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Showing posts from 2017

Arthur Robinson Frogge: Pioneer of the Valley of the Three Forks o' the Wolf

My 5th great-grandfather, Arthur Robinson Frogge, was born to William and Mary Mitchell Frogg on April 13, 1776, almost three months before the Declaration of Independence was approved by the Second Continental Congress.

Arthur was of Scottish descent and was named after his uncle Arthur Frogg (c1744 – 1771) who was reportedly killed in a duel in Virginia. His middle name was in homage of his brother-in-law and business partner, David Robinson. According to his widow’s pension, Arthur Frogg was 6 ft. tall, slender, fair-completed, blue eyes and had black hair. President James Madison was Arthur's second cousin. Madison’s mother and Arthur’s grandmother were sisters.

In August of 1795, at the age of 19, Arthur enlisted as a private in the 14th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry. He served three years, taking part in several expeditions against the Creek Indians, before he was honorably discharged at Ft. Williams in Georgia in August of 1798.

Arthur married Jane Thompson Richards…

The Hunt For Freedom

Two decades before Abraham Lincoln issued his Emancipation Proclamation, Polly Berry, an African-American woman who had been enslaved as a child in Wayne County, Kentucky, became a free woman, thanks to the help of two former residents of Stockton's Valley, who were also members of Clear Fork Baptist Church.

Polly Berry, aka Polly Crockett and Polly Wash, was an African-American woman who was reportedly born to a slave in a Beatty family in Wayne County, Kentucky around 1803, and who later became enslaved to a one-armed man named Joseph Crockett, the uncle of frontiersman, Davy Crockett, who migrated from Fredericks County, Virginia to Wayne County, where he operated a sawmill. In the winter of 1818, when Polly was 14 years old, Crockett sold his property and moved his family, including Polly, to Illinois, seemingly with the intent of moving on to Missouri when weather allowed.

Illinois was a “free state” meaning that if a slave owner moved there, he forfeited his legal rights …

A Part Of Ronnie Comes Home

Funny how life somehow keeps moving forward even when things happen that make us want time to stand still. I spent many months, even years wanting to hang onto every detail of my brother, Ronnie, after his death in 1981, and wondering what he would have become had he lived. The only gifts left to my heart and mind were the memories I've managed to hold on to, that is until just the other day when a notebook of song lyrics and chords that my brother lost the night our band, CW Steele, played at the 1978 Clinton County Fair was given to me. My longtime friend, Tim, was working in a youth job program that summer and found the notebook while cleaning up the fairgrounds the next morning. He intended to give it to my brother, but as time went on, as you would expect, life got busy and he just simply forgot about it. As fate would have it, he ran across it recently and gave it to me. He apologized for taking so long to return it, but who knows, if he had given it to Ronnie right then or …

Dale Mann Was Larger Than Life

In the 1940's, Nick Gulas became involved in professional wrestling, working both as a manager and promoter in Florida. He teamed up with Roy Welch of Tennessee to form Gulas-Welch Wrestling Enterprises based in Memphis and Knoxville. In 1949, the group joined the National Wrestling Alliance, a national sanctioning body that divided the US into territories. The promotion became known as NWA Mid-America and expanded across several states. Jerry Jarrett was brought in as a booker to help handle the day-to-day work behind the scenes. This organization helped start the careers of such wrestling stars as Lawler, Yamamoto, Jackie Fargo, the Bounty Hunters and the Interns. Gulas-Welch and NWA also helped start the wrestling career of a man from Russell County, Kentucky. His name was Dale Mann.

One of the earliest matches Dale participated in occured on March 21, 1970 when he wrestled (and lost) to Lars Anderson (in wrestling, he was portrayed as Gene and Ole Anderson's brother) d…

A Celtic Prayer from Iona

O loving Christ
who died upon the tree
Each day and each night
I remember your love
In my lying down
and in my rising up
In life and in death
You are my health and my peace
Each day and each night
I remember your forgiveness
Bestowed on me so gently
And generously
Each day and each night
may I be fuller in love to you

- J. Philip Newell

Praying in God's Will

Dear Lord, please fill me with the knowledge of your will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, so that I may live a life worthy of you and please you in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to your glorious might so that I may have great endurance and patience, and give joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified me to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. For you have rescued me from the dominion of darkness and brought me into the kingdom of the Son you love, in whom I have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

