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Transcript of Interview of William G. Martin and J. Garrard Morris

Martin, William G. and J. Garrard Morris

Cassette Tape COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT
Cassette Tape No. 90/12
Knox Historical Museum History Project Topic: Knox County Place Names
Special Collection: Educators
WILLIAM GILLIS MARTIN (Born April 26, 1902)
and
JAMES GARRARD MORRIS (Born February 11, 1901)
Cassette tape dated March 4, 1990 on file at Knox Historical
Museum. Transcript by Jakalyn Jackson,
David Helton and Charles Reed Mitchell.
Edited by C. R. Mitchell.
Interview by Jakalyn Jackson on March 4, 1990 at the home of William G. Martin, 108 Spring St., in Barbourvi1le, Ky. One 60-minute length tape. Total Playing time: approximately 45 minutes. Open but conditional: the interviewer, Jakalyn Jackson,reserves the right to print all or part of the interview first in a History of Knox County due for publication early in 1991. Releases signed. Ms. Jackson is not directly related to either of the interviewees. Most repetitions, false starts, incomplete sentences, encouraging remarks and affirmations irrelevant to the data have been edited out of the transcript. On a few occasions to avoid misunderstandings, grammar has been adjusted. Mr. Martin reads from time to time from a manuscript of his own composition. He has been collecting data on place names and genealogy for the past fifteen years.

SIDE 1
JJ= Jakalyn Jackson
WM= William G. Martin
GM= James Garrard Morris
JJ: This is Jakalyn Jackson, March 4th, 1990. Today I’m talking to Mr.William G. Martin and he is going to tell us how some of the communites in Knox County got their unusual names. He is also a retired school teacher and we may be able to get him to tell us about some of his experiences in one-room schools. Mr. Martin, first of all let’s find out some of your family history, such as the year that you were born?
GM: You’ll have to talk pretty loud to him. He can’t hear.
JJ: Can you hear me?
GM: Yes.
JJ: What year were you born?
WM: 1902, April 26th.
JJ: Who where your parents?
WM: John D. Martin and Lena Dozier Martin. My grandfather on that side was William Butler Dozier and Mary Calder and my great grandfather of that side was William A. Dozier and Caroline Dizney.
[Note: in his interview KHM 90/6, Mr. Martin identified his great grandmother as Pollyanna Payne Dozier {Martin later said her name was Mary Polly Payne – when proofreading this copy}.]
JJ: Were they native of Knox County?
WM: No, they came from the old country, through North Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee.
JJ: 0.K. I’ve heard your mother tell a story of your grandmother who came over on a ship. Did she tell you that story?
WM: My grandmother Calder and her family came from the highlands of Scotland to America when she was sixteen years old. They came by boat and the boat landed at New Orleans and at New Orleans they got off the boat and came up the Ohio River to Cincinnati. And at Cincinnati they had an accident on the ferry and two of the children were drowned at Cincinnati. That was the story my mother told you about.
JJ: How many brothers and sisters do you have?
WM: I have one brother and three or four sisters (laughter). And I have seventeen grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren. Most of the people in Knox County are related. There were about four or five families that came into this county about the same time: the Martins, and the Mooneyhams, and the Doziers, and the Paynes and the McDonalds, and they settled in this part of the county here and intermarried. And most people in this county are kinfolks.
JJ: Yes, we are someway or other. But I don't know exactly how.
WM: Yes, by birth, blood or marriage. They have kept a lot of these old ideas that they used to have in Scotland and Ireland. They are a clanish people. They believe in the family traditions and usually the head of the family is the one that is the leader. And my grandfather, Dr. Dozier, was the head of our clan for a long time, and after he died then Uncle Ralph Mooneyham was head for a long time and for the last few years they have been coming to me as the clanhead. We believe that strong family ties is the foundation of our history in this country or any other country.
JJ: That’s true.
WM: There’s an old saying: if you’ll give me the mothers of a country I care not who makes the laws because the mothers will be the backbone of the country. And we still believe that.
JJ: Right. 0.K. You were going to tell us how some of the communities got their names.
WM: Yes. The place names. Most of the places in Knox County are derived from the names of the people who settled there. For instance, Barbour—ville, Paynes—Creek, Dozier—Hollow, Powell—Branch. However, others are named for various reasons. And places that end in ’’Lick” were so named because there was a spring located in that area which had minerals in it, especially salt. And animals from far and near came to these springs in order to lick the salt. Therefore they were called....
