- According to Glenn Curtis conversation with Richard Curtis in 2001 (brother to Earl Curtis) it was John Thurston Curtis who migrated from New York to Waynesburg Kentucky via railroad. Jack Curtis thought that they had settled at King's mountain that was near the rail station there near Waynesburg Ky.
This is confirmed by the Kentucky Census of 1880 wherein we find a John Curtis in Lincoln County. See Fred P. Curtis where 1900 Census shows him with a business called New York Lumber & Grain.
In 1877 the Cincinnati & Southern (now Norfolk Southern) Railway came to Pulaski County, which led to rapid growth in Somerset, Ferguson, Burnside, and other towns along the right-of-way, and to virtual abandonment of many of the county's smaller hamlets. Afterward came large logging and sawmill operations. The period of industrial activity peaked when the Cincinnati & Southern ("Queen and Crescent") opened its Ferguson repair yard. For over a generation, the railroad and the shops were an economic mainstay. A sleepy county seat with only 587 people in 1870, Somerset swelled to be a regional metropolis by 1900 with almost 6,000 people.
John Thurston Curtis came to Pulaski County it is believed in the 1870's. See obituary of his eldest son, Fred P Curtis that says he came in 1874. The 1870 U.S. Census shows John T Curtis in Otselic NY Chenango county as a subcontractor for the railroad. Note that John Thurston Curtis had a son named William who died as a youth of age 17 in Feb. 1872. Could this have pushed he and his family to flee NY for new dreams in Ky ? The 1880 U.S. Census shows John T. Curtis in Lincoln County Kentucky as a farmer. He and his sons apparently worked in lumber trade scouting for wood around Somerset and the south. This is evidenced by Earl Curtis and brothers having been born in Atalla Alabama believed that John Carpenter Curtis there scouting lumber. Also, per conversation with Mary Jo Curtis, her father was born near Oak Ridge TN, saying that family was there getting lumber for railroad ties. This may be what John T. Curtis did besides being a farmer, was that he was a subcontractor for the rail road finding timbers for railroad ties.
Richard Curtis note: I find it interesting that John Thurston Curtis, whose father and grandfather spend many years living in Duanesburg NY, when John Thurston gets off train from migration NY to KY, settles at Waynesburg, KY. Names of towns sound very much alike.
Birthdate per John Carpenter Curtis family Bible as August 5.
John T Curtis came to Pulaski county from McDonough NY, where near farms where they lived, was the Ludlow Pond sawmill. John T's brother in NY that stayed there was a carpenter per town business directory in 1869
North Norwich NY 1869-1870 business directory:
Curtis, John, (King's Settlement,) lot 75, farmer leases 400.
NOTE: The White Store curtises are not from Thomas of Wetherfield. Rather from a 1750 english emigrant. Per exam. of Rev. Gordon Curtis research.
from chnango cty webgen proj--Norwich directory 1869-1870
Curtis Bros., (White's Store,) lot 2, T. 15, S.E.Q., props. of White's Store Mills and farmers 25.
History of Chenango and Madison Counties, New York
White Store is situated on the Unadilla, in the east part of the town, and is a station on the New Berlin Branch of the Midland Railroad, with a population of sixty-three. It contains a Union Church, built in 1820, by members of the Baptist, Methodist and Universalist denominations, a district school, a grist-mill, two groceries, kept by J. T. Curtis and Caleb Barr, the latter of whom is the postmaster, having been appointed to the office April 19, 1874. Mr. Barr was preceded in the office by William T. Morse, who held it about two years. David Shippey previously held it a great many years. The postoffice at this place was established at an early day.
- The Interior Journal (Stanford KY) Tuesday May 24, 1898 quotes the Somerset Paragon:
Mr. and Mrs, J.T. Curtis, good people of Lincoln county and parents of our Fred Curtis, have been enjoying a visit here.
- What Church to John T Curtis and family attend ?
