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Claude Ingram
and Bonnie M Cornett

Claude Ingram b 17 Nov 1928 Letcher Co KY d 17 Jan 2013; age 84; of brain tumor; buried Ingram Cemetery, Linefork, Letcher Co KY; s/o Charlie Ingram and Josephine Josie Cornett. Claude Ingram m. Bonnie M Cornett b 23 Oct 1929 Harlan Co KY; d/o Victor Cornett and Mary L Campbell. Children of Claude Ingram and Bonnie M Cornett;

1. Daniel Claude Ingram

2. Roger D Ingram

3. Randy Darrin Ingram

4. David Emory Ingram

5. Donald Carl Ingram


Great times at Ingram's Creek Elementary
by Bonnie Cornett Ingram 1 July, 2015

Center of Photo on the Left is Edith Cornett and on the Right is Bonnie Cornett Ingram With Her Arm Around Her Good Friend, Edith
(Bonnie Ingram's description of a photo included in the article. The photo was of students gathered together at the front door of Ingram's Creek Elementary School This photo taken in the 1940s shows some of the children who attended Ingram’s Creek Elementary School. Memories of my years at school at Ingram’s Creek Elementary and my best friends.

I was in second grade in 1937 when we moved to Linefork from Blair. I turned eight years old that October. (Bonnie Ingram b Oct 1929) My brother Jack (Jack Ingram b abt 1928) was in the first grade. We had to walk every day approximately a mile and a half on an old, dirty road. It was bad when it was raining or snowing. We had company of other children though, and we enjoyed being together.

Our teacher was Ruby Morgan. She was a good teacher and we all loved her. Then she quit, and the next year we had Hiram Mitchell. He was also a good teacher until I got mad at him. I had a crush on one of the boys in the third grade (1938). I wrote him a little note and got one of the schoolboys to hand it to him. Then I got so embarrassed I hid my face on the desk where we sat. It was a bench-like seat and we sat together on it.

My friend Edith Cornett sat beside me and we got tickled and started laughing with our faces down on the desk. Mr. Mitchell knew we were laughing about something, and he took his big, long switch and hit me on the back. I had never been hit or whipped at school before, so it made me mad at him for a while. I raised up and told him I was not doing anything to get a whipping for, that I was feeling bad (I lied), and he said, “Yeah! I know what you were doing.” I told him I would bring my mom’s stove ketch and hit him over the head with it the next day. But, I didn’t do that. I was just so embarrassed and getting caught at what I had really done.

The note was “I love you better than a cat loves cream.” I didn’t know what love really meant at that age, and it was funny to all who knew what I had written.

I got over my mad spell and learned to like my teacher really well. He was good to me all the time after that. I was real good in my classes and he liked that very much. He would let me be a teacher to the first graders, and I could sing good so he let me get up on the stage and lead the songs we sang every morning before we started classes. We would say the Pledge of Allegiance every morning, also. It was very special to me.

Mr. Mitchell was my teacher for three years and we got along well. He was a little lazy and would take a nap or two every day and let us out for recess and lunch while he napped. Edith slipped in and put a spring type clothespin on his ear and he didn’t catch her.

My best friend was Edith. She and I were both born in 1929, and she was six months older than me. We did everything together. Her family lived just down the road from us. Her dad was John A. Cornett and her mother was Bertha (Ison) Cornett. She had four brothers and one sister, Earl, Ellis, Raydean, Martha and Harold. We were all good friends. When we were in the seventh grade, we were still best friends. She was very pretty with big, blue eyes and blond hair, and we were about the same in size and height and could wear each other’s clothes.

One winter in 1942, her mother and dad got divorced, and it broke all our hearts. Her dad left them and married another woman. Then their mother left them and moved to Michigan, and never came back. Earl tried to take care of them the best he could. He was 18.

Ellis left and Edith had to cook and try to keep things going as best as a 14-year old can do. Her brother Raydean was younger than Edith, and Martha and Harold were real young. They would take real bad spells of crying for their mother. I stayed one night, and Martha was really sad and crying for her mother to come home.

Earl was trying to talk to them all, and told them not to worry; he thought it would be better soon. But they couldn’t be comforted. I tried to tell them that their mom would soon come back, and they still couldn’t believe us. Earl started pacing he was so upset and sad, and he would go out on the porch and then back inside through the other door and round and round. Then he got in his bed and started moaning and wouldn’t talk to any of us, and he went into a state of some kind like a seizure. He was slinging his arms and moving and groaning. It almost scared us to death. I told Edith to go get cold water and we put it on his face thinking he would get better, but he didn’t.

