Thursday, March 31, 2016

Prudence Ann Gulley

While there are women like Harriet Tubman, Susan B. Anthony, and Sojourner Truth who have rightfully earned their place in history, there are others who have become heroes in their own right. 
In homes across America, there are many females who have quietly made historical contributions to the family’s and communities they served.
One of Bath County’s guiding lights was Prudence Ann Wilson, born September 8, 1925, to Edgar and Mamie Taylor Wilson. She married her sweetheart, Owens Gulley in the early 1950s.
Mrs. Ann Gulley was a leader, a mover and a shaker. She not only taught her children to be self sufficient, well respected adults, she also greatly influenced many of the neighborhood kids as well.
Mrs. Ann’s wisdom, humor and down-to-earth personality continues to live on in the memories of all those who knew and loved her.
Sharpsburg native Mary Beth Lane said there are three things that come to mind when she thinks of Mrs. Ann; she loved the Lord, her church, her family,friends, a good joke, and she was always the first to arrive with a plate of food during times of sorrow or joy.
Nephews, Bruce and Ben Taylor said she was a strong willed , down-to-earth woman who was always in your corner and many a problem was solved on the front porch swing.
Even after her death in 1998, her three children, Lynn Ray, Lu Ann and Nancy utilize the lessons of life learned from their mother.
Her son Lynn Ray Gulley grew up to be a pediatrician and lives in Louisville, Kentucky.
“No one incident jumps out when I think of my mother's influence on my life but there are four things I learned from her through verbal communication and often by example that continue to be an integral part of my life to this day. 
 1)- You can be anything you want in life but you have to be willing to work hard. Dreams come true with hard work!
 2)- Don't buy anything you can't afford. 
 3)- All people deserve your respect. I was raised in the late 50's and the 60's in an environment that didn't always respect people who were different.Whether you were black, white, poor, of a different religion or handicapped she taught me to respect everyone and their beliefs. Imagine how boring life would be if we were all the same.
 4) It is okay to disagree with someone if you felt you were right.
These four things have served me well for 63 years. They were instilled in my life with love, a lot of patience, and when necessary (which was probably more often than I was willing to admit) the wrath of God and Prudence Ann Gulley,” Lynn said.
Daughters Nancy, w ho works at the Sharpsburg Citizen’s Bank and Lu Ann, Deputy Clerk at the Bath County Circuit Clerk’s Office, both live in the community where they grew up and each said they continued their mother’s wisdom when it came to rearing their own children.
Mrs. Ann believed whole heartily that family, friends and community were the staples of a great life and she lived by that rule.
“Mom was a great teacher when it came to treating people right”, Nancy said. “She was a firm believer that everyone deserved our respect. She loved to laugh and have fun. One thing I remember that was awesome; she was the best scary story teller in Sharpsburg! When I was around 9 or ten years old, all the neighbor kids would gather at nights on our front porch and wait for the supper dishes to be done and for mommy to come out and sit on the porch swing to tell them elaborate stories about fire witches and footprints leading up to houses in the snow and things that the kids would soak up in their minds and we're scared to walk home.One day she got a call from one of the parents asking her not to tell such scary stories because both her boys wouldn't sleep in their beds.Mom was always happy to help out with fun community events. She coordinated the Tom Thumb wedding they had at Bethel one year. She taught Sunday school at the Christian church for years. She along with others did many a float for May Day and was part of the planning crew for the big Sharpsburg high school reunion back in the early 90's.One year we made a Jolly Green Giant float, Bruce Taylor was the giant and I was a big red tomato. She loved helping out at school parties and was always there to help out at chili suppers and PTA fundraisers”, Nancy recalled.
Learning to cook and to watch over your neighbors were a couple of things that come to mind when LuAnn remembers her mother teaching her.
“She was a wonderful cook who was one of the first to take food and lend an ear to a family that had lost a loved one. She made sure Nancy and Lynn and I, knew how to cook. We had to learn to make biscuits from scratch, cut up a chicken and make a pie. She wanted us to be self sufficient, take care of ourselves and not be dependent on anyone else”, LuAnn remembered. “She left us a letter for after she passed and in it she said, "Don't argue over material things. Things wear out, love never wears out."  .
She loved people and never met a stranger. She was a girl scout leader with Ms. Elizabeth Reed back in the 1970s. We had a day camp on Marvin Calvert’s farm with a sleepover on the last night.  
She drove an old truck out of there and Ms. Elizabeth was sitting on the bed and bounced right out on the ground.  
She taught us how to cook over a campfire and we earned lots of badges at that camp.  
She was a Sunday school teacher at Sharpsburg Christian church and had so much fun at vacation bible schools. Anywhere she went she had fun. When my son Daniel was in grade school she danced on the stage to the Macarena and all the kids loved it. She and Mary Bruce Wilson went to a fashion show in Lexington and Mary Bruce won a trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. Mommy took her to the show so Mary B took her to Mexico. I drove them to Lexington to meet the group and they kept thinking it was all a big hoax. It ended up being one of the best memories of her life. Mommy was the “Tater town” doctor. She pulled many a tooth, cleaned wounds and was ready to whip a kid into shape if they needed it” LuAnn said.
In addition to being a full time parent, Ann also helped keep the books and answer phone calls for her husband’s business. She also worked as a teller at the Citizen’s Bank of Sharpsburg, and Green Thumb.
Through the memories of her children and grandchildren, the legacy of one of Sharpsburg’s most beloved citizens will live on. Even though Ann Wilson Gulley’s name may not be written in the history books, her contributions continue to serve as a reminder that hard work, self reliance, and the concern for family, and friends will always make for a better society.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Hey, wait, we are those students from another century!