Double Springs Baptist Church
History of the Church
The Double Springs Baptist Church was organized in January, 1803 and was one of the charter churches that constituted the Cumberland River Association in 1809. The first site was two miles south of Waynesburg on the Ike Singleton farm near two springs, hence it's name. It was a log house of unknown size and served as the only meeting house for all southern Lincoln County, northern Pulaski County and eastern Casey County
After a few years the members decided to move nearer the stagecoach line running from Stanford to Somerset and chose a site at two springs about two miles south of Waynesburg on the old Curtis farm, west of the present U.S. 27 at Ruben Collin's farm. Sometime later the church moved a third time (again near two springs) at the south end of the present Double Springs Cemetery.
In 1886, the church moved for a fourth time to its present site where a large frame auditorium was built. In 1917 Sunday School rooms were added to the rear of the auditorium. In 1965 a need arose for a new auditorium, hence the old one was torn down and the new one was completed in 1966.
Double Springs' has been a mission-minded church and is the mother church of Eubank, Pleasant Point, Pilot, Pond, Pleasant View, Olive, Parlor Grove, Locust Grove, and Polly Ann.
- From blog The Sound of Shaking Paper 2016:
This is 1871 newspaper article that shows the politics and conditions of Somerset/Pulaski County in 1871 preceeding the arrival of the railroad and the reasons it came during reconstruction after the civil war.
THE ROUTE OF THE RAILROAD
Correspondent Cincinnati Commercial
SOMERSET, PULASKI CO., KY., July 30, 1871.
AN ALL DAY'S JOURNEY.
Big things have been going on at Stanford the past week. The County Fair was held and a newspaper started. This paper is called the Democrat, and is Democratic in politics, but it is not sufficiently impressed with the shortness of life, for it has this paragraph: "We publish today a letter from Hon. A. H. Stephens on the New Departure. It is worth reading."
The fair being over, people naturally enough wanted to go home, and this crowded the Somerset stage[coach] to its utmost capacity. I got on top with three others and a nigger. It was a hot place. Even the nigger sweat great drops of perspiration, and said in his agony that he would never go to another fair. The heat suffocated us, the sun scorched us, and the dust choked us. It had not rained for weeks, and all things seemed to have conspired to make us miserable. Philosophy states that black draws heat, and philosophy is quite correct. The top of the stage was covered with black carpet bags, black bundles, and the nigger was a very black one. The only things on the stage not black were my boots. To make our condition still more desperate, if that was possible, an insane man put a black dog into a black box and put it upon the black coach for the black nigger to sit on. The dog would not accept the temperature of the situation, and howled, and clawed, and foamed at the mouth, and wanted to come out among the other passengers, which would have been pleasant, as the whole top of the coach was no longer than the top of an ordinary cooking stove, and about as hot as one while a 4th of July dinner is being cooked.
Then the road was a dear piece of human ingenuity. During war times the Government had laid ten or twelve miles of it with corduroy, ever which the coach jolted about as it would over cross ties, laid far enough apart to let in the wheels a comfortable jolting distance.
But every time I looked into the coach I had reason to be thankful that I was on top. The condition of the miserable creatures inside was enough to draw tears of sympathy from a grindstone. They caught all the dust, for it seemed to blow in at both sides with savage delight. Then the sun went right in upon them, for if they shut it out they deprived themselves of air, and would have died suddenly, instead of by degrees. In my comparative comfortable condition on top, with the dog and nigger, I could hear the sighs and groans from the infernal regions below, "Oh, Lordy!" "Oh, my soul!" "Oh, my shins!" "Oh, my band box!" were a few of the expressions of the miserables in their misery. If they had been members of the Legislature of the sort who don't want any railroads in Kentucky, I should have taken a fiendish delight in hearing them howl and swear. I should hope for their torment to still further increase and their heads knock together with such force as to cause them to fight and tear hair. Such things have happened in stage coaches, and I account for it upon grounds of the cat principle in human nature. Closely confine a dozen cats under circumstances of great personal discomfort, and they will fight with tremendous energy.
I asked my fellow traveler, the nigger, if he lived in this section. He said he did, "but," he continued, as a lunge of the front wheels threw him up some three feet, "but I am going West; this country lacks development."
