News from Adair County
Community newsletters were the mainstay of rural weekly newspapers well into the 1960s. The small collection below represents all such letters from Montpelier, Adair Co., Ky., that appeared in various editions of the Adair County News in the year of our Lord 1918.
Montpelier newsletters, 1918
January 9, 1918
Measles has broken out in this vicinity. We have several cases on hand right now.
Measles and foul weather have seriously impaired the attendance at some of the schools in this section.
Messrs. Oral Helm and Henry Conover, who have been in Ohio, for several months, spent the Christmas holidays at home.
On account of the severe cold weather only a small crowd attended Lucien Blair's sale. [The winter of 1917-18 was brutal, with much snow and much colder than normal temperatures.--ed.]
Rev. R.B. Grider of Bowling Green recently spent a few days with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Grider.
Miss Maili Clayton who has been visiting her uncle, Ruel Jones, of Cincinnati, for several weeks has returned home.
Born, to the wife of Willis [should be Will C.] Blair, a son. The mother and child are doing well.
Mr. Luther Williams sold his farm to Eldridge Montgomery for $3,500. He has also sold his stock of goods to Eldridge Montgomery and Osborn Lawless, the purchasers will take possession about Jan. 1st. [Mr. Williams actually sold his store to Ancil "A.G." Coffey.--ed.]
Mr. Lucien Blair who sold his farm to Everett Petty, of Pettis fork, and has moved his family to Columbia where he will temporarily locate. Mr. Blair is a good citizen and has an excellent family.
John Calhoun who has been in Cleveland, Ohio, for the past year is visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Calhoun.
A large crowd attended Luther Williams' sale. Everything sold for its full value.
February 13, 1918
Old winter has recently loosened his grip to the extent of about 40 degrees Fahrenheit causing the spirits of our populace to take a rise to about the same extent.
A letter from Mrs. Lucien Moore [daughter of Drury Alice Williams--ed.] says the family is comfortably located in their recently acquired Kansas home, and that they have a new automobile and eight cases of measles.
Mr. G.W. Hayes, who has been seriously ill for several weeks, is some better.
Mr. J.A. McFarland, Campbellsville, is at the bedside of her father, Mr. G.W. Hayes.
Mr. Millard Williams, who has been suffering from a complication of diseases is slightly improved.
Three members of Mr. J.N. Conover's family and Welby Coffey, of this place, have measles.
Born, to the wife of Ed Turner, on January 28, a son.
Mr. A.H. Coffey, who bought Mr. Luther Williams' farm and stock of goods at this place, has about finished moving his personal effects and is getting settled down to business. The community is glad to have Mr. Coffey, as he is a good citizen and has an excellent family.
Measles continue to menace the health of this section. There have doubtless been 200 cases of this malady in the neighborhoods just south and east of Montpelier.
Perhaps this community has never acquired and lost a citizen whose removal from the community met with more universal regret than that of Luther Williams. Born and reared here and connected from his youth with the business at Montpelier [the General Store at Montpelier, founded by Mr. Williams' grandfather, Cyrus Wheat, and later run by Mr. and his son-in-law, Z.T. Williams as Wheat & Williams--ed.], he knew the custom and his line from A to Z. His natural business tact makes him master of any thing he turns his hand to. Hence his sphere of usefulness is one that cannot be easily duplicated. Mr. Williams had been for years superintendent of the Sunday school at Pleasant Hill church and was a potent leader in church affairs. To say that he and his excellent family will be missed by this community in matters of business, church and social affairs puts it mildly. [The Williams family had removed from Montpelier in early 1918 to Cave City, Ky., where Mr. Williams was to "engage in the drug business...having formed a partnership with Mr. E.T. Willis, who many years ago resided in Columbia." (Adair County News, Jan. 2, 1918..--ed.]
February 20, 1918
Mr. K.W. Bell and family who have been in Jeffersonville, Ind., the last two months have returned to their home at this place. We were sad when [they] left and it is with much joy that we welcome them back to our humble but happy little village.
Mr. G.W. Hayes who has been very sick is very much improved at this time.
John Calhoun, who has had employment at Cleveland, Ohio, for a year or so recently visited his parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.L. Calhoun of this vicinity.
Mr. Charlie Calhoun, of the Dent [Russell Co.] vicinity, is doing his bit for Uncle Sam. He has two sons in the army and a third one is doing service in one of the departments at Washington.
The four members of Mr. A.C. Coffey's family and Mis Miss Lizzie Conover who have had measles are getting about well.
Guy Kelsay has sold his farm on the Jamestown road to Roy Bennett. Mr. Kelsay has purchased Uncle Lee Burbridge's grist mill, at Glensfork and will be engaged in the manufacture of corn bread timber during the ensuing season.
