After having enjoyed Ken Ward’s “Meandering in McLean” columns for the past few years that I’ve been researching older editions of the McLean County News, I was happy to be able to meet Ken in person last week, when he came in to drop off a donation of books at the museum.
A native of McLean County, and currently a resident of Lexington, he wrote the column from 1970 to about 2000. Jennie Seymour and I enjoyed hearing his stories during his short visit, and a few people came in during that time that he hadn’t seen for some years, and they got a chance to visit, too.
This week I found some more tidbits from 1922, to let us know a little of what was happening in McLean County at that time:
May 5: “Mrs. Jennie Franklin of Calhoun was appointed county treasurer by the fiscal court Wednesday. Mrs. Franklin is the first woman in McLean County to hold a county office. Mr. C.E. Hobson and Mr. Carl D. Ross were other applicants for the position.”
July 6: Prizes awarded in the McLean County News contest were as follows: Dodge touring car to Miss Katherine Kirtley, of Island; trip to Yellowstone National Park to Miss Lottie Beeler, of Calhoun; diamond ring to Mrs. V.K. Swint, of Owensboro; Grafonola (record player) to Miss Zola Dixon, of Calhoun; $50 to Mrs. Z.T. Brooks, of Beech Grove; $25 to Miss Martine Calhoun, of Livermore. (What fabulous gifts for 1922!)
The contest ran in the McLean County News for six weeks. “A great many votes were cast, and much excitement prevailed over the result of the contest.”
Aug. 13: “The McLean County Junior Club camp was closed Friday morning and it was said by the workers in charge to have been one of the most successful camps ever held in Kentucky. Mr. Ford, the county agent, and his assistant, had the grounds and plans so perfectly arranged that there was no trouble or friction of any kind from the very first.
A lighting system was established on the grounds, giving ample illumination for all tents, and grounds. The school house was used for a kitchen and four of the best cooks in the county provided splendid meals for the camp. Large crowds of visitors were in attendance each day, and on Thursday night, it was estimated that there were 2,000 people around the camp fire to witness the circus which was put on by the boys and girls.”
Oct. 17: “Central City will be the scene of a battle royal next Sunday afternoon, when the fast baseball team of that town crosses bats with the Island team, of McLean County. Rivals of the deadliest kind — in sports — the teams last Sunday played an eleven-inning game at Island to a scoreless tie.
“When it is considered that Bob Veach, who trailed only Ty Cobb of the Detroit club for batting honors, although he is now stepping into the ranks of the older players, came from Island years ago, and likely played on the Island team, the ambition to step into his shoes may be seen to advantage.
The players of that community of McLean County also point to the fact that Ray Chapman, the wonder shortstop of Cleveland, who lost his life two years ago, also originated in that neighborhood and often played as a boy around the lots of McLean County. Mrs. Ernest Rowe, of Owensboro, was a schoolmate of Bob Veach, star outfielder and batter on the Tigers in the American League.” (Yes, Bobby Veach was a local guy, played on the Island team, and then hit the big time!)
Nov. 26: “The average woman of McLean County may not know a great deal about scientific cooking, canning and the doing of a few other things peculiar to feminine activities, as would appear to be the impression of our county dads; but when it comes to helping the old man out on the family expenses, she is ‘right there with the goods.’ The women of McLean County delivered this week, up to Thursday morning, to poultry dealers at Calhoun alone, 321 turkeys for which they were paid in spot cash, $1,505.31.”
The Museum and Treasure House are open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and closed on holidays. The Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the Treasure House from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. We are at 540 Main St. (our P.O. Box is 291), Calhoun, and our number is 270-499-5033.
I wish everyone a great week ahead!