The Town of Littles

It is  going to be another frigid January night of subzero temperatures.  Our house is insulated.  We have good replacement windows and a good furnace.  I sleep under an electric blanket.  Tonight I am thinking about another house in the 1920s coal mining town of Littles, up in the far northwest corner of Patoka Township here in Pike County.

Joyce DeJarnett Truitt is a regular commentor on my blog.  She has shared fascinating memories of the area, such as her Grandmother seeing ghosts in the old Ingle house.  We have become friends through email.  Joyce has a book in the Pike County Library genealogy department, “The Ford DeJarnett Family”.  I just saw an out of print copy of it for sale on the internet at Abe Books for $135.00!!  One story is that her great grandfather Ford DeJarnett built two buildings facing each other, in case one caught fire the family could just move into the other one.   Joyce was born in 1927 to Lowell and Golda Christmas DeJarnett at Littles in one of the coal mine company houses.  This past week she sent me this photo of when she was a little girl growing up in there.

l to r:  Joyce Dejarnett; John Beard, her cousin; and her sister Ruth.

l to r: Joyce DeJarnett; John Beard, her cousin; and her sister Ruth.  John was the son of Leonard Beard and lived in another company house.

They lived in the 4 Row Houses, the house on the end.  It was a company house owned by the Littles man. I look at the pictures of these old clapboard houses and wonder how they stayed warm in the winters.   I guess you slept by the stove, shared a bed and piled on the quilts.  My Grandma grew up in such houses in Muren.  She  said they “built walls” out of cardboard and newspaper and whatever they could find to help insulate.

There is not much there when you drive through Littles now.  If you don’t know where Littles is, you would never know you were driving through it.  Don’t confuse it with Glezen, formerly known as Hosmer.

Geological Survey map 1902.

Geological Survey map 1902.

Littles was named after the man who formed the Littles Coal Company, S. W.  Littles of Evansville.  The Littles Coal Company worked here from 1887 to 1928.  It was a deep mine, complete with a tipple and mule barns.  The Company houses were built in rows.  Four Row was east by the two room school building.  Yellow Row was on both sides of the road through town.  Nine Row was south along the ridge above the mine.  Littles had a general store, a post office, a barber shop, a doctor’s office, and a hotel and depot.  A board walk ran between these buildings at the foot of the hill because of flooding in the low lying area the town was built on.  The church to the east still stands, rebuilt after a fire.  A few of the old houses still stand.

Stay warm tonight my friends.

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Support For The Barrett Memorial Library History Center

The Library Board met once again on a  Saturday morning and voted once again to give the old library building to the County.

What seems to be in question is if the County wants it.   The only Council or Commissioner member who has said anything about it is Jeff Nelson and he does not want it from what I have read.  I hope the County thinks long and hard about this.  I hope they make the decision to refuse the offer of the building.   They will be the ones who will be remembered for giving away the  history of Pike County.  They and the Library Board members who are voting against it.

Forever our history  will be gone from us.  Never will we get it back.  What a loss it would be.

I am just hoping for a change of heart in all of those involved.  Those that we elected and put our trust in to make our decisions and spend our tax dollars in our best interests.

I received this very lovely email today.  Just think how we could progress and move forward with our history and genealogy if we had the resources.

Dear Rose,

I stumbled across your blog this morning and was thrilled to see that someone has taken such a devoted interest not only in preserving Pike County’s history, but keeping it local and available to the community. I grew up in Pike County so its history is near and dear to my heart. In fact, it’s why I’m writing to you. I am currently getting my PhD in History at the University of Kentucky and my research is on coal miners and their families in Indiana, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky in the 1890s. Until I saw your blog, I had actually assumed that Pike County’s records were already up at Indy since many Indiana counties have sent their records there. That said, I wanted to let you know that I appreciate your efforts at keeping the library issue and Pike County history alive. Without your blog, I probably would have never known where to look for Pike County sources. Thank you!

 Also, I realize I’m a bit late to the game on the Barrett Library and I’m no longer a Pike County resident so I doubt anyone would care much about my opinion, but if there is any way I can help keep these documents in Pike County and open to the public, please let me know. Residents should be able to have access to their own past and that simply can’t happen if these records get sent to storage or Indy.
 