JJ: ’’Licks.”
WM: . . . ended in ’’Lick.” Three examples are Flat—Lick, Paint—lick, Salt—lick.
FIGHTING CREEK. Indian tribes from the north ranged south and the tribes from the south ranged north into the happy hunting grounds in eastern Kentucky. They often clashed in the area near Barbourville. The migration west from Virginia, North Carolina, so forth, had to come through Cumberland Gap. The Scotch and Irish clans were reluctant to leave the mountains because it reminded them of their old home. So they moved north and south at the foot of the hills and became embroiled with the Indians over the hunting territory. Therefore we were having fights all along this area. Also Uncle Jack Payne said that the Mills and Payne family enjoyed bare knuckle fighting and "Slap Jack,” a game where two people held each other’s hand and used a switch on each other until one of them hollered "uncle." Jack said the Paynes and the Millses would rather fight furriners (foreigners) but if none were around, they fit (fought) each other. If anybody who’s itching for a fight, when he found a Payne or a Mills, his search was over.
JJ: So that’s Fighting Creek.
WM: Yes, therefore we have Fighting Creek.
HEIDRICK. Charles F. Heidrick came into this area and built the railroad from Highland Park near Barbourville to Manchester, Ky. Therefore they changed Highland Park to Heidrick in honor of Mr. Heidrick.
SCRATCH ANKLE. The branch that empties into Little Richland near Highland Park was called Scratch Ankle, but it is now Sunny Side Road.
Mrs. Martin. Sunny BROOK.
WM: There is a special kind of clay dirt in that area that’s suitable for making brick. When animals walked in the mud in that area the dirt stuck to the hair, causing it to fall out and the caustic mineral caused lesions on the skin on the bare area, which itched terribly. Therefore, they called it Scratch Ankle.
JJ: I always wondered about that but I didn’t know.
WM: The information I got on that was from Uncle Joe Sie Patterson. The places on Fighting Creek, except a few, are family and they are called Creeks, and Branches, and Hollows. There’s Goodin Branch, Rasnick Branch, Miller Branch, Dozier Hollow, Powell Branch, Hale Branch, Yeager Hollow, Hawn Branch, and Paynes Creek.
BEECH SPRINGS. At the mouth of Paynes Creek was a beech grove in which there was a fine spring used by many of the neighbors in that country. Thus, we have Beech Spring School, and there’s a Beech Springs Church also.
SHY MUG. The first branch on the left up east Fighting Creek was known for its sticky mud. So at the worst places they tied rags on the barbs of the wire fence on each side of the road so you could crawl through the fence and ”shy” around the mud. Finally that shy around the mud became ”Shy Mug Branch.”
JJ: That's really interesting. I had no idea. (To Morris:)Did you?
GM: No.
WM: FRIENDSHIP. People from Little Richland, Turkey Creek, Paynes Creek, Hinkle Branch flocked to the meeting day services at near the mouth of Powell Branch, Miller Branch, and Dozier Hollow. One day a month at the protracted meetings, the residents of the area would prepare huge meals for the visitors and invite them home with them for dinner. Actually, I have seen thirty to fifty people eat at our house on meeting day. The same was true in other families in the community. Thus, they called it "Friendship.’' The old Friendship Church has been restored and remodeled and still in business. Give it a visit sometime to remind you of old memories.
BIMBLE. When my grandfather, Dr. William Butler Dozier, had the first post office put in his general store, he offered a two and a half dollar gold piece as a prize for the person who picked the best name for the post office. In the early days people used oxen to log and plow and pull their wagons. People were proud of their yoke of oxen. Once a year they would have a contest between different yokes to see which ones could pull the biggest log, or were the best trained, and the best looking, and best prepared.
Some say that the Rasnicks and some say it was the Paynes family had a famous yoke of oxen. They won the prizes in that area, and from areas all around, they came back with the first prize. Therefore, that community was real proud of the two oxen, which was so famous in this area. And the names of the two oxen was "Bim" and "Bull.” Therefore, they turned that into "Bimble,” the first post office in that area.
JJ: I had no idea of any of these.
GM: Yeah, I’ve heared that before.
WM: THE CORRAL. Up Fighting Creek to Miller Branch to the head and on a point is a huge craggy rock cliff with caves and overhangs which is called the Big Rocks.
JJ: I was there a couple of years ago.
