Friday, July 17, 2015

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 19, 1837: William Shakespeare Hays

From The Kentucky Encyclopedia 
Born in Louisville on July 19, 1837, the son of Hugh and Martha (Richardson) Hays, William Shakespeare Hays wrote as many as five hundred songs. Sales of sheet music copies of his tunes reached about 20 million -- an extraordinary number for his time. Educated at Hanover College in Indiana and Georgetown College in Kentucky, Hays was devoted to the southern way of life and had a lifelong attachment to riverboating, the subject of his regular columns in Louisville newspapers during the last half of the nineteenth century.
Will S. Hays, as he signed his manuscripts, composed patriotic, religious, and sentimental songs. Perhaps his most popular piece was " Mollie Darling," which sold as many as 3 million copies in the 1870s. Other notable tunes included " My Sunny Southern Home," " Evangeline," " We Parted By The River Side," " The Drummer Boy Of Shiloh," and " Nora O'neil." Late in life Hays claimed to have written " Dixie," but credit for this tune must in fact go to Ohio's Daniel Decatur Emmett.
Contemporary writers lavished praise upon Hays and his songs. S.J. Clarke claimed that "in America his songs were more deeply admired and cherished than those of any other composer." Hays was described as "one of the gentlest men in all the Southland" in spite of his "rough ways and his profane language." A music critic credited the success of his music to "charming melodies, easy and effective accompaniments, and a genuine feeling... written for the masses and by the masses appreciated." Hays died on July 23, 1907, and was buried in Louisville's Cave Hill Cemetery.
NICKY HUGHES, Entry Author
Source from UK Libraries:

Answer to Log cabin in the lane. [electronic resource] : Little log cabin's the home after all.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: June 25, 1855 – Gerard Fowke

Image from
From Wikipedia (accessed on June 18, 2015):
Gerard Fowke (June 25, 1855 – March 5, 1933) was an American archeologist and geologist best known for his studies of Native American mounds.[1][2][3]

Born Charles Mitchell Smith in Charleston Bottom, Mason County, Kentucky, near Maysville, his parents were John D. Smith and Sibella Smith.[1][4][5] He was the eldest of five children and the only one to survive to adulthood.[1][4] Fowke's mother died before he reached ten years of age.[4] He spent his childhood in Kentucky and was raised by his father and other relatives.[2] In 1887, he legally changed his name to Gerard Fowke, naming himself after a prominent American ancestor of his maternal grandmother, Elizabeth Fowke.[1][6]

Early career
He worked as a bookkeeper and clerk in Nashville, Tennessee, before returning to Kentucky in 1873.[2][4] From 1873 to 1876, Fowke was a student and farmer in Kentucky.[4] In 1876, he moved to central Illinois, where he taught grammar school for two years.[2][4] He then taught in Brown County, Ohio, before taking a position as a grammar school principal in Sidney, Ohio, from 1879 to 1881.[2][4] In 1881, he took a class at Ohio State University in geology and archeology. After this course, he became interested enough in the subject to spend the rest of his life in the study of geology and archeology.[4]
Fowke's career in science began in 1883 when he studied geological formations associated with the Wabash, Arkansas, and Missouri Rivers.[1] The river he spent most of his time studying, though, was the Ohio River. During the course of his career, Fowke thoroughly investigated the geology of the Ohio River from its mouth to its source.[1] He studied Flint Ridge for the Smithsonian Institution, detailing his findings in the "Smithsonian Report" in 1884.[7] In 1886, he studied the archeology of the Monongahela River Valley of Pennsylvania.[2]

