This science is the great source of our prosperity, and is a subject in which we are all interested. It is the parent of all other industries, and as such claims precedence. From it have gone forth the brawn and brain that have subdued the earth, built cities, chained the lightning, linked the continents, and made all mankind akin. All thriving interests, all prosperous industries, and all trades and professions, receive their means of support either directly or indirectly from agriculture. It is there-fore by right of primogeniture and paramount importance the most indispensable of all other industries. Its progress in Christian County since the beginning of the present century is not the least interesting nor the least important part of her history. The pioneers who commenced tilling the soil here with a few rude implements of husbandry, laid the foundation of the more perfect and more comprehensive system of agriculture of the present. They were mostly poor, and compelled to labor for a support, and it required brave hearts, strong arms and willing hands just such as they possessed-to conquer the difficulties with which they had to contend. These difficulties were not often, if ever, aggravated as elsewhere by the stealthy raids of the red men, the sharp crack of their unerring rifles from secret coverts, or the fiendish yell of their onrush, as with flaming torches they surrounded the lonely cabin of their victims. In many sections of the State it often occurred that, while one-half of the male members were at work clearing the land or tending their small crops, the other half, with guns in hand, were standing guard to protect the laborers from the savages. Here the few Indians adjacent to the early settlements were mostly friendly to the whites, and rarely did any harm, other than a little petty thieving.
The tools and implements with which the pioneer farmer had to work were few in number and of a poor kind. The plow was the old ” bar-share,” some with and some without coulters; all had the wooden mold-board and long beam and handles. Generally they were of a size between the one and two-horse plows, for they had to be used in both capacities. The hoes and axes were clumsy implements, and were forged and finished by the ordinary blacksmith. The hoes had no steel in them, and there was but little in the axes, and that little often of an inferior quality. If any of these were broken beyond the ability of the smith at the station to repair, a new supply had to be procured from the older settlements of the East. There was some compensation, however, for all these disadvantages under which the pioneer labored. The virgin soil of the hillsides along the wooded sections in the northern part of the county, or of the barren plains of the more southerly or eastern parts, was so fruitful and generous that it yielded bountiful crops, even under poor preparation and cultivation. The first little crop consisted of a ” patch ” of corn, potatoes, beans, pumpkins, and in some cases a few other ” eatables.” A small crop of tobacco was considered almost indispensable, and, if possible, a ” patch ” of flax was grown, from the lint of which the family clothing for summer wear was manufactured. This brought into use the spinning-wheel and the loom, implements that had come with the early settlers, and which constituted the most important articles of housekeeping, as all the females of the family could spin and weave. In the early history of the county it appears the first influx of settlers came principally from North and South Carolina, a few from Virginia, and settled by preference in the northern portion of the county. This preference grew out of the fact that there only were to be had both timber and water in rich abundance. The ” barren ” or ” prairie ” part of the county, which afforded fine pasturage for their stock, and which really was much the better soil, was not settled until a much later period, and then by a class of better-to-do farmers from Virginia.
The first efforts of the new-comer in the wooded districts was to clear up his little ” patch,” build him a rude cabin and other necessary and ruder out-buildings. These consisted of a stable for the accommodation of his stock, and a crib or barn for the reception of such little crops as he might be able to raise on his ” patch.” Step by step the hardy pioneers made encroachments upon the heavy forests with their axes, enlarging their farms and increasing their crops, their flocks and their herds, till in the course of time they had a surplus beyond their own wants and those of their own families. This directed attention to the question of markets, which hitherto had been found only in the Eastern cities, only accessible by overland transportation. But now the navigation of the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi Rivers was looked to as a means of obviating these difficulties. The surplus produce of the country was hauled to the Cumberland, where boats were loaded by enterprising men with bacon, grain, whisky and tobacco, and then floated out to the Ohio, and thence down the Mississippi to New Orleans. Here their cargoes were readily disposed of, sometimes for cash and sometimes exchanged for sugar, coffee and molasses, which were brought back with considerable labor and expense. As before intimated the later comers from Virginia and else-where were of a wealthier class of farmers, and with them came their one or more families of Negro slaves, who had been purchased by their money or had descended to them by inheritance. Negro Slavery – As the subject of Negro slavery is largely identified with the agriculture of the county, it is, perhaps, deserving of some notice in this connection. And as pertinent to the subject, the following ex-tracts from a well-known writer are given:
“Without the labor of the Negro, this Western country would have made much slower progress in its settlement, and the character of its population would probably have been very different. To Negro slavery we are doubtless largely indebted for the chivalric character and open-handed hospitality of our fathers. * * * While the Negro, as a slave, had some weaknesses, such as a lack of proper respect for the truth, a propensity to petty pilfering, and a great fondness for alcoholic drinks, yet the masses were faithful to their owners, industrious and economical, and had at heart their welfare, prosperity and good name. They were good operatives on the farm, and, as a rule, were entrusted with the execution of the work to be done in the absence of the proprietor, taking great pride in accomplishing more and better work than was expected of them; the wife and children of the master were always safe under their protection. Where a man’s circumstances compelled him to labor, he would make a ‘hand’ with the Negroes, requiring no more work of them than he performed himself.
