Louisville Author Rebecca Duvall Scott Discusses Her Local Roots and Story Behind the Book
Darren Doyle, story: photos courtesy of Rebecca Duvall Scott:
A Louisville author with local roots is enjoying the success of her latest book; a work of Christian historical fiction based on the real hardships faced by her great-grandmother, May Wood Elliott Kerr, who was from Edmonson County.
On its release date, January 18th, "When Dignity Came To Harlan," published by Emerge Publishing group,
rose to #2 on Amazon's Hot New Release List.
Mrs. Scott described the story behind the story, which revolves around her great grandmother, who at 5 years old was packed in a covered wagon with three of her sisters; the eldest was married and left behind.
Kerr's family (characterized by the Atwood family in the novel) journeyed from Leadwood, Missouri to Edmonson County in search of a better life. Kerr's parents had no money or place to stay, so they asked neighbors to take their girls in until they could get on their feet. The four sisters were parceled out to strangers to earn their room and board, and Mrs. Kerr was put into a home where she was unwelcomed, (characterized by the Grainger family in the novel).
"They were particularly unkind, and her parents never came back," said Mrs. Scott. "May grew up in foster care, and had many challenges to overcome, including being raped by the man of the house, carrying his child, and when it was born, we believe it was either stillborn or the wife killed it. No one knew the truth about what had happened, though, and she lived down the shame by being kind to people and sewing them clothes. She was such a strong person for what she shouldered alone, and only with the grace of God did she manage to become the beautiful and dignified soul I knew she was."
Mrs. Scott said the story contains elements of faith, something in which she took pride, and she plans for that to be subject matter in future books that will become part of the series.
"She was saved at Good Spring and we believe we’ve traced the minutes back to when she was excluded for the unwed pregnancy, and was buried at Fairview, where I believe the baby’s grave is as well, but we don't really know for sure" Mrs. Scott said. "We also have pictures of documents that list her on the 1910 census as a servant in the foster family's home, as well as her first marriage certificate where her parents’ names are left blank! Among the few photographs we have of her, my favorite is the one where she is holding a cat in front of the other family’s house; she had cut them out of the picture except for the bit of the man you can see sitting in a chair next to her."
Kerr married a Civil War veteran named John D. Elliott when she was 24 and he 73, and they had three children, Joy, Eddie, and Lois. Many locals might remember Kerr's second husband, Lewis Kerr, who for many years ran a general store in the Rhoda Community on old HWY 259 just past the Edmonson County Baptizing Facility near Bell Key Methodist Church. Mrs. Scott said Kerr’s second union was blessed with three more children, Evelyn, Junior, and Bobby.
Mrs. Scott also said that her intended overall message from the book is the preserving of one’s heritage and learning from the past, that all truth comes to light eventually.
"The human experience is relatively unchanged, even from that time period," she said. "We all face different trials and we all react to those. I believe it's important to keep family history alive for future generations."
She said she also wanted to create the picture of how stories are passed down through families, and this is one that shares ties to the Edmonson County community.
"My grandmother (Lois Elliott Duvall) told me the stories of her mother when I was a child, and I was fascinated with the idea of the parents bringing those girls to Kentucky in a covered wagon and then them leaving them in others’ homes with the promise they’d be back… the idea of May Wood Elliott Kerr growing up in a cruel foster situation and persevering in spite of her circumstances just really touched me. It was a story of vast human experience and courage – one that we can all learn from! As a teenager I wrote everything down my grandmother could remember – scraps of names, dates, anecdotes, etc., and filled a notebook along with pictures. I started the novel in college, turning in the first 70 pages as my final paper to my creative writing class, and on graduation day the professor shook my hand and asked me to finish it one day. Twenty years in the making and the dream of publishing the story finally came true."
While “When Dignity Came to Harlan” has always been the book Rebecca Duvall Scott intended to publish, she first published a special needs self-help memoir about her son’s journey with sensory processing disorder. Now, in addition to writing Christian historical fiction, she is a public speaker and SPD intervention strategist. She said she had nearly given up on her dream of being a published author in lieu of being a wife and mother, but not long ago, her husband began encouraging her to finish her memoir – which got the ball rolling again for both series.