Fowke was hired by antiquities collector Warren Moorehead in 1889 to study Native American mounds in Ross County, Ohio. Working together with a team of laborers for about a month, the two excavated 12–15 Native American mounds.[8] Fowke worked for the Smithsonian Institution, under the Bureau of Ethnology, from 1885 to 1888, studying Native American sites in the eastern United States.[9] He searched for evidence of pre-historic settlements on Vancouver Island in Canada from 1896 to 1897.[9]
He travelled in Siberia on the Amur River, looking for evidence that East Asians migrated to North America to become Native Americans.[2] Working for the American Museum of Natural History of New York City,[10] he travelled to Vladivostok in 1898 with fellow researcher Berthold Laufer. The two spent several months together. They travelled the Amur River in Siberia by boat,[11] studying the Tungusic, Ainu, and Gilyak peoples. They took photos and recorded songs, and studied artifacts and native cultures.[12] The two researchers later split up, with Fowke continuing to travel the Amur River by canoe, accompanied only by a stranded sailor and a Tungusic native.[1][9][11] Fowke started this expedition from Victoria, British Columbia, sailing first to Japan, then Vladivostok, then Khabarovsk, Siberia. From there, he boated on a canoe for 700 miles along the Amur River to the Channel of Tartary, down the coast to the Sea of Okhotsk, then back to Nikolayevsk-on-Amur.[1]
From 1911 to 1916, he worked for the Missouri Historical Society, studying the geology of the Saint Louis, Missouri area. Before this, he had studied geology in Ohio. Fowke also worked for the Jefferson Memorial in Saint Louis, setting up a collection there of Native American relics. He rearranged them in 1926, and set up a new collection in 1930.[9]
In 1912, Fowke travelled to Guatemala, where he examined ancient mounds in the abandoned Mayan city of Quirigua. He travelled to the Hawaiian Islands, looking in vain for a pre-historic population.[1] Fowke spent several months examining pre-historic remains in Mexico, New Orleans, New Mexico, and the Carlsbad Caverns.[1] He was once given a grant of 2500 U.S. dollars, spending the money investigating the geology of Yellowstone National Park.[9] In 1926, he studied Native American burial mounds in the present day Marksville State Historic Site in Louisiana. Working for the Smithsonian Institution, he was the first archeologist to study the area and produce a detailed map.[13]
Fowke spent much of his life studying ancient mounds of rocks and earth, trying to prove the existence of a civilization that pre-dated what we currently understand to be the Native Americans.[9][14] He never found evidence of a civilization distinct from the later Native Americans. His 1902 book Archaeological History of Ohio, which summarized his research, helped to prove that these mounds were indeed made by the Native Americans.[9] His research was sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History of New York, the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Science, the Smithsonian Institution, and others.[4]
Fowke published at least 59 works during his career, mostly regarding his research on Native American archeology.[2] His publications appeared in numerous journals, newspapers, and magazines, including Science, Popular Science, and publications of the Smithsonian Institution.[2][10] Most of Fowke's research was done on foot. He walked an estimated 100,000 miles during the course of his career. He did geological or archeological research in nearly every state in the United States.[15] Fowke was a lifelong bachelor and died with no close kin.[4][9] He moved to Madison, Indiana, in 1922 and lived there the remainder of his life. Fowke died in King's Daughters' Hospital in Madison of natural causes at age of 78 and was interred in Springdale Cemetery in Madison, Indiana.[4]


1.    Leahy, Ethel C. Who's Who on the Ohio River and Its Tributaries. Cincinnati: The E.C. Leahy Publishing Company, 1931. pages 422–3.Print.

2.   Hansford, Hazel, and Logan. "Gerard Fowke(Charles Mitchell Smith)". Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science. Volume 43 (1933) pages 20–23.Print.

3.    "Gerard Fowke Found Dead". Madison Daily Herald.[Madison, Indiana] 6 March 1933.Print.

4.    "Gerard Fowke Found Dead". Madison Daily Herald.[Madison, Indiana] 6 March 1933. Print

5.    Necrology Scrapbook, Missouri History Museum Library, Saint Louis, Missouri

6.    Fowler, Ila Earle. (1978). Kentucky Pioneers and Their Descendants (p. 9). Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company.

7.    Moorehead, Warren K. "A Narrative of Explorations in New Mexico, Arizona, and Indiana, Etc." Bulletin of Phillips Academy, Andover, Department of Archeology. Bulletin III.(1906): page 107. Print.

8.    Moorehead, Warren King. The Field Diary of an Archeological Collector. Harvard University Tozzar Library, 1902. Pages 6–7.Print.

