Sunday, September 23, 2007

Dycusburg Post Office in Splendid Hands (1894)

(Editor's Note: Many thanks to Crittenden County historian Brenda Underdown who shares this passage about Dycusburg's postmaster, Ida Harris. Even in 1894, Dycusburg seemed to be a progressive town that embraced rights of women. This is from The Crittenden Press, Aug. 16, 1894).

The post office at Dycusburg is in the hands of a lady, and a neater, cheerier place than the post office is not in the town.

While Miss Ida Harris is nominally the deputy, she is really the postmaster, and the town and community may well congratulate themselves upon having their office in such splendid hands.

Miss Harris' father was appointed postmaster by the present administration, and the control of the office was turned over to the daughter, who not only knows how to keep post office, but keeps it as a post office should be kept, and everybody is pleased.

Miss Harris has a neat millinery establishment in connection with the office; she keeps posted on all of the fashions and is deft with her fingers in trimming hats and doing other work connected with the millinery business. Her goods are of the latest styles and her prices meet all competition.

Miss Harris is one of the young ladies of the county who believes in woman's right, that is, that a woman has the right to hold an office, if it is compatible with her surroundings, that she has a right to earn a living, that she had a right to be independent. She is popular and is adding to the pleasant surroundings of the community.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Henry B. Bennett Photograph?

For years, I have been searching for a photograph of Henry B. Bennett. If you have one or know where I could find one, please e-mail me at

Friday, September 21, 2007

Forgotten Passages

Recently published is Forgotten Passages by Brenda Travis Underdown. The 289-page hardbound book contains articles about Crittenden County history and genealogy. Price is $30 (includes S&H) and can be ordered by sending a check to:

Brenda Underdown
139 Oak Hill Dr.
Marion, KY 42064

For more information about the contents, click here.

Also, be sure to subscribe to The Crittenden Press where Brenda writes a column every week. For subscription information, visit

Flood of 1937 Recalled

By Roger Linzy

(Editor's Note: Roger Linzy shared this recollection of the Cumberland River flood at Dycusburg in 1937. He died in Nov. 2005 at the age of 84.)

With the advent of the weekend Dycusburg and Crittenden County found themselves digging out of the snow and ice that marked the worst blizzard for the winter. A deluge of Thursday and until early Friday morning-hours brought in its wake cold and biting weather. Sleet fell practically all day Saturday bringing automobile traffic to a minimum and horses and mules could hardly maintain their footing.

Highway and mail traffic was at a standstill, no mail arriving. Flood warnings were being sounded throughout the entire Ohio valley. Flood waters reached devastating proportions. Especially is this true in and around Tolu, Dycusburg and the small inland town of Tiline. Suffering materialized from Dycusburg and Tiline. In Dycusburg refugees took cover wherever the same was offered as likewise did they in Tiline, most of the residents were given shelter in the homes of relatives and friends.

In all parts of the flood-stricken community, no communications existed between Marion and Paducah, all busses and trucks being stopped at Burna because of flooded conditions existing between there and the Cumberland river bridge. All railway traffic was paralyzed, being placed on sidings. All means of truck freight facilities were waterlocked at Paducah and Sturgis.

Cattle and stock were drowned by the score, having no chance whatsover to reach points of safety. Mr. Gus Graves owned the ferry at Dycusburg and allowed my father and three other men he thought to be experienced river men take the ferry barge and equipment across to the Tiline area and help farmers ferry cattle and other livestock to high ground. They worked several days and nights rescuing their animals. You could take a motor boat and travel from Dycusburg to Tiline by the road.

Marion was kept in touch with the outside world through the individual efforts of Lyle Winn, operator and owner of the radio station 9JEG and to this gentleman we cannot give too much credit — he remained at his post of duty for many trying hours relaying telephone messages to him by broadcasting that reached their destination that would not have otherwise done so.

The Cumberland river had surpassed by about four feet the 1913 crest — the highest ever known for this river. On the Ohio, from Elizabethtown, Ky., downward there were reports of suffering and many driven from their home. Louisville and Paducah apparently the most severely damaged due to the fact that the flood came in mid-winter. In one particular case individual truck operators and owners made a trip to Dycusburg over the most hazardous roads to meet a boat load of refugees that failed to appear. Towns up and down stream from Dycusburg were inundated by swollen creeks and the Cumberland River.

