News from Adair County


Columbia's (?)First Library...


(Articles below transcribed from various editions of the Adair County News, as noted) 

January 8, 1941 edition:

 New W.P.A. Library To Open Soon

 Mrs. Ada Neat Murrell Will Have Charge of Library. 700 Books Have Been Donated.

 Plans for the new W.P.A. Library were completed yesterday afternoon when members of the Women's Club library committee met with other interested parties at Moore's Confectionary. It was announced that more than 700 volumes and 1,000 magazines had been contributed to date and that further donations would be gladly accepted. The committee also voted to spend $10 for new books and stated that weekly and monthly magazines and newspapers would be provided at all times.

 The Library will be located over Lloyd's Pharmacy in quarters formerly occupied by the W.P.A. Sewing Project. Mrs. Ada Neat Murrell will be in charge when it is opened within the next two weeks.

 The committee sponsoring the project of which Mrs. W.I. Fraser is chairman, request that their appreciation be expressed to the public for the splendid cooperation given them.

January 15, 1941edition:

 Formal Opening Of W.P.A. Library Project

 Formal opening of the W.P.A. Library Project will be held Tuesday evening, January 21, at 7:00 o'clock. The public is cordially invited. There will be Rook and Chinese Checkers for those who care to play. The Girls Reserve and Boy Scouts will sell tickets for the games, and the public is urged to attend.

January 22, 1941 edition:

 Library Opening Draws Big Crowd

 An estimated one hundred people crowded in the spacious W.P.A. sponsored, Community Library room Monday night to attend a rook party on the opening evening. Those who engaged the Rook or Chinese Checkers games were served with delicious refreshments. The Grand Opening was also attended by Mrs. Frances Whitledge, District Library Sponsor, with office in Glasgow, and her assistant, Mr. Hall. Mrs. Garnett Murrell is head of the local project and is aided by seven county assistants.

 This addition to community culture may prove to be one of the most beneficial organizations created in recent years. Already more than seven hundred and fifty volumes of various books have been installed in the book shelves. These are composed of fiction books, encyclopedias and dictionaries. Several hundred old school books have been stored in the reserve room. Eight hundred magazines have also been gathered and are now at the service of the visiting public.

 The library is located in a well‑furnished, white‑walled room equipped with long chestnut tables and chairs for visitors who prefer not to check out library property.

December 23, 1941 edition: 

New Books Given Adair WPA Library

 Every effort is being put forth to make the WPA Library a success, and to do this those in charge must have the hearty approval, cooperation and support of the county and town. This library exists for the benefit of the people, both young and old all over the county, as well as those in town. This is a free community library, where everyone may come in and read, or borrow books to take home with them to read. Good books are character building, and afford much valuable information.

 Last week there were 150 books added to the shelves, which increased the total number to more than a thousand. All the books are clean, nice literature, and are written by the best and latest authors... Through the kindness of some of the ladies around in the county and town, the latest and best magazines are kept.

 Persons who have never been to the library are urged to come in, visit it and take advantage of the opportunity it affords you.

 ...and the demise thereof:

 July 1, 1942 edition:

An article headlined WPA Activities Curtailed stated "Only two projects will be continued in Adair, the street project and work on the Plum Point bridge."

December 9, 1942 edition:

 An article headlined Roosevelt Orders WPA Liquidated noted that "Kentucky's W.P.A. activities will cease possibly by February 1 [1943] in compliance with the President's order..."

 In neither of the two entries above (July 1 & Dec. 9, 1942) was the Library specifically mentioned, but it apparently fell victim to the wholesale curtailment of WPA activities. Most certainly, the Library had ceased to exist by late 1944, when the following appeared in a front page article in the December 6, 1944 edition of the News: "...there isn't a community Library within forty miles of Columbia."


Transcribed from the Adair County News.


(The Sesquicentennial refers to the 150th anniversary of Kentucky's admission to the United States on June 1, 1792.)


September 9, 1942

Sesqui-Centennial Celebration Planned At Camp Knox This Month


Governor Keen Johnson Will Speak At Celebration Which Is Being Planned By Green And Adair County.


