LEWIS COUNTY HISTORY
Kinniconick Creek: A natural and historic treasure of Lewis County
by Dr. William M. Talley
In 1972, the writer published an article titled "A Trip Down Kinniconick" in the Lewis County Herald. It was similar to this expanded version (published on May 12 & 18, 1998) which includes additional information about the stream and more history of the pioneer settlers along its banks.
Part I(Jump to Part II or Part III or Part IV)
Kinniconick Creek is a stream that Lewis Countians can rightfully be proud of because of its beauty and relatively natural and unpolluted condition. It is equal in beauty to any of the state's natural bridges, caves, and forests that have been set aside as parks and scenic areas to be perpetually preserved.
Kinney, as it is called locally, is a long and winding stream that has been known for generations as a favorite fishing and camping area. The stream flows through a number of small communities and the residents who live along its banks generally break it down geographically into three sections: Upper Kinney, Middle Kinney and Lower Kinney. It is relatively unpolluted from chemical waste because there are no towns or industries located along its banks, or its small tributaries, and very little organic or raw sewage is dumped into the stream, except the run-off from a few sawmills and cattle feeding lots. When this stream is compared to many others throughout the country, it can easily be recognized as having a natural beauty and charm that is quite unspoiled and is rare these days. It should be high on the list of natural and historical sites that must be preserved.
What does the name, Kinniconick, mean? Some say it is a Shawnee word that meant "willow bark", and indeed there are many willows that drape themselves over the stream all along its banks. Others contend that it means something like falling water, and surely there are many rapids with "falling water" throughout the length of the stream. On some of the early French maps of the Ohio valley, the name is spelled Connoconoque, and, of course, that is how the "French ear" would have heard and spelled this Shawnee Indian word. Apparently, both the English and the French heard the Shawnees speak the word and spelled it with their own unique twist. (There is a stream with a similar name, Kinnicanick, in Ross County, Ohio, north of Chillicothe.)
Geologists tell us that Kinniconick may have once been the bed of an ancient river that connected with the Scioto River which empties into the Ohio River at Portsmouth. If one looks at the rock cliffs along the creek near Garrison (at its mouth), it can immediately be seen that at one time the stream flowed much wider and deeper than it does now. This would mean, according to geologists, that Lower Kinney was once a part of a river that existed before the Ohio River came into existence after the melting of the glacier at the end of the Ice Age.
The creek, which is alleged to be 99 miles in length, winds its way, back and forth, through one county, Lewis. Because of the curious winding, many people become acquainted with certain sections of the stream, not knowing other sections, but few people know it from beginning to end. Fishermen, campers, and swimmers have their favorite spots. Let's take a trip down Kinniconick, look at its characteristics and its history along the way, and become acquainted with the entire stream.
The stream begins its journey on the side of a hill near the Lewis-Fleming County line, just a few miles east of Wallingford, at a height around 1,200 to 1,300 feet above sea level and winds and twists for almost one hundred miles until it empties into the Ohio River at Garrison at approximately 500 feet above sea level. Thus, in its course, it falls approximately 700 feet or more. At its head, one can look into the distance and see the high Cumberland Mountain peaks known as Long Knob and Sugar Loaf Mountain, in Fleming County. Within a radius of a few miles, Kinniconick, Cabin Creek, Salt Lick Creek, and the North Fork of Licking all have their source, and as Kinniconick flows through the hills it often gives the appearance of trying to dodge some of these others streams because it moves so close to them.
The head of Kinniconick and its general area has been a favorite hunting spot for silver deposits. Time and again various persons have claimed they had found silver deposits and some persons have invested much time and effort in digging for silver at different points along the stream; however, there is very little concrete evidence for this claim. The first stream of any significance to join Kinniconick is Sargent Branch which has its source on the Fleming County line also, but somewhat to the southeast. The first village along its banks is Petersville, named for Peter D. Lykins, and this is where Dunaway Branch joins Kinney and contributes the water that just barely missed flowing into Salt Lick Creek, whose watershed begins within sight.