Since sheep raising is the most profitable enterprise our farmers can engage in, it is a lamentable fact that many farmers like Mr. L.P. Hurt, of this vicinity, and others that we might mentioned, have been forced to quit the industry on account of the prevalence of the sheep killing dog... Let us start a "kill the cur" campaign if it brings on a civil war. It would probably end in the killing off of a number of the miserable cusses who insist on keeping sheep killing dogs but the country would be benefitted in the end.
May 22, 1918
The corn planting job is well under way and the prospect is for an uncommonly large acreage in this section.
Mrs. W.C. Grider suffered intensely for several days from the effect of a rusty nail stuck in her foot.
Oral Helm, who has had employment at Cleveland, Ohio, for the past two years, is spending a few weeks with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Helm. [I knew Mr. Helm, or Uncle Oral, we called him, in his later years. He was a fine old gentleman.--ed.]
The singing at Pleasant Hill church, on last Sunday afternoon, was well attended.
Sam Coffey has installed a new oil engine at his watermill, for use during the dry season. Mr. G.W. Helm will also operate a grist mill at his shop this summer. [Mr. Helm ran a blacksmith shop near the intersection of modern-day Hwys 92 & 619 in Russell Co., on the "outskirts" of Montpelier.--ed.]
The residence of Ed Williams of color, came very near being destroyed by fire one day last week. The fire was well under way when discovered, and had not it been for the heroic efforts of some neighbors the house would have burned. [My brother, who spent much of his childhood in and around Montpelier with his grandparents, George "G.W." & Malissa Helm, dearly loved Ed Williams & his wife, Helen (pronounced Hee-l'n), who were close neighbors of the Helms. Brother, now (late 2006) approaching four-score years, still speaks with great fondness of Uncle Ed & Aunt Helen, as they were respectfully called by everyone in the community.--ed.]
Dogs broke into John Coffey's flock of sheep a few nights ago, and killed and maimed ten good sheep. Why does not every farmer in this section keep at least a dozen dogs? If they would do so we would son be rid of the pesky sheep.
The exercises given by the Jamestown colored Lodge of the I.O.O.F., at Bethel colored Baptist church [now long gone; it was located near the intersection of modern-day Old Montpelier & Acree Rds.--ed.], on Sunday, the 12th, was well attended...
The Sunday school at Pleasant Hill church is taking a rather progressive turn this spring. J.V. [Jan Vetter--ed.] Dudley is Superintendent, J.Z. Conover, Assistant Superintendent, [and] Miss Mollie Epperson, Secretary.
July 17, 1918
The wheat and oat crops are in the shock and are rather better than the average crop. If the remainder of the season is favorable the corn crop will be a good one. Meadows and pastures are a little short.
Messrs. Allen Walker, Charlie Murrah, and Joe Jones received about 300 sheep and lambs here on the 2nd. The price paid for lambs ranged from 14c to 16c.
Miss Pearl Bradshaw recently spent a month visiting her brother, F.E. Bradshaw, of Burnsides [Pulaski Co.] and Miss Nell Williams, of Cave City [Barren Co.] Miss Nell in turn spent a pleasant two weeks visiting friends and relatives here and at Columbia. [Miss Nell Williams was the daughter of Montpelier native and long-time resident Luther Williams.--ed.]
During a thunder storm here on the morning of June 25th, Mr. R.A. Stone had the misfortune of getting a good mare and work mule killed by lightning. The mare had a suckling colt which was not killed.
Mr. Zach Taylor, who has been in western Nebraska for a year or two, is visiting his mother, Mrs. Ada Taylor. Mr. Taylor is 100 per cent American and his purpose in coming to Kentucky was to join the army.
Mr. Ed Bradshaw, who is a traveling salesman, recently spent a day or two visiting his parents, Mr. and Mrs. G.A. Bradshaw.
Mr. Joe Calhoun, wife [Lethe] and little daughter, of Ocama [sic; probably Okemah--ed.], Oklahoma, recently spent a month, visiting their parents, Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Calhoun, of Dent [Russell Co.] and Mr. and Mrs. G.W. Helm, this place. [Helen, their "little daughter," was only a few months old. She born March 21, 1918.--ed.]
The social given by Miss Margie Antle in honor of the Misses Lawless, of Oklahoma, and Miss Nell Williams, of Cave City, was a highly enjoyed affair. [Margie, a distant cousin, departed this vale of tears in 1995, age 97 years. I met her about 1975, and for the next 20 years, she took great delight in regaling me with stories about my -- our -- kinfolk and other characters who lived in and near old Montpelier. Requiescat in pace, dear friend.--ed.]
Samuel, the little son of Dr. S.A. Taylor, while returning home from church two weeks ago, overturned the buggy in which he and his mother and little sister, were riding and in the fall broke one of the bones of his fore arm and dislocated his wrist joint. Mrs. Taylor and daughter received only some minor injuries.