“The Negro had his house to himself and family, all of whom were well fed, well clothed in domestic cloth, attended to in sickness by the family physician, and as carefully nursed as any other member of the family. Their supply of fuel for winter use was unlimited, and during cold weather they kept up rousing fires both day and night. Nearly all of them had their ‘ truck patches ‘ of from a half to an acre of ground, and could raise such produce as suited their taste-sweet potatoes, tobacco and melons being their favorite crops. Saturday afternoon was usually given them to work their ‘ patches,’ and at night the more thrifty would cobble shoes, make brooms, bottom chairs, cut cord-wood and do other odd jobs to make money, which, unfortunately, was too frequently spent for whisky. Flagrant violations of domestic law were occasionally visited with stripes; this punishment, however, was rarely resorted to except here and there by a fiend in human shape, who had no fear of God nor respect for the opinions of men. This class were few in number, and were frowned upon by the more respectable class of society. Persons who had not known anything practically of slavery until they came to the country, so soon as their circumstances would permit became the owners of slaves, and almost invariably proved to be the hardest task-masters.
“The slaves, with no cares pressing upon them, were the happiest people to be found in any community. A failure of the crops, loss of stock, or pecuniary troubles, while sympathized in by them, caused none of that anxiety which the owner experienced. They were all men and women raised to habits of industry. They are now all freemen, and the older ones, educated and accustomed to work, are rapidly passing away, while a new generation is coming on; reared with no restraints, they look upon work as one of the relics of slavery, and prefer anything almost to honest labor. Under this state of things, their future is not very bright nor flattering. Many of the slaves belonging to the more conscientious citizens were sufficiently educated to enable them to read the Bible, but the mass received no scholastic training. Their religious instruction, however, was not neglected. At family worship they were brought into the house, the Scriptures read and explained to them, and encouragement to attend church given them. Many of them united with the various churches, whose records will show a considerable number of the colored population among the early membership, a majority of whom were noted for their strong abiding faith and strict moral deportment.
“There were cases in which servants proved incorrigible, and sooner or later this class found their way to the cotton fields of the far South. Negroes were rarely ever reared here as an article of merchandise, but generally for the use of their owner, and if true and trusty were very seldom parted with. Men were encouraged to take their wives at home, if a suitable woman was in the family. If not, they generally found one in the immediate vicinity, when they were allowed to go to see her every night in the week, and as a general thing they were more steadfast to their families than they are now. Husband and wife were always kept together when possible, and often at great sacrifice. When the owner of either husband or wife was about removing to a distant place, some trade would be made, either by purchase or exchange, to prevent their separation. In such cases a man or woman would often be parted with by the owner that otherwise money could not have bought.”
This lengthy extract is given, not as an apology or defense of slavery, now no longer cursing the South, thank God; but as a graphic, and, in the main, true and faithful pen-picture of the institution as it then actually existed in Kentucky.