WM: Up Little Richland to Ridnor Branch to the head of the branch and up on the point is another cliff, similar, which is called Little Rocks. Between the two in the back is a high peak. Between the rocks is a flat land open toward the south shaped like a corral. The long hunters used this area as a camping ground and a corral for their horses. They could cook under the rocks and overhangs and sleeping places or sleep in the sheltered areas. Thus, we have "Big Rocks," "Little Rocks," and "The Corral" in between.
DEEP CUT. Between Old and New Girdler is a deep hollow, narrow and deep. The railroad goes through it. One of the first places in Kentucky was in this cut where you could buy     supplies for hunting and camping and trading. And they called it the Deep Cut Store.
JJ: Is that the same place they called... What was it they called it? It started with an ”S.” I can’t think of it. I’ll think of it after a while. I’m thinking it’s in the same area.
WM: POSSUM HOLLOW. Well, you’ll get a grin when you hear this one. When I was Principal at Flat Lick School in 1940-42, I asked Jim Renfro about Possum Hollow, which is nearby. He said you could take a miner’s lamp on your head and shine the light in the eyes and pick off a coffee sack full of possums in that hollow. They were up in the 'simmon (persimmon) trees and couldn’t even bite you because they eat so many ’simmons that their mouths closed up on them. You know Jim?
GM: Yeah, I know Jim.
WM: KEALS and HAULTZ FLATS. Between Artemus and Himyar where Stinking Creek flows into the river and the railroad and the Cumberland River is there, there's a large flat of land between, of several hundred acres. It reaches up to Turkey Creek and Stinking Creek, and it was the finest hunting ground in Knox County. It was full of squirrels, turkey and deer, and it was called Haultz Flat. At the end of the railroad tressel across Stinking Creek at the foot of the hill, there used to be a train stop or station where they let the people off and on, and the stop was called Keals.
JJ: Bo you think that was probably a family name?
WM: Yes. His wife was my mother—in-law’s sister.
JJ: How was that spelled?
WM: K. E. A. L. S.
GM: Bill, that road goes along the railroad and there’s some land in between the road and the railroad. Right up by that old Keal house right in there, there is some people buried and their name was Hayes. And they have been buried there so long you can't tell what their name is.
WM: Yeah. In that flat in there?
GM: No, it’s down here between the road and railroad.
JJ: Is it there around that water plant there?
GM: Yeah. It’s right across the road from the water plant.
JJ: We went up there to try to copy that cemetery and couldn’t tell anything about it.
GM: I’ve been there and looked at them monuments. I used to go up there fishing. I tried to read the writing but I couldn’t read it. Time had wore it off. Anyway they have been buried there I guess way over a hundred years.
JJ: Gosh, yeah. That 's a very old cemetery.
GM: ROARING FORK. Stinking Creek branches to the left called Roadfork, straight ahead called Middlefork, and to the right is called Big Creek. The first hollow on the right up Big Creek has a rough and tumble creek called Roaring Fork. The water runs noisily over the stones, making a roaring sound. Therefore, we have Roaring Fork. My father-in-law, my first wife’s father, Flem D. Carnes, was born on Roaring Creek.
CHESTNUT FLAT. Near the head of Turkey Creek, Powells Branch, Hales Creek, Hinkle Branch is a flat-topped area called Chestnut Flat. There’s a variety of nut trees all over this area, such as acorn, beech, hickory, and thousands of chesnut trees in that area. A blight destroyed the chesnut trees many years ago. Will Carnes said that you could turn a brood sow and her pigs in there in the fall and in a few months the pigs were large enough and fat enough to kill. However, if you didn’t put them up and feed them corn and three or four weeks before you slaughtered them, the meat was puffy and spongy. But if you fed them for about three weeks, it took that away.
McCLELLEN. On the first curve after you turn up Little Richland Creek, up on the bank on the right...
GM: No, is that Little Richland Creek?
WM: ...stood a Methodist Church schoolhouse. My father, John D. Martin, the son of William Gillis Martin and Katherine McDonald, was born in this area.
GM: That’s Big Richland. You said Little Richland.
WM: Big Richland, yeah, Big Richland. There used to be a ford across the creek where the little bridge is now on Big Richland. The McClellen family lived straight across the road at the foot of the hill, at the Tom Corey place. The church school was named after that family. McClellen’s wife was a Dozier, a first cousin of my grandfather. Also her sister married the man that owned the next farm on the right above the McClellen School. And his name was Sie Lawson. Also she had another sister named Dory (Dora) which married a Jarvis up at the next place. These three sisters, my grandfather’s first cousins, lived in that area. My father was born on that curve as you go around on the left where that old barn is now. He was born in that Hollow there. And his father was William Gillis Martin and his mother was Katherine McDonald.