I sent her to her Aunt Louise and Uncle Benton Cornett’s who lived a little ways from them to get their son Jason to come help us with Earl. He came and stayed the rest of the night with him. He finally woke up, out of his situation but was so sad not knowing what to do or what to tell the others.

I went home and told Mom what had happened, and it was sad for her to know what a shape this family was in. They didn’t have money to buy food to cook, and would go to Louise’s and eat and sometimes to Cassie Cornett’s and then to our house and to Matt and Susanna’s. Wherever they could get food. It was the very saddest time in my young life to see them struggle. We all were poor people, anyway. I guess we were better off because Dad worked at Lynch in that time of our life, and we raised gardens and had corn and beans and potatoes and tomatoes, and cabbage, and Dad always fattened hogs to slaughter for meat. We had a cow and chickens, also. Those children didn’t at that time. We tried to do all we could to help them.

It was in the early spring, and cold most of the time. School was out for the summer. It went out in April. One night it came a bad storm and the creek was flooded really bad, and Mom worried about those children. She was looking down that way that morning and saw the children wading the creek in the flood. Edith was carrying Harold across and holding to the others as they crossed. Later on they came up to the house for a while and Mom told her not to wade the cold water, that it would make them sick. But she just laughed and looked at me and said, “Oh! Nothing can kill me and Bonnie, can it?” I told her no. We were good, and straight and healthy.

The WPA Co. was working close to their home, making a road down toward Defeated Creek Way, and we found out that Edith was very sick and running a high fever and had a bad headache. I didn’t know about it at the time. They said that when the workers on the road shot dynamite on the rocks off of the hill and the dozers would make big noises, she would scream out to make them stop. But they didn’t. They got someone to take her to Benham Hospital and we never did find out what it was, but later they thought she had hepatitis or meningitis. We never did know.

They had been talking about moving away and I was sad about losing my best friend. We saw a big pickup truck down by the house, and I told Mom I wanted to go see Edith before they moved. I started walking down the road and heard a horse come up behind me. I looked, and it was Nora Long, who lived up on Ingram’s Creek. She spoke and said, “It’s so bad about little Edith.” I asked what, and she said, “Honey, she died yesterday.” I almost fainted when she said that. I ran back to the house and told Mom. It was so hard for me. The truck I saw down there was bringing her box for the casket, and I thought they were moving away.

Well, she moved away all right, forever. It broke my young heart to have to go see her. I still go to her grave every Memorial Day and I put flowers on her grave. No one else ever does, as they are all dead except Earl and Howard. They live in Michigan as far as I know.

Earl came to see me about six years ago and stayed in our camper for a few days with Dover Cornett and Troy. Now Dover is gone, also, and Troy told me that Earl went back to Michigan, that he couldn’t watch Dover die. At one time we thought we were in love with each other. He told me he remembered walking me home and that he kissed me, and it almost scared him to death. He was afraid of my dad. Dad, Victor, was very strict on me as I grew up, but when you’re young you fall in love a lot of times I think. It was just puppy love.

Well! I have to tell this story of my granddaughter, Rachel Lea Ingram. She came home during Christmas and told us she will be getting married in May. She and her mom and aunt and her sister, Lauren, went to Johnson City and bought her beautiful gown and veil. They will marry at the gazebo on Kingdom Come Trail overlooking the big Black Mountain. I cried when she tried her gown on for me. I love her so much.

We had a good Christmas and all got together for Christmas supper at my house. I was the one they wanted to make chicken and dumplings for them, so I did. They turned out good, and they made all the other stuff. It was a good evening.

We still miss my sweetheart Claude and Daniel’s dad, Clyde Disney. It’s hard for anyone who loses a family member. Claude’s younger sister, Jewell Ann Morgan, is battling cancer right now. She is getting treatment at Pikeville Cancer Center every day. I’m praying for her to be better and to be able to say, “I am well.” Only God knows the answer. Pray a prayer for her today, and each time you pray. She is an angel and is so good. We love her so dearly.

Remember that God loves you all, and He answers our prayers. I pray for those missing in the terrible airplane wreck, and all our soldiers, our president and our country. I love all.

Thanks to all who sent me beautiful Christmas cards. I love to get them. I keep them all. I have so many, and they are so special to look at some times.


A tribute to Claude Ingram
Linefork
By BONNIE INGRAM
In honor of my husband.