Corn was par excellence the most important crop grown by the early settler. It was in the highest sense the staff of life, for at first it constituted the only material for bread. The preparations for the crop were of the simplest kind. The coulter plow was brought into requisition, aid the surface of the ground scratched over, but in the absence of this the hoe only sufficed. When the crop attained maturity, the blades were stripped off from the ear downward, and bound into sheaves; then that part of the stalk above cut off and set up into shocks, or, as in some cases, used in lieu of clapboards to roof in their cribs. When gathered, the ears were thrown on the ground near the crib in a pile, and all the neighbors summoned to the husking. The ” cornshucking ” was quite an institution of the period. On many occasions the presiding genius was John Barley-corn, and then they were made the occasion of trials of strength, displays of agility and sometimes the settlement of feuds and difficulties by personal combats. The husking done, the men repaired to the farmer’s rude habitation, and then, after a generous repast of venison, ” bar meat ” and the inevitable ash or johnny-cake, the younger gallants betook themselves to the giddy mazes of the dance, and tripped the light fantastic toe till the wee small hours of the morn.
And now, the corn husked and gathered into the barn, the next difficulty in the way was a mill, or rather the lack of one. After the corn had been raised and harvested, there were no mills to grind it into meal. At first and for a time this problem was solved by pounding it in a mortar with the butt end of a wedge by way of pestle, or, if the family had one, by grinding it in a coffee mill. By this process a very coarse meal was made, which, being sifted, the finer particles were used as meal, and the coarser as ” grits ” or hominy, after the husks had been floated off. It was not long, however, until some enterprising individual, actuated by necessity-necessity, they say, is the mother of invention-procured a couple of limestone rocks and improvised a pair of small buhrs, and then constructed a hand-mill, which was permanently placed by the side of the house. When meal was required, two persons would set themselves at the mill: one, taking hold of the shaft, would put the upper stone in motion, while the other would feed the mill with three or four grains of corn at a time, until enough was ground for present use. Of course this had to be repeated at each recurring meal, but, often as otherwise, probably, the meat was eaten without any bread.
This primitive hand-mill was, in the course of time, superseded by the horse or tread-mill, and its advent among the pioneers was, to them, what the steam merchant mill is now to us. It is impossible to tell where the first one was erected or by whom, but its introduction marked the beginning of a new era in farming operations. About the beginning of the year 1800, or perhaps sooner, David Youngs brought from Pennsylvania a pair of mill-stones, which were long afterward used in his mill on the East Fork of Little River, near the present Russellville road. About the same time, it is not known whether before or after, the same enterprising miller built another grist-mill on the present site of the well-known Edwards’ Mill. It was afterward owned and run for many years by James Bronaugh.
The first mill-sites condemned by writ of ad quod damnum of the court were the following, viz.: One on Big Eddy, by James Shaw, March 21, 1797; one on the Barren Fork of Little River, by Robert Cravens, same date. At the next court in July, 1797, two more were condemned, one by Jacob Doom, Jr., at the Big Barren Spring on Livingston Creek, the other by John Cordery, on Raines’ Creek. That on the Sinking Fork of Little River was granted William Dryden, May 15, 1798.
Wheat, though one of the early productions, was not grown to any great extent till after the larger tracts of the ” barrens ” came into cultivation. After the timbered districts had come under more general cultivation, however, and the facilities for making flour had increased, the crop became more general in the northern portions of the county. In harvesting the wheat crop, the sickle or reap-hook was used, each operator cutting about four feet. When a ” swath ” or ” through” was out he would throw the sickle across his shoulder and bind the cut grain back to the beginning. An ordinary hand would cut from one to one and a half acres per day, the wages for which would average from 50 to 75 cents. There were two methods of threshing-one was with the hand-flail; the other by tramping it out with horses. The cleaning was done by ” winding ” it with a sheet, viz.: tossing up on a sheet or blanket of a windy day so that the wind would blow the chaff away, or on a calm day, creating a breeze by artificial means. At the first it was ground into flour at the ordinary corn grist-mills, and was afterward ” bolted ” by hand. The first merchant flouring mill was built by Capt. Cox on Little River about ten or twelve miles from Hopkinsville in 1820. It was rebuilt about twenty years after by James Brewer. The first threshing machine ever used in the county was built by James Bronaugh and his brother-in-law, James Hart, in the year 1834. It was on the same principle as the old ” ground-hog,” and was the invention of the latter gentleman. The castings were molded for them by Mr. Samuel Stackers at his furnace near Clarksville, Tenn., and the wood-work afterward finished at Mr. Bronaugh’s. They built a second one for John P. Campbell, Sr., in 1838. These machines would thresh out under favorable circumstances as much as 200 bushels a day. The first ground-hog ” machines were brought to the county about 1841 or 1842, by an agent from Cincinnati, Ohio. Next came the horse-power thresher and separator, and now the steam traction engine, with vibrator and separator, bids fair to supersede all others. With these improvements in threshing processes, the mills have kept pace, and we now have such merchant mills as those of Rabbeth & Brownell (Crescent Mills) and F. L. Ellis & Co. (Hopkinsville Mills). These mills when run to their full capacity turn oat from 150 to 200 barrels each twenty-four hours. The yield of wheat in the county, for the year 1878, was 377,870 bushels, and doubtless much larger since then.
