Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
May 1, 2014     Bath County News - Outlook
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May 1, 2014

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2 - May 01, 2014 Your Hometown Newspaper News Outlook Heaven Is A Lot Like By Charles Mattox "Andrew Thompson was an old man living near by Mar- tha Mills. He had just mar- tied a young girl and he was quite certain of his statements when I had read it to him and very enthusiastic." Rev. John Shane, 1844. re- garding his interview with Andrew Thompson. '7 came down the river in a boat belonging to Silas Dexter and landed at what is now Maysville in 1783. Dexter was bringing a faro- @ and going to south of the Kentucky River, near to Dick~ river, where his wife's brethren Ashel and William Davis lived... Dexter and I were with other families; just below Washington about two months; which flung us into 1784. The winter at last set in so hard, we had to break up. At the time mentioned a fam- ily started to Bryant's Station and lost their way and stayed out 30 days, during which time the woman had a child and it was a deep snow" Andrew Thompson in his interview with Rev, John Shane as it appears in the Draper Manuscripts volume 12 CC pages 235-236. "We should, at all times of trouble, trial or difficulty, put our trust in the Lord, who alone is able to save all that put their trust in him." A cornmonly used phrase of Captain Spencer Records. in his biographical narrative, as it appears in Volume 23 CC page 23, of the l.yman Copeland Draper Manu- scripts. I turned 51-years-old over the past weekend, dear read- er, and had a great birthday. I got several long-needed chores done and am working on plans to do others. One of the projects nay girlfriend Amber and I are plamling is building a series of book shelves in my living room to put all nay books in one cen- tral location. I've got a lot of books. I'm not sure exactly how many, but it's fair to say, 'I've got a lot.' My historical research FINpl lnaterial is no small collec- tion of documents, either. Between nay home and my office at the Kentucky News Group's Flemingsburg Gazette location, I've got a sizable amount of reading material. I had occasion to browse through my Martha Mills Garr Pond Cemetery notes over my birthday and was as- tounded to cross reference a historical incident I had pre- viously written ahout regard- ing early Daniel Boone com- panion and Mason County Pioneer, Captain Spencer Re- cords. Spencer came to Ken- tucky with family members in 1783 and became lost in the wilderness of northeast- ern Kentucky with his cous- ins Josiah and John and their companion Henry Finch. They were near the burnt ruins of Capt. Isaac Ruddle's Fort near Cynthiana. Rud- dle's Fort was destroyed during the Jtme 1780 attack by British and Indian forces which killed dozens on the spot after the Kentuckians surrendered. All Ruddle's Fort occupants were then taken captive and divided up between various Native American and British fac- tions. "Ille land was unoccupied for several years afl:erward and Spencer Records was completely lost in the wilder- ness when he, his cousins and Henry Finch stumbled upon the Dewitt Family, starving, lost, freezing and the mother was with a new- born child. I realized over the week- end that Andrew Thompson was speaking of the same family that was lost in 1783/ 1784. I can only imagine how re- lieved members of that dis- traught family must have felt when Spencer records and the Finch boys were finding them In all there were about a dozen lost souls, half frozen in that small clearing near the woods. Some of them huddled near Mrs. Downey and others seemed to lurch about numbly a sllort dis- tance away, staring off to- ward the horizon. Most of them were half naked children helonging to the Downey, Reeves and Dewitt, families, a group who were lost in the woods and had wandered for weeks from Hmestone Point (Maysville), while looking for Bryant's Station. The four young men got a tire started and then chopped and cut straight and forked poles and built a nlakeshift shelter and elevat- ed bed for Mrs. Downey. They'd told the group that they would all ride file storm out in camp and go directly to Bryant's Station in the morning. They hoped to arrive there by tomorrow night. The only problem was that they themselves had no idea where Bryant's Station was. They hadn't been able to lind a single sotfl since wan- dering into Kentucky a week earlier. Their group came down the Monongahela River and thence into the Ohio River on a flatboat. The group consisted of himself, his fa- ther Josiah, his uncle Henry Finch and his cousins John and Josiah Finch. They were also accompanied by Wil- liam Kiser, the man who sold them land in Kentucky and with whom they were help- ing transport a load of mer- chandise and cattle. Their own cargo, including cattle and horses, made for a cum- bersome journey. A flatboat, with a pirogue and a canoe were the three primary boats the party used. With over a dozen horses and twice as many cows in tow, Spencer knew there would be no sleep tonight. That was line with Spencer. His sleep was usually filled with nightmares and the faces of the dead children he had found following Native American raids in his old neighborhood. They were on new ground now but they were lost. Ill they survived the night without attack from any wandering bands of Native American hunters or raid- ing parties, they wotdd head southwest and hopefully find Bryant's Station. Spencer couldn't help but think of the words of the old- est Downey child, a teenage girl who had stared vacantly at him until he felt obliged to speak. "We're in a bit of a rough way here ma'am," he had said to her and her reply had startled him. "This is probably the best and safest nay family has ever had it," she said in a calm voice as she touched his shoulder and looked sky- ward. Spencer knew then, some- how, that they would survive the night and find Bryant's Station in the next day or two. Sometimes in Kentucky, then and now, 'finding them' can be half the battle, par- ticularly when involved in historical research. We will join Captain Spen- cer Records and his fam- ily and friends, in future editions of this