Friday, November 24, 2023

Sweetly Sleeping

Little birds are flying daily
Over the grave of the one I love
Singing songs so sweet and gaily
Songs God gave them from above
To the memory of my loved one
Who lies sleeping in a cold grave
Who was called away so suddenly
Though it was our Master's will
Norman, you are sweetly sleeping
No more trouble, no more pain
You have not gone away to forget me
And our meeting will be so great
You are sure to be with Jesus
Waiting for me at the gate

Frances Pierce Groce of Albany wrote this beautiful poem in memory of her only son, Pvt. Norman Johnson Pierce, who was killed in action in France on Nov. 16, 1944, while serving with the 313th Infantry of the 79th Division. Pvt. Pierce, who was 27 years old at the time, is buried at the American Cemetery and Memorial in Epinal, France, which contains the graves of 5,252 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the campaigns across northeastern France to the Rhine River and beyond into Germany.

In the years following his death, usually near the anniversary of it, Mrs. Groce would publish a poem or a memory of her son in the Clinton County News. This poem, which I titled, "Sweetly Sleeping," was published the week of Nov. 16, 1958. Pvt. Pierce was also the son of Prentice Pierce, sometimes spelled Peercy. His wife was Idell Guffey (1918-2003). She later married Cordell Guffey. Idell is buried at Walnut Grove.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Chester Booher, WWI and the Spanish Flu

In October of 1918, a Louisville newspaper reported that Chester Booher, who had fought in Germany during WWI, had become the first Clinton County soldier to die of the Spanish influenza. He was 21.

When the war in Germany was declared on April 6, 1917, young Booher was at New Castle, Indiana. He enlisted there and after receiving training at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, arrived in France in November and participated in several battles, including helping to capture Cantigny, the first town taken by the Americans on May 28, 1918.

Booher was a bugler with Company M of the 18th Infantry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division. He was present during the Battle of Soissons that began on July 18, 1918, which was part of the much larger Allied Aisne-Marne counter-offensive. In four days of continuous attack from the line, Saint-Pierre L'Aigle-Cutry, the First Division AEF penetrated 11 kilometers into the German lines, capturing by assault on the morning of July 21st the Chateau and heights of Buzancy and the village of Berzy-le-Sec, which were the main supply routes for the German forces. Germany never regained the initiative and would be on the defensive until the end of the war.

During the second day of the battle, Booher sustained multiple wounds to his left arm, rendering it useless, a devastating occurrence for a horn player. Sadly, while recuperating in the Boston City Hospital, he succumed to the Spanish Influenza pandemic and died there on September 28, 1918, even though he had been pronounced out of danger. His grave marker at Tuggle Cemetery says he died while being treated for wounds received in the war with Germany and his name is listed as one of the casualties of war on the War Veterans Monument that stands in the courthouse yard in Albany. His name is also on a monument on the Soissons - Château-Thiery road west of Buzancy, France. It honors all First Division soldiers who died in the Soissons campaign. 2, 213 soldiers were killed during the offensive and 6,347 were wounded.

Robert Chester Booher was the seventh of thirteen children born to George Washington (G.W.) and Freely Clementine Choate Booher on Dec. 30, 1896. They lived at Brown's Crossroads and he had attended school at Five Spring before joining the Army.

The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 infected an estimated 33% of the world's population. There were no effective treatments and no widespread efforts to prevent the spread.

Over a period of 13 months, 243 men were inducted or volunteered for service in WWI from in and around Clinton County.

The G.W. Booher family. Chest Booher is at the far right on the very end.

Sunday, November 12, 2023

The Old Red White and Blue

I’ve led you in battle... as smoke filled my threads
Lowered to half...while honoring the dead
Popping in the wind...high above your head
Fifty stars strong...with stripes of red

From shore to shore...and every state hall
I’ve hung silent but ready... till I got the call
Representing pride and freedom... to those great and small
A symbol of valor...and justice for all

Never hitting the ground...flying strong in a fight
Carried by Washington...with the enemy in sight
Hoisted in my soldiers' delight
Glory and Liberty...till morning was night

Fabric now old...that once was new
My colors have faded...and my patriots few
Adorned and the brave and true
In God we still trust...the old Red White and Blue

Adam Latham (2023)

My Collection of 100+ Year Old 78 r.p.m. Records

I collect 78 r.p.m. records, but not to the point that I must put the disc onto a turntable and play it. If I am able to do that, fine. If not, it is no biggie. They are great conversation pieces. Even the turntable is something to talk about in today's modern era. I am old school when it comes to turntables and vinyl records. I get a thrill out of just researching the recording; the label, the artist, the song etc. and then telling someone about it Don't misunderstand me. There is much, much joy in playing the disc on a turntable. I love doing that, mostly because I grew up doing that.