I was fifteen years old at this time and stayed at the river helping the merchants move their merchandise to safety and helped residents move out of floodwaters too. My cousin, Don Manus, traveled from Mexico, Ky. to Dycusburg down the road on ice skates and also helped in the evacuation from the floodwaters.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

From a Farm at Dycusburg to the Edge of Modernity

David Hawpe is a columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal. He recently wrote a column about the passing of his mother-in-law, Naomi Bragdon, daughter of Isaac Blanchard Bragdon and Ida Mae (Henson) Bragdon. They ran a portable sawmill at Dycusburg, and their house on the Cumberland River washed away in one of the big floods. I asked Hawpe, an award-winning columnist and writer, if we could reproduce the column here. He kindly granted permission.
I was in Europe on vacation when my mother-in-law died.

I'm surprised that I didn't feel a disturbance in the Force.

Even at 97, she was an energy source to be reckoned with. Until a few weeks ago, she was living in her own apartment.

On the day she died, Nena demanded to be taken on a shopping trip. She wanted to buy a calendar because, she claimed, it was becoming a bit more difficult to keep up with the days of the week.

Later my niece prepared lunch, and Nena declared it the best grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup she'd ever tasted.

My mother-in-law was given to superlatives, but maybe it was true. Maybe every experience was particularly rich and especially valued as she approached the end of life.

Not long after lunch, she slumped over and, in minutes, was gone, taking many mysteries with her. In those last moments, she was surrounded by family -- a daughter, two granddaughters and three great-grandchildren.

It will seem strange not to hear her voice at the next family gathering. To say that she was a talker is to indulge in profound understatement. Having got hold of a listener, she could reduce that person to compliant lassitude. Others, sitting or standing nearby, exchanged knowing glances of gratitude, having escaped capture.

Not that Nena was uninteresting. Quite the contrary, she remained to the last a wicked wit, with a vast store of enthusiastically volunteered opinion about people and things.

She had an elevated view of my role at the newspaper. Having called The Courier-Journal to complain, when her daily copy didn't arrive, she invariably called me, too -- to say she had told circulation her son-in-law ran the place and would want to know if a replacement copy didn't arrive soon.

I tried many times to explain that I don't run the newspaper. Her usual response was, "Well why not?"

She also complained, recently, that she couldn't work her crossword puzzles as quickly as she had in the past. When I argued that, at her age, she was lucky to be doing them at all, she seemed mystified.

Despite some obvious insecurities -- for example, about lack of formal education and lack of money -- Nena had a robust sense of self.

She also had an extraordinary appetite for life. Offered the chance, not many years ago, to visit Hawaii and Alaska, she jetted off without hesitation, declaring each trip the best she'd ever taken. She sometimes fried up a package of bacon and ate it at one sitting.

She both loved and hated, passionately.

Given the fact that, during my courtship of her daughter, she threatened to have me run over by a truck, our relationship eventually became surprisingly congenial.

She was fiercely devoted to small children, until they were old enough to talk back. She began every holiday meal with a warning that we should first "feed the little ones." I once told her I thought we ought to make sure we feed the big folks. She seemed mystified.

I was fascinated by her description of growing up in Crittenden County. I listened to it many times, complete with tales of "Tobacco Night Riders."

Her life reached from the self-sufficient family farm to the era of abject technological dependence. On her home place at Dycusburg, there was no electricity, no phone, no car, no truck, no tractor, obviously no refrigeration.

They had a root cellar. She and her brothers cut great chunks of ice from the Cumberland River to keep things cool.

They used everything they grew, she told me. Nothing was wasted. What they couldn't produce themselves, they got through barter with neighbors.

Nena grew up hating women's work. She preferred to be outside, chopping wood alongside her brothers. But in later years, she was an enthusiastic canner, leaving behind a legacy of still-unopened applesauce, beans and tomatoes. She also made a fine vegetable soup, and the best raspberry freezer jam I've ever tasted.

I'm comforted by the prospect of opening up the last of the applesauce, and by the knowledge that she was in charge to the end.
David Hawpe's columns appear Wednesdays and Sundays. His e-mail address is dhawpe Reprinted with permission from the Aug. 22, 2007 issue of The Courier-Journal.

