Whitesburg KY
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Cousin visits after 50 years

I haven’t written in a few weeks, but I’ve not been feeling too well and just didn’t get in the mood to do much of anything.

I had a wonderful surprise on Oct. 10. One of my cousins came by to visit with me. I hadn’t seen him in 50 years.

He graduated from KCHS in the ‘50s and left here and went to the service, and was in the Viet Nam conflict and was able to come back safe. His name is Roy Cornett, a son of my cousin, Coty Cornett.

When he got out of the service he went to northern Michigan to work for Ford Motor Company for 32 years. The family left Linefork and moved to Blair.

Most of the other children moved away to other places, some in Virginia, some in Chattanooga, Tenn., and one or two stayed on Linefork. His brother, Kenneth, married Judy Clark, and a sister stayed at Blair for years.

Kenneth brought Roy to see me. He was a young man the last time I saw him, and now he is 74 years old. He is doing fair in health. He was married to his first wife and had four children, three boys and a girl.

His wife died and he said he stayed single for five years and then married again, and she is sick and in a nursing home now.

Coy Cornett was my dad, Victor Cornett’s, first cousin. His dad was Sam Cornett and was a brother to Dad’s father, D.D. Dock Cornett.

They also had four other brothers, Richard, Elijah, William and Jasper, and three sisters, Lucy, Nancy and Margaret.

Elijah married and lived at Cornettsville and his son, Miller, built the Blue Goose Tavern at the mouth of Leatherwood. Many years ago a lot of bad things happened there. Miller shot one of my first cousins, but he lived through it.

Three brothers went there and spent all of their money, and Miller tried to make them leave because they were not spending any more money. They wouldn’t go right then, so Miller got his gun and shot Robert and was going to shoot Colin and Victor, but they ran out to the railroad and got away.

They were some of Cooley Campbell’s sons, my mother’s brother. They were young men and loved to go down there to drink beer.

All the men back then loved to go to the Goose and drink. I was always afraid of that place. I did not like drinking all of my life. I saw too much heartaches in my young life. It made me afraid of people who drank.

I am a proud mother — none of my five sons drink. They have made me so proud of them. They never came home drinking. I am 86 years old and I have never been drunk or smoked.

My dad and brothers drank, and it was so sad to see them and hear them. My mom had brothers who drank and cousins on both sides of the family did also.

It is a sad thing to see fathers drink and fuss at their families, and a very terrible thing to see mothers get drunk around their children.

I want to tell about our Kingdom Come Park. The state let them have a grant to build a new road up the Cumberland side of the mountain. It is a nice road. But I think they need to spend money to clean up all the park first. I don’t know who the overseer of that part is, but I know that it is in bad shape.

Since Hensley Halcomb and the men who worked with him kept it so nice. He was a fine person and wanted it to be nice for the people to visit.

He split rock and built pretty walls and walks, and also made homemade rails for fences in so many places, but now the rail fences are rotting away and it seems no one cares.

Hensley is gone and it is needing someone to keep every thing good. The restrooms need repairs and weeds and bushes need to be cleared up so you can get to the places of interest to tourists.


The overlook is needing repairs to make them safe. Trees that fell need to be removed. They need more shelters built in the picnic areas with toilets.

A wedding chapel would be so nice to have for weddings and church.

The log rock needs to be cleaned up around it. The Raven Rock needs seen about and made a big attraction.

It’s so hard for older people to get to some of the nicest places. Golf carts would be so good to have to help people get to them. Charge a little fee for the carts to take them up the trails and the nice, scenic places. The lake needs cleaned and stocked with good fish.

Have a Coon on a Log attraction, and let people bring their coon hounds to have contests to see who has the best coon dog, and give trophies for that.

It used to be fun to watch and listen to the hounds barking all over the place. That was the good old days.

We got news that our dear pastor, Mary K. Bennett, had gotten real sick and they had to take her to a Lexington hospital with blood clots that went to her heart. She broke her ankle a few weeks ago and was at Hazard Hospital when she got worse and they had to take her to Lexington.