It was on the hill above the mouth of Sargent's Branch that Peter Seithers was murdered or accidentally shot himself in 1888. The Vanceburg Courier tells us that on September 29, 1888, Peter Siders (Seithers), a young man born in Germany, was shot and killed in the vicinity of Mr. T.B. Clark's grocery and dry goods store. At first, a man named John Stephens (or Stevenson) was accused, but he was released for lack of evidence; then, later, five other men named John Steadham, Charles Green, Henry Lucas, Ellsberry Stacy, and George Jesse were implicated in the crime. The case was dismissed in March 1889, for lack of solid evidence.
Some of the earliest settlers in the Crum community of Kinniconick were the Beckett, Dunaway, Esham, Hurst, Prater, and Ravenscraft families. Around the time of the Civil War the families of Matthew Meadows (Meadors) and Frederick Miracle came up from Magoffin and Harlan counties; the Lykins and Stacey families from Morgan County; and the Curtis family, from West Virginia. Many of these families are buried in the Esham Cemetery above Petersville and the McEldowney Cemetery at Crum.
At Petersville, Kinney is a small stream, with swift riffles and, in the summer, glassy pools full of minnows. Paint Lick Branch, which starts near the Oak Ridge Church, joins Kinney, along with other streams with interesting names like Bean Branch, Kilbreth Branch, Rock Camp, and Burnt Cabin Branch. The community of Crum, at the mouth of Lee Branch, which had a post office, once thrived near the present day McEldowney Cemetery and Abrams Chapel.
As the poet, W.E. Barton, says in his lovely poem Kinniconick, it becomes "right smart of a creek" by the time it has reached what was formerly known as Stricklett, where Merritt B. Stricklett operated a store and acted as postmaster. At Stricklett (near the mouth of Indian Creek), Kinney is about 720 feet above sea level and thus has dropped about 480 feet since it started on the dividing ridge of Fleming and Lewis. It is understandable that Kinney can appear in a rage when the heavy spring rains come because it is dropping fast. This also explains the reason for its rapid settlement back to normal depth after heavy rains.
Just a short distance below Stricklett, Indian Creek and its tributaries, Briery and Buck Lick, join forces with Kinney and give it quite a boost because these streams have a much larger combined watershed than does Kinney at this point.
As Kinniconick flows on eastward from the mouth of Indian, its mood changes. It appears deeper with longer stretches of clear, shady pools. It begins to take on the appearance of Barton's description, which says:
"Oh, know ye the stream where the spruce green and towering,
Just before reaching the mouth of Holly Creek, where there once was a community called Randville (named for the Jacob W. Rand family), Kinney passes by the old Hardy homestead, now long gone. There in the family graveyard lie the remains of William Hardy and his wife, Margaret. His gravestone says he was born in Northumberland County, England, on June 22, 1831, and died December 11, 1901. Margaret was born in Durham County, England, on May 10, 1834 and died May 22, 1919. Several of their children sleep nearby. One can only speculate as to how this young English-born couple, from industrial cities, found their way to "the forest primeval" along Kinniconick.
The area around the mouth of Holly was settled at an early date by some of the people who drifted over from the Salt Lick Creek valley. Solomon Thomas and his family settled here in the early 1800s, as did his son-in-law William McEldowney. Many of the pioneers of this region are buried in an old graveyard (known as the Conley burying ground) about three miles up Holly Creek. David Arthur and wife, Jane; Nancy, the wife of Jesse Sparks; and Sally Johnson are some of the oldest graves here. Judge George M. Thomas, in his biographical sketch of the Thomas family, states that Susannah (Hart) Thomas, his grandmother, one of Lewis County's earliest settlers, is buried there. She lived with Solomon Thomas in her last days. When Kinney reaches the site of the old Holly church and schoolhouse the banks are steep and tree-lined. The old building, built around the 1870s, stands deserted and falling apart, giving the appearance of an edifice that refuses to die. It was similar in construction to many of the buildings that served as both churches and one-room schools a century or more ago.