Dycusburg Once Had Its Own Newspaper

At one point in the past, The Crittenden Press wasn’t the only news source on the scene in the county! Apparently, Dycusburg had its own newspaper some 118 years ago, called the Cumberland Advance. During some archival research, we found this interesting (perhaps sexist) item printed in an 1889 issue of The Washington Post. I wonder, if somewhere stashed away in an attic or a museum, if a copy of this newspaper exists?
We, Too, Have Wept
The Courier-Journal quotes a paragraph and suggests a little scene that is somehow strangely familiar:

A young lady, whose name appears nowhere on her paper, and hence cannot be reproduced here, has become the editor of a small paper at Dycusburg, in Crittenden County, called the Cumberland Advance. She asks the indulgence of her readers till she can learn more, and says:

“Experience! Reader, you do not comprehend the meaning of that one word here. If you had ‘cried’ over a page of typographical errors blotched with printer’s ink; if in your imagination you had seen people sitting back laughing a your mistakes—and heard them say you would never do any better, you might speak out in meeting.”

How characteristic! There is one word in this paragraph which reveals the writer’s sex unerringly and it is not necessary to indicate it. Who but a sweet, helpless young girl would “cry” over difficulties or hardships. Here’s hoping she will have less and less cause to cry and that finally her blessed countenance may be in a perpetual smile.
From The Washington Post, July 7, 1889.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Don't Forget About the Cookbook!

Recipes for the Dycusburg Community Cookbook have started rolling in! Don't miss your chance to be included!

Do you have some great recipes to share? The Dycusburg Community Fund (DCF) Committee will be printing a cookbook to benefit the DCF. The proceeds from the book will benefit future Dycusburg Day events, special holiday celebrations or other special community projects.

The group is accepting recipes via e-mail at Deadline for recipes is Nov. 15, 2007, and printing will occur in early 2008. If you'd prefer to mail your recipes, please e-mail Tina for an address.

Although we welcome all recipes, we are looking for recipes from with a solid family or heartwarming story behind them, such as a recipe handed down through generations or a classic dish made with a twist. Include the story or history behind the recipe if you can!

The fine print: Due to copyright law, we cannot publish recipes that were previously printed in copyrighted material such as cookbooks, magazines or newspapers (without express written permission, if applicable).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Big Fish Story From Dycusburg (1925)

Farmer and Son Find a Monster Fish in River Below Dycusburg
A monster fish, possible of an ocean species, was found dead in the Cumberland River near the farm of Gordon Sunderland, three miles below Dycusburg, in Livingston County last week.

Mr. Sunderland and his sons went out in a skiff and towed the huge fish to the riverbank. Then by means of a rope fastened through a hole cut in the throat of the fish it was dragged by a mule up the bank and out into a field where some hogs were pastured. It is said the fish was intended as food for the hogs, but it seemed not to meet their fancy and they refused to touch it.

Dr. T. A. Frazer, who is always interested in such things, visited the spot and reported the following measurements:
  • The fish was seven and one half feet in length, and about sixty inches in circumference at the largest place, which was about a foot back of the gills.

  • The eyes were about ten inches apart and about four inches back of the angle of the jaw.

  • The nose measured three and a half inches across and there were four nostrils.

  • The fish had large jaws filled with about forty large sharp teeth.

  • The head was about eighteen inches long, with the ears about three inches in front of the gills.

  • The fins were about eight inches from the tail, one under and one over the fish.

  • The tail fan was about ten inches across. The fish was judged to be an old one for the development of the teeth.

  • The body was rather round and was not covered with scales but with a kind of armor.

  • The estimated weight is about 350 to 600 pounds.
This is the largest fist story every told of this section of the county and created a great deal of excitement. Many people visited the place and viewed the monster fish.

From the archives of The Crittenden Press, July 24, 1925. To subscribe, visit Special thanks to Brenda Underdown for supplying this article.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Dycusburg Book Reprints

Nearly 500 copies of Dycusburg, Kentucky: A Glance at Her Past have been sold since the initial printing in 1999. I'm still amazed at the interest shown in our tiny little town!

I'm considering another reprinting in 2008. If you are interested in obtaining a copy (book price will remain at $60), please e-mail me at so I can add your name to the running list.

Recent Visit From Press a Pleasure

To the editor:
On Sept. 1, I had the pleasure of meeting your managing editor, Daryl K. Tabor at the Dycusburg Festival. What an intelligent, kind and loving person he is.