"God blessed me with an amazing opportunity to publish the self-help memoir about my son’s journey with sensory processing disorder that I had also started years before," she said. "That book (Sensational Kids, Sensational Families: Hope For Sensory Processing Differences) earned me the title of a bestselling and Amazon Top 10 Hot New Release author last spring, and I now know that it was all part of God’s plan to set me up to publish the one I was always meant to publish, When Dignity Came to Harlan.
Another accolade of the book is an endorsement by award-winning author, Lizbeth Meredith. Her statement said, “A reminder of our forebears’ sacrifices and strength, this exquisitely-told story proves that no amount of poverty and pain are a math for fierce faith."
Mrs. Scott attends Longfield United Baptist Church in Louisville, which is part of the Green River Association of Baptists, an association of churches in Kentucky, Indiana, and Georgia, many of which are in Edmonson County.
The novel is available in paperback, hardback, and electronic editions, and can be purchased on Amazon at the following link: When Dignity Came to Harlan: Duvall Scott, Rebecca: 9781949758955: Amazon.com: Books
Follow her Facebook group fan page:
Visit her website at: www.RebeccaDuvallScott.com
Rebecca can be reached via email at: Rebecca@RebeccaDuvallScott.com
Master Commissioner Sale: Saturday January 30th, 10AM
Edmonson County Court House
2 separate tracts:
Parcel 1: 22.5 +/- acres land located at 9736 HWY 259 N. Bee Spring, KY
Parcel 2: House and lot located at 9736 HWY 259 N, Bee Spring, KY
Edmonson Voice Report:
South Central Rural Telecommunications Cooperative has announced that they are now serving the city limits of both Brownsville in Edmonson County and Smiths Grove in Warren County. This includes homes and businesses along Highway 101 between Smiths Grove and Brownsville. “These two cities are quickly growing and are very important parts of our region,” said SCRTC Marketing Director Becky Williams. “We are excited to bring the technology to meet these expanding needs”.
Every business and resident inside both city limits and along Highway 101 between the two, can now receive up to one gig of internet speed. According to SCRTC, one gig speed is enough to meet the needs of any large corporation and gives the user instantaneous speed on demand; now, it is also available for residents as well. SCRTC internet is also symmetrical, so both the up speed and the downstream is the same. If you have a large amount of data to transfer to a location, it is the same speed as downloading the information to your device.
Fiber residential packages are available for a variety of SCRTC services. There are packages for internet-only or a mix of SCRTC internet, TV, and phone services. SCRTC TV service offers over 120 channels as well as premium choices. And there are a variety of long-distance packages with each phone receiving extended area service. This means all phone numbers with 270 or 364 area code are considered a local call. A listing of the residential packages can be found here.
SCRTC also meets the needs of businesses with a variety of service offerings. “We know each business is unique and we partner with them to meet needs with our services,” said Williams. A listing of business packages can be found here.
If you live in the Brownsville or Smiths Grove areas and would like more information on SCRTC services, call 270-678-2111 / 877-678-2111 or visit SCRTC.com.
If you're looking for a home that will require no updates, lies in a quiet, country setting down a dead end road, and is surrounded by beautiful farmland... look no further! This 3 bed 2 bath is currently in construction with an established floor plan, but the new owner will be able to decide on their own personal aesthetics, and color scheme from several choices offered by the builder with an executed sales contract (including new appliances). Call today to view; this one won't last long!
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
It took 192 years and three different buildings, but one local church had their first steeple installed today as church and community members watched with thankful hearts.
Cedar Springs United Baptist Church, which was founded in 1829, had a steeple installed on top of their church house earlier today, which was custom built and completed by Campbellsville Industries. Western Crane Services provided the lifting power for the installation.
Their current building, located on HWY 259 (Brownsville Road), was built in 1966 and underwent renovations inside about five years ago. A few of the church members felt that it was time to install a steeple on the building and the church voted in favor of the addition.
Harlin Tarter, church deacon and member of 60 years, said it was something he had always hoped to see.
"I believe this is a great day for our church," Tarter said. "I think a steeple makes it look like a house of God. It just makes it look like a place where the Lord wants to be, and I hope He is for the rest of our lives."
Several church members were there today as they took photos, shared stories and memories of the church and community, and fellowshipped with coffee and snacks.
Slideshow photos provided by Billie Joe Honeycutt.
Tarter also donated a bell that was installed by the workers. He said he'd acquired it from another community member years ago and thought it would be a good fit inside the steeple, which will be fully functioning.
