From a photograph by Solomon D. Butcher of four daughters of rancher Joseph M. Chrisman, at their sod house in Custer County, Nebraska. From left to right, Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie, and Ruth. Photographed in 1886.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

An 1886 Visit to Fairview, KY

Fairview, birthplace of Jefferson Davis


The following passage is transcribed from the Kentucky New Era, July 23, 1886 (page 3). I have preserved the original punctuation, but divided the long paragraphs to make them easier to read. Jefferson Davis (1808-1889), mentioned in the article, was elected the President of the Confederate States of America on February 9, 1861, and served until the end of the Civil War in 1865.

Saturday morning two NEW ERA men hired a buggy and went to the speaking at Fairview. The drive was delightful amid the sloping hills and rich fields of grain. The country never looked more beautiful and the magnificent crops give promise of a bright and prosperous future for the planters.

We arrived at the pretty little village just in time to partake of a good dinner at the hospitable board of Esquire Richard Vaughan.

After dinner Mr. G. S. Brown very kindly assumed the duty of showing us the town. He conducted us to the spot where the great Jefferson Davis was born. The old house with its many memories has been torn away and over the historic spot is being erected a Baptist church.

The church when completed will be one of the handsomest in the county. Rev. E. N. Dicken who served the old Bethel church so long, is the pastor. He is one of the best pastors in the land and as a preacher is second to none. He lives in the parsonage half a mile east of the church. The church will probably be dedicated in October and Mr. Davis will be present on that occasion.

Fairview lies in two counties. The county line runs through the store of Mr. W. B. Brewer, who can stand behind his counter in Todd, and sell goods to his friends in Christian.

About 2 o'clock the candidates began the oratorical contest. Judge Winfree led off and the other fellows said their pieces in order. The boys gave the Todd county candidates some of their time. Col. Milt. Brown made a short address and Mr. D. S. Watson was shaking hands with the boys who do their voting in Todd.

Fairview is a thrifty village. The residences are handsome and the stores are well kept. Mr. John Yancey will soon build a fine brick store house at a cost of $2000.

Jefferson Davis in 1853
We were presented with a walking cane, made out of the flooring of the room in which Mr. Davis was born, by Mr. Brewer. Most of the candidates got one of these sticks to hobble through the campaign on.

The New Era representatives were kindly treated by the generous citizens of Fairview and after half a day of pleasant commingling with these good people, they turned their faces toward Hopkinsville. The drive home through the moonlight was delightful and the pleasure of a day at Fairview will be the chief object of interest in our minds for many days.
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Check the Prairie Bluestem posts tagged "Fairview KY" for some modern-day images of Fairview.

2 comments:

Collagemama said...

I like selling across county lines.

Genevieve said...

You'd better be careful about the county line if you're selling alcohol in Kentucky. We have "county option" here, which results in "wet counties" and "dry counties". Christian County is wet, but Todd County is dry.

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CONTENTMENT: Keep your heart free from hate, your mind from worry, live simply, expect little, give much, sing often, pray always, forget self, think of others and their feelings, fill your heart with love, scatter sunshine. These are the tried links in the golden chain of contentment.
(Author unknown)

IT IS STILL BEST to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasure; and to be cheerful and have courage when things go wrong.
(Laura Ingalls Wilder, 1867-1957)

Thanks for reading.