Gleaner Staff Report
Anthoston, Kentucky, is a good example of the resourcefulness and imagination used by residents in naming rural communities.
When the townsfolk learned that the village's original name, Bloomington, couldn't be used for the proposed post office because another Kentucky town had claimed it long before, they no doubt felt cheated of their identity.
But Dr. H. H. FARMER saved the day.
The former physician who'd give up his practice because he was weary of dealing with suffering and death had other talents besides medicine. In addition to being a farmer, a magistrate, an assessor and county school supervisor, he was a Greek scholar, and his knowledge of that language quickly produced a solution.
He simply translated "blooming" into Greek, coming up with "anthos." In a short time, anthos became Anthoston, meaning "city of flowers."
That was either 1884 or 1890. Accounts of the date differ.
Whatever its name, the community was progressive and, obviously, marked by the kind of generosity that's seen in the history of virtually all of Henderson County's towns.
It appears that for every settler who took advantage of the commercial opportunities presented by a new village, there was one who donated a portion of his landholdings for the schools and churches that would form the nucleus of the communities.
The aforementioned Dr. FARMER was one such person.
In 1882, according to material at the Henderson County Public Library, he contributed a plot of ground for the building of a town church. This church, for seven years, was nondenominational.
(FARMER, obviously a popular fellow, also served as county representative at the state's Constitutional Convention in 1891.)
Bellfield Baptist Church, said to have been named for the old Bell Cemetery and spring in that vicinity, was organized in 1889 and is a viable part of the town today as it was then. When the old building no longer was usable, the congregation, in the 1940s, constructed a new church.
Around the turn of the century the "city of flowers" had a post office, a saloon, a school, doctor's office and what one account calls "a first class general store."
Reprinted with permission.
Special Edition, The Gleaner, Henderson, Kentucky, Page (9)
Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2005 HCH&GS