Some seven miles this side of Stanford we passed through a long line of ridges, called the Knobs. A little distance to the east the line of survey of the road crosses, or rather goes through those knobs, requiring a tunnel two thousand feet long.
From the elevation a magnificent view is had of the entire Blue Grass region. There is nothing to shut out the view except its extensiveness. The blue dimness of distance is the only limit. The location of Lexington is very plain, and there are those who talk about seeing a cloud of smoke that hovers over Cincinnati. But, perhaps, it is smoke from Nicholasville, a large manufacturing city this side.
After crossing the Knobs the country becomes poorer, but presents much the same physical aspect. It is undulating, and as you pass on this undulation assumes larger proportions, and you find yourself among hills and hollows of disagreeable proportions, either for travel or railroad building.
This is a small place in Lincoln County, just before the Pulaski County line is reached. Here we found the usual number of loafers lounging around the hotels and groceries. Hotels and groceries are all there is of the place, and these are exceedingly disagreeable looking and dilapidated in appearance. Half a mile this side we stopped for dinner at a house by the road line, and were well entertained for the modest sum of fifty cents.
Refreshed by dinner, we resumed our several places in the dust covered coach. The sun shone out gloriously hot, and the dust vied with the sun in adding to the disagreeableness of the situation. The only relief we found was in steep hills, where we had an opportunity to get out and walk. The driver was the proprietor of the line, and did what he could to make us comfortable. But he could not control the sun's rays nor keep down the dust. Ten miles out from here we were met by a lady and her two children, whose vehicle had broken down, and who were desperately anxious to get home. But the driver could not make room for them, and we left them in the woods, to ponder over the beauties of locomotion in Kentucky, and return thanks that they had a Legislature with a deep veneration for the Constitution. Still, it was Saturday night, they had been from home a week, the old man would be looking for them with longing eyes, there was no other stage for forty-eight hours, and perhaps they would have preferred less veneration for the Constitution, and less probability of a camp in the wilderness. In wicked moments I sometimes wish that those of the Legislature who voted against the railroad were strung along the road from Stanford to Somerset, compelled to breathe all the dust that's kicked up, and hear all the curses that come from the lips of desperate passengers. I should want such one to be located where there was no shade, and about ten miles from water and an equal distance from any still-house. This last provision would be the cruelest of all, and the one most likely to bring them to terms.
About 7 o'clock we climbed a steep hill and found ourselves in
The stage rolled up to the door of the Ingram House, and the passengers rolled out. From all parts of town crowds drifted toward us to see who had come. The advent of the stage into Somerset makes an interesting occasion. It comes but once a day, and is the only means of communication with the great world that roars and thunders away off at the other end of the line. Occasionally a Somerseter goes off into the world, and when he comes back, if he ever does, he is an object of deep veneration and interest. People flock about him to hear him give in his experience and tell what sights he saw and sounds he heard away off yonder in the world. And hope runs high that the world will some day be brought here, and the iron horse plunge and snort through these hills and hollows, only seven hours from Cincinnati.
"Walk into supper," said the cherry voice of the landlord, and we walked. A long table groaned under the load of chicken and biscuit. People asked of the newcomers how about the election, and how about the railroad. A late imported said that he didn't care a d--d about the election, but he thought the prospect that Somerset would get the road was pretty good. Somebody would get the road, for Congress would pass the charter this coming December as sure as the sun shines, and Somerset was on the most direct route. He thought we should be up and doing, and watch Danville with a critic's eye.
I learned that Captain W. C. Crozier, who has been surveying routes through Kentucky and Tennessee for about two years, was ten miles south of here doing some patch work in the line and fishing for the best point to cross Cumberland River. At 10 o'clock I heard someone shout: "Here come the railroad," and upon looking out saw Captain Crozier and party ride up. They all looked alike in the moonlight, and might have passed for Ku Klux. In fact, they are so sun-bronzed that they look pretty much alike in the daytime.
