Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What Am I Working On Wednesday?

Borrowing this blog post title from National Archives site.

Researching today, and past two days, transportation in Appalachia Kentucky in the 1880s.  Should finish this up today.


When an ancestor moves a significant distance, as my great grandfather John Dean did in 1885, it's natural to wonder how that ancestor got there.  Remember, no automobiles.  The choices:

  • Horse and wagon  
  • Horseback.
  • Train, steam engine
  • River, flat boats, barges, steamboats

The 1870's initiated a new era in Kentucky's transportation history. Closer markets, cheaper goods, and expanded shopping facilities combined to produce the "Age of Railroading." Between 1870 and 1900 railway mileage tripled. The Louisville & Nashville, Mobile & Ohio, Illinois Central, Cincinnati-Southern, Chesapeake & Ohio and Norfolk & Western plus a host of intrastate lines vied with each other in various regions of the state... No state highway system existed in Kentucky, and the counties had the responsibility for highway construction and maintenance. These roads, many of which were toll pikes, were so poor that residents traveled them only as a last resort; the era of better highways in Kentucky awaited the coming of the automobile.  
The railroad greatly altered the lifestyles of all but the most isolated Kentuckians by stimulating the industrial development of the state.~ http://www.ket.org/kentuckystory/program8.htm

I'm thinking the combination of riverboat and train, including a little walking in between, is how a lot of the people traveled in the 1880s.

John, age 20, was traveling from Orangeburg, Kentucky, the last home he lived in with his parents, to Casey County, Kentucky, 134 miles south.

What did he do there?  He married his first wife.

Fifteen years later, he married my Great Grandmother Nellie.  My Grandfather Frank was three years old by the time John got the divorce from Delila, his first wife.

And so started the life of my rogue Grandfather Frank Dean.

What I'm wondering today is, when John traveled to Casey County in 1885, did he ask to borrow the family horse and buggy from his father Elisha?



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