The Truth About Hiram Hudson

On the old Charles Wininger farm, which comprised many acres on the hills surrounding Beaver Creek, west-northwest of Glasgow, there was once a beautiful view of the Beaver Creek Valley and the woodlands that surrounded it. The farm kept in perpetuity the old names by which various fields and sites were called. Each had their own story to tell, in their day – the Meadow Bottom, the Riherd Hole, the Rogue’s Hole, the Nelly Lea Spring,the Fishtrip, and Never Sink.
This Never Sink is a different one from the one I previously spoke of near Park City. In the early days of the founding of the county, George Berry settled at a cave spring about 2 and a half miles from Glasgow, on the Oil City Road, nearly opposite the residence of Rev. James Brooks. This is off of US68-80 west, near Southern Explosives.
For a year or more, explosions frequently occurred in the cave there, accompanied by a mysterious loud noise that resembled thunder. These noises were heard distinctly in the town of Glasgow, sometimes several a day, and then it would be quiet for weeks and months. Finally, they ceased completely, and have never been heard again, since 1807 or early 1808. Searches were conducted to discover the cause of the disturbances, but nothing was found out, and it remains a mystery to this day.
If you go out Hwy 90 west toward Cave City, turn left on Dripping Springs Road. You go about 3 miles to the railroad crossing of the Glasgow Branch RR. A road turns to your left at the crossing that was once where Oil City Road came out, before Southern Explosives fenced in their property. About 100 yards from the railroad crossing is where the old Sinking Spring school sat. In 1877, while Mr John H. Beals was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Sinking Spring School District, Esq. Payne, a friend of Mr Beals, came to him and introduced a young man by the name of Hiram Hudson, who applied to Mr Beals for the position of teacher of Sinking Spring district for the spring term.
Mr Beals found the young man well educated, intelligent, and of pleasing address, so he consented for Mr Hudson to teach the school. They entered into a contract, witnessed by Esq. Payne, that if the young man’s work was not satisfactory, Mr Beals would discharge him at the end of any month. With that agreed to, Mr Hudson was boarded at the nearby Darter home, and he remained there the whole time he was employed as a school teacher.
Sinking Spring was a subscription school and each parent paid so much tuition for each.child. Mr Hudson entered his duties with much enthusiasm and real ability. Patrons and pupils alike were delighted with him. When time came to select a teacher for the fall term, or free school, Mr Hudson was chosen, and he accepted the post.
When the next spring arrived, Mr Hudson endeavored to get up a subscription school, but only got 24 pupils. He moved the school to a vacant store room, a short distance from Oil City on the Dripping Springs Road, and there he started the spring term.
When the train stopped or came through the Oil City stop, they would drop out bundles of old magazines and reading materials for the children. The items ca.come from as far away as Louisville.
After the close of the 3rd school term, Mr Hudson left his post and returned to his home state of Missouri. Sinking Spring community was then shocked to hear that Mr Hiram Hudson, the gifted school teacher and polished gentleman, was actually the notorious bank and stage robber, Frank James. It was said he had been “hiding out” while he had been posing as a school teacher.
Frank James was a well educated man and was entitled to his reputation as one of the best teachers in Barren county. His loyal state of Missouri acknowledged his exceptional ability when they elected him State Auditor, after he was acquitted of every charge against him.
And that is the truth about Hiram Hudson…


About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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