9.    "Gerard Fowke, Noted Archeologist, Dies". Saint Louis Post Dispatch 10 March 1933, page 3B. Print.

10. Randall, E.O. Preface. Fowke, Gerard. Archeological History of Ohio. Columbus, Ohio: Ohio State Archeological and Historical Society, 1902.Page iii. Print.

11. Bloch, Alexia, and Kendall, Laurel. The Museum at the End of the World: Encounters in the Russian Far East. University of Pennsylvania:2004. Page X. Print.

12. Shirina, Danara. "Jesup North Pacific Expedition". Encyclopedia of the Arctic. Volume 1, 2, and 3. New York: 2005. Page 1045. Print.

13. "Marksville State Historic Site."Louisiana Office of State Parks.State of Louisiana, 11 Sep 2013.Web.

14. Gerard Fowke, Archæological History of Ohio: The Mound Builders and Later Indians 

15. "Gerard Fowke Dead". Madison Courier[Madison, Indiana] 6 March 1933. Print.

External links

  • Works by Gerard Fowke at Project Gutenberg
  • Works by or about Gerard Fowke at Internet Archive
Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
Archæological history of Ohio: the Mound builders and later Indians; by Gerard Fowke. Published by the Ohio State Archæological and Historical Society.
571 F829, Special Collections Research Center
Antiquities of central and southeastern Missouri : report on explorations made in 1906-07 under the auspices of the Archaeological Institute of America / by Gerard Fowke.
SI 2.3:37-38, Young Library - U.S. Government Publications (5th floor)
Cairns of British Columbia and Washington / by Harlan Ingersoll Smith and Gerard Fowke.
QH1 .A43 v.4 pt.2 1975, Young Library - Oversize Books (5th floor)

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 5, 1928: Warren Oates














Image from



 From IMDb, Internet Movie Database:

(Accessed June 18, 2015)

Warren Oates was an American character actor of the 1960s and 1970s and early 1980s whose distinctive style and intensity brought him to offbeat leading roles.

Oates was born in Depoy, a very small Kentucky town. He was the son of Sarah Alice (Mercer) and Bayless Earle Oates, a general store owner. He attended high school in Louisville, continuing on to the University of Louisville and military service with the U.S. Marines.

In college he became interested in the theatre and in 1954 headed for New York to make
his mark as an actor. However, his first real job in television was, as it had been for James Dean before him, testing the contest gags on the game show Beat the Clock (1950). He did numerous menial jobs while auditioning, including serving as the hat-check man at the nightclub "21".

By 1957
he had begun appearing in live dramas such as Studio One in Hollywood (1948), but Oates' rural drawl seemed more fitted for the Westerns that were proliferating on the big screen at the time, so he moved to Hollywood and immediately started getting steady work as an increasingly prominent supporting player, often as either craven or vicious types. With his role as one of the Hammond brothers in the Sam Peckinpah masterpiece Ride the High Country (1962), Oates found a niche both as an actor and as a colleague of one of the most distinguished and distinctive directors of the period. Peckinpah used Oates repeatedly, and Oates, in large part due to the prominence given him by Peckinpah, became one of those rare character actors whose name and face is as familiar as those of many leading stars. He began to play roles which, while still character parts, were also leads, particularly in cult hits like Two-Lane Blacktop (1971) and Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974).

Although never destined to be a traditional leading man, Oates remained one of Hollywood's most valued and in-demand character players up until his sudden death from a heart attack on April 3, 1982 at the age of 53. His final two films, Tough Enough (1983) (filmed in late 1981) and Blue Thunder (1983) (filmed in early 1980), were released over one year after his death and were dedicated to his memory.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jim Beaver <>

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Warren Oates : a wild life / Susan Compo.
PN2287.O175 C66 2009, Young Library - 4th Floor

Warren Oates [ videorecording] : across the border / a Tom Thurman/Fly by Noir production ; produced and directed by Tom Thurman ; conceived and written by Tom Marksbury.
AV-V4320 , Young Media Library

