21 September 2010

Hemp License In Eastern Kentucky

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
September 2010

Hemp was needed for ropes and used in feed bags and bailing twine. Early Kentucky pioneers brought the seed from Virginia and set aside acres for production. Lewis Collins cited Nathan Burrows of Lexington as being the first to introduce the manufacture of hemp into Kentucky about 1796 [Historical Sketches of Kentucky].

James Klotter's New History of Kentucky references eighteen rope and bagging manufacturers in Fayette County during 1838. By 1890 the Commonwealth was producing 94% of all the hemp produced in the United States.

Both Klotter and John Kleber, author of The Kentucky Encyclopedia, concentrate on larger production in central Kentucky. But it was James F. Hopkins, at the University of Kentucky who realized the historical significance that the production of hemp played within the Commonwealth. While working on his master's in 1936, he concentrated on the relevance of cultivation, processing and marketing relative to Kentucky's social, economic and even political history. His book A History of the Hemp Industry In Kentucky is still available today.

As a baby boomer and a young adult of the 60's our generation's idea and thoughts of hemp was in the form of marijuana known as "pot" and "weed" and smoked at Woodstock. And while today helicopters do regular scans of Eastern Kentucky for marijuana fields I either was very naive or it did not exist in Boyd County when I was in high school.

Thus I was intrigued to learn more about the history of hemp when I discovered that it had been grown and hempseed sold legally from the farm we own.

The effects of cannabis came to national attention in the late 1910's. The Uniform State Narcotic Act was finalized in 1932. But just prior to World War II fiber and jute production was on the rise. Strict controls were imposed on the raising and selling of the seed and hemp. Licenses were issued by the federal government and only a very strict few obtained them. According to the forward in Hopkins book the licenses "became little more than bragging curiosities, and the end of the war rang down the historic curtain on that second modest phase of hemp growing in Kentucky."

I take offense on behalf of my father-in-law about bragging rights. I know what a hard working proud Eastern Kentucky farmer he was. Every inch of dirt on this farm was utilized as was every crop to produce a living to put food on the table. He would not have wasted acres nor the trouble it must have been to acquire the license if it were not going to have a monetary value for the family.

The U. S. Department of Agriculture assigned each farm a number [they still do today]. John H. Klaiber received license 8107 pursuant to the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. It gave him the right to own hempseed and the legal right to sell it. The seed had to be cleaned with a combine or hand fan cleaning mill. The prices were set by the Commodity Credit Corporation and was sold directly to them.

Reading the fine print on the surviving contract, John H. Klaiber had for 1943, the seed had to be cleaned so that morning glory seed or other foreign matter was less than 2%. Klaiber turned in 5.27 bushels. After testing he received $36.37 for his efforts in this early 1943 contract.

According to a USDA publication titled Industrial Hemp in the United States during World War II imports of abaca and jute were unavailable. the Government instituted this emergency program to produce hemp as a domestic substitute. The Commodity credit Corporation contracted with War Hemp Industries, Inc. which was a "quasi-official organization." The production peaked in 1943 which is the year we have the farm license. As soon as the war was over legal restrictions were reimposed though one small hemp fiber industry continued in Wisconsin until 1958.

The USDA produced a film in 1942 titled Hemp For Victory to encourage farmers to grow it as part of the war efforts. The goal for 1943 was 50,000 acres of seed hemp and the target area was Kentucky. Thanks to the Hemp Industries Association the link at the film title in this blog will provide readers with a transcript of the campaign to get farmers to grow the product.

12 September 2010

Cemetery Destruction

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
September 2010

When we think of cemetery destruction we, unfortunately, think of vandalism. But that is not always the case. Mother nature can do some damage with acid rain and falling trees. Another destruction is caused by animals.

When it comes to animal destruction,ultimately humans are to blame. It may be that a fence was never created around the plots and later cattle and horses were turned into the field, thus the owner of the animals is at fault. But this latest example, hits home, and was totally inexcusable destruction that points directly to lazy or non-caring humans. Do I sound mad? Yes I am. If the responsible parties were caught they should have to pay for damages. I ranted on Face Book the day we discovered the damage.

Klaiber Cemetery has a strong secure fence. The sign at the gate clearly states to please keep the gate latched. Not just closed but latched. The entrance gate explains that there are cattle in the surrounding field. On at least five occasions this past year we have found the cemetery gate clanging with the wind. On four occasions we were blessed and cattle did not wonder into sacred ground. The fifth time we were not as lucky but thankfully no stones were broken, only toppled.

