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Bill Thayer

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James Jackson

This webpage reproduces a section of
The History of Jenkins, Kentucky

published by The Jenkins Area Jaycees
Jenkins, Kentucky 1973

The text is in the public domain.

This page has been carefully proofread
and I believe it to be free of errors.
If you find a mistake though,
please let me know!


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Dave Zegeer
This site is not affiliated with the US Military Academy.

Interview with Sevier Johnson

[We are talking about the baseball team that used to be here and about some of the players.] What about Ray Russell, Mr. Johnson?

He was very good, hit a lot of home runs and he was just a general all-around good athlete. He was a good fella, too, always in a good humor and was very active in all the civic activities.

What about the 4th of July Celebrations?

Fireworks around the ballpark and then around everyone's house too. Usually there was something special going on around the ballpark.

Was there much drinking going on at that time?

Oh boy! They would drink anything they could get, hair tonic and all! One thing I remember — Yank Hughes was up the recreational building pretty well lit up. He got in an argument with some fella and the fella gave Yank a pretty good blow in the side of the head and knocked him down. Yank jumped up and asked if anyone got his license number! Jenkins was pretty orderly, but Pound was right G‑51over the hill. Everyone went over there to get boozed up, so when you went to Pound, boy, that was a bad word. A lot of people from here would get in jail over there. I guess Bad John put a lot of them in jail and probably sold them the whiskey they got drunk on.

Was Jenkins ever wet?

Well, yes, it was — wet and then dry. They had a place down here called Falcon Inn; then course, Jess Bates had a store down here in East Jenkins.

[We're talking about the inside of the passenger trains.]

Well, the inside of the coach I would say is about 40 foot long. It had a row of seats on both sides, then the aisle. These seats you could lay them back, fold two seats together and make you a place to lay down. They were pretty nice cushioned seats. They had what they called a "news butch", he came through selling candy, magazines, chewing gum, pencils and other various items. They had a brakeman that come through and called out the name of the town. The conductor took up the fares. The conductor and brakeman both wore uniforms and caps. They were blue with gold buttons. They had to carry a watch that had 21 jewels. It didn't have to be any specific name. They wore a vest and the watch chain went across the front of the vest.

Did each coach have water coolers?

Oh, yes, they had water coolers and they also had paper cup dispensers. It was ice water. They got dry ice every day and kept it on the coach.

On the steam engine, how many people did you have with it?

Two in with the engine, engineer and fireman. Actually they had a 5‑man crew, including brakeman, conductor and baggage man. Hastings was a conductor here forever. Dave Chaffin was one of the original ones and Fred Rutherford and Gene Hills.

Did you have any trouble or problems on the train?

Well, one funny thing that happened, we shipped a dog out express and the dog was going somewhere in Missouri. The dog got out of the crate down at Dorton, so the baggage man just got out, gathered him up a stray dog, and put it in the crate and shipped him off!

What do you think has been the biggest change in Jenkins?

One of the biggest changes was when the coal company sold all the stores and things, and then another change when Bethlehem Steel G‑52bought Consol.

How long have you known Dr. Perry?

Since 1931 and he also had a brother at Russell, Kentucky. I knew him, he worked for C & O railroad. He was here when I came. I guess he has presided over three-fourths of the births of the people in Jenkins.

When you first came here, didn't they have a tin fence around the ballpark?

Yes, and they would pull the tin loose and sneak in and watch the game. They had the population sign across from the ballpark at that time, and it said 10,000.

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Page updated: 8 Dec 05