I watched as he tickled the cheek of a two-month-old baby, then walked over and talked to a 92-year-old woman and on his way extended his hand and rubbed the head of an old stray dog that was looking for scraps.

The Press, Marion and Crittenden County is very fortunate to have such a wonderful person. If he ever decides to leave Marion, Dycusburg welcomes him with open arms.

--Phillip Buchanan, Dycusburg, KY
Reprinted with permission from The Crittenden Press (Sept. 13, 2007, p. 2). To subscribe, visit

How Dycusburg Got Its Name

Curious Names: Ever hear of Disputana?
For many years one of the smallest incorporated places in Kentucky has been the sixth class Crittenden County city of Dycusburg. The 2000 Census counted only thirty-nine residents. Obviously it was named for a local family, but why and how?

Officially this place, at the junction of KY 70, 295, and 902, 11 and a half air miles south-southwest of Marion (the county seat), was laid out by William F. Dycus on land then owned by G.B. Dycus, its first settler. It was incorporated on February 3, 1847, got its post office as Dycusburg on November 7, 1848, and soon became an important lower Cumberland River shipping port.

According to county historian Braxton McDonald, however, two families actually vied for the honor of naming the new town. These were the Cookseys and the Dycuses. Now there was, at the town site, a large spring, and another spring a short walking distance above. A member of the committee meeting to decide on the name suggested that all who wanted this place to be called Dycusburg proceed to the spring by the river, and all who wanted it called Cookseyville go up to the other spring. It’s said that the leader of the Dycusburg faction weighed over 400 pounds, and on that cold day was wearing a large overcoat with bulging pockets.

When the factions were ready to leave for their respective springs,the big man turned his back to the crowd. Four bottles of whiskey were noticeable in his pockets as he walked over to his spring, and nearly everyone followed him. Now, the people who tell this story can’t, or won’t, quite vouch for its truth. They certainly won’t say that Mr. Dycus had any intention of sharing his whiskey with anyone, or even realized that he had those bottles in his pockets.

One of the most popular folk etymologies in the country, one that’s been heard to account for places in California, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and possibly elsewhere, refers to the collective response to the suggestions of a local place-naming committee. When the folks of a certain Russell County locality got together one night to select their new post office name, a number of offerings were shouted out by individuals. To each the assemblage responded with an “Oh, no!” Finally, when too many of the suggestions had been voted down this way and it was getting late, someone suggested they name the place Ono, for that seemed to be all they could agree on. Makes a good story, doesn’t it? Actually, we don’t know why the place got the name, as other such named places did, from at least two biblical passages (1st Chronicles 8:12 and Nehemiah 6:2) referring to the plains of Ono.

Similarly, folks in a small Todd County hamlet spent all day trying to come up with a suitable name. Anxious to end it all and go home, someone suggested that “we all agree on something.” And they did. They called it Allagree. That name was offered to the Post Office Department, which dropped the final “e,” and the local office lished. When neither of the local factions would give in to the other, cooler heads brought their dispute to a disinterested third party, probably one D.N. Williams. He suggested they name the place Disputanta, and they did. Some Kentucky places are named for the full name of a local resident or for two (or more) persons the namers wish to honor.

This has often confused and sometimes even embarrassed visitors to our state. Back in the days before there were bus stations with ticket windows, passengers would purchase their tickets as they boarded the vehicle. This they’d do by telling the driver where they wanted to go. Young George Allen was taking his first bus ride. Unsure of what to do, he observed what the passengers ahead of him did as they boarded the bus. The first person said “Betsy Layne”; the next mentioned “Julia Bow”; the third said “Mary Alice”; the fourth said “Arthurmable”; the fifth “Bob White”; the sixth “Marydell”; then “Mary Helen”, “Johnetta”, “Jim Wood”, and
“Jonancy.” Our boy, not knowing any better, said “George Allen.” He was let off at
the next stop.

Robert M. Rennick is coordinator of the Kentucky Place Names Survey.

Reprinted with permission from
Kentucky Humanities magazine (April 2005). Kentucky Humanities is published by the Kentucky Humanities Council, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to Telling Kentucky's Story. For more information, visit

Saturday, September 15, 2007

42037: A History of Postmasters

The post office was established as Dycusburgh on Nov. 7, 1848, with the name changed to Dycusburg on Jan. 23, 1894. The following is a list of postmasters and their appointment dates. Pictured is James Riley Glass.

