An Old Time Journal

The following is an excerpted article, originally written by Samuel Tolle, Editor of Semi-Weekly News, Owensboro, KY. The article was dated 24 March 1898.

“On the 13th day of last August, I left my home in Owensboro, KY, in company of my wife and little Eugenia Owsley, my granddaughter, in a one-horse surrey, drawn by Dolly Varden, a true and tried piece of horse flesh as ever marked the earth. The weather was excessively hot and dry. We drove only 16 miles and stayed overnight with a friend whose name is Brown, near Whitesville. My wife was in very feeble health and had been for some time, and she thought perhaps a little recreation, in the way of old-time traveling, might prove advantageous to her health. The second day we took dinner with a friend in Fordsville, and in the afternoon drove across Rough River at the mouth of Brown’s Creek and stayed overnight with Peter Wing, in Grayson County, and there met a nephew for a guide, to show us through the roughest country I ever saw. In places we had to work the road before we could pass, but we made our way through to a Mr. Longdon’s, ex-sheriff of Edmonson County, who lives about 10 miles northwest of Brownsville, and spent the night. Leaving there we drove on to my old friend Littrell’s, just across the river from Brownsville, and took dinner. That afternoon we crossed the river and passed through Brownsville and went out to SD McCombs, who married a niece of mine. This was on Tuesday, the 17th of August, and we remained there until Friday the 20th, when we went over to visit another niece who married Silas Tunk, for several years clerk of one of the courts of Edmonson, and later County Judge of said county, for one term. There my wife was taken sick and had quite a spell for a week. When she got able to travel, which was, I believe the 1st day of September, we started out again and went to Mrs. Wheeler’s in Barren County, another niece of mine, where I met my oldest sister, Mrs. Sallie Neagle. She is now 85 years old and very feeble. From there we went to Mrs. Gassaway’s, widow of the late James M. Gassaway, so well known to the people of Barren County. Then to Dr. Charles Carden’s then to the widow Berry’s and to Ambrose Clayton’s. From there we went to George Mayfield’s and then to Glasgow, where we visited the late John B. Preston, and in connection with him I will speak of UG Harlow and John Leech, all of whom have been called from time to eternity since my last visit there. They were friends of mine and we have spent many happy hours together and I am reminded that my time will soon come to cross the same stream. Mr. Preston and I were together at the home of his daughter, Mrs. JF Allen, the night before I left Glasgow. He seemed more talkative than usual, but before I arrived home he was dead. Leaving Mr. Allen’s we went to Mrs. Huggins’, widow of WE Huggins, and spent a pleasant night. We then went out to CT Morrison’s and spent Saturday night and on Sunday morning we went to Boyd’s Creek church, which stands on the ground where I attended school in 1836 to Esq. John Glover. I witnessed an old-fashioned shouting meeting such as I used to see there 50 years ago. We went home with your correspondent WD Tolle, and spent a pleasant afternoon and night, employing and amusing ourselves in looking over the many relics in his possession, many of them more than a century old. From there we went to WM Mansfield’s and spent a very pleasant night. We then wended our way to the Peter’s Creek neighborhood – the old home of my wife – stopping at Esq. Woodard Greer’s, where we spent a day or two; also visited William Greer, who is a very feeble old man; Thomas Bradshaw, William Fortune and then to Dink Greer’s where we spent the night. The next day, accompanied by Mr. Greer and wife, we drove over to AP Childress’, who was a brother of my wife. We found him in bed and his wife in another, both old and very feeble. Since our return home both have died. We remained in the vicinity for some two weeks, during which time we visited the following named families: Mrs. Sallie Young, Mrs. IH Smith, Jacob Dillion, AE Young, Mrs. Schuyler Childress, Thomas Ferguson, Link Smith, James M. Ellis, and Mrs. Carver. We also went to Flippin, in Monroe County, and visited HE Ferguson, who lives on and owns the farm known as the John Smith Barlow homestead. We visited the John M. Fraim farm, which now belongs to Mr. Ferguson. He owns in the aggregate 1,500, acres of land and is an extensive lumber dealer. I had forgotten to speak of DG Ferguson whom I met at Mr. Carver’s. He is a son of the late Rev. James King, a prominent Methodist minister 50 years ago. Mrs. king is a first cousin of mine whom I had not seen for many years.
“I neglected to note in the proper place that while I was stopping in Glasgow I set apart a day to visit my old homestead and the graves of those who were near and dear to me by the ties of affinity and consanguinity. I first went to the old graveyard on the Prewitt’s Knob road, one mile northwest of Glasgow where my mother-in-law has been sleeping for just 50 years. I found the grave well protected and nicely cleaned off.I went from there to the late home of John C. Smith, deceased, and visited the family graveyard, where my first wife has been sleeping for 38 years. I then went over to my old homestead, one half mile west of town, where my parents, brother, sister, and other dear ones have been resting for many years. I am going to tell you something that looks unreasonable, but it is nevertheless true. On the 4th day of January 1860, just 5 days before my wife died, I walked behind the house where the chimney is built and on the painting in the brick, I wrote in pencil the following: ‘SR Tolle, Jan. 4, 1860.’ It is there yet, having withstood the storms for 38 years, and it is perfectly legible. Leaving there I went to the Odd Fellows’ cemetery, where I have a dear little daughter buried. We also visited the graves of my wife’s parents down on Peter’s Creek.
“The last night we spent in Barren County was at the home of Ish Biggers, of Dry Fork. We left there on October 7, for home by way of Lucas, Old Rocky Hill, Merry Oaks, and Rocky Hill Station to Brownsville and on to Owensboro, reaching home on the 10th. It is remarkable that we were out 2 months and we traveled over an area of 400 miles without the slightest accident, without having rain enough to lay the dust, and not a single day passed from the time we left home until our return that we did not meet with some blood relation, either to myself or wife.
“In closing I desire to return sincere thanks to all who treated us so kindly, and that embraces everyone we saw.
“Respectfully, SR Tolle.”


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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