September 4, 1918
Rev. R.B. Grider and wife, of Bowling Green, recently spent a few days with Rev. Grider's parents, Mr. and Mrs. W.C. Grider, this place. Mr. and Mrs. Grider accompanied their son and daughter-in-law as far as Cave City, where they visited the family of Mr. Luther Williams. They returned home via the Lincoln home at Hodgenville.
Mr. Clarence Hurt and wife, of Burnside, visited relatives here last week.
Rev. W.B Taylor, of Cincinnati, has just closed a series of meetings at Pleasant Hill church. Rev. Taylor is an able divine and some excellent sermons were delivered. There were seven additions to the church.
Mrs. O.C. Chapman, who has been sick for several weeks, is some better.
Browder Calhoun has gone to Cleveland, O., where he will work for a few weeks.
Miss Ruth Stapp has resigned her school in Russell county, and has accepted a school in Pendleton county.
Mr. J.L. Antle, as contractor, has recently completed new schoolhouses in New Liberty, white district, and in colored district J, near this place. Both are excellent pieces of workmanship.
Misses Willie and Mabel Rosenbaum, of Columbia, visited their grandmother, Mrs. L.P. Hurt, a few days ago. [Mrs. Hurt had first married Elijah Rosenbaum; after his death, she married Mr. L.P. Hurt in 1908.--ed.]
Rev. R.B. Grider delivered a very able and forceful address at Mt. Pleasant church [Russell Co.] on Sunday, Aug. 18th.
Elds. F.J. [Flavius J.] Barger and Z.T. Williams attended the meeting at Pleasant Hill last week.
The law requiring the cutting of weeds and bushes on the roadside, has caused the resurrection of several old grub hoes and briar cythes that had [not] been out of their hiding places for years. This is a good law, for it has reminded some of us that these tools could be used on the inside fence corners and even out in the fields.
October 30, 1918
There has recently been three deaths in the Coffey's School house section [in Russell Co.] a few miles south of this place resulting from influenza. The victims were Robt. Grant, a young man by the name of Biby and an infant child of Albert Grant's. [All three deaths occurred in Russell County. The latter two were Lanis Biba, 19, who died October14th, & Dorthea Grant, one year, who died October 18th.-ed]
Dr. S.A. Taylor, Mr. L.P Hurt and all of J.W. Voils' family are just recovering from the "flu."
Mr. Jas. N. Conover sold his farm to his nephew, Rollin Willis of Joppa. While the community is acquiring an excellent family, we are extremely regretful to lose a type of citizenship that few equal and none excel.
Mr. A.G.G. Coffey has bought the old school building, known as the Montpelier Academy, and will move it to [the] site near the present Montpelier store, where it will be used as a store house.
Goebel Clayton is in school at Bowling Green where he is taking military in connection with his other studies.
Will Blair, of this place, has bought a farm lying on the head waters of Reynold's Creek, of [i.e., from] Sidney Holt, of Esto [Russell Co.]
Miss Mabel Hindman, of Columbia, visited Miss Pearl Bradshaw last week
Mrs. Annie Redmond of Columbia, is visiting her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Bell, of this place.
The Adair Fiscal Court bought Allen Walker's farm, two miles north of this place, for $6,000. The property will be used as a county poor farm.
December 4, 1918
The flu situation does not improve here. The family of W.L. Calhoun, Joe Jones and J.M. Antle has been very sick with that malady.
Mr. T.J. Epperson sold his farm, near Pleasant Hill church, known as the Capt. O.B. Patterson farm, to Mr. Allen Walker, of Columbia, for $6,000. We understand that Mr. Epperson has purchased property in Columbia. This removal almost completes the exodus of original inhabitants of this community that has been taking place in the last decade or so.
Mrs. Omera Jeffries, of Columbia, visited the family of G.A. Bradshaw last week.
The War Work campaign here resulted in Glenville precinct going over the top in raising its quota. Worthy of special mention is the effort made in Zion School District, where Mrs. O.A. Young and Miss Kathleen Willis as the workers in that school district raised more than three times their apportionment.
Mrs. G.A. Bradshaw, who has been very sick, is some better.
Miss Mollie Blakey and her little brother, in attempting to ford Russell creek at Epperson's Mill, last Sunday, barely escaped being drowned. The creek being very full their buggy washed down stream and hung on an obstruction, where the horse tore loose from the buggy. Miss Blakey by holding to a limb of a tree prevented the buggy from drifting away till she could be rescued by neighbors who were attracted by her cries for help.
The din and noise of the celebration here, on the night of the eleventh, attained proportions never before heard of in this community. But we have not been able to ascertain whether the rejoicing was more over the flogging of the Huns or that the close of the war would end the excuse for charging 200 per cent, profit on everything anybody has to sell.