This is by far the most important crop raised in Christian County. The soil seems peculiarly adapted to the growth of that variety known to the trade as “Hopkinsville Shippers,” or ” Clarksville Shippers ” a class grown almost exclusively on the cavernous limestone soils of Southern Kentucky and North Tennessee. ” This is the heaviest, richest, most gummy, and fullest of nicotine of any tobacco known.” The best family of the weed for this class is the blue and yellow Pryor. The ” Big Frederick ” and ” Morrow ” grow larger than the Pryor, but are not so rich and waxy. The white Burley has not as yet been thoroughly tested by the growers of tobacco here, though some seem to think, under favorable circumstances, it can be grown to profit. One of the most important desiderata in the culture of this variety is the canvassing” of the beds so as to insure well-grown plants for the early ” wet ” seasons. These conditions have not as yet been fairly met, and the test in consequence is not considered conclusive. The crop of all varieties grown in the county in the year 1880, was 12,577,574 pounds. The same year Lancaster County, Penn., with an area of 490,922 acres, grew 23,946,326 pounds, and Pittsylvania County, Va., with an area of 205,465 acres, grew 12,271,533 pounds of tobacco. The area of farming lands in Christian County being 209,339 acres, makes her the ” banner” county of the United States, if not of the world.
The honor of having grown and shipped from the county the first hogshead of tobacco is claimed for several persons. Some claim that William Fagin and Abraham Shelton shipped the first hogshead from Eddyville on the Cumberland River to New Orleans. It was rigged up like an exaggerated sod roller, and drawn by a pair of oxen or stout horses, all the way to the river. Others claim the honor for Richard Gaines, a brother-in-law of the famous pioneer Methodist preacher, Peter Cartwright, and the tradition runs that the experiment cost him ” more than it come to,” or in other words that he lost money on it.
Hopkinsville Tobacco Trade
The following article, on the tobacco market of Hopkinsville, was written for this work by Mr. H . G. Abernathy. It is commended to those interested in the weed: The Hopkinsville Tobacco market may truly be called a creature of necessity. During the late war the tier of counties in Kentucky, consisting of Logan, Todd, Christian, Trigg, Caldwell, Lyon, together with portions of Muhlenburg and Hopkins, then known as a large part of the Clarksville Tobacco District, found great difficulty from various causes in marketing their tobacco. The almost entire absence of railroad or turnpike facilities throughout this whole section forced the burden upon the planting community of hauling tobacco on wagons, a distance of twenty to forty miles over the most abominable mud roads. The difficult means of transportation, and the inconvenience of attending distant markets, prevented the masses from witnessing the sales of their produce, and the dissatisfaction resulting from losses, accidental and otherwise, with excessive commission charges, forced our planters to adopt the method of selling privately at their barns, rather than to ” go farther and fare worse.” Enloe and Fat-man, together with Jesup, Dillara and the Whartons bought freely, sweeping over the whole district, and the planter risking tobacco in a distant market was the exception.
Facts like these, and many others that might be enumerated, suggested the necessity of an auction market at home, situated in the very heart of one of the largest tobacco growing sections of the world. In the year 1869, the first tobacco warehouse in Hopkinsville was built by Carter L. Bradshaw, George W. Cayce and H. G. Abernathy. It was conducted under the firm name of Abernathy & Co., and sold 2,476 hogsheads of tobacco the first year it was in operation. Dudley Jeffreys was the first book-keeper, and added experience and ability to the general conduct of the business. The first sale was on the 12th of January, 1871, and the first hogshead sold was the property of William West, an estimable planter of Christian County, and was bought by E. M. Hopper, one of our leading and enterprising merchants. The principal buyers at the opening sale were Gant & Jesup, Thompson & Mills, Dr. J. D. Clardy, E. H. Hopper, S. T. Fox, E. S. Quisenberry and others. But a large board was soon formed representing an extensive trade.