Colossians 9:1-14

Hope To The World, Future For All Time

On July 3, 1986, during opening ceremonies of the Statue of Liberty Centennial Celebration in New York, President Ronald Reagan said...."Call it mysticism if you will, I have always believed there was some divine providence that placed this great land here between the two great oceans, to be found by a special kind of people from every corner of the world, who had a special love for freedom and a special courage that enabled them to leave their own land, leave their friends and their countrymen, and come to this new and strange land to build a New World of peace and freedom and hope. Lincoln spoke about hope as he left the hometown he would never see again to take up the duties of the Presidency and bring America through a terrible Civil War. At each stop on his long train ride to Washington, the news grew worse: The Nation was dividing; his own life was in peril. On he pushed, undaunted. In Philadelphia he spoke in Independence Hall, where 85 years earlier the Declaration of Ind…

Where is the King of America?

Author Thomas Paine was the first person to publicly advocate that America should seek to be an independent nation, free from tyranny. His ‘how to’ pamphlet, known as Common Sense, sold 100,000 copies, a best-seller among the two-million people in the American British colonies. It challenged the authority of the royal monarchy and inspired the people of America into a revolution.

“The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth,” he said.

While the people in the American British colonies were fed up with King George, Paine wrote: “But where, say some, is the king of America? I’ll tell you Friend, he reigns above..."

The Guerrilla Hunters: Irregular Conflicts during the Civil War

A new book was published this past April entitled, "The Guerrilla Hunters: Irregular Conflicts during the Civil War" by Brian D. McKnight, Barton A. Myers and others. The subject of the book is explained in its title.

One chapter, entitled "Who is Tinker Dave Beaty, Hunting Guerilla Social Networks" (author Aaron Astor) gives great insight into why men joined Union Guerilla David Beaty's Independent Scouts.

The title of the chapter is a reference to a letter written on March 21, 1863 from Brigadier General George Crook to General James A. Garfield, Chief of Staff, Army of the Cumberland, Murfreesboro, where Crook asks the question, "Who is Tinker Dave Beaty?” (See the letter below) In the book, the authors present two reasons why men joined the independent scouts: kinship and revenge. This book is well worth reading. It is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Why would men want to join the independent scouts? David Beaty of Fentress County, …

The Post Football Game

"The post football game was about to get ugly after all the others posts decided it was time to team up on little Jimmy."



People Have More Fun Than Anyone

I once saw this wrestling poster where a certain organization was coming to this area from someplace else. The wrestlers were all from someplace else. The main event was a "Loser Leaves Town" match.

I took my niece to Wal-Mart one day. She wanted an Icee. At the Snack Bar, there was a sign on the wall that read..."Hotdogs 50 cents or 2 for $1.00."



The Birth of the 33 1/3 rpm Record

Columbia Records launched a new microgroove record, pressed in vinylite, that played at 33 1/3 rpm on June 21, 1948, marking the end of the 78 rpm shellac records and sparking a music-industry standard so strong that the digital age has yet to kill it. Developed by recording engineer Peter Goldmark, the 33 1/3 rpm record could play for twenty-three minutes per side, holding 224 to 300 grooves per inch, which compared to an average of 85 grooves per inch on 78 rpm shellac records. The following year, RCA Victor introduced the smaller 45 rpm microgroove record, also pressed in vinylite, and for a year there was a battle of the speeds, but in 1950 Victor began to produce both the 33 1/3 rpm microgroove record for longer works and the smaller 45 rpm records, which proved more ideal for popular music.

My 78's: Les Paul (The Architect)

Les Paul, born Lester William Polsfuss on June 9, 1915, was one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, which made the sound of rock and roll possible. He is credited with many recording innovations. Although not the first to use the technique, his early experiments with overdubbing, delay effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame refers to him as an "architect." He recorded with his wife, Mary Ford, in the 1950's and they sold millions of records. One of their more popular recordings was "Vaya Con Dios (May God Be With You)," which I have in my collection of 78 r.p.m. records.

"Vaya Con Dios (May God Be With You)" was released on Capitol Records (11544) in June of 1953. Side B is "Johnny (Is The Boy For Me). The record stayed on the Billboard magazine chart for 31 weeks, peaking at #1 on August 8, 1953, where it stayed #1 for 11 weeks. The record sold more th…

Adam West was Batman!

R.I.P. Adam West, the only Batman to ever get it right.