I have numerous labels that I am proud of: Okeh, Columbia, Victor, Edison, Superior, Champion Electrograph - labels that have great histories. And, I have a really, really old Edison phonograph that I wind up occasionally just to get a fix on one of the most beautiful things in life. Currently, 71 of the disks in my collection are 100+ years old. Below is that list.

1. Albert Campbell - Dreaming (3701). Steve Porter - Flanagan At The Vocal Teacher's (3705). Standard Talking Machine Company 1907.

2. All Star Trio - Poor Little Butterfly Is A Fly Gal Now (18641-A). Fluffy Ruffles (18641-B). Victor Records 1919.

3. American Quartet - When You Wore A Tulip (17652A). Peerless Quartet - The Red, White and Blue (17652-B). Victor Records 1914.

4. Andre Benoist - Old Black Joe (50292-L). Valse In E Flat (50292-R). Edison Records 1915.

5. Anna Case - Old Folks At Home (83059-L). Annie Laurie (83059-R). Edison Records 1916.

6. Billy Murray - When Tony Goes Over The Top (18510-A). Arthur Fields - Good Morning Mr. Zip-Zip-Zip! (18510-B). Victor Records 1918.

7. Charles Hart, Elliot Shaw and The Calvary Choir - Shall You? Shall I? (80529-L). Charles Hart & Elliot Shaw - Is My Name Written There? (80529-R). Edison Records 1919.

8. Chatauqua Preachers Quartette - Softly Now The Light Of Day (39476). Let The Lower Lights Be Burning (39477). Standard Talking Machine Company 1914.

9. Chester Gaylord - Love's Old Sweet Song (80613-L). Edna White - Recollections of 1861-65 (80613-R). Edison Records. 1920.

10. Collins and Harlan - Just Help Yourself (3695). Cal Stewart - Uncle Josh Joins The Grangers (3706). Standard Talking Machine Company 1907.

11. Collins and Harlan - On The 5:15, United Talking Machine Company (39697). Ruff Johnson's Harmony Band (39698). Standard Talking Machine Company 1915.

12. Columbia Quartette - War Song Hits - Part I (A2428). War Song Hits - Part 2 (A2428). Columbia Records 1918.

13. Dabney's Band - Beautiful Ohio (A-12081). Hindustan (B-12081). Aerolian Vocalion 1919.

14. Edison Band - Medley Of American Patriotic Airs (50212-L). Medley Of American War Songs (50212-R). Edison Records 1914.

15. Edison Quartet - The Star Spangled Banner (80172-L). America (My Country 'Tis Of Thee (80172-R). Edison Records 1914.

16. Edison Quartet - He Lifted Me (80204-L). Let The Lower Lights Be Burning (80204-R). Edison Records 1914.

17. Edward Hamilton - Just Like The Rose (4725). Charles Hart & Elliot Shaw - Let The Rest Of The World Go By (4726). Emerson Records 1919.

18. Elizabeth Spencer & Henry Burr - You're Still An Old Sweetheart Of Mine (18590-A). Lewis James and Shannon Four - The Gates Of Gladness (18590-B). Victor Records 1919.

19. Elizabeth Spencer - Call Me Your Darling Again (80098-L) 1916. Metropolitan Quartet - Annie Laurie (80098-R). Edison Records 1914.

20. Elizabeth Spencer & Thomas Chalmers - Abide With Me (80276-L). John Young & Frederick Wheeler - When The Roll Is Called Up Yonder (80276-R). Edison Records 1915.

