The Bullitt County History Museum

It Happened in 1923

Over the years, Charles Hartley has shared glimpses of what was being printed in The Pioneer News in different months and years. This page includes what was taken from the March through December issues of 1923.


March 1923

Joe Chappell offered for sale a new Adler player piano with over 18 rolls of music for $800.

The Shepherdsville Picture Show featured five reels of Tom Mix in "For Big Stakes," along with a reel of Mutt and Jeff in "Down in Dixie."

Bullitt County Bank, organized in 1889 as E. W. Hall and Company Bankers, finally had a home of its own with the grand opening of its fine facility at the corner of Main and Second Streets. The festivities included a free lunch, singing by Professor Sanders accompanied by his wife on the piano, and a guessing contest to determine the amount of money in a jar. Howard Cundiff came closest, missing the correct total by eleven cents.

A big basketball tournament was played in the Shepherdsville High School gym featuring schools from Louisville and as far south as Horse Cave. Shepherdsville boys beat Glendale 50-8, but fell to St. X 30-18. Shepherdsville girls lost a close game against Louisville Girls High 9-8 in the finals.

J. F. Collings, justice of the Shepherdsville police court, found himself in a bit of a pickle during a nighttime storm. Hearing the fierce wind and thunder, he stepped out on his porch in his night clothes to check out the approaching storm when the wind blew his door shut and locked behind him. The storm was so loud that he couldn't awaken anyone to let him in.

That storm caused thousands of dollars damage in Bullitt County, with many roofs being blown off. Statewide, more than twenty people lost their lives as a result of the storm.

Clarence Holsclaw, proprietor of the "Mountain Top" fruit farm, died following a bout with pneumonia that weakened his heart.

And Hardy Cruise of Bardstown Junction advertised that he had 19 shoats for sale.

April 1923

The Junior Class of Shepherdsville High School performed a three-act play titled "Aaron Slick from Punkin Crick" at the Masonic Temple. The ad said, "Bring your girl and have a big laugh."

School superintendent George Colvin claimed that the basis of the current teacher shortage was due to the low salaries being paid. Sound familiar?

The Mt. Washington columnist reported that Mr. and Mrs. Bailey Taylor and son of Louisville spent the weekend with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Swearingen.

The newspaper editor wrote a fine column praising the Shepherdsville school under the leadership of Jack Sanders. In it, he identified some of the former students who were advancing their education. Mentioned were John Glenn at the University of Virginia, Sam Ridgway, Margaret Combs, and Elizabeth Weller at University of Kentucky, Tom Trunnell at Georgetown, Joseph Blankenship at Centre College, and Chester Hardin at Annapolis.

Rev. Father Smith of St. Aloysious was unable to say mass due to a lengthy siege of typhoid fever.

Duke Taylor of Clermont was bitten by a rabid dog and had to undergo the "Pastuer treatment."

The County School Superintendent advertised that bids would be received toward the construction of a one room school building in the Cane Run district near Lebanon Junction.

The L. & N. railroad was advertising a low-rate excursion to Louisville to see a baseball game, and then hear the evangelist Billy Sunday preach. Cost was $1.10 round trip.

The Clermont columnist wrote, "While motoring from Louisville last Sunday, Mr. John Masden in some way lost control of his machine and ran across the railroad track and struck Mr. Layton Hodge's house. We're glad to say that no one was hurt, and also glad to say that Mr. Masden is some chauffer."

May 1923

Mrs. Abbie Atkisson of Medora advertised a 64 acre farm for sale two miles north of Knob Creek. She declared it to be good tobacco land.

Charles Howlett out on Pitts Point Road had 25 tons of clover and timothy hay for sale. And Mrs. H. G. Masden was selling pure bred Ancona eggs at $1.00 per setting of 17 eggs.

The newspaper noted that the O. W. Pearl family had just returned from wintering in Florida. Several other Bullitt Countians enjoying the Florida sun included Jess Buky, Charles Daniel & wife, Len Daugherty & wife, Mrs. Maud Bowman and her son, and Millard Daughterty, all down in the Fort Pierce area. Note that getting to Florida in 1923 was a mite more difficult then now.

