Archiver > SOUTH-CENTRAL-KENTUCKY > 2008-01 > 1200319511

From: Sandi Gorin <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jan 2008 08:05:11 -0600

Due to a nasty bout of strep throat and some sort of a virus, I
haven't had the energy to decide on a new series to be covered on our
Monday posts for Barren Co. So for today, I am going to quote from
the writings of William Daniel Tolle. Tolle wrote under the pen name
of "Ellot" for the local papers, his articles ran from the about 1877
to the 1920's. I have always been fascinated by his historical
writings of Barren Co and have published his columns under the title
of "Backroads of Barren Co". It is like you are riding along with Mr.
Tolle, visiting every house and farm and learning all you can about
the people and events of which he wrote. This column was written
January 7th, 1921 and tells about the "village of Rocky Hill" in
Barren Co. It'll be continued a couple of weeks.

"Last September I came out of Warren county over a main thoroughfare
leading from the Warren and Barren county line, through the village
of Grangetown and on to Rocky Hill; and wrote up some of the country
through which I passed. When I arrived at Rocky Hill I inquired for
the residence of John HUDSON with whom I had anticipated on spending
the night and learn much of the history of Rocky Hill and
surroundings. I regarded him as one of the oldest there, and have a
better acquaintance with him than any other person in the town. But I
was disappointed in my imagination. I drove down to his house and was
informed by the matron of the house that Mr. HUDSON was not at home
nor would not be until late; and she refused me admittance. So I had
to go on without the information I had expected. What I have written
follows, being an incomplete chapter of Rocky Hill and its surroundings.

"The western, or northwestern part of Barren County is very rough and
hilly. After leaving the bottom lands of Barren River this broken
land sets in and extends several miles in a north or northeast course
from the river. The Barren and Warren County line crosses the lower
Glasgow and Bowling Green Road, a short distance south of Hydro (a
noted place in Warren County) and runs to Barren River, starting at
what is known as "COLES Bend." A public thoroughfare crosses the line
coming from Warren County to Old Rocky Hill in Barren County, where
it branches off in several directions. The writer of this article
traveled over this road in the autumn of 1921 from Warren County. He
has no certain knowledge of the distance that this road runs from the
river but supposes it is one or two miles and running parallel with
the river; or as near so as possible with the meandering of both
river and road. This country, though rough and broken is fairly well
settled. The houses are generally good and up-to-date farm houses.
The soil though very rolling is not washed away as in some other
portions of the county where the land is more level. It has a red
clay sub-soil and is founded on a limestone base.

"There is a village on the road between the county line and the
village of Rocky Hill by the name of "Grangetown", which was settled
by J W HENDERSON, Sr. During the year 1875, then the Patron of
Husbandry was at their zenith in Kentucky, a subordinate grange was
organized at this place and it took its name from that coincident. A
post office is kept at this place and goes by the name of Finney.
There are two dry goods and grocery stores, one corn mill, two
churches, Baptist and Christian, and one school house. The membership
of the Baptist is 160; that of the Christian, 50. There are 70 pupils
enrolled in the school. The population of the village is 49. The
heads of the families living in the town are: Bymond [sic] SPILLMAN,
YOUNG, Yancy SMITH, Butler GREEN, Floyd GREEN, Tom GREEN. Some of the
citizens living in the vicinity outside of town are: John GRAHAM, O B
NORRIS, Renick WOOTEN, two inhabitants by the name of Cat.

"As the traveler passes on toward Rocky Hill from Grangetown, he sees
much of the same kind of country that met his view when he crossed
the Warren County line. It extends some distance south of the village
of Rocky Hill and several miles north to the Glasgow and Bowling
Green Road including a large section which recently has been called
the Beckton section. There are several thousand acres in the
above-named boundary. The soil or most of it is very productive. It
is well adapted to the growth of corn, wheat, oats, and different
grasses and fine types of tobacco. Its inhabitants are composed of
the best of people.

"Although the village of Rocky Hill is the metropolis of this
country, it was not the first settled. Captain William EDMUNDS came
from Virginia about the year 1810 and bought one thousand acres of
land something like four miles north of Rocky Hill. He built a cabin
and opened a large farm in the forest. He had a large number of
slaves. Mr. EDMUNDS [who Tolle spells EDMONDS] was a leading citizen
of his community, having served as magistrate for a number of years.
He raised a family of five sons and seven daughters, all of whom are dead."

To be continued next Monday. Sandi

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