The wild bunch [videorecording] / Warner Bros.-Seven Arts presents a Phil Feldman production ; screenplay by Walon Green and Sam Peckinpah ; story by Walon Green and Roy N. Sickner ; produced by Phil Feldman ; directed by Sam Peckinpah.
AV-D3239, Young Media Library

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: July 22, 1937 - Gurney Norman

Image from

Gurney Norman, Andrew Garrison, Ned Beatty 
From Encyclopedia of Appalachia, edited by Rudy Abramson and Jean Haskell. The University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville,  2006.
Gurney Norman, born July 22, 1937, in Grundy, Virginia, is best known as the author of the novel Divine Right’s Trip, for which he received a National Book Award in 1972, and the collection of short stories Kinfolks: The Wilgus Stories (1977).

From a coal-mining family that experienced the hard times of depression and war, Norman and his two siblings spent part of their childhood with grandparents in Hazard, Kentucky and Pennington Gap, Virginia. In 1946 he and his brother enrolled at the Stuart Robinson School, a Presbyterian boarding school in Blackey, Kentucky, and he remained there until his graduation in 1955. Norman attributes his early interest in writing to the influence of Robinson teachers who first introduced him to the books of Jesse Stuart and James Still and encouraged his own writing. He edited the school paper, the Stuart Robinson Highlights, and wrote his first short stories at the school.

Norman attended the University of Kentucky, where he majored in journalism and English. In the late 1950s, four of his stories appeared in Stylus, the campus literary magazine. On the strength of these stories, he won a Stanford University Wallace Stegner Creative Writing Fellowship in 1960.

After serving in the U.S. Army from 1961 through 1963, Norman returned to Kentucky to work as a reporter for the weekly Hazard Herald. He covered such stories as the roving pickets, which were still active in 1964, the War on Poverty, and the beginnings of environmental activism against strip mining.

A return to California in 1967 brought work as an editor and writer for the Whole Earth Catalog. Out of that experience came Norman’s first novel, Divine Right’s Trip. Published in short chapters in the margins of the catalog, it became a national best seller in 1971.

In 1979 Norman joined the faculty of the University of Kentucky, teaching creative writing. Since then, he has been a driving force for cultural activism in Appalachia, supporting young writers, filmmakers, actors, and teachers. He initiated and coedited an anthology of poetry, Old Wounds, New Words (1994), and the essay collection Confronting Appalachian Stereotypes: Back Talk from an American Region (1999). In 1999 Norman and his wife, Nyoka Hawkins, founded a small publishing house, Old Cove Press. The press’s first book was Affrilachia, a collection of poems by Frank X Walker.

Norman has also been involved with television and film. He wrote and hosted three documentaries for Kentucky Educational Television: Time on the River, exploring the Kentucky River Valley; From This Valley, examining the literary and cultural heritage of the Big Sandy Valley; and Wilderness Road, retracing Daniel Boone’s route into Kentucky. His play Ancient Creek was recorded by June Appal Records of Appalshop; later translated into Italian by Annalucia Accardo from the University of Rome, it was performed for video in a series of programs on The South of the World. Norman collaborated with director Andrew Garrison on the screenplay adaptation of three stories from Kinfolks: “Fat Monroe,” “Night Ride,” and “Maxine.” The three resulting films were edited together into The Wilgus Stories (2000).

-          Andrew Garrison, University of Texas

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:Divine Right's trip : a novel of the counterculture / Gurney Norman with an afterword by Ed McClanahan.
PS3564.O57 D58 1990, Young Library - 5th Floor

Kentucky Writers Oral History Project [sound recording].
KW001, Special Collections Research Center - Oral History Collection

Fat Monroe ; A conversation with Gurney Norman [videorecording] / produced by Appalshop Films ; co-produced by the Athens Center for Film and Video.
SC-V3632, Young Media Library

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: June 17, 1861 - Pete-Louis Rodgers Browning

  Image from
From The Kentucky Encyclopedia:
The original "Louisville Slugger," with a career.343 batting average and three batting championships, was Pete-Louis Rodgers Browning, who was born on June 17, 1861, in Louisville. Playing primarily for the Louisville Colonels of the major league American Association, he led the league in hitting in both 1882, his rookie year, with a.382 average, and 1885, with.362. After he first used custom-made bats from Louisville woodworker John Hillerich, demand for these bats quickly spread and launched the Hillerich & Bradsby Company . The bats became known as Louisville Sluggers.