After we pass this point, the stream makes a huge U-bend and the village of Kinniconick, which once had a post office, is at the bend of the U-curve. This is the closest that Kinney comes to the Ohio River until it flows many more miles to the southeast and finally makes its determined plunge to the northeast. The creek (at the village of Kinniconick) is about 680 feet above sea level, while the Ohio River, only six miles distant, and almost parallel, is about 500 feet above sea level, but a range of hills about 1,100 feet high separate the two streams, one of these being the Vanceburg Hill. Grassy Branch empties out at near the point where the Walnut Grove Methodist Church once stood.
One of the best known spots along this famous stream is located in the village of Kinniconick. This landmark is none other than the old Kinniconick Hotel, once owned by Thomas B. Harrison, and has been in later years (1960s) remodeled and restored by its owners, Mr. and Mrs. Sam McEldowney. This hotel was one that was known throughout the Ohio Valley as a place to relax and enjoy the scenery, while fishing in the creek just across the road. In recent years, hunters have made this their abode during the hunting season. The original hotel came into existence about a decade before the Civil War and there have been several additions built to it through the years. The old fireplaces are expansive and solid. For almost 140 years, many, many visitors have come here from distant points to spend time in this quiet, natural sanctuary.
A short distance from the Kinniconick village is an old family graveyard where the McCartys, immigrants who fled from Ireland during the potato famine, are buried. As Kinney flows on, it becomes deeper and wider with broad valleys and fertile bottoms lying within several large bends before it reaches Camp Dix, a village that acquired its name from Dick Howard's fishing camp. From Pine Hill and Stafford Hill, one can look down on some of the most picturesque scenes in the county, where the creek embraces well tended farmlands, and is graced along its banks with pines and oaks.
Just before we reach Camp Dix, we must pause and pay homage to one of Lewis County's legendary pioneers whose remains lie just above the creek bank in the old Arkanall Graveyard. We are referring to Larkin Liles, the woodsman who, when sentenced to the penitentiary on a charge of mayhem for biting off Edward Campbell's lip in a fight at Vanceburg, allegedly walked across country to Frankfort for incarceration and was there pardoned by the governor. In the summer of 1849, while fishing in Kinney at the place ever since known as Larkin's Riffle [see the Legened of Larkin Liles], he was shot in the back and died from the wound. He was laid to rest in the family graveyard just above the bank of the creek not far from the mouth of Straight Fork. The late Amos Howard (who knew Kinney like the back of his hand and lived within sight of Larkin's grave) was ceaseless in his efforts to revive the memory of Larkin Liles and to erect a suitable marker at his grave. A stone with a bronze plaque was erected by Mr. Howard, William C. Dugan, and William M. Talley about 1962.
Near this point, Straight Fork empties into Kinney. It was on this tributary of Kinniconick that James Hutchinson made a survey of 20,698 acres in April, 1785. For years the huge land grant passed from one person to another, and then in the 1850s or thereabouts several investors cut huge amounts of timber from this land, transporting it to market by floating it down Kinniconick when the creek was high. Finally, a short while after the Civil War, a large group of German immigrants were "enticed" to purchase much of the land, and they attempted to build a town called St. Mary's but it never materialized. There was, at one time, a post office called Awe here, supposedly an acronym for the initials of the postmaster, A. Wayne Everman, but family members cannot identify this man. Three of the better known German families who settled here were the Heinisch, Stander, and Probst families.
