THE ROBERT PAGE FAMILY COMES TO KENTUCKY
(from the Adair County Review, Fall 1999, page 72)
Submitted By: Angella Watson
Around 1940, L. W. Dudgeon published a series of “HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF CANE VALLEY AND VICINITY” in the Adair County weekly newspaper. As the sketch of the Page family appeared over fifty years ago, it should be of interest to many current Page descendants. The exact date of the clipping is not known, but was sometime in 1942. Robert Page, his wife Mary Jane and their children came to Kentucky from Virginia very early, settling in Adair, Barren and what is now Taylor Counties.
--Robert Page Watson
HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF CANE VALLEY AND VICINITY
By L.W. Dudgeon
The PAGES settled near Cane Valley at an early date.
Robert Page, Sr., was born in Virginia September (1)7, 1743. He married Miss Mary Murrell, December 6, 1765, and lived in Virginia about fifty years, rearing a family of ten children before coming to Kentucky. The children were: Betty, born October 17, 1768; Janney, born March 1, 1771; Mary, born April 1773; Robert, born April 13, 1775; William, born November 24, 1776; George W., born August 9, 1777; Nicholas, born July 1, 1780; Samuel, born March 13, 1783; Polly, born July 8, 1785; and James, born June 6, 1788.
In the early years of the nineteenth century, he sent one of his sons to Kentucky to purchase land. The purchase was made in the vicinity of this place and the son returned to Virginia. Later the old man’s eldest son, Robert, Jr., [William was the eldest—RPW] came to Kentucky in advance of his father, and others of the family who came here, and built for his father a log cabin about one and one quarter miles east of Cane Valley on land now belonging to Robert Tupman farm, or in other words, a short distance below the large spring on the farm formerly owned by the late William VanHoy.
When the Pages arrived here it was too late to clear ground and plant a general crop, so they cleared about an acre of ground in a little bottom a short distance from the spring I have just mentioned an sowed it in turnips. This was the Pages first crop in Kentucky. The turnips were sowed on a portion of the old Page farm now owned by Ray W. Page of Columbia, KY.
Tradition has it, as told to me by E.C. Page, a great grandson of Robert Page, Sr., that soon after his great grandfather settled here, probably in 1810 or 1811, he started building of a large log house about one fourth mile west of the original cabin for his youngest son, James, who had married Miss Susanah Foster of Virginia. James, who in later years was known as Squire James Page, and his wife moved into this house.
To this union were born twelve children, namely: Mary J., born October 20, 1811; George Robert, born December 27, 1813; Betsy A., born December 25, 1815; Sallie S., born January 22, 1818; Susan M., born October 29, 1819; Harriet, born February 11, 1822; James M., born December 15, 1823; Louisa F., born June 20, 1826; William W., born January 4, 1828; Nicholas, born September 27, 1829; Nancy E., born November 30, 1831; and Jordan, March 27, 1834.
Squire James Page and his wife lived at the home I have mentioned, as having been built for him by his father, for many years. At one time they returned to Virginia, and I believe their son was born there. However, they soon returned to their old Kentucky home where they spent their remaining years.
Robert Page, Sr., was living with his son, Squire James Page, when he died, about 1818, and was the first to be buried in the Page family grave yard which is located near the old home. Squire James Page died August 12, 1867, and was buried in the family grave yard, at the side of his wife who preceded him to the grave several years, she having died January 19, 1855. After the death of Squire James Page his son, James M. Page, purchased the portion of his father’s estate on which the old home stood. James M. Page was a bachelor and spent his declining years with his younger brother, Jordan.
Robert Page, Jr., who came to Kentucky in advance of his father and brother, Samuel, and built for his father the original cabin which I previously mentioned, built for himself and family a log house about one mile south of Cane Valley, on the land now owned by W.E. Squires. This cabin stood a short distance from the present State Highway 55, in the little field between the Squires and the road leading to the farm of Mrs. Rosa Humphreys.
He lived in this cabin until about 1816 when he built the brick house on the ridge a few hundred yards west of where the original cabin stood. This house is standing today, 1942, and is occupied by Henry Allen Cundiff. The farm on which it stands is owned by his father, Finis Cundiff.
For many years Elijah C. Sublett owned the farm and lived I this house and perhaps it would be better known to the older people as the “Uncle Elijah Sublett brick house.”
The other son, Samuel, who came with his father to Kentucky, built a house east of Cane Valley, near Buter’s [Butler’s?] Creek, on opposite side of road from where Clem Barnett now lives.
In the 1890’s the house I have mentioned was known as “The Uncle Jim Page haunted house” and to mention it brings to memory an incident that happened in the boyhood days of the writer that I will relate.
In the afternoon of a cool autumn day about 1895, two neighbor boys and I started out to set some traps. Eventually we located some favorable places for setting them near this old house and naturally the subject came up about the old house being haunted. Neither of us had ever seen a haunt and we decided to return to our traps very early the next morning and stop at the old house and see one. About two o’clock the next morning I was up and at the neighbor’s house calling my chums out of bed. They were soon up and in a short time we had stationed ourselves near the old house and began our watch for the haunts.
“Look, there it is!” one of the boys soon exclaimed. Sure enough there it was, a white object seemingly as large as a bed sheet continually going up and down at the side of a small building near the old house. Well, we were too scared to run and when our nerves had somewhat settle we ventured closer to get a good view of the haunt.
What do you imagine this monster was proved to be? It was the face of Uncle Jim’s old horse he had stabled in the little building. The old horse had his head extended out the window rubbing his neck on the side of the window frame. But this is a diversion from what I started to tell you, so I will return to my subject.
About one hundred and thirty years have passed since this old house was erected and the main part of it is standing today. A few years ago it was shedded on the side and converted into a barn, but still stands on the site where it was originally built. It has remained in the Page family all the years with the exception of about 17 months when it was owned by the McClain Lumber Co., purchasers of the estate of James M. Page for the standing timber. It was purchased from them by Ray Page, of Columbia, Ky., a great grand son of the builder, and he is the owner at the present time. Its location is about one mile east of this valley.