Bonnie Strassell - Owen County Historical Society

  • Inventor received little credit for brilliancy

    It’s the little-known stories of everyday folks that create entertaining chapters of history. Kentucky claims many of these stories, and though some Kentuckians became famous, the accomplishments of many others were unknown outside their local area.
    Although Marconi claimed to have invented the radio, Nathan B. Stublefield, a farmer, fruit grower and electrician from Murray, Ky., was the first to invent this piece of technology that changed the world.

  • Lusby’s Mill past rife with colorful characters

    Assac Cobb is believed to have been the first white child born in Owen County. He was the eighth child of Samuel Cobb and his second wife, who were among the first settlers in Lusby’s Mill. Samuel Cobb fought in the Revolutionary War, and his first wife and two daughters were scalped and killed by Indians in South Carolina. In the late 1790s, the Cobbs and three other families settled on the banks of Eagle Creek behind present-day Mussel Shoals Church.

  • Owen County life once centered around the church

    Church suppers have deep roots in American tradition. The practice of gathering for a shared meal after Sunday morning worship originated in European countries that had a deep Christian heritage, and the custom continued as the first immigrants settled in America.
    There are historic documents which relate stories of squires in Medieval Europe rewarding their serfs on Sunday with a roasted meal which was placed in the oven before families headed to church and eaten upon their return home.

  • What happened to those Thanksgivings at grandma’s?

    We live in a time when Thanksgiving Day finds many families waiting in long lines at a restaurant to crowd around a table, and amid the surrounding deafening endeavor to catch up on family news.
    What happened to those Thanksgivings at grandma’s, who considered it a privilege to cook the traditional Thanksgiving dinner for a large extended family? It was a special day set aside for the gathering of family and friends to share turkey, laughter and traditions, and for giving thanks to God for his blessings.

  • Owen County rife with bird of the season

     The little girl hunkered down amid the tall grasses and was cautioned by her companion to remain motionless. The child and her friend Ida, a tenant farmer’s wife, had followed the wild hen turkey across the fields along the Kentucky River bottom in Monterey. Ida had taken Margaret Alice Karsner under her wing when Alice’s mother passed away, and on this particular day, the duo was following the hen to her nest.

  • Memories of ‘the good ole days’ often reveal stark realities

    The sentence usually began with “I remember when...”, and then the speaker would launch into a story of the past, sometimes served with embellishments that had tiptoed in over the years and became a permanent fixture of the narrative.
    However, many stories which passed down through the generations gave hard facts and revealed the stark realities of often difficult times in the “good ole days.”

  • Vision of cemetery preservation growing

    It sits alongside Squiresville Road on Gary Minch’s farm, but over the years, weeds and tangled vines have proclaimed victory as they sought to deny its existence. It is sheltered by a rock wall which seems to stand in defiance of the elements as it struggles to protect narratives of the past.
    At one time, hundreds of these dotted the landscape of Owen but today, many have lost their identity, and their stories have been silenced.

  • Hattie Hill recalls hog killing time in Owen County

    Most days will find her at the Owenton Senior Center, and age doesn’t seem to prevent the spry 92-year-old Hattie Hill from enjoying life to its fullest.
    Hattie is also quite the storyteller, and her memorable reminisces evoke smiles, generate laughter, and at times create a lump in the throat as she recalls the hard times growing up in Owen County.

  • Don Crupper recalls childhood at Fortner Ridge

    It struggles to peek from behind tangled weeds and tall grasses as if  to once again claim its place in history, and if one doesn’t look closely, it’s easy to miss this all but forgotten one-room schoolhouse on Fortner Ridge. However, its story was shared last week at the historical society meeting when Fortner Ridge native Don Crupper described the school’s vital presence in the Fortner community.

  • Passionate patriotism spread like wildfire during WWII

    World War I was touted as “the war to end all wars,” and yet 21 years after its conclusion, another world war began in which 12 countries participated and over 60 million people died.  
    World War II took the lives of 405,000 Americans, and although no battles were fought on American soil, the war affected all phases of American life. It caused shortages that required Americans to deal with rationing. Ration stamps were issued to allow families to purchase items in short supply like sugar, meat and gasoline.