One of the surveying party is Professor Arnold, of Cornell University, New York, who is tramping through the mountains and living a camp life for the mere love of it. All he gets for his labor is his board, and that is not choice. This labor of love he calls taking his vacation. His intentions are, no doubt, good, but with the thermometer manifesting the partiality for point one hundred that it now does, there must be something the matter with his judgment.
RESOURCES OF THE COUNTIES THROUGH WHICH THE ROAD PASSES BY THIS ROUTE.
The first county through which the survey passes is Kenton. This county contains wealth in the amount of some sixteen millions of dollars. Covington, however, holding the greater portion of it.
This county is not touched by the Central Road, but the survey of the Cincinnati Road passes through the center of it. It is one of the best counties in the State, containing taxable properties to the amount of about three millions of dollars. The surface is rolling and undulating, the upper end being rough. Wheat, corn, and oats are grown in great abundance, and there is no better county for fruit in the State. The timber is mostly white and black oak, poplar and walnut. Through this county the line of survey passes along the dividing ridge between the waters of the Kentucky and Licking Rivers. Williamstown is the county-seat, a town of about eight hundred inhabitants. Coming out of Grant, the survey passes through the corners of three counties, Owen, Scott, and Harrison, thence through
Scott is a wealthy county, containing seven millions of dollars in taxable property, and having not a foot of railroad within her borders. It is one among the best counties in the State. Through it the survey still follows the dividing ridge between the waters of the Kentucky and Licking Rivers. Georgetown, the county seat, is a flourishing town of over two thousand inhabitants. That the Central road was not located through these counties is a matter of surprise, considering that the distance to Lexington is twenty miles shorter, and the country much better. There may have been some job work in it.
This is the county of the State, considered in the light of fertile soil and fine stock. Its taxable wealth is about sixteen millions of dollars, and its capital city is Lexington.
This is one of the smallest, and, in proportion to its size, one of the richest counties in the State. The average value of land is about thirty dollars an acre, and the taxable wealth of the county about four millions of dollars. It is a fine fruit, grain, stock, wine and people county. The surface is gently rolling, and Kentucky can boast no finer farming country than that of Jessamine.
South of Jessamine is Garrard, also a good county. Its taxable wealth is fully four millions of dollars. Lancaster, a town of about one thousand population, is the county seat. It is a finely timbered section, containing sugar maple, poplar, hickory, black walnut, white oak, black oak, &c.
This county contains much land that is good and much that is poor. But it is quite a wealthy county, containing taxable property to the amount of nearly five millions of dollars. Stanford is the county seat.
This is the second county in size in the State, being about seventy miles across it at the widest part. The survey of the Cincinnati road passes through the center. Its taxable property amounts to bout two millions and a quarter. But in minerals it is the richest county on the line of the proposed road in the State. It contains about eighty thousand acres of coal lands, affording a working vein full four feet thick. All the Cumberland coal that goes down the river to Nashville is from this country. Its timber is excellent, consisting of white and black oak, cedar, pine, poplar, chestnut and walnut.
The fact that there is so much coal in this region is but imperfectly understood at Lexington. They consider that their only relief from the monopoly of the Central road is to build the Big Sandy line. It is much nearer to the coal of this county than that in the direction of Big Sandy.
The coal trade of this county amounts to considerable; in fact, is is the only business bringing any money to the county at present, but it is very much circumscribed for the want of transportation facilities. The only outlet is down the Cumberland River, and then only during "high tides." It is shipped in barges, and the barges sold at Nashville for wood.
Never did the parched earth need rain more than this section of country needs a railroad. Everything that is sold out of the county has to go by dirt road, frequently almost impassable, and all supplies have to come in the same way.
Poor as this county is, it could afford to give a quarter of a million of dollars for the Cincinnati Southern road. Its coal could then be shipped at all times of the year, its produce would find a ready market, its real estate would enhance in value, and a new era of prosperity begin. It is the first coal county struck south of Cincinnati, and this would give it the advantage of a monopoly of the Lexington market.
CINCINNATI IS A PRODUCE MARKET.