The greatest thing about Face book is the ability to connect with classmates that are scattered all over the country and even across the seas.
In the past few months, there has been much talk about an historical event that my classmates and I took part in many years ago.
Nearly every classmate that attended Bethel Elementary is a member of a private group of friends, and thanks to that group we have resurrected an old memory that we buried back in 1976.
After finding the newspaper clipping my grandmother had saved, I was able to get the story pieced back together.
Well, after all these years most of our memories had become a little fuzzy.
Even with the feature story that was written, I still find there are more details left out of the story, little nuggets of information that only those of us in Mrs. Dickens 7th grade class would remember.
Okay, so the story goes like this.
In the February edition of the Bath County Outlook the headline read: History Lesson; Bethel Students present bicentennial program, collect items for capsule.
Part of the paper is missing so I don’t know who wrote the story and I apologize for that. Below is is exactly how the story was written for the paper.
“What in the world is that thing”? asked a student. “Hey, here’s something funny looking” said another. The students, 58 of them, were seventh graders at the Bethel Elementary School and they were examining some fifty primitive items furnished by W.W. Roschi for their use in a Bicentennial program they would present to the entire school.
IT was the first such student program presented and they had researched and written it all themselves so they were pretty excited about it.
The items they were examining included such rarities as an old black iron cherry pitter, an antique apple-corer, old scales, a grater, pot holders and so forth, all looking very quaint and curious, especially since they were mostly unidentified. The students were required to try and figure out the purpose and name of each object themselves, as their teacher Mrs. Lorraine Dicken had told them before they would be told what the items were.
The program they finally worked out required other researching too, such as costumes and characters and most exciting of all, the ingredients that would go into the capsule. (no idea why the word ingredients were used…haha), that was to be buried in the Bethel Cemetery to perhaps be opened by students of another century. (SAY WHAT!!)
The capsule is scheduled to go to Frankfort in March where it will become a part of Mrs. Julian Carroll’s Bicentennial Exhibit in the Capital Rotunda in April.
Later, sometime in May, it will be buried with a marker that will be made by the students themselves.
The capsule couldn’t be very large, of course, so what went into it must be small and very significant.
The student’s final and proud choices included a testament, flag, name bracelet, money (coins), 4-h symbol, miniature car model, tobacco sample, mood ring, pet-rock, and a letter from the Bath County Agriculture Department.
So, that is how the article was written that appeared in the February 5 edition of the paper.
On the front page of the paper is a photograph of classmates, Doug Toy, Edsel Boyd and James Peter Jones holding a silver tray with all the items that went inside the capsule.
Inside the paper there are more pictures of Rhonda Buckner, Karen Bailey, Judy Robinson, Flossie Issacs, Tammy Reffitt, Selena Cook, Pam Boyd, and me. We are all dressed in period costume and look kind of funny in those bonnets.
Today, at Longview Cemetery in Bethel, on a small knoll beneath a tree, stands a cement marker, and beneath it are the treasures we buried as a class, memories just waiting for those same kids to reopen, not some other kids from another century.
We voted to open the capsule 50 years from the day we buried it, and we also included our predictions for what we thought life would be like in the year 2026.
Can we wait another 25 years to gather as a class and dig up our bicentennial treasures!!
I say, classmates from Bethel Elementary seventh grade, let’s all grab a shovel and go collect those bicentennial memories that belong only to each of us.

Monday, April 16, 2012

They had me at The Homecoming.........

