This is the second installment of Saving Voices. Extractions from a cassette tape recorded at the Klaiber farm, Long Branch Road, Boyd County, Kentucky, the summer of 1978. The tape has started to deteriorate and now has been converted to .wav.
Today Long Branch Road pavement ends at the Carter County, Kentucky line. The road continues as gravel until it dead ends at the hillside within Carter County, Kentucky. The McWharter home stood at the end of the road on the left side and was finally torn down about six years ago. Denton, Kentucky is just over the hill. To get to Denton from Long Branch one must either ride a horse or possibly attempt it with a 4-wheeler, even today.John Henry Klaiber: … the McWhorter’s, Jim McWhorter’s girls lived up here. Well they wasn’t girls they was old women.
[McWhorter’s lived at the end of Long Branch across the Boyd County line in Carter County, Kentucky.]
Elsie Rucker Klaiber: …I went there when I was first married [married 1939].
John Henry Klaiber: And I went by there one day and they keep two hogs and when they fed em, one would get over in the pen with the other hog and take a stick to keep the other one away til it ate. Then when it ate the other one would get over and feed her hog and keep the other one away.
Elsie Rucker Klaiber: They were the descendents of Dr. McWhorter, the heart specialist in Ashland.
John Henry Klaiber: And they bought two pigs off dad one time and I took them up there on horses and maybe a sled. Anyway I took them up to em. They put the money in my overall pocket up here and took a needle and sewed it up.
Elsie Rucker Klaiber: Afraid he would lose it. I have penned many of dollar bills in Jimmy’s pocket when he would go down and take his grandmother some money or something for something.
John Henry Klaiber: They [McWhorter’s] were dandies.
Elsie Rucker Klaiber: I went up there to see them. John took me up there to see them. John just drove through and down the creek up and around in the old pickup truck, when we was first married and this old log house. It was so fascinating. Big fire place. And the women were kinda, they didn’t want anyone to come because nobody hardly came because it was so far. And I tell you I sat there and looked at Mrs. Klaiber [Julina Leota Sexton Horton Klaiber] and John. We was looking at the fire and we was talking and I saw that cedar chest. It was one of those chests on chests. They call them blanket chests. Oh that was the most beautiful thing. How I would have loved to have that. I just sat there and wished for that the whole time. And I heard when they moved they moved the furniture out on a sled some way over the hill and I just wondered if it broke that chest. And they took me back. I had never seen anyone drying pumpkins. Of course I had to ask for a drink or something. [Saving Voices to be continued next blog.]
The McWharter sisters in the taped story are America Ella, born November 1868, and Elizabeth A. McWharter born about 1869. They were the daughter's of James McWharter and wife Margaret Davis and the grand daughters of Harvey McWharter and America Ulen.
Evelyn Scyphers Jackson did an article on the Harvey McWharter family in her column "Boyd County Ancestors" published in the Press-Observer in January 1976. By then Evelyn wrote "...the home place stands abandoned at the head of the left fork (Long Branch) of Garner, just across the Boyd County line, in Carter County. Nat Burke had a new roof put on and used the building to store hay while he owned it."
The girls father James McWharter purchased the property containing 87 acres on 15 February 1871 from John and Ann Hazlett.
In the story Elsie worries about the chest being damaged when moved "over the hill." Both the sisters went to live with their brother John L. McWharter in Denton, Carter County. The only way to get the furniture across the hill would be with horse and wagon and even then it would be a rough ride.
Elsie retained an undated clipping of the death of Miss Elizabeth Ann "McWhartar" in her scrapbook.
"Funeral services for Miss Elizabeth Ann McWhartar, 89, of Denton, KY., will be conducted ...today at the residence of her brother John L. McWhartar at Denton...burial will be in the family cemetery..."
America Ella died 1 February 1936. This is prior to the marriage of the Klaibers. There were only two McWharter daughters in this family. Either Elsie & John visited prior to her marriage or another lady has moved in with Elizabeth in 1939. America and Elizabeth were residing together in the house in 1930 when the census was taken. America Ella is buried in McWharter Cemetery as well. Their brother John L. McWharter died 24 March 1957 at Denton at the age of 86.
Their parents, James and Margaret Davis McWharter are also buried in McWharter Cemetery at the end of Long Branch Road on the left side of the road on the hill.
James W. McWharter 2 Jan 1842 - 24 Nov 1919
Margaret McWharter 23 Feb 1844 - 2 Aug 1920
This series of Saving Voices will be continued as the story unfolds with memories of drying those pumpkins leads to many details about food on the table in rural Boyd County, Kentucky.