Elliston, Kentucky


 Grandpa Isaac Hendrix was born on Arnold's Creek that came into Elliston past the depot.  Grandma Fannie Sherman (Jump) Hendrix was born on Vine Run Hill above Folsom which is two miles west of Elliston.  Her father, Pendleton Jump, had a farm on Vine Run Hill.

We would go to Elliston with my Grandma Hendrix and visit her people.  Three of Grandma's brothers, Lafe, Jack, and Jim, a half-brother Joe and half sister Jane lived there.  Her brother Henry lived up on Vine Run Hill.  Her sister Mollie married Matt Beach's boy, Tom.  We went to their funerals too.  All but Aunt Jane.  She was the oldest, yet she outlived them all by at least 15 years.\

 Elliston was a small place, only about 14 or 15 houses.  Its only reason for existing was the fact that the L & N Railroad had a water tank there to service the trains that went through.  In the years around 1911 until 1915, I do not know who lived in all the houses.  But in the first house west of the depot on the lower side of the railroad tracks and road, lived Grandma's nice, Missy Dowell.  Next door was Missy's father, (Grandma's brother) and mother, Lafe (Lafayette) and Emma Sipple Jump.  Next to that was where Grandma's brother Jack Jump had lived.  He died before I was born.  His widow Nan married again a man named John Carroll and she had two sons by him, Orene and Opal.

 There were five houses in a row, then a small store that sold bread and tobacco; then a big old house where Grandma's nephew lived.  In the early 1900's, Elliston was a busy place.  John Sasher had a big tobacco warehouse across the road from the depot.  If, instead of going to the big house, you took the road across the tracks again and passed a house on the right, a swinging bridge started there across Flat Creek - a small creek, but its tributaries covered a wide expanse and a bad rain up the creek could send torrents of water down it.  So almost every year Aunt Jane and Uncle Ike Beach's house was flooded.  Aunt Jane was Grandma's half sister and Uncle Ike was a brother to Grandma's brother.

 Aunt Jane took in borders - drummers and men working on the railroad.  She charged 25 cents a meal and 25 cents a night, or $1.00 a day, room and board.  And such meals!  Breakfast was ham or bacon and eggs, hot biscuits and gravy, two kinds of preserves, and three kinds of molasses: sorghum, New Orleans, and home made brown sugar molasses.  Dinner and supper was usually ham or beef, and always potatoes and vegetables and two or three kinds of pie: lemon cream, chocolate, apple or blackberry cobbler.  Her meals were wonderful, but her water was awful, slightly sulfur and we wouldn't drink it.

 In their living room was the telephone switchboard for that part of the county.  Aunt Jane was the operator and sometimes my great Uncle "Dime" Allmerine would help her with calls.  In the back yard was a slave cabin.  Aunt Jane and Uncle Ike said the cabin was used by people who built the log part of their house in 1832.  Aunt Jane's son, Clarence, ran the farm for Uncle Ike and also had bees and sold honey.  After I was married, we came out every year and Grandpa Hendrix bought 50 lbs. of honey - 10 cents a pound or $5.00 a lard can full.

 We used to go to funerals all the time - come out on the train.  The hearses and coaches would be waiting for to take us to Vine Run Church above Folsom on a steep hill.  The coaches and hearse were black and shiny.  So were the proud high stepping horses with lovely black plumes floating above the back of their heads. The mourners were dressed in black and the ladies had long mourning veils so no one could see their faces. In the hot summers the ladies would wave palm leaf fans edged in black material to stir the air.  Uncle Dime made concrete head stones - cutting initials or names out of wood and sinking them into the wet concrete.  As years went by the wood rotted and the names were in the concrete.

 In December 1911, our brother Edwin Shepherd was born - a 7 months baby who never lived.  He was buried from Grandma's.  He had a beautiful little white coffin lined with pale pink.  The undertaker took him to the train and we all took the train to Elliston where the hears awaited us, and two coaches pulled by those beautiful black horses with the black plumes on their heads.  We rode two miles to Folsom and then up the steep hill to Vine Run Church Cemetery and he was buried there.

 Elliston remains very clear in my memory.


by Violet A. Price (1907-1988).  (Ms. Price was born in Covington, and lived there with her Grandparents, Isaac "Shep" Hendrix and Fannie Herman Jump Hendrix)