Monday, August 9, 2010

Children's Day - 1895

Crayneville Sunday school met in Ordway Grove Sunday, June 23, and carried out the following programme:
(I wonder where Ordway Grove was located)
  • Words of Welcome - B. F. Jacobs.
  • Introductory Scripture Lesson - Rev.James F. Price
  • Recitation - Lucy Ordway
  • Recitation - Florence Tabor
  • Music, by Rays of Light.
  • Recitation by Myrtle Jacobs.
  • Recitation by Maudie Davis
  • Recitations and Music by primary Class with Rays of Light singing an echo.  Talk by  Amanda Jacobs.
  • Recitation by Lee McCaslin.
  • A greeting from our general Supt. of Sunday School work, - H. P. Jacobs.
  • Intermission of about two hours which was highly enjoyed by all as they gathered around the bountiful supply of food spread before them.
  • After recess the importance of Sunday School work was discussed by J. M. McCaslin, B. F. Jacobs and others.
  • Children's Day, its object and aim by J. P. Jacobs, James F. Price , B. F. McMican, J. R. Cole. 
  • Importance of primary teaching, P. H. Woods and others.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Crayne Cemetery Fish Fry June 4th 2010

The Crayne Annual Fish Fry was held June 4th, 2010.  We had a very successful afternoon and appreciate everyone that came and supported this annual event.  The proceeds all go towards the upkeep of our Crayne Cemetery.  It's always a pleasure to see old familiar Crayne citizens at this event.  Although many have passed away since the Fish Fry first started in June of 1999.

Some of the familiar faces to this years fish fry, and who do not live here now, but still call Crayne home are:  Helen Cruce and sister Mary Jean Cruce Fear, daughters of George and Christine Cruce. 

The gentleman on the left is Bob Fear, Mary Jean's husband, and Mary Jean is the one on the far right.
Helen is sitting at the end of the table.  I'm not sure who the young lady is beside Mary Jean.

Familiar local and old friends in this picture are:
Left: Harold Cannon and wife Carolyn Gilland Cannon and Carloyn's sister, Elaine Gilland Shinall.

Harold and Carolyn are childhood friends for the old Crayne days.  They are always ready with a big smile for everyone.

Some of the volunteer workers, that if not for them, we couldn't have the fish fry.  Here are some of the as they are getting the food prepared.

From left: Jim Estes, Emmett and Bernice (Sutton) Jennings and Bonnie Gass.

Emmett, Bernice and helper Bonnie Gass, are preparing their delicious hush puppies.  Emmett and Bernice have been regulars at this event since it first started.

This is new board member, Billy Joe Rushing, and the regular fish fryer of the event.

Everyone says it's the best fish ever and there is always plenty to eat.

We hope to continue the annual event in 2011 and hope to see everyone there.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day

The Ultimate Sacrifice
Resting in the Crayne Cemetery are the remains of Ellis B. Ordway, World War I Veteran, and the first Crittenden County young man to give the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  He was a Crayne citizen and the son of William and Julia Ordway. 

He was in Co. A 16th Infantry.  His comrades spoke of him as a brave soldier.  He was sent to the front to Aragonne Forest, where he was wounded twice by a machine gun in the right let on the 17th day of July 1918 and he died July 26th, 1918 from his wounds. at the young age of 23.

Although he died in 1918, his remains weren't returned home to Crayne until April 1921.  His service was conducted in the presence of a large crowd of sympathetic friends at the Crayne Presbyterian Church.  The remains were wrapped in the American Flag, for which he fought and died.
He has a family tombstone.

Other veterans that have military markers are:  Raymond Fletcher, WWI; Burnie Rogers, WWI; Clarence Holloman, WWI; Roy Boisture, WWI; Denton Crider, WWI; Norvel Tabor, WWI; Jonas Rushing,WWI; Sgt. Frank Evans, Spanish American War, Phillipines, and WWI.
Henry Ewell Baird, WWII; Harlan Rushing, WWII; James Moss;, WWII; George Hubert Deboe, WWII, Edward Benedict, WWII.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

James Woodall Homeplace

Although not right in the heart of Crayne, James and Melva Woodall and son Tracy were always a part of the Crayne Community, as were the other families that lived on the Crayne Cemetery Road .  

The children of the families that lived on the Crayne Cemetery road always attend the Crayne School, and some attended the Crayne Churches.  Their lives were always a part of the community and in the years past most everyone was kin to each other one way or the other.  So we were all like family.