Based on the DC comic book character of the same name, Batman also starred Burt Ward as Robin – two crime-fighting heroes who defended Gotham City from a variety of arch villains. Filled with intentional comedy and upbeat music, the TV show was aimed largely at a teenage audience. This included championing the importance of using seat belts, doing homework, eating vegetables, and drinking milk, etc. It was described by executive producer William Dozier, who was also the narrator, as "the only situation comedy on the air without a laughtrack." 120 episodes aired on ABC for three seasons, from January 12, 1966 to March 14, 1968, twice weekly for the first two and weekly for the third.


Alan Napier was Alfred, Neil Hamilton was Commissioner Gordon, Stafford Repp was Chief O'Hara and Yvonne Craig was Barbara Gordon / Batgirl.

Among the villains were Cesar Romero was the Joker, Burgess Meredith was the Penguin, Frank Go…

Choices

Life is full of choices. We may not always make the right choice and sometimes things may get a little tough.

The late Dan Miller of WSMV-TV in Nashville had a philosophy about life that rose far beyond this simple child's nursery rhyme:

Row, row, row your boat
Gently down the stream
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily
Life is but a dream


"It's a lot of work to get through life," he said. "Sometimes the choices we make don't turn out so gentle. It's a good thing when, on those rare occasions, I am able to keep both oars in the water at the same time." 

Cumberland City Was A Company Town

Cumberland City was the company town of the Poplar Mountain Coal Company. It was founded by northern businessmen who came to develop timber and coal resources in Poplar Mountain, much of which was owned by the Bruce Sloan heirs. The company acquired land, opened a mine and began cutting local timber there in the early 1860's. John H. Clark was the coal company's superintendent.

Cumberland City's population at its peak in 1870, including miners, was 225, larger than Albany at the time. The town was located near the coal mines at Short Maintain, a spur of Poplar Mountain owned by the Cyrus Guthrie heirs, with a school, tavern, saddlery, boot and shoe shop. There was even a large commisary. A company store was opened. Thomas Stephenson had a grocery and tanning yard. L.G. Campbell, was the postmaster and operated a store. He was later the pastor at Cumberland City United Methodist Church. Perry Smith and Osco Anderson also operated stores. The Albany Gazette reported in …

A Public Speaking Interrupted

Aug. 29, 1935, (AP) Albany, Ky. -- "The jerking of a microphone from in front of Circuit Judge Swope, Republican nominee for Governor of Kentucky, threw a large homecoming crowd into an uproar here and resulted in the arrest of Mose Hurt Littrell, 43, on a charge of interrupting a public speaking."

The 100th birthday anniversary of Clinton County in 1935 was a really big deal. The Disabled American Veterans of the World War, chapter 10, under the command of Littrell, organized the event, which lasted four days, August 26th through the 29th, complete with a Homecoming and Centennial Jubilee, an epic event with a who's who list of speakers. Senators Alben W. Barkley and Marvel Mills Logan of Kentucky and Huey Long of Louisiana, Congressmen John Robsion of Kentucky and Ridley Mitchell of Tennessee tentatively accepted invitations to attend, provided Congress had adjourned by celebration time. Louisville Times editor Tom Wallace also accepted an invitation to speak on the op…

A Great Light In The World

Felix Adler once said, "The hero is one who kindles a great light in the world, who sets up blazing torches in the dark streets of life for men to see by."

There are other holiday's that honor all soldiers, but Memorial Day is special because of what it represents.

"Oh, tell me not that they are dead, that generous host, that airy army of invisible heroes. They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this nation. Are they dead that yet speak louder than we can speak, and a more universal language? Are they dead that yet act? Are they dead that yet move upon society, and inspire the people with nobler motives, and more heroic patriotism? Ye that mourn, let gladness mingle with your tears. It was your son, but now he is the nation's. He made your household bright: now his example inspires a thousand households. Dear to his brothers and sisters, he is now brother to every generous youth in the land. Before, he was narrowed, appropriated, shut up to you. Now he is aug…

A Kentucky Family On Both Sides

Just before he died on Feb. 5, 1941, my great, great-grandfather, George Boles, looked at my grandmother, Vada Frost Boles, and said, "I killed your uncle." What was he talking about? Who did he kill?

Because of Abraham Lincoln's stance against slavery, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas seceded from the Union between December 1860 and February 1861. After South Carolina’s April 1861 attack on Fort Sumter and President Lincoln’s Call to Arms to put down the rebellion, four more states - Arkansas, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia - also seceded. The Civil War was on.


