Maysville Kentucky Blog

The Maysville Kentucky Blog is your guide to the beautiful and historic small town of Maysville Kentucky, snuggled into the rolling hills along the Ohio River. We scour the web and local media for news from and about the area, and present a daily digest for our readers. Everyone is encouraged to participate by leaving their own thoughts and comments.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Moneyless Man (1875) by Henry T. Stanton

Henry T. Stanton was the editor for two early Maysville papers and contributed many articles to periodicals printed during the 1850s before becoming an Adjutant General under John C. Breckinridge and John Hunt Morgan of the Confederate Army. In the last years of his life, he devoted much of his time to writing poetry. In 1875, a man traveling through Maysville Kentucky asked Stanton to write for him “a poem that would draw tears from any audience.” The following is what he wrote...

The Moneyless Man

Is there no secret place on the face of the earth,
Where charity dwelleth, where virtue has birth?
Where bosoms in mercy and kindness will heave,
When the poor and the wretched shall ask and receive?
Is there no place at all where a knock from the poor
Will bring a kind angel to open the door?
Ah, search the wild world wherever you can,
There is no open door for a Moneyless Man!

Go look in yon hall where the chandelier’s light
Drives off with its splendor the darkness of night,
Where the rich-hanging velvet in shadowy fold
Sweeps gracefully down with its trimmings of gold,
And the mirrors of silver take up and renew,
In long lighted vistas, the ‘wildering view:
Go there! at the banquet, and find, if you can,
A welcoming smile for a Moneyless Man.

Go look in yon church of the cloud-reaching spire,
Which gives to the sun his same look of red fire,
Where the arches and columns are gorgeous within,
And the walls seem as pure as a soul without sin;
Walk down the long aisles, see the rich and the great
In the pomp and the pride of their worldly estate;
Walk down in your patches, and find, if you can,
Who opens a pew to a Moneyless Man!

Go, look in the banks, where Mammon has told
His hundreds and thousands of silver and gold;
Where, safe from the hands of the starving and poor,
Lies, pile upon pile, of the glittering ore!
Walk up to their counters-oh, there you may stay
Till your limbs grow old, till your hairs grow gray,
And you’ll find at the banks not one of the clan
With money to lend to a Moneyless Man!

Go look to yon judge, in his dark-flowing gown,
With the scales wherein law weigheth equity down,
Where he frowns on the weak and smiles on the strong,
And punishes right whilst he justifies wrong;
Where juries their lips to the Bible have laid,
To render a verdict they’ve already made;
Go there, in the court-room, and find, if you can,
Any law for the cause of a Moneyless Man!

Then go to your hovel! no raven has fed
The wife who has suffered too long for her bread;
Kneel down by her pallet, and kiss the death-frost
From the lips of the angel your poverty lost;
Then turn in your agony upward to God,
And bless, while it smites you, the chastening rod,
And you’ll find, at the end of your life’s little span,
There’s a welcome above for a Moneyless Man!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Lorimer Johnston, Filmaker From Maysville Kentucky

Though maybe not as well known today as some of our other Maysville Kentucky celebrities, Lorimer Johnston (1858-1941) was a writer, actor, and director during the early decades of the 1900s.

Though he has a huge list of credits to his name over his thirty year Hollywood career (including 29 films he acted in, 28 he directed, and 9 he wrote), as a fan of old Bela Lugosi horror films, I choose to point out that he had a small part in the 1939 film Son of Frankenstein.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Limestone Creek's Part in the American Revolution

Limestone Creek (405 miles) occupies a large space in Western story, for so insignificant a stream. It is now not over a rod in width, and at no season can it be over two or three. One finds it with difficulty along the mill-strewn shore of Maysville, Ky., the modern outgrowth of the Limestone village of pioneer days. Limestone, settled four years before Marietta or Cincinnati, was long Kentucky's chief port of entry on the Ohio; immigrants to the new state, who came down the Ohio, almost invariably booked for this point, thence taking stage to Lexington, and travelers in the early day seldom passed it by unvisited. But years before there was any settlement here, the valley of Limestone Creek, which comes gently down from low-lying hills, was regarded as a convenient doorway into Kentucky. When (1776) George Rogers Clark was coming down the river from Pittsburg, with powder given by Patrick Henry, then governor of Virginia, for the defence of Kentucky settlers from British-incited savages, he was chased by the latter, and, putting into this creek, hastily buried the precious cargo on its banks. From here it was cautiously taken overland to the little forts, by relays of pioneers, through a gauntlet of murderous fire.

- From On the Storied Ohio, 1903

George Rogers Clark was the older brother of William Clark (Lewis and Clark Expedition) and was one of the great American military heroes of the American Revolution.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

The Cox Building, Never a Masonic Temple?

Special thanks to Ernie Parnell at the Homefront Cafe for the background information for this article.

Recently, the City of Maysville Kentucky bought the Cox Bulding on the corner of Market and Third Streets downtown so they could keep it from falling into disrepair and possibly use it for city offices, tourism, etc, although no concrete plans are in place. Reportedly, they paid $200,000 for the landmark historical building.

Also known as the Masonic Lodge, it was built in 1886 by former Kentucky Lt. Governor, William H. Cox. Cincinnati architects, Craspey & Brown, were contracted to construct this building as well as the old Maysville High School. It was built in the Queen Anne Style, which was popular in the late 1800s and was marked by fine brickwork, tile-hung upper stories, corner towers, and deeply shadowed entrances among other features. It was built out of pressed brick and red Bedford stone trim. Some of the cooler features of the structure include an upper floor ballroom with a beautiful chandelier, gargoyles adorning the roof, and the incredible stained glass work on the front of the building. Scattered throughout the structure are the All Seeing Eye, Hammer, Hour Glass of Time, and the Red Cross built into the turret's tiling. These are all symbols of the Masons. Interestingly, the Red Cross on the front turret doesn't appear in older photographs of the building, indicating that it was added at a later time. It is believed to have cost $100,000 to build.