JJ: Was that why that JARVIS, Kentucky, is called ’’Jarvis’’ after a family of Jarvises?
WM: Yes. They called it Jarvis. That’s Dora Jarvis’ husband. The old McClellen is now called BAILEY SWITCH after a family that lived in Bailey Hollow over there.
TUB HANDLE GAP SCHOOL.
JJ: That’s unusual.
WM: In 1919 I was seventeen years old. Superintendent E. B. Hemphill needed a teacher. He asked my father to let me take the county examination for a teacher. I passed the test given by John Hughes and his wife, Sarah, and V. V. Evans. I was not old enough to get a certificate so Hemphill gave me a permit to teach school. The school was located at the head of Owens Branch, halfway between Rossland and Emanuel, in the gap on Booger Hill, which is now called Gilliam Hill, over the railroad tunnel near Red Worm Hollow. In those days some tough men carried a fighting tool called Brass Knuckles, made of heavy brass and fit over the fist and knuckles. If used expertly on the fist, it could drop your eyelid, shear off your ear, crack a chin, or loosen half your teeth. People in this area were too poor to buy brass knuckles, so they took the handles off the washing tub and used them as a substitute. Thus, we have a place called Tub Handle Gap. DOG TOWN. Guess everybody knows about that. The area south of Barbourville was known for stray dogs. Thus, Dog Town, now Apple Grove, was named. SAMPSON HILL. After his term as governor, Flem D. Sampson reentered the law firm of Robsion, Luker, Smith, and Sampson in Barbourville. He bought the hill east of Barbourville and built a fine home there where he lived until he died. The home burned. Now there is a small community there of twenty-five or thirty houses, and a Deli and a gas station, and a feed store. It's called Sampson Hill. (Formerly called Reservoir Hill.)
     Some other places: Hunting Shirt.
Dozier School is also on Fighting Creek near the water divide on the Lewis Hopkins farm. It’s now the home of Jim Matt Mooneyham. When the Yeager and Friendship and Beech Spring Schools were merged into one school, they called it Dozier in honor of Dr. William Butler Dozier. See Denver Allen. He taught there as principal for years and years.
Some other names that could be looked up. Hunting Shirt. See somebody around New Bethel. Nip and Tuck. Artemus. Probably Phil Fox.
Dowis Chapel. On Indian Creek. Some of the Heltons over there could probably tell about it.
Smokey Creek. I don’t know why it was called that.
Bull Creek. Somebody around Fount. Of course, FOUNT was named after Uncle Fount Rowland.
PAINT HILL. I don’t know why they call it Paint Hill.
JJ: Well, the story that I have always heard was that the Indians there massacred a group of settlers and painted the rocks with their blood is why it is called Paint Hill.
GM: Well, I believe I have heard that. Yes, I have heard that.
Nigger Creek. The Principal at Lynn Camp School or Merrill Mitchell could tell about that.
Also there’s a Piney Grove down there. And a Watch, and a Siler. All in that area. I don’t know why they were named.
And there’s another place called Sled Road Branch on Big Richland. I don’t know....(To Morris) You’ve heard of Sled Road Branch, haven't you?
GM: My daddy owned a farm in the head of Sled Road Branch.
JJ: Do you know why it’s called Sled Road?
GM:No, I don’t.
JJ: Maybe it was because you could get anything over the road but a sled.
GM: He sold that farm for eleven hundred dollars and come over here on Little Richland and bought that place and paid eleven Hundred dollars for it. And some of them sold just one acre of ground out on the highway there somewhere for twelve hundred dollars or more. Of course, he kept it for many years. Do you want to know about Pumpkin Run?
WM: Do you want me to tell you anything about a one-room school?
JJ: Yeah, I was going to ask Garrard....
WM: Well, get over here, Garrard, so you can talk about PUMPKIN RUN and Trace Branch.
JJ: Yeah, and then we’ll talk about the schools. I’d like to know about them too. I’m also talking today to Garrard Morris and he also knows some of these unusual names of communities in Knox County. He is going to tell us about one that’s called Pumpkin Run. Why was it called Pumpkin Run, Garrard?
