Bobby Moore's Contribution...Conclusion
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Bobby Moore's contribution...conclusion
By Tom Watson
Wednesday, June 8, 2005
Editor's note: The following is a continuation from last week's edition.
The fording place at the crossing of Simpson Creek was the watering place for the animals traveling the road and the usual depth of the water came to the steps of the surrey.
Much could be written about Simpson Creek which was the place of recreation in both summer and winter. In addition to swimming in the pool, which had been carved out of solid rock below the dam in the Lewis Place, persons from the colored settlement fished there and pastured their cows on vegetation on both sides of the stream. The separated the Gore Place from the Porter Place, and the land along the road leading from the Bardstown Turnpike at the junction near which was a large and attractive residence constructed by Mr. McMahon of the Citizens Bank, which was known as the "Commons." It furnished pasture for 25 or 50 head of cows owned by persons in the black community.
In the summer the swimming hole below the dam was the bath room for the Duncan boys who had been working in the fields during the day. I am sure that Nat Muir, son of Mr. Hal Muir, the banker, carried a scar on one of his fingers as the result of the father of the Duncan children having cut a fishing hook out of the finger with his pocket knife. About a mile below the fording place before entering the Gore Place down the stream was Shehan's Bridge. Below this Bridge which has now been replaced by a more modern structure was a water hold for the baptism of all denominations, both white and black, who believed in emersion [immersion]. [This compiler was baptized there into the Christian Church in the 1940s.]
The Duncans were plain people and although their clothes were always clean and respectable, they were not stylish. The father of the Duncan children, by hard work and frugality, converted two old run-down farms with rock hillsides (the Gore and Porter Places) into two well kept farms, well sodded with blue grass, Persons who are now farming these places are taking out of them what he put into them sixty or seventy years ago.
The persons who lived in and around Bloomfield were the salt of the earth and while some were inclined to stylish living they were friendly and congenial with the Duncan children whose father frowned on stylish dress, rubber tire buggies and fancy horses. The farms in and around Bloomfield were very productive, well fenced with painted or whitewashed fences, well mowed lawns and regularly clipped hedges.
In school, politics were heatedly discussed by the pupils. Goebel, a Democrat, had been assassinated, and Taylor, a Republican, had fled to Indiana, and it was difficult to discuss the subject of the guilt or innocence of the accused persons without the discussion leading into a fight. Ray Crume, Owen Lynch and the author were about the only pupils whose fathers were Republicans and we were called, "Negro Lovers."
In this connection, the Bardstown Pike, which the Duncan children traveled to and from school for about a mile, was the border line for the black community and the road leading off the Bardstown Road passed through the negro community, and its inhabitants, with few exceptions, were friends of the Duncan family. Many of them were ex-slaves of my Grandfather Duncan and their names are inscribed in the Duncan Family Bible. The Porter farm extended to the edge of the black community and the father of the Duncan children was stern with the negroes who kept poorly fed dogs that killed his sheep, but when one of the negroes was sick or in need, he carried them food and gave them assistance.
It is now 1970, and one sometimes wonders why anyone would leave a community of God's chosen people and the Garden Spot of the World. The Lynch, McMahon and Hoke families moved to Shelbyville. Other families have moved away and few of the inhabitants of the Bloomfield community then are left. Where have they gone? The parents of the children who attended the two-room school were anxious for their sons and daughters to obtain a college education and the college graduates have gone where their professions have called them.
Owen Lynch is a retired druggist living in Irvine, Ky. Ray Crume, Lida Hughes Muir, James Batchelor and others still live in Bloomfield. Eugene Whittington, who was at one time employed in the Muir, Wilson and Muir Bank, moved to Oklahoma City about the time Oklahoma was made a State, and started the Eugene Whittington Insurance Company. He is now deceased but the Company started by him is still in business.
It is with deep regret that we report the death of Robert P. Moore on May 27, 2005 in Lexington.
Last week, a portion of Bobby Moore's collection of Bloomfield-area history was offered up in the form of an article from Bobby's: "Bloomfield. Chaplin and Fairfield, A History and Genealogy of Northeastern Nelson County,Kentucky." In this excerpt, Bobby quotes from a writer who refers to himself as "The Old Timer." Nothing from here to the end is authored by Tom Watson, by the way.
"Bloomfield as Remembered in 1900: Old Timer Reminisces Kentucky Standard, 10 Sept. 1970 conclusion.
H.R. Duncan, attorney-at law at Oklahoma City, Okla., gives a graphic picture of his native Bloomfield, Ky., about 1900, in the story we've been offering.
Note by Bobby Moore: The 1900 census of Nelson Co. reveals that this is the family of Thomas Duncan and Emma/Emeline Brewer. The H.R. in the author's name probably stands for Henry Russell.] Remember: When you have local history in the form of photos, tin, glass or paper, identified or not, let me know. I also have interest in diaries, notebooks, scrapbooks and all manner of local historical material. Never throw it out, throw it at me. Tom Watson, 5225 Little Union Road, Taylorsville, Ky., 40071. Phone 502 252-9991 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
©2001 The Spencer Magnet
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