Organization and History of the Boone County Historical Society
Written in 1952
In January of 1950, Mr. A. M. Yealey called at the home of Mrs. Virginia Goodridge and Mrs. Elizabeth Goodridge Nestor to discuss with them the formation of a historical society for Boone County. He stated that he had talked with Mr. and Mrs. William Fitzgerald and Mr. Lucian Bradford about this same subject. Mrs. Goodridge extended an invitation to the group to come to her home and consider plans for the organization of a society. The following Friday night Mr. A. M. Yealey, Mr. and Mrs. William Fitzgerald, and Mr. Lucian Bradford met at Mrs. Goodridge's home in Florence. After some discussion it was decided to have an open meeting one month later and to extend an invitation to the public to attend.
Thirty-one residents of Boone County, Kentucky, met at the Florence Town Hall on Friday, February 17, 1950, to consider the formation of a Boone County Historical Society for the purpose of preserving the history and folk-lore of the community. Mr. Lucian Bradford presided over the meeting and Mr. William Fitzgerald acted as secretary.
Mr. A. M. Yealey opened the meeting by relating some of his experiences during the fifty years he had been gathering historical material in the county. He read several clippings from early newspapers about life in the community during pioneer times.
Each person present told some story having historical interest. Mrs. J. P. Brothers of Limaburg, was awarded a copy of the Life of Daniel Boone as a prize for telling the most interesting story.
It was generally agreed that the Boone County Historical Society should be organized and the date of March 17 was set for the organization meeting.
The chairman appointed Mrs. Elizabeth Goodridge Nestor, Mr. John Gault, and Mrs. J. P. Brothers, and Mrs. Harold Conner a committee to present a list of candidates for the offices of the society.
On March 17, 1950, the following officers were elected: President, Mr. Lucian Bradford; Vice-president, Mr. A. M. Yealey; Secretary, Mr. William Fitzgerald; Treasurer, Mrs. Harold Conner; Historian, Mrs. Olga Braun.
Miss Mary Rector, of Petersburg, agreed to present a paper on "Historic Petersburg" at the first regular meeting of the society on April 21.
At the meeting on April 21 it was agreed that annual dues be agreed upon at one dollar a year. Miss Mary Rector read a most interesting paper on Petersburg. It was agreed that a copy of all papers read before the society be included in the minutes of that meeting.
On May 19, Mr. John Crigler, of Burlington, read a paper on the History of the Bullittsville-Hebron Community. The Chairman reported that he and Mr. W. N. Long had secured a limb from walnut tree on Burlington Pike known as Hangman's Tree and that Dr. John A Caldwell of Burlington had agreed to make: a gavel of it for use by the presiding officer of the society. The Secretary, presented membership cards to be issued to members as dues are paid.
The meeting on June 16 was held in the Court House in Burlington. Mr. Lucian Bradford read a paper on the “Life of John Pendleton Gaines.” This paper had been written by Mr. A. M. Yealey.
The program for the meeting on July 17 was devoted to making plans for coming meetings. Mrs. Elizabeth Goodridge Nestor read four of Mr. A. M. Yealey's articles on early life in the county. It was agreed that there should be no meeting in August.
Mr. William Fitzgerald provided the program on September 15. He outlined the procedure by which a person goes about searching for information for the establishment of his family history. Charts were given the members upon which they might record their family records. He explained how Court House Records could be used and told about the books and libraries available to students of genealogy.
On October 21 the society met at the homeof Mr. and Mrs. J. P. Brothers in Limaburg. Mrs. Ora Tanner, Mrs. Sadie Tanner and Mrs. J. P. Brothers presented papers on the history of the Limaburg Community.
On November 15, Mrs. Olga Braun presented a paper on the early history of Florence and the Florence Town Hall. She referred to an issue if the Times-Star for November 4, 1929, which carried a feature story about Mr. John Uri Lloyd. The Secretary read the deed under which the Florence Town Hall property was transferred to the Trustees of the City of Florence. Mr. Al Becker, a member of the Florence Board of Trustees was present and played recordings of a program recently presented by radio station WLW on the life of John Uri Lloyd.
Unfavorable weather prevented a meeting of the society in December.
On January 19, 1951, Mr. Louis J. von Walden, professor of Geology at Holmes High School, in Covington, was the speaker. He gave a discussion of the geologic formation of the northern Kentucky area. He described the glacial invasion and its effect upon the rivers of the present Ohio valley.
The Secretary reported that the society had been presented with a fire-proof safe in which it might preserve its books and records. This gift came from Mr. J. B. Sayers,of Florence.
The February meeting was not held because of weather conditions.
On March 16, 1951, Mrs. Lucille W. Jones, a teacher in the Florence school, read a paper entitled "A Short History of Stringtown on the Pike."
On April 20, the society was presented with a gavel made by Dr. John A. Caldwell from a limb of Hangman’s Tree. Miss Frances Sebree, a teacher in the Florence school, read a paper on the "Life of John Uri Lloyd". The society acknowledged receipt of a complete file of the "Stringtown Christian" a monthly publication of the Florence Christian Church.
