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November 27, 2013

Traces of Laurel: A Few Final Excerpts

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — This is my last column on the excerpts from the old Mountain Echo newspaper – at least for the time being.  I could go on longer but I’ve heard that the ability to realize when enough is enough is a sign of maturity and I do like to pretend I’m grown up.  The blank spaces in the stories below are where I’ve left out the names of those about whom the item was written.  Not that it would matter after 130 plus years, but it seems the right thing to do.  Almost everything you read in the old Mountain Echo is a mixture of fact, opinion and conjecture, a far cry from what modern newspapers can get away with printing.  Of course, that’s what makes the old papers such interesting reading.

March 13, 1874: “It is thought that Sheriff ___________, of Whitley, took about $4,000 of the revenue of the county, besides some private funds which he had collected.  He wrote from Indianapolis that he had become involved and being unable to pay out, thought he would take care of number one; but that he would finally pay out when the panic was over.  He said he was going to Texas, but the love of money which has developed itself in him will perhaps land him in h__l unless he repents.”

March 20, 1874:  “It took two people to marry a couple in Perry county a short time since, a justice of the peace and his estimable wife.  He performed the ceremony while she held the baby.”

April 7, 1874:  “On last Saturday an election, Under the local option law, was held.  There was a good deal of excitiment, And a full vote was polled.  The election was under the town Charter, And was held at the Election for Trustees.  We not only succeeded in voting whisky out, but also elected an Anti Whisky Board of Trustees.  The vote was against whiskey, 22, for whiskey, 12.”

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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