The doubt and uncertainty usually attendant upon all such enterprises soon vanished, and the market stood forth before the world a success. The second year, several additional warehouses opened and engaged in the business, bringing much ability, energy and enterprise to the trade, and a largely increased sale was made, with the utmost satisfaction to the patrons of the market. Large European orders, together with the home demand, gave to Hopkinsville a commanding position in the eyes of the world. The heavy, fat, German tobaccos, grown almost exclusively in Southern Kentucky, were sought after from first hands, giving to Hopkinsville, from a geographical stand-point, many superior advantages. The market has been in active operation for more than fourteen years, selling from ten to fifteen. thousand hogsheads annually.
Crop Statistics – The crop reports of Christian County for 1880 show the following: Corn, 1,430,154 bushels; oats, 64,341 bushels; rye, 2,544 bushels; wheat, 437,668 bushels; hay, 3,824 tons; Irish potatoes, 20,837 bushels, and sweet potatoes 25,479 bushels.
Live Stock – The live stock and dairy reports for the year 1878 show: horses, 4,920; mules and asses, 4,968; milch cows, 4,609; other cattle, 5,580; sheep, 9,514; hogs, 42,834; milk, 26,367 gallons; butter, 297,341 pounds; wool, 49,235 pounds.
Col. Cyrus Harrison and Matthew Patton were among the first to introduce into the county fine blooded stock from Virginia. This was about the year 1805. Since then many thoroughbreds ” have been imported from Virginia and elsewhere, and to-day Christian County can boast as many fine ” strains ” of both horses and cattle as any county in the State south of Green River.
The Christian County Agricultural and Mechanical Association was organized under charter granted by the Legislature in 1856, with Isaac Lewis, James T. Jackson, R. T. Torian, James M. Ford, William T. Moore, James H. Lander, E. R. Cook, J. C. Whitlock, J. W. Wallace, H. B. Owsley and John Stites as Commissioners. A meeting was called February 2, 1857, at the court house in Hopkinsville, and Thomas Green unanimously elected President, and Isaac Lewis, J. I. Thomas, James T. Jackson, C. E. Merriwether, Jesse Mc-Comb and Rice Dulin, Directors. The board thus formed then proceeded to elect J. C. Latham, Secretary, and James S. Phelps, Treasurer. Grounds were purchased from J. H. Caldwell and Dr. Montgomery, suitable buildings erected, and in the fall of 1857 the first annual fair of the association was held. G. B. Long was appointed Marshal with two assistants, and Thomas S. Bryan Corresponding Secretary. Ad-mission fees, for adult footmen 25 cents, horsemen 35 cents, buggy 40 cents, carriages, etc., 50 cents, children and servants 10 cents. The fair was largely attended each day, many fine displays were -made, and altogether, so substantial and liberal was the patronage received that the association were encouraged to repeat, with added attractions, their exhibitions on the following year. The officers elected for 1858 were: Thomas Green, President; and John Berry, John T. Edmunds, J. H. Gant, R. W. Henry, G. W. Killebrew and J. W. Wallace, Directors; Thomas S. Bryan, Treasurer; J. S. Latham, Secretary, and J. B. Gowan, Marshal. In the course of the year, Mr. Wallace resigning as Director, J. S. Parrish was elected in his stead.
The officers for 1859 were: James S. Phelps, President; James W. Fields, James Wallace, L. W. Withers, J. C. Whitlock, C. M. Tandy and A. D. Rogers, Directors; H. A. Phelps, Secretary; J. P. Ritter, Treasurer, and J. W. Breathitt, Marshal.
