Duncan research files of
Letters about the family of Mason Duncan, and his son Taliaferro Walton Duncan, of Harrison Co. KY (all items from Rebecca C. Myers with permission to share)
Taliaferro Walton Duncan's letters as well as letters referring to him culled from abstracts of letters to and from Mrs. MALINDA ELIZABETH (DUNCAN) BARKLEY compiled by Linnie Wright Barrett (LWB) during her research of DUNCAN family history.
from Juliette/Juliet Jackson Duncan (signed her letters with either spelling), wife of Mason Duncan, mother of Taliaferro (& 9 other ch.) to her dau. Malinda E. Barkley who moved to Texas along the overland route, leaving Kentucky October 8, 1855, arriving in Birdville, TX the first half of December that year, moving to Fort Worth with her married daughter and family (Josephine Wood and her husband Thomas Wood) in 1896.
from Juliet Duncan, Nov. 20th, 1856: Dear Daughter, I received your letter October the 8th. ... just received a letter from Tol, he likes the country fine and is making from $1 to 1 and three quarters per day, he says. He does not like the poeple very much, they are too strong Freemonters for Tol. ... we are getting along about as we were when you left. Dick and myself are a making looms crack. I have woven about 200 yds. this fall and we have about 100 to weave yet. Lyd and Dick went to Ogden's a dealing. Lyd bought her two dresses and Dick one, and Rovena one. They took plaid linsey, 20 yards, the prettiest I ever made. They went in company with Jesse Moore and dined at Ogden's. ... Tell Sis she may expect a pretty linsey coat when one comes. Tell her that Jim goes to school every day and he has learned to read. Tell Leslie to save all his dimes and put them out at interest to make more, so that he can visit his mama. I shall look forward with bright anticipation until the time arrives; let nothing deter you from that purpose. ... Lyd says she is going to Cynthiana to have her likeness taken to send to you. I will defer sending mine until you come and then I will accompany you that far and have it taken. ()[LWB note:] It was 25 years after Malinda E. Barkley left Kentucky, (Oct. 1855) before she saw her mother again(). ... When I think of the distance that intervenes between us, it seems a mountain in magnitude. I think if you were only in the Illinois where traveling can be done with so much expedition, we could see each other ... but I will not brood over the dark side. Dec. the 1st: Since I commenced writing, my cousin ENOCH JEFFRIES, has been to visit. ... he communicated things relative to my ancestors which I never knew anything about.
from Annie Wheeler, Aug. 1, 1889: Well, mamma [Juliet] goes around, does all her canning, makes all her preserves, attends to her chickens and turkeys and milk and butter, gathers all her vegetables and a thousand other things too tedious to mention - it is not often we find one of her age who can go through so much, she was 82 years of age 20th of last month. ... Tol is doing a good business selling trees, thinks by Fall he will have sold $1200.00.
from Juliet Duncan, late Nov. or early Dec., 1891: Tol has been making delivery of his trees ...
from Juliet Duncan, June 5, 1892: Have not heard from brother John in some time. (Her bro. John Jackson, who lived in Williamstown, KY).
from Juliet, Oct. 24, 1892: My dear and only brother is dead, - died 8th of this month (#she had 5 brothers, John mentioned in previous letter was the last alive). One of my half sisters is coming to see me, - she lives in Indianapolis. ... Charles has had a picture of his house taken - I am in the group. Charles is on the horse.
from Helen McDowell, Mar. 2, 1893: Cousin Sally Newman's husband is dead, last spring. Cousin Sally divided the land - Jim Bell got $2000. The other children got the land. She lives with Jim. I bought a yarn carpet for the front room - have enough rags to make one for the kitchen.
from Lydia M. Blackerby, Apr. 21, 1893: Mamma looks better than she has in three or four years ... blackberries seem to be all killed in the lowlands ... on the ridges there will be plenty. ... My carpet, I think, was woven in the four-fifty thread, - it is striped with hit or miss ground, beautiful bright colors.
from Juliet Duncan, Sept. 8, 1893: Dug was over Sunday, and 'Liza and her children. Tol out around with his fruit trees. Kate and Lizzie (RCM: daughters of John Marquis and Eliza [Asbury] Duncan) go to school at Greasy Creek and Lina and Fred at Kentontown.
from Juliet Duncan, May 16, 1894: Jimmie, John and Jim Wheeler planting; Dug comes once a week; Tol about same as usual.
from Lydia M. Blackerby, June 8, 1894: Returned from mother's - [Juliet's] ... I spent a week. Mother seems tolerably well, has a good appetite, rests well at night; can walk about the house with her cane, enjoys company - still she is quite feeble ... she will be eighty-seven years old if she lives to see the 20th of August. ... Snow fell 19th of May, about six inches ... broke fruit trees and damaged gardens ... things growing tolerably well not withstanding ... we had fire last night ... have been enjoying "garden sass" as old folks say. ... Lizzie and Kate are real pretty; Edgar putting in a crop; John and 'Liza well [John = John M. Duncan and 'Liza = Eliza Asbury Duncan, John's wife; Edgar's their son, bro. to Lizzie and Kate].