Joe Chappell of Shepherdsville was offering to sell his 1921 model Maxwell Touring Car cheap, or trade it for any kind of stock. Wonder why?

The 1923 newspaper editor shared a brief commentary on the paper's front page about cigarettes. He wrote, "Cigarettes may not injure the health, but they have destroyed manners. In the olden days, when the old fashioned gentleman wanted to smoke a cigar or pipe in the presence of ladies, he asked permission, but now days when our modern smokers of coffin nails want to smoke, they ask nobody. They take it for granted that everybody likes their odor." Enough said.

June 1923

The newspaper listed the elected school trustees including W. S. Paulley (Nicholas), Hays Ashby (Mt. Olive), J. J. Defler (Sunny Side), C. E. Rodgers (Shades), E. L. Marcer (Woodlawn), Herman Pearl (Licks), Charles Alford (Mt. Elmira), R. P. Sharp (Sharp's), Jess Ridgway (Needmore), J. M Harvey (Brooks), W. N. Gentry (Zoneton), Ed Rhea (Hebron), Robert Wade (Green Briar), W. F. Clark (Mt. Washington), Wayne Harris (Sugar Valley), Fred Gentry (Edgewood), James Tinnell (Whitfield), P. K. Jones (Glades), Henry Jones (Pleasant Hill), Bert Deacon (Cedar Grove), Charles Ratliff (Victory), W. J. Shaw (Woodsdale), Alex Riley (Hobbs), W. F. Knight (Clermont), Will Combs (Glenn Ella), Lee Dawson (Pitts Point), George Cundiff (Beech Grove), Fisher Harned (Hay's), Robert Basher (Zion), M. B. Stark (Cane Run), S. H. Ricketts (Harned), R. A. Masden (Mt. Carmel), Claud Hill (Culver Springs), O. H. Masden (Oak Grove), C. H. Moser (Bardstown Jct), Will Bradbury (Belmont), W. A. Ice, Will Griffin, Embra Deacon, S. B. Simmons, and C. C. Daugherty (Shepherdsville) and Charles Duvall, George Essex, Chester Roby, Andy Mann, and Abner Collings (Lebanon Jct.).

Elizabeth Weller, a junior majoring in English at the University of Kentucky, made the Dean's List with all A's. She is Stoney Weller's daughter.

Baseball was the subject of a little gathering down at Bardstown Junction when the home team defeated the Old Charter team from Chapeze 8-0 by turning in four double plays.

Playing for Bardstown Junction were George Bradbury, Charles Ashby, Robert Rennison, Charles Bradbury, G. Bradbury, V. Laswell, S. Bradbury, H. Carr, and E. Stansbury. The Old Charter team included Guy Burns, J. Hagan, Clay Cundiff, J. Hall, A. Cundiff, C. Fehrnback, J. Hoagland, Bill Cunniff, and S. Muir.

Batter Up!

July 1923

Frank Goldsmith and his wife, Pauline Daugherty, and Judge Morrow left for several days at French Lick.

Norman and G. L. Bridwell of Shepherdsville just finished building a couple of large barns over at Solitude for Mr. Ash and Mr. Rouse.

Little Miss Elizabeth Sanders is spending this week at Campbellsville with her grandparents.

Professor Sanders, Misses Ruby Dean, Sallie Shultz, Virginia Clements, Geneva Gibson, Lillian Crume, Alma Hutchens and Hester Anderson have been elected by the local school trustees to teach at the Shepherdsville school for the fall term.

At Hebron, thieves broke into W. J. Bell’s home during church services and stole Rev. Martin’s suit case containing his clothes for his planned two week stay. The suit case was later found in a corn field, but all it contained was a Bible and Rev. Martin’s sermons.

Jailer E. G. Quick offered a $15 award to anyone who returned an escaped prisoner named W. C. Marshall to his jail. Any takers?

August 1923

Over at Pleasant Grove, Tillman Ridgway sent a load of lambs to market by the Montgomery truck; Farmers' Union donated several hundred dollars to help start a Union Store; and Harley Proctor has a new buggy.

The Kerr Drug Company, Cash-cut rate store in Shepherdsville is featuring a complete line of Eastman Kodaks and films. Everybody is exciting about getting their picture taken.

