When you go back a couple of generations our coal mining families from the Muren, Turkey Hill, and Massey area all ended up married into each other. I can add the Sharp family to my Bolin family tree along with most families from those parts. Our families have remained friends to this day.
After writing my blogs about My Grandparents Schooling and 1920: Cold Blooded Murder or Sad Accident? I started getting emails that Jean Myers wanted to talk to me about my blogs and the history of the area. At the time, I did not know who she was. Her son had commented on the Schooling blog that his mom lived in the house that the was built from the lumber of the old Muren School that my dad helped tear down and haul over to the Arthur shortcut. He stopped in to talk to me one night about it, telling me that his mom was a Sharp and that the 1920 Murder blog was about her uncle Cecil. With two blogs tied to the same family, I had to meet her and hear her stories.
Between work and family obligations I found a Monday afternoon to spend with Jean. At 80 years old, she is a good storyteller. If you are interested in the area, you should catch her out and about sometime and listen to her. She remembers people, places and things. So many of that generation are gone and the stories are gone with them. It was a very pleasant afternoon for me. One I will repeat often.
Jean showed me her house, the old part that was built with the lumber from the Muren School. I thought of the photos I had seen of the Muren School and of the stories passed down. That these boards had seen my Grandma as a little girl going to school and my dad as a young boy tearing it down and moving it to this spot. It was kind of surreal standing in it.
She has this old table in her dining room. Her grandmother, Issa Sharp bought it in the Ingle Store (formerly Snyders, now the Main Street market). It was purchased used around 1900.
We talked about the murder. Her uncle Cecil was the murder victim. Everyone believed it was murder. No one believed it was accidental. It was said Cecil had some money on him that day. Her grandpa hired a detective to investigate it. Her family buried Victor Black alongside their son. She showed me some photos of Cecil and the Black boy is with him in several. They were good friends.
Jean was born Lois Jean Sharp and married Ab Myers. Her folks were Louis Sharp and Ollie Bruce. Her grandparents were Lance Sharp and Issa Tooley. Her great grandparents were Tom Sharp and Mary Lamb. Tom Sharp came to America from Scotland. He was a coal miner who ended up here in Pike County.
Jean shared a box of old photos with me. I scanned them and visited with her another afternoon so that we could add descriptions to them. She wanted me to have the Bolin photos. She also wants to share them with other family members here on the blog. I have them saved in my Google Plus photos. You can view them as a slideshow or just click on each picture to view the descriptions.