The picture above is of James and Melba first home.  They lived here all the years that I was growing up.  The home always a familiar sight as you drove by.  The house has sat empty now for several years.  James and Melba are both deceased and buried in the Crayne Cemetery.  Son Tracy has sold the home place and farm, and today as I drove by on my way the the cemetery, I saw that the old home has been taken down.  It's just a bare spot were the house used to sit.   Things change, time goes on, but it's rather lonely now without the familiar old house on the hill.

(Picture made in May of 2009)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Myers Grocery

One of the grocery stores that Crayne used to have was the Myers Grocery.  It was owned and operated by Allie and Mary Emma (Dorroh) Myers.  The block building was built in 1960, on the location of the former Dorroh's Store.  The inventory consisted of groceries and some hardware.

This is a picture of the store in 1961.  In the picture are left to right: Henry Ordway, Allie Kirk and Mr. Allie Myers, owner of the store.

Later they sold the inventory to a Mr. and Mrs. Locket Nunn of Sturgis.  in 1964 Mr. and Mrs. Nunn moved the store inventory to old Kuttawa.

At right is a 1961 ad for their store from the Crittenden Press.  Look at those prices. 

The building was later used as an antique store for several different people.  It was opened as the Crayne Grocery some years back, but it didn't last long and now is empty again except for storage by the owners.  The people that owned the building  and tried to run a grocery store said the food trucks said they didn't buy enough to pay them to stop, so they had to close.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Seth and Velma Ferguson Home

Known for many, many years as the Ferguson house, home of Seth, Velma, Sandra and Sheryl.  The home was sold in 2008 and now belongs to another family.

It sits across from the Crayne Presbyterian Church on Crayne Cemetery Road.  For the most part it looks as it did all my life.  The carport was added on in later years, but the front of the home looks the same.  The swing-frame that is on the left of the picture has been there for over 60 years.  I'm sure the swing is a different one, but Sheryl and I have sit many a  times in that swing that was there previously.

I don't know what happened to it, or when it was removed, but in the 1950's and 60's ,and probably many years before, there was a real windmill that sit in the area behind the swing.  I've often wondered what happened to that windmill and what was the history behind it.

The steps of the front porch are large sandstone rocks, and I've been told that they were stones from the old sandstone quarry that was located several miles down the road, that I told about in a previous posting.  Also the foundation for the basement was built with these stones.

Lots of childhood memories are connected to this house and my friends the Ferguson's that lived there.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Homes of Crayne Citizens III

Here are some more familiar homes you can see as you drive through Crayne.

Not too way from the  Allie and Vera Kirk home was the home of Allie's brother, Vernon "Bud" and Irene Kirk.

I believe this home must have been built around the same time as Allie's home, for Bud and Irene lived in Detroit, Michigan for a while.  Their children Kenneth and Linda were born in Michigan.  By 1942 they had moved back to Crayne, and their third child, Jim was born.  
After Bud died in 1989, Irene moved to Marion, and the house and farm were sold soon after.  This is the way the house looks today.  I don't know who owns it or lives there now.

Right in the heart of Crayne is my home.  My dad started building this home about 1947.  It was going to be for my grandmother, Ethel Brantley, Mom's mother.  She lived right next door and her home was the larger house, plenty big for our family of four.  When this house was started it had only 3 rooms, only the necessary rooms, kitchen, bedroom and a living room.

Somehow along the way, the plans were changed and Mom and Dad decided to keep the new house and over the years Daddy kept adding on the it, with large bathroom, family room, utility room, until in finally ended up with nine rooms.  It was a wonderful home to grow up in, as there was always room for our friends to visit.  This picture was made in 2004, and it looks the same all but the ice storm damaged the sugar maples in the yard and now  they are only tree trunks with some stubby limbs.  It's still my home.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Friend share memories

My childhood friend, Nancy Ellen Sutton Lynch, is a follower of my Crayne Blog.  She grew up on the Lilly Dale School Road.   She has a memory that is unbelievable about the people, places and things that took place while she was a child.  She shared some of these memories after she read the last two postings about the old homes.

From Nancy:
  "When I saw Mr. Allie and Mrs. Vera's house, I could hear her voice in the choir at church.  She sure was a singer and enjoyed it so much.  I think that she played the piano, too.  Mrs. Wilma Keeling was the regular one, but I'm sure Mrs. Vera was the back up player.

Miss Ida Ordway's home didn't look much different in the picture and when she lived in it.  One Halloween, some of the boys thought how funny it would be to scare Miss Ida.  Well, they were the ones that got the surprise.  She fired a rifle right over their heads.  When they took off running, they ended up running into a barbed wire fence.  So I'd say that Miss Ida got the last laugh."

