Long, long ago my grandpa D.D. “Dock” Cornett told me some of his life’s history. I remember a lot of the things he told us grandchildren.
His great-great-grandpa was born in 1803. His name was Samuel Cornett that came into this area and settled at the mouth of Cornetts Branch on Linefork. He squatted on a vast parcel of property around that area. It was wild wilderness land and he laid claim to the land around him.
He owned slaves at that time and let them help clear and tend crops of corn and cane and vegetables like potatoes, beans, cabbage and beets, and planted apple, cherry and pear trees to become food for all. He was wealthy in ways because he had animals to work the fields and cattle for milk, buttermilk and meats, and hogs ran wild and free for the taking. They had sheep for wool and spun the wool to make yarn to turn into clothing, and animal skins to dry and work and make leather for shoes and coats, etc. The workers did most of the work of all kinds.
Samuel was a stubborn type of man and was hard on his wife. He just had her for another worker for him, and to raise children for him to have to help.
He got angry at her for some kind of problem between himself and her and he killed her. He told one of his slave men to get her and take her over across the creek on the hillside and dig a hole and put her in it and pile rock and dirt on her body.
That is the first person to be buried in the Cornett Cemetery. Her name was Lucy McDaniels Cornett, born in 1812.
They were parents to several children. One of the boys left home at a young age. His name was William. He went somewhere toward Rockhouse where a logging company was hiring workers to make a dam to back the river up so they could put the logs they cut in the Kentucky River and when they got enough to send down the river they would open up the dam and let it take the logs down the river to someplace where they sawed them at a sawmill. William went down with them.
While on his journey, he met a girl and they fell in love and he brought her back and married her. Her name was Sarah Caudill. She had been adopted by a Proffitt family, a wealthy family.
William and Sarah had nine children, Elijah, Lucy, D.D. “Dock”, Samuel, Jasper, Richard, Margaret, Nancy and Bill (William II).
Grandpa D.D. “Dock” was my dad Victor Cornett’s dad. Dock married Rachel Frazier and they had six children, Victor, Dennis, Denver, Hattie, Meckie and Cecil.
Grandpa Dock was born in 1869 and lived to be 95 years old. His mother Sarah went blind and she stayed with Dock and Rachel. I can remember seeing her. They made her a walkway out of stones and put a banister up for her to hold onto to go outside and walk. She was on that when I saw her. I must have been about three years old. I remember her hugging me. I loved her.
Great-grandpa William was deceased and I never got to see him. I always loved to hear my Grandpa Dock tell us all the stories of his family, but I didn’t like old Samuel. I thought how mean he must have been.
I could never imagine Grandpa Dock being a great-grandson of a man that mean. Grandpa was so kind and good to everyone around him. He called all his granddaughters Big Woman and the boys Big Boys.
He lost his eyesight when he got older also, like his mother.
Grandpa and Grandma Rachel lived on Cornetts Branch also. All the family of Samuel moved away somewhere else and also all the slaves. The slaves were free then. Old Samuel lived during the Civil War.
Later on there was another Cornett named Sira “Old Sid” Cornett. He is buried there also. He was in the army. He saved up his money in gold and silver. He wouldn’t take paper money. He hid his money and never told anyone where it was. They never did find it. He never did get married.
Thelma N. Cornett told us about Sira and how he lived. He was an old man when she ran the first post office up near the old Kingdom Come High School. He would come to their store and post office and he wouldn’t take paper money for change.
My uncle Cooley Campbell of Ulvah used to be friends with Sira. They would go hunting together. He taught Uncle Cooley a lot while they were around each other. Cooley liked to come and hear his stories.
Sira fell in love (one time) with a girl, and something went wrong and after that he said he’d never marry anyone else because he lost her.
Well, Memorial Day weekend is over again. So many people were on the roads to visit their loved ones’ graves and put flowers on them.
The soldiers came to pay their tribute to all the men and women who had been in service. They came to Ingram graveyard and did their honoring and a 21- gun salute and Taps. When they do that, it gets the tears started but I love to hear that pretty loving sound.
My son Daniel came to sit with me on the porch while they were here. Daniel misses his dad so much. They were always doing things together when Claude was still here. Now it makes a great emptiness in our hearts. They fished, hunted, went ginsenging and worked together and Daniel misses him being with him.
My other sons are David and Randy. David and family called me to come meet them on the mountain trail for a cookout so Randy and I went. We had a good time and they cooked hotdogs and chili and hamburgers with soft drinks and cookies for dessert. We enjoyed the evening very much.
The children of Mark Miles and my granddaughter Lauren and her son Grant had a great time playing at the kids’ park. They all had new baseball gloves and a baseball and they ran and played themselves tired. Mark’s little son Gavin is doing good. He was able to play with them. He still has to wear oxygen but is able to take it off sometimes for a while.
Lauren and Mark plan to be married this fall sometime. He gave her a beautiful ring. I’ll know more about that later.
She came over and we went riding the Jeep with the top down. We visited with my cousin Bruce Jones and son Larry and family. We enjoyed the evening. They were hoeing in the garden. It is looking good.
I have to stop and I’ll talk to you more next time.
I love all. God bless everyone.