Sunday, July 29, 2012

Newspapers: Selling the Hopkins Farm - Part 1

Almost every time my grandfather visited us in Mt. Vernon, Kentucky when I was growing up (which was weekly after he retired in 1960), he took a drive out to the old farm where he'd spent most of his childhood. This is that farm! 

I knew James Arton and Lucinda Howard Hopkins sold this farm and moved to the Gum Sulphur area of Rockcastle County in 1919 but I had no idea they held an auction to sell the property.

I love the real estate company's glowing description of the property but the explanation of why my great-grandfather was selling the farm is my favorite part of the ad. 
"Its location and general character make it a most desirable place and the only reason why Mr. Hopkins has consented to sell is because his years and health are such that he cannot work it himself; his boys have all grown to manhood and gone out into the world to do for themselves and outside labor is too high to hire."
I'm not sure about his health at that time but at age 57, Jim wasn't quite as old as this makes it sound. It seems the biggest problem was that all of his free or cheap labor (in the form of his eight sons) was gone.

It's interesting that the Willing Workers (which was the ladies group at the Christian Church) furnished dinner. My Taylor great grandparents attended the Christian Church and that great-grandmother was a member of the Willing Workers but it wasn't the Hopkins family's church. Maybe the Rockcastle Real Estate Company had some connection and the ladies provided food for all of their auctions. 

Part 2

An easier to read PDF copy of this ad is here.

Chronicling America added several years to their Mt. Vernon Signal collection some time ago but I haven't taken time to start exploring them until now. The Signal images available include all surviving issues from 11 Dec 1896 to 15 Dec 1922. 


  1. It is sad in a way that none of his 8 sons wanted to take over the farm to keep it in the family but farming is hard work & I bet it was even harder back then. What a wonderful find. Do you know how much the farm went for?

    1. Actually three of his sons became farmers. I do know the sale price - stay tuned for Part 2.