Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Free Betty Ford Bridge: Connecting Crittenden and Lyon Counties

The original Free Betty Ford Bridge.
Photo courtesy/Sandra Tabor
The following items were related to the need for and eventual build of the Free Betty Ford Bridge over Livingston Creek, connecting Crittenden and Lyon counties.

The original bridge was constructed in 1912 at a cost of $1,654.

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-Lyon county is making arrangements to erect her part of the bridge across the Livingston creek at the Free Betty Ford between this (Crittenden) and Lyon county. We hope now soon the bridge may be built for a bridge was never needed worse anywhere.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 29, No. 31, p. 8, Jan. 9, 1908

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-The farmers here pay their part of the taxes and have asked for but little in return, except good government and a law abiding citizenship. But now, they feel like asking the Lord to so wonderously revive the fiscal court that it was consider favorably a proposition to build a bridge across Free Betty ford.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 27, p. 9, Dec. 22, 1910

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-Tobacco that was sold here to be delivered to Kuttawa, will have to be hauled by way of the iron bridge which is ten miles further than via Free Betty ford. Oh! how badly we need a bridge at Free Betty ford.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 29, p. 3, Jan. 12, 1911

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-NOTICE TO MAP & CHART CLUB: The company than has been formed to go to Eddyville and haul home those promise maps and charts, will have to go by way of the iron bridge, for the Free Betty ford is impassable and will be until June.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 31, p. 8, Jan. 26, 1911

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-The Cumberland river is rising rapidly and the backwater has reached Free Betty ford.
-Jack Turley says that as he and J.C. Glenn were cleaning the mud out of Free Betty ford recently, they dug out the jaw bone of a man and four horse hoofs. See Jack and he will give you the particulars.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 34, p. 4., Feb. 16, 1911

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-No bridges to be built in Crittenden for two years. Gee! What will we do here and at Free Betty Ford! Keep digging out jaw-bones I suppose.
-As a certain young man and his sweetheart were crossing the creek at Free Betty Ford, a few evenings ago, their buggy dropped into the quicksand and threw them into a deep hole of water. They got out alive, but as they say, they came very nearly freezing as “it was a very cold night.” Mr. Magistrate if you had been that young man, you would vote for a bridge.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 36, p. 8, March 2, 1911

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-Will Pilant was plowing recently and his plow turned up a set of artificial teeth, the teeth and plate are in good condition. We can not imagine how they came here or whose they are, but many think that they belong to the poor fellow that lost his jaw-bone at the Free Betty ford.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 39, p. 8, March 23, 1911

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-The back-water has suspended travel across Free Betty ford. Oh! how badly we need a bridge.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 45, p. 8, May 4, 1911

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-Wonder when that committee is going to meet at Free Betty ford? Say, Mr. Yandell, why don’t you get busy?
-If our Fiscal court will not give us a bridge across the creek at Free Betty ford, we would like to have the Lyon county line changed to begin at the Butler bridge near W.S. Rice’s and run from there on a straight line to the iron bridge on Claylick creek, thence with said creek to Cumberland river. Lyon county is willing to change its boundry [sic] to include us and build us a bridge. Wonder if we poor fellows down here will be granted this privilege? We are going to do our level best to get cut off and to be added to Lyon county if we can not get a bridge.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 50, p. 8, June 8, 1911

Free Betty Bridge Assured
There has been quite a demand by the people of Dycusburg and Frances precincts for a bridge at Dycusburg or Free Betty ford, to connect Crittenden with Lyon, and in recognition of the right of our citizens in southwestern portion of our county, our fiscal court at its April term appointed Esq. T.A. Yandell, A.S. Hard, and Judge J.W. Blue, to confer with Lyon county’s Commissioners. By appointment, they met at the Free Betty ford on the 17th inst., to consider whether any bridge should be built, and if so, at what point. The Lyon county representatives announced that they had no authority to consider any bridge for Dycusburg this year, but that Lyon county is prepared to build a bridge at the Free Betty ford, or what is known as Bishop ford.

A large crowd had gathered, and it was decided to leave the location to the crowd, upon a vote being taken, after various ones had spoken in favor of Free Betty ford, it was found that every one on the ground was in favor of Free Betty ford except two. The Commissioners then decided to recommend the building of a bridge at Free Betty ford by Lyon and Crittenden counties.

The citizens of that immediate vicinity provided a barbeque dinner and other refreshments, which everyone present enjoyed to his fullest capacity.

