Thursday, August 11, 2016

Those Places Thursday - "On the waters of Pitman Creek"

Continuing from last week (which you can read here), this is a summary of property owned by my Great Grandparents Cicero & Allie Bell in Kentucky.  Following are the deeds we found in the Pulaski County Clerk's office in Somerset.  I've extracted just the identifiable information from them to help locate the approximate area on a map and compare to a recorded history (which you can read here).  The last deed we found in Wayne County was dated November 21, 1904.

Deed dated June 20, 1905, Deed Book 58 Pg 534

Ferguson, Kentucky - click to enlarge
J. A. and Georgie A. Wood and Elizabeth J. Richardson (widow) sell to Allie Bell - just Allie - for $190 with $90 down and 2 payments of $50 at 6% interest, "Beginning at a stake on the corner of Walnut street and railroad avenue...", then it describes a lot about 140 x 149 feet.  A note written at the bottom says, "The note for which a lien was retained in the above deed having been paid in full, we hereby release same.  This Aug. 12, 1906."    

Sounds like a town lot to me.  Where a store might be. On this Google map, you can find Sinking creek on the west side of Ferguson and the X is at Railroad Dr and Walnut Street (on Google, if you zoom in closer it's marked).  Even though Uncle Oren says in his recorded history at this point that they moved to Somerset, I think this deed describes property in Ferguson, on the south side of Somerset.  "The farm was sold and we moved to Somerset.  Here father bought a general merchandise store.

Deed dated September 20, 1905, Deed Book 58 Pg 533

Elizabeth J. Richardson (widow), John A. & Georgie A. Woods sell to Mrs. Allie Bell - again just Allie - for $300 in 3 installments at 6% interest, property "Beginning on a stake on the south side of Walnut street the corner of C. S. Bell's lot..."  then to 3 different stakes at points SW, SE, NE and back to the beginning, measuring 120 feet by 140 feet if I read it correctly.  Some additional property adjoining the lot they bought in June, maybe where a new home was built.

Next Oren says, "After about a year in the store, my father was dissatisfied with that and wanted to go back to the farm.  So the store was sold."

The store might not have lasted a full year.  It was at this point in Oren's history that he said they moved to Illinois for a while.  Before our trip I found a couple of articles in online newspapers, this one from the Lexington Herald dated March 23, 1906.  Uncle Oren didn't mention this.  Maybe this move to Mercer county was a short one, then they moved on to Illinois.  Or it's possible that he only invested in this farm and never lived there.  His brother John was in Boyle County in 1904, adjacent to Mercer county, maybe only a few miles away.  There's a deed to get someday in Mercer County.  I especially like "a well-known merchant" here.  

Lexington Herald, Friday, March 23, 1906

After living in Illinois for a while, Oren said they moved to Ferguson.  "After a few months, his earnings were sufficient to take us back to Kentucky... The folks settled in a little village south of Somerset known as Ferguson. father worked in the railroad shop and in his spare time, built a new home in Ferguson."   On an old Sanborn map of Somerset from 1914 I found a big railroad yard noted as being 2 and 1/2 miles south of the courthouse.  The new home he mentioned was possibly the reason for them buying that second lot.  Next in chronological order, the following deed is for the Dutton farm on Pitman Creek that is north of Somerset. 

Deed dated March 11, 1907, Deed Book 61 Pg 100-101

R. O. & Cordelia Heath sell to Allie Bell - again just Allie - for $1950 cash in hand paid. "Two certain tracts or parcels of land situated in [Pulaski County] on the waters of Pitman Creek...".  "Beginning on a black oak and two hickories the old Dutton corner...",  "containing 40 acres more or less...".  Second tract "Beginning on a stone in or near Joe Dutton's line...", "to a hickory, Dutton's corner...", "now McPherson's corner...", "containing 72 acres more or less...".  

This deed fits at this point of Oren's history:  "But after a while, my father preferred the farm rather than the shop, so he sold his new home and bought another farm.  This time north of Somerset, about a mile and a half out of town.  It was known as the old Dutton farm..." and he goes on to say  " was here that Virgil and Stanley were born."  Grandpa was born August 1, 1907 and Virgil was born September 7, 1909.

Wayne County Outlook, Thursday, April 4, 1907

Here's a clipping from the Wayne County newspaper that mentions selling a store again, a year after the previous clipping.  The "Dock Heath farm" here refers to R. O. & Cordelia Heath.  Crab Orchard Pike goes north from Somerset to Crab Orchard.  I wonder if one of the cottages is the home Cicero built while he worked in the railroad shop.  Notice Allie gets credit for the sale in the deed, but not the newspaper.  The following deed agrees with this clipping.  

Deed dated March 13, 1907, Deed Book 61, Pg 271-272

Allie  & C. S. Bell sell to J. E. Tomlinson and Beecher Smith for $1950 cash in hand paid, "Two certain lots of ground...", "on the waters of Sinking Creek...".   The first lot is described as "on the south side of Walnut Street, the corner of C. S. Bell's lot...", "being same deeded to Allie Bell by John A. Woods et al, on the 20th day of September 1905...".   The second lot bounded "on the corner of Walnut Street and Railroad Avenue...", "being same lot deeded to Allie Bell by John A. Woods et al. on the 20th day of June, 1905..." .  The two places in Ferguson were sold.

