History of Webster County in Verse
contributed by Lu Hickey, by John Andrew Howell
Beneath the North Prong bridge cross the
The Fork Lick spring, tis pure as milk.
twas drank by elk and buffalo
till nearly one hundred years ago.
In 1860, Webster took her bound
Old Fork Lick made the center of town
Old Addie Laughlin gave us land
to have the town called Addison.
The court house, town and all to build
while John E. Hall the salt well drilled.
McLauglin furnished kettles and pans
and John E Hall paid in lands.
The Dorr addition marks the spot
the records show the lands he got.
The salt works finished-all complete
and salt was selling very cheap.
Alf. Armstrong's store was first I think.
Dick Hamner first to sell the drink.
Sol Fisher helped to make the brick
at bend in street called Buttermilk.
A turnpike needed at our door
was being build by Henry Moore.
A court house to be built by spring
the workmen made their hammers ring.
The laws were broken-nearly all
indictments many were made that fall,
But Judge Ward, next spring, failed to come
So Judge Mc Comis ruled that term.
Our prosecutor made a fight
and tried to do his business right.
But at that court the judge got drunk
and all the indictments went "ker-flunk"
First officers, almost forgot.
First Sheriff, Walter Cool, called Walt.
First prosecutor, Lilly, Dave.
Much public money tried to save.
Old "Grannie" Ervin first was judge
the war past, he held no grudge
First court was held near Cogar's Mill
across Elk River on the hill.
The salt was fine this well produced
but now tis put to better use.
All ills of stomach, blood or skin
this water cures at Webster Springs.
A town to build, as once before
Pat Duffy built first dry goods store.
A doctor needed in the place
Doc Benedum--he filled the space.
Fine teacher next was needed there
James Woodzell came--he filled the chair.
A hotel next to feed the guests
Pete Cogar's table, first and best.
First Baptist church was built with speed
with William Dobbins in the lead.
who preached for years and would not yield
till carried from the battle field.
Jack Miller dealt in goods awhile
he brought on horseback forty mile.
succeeding in a first class store
was able soon to help the poor.
He is kind and clever, good to lend
he is Webster's energetic friend.
He goes to Florida and back
that's why we call him Migratory Jack.
An auditor, state needed that
so Webster County sent for Pat.
In Congress we must represent
and C.P. Dorr to it we sent.
Joe Thompson came and settled down
first lawyer living in our town.
And for the state made many a fight
until at last he lost his sight.
P.B.Wethered, good as gold
elected next but was quite old.
In 1873 people said
near Stanard's store, he dropped down dead.
Joe Alderson and John his son
for many years our cases won.
At last to congress John must go
for prosecutor, he ran no more.
His lawyer-ship at first to test
he fought Goliath, came out best.
"That verdict's wrong" says judge, "I see"
John pled a nolle--set David free.
B.C. Conrad, our Circuit Clerk
near two scores did the work,
he did it promptly, quick and true.
And now we've Dyer, good but new.
Our County Clerks we've had none bad
Woodzell, Sawyer, Ballard, Conrad.
Doc Benedum and Gregory
Burb, Wain--Doc Allen now we see.
Surveyor Walter Hollister
his sight was good, both far and near
he made his lines at corners meet
which proves his work to be complete.
Then Emmett Benedum surveyed
whose work was good, so people said.
And now we have Pat who is no joke
but he does love to fish and smoke.
Assessor Andrew McElwain
assessed for years, and none complain.
Other assessors we omit
for want of space we have to quit.
The finest hotel in the state
was built as Webster Springs of late.
By Camden near the Webster Spring
they call it first class--everything.
There's many other hotels there
with various prices paid for fare.
The Oakland, Valley, Rutherford
are all good places you can board.
With Curry's, Stanard, Gregory and Skidmore
that's enough you see.
That you can get a place to stay
at any price you wish to pay.
Poor Webster!! once so far behind
misfortune all along the line.
But now she's nearly "in the lead"
and coming to the front with good speed.
Her wealth has never yet been told
in timber, oil and gas and coal
health giving water, pleasant air
and railroads nearly everywhere.
Hospital standing on the hill
McLaughlin-Allen own it still.
No finer doctors can be found
than those we have in our town.
As surgeons they cannot be beat
hospital outfit all complete.
All human ills they understand
keep remedies at their command.
And T. B. Elbon, Bathhouse Station
somewhere in the Dorr addition,
invalids need never falter
but bathe in Barylithic water.
Three churches in town, each a first class house
Baptist, M.E. and M.E. South.
A college school we'll have next year
to educate our children dear.
We have as fine a legal bar
as any in the state.
Men who have been in Congress
and Legislatures great.
There's Thurmond, Dorr and Hoover
and Morton, grand and tall.
With Cogar, Dyer and Wooddell,
Cutlip heavy weight of all.
There's Wysong, Talbott, Woodzell
who must not be forgot
with B. C. Conrad rising
small lawyer he is not.
Dear Reader, we'd forgotten
A. J. Salisbury down Holly
the counsel he will give you
is far from being folly.
All over Webster County
the people are all kind,
they help us with our business
and their's at home, they do mind.
James Woodzell was the first county clerk elected.
Adam Gregory first circuit clerk and first notary public.
Christopher Hamrick first sheriff elected.
Robert Doddrill, Adam Cogar and Marion Miller
were the board of registration in the days of reconstruction after the Civil War. Theo.
Horan, F.H. Morton, J.S. Cogar, J.M Hoover, W.L. Wooddell and Judge H.C. Thurmond have all
been able defenders of the state as prosecuting attorneys, all of whom are native Webster
boys except Horan and Thurmond.
George Dodrill, Austen Rader, Samuel Given, Hayes Rader, I.W. Curry, Peter McGuire, Levi
Skidmore, P.F Duffy and C.W. Morton have all filled the office of sheriff in the county
and for county superintendents of free schools are James Dyer, C.W. Benedum, N.W. Clifton,
Walter Stanard, Peter McGuire, Pat Bruffy, Gains Chapman and G.R. Morton.
As assessors, Benedum Taylor Townsend, Levi Barnett, P.M. McElwain and C.M. Conrad and
many others down through time have served Webster Springs with time, talents, dignity and
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