Hey, it's been such a long time since I have
updated my blog.
It could be because of all the time I spend here

I have been a Walton's fan since The Homecoming first aired back in

So, if you are a die hard fan of the Walton's you will love Brenda site too.

Now what would be the best thing ever is for me to be able to attend this years fan reunion in Burbank, CA.
First on my list would be to visit "the house" where I would ask someone to take a picture of me sitting on those iconic front steps.

To be able to meet the cast and especially Earl Hamner, Jr.would be a dream come true.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Past to present tense?

My days as a feature writer seem to have gone by
the wayside. I miss it. I miss telling the stories
of local folks.

Hooray for blogging!! I started this blog when I
was working for the Messenger,
some of you may remember that publication.

Over the weekend I took a fresh look at Kym's Connections
and decided to give my blog a new facelift.
Just maybe, this blog can be revived!!
And just maybe I can continue
writing about small town life so that I can share some
of the stories with you via this blog again.

The wonderful image you see in the background is from a photograph
of Main Street Sharpsburg and looks to be around the 1950s?
My friend Sandra Stone Krajewski is a member
of the Facebook Group, Sharpsburg of Yesteryear
and she submitted the picture.

My header photo is a family snapshot circa 1964-ish.

And so it is my hope to get back to telling some stories about small town life.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Sweet Confections

I am happy that temperatures are still around 40 degrees for now,since I have a few requests for cream candy orders.
So, gotta spend the afternoon cleaning and sanitizing my marble slab because we pour our candy outside.

Our cream candy is made with pure cream and sugar, using only the finest ingredients, a lot of hard learned skill and our own family recipe passed down for nearly 30 years. One pound of candy equals about 27-30 pieces of creamy, sweet indulgence!!
$10.00 per pound.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Old Sharpsburg Cemetery