Now from Oren's narration:  "After about 4 years, they sold the Dutton farm and bought another one not far away.  The farm was known as the old Tom Meece place."  

Deed dated January 31, 1910, Deed Book 66 Pg 503-504

G. P. & Sarah B. Sallee and A. J. & Kate S. Crawford sell to Allie Bell (only) "for and in consideration of exchange of lands, deeded this day...", "on the waters of Pitman Creek...", "first tract 25 acres more or less, conveyed to parties of the first part by John T. Meece and others...", "three certain tracts of land adjoining the first tract and all now constituting one farm".    This deed refers to a previous deed where the Sallee's and Crawford's bought the land from John T. Meece in May, 1907.  

Deed dated January 31, 1910, Deed Book 69 Pg 350

Allie & C. Bell sell to G. P. Sallee and A. J. Crawford.  $1050.00, $300.00 paid down, with one payment of $750 at 8% interest, for "a certain tract of land in Pulaski Co. Ky, on the waters of Pitman Creek...", "beginning on a black oak & two hickories, the old Dutton corner...", "containing 40 acres more or less."  and a "Second tract adjoining above and both constituting one farm..", "in or near Joe Dutton's line...", ""to a stone, now McPherson's corner...", "containing 72 acres more or less...".   This deed refers to the deed conveyed to Allie by R. O. Heath & wife March 11, 1907.   A trade of the two farms. 

North of Somerset, Kentucky - click to enlarge

Click on this map and you can find Pitman creek to the right of Hwy 39, which was called Crab Orchard Pike back then.  At the top of the map you'll see Crimson Dr, and on Find A Grave, a map of the Vaught Cemetery (mentioned in following deeds) shows it at the end of Crimson Dr.  

From Oren's narration this is when they leave Kentucky again:  "In the summer of 1910, the folks were on the move again.  They rented their farm, the old Tom Meece place, and I joined them and we moved to Oklahoma...". 

Deed dated November 23, 1911, Mortgage Book M-19 Pg 371

"I Allie Bell & husband Cicero Bell... being indebted to The Citizens Bank of the sum of Three Hundred Dollars...I hereby bargain, sell and convey, by way of mortgage, unto said Citizens Bank, the following described property, viz.:  Being the same land conveyed to Allie Bell on the 31st day of Jany, 1910 by G. P. Sallee & etc....".  A note at the bottom is written:  "The debt for which the above mortgage was given having been paid in full we hereby release same completely.  This Dec. 12th 1914."  Just a little bit of bank business.

Deed dated December 21, 1911, Deed Book 75 Pg 145

Ben P. & Lela E. Hines and Walter & Desda Elrod sell to Allie Bell.  $350.00, $100 down and balance in 4 payments at 8% interest.   "on the waters of Pitman creek...", "on a poplar now down at corner of fence at Grave yard...", "to a stone Meece's corner in Gipson line...", "to a stone A. Vaught & P. J. Meece corner...", "containing 30 acres more or less."  So, this deed is for the farm they bought after living in Kansas, as Oren said:   "After a year, my father was ready to go back to Kentucky.  So, they moved from Ionia back to Kentucky."  This would be the last farm they would buy in Kentucky. 

Deed dated November 9, 1914, Deed Book 75 Pg 24

Cicero & Allie Bell sell to Mrs. Anna Kipp for $1450.00 cash in hand paid.  "on the waters of Pitman Creek...", "at a poplar stump at the Vaught graveyard, old corner, thence old line between this farm and the Hines farm...", "corner between this farm and the Gilmore farm where Gilmore farm calls for a stake...", "to a small hickory, where deeds call for a stone, the South-east corner of the tract bought by J. T. Meece from Gilmores..." .   The land from the deed dated December 21, 1911.  After this sale they paid off the mortgage from November 1911.  And back to Kansas they went.

Deed dated February 16, 1917 Deed Book 78 Pg 26

"..we Allie Bell and C. Bell who having deeded to G. P. Sallee and A. J. Crawford... on the 31st day of Jany, 1910... whereas a lien was retained in said deed to secure an unpaid balance of $750.00 and the debt having been fully paid, now we... do hereby name, constitute and appoint V. P. Smith of Somerset, Ky. our lawful atourney in fact, to release the said lien in the said deed to us, and to do all acts pertaining thereto, that may be necessary for the releasing and satisfying the said lien as fully as we might do ourselves were we present in person."  A Power of Attorney, signed by J. G. McLinn, Notary Public of Mitchell County, Kansas was sent to the Pulaski County Clerk, C. M. Langdon which he recorded on the 24th day of March, 1917.  By this time, Cicero & Allie had moved their family out of Kentucky for the last time.

Somerset, Kentucky

It's interesting to me that when Cicero & Allie are the Grantee's (buyers), the deeds are in Allie's name only.  When they are the Grantor's (sellers), he is named with along her.  There must have been a reason for that.  Another thing - I have always thought that Cicero's middle initial was C. not S., and I've never seen what the initial stands for.  Maybe it's Silas?  Cicero's Grandfather was John Silas Bell.

Uncle Oren's memory was fantastic!  I took his recorded history as a challenge to find these deeds.  Now I can piece together a better timeline of the places where my Great Grandparents raised their family.  I can better visualize, at least on a map, the approximate locations of their farms and the store.  With this information now maybe I can find out the name of the store.  This doesn't end here, but this is all for now.

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