But, while Tennessee voted for succession, most of the counties in the Upper Cumberland area voted against it. The Fentress County vote was 128 for and 651 against, however, the vote in neighboring Overton County, which included the area that is now Pickett County, was 1,471 for and 364 against. While a succession vote never took place in Kentucky, 100,000 …

The Alexander Zatzepa Story: Open Thou Mine Eyes

"Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law." (Psalm 119:18)

One evening in 1944, as Russian soldier Alexander Zatzepa lay in his foxhole awaiting the call to battle, he came to know the Lord. Knowing he might not return to his safe haven, he wrote the following words...
"Hear me, Oh God. Never in my whole lifetime have I spoken to you but just now I feel like sending you my greetings. You know from my childhood on they always told me that you are not. I, like a fool, believed them. I've never contemplated your creation and yet tonight gazing up out of my shell hole, I marvel at the shimmering stars above me and suddenly know the cruelty of the lie.

Will you, my God, reach your hand out to me? I wonder. But I will tell you and you will understand. Is it not strange that the light should come upon me and I see you amid this night of hell and there is nothing else that I have to say. This though, I am glad that I have learned to know you. …

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains
And the smell of the ground
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound

And frogs in the pools, singing at night
And wild plum trees in tremulous white

Robins will wear their feathery fire
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree
If mankind perished utterly

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone

By Sara Teasdale, from her collection, "Flame and Shadow," published in 1920

My Frost Genealogy

James Frost was born about 1783 at Ann Arundel,  Maryland, probably to James Frost  and Sarah Simpson.  James Frost married Annis "Polly" Hall. He died about 1845 at Frost Hollow, Wayne County, Kentucky.

Annis "Polly" Hall was born about 1789 in North Carolina to John Hall (1758-1835) and Mary Donaldson (born about 1763). Annis shows up on the 1850 Federal Census as living in Wayne County, Kentucky with her son and daughter-in-law, Cordon and Almira (Owens) Frost and their baby son, Joseph. Annis Hall Frost apparently died abt 1851 at Wayne County, Kentucky. James and Annis likely had at least the following children:

1. John Green Frost, born about 1806 at Person, NC, died June 1829 at Wayne Co., KY; on July 1, 1826 married Jane Dabney (1805-1870) and had at least the  following children: 
a. Francis M. Frost, born April 18, 1827 KY; died Jan. 15, 1916 OR; married Martha Jane Horner (1832-1905)
b. John McDonald Frost born May 30, 1829 KY; died March 25, 1880 KS. He…

Philburd Wright Left a Proud Legacy

My 5th great-grandfather, Philburd Wright, was born in Maryland in 1750, the son of Richard and Nancy Wright. Philburd became an Associator for Fredrick Co, Maryland on Dec. 27, 1775 (a member of the Maryland Militia), and was one of 9,000 men who took the Oath of Allegiance and Fidelity to Maryland in 1778 during the American Revolution. The Oath of Fidelity, instituted by Laws of Maryland 1777, stated that every free male 18 years and older was required to subscribe to an oath renouncing the King of England and to pledge allegiance to the revolutionary government of Maryland.

According to "Indiana Magazine of History," by Emsley Wright Johnson, among the early settlers of the Territory of Indiana was a large family of Wrights, who emigrated from Randolph County, North Carolina, and settled in Union County in 1813. From Union County a portion of them went to Wayne and some to Washington County. Later, four of the sons went to Marion County. Philburd Wright took up his re…

Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements & Rosters Pension Application of Dennis Hopkins

Southern Campaign American Revolution Pension Statements & Rosters Pension Application of Dennis Hopkins, my 5th great-grandfather.

State of Kentucky, Clinton County: County Court, January Term 1843.

"On this the 2nd day of January A.D. 1843 personally appeared in open court, Dennis Hopkins a resident citizen of the County aforesaid aged eighty-two years the 13th day of July last, having a record of the same being born on the 13th day of July 1760, being born in Orange County North Carolina, and raised in Randolph County said State, where he lived in time of the Revolutionary war, and after being duly sworn for that purpose on his oath makes the following Declaration in order to obtain the Benefit of the act of Congress passed 7th of June 1832. That he entered the service of the United States a drafted light horse soldier in Randolph County North Carolina in the fall of 1780, believed to be in October cannot give the day of the month with precise certainty, entered for thr…