from Anna C. Wheeler, Aug. 30th, 1895: I am drying apples, and canning apples and pears, - there is an abundance of both. ... we have some young trees bearing that we bought from brother Tol - such delicious fruit ...
from Anna C. Wheeler, Kentontown, Jan. 5th, 1896: [Juliet has died]: she would look out of the window the last day of her sickness and talk of the pretty sunshine and seemed so cheerful til late in the evening, she seemed not to want to talk much. Charles came up to see her in the evening ... her nerves were as steady as a young person. Charlen has not been at the old home but once since Mother went away. I visited the old home one day last week, - found all gone and house locked, - a thing I can never remember before, finding the house locked. Tol has gone to sister Lyd's.
from Anna C. Wheeler, no date - after Jan. 1896: I have not seen Dick since mother's death ... Tol sees her very often.
from Alice B. Wright to her husband Wm. Henry Wright, from Germantown, Ky., Oct. 4, 1896: I found your letter and card waiting ... upon my arrival at aunt Lyd's. I was two days late here, owing to the rain at the old place. ... I went over to the old place, - visited the graves of my great grandparents and grandparents, their old home &c. Benie May [Alice's youngest child, LWB's little sister] is just 104 years to a day younger than her great grandfather DUNCAN, he being born on Jan. 20th, 1795. I have the deed made in 1802 by John and Eleanor KENTON to WILLIAM DUNCAN, to ma's old home. Uncle JIM [JAMES JACKSON DUNCAN] gave it to me.
from Lina Wheeler, Feb. 6, 1901: Kate married a real nice boy ... - Willie Jones, good, sober and industrious ... Lizzie's school is out, - I guess she has a very good education, she taught the Kinney School. ... I see grandma's old home very often, - Eli Worick lives there. [RCM: Kate and Elizabeth/Lizzie are daughters of JOHN M. and ELIZA (ASBURY) DUNCAN; Lizzie's my maternal g'm.]
from Helen McDowell, Apr. 13, 1901: Tol was here.
from Lina Wheeler, Apr. 6, 1901: Lizzie was here.
from Tol (T.W.D.), Apr. 22, 1901: Eliza Ashcraft's suit went against her ... had to pay Will Austin Ashcraft. Those old people I wrote to you about, all dead, - and Mrs. Clark, Mrs. Balingall, Aunt Pattie Ashcraft have all passed over the river...Mrs. Elizabeth Bramel stayed at her son Jeff's all winter, she has moved back to her home now. Lize Kanes is staying with her, Woodfork Jones wife (Can't understand this.). ... Lyd and Dick, John and Jim are well - Fred & Lina Wheeler well. Brother Brad's children all well; Frank the oldest boy has moved to Kentontown. Ann Mariah, bro. George's wife and family are well. Leslie the youngest boy is married, - they have a fine son. Ann sits and nurses all the time - poor baby does not get to enjoy a cry, they watch him so close. Babe Ashbrook, Ange and Mollie live over on Cedar Creek, not far from Whatley's Mill. Belve has just returned from Ohio ... I make sister Dick's place my stopping place - I will visit sister Lyd next week - Dick will go there next week to visit.
from LMB, June 2, 1901: Dick came Sunday - talked a lot about Lon - his wife is going to Okla. with her mother & ste-f. ... I see so much in the papers about oil discovery near Beaumont ... Tol wrote he will be to see us soon.
from Helen McDowell, Oct. 30, 1903: Huldah is married and gone to the mountains ... a man by the name of Sanecks? - letter from Lyd - Tol is delivering fruit trees.
from LMB, Jan 3rd, 1904, Dear Sister: When your letter came I had just told Dr. if I did not hear from you I'd write next day. You are the most punctual correspondent I have. ... Another Christmas has passed. Dr's relatives remember us, - they usually do, - with nice gloves and handkerchiefs and a little money. ... it is nice to be remembered and it is nice to receive that which you are most in need of. Tol spent two days and nights with us during the holidays - looks better than in a long while -- had a nice new suit ... He came from Pickett's to our house, - had been there about two weeks. ... We are out of the rabbit business (former letters referred to Belgian hares) ... We have a new strain of fowls - buff Plymouth Rocks - fine setters and mothers and good layers - Eggs 28 to 30 cents per dozen - scarce at that. I never did get to make my visit to Robertson Co. [KY].
from Helen McDowell, Mar. 13, 1904: we have had a very cold winter ... have made no garden ... Tol is over in Harrison [County] this week.
from Helen McDowell, Apr. 10, 1904: ... it rains every other day ... looks like winter - no corn planted ... fine prospect for fruit if it doesn't get killed - trees full of bloom ---- Well, I must tell you, poor old Bev Clark is at the poor house, - he came last week; it is in sight of my house. He sent me word to come and see him. I am going this week, - poor old fellow I feel very sorry for him. Tol is at Maysville, - has been for several days ... look for him home this week.
from Lydia M. Blackerby, Germantown, KY, Dec 11 (?), 1905 (received Ft. Worth, TX Dec. 14, 1905): My Dear Sister: Tol's sore above the eye - he seems hopeful, - thinks the Dr. will cure it. Am so glad he has a good home with sister Dick, she and Sam seem glad to have him - you know how useful he can make himself.