In Shepherdsville on the Court House lawn there was a benefit for the St. Aloysius Church which featured lots of refreshments. (Do they still do that?)

If you travel up the Mt. Washington road about two and a half miles from downtown Shepherdsville, you will find 60 acres of land two thirds cleared with an everlasting spring. Sim Bridwell wants to sell it to you.

When the August term of the Bullitt Circuit Court convened, the following men made up the grand jury: Harve Caudill, Fred Sadler, Walter Bishop, J. H. Lee Jr, Fred Sipes, Rufus Balee, Thomas Jenkins, W. F. Armstrong, Vernon Bell, R. H. Wheeler, R. E. McAfee, and W. T. Tyler.

Those called to be on the petit jury included John Adams, C. E. Alford, C. D. Ratcliff, J. S. Bergen, J. M. Cundiff, S. H. Rickets, P. H. Croan, W. H. Nusz, W. F. Clark, Virgil Hibbs, Chas. Edwards, Malcolm Harmon, Gabe Bealmear, Jno. Greenwell, Clarence Hall, A. H. Harned, John Pounds, B. H. Hardy, Fred Hatzell, Earl Dacon, W. D. Ellaby, T. N. Adams, Frank Christman, Joe Owens, W. L. Booth, and Ed Tyler.

An ice cream and Box supper was held at Shaw's Lawn about 3 miles north of Deatsville on the Bardstown and Shepherdsville Road for benefit of Woodsdale School and its teacher, Mary Triplett. (School fundraisers are nothing new.)

In the school news section we read that the immediate family of Col. Charles Troll were invited to his home to assist his good wife in celebrating his 78th birthday. The Troll family are fine jolly people and Mr. Troll is one of our best citizens who has raised and educated a large family. Several are now teachers in the Louisville city schools.

Four fellows (names withheld to save embarrassing the descendants) were indicted for stealing chickens, were found guilty, and the jury fixing their punishment at one year in the penitentiary at Frankfort. In response, the paper stated, "After a woman has toiled for the whole summer to raise a flock of chickens, she does not want them stolen!"

The paper reported that they have been informed by the Internal Revenue office at Louisville that they will have eight revenue men here during the county fair to be on the lookout for any whiskey selling or drinking. (That should be a challenge.)

And during the county fair, the chief attraction was the speed match between Cruise and Miller. Miller took the first heat, but Cruise won the last two on his steady Bruno. That horse has been on that track so much he knows it like a book. (Just ask Pat Cruise.) Wonder if Bruno got his "special" drink with all the revenue men around?

September 1923

Mrs. Mattie Glenn, one of the county’s most popular ladies, has accepted the school at Bardstown Junction.

The Victory School honor roll for the second month included Fonda Ratliff, Willie Maud Harris, Otis Ray Ratliff, Walter Lee Harris, Lillian Roby, Rouse D. Jones, Ella B. Bolton, Mary E. Jones, Nathan Bryan Harris, Eva Mae Jones, and Ralph Greenwell. Martha Hornbeck is their teacher.

Charles Lee Bradbury, Stanley Muir, and Crumbacker Jenkins left for Georgetown where they will enter college. Others heading off to schools of higher learning included Mary Delle Barnes and Laura May Tyler for Logan College in Russellville; Sue Dent Rouse, Mary Dent, and Helen Harris to Nazareth; Katherine Crume to Springfield; Susie Long Swearingen, Josie Clark, Anna May and Mildred McClure, Marvin deacon, Charlie Clark, Hubert and Louis McGee, and Clyde and Vreeland McClure to Cumberland College.

The Mountain Top Peach Farm, formerly owned by J. C. Holsclaw, is up for sale. It has the best fruit and tobacco farm in Bullitt County.

Mr. Nathan Morrow visited his brother, Judge W. T. Morrow, this week. Mr. Morrow has a very fine memory and can recall with great exactness occurrences of fifty odd years ago. He remembers well the visit of cholera in this town in 1854 and knows the names of all who died and those who recovered. It is certainly a great pleasure to talk with him and hear him tell of life here more than half a century ago. Very few are here now who were here then and of the houses which stood here at that time, but about eight or nine remain.

