Breckinridge County, Kentucky
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|BRECKINRIDGE COUNTY, KENTUCKY|
|AREA COMMUNTIES OF THE PAST AND PRESENT|
Harned lies in the geographic center of our county. It is
four miles east of Hardinsburg on Highway U. S. 60. Around
Harned lies some of the best farm land in Breckinridge County and Harned has produced some of our countys most progressive citizens.
The earliest land owner to live in this vicinity was Nicholas
Scott. Mr. Scott was born in Virginia in 1789, and came to
Breckinridge County in 1800. He was married to Miss Mary Pate. Their log home is still standing east of Harned on Forest Davis farm
and the land has never been out of the family. Mr. Scott had eight children. Some of his descendants still live in the community.
He died in 1846 and is buried in the family cemetery.
In the early years of our county, Mr. Hopkins Otey Wales, settled
the area between Harned and Garfield, which at the time, and
the Civil War, was known as the Prince of Wales. Mr. Wales owned about 2,000 acres of land on both sides of U. S. Highway 60 and was
centered about where Dead Mans Curve is now.
As early as 1816, Mr. Wale operated a stage coach station there
and it was still in operation at the time of the Civil War.
Mr. Wales, who was the fourth generation grandfather of Louise Moorman Hook, brought with him to this section, several slaves.
These slaves of Mr. Wales were of superior quality.
In 1816, when Mr. Thomas Lincoln and his family were on their
trek from Hodginsville to Indiana, night overtook them at
the Prince of Wales. Mr. Lincoln, at the time, was almost destitute.
The spent the night at the Inn for which Mr. Lincoln paid his way
by splitting wood. At this time Little Abe was only
7 years old. There was not room for him at the supper table, so he was sent to the kitchen to eat with the slaves, but not so, the slaves
would not sit with that poor white trash, so Abe was obliged to sit in a corner alone.
Mr. Tom Lincoln spent another night in this Inn when he came back
to Kentucky to get his second wife, Mrs. Sarah Bush Johnson,
who had been reared in the Fort at Hardinsburg and later married and moved to Hardin County.
Another early member of this community was Mose Payne, son of
John Payne, who came from England and settled in Virginia. Mose
Payne came to Breckinridge County in 1834, and settled in the
Locust Hill community. He married Miss Judith Beard and had
ten children. Miss Virginia Payne, daughter of Lum Payne and Elizabeth Scott, was born in Harned in 1886. She is still alive and
alert and is related to most of the citizens in Harned today.
Henry Harned came from Virginia and settled in the Custer
community but moved to Harned a few years after the Civil War.
It was he who gave the right of way and ground for the depot when the railroad came through the community in 1890, at it was for him that
the town was named. In 1908, he and most of his family moved to Oklahoma.
Among the early families in this community, in addition to those
already mentioned, are the Macys, Weatherfords, Moormans,
Davises, McCoys, Wales, Gruns, Blacks, Tabors, Bruington, and Driskells.
The railroad track ran north of, but paralleled to U. S. 60
Highway. The old depot still stands on a back street next
Ephesus road. The spur, or side track, ran on the south side of the main line and reached from the present Coleman Payne property to the
east to where Stanley Blair now lives on the west; a distance of about a half mile.
Harned, like Glen Dean, did not exist prior to 1890, as a town.
But with the railroad through the community and its location
at the base of the ridge, running between the two watersheds, North Fork and Tuels Creek, it was soon to become a thriving town.
A profitable lumber business soon was in progress, with the Dean Tie Company of Glen Dean, buying most of the ties and lumber.
As late as 1880, the land from Harned to Garfield was mostly all
in big timber. This might be better understood by the story
of Mr. W. T. Macy, who lived in Harned and was walking to Garfield to visit his father. He got lost in the forest and found his way home about dark. The majority of this timber found its way to market in the early nineteen hundreds by way of the railroad, whether hewn into cross ties or sawed into
building material for houses and barns. It isnt possible to over accentuate the value of the railroad through Breckinridge County at this early
date. There were no roads, trucks or automobiles. The people who loved away from the rivers, where water transportation was
available, were virtually marooned. Prior to the eighteen nineties, all farm commodities were hauled either to Cloverport or Stephensport over
narrow, rough dirt roads whether by ox cart or wagon and mules. Either way was slow and painful. In the late eighteen hundreds and
early nineteen hundreds, with a modern and constant means of reaching market, all the forest on level terrain gave way to cleared fields and a modern
farming community was in the making.