Originally an infielder, Browning converted to outfield and although he was a fast runner (103 steals in 1887), he played weak defense. After his worst season, 1889, he left the Colonels for the Cleveland Infants of the New Players League, where he won a third batting title with a.387 average in 1890. The league folded after a year and Browning finished his career splitting seasons with five other teams. He retired in 1894 with 299 doubles, 89 triples, 47 home runs, and 956 runs scored, and ranked tenth in all-time batting averages.

Browning died in Louisville on September 10, 1905, and was buried in the city's Cave Hill Cemetery.

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:
The encyclopedia of Louisville / John E. Kleber, editor in chief ; Mary Jean Kinsman, managing editor ; Thomas D. Clark, Clyde F. Crews, George H. Yater, associate editors.
F459.L85 E54 2001, Young Library – Reference
Crack of the bat : the Louisville Slugger story / by Bob Hill.
GV869 .H45 2000, Special Collections Research Center
Field of screams ; the dark underside of America’s national pastime / Richard Scheinin.
GV863.A1 S32 1994, Young Library – 4th Floor


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: May 15, 1925 - Ralph Eugene Meatyard

From Smithsonian Magazine November 2011 -

Ralph Eugene Meatyard: The Man Behind the Masks

The "dedicated amateur" photographer had a strange way of getting his subjects to reveal themselves


Ralph Eugene Meatyard said that masks erased the differences between people. He photographed his family, shown here, in 1962. (The Estate of Ralph Eugene Meatyard courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco)

David Zax 

Smithsonian Magazine
November 2011 

One day in 1958 or ’59, Ralph Eugene Meatyard walked into a Woolworths store in Lexington, Kentucky. An optician by trade, Meatyard was also a photographer—a “dedicated amateur,” he called himself—and he kept an eye out for props. He might drop by an antiques store to buy eerie dolls or emerge from a hobby shop with a jar of snakes or mice cured in formalin. In Woolworths, he came upon a set of masks whose features suggested a marriage of Picasso and a jack-o’-lantern.

“He immediately liked their properties,” recalls his son Christopher, who was with him at the time. Meatyard père bought a few dozen. “They were latex and had a very unique odor,” says Christopher, now 56. “In the summer they could be hot and humid.”

Over the next 13 years, Meatyard persuaded a procession of family and friends to don one of the Woolworths masks and pose in front of his camera. The resulting photographs became the best known of the pictures he left behind when he died of cancer in 1972, at age 46. That work, says the photographer Emmet Gowin, who befriended Meatyard in the 1970s, is “unlike anyone else’s in this world.”

“He picked the environment first,” Christopher says of his father’s method. “Then he’d look at the particular light in that moment in that place, and start composing scenes using the camera.” With the shot composed, he would then populate it, telling his subjects where to place themselves, which way to face, whether to move or stand still.

For the 1962 portrait on the preceding page, Meatyard chose an abandoned minor-league ballpark and arranged his wife and their three children in the bleachers. (Christopher is at left; his brother, Michael, is in the middle; his sister, Melissa, at the bottom; and their mother, Madelyn, is seated top right.) The title he gave the image—Romance (N.) From Ambrose Bierce #3—provides only the broadest hint of what he was up to: In his Devil’s Dictionary, Bierce had defined “romance” as “fiction that owes no allegiance to the God of Things as they are.”

But still, why masks? Well, “the idea of a person, a photograph, say, of a young girl with a title ‘Rose Taylor’ or the title ‘Rose’ or no title at all becomes an entirely different thing,” Meatyard once said. “ ‘Rose Taylor’ is a specific person, whether you know her nor not. ‘Rose’ is more generalized and could be one of many Roses—many people. No title, it could be anybody.” And in the same way, a mask “serves as non-personalizing a person.”

