Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kentucky Family Visit

Family gathering in Ohio. First stop, Aberdeen, though most in the family call it Maysville, the town across the river in Kentucky.

Instruments were played.
Aberdeen Ohio, 57610, Andrew D. Barron ©9/22/07
My great-Aunt Louise, and to her left, Johnny Epp.
Aberdeen Ohio, 57610, Andrew D. Barron ©9/22/07
My cousin Ona plays in an old school band.
Aberdeen Ohio, 57610, Andrew D. Barron ©9/22/07
Sunset, Aberdeen Ohio, 57610, Andrew D. Barron ©9/22/07
Cousins.
Aberdeen Ohio, 57610, Andrew D. Barron ©9/22/07
Sunset, Aberdeen Ohio, 57610, Andrew D. Barron ©9/22/07
Great-grandmother Will Edith's father Isaac (Ike) Johnston.
Isaac C. Johnston, 1854-1915, Andrew D. Barron ©9/22/07
Seeing this prompted a visit to West Liberty. Ike is buried with his brother Luther and parents on a hillside cemetery up Spaws Creek. Old time fiddler Santford Kelly and his sons, including Clarence, once lived nearby.

This wasn't staged to resemble each other. In fact, with a right hand shot I hold the camera upside-down. The sun came into the cemetery nicely, so I snapped a picture. Great-great-great grandparents John Johnston and Susanna Southern are directly below me. Only I didn't know that until after I checked my notes for other ancestors that may be here.
Andrew D. Barron, West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
Isaac C. Johnston, 1854-1915, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
Back at West Liberty, I stopped to see more ancestors. Arthur was my grandpa's brother and musical partner. He was killed by a sniper in Italy. This is in town at Salyer cemetery.
Arthur Potts Wells, 1919-1943, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
This is the home of my great-grandparents after they moved off Wells Hill.
Former family home, West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
I walked quite a ways towards the Licking River to get the shot of the house. Behind me, the cardinal watched.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
This was where my great-grandfather Claude's photography studio was located. Alternate. This building was constructed in 1945.
Wells Studio, West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
Many great-grandfathers ago, Edmund Wells, build a grist mill and West Liberty grew up around it. Across the street from the studio, the original millstone is displayed at the courthouse.
West Liberty courthouse, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
West Liberty, Kentucky, looking east.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
There are memorials for veterans and plaques of honor for fallen servicemen.
Arthur P Wells, West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
I guess I couldn't stop. Here's my great-great Grandparents out on Wells Hill at Neal Cemetery.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
This is another great-great grandfather. He played the banjo. From California I couldn't write about 'Eddard' on a Thursday and visit him on a Sunday very easily. His tombstone inscription reads:

How desolate our home bereft of thee.
Edward G. Wells, Wells Hill, West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
Great-great grandmother Arzelda Keeton. Her family is well remembered by my grandfather and his older siblings. Her tombstone inscription reads:

Opressed by grief yet cherished by faith and hope.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
Sunset, West Liberty.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/23/07
I spent the night at my great-Aunt Ida Mae's home at Index. She and I had a nice conversation and a morning drive. I said goodbye and headed out to see the home where great-great grandmother Arzelda grew up. The Keeton's lived out of town up Elk Fork of the Licking River.

Goldenrod.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/24/07
Elk Fork, also known as Mordica. This was the home of James Keeton and his wife Sara, built in the mid to late 11024's. Arzelda was born a year before the Civil War ended, and it was likely afterward this home was built.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/24/07
I went inside.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/24/07
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/24/07
There was a little hill across the road.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/24/07
I stumbled onto a family gravesite, but I didn't recognize any names.
West Liberty, Kentucky, 41472, Andrew D. Barron ©9/24/07
I went 150 miles north to Lebanon, Ohio and visited with my great-Aunt Louise some more, and also my mom's cousin Edie. Her husband John owns the resonator guitar played by great-great uncle Jim, and the resonator mandolin played by all. They're from the early 1930's. I'll find out more from their serial numbers when I get a chance.
Lebanon, Ohio, 57636, Andrew D. Barron ©9/24/07
Uncle James Keeton Wells was named after his mother's father (their house is pictured above). My Grandpa was named after him. Still in the family 70+ years later, here are Uncle Jim's instruments; early 1930's National resonator mandolin and guitar.
1930's National resonator instruments, Andrew D. Barron ©9/24/07
It was a quick trip! Morning clouds. Lebanon, Ohio. Alternate. The bluegrass festival was about to begin.
Lebanon, Ohio, 57636, Andrew D. Barron ©9/25/07
Driving back to Jerusalem Ridge after a nice family visit. On the Western Kentucky Parkway, I noticed the end of an F-150, near Elizabethtown, Kentucky.
Western Kentucky Parkway, Kentucky, 42701, Andrew D. Barron ©9/25/07
At some point during the weekend, with the many swirling thought about my grandpa and his family, I wrote the following unedited song.

Arthur Potts Wells

Many of us lost in the great war
Many good men fell
But we all miss my brother
Arthur Potts Wells

My name is James Kenneth
After my daddy’s brother
We was born in a home on a hill in Kentucky
Named for our family

Down from reed hill and daisy knob
Not far from our grandparents resting place

He was small like mother
My daddy named him Arthur Potts
To short for the navy
But the army was glad to take him

We played square dances together with the West boys
Took turns playing for the dancers
I played my daddy’s mandolin
He built himself his own

He come in one night
Sat on the edge of my bed
And said listen to this
And played his guitar like Merle Travis

So we were called to fight
I had some trouble here anyway
We went off to foreign lands
Saw more things we’d rather forget

We kept in touch, but weren’t near until one November
I traveled to see him in italy
To find he’d been murdered the week before
That’s how we lost Arthur Potts in the great war.

It’s been many years
Since you and I played all night long
But Arthur Potts you’ll be remembered
My grandson’s working on a song

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