After dinner Senator N.W. Utley, of Eddyville, opened the discussion by making a rousing speech for Good Roads. He was followed by Judge Blue, Judge Gray, County Attorney Hodge, of Lyon, Hon. John L. Smith, of Kuttawa, Hon. W.B. Yandell, of Marion, Judge Dobson, of Fredonia, and Charles Jackson, Esq., of Lyon county. All were enthusiastic in their demands for better roads and for a better system of working and making roads.

From the general discussion of the matter by those on the ground that day from Caldwell, Lyon and Crittenden counties, it would seem that the day is not far distant, until the people of these counties will vote a bond issue sufficient to build good turnpike roads in all these counties. Hon. M.F. Pogue, Democratic candidate for Legislature in Crittenden and Livingston counties, was present and also made a talk in which he stated that the question would in all probability, be, before the next Legislature in a bill providing for state aid to those counties issuing bonds. If such a law is passed, we will have to vote bonds to protect ourselves.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 34, No. 4, p. 1, July 20, 1911

Contracts Awarded Tuesday.
The Committee on Free Betty Ford for Crittenden Co-Esq. T. A. Yandell, Esq. A. S. Hard, and Judge J. W- Blue Jr., Judge T. P. Gray for Lyon Co., met in the County Judge office Tuesday and awarded the contract to the Champion Bridge Co., of Wilmington, Ohio at $1654.00.

The Committee on Porters Mills, Esq L. J. Hodges. Co Att'y John A. Moore and Judge Blue met at the same time and place and awarded the contract to the Bridge Co, of Vincennes, Ind., at $1448.00.

The following firms were asked to bid--Champion Co., Wilmington, Ohio., Oregonia Bridge Co., Covington Ky., Vincennes Bridge Co, Vincennes Ind., Penn Bridge Co., Beaver Falls Pa., Missouri Iron and Bridge Company, St. Louis Mo., York Bridge Co, Clarksville. W. Va., Roanoke Bridge Co, Cincinnati, Empire Bridge Co., Lexington Ky., Nashville Bridge Co., Nashville, Tenn., The Joliet Bridge Co., Memphis, Tenn., Attica Bridge Co., Louisville Ky., Brackett Bridge Co., Cincinnati, Ohio.

The following firms did bid and the lowest bid was accepted in each case. Free Betty Ford Bridge bidders: Champion Bridge Co., $1654.00, Attica Bridge Co. $1820.00, Vincennes Bridge Co. 1687.00. Awarded to Champion Bridge Co.

Porters Mill Bridge bidders: Attica Bridge Co., $1632.00, Champion Bridge Co., $1495.00, Vincennes Bridge Co, $1448.00. Awarded to Vincennes Bridge Co.

The people of those sections which are to have these new bridges are to be congratulated as they have long stood in need of them. The contracts call for the completion of both bridges by Dec., 1st of this year.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 34, No. 10, p. 9, Aug. 31, 1911

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-A drummer feel head-foremost into the creek as he was crossing Free Betty ford last week. He says we need a bridge.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. 33, No. 34, p. 8., Feb. 22, 1912

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-The roads were never worse. It is almost impossible to haul over them.
-The Free Betty ford is cleared off again. All who want to cross now, can do so.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. XXXIV, p. 1, Apr. 25, 1912

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-Judge Gray, of Eddyville, came out to Free Betty ford Saturday and reviewed as satisfactory the abutment to the bridge on his side of the creek.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. XXXV, No. 8, p. 5, Aug. 22, 1912

Caldwell Springs (community news section)
-The fills at the bridge of the Free Betty ford across Livingston creek, are in and everything is now ready for travel.
Source: Crittenden Record-Press (Marion, Ky.), Vol. XXXV, No. 9, p. 5, Aug. 29, 1912

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Obituary: Ralph Patton, 92

FREDONIA - Ralph Patton, 92, of Fredonia died Sunday, November 15, 2015, at River's Bend Retirement Community.

He was a retired tank car loader with Pennwalt in Calvert City and was a member of New Bethel Baptist Church in Lyon County.

Survivors include one son, Dwight Patton of California; one daughter, Deloris Polk of Fredonia; four grandchildren; four great-grandchildren; and two brothers, Don Patton of Mexico, Kentucky, and Gilford Patton of Lyon County.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Edna Brooks Patton; three brothers; and one sister. His parents were Raymond and Mary Hobson Patton.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 21, 2015, at Lakeland Funeral Home in Eddyville with the Rev. John Baker and Dr. Jerrell White officiating. Burial will be in New Bethel Cemetery in Lyon County.