from Taliaferro Walton Duncan, a.k.a. Tol, Mt. Olivet, KY, Jan. 29, 1906: I just received your letter a few days ago mailed Jan. 5, was not at home ... consequently Dick opened it. ... It has been a long time since I wrote you, am very careless about answering letters. ... I have not seen brother Jim for 4 or 5 months ... the people of this section are doing much better than formerly, - most all prominent farmers have money in bank. ... Sam McDowell sold his tobacco at $850cts per hundred, - it will bring him about $600. We are having a delightful winter, this month has been beautiful, something unusual for this country - we need no sunny south this time, 'tis pleasant enough here. I am still selling fruit trees when I do anything - lay off quite frequently - all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Dick and Sam are very kind to me. Dick gets up of a morning, singing, goes to bed the same way. I believe she has religion - no one ever says a cross word - I am looking for Angels to visit us this summer - if they come I believe we will get to keep them - one might say "We had better go back to our Heavenly Home" - the rest, I am sure, would say: "No, 'tis no use, 'tis just as pleasant here with Dick, Sam and Tol" ()!!!!() If they come I will tell you.
Phalisa Burns is still living - lives with her oldest son William, her brother John is still living - is a widower, his last wife having been dead several years, - lives now in Kentontown where Dunk Harding used to live. Old man, George Harding, is dead, had been dead ten months. The oldest man in our county is Soloman Cleaver, is 97 years old. He is an English man, - was one of the guards wheen Queen Victoria was crowned Queen of England. Nancy Gartin is still living, - lives with her oldest son. William Burns is still living, married Mandy Taylor, - she has been dead several years. I will be 72 years old the 10th of next June - can outwalk any man in the county. I feel real well, now. ... I will be ready for the road tomorrow to sell fruit trees - I sell enough to keep me. As I pass through the country, the people are very good to me where ever I go. If I get in a strange country, 'tis not long till they are glad to have me stay all night with them.
You wanted to know about the sore place over my eye - Dr. Wm. Smith of Paris treated it - I was there two weeks - as I was washing one morning the last day of second week, the lump dropped out - large as ball of a man's thumb ... he said it was cancer in mild form. I felt like shouting, it was a great relief. ... They were very kind to me - I suffered a great deal under treatment. Dr. Smith is a cancer doctor - if he gets a case in time, he will cure it, - near Paris, KY. ... Your brother Tol, to his loved sister M.E. Barkley. [RCM: LWB says that there were ten pages to this letter.]
from LMB, Germantown, KY, Feb. 17, 1906: I often think of our dear old father's song: "Dreary is the twilight of age if we borrow not smiles from wife, children and friends" ... Lizzie Duncan married a man named McLeod, [WINDER DUNCAN McLEOD] - a grandson of old Winder McKinney - you remember his daus. Martha and Milly. His dau. Martha m. McLeod. I thought I would not write until I heard from Dick - I guess she is so happy she does not think of the absent ones. I suppose we will be near by when the Angels come. I am so glad our dear brother ("Tol") is so content and faring so well. ... I get along very well with my eyes - my right eye is still very dim ... Dr's sight has improved some.
from Helen McDowell, Mar. 18, 1906: disagreeable - snow and sleet, - the sleet is heavy on trees ... Tol is at Maysville to deliver his trees. ... Lina French is doing fine, had 115 to eat with her last county court day ... has 22 regular boards ...
from L.M.B., Jan. 8, 1909: In regard to the money left us, we have never received any. ... I suppose Tol is getting along all right.
from James Jackson Duncan, Jan. 10, 1909: Dear Sister: ... Tol is very well, stays close at home this winter ... mild, open winter ...
from LMB, Apr. 18, 1910: I had a letter from Lina, she seemed to think Tol is better ... I am so anxious to go over to see them all. ... I did not get to make my visit to Covington ...
from L.M.B., May 9, 1910: They were all as well as usual when I heard from the old neighborhood. Fred Wheeler, Lina's brother has gone to Kansas, - several families from Kentontown neighborhood went ... The horses are most of all so afraid when they meet an auto, I have gotten afraid to get in a buggy. Kate spent a day with me last week, - she is quite fond of coming to see aunt Lyd ...
from Lina Wheeler, June 12, 1910: ... brother Fred is working in Kansas. ... uncle Tol has bad cough but don't think he takes care of himself that he should; he has been making his home with uncle Jim and aunt Sue, as cousin Lina has been so poorly and it is hard on the hired girl to do all the work. ... my little (half) brother will be 11 years of age in August. All of Aunt Eliza's family are well. Kate has three cute and bright children. Cousin Dunk Ellis and wife are well ... still postmaster in Kentontown.
from L.M.B., June 20, 1910: Brother Tol was to see me, and Frank thinks his health has improved, considerably. He is still canvassing for the nursery in Maysville ... Dr. Dimmitt lost his wife, he is a lonely old man.
from L.M.B., Aug. 14, 1910: It is so intensely hot. ... we are having it very dry. ... Have not heard from the old neighborhood ... do not know how poor brother Tol is getting along - I hope all will be kind to him, - Lina surely will ... poor brother, he does not seem to be satisfied anywhere ...
