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Writer Gives Look at Days Gone By

Posted Thursday, January 10, 2013, at 9:13 AM


"Clay County Courier," Corning

Boydsville News

The Courier--

Gentlemen:--I'll try to pen you a few lines for publication, and if this batch misses the waste basket, I'll come again weekly.

The farmers are all pretty well through gathering, as the crops were cut short; but most all have gathered a sufficient amount to make it through another year, if they will economize.

Prof. C. E. Holifield, our teacher, is getting along fine with his school. Most all the children seem to have renewed zeal, and he has put more enthusiasm with them than our teachers heretofore.

John Owens has a fine lot of new boots and shoes now, as is certainly doing well.

C.W. Bradshaw has a new supply of Xmas goods and is making a grand display of them.

D.S. Owens and Green Williams, who had spent the last twelve months in Oklahoma, have returned to Boydsville where they say they will remain until the death angel calls. Gentlemen, that the way of most all who reside here.

Mrs. Jim Carmon is still improving.

Bill Romine made a flying trip to Piggott Wednesday.

Dr. Blackguard of Knobel was seen on our streets a few days ago.

Jno. Hughes, who has been dangerously sick, is recovering.

We have been blessed with unusually good health for the past twelve months, and hope our community will be as fortunate the ensuing year.

Success to The Courier and its many happy readers.

Bill Jones

Boydsville, Arkansas, December, 1909, 104 years ago! Isn't it exciting that we have a surviving newspaper article to relive our area history from that long ago?

Cord E. Holifield, age 23 at the time, was the son of Bascom B. Matilda Lamb Holifield, one of several prominent Holifield families that migrated from western Kentucky to Boydsville in the 1860s. Prof. Cord was married to Etta Burkhead.

47-year-old John R. Owens and wife, Tiberia, owned a mercantile business in Boydsville. John was also an early settler, coming from the same area of western Kentucky as did the Holifields. John Owens' parents were Frances Simpson and Jesse Owens. When Mr. Owens didn't return from fighting in the Civil War, Frances married William H. Watts, moved to Boydsville, and they ran one of the first hotels there in the 1870s.

44-year-old Charles W. Bradshaw was one of Boydsville's leading citizens. His mercantile business was housed in the old county courthouse in 1909. Mr. Bradshaw was also the postmaster, and the post office was in the same building. Tragically, a major fire destroyed this historical building in 1910. (Does anyone have a picture of the Boydsville courthouse that we could copy?)

48-year-old Dave S. Owens was a brother of John R. Owens, and lived in Rector in his later years. He had been married since 1880 to Mary Alice Vaden. Your writer doesn't have a clue to jobs that Green Williams and Mr. Owens had out in Oklahoma, but I imagine that Green's wife, Ida, and Mrs. Owens stayed back in Boydsville during those 12 months.

Mrs. Mary Bradshaw married James F. Carmon in 1896, when she was 50 and he was 41. Mary was quite a bit older than Mr. Carmon, and they were married about 19 years before she died in 1915.

William C. Romine was 64-year-old when he made his flying trip to Piggott in December 1909. Perhaps he still needed to buy a Christmas present for his wife Mary. Mary was 20 years younger than William C., but died in 1914, six years before Mr. Romine died in 1920. Bill Romine of Rector is a great-grandson of this couple.

I will finish our history lesson regarding some of the folks that lived at Boydsville in 1909 by sharing that 49-year-old John W. Hughes did not die in 1909. He and his wife, Mollie, had lived in the area for only a couple of years before, having migrated from Kentucky. John Hughes lived a long life, not dying until 1941.

Your writer would appreciate any further information.

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