GM: Well, to start with something else and come up to that, my great grandfather come in here out of east Tennessee and laid warrants. Back then you could lay warrants on land. The government and state wanted people to settle here. And he laid warrants on several hundred acres of land back through there. Them old deeds, I’ve seen it in them old deeds, referred to Pumpkin Run as Ditch Branch. That was the name of it. But there was a man moved up in there and put out about an acre of pumpkins and it come one of them big washout rains that comes up in the summer, and them pumpkins all came down through there and out into the Creek. From then on it was Pumpkin Run.
And that TRACE BRANCH. There's an Indian trail through there, like Bill told you a little while ago, and they called it a trace, the Indians did.
JJ: Was that part of the Wilderness Road?
WM: Yes. Part of the Wilderness Trace. Sometimes called trace and sometimes called a trail.
GM: That Trace Branch went over on what we call the HIGGINS BRANCH. There was an old man named Jordan Higgins who raised his family on the Higgins Branch. He has got a boy or grandson who lives over on Scratch Ankle now.
JJ: And that was a family name, the Higgins? There is also a branch that runs up through there behind Sinking Valley Baptist Church that’s called Dancy Branch.
GM: I never did know for certain how that got its name but I have knowed it as Dancy Branch all my life. There might have been a man named Dancy that lived there.
JJ: Could have been. That’s unusual because I had seen a very early deed that mentioned Dancy Branch, so it has always been Dancy Branch.
GM: Some of your ancestors, the Joneses, they come into Cannon and laid warrants on all that land around there, and your grandmother Jackson inherited part of that property.
JJ: Garrard, do you want to tell us a little bit about the history of Trace Branch Church?
GM: Yes. I can tell you some about it. They first established Trace Branch Church in an old log schoolhouse down there on the lower end of the Evans farm. They had church there for several years till they got established enough contributors to build a new church. My father give the ground there where the church is off of our old farm, and they built that church. And a man by the name of John Grindstaff took the contract of building it for a thousand dollars. That was in 1895. He built that church and it was a first class job. We tried to find a knot in that church lumber and we couldn’t find one nowhere in it. Not one knot.
JJ: Do you know who the first trustees for the Trace Branch Church were? No, not the old church down there.... (Tape breaks off at this point.)

 

SIDE 2
GM: After they built the new church up there, my daddy, and Uncle
Jim McDonald, and preacher Judd was the three. They just had three trustees. They could have had more but that’s all they had.
JJ: You were telling me one day about somebody that hewed the rocks out for the church there. Who did that?
GM: That was an Italian. I don’t know where he come from. He originally come from Italy, but I don’t know where he lived around here. Somewhere. Anyway, they got him to come and quarry them rocks and his name was Patton Gillinwater.
JJ: The Gillinwaters all lived up there on Higgins Branch up in there around Girdler. I know some of them is buried up in that old cemetery.
GM: Well, that’s where he come from then. He was an expert...most Italians is expert stonemasons.
JJ: 0.K. Can you add to any of these places that Mr. Martin has not told us about? Can you think of any right off that you know that he didn’t tell us?
GM: He didn’t name the VALENTINE BRANCH that goes up that fishing Lake. (Probably Cannon Fishing Lake)
JJ: Yeah, why was it named Valentine Branch?
GM: There was an old man Valentine settled back in there and raised his family. Finley Valentine’s father, I reckon, Bob Valentine, some of them. That’s one branch was named after somebody lived back in there. Like the Dozier Branch.
WM: What about LONG BRANCH?
GM: Long Branch was named Long Branch just because it is a long
branch. It’s over a mile from the highway to the head of Long Branch.
GM: It is the longest branch in that area. Well, that’s the reason they call it that.
JJ: That branch that goes up through there where you lived when you lived there; I think they called it RIDNOR BRANCH. Was that Ridnor Branch?
GM: Yeah, that’s Ridnor Branch. Old man Dan Ridnor was raised in there and his daddy owned that farm there then. Can’t think of his name right off hand. But anyway Dan Ridnor’s daddy lived in there.
JJ: So it was named for a family.
GM: Yeah, that’s right.
JJ: Well, it’s hard to think of them right off the top of your head and to try to remember them right off. That’s about all I... I didn’t know that many, and you all have certainly helped me out a whole big lot.
GM: We’re more than glad to do it.
JJ: If Mr. Martin will tell me some about one-room schools, then maybe we can just talk about them.
