Category Archives: Features

Death from rabies

Jadon Gibson

“From the time I first heard he had been bitten by the wolf, I anticipated the consequence with horror,” Joseph Doddridge wrote. “I was even more concerned because he relied on a physician who had the reputation of curing the bite of a mad animal with a single pill and offered no other medical aid.”

On the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before his death he had the appearance of a person with a fever. On Sunday the hydrophobia set in. Continue reading Death from rabies

Wildlife and rabies

Jadon Gibson

Early hunters found an abundance of wildlife in Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

The wild buffalo and elk were over hunted and practically disappeared although elk are being replenished in certain areas. Bears are also being seen more frequently in recent years. Conservation efforts have resulted in a good number of deer. The fearsome panther and wildcat are seldom seen as they are very private, staying away from settled areas. Continue reading Wildlife and rabies

Cas Walker was unique and a success

Jadon Gibson

Cas Walker was unique and a success

Tom Walker shot the father of the Lane brothers resulting in his leg being amputated. Lane’s boys decided to take it out on Tom’s son, Cas Walker. The elder Walker wanted Cas to go to Kentucky and work, fearing brothers Cas and Pink Lane would kill him if he remained home in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains.

Cas had five brothers and seven sisters but if that wasn’t enough his father found a little boy crying on a country road some twenty-five years earlier. Bill Free, the young lad of five or six years old, was taken in and raised like a son. Years later Bill would get a job with Champion Pulp & Fibre Company in North Carolina and help young Cas Walker get a job there too. Continue reading Cas Walker was unique and a success

free workshop

After the holidays, don’t miss out on a free workshop on the Dos and Don’ts of Business Insurance. Sponsored by the Berea Business Development Office, this workshop is available for all in the community on Thursday, January 4 from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Tolle Building on Chestnut St.

Drew Alexander from Central Bank in Richmond will be facilitating the workshop. Register at https://businessinsurancedosanddonts.eventbrite.com or call 986-8528, ext. 2164 with any questions.

Cas Walker dug his way out of a sinkhole

Jadon Gibson

Cas Walker was notorious for his business successes, being mayor of Knoxville and for helping talented youngsters like Dolly Parton in getting a good start in entertainment. He said it was only through God’s grace that he was able to survive long enough to do any of this.

It was tough growing up in the Smoky Mountain area in the early 1900’s… an era with a lot of mayhem and little law enforcement. Walker’s Dad shot George Lane in the leg requiring it to be amputated. Lane’s grandson, Cas Lane, decided he would take it out on young Cas Walker and kill him. Continue reading Cas Walker dug his way out of a sinkhole

Coal miners – 2017 subject of John Rice Irwin’s Christmas message

Jadon Gibson

John Rice Irwin, founder of the fabulous Museum of Appalachia just off Highway 75 near Knoxville, Tenn, chose coal miners as the subject of his Christmas message this year that I just received from my good friend.

“This year I honor the coal miners,” he began. “No group has sacrificed and gave so much and received so little for their laborious contributions. To paraphrase a line from President Lincoln, they were ‘little noted nor long remembered.’ I am presenting glimpses of a few of these remarkable souls in the hope it will prompt us to appreciate their contributions to America. Continue reading Coal miners – 2017 subject of John Rice Irwin’s Christmas message

FREE WORKSHOP

After the holidays, don’t miss out on a free workshop on the Dos and Don’ts of Business Insurance. Sponsored by the Berea Business Development Office, this workshop is available for all in the community on Thursday, January 4 from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Tolle Building on Chestnut St.

Drew Alexander from Central Bank in Richmond will be facilitating the workshop. Register at https://businessinsurancedosanddonts.eventbrite.com or call 986-8528, ext. 2164 with any questions.

Micajah and Wiley Harpe, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

The Harpes were considered as devils on the paths in early America. They camped at night, replenishing their strength, before resuming their quest each morning. When regulators were close on their tail they slept during the day and moved at night.

“Their victims lay face up in rivers, gutted, their eyes wide and staring, their innards replaced with stones,” Jim Ridley wrote in 2013. “Or they lay hacked and strewn in the Cumberland wilderness, left to entropy’s appetite. They were killed for the gold they carried; they were killed despite the kindness they gave. The killers drew no distinction between men and women, boys and girls, children and infants, not even their own. Continue reading Micajah and Wiley Harpe, conclusion

Beware of Micajah and Wiley Harpes, part 3

Jadon Gibson

Word of mouth was passing throughout the borderland about the murderous Micajah and Wiley Harpes. Captain Joseph Ballenger and his Stanford, Kentucky, posse knew they had the ‘luck of the Irish’ after they stumbled onto the notorious merrymakers while they were as drunk as skunks. The posse would have had their hands full otherwise.