Friends may call from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, November 21, 2015, at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to New Bethel Cemetery, c/o Rodney White, 1808 U.S. 641 N., Eddyville, KY 42038.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Longshore Lamb Descendants Gather for Reunion and Honor War of 1812 Veteran Ancestor's Service

The fourth biennial Longshore and Sarah (Lee) Lamb family reunion was held on Saturday, Oct. 10 in Princeton, Ky. The family was among the first to settle in Caldwell County, after moving westward from South Carolina in 1809.

William Lamb and his wife, Rebecca Lamb
More than 30 descendants, representing eight states (Kentucky, Indiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, Michigan, Iowa, and Washington) traveled for the event. Since 2009, descendants have gathered in Caldwell County to explore the lineage of the Lamb family, from researching migration patterns from Swedish colonies to the New World, to reflecting on the western expansion of the Quaker family from Pennsylvania to South Carolina to Kentucky, to erecting memorial stones throughout the county. Years of research have culminated in a well-documented narrative of the family’s traditions and ways of life as they took up arms in war; struggled to find a place in the Quaker church; and reared their families on the fertile lands they called home.

Children of William Lamb and Rebecca Lamb
Pre-reunion events included an afternoon of genealogy research at Princeton’s Glenn E. Martin Genealogy Library and an evening dinner gathering.

On Saturday morning, a new granite memorial tombstone for War of 1812 veteran William Lamb and his wife, Rebecca, was unveiled at the Orange-Dorr cemetery by the reunion hosts, Linda Lamb Monticelli of Plymouth, MI, and Matthew T. Patton of Atlanta. Descendants of the Lamb family from across the country funded the large monument that includes the names of the couple’s children. During the ceremony, musical selections were provided by renowned artist Alonzo Pennington with beautiful renditions of “The Star Spangled Banner,” “The Battle of New Orleans,” and “Ashoken Farewell” on the mandolin.

After the graveyard ceremony, the family met at the Princeton Tourist Welcome Center for a catered Southern-style lunch. Attendees perused numerous map and presentations, including maps of South Carolina showing Lamb property; a 1681 map of Pennsylvania, detailing plots of land owned by Lamb ancestors; and a large version of Thomas Lamb’s last will and testament. Also on display were four museum-style storyboards chronicling the Lamb family’s colonization and daily life: “From Sweden to America”; “Quakers in Pennsylvania”; “The Lamb Family’s Routes Through America”; and “Union County, SC and the Quakers.” The hosts provided attendees with a 52-page souvenir genealogical reunion booklet.

Guest keynote speaker William Mulligan, PhD, a history professor at Murray State University, delivered an interesting view of the War of 1812 and its impacts, particularly on Kentuckians. The state provided more soldiers in the effort than any other, including the Kentucky Detached Militia, commanded by Lt. Col. William Mitchusson, whose regiment was present at the Battle of New Orleans. Dr. Mulligan’s analysis and assessment of the motivations for joining the war efforts were, as he explained, simply theory. He urged attendees to think about our ancestors' rationale and justification for going to war, but reminded the audience that such decisions should not be judged by later generations.

An afternoon of fellowship, comparing research notes and tips, and connecting with family members rounded out the reunion.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lamb Family Reunion Set for October

Lamb Family Reunion will be held on Saturday, Oct. 10, in Princeton, KY. The reunion will begin at 11 a.m. at the Dorr-Orange Cemetery just outside of Princeton where a dedication ceremony will be held and a new tombstone erected for William and Rebecca Lamb. This beautiful granite memorial marker noting William’s service in the War of 1812 was funded by Lamb family members in early 2015.

After the dedication ceremony, family will move to the Princeton Tourist Welcome Center at 201 E. Main St. in Princeton where a hearty, Southern-style lunch will be served. The price for the meal is $25 per person.

Afternoon activities will include a talk by our guest speaker William H. Mulligan, PhD. Dr. Mulligan is a history professor at Murray State University, with interests in early American social and industrial history, Irish immigrant history, and the Civil War. He will talk about what life was like for post-Revolutionary War Lamb ancestors, with a focus on the influence of the War of 1812.

Descendants of Thomas and Alice (Longshore) Lamb are welcome to join our group for a fun afternoon of visiting and fellowship, meeting new family members and sharing genealogical information. Lamb descendants are invited to bring old family photos, family histories, and any family heirlooms they wish to share. Family descendant charts, historical maps and documents will also be on display.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Matthew T. Patton by email at

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Obituary: Christopher M. Templeton, 33

Christopher M. Templeton, 33, of Clay died April 20, 2015, at St. Mary's Medical Center in Evansville, Ind.