With more produce of every type being produced, business places
began springing up in Harned. Old German Town, which stood
on the road toward Locust Hill, disappeared completely, and Locust Hill itself, has barely managed to maintain its 1890 population.
About 1880, a school house was built near Ephesus on the Davis
property. This was a one-room frame building with homemade
furnishings. Along each side of the house under the windows was a long bench where children could sit and do their writing, and the traditional
recitation bench sat in the front of the room; whereupon, classes were held.
In 1903, this Davis School was discontinued and the families
north of Ephesus went to the Shellman School, a little farther
north of the
Ephesus Church and the rest came to Harned to a new school erected upon the land near the old depot where Mallow Robinson now lives. This
building lasted only two or three years until a new two-room school was built in 1906, where Silas Eskridge now lives, just north of the old railroad at
the intersection of Highway 259 and U. S. 60.
Andrew Driskell, who later became County School Superintendent, and his wife were the first teachers in this new school.
A normal school was held here during the summer months for higher learning and teacher training.
In 1922, the community had outgrown this two-room building and a
new three-room school was built where the new Methodist
Church now stands. This was the pride of the town and served the needs well until that school was consolidated with Hardinsburg in 1940.
Mrs. Forest Davis was the last teacher.
The first settlers of the community held their worship services
in the homes of the different families, but the first church
building was the
Lost Run Baptist, located east of Harned about one mile, on the road to Locust Hill. This church was moved to Harned in 1894, and a new
building erected on the Payne property. This was on the southwest corner of Payne Street and Kingswood Road, just opposite the new Methodist
Church. This Baptist Church continued to serve the community until 1930. At this time, the automobile afforded easy transportation, and the
congregation was small, so the church was disbanded and joined the Hardinsburg congregation.
In 1898, the Negro population decided to build a place of
worship. Henry Harned offered to give them a site upon
which to build,
but they wanted the church located close to the depot so people from neighboring towns could visit, and get off the train close to the church, so they bought
land from Green Payne for $20, and built their church, close to the depot. The German Town Negro Church was torn down and re-erected at the
new site. This church still stands today but because they could no longer support a pastor it was sold in 1963.
The Ephesus Church was built in 1888 after services having been
held in the old Davis School for many years. Rev. L. M.
of Grayson County, preached the dedication sermon. The Rev. St. Clair was the first pastor. The congregation consisted of the union
Presbyterians and Methodists. This union was a happy and successful arrangement, but in 1912, there was need for a larger Methodist
church in Harned. The Presbyterians bought the Ephesus Church and the Methodists built a new place of worship on the southwest corner of
U. S. 60 and Ky. 259. This church was used for forty years. In 1954, a new and beautiful Bedford stone church, one of which any
community could be proud, was built on Highway 259, 200 yards south of U. S. 60.
With the railroad station in Harned, it became the trading center
for the communities of Ephesus, Lost Run, German Town, Locust
Marks Ridge, Buras and the surround county. George Nottingham, Mitch Myers and Eli Pile (whose name spells the same both ways) were early
merchants and made money coming and going.
Archibald Weatherford and his son Bob, operated a large general
store in 1898. A short time later Mr. Bob Weatherford
his father out and continued to operate the store for twenty-five years. In addition to the generally store, he was a licensed undertaker and kept
on hand, a large supply of caskets. His elaborately designed hearse, which was drawn by a beautiful pair of black Percheron mares, provided
such transportation on ones final journey, as to take some of the sting out of death.
The Post Office was in his store for a number of years, and at Christmastime his entire store looked like Santa Claus Land.
Mr. Steve Davis ran a produce house in Harned from 1908 to 1940.
This was one of the most thriving businesses in the town. He
bought from farmers, anything they might have to sell. The
bulk of his business consisted of chickens, eggs, turkeys, geese,
butter, cheese, opossum, raccoon, skink, and fox hides, ginseng and mayapple roots.