Ballenger knew he had a serious problem because the Stanford Jail was little more than a dog pound and he would have to keep them shackled and manacled. Efforts were made immediately to fortify the structure and secure the prisoners. Continue reading Beware of Micajah and Wiley Harpes, part 3

Beware of Micajah and Wiley Harpes, part 2

Jadon Gibson

Rev. William Lambuth wanted to warn everyone about Micajah and Wiley Harpes after they robbed him in 1797 but such information wasn’t easy to communicate in that era. Most news came by the spoken word. Newspapers, leaflets, posted warnings and such were rare and slow in arriving.

It was less than 50 years after Dr. Thomas Walker documented the discovery of Cumberland Gap and less than a quarter century after Daniel Boone and his band of thirty men blazed the trail from Sycamore Shoals (Elizabethton, TN) to the Kentucky River. Continue reading Beware of Micajah and Wiley Harpes, part 2

Beware of Micajah and Wiley Harpes

Jadon Gibson

If Micajah and Wiley Harpes were alive today and relived their exploits of the late 1700’s, their names and pictures would be plastered in post offices and bannered on television newscasts across the nation. Some call them America’s first serial killers. If someone is bent on killing, why not do in themselves first?

Micajah was born in North Carolina in 1768 and Wiley was born about two years later. Their father fought for the British in the early years of the war before changing coats when it appeared it would prove beneficial. Those who knew the senior Harpes turned him in and he was forced to flee with his life. Micajah and Wiley stayed Continue reading Beware of Micajah and Wiley Harpes

A matter of honor, between attorneys no less

Jadon Gibson

Robert Triplett’s neighbor in Owensboro, KY, couldn’t understand Triplett’s preoccupation with death at-first. Triplett was wealthy and in robust health, yet the 33-year old Virginia-born lawyer drew up his will and proceeded to make other final arrangements.

His neighbor understood when Triplett confided that he would soon be involved in a duel with fellow Owensboro attorney Phillip Thompson. Continue reading A matter of honor, between attorneys no less

If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher

Jeff Rubin

If you can read this, thank a teacher. I saw that bumper sticker on the back of a car I was following on the highway the other day. The sticker brought a smile to my face.  More than that, it made me think about the important role teachers have played in my own life growing up. A role that could just as easily be applied to anyone of us, including our children and grandchildren. Continue reading If You Can Read This, Thank a Teacher

Log-rafting on the Clinch and Powell rivers

Jadon Gibson

For over 200 years the Appalachian Mountain range prevented western expansion beyond the vast forestland that was found by early long-hunters and settlers.

The giant white oak, walnut, yellow poplar, chestnut, ash, maple and other trees were widespread throughout the area. They were a Godsend as early settlers built log cabins and used wood for fuel. Gardens were planted on the cleared land and part was used for pastureland. The trees had never been harvested so they were much larger than those found today. Continue reading Log-rafting on the Clinch and Powell rivers

Westward to Kaintuck in 1777

Jadon Gibson

The Virginia legislature commissioned Col. George Rogers Clark to assemble an army of men and travel to the Falls of the Ohio, present-day Louisville, at the beginning of the winter of 1777. Historians have written Clark had secret orders to prepare and help capture the French-held fort of Kaskaskia in Illinois and to thwart the British in creating outposts in the region.

Most of the men left before Christmas but a group of eight followed in late January to join them. A youthful Daniel Trabue was among Continue reading Westward to Kaintuck in 1777

A report of Lincoln’s assassination

Jadon Gibson

The following letter was written by Richard Baldwin from Clarksville, TN, on April 15, 1865. Baldwin, a native of Hancock County, TN, left Sneedville following the Civil War because of the dangers to former soldiers who fought during the war. It was addressed to his brother Alfred who was still living in Hancock County. Continue reading A report of Lincoln’s assassination

44th Celebration of Traditional Music at Berea College

Alice Gerrard

This year’s Celebration of Traditional Music (CTM) greets Halloween by focusing on British and Appalachian ballads, haunting tales of love and loss. The CTM honors the tradition of passing music, stories, and oral history from person to person in the Appalachian Region. Alice Gerrard is the featured performer.

As her website describes, “Simply put, Alice Gerrard is a talent of legendary status. In a career spanning some 50 years, she has known, learned from, and performed with many of the old-time and bluegrass greats and has in turn earned worldwide respect for her own important contributions to the music.”

Continue reading 44th Celebration of Traditional Music at Berea College

Civil War survivor bushwhacked on way home

Jadon Gibson

A constant tension filled the hills and valleys during the Civil War as neighbor was pitted against neighbor and in many instances members of the same family were on opposing sides. The war separated the country, causing hatred, resentment and bloodshed that persisted for many years after the war.

Thousands of soldiers anxiously returned to their homes after the War Between the States, some traveling by water and others by train, horse or afoot. Many southerners found little or nothing Continue reading Civil War survivor bushwhacked on way home