The stones have been lovingly up-righted. We keep Barre Pak on hand for repairs and the stones are sealed back on their bases. I feel I know each and every person in this cemetery personally, and in fact I do know many and most all descendants. I am so relieved that no stone is damaged.

Thanks to human ingenuity we now have a locked giant spring on the gate. The spring makes opening the gate a muscled effort and will slam immediately behind you. We believe that even if Ole Bessie rubs against the gate she won't be able to get inside. It is a bit of an effort for me to even get inside the gate but since someone can't take the two seconds to latch the chain, so be it. The lock on the spring allows the trustees to unlock it to open it wider for the hearse and large equipment.

I personally want to thank our neighbor Bob Blair for assisting with his tractor to once again make our cemetery the beautiful, peaceful resting place it is.

Eliza Kelly
Wife of Joseph Kelly died 18 November 1895

Henry Kane and Lucinda Sexton Lucas Tombstone
Henry Kane Lucas born 6 Dec 1846 died 2 June 1933
was the son of Emanuel and Charlotte Moore Lucas.
Lucinda Sexton was born 1850 died 5 Jan 1931,
the daughter of James Henderson and Hulda Sexton.

10 September 2010

News Media Can Be Misleading

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber
September 2010

News media is making its own news these days, accused of being either left or right or incorrectly presenting information. Some genealogists tend to take newspaper articles as gospel trying to utilize them as primary evidence.

When I discovered a clipping in the Portsmouth Times about an early furnace in Eastern Kentucky that I did not recognize I could easily have passed the information on. But something nagged me. First while I am certainly no expert on the early furnaces of our region, I am familiar with the names of most. The name of the furnace in the Portsmouth Times just could not be retrieved in my memory bank and I also knew enough history of the city of Ashland's Central Park and Armco Park in the county to know this property did not relate to them.

I am also very proud of the fact that I helped rescue 403 record books [yes we counted them] from Bellefonte, Buena Vista, Princess and Amanda furnaces in 2000. Many years ago Greenup and Boyd county lost these treasured records and 68 years later they turned up in the attic of the Henry Ford Museum in Michigan. When asked if our library wanted them back I quickly volunteered to make the trip to retrieve them. They are now safely back home where they belong, thanks to a tolerant husband that pulled our trailer and a cousin that tagged along to help load ledgers.

But I digress. The article reads:

27 July 1895: "The old Preston furnace and lands near Ashland, KY is about to pass into the hands of Boyd County to be used as a park. This was the first furnace constructed west of the mountains, having been built in 1789. The cannon balls used by the Americans at the Battle of New Orleans in 1813 were cast at this furnace."

With notes in hand, I set out to document this early furnace that seemed to have been within the bounds of present day Boyd County, Kentucky, at least according to the Portsmouth newspaper.

Before investigating court records I first reviewed my copy of Iron Furnaces Of The Hanging Rock Iron Region by Donald E. Rist. Rist states that the first furnace in the Hanging Rock Region was not built until 1818. The furnace is named Argillite and was built within the bounds of present day Greenup County. This is a well documented publication. Had I stumbled across an earlier furnace and piece of history that no one else seemed to have concentrated on? I found that highly unlikely.

Approaching the problem in what seemed a methodical method, I reviewed the Boyd County deed indexes followed by the Boyd County Court Order Books and Boyd County Fiscal Court Minutes. Neither the order book or minute books were indexed thus the exercise was time consuming. Besides the time, it also turned into what we genealogists term negative research. I found no entries or discussions concerning Boyd County receiving furnace lands for a park in the given time frame or even near that time frame.

Reviewing the article I concentrated on the surname Preston realizing that Colonel John Preston had large holdings from Virginia Grants in the Big Sandy Region sometimes simply referred to as the Preston lands. Prestonsburg was named for him and he established Paint Lick Station in 1790 later to become Paintsville, Johnson County. But within the many available articles I found no mention of an early furnace.

The article states "the first furnace constructed west of the mountains..." With the help of both Bing and Google I found two furnaces with the claim that they were the first west of the Alleghenies. The Peter Tarr furnace was built in the 1790's near Weirton, West Virginia. I found several articles and a description in Wikipedia. Wiki did state the furnace was used to cast cannon balls but that they were utilized at the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813 not New Orleans. Add that with the fact that it is not in Eastern Kentucky it scored a minus two in my research notes.

