Two Stories of Long Ago

Dublin Core


Two Stories of Long Ago


This year, 2009, Americans are celebrating the 200th anniversary of the births of President Abraham Lincoln (U.S.A.) and President Jefferson Davies (C.S.A.). Both were born in Kentucky in 1809. Also born in Kentucky that same year was Christopher (Kit) Carson. Carson was born in Madison County on Christmas Eve, 1809, in a log cabin overlooking Tates Creek. Its location was on a hill at the southeast corner of the Tates Creek Pike and Goggin Lane. Carson is arguably Madison County’s most famous native son. If there is any plan in the works to celebrate his 200th I have not heard of it. I might suggest the city and county governments look into this.

Carson had three wives, a member of the Arapaho nation (”Singing Grass”), a member of the Cheyenne nation (”Making-Out-Road”) and a Hispanic spouse (Josefa Jaramillo). To accomplish this last marriage to a fashionable young lady in the New Mexico territory, Carson converted to Catholicism. From his marriages he had several children. His first and third marriages were very happy ones, the second was apparently not. He only survived his last wife by a month or so.

Carson is most famous as a scout for the Fremont expedition in the Rockies and then on to California. Carson City, Nevada is named for him. He made a number of trips from the western frontier to Washington, D.C., was lionized by the political powers that be at that time, and was arguably one of the new nation’s first “media stars.” He is buried alongside his beloved Josefa in Taos, N.M. He was famous for his ability to sit on a horse (or more often a mule) for long periods of time and over the vast distances of the prairies. He had come a long way from the banks of Tates Creek in Madison County, Ky., to find his final rest in Taos.

In Gulfport, Miss., in 1963, Arthur K. Akers wrote a manuscript of some 64 typewritten pages titled “I Remember Richmond, 1886-1901.” His father had been professor of modern languages at Central University. The following are interesting bits from this manuscript.

In the census of 1890 Richmond’s population was listed at about 6,000. The RINEY-B railroad was under construction. It ran from Nicholasville to Richmond to Irvine and then to Beattyville. The old rail bed can still be seen on sections of Tates Creek Road and the bridge pillars still stand at Valley View. In 1887, Professor Akers moved his family to the two-story brick house at the head of the four homes that make up “faculty row.” These houses remained for many years as a part of Eastern’s campus.

Mention is also made of the main building (now known as the University Building), a prep school building an Memorial Hall. The house mother at Memorial Hall was a Miss Cloyd of Dublin, Va. Later, the Miller Gym was built, a gift from Sallie Miller, who for some reason was called “Captain.”

In the downtown Richmond area, there was once a side veranda (down Third Street) that led to the ladies entrance of the Glyndon Hotel. Mention also is made that Lancaster Avenue also was known as Fourth Street. Fourth Street today does not intersect with Main Street, but begins at North Street. More glimpses of 19th century Richmond from Akers’ manuscript next time.

A memo: In response to a question I raised in a recent column, a reader called and said there were once two schools on Jack’s Creek — Buffalo and Forest Hill. Thank you, Mr. Hounchell. Also, Cleo Fritz Durbin called and told me about a school on Flint Road, off of College Hill Road. It was called Broom Sage, after a field grass. It was a one-room school and at one time was a church. Mrs. Durbin’s father told her of this lost school. Thank you, Mrs. Durbin.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Two Stories of Long Ago,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed May 28, 2022,