Thursday, May 8, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 17

The O’Daniel House
By Odell Walker

[Picture of the O’Daniel House]

The O’Daniel residence is a stately old farmhouse located in the Oak Grove Loop Road, in the Oak Grove Community of Lyon County.

Ninian Edwards of Elkton (1775-1833) was a land promoter and speculator. He held land grants in many counties throughout western Kentucky. Ninian Edwards took a 400 acre land grant May 18, 1800 in Livingston County. Present day Lyon Count was a part of Livingston County at that time.

This land was located in the watershed of Skinframe Creek. Ninian Edwards transferred this land to a relative, Elisha B. Edwards, who held it until his death in 1850.

Ninian Edwards moved to Illinois and was a distinguished leader in early history of that state. He served as the first governor of the Territory of Illinois (1809-1818) and he led in forming companies of volunteers for defense against the Indians. He served as one of the first U.S. Senators from Illinois (1818-1824) and as governor (1826-1830)

Following the death of Elisha B. Edwards in 1850, the property was sold by theheirs.

Caleb Stone bought 200 acres of the original land grant. Over the years, Caleb Stone bought additional acreage until he had a total of 470 acres.

Calbe Stone was born in 1826 in the New Bethel community of present day Lyon County, the son of Leasil Stone and Nancy Killen. Caleb was a brother of the Honorable William J. Stone of Civil War fame and a member of Congress from the First Congressional District of Kentucky.

Caleb Stone married Lucy Cruce of Crittenden County in 1849. Caleb and Lucy Stone built the first phase of the house in the early 1850s, which consisted of two large log rooms. Over the years, additions and renovations have been made to the house.

For 50 years, Caleb Stone was recognized as a leader in up-to-date progressive farming. He raised prized thoroughbred livestock and had a premium short horn bull valued at $800. A picture of the bull was on exhibition at the New Orleans World Fair of 1885. He also had a large orchard of selected, choice varieties of fruit.

On Oct 1, 1904, Caleb Stone, following the death of his wife, sold his beloved house and farm to H. H. Holeman of Hopkins County.

In the following years, until 1919, the farm changed ownership five times. It is interesting to note that once the farm was sold two times the same day.

In September 1919, Leslie H. Doom and L. H. Doom Jr and his wife, Sudie, sold the farm and house to James Watkins (Watt) O’Daniel and his wife, Myrtle, of Gilbertsville. Watt O’Daniel had sold a farm on the Tennessee River near Gilbertsville, in Marshall County and purchased the Lyon County farm.

All of the O’Daniel belongings, including the livestock, were loaded on a train at Gilbertsville. The family and all of their things came by train to Fredonia. Watt O’Daniel hired a surrey and driver from the T.O. Ordway livery stable to take Myrtle and the children to their new home over the dirt roads.

Three of Watt’s new neighbors, Charley Stone, Raymond Patton and Omar Patton met the train with wagons to haul their things to the new farm. The livestock were driven over the road to the farm.

Watt and Myrtle O’Daniel had four children: Almerine who married Ted McNeely, Mabel who married Kelly Sutton, James and Laurelle. Almerine and James are deceased.

Laurelle presently resides at the stately old homeplace and carries on the family tradition of farming on a smaller scale.

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