All the best,
 Dana Caldemeyer
I receive many such emails.
 One summer a few years back a lovely couple from Washington State arrived on my doorstep unannounced.  They were retired.  They spent their summers driving around in an RV working on their genealogy.  We talked for hours.  They stayed at Prides Creek and visited the library and local cemeteries.
Here are some recent blogs  from Jared in Arkansas,  researching his  Richardson family history in Pike County.
Read the comments others have left on my blogs in support of the history being kept here.  Many are people from out of state who travel here to find their history.
Library Board Members:

Donna Poehlin:   Voted against the History Center

Phillip Elkins:  Board President:  Voted against the History Center

Anisia Burkhart:  Voted For the History Center

M. Frank Ropp:  Voted against the History Center

James Dickerson:  Voted for the History Center

Sandra Ficklin:  Voted for the History Center

Robin Whaley:  Voted against the History Center

County Commissioners:  

Brian Davis

Jeff Nelson

Ryan Coleman

County Council :   

Max Elliott

Joe Sutton

Greg Willis

Myreon Krohn

Dennis Bishop

Randy Harris

Greg Mangin

Let’s see if we can change some minds and hearts to support the History Center!

Barrett Memorial Library History Center

I am reposting this blog because the time is drawing near for the Library Board to make their decision concerning the empty Barrett Memorial LIbrary building.  Next Tuesday, October 8th the Board meets at 5:30 pm at the Petersburg Library Branch.  If they are going to keep this building standing and not tear it down, please let the Genealogical Society have a chance to make it work.  At least they have an opportunity to provide some income with their services.  If we give it to the County Commissioners it will  become one more building for the taxpayers to maintain with no source of income.  Then our records will go to the basements of several organizations in Indianapolis and not be available to the people of Pike County and the researchers coming to Pike County looking for their ancestors.   Genealogy is becoming more and more popular.  It would be a shame for Pike County to go in reverse instead of moving forward with the top notch Genealogical and Historical Societies they now have.

These are our Board Members.  Please send the library an email or give them a call showing your support of the project or stop in and sign the petition.  Also contact the Commissioners,  the County Council  and the School Board who appoint these members.

Donna Poehlin   Appointed by County Commissioners.

Phillip Elkins, Board President     Appointed by County Commissioners

Anisia Burkhart  Appointed by School Board

M. Frank Ropp   Appointed by County Commissioners

James Dickerson  Appointed by County Council

Sandra Ficklin  Appointed by School Board

Robin Whaley  Appointed by County Council.

Original Blog Post with contact information:

If you have been reading my blogs you will know there are two subjects near and dear to my heart, genealogy and history.

Keeping the old Barrett Memorial Library as a History Center combining the Historical Society and the Genealogical Society under one roof should be near and dear to all of us who care about the genealogy and history of Pike County.  The artifacts currently held and future donated artifacts to the Pike County Museum would also be displayed and available for viewing at this History Center.  I would be one of the first to volunteer my time to work there.

I just found out several weeks ago that this project was being brought forward again.  So I attended the Library Board Meeting last Tuesday to show my support.  I did not know this had been an ongoing subject the last few meetings and that the decision was nearly made to not go forward with the project.  Luckily for us, it was tabled until next month’s meeting on October the 8th at 5:30 pm.  These are my observations.

The only objection I thought the board had was  the cost or potential costs for the project.  They all seem to agree the history of Pike County was important.  A feasibility study had been done and it seemed to me that it was entirely possible for the library to fund the project.  Our library is in good financial shape.  Our new director is a recent IU grad and is doing many good things there that are bringing in patrons for new programs. The library is only moving forward, and that includes financially.   Although this wasn’t in the budget and the board is responsible for managing our money as taxpayers, as a taxpayer I can see no reason for the project not to go forward.

If we lose the history of our county, we can never get it back.

The Historical Society records and all of the artifacts housed in the dilapidated building that is the Pike County Museum would be donated to the library.  It is rarely open.  The Historical Society would then be under the library’s authority.  There would be set hours weekly for visiting, including a Saturday for out of town visitors.  If they are not donated to our County library, they will be donated to Indianapolis where they will be put in storage and unavailable to you as an individual to view.  You can ask to see them there and will be told they are unavailable to you.  The same goes for the courthouse record books that will be sent there.  Those books go back to the very early 1800s and will be unavailable to us.

Remember a few years ago the school researched and published a book “The Coal Miner’s Cry”?  What a great research tool and interesting reading that book has been.  I could see many class projects in the future if the records are available here in Pike County for the use of our Pike County citizens.  The kids could learn the skills of digitalizing records.  Write stories.  Do research.  Take the history and records away and that will never happen for our future generations.

