Byron was raised on a small farm near Harrodsburg. He began working in the quarries and lived at home. His father charged him room and board. In the winter, when the quarries closed he loved to hunt, fish, and trap. He was a “crack shot”, hard worker, and never shirked any job. He could figure out and do anything. He made more in the winter trapping than he did in the quarries in the summer. He was a bee keeper and sold honey. He shot cardinal birds because they sat at the honey combs and ate the bees. Life was hard for Byron and Grace after they married. They moved in with his father. Byron still had to pay room and board, even though, Grace worked in the house and on the farm. They finally moved in with her parents and later bought her grandfathers farm, the old Kelly place.

Byron and Grace raised chickens, set out an orchard, raised bees and sold honey.

Grace played a joke on Byron one day. She fastened a cardinal bird up in the tree before Byron came home from work. When he saw it he grabbed th shotgun and went to shoot it. He wasted three shots before he finally saw her laughing.

Byron and Grace lost their first child, who lived eight days, from childbirth complications. Dr. Mitchell, who delivered little Homer had crushed his skull.

Two years later Byron lost his life in a freak drowning accident. It happened in the “Back Water” in the Fair Fax Bottoms, Monroe County, at the foot of the hill where he lived. (This land is now the dam site of Monroe Reservoir. The farm was located on the top of the hill where the boat ramp is now located and the bottom between the two hills).

Byron had found out his sister, Ethel, had gotten in trouble for stealing at the grocery store in Harrodsburg. Byron was so angry, even Grace and her parents couldn’t talk him out of going. So, even though the water was backed up from hill to hill, he proceeded to Harrodsburg to see what was going on.

His father-in-law, Homer decided to go with him. They thought they could cross because they could still see some of the tops of the fence posts. But the water was so swift it swept the horse off his feet and the buggy overturned. Byron was wearing hip boots. He unhooked the horse and it made it to the bank. Then he helped Homer to a tree where he could hang on. All this time Grace was watching. She saw her husband start to the bank and saw him fall backwards into the swirling waters. He never surfaced.

The water was so cold, middle of January, Homer froze to the tree. Homer’s son, Albert, took the row boat and rescued his Dad. When starting back to the bank he asked where Byron was. Homer pointed to a spot, but when he had gotten in the boat, he was turned around and pointed the wrong way. Homer was taken home and given whiskey to revieve him. Orelando Prince stayed with the family all night. The Harrodsburg side went back home and came again the next morning.

Friends and the authorities came the next morning and found Byron’s body just a few feet from shere he had disappeared. He was taken to the funeral home and the mortician told Grace there wasn’t any water in his lungs. He had over taxed his heart and it had burst. His hair beneath his cap was still dry.

He left his wife expecting their second child. He was born forty one days later. Grace had to have a sale and sell every thing. She had to work in the fields like a man. She used the team of horses and plowed and planted and harvested the crops. She raised Canary birds and sold them. Grace and her mother raised large gardens and canned lots of the produce. They had apples, peaches and pears from the orchard. These were also “put up” for the winter season. They picked black berries and raspberries and cannedthese. They butchered their own meat, canned some salted some down in large crocks, sugar cured and smoked the hams. They sold some to help with the neccessities which they couldn’t raise.

Grace remarried December 24, 1935 to Webb Knight of Lawrence County, In. They had three dughters. Webb farmed and drove a school bus for the Needmore School.

Calvin and Sarah Wisley Family