Rutherford B. Hayes comes to Crittenden

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Reception of the Presidential Party at Crittenden 

Last Friday, the 12th inst., was a day long to be remembered by the people of out town.  It was reported among our citizens on Thursday that President R. B. Hayes, Gen. W. T. Sherman, and Attorney-General Devens would visit the High Bridge over the C. S. Railway.  The people proceeded to get up a reception party, and give the distinguished visitors a serenade. That they succeeded in their undertaking to a reasonable extent is apparent, when it is known that an assemblage of four or five hundred people collected at the depot and headed by the Crittenden Cornet Band made an imposing appearance, considering the short time in which it was gotten up.  Our young folks gathered up all the flags and banners that were to be had, and of which there were many left over from out Fourth of July parade, and they answered an excellent purpose.  The ladies of our town added very greatly to our undertaking, each one having a floral offering of some kind as well as a banner, and much credit is due them.  The train arrived and was ushered into town amid the cheers of the crowd, and to the strains of that always cherished national air, “Hail Columbia,” by our band.  After coming to a halt, Gov. R. M. Bishop, of Ohio, appeared on the rear platform, and introduced President Hayes to the people, whereupon the President proceeded to speak, when the crowd made a rush for the train and thus abruptly, (though from the kindliest motive) put a stop to anything the President may have had to say, in their eager desire to shake hands with him.  After an informal hand-shaking with the President for some moments, Gov. Bishop appeared and introduced Gen’l. W. T. Sherman of the U. S. Army.  Hardly had Gen’l Sherman made his appearance before the enthusiasm of the crowd again burst forth in three ringing and hearty cheers for “Sherman and the Union.”  The train moved off with both the distinguished gentlemen waiving adieu to the ladies who were assembled on the platform at the depot, to which they responded with waiving of handkerchiefs and banners.  Among the many ladies who presented bouquets, may be mentioned, Miss Minnie Mitchell, presented President Hayes with a handsome bouquet and wreath, Miss Iris Pettit made the old hero of many hard fought battle fields bow in acknowledgement for her ever ready smiles accompanying a handsome bouquet of rare flowers.  Many others were present with lots of nice flowers and it is not our partiality that they are omitted.  Among those who graced this occasion with their presence and whose intelligence and rare accomplishments have made them the ornaments of society, may be mentioned the following beautiful young ladies: Miss Iris Pettit, Miss Mattie Rogers, Misses Katie Follett, May Pettit, Pink Mitchell, Fannie Drinkard, Nellie Byers, Mary Ranton, Miss Brent, of Covington, Cora and Jennie Poor, Mamie and Jennie Fenley, Rosa Whie and sister, Emma Rouse, and others we are unable to mention by reason of want of space.   Mrs. Carrie Williams, Miss Mattie Roberts, and Prof. J. J. Hoysett, each of whom are conducting thriving schools at this place, dismissed about forty students each to assist in the “boom.” 

It is curious to note with what venom and hatred the Cincinnati papers treat Kentucky affairs.  The reception or welcome to the President and party was gotten up without a thought of politics, though of course there were perhaps more Democrats participating by reason of a majority of that party in Kentucky; yet they speak of it in a manner insulting to the best people of our state. 

The Cincinnati Commercial says the Hayes party made the first stop at Crittenden, where they were me by two or three dozen people, mostly negroes, and were serenaded by a colored band.  It may be that the reporter of that paper finds his associates in the precincts of bucktown.  The only colored band in existence, in or hear here, if one exists at all, is or was in the brain of a chuckle-headed reporter, more than unusually addled by the frequent use of Cincinnati bust-head whiskey, as his bloated phiz seemed to indicate that he was best adapted to the destruction of tanglefoot whiskey, which no doubt some gentlemen on the train provided to save a better article from the guzzles of such dead-beats, who manage to creep in among men. 

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So far as the Enquirer report of the matter goes it is enough to say that the reporter knew he was lying, but the masters he serves would not permit him to tell other than a lie, even though it would be about a “Kentucky Killing.”  If some man were robbed and murdered by a thief and assassin from Ohio, of if some innocent woman was brutally assaulted at night by a prowling rapist, it would be told in glaring headlines.  Our people recognize the [dis]honesty of your paper, and with indignation ask a correction at your hands. 

[snip] 

So far as the Enquirer report of the matter goes it is enough to say that the reporter knew he was lying, but the masters he serves would not permit him to tell other than a lie, even though it would be about aKentucky Killing. If some man was robbed and murdered by a thief and assassin from Ohio, or if some woman was brutally assaulted at night by a prowling rapist, it would not be told in such glaring headlines.  Our people recognize the [lack of] honesty in your paper, and with indignation ask for a correction at your hands. 

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from Covington’s Daily Commonwealth, September 16, 1879