I could go on all day.  Here is a link to the feasiblity study.    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-IG40uogJtucnp1bUxQcEkyVlk&usp=sharing

As you can see, it is doable.  Let’s open it for three years and see if it is financially stable.  If not, then we can always send the records and artifacts to be stored in Indianapolis.  We can always give the building to the county or city at that time.  We can always tear it down at that time.  It’s sat empty for a few years now and cost us more to keep it closed than it would have to open it as a History Center.  What would it harm to keep it a few more years to preserve history?  As a taxpayer, I say give it a chance.

If you know any of the library board members, you can express your support for the history center before next weeks meeting where they decide it’s fate. Phil Elkins, Donna Poehlin, Robin Whaley, Jim Dickerson, Anisia Burkhart, Sandra Ficklin, Frank Ropp.  

To show your support you can, send an email to soldenkamp@pikeco.lib.in.us or call 812 -354-6257 and it will be passed on.

You can even offer to donate artifacts you have and pledge financial donations.

Take this poll and the results will be passed on.  The poll is set up so that no one votes twice.

As always, you can comment below on my blog post.  I am looking forward to the future.  I hope you are too.

The current Pike County Library Mission Statement:  “The Pike County Library exists to provide information and services to people of all ages of Pike County for the purposes of recreational reading, education, reference, and the collection & preservation of history.”

2013 Tractor Drive

It’s almost time for the Tractor Drive and this year I will be able to ride along for the first time.  I am looking forward to learning a little history, enjoying some good company and viewing the fall scenery in Pike County.

If you can’t make it on the entire drive, maybe you could stop by to eat breakfast or lunch to visit with everyone and check out the tractors.

Breakfast will be at the Glezen Revival Center where the drive starts at 9:30 am.  Lunch will be at Hornady Park .

2013 Tractor Drive

2013 Tractor Drive

Barrett Memorial Library History Center

I am reposting this blog because the time is drawing near for the Library Board to make their decision concerning the empty Barrett Memorial LIbrary building.  Next Tuesday, October 8th the Board meets at 5:30 pm at the Petersburg Library Branch.  If they are going to keep this building standing and not tear it down, please let the Genealogical Society have a chance to make it work.  At least they have an opportunity to provide some income with their services.  If we give it to the County Commissioners it will  become one more building for the taxpayers to maintain with no source of income.  Then our records will go to the basements of several organizations in Indianapolis and not be available to the people of Pike County and the researchers coming to Pike County looking for their ancestors.   Genealogy is becoming more and more popular.  It would be a shame for Pike County to go in reverse instead of moving forward with the top notch Genealogical and Historical Societies they now have.

These are our Board Members.  Please send the library an email or give them a call showing your support of the project or stop in and sign the petition.  Also contact the Commissioners,  the County Council  and the School Board who appoint these members.

Donna Poehlin   Appointed by County Commissioners.

Phillip Elkins, Board President     Appointed by School Board

Anisia Burkhart  Appointed by School Board

M. Frank Ropp   Appointed by County Commissioners

James Dickerson  Appointed by County Council

Sandra Ficklin  Appointed by School Board

Robin Whaley  Appointed by County Council.

I think  I have this right now.  I have read it different ways.

Original Blog Post with contact information:

If you have been reading my blogs you will know there are two subjects near and dear to my heart, genealogy and history.

Keeping the old Barrett Memorial Library as a History Center combining the Historical Society and the Genealogical Society under one roof should be near and dear to all of us who care about the genealogy and history of Pike County.  The artifacts currently held and future donated artifacts to the Pike County Museum would also be displayed and available for viewing at this History Center.  I would be one of the first to volunteer my time to work there.

I just found out several weeks ago that this project was being brought forward again.  So I attended the Library Board Meeting last Tuesday to show my support.  I did not know this had been an ongoing subject the last few meetings and that the decision was nearly made to not go forward with the project.  Luckily for us, it was tabled until next month’s meeting on October the 8th at 5:30 pm.  These are my observations.

The only objection I thought the board had was  the cost or potential costs for the project.  They all seem to agree the history of Pike County was important.  A feasibility study had been done and it seemed to me that it was entirely possible for the library to fund the project.  Our library is in good financial shape.  Our new director is a recent IU grad and is doing many good things there that are bringing in patrons for new programs. The library is only moving forward, and that includes financially.   Although this wasn’t in the budget and the board is responsible for managing our money as taxpayers, as a taxpayer I can see no reason for the project not to go forward.