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Homes of Crayne Citizens

This old empty house was once the home of William "Bill" and Julia (Long) Ordway.  The house is located just a mile or more south of Crayne, almost directly across the road from the Allie and Vera Kirk home that is listed in the last article.

The history of when the house was built is not known for sure, but it is probably at least a hundred years old. Bill and Julia Ordway lived here until they died and then their daughter Ida Ordway lived here until she died Jan. 22, 1967.  The house has sat empty every since.  It has withstood wind, rain, snow, sleet, hail and still stands today .  This picture was made in the summer of 2008.

William Ordway was born Nov. 15, 1855 and died April 10, 1925.  His wife Julia was born July 8, 1859 and died Dec. 23, 1935.  They are all buried at the Crayne Cemetery.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Homes of Crayne citizens

Allie and Vera Kirk Home.  Located about a mile south of Crayne on Hwy. 641.  Their son, Maurie Huston Kirk, told me this house was built in 1941.  The basement was built with a team of mules and a scraper.  They mixed the concrete there at the house site and poured it.  

Vera died in 1995 and Allie continued to live in their family home until he passed away in 2001 at the age of 99.

The house sat empty until the summer of 2009 when Houston and Virginia's grandson, Matthew Systo moved into the house.  The home once again has family members occupying it's once empty rooms.  It's always good to see family members taking care of their old homeplace.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Our beloved Crayne Knobs

Crayne is nestled at the foot of the Crayne Knobs.  They have also been called the Twin Knobs, as they were so close together and as you can see from the picture, almost the same size and shape.  The shape has become somewhat distorted in the past years and they have been logged for timber and then the 2009 ice storm left the remaining timber in a sad shape.

These friendly knobs were wonderful to all the kids growing up in Crayne.  Several generations of families have had children that love to "go to the knobs" for a day of fun and adventure.  I've spend hours and hours here playing on the rocks, climbing looking for new hideouts, finding all kinds of wild ferns growing on the moss covered rocks, and standing on the top thinking we had conquered the world.   All seasons had fun times on the knobs or at the foot of them, for there were small ponds in the fields, and creeks that ran through the woods. When it would snow, me and brother Billie, would head for the knobs for tracking of animals.  What fun it was just to follow the rabbit tracks that were everywhere and around the streams would be other kinds of tracks that just ran on endlessly.

Childhood friends that I grew up with and played on the knobs with were Sheryl and Sandra Ferguson, Clinton Bigham, and Harold Cannon.  My faithful wonderful little dog, Bullet, always went with me too.  He and I made many trips just by ourselves, visiting this favorite childhood place to play and dream.

It has been a few years since I've made that long remembered walk to the Knobs.  They called for me  to come for a visit on a sunny Saturday afternoon in March of 1996.  I climbed to the top and looked out over my home of Crayne and it was as it always had been.  Below you could see the little village with the Crayne USA Presbyterian church in the center and the homes nestled all around.  A wonderful  peaceful site, and I must make that trip again - come springtime.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Crayne Cemetery

The Crayne Cemetery sits a top a gradual slopping hill.  You don't realize that you are this high up until you reach the cemetery and stand and look around at the country side.  It's a beautiful view from the top, no matter what season it is.

No document has been found that actually tells when the Crayne Cemetery was started or who gave the land for this purpose.  It has been said that the Spurlin Woodall family gave the land, but there is no deed at the Court House to document the fact.  It must have been done by the year 1900, for the first burial that is noted is Dec. 7, 1900 for Leona Tabor, an infant belonging to G. J. and Elressie Jennings Tabor.  Soon after this date, other burials started being here.

These are the steps leading up to the cemetery from the front entrance.  Several years ago the bank was lined with beautiful old Cedar Trees.  I hated to see them go since they had always been a part of the cemetery.  But it seems they had become rather tattered from the weather over the years and some thought they needed to cut down as limbs were always breaking off of them.  But the cemetery has never looked the same since they were cut down.

The cemetery holds many of the loved one from the Crayne community and surrounding area.  Many of the  old family names, that were so familiar years ago to the Crayne community, are all gone now.  The original family members all passed away and their children moved away to different places. 

The cemetery is home to Civil War Vet, David Brookshire, also the 1st Crittenden County young man to be killed in action in World War I, Ellis B. Ordway, son of William and Julia Long Ordway.  Killed July 26, 1918 in France.   There are other Veterans buried here also, put mostly just ordinary working folks who loved Crayne and never wanted to leave and if they did have to leave, wanted to come back for their last resting place in their hometown cemetery.