The second furnace known as the Slate Creek furnace was in Kentucky. I found several references and varied names. The furnace was also known as Bourbon furnace located in Bath County, Kentucky. While this furnace is in Kentucky I was about to give it at least one minus score because of the distance from Ashland but decided to look a little further. I found a wonderful article, Thomas Deye Owings of Maryland, Kentucky, Texas posted by the son of deceased author W. T. Block referencing the furnace.

Block states that the furnace was settled in 1789 which coincided with the Portsmouth newspaper. His article is well documented and appeared in Ancestry Magazine, Volume 19 #2 July/Aug 2001 as well as at the link above.

Block writes "According to the Lexington Gazette (10 December 1813), by 1813 the furnace was making three or four tons of iron daily. Some of its products were cannon balls that were later used at the Battle of New Orleans..."

However the furnace was sold by Jacob Myers to John Cockey Owings, Willis Green, Christopher Greenup and Walter Beall. There is no mention of Preston. Do I give this a minus score?

In genealogy we never use the word assume. It is an ugly word for any research project. But yet the more I reviewed the small Portsmouth, Ohio article the more I wondered did the writer carelessly misread the county name when both begin with "B" and did he assume it had to be near Ashland? And even if that assumption is correct where did the name Preston furnace come from?

Over the years I have turned to Kentucky geological reports and surveys for many projects. With one last ditch effort I decided to see what possibilities were left. In Geology of Kentucky, chapter 28, Misc. Mineral Resources, I once again found the old Slate Creek furnace listed as the first west of the Alleghenies. Within an instant the puzzle pieces finally fit together.

The publication describes the Preston Ore Banks that were located on Slate Creek southeast of Owingsville. It goes on to say that the remains of the furnace are on the bank of Slate Creek along the road between Preston Station and Owingsville. "Of historic interest is the shipment of cannon balls by way of the Licking and Ohio rivers to General Jackson for the defense of New Orleans..."

The three sentence 1895 article in the Portsmouth Times had utilized Preston Station or the ore banks for lack of a better name of the furnace. Preston Station was founded about 1881, just 14 year prior to the writing of the newspaper article in question. According to the History of Bath County, Preston was named for William Preston who had significant land holdings in the area. He donated a right-of-way to the Elizabethtown Lexington & Big Sandy Railway Company with the stipulation that a station be named for him at that location. The rails continued to Ashland.

The information concerning William Preston and the right-of-way was repeated in Robert Rennick's Kentucky Place Names. Neither author elaborated on Preston but this compiler recommends reading Kentucky's Last Cavalier. General William Preston 1816-1887 by Peter J. Shelinger for details about his massive land holdings which included lands in Bath County.

Yes, someone had inserted the four letter Boyd instead of the four letter Bath into the article. Before I blame this particular paper remember that articles got copied and recopied from one town to the next. While I have not found any other paper publishing that article I would not be surprised to find it again sometime.

Am I upset that I did not unearth a new historical tidbit for Eastern Kentucky or another furnace for Boyd County by utilizing this exercise? Not at all. I expanded my knowledge base a bit further.

Other notations I located on Slate Creek furnace state that the surviving stones had been within a highway roadside park. In 1969 the Owingsville Jaycees and the state Highway Department completed a joint project and dedicated the park on July 1st, 74 years after the announcement of a park in the Portsmouth paper.

The Kentucky Historical Society Historical Marker Database lists the furnace as The Bourbon Ironworks, marker #993 placed at KY Route 36 and KY 965 which is Preston Road. Mr. Block's well informed article, cited earlier, includes pictures of the remaining furnace and marker. Those interested in further information on Bourbon aka Slate Creek furnace and its works will enjoy reading page 90-98 of the History of Bath County by J. A. Richards.

News media past and present can be misleading. When you read tomorrow's paper maybe you should dig a little deeper before drawing conclusions.

01 September 2010

Let Me Count The Ways

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber September 2010

Elizabeth Barrett Browning spoke of love when she scribed "...let me count the ways..." and this compiler does love genealogy and all its little nuances.

Little tidbits can help or confuse researchers when reviewing original source materials. Little nuggets can sometimes make the researcher chew the nub of their pencil, bite their nails and tug at the ends of their hair. Name variations are one of those nuggets that are sometimes subtle and sometimes are a cacophony on paper.

