As one leaves Sturgis going out to what is known as the old Sullivan Road,
one travels through Conn country and Hazel Bend country. Cypress Creek
runs along the edge of the country. I can recall walking with Marie Curry
along the Cypress Creek as she pointed out the uprooted and destroyed large
Cypress trees that lined the bank of the Cypress on her farm. The damage
had been done by the soil (so called) conservation service; she was very
disturbed by the damage and bulldozer mess, Along the old Sullivan Road
great Uncle James Simpson(brother to my grandfather) had established a
small farm. With his own hand he had set out a row of pecan trees on one
edge of the farm. He was a careful farmer, for my father visited him and
observed his care and attention to small things. As a grown man, my Dad
always quoted Uncle Jim. Uncle Jim Simpson had two daughters and a son,
Bill Simpson. Marie Simpson Curry, a daughter, married Orville
Curry and they had two sons--Bob and Kay and a little daughter who was
killed when she fell from her horse.
As you go on past the Simpson place and the Curry place and the Conn Brothers'
place, you come to an area known as Hazel Bend; and if you can take an
off-the-road up to the right you will pass through the, old Hazel settlements
and Conn country. Martha Conn, my classmate, year (1948)lived three years,
and her sister and other sister also.
Mr. Braddock lived up there nearby. Years past Bill and Thelma White and
Buck White and Jimm Gilchrist and his aunt lived in the area. They caught
the bus down at the intersection and parents lived out there, as well as
the Markham place and the tail end of the old Bill Slaton place (before
the civil War owned by Mr. Hazel)--Red Hazel's grandfather; Jr. Sprague
knew the area well--he spoke of the Shagnelli place out there. Bill Slaton
(died about 1945) had a pretty good oil well on the old Sullivan road which
Mr. Arnold Bell always claimed through his wife.
As for Hazel Bend, the Conn's married into the O'Nan's before the Civil
War to Elisha O'Nan. Thus, the O'Nan's were out there somewhere.
For In 1844, Elisha O'Nan shows up at the old Kuykendall; sale with Conn
to. bid on the estate sale items. Old Coxen Conn had come out of Lexington
having bid on a federal tax land sale and had gotten land down in Union
County. All those Conn's and O'Nan's are buried in the little cemetery
on Cypress Creek-- across from Pythian Ridge Cemetery. I don't see any
Hazel's In the same cemetery-- they must have been Baptists or Presbyterians.
A little further down the road after the civil War, old John Smallwood
owned a whole lot of land he was an old bachelor--no children--just kin
to the Beans. Old Smallwood made a lot of money trading with Bell's mines
just across the river. selling them corn. fodder, hay, oats and timer.
The Hazel Bend Country was subject to being flooded in the spring and thus
folks were stranded for a while. Most went to church up at old Mt. Pleasant
on the old Claysville-Caseyville Road which was above the flood waters.
The old graveyard is still there. Old Rev. W.W. Wynns preached there quite
a bit--and it said he preached so hard he fell into a trance and they had
to haul him home in a roadwagon. Old Rev. W.W. Wynns won his converts by
prayer. He would preach a short sermon and pray. On one occasion at Mt.
Pleasant the folks were so plentiful at the mourner's bench that he said,
"Go fetch Rev. Barbee, I've got to have his help.
In Smallwood's' land there were coal outcrops and most folk dug coal for
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