from Lina Wheeler, Oct. 15, 1910: I was at Uncle Jim's last week and did Uncle Tol's washing and ironing and mending. He seems very kind to uncle Jim and Aunt Sue, and they seem good to him. ... we had a good many raspberries and blackberries ... Aunt Eliza Duncan's family all well ... Kate's husband been to Cincinnati to be treated by a specialist (nose and throat); they have 3 bright children, oldest a boy, Clarence; the next a boy, Stanley; baby girl Lida Pauline. Stanley looks so much like Uncle John, - Aunt Eliza thinks they are grand. Lizzie and husband live in Cynthiana, - have a little girl, Virginia Elizabeth. ... Lizzie is a tidy housekeeper.
from Tol, Nov. 27, 1910: My very Dear Sister: After so long a time I sit down to try to pencil you a few lines. ... I have been under the weather for three years. ... am considerably better now, - don't know how long my betterness may last. ... Jim and Susan both well - brother John's family all well - Lina has gone to Sister Lyd's. ... Our kindred Picketts and Halls are well. Mollie Pickett has been visiting her brother Willie in southwest Missouri, she is back home now. Lina McDowell, our neice, is well apparently, had a bad spell two or three months ago ... Lina McDowell and her husband were on a visit to Illinois about a year ago to see Lina's brother William who lives out there. While they were there Lina went to see one of your old friends, Elias Bramel who lives about 3 miles from Lina's brother William. Lina said he looked real well, he was going on 90 years, - now he would be 91, he owns a very fine farm, has plenty. ... I am still staying at brother Jim's, - he and Susan are very kind to me. We are having beautiful Fall weather ... I am going down into Mason County next week - will visit Picketts, Halls and Lauderbacks family, and will go to Germantown while down there to visit sister Lyd and Frank Duncan's family. I wish I could visit in Texas. ... May God bless you all - brother Tol.
from Lizzie Duncan McLeod, Jan. 12, 1911: warm and rainy here ... I haven't been down in the country for about two months - we were down for nearly a month during hunting season. ... Haven't seen uncle Tol for so long. He very seldom comes to town, but is down home real often ... glad his health is better ... Edgar [Lizzie's brother] and wife are in Platte City, Mo., been there over a year.
from L.M.B., Mar. 24, 1911: My Very Dear Sister: I read your sweet letter ... also one from Lina. She had been at Jimmie's ... wrote brother Tol is better ... she [has] taken an interest in him and keeps his clothes in repair and goes to see him. I have changed renters, ... Lina has a small summer school at Kentontown, - such a nice looking girl and seems to be beloved by all. ... think she is hard to please in sweethearts ...
from Lina Wheeler, Kentontown, KY, Apr. 7, 1911: ... so much sickness. I saw uncle Tol this afternoon, about as well as when I sent my card to you. I want to go there next week to attend to his clothes. I am teaching the Spring school at Kentontown. There are not so many around now to go to country schools ...
from L.M.B., Apr., 17, 1911: Pierce and Mollie own a nice place in Kentontown and treat him (Tol) so nice ... It seems to have gotten so there is no place for the aged now, - it is not as it was in our grandmother's day. I often think of her, - how contentedly she sat in her corner in our old home. ... when night comes I want to be home ...
from L.M.B., Jul. 18, 1911: have been putting up a few blackberries and fruit. ... I am so anxious to hear from poor bro. Tol. In two more days I will be 78 years old ... Dr's family very kind in remembering me ... [LWB says that L.M.B.'s great grandmother Duncan was Dinah Bradford, sister of John Bradford, noted printer of Kentucky]
from L.M.B., Sept 25, 1911: brother Tol getting along tolerable well. ... Lina wrote that brother John's widow was in very poor health - she would be greatly missed in Kate's family. Kate has four children, two girls, two boys, the boys are the oldest. ... my eyes getting dim ...
from Tol W. D., Dec 15, 1911: To my very Dear Sister, Ft. Worth, Texas. Well, Malinda, it has been a long time since I wrote to you ... coughing so much, I have not felt like it. I am feeling better now ... hack off a little stovewood, shell corn for chickens, about all I do. Jim and Susan well; John's family well, I ate dinner there some five days ago. Lina Wheeler is in Kansas, - is going to stay all winter - coming back in Spring, as her cousin whom she is visiting is going to move back in Spring - they have bought a farm here. Brother Brad's children are all well - brother George's family are all well; sister Lyd is well, she begins to look quite old; the Pickett relations are all well last I heard from them, if I get no backset I will go there Christmas visiting.
