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Cheatham was Leader in Community
By Tom Watson
Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Growing up in Taylorsville, the name Thad Cheatham was one I heard often. I wasn't sure who he was, but my father spoke of him with respect. I later found out he had held public office and was well known and respected as a community leader.

I didn't know Mr. Cheatham because he died Aug. 19, 1942 at the age of 71, when I was three-years-old.

But I've read about him in newspapers and I've known various members of his family. I went over to visit with Thad Cheatham, son of Susan Wittenauer, and his brother Lowell Cheatham.

Now for the confusion. Susan, who we always called "Suzie" when she was growing up in Taylorsville as Suzie Curtsinger, married Glynn Cheatham of Chaplin, but is now married to Jack Wittenauer of Bullitt County.

I have also been in touch with William "Bill" Nicholls lately by email. He sent me the following:

"Thad and Lizzie Cheatham had 13 children. There was Lynn, Bill's uncle, Billie C. Kozen, Mae C., Nell C. Vaughn, Thad Junior, Katherine Cheatham Nicholls Curtsinger, who married William Harold Nicholls, Sr., and later William Curtsinger, father of Rodney and Susan Curtsinger, who were twins.

There was also John C. Cheatham, S.L. Cheatham, Dorothy C. Steffen, Chrissie C. Ridge (Taylorsville High School teacher who died Jan. 23, 2000), Lorrine C. Stephens (widow, Knoxville, Tenn.), Wanda C. Pearce (widow Henderson, Ky.), and Kennet Halstead Cheatham who lives in Knoxville.

Thad Cheatham, who was commonwealth's attorney in Spencer County, was born in Washington County Nov. 2, 1877. These other birthdays came from family records. Lizzie McCann, wife of John McCann, Sept. 29, 1883; Lynn, Sept. 11, 1899; Billie Sept. 2, 1901; Mae Jan. 29, 1903; Nell June 30, 1905; Thad Jr., Aug. 2, 1907; Katherine Oct. 23, 1909; John Feb. 28, 1911; Samuel Lewis Feb. 24, 1913; Dorothy Nov. 5, 1916; Chrissie Jan. 27, 1918; Lorraine Dec. 29, 1919; Wanda Oct. 27, 1920; Halstead Sept. 6, 1923.

And from the Kentucky Death Index, 1911-1986: John D. Cheatham, 76, Feb. 6, 1986; John J. Cheatham, 24, Nov. 30, 1928; John M. Cheatham, 29, Nov. 30, 1941 (Spencer County); Lizzie Cheatham, 85, July 18, 1969; Lizzie M. Cheatham, 63, June 11, 1983 and Katherine E. Curtsinger, 81, March 22, 1991.

I've asked for more information on the Cheatham family and once we get it, a followup will be in order.

Write to: Tom Watson, 5225 Little Union Rd., Taylorsville, Ky., 40071. Email apwriternews@yahoo.com or phone 502 252-9991. If you'd like to email Bill Nicholls, his address is bbnicholls@earthlink.net.

See Photo stirs up memories of school for additional information.

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