Josephine Brent Cusick, along with Josephine’s brother Lee, and eight children:  Charles M., James F., Thomas H., William A., Xavier R., Mary G. and Claudia.  Son Herman was born in 1902.

Tidbits From The County

I am hopeful that one of my readers may be able to help me today.  My great-grandfather, George F. Coulter, died before 1910.  I have not been able to find an exact date or place of burial.  There is a Mr. George Coulter listed below who died February 12, 1909, and was buried in the old Parker burying ground.  Of all the cemeteries in Washington County, including the many family cemeteries, I have never heard of this one.  George was the son of William Coulter and Emeline White, born December 23, 1853.  His father joined the 19th Kentucky Infantry October 29, 1861, in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  He mustered out in Louisville on January 26, 1865.  On September 29th of that year his widow requested his pension.  I feel he was probably wounded in the war and died after returning home.  On March 26, 1874, George married Mary Elizabeth Crow, the daughter of James Mansfield Crow (I believe also a victim of the war) and Nancy Jane Coulter.  George and Mary Elizabeth had 10 children:  Levi A., Cecilia A., Sarah L., William M., Speed Dallas, Emeline, Nannie Bell (my grandmother!), Mattie M. and Prentice Coulter.

from The News-Leader, Washington County, Kentucky

Thursday, February 18, 1909

Fair View

Mr and Mrs. Rufus Goodlett are rejoicing over the arrival of a boy on February 4, 1909.

George Moul bought a mule from James Truss today for $117 and also one from Harry Offutt for $107.

Miss Florence Cheatham visited her sister, Mrs. Hugh Grigsby a part of last week.

James Kays and wife have gone to Louisville to make their future home.

Mrs. James Hungate is visiting her sister Mrs. John Kays.

Mr. George Coulter died February 12, 1909, and was laid to rest in old Parker burying ground the following day.

Effie Gerdes spent last week at the home of her uncle, Ed Yocum.

Gilbert Hardin was in our midst Saturday.

Mrs. Stevenson and Mrs. T. Hardin are somewhat improved in health at this writing.

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Cheatham and daughter attended the funeral of Mr. and Mrs. Morgan Cheatham’s infant at Springfield Saturday, February 12.

Mrs. J. N. B. Oliver spent Tuesday with Mrs. James Truax.