George S. Atkins, Nov. 7, 1848; S.A.G. Noel, Jan. 27, 1849; Giles S. Cobb, May 11, 1850; Hiram H. Smith, July 22, 1851; James H. Bishop, April 12, 1852; William S. Graves, May 11, 1853; Parham Randle, June 26, 1854; John Gallatty, Dec. 13, 1854; J.N. Flanagan, June 13, 1856;

Howard Cassidy, July 10, 1856; Napolean B. Haywood, Feb. 24, 1864; John N. Flanagan, Sept. 21, 1864; Napolean B. Haywood, Dec. 20, 1864; James Moore, Jan. 25, 1865; James P. Webb, Sept. 11, 1868; Coleman H. Bennett, Sept. 20, 1869; James H. Clifton, Aug. 12, 1880; Ayres S. Hard, Nov. 14, 1889; Clarence F. Moore, April 10, 1893; John H. Harris, Jan. 23, 1894;

James H. Clifton, Dec. 24, 1896; Edward M. Dalton, Feb. 6, 1897; George Y. Steele, Nov. 23, 1903; Thomas J. Yeates, March 19, 1907; James R. Glass, Nov. 16, 1908 (pictured); Edward M. Dalton, May 10, 1910; Carl T. Glenn, July 26, 1911; Reuben S. Decker, April 6, 1920; Russell A. Decker, April 30, 1946 (assumed charge); Mrs. Mayme Lott, Aug. 8, 1947 (confirmed), Sept. 9, 1947 (assumed charge); Mrs. Rhea B. Stinnett, May 15, 1971 (assumed charge); Faye Stinnett, March 30, 1984 (officer in charge); Janice Devine, Aug. 10, 1984 (officer in charge); and Gail Dycus Bannister, Aug. 18, 1984.

Source: Lyon County Herald Ledger, Eddyville, KY, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 1986, p. 3

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Paddy's Bluff Retreat: Still a Huge Area Attraction

Paddy's Bluff Retreat, the ATV park outside of Dycusburg, located on the Cumberland River, is still a huge attraction, according to owner John Travis.

Locals know that Paddy's Bluff was the site for several scenes of the 1962 MGM epic movie, How the West Was Won. The film follows four generations of a family (starting as the Prescotts) as they move ever westward, from western New York state to the Pacific Ocean. The all-star cast included Carroll Baker, Lee J. Cobb, Henry Fonda, Carolyn Jones, Karl Malden, Gregory Peck, George Peppard, Robert Preston, Debbie Reynolds, James Stewart, Eli Wallach, John Wayne and Richard Widmark.

The site, now a 650 acre ATV park, has miles of trails for rigs of all shapes and sizes. It features high endurance and moderate family trails with scenic views along the river and woods. Primitive camping and showers dot the Cumberland River bank.

For more information about the site, visit

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Dycusburg Cookbook in the Works for 2008

Do you have some great recipes to share? The Dycusburg Community Fund (DCF) Committee will be printing a cookbook to benefit the DCF. The proceeds from the book will benefit future Dycusburg Day events, special holiday celebrations or other special community projects.

The group is accepting recipes via e-mail at Deadline for recipes is Nov. 15, 2007, and printing will occur in early 2008. If you'd prefer to mail your recipes, please e-mail Tina for an address.

Although we welcome all recipes, we are looking for recipes from with a solid family or heartwarming story behind them, such as a recipe handed down through generations or a classic dish made with a twist. Include the story or history behind the recipe if you can!

The fine print: Due to copyright law, we cannot publish recipes that were previously printed in copyrighted material such as cookbooks, magazines or newspapers (without express written permission, if applicable).

Add Your Name to the E-Newsletter List

I'm in the processing of gathering names for the e-newsletter (some of you received this in the past).

With the new site design, updating is much easier and faster, and I can get information about the town uploaded quickly. Send your e-mail address if you wish to receive site update notifications. E-mail me at and you'll be added to the list.

Dycusburg News: Sept. 13, 2007

I forgot someone in the parade last week. Tim Bennett (pictured) rode with the “Oldies Float.” I saw him, waved at him, but forgot to put his name in. To Tim and anyone else I left out, sorry. Thanks again to everyone who made the day possible.