Old cemeteries are markers of human history and possible links to family we never knew.
They are monuments to the people who once inhabited our communities; they hold valuable resources for historical and genealogical research as well as historical assets that tell about a community’s past.
Yet, these sacred remnants of the past are often abandoned or neglected and are in much need of being restored.
In doing so, we all regain a sense of our own place in time and history.
In my hometown of Sharpsburg is an old abandoned grave yard known as The Old Sharpsburg Cemetery.
As a child in the early 1970s I remember the Carl House and the old Black Smith Shop that occupied the grounds adjacent to the cemetery. Even back then I remember how the cemetery was hidden by thick brush and undergrowth.
Last year I learned that someone had taken an interest in the old cemetery with headstones dating back to the 1700s.
I was thrilled to know such an important piece of our local history was going to be preserved. The goal of this project is to identify, protect, restore and preserve as many graves as possible.
According to history on the 9th day of August in the year 1849 Robert F. Caldwell sold Lot 51 in the City of Sharpsburg for $25 for the purpose of a burying ground to the Trustees of Sharpsburg including J H Camplain, William Peck, J. Allen, Joseph Stephens, William F Matholias, HE Guerrant, DF Tidings and JP Mc Nary. Of these trustees, JH Camplain, JP Mc Nary, and Joseph Stephens along with family members are buried here.
The Old Sharpsburg Cemetery history is found on pages 363-4 in 'History of Bath County' by John A. Richards, Southwest Printers, 1961. According to Richards, the cemetery was established in 1832 during the cholera epidemic.
The first recorded burial was Mrs. Jonathan Camplin with her body interred by her husband in the lot that he then owned. We have found the first burial to be in 1818. Burials continued here until 1958. These burials include prominent citizens of the time and Veterans of the Civil War.
• Dr. Wright is listed as one of the first burials, a victim of cholera.
• Joshua Barnes a Physician born in Bath Co.
• Elijah E Webb first cousin 1x removed of Daniel Boone. James Webb, Elijah’s father, and Daniel Boone were first cousins and neighbors through childhood, with visits between the families documented in Daniel Boone's remembrances.
• Childs Wren, son of Jon Wren, prominent land owner.
• Harvey Ashby a veteran of the Civil War. US Colored Infantry
• James Gray Boyd and wife Elizabeth Perkins Boyd with children William A. (innkeeper) and Mary Jane from KY.
• Joseph and Jane Caldwell, relatives of Robert F Caldwell, owner of the land.
• JP McNary, Esq. A lawyer from PA. His wife Elizabeth C. from KY. Both age 41.
• Benjamin Ogden, tailor from KY and his wife Eliza J from KY. Children: Virgil, William (Willie), Benjamin F, Lucy, and Henry. Willie found in cemetery with no dates is age 5 in 1850.
• William S Sharp a physician from KY and his wife Mary also from KY. Children: Howard age 4, Joshua age 1, and William age 3 mos.
• Sara Sharp age 17 probably daughter of Mariah Sharp.
• Thomas Summers MD, farmer from KY, and his wife Margaret I from KY. Children Mary, Elizabeth, Virginia, Paulina, Thomas and James Eli, also a dau born in 1851 Margaret Ann. Possibly another child Lea Allen born in 1855.
• Margaret Potts Smathers consort of Andrew Smathers and Andrew Smathers. Children: Emma who married Hezekiah Crouch, Amelia Matilda “Mary” who married Nicholas A. Dimmitt. Andrew Smathers is a Freemason.
• Hugh Little from Ireland. Age 50 worked as a clerk for Mr. Ashby.
• Samuel McMichael was a hotel keeper in Sharpsburg. His wife Mary A Boyd is buried here. She is the daughter of J G and Elizabeth Perkins Boyd who are also buried here.
• Harriett McCarty Ashby- dau of George McCarty and Patsy Thompson McCarty. Housewife and Fancy domestic Cooking. Mother of 12! Wife of Harvey Ashby, veteran of the Civil War.
• Mary Polly Moffett sister of the Reverend James Moffett.
• Joseph Darrell veteran of the Civil War. Civil War-US 13th U.S. Colored Heavy Artillery
• Joseph Stephens, postmaster and veteran of the Civil War Regiment: 7th Cavalry Regiment KY
and his wife Elizabeth.
• James Johnson member of the Independent Order of the Oddfellows.
There are many others buried here, marked and unmarked, prominent in their own right.
In early April of 2010 John Small and his wife Michelle began the restoration process to clean up what is believed to be the towns original cemetery.
John and his wife’s interest in the old cemetery began with the search for the burial site of John’s great, great, great grandfather, George Small.
“We have been told that it was the original cemetery in Sharpsburg. After the new cemetery was deeded, then this cemetery became primarily a cemetery for African Americans,” John said. “We are in the process of trying to uncover headstones and grave markers. We are documenting the placement and, of course, leaving the stones where they are found. Hopefully, we will eventually restore it to a suitable resting place for those buried there. Maybe George will be here.”
Johns love for family history was passed down to him by his father.
“Our lineage can be traced to George Small and John Caughey, who both fought in the Revolutionary War and, along another branch, to John and Pricilla Alden, who were among the original Pilgrim,” John said. John Caughey settled in Nicholas County as did Lottimore Hayden, an ancestor and descendent of John Alden. George Small, whose father emigrated from Germany (Schmahl) settled in Bath County in what is now Sharpsburg. His son, Moses, and many of his decedents settled in Nicholas County and later moved to Tipton, Indiana and Tipton, Iowa.
Johns father,Herbert William Small was born at Ruddell's Mills in Bourbon County on November 20th, 1918, the eldest of six, reared on the family farms in Needmore and Crayton, Nicholas County, and settled in Carlisle, county seat of Nicholas County. He served in the US Army during WWII, stateside and in the Pacific Theater from 1939 thru 1945. He married Mary June Thompson January 20, 1943 and reared a family of four. Herbert joined his father-in-law, Luther Thompson, in the floral business in 1946, now Small's Florist and Greenhouses, Carlisle, KY. He died at Central Baptist Hospital, Lexington, KY, May 1st, 2008, due to complications following a fall at home two days previously.
He was predeceased by his father and mother, Elva and Nona Small, brother James and Edward, and daughter Susan Lewis, wife of Joe Lewis. He was followed a month later on June 10, 2008, by his wife, Mary June Small. He is survived by two sisters, Robbie Jenkins, Indianapolis, and Peggy Harris, Milford, OH and one brother, David Small, Louisville. He is also survived by one son, John Small, Campton, KY and Arlington, TX and two daughters, June Tincher, Carlisle, KY and Cathy Mathis, Lawrenceburgh, KY.”
In the past year John and Michelle along with Sharpsburg Mayor Dorothy Clemons, Charles Jones, Chairperson of the Old Sharpsburg Cemetery Task Force, Councilwoman Thelma June Gulley, and several volunteers who are residents of Sharpsburg, restoration efforts are well underway.
To date over 700 graves have been staked out, 100 headstones recorded and lots of dense undergrowth has been cleared away.
For a more thorough list and photographs of the restoration in process please go to
Family Names found so far at the cemetery are as follows:
Sharpsburg and Bethel have lots of wonderful history just waiting to be uncovered.
Each week I hope to bring our readers even more tidbits of local history as well as interesting feature stories about the citizens who live and work in the little town I will always be proud to call home.