21. Ernest L. Stevens Trio - If I Had My Way Pretty Baby (51026-L). Red Mon Waltz (51026-R). Edison Records 1922.

22. Esther Walker - How Sorry You'll Be (Wait'll You See) (18657-A) Nov. 18, 1919. Billy Murray - He Went In Like A Lion And Came Out Like A Lamb (18657-B). Victor Records Jan. 2, 1920.

23. Frank Ferera/Anthony Franchini - Bright Moon (19088-A). Hawaiian Nights (19088-B). Victor Records 1920.

24. Fred Bacon - Old Black Joe (50351-L) 1916. Massa's In De Cold, Cold Ground (50351-R). Edison Records 1915.

25. Fred Van Eps - Medley Of Southern Melodies (51145-L) April 1923. Darkey's Dream and Darkey's Awakening (51145-R) Edison Records 1922.

26. Geoffrey O'Hara - Send Me A Curl (18441-A). Lewis James and Shannon Four - All Aboard For Home Sweet Home (18441-B). Victor Records 1918.

27. Happy Six - I'm Nobody's Baby (79798) Cherie (79802). Columbia Records 1921.

28. Helen Clark & George Wilton Ballard - In The Old Sweet Way (50534-L). I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles (50534-R). Edison Records 1919.

29. Henry Burr - Are You From Heaven (18435-A) 1917. Sterling Trio - Give Me The Right To Love You (18435-B). Victor Records 1919.

30. Henry Burr - Then You'll Remember Me (414). Mrs. Stewart Holt and Frank C. Stanley - 'Tis But A Little Faded Flower (3402). Standard Talking Machine Company 1910.

31. Henry Burr - Throw Out The Life Line (3205) 1905. Stanley and Burr - What A Friend We Have In Jesus (3756). Talking Machine Company 1907.

32. Henry Burr - Abide With Me (A236). Where Is My Wandering Boy Tonight (A236). United Talking Machine Company 1908.

33. Henry Burr and Peerless Quartet - Broadway Rose (18710-A). Sterling Trio - Mother's Lullaby (18710-B). Victor Records 1920.

34. Henry Burr - That Wonderful Mother Of Mine (18524-A) 1919. Charles Anthony/Lewis James - Salvation Lassie Of Mine (18524-B). Victor Records 1919.

35. Henry Burr - Just A Baby's Prayer At Twilight (18439-A). Percy Hemus - On The Road To Home Sweet Home (18439-B). Victor Records 1918.

36. Irving Kaufman - Oh! Oh! Oh! Those Landlords (78445). Billy Murray - And He'd Say Oo-La La! Wee-Wee (78536). Columbia Records 1919.

37. James Craven - Georgia Rose (2172-A). Ernest Hare - I Want My Mammy (2172-B). Brunswick Records 1921.

38. Jaudas' Society Orchestra - The Missouri Waltz (50428-L). Poor Butterfly (50428-R). Edison Records 1917.

39. Joe Hayman - Cohen Telephones the Health Department (29685). Prince's Orchestra - Serenade (46167). Columbia Records 1915.

40. John Steel - Tell Me Little Gypsy (18687-A). The Girl Of My Dreams (18687-B). Victor Records 1920.

41. Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra - Alice Blue Gown (18700-A). Tripoli (18700-B). Victor Records 1921.

42. Kelly Harrell - Hand Me Down My Walking Cane (20103A). My Horses Ain't Hungry (20103B). Victor Records 1914.

43. Lewis James and Peerless Quartet - Smile And The World Smiles With You (18545-A). Sterling Trio - That Tumble Down Shack In Athlone (18545-B). Victor Records 1919.

44. Louise, Ferera and Greenus - Kawaihau Waltz (77798). Hawaiian Breezes (77884). Columbia Records 1918.

45. Maggie Teyte - Ma Curly-Headed Babby (82159-L). I'se Gwine Back To Dixie (82159-R). Edison Records 1919.

46. Metropolitan Quartet - I Will Sing Of My Redeemer (80300-L). I Love To Tell The Story (80300-R). Edison Records 1914.

47. Metropolitan Quartet - Come Where The Lillie's Bloom (80321-L) 1915. Thomas Chalmers - My Old Kentucky Home, (80321-R). Edison Records 1914.