The large bottom lands beyond Camp Dix and around the mouth of Laurel were settled very early. An enterprising man named Ambrose G. McDaniel, a slave holder of some means, farmed this land extensively until he moved to Missouri in the 1830s. The Blankenship, Cooper, Howard, Liles, Logan, Roe, Stafford, Staggs, and Stone families were some of the earliest settlers around this area. Many of the old settlers are buried in the Stone, Liles and Blankenship cemeteries - on three different hills overlooking Camp Dix. Somewhere near the foot of the Stone Cemetery Hill is an old unmarked graveyard that contains the remains of some of McDaniel's slaves.
It is in the Camp Dix valley that the Laurel Fork and its tributary, Scott's Branch, empty into Kinney.
The Vanceburg Courier, of 1881, tells us of the activities of the Regulators near this section of Kinniconick. The Regulators, self-styled law enforcers, took it upon themselves to discipline their neighbors whom they felt were transgressing the law and had not been dealt with properly. It was often the case that the Regulators would whip individuals they thought had committed some act such as theft or adultery. Often they warned individuals they were not wanted in the neighborhood and had better leave or else! Hickory switches were the favorite instrument used for whipping. Barn burning and shooting from ambush were also a part of the Regulators' tactics used to instill fear in targeted individuals. Several families left the Kinniconick area because of all this trouble and, finally, the respectable citizens of the community brought these activities to a halt. Almost at the same time, the Underwood and Stamper families, as well as some of the Fultz and Penland families, became engaged in a great deal of conflict, similar to a feud, with one another in neighboring Carter County and some of this conflict spilled over into the Kinniconick and Laurel Fork valleys. The conflict became known as the Carter-Kinney War.
During 1879 and 1880, most of the Underwood men, including "old" George Underwood and his son, Jesse, were shot and killed - either from ambush or open fighting. By the first of June 1880, what was left of the Underwood family had moved West to Iowa. The census taker of Carter County that year wrote on his report: "The Underwood families have all moved out. . . . They composed a portion of the family of the notorious Jesse. By their actions, of which the country has read so much, all engendered the animosity of others and were finally overpowered."
By the late 1880s, the Carter-Kinney War and the actions of the Regulators had ceased, but these events left many bitter memories for a number of families on this part of Kinniconick.
Beginning at the mouth of the Laurel Fork of Kinniconick and proceeding down the section of the creek known as Armstrong is some of the most remarkable scenery in the county. On one section of the creek between Armstrong Church and Rock Run, the beautiful spruce and other evergreens drape over the creek, creating a tunnel-like effect. It is on the hill, above the creek, that Henry "Jay-Bird" Liles (brother of Larkin) and his wife, Elizabeth Burriss, are buried as well as other pioneers of this area. It is on the stretch of Kinniconick between Camp Dix and Tannery that many of the well-known fishing camps and summer homes were built, including the famous Teutonia, beginning more than 100 years ago. In later years, the Glenmary Farm (associated with the Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Vanceburg) became a well-visited site by Catholic youngsters from all over the nation.
After the Armstrong area, Kinney makes some huge turns, and consequently fertile bottom lands have been formed by the alluvial soil from the confluence of several streams, among them being Mill Branch, Rock Run, and Town Branch. The old Liles homestead, setting atop a huge bank here, was always a fascinating piece of architecture, looming into view suddenly after a long stretch of thick woods. It always presented an air of mystery. An old graveyard beside the house, known as the McCalley Graveyard, contains graves of older members of the McCalley and Horsley families.
In his History of Lewis County, Ragan quotes from Andrew Beatty, of Portsmouth, in regard to an encounter between some early explorers and a group of Indians, as well as a story of some Frenchmen working with Indians in smelting silver, either in this general vicinity or near the head of Kinniconick (or perhaps both places). According to another part of the legend, some French missionaries came upon some Indians in the process of preparing to burn a man named McCormick at the stake. The missionaries convinced them to let him go. This supposedly happened before the Revolutionary War.