We had a very dry summer, in some localities did not rain very much. The Kentontown section did very well, corn is tolerably good, people as a general thing are done gathering corn. After so much dry weather we are having lots of rain, 'tis a very wet time here now, we have to take it as it comes. Every person killed hogs close to Thanksgiving ... believe I have written all I can think of now. Hoping to hear from you all soon - will be truly glad to hear you are all well. May the Blessing of God rest with you, as ever, your brother, T. W. Duncan
from L.M.B., Jan. 8, 1912 ... I have not been well ... Frank and family are with me and are very kind - the girls see that my room is comfortable. If I could only see to read and sew ... We have never collected the balance that was coming to us from sister Dick's estate. I hope brother Tol is well cared for, but he would feel so much more independent if he had taken care of what he made. I see by Mt. Olivet paper he is visiting in the Pickett neighborhood.
from L.M.B., Feb. 12, 1912: ... have been quite sick ... brother Tol came, stayed several days with us ... brother Jimmie came a few days after he (Tol) got home ...
from Lina Wheeler, Mar. 15, 1912: I was in Kansas from Nov. until Feb. with papa's niece and family ... Coffeyville is a beautiful town, has about 14000 population ... I saw uncle Jim this morning, - said uncle Tol is about the same ... he gets a pension soon which is $10.00 per month. You know he was a Confederate Soldier, so will get the $10, for which I am so glad. Going to see him this afternoon, - was there two weeks ago and mended his clothes. Aunt Lyd has almost lost her eyesight. I want to go to see her, but we haven't any horses gentle enough to drive, account of automobiles. ... Kate [DUNCAN JONES] has such a fine baby girl [Ruby who m. Charles Lenox].
from L.M.B., Apr. 12, 1912: So glad brother Tol will get pension.
from Lina Wheeler COY, Cynthiana, Ky. Apr. 14, 1912: I was married last Saturday, April 6th, to a nice fellow - I think. A school teacher of Harrison County ... name is Mason Coy. ... His people gave us a Jersey cow & c. &.c. [and calf?, and calf & other items??] My stepmother gave us 12 hens, featherbed, table cloth and several other articles. We are going to buy us a little home between now and fall, and I have written to uncle Tol to come and stay with us as long as he cares to. Uncle Jim and aunt Sue have been awfully good to him, but I feel it my duty to do all I can and I expect to as long as I am able.
from Lina Wheeler Coy, Cynthiana, Ky., Rt. 3, May 17, 1912: I haven't seen uncle Tol since I married, he has been visiting at Maysville, but is now at uncle Jim's. ... My husband and I go to Sunday School every Sunday, - I suppose you have been at that Church (Republican), - you know Aunt Rovena [DUNCAN] is buried there. It is only a short distance from here. ... Lizzie [DUNCAN] McLeod is living in Cynthiana ... her husband R.F.D. man.
from LMB, May 20, 1912: Bro. Tol about as well as usual, has been visiting friends and relatives at Maysville and Moransburg.
from LMB, June 3, 1912: Tol well as usual, has returned from his visit, - I do not know where he stopped, - one of his stopping places is at Moransburg, - Horace Louderback married Frank's oldest sister, I guess he stopped there.
from LMB, Jul. 12, 1912: We are having warm seasonable weather, crops looking fine. We have a good garden, plenty of vegetables, will soon have plenty of chickens large enough to fry ... have had two. ... we put up raspberries and cherries, blackberries are getting ripe.
from James Jackson Duncan, Jul. 12, 1912: I was at Milford a few days ago, - saw HENRY OGDEN* - he is a physical wreck, can hardly get about, - he lives with his nieces there, the Askins girls - Lucy Askin's girls, they never married ... live at the old Askins house where you stayed all night [once]. Well, I guess Tol will get a pension of $10. per month now soon, the first draw comes in August, it will help him out considerable. ... haven't heard from Lyd for some time. ... LON JACKSON left this country about 50 years ago, went to Texas and got to be very wealthy, - had one child, a boy named E.R. JACKSON named for his _____________, ED JACKSON. LON and his wife are both dead, a short time ago the boy died, left an estate of over one million dollars. He had never married. He left a will - willed all of his first cousins $5000 each. ... I forget the name of the place in Texas where Jackson lived. ... By the way, we are going to have a railroad from Cincinnati up Licking River - they have surveyed it - comes in half mile of our place through Claysville, keeps right along the River, goes to some point in W. Va. *[LWB includes a note following the letter, quotes from a Jan. 4, 1874 letter from her g'mother, Malinda E. Barkley, Birdville, TX written to her daughter (LWB's mother), Alice B. Wright in Kaufman, TX:
" ... I received a letter from your aunt LYD at the same time I did yours. I am looking for her in a few weeks, she said she would visit us the first opportunity and I think she will have a good chance now for HENRY OGDEN started to Ky. the 11th of December after his family to bring to Texas and said he would be back inside of 30 days. I think she will be sure to come with them." LWB then speculates that the HENRY OGDEN mentioned in above letter was the same man referred to here and that they did not get to Texas after all.]
from LMB, August 20, 1912: Brother Tol still travels around among the neighbors, is very feeble.
from J.J. DUNCAN, Oct. 4, 1912: Tol has just returned home from Mason Co., has been down there on a visit for two weeks - he says they are all well. ... Mollie Pickett is dead ... about a month ago. ... Lyd has sold her property. ... Tol has never made a draw on his pension, yet - they willl draw in next month [LMB then writes that she has sold her property and boards with the new owners.]
from J.J. DUNCAN, Nov. 22, 1912: Tol is on a visit to Mason Co.
from LMB, Apr. 8, 1913: I cannot see to read letters when I get them, my hearing is about the same. I cannot walk very far, as it makes me so tired. I run in to see the neighbors occasionally ... can neither read nor sew. I sometimes wipe dishes for Mrs. Winter ... not been able to attend church this winter, will try to soon as it gets a little warmer. Last I heard from brother Tol, Lina said he was coming to see her. ... I was born 1833, July 20th.