If we lose the history of our county, we can never get it back.

The Historical Society records and all of the artifacts housed in the dilapidated building that is the Pike County Museum would be donated to the library.  It is rarely open.  The Historical Society would then be under the library’s authority.  There would be set hours weekly for visiting, including a Saturday for out of town visitors.  If they are not donated to our County library, they will be donated to Indianapolis where they will be put in storage and unavailable to you as an individual to view.  You can ask to see them there and will be told they are unavailable to you.  The same goes for the courthouse record books that will be sent there.  Those books go back to the very early 1800s and will be unavailable to us.

Remember a few years ago the school researched and published a book “The Coal Miner’s Cry”?  What a great research tool and interesting reading that book has been.  I could see many class projects in the future if the records are available here in Pike County for the use of our Pike County citizens.  The kids could learn the skills of digitalizing records.  Write stories.  Do research.  Take the history and records away and that will never happen for our future generations.

I could go on all day.  Here is a link to the feasiblity study.    https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B-IG40uogJtucnp1bUxQcEkyVlk&usp=sharing

As you can see, it is doable.  Let’s open it for three years and see if it is financially stable.  If not, then we can always send the records and artifacts to be stored in Indianapolis.  We can always give the building to the county or city at that time.  We can always tear it down at that time.  It’s sat empty for a few years now and cost us more to keep it closed than it would have to open it as a History Center.  What would it harm to keep it a few more years to preserve history?  As a taxpayer, I say give it a chance.

If you know any of the library board members, you can express your support for the history center before next weeks meeting where they decide it’s fate. Phil Elkins, Donna Poehlin, Robin Whaley, Jim Dickerson, Anisia Burkhart, Sandra Ficklin, Frank Ropp.  

To show your support you can, send an email to soldenkamp@pikeco.lib.in.us or call 812 -354-6257 and it will be passed on.

You can even offer to donate artifacts you have and pledge financial donations.

Take this poll and the results will be passed on.  The poll is set up so that no one votes twice.

As always, you can comment below on my blog post.  I am looking forward to the future.  I hope you are too.

The current Pike County Library Mission Statement:  “The Pike County Library exists to provide information and services to people of all ages of Pike County for the purposes of recreational reading, education, reference, and the collection & preservation of history.”

Mac’s Cafe on Main Street in Winslow

My grandma, Barbara Bolin Evans,  had fond memories of working at Mac’s Café.  She used to walk from Muren to Winslow into work. My Grandpa Evans always told the story about how when he first met her she was walking to work in the winter without a coat.  He said the first thing he did when they started dating was buy her a winter coat.

She was close to the Dedman and McCord families back then, who ran the cafe.  She remembered John David and Mary Jane Dedman Smith as children growing up there.  I asked John David to share a little history of the store with me.  John David Dedman runs the Winslow Eskimo website at www.jddedman.com.  He worked for years as a postal clerk in Winslow and has some good stories to share.

Mac's Cafe, Main Street Winslow, about 1956

Mac’s Cafe, Main Street Winslow, about 1956.  Where the bank parking lot is now.

“At one time back in the 50’s, there was a Marathon gas station on the corner just south of the restaurant and there was a big sign out front that said “Mac’s Café”.  Actually it was a tavern but they did have a fairly good food business, especially sandwiches.

The tavern burned in either 57 or 58 and was a total loss.   The building was owned by Harcourt Scales and was not re-built after the fire.   Someone had broken in to the tavern to steal things and torched it to cover up the break in.

Attached is a picture I had of the inside of the restaurant and I think it is dated 1952.   The lady to the far left is Sarah McCord, my grandmother and I am sure the waitress is Barbara, your grandmother.   I think the man drinking the beer could have been Pap Dorsey and the man sitting behind him reminds me of John Hunley.   I cannot think of the names of the lady and man sitting at the bar but they were frequent guests in there.

I have this picture up on my web site at http://www.jddedman.com.   The juke box is one of those old rare Seeberg record players, and then they had a bumper pool table.  Later they put in a shuffle board and a TV.   The kitchen was on the back left side and the door on the right was to men’s restroom, the ladies room was closer to the kitchen.   One time in the mid 40’s they had slot machines that sat around the restroom door and along the wall.   I remember on VE-D in 1945 after the end of the Japan war, I hit the jackpot on the 10 cent slot machine.  It was not long after that the slots were taken out, and buried as it was becoming illegal to have them.”

