Down Memory Lane   - George B. Simpson, Sturgis News, Wed 1 April 1998

        As we pass through Hazel Bend and Conn country one runs upon more details.  Behind Mr. Conn's old home was located the burial ground of Peter Hazel of about 25 burial stones.  Peter Hazel is apparently the original settler-1823-in this area from Central Kentucky-near Abe Lincoln's birth place.  Peter Hazel had a 1000-acre land grant in the Hazel Bend area.  The land where the old burial grave sites were located was badly kept and some of [the] grave stones were used to make a walk by later owners.  Then the 20th century strip mining by Costain caused the balance of graves to be moved up to the old Hazel burial ground
up neat the Tradewater River.

        Mr. Les Daniels lived in the area at one time and he had a big combine which he pulled with a big international  tractor.  He combined Louis Pritchett's wheat, oats, and barley; and Jimmy Daniels helped run the big combine. Jimmy Daniels became an Air Force pilot-but was later killed in an air accident. I can recall him landing at Sturgis airport on a day set aside for an air show.  Jimmy Daniels was a good pilot, a well-mannered person and he was raised in the Hazel Bend-Conn area.  I seem to recall that they killed hogs a lot and then in later years EB Conn also had a hog-killing station at his place in the Conn-Hazel Bend country.  EB Conn sold Red Clover seed for years at a reasonable price.

        In former years, Pap White, Bill White's dad, drove a wagon bus to take the Hazel Bend children to school at Sturgis; later Mr. Van Hazel build a cab on his pick up truck to haul the Hazel Bend to school.  Red Hazel was Van's brother.  Red Hazel had a gas station in Sturgis and did a good gas business.  Later he sold his gas business to Tom Blackburn of Sturgis.  Dudley Hazel was Red Hazel's only son.  Red Hazel married a Newcom.  She was Jean and Guy Newcom's brother and they were partially raised across Tradewater in Crittenden County.  Apparently there was a Hazel-Conn settlement up near the Tradewater River. In years past the narrow paddle-wheel boats would tie up at the Hazel loading and would take on sheep wool and produce and livestock.  As long as the water was high and before the railroad bridges the trade boat passed all the way to Providence, KY, and old Bellville where the tobacco warehouses were located.  The trade boats navigated horse shoe bend of Tradewater below Fish Trap crossing.  The landings were made at Black's Ford.  The old Tradewater fords are mentioned in the old land deeds, as well as the ferry locations.  The
Court's had to issue the ferry rights to an operator.  It was a competitive business; Ford's Ferry in Crittenden County did a good business and made old James Ford rich as he killed the travelers and go the gold out of the false bottom in their wagons; he dumped their bodies in the Ohio River.

        In those years the folks at Hazel Bend landing were self-sufficient in that they repaired their own shoes and had cobbler equipment to do the repair work.  Also, they had well-cared for apple, peach, plum, and apricot orchards, berry patches and sheep near the settlement.  One of the Hazel's purchased a saddle bag at the old Simeon Kuykendall sale in 1844.  There were lots of Caleb Hazel's.  One was Abe Lincoln's first teacher up near Harrodsburg, KY;  one Caleb Hazel married Dora Debose of Sturgis, KY, and I knew both of them. Dora was a very religious person and Mr. C. Hazel was a good business man with good judgement.  I drew deeds for him.

        George Whitecotten, at the Kuykendall sale in 1844, purchased 7 shoats (hogs); Whitecotten married one of Philip Young's sisters.  They were 1/2 Cherokee Indian girls.

        Old William Winston Sr. Purchased 2 iron wedges at the Kuykendall sale in 1844.  Elisha O'Nan purchased several log chains.  Elisha O'Nan had married a Conn, and thus probably lived out in the Hazel Bend area for a while.

        Joseph Potts purchased a speckled cow and calf (1844 sale).

        Caleb Hazel purchased (1844) a yoke of oxen, bows, and steeple;  Fountain P. Hawkins purchased a Young Bay horse at the sale in 1844.  Thomas S. Newcom purchased a large kettle at the sale.  One of George Washington's kin, William K. Ball, purchased a bedstead.

        As I recall, Jim Gilchrist and his aunt lived with Mr. White and Bill and Thelma white and young Buck (Sonny) White out in the Hazel Bend country in those (1940s) years.  The Braddock boys (1940s) were raised in the Hazel Bend country. I can recall the Model A Ford car which their parents owned.  Also John R. Markham lived in [the] Conn area at one time riding a bicycle from high school and his carrying the big bass horn around his person.  Later years John R. Was butcher for Willis Thornsberry and he worked with C.E. Johnson, also a
butcher.  I can recall when Key Curry went to [the] old Sturgis High and he broke his leg as a high school senior and I can see him now on his crutches.  His brother Bob, was a pilot in World War II.  They were out in [the] Hazel Bend area with their grandfather, Jim Simpson, at times.  It seems Jim Simpson may have married a Conn, I do not know exactly.  Bill Slaton's land bordered on the old Sullivan road and I can recall on instance when I got to be in his home and to see him close up.  Bill Slaton wore plain pants with a rough work shirt and big
suspenders to hold them up;  he came to the table in his stocking feet; he was a director or in the Farmers State Bank and father of several daughters and a big land owner.

        In later years we had an African-American who worked for us, Verna, who was raised on the Bill Slaton place.  She was a good devoted person.  Perhaps her last name was Anderson.  Norma Jean has a good recollection of her growing up years and of the old Hazels from Caleb, Peter to Van and Red Hazel.  I don't want to steal her thunder, but I felt I must get down what she revealed to me as future generations may want to know a little about their past.

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