I am writing this article with a very broken heart. I just want to let all my loving friends, relatives and caring neighbors know how much I appreciate your support and love to my family and me. We will never forget how much you cared during my darling husband’s illness and death. Claude Ingram, 84 years and 2 months. He passed away January 17, 2013 at 10:31 p.m. at Whitesburg ARH Hospital after a three-month fight with cancer of the brain. He had been feeling bad all summer and fall with dizziness and out of balance, and talking of strange things happening to him. Kind of out of control with himself and the family. Strange thoughts and actions. Only he knew somehow that he was not himself. He tried so hard to work at things he always did, but he grew tired easily.

His thoughts were that he was alone with no one to help him, only God, and he told me one day about that experience. He was making fodder shocks out of cornstalks in our garden and all at once no one was there to talk to or help him. He said he thought if God would come to him he could talk to Him. So he asked Him to come and He did and told Claude He was there to talk and help him. Oh! What a beautiful feeling to hear his sweet voice tell me what had taken place in the garden. All of it was so good and wonderful to hear.

He became so out of balance and we knew something was terribly wrong. So Daniel, our son, took him to the emergency room at Holston Valley Hospital in Kingsport, Tenn., on Oct. 20 and they did tests on him quickly and found he had a tumor in his brain. It was large and “very bad”, the doctor told us. He started taking radiation and chemo treatment, 30 radiation and 42 chemo treatments.

It only got worse, and he started having seizures and we took him to the hospital emergency room. They confirmed it and kept him four nights with treatments and then sent him to Letcher Manor Nursing Home for therapy. Only he was too weak to do therapy and he developed pneumonia and they took him back to the hospital and put a feeding tube through his nose to his stomach for nourishment and fluids.

His throat was paralyzed and he just couldn’t swallow anything but he could say little things to us. He wanted to know why he was there in the hospital. I told him he was very sick and we had to put him in there so they could help him.

I asked him if he could sing to me and he did. He sang the little sweet song he would always sing to everybody while he was well, “You Are My Sunshine”, only he sang the last half of it, “Last night as I lay sleeping, I dreamed I held you in my arms, but when I awoke, dear, I was mistaken and I hung my head and cried.” It went on for a little while over and over until his voice gave out. It was the sweetest thing I ever heard. So I just sat down by his bed and cried.

It was snowing really bad outside and the boys decided to bring me home. Our oldest son, Roger, and his wife said they would stay until Daniel and Randy got back at 12 o’clock. We left about 8:30, but before we did I went to tell him I was coming home because the roads were getting really bad. I just put my hands on his cheeks and kissed him on the forehead and I told him I loved him and that he was my “Sunshine” and I’d see him tomorrow. He opened his beautiful blue eyes and just looked at me. He was gone at 10:31 p.m.

My heart is so heavy and I feel as if he will come in the house again. I want to hear his voice, but the house is so empty and lonely now. I have to hold on though, and try to take it one day at a time. It’s so hard!

I’m so sorry to hear of so much sickness and deaths all around. We lost another sweet friend, Cora Mae Halcomb. She was the wife of the late Nelson Halcomb. She was a member of our Four Square Church here on Linefork.

I want to thank my minister, Mary K. Bennett, for all her prayers and visits and the food she sent to us. She has the Son Shine Children’s Home and is one of the greatest persons I’ve ever met. She is so good and so caring to all the little ones she has raised and adopted. She has eight right now. They have a good mom and she takes great care of them. She is such a blessing in this county.

Also, Brother Charles Shepherd, I thank you so much for your part in this time of grief. You are a gift from heaven, and “a child of the King”. That song was so true. Thanks so much to the ones who sang the beautiful songs and brought food.

The evening of the wake, my dear friend I met at the community center at the old Kingdom Come Elementary School, Willie Perry, sang three of my favorite songs, “I’d Like to Go Back”, “Go Rest High Upon the Mountain” and “Don’t Stand By My Bedside in the Morning”. Beautiful words of comfort.

Thanks to a wonderful lady, Gerri Rinehart, who goes to Four Square Church. She has a beautiful voice and she is a great asset to have at church. She and her husband are great to know.

Larry Roark sang so beautifully and played his guitar. He is the husband of my niece, Pamela Roark. They are members of Kingscreek Church. Larry is a wonderful friend at our center also. He comes and sings for us up there.

I just can’t say enough to the Veterans of Foreign Wars for the beautiful prayers and the ceremony to honor my husband who was a soldier in Japan just after the war ended, as a military policeman. He was in there during the cleanup after the atomic bomb. He stood guard on the ship deck when Japan and the United States, etc., signed the peace treaty. It was a great experience for him to be able to do the jobs he had to do and it was a very dangerous place to be at that time. He had a great story to tell our sons as they grew up. They will always honor him for being a soldier for our country.