Daniel and Christopher Joiner attended the 95.7 Radio Station Annual Picnic at Calvert City on Saturday with their parents. Ashlyn and Kelsie Webster also attended the picnic with their mom. They all reported a good time. 95.7 is the favorite radio station of a lot of listeners in the area.

Curly and Lena Conger of Arlington and Charlie and Thelma Conger from Indiana visited with Virginia Peek on Thursday. Joining them for dinner were Patsy O’Bryan and Lisa and Ian Aldridge. Debbie, Daniel and Christopher Joiner stopped by after school. Curly and Charlie are Virginia’s brothers.

Ian Aldridge, son of Lisa (Bailey) and Kurt Aldridge celebrated his fourth birthday on Sunday with a party at McDonalds. Ian had a great time and helping him celebrate were Ashlyn and Kelsie Webster, Madison, Daniel and Christopher Joiner and brother Payton Bailey. Also attending were his mom and dad, his Maw Bailey, Debbie Joiner and Angie Webster, Marcie and Glenda. Ian will be four on September 11. Happy Birthday!

The Baptist church children’s bible study and activity groups began their meetings last Thursday night with the praise band from Grand Rivers Baptist church performing for them. The praise band is a contemporary Christian group who shares their testimonies through song. The performance lasted a short 30 minutes or so, but was awesome.

The Baptist church will hold Homecoming Sunday, September 16. Rev. Jerry Thurman will be the speaker and there will be a potluck dinner at 11AM. The Hampton Brothers will be singing after dinner. Sunday school begins at 9 a.m. and Preaching at 10 a.m. Everyone is invited to all services.

Fall Revival Services at the Baptist church will be October 14-17. Services are Sunday 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.; Monday-Wednesday 7 p.m. Bro. Tim Burchett, Pastor of Mexico Baptist Church will preach Fall Revival.

A crowd enjoyed the mud at Paddy’s Bluff this weekend. The rain was a welcome site for everyone.

The Post Office lobby is open 24 hours a day for your convenience. They have money orders, mailing supplies, stamps, and fax services, also post office boxes are available for rent. See Gail or Donna for all your mailing needs.
Tina Cochrum

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dycusburg Cemetery Donations Needed

Although the fall is approaching and mowing season will be behind us, the upkeep and maintenance of a graveyard the size of Dycusburg Cemetery is a monumental and expensive task. Please send donations to the Dycusburg Cemetery fund to:

Dycusburg Cemetery Fund
c/o Faye Stinnett
202 Stinnett Rd.
Fredonia, KY 42411

Crittenden County Genealogical Society

The Crittenden County Genealogical Society meets every second Saturday of the month at the Crittenden County Library at 204 W. Carlisle St. in Marion, Ky. Dues, which are $10/year, include a quarterly newsletter, Crittenden County Ancestors.

For more information about the society, email Brenda Underdown at or write to:

Crittenden County Genealogical Society
P.O. Box 61
Marion, KY 42064

Dycusburg Baseball Diamond Memories

How many of you have memories about playing baseball at Dycusburg? Do you have any photos of the games? Please help this site became a community collaboration, and send your digital photos to If you have regular photos, you can mail them and I will scan them for the site. Send an e-mail for more details. (Or post your comments below).

Please share your memories of this fun time at Dycusburg!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Seeking Photos

We are seeking photos of Dycusburg folks, past and present, for the Web site. Please send your digital photos to: for inclusion on the Dycusburg site.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Dycusburg Featured in Magazine

The small community of Dycusburg was featured in the August 2007 issue of Kentucky Monthly. The magazine bills itself as a magazine all about Kentucky and Kentuckians. Its slogan is "Uniting Kentuckians Everywhere," and you're as likely to read about a Kentuckian now living in Sacramento, CA, as you would Sacramento, KY. "Kentucky Monthly is about Kentucky today, while not forgetting the people and events that shaped our Commonwealth," its Web site states.

To subscribe or for more information, visit

To read the article (PDF), click here.

Dycusburg News: Sept. 6, 2007

Dycusburg Day Festival was a huge success on Saturday. Last Monday, plans for a welcome home potluck dinner for Chase Matthews were announced.