Will Be Held September 27


Plans are being formulated for the Sesquicentennial observance to be held Sunday afternoon, September 27, at historic Camp Knox, in Green County. Governor Keen Johnson is to appear on the program as a speaker. Citizens from Green and Adair Counties are cooperating in the observance. This site is just east of the Adair County line of the Columbia-Greensburg Road. The Mt. Gilead Church is located on the exact place where the Skin House was erected by Col. James Knox and his men in 1769 or 1770.

The significance of Camp Knox, to Kentuckians and to Kentucky history, is that after spending two years at this place Knox and his men returned to Virginia and the Carolinas with glowing reports of the rich country between the Kentucky and Cumberland Rivers. Their descriptions and enthusiasm for the new country was one of the chief forces that led to the settlement of this State. The Boone and Knox parties entered Kentucky in the same year. Boone moved to northern Kentucky and Knox to the South. Knox and his Virginians used Camp Knox as their headquarters.

[A photograph of Governor Keen Johnson accompanied this article.]


September 16, 1942

Historic Camp Knox Will Be Scene Of Observance On September 27


A Marker Will Be Unveiled On The Site Of One Of The Earliest Settled Spots In The State of Kentucky.


Chandler Plans To Attend


Citizens of Kentucky, especially those of South Central, will have an opportunity to share in a very remarkable observance as a part of the State Sesquicentennial when a marker is unveiled at historic Camp Knox, in Green County. Governor Keen Johnson is to address the assembly and United States Senator A.B. Chandler has stated that he too will make every effort to be present. Green and Adair Counties are cooperating in the observance. The program is scheduled to begin at 2 o'clock on Sunday afternoon, September 27. Camp Knox is located a mile east from the Columbia-Greensburg Road at the Green-Adair County line. The Camp Knox site is one of the earliest settled spots in all Kentucky. It was here, in 1770, that Colonel James Knox and twenty-two men from Virginia settled in their exploration of the country and their search for game. Directed to the Beech Woods Valley by an Indian, Captain Dick, they were the first white men to be in Green or Adair Counties. This valley in which the village of Cane Valley is now located, was once a dense cane brake. The small stream  which runs through it and the sulphur and salt springs found there, made it one of the most attractive spots for wild game in all of Kentucky in ancient times.

Colonel James Harrod, founder of Harrodsburg, was in Adair County about 1774, and camped in the Mt. Pleasant neighborhood, possibly looking for a site which he later found in the city which bears his name.

Recent historical research has afforded an interesting explanation concerning wild animal life in this section. A buffalo trace running from the prairie country of Illinois through southern Indiana  and crossing the Ohio River at the Louisville Falls indicated the animal transient of thousands of buffalos for the winter months into Kentucky. Kentucky with its caves, dense forests, cane, and salt licks furnished the best possible food and protection for these huge creatures. The trace, a depressed highway, made sterile by the droppings of these salt-fed beasts  has now been definitely mapped. It was in this Beech Woods Valley that Knox and his men found a hunter's paradise. Located here for two years they accumulated twenty-three hundred deer hides and other valuable furs. Recent repairs on the Mt. Gilead Church located on the exact spot of their settlement, revealed a pit in which they probably cured the deer hides. Frightened away by Indians, they did not return for perhaps a year or more. When they came to their Camp Knox site they found their skin house demolished and their fortunes in hides rotted. On a tree nearby which stood until about fifteen years ago, one of the "Long Hunters" carved: "Twenty-three hundred deer hides, lost Runiation. By G--d."

This neighborhood has a number of ancient early settlements. A mile and half from Camp Knox is the site of Gray's Station, one of the early forts in Kentucky. Nearby is the location of the Jane Todd Crawford Cabin. On the Camp Knox Grounds is a building, Mt. Gilead Academy, which is known to have functioning in 1857, and boasted of two New York instructors--a Miss Abell and a Professor Bixby. Mt. Gilead Masonic Lodge No. 974 was here. The spot was one of the oldest settled and cultured locations in Kentucky.

The significance of the celebrations is that the Boone and "Long Hunters" Parties entered Kentucky the same year, 1769. The influence the "Long Hunters" had on the settlement of Kentucky is incalculable. An eminent historian, Honorable Z.F. Smith, in his "History of Kentucky" says: "The 'Long Hunters' welcomed back, were as famed at home and abroad among the Atlantic slopes, as were Jason and his comrades returned to the shores of their native Thessaly, bearing the prize of the Golden Fleece. From far and near the people came to hear, while these modern Argonauts of the forest rehearsed to wondering auditors most glowing descriptions of the land of promise they had explored."