And why would someone want to do that? In an essay on Meatyard’s work, the critic James Rhem quotes one of his sitters, Mary Browning Johnson: “He said he felt like everyone was connected, and when you use the mask, you take away the differences.”

Gowin, who posed for a Meatyard portrait, recalls thinking that wearing a mask would surely erase all sense of personhood. “But when I saw the pictures,” he says, “I realized that even though you have the mask, your body language completely gives you away. It’s as if you’re completely naked, completely revealed.”

Meatyard, whose surname is of English origin, was born in Normal, Illinois, in 1925. He served stateside in the Navy during World War II and briefly studied pre-dentistry before settling on a career as an optician. He plied that trade all his working life—9 to 5 on weekdays, 9 to noon on Saturdays—but photography became his ruling passion shortly after he purchased his first camera, in 1950, to photograph his newborn son, Michael. Four years later, Meatyard joined the Lexington Camera Club. Endlessly curious, he sought inspiration in philosophy, music and books—historical fiction, poetry, short stories and collections of Zen koans. Zen and jazz were enduring influences. “How many businessmen run Buddhist-style meditation groups over the lunch hour?” asks Gowin.

Despite his self-proclaimed status as an amateur, Meatyard soon became known in serious photography circles. In 1956, his work was exhibited beside that of Ansel Adams, Aaron Siskind, Harry Callahan and Edward Weston. Five years later, Beaumont Newhall, then director of the George Eastman House, listed him in Art in America as one of the “new talents” in American photography. In the late 1960s, he collaborated with the writer Wendell Berry on The Unforeseen Wilderness, a book about Kentucky’s Red River Gorge. In 1973, the New York Times called him a “backwoods oracle.”

Selected Sources from UK Libraries:

Ralph Eugene Meatyard / edited with text by James Baker Hall ; reminiscence by Guy Davenport.
TR654 .M38 1974, Fine Arts Library - Closed Stacks

Ralph Eugene Meatyard : dolls and masks.
TR647 .M393 2011, Fine Arts Library

Ralph Eugene Meatyard : an American visionary / edited by Barbara Tannenbaum ; essays by Barbara Tannenbaum ... [et al.].
TR647 .M393 1991, Fine Arts Library - Oversize

Birth Dates of Notable Kentuckians: May 15, 1911 - Mary Alice Hadley

image from

From the Kentucky Encyclopedia -   

Mary Alice (Hale) Hadley, potter, was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on May 15, 1911, to Frank R. and Hattie Alice Hale. She attended Indiana public schools and Indiana State University in Terre Haute, and graduated from Depauw College at Greencastle, Indiana, in 1933. At Depauw she met George Hadley, whom she married in 1930. In 1935, when the Hadleys were living in New York City, she took art classes at Columbia University. In 1939, after the Hadleys moved to Louisville, Mary Alice was given a boat, and unable to find dinnerware suitable for boating on the river, she decided to make her own. Friends in New York City and Chicago, impressed by Hadley's work, showed it to others, and orders began to arrive at her home for mugs, plates, and platters. The earthenware pieces were hand painted with cartoons of pigs, chickens, horses, farmers, or sheep, before being glazed, mostly in shades of blue and green. Hadley created a children's pottery series and also did custom designs.
Hadley's first commercial outlet was a gift shop, for which she filled special orders personally. In 1945 Hadley Pottery opened in an old factory on Story Avenue in Louisville. Mary Alice Hadley died on December 26, 1965, in Louisville and was cremated. George Hadley died on January 4, 1991. Hadley Pottery continues to operate.

Grady Clay, Jr., "Made in Louisville," and Marion Porter, "Charm from Clay," Louisville Courier-Journal Magazine, Oct. 8, 1950.
Source from UK Libraries:
Clear as mud : early 20th century Kentucky art pottery / Warren Payne, editor.
NK4025.K4 C54 2010, Fine Arts Library

Other Sources:

M.A. Hadley History

Hadley Pottery