The officers for 1860 were: J. S. Phelps, President; Directors, James Fields, L. W. Withers, C. M. Tandy, James Wallace and A. D. Rogers. H. A. Phelps was again elected Secretary, as was also J. P. Ritter, Treasurer, and J. W. Breathitt Marshal. Mr. Tandy resigning, T. Torian was elected Director in his stead. The war coming on, and political excitement running high, this was the last fair held until 1869, and was rendered memorable by the fact that, during its progress, John C. Breckinridge, then Vice-President, made a speech, discussing the issues of the times, to a vast concourse of people assembled on the grounds to hear him. In 1861, before the evacuation of Kentucky by the Confederates, the buildings were used as a barracks by a regiment of Mississippians under Gen. Clark. On their departure the amphitheatre was found to be in flames, and being entirely of wood, was soon burned to the ground. The origin of the fire is not known, but is thought to have been accidental.
In 1869, June 7, the stockholders again called a meeting, and elected as Directors, B. T. Ritter, J. C. Whitlock, John C. Latham, William J. Radford, James Wallace, J. S. Parrish and George W. Lander. The Board of Directors met on the 12th inst. and elected B. T. Ritter, President; John C. Latham, Jr., Secretary, and John P. Ritter, Treasurer. A committee, composed of J. K. Gant, James E. Jesup, S. A. Means and A. Palmer, was appointed to appraise the value of the fair grounds, who reported its value to be $2,600. James S. Parrish resigning his place as a member of the Board of Directors, Samuel G. Buckner was elected to fill the vacancy.
At a subsequent meeting, June 26, a plan for an amphitheater, cottage, etc., was submitted by D. A. McKennon, which was adopted. The con-tract for the building of the amphitheatre was awarded, July 6, to Welch and McKennon for $7,200, $200 to be taken by them in stock, and the building of the cottage to Gatewood & Keeler for $1,200. J. F. Foard was elected Marshal, and October 20, 21, 22 and 23, set for the time of holding the next annual fair. A committee was also appointed to arrange for a ” balloon ascension,” and another for a parade of the Steam Fire Department at that time.
The officers elected for 1870 were W. T. Radford, President; G. W. Lander, S. G. Buckner, James Wallace and J. C. Latham, Directors; James O. Ellis, Secretary; J. P. Ritter, Treasurer; Joseph F. Foard, Marshal.
In 1871, James Parrish, President; P. F. Fox, L. McComb, O. Graves, Ira F. Ellis, James Wallace and W. J. Bacon, Directors; J. P. Ritter, Treasurer; J. O. Ellis, Secretary; and J. F. Foard, Marshal.
In 1872, Thomas Green, President; Dr. J. D. Clardy, J. T. Edmunds, James Wallace, S. G. Buckner, James M. Clark and Winston Henry, Directors; James 0. Ellis, Secretary; J. P. Ritter, Treasurer; J. F. Foard, Marshal.
In 1873, S. G. Buckner, President; Ira F. Ellis, J. M. Clark, W. F. Cox, James Wallace, C. T. Lewis and H. G. Bowling, Directors; J. O. Ellis, Secretary; J. P. Ritter, Treasurer; and J. F. Foard, Marshal.
In 1874, W. F. Cox, President; Col. E. A. Starling, Charles T. Lewis, J. M. Clark, P. Fox, I. F. Ellis and J. T. Edmunds, Directors; J. 0. Ellis, Secretary; J. P. Ritter Treasurer; and J. F. Foard, Marshal.
In 1875, Dr. James Wheeler, President; Dr. J. C. Whitlock, Dr. J. D. Clardy, E. A. Starling, J. E. Jesup, IT. W. Crabb, W. Henry, Directors; W. P. Winfree, Secretary; J. W. McPherson, Treasurer; and J. F. Foard, Marshal. At a subsequent meeting, Dr. Wheeler declining, Col. E. A. Starling was elected President.
In 1876, E. A. Starling, President, and the Board of Directors for 1875 re-elected. April, 17th inst., Dr. Whitlock resigning, G. W. Lan-der was elected as a member of the Board of Directors. September 2, W. Henry resigned, and Dr. E. A. Cook elected Director in his stead. At the same meeting Thomas Boyd, of Trigg, and C. W. Maddox were elected members of the Board.