Dycusburg Day was to consist of one fire truck and a float for the parade, one flea market table and a jumping play area for the kids, one food wagon and a band for Saturday night. That was good, but the ladies of the community decided to make it better – they pulled together Dycusburg Day, which mistakenly reported has been around for several years. Paul and Faye Stinnett and Randy and Glenda Peek – former owners of the Dycusburg Grocery have hosted Dycusburg Day several times in the past. It was a quiet affair back then, as most of the townsfolk didn’t like the hoopla that goes on with such to-dos. This year, the ladies of the community led by Faye Stinnett and Barbara Ethridge pulled together and started making things happen.

Dycusburg Day became a Welcome Home Celebration for Chase Matthews. The parade was held in Chase’s honor and began at 11 a.m., when Randy Rushing led the parade with the rescue truck, no sirens, but plenty of lights. Next came Mike Cherry, State Representative in his classic red Mustang, Van Knight in his antique “Ug-a” (the sound of his horn) car. A float by Gary and Sue Bailey representing the Dycusburg Baptist Church showing small scale tractors ridden by their grandsons, Ian Aldridge and Brian McCoy II. Also on their float were Shawna and Christian McCoy, Payton Bailey and Angie, Ashlyn and Kelsie Webster. Then along came the “Oldies” float complete with Ms. Geneva’s Dycus’ hat (she would be so proud of Dycusburg). The oldies float was pulled by Rudy Matthews, and riding on the float were Wanda Kinnis, Sheila Wadsworth (wearing Ms. Geneva’s hat) and Wes Oakley. Jamie followed in his pretty yellow Camaro, and bringing up the rear was the kids’ float – a tradition for the past three years.

Debbie Holsapple and Star Mahns spent endless hours making paper tissue flowers to decorate the trailer and bales of straw to ensure the kids in town have a float to ride on in the parade. Josh Mahns pulled the float and riding was Star and Jacob Mahns, Billy and Alina and Judge Bill Cunningham. A good crowd gathered to watch the parade, collect candy along the parade route and wave at the participants. Certificates were presented to everyone participating in the parade. At noon, the Baptist church fellowship hall filled up as Chase rolled into town on his new bright yellow four wheeler. Chase was welcomed by many friends, comrades and family. Chase was presented a Kentucky Colonel award and had the picnic pavilion, walking trail and boat ramp named the "Chase Matthews Recreational Area" in his honor. September 1 has been declared Chase Matthews Day in Crittenden County. Greg West, Magistrate for Crittenden County made the presentations.

Chase isn’t big on all the attention, but he truly deserves it. Saturday was Chase’s 23rd birthday. Following the dinner, Willie Peek entertained the crowd with gospel singing. The rest of the day was filled with game for the kids, washer tournaments, a jumping play area for the kids, flea market tables, raffles to raise money for next year's festival and a lot of visiting with old friends and family.

As darkness fell, Soul Shine, a tradition at Dycusburg Day, entertained the crowd. The music was great as always – I still haven’t figured out why these guys aren’t playing professionally.

There was a big crowd complete with dancing in the streets. The band played until late in the night and the jumping play area stayed open for the kids.

Everyone had a good time. We are excited about next year’s festival and have already started working on it.

Thank you to everyone who helped in making the day a success. A special thank you to Eddyville Food Giant, Conrad’s, Hancock’s in Princeton and Fredonia Store for donating drinks for the dinner. Thank you to the ladies of the community who cooked BBQ, casseroles, vegetables, breads, cakes, pies and banana pudding for the celebration. If anyone in town left hungry on Saturday, it was their own fault. We, and I speak for the community, are so proud of Chase. He has demonstrated remarkable courage and pure determination. We are so proud of him and all our other veterans who have served in the Armed Forces. I hope each of you know we love you and appreciate all you did. We honor you all. We are “Dycusburg proud” and that’s enough said.
Tina Cochrum

Dycusburg Greets Matthews With Warm Welcome Home

From the time he was a baby, he’s been groomed for responsibility. He missed only one day of school in 12 years. He joined the military at 17. And he is determined to not let his injury become a setback.

Chase Matthews just wants things to get back to normal. In fact, he seems rather uncomfortable even enjoying a birthday congratulations.

"He doesn’t like it," his father Rudy said of the attention lavished upon his only son. The town of Dycusburg gathered in Matthews’ name Saturday -- the day he turned 23 -- to not only say happy birthday, but to say thanks for the sacrifices and pain he and his family have endured the last six months. You see, when Matthews stood to accept their gratitude, he leaned on a cane to steady himself on two prosthetic legs.

Read more ...