web analytics


From the desk of Alison Gibson, Director
The library has collected and been given quite a few old photographs that were taken in various studios in Ripley. Most are lovely pictures but….many have no names!!! This is a cautionary tale for your own collections of photos—please, for future generations, identify the people. In the last batch of donations, we were lucky enough to have some information attached to the back of this baby picture, although probably not taken in Ripley. This charmer is identified as Younger Evans O’Neal and was married to Helen Fitcher.
So, digging around in our online newspaper archives and Ancestry, we found that Younger was born December 21, 1892 in Versailles KY. Graduated from University of Kentucky in 1915. He worked for R.J. Reynolds between 1916-1918. He joined the Navy in 1918, married Helen in December of 1920. The two of them ran the Joplin Hotel in Elizabethtown, KY, then later the Bobinette Inn in Cincinnati. Younger then went on to work for the Federal Gov’t in the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) that began in 1933 to help balance supply and demand of basic crops, including tobacco. With this job, the two of them traveled quite a bit, and lived in Washington D.C. for a time. Tragically, Younger died November 17, 1941. Helen moved back to Ripley where she worked for Campbell, O’Neal and Keller Insurance Agency as well as being quite involved in the Presbyterian church. Helen was born June 23, 1899 in Ripley and graduated from the Ripley High School in 1917. Helen passed away late March of 1982. Both are buried in Maplewood Cemetery. Of course, browsing for one family member often leads to information on another– Emmet O’Neal, first cousin to Younger was ambassador to the Philippines and former mayor of Louisville. All this and more with an identified baby picture!
FYI, the library will have free ISO-approved eclipse sun glasses for hand-out next Monday, March 25th while supplies last.