from Lina W. Coy - Sylvandell, Ky., Jun. 22, 1913: Aunt Lyd is visiting us, she will go away this week for Robertson County to visit relatives, from there to Rebecca Harding's, back to uncle Jim's and then to Germantown. ... Uncle Tol is at uncle Jim's and is very well, better than I expected ... hasn't got his pension ... I gave him some money for medicine, handkerchiefs ... There was about $500 of Aunt Dick's (Aunt Helen Marr Duncan) money that they never did get. Mason and I took Aunt Lyd to the Republican cemetery ... she wanted to see Aunt Rovena and uncle Dock's graves. [next letter goes on about the visit, says that Aunt Lyd is "only one mile from Kentontown when at Jim's."]
from LMB, Aug. 18, 1913: Brother Tol has not received his pension.
from LMB, Nov. 15, 1913: ... had letter from Lina - Tol has been there ... hasn't gotten his pension ... [I] can hardly see, - can't read what I have written.
from TALIAFERRO WALTON DUNCAN, 7 a.m., Pewee Valley, KY, Dec. 10, 1913 (Pewee Valley Confederate Home):
To My Very Dear Aged Sister (to Malinda E. Barkley in TX):
It has been a long time since I have written to you. I hope you will excuse me for not writing; there has been so much of the time I was not in shape to write. I came to this place last Monday; I find it very comfortable here - good rooms and good clean beds, plenty to eat, meals at regular hours. I think I will be satisfied here, nothing to do - eat, sleep and be merry.
All our people were well when I left home: Jim and Susan were well; Lyd was well, we heard from her a short time ago. The worst with her is blindness. She can see her way, only I believe she will go totally blind. It will be awfully bad if such be the case. Brother Brad's children are all well. Lina McDowell has rented her farm and is going to board with the one she rented to, retaining half interest in chickens. Luly Lauderback and family are well, - are still running a grocery; the two single girls are running a millinery shop, are doing real well. Eliza Barton is living in Covington, - Eliza's husband is with street car company, gets good wages; they are doing real well. Cora, the youngest one lives about ten miles from Cincinnati at place called Newtown. Cora married a man by name of Dryden. Brother George's family are all well and doing real well. Lina Coy and husband are both well. Mason Coy is teaching school at Odville - has quite a full school and is a splendid teacher, gets real good wages ... Fred Wheeler lives where old cousin Wilford Duncan used to live, - he and step-son farming together - good crop of tobacco - have hogs to kill ... John Harding and Becca are still living at same place, running the mill, both well as usual. ... brother John's family well ... Jones, Katie's husband farms the land and trades considerable, they seem to have plenty of everything they need. Edgar Duncan, John's boy is over in Ohio, at Columbus ... they have three children, two boys, one girl. ... I was among our Pickett kindred five or six months ago. Cousin Mollie is dead ... she willed all she had to her nieces and nephews and three hundred dollars to an Irish boy they raised. Cousin Bettie went over there while Mollie was very bad off; stayed 'til she died, has never gone back home ... looks to me since Mollie has gone that it is a house with no one living in it. ... Cousin Dunk Ellis and family are well. ... Cousin Wilford Duncan's family are all dead except James, - he is living with his son in Woodford County. Cousin Wesley Duncan's family are all living except the girl who died twenty-seven years ago. Nancy Goddard is still living, is, they say, 93 years old ... very feeble. Elijah Asbury's family are all dead. Margaret Wilson and Mort both died about a year ago. Lucie Chandler is still living in Cynthiana, Billie is clerking in a store.
I must now give you a short description of our Confederate home. There are about one hundred fifty inmates; they are all cared for with food and clothing, - cared for in every form necessary. If any gets sick there is a waiter to tend to and satisfy their wants, whatever they may be. Some of the good people as donors and the State of Kentucky together have bestowed a great blessing on the Confederate Soldiers of our State. Nothing to do but eat and sleep. We have all to eat that is necessary for any person to have. Rooms are kept warm all the time, the coldest days do not make any difference. Thomas Raymond is here. He is a son of old Billie Raymond, - I know you recollect him; Michael Neal, I know you recollect him; our cousin James Taylor, son of Armistead Taylor; John Newman, son of Mat Newman; so, you see I am not altogether among strangers; neither do any of you have a home any better for you than this is for me; it has been about seven years since I could do any work to make anything, so my money has grown very short. I don't need much here; I feel I have to use a little along the line; I feel that Providence will favor me should I need such assistance. I stayed at Jim's and Susan's over two years; they were very good to me....not a cross word spoken by any of us during that time. I think Sue is a splendid woman. ... I will now have to close; excuse my badly written letter. May the Blessed Lord smile on you and protect us all is the prayer of Your brother, T.W. Duncan
from James J. DUNCAN - Dec. 20, 1913: Tol has gone to Pewee Valley to the Confederate Home, he gave up the pension, they are dealing them out mighty slow. The Home is better.