A further account, according to an interview with the pioneer, Maj. John G. McDowell, indicates that some Indians captured a Maj. Walker somewhere near the head of the North Fork of Licking and took him as a prisoner down Kinniconick and into Ohio, where he escaped and was finally rescued by some of Simon Kenton's spies. Beatty's story and the McDowell interview may have been part of the same incident, but it is likely that they were two separate incidents because Beatty went on to use his story to explain why he believed there were silver deposits on Kinney near Tannery.
It was somewhere near the mouths of Mill Branch and Rock Run, according to some family traditions, that Jacob Sprinkle lived and worked his silver into silver coins. (They were not counterfeit because they had not likeness to U.S. Currency of the time.) We have no corroborating evidence that he lived in this specific area, but Lewis County court records do show that he was arrested and tried for making counterfeit U.S. currency that contained a great deal of silver, but he was acquitted of the charge because his coins could not meet the criteria for counterfeiting. Persons called to testify in the case appear to have been residents of this general section of Kinney.
Moving down Kinney, between the mouths of Rock Run and Town Branch, there grows a lonely cedar tree, and beside this tree stands a solitary gravestone with the inscription: "Mary A., wife of J.H. Clure, born February 9, 1860, died November 10, 1887." Another small grave, presumably that of a child, lies beside her and is marked by a fieldstone.
The area of Kinniconick known as the Tannery Bottoms was settled early by the Burriss, Clark, Glissencamp, Horsley, Kamer, Lewis, McCalley, McGinnis, McKinney, Osborne, and Paynter families.
The old Tannery School stood at the forks of the Town Branch, Trace, and Garrison roads, and was known sometimes as McKinney School in its early days. (It seems that the school and the village and railroad station went by different names and that is partly because they were located at some distance from one another.) The school was also used as a church, and beside it was the old church graveyard, which holds the remains of members of the Isler, Liles, McKinney, and Clark families and some children of Elisha Paynter (1819-1866), an early settler; however, Elisha is buried with other members of his family in the Reynolds Chapel Methodist Cemetery in Black Oak.
Mrs. Anna Henderson said, in an interview with this writer in the 1960s, that the last persons buried in this graveyard were Thomas Scott and wife, Rhet, and that William Lewis (oldest brother of F.R. Lewis), died of a hemorrhage at the age of 14, and was buried there. When his grave washed away, F.R. Lewis took the gravestone to his home. She also said that her grandfather, Conrad Kamer, bought land in the Tannery Bottoms after he emigrated from Pennsylvania, and donated the land for the community to build a school and church, referred to above.
The late Mrs. Daisy (Howard) Adams once told this writer that when she was a small child she attended Tannery School, and in the spring when Kinney would rise and flood the old graveyard, she observed that it gradually washed away some of the graves. This was one of the reasons it was abandoned and families of the community established a new cemetery (the Howard Cemetery) farther downstream above the Tannery post office. A short distance above the former Tannery church-school, on the Garrison road, is the Maddy Cemetery, sometimes known as the Lewis Cemetery. Here lie the remains of one of Lewis County's earliest and best known physicians, Dr. Charles N. Maddy, a native of Virginia.
Some persons have noted that on the hill above the Tannery School there are some interesting rock formations or constructions. This author has never seen them and cannot judge their origin, but it has been speculated by some that they may have been the remains of an Indian village, while others claim that they are the remains of a terraced vineyard that was once planted there.
A.W. Fryer and his wife's step-father, Mr. Greenslate, from Greenup County, operated a large tannery in this general area, in the decade of 1870-1880, thus comes the name of the village. It was generally called Greenslate's Tannery and went out of existence when Fryer moved to Esculapia.
The Trace Fork of Kinniconick, which empties out at Tannery, is historically significant for two reasons. First, it was originally a part of an Indian trace that led from the Ohio River up Kinniconick and Trace Fork on eastward to the Big Sandy Valley. It crossed into Carter County near Deep Cut and led on to the Eastern Kentucky mountains. Clear evidence of an Indian campground can be found on the hill above Deep Cut on the Carver farm. Second, the old Kinniconick & Freestone Railroad ran from Garrison to Carter City, crossed Kinniconick near the mouth of Trace, finally making its way up the steep incline of Trace to the ridge above Smith Creek, with a spur going into the village of Tannery. Remains of the old ties could be seen until recently on the banks of the creek on Merril Osborne's farm at Tannery.
