Let's Reminisce Awhile

Reprinted from The Martin Countian, 3 September 1975

Henry Harvey Preece of Coldwater Fork of Rockcastle Creed was born May 30, 1840. He left this earth February 27, 1928. If he had lived until May 30, 1928 we would have been 88 years old.

Henry Preece was the son of Dannial Boone Preece. His father, Dannial, and father's brother came to Kentucky from the Southwest by themselves to settle in the Western part of Kentucky. Dannial's brother was killed while they were in the Western part of Kentucky, so Dannial came then to the Eastern part of Kentucky and took patent on approximately 300 acres of land on Coldwater Fork.

There was born to Dannial for sons: William, Neely, Hiram and Henry Harvey Preece

My grandfather, H. H. Preece, and his brother were called to the Civil War. My Great Uncle Hiram was shot and gangrene set in and killed him.

There was born to my grandfather twelve children, their names are as follows: Boone Preece, Wig Preece, Sherman Preece, Red Preece, Columbus Preece, Marion Preece, Mary Preece Muncy, Henry G. Preece, William (Ben) Preece, Delia Preece Ward, Emma Preece Jude, and one child who died as an infant.

There are only two living children. Ben Preece, 88 years plus, and Delia Preece Ward, 83 years old.

My grandfather was a logger and had a grocery store for his major income. He built a water mill, which I operated as a teenager. This mill was to help and his neighbors have grain around.

This groceries for the store came in from Ashland by rail to Kermit; then my father and I would haul them from Kermit, by wagon, to the store. The salesman came by on horseback to visit Grandfather.

Two of Grandfather's children were deaf, my dad, Ben, and Aunt Emma. Dad can read lips, but Aunt Emma made up names for everyone she came in contact with.

Grandfather never attended school, but was very good in spelling, reading, history, arithmetic and English. His mother taught him at an early age the basics. He subscribed to as many papers as he could get, The Cincinnati Post, The Courier-Journal, and The Chicago Tribune. He considered reading the paper "getting his lessons."

His greatest advice to me was "if a man can pay his debts and tell the truth, he will not wrong you."

He walked fourteen miles round trip to vote and was a great man in his community. He got along well with his neighbors and they referred to him as Uncle Henry.

He strictly believed in discipline and whipped even his grown boys for fighting yet held tight to the future and often called others to talk it over. Of all the instruction he laid out before me, I have never found him to be wrong.

With great sincerity of the life of my Grandfather.

James H. Preece

My copy was bad and I have had to guess at some words in the last five paragraphs. If you see mistakes, please let me know.