your brother, J.J. Duncan
from T.W.D., Dec. 31, 1913: I received your very welcome letter ... and was extremely proud of the present. ... My health is good as usual, am not really well at any time. ... The Daughters of the Confederacy had a Christmas tree here for the benefit of us old soldiers. We all got a small present, apples, oranges, candy, some gloves, handkerchiefs, - I got neck warmer. All the old fellows here were well pleased. They are much like children. Now, to top it all off, there were two twin children sitting in small chairs under the tree. You know the Good Book says "Once a man, twice a child." The tree showed off grand. Everything here is kept perfectly clean, beds, rooms and everything else. Our meals come perfectly regular. Christmas day we had one hundred pounds of chicken cooked for our dinner, - it was seasoned so well, tasted best of any chicken I ever did eat. Excuse my short letter. May the Lord be with us all, Brother Tol.
from Lina Coy - Jan. 13, 1914, Cynthiana, Ky.: I guess you know that Uncle Told had gone to the Soldiers' Home at Pewee Valley. I grieved so, because he had gone ... first, I heard him say he didn't want to go, but I had a letter from him not long since and he is perfectly delighted and glad he is there. He says there are 180 inmates there, their ages being from 72 to 87 and those who are not able to care for themselves are cared for in a nice way. ... I know he is better off there than running around in the cold weather. ...
from J.J.D., Kentontown postmark, Jan. 14, 1914: Haven't had any letter from Lyd or Tol for some time ... Tol seems to be well pleased with the Home, says they have everything there that they need. I have talked to several of the inmates and they all say it is the best home they ever had in their lives. ... You wanted to know who WILFORD DUNCAN's father was. He was aunt LIZZIE ELLIS' first husband's son by his first wife. He was a DUNCAN, I don't know what his first name was. (LWB: JAMES DUNCAN, son of JOSEPH. JOSEPH also had ARCHIBALD and other children. Have a letter to be copied later, /Dated Dec. 10, 1915, from J. J. D. in which he writes: "Yes, old ARCHIE DUNCAN was own cousin to our grandfather DUNCAN".)
Old BILLY HARDING raised WILFORD, that's HAMBY HARDING's father, and old BILLY HARDING's wife was a DUNCAN, - she and WILFORD's father were brother and sister.
from T.W.D., March 1st, 1914: My health is good as usual, I don't cough quite so much. ... cough drops ... seem to help me. I received letters from Sister Lyd, brother Jim, Lina Coy, Lina McDowell and Lizzie McLeod, they are all well, ... tis a great blessing. ... Sister Lyd is almost blind. ... Our uncles and aunts are all dead; our half uncles and aunts are all dead except one aunt lives in Indianapolis. ... Our grandmother Jackson was buried where the town of Ripley, Ohio, now stands. I have an idea the grave is covered with houses or cultivated in garden; I don't suppose the grave could be found; that family did get wonderfully scattered. ... We old fellows here do not know when it is cold, we don't have to go outdoors for anything. House is kept warm all the time with heaters, - are warmed with an engine. Makes it real pleasant all the time. The house and beds are kept clean, gone over every day, makes it a delightful place to stay. Still there are a few that will grumble without a cause. I am sure they are better cared for than they were at home. We get enough to eat that is good enough for any person, good beds, all clean and nice, plenty coverlids, - no need of complaint. I am going to Louisville this week to have me a suit of clothes made. The home furnishes them for which we should be very thankful, - for my part, I am truly thankful. 'Tis so arranged that we can get all these necessaries without cost to ourselves. These old fellows enjoy themselves playing cards and checkers. I don't do either. I read the Testament, - have read it through a second time. I think it is real interesting. My eyes give out sometimes and I have to rest them, as I don't want to strain them too much. ... I hope ... [this] will find you in good health, - it is a blessing more valuable than gold and is something we don't appreciate until we get sick; then we know its benefit. May God bless and protect you and yours is my sincere wish. Your brother, T.W. Duncan. P.S. I was 77 years old tenth of last June. Born 10 of June, 1836.
from J. J. D., Mar. 14, 1914: Red'd. letter from Tol yesterday. ... says he is coming up this summer on a visit to stay a month or so.
from T.W.D. - Pewee Valley Confederate Home, Ky., Apr. 3, 1914: Mr. George Tandy is here, said he knew all about you. ... a son of William Tandy who was a carpenter ... Mr. Michael Neal is here, he says he recollects you all very well. Thomas A. Raymond and James Taylor, one of our kindred, son of Armistead Taylor ... all are well here and well satisfied, 'tis a pleasant place to live. ... The worst part about it all, is everyone is deaf to some extent, makes it disagreeable to me to talk to them, as I have to talk so loud makes me think they don't listen. Old age brings on deafness. I hear real good and see quite well for my age. I think I will go home first of May, probably stay all summer as I feel like I would rather be there where I can go around among my friends in the nice pleasant weather of the summertime. Will return to my Confederate Home when I may wish so to do. I was at Louisville some three weeks ago, - went to get my Confederate suit of Clothes. 'Tis very nice, - if I had to buy it, it would cost me about $14.00. I am real proud of it. I know it will last me a long time.
