Down Memory Lane   - George B. Simpson, Sturgis News, Wed 11 March, 1998

        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 the winter.

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