The Crayne Cemetery is lucky to have a local Cemetery Board who oversees the maintenance and care. of it.  On the 1st Saturday in June, for the past several years, they have a fish fry to raise funds to go into the account to help keep the Cemetery maintained.  

Friday, January 15, 2010

Remembering James Robert Dorroh

James Robert Dorroh passed away today, Jan. 15th.  He will be missed by all his friends and loved ones.  His presence will be missed in many areas of the community.  His spot in the Crayne Presbyterian Church will be empty and cannot be filled.  His shy smile and dry sense of humor will be missed by all that knew him.

James Robert loved his hometown of  Crayne, and thanks to him there is a  lot of history recorded about the early days of this little community.  He knew so much history about the people and the stores that used to be in the community.  We are lucky that he wrote several articles about his memories,  we are fortunate to have these. 

He would have been 84 on Feb. 11th of 2010.  The picture at the right is at the Crayne School Reunion this past August 2009.  He was sharing some of his school memories with the people that were there.  His memory was very sharp and clear.

All summer long I had meant to stop and visit with him, as I had some questions I wanted to talk to him about.  As happens so many times, I waited too long and now it's too late.  He is gone and the questions will remain unanswered.  I'll miss you James Robert and the community of Crayne will sadly miss you.  You were the heart behind Crayne Day.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Jan. 3rd, 2000 Tornado Anniversary

Ten years ago today January 3th, 2000, at about 3:08 P.M. the tornado struck our little community and almost wiped it off the map.  Thankfully no one was seriously hurt, but mentally it was devastating.

The day had been unusually warm and humid for the winter month of January.  I was at work at the Board of Education Office.  Dr. Lacy, our Superintendent, had been watching the skies and weather forecast . As the skies darkened and turned a greenish color he told all the employees to get in the hallway of the office.  The buses had already started out on their afternoon routes to deliver the students home.  The short wave radio's were going full blast as everyone was trying to report their status.  The buses on Highway 641 and all routes leading into Crayne were halted.  No one could get into the town.  All ways of entry were cut off by fallen trees.  This was every way, North, South, East and West, all roads were impassable.

I still didn't know for sure what had happened.  I called my Mom, Evah Lee Travis, and thankfully the phones were still working.  She was in tears and scared to death, she told me "we've had a tornado."  She was unharmed, just scared and frightened.  I tried to get into the town through the Chapel Hill Road, but it was blocked by large fallen trees, I got close enough to where I could walk in, or I ran in , as I was really frightened by now, for I was unprepared for what I was going to see.  Never had I seen such destruction to our little town.  I came in on the North side, close to James Robert Dorroh's house, it had been badly damaged by the roof being partially blowed off and his large trees uprooted and on the house.

(This is a picture of his house after a few days later.  The tree had been cut and you can see the base of it on the bottom left.)

As I went on through the center of town,  there was parts of buildings, trailers, blown everywhere, insulation from the trailers had put a pink stuffing on everything.  Electricity was out, wires were down everywhere,you had to watch where you walked as not to step or trip on them. Fallen trees and limbs lined the highway.

I finally got to our house.  Thankfully my Mom and our home were alright.  There were some roofing shingles blown off, the air conditioner unit had been moved off it's base, and some damage to the vinyl siding.  But no windows were broken out and the roof was all intack.  We were very fortunate, alot more so that other folks.
The residents of Crayne were out and going around trying to check on their neighbors and friends, everyone was worried about everyone, the yards were full of standing water and debris caused by the storm.

The clean-up went on for weeks and months and all through the year, and into the next year and beyond. Most all the ancient sugar maple trees that had so beautifully lined the highway of Crayne were gone.  The storm had damaged the old  Crayne school house and the little block school room and they had to taken down.  The Crayne US Presbyterian Church was damaged and was said to be  unsafe to use.  Many tears and much heartache was caused by this.  Finally it was torn down and a new one built in it's place.

The tree root in the picture at the right was in front of Pam and Roger Tinsley house across from the Crayne Post Office. 

Things in Crayne were never the same after that Jan. 3rd, 2000.  Although the people and friends all worked and got things cleaned up, it was just such an emotional trial for everyone.  My Mom never fully recovered from the emotional effect it had on her, and probably others had been effected the same.  That June there was no annual Crayne Day, something else that was hurting to the community.  Although there have been other Crayne Day's since then, the heart of the community has never been into it like it was before the storm.

Many of the old time residents are gone today and a few new families have moved in.  But we still have our  familiar Crayne Presbyterian Church and our same post office and our friendly postmistress.  So that it good.