48. Metropolitan Quartet - The Little Old Log Cabin In The Lane (80484-L) 1918. Betsy Lane Shepherd - I'll Remember You, Love In My Prayers (80484-R). Edison Records 1917.

49. Metropolitan Quartet - Darling Nellie Gray (80010-L) 1914. Elizabeth Spencer & Vernon Archibald - Ever Of Thee I'm Fondly Dreaming (80010-R). Edison Records 1920.

50. Orpheus Male Chorus - Dixieland Memories No. 2 (80395-L). Dixieland No. 1 (80395-R). Edison Records 1917.

51. Pale K. Lua and David Kaili (Irene West Royal Hawaiians) - Cunha Medley (17774-A). Hula Medley (17774-B). Victor Records 1915.

52. Rae Eleanor Ball; Jessie L. Deppen - Havana Moon (50857-L). Wonderland Of Dreams (50857-R). Edison Records 1921.

53. Sam Ash - On The Road To Happiness (46130). Reed Miller and Frederick Wheeler - Keep The Home Fires Burning (46135). Columbia Records 1915.

54. Sam Ash - When I Leave The World Behind (45647). Herbert Stuart - When The Lusitania Went Down (45660). Standard Talking Machine Company 1915.

55. S.C. (Steve) Porter [Chimes] - Safe In The Arms Of Jesus (A239) 1902. Henry Burr - Savior Lead me Lest I Stray (A239). Standard Talking Machine Company 1905.

56. Selvin's Novelty Orchestra - Dardanella (18633-A). My Isle Of Golden Dreams (1863-B). Victor Records 1919.

57. Sibyl Sanderson Fagan - L'Ardita - Magnetic Waltz (80453-L). Sibyl Sanderson, Fred Hager and Harvey Wilson - Sundown In Birdland (80453-R). Edison Records 1918.

58. Sousa's Band - U.S. Field Artillery March (18430-A). Liberty Loan March (18430-B). Victor Records Dec. 21, 1917.

59. S.W. Smith, U.S.N. And Bugle Squad - U.S. Army Bugle Calls Pt. 1. (50452-R). U.S. Army Bugle Calls Pt. 2 (50452-L). Edison Records 1918.

60. Thomas Chalmers - Nearer My God To Thee (50002-L) July 21, 1913. Elizabeth Spencer & Frederick Wheeler - Dreams Of Galilee (50002-R). Edison Records 1915.

61. Thomas Chalmers - Beulah Land (80549-L). Fred East & Lewis James - Only A Step To Jesus (80549-R). Edison Records 1920.

62. Thomas Chalmers - The Palms (82055-L). O Holy Night (82055-R). Edison Records 1914.

63. Thomas Chalmers - Recessional (82133-L). Battle Hymn Of The Republic (82133-R). Edison Records 1917.

64. Toots Paka Hawaiian Company - Kilima Waltz (4795). Hilo March (4798). Emerson Records 1919.

65. Vasa Prihoda - On Wings Of Song (82236-L). (a) Songs My Mother Taught Me (b) Poem (82236-R). Edison Records 1921.

66. Venetian Instrumental Quartet - On The High Alps (50065-L) 1914. American Symphony Orchestra - Wedding Of The Winds Waltzes (50065-R). Edison Records 1912.

67. Waikiki Hawaiian Orchestra - One, Two, Three, Four Medley (50455-L) 1917. Ford Hawaiians - Ellis March (50455-R). Edison Records 1916.

68. Walter Van Brunt - Hickey Dula (50348-L). Collins and Harlan - On The Hoko Moko Isle (50348-R). Edison Records 1916.

69. Walter Van Brunt - Don't Bite The Hand That Feeds You (50357-L). Billy Murray - Are You From Dixie ('Cause I'm From Dixie Too) (50357-R). Edison Records 1916.

70. Walter Van Brunt & Elizabeth Spencer - On The Banks Of The Brandywine (80160-L). I'll Take You Home Again Kathleen (80160-R). Edison Records 1914.

71. Whitney Brothers Quartet - Home Of The Soul (16372-A). Stanley and Burr - I Am Praying For You (16372-B). Victor Records 1912.