In the spring of the year, when the old hens were the most
cooperative, it was not uncommon for Mr. Davis to ship a box car
eggs to New York at one time. In later years much of his produce was sent to Louisville by truck.
During the period, from 1900 to, and including the early
thirties, the farmers lived a completely different life from that
know today. Every boy had a dozen steel traps and knew how to set snares and deadfalls. If he had any money to spend he made it himself,
and there was a time in the early thirties when a good, prime, black, skink hide would bring more than an acre of tobacco. Every farmer had a flock
of chickens, two or three milk cows and a man-sized garden. When chickens got frying size, which is about half grown, you could run one down
and wring his neck, where he had been fattened on corn and gotten his mineral supplement from grasshoppers and katydids and he was fitten to eat.
Modern preachers just dont know what good fried chicken in.
Another big industry which sprang up in the Harned community was Capons.
Mr. Dick Green, the County Agent, taught the farmers how to
caponize chickens. This made them grow abnormally large and
very tender and more tasty, causing them to bring much more on the market. This was done by removing the male specimans reproductive organs. When this was done he, or it, would lose its comb and high tail feathers, fatten readily and on occasions would cluck and hover over baby chickens
like an old hen.
Joseph Duggins was a combination merchant and preacher. He
was pastor of the Harned Baptist Church in the early nineteen
hundreds, but kept a stock of grocies in his home to sell. This was the only place groceries could be bought on Sunday afternoons.
Jonas Gray also ran a store in Harned the first decade of the
nineteen hundreds, but sold out to Mr. G. P. Macy. Mr. Macy
a general store but kept on hand, a lot of hardware and sporting goods.
Mr. Ben Ed Gray operated a blacksmith shop in Harned for many
years and, like most village blacksmiths, could repair about
a farmer could break. There is little doubt that the ingenuity of the countless number of village blacksmiths in America led to the resourcefulness
and inventive ability of the American people, making this the greatest nation on the earth.
In 1914, the last remaining need of the community was net when
Dr. Joseph Matthew built his office in Harned. He served
people well from 1914, until his death in 1946. No human being ever endured more hardships in order to alleviate human suffering than did Dr. Joe.
No night was too dark, cold or rainy, to keep him from riding horse-back to visit a sick patient. His death was untimely, due to exposure
and thirty-two years of constant strain. His office was a one story, plain building from 1914 to 1946, at which date he moved his office Upstairs.
In 1891, with the coming of the railroad, it was no longer
necessary to travel to Hardinsburg to get the mail. It was
Harned on the train and a new post office was built. Mr. Ed McGuffin was the first postmaster.
In 1918, while Wilbur Pile was postmaster, the first rural route
was established from Harned to serve the people north of town.
Contract service to the south had been in effect since 1891.
The distance of these mail routes was established by tying a rag
to a buggy wheel and
county the times it turned over.
Cleve Black was the first rural carrier. In 1922, Mallow
Robinson took over the Northern Rural Route and served those
forty years until he retired in 1962.
Miss Jenny Payne took over the post office in 1927, and served
until 1945. At his date Mrs. Jane Miller, a niece of Mr.
of Western Kentucky State University, was appointed postmaster, and has served the community well for these twenty-one years.
In 1927, Mr. Bob Weatherford sold his general store to Mr. Lee
Alexander, who also took over the undertaking business. His
J. L. Alexander, is in the same business in Irvington now.
Mr. Fred Layman in 1950, became Grand Master of the Kentucky
Masonic Lodge. He is a member of Breckinridge
Lodge No. 67.
In 1965, the first classes met in the new million dollar
consolidated high school, built at Harned, which was the exact
center of Breckinridge County. This new building is ultramodern in design. Much credit can be given to the county school superintendent,
O. J. Allen, and our County School Board. This was a tremendous and tedious undertaking which required sacrifice and patience. A
bond issue was passed overwhelmingly, which indicated the progressive quality of our Breckinridge County people.
Our school is staffed with one of the best faculties in the state.
Harned is a small town, only seventy-five years old, but is
growing fast and populated with the best people on earth. Anyone
who tastes their water and friendship will never want to live elsewhere.