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Stinking Creek the book

Stinking Creek the book

Posted: 11 Mar 2005 5:43AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 4 Jul 2006 3:14AM GMT
Surnames: Skidmore, Ledford, Napier
Can someone please tell me what the book Stinking Creek is about I have a chance to buy it ,but I wanted to know a little about it first....Thanks

Re: Stinking Creek the book

Posted: 11 Mar 2005 6:16AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello,

I have had a copy of the John FETTERMAN book for some years now. Like any book, if you have ancestors who were in Knox Co., KY, then you will probably be more interested in it than if you don't have.

John FETTERMAN came into Stinking Creek, Knox Co. and began to interview a number of the families in that area. It was during the time there was the "War on Poverty" the govermant was pushing. I think it started out as some sort of a social statement. This was an area of a lot of poverty, mostly mining jobs, some folks really down on life and others who were not. Some who were having a very difficult time making ends meet and others who were quite enterprising. The interviews took place in the mid-1960's.

I absolutely LOVE the book because the photos in it are several of people who are connected to my TAYLOR family in one way or the other. It has included some photos of SIZEMORES, MILLS, PATTERSONS, BARGOs, MESSERS, etc. that I would never ever have seen.

What happened when John FETTERMAN went in to do interviews and write this book, was that all of the people started to talk to him about their lives, about their people and how they came into that part of the country. They passed on their oral family histories. So, from a genealogical standpoint, it was a little gold mine. Other people did not like the book at all when it was published because they felt it portrayed these mountain people in a very poor light.

I suspect that whether the people were in Knox Co. or in more isolated areas of Harlan or Bell Co.'s, the overall quality of their lives was probably not too much different. The men worked in the mines or they had been injured in the mines and were no longer able to work. Many folks received some type of government financial help to keep themselves going. Others did all sorts of odd jobs or their children left the area and they were against receiving government financial assistance. Overall these were a people who had little to look forward to and lived very hard lives.

The first time I read it, it was hard to think that this was 1965 or so. It was almost like I was still reading about a people in the late 1880s or early 1900's. It was like time had moved on in the rest of the world but there in their isolated community 22+ miles into the hills out of Barbourville, time had stood still.

I think the book could be helpful to anyone attempting to understand something about what it was like there in that place and in that time. I was born in Harlan Co. but I was reared up in OH. My gg-grandfather spent most of his life in Knox Co. and g-grandfather and grandfather were both born in Knox co. at Stinking Creek. However, my gg-grandfather owned a lot of land his family was much better off in his time there than the folks were in the mid-1960's or so it seemed to me.

Hope this helps you decide. Usually you can find a copy of this book on one of the used book sales sites. Be sure to look around so you don't overpay. I have a paperback version of the book. It is on line but there aren't any photos on the on line version. There is a link off the main Knox Co. website. You could go there and check out some of it to see for yourself.

Joyce Taylor Collins
La Palma, CA


Re: Stinking Creek the book

Posted: 11 Mar 2005 7:09AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 4 Jul 2006 3:14AM GMT
Thank you so much for the information. Do you have the address for the Knox co. web site?

thanks again...jan

Re: Stinking Creek the book

Posted: 11 Mar 2005 11:31PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 27 Jul 2005 5:19AM GMT
Hello,

Here is the URL:

http://www.tcnet/ky/knox/Doc.1.html

Let me know if there is a problem. I just tried it and it worked.

Joyce Taylor Collins
La Palma, CA

Re: CORRECTION TO URL - Stinking Creek the book

Posted: 11 Mar 2005 11:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 27 Jul 2005 5:19AM GMT
Hello,

Try this one:

http://www.tcnet.net/ky/knox/Doc1.html

I typed the first one incorrectly.

Joyce Taylor Collins
La Palma, CA

Re: CORRECTION TO URL - Stinking Creek the book

Posted: 12 Mar 2005 5:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
Edited: 4 Jul 2006 3:14AM GMT
Thank you, this was a very interesting story.

Jan

Re: CORRECTION TO URL - Stinking Creek the book

Posted: 12 Mar 2005 5:48PM GMT
Classification: Query
Yes, the book is very, very interesting and made even more so by the fact that a number of the families such as PATTERSON, MESSER, SIZEMORE were members of my own Knox Co., KY family. I never knew any of them and would never have even known they were my relatives had I had become interested in family history a number of years ago.

It is the reality of their lives as told by the book. By using the different clues of what they say in the book, we have been able to figure out exactly who all of these people are and how they connect backwards in time.

For example, in the interview with Frank PATTERSON married to a Mary Jane, he stated that he "aired to (was heir to) 300 acres of land and something about his mother being a TAYLOR.
This would have been through his father, James F./Frank PATTERSON who was married to Amanda TAYLOR (dau. of Issac TAYLOR and Permelia Ann HAMMONS TAYLOR. Isaac TAYLOR was an older brother to my g-grandfather, Harrison TAYLOR (b. 1836; d. 1904) both sons of Cornelius Alexander TAYLOR (b. 1794; d. 1874). Mary Jane MILLS was more difficult but she says "I've 75 and my generation of MILLS was in Clay Co.". The general feeling is that she was a dau. of William MILLS and Sarah GRUBB from an 1888 marriage that ended in divorce. Both sets of parents went on to marry others. She is with her mother, Sarah GRUBB and her 2nd husband on the 1900 Clay Co. Fed. Census as a 10 year old.

At the end of the book is the young couple, Truman MESSER and wife, Geraldine. This is the dau. of Roy TAYLOR and Ada MESSER TAYLOR. Truman MESSER also traces back to my line of MESSERS connected to Clara TAYLOR who married Ambrose MESSER . Clara was also a dau. of Cornelius A. TAYLOR and Sarah Ann WALKER TAYLOR.

In the case of Speed SIZEMORE, he is married to a Rosa. This Rosa was a child born from an affair bet. Isaac TAYLOR and a Lavina JACKSON.

There are some other examples. My gg-grandfather, Cornelius TAYLOR and his descendants mostly all lived out their lives up there on Stinking Creek off Alex Creek. He owned over 5000 acres at the time of his death. We still own over 400 acres of what was originally his land. That is where he and many others are buried up off Alex Creek or in one of the many, many small cemeterys up one fork or the other of those mountains. Anyway, the book is just extremely interesting and close to my heart.

Joyce Taylor Collins
La Palma, CA

p.s. Of course, I would feel exactly the same way about any books or stories of Harlan Co. people such as "Generations" because all of my Mom's people and myself were born in Harlan Co., KY.

Re: Stinking Creek the book

Posted: 7 Sep 2011 3:09AM GMT
Classification: Query
Just discovered my aunt's picture is on the cover of the book. I would like to know if anyone knows about that picture. She was a little girl and it was taken in the 1930s by a traveling photographer. We don't know how it got on the cover of the book. I think she may have been staying at her grandma's and know it was Kentucky. That's all we know. Her grandma was Maude Knoder Draper and she married Ben Huey and they lived in Kentucky. Can anyone help with this. My aunt was Margie Draper. I appreciate anything anyone can tell me.
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