In 1877, J. T. Edmunds, President; Ira F. Ellis, J. M. Clark, V. W. Crabb, S. T. Fox, E. R. Cook and G. W. Lander, Directors; J. O. Ellis, Secretary; J. W. McPherson, Treasurer; and M. H. Nelson, Marshal. April 14, President Edmunds resigning, J. M. Clark was elected to fill the vacancy. George V. Green and John B. Bell were elected to fill the vacancies occasioned by the promotion of J. M. Clark and the resignation of Dr. J. D. Clardy. April 21, Dr. E. R. Cook resigned from the Board, and M. V. Owen was elected Director.
In 1878, J. M. Clark, President; G. W. Lander, V. W. Crabb, George V. Green, J. B. Bell, M. V. Owen and Ira F. Ellis, Directors; J. O. Ellis, Secretary; and J. W. McPherson, Treasurer; April 6, G. W. Lander resigned, and M. H. Nelson elected Director in his stead.
In 1879, L. A. Sypert, President; G. V. Green, V. W. Crabb, M. H. Nelson, Otho Graves, W. Henry, Samuel M. Brown, Directors; J. O. Ellis, Secretary; and W. P. Winfree, Treasurer. April 21, George
V. Green resigned, and N. Campbell was elected in his stead. Mr. Camp-bell declining, Dr. W. G. Wheeler was elected Director. April 26, M. H. Nelson resigned, and Dr. E. R. Cook was elected.
In 1880, Col. E. A. Starling, President; E. R. Cook, V. W. Crabb, G. W. Means, J. C. Whitlock, W. Henry and Ned Campbell, Directors; James O. Ellis, Secretary; and J. W. McPherson, Treasurer. April 26,
W. Henry resigning, Dr. J. D. Clardy elected in his stead. June 28, the death of President Starling being announced, a committee, composed of Dr. J. D. Clardy, E. R. Cook and J. O. Ellis, was appointed to draft suitable resolutions. Dr. E. R. Cook was elected to fill the vacancy occasioned by the death of President Starling, and E. W. Walker to fill his place. September 6, Dr. J. D. Clardy resigned as Director, and C. F. Jarrett elected in his stead. September 25, N. Campbell resigned, and W. G. Wheeler was elected to fill the vacancy.
In 1881, Dr. E. R. Cook, President; C. F. Jarrett, V. M. Owen, V. W. Crabb, J. C. Whitlock, Hunter Wood and J. C. Woolridge, Directors; John W. McPherson was elected Secretary and Treasurer.
In 1882, C. F. Jarrett, President; Hunter Wood, John C. Willis, G. W. Means, S. G. Buckner, E. Walker and Dr. E. R. Cook, Directors; J. Burnett, Secretary; John W. McPherson, Treasurer; and William Cowan, Marshal. May 23, H. H. Abernathy was elected a Director.
In 1883, Col. L. A. Sypert, President; C. F. Jarrett, G. W. Means, J. S. Parrish, W. Henry, Joseph Woolridge and J. W. Pritchett, Directors; J. W. McPherson, Secretary and Treasurer. July 3, C. F. Jarrett resigned, and H. H. Abernathy was elected in his stead.
It only remains to be said, in conclusion, that the Association, through the wise and economical management of its Directory, is at present in a healthy condition financially; all outstanding debts having been liquidated, and the property being unincumbered, is increasing in value every year.
Gardening, or horticulture in its restricted sense, can-not be regarded as a very important feature in the history of Christian County. If, however, we take a broad view of the subject, and include orchards, small fruit culture and kindred branches, outside of agriculture, we should find something of more interest and value. There can be but little doubt that, if the farmers were to devote more of the attention that is given to tobacco to fruit-growing-particularly in the north part of the county, a section in every way adapted to it-the experiment would pay, and pay well. The climate of this portion of the State is better adapted to fruit culture than further north, and it is a pleasant and easy way of making money.
The apple is the hardiest and most reliable of all the fruits for this region, and there are more acres in apple orchards, perhaps, than in all other fruits combined in the county. The first fruit trees were brought here by the pioneers themselves, and were seedling sprouts brought from the old homes in Virginia or the Carolinas. Apples are raised in the county in great quantities, also peaches, and of late years small fruits are receiving more or less attention. There is but little land, even among the hills of the north part of the county, but would produce fine grapes, and grapes always command a good price. Grape culture in that section might be made a valuable industry. In fact, with a soil so well adapted to fruits as that of Christian County, horticulture should be held in that high esteem which becomes so important a factor in human welfare.
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