Mary F. Brown, Historian
26 March 1997
When I submitted my last article I had begun the conclusion to the Gilbert-Cochran-Kincheloe-Ochs story. The article concerned my reach for the identification of Dr. Jesse Kincheloe who was the second husband of Anna Cochran Stone. Research proved him to be the son of William Kincheloe whose early station was destroyed by Indians in 1782.
Following this article, I visited the Old Methodist Cemetery outside Chaplin and made a photograph of a bronze marker which had been placed in the cemetery in his memory. Unfortunately it bears an incorrect death date. The 1788 date was the date his last will was written and signed but he did not die until 1797, at which time his will was probated.
The families of whom I have written a series of articles have been prominent citizens in the various communities in which they lived and made valuable contributions to schools, churches, and public life. As Peter Jennings would say, "They are people who have made a difference." They are worthy of being remembered. Once again they are on "center stage."
Curtis Ochs, the son of Simon and Margery Kincehloe Ochs, was born 27 Nov 1885. He grew up on the Ochs family farm on the road now known as Ochs Lane, and was educated in the county schools.
He graduated from the Spencer Institute, the second institute of higher learning in Taylorsville. At this time the school was under the direction of Mrs. Texanna Overstreet who was recognized as one of Kentucky's finest educators.
It was a mark of distinction to have been educated at this institute. (The old building stood on the north east corner of Main and Jefferson Streets. Most of my years the building was known as the Overstreet property, then the Thurman Apartments, and finally Brock apartments.)
Curtis Ochs, Jr. has in his possession the copy of the commencement exercises, the year of Curtis Ochs, Sr's graduation in the early 1900's. I am quoting this item in its entirety, not only for its contents but as an example of the florid journalistic style in the early 1900's.
Exercises of the Spencer Institute were well Rendered and Well Received.
Under lowering clouds and weeping skies the Commencement exercises of old Spencer Institute occurred. The audience was good, as well as appreciative, giving undivided attention to the exercises.
The fair Salutatorian was Mistress of the occasion, and her subject handled in dignified, impressive style, shown how much her loved Literature had cultured her. Miss Smith expects to become a professional teacher and a prophecy of good can be made should the past be an exponent of the future.
Master Curtis Ochs in his "Pleas For a Boy" uttered a practical as well as a divine philosophy. He was perfect in utterance, graceful in gestures and manners, so earnet that all listeners were impressed with the high aim and strong individuality of the young speaker. He ill nobly grace the bar of which he expects to become a member.
The music was given by the quartet Messrs. Bell and Overstreet, Mrs. Overstreet and Miss (Katie) Mathis, with Mrs. Booles as accompanist. Mrs. Overstreet's solo, Roband's "Bright Star of Love", the classic, was rendered so well that it encored, but each member received great applause.
"The Passing of the Red Man" by Rev J. L. Bell was not only instructive, but deeply impressive, as it tore down the sentimental structures that had made the Indian a martyr, while he is simply ground up by the wheel of progress to which change he is a foe.
Prizes were received by Clark Bennett a gold pen for progress in Penmanship, by Roy Downs a gold Bage for Merit in every branch of Primary Study, Mather Henry Greenwell the Academic Medal for "progress," while the Scholarship Medal was awarded to Miss Sallie Smith, she having attainted 97-1/2 in her average.
Diplomas were bestowed on Miss Smith and Master Curtis Ochs.
In the closing number, a chorus from Rossini, Miss Katie Mathis displayed scope of voice and was beautiful in smoothness and harmony. Taylorsville can boast a quartet that is unrivaled by the large cities. If you desire good work, call on it."
Curtis Ochs, 1885-1959, son of Simon and Margery Ochs.
Simon Ochs' house, Ochs Lane in Wakefield.
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