The railroad was incorporated March 20, 1890, for the purpose of providing a shipping outlet for the fine freestone of the area. The railroad was completed from Garrison (originally called Stone City) to Tannery in June 1891, a total of 8.94 miles. For several years afterward, the line was extended up Trace Fork toward Carter City and Gesling. The line was abandoned November 30, 1940, but continued to operate until February 1, 1941. Many are the stories that could be recounted, if one had the time and space, of the days when the railroad ran up Kinniconick, and Tannery was an active village on Kinniconick.
Wolf Creek, which comes down from the hills above the head of McDowell Creek joins Trace Fork here to flow into Kinniconick. At this point, the creek is between 550 and 560 feet above sea level and thus has fallen a height of about 130 feet since it flowed past the village of Kinniconick.
Just below this area of Tannery, Fielding and Stephen Lewis are buried in an abandoned family plot on the farm of Mr. Richard Singler. A descendant, Richard Ottha Lewis of Milford, Ohio, has restored the plot and erected a sign to mark its location.
Between this point and the mouth of McDowell Creek, Kinniconick becomes very much like a small river, yet it still has the occasional riffle, and the scenery in places is breathtakingly beautiful and quite unspoiled. Midway between Wolf and McDowell is the Sullivan Graveyard where Dr. Maddy's wife and pioneers named Liles, Clark, and Brightman are buried. At one time there was a railroad stop between the cemetery and the old Red Brush School and it was called Sullivan.
McDowell Creek, which was named for the soldier and Indian spy, Major John G. McDowell, flows out at what is now called Red Brush, but formerly known as Upper Bruce. Maj. John G. McDowell was one of the Indian fighters and pioneer explorers who was interviewed by the famous Dr. Shane in the 1830s. McDowell had a large number of land grants on this creek and thus the stream was given his name. The Hubbard, McGinnis, Orcutt, and Skidmore families were early settlers here. Clarinda (McGinnis) Bertram, wife of Marshall Bertram, an early sheriff of Lewis County, is buried in the Orcutt family graveyard in this vicinity. McDowell Creek starts at a point where Lewis, Carter, and Greenup counties join on what is known as Shultz Ridge. (Clarinda McGinnis, daughter of Reuben and Martha Black McGinnis of Carter County, married Marshall Bertram December 28, 1867, at the home of Reuben McGinnis. Their daughter, Lucy, married William Orcutt.)
Kinniconick makes another sharp U-turn at Red Brush. Along this area of the creek, the Bruce family built almost a dozen mills shortly after the War of 1812. However, it was at the mouth of Spy Run that the Bruces built their most notable mill. It was constructed by Henry C. Bruce, George W. Bruce, and John Bruce about 1817. The temperamental currents and erratic floodings of Kinniconick made it impractical to maintain this mill, but the area at the mouth of Spy Run and a mile below retained the Bruce name, being known later as Lower Bruce.
The Bruces owned thousands of acres on this part of Kinniconick and on Spy Run. The family of George W. Bruce Jr. is buried in a family graveyard near the mouth of Spy Run (Lower Bruce). It is here at the point where Dry Hollow empties into the creek that one can see a geological curiosity, a hill formation which is known locally as Lost Hill. The last large stream to flow into Kinniconick is Montgomery Creek, which was named for William Montgomery, who owned a great deal of land on the creek and also dug several salt wells there. This stream starts on the Greenup-Lewis County line, not far from the Jameson and old Granny Thomas graveyards, the burial place of pioneers of that region.