And, Will Smith struck oil at 160 feet on Ernest Miller's land near Bardstown Junction. Mr. Miller has been looking for oil for three years.

October 1923

With the 1923 election coming up in November, the paper identified the following officers for the various voting places in the county. At Shepherdsville No. 1 (west) W. A. Cook and O. P. Means were judges, H. L. Wheatly was sheriff, and Mrs. J. W. Barrall the clerk. On the east side of Shepherdsville were A. W. Vance and Robinson E. Lee as judges, Wave Bell as Sheriff, and Mrs. W. C. Herps as clerk. At Brooks were J. E. Quick and Bert Sanders as judges, J. W Smith the sheriff, and Mrs. Lea Hatzell clerk. At Giffin, Willima P. Foster and T. J. Barrall were judges, Granvill Welch was sheriff, and C. E. Rogers was clerk. Continuing in that order of office, At Cupio were Ernest Funk, W. B. Nichols, Ed G. Marcum, and Mrs. Ada Samuels. At the Salt River precinct were William Combs, J. R. Buckman, Henry Hamilton, and T. D. McAlister. Precinct 7 at Mt. Washington included B. D. Burch, John Wallis, German Branham, and Miss Lula Swearingen; while that town's precinct 8 had W. A. King, Pete Bleemel, Henry Lutes, and Mrs. Hassie Parrish. At Zoneton were W. A. Ladusaw, Tom Hackney, S. G. Thornsberry, and Josh Gore. Elbert Lutes, G. B. Herps, Barney Weller, and S. A. Shelton were at Cedar Grove; while Leaches had A. J. Roby, Harry Hummel, R. J. Clark, and Miss Jennie Bridwell. Clermont's officers were George Taylor, William Hodge, Virgil Duvall, and J. C. Hagan. On the east side of Lebanon Junction were J. H. Waters, J. I. Samuels, Charles Duvall, and Mrs. Maud Beam; while the west side of town had L. L. Masden, C. C. Lutes, Alford Brown and Aliene Barrett. The last two precincts were Belmont with L. L. Roby, W. A. Bradbury, John Boots, and Mrs. I. T. Mudd; and Beech Grove with W. H. Cundiff, H. C. Cundiff, Jess Dawson, and C. W. Skelton. The election commissioners were A. L. Roby, V. H. Rouse, and George I. Rennison.

Over in Mt. Washington, little James Franklin Kaze is on the sick list, as are Mrs. Curt Moore and son Haskel. Meanwhile, S. B. Owen is building a tobacco barn for Alvin Owen; and the Hall Brothers are building one for Pete Bleemel.

The Sugar Valley school, led by Miss Elizabeth Cash, had entertainment and pie supper, and raised $125 for the school.

Miss Willie Mae Ridgway, who is teaching at St. Mathews in Jefferson County, returned home for a visit.

And an advertisement in the paper encourages you to "Stop at Masden and Roby's in Shepherdsville for good eats and drinks." See you there.

November 1923

Miss Mary Dawson, teacher at Brooks, was preparing a class of students for the diploma examination. They included Grace Flint, Katherine Quick, Beulah Elliott, Coleman Quick, Murrell Flint and Harry Farmer.

Oscar Prather had bought a new Ford Coupe.

The Shepherdsville school honor roll included (1st Grade) Virginia Lee Croan, Bernice Feather, Etta May Shepherd, Letta Ray Shepherd, and Joseph Songster; (2nd Grade) Lydia Bowman, James Simmons Farris, Dorothy Hall, Norma Kerr, Ralph Ridgway, Alice Ray Sanders, Elizabeth Sanders, and Mary Carolyn Lee; (3rd Grade) Edward Deacon, and Lydia Ray; (4th Grade) Sara Fay Lee, Geneva Lloyd, Beulah Richardson, Bertha Weller, Mary Elizabeth Harrison, C. V. Sanders, and J. C. Welch; (7th Grade) Tommie Wilson, Ailene Maraman, Anna Lee Hill, and Christine Kerr; (8th Grade) Wanda Adams, Adrian Crenshaw, J. W. Bradbury, Millard Deacon, and Julia Conniff.