from T.W.D. - Pewee Valley Conf. Home - postmark June 17, 1914: Well, I have returned to my Confederate Home, after a month's visit to my old neighborhood. ... I am real weak,- it takes so little to worry me, I give out doing nothing. ... only weigh 114 lb, - used to weigh 160; still I have no particularly bad feeling. ... I wish you could be here to see the beautiful roses and other flowers that are blooming now. The ladies that waits on us are kind and good to all. Col. George is real pleasant and nice with all of us. Your friend Thomas A. Raymond is in good health ... George Tandy and Michael Neal are well as usual. There are about 165 of the old soldiers here, - some 8 or 10 not able to care for themselves. Three have invalid chairs - wheel themselves around through house. It seems to take a great deal of attention to 'tend to and care for all these indigent old soldiers, - yet it is done. They could not be cared for better anywhere. No noise made over what they do, and all seem satisfied with their treatment. Excuse my gigazy letter.
from T.W.D., Aug. 7, 1914: I do not know what I would have done if it had not been for this home - 'tis a God-send to me. There are four in invalid chairs, on wheels as they cannot walk - can wheel themselves around the room. Your old friend Thomas A. Raymond is still on foot, 88 years old; one here is 95 years old - still goes around.
from T.W.D., Sept. 18, 1914: ... our niece, Lina McDowell, she was, has taken her third husband; he is a real good fellow and now has his third wife. I don't see how they could marry so often, I could not marry once!. ... th[is] home is an earthly Paradise, - everything perfectly quiet, our meals all come regularly, - those deafest ones all hear the first tap of the bell; every one has his place at the table. ... Your old friend Thomas A. Raymond fell down, cracked his hip bone, will not be able to walk any more, he is 89 years old. ... You will have to excuse this, I will do better next time after I hear from home folks.
Dec. 14, 1914 letter from Malinda E. Barkley, Ft. Worth, TX to her daughter, Alice B. Wright in Dallas, TX: I received a letter from dear brother Jimmie some days ago, with the sad news of my dear brother Toliver's death on the evening of 28th November at 5 o'clock in the evening at the Confederate Home [Louisville, KY]. A few hours after he passed away his old friend Thomas Raymond, also of the home, also passed away. ... I think my dear brother was 79 years old. Thomas Raymond was 90. ... They were buried side by side at Confederate Cemetery. The nurse phoned to brother Jimmie to to know what he wished done with [Tol's] remains. He phoned to send them home, she phoned that it would be difficult, so they buried him there beside his life long friend. A better heart no one ever possessed than he, - he was generous to a fault; joined the Church after he went to the home; he had written me that he had been reading his Bible. Also, that he had walked out a short distance from the home and was so weak he came near not getting back and when he did, he was assigned a room in hospital.
from J.J.D., Dec. 10, 1915: Dear Sister. ... You sure are a remarkable woman for one of your age to write such good letters. ... We are both well ... having beautiful winter weather ... all done gathering crops, killing hogs ... broutiful crops of all kinds, - so, as old BILLY HARDING used to say we are living at the fountainhead now. ... Yes, old Archie Duncan (d. 13 Nov. 1839) was own cousin to our grandfather DUNCAN. The postoffice at Kentontown has been discontinued. ... Direct your letters to Claysville. ()LWB note: "old" Archie Duncan b. 1763, m. 8-22-1792, Hannah Williams. He was Rev. soldier.()
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MALINDA ELIZABETH DUNCAN, daughter of MASON and JULIET (JACKSON) DUNCAN, was b. March 18, 1827, Pendleton Co., KY; d. August 18, 1917, at Fort Worth, TX, buried at Birdville, TX. She m. Jul. 15, 1844 Dr. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BARKLEY, b. Nov. 14, 1822, Lewis Co., KY, d. Dec. 25, 1882, Birdville, TX. He was the son of JAMES CHAMBERS BARKLEY and REBECCA HART.
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The following undated clipping included among the letters, apparently a funeral notice, probably from Mt. Olivet, maybe n'paper notice, reads like a weekly n'paper obit [Mt. O. have a n'paper or this from Cynthiana paper? Robertson Co. formed 1867]:
ONCE TO ALL
Does the Unwelcome Visitor Come
Several answer the Last Summons and Join the Silent Majority,
During the Past Week
Perhaps there is not a woman living in this county better known than Mrs. Mary Asbury, wife of the late Nelson Asbury, who died about two years ago, being at the time of his death one of the oldest men in this part of the state. Sunday at 9 o'clock, p.m., having lived (torn) allotted time, she followed him, thus another of Robertson's pioneer citizens is gone. She was honored and respected and a life long member of the Church. She had two children, the result of a former marriage, - Dr. J. W. Craig, of Bloomington, Ills., and Mrs. Martha Ball, deceased, first wife of N. C. Ball. Burial at the Chapel, Tuesday Morning. Funeral services conducted by Rev. Riffle.
[RCM: doubt that this family connects with Edna S. Craig, b. NC 1813 who m. John "Jack" Galloway, had dau. Ruth A. Galloway, b. 1843, who m. Wiley Beard and they had a daughter named Eula Ball Beard, b. 1870. But, must check Rev. Elijah Craig's Traveling Church records, the Williams documents from Kathy Duncan. This family connects with Woodford Co., KY as do the Craigs from Traveling Church who came from VA to KY, involved in battle of Bryant Station near Cynthiana, well, Paris, Bourbon Co. Hannah Williams definitely connects here through "Arch" Duncan.]
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