On March 18, Mrs. Harry Mitchell, a teacher in Holmes High School in Covington, read a paper on "Bluegrass."
On June 22 the society met in Petersburg and visited the library recently established there by Mr. E. Y. Chapin.
On July 20 the society met at the home of Mrs. Schuyler T. Lockwood on Banklick Street in Florence. Mrs. Lockwood outlined the history of the Piatt family from 1685 to the present time. She exhibited many heirlooms including a sword used by Jacob Piatt during the Revolutionary War.
The date of the August meeting coincided with the date of the Boone County Pair. For this reason no meeting was held in August.
On September 21 Mr. William Fitzgerald read a paper on "General Zebulon Pike." General Pike's wife was Clarissa Brown who lived and is buried in North Bend on the property of Mrs. Bernard Southgate. The Chairman appointed a Program Committee consisting of Mrs. J. P. Brothers, Mrs. William Fitzgerald, and Mr. A. M. Yealey.
On October 19 Mr. Lucian Bradford read papers on "Big Bone Spring" and "The Destruction of a Mill During the Civil War." These papers had been written by Mr. A. M. Yealey.
On November 16 Mrs. Elizabeth Goodridge Nestor read a paper on "The Ohio River Valley: Yesterday and Today." Mr. Kenneth Kipfer told of his interest in steamboat traffic on the Ohio river and of some of the famous boats built at Cincinnati. Attention was called to a series of articles currently appearing in the Boone County Recorder on the history of Boone County's pioneer families. These articles are written by Mr. W. C. Barrickman of Austin, Texas. Mr. Barrickman is a native Kentuckian and is connected with severalBoone County Families.
December and January meetings were not held because of unfavorable weather.
On February 15, 1952, Miss Kaye Chandler Smith, of Union, Kentucky, presented a paper on the "History of the Huey Family." A photographer was present and took pictures of the officers and members of the society. The Program Committee stated that at the March meeting Mrs. Mable G. Sayre would tell the story of her "First Sixty-three Years in Boone County. " The Secretary stated that he was making plans to publish the papers presented before the society duringthe past two years in book form so that the members might have them for their libraries and that copies might be sent to libraries throughout the state. The Secretary called attention to the fact that the Boone County Recorder, The Walton Advertiser, the Times-Star, the Post, and the Enquirer had been most generous of space for the society's news. All the papers that have been sent to the newspapers have been published in one or more of them.
Attention was called to the society's library. Although it now has less than a dozen books in it, the library has been promised a number ofbooks on Boone County history.
The Boone County Historical Society has been the instrument for arousing interest in county and family history. Attendance at its meetings averages about twenty-five. About half of the members have contributed to the programs and others have expressed intention to write up some bit of history of folklore that has almost been forgotten.
The membership list follows:
Mrs. J. P. Brothers, Mrs. Edna Berkshire, Mrs. Olga M. Braun, Mrs. B. F. Bedinger, Miss Rosella Busemeyer, Miss Rita Busemeyer, Mr. Lucian Bradford, Mrs. Maude Bennett, Mr. and Mrs. Roy Butler, Mr. and Mrs. Harold Conner, Mrs. F. L. Collins, Mrs. L. S. Chambers, Mr. John Crigler, Dr. John A. Caldwell, Mr. F. R. Conner, Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Coyle, Miss Frances M. Conley, Judge and Mrs. C. L. Cropper, Mrs. Jennie Deans, Mr. and Mrs. Albert Dringenburg, Mr. and Mrs. William Fitzgerald, Mrs. May Harrison, Mrs. Estelle Huey, Mr. James W. Huey, Mrs. Lucille Jones, Mrs. George I. Jones, Mrs. W. H. Jones, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth E. Elpfer, Mr. W. N. Long, Mrs. John P. Lockwood, Mrs. Martha Piatt Lockwood, Mrs. J. A. Logan, Miss Ethel Marquis, Mr. W. N. McCrander Mrs. ElizabethGoodridge Nestor, Mrs. Eva Osborn, Miss Lucille Rucker, Mrs. W. O. Rector, Miss Mary Rector, Mr. Walter Rybolt, Mrs. Theodore Reinhart, Mrs. Mabel Sayre, Miss Frances Sebree, Mr. A. E. Stephens, Mrs. Elmer Scherf, Mrs. Fanny Scott, Mrs. Bernice D. Snyder, Miss Linda Stephenson, Miss Kaye Chandler Smith, Miss Claudette Scherf, Mr. and Mrs. Rufus Tanner, Mrs. Lucille Tanner, Mrs. Ora Tanner, Miss Marguerite Tanner, Dr. K. L.Tanner, Mr. Charles G. Talbert, Mrs. Janet Brothers Wolff, Mrs. J. B. Walton Mr. Victor Walton, Mr. A. M. Yealey.