Mr. and Mrs. Lem Swearingen entertained Friday night in their home in honor of their daughter, Miss Texia's 21st birthday. Present were Blanche Weller, Eva Mae Jones, Violetta Thompson, Lovena Kulmer and Mary Elizabeth Jones, Calvin Boyd, Arthur Weller, Vern Jones and Mr. and Mrs. Alf Weller.

The Hebron School Honor Roll included (1st Grade) Florence Ball, Laura B. Ward, Irvin Robards, Willie Crenshaw, Samuel Rhea, and Lawrence Jackson; (2nd Grade) Sarah Whitman, Martha Wiggington, and Herman Williams; (4th Grade) Wanda Garr, Emma K. Harned, Georgia Jackson, Frank Whitman, and Burks Williams; (6th Grade) Katherine Williams, and Jack Gardner; (7th Grade) Elizabeth Whitman, and Ida Lee Ball; and (8th Grade) Margaret Baldwin, Elizabeth Wiggington, and Edward Rhea.

Bardstown Junction was well represented in the Shepherdsville High School. Their pupils included (Seniors) Katherine Nusz, Pat Cruise, and Onie Magruder; (Juniors) Flossie Lynch, Eula Shaw, and William Shaw; (Sophomores) Edta Nusz, Mildred Bergen, Charles Shaw, Carl Shaw, and Thomas Ed Conniff; and (Freshmen) Nellie and Katherine Triplett, Christine Stansbery, Mary Alice Shields, and George Francis Henderson.

At the Mt. Washington School a cake was sold for the prettiest girl which was easily won by Miss Hazel Hall. A box of cigars to the ugliest man went to "Grandad" Graham.

And when court was called by Judge Shelton, some 27 cases were on docket. Most of the cases were for being drunk and disorderly. I wonder where the party was?

December 1923

Out Pleasant Grove way, Buck Price sent a bunch of hogs to market by the Union truck; and R. K. Hall was surprised with a birthday dinner at the Bethel Church.

B. A. Atherton advertised that he had two full stock Jersey cows for sale, one in full flow, the other one fresh in a few days.

At the annual election of the Bullitt County Farmer's Union, L. N. Patterson was elected president, J. R. Cornell was vice-president, Dr. David Smith was secretary, Carey Smith - conductor, A. F. Armstrong - doorkeeper, and J. O. Ridgway - chaplain. The executive committee included C. G. Bridwell, Herman Rouse, R. J. Clark, and Fisher Harned.

The Hebron correspondent reported that Mr. and Mrs. Roy Mothershead were getting ready to leave for Miami, Florida. They were driving down in their coupe.

The paper printed information from a clipping found in an old Bible of the late Rev. Geo. L. Rodgers about the Mount Washington Academy dated December 25, 1848. In what remains of the paper, we learn that N. Kendall was the school's principal and teacher of the classics, mathematics, and natural science. Miss Sarah J. Kendall was principal of the female department, and teacher of modern languages and ornamental branches. Miss Lydia P. Weed taught music. A census check tells us that teachers Nathan and Sarah Kendall were boarding with William Barns in 1850. They were apparently brother and sister, children of Paul and Jane Kendall of Phillipston, Massachusetts.

W. M. Combs of Shepherdsville was selling fruit trees. Apple and peach trees were 35 cents apiece, and pear, plum, and cherry trees ran 50 cents each.

The Bardstown Junction correspondent reported that Mr. and Mrs. Coe Moser and Miss Francis Trunnell traveled to Georgetown to watch Thomas Trunnell, a local boy, play in a football game. Thomas was scheduled to graduate in 1924.

Members of the Shepherdsville senior class, chaperoned by Miss Anderson, their teacher, left the school and walked to the site of the "Lone Grave." Finding it, they built a small fire and roasted some wieners for lunch. (That would be a different trip today.)

And Mack Shaw was in Circuit Court for allegedly having liquor in his possession. However, the witnesses couldn't state for sure if it was the real thing or not, so according to the paper, "the jurors instead of hanging Shaw, hung themselves."


Copyright 2018 by Charles Hartley, Shepherdsville KY. All rights are reserved. No part of the content of this page may be included in any format in any place without the written permission of the copyright holder.


The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 03 Apr 2018 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/happened/1923.html