He was a member of Diamond Baptist Church and Alpha Tau Omega. Templeton is survived by his parents, Mike and Rita Templeton of Clay; a brother, Kenny (Bridgette) Templeton of Clay; three sisters, Heather (Thomas) Turnage of Springfield, Tenn., Ginny Templeton of Claremont, Calif., and Valerie Allmond of Claremont; two grandmothers; two nephews; and a niece.

He was preceded in death by his grandfathers, James A. Templeton and Lafe Linzy; and a niece, Jocelyn "Jocey" Turnage. Funeral services are scheduled for 11 a.m. today (Thursday) at Gilbert Funeral Home in Marion with interment in Mapleview Cemetery. Visitation was from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. until service time today at the funeral home.

Source: The Crittenden Press (April 23, 2015). Used with permission.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Obituary: Dorothy Dean Shewcraft-Young, 85

Dorothy Dean Shewcraft Young, age 85 of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, formerly of Owensboro, Kentucky, passed away on April 19, 2015, in her home. Born December 3, 1929, in Fredonia, Kentucky, she was the daughter of the late Oda Lee (Patton) and Luther Frances Shewcraft.

On September 17, 1951, she married the late James William Young. She was also preceded by sisters, Minnie Nell Martin, and Edna Lee Macon and brother, Keith Shewcraft. Survivors include her daughters, Ann Yaudes and her husband John of Murfreesboro, Kathy Ellis and her husband David of Freetown, Indiana; grandchildren, Ben Ellis and his wife Holly, Jacob Ellis and Jack Yaudes; great-grandson, Braeden Ellis; sisters, Betty Hodges of Crayne, Kentucky, Carolyn DeSpain and her husband Jerry of Owensboro, Kentucky; brother, Carlton Shewcraft of Marion, Illinois, and a brother-in-law, David Ramsey Macon of Owensboro, Kentucky. Dot had several nieces and nephews who survived her.

Dorothy “Dot” was an LPN and worked in various hospitals and nursing homes. She also served as a Gray Lady and was involved in DAR, UDC, the AARP chapter in Owensboro, Kentucky, and was a Kentucky Colonel. Dot volunteered at food banks, second-hand clothing stores, and she was involved in the jail ministry.

Dot was a member of the Owensboro Christian Church. As a career military wife, she moved to two different countries and nine different states. She was an excellent seamstress, endeavoring everything from Barbie clothes to tuxedos and loved making jewelry and crafts of all kinds.

Visitation will be from 4:00 P.M. until 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at Woodfin Memorial Chapel in Murfreesboro. Funeral services will be held 11:00 a.m. Thursday, April 23, 2015 at Woodfin Memorial Chapel with David Ellis officiating. Burial will be in Coleman Cemetery. The family requests memorials in memory of Mrs. Young be made to the Wounded Warrior Project, 223 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Suite 301, Nashville, Tennessee 37203.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Obituary: Harold Hayden Hodge, 94

Harold Hayden Hodge, 94, of Marion died April 3, 2015, at his home near Frances.

He served in the U.S. Army at the 64th General Hospital during World War II. He was a retired steel worker and a member of Emmaus Baptist Church.

Hodge is survived by his wife, Alpha Ophelia Fuller Hodge of Marion; six sons, Mike (Vicki) Hodge of Florida, Paul (Jeannie) Hodge of Indiana, Mark (Christine) Hodge of Frances and Reg Hodge, Tim (Hope) Hodge and Greg (Carol) Hodge, all of Marion; four daughters, Alfreda (Wayne) Wheeler, Mildred Hodge and Henrietta Ellington, all of Marion, and Brenda (Tom) Farrow of Pennsylvania; a sister, Mildred Matthews of Missouri; a brother, Bruce Hodge of Hobart, Ind.; 27 grandchildren; 38 great- grandchildren; and two great- great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Asel B. and Mary Edna Vinson Hodge; a daughter, Wanda Hodge; five brothers, Randal Hodge, Oscar Vinson Hodge, William Hodge, Wilbur Hodge and Rawels Hodge; and a sister, Josephine Corey.

Funeral services with military rites were Tuesday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem with Rev. Tim Burdon officiating. Burial was in Owen Cemetery.

Source: The Crittenden Press, April 9, 2015. Used with permission.

