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Pictorial past

Historic images of Henry County
compiled in newly published book

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

NEW CASTLE, Ky. (January 2007) – Henry County Historical Society member Hammer Smith calls a soon-to-be-published pictorial book about Henry County “another tool people can use to study the history of the county.”

Henry County Pictorial Book Cover

And Smith would be accurate in his assessment of the 120-page, hardback book. Spanning roughly the years from 1800 until the 1940s, the pictorial “Historic Images of Henry County” should be available by Feb. 5, officials said.
The book is being printed in China by Frankfort, Ky.-based Lanham Media Services and will sell for $50. This may seem a little pricey, said Hammer, but it is a bargain when compared with other books on the market.
Smith and Pat Wallace, Henry County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, have spent more than two years collaborating on this project. The two said they knew it would be a hit with communities across the county.
They liked a similar book published by Lanham Media Services about Frankfort so much that they chose the company to publish the Henry County book.
The book contains more than 200 photographs and highlights many businesses, said Wallace. The content is divided by towns, she said.
When a call for photographs went out, Smith and Wallace never dreamed of the overwhelming response they would receive. With more than 600 photographs submitted, the pair had a difficult challenge to narrow the choices to fit the different sections of the book.
Limitations included stopping with the year 1940. Photos were determined by those with the widest interest span, and an emphasis was placed on buildings rather than people. Certain photos are included of interesting people with extraordinary stories.
One such couple was Annie Estes and Dr. Yancey of Lockport. Estes (born 1888) was 14 when she married Dr. Yancey (born 1872), who was 16 years older than her. Dr. Yancey was murdered six weeks after their June 1903 wedding.
“There are so many things in this book,” said Wallace. “Most people won’t remember them but will enjoy seeing how things used to be.”
The front cover features an old-time shot of Eminence before paved roads were in place.
“This has turned out to be a bigger project than we thought it would be,” said Smith. Each photo carries with it a caption, some only a sentence long, others half a page, depending upon available information. Smith and Wallace are responsible for researching and writing most of the print for the book.
The historical society has published several books in the past including, “Henry County Cemeteries,” “The History of Henry County” (up to 1995), “Henry and Shelby County Atlas” (reprint of a 1882 atlas), and the first “Court Order Book,” which contains early Henry County Fiscal Court proceedings.
Smith believes a lot of interest will be generated in this book, especially since the historical society has many visitors who are interested in genealogical research. The historical society houses all of the old county records, and an excellent set of marriage licenses, deeds, inventories, estate settlements, some wills and many family files.
“I think people will be pleased with it,” said Smith.

• To pre-order “Historic Images of Henry County,” call the chamber at (502) 845-0806 or the Henry County Historical Society at (502) 845-0999. The book will be for sale at the Henry County Chamber of Commerce located at 137 S. Main St., New Castle, and the Henry County History Center also on Main Street, New Castle.

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