Tarter said extra bracing was installed in the attic space of the church to accommodate the frame of the steeple. Tarter is known for his own building career, where he's a host of commercial buildings and served as general contractor in the construction of at least one other local church.
"The church was very well built to start with. Brother Cecil Minton built it and everything I've ever seen about it was well built. We just had to add some bracing because of the way they mounted the steeple," he said.
Tarter and other church members also discussed how thankful they were for the support of the community. Donations were made from local businesses, other churches, and individuals to help the church make the project possible.
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Darren Doyle, story:
A t-shirt benefit drive has begun for the family of Sarah Childress, a 38-year old wife and mother who resides in Edmonson County that is suffering from the effects of a stroke she suffered last week.
Rose Webb, creator of the #SarahStrong t-shirts, and friends Cassie Vincent and Carol Stice are reaching out to the community once again.
"We all want to do anything we can to help the Childress and Skaggs families in their time of need," said a statement from the benefit effort. "These shirts can be ordered and worn to show our support for Sarah. All proceeds will go directly to her family to help with expenses."
Sarah is currently at Norton's Hospital in Louisville. While doctors are still unsure of her treatment moving forward, the family says prayers and support are flooding in from everywhere, which is giving them hope.
You can place your orders by clicking HERE.
Darren Doyle, story: photos by Scott Skaggs
A local family is asking for prayers from the community after a 38-year mother suffered a stroke on Tuesday.
Sarah Childress, wife and mother of three girls, ages 5, 11, and 13, is currently at Norton's Hospital in Louisville surrounded by her husband, Jarrid, and other family members. The stroke she suffered this week was due to a venous vein blood clot in her brain.
The family said that after suffering a terrible headache on Monday, she became unresponsive on Tuesday and was taken to the Medical Center in Bowling Green where she was soon moved to Norton's. A planned surgery was suspended due to the danger and nature. While her motor skills have been affected, medical professionals are currently saying it's too soon to determine the best course for her recovery.
Family members have said while she is not currently awake, she has responded with slight movements and hand squeezing at times.
"I'm so appreciative of all the prayers so far," Jarrid told the Edmonson Voice. "I'd give my life for her to be better. The girls need her and I need her. Please pray for us the best you can."
Sarah's father, Steve Skaggs, echoed much of the same.
"We can feel the prayers of God's people," he said. "Please continue your prayers for us. I'm so proud of Edmonson county and our people where I'm from, but our people is anyone that has prayed to our God on our behalf. Wherever you're from, we're grateful."
A relief fund has been organized in the name of Jarrid Childress at the Bank of Edmonson County.
Michelle Coleman, CEO of Bank of Edmonson County, said that numerous Edmonson County residents have asked how to help Sarah’s family, and as a result, this fund has been created. Both checks and cash are being accepted as donations at Bank of Edmonson County; checks can be made to Jarrid Childress. Checks can be either deposited in-person on their behalf or mailed to any of the three bank locations. You are advised to deliver cash in person, not by mail.
109 S. Main St
Brownsville KY 42210--Mailing address for all locations is: PO BOX 99, Brownsville KY, 42210
6780 Louisville Road
Bowling Green KY 42101
156 S. Main St.
Smiths Grove KY 42171
The money will be directly available to the family to help with medical and living expenses while Sarah fights to recover.
While the family is humbled by the relief effort, they were adamant about sharing to the public that their most immediate need is prayer.
The Childress' reside in the Moutardier community in northern Edmonson County.
The Edmonson County Youth League Baseball/Softball Board has made an announcement regarding the upcoming 2021 youth season. For further questions, please contact the email address in the announcement below.
Statement from the EC summer league baseball/softball board.
First and foremost, we plan to have a season this year unless covid absolutely won't let us!
The timeline will be different than you are use to seeing.
National Babe Ruth has already told us that the earliest we can allow a practice or game is April 12.
As a result we will do our signing up in the coming weeks and take applications until mid March.
If you are one of the people that paid and submitted an application last year and told us to carry your application over, then we will be contacting you to simply update the application- example, if you need to increase your child's shirt size etc.
For those who want to play, we will provide many different opportunities to sign up either in the league office or at the field. Be watching for the signs near all of the schools that say- "baseball/softball sign ups this Saturday." Again, this will be late February- early March.