Mac's Cafe, 1952.

Mac’s Cafe, 1952.

I had shared this picture with my grandma and she agreed she was the waitress.  She remembered that old plaid dress.

“ After the tavern burnt, the John Russ Insurance Agency re-built it and had their insurance office there for several years.   John Russ, Herbert Russ and Basil Thompson worked there.   At one time, John let us use the back part of his office for amateur radio meetings which we held every month on a Monday night for a long time.   I was a licensed ham, as well as Basil, and Herb wanted to get a license but never did.   Ernie Hume and his wife and son did get a ham license. “

My grandma told me that she had a picture of Pearl and the store somewhere too.  We found it one day in a box in the old cupboard in her bedroom.  I shared it with John who told me about the picture.

The McCord at Mac's Cafe.

The McCord’s at Mac’s Cafe.

“The photo you sent me was of Pearl B. McCord and his wife, Sarah E. McCord.  They were the owners of Mac’s Café which was located at the location where the Citizens State Bank (German American) now sits.   Pearl was my mother’s father and at one time in the early 30’s was Postmaster at Winslow Post Office.   My actual grandmother – Audie, died when my mother was only 12 years old and Pearl married Sarah a few years later and they lived in the house down from you on Center Street where Jerry and Mary Jane lived for years..

I had lived in the same house from about 1958 until 1963 when I moved to Evansville, then Mary & Jerry moved in there.

My grandfather had a large roll top desk sitting where you see them in the picture and he did his book work there and it was where he could see the bar and kitchen.  After the fire, the only thing that was saved was the desk and I ended up with it myself.  I had to take off the roll-top as it was damaged too much, but the rest was okay and I used it for years while I was living in Winslow. “

Connections, Logtown, and Minters Family

I have just been tickled to death at all of the connections being made on the blog.  Old friends getting back in touch and lost family finding family.  That happened for my family through the blog at Christmas time.  I will tell more about that story in May when we all meet for the first time.  It starts in France and ends up here.

You should be sure to read the comments on the blogs also.  You might find someone you know.

I  received this comment from M. Howard Edwards of California.  He is a descendant of the Minters family that I blogged about here.   He came across the blog and wrote me about his family history.
“My widowed great grandmother, Eliza Anne Liggins Cole married miner Charles Henry Wells of Patoka, Pike, Indiana about 1916. She was born in Lyles Station, near Princeton.
Her daughter, Emma Zovella Mae Cole, had a daughter fathered by Mearl (Murl?) Merritt Minters in 1921 but was not permitted to marry him by his family by her account.
By the 1930 census Mearl had relocated to Indianapolis with his mother Belle Minters as had my grandmother Zovella with her mother Eliza Wells. I have found it interesting that Belle consistently was listed in the U.S. Census as a widow despite Martin Minters being alive and well in Pike County all along. Mearl married Elsie Pepper in Indianapolis in 1935, but he had no other offspring.
I particularly thank you for the pictures of the headstones you shared in the article you wrote on Martin Minters. I took pictures of the same headstones when I was visiting along with pictures of the church. When I picked up my suitcase at the airport here in California, I found that the locks were broken, and it had been taped shut apparently by a baggage handler. Of all the stuff in there the only thing missing was the roll of film. I guess God intended for me to discover your blog over thirty years later.”
Before the genealogy meeting tonight I went through the old articles and found one to go along with some photos taken last fall that I wanted to post.  Thanks to my friend Amber Ball who lives over by #7 Road  for sharing her photography skills when we are out rambling on the backroads and talking about all that has been lost.
This stand of trees is growing up in the old foundation is all that is left of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

This stand of trees growing up in the old foundation is all that is left of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The old foundation of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

Foundation blocks of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

Foundation blocks of the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the old Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The front steps of the old Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown.

The pulpit from  the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown  is still around.

The pulpit from the Mt. Hebron Church in Logtown is still around.

July 30, 1920  ~ Pike County Paper

The new colored church at Ayrshire is nearing completion.  The colored folk there started in more than a year ago to raise the funds to build a new church, the congregation having outgrown the old church building.  They first planned for a concrete building but later changed the plans and made  it a frame structure.  The new building is completed except the inside finishings.  While the new church building is being erected the hall is being used as a place of worship.

July 29, 1888 ~ Pike County Democrat

Entertainment at the Mt. Hebron Church in Ayrshire.