GM: I’ll tell you a little something about the one I went to.
JJ: 0.K. You tell me about it too.
GM: That was Trace Branch down there. And they had one teacher and one room and had anyway from ninety to a hundred students there. Bill taught school there one time.
WM: I had a hundred and five.
JJ: In one room.
GM: In one room     and he taught from the primer up to the eighth
grade. And they    learnt, too. They got an education, them that wanted one.
JJ: (To Martin). How did you do that? Did you teach, start out and teach the first grade a lesson and then go on and to the second grade and teach them, or what did you do?
WM: We started grade and went through the eighth grade. Of course it's impossible for one person to do all of that teaching. So the pupils in the eighth grade and the seventh grade who were interested in being teachers later would help you teach the A. B. C.'s and writing    and drawing and do some of the work for you.
GM: When I went     to school they had a chart they set up in the floor with big white pages on it and pictures and things and words to spell. C. A. T., Cat. And the teacher would take a stick and point at them and the class of kids would....
WM: Yeah, you’d look at the object and spell the name of the animal. Therefore you'd learn the word ''Cat” and associate "cat” with the picture.
JJ: Did school last nine months then?
GM: No, six months.
WM: They started in July after you laid by corn. Then they’d take a week off to dig 'tators and pull fodder. And they’d end in January.
GM: First of January. They’d generally hold until after
Christmas.
JJ: Did you have wells where you got your water? I realize there wasn't any running water or anything at that time. How did you get water and food for the children?
WM: We had a big water bucket and we'd send children to a spring or to a creek and bring the water in and set it in a bucket beside the door and hang a dipper on a nail above the bucket. And the children would drink out of that dipper. Later on, they got a little cup that you could mash up together and keep in your packet or on your desk and have your own cup.
GM: We used to carry water from that spring in the Beech Hill.
That was before the road came, where that house set there.
JJ: 0.K.    That’s a good    name. Why was it called BEECH    HILL?
GM: It was    full of these    big beech trees.
JJ: I know    Beech Hill is    mentioned in a lot of the very    early
records.
WM: At Beech Hill there was a very famous spring there too. It was walled up and had a pipe stuck back into the spring and the water was run out of that pipe later on.
GM: We carried water from there to the schoolhouse and then we’d get it there from Uncle Jim McDonald’s.
WM: Yeah, there was another one there.
GM: We’d go to his well and get water sometimes. We couldn’t have a well down there where the schoolhouse was. They tried to dig one there.
WM: But it was too swampy there.
GM: It was sixty or sixty-five feet deep before you hit anything.
WM: Before you hit the rock.
JJ: That’s    like it was at Cannon school. They would drill wells out there and it would always be so salty that you couldn’t drink it. It was terrible.
GM: Yeah, they shot some oil wells right close to that schoolhouse there and cracked the ground all up. Them oil wells had salt water in them and that salt water would get in everybody's wells there.
JJ: Oh, it     was awful. You couldn’t drink it. It was terrible. How did the children get to school? Did most of them walk or ride horses? Do you know?
GM: They walked. There’s a rock sticking up out there in the road. They went barefooted back then, all of them did. And there’s a rock sticking up in the road and there’s a handful of toenails around that rock.
JJ: Everybody stumped their toe.
WM: They got one pair of shoes in those days and they usually got them about Christmas. By the time that came around your feet were cracked and sometimes the blood would run out of the children's feet.
JJ: And they went barefoot in the winter?
WM: Winter, up to nearly Christmas.
GM: Some of them went barefooted all winter. They couldn’t get no shoes.
JJ: That's hard for children to imagine now that anything was like that. I know this is on the subject of communities again but several people have asked me why Girdler was named Girdler and I haven’t been able to find out from anybody. Does either one of you know why it was called Girdler? I haven’t found anyone that knows.
WM: It was evidently a family.
JJ: Evidently it was because that’s not a name that you would normally hear.
GM: Do your folks know about that water mill used to be at Cannon where they ground corn for people?
JJ: Well, they might, but I don’t. If you would like to tell me about it... .
GM: Uncle Henry Cannon—now, CANTON was named after Uncle Henry Cannon—he built a dam across the creek there and dammed the creek up and built a mill there. He would lift the gates up in that dam and let the water down through to turn the rocks to grind corn. He’d saw some lumber with that. He had a saw mill with it.
JJ: Where was that located, Garrard?
