Thursday, November 19, 2015

Alben Barkley Remembers

Here is an excerpt from That Reminds Me, the autobiography of Alben W. Barkley, who was Senate Majority Leader during the Presidency of Franklin Roosevelt, and who served as Vice President under Harry Truman.  This book was published in 1954:

I was born on the farm of my grandfather, Alben Graham Barkley, in Graves County, Kentucky, near a little place now called Wheel, located between the larger communities of Lowes and Fancy Farm . . . .

The community of Wheel was named after an influential farmer of the same name, who founded a semi-secret agricultural organization known as the Wheelers.  This society was pledged to work for the interests of farmers, who in those days had no parity programs and little else to aid their economic situation.  My father was an active member, and I can recall how he used to talk enthusiastically of plans discussed at the meetings of the Wheelers.  Eventually the population of the community dwindled so that Wheel lost even its rural post office.  It now is served by the nearby larger and prosperous town of Fancy Farm.  The unusual name of the latter community, by the way, was derived from the well-kept country place of an early settler, John Peebles.  A post-office inspector had stopped at the Peebles place in 1845, while investigating whether a post office was needed in the growing settlement, and he was so impressed with its trim, neat appearance that he proposed the name of "Fancy Farm" for the new post office.

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