Weekly Courier Journal

4-22-1889


Odd Bits of Character Found amid the
Hills of Eastern Kentucky

Some Scraps of Conversation That Show
Their Peculiar Style of Talk

A Tribe of Indians Which Continues
to Flourish In Floyd County

GATHERING IN THE 'SHINERS
(Bill Cole - Cherokee Indian Chief)

Excerpted;

Hazard, Perry County April 15 --

..."Revenue officers are in great disrepute with all of them and the
children are taught to run at the sight of a 'potcutter' and thus the
older folks are often given warning by the screams of the youngsters
at the sight of a strange man. The children are as wild as rabbits
and can scramble over hillsides faster than men can go over them on
horseback and hence they often get by the revenue officers where a man
would be stopped with a shot.

Near the line between Floyd and Magoffin county, signs of a still
caused a search to be made back into the hills. When a quarter of a
mile up a ravine a lot of yellow-faced children suddenly appeared
under the horses' legs and with shrill squalls of terror sped off to
a tiny cabin perched on a big rock.

A woman with a very yellow face came to the door and after piling her
youngsters into a box sardine -style informed us that she was Bet -
the great-granddaughter of old Bill Cole, the aged Cherokee Indian
chief who died on the same hill ten years before. Cole the head of a
tribe of half-breeds and about a hundred and fifty of his people
still live on the same ridge. He was 110 years old when he died and
his grave is on the highest spur of the mountain where his house
still stands. The Indians drink moonshine but have not yet begun to
make it and no still was found on old Bill's great-granddaughter's
farm.''

DOCUMENTING THE MELUNGEONS