Patriot News 01/19/2023


  Some info on an early Patriot businessman and philanthropist. Sylvanus Howe, was born in 1804 In New York State. He moved with his family to Cincinnati in 1812. He learned the tanner’s trade from his father and worked in the tanning business. He moved to Patriot in 1833 where he and his brother, Jonathan opened a small general store on Front Street. He erected the Howe building on the corner of Third and Front Street where he operated his store as well as buying, selling and trading on the busy river port. He and a partner E. Case opened a distillery on Front Street. Sylvanus owned much property in town and donated property where the Methodist Episcopal church was built, and also the property where the Patriot School and town cemetery were/are located. He also served as President of the Patriot Bank and was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge. Howe lived on Columbia Street and is buried along with much of his family, in the Patriot Town Cemetery.

  Floods have played a huge part in the history of Patriot, much like other communities along the Ohio River. The first flood I can remember was in 1964. I was in the first grade. I know we missed several days of school that year. Heavy rains in early March flooded the tributaries, and emptied into the Ohio flooding communities all along the river. The next significant flood was in 1997. My grandfather talked about the 1913 Flood and the massive 1937 Flood.

  I would be interested in hearing stories about the floods, and how they may have impacted families in Patriot, and Posey Township. Please send any information to me!

  Mike and Marlene Jones, Patrick and Melissa Jones, Rosa, Aruzhan and Rosa had dinner on Monday night with cousins, Shanna Cook, who was in from New Orleans and also Macy and McKenna Cook at the Stadium Restaurant at Belterra. Shanna returned to New Orleans on Tuesday. She had a great time visiting family and friends!

  I attended the visitation for Donald Thomas. So many people passed through, a testament to the great number of lives that were touched by Donald and Lulu Belle and their family. Their guitars were prominently displayed in the chapel at the funeral home. Donald and Lulu Belle played in many churches and other venues throughout the area. I also remember Jimmy Thomas, Donald’s cousin, playing music. He played the mandolin. Donald’s brother, Harold Wayne and his wife, Joan also played music, many times with Donald and Lulu Belle.

  Sympathy to former Patriot High School student, Beverly Chase Gullion, who passed away recently.

  Beverly”s mother. Helen Chase was a teacher at Patriot Elementary School and Bill, her father, worked in Madison as well as serving as the Posey Township Trustee. They lived in the Reese house in Patriot, where Mary Lynn Reese lives now. Bill Chase”s sister. Mrs. Evelyn Craig, was my 4th and 5th Grade teacher at Patriot Elementary School.

  I spoke with Dollie Reese this week, and she informed me that her granddaughter, Alli Mae Azbell, will graduate this Spring from Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, with a major in Interior Design. It’s hard to believe how fast time goes by! Alli’s brother Sam is finishing his second year at Ball State, and the oldest, Drew, graduated from Depauw University and works for a company in Indianapolis. Drew, Alli and Sam are Charla’s children. Dollie and Mary Lynn are hoping they can all go to Nashville for the graduation ceremonies!

  Sympathy to the family of Billy Romans who passed away on Thursday. Billy was the son of Willie and the late Jean Romans.

  Marlene Jones’s twin sister Sharlene Adams Batts of Richmond, Kentucky, spent the weekend in Patriot, visiting.

  Fox Hunting was huge in Switzerland County at one time. My grandfather, Marshall Cook loved the fox hunts, or maybe better called the “fox chase”, since they did not carry guns, and the goal was not to kill the fox, but most of the sport involved turning the dogs loose and listening to the “chase”. The fox hunter’s association at one time owned the old Quercus Grove school. They used it as their headquarters and also held dog shows and the annual Fox Hunter’s Ball there. Fox hunting had originated in England, but here, at least in this area, it was quite different. They didn’t ride horseback, and the attire was much less formal!

  The typical fox hunting excursion would begin with a group of men (sometimes women as well) walking through the woods or fields until they could find a suitable campsite. They would build a fire, and the dogs would be turned loose to pick up the scent of the fox. The hunters would then sit around, and listen to the whines, yelps and howls of the dogs trying to figure out which dogs were in the lead. Sometimes arguments would ensue, and some would accuse others of their dogs chasing rabbits and deer. Most dogs were Walkers, Blue Ticks, Black and Tans, etc. The fox hunters had a close relationship and I am sure much conversation was enjoyed by all, with favorite beverages enjoyed as well. I don”t think anyone probably ever saw a fox. After the hunt, the challenge was locating all of the fox hounds!

  I can remember some of my grandfather”s dogs ending up in Rising Sun and the surrounding area. I remember several fox hunters including, my grandfather, Joe Black, Joe Brady, Mike Carver, George Hobbs, Otis Noe, my grandfather’s cousin, George Cook from Erlanger, Kentucky, and many others!

  The social events at the old Quercus Grove School were well attended with lots of food as well. It is kind of a lost art now you might say, at least in this area. Many fox hunters were also coon hunters. I would be interested in hearing any stories or memories of fox hunting that anyone might have.

  Speaking of Quercus Grove — or “Bark Works” as we called it — it was quite a town in the day. In my lifetime, I can remember two grocery stores, Hobb’s Store and also the store on the corner that was owned by Whitey Oaks. Whitey also worked on radios and televisions. That was back in the day when you could actually work on TV’s and radios. Both stores were your typical country general stores. My grandfather was good friends with Mr. and Mrs. Hobbs, as they also fox hunted together.

  The Hobbs had operated a store in Aurora at one time. They also had their grandchildren with them, the Hutton children who were very involved in the Patriot schools. Whitey Oaks had his store and then all of the picture tubes, etc. that were used to repair television and “transistor” radios.

  There was also a Crosley Appliance Store there that was owned by Ralph Galbreath. Quercus Grove was also a popular hangout with lots of kids who lived there. The Reese brothers, Sam and Charlie had a garage there before they moved their business to Patriot. Gary Stogsdill also had a garage there for a while. I believe the last store there was owned by Deward Devers and his family.

  The Methodist Church is still meeting there, they recently celebrated their 200th anniversary! The cemetery there in town is very historic. Many of my family members, Cooks and Platts, are buried there.

  Dollie Green and Mary Lynn Reese met Levi, Elijah and Easton Green Thursday evening in Madison where they enjoyed supper at McDonalds. Easton had wrestling practice later that night. Always good to spend time with the boys!

  Chainsaws have been heard running all around town the past few days as Townsend Tree Service trims around the power lines.

  One of my favorite authors, Jeff Guinn, is coming out with a new book on January 24th, “Waco: David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and A Legacy of Rage”. He is a great writer, bringing stories to life in an easy-to-read style. His other books include; “The Road to Jonestown, Jim Jones and the Peoples Temple” (my favorite), “Go Down Together”; (Bonnie and Clyde), “The Last Gunfight” (Shootout at the O.K. Corral), “Manson, the Life and Times of Charles Manson”, and “War on the Border”; (Villa, Pershing and the Texas Rangers).

  Marlene Jones and her twin sister, Sharlene Batts traveled to the home of Evan Van Winkle in the Cincinnati community of Northside on Sunday to have brunch with family and friends.

  Melissa Jones, Rosa, Aruzhan and Mason went to Cincinnati on Saturday. They spent the day there, and had supper at Agave Rye in Norwood. Mason, quite the food enthusiast, said the food was excellent!

  Look for a special interview of a former Patriot High School student in the column next week!

  Remember to send news to me at (812) 290-3088 or; or Barry Watters at (828) 338270 or

  Until next week, in the words of Glen Campbell, remember to “try a little kindness, and shine your light for everyone you meet”.