News from Adair County



Uncle Ed, Gradyville's Most Famous Son

Edgar Allen "E.A." Diddle, known far and wide as Uncle Ed, was born in 1895 in Gradyville, Adair County, Kentucky, and to this day remains Gradyville's most famous son. He coached basketball at Western Kentucky University for an incredible 42 years (1922-1964) and at the time of his retirement he was the winningest coach in history. Over forty years later, E.A. still ranks among the top five in the nation for most victories. A very nice sketch of his coaching career appears at <>

Recently (November, 2005), a statue of Uncle Ed was unveiled at his beloved Western, an event sadly under-covered by both Bowling Green and Western Kentucky media. Fortunately, Adair County's own Columbia Magazine <> captured some great shots of the statue. One, a closeup, complete with Mr. Diddle's famous Red Towel, may be viewed at
<> Another great photo, this one showing the entire Diddle memorial, is at <>.

From the Adair County News, October 1, 1941, page three.

Homecoming at Home of Mr. & Mrs. Bryant

   A Homecoming was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Carlie Bryant, near Christine, on Sunday September 21. The occasion was to honor the children and grandchildren residing in distant states who were at home for a visit. At the noon hour a delicious dinner was served to fifty-seven members of the family.  The following were present: Mr. Lilburn Bryant, Tina, Mo.; Mrs. James
Gallons, New London, Conn.; Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Bryant, Michigan City, Ind.; Mr. and Mrs. George Watson, of Washington, D.C.; Mr. Claude Bryant, of Kokomo, Ind., Mr. and Mrs. Leighton Bryant and children, Michigan City, Ind.; Mr. and Mrs. Joe Thomas, of Knifley; Mr. and Mrs. Liss Grant, Mr. and Mrs. Otis Henson, Mrs. Ira Grant and children, Miss Levona Bryant, Mr. Buford Bryant, Mr. and Mrs. Robert Bryant, Bengal, Ky.; Mr. and Mrs. Coy Bryant, Bengal, Ky.; and Mrs. Russell Bryant. All children were present except Mrs. Chester Chelf, who lives in Whiteland, Ind.
   This was a very happy occasion for the mother and father as one of the sons had been away for nineteen years.

Selected death reports from December 16 & 23, 1908 issues of the Adair County News.


16 December 1908 edition


Fatal Accident [WARNING: very graphic]

  Last Monday Rollis, a little five year old son of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Murrell, who reside near Clear Spring, was fatally burned, dying in two hours.

  The little fellow, with a sister, a few years older, were in the yard where a large kettle was being heated. The little boy got too close to the flames and his clothes caught, burning him to a crisp. His sister who attempted to extinguish the flames, was also badly burned about the hands and arms.

  This is a distressing blow to the much grieved parents, who have the sympathy of every body in the neighborhood.



Died in Elida, New Mexico


  Judge T.A. Murrell received a message last Thursday morning from his brother, Dr. C.M. Murrell, Elida, New Mexico, stating that the latter's wife had died the afternoon before.

  This announcement brought sorrow to many relatives and friends in Adair county where the deceased was born and reared, and where she was married to her husband about four years ago.

  She was a daughter of Mr. J.P. Dohoney Sr., who lives on the Burkesville Pike, two and one-half miles from Columbia and was educated in this place.

  Irene, as she was familiarly called...was a victim of pulmonary trouble and was a sufferer for several years... The interment was at Elida.

  The husband, who is left childless, has the sincere sympathy of the people of Adair Co. ...


One Man Killed


  A terrible and lamentable accident occurred at Andrew Foley's mill, in  Russell county, near Russell Springs last Monday afternoon. The explosion was terrific and Jackson Voils, who was employed at the mill was killed...


Death of a Well-known Citizen


  Last Thursday afternoon after an illness of several weeks, Mr. Sid Caldwell, a well-known citizen of this county, died at his late home, near Portland. He was between sixty-eight and seventy years old, and had been an active farmer and trader... He was twice married. He is survived by his wife, and four daughters by his first wife, Mrs. Tom Waggener, of this place, being one of the number. The funeral services were held at the home and the interment was in the family burying ground, a large number of relatives and friends being present.



[No headline]


  Mrs. Sallie Hurt, who was the wife of Art Hurt, died in the Clear Spring neighborhood last Sunday night. She was 35 years old and had been in bad health for the past year. She leaves a husband and three children and many relatives. Her maiden name was Grider.


23 December 1908 edition


{No headline]


  Toddy Holladay, who was a well-known colored man about town, died very suddenly last Wednesday night...


A Good Citizen Gone to His Reward


  On Sunday night, the 18th inst., Mr. J.M. Hendrickson, who was one of Adair county's best citizens, died at his late home, near Rolley.

  The deceased was a victim of typhoid fever and was confined to his bed about two months...

  His wife died several years ago, but he is survived by three children, Mrs. Van Dunbar and two sons.

  The religious services and burial were largely attended.

The following was transcribed verbatim on 04/14/04 from the microfilmed "Adair County News," Wednesday, October 9, 1901 edition, page three.




Charley Medaris, a Farmer of this County Found Dead in his Barn




  The citizens of this community were startled yesterday morning upon hearing that Charley Medaris was dead ‑‑ hung himself in his barn. It is not known what time he put an end to his life. The first discovery was yesterday morning when his brother went to the barn to feed.

  The deceased was in town [Columbia KY] all of Monday, and was on a trade with some gentlemen for a farm. He called at The News office and partially arranged to have some sale bills printed. He was in good spirits, and remarked that if he did not buy a certain farm he would sell out and remove to Texas. For several months the deceased and his brother, John, have been selling goods at Glenville [now called Glensfork.]

  Mr. Medaris was a good citizen and leaves a wife and children. There is no known cause for the rash act.


Transcriber's note: The deceased was Mr. Charles Murrell Medaris, the son of Moses Medaris and Martha Emeline Murrell. He married Lena May Royce in 1890.


Henry Grider 

In 1863 [Henry] Grider was renominated, and had for his opponent T.C. WINFREY who has been a member of every political organization that has had life in this State within the past 40 years. When the War broke out he joined the Federal army, and held a commission as Major of a cavalry regiment. In 1863, he had left the army and belonged to the Peace party, who had a majority in the [old third KY congressional] district. Grider would have been defeated had there been no soldiers at the polls. On the stump, Winfrey was no mean adversary. he is a good lawyer, and has an extensive practice. He has an ever present wit and is full of resources. An anecdote of him and Gen. Ed. Hobson illustrates this. Early in the war Winfrey was captured by John Morgan, who paroled him and sent him home, where he remained until peace was declared. Shortly after, Morgan captured Gen. Hobson and his command at Cynthiana. The Federals were at Burkesville in considerable force, and Hobson was in command. Winfrey was there, and seeing Hobson in the street he approached him, and holding out his hand said with hearty warmth:    "How are you, Gen. Hobson? I am glad to see you. I can sympathize with a man who has been captured by John Morgan."
   Hobson drew himself up with much dignity, and said. "I flatter myself that I gave John Morgan much more trouble when he captured me than you did, Maj. Winfrey."    "You must have run like hell, then," said Winfrey, "for he pursued me for half a day before he caught me."