Claude had his 84th birthday on Nov. 17. He was born in 1928 to Charlie Ingram and Josephine Cornett Ingram, number three in a family of 10 children. He had a hard life growing up, helping his family and going to work at a very young age, 12 years old, working in the dog woods helping jack props for the Benham & Lynch Coal Co. He also worked in the fields hoeing corn for people for a quarter a day to buy his shoes for wintertime.

I met him for the first time at a friend’s birthday party. She was my best friend, Sallie Turner, and it was her 16th birthday. Claude was there with his best friend, Elmo Huff, Sallie’s boyfriend. We played a game called Pleased or Displeased and Elmo was very bad displeased. They asked what would please him most. He said, “To see Claude kiss Bonnie.” That’s how we met and it was really a great love story from then on.

We were married on July 6, 1950 and to us were born five wonderful sons. We were together 62½ years of marriage.

I surprised him with a big birthday party at our community center Nov. 17. We had all our sons and grandchildren except one grandson, Dustin Lee Ingram. He couldn’t make it from Springfield, Ill. There were close to 80 people to come and it was a great evening. Claude was very weak, but he had a good evening, enjoying seeing all his friends and family.

So we had a good life together, even though it was tough times along the way. He was a coal miner for 32 years with the United Mine Workers coal companies, Jewell Ridge, Peabody Coal in Illinois, Beth-Elkhorn Coal Co. and U.S. Steel Coal Co. at Cumberland. He also had small truck mines himself and worked construction jobs in Ohio on the highway and Indiana at a construction job.

He retired in 1983 from the U.S. Steel Coal Co. in Cumberland because of back injury. He made many good friends while working and some not so good, only he tried to be a leader.

He loved to go fishing at the lakes, and also at Linefork Creek. He was lucky most all the time, catching a good mess of fish. He made two trips to Canada to fish and took our son Daniel one year. They went with a group of other men, my brother Emory Cornett and his friends in Indiana, and also Raymond Disney, who left us several years ago with cancer. They really enjoyed that trip and caught so many big fish. They were proud of that week together in a log cabin by the lake. It was too cold to bathe in the lake.

Claude really loved the outdoor life. When he and I got married, he took me fishing close by where we lived in a little two-room shack. I caught a catfish and was trying to get it off the hook and it bit my finger and scared me so bad I threw it away over in a big field. He laughed at me and said, “Didn’t you know they could bite?” I didn’t know they had teeth.

That first little two-room shack had been an outside kitchen for the Wesley Cornett family. We were so happy and I fixed it up cute. It had a coal and wood cookstove and a hand pump to pump water into a big one bowl sink. We had a small table my mom gave us and we used dynamite boxes of wood for chairs in the little kitchen and made a bedroom out of the little dining room. I made a dresser out of the dynamite boxes also, and made curtains to go over the boxes and had a big round mirror Mom gave me. Our clothes hung on the wall on big nails for the hangers. It was just so good to be able to be at our own place. It was just right for us.

Love between two people like ours was not of worldly affairs, it was just for us to be able to be together and learn how to survive in this world. We really didn’t look at not having a car to drive or a fine home. We wanted to always be together and we made it that way. We raised a garden every year and I canned and put away all I could and he was there to help me when he didn’t have to work in the truck mines at that time. Our families were always there to help us if we needed them.

Oh! I could write a book on all the 62½ years we lived together, but I’ll save that for later.

Thanks so much to Letcher Funeral Home and all the others that helped.

I love all so deeply.

Redallas Cornett died last week and her funeral was held at Letcher Funeral Home. She was 93 years old. Her dad was Jimmy Cornett, who was my mother Mary’s uncle, and her mother was Frankie Cornett. She had several brothers and sisters, Chester, Major, James or ‘Jim’, and her sisters were Susanna Cornett, Glonny, and others I can’t remember. She lived in the old homeplace of her dad and mom’s on Big Branch at Skyline. Her mother used to go to people’s homes as a midwife. She was very good at her work.

She stayed with my family as a hired helper when my mother was waiting for my brother Arlie Elmon Cornett’s birth. He was born in 1936 at Blair. I was only 7 years old. Redallas was a good and kind person. I am so sorry to hear of her death. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to her family members. I didn’t get the news in time to go to the funeral. I am so sorry, but just know I love all of the members dearly.


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