Breckinridge County, Kentucky
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|*** HUDSON ***|
In 1810, Joseph Hudson first came to Breckinridge County and took up land, as they called it, in the Hudson community. This was the first settler to invade that section of the county. This was seven years after Joesville, now Cloverport, was settled. Stephensport was settled that same year. Six generations have passed since Joseph Hudson came to this community. The land has never been out of the family. It has been handed down from generation to generation. The original house built by Joseph Hudson is still standing. Some repair has been made from time to time. Bert Keesee now lives in the old original homestead and warms his feet at the same fire place and sets in the same log living room that his grand-sire or six generations ago built.
Among the first settlers who followed Mr. Hudson to this community were George Holmes, Rafeal Cox, Doctor George Legrand, Steve Critchelow, who was the father of Bill and Tom who ran the mill and blacksmith shop at McDaniels for some 60 years, Henry Tucker, and Mac Jauncy. This community loaned four of its citizens to the Union Army during the Civil War, Elza Tucker, Bill Tucker, Bill Monroe, Nic Mercer. Fortunately all of these returned safely. Nor did the community completely escape the ravages of the war. In 1864, the Gorillas came through Hudson, stealing all the best horses; often times, leaving their worn out or emaciated rack of bones in their stead. One group of such Gorillas plundered all the houses in the community, taking with them such woolen goods and clothing that was of any value. On one occasion these Gorillas gave chase to Mr. George Holmes who was returning home from Hardin Springs with a turn of meal on his prize mare. These Gorillas tried to hail him and, knowing what they wanted, he gave them a race for about three or four miles, but his mare, not being accustomed to this type treatment, the customary trade was made, leaving poor Mr. Holmes with a rack of bones that could hardly walk. So he was obliged to walk the remaining distance home leading his newly acquired horse and carrying the turn of meal on his own back.
Too often we have overlooked the patriotism and credit that is due the women folks in these early pioneer days. During this Civil War when our men folks were either in battle or they were forced to put every minute to the task of raising provisions, Mrs. Henry Tucker, the grandmother of the W. H. Tucker, who is still, at age 81, operating the post office and general store in the community, drove a yoke of oxen hitched to a tar-pole wagon from Hudsonville, as it was called at that time, to Gray Hampton taking a turn of corn for all of the neighbors in the community. This was a walk for some 60 miles. This tar-pole wagon, of which I spoke, was made altogether of wood, with the exception of an iron rim around the tire. The hubs were greased with pine tar.
Soon after the Civil War and during the reconstruction period a Mr. Mac Jauncy built a gristmill in the forks of Calimese Creek where the people of that community could grind their own meal. This mill had to be powered by a horse. It had a long sweep pole resembling our sorghum mills of which most of us are familiar. Each person who brought a turn of corn to be ground must hitch his own horse to the sweep pole and grind his own corn. Seldom, if ever, was Mr. Jauncy present since he had his own farm work to look after. But each customer left a toll of meal in a bin that was placed there for that purpose.
Doctor George Legrand was the first doctor in this part of the county. He brought with him several slaves and a part of this land is still in the Legrand family. In 1960, Mace Legrand, a veteran of 91 years, passed on leaving the remaining portion of the homestead to his son, Roy.
About one hundred yards east of Hudson crossroads on the road to Dyer, a Mr. Riley Johnson built and operated a distillery until the 18th Amendment was passed. Mr. Scott Proctor, from Leitchfield, was the gager. All of his whiskey, carrying a government seal, had to be 100 proof. It was put in wooden barrels that had been charred on the inside, and hauled to Leitchfield where it was shipped; most all except, and I quote Mr. W. H. Tucker, A sizable amount that was consumed here in this community. This distillery was in operation about the time the Mormons were being persecuted in the eastern part of the United States. Two preachers of this sect came through Hudson one evening and stopped at the inn which was also owned and operated by Mr. Riley Johnson. They, being destitute, asked for a nights lodging and a small handout before resuming their journey. After contributing to their needs, Mr. Johnson asked of the pair where they were going. They answered, We are following in the footsteps of our Master, Jesus Christ. At his Johnson gave reply, Hell fire, fellows! You are too late. Christ went by here 2000 years ago. With the 18th Amendment this industry came to an abrupt end.
The first school in this community was on top of the hill some 300 yards going towards Dyer. It was made of logs, the seats were split logs with pegs driven in them for legs. This dated back to about 1840. The next school was about 200 yards down the Fairfield road. It was a frame building which gave way to the ravages of termites, old age, and the Barlow knife. A new school was then built at the top of the hill on the road towards Madrid. It was completed in 1890, the year of the big cyclone, but like others, lasted out its day. The last school in the town was built on land donated by W. H. Tucker in 1924. The author taught his first school in this one-room building, having 58 students and all eight grades. This last school was abandoned in 1957, and consolidated with Custer. The town now consists merely of two stores, a Methodist Church and Masonic Lodge. W. H. Tucker has run the general store there since 1930, and his wife the post office since 1936.