We will also try to deliver some applications to the schools very soon.
If you have any questions please e mail
More Than $800 Raised
Edmonson Voice Report:
Brownsville VFW Post 6937 presented a letter of thanks to local businessman Josh Casey, owner of C&C Firearms on Tuesday, January 12th in appreciation of a recent fundraiser coordinated by Casey, according to a press release from the VFW.
"The COVID pandemic precluded the VFW Post from running its usual Chili Supper fund raising auction and Mr. Casey organized and ran a silent auction last month at no charge which raised over $800 for the Post," a statement from the VFW said.
"Josh Casey and C & C Firearms are stalwarts of Edmonson County and he is an expert on the firearms and outdoor sports industry." the statement continued.
The VFW also included information about the Engels (pictured). According to the statement, Commander Engel is a Combat Action Badge, Purple Heart and Bronze Star Medal recipient of the Iraq conflict, medically retired after 30years of service from the US Army for wounds. His wife Donna is the Post’s experienced Quartermaster, who has been awarded All-State and All-American honors and is also the VFW 5th District Quartermaster.
"The VFW was established following the Spanish-American War and is charged by Congress to remember our fallen veterans, take care of living veterans in need, as well as widows and orphans of veterans, and to conduct good works in the community," said the VFW. "Our Post is known for its charitable contributions, conducting Flag training for Edmonson County 4th Graders each fall, for conducting patriotic speaking, writing competitions for older students, for conducting Community Service Awards each year, and especially for our Burial Honors Detail. Our Burial Honors Detail routinely supports between 12 – 20 veterans’ graveside internments with precision and great dignity."
The group is currently part of a local digital preservation project, The Hall of Heroes Conservation Project, that is in the process of digitizing each individual veteran photo that is displayed in the Edmonson County Courthouse. Over 1200 photos are currently being added to the groups brand new website EdmonsonVets.com.
The Post meets at the Edmonson County Library on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 pm (next week on Tuesday because of the Federal Holiday). Anyone that's an overseas veteran with a qualifying campaign medal is welcome to attend a meeting. The group can also be found on Facebook.
Click any of the photos below to view the complete listing from Realtor Shauna Gravil:
Family Seeking Sponsors To Help With Expenses
Darren Doyle, story: submitted photos:
One local youth football player has hopes of heading south to Florida in a few weeks to participate in the Youth Pro Bowl 2021 event. More significantly, she's the only female football player that's been accepted to the event, according to her parents.
Bristol Butler, a 4th grade student at Kyrock Elementary and a member of the Edmonson County Youth Football League, along with her parents, James and Destiny Butler of Mammoth Cave, are looking to make the trip to Orlando for the event that will be held January 27 -31.
Bristol, who is 10 years old, has been playing football for three years and also plays soccer and softball. Her parents say she is one of only three female footballers in the local youth league. In addition to sports, her parents say that she's also active in the community, at least before the pandemic altered many activities.
"Before COVID, she would come with me to the nursing home and visit," said her mother, Destiny. "She would sing and paint the residents' fingernails." Mrs. Butler also said Bristol participates each year in her school's canned food drive.
While plans have been made for Bristol to participate in the national event, the family is a bit concerned about the cost of the trip, which includes event registration, hotel and fuel expenses, and food, which is estimated to be over $1000. They say it's even more difficult now since both James and Destiny lost their jobs due to the pandemic. They are seeking donations from the community to help them make the trip.
"We both worked for a seasonal cleaning company which shut down early due to COVID and has yet to reopen, but my husband has filed for unemployment," she said. "We’re barely scraping by with that right now. With our house payment and bills it would be impossible to save up enough in the time frame."
Kyrock Principal Shaun Stice described Bristol as "a good kid."
"She's a good student and well behaved," he added.
Mrs. Butler said they're doing all they can to see that Bristol has the opportunity to play in the national event.
"I know every parent says this, but Bristol really is an amazing little girl and she deserves every opportunity," she said. "She makes amazing grades, she is a great big sister to her 4 year-old sister Anniston, and she has big dreams. She absolutely LOVES football and we just want to help her go as far as she can."
A message sent to the Youth Pro Bowl organization was not immediately returned.
If you'd like to donate to Bristol's cause, you can contact Mrs. Destiny Butler by call or texting 270-246-1075.