The present day town of Garrison, situated at the mouth of Kinniconick, was once known as Stone City because of all the stone quarries that were operated in the general vicinity. Great amounts of freestone from the quarries behind Garrison and Quincy were shipped from this point. The name Garrison became attached to the place when a family by that name operated a store and post office at the river landing somewhere near the foot of Murphy's Lane.
The earliest settlers in this delta area of Kinniconick (sometimes referred to as Kinney Bottoms) were the Bruce and Zornes families, Aaron Stratton, Matthew Thompson, John G. McDowell, and the Bassetts, Warings, Truitts, Andersons, Moores, Garlands, Clarks, Skidmores, Mayfields, Woodworths, and Griffiths. The old graveyard behind the Lonnie Collier home near the Garrison school is the resting place of Aaron Stratton, who died about 1833, and other members of his family. Marmaduke Swearingen, a relative of the Indian fighter by the same name, married one of Aaron Stratton's daughters and she is buried here, too. On the east bank of Kinniconick in Bentleyville is the burial place of Matthew Thompson and his family as well as many other families. It is in this graveyard (sometimes known as Garland, sometimes as Howard) that there is a tombstone which bears this inscription: "George Forsyth, a native of Scotland, died from a fall off the Kinniconick Viaduct, Sept. 2, 1854, age 27 years." He was one of the workers employed by the Maysville & Big Sandy Railroad when they were building their first bridge across Kinniconick.
The old mouth of Kinniconick Creek, originally about half way between Garrison and Quincy, almost behind the present day (2000) home of George Smith, was the location of Boone Landing. It served as a landing for boats to pick up iron and other products from the Boone Furnace region beyond the head of Montgomery Creek, in Greenup and Carter counties. The present day mouth of Kinniconick is at the river-front edge of Garrison, near the old Joseph Waring farm, and was created on the night of March 5, 1939, when a flash flood on Kinniconick came down with such force that it cut through the wall of the original silt peninsula (or natural levee) and left the old bed empty and dry. The emergence of the new course and mouth of Kinney divided the Waring farm into two sections.
Through the centuries the silt washing out from the creek had built up an island in the river which the first settlers called Willow Island. This island no longer exists now that the river pool has been raised by the system of locks and dams, the water covering it completely. So, we have journeyed the full length of Kinniconick and we have only scratched the surface of the history of the people along this famous creek. It is unique in many ways and deserves attention from environmentalists and the citizens of Lewis County in order to preserve its natural, unspoiled beauty so that it may be delivered to posterity unmarred and unpolluted.
REFERENCES: Some of the material in this article is extracted from previous articles published in this series on Lewis County History, but other information comes from personal interviews and conversations this writer had with Amos Howard, William C. Dugan, Mrs. Anna Henderson, and Mrs. Daisy (Howard) Adams.
Oh, know ye the stream where the spruce green and towering,
There the sycamore tree and the butternut grow
You know Peter Lykins: His name is far sounded
'Tis there that the spring gushes forth from the hill,
The State Legislature declares navigation
But the vote of two-thirds of the State Legislature
Along its green valley the cornfields are waving,
The boys take the grinding on horseback to mill,
'Tis there the tobacco leaves lengthy and sweeping,
'Tis there the old women in witchlike attire,
'Tis there that the melons so peacefully growing,
The urchin devoureth his ill-gotten treasure
How gay on its bank is the festive mosquito,
And chiggers as small as the point of a pin,
'Tis there that the bulldog's loud menacing baying
The shepherd dog rushes, with vertical fur,
Alas! for the man who by poverty banished,
Though pleasures come often to help him along,
The author of the above poem, W.E. Barton, was a book agent who frequently visited the home of Peter D. Lykins, at Petersville, in the summer of l888. While making his rounds to sell copies of "The Golden Gems of Life," Barton became familiar with the people in the area and extolled the virtues and bemoaned the disadvantages of life on Kinniconick. He was, at one time, president of the board of directors of Berea College. He died in Ohio.
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