Throughout it's history it has held many different businesses including the old post office and Kilgus Pharmacy, which was a popular hangout for teenagers when it was in business.

Very interestingly, however, is that according to legend, it was never actually used for the purpose it was designed for, that is, being a meeting place for the Masons. According to some local historians, Mr. Cox built the building as a gift for the Masons if they promised to vote his son into the Masonic Order. Apparently, there was a falling out and Mr. Cox's son was not considered worthy enough to become a Mason, and so the building was never given to them.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Herb Farm @ Strodes Run

We were talking recently about the fallout from the tobacco industry and how many farmers in Kentucky are looking to other means of generating new revenues (See: Lavender Hills of Kentucky from our July 2006 Issue). Agritourism is one of these methods for improving the viability of small farms and rural communities. What adult isn't interested, at least a little, in how their food is produced? What child wouldn't want to visit a farm and see a live duck, pet a goat, ride a donkey, or maybe pick fruit right off the tree? It's a wholesome, inexpensive vacation that the entire family can enjoy.

One local farm takes agritourism seriously, The Herb Farm @ Strodes Run. Not only is it the first certified organic farm in Maysville Kentucky — as in avoiding chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and the other things that make you glow in the dark — but it is also has many services available for the curiosity seeker looking to learn more about agriculture.

From The Herb Farm @ Strodes Run web site:

Our 4,000 square foot herb barn features Sweet Annie Cafe', catered meeting space for your gathering, antique shop and a regional farmers market featuring fresh herbs, produce, crafts, honey, jellies, jams.

We offer educational farm tours for adults and attentive children. Some of the things you can see and learn about on the tours include: Historic Lashbrook cemetery, ancient Indian trail to Blue Licks State Park, horses, mules, donkeys, goats, Molly the Scottish Highlander cow, honey bees, dogs, cats and area wildlife.

You can learn more about The Herb Farm at their web site: I think I will head out there myself to see if "Molly the Scottish Highlander" cow does indeed wear a kilt : )

Friday, September 01, 2006

Video File: Something Lost in Translation

I could write something about this, but I think it'd spoil it.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Maysville Kentucky: Six Degrees From Billy the Kid

John William Poe was born on October 17, 1850 and was raised on his grandfather's farm in Maysville Kentucky. By the age of 15, he had developed a yearning to go West and his travels took him to Missouri, Kansas, Texas, and eventually the New Mexico territory. He was a buffalo hunter, cattleman, stock detective for Charles Goodnight, lawman in Texas and New Mexico, and banker. John William Poe married Sophie Alberding on May 5, 1883. Their only child lived a few hours.

While serving as Sheriff of Lincoln County, New Mexico, Poe became friends with Pat Garrett and John Chisum. His most famous experience occurred when he accompanied Garrett to Pete Maxwell's ranch near Fort Sumner. Garrett went inside. Waiting outside, Poe saw William Bonney (Billy the Kid) enter the ranch house, though he did not recognize him. Moments later, he heard the gunfire when Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Pat Garrett. Later he wrote several articles for newspapers and books about the death of Billy the Kid and his experiences.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Suggestion Box

Hello folks. Today there will be no interesting facts about Maysville or anything like that. Today's post is all about you and what you want. As far as we know, the Maysville Kentucky Blog is the only blog in Maysville all about Maysville, all the time. We've been building some neat new features here behind the scenes and plan to roll them out very soon. But before we do that, we wanted to give the reader base a chance to speak up and tell us what they want to see here in the near future at this site. We want to see if what we think you want matches what you actually want.

So here's what you do. Send an email to the following address with any rants, raves, or ideas you may have. What have you liked in the past, what would you like to see more of, that sort of thing. Is the site easy to use? Do you have trouble using it? Is there a new feature you think it absolutely must have... Anything you can think of. You can, of course, send anonymous emails telling us off. That's fine too : )

So drop us a line in our virtual suggestion box. If what you're looking for is compelling enough, you just may see it here in the near future. I won't tell you what we've already got line up (it's all top secret hush, hush). But ultimately it's you that has control over what you see here. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Old Washington Stone Pavement Photograph


It's difficult to put a date on this photograph, but it's obviously of the Old Washington Kentucky main street. The stone pavement seen in this picture is said to date back at least 150 years and still exist in many areas along the main street today.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Nick Clooney in The Encyclopedia of Northern KY

An exciting new project is currently under way. It's called The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky, and it's slated to be published in 2007 by the University Press of Kentucky. Claimed to be the definitive guide to the history of Northern Kentucky, it will have 1,200 pages with over 2,100 entries. One of those entries (there's reportedly several on Maysville Kentucky and Mason County) is about local celebrity Nick Clooney.

Each Monday The Cincinnati Post prints excerpts from the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky. Today's entry was Nick Clooney's, written by his wife, Nina Clooney.

Due to the necessity for their mother to find work in Cincinnati, Nick and his sisters Rosemary Clooney and Betty stayed in Maysville with their Grandmother Guilfoyle most of the time.

The children listened to radio broadcasts on Cincinnati station WLW, as well as other radio stations, and fell in love with the wonderful radio voices that spoke and sang to them. In their teens, they followed their dreams: Rosemary and Betty left Maysville to pursue successful singing careers and Nick took a job at age 16 at Maysville radio station WFTM, which launched a long and distinguished career in broadcasting.

The Full Nick Clooney Entry

More about The Encyclopedia of Northern Kentucky

Past Issues