Pleas pray for her to be well and to get to come home. She has the Son Shine Children’s Home on Linefork. She has been a wonderful mother to helpless children for many years. There could never be a better person to so many children in this world, as she has proved to so many people.

I know, because I used to go and sit most of the night after Bible Study and she would rock the ones who were sick all night. We would talk the night away and pray, and it was such a comforting feeling to see someone so dedicated to children whose parents had given them away.

She is an angel of mercy. It was a hard job, but she never did complain or give up on any of them.

Before she started doing that, she took care of her mother for years who died with cancer. She would make a bed on the floor beside her mom’s hospital bed and sleep so she could hear her if she needed her.

Mary told me that he mom rolled off of the bed and fell on top her and almost killed her. She laughed and said, “I just got up and helped her to get back in bed.”

Then she died and left Mary, and at the time she was keeping one of Nathan Stamper’s little girls, and she didn’t know what was going to happen to them. She couldn’t draw any money to help her to live, but then she found a way. She went to the welfare people that had several children needing homes, and she prayed for the Lord to help her to keep some of the children.

She got three little sisters at first. They had been molested and all needed some way to help the girls. She took them to her home and took them to a good doctor to be treated, to get them well.

They were very sick with a disease they had caught from their dad, who had molested them. They got well, and learned to love Mary. They had been starved and without nourishment.

People began to find out and started bringing good food to help her, bread from the bread truck and someone brought a lot of eggs. They ate eggs and bread three meals a day for weeks, egg sandwiches, boiled eggs, deviled eggs.

Then other sources of food began to be brought to her, fried chicken from restaurants and potatoes from neighbors, and canned foods, and she began to get help from other sources.

She cooked good meals for them and sent them to school and helped them learn spelling, arithmetic and their ABCs, and most of all, helped them to know Jesus and to pray.

The Four Square Church started helping them, and she made it good for all.

More children came along, and at one time she had 15 children. She was given strength through her ministry to be able to do all the things she did. She finally got the big home started, and it has prospered through all these years. She got help from all kinds of people and other ministries.

My Grandpa Cornett was a son of William Cornett. He was born in 1869 and lived to be 94 years old. He lost his eyesight while in his 80s. He owned a tract of property on Ingram’s Creek of Linefork, and never did make a will for anyone to own the property.

None of his children are living, only grandchildren and their children, and then all of their children.

My dad, Victor Cornett, was the first child of his and Grandma.

Several of the grandchildren are going to put it up for sale, and it is a big mess and a big burden on most of the members to try to think of it being sold. There are 144 acres of land.

They were the best part of my young life. I spent many nights and days with them and truly loved them, but I am old and not able to buy it, so whoever buys it, I hope they will take good care of it.

It needs a lot of clearing up and fixing up the old home like it was when they left it.

The Steven Seagal movie of Fire Down Below was partly filmed there. I got to go there while they were making the film. It as an exciting day for all.

We were invited to have dinner with the stars when they got through. They had parked all their trailers and equipment at John D. Huff’s farm, about 2½ miles away. The movie was good.

My sons, David, Daniel and Randy, have been working all week on my husband’s gravesite, getting it fixed up so they can put the tombstone up.

My oldest son came up last Sunday to help, and the way they are making a stone wall on three sides of stone from our old Kingdom Come School building, so it will be level to set the tombstone on.

Roger couldn’t understand all that, and he went home on Thursday to O’Hickory, Tenn. His wife had a doctor’s appointment on Friday, and they made it okay.

Claude and I both wanted the stones around the site because we went there to school and loved the old building so dearly. It is going to be so pretty.

We got word about Marry K. Bennett today. She is still in ICU. Her sister is staying with her. I’m so glad for that. Most of Mary’s family members are gone. Keep her in your every prayer. The children need her to come home.

I have to stop now and get this to The Eagle office. I’ll write again soon. With love.

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