The History of Pine Knot
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Submitted by Peggy Wilson
Pine Knot Bank
Established in 1906
The Pine Knot Banking Company was located on Railroad Street and was the first brick building south of Somerset, Kentucky. The Bank was established October 6, 1906. At that time, Pine Knot was still part of Whitley County and Williamsburg was the county seat and the location of the closest bank for residents of this area.
A large portion of the residents were employed by the railroad. In 1906, two residents of Broadhead, Kentucky, J. W. Hutchinson and Barbee McAfee, joined by sixteen residents of Pine Knot and Whitley County, raised $15,000 of Capital Stock to start the bank. The bank’s Articles of Incorporation were drawn up October 6, 1906. Papers were filed with the Whitley County Clerk’s office and the Kentucky State Banking commissioner. A bank charter was obtained in the name of Pine Knot Banking Company and a two-story brick building was constructed on the east side of Railroad Street in Pine Knot. Wm B. Creekmore was elected president and Barbee McAfee was elected cashier. (Note: First Brick Building south of Somerset).
Signers of the Articles of Incorporation of the Pine Knot Banking Company: J. W. Hutchinson, Barbee McAfee, William B. Creekmore, John West, J. L. Harmon, P. M. Stephens, J. H. Wilson, W. T. Wood, J. C. Creekmore, H. C. Smith, E.P Trammell, H. T. Stephens, Ambrose Hays, J. M. Cordell, and William Crabtree.
The bank remained in Pine Knot until January 1924, when the bank’s Articles of Incorporation were amended, changing the bank’s name to Bank of McCreary and its principal office to Whitley City.
Note: In the early days of Pine Knot, the new bank building was also the office of Dr. Jemiah Edward Harmon and was used for county court sessions. The first Circuit Court to convene in the temporary courthouse (upstairs at new bank building) assembled on Monday, February 1913, with Judge Flem D. Sampson presiding and J. B. Snyder serving as Commonwealth Attorney. Other attorneys attending were W. R. Cress, H. C. Cress, J. E. Stephens, H. M. Cline, W. I. Hinkle, H. C. Cress, Wil Caylor, and R. E. Pope. Court lasted for twelve (12) days “with several murder cases on the docket.”
John Crittenden “Crit” Bird
- C. Crit Bird was the County Attorney for Whitley County, in 1912. One of his many duties was to travel once a month from the town of Williamsburg to remote sections of the county to service a magistrates’ court in the “Boom Town of Pine Knot,” situated in the western part of Whitley County. It was an arduous day’s journey each way by horseback. The people served in that neglected area were helpless in their isolation and powerless to develop a better life for themselves. Because of the long distance and poor roads, it was almost impossible to enforce the laws in that remote area and was very difficult and expensive to get convicted prisoners to jail.
In the beginning
In the spring and fall of 1912, W. A. “Bill” Creekmore had joined the regulars at Mark Campbell’s store. It was early in the spring where everyone could sit around the stove, smoke their pipes, roll and chewe their tobacco, and drink plenty black coffee. Regulars were Tom Wood, the Morgan brothers, and J. Jones Wilson at the Creekmores. Dr. Harmon would join “the gang” when he wasn’t “doctoring or “delivering babies in nearby communities. Magistrate Mark Wilson was a farmer and had served as Justice of the Peace for Western Whitley County, but he didn’t have time to sit around, drinking coffee. It was planting time.
Attorney J. C. Bird became a lobbyist for the creation of McCreary County.
The New County
The new county’s was formed by Acts of The General Assembly Of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The regular session of the General Assembly began in the City of Frankfort, Kentucky, held on The second day of January in the year of our Lord 1912, and ended on Tuesday, March the Twelfth.
(Continued in next week’s Voice)