GM: It was right down there behind Floyd Chadwell’s storehouse down in there in the bend of that creek.
JJ: That would be just before you get to that first bridge coming toward town out of Cannon. There behind where Kenneth Jackson’s store is now, right?
GM: Well, I don’t know.
JJ: You know where Reid lives?
GM: You know where Aunt Lizzie Dawson lives? It’s right down in there. That bend of creek bends around in there but the railroad straightens the creek through there.
JJ: Yeah, I know where you're talking about now.
GM: We’d shell a bushel of corn on Saturday. He’d generally grind on Saturday. If it didn’t rain much, the water would get low and he couldn’t grind at all and people would be out of meal. We’d shell a bushel of corn, and put it on a horse and take it up there to that water mill and have it ground. That’s the way we got our cornbread.
JJ: Did they grind it with rocks?
GM: Yeah, there were big mill rocks, great big things. That corn someway or another would feed down between them and they’d turn round and round and grind.
JJ: Did the water turn the rocks?
GM: Yeah, the water turned the <Crocks)).
WM: That reminds me of another famous place in Knox County. Up Artemus Road where the bridge is now just to the left there is a woodland and a hill. They brought Fighting Creek around the side of the hill in a wood trough and run it across a wheel. There was a famous mill there called Cain’s Mill. It belonged to the Cain family.
JJ: Now the Cains that lived in that area are in my family. In fact my great, great grandmother was a Cain.
WM: Yeah, most of the people would shell their corn on Friday night and take it to the mill on Saturday.
GM: They had a big water mill down on the river here.
WM: Yeah, they had one down there too.
GM: I can’t think of the name of it now. But people used to come out of the head of Big Richland with wheat on their horses and go down there and have their flour ground. They’d grind wheat on that mill. (Chamberlain)
WM: It lasted longer than any of them. It was the last one to shut down.
GM: I guess it was.
WM: When you took your corn there, it takes eight gallons to make a bushel and the miller would take one gallon, one eighth.
GM: Yeah, that was their toll.
JJ: 0.K. I know that there’s questions that I should ask you but I can’t think right now of what they would be. Both of you are such good historians. Is there anything else that would be important for you to tell on this tape for children in Knox County to know?
WM: I think that the school business is one of the most neglected things that we have now and that our children, my children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren, are not getting the fundamental education that they need. There’s no way that you can have a successful school without three things. And those three things are: parents that are interested and willing to give time to their children and see that they do their work; dedicated teachers that are more interested in teaching than they are (in) salary; and children that are motivated because they have parents of that kind and teachers of that kind. Without those three things, money will never solve your problems.
GM: No, I don’t care how much money you put into it. You can’t buy education with money.
WM: Just like friends; you can’t buy friends with money.
GM: No, that's the same thing.
JJ: 0.K. Garrard, you got anything you want to add?
GM: No, don’t reckon I have. I might think of something.
JJ: Whenever you think of something, you just call me and I’ll come down and record it. I certainly do thank both of you for talking the time to let me do this.
GM: Aw, we’re glad to do that;
JJ: I guess that’s about all for now then.
END OF TAPE

REFERENCE CARDS Interview Index Card
Martin, William Gillis (Born April 26, 1902)KHM Educator
Morris, James Garrard (Born February 11, 1901)
KHM Cassette Tape No. 90/12
Topic:    Place Names in Knox County, Ky.
Special Collection:    Educators
Interview by Jakalyn Jackson at W. G. Martin’s home in Barbourville, Ky., on March 4, 1990. Total Playing time:45 minutes. Open. Releases signed. COMPLETE TRANSCRIPT on file.
Contents: Knox County Place Names (See Index for highlights).
Teaching in one-room schools in Knox County. Martin family history. Early settlers in Knox County. Trace Branch Church.
Cross Referencing Index Cards

 

Knox County Place Names
Teaching in one-room schools
Flat Lick
Heidrick
Beech Springs
Beech Hill
Bimble
Deep Cut
Roaring Fork
McClellen
Bailey Switch
Dog Town
Paint Hill
Trace Branch
Higgins Branch
Ridnor Branch
Cains Mill
Education in Knox County
Trace Branch Church
Fighting Creek
Scratch Ankle
Shy Mug
Friendship
The Corral
Keals
Chestnut Flat Jarvis
Tub Handle Gap Sampson Hill Pumpkin Run Fount
Valentine Branch Cannon

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