Poole a 'straddling town'

Taken from a Special Edition of "The Gleaner"
printed March 27, 1988
permissive use granted by Editor
newspaper provided by Vonette Shelton-Curtis

At one time, border town belonged to Henderson County

Gleaner staff report

Poole, Ky., is one of those straddling towns that has one leg in one county and the other leg in another county.

That wasn't the case, however, when miller John Poole settled there in 1826 and built a horse-powered grist mill. At that time, all of the settlement that quickly became known as "Poole's Mill" was claimed by Henderson County.

Today, about a third of Poole's residents live in this county, and the remainder are Webster Countians.

Were it not for John Poole and his four enterprising sons, one wonders if the town would have developed at all. Those sons, each filling a separate community need, became the village's millwright, innkeeper, blacksmith and storekeeper.

One of the sons, William, also doubled as the town's first postmaster when the community post office opened in 1855. It's not clear when "Poole's Mill" became just Poole, but town records from 1889 still used the longer designation.

Though the Pooles were the hub of the community, they weren't the only business people. J. S. Lisman, for instance, operated a drug store there in 1883 and had a large apiary to furnish honey for the housewives' home-baked bread and to sweeten cakes and other desserts.

Area histories note that the community also had four tobacco factories that shipped directly to England.

Among the things held in common by all rural communities are cherished churches, and Poole has its share. The first church organized there was a Baptist church. It began having meetings some 13 years before the beginning of the Civil War. About 18 years following the War Between the States, Poole became the site of a Church of Christ, and, after the turn of the century, saw the establishment of a Methodist Church, as well as other Baptist churches.

Schools have been important too, and Poole has had several. The turn of the 20th century saw John Poole, the grandson of the community's founder, establishing an academy.

Before many Americans even knew what a telephone was, Poole its own telephone exchange. That independent agency operated from 1894 until 1907. The exchange still was fuctioning[sic] when, in 1902, the Poole Deposit Bank was founded.

It was in that same period that the Masonic Lodge was organized in Poole. That chapter, founded in 1896, became one of Kentucky's oldest - as did its sister group, the Eastern Star chapter, which was established in Poole in 1901.

transcribed by Tina Hall 8-12-2002

Poole Milling Co. remains in the town that once was known as "Poole's Mill"

Gleaner Photo by Allen Mayo

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