Obituary: Wanda Ruth Hodge, 67

Wanda Ruth Hodge, 67, of Marion died April 3, 2015, at River’s Bend Retirement Community in Kuttawa.

She was of the Christian faith and was a retired medical technician at Livingston Hospital and Healthcare Services in Salem.

Hodge is survived by two daughters, Jennifer Galante of Kansas and Kathleen Saunier of Lexington; her parents, Harold and Alpha Fuller Hodge of Marion; six brothers, Mike Hodge of Florida, Paul Hodge of Indiana, Mark Hodge of Frances and Reg Hodge, Tim Hodge and Greg Hodge, all of Marion; four sisters, Alfreda Wheeler, Mildred Hodge and Henrietta Ellington, all of Marion, and Brenda Farrow of Pennsylvania; and four grandchildren.

Funeral services were Tuesday in the chapel of Boyd Funeral Directors in Salem with Rev. Tim Burdon officiating. Burial was in Owen Cemetery.

Source: The Crittenden Press, April 9, 2015. Used with permission.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Obituary: Juanita (Doom) Cobb, 89

Juanita (Doom) Cobb
Nov. 3, 1925 - Feb. 10, 2015

ELKHART — Juanita Cobb, 89, of Elkhart, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 10, at Valley View Health Care Center.

She was born Nov. 3, 1925, in Dycusburg, Ky., to Francis and Addie Lee (Duncan) Doom. On April 29, 1943, she married the late J. T. Cobb. He preceded her in death Dec. 16, 2008.

Survivors include two sons, Rick D. (Betty Jean) Cobb of Elkhart and Charles L. (Nancy) Cobb of Goshen; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; and her nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by one son, J. Wayne Cobb; two sisters, Mary Guess and Lola Mae Patton; and three brothers, Jessie, Rayburn and Charles Doom.

Juanita was a loving homemaker for many years and often enjoyed gardening. She was an avid bird watcher. She was a wonderful cook and baker and was especially known for her wonderful snickerdoodles.

The family will receive friends for an hour prior to the 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb 15, funeral service at Billings Funeral Home, 812 Baldwin St., Elkhart. Jo Johnston of Billings Funeral Home will officiate. Interment services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 17 in Prairie Street Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in memory of Juanita may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.

Source: The Elkhart Truth, Feb. 13, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Lamb Family Reunion Planned for Oct. 2015

The Lamb Family Reunion will be held Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015 at the Princeton Tourist Welcome Center in Princeton, KY. All family members (descendants of Thomas Lamb and Longshore Lamb) and friends of the family are invited to attend.

A ceremony to erect a tombstone for William (son of Longshore Lamb) and his wife, Rebecca Lamb, will be held at 11 a.m. on Oct. 10 at the Old Orange/Dorr Cemetery, just outside of Princeton. William Lamb served as a private in the War of 1812 in Col. William Mitchusson's Regiment of Kentucky Detached Militia under Capt. John C. Dodd. Descendants will honor his service to our country in this important conflict at a time of an expanding, young nation.

After the ceremony, a catered, Southern style lunch will be served at the Princeton Tourist Welcome Center.

For more information, email Linda Lamb Monticelli (rlmflm at or Matthew T. Patton (matthewtpatton at More details will be provided in upcoming announcements.

Obituary: Walter "Ronnie" Green, 74

Walter "Ronnie" Green: July 14, 1940 - Feb. 2, 2015
Walter “Ronnie” Green, age 74, of Dycusburg, died Monday, February 2, at Livingston County Hospital in Salem. He was a member of Dycusburg Baptist Church, a U.S. Air Force veteran and a retired correctional officer at Kentucky State Penitentiary.

Survivors include one step son, Pat Travis Perry, Princeton, KY; one step grandson, Ryan Perry, Princeton, KY; four step great grandchildren; two brothers, Don Green, Mayfield, KY and Kerry Green, Dycusburg, KY; two sisters, Ginny Brown, Eddyville, KY; and Nancy Rideout, Valley Park, MO, and several nieces and nephews.

Ronnie was preceded in death by his wife, Kitty Marie Lovell Green, his parents, Tom and Edna Mae Henry Green; four brothers, Duke, J.C., Luther and Oscar Green; and two sisters, Joann Chaney and Betty Guier.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, February 4, at Lakeland Funeral Home in Eddyville, KY.

Funeral services will be Thursday, February 5, at 1:00 p.m. at the funeral home with Rev. Steven Kirk officiating. Burial will follow in Dycusburg Cemetery.