There are several url's with extended genealogies on the Lee and Fraley family from Russell County, Virginia thus it is not my intent to repeat what can easily be found. But I was interested in how many name adaptations David Fletcher Lee had left in his paper trail before he was laid to rest in Ashland Cemetery, Ashland, Boyd County, Kentucky.

The family appears on the 1920 Federal Census for Ashland City, Boyd County, Kentucky where the gentleman is listed as David F. Lee, born in Russell County, Virginia.

The 1924-25 Ashland City directory lists him simply as D. F. Lee, a retired Baptist minister, residing at 813 West Carter Avenue. The following year he and his wife are listed at 821 Carter Avenue and again he is listed simply as D. F. Lee.

The same year, 1926, David F. Lee becomes ill and dies on 18 December. The informant was son Mason. But the Registrar incorrectly utilized the middle initial E. on the certificate [#30074] and the entry is even indexed as David E. Lee. Mason did provide David's parents as James Lee and Chloe Fraley of Virginia. David's birth date is cited as April 23, 1842 but simply states the place of birth as Virginia - county not given.

Looking at the 1850 census of Russell County, Virginia James Lee, 85 years old, born in Georgia, and wife Chloe age 39, born in Russell County, do have a son born in 1842 but the name written down on the microfilmed census form appears as Fletcher G. Lee, and is indexed as such.


Immediately following his death, on 28 February 1927, the widow of David F. Lee, Mary E. Lee, applied for a Widow's Indigent Pension under the Confederate Pension Act. Son's Mason and Robert Lee were examined and Mary was to be placed on the Confederate Pension Roll according to the entry [Boyd County Court Order Book 15, page 107].

The Soldiers & Sailors System search engine shows him listed simply as David Lee with the 22nd Virginia Cavalry aka Bowen's Regt. Virginia Mounted Riflemen. It gives a 2nd entry for David F. Lee as a private with Owen's Kentucky Cavalry. The database does not distinguish that these are the same person having served in both units.

Jeffrey Weaver provides information about David Lee's military service on his Compiled Service Records of 22nd Virginia Cavalry site [be sure to have on speakers the music is nice]. Weaver's entry states that David Lee [no middle name] joined Company A of the 22nd on 8/4/63. AWOL 10/31/63, he later served in Owen's Kentucky Cavalry. Captured in Morgan County, Kentucky 11/8/63 sent to Camp Chase. Applied for pension in 1915 in Kentucky.

There is a small error in the material shown at that particular link. According to the Index of Confederate Pension Applications, Division of Archives and Records Management, Commonwealth of Kentucky, page 108 - D. F. Lee of Carter County applied for his pension 6-14-1912 [not 1915], Application number #485. The same page Shows that the request of the Boyd County Court had been accepted and Mary was placed on the rolls as the widow of D. F. Lee 3-10-1927, Application number #4443. Once again a full name was not cited.

In 1900 the family was in Carter County in the Maddox Precinct where David is listed as David F. Lee along with his family. The 1880 Carter County census utilizes the name Fletcher Lee. He uses the name Fletcher Lee in the 1870 Russell County, Virginia Census as well and does not exercise the name David.

This gentleman marries, for a 3rd time, Mary Elizabeth Wilburn, 25 March 1876 in Carter County, Kentucky. The entry is for Fletcher Lee and as a side bar states that he and his parents were born in Lee County, Virginia. His occupation is listed as preacher.

Prior to the Civil War, the 1860 census simply lists him as D. F. Lee in Russell County, Virginia.

His widow, by his 3rd marriage, Mary E. Lee lived until 20 November 1940. Her death certificate [#25113] states that her husband was D. F. Lee. As I walked through Ashland Cemetery I hoped that since his full name was listed in the cemetery records as David Fletcher Lee that in the very end his full name was carved in stone. Alas yet again his small stone reads Rev. D. F. Lee.

At this point I did not retrieve his first two marriages and will leave the rest of the genealogical trail for other researchers. I do wonder if his colleagues might have simply called him Fletch or just D. F. We folks in Eastern Kentucky do love our nicknames.

What tidbits are you leaving behind as a paper trail? How many ways have you signed your name in your lifetime? Utilizing initials, maiden names, nicknames and misspellings, count the ways.

Let me count thine own way:

Teresa Lynn Martin
Terry Martin
Terri Martin
Terri Klaiber
Teresa Lynn Klaiber
Teresa Lynn Martin Klaiber
Teresa Martin Klaiber

And I bet I have left a few out!