Many families of this territory are descendants of these "Long Hunters," who before the Revolutionary War, entered this section in their search for less restraint than found in British dominated Virginia and because of their love of individual freedom. The occasion September 27, is not only one of historic interest, but one that is related to this World War of our own day because we too are a freedom loving people.



[A photograph of U.S. Senator A.B. Chandler accompanied this article.]


September 23, 1942

Camp Knox Marker Will Be Erected


A Large Crowd Is Expected At Sesquicentennial Celebration In Green County Sunday.


Gov. Johnson Will Speak


A gathering of interest will take place this Sunday afternoon at Camp Knox in Green County. Citizens of Green and Adair Counties are erecting a marker where in 1779 one of the earliest settlements of Kentucky was made. At this very spot a group of twenty-three men from Virginia camped and their settlement there was one of the first known migrations into Kentucky. The Camp Knox locality includes the site of an old fort,.Gray's Station, and the site of the Jane Todd Crawford cabin.

Governor Keen Johnson is to make the principal address, unveiling the marker.  High school students from Greensburg and Columbia will form a band. The program includes several novel and interesting features. Arrangements have been made for several hundred visitors. The affair is part of the Kentucky Sesquicentennial Observance.

How to reach Camp Knox

Camp Knox is at the Green-Adair County line in Green County. Go out the Columbia-Greensburg Road to the county line markers. Turn off main road to right three hundred yards  beyond county line sign. Continue on side road one mile to the site. Committee plans road markers where side road turns off black top road. Old Mount Gilead Church is on the Camp Knox site.


September 30, 1942

1500 Attend Camp Knox Observance


Governor Keen Johnson Addressed Crowd At Adair-Green Sesquicentennial Rally On Sunday


Marker Is Unveiled At Meet


A crowd estimated at 1,500 persons attended the Sesquicentennial observance held at Camp Knox on the Adair and Green County line Sunday afternoon and heard Governor Keen Johnson speak. His address, which lasted forty-five minutes, held the attention of his audience from start to finish and was said by those present to be one of the best ever made in this section of Kentucky.

He interpreted the historical events surrounding the settlement of the Camp Knox site in relation to their effects upon present day life and happenings in an interesting manner. He also brought into his speech the importance of the present State-wide scrap drive and the necessity of aiding the war effort by purchasing War Bonds and Stamps.

A handsome marker was unveiled at the site by young Damon Buckner, son of Mr. and Mrs. Bascomb Buckner. The youth is a descendant of some of the "Long Hunters" who settled the old camp in 1770 and a direct descendant of Governor Simon Boliver Buckner.

The marker was made by E.D. Roberts, of Sparksville, and weighs approximately five tons. The base is of native limestone and the stone proper of Georgia granite. On the stone is carved the figure of a Kentucky hunter and the legend of the settlement of Camp Knox.

Rev. Lawrence R. Fugit, chairman of the observance and pastor of the Columbia Christian Church, spoke on the History of Camp Knox and told that the long hunters settlement was responsible for the migration from Virginia and the Carolinas.

The following program was carried out at the celebration:

            Song--"America the Beautiful," Assembly and Band, Professor J.H. Sanders, Greensburg.

            Scripture Reading--Rev. Noel Page, Mt. Gilead Baptist Church.

            Quartette--Foster Melodies, Rollin, Billy, Horace Cundiff and Samuel Kelsey.

            "This is Kentucky"--Miss Mary Lucy Lowe, Principal Columbia High School.

            History of Camp Knox--Lawrence R. Fugit, Minister of Columbia Christina Church and Chairman of Observance.

            "My Old Kentucky Home"--High School Band.

            Introduction of Governor--Mr. T.P. Noggle, Greensburg.

            Address Unveiling the Marker--Keen Johnson, Governor of Kentucky.

            Concluding Remarks--Local Committee.

            "America"--Assembly and Band, Prof. J.H. Sanders.

            Benediction--Ernest P. Gast, Minister Campbellsville Christian Church.