Bronston-KY

Bronston KY map.

The center of Bronston was once the junction of the private lane between the Brown’s and John Beaty Newell’s farms and the Monticello Turnpike. They let the Saunders use the lane to reach their place on the Jacksboro Pike. Later Belle Newell used it to visit her sister Mrs John Woodson at Woodson’s Bend. Before long folks used it all the way to Crackerneck. Today the lane is KY 790.
Lloyd’s store was on the corner across the lane from the Bronston Roller Mill. Across the road on the mill side, JBN sold a lot to a blacksmith. The turnpike wore hard on shoes, rims, and axles, so business was good. Oscar Newell bought back the shop and burned it so he could have an unobstructed view of the river bottom. Across from Lloyd’s store, Frank Brown ran the Bronston Post Office. When it burned, Oscar vacated the front room of the mill to make way for Bog Newell to install the Bronston Post Office. Jackie began procaticing to hold her five young uns from age eight.
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Tommy, Jackie, and I hauled wagon loads of trash across the road to the edge of the bluff. Out of sight, out of mind.
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Grandmother “allowed” us to pick up the rusty cans and broken bottles off the bluff and carry them to a sink hole at the back of our field near Jacksboro Pike before the lake came up. We used the old road which ran down across from Lloyd’s Store to the old mill site in the bottom.

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Folks at the Peoples Bank or Somerset Airport knew Billy Newell, but not Wimpy. Bog and Runt had to give him a nickname, too. Wimpy’s dad was the toll master for the bridge and tunnel, so he could stop for a closer view of the bottom.
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Bronston had Toll House cookies long before Sandra Newell’s kitchen was erected across the road. The tobacco field and the toll booth have gone so she has a toll free drive way for her Cadillac. Like the blacksmith shop, the toll house pre-dates my memory. I just remember the ruins where I played at the top of the bluff or crossed to go cool my buns in the cave.
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East Bronston was renamed to West Burnside when the Newell’s subdivided some lots for houses for the mill workers. West Bronston was the home of its second ferry. Established in 1798 to connect Clio with Waitsboro, Samuel Newell’s Ferry went away with the coming of the new (now the old) Hwy 90 bridge and Lake Cumberland.
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Cousin Jennie Newell and Cousin Ginny Newell were friends at this Waitsboro house when cousin in law Polly Mercer had the house across the Waitsboro Ferry at Clio. The John Montgomery Newell house served the Pisgah congregation during reconstruction of the church after a tornado. Neither Bronston nor Pisgah would do for Mitzi’s wedding. Fotunately SN1786 and Monty Newell were good missionaries. When FDRs purveyor of the “precious cookers”, Will Winton Alexander, came to his son’s wedding, there was a church in Somerset large enough for the crowd. Pokey gave me my first knife at the church. It was not nearly so big and sharp as Oscar Newell’s knife, but it was my own, more than ample recognition for my little chore carrying a satin pillow with the ring.
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The Beaty School hired a Scottish schoolmaster. They studied Shakespeare, performed, and presented vocabulary, diction, and grammar so precise and proper that the Bronston side of the river was often called Little Britain by the Somerset Newells. The school became the Bronston School where my first elementary experience was not too dry because Jackie shared her tin cup. Tommy refused my use of his cup, perhaps afraid I’d slobber. But I did get another dipper of water from the bucket and rinse my germs off Jackie’s cup after use.
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Belle Siler Newell was a teacher college trained at Richmond KY. When her son OBN Jr showed insufficient Algebra skills, Grandmother “allowed” him to repeat a yeaar. Soon the parents of the entire class “allowed” them to repeat. There was no graduation that year. Mary Thorne Wait, Gin, and Oscar Newell were then part of Burnside’s largest graduating class for over thirty years. Belle “allowed” Runt to quit school early (instead of riding trains to Stearns and back during school hours) and to work at the mill and farm. Belle “allowed” Mitzi to leave Burnside High School early, too. Margaret Irene Newell became UKs youngest graduate ever. From Lexington to Chapel Hill, Mitzi was the youngest to receive a Master’s degree.

One Burnside teacher took great pleasure in tormenting the Bronston students by always referring to Bronston as the crap off. He pointed out that Pulaski didn’t want it in 1800, so Somerset got rid of the Crap to Wayne County. Then in 1817 Monticello shifted the carp off on Somerset again returning Bronston to Pulaski County.

The Burnside people went home for lunch. School resumed when they all got back. For the suburban students, a folding partition between two class rooms was pushed back to turn two class rooms into a lunch room. One day, the Burnside boys got back to unfold the wall and make class rooms when the paratitions fell like dominoes. They found a jar of bolts and nuts in the window sill to rebuild the giant erector set. Nobody thought to ask if they could borrow the wrenches from the lunch pail of one angelic Gin Newell.
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Win, Granddaddy and I looked over Wolf Creek Dam, a hugh impact to our lives. Wolf Creek and Goose Creek contributed wealth to our share of the SN1754 estate. Do you think any of the sinkers we used fishing in the lake came from the SN1754 lead mine?
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Oscar Newell was born when there were fewer stars in “Old Glory.” We flew 48 stars over Zip Code 42518 before we even dreamed of Zip Codes.
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Jane Montgomery Newell’s “kitchen” (smoke house) is probably the oldest surviving building in Pulaski County. The John Beaty house is reported to be the oldest house. The John Beaty cantilever barn is probably the most significant architecture surviving two centuries of use. I used cow pasture muffins for bases for our Newell softball games in the barn lot. We were careful to not step in anything.
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Jever wake up before dawn on a frosty morning to milk? Jever have to walk the lane to the barn barefoot, too poor for shoes? Jever come to a fresh muffin with the stream still rising? Jever step down and let it ooze up between your toes? Jever pause a minute to let the warmth saturate up your legs past the knee hole in your overalls? Jever go on to the barn and come back carefully with breakfast eggs in your hands and pockets? Well I never. I carried a basket to the barn. But I surely was blessed by Bronston.

Samuel, David, and James Newell, by products of Bronston, like Thomas the Train and Rocky Top football.