Henderson County, Kentucky History



By John Steinrock

On Third Street, near the present YMCA building, a group of soldiers were marching a captured Henderson man to the firing squad.

A crowd of youngsters had followed the procession down the street, waiting to see what happened. The prisoner, captured for spying, was stood up in a coffin, then shot. When the order to fire was given, the youngsters turned and fled.

One of the youngsters was JEROME DUCKWORTH, father of CHARLES H. DUCKWORTH, 77, who farms near Poole. DUCKWORTH told the story as it was told many times by his father.

The incident happened during the Civil War, according to DUCKWORTH. His father was a carpenter by trade, and lived in Henderson during the 1860s.

His father also told him about the time a cannon ball came sailing down the street, when Henderson was under siege. As the story goes, the cannon ball hit the street and came spinning to a rest in front of his grandfather's café somewhere on Third Street.

Around the turn of the century, as a boy, DUCKWORTH remembers riding on a mule-powered streetcar. He said he waited for the streetcar at a livery stable on Elm Street, located across from what is now NORRIS Hardware Company. The street-car took him to the show grounds on South Green Street, where BARRET Stadium now is located.

"I'd like to start a mule-powered streetcar club," said DUCKWORTH. He said there probably aren't many people around today who rode on one in Henderson.

DUCKWORTH lives with his brother-in-law on a 101-acre farm about three miles south of Poole. A gravel road winds about a half-mile off old 41, and crosses farmlands, that according to DUCKWORTH, are some of the best in the state.

He lives in a four-room concrete block house that he built 23 years ago.

"We don't farm heavy," said DUCKWORTH; "we're in the grain program. This past week he set out a small field of barley, now that his tobacco is cut and hanging in the barn.

Across the gravel road is a 35-acre portion of DUCKWORTH'S farm. Close to the road sits an oil well slowly bowing to the earth. DUCKWORTH said it doesn't bring much; "just enough to leave a bad taste in your mouth."

One of his biggest yields for which he is most noted for around Poole, is his watermelon crop. They must be good, because according to DUCKWORTH, he sells out without taking them off the farm.

Reprinted with permission
Newspaper clipping found in the Society files

Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2002 HCH&GS