column if tile Good I_x)rd is willing. By Cecil Lawson [A note to the reader: wrote this column exactly one year ago, and I think it ex- presses my sentiments this week as then. A very busy week has prevented me from composing something more original, so I will apolo- gize for that as well. But I'm sure you'll understand. Until next week... CL] Journalism can never be si- lent: that is its greatest virtue and its greatest fault. It must speak, and speak immediately, while the echoes of wonder, the claims of triumph and the signs of horror are still in the air - Henry Grunwald, long- time editor of Time nmgazine You don't need a weather: man to know which way the wind blows - Bob Dylan, "Subterranean Homesick Blues" I've got a little over two years under my belt as a re- porter for the News Outlook. At some vague point in the past, I acquired the title of news editor because, well, 1 decide what news gets includ- ed in the paper. I've also gotten the chance to learn about my home coun- ty (and neighboring Menifee and Nicholas counties) in ways that I had never consid- ered before. I'm not exactly sure how some reporters out there maintain a narrow point of view. when their task is to accurately present a cross- section of people often very different fi'onl themselves. But it happens. You see it in the national news and certain cable networks all the time, These past two plus years lmve been a crash course in history, politics, econonfics, sports, education, and public relations. While most people have generally been happy with the job I'm doing, I have had a few complaints since 1 start- ed. Complaints may actually be too mikl a word - outright cussings and tongue-lashings would be more honest de- scriptions. In all of these cases, I can understand where those peo- ple were coming from - an- ger, frustratioiL hurt. grief. To all of these people; if they still happen to be read- ing, I want to say, I am sin- cerely sorry that something I wrote hurt you, angered you, upset yon, so nmch. That was never my intention. I was inconsiderate, and please for- give rile. But I ask some understand- ing in return. I have a job to do - report the news. I some- times deal with subjects and situations that most people never get to know or would even care to know. Musty archives, dangerous fires, a walk on the interstate break- down lane to take a picture of a car accident, seedy court records, conversations with individuals I'd rather not con- verse with - those conic with the job. [)rugs are the hml behind much of the crime in our re- gion. They create an under- grotmd economy that some would like to protect at all costs, and ttfis economy feeds the addictions of tens of thou- sands. I think it is an impor- tant story to chronicle h)r this generation and the next. I also know that the people caught up in it- whether deal- ers, mules, addicts, or all of APOLOGY, WITH CONDITIONS the above - are someone's family members, a brother, a son, a daughter, a grandfa- ther. Addictions destroy fami- lies, and it's easy to lash out at people like nle who simply report accusations and the le-, gal processes in which those indivMtmls are involved. Trust me when I say that wtmt I report is not personal, and you are certainly not alone in your troubles. The stone is true of local politics. Even the most re- sponsible reporter faces the temptation of taking sides in every political contlict. But while I think a journalist must hold true to her or his own convictions, the job itself demands objectivity when facing this sort of thing. Fair- ness has to be one of a report- er's convictions. In a small conununity like Bath County, politics is a part of everything we do, every decision we make - where we choose to live, go to church, go to scilool, which sports our children play, who we are seen speaking with at some local event, all the way up to pulling the lever in the voting booth. Any attempt to stand on the sidelines, to not take sides, to simply see which way the wind blows about you, tends to be viewed with suspicion. It is assumed that you are al- ready in somebody's pocket, even when you're not. Some newspapers are bra- zenly partisan on their edito- rial page, quick to take up the light at first blood. That is certainly their owners' right, even when they let their edi- torial and political concerns seep into how they write their stories. But then they lose their journalistic quality and become more about partisan- ship and propaganda, in its most extreme forms. Fair- ness then becomes less ira- ish fry and Family C-.ttk Mac-k.e{ P-- stauv4d Q Executive Fish Fry' pm Live/'Suslc 8 pm for by Sc0ttle portant than wtm wins. Other newspapers take what they perceive to be the high road and focus on the "positive" in their com- munities. I'm sure there are many people who would like to see tile News Outlook al- ways filled with high student achievement, winning sports programs, fuzzy articles about quirl~ individuals and their hobbies, and lots of local economic growth. I could write about all of those things, but I would be mostly vmiting fiction. I would be turning a blind eye to the serious problems that !, continue to plague us each day, and I would be ignor- ing the creeping nature of how those problems seem to thwart every attenlpt to stop them. In short, I would be doing you, the reader, a grave dis- service. I have faith in you, reader, that if you know what is going on in your conununity, both bad and good, that you will make the right decisions on a personal level and a politi- cal level to help improve our quality of life as a whole. ]'tie more accurate infor- mation I can present to you, I know that you are more th,m capable of taking it and using it for the greater good. I assure you that I have no agenda beyond reporting, no political goals, no political favorites. Why would I stay around at events, write the way I do, dig as much as I do? No one can accuse me of merely showing up to snap a picture, and then going home. Whatever others may say and think to the contrary, I work for you, my readers, and you alone. You make nay job worth do- ing. Advertise your: Yard Sales Meeting announcements Birthdays Anniversaries . Businesses Church announcements . Businesses For Sales Etc... - .v,;,;,;iq,,