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Nelson Harper was known as a Christian Soldier

Nelson Harper was born a slave into the family of William Harper before the civil war, in a cabin near where the Seminary, Kentucky Post Office stood in Cumberland County. Although he was not sure of his actual birthdate, "Uncle Nels" was believed to have been over one hundred years old when he died at War Memorial Hospital on July 18, 1956.

He had suffered a stroke while helping repair the pump to the well at New Hope Church at Highway, where the annual reunion and homecoming was taking place. He lived adjacent to the church and had been a deacon and lay-leader there for a great number of years and was noted for his piety and deep concentration to the cause of Christ.

Uncle Nels would often talk about events that had taken place during and after the Civil War. Older folks who remembered him as a grown man when they were children told how their parents had said Uncle Nels was a good sized boy and able to do small chores on the farm before the war ended.

He first married Mattie Alexander. Their daughter, Pearl Craft, was living in Muncie when Uncle Nels died. After Mattie died, Uncle Nels married Laura Staley and they had four children; David, Clarence, Edgar and Nora. Edgar, his only other surviving child, was living in Cincinnati when his father died. A half brother, Gerald, lived at Highway. Another one, Eugene, lived at Bakerton. He lived to be 101.

Uncle Nels was buried at Harper Cemetery near Seminary, following a funeral at New Hope Church. Both the service and a visitation at Sewell Funeral Home had been attended by a large number of people wishing to pay tribute to the man who was highly esteemed by all who knew him.

He proved to be faithful as a Deacon of his church. He was called a Christian soldier who was ever ready to wage war with the enemy and stand firm until the battle was ended. He loved his church and good preaching and often encouraged the speakers with his amens. The light he left behind lit the path for others who followed.

The burial site for William Harper, who lived between 1815 and 1892, is unknown, but his wife, Mahalia Brown Harper (1814-1888) is buried at Harper Cemetery. There are four graves there: Nelson Harper, Mahalia Brown Harper, Laura Branham Harper (1849-1920) and her mother, Emily Wilson Branham Burchett, a slave brought to Clinton County from Danville, Virginia by Barnabas Branham. Her surname was Wilson. She was sold away from her husband, King Harper, and 3 or 4 of her children. Their whereabouts are unknown.

Friday, November 3, 2023

The Ordination of Bro. Adam Davidson

The Ordination of Bro. Adam Davidson is scheduled for this Saturday, Nov. 4, 2023 at 6:00 p.m. central time at Clear Fork Baptist Church in Albany, Kentucky. This is going to be a momentous occasion and one that is very historic. Bro. Davidson is the son of Alice (Stockton) Davidson. Their ancestor, Thomas Stockton, was the first settler in our area, arriving from Sevier County, Tennessee in about 1795. Clinton County was first called Stockton's Valley. Irwin Cemetery, where Thomas lies buried, was originally on his property. He was also one of the thirteen original charter members of our church in 1802.

Five ordinations are mentioned in Morris Gaskins' book, "A Lighthouse in the Wilderness," which covers the first one hundred years and then some. Isaac Cross, John Crouch and Jonathan Smith in 1821, William Cross in 1824 and Joseph Denton in 1853.

The last one mentioned is that of Printis Bertram, who was ordained in 1928 and served as our 10th pastor from 1932 to 1933. The son of Alvin Bertram, our fifth and seventh pastor who served a total of 38 years, Printis was saved and joined Clear Fork in 1921. He also served as Deacon and Trustee.

Bro. Davidson has served as an usher, Sunday School teacher, Bible Club teacher and Deacon, and was called to preach on July 6, 2022. He and his wife, Tanisha, have three children: Tayton, Titus and Emma.

Bro. Davidson's ordination will be a very blessed event and you are invited to join in this joyous occasion. We will begin the service at 6pm. Bro. Danny Whetstone will be preaching and there will be special singing. Refreshments will be served afterwards. We ask that you be in prayer for Brother Davidson as he formally accepts the position and responsibilities as an appointed servant of God. 🙏

(The Adam Davidson family)

Long may our Land be Bright with Freedom's Holy Light

Officially, the Continental Congress declared its freedom from Great Britain on July 2, 1776, but after voting to approve it, a draft do...