Everywhere I hear Cincinnati praised as a good market. It is not subject to "gluts," like the Louisville market. A few dozen extra of eggs does not cause a decline. This makes the people anxious to send their supplies there, but those south of the Kentucky River are in a manner cut off from the Cincinnati market. They can ship to Louisville, by the Lebanon Branch, but not to Cincinnati, unless they cross the gulf of the Kentucky River. Nearly everything south of the river goes to Louisville, and where a man sells there he is most apt to buy. Indeed, at every turn we meet with a demand for the Southern road, and the question is, how long will Cincinnati suffer before she applies the remedy?
WEALTH OF THE COUNTIES.
By the route I have followed to this place, it will be seen that the taxable value of property of the counties through which the road passes amounts to about fifty six millions of dollars. There are several counties touched which I have not enumerated, although they lie, for a greater or less distance, along the line of survey. Add these, and also the counties tributary, and we will have a taxable value of about one hundred millions of dollars! This is startling, but it is true. By the Danville route or the Richmond route the estimate will not be far out of the way. Whichever route the road takes, it will pass through a country of unsurpassed richness. It can not go through Kentucky without. I know that the main object of the Cincinnati road is to tap the Southern railroad system, but inducements by the wayside should not be lost sight of. At the lowest estimate, the road from the Ohio to the Tennessee border will draw the trade from a section the property of which is worth a hundred million of dollars. Even the Louisville and Nashville road has nothing like this, unless its branches be considered, and the Cincinnati road could have branches also, and would have them.
H. V. R. 
 "The Route of the Railroad." Cincinnati Commercial Tribune, Cincinnati, OH. August 5, 1871. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.
- 1870 railroad crisis: See document re 1873-1876 railroad and financial crisis. John T. Curtis was a railroad subcontractor on the 1870 census in Otselic NY near McDonough. May explain his departure for KY when railroad work in his area of NY failed and KY southern railroad was being built funded by City of Cinncinati after completion of Kings' mountain tunnel in 1876. See also the Cinncinati news paper write up above in 1871 of stage coach ride before the railroad wherein it mentions that a professor from Cornell University in New York, which was near where John T Curtis was living, was a surveyor for planning the route of the Southern railway. That shows connection in upstate NY to the planned Cinncinati railroad through Waynesburg, King's Mountain and Somerset.
New York & Oswego Midland Auburn Branch
One of the most interesting segments of the New York & Oswego Midland Railroad was the Auburn Branch which meandered westward over hill and dale through the countryside some 85 miles from Norwich to Scipio Summit, south of Auburn. It passed through such places as Plymouth, Beaver Meadow, OTSELIC Center, DeRuyter, and on to Cortland. It operated via trackage rights over the Utica, Ithaca & Elmira Railroad from Cortland to Freeville, then struck out on its own in a northwest direction.
This ?Western Extension? was originally intended to be built to Buffalo Ultimately the Midland went into the hands of receivers on September 19, 1873. A multitude of both financial and operating problems resulted in the entire line being shut down on February 27, 1875 for several months. The Auburn branch was also closed down until April 1, 1875 when the UI&E RR leased and operated it for a year, until May 1, 1876, when the Midland was able to resume operation on its own.
Since 1872, the U.I. & E. also had trackage rights over the Midland between Cortland and DeRuyter and apparently saw an opportunity to extend its horizons to Norwich. It already had made an important connection with the New York Central at Canastota through acquisition of the Cazenovia, Canastota & DeRuyter Railroad.
Some improvements were made between Norwich and DeRuyter and by early April, 1875, the U.I.& E. was operating two daily eastbound passenger trains between Cortland and Norwich; one morning train between DeRuyter and Cortland and an evening westbound train from Norwich to Cortland.
Since the U.I. & E. only operated the line between DeRuyter and Norwich for a year, it does not appear it gave serious consideration to purchasing it. In fact, it was rumored they wanted to rip up the line east of DeRuyter and build a new line through Georgetown to Randallsville. This was never done, however, and the Midland continued sporadic service between Norwich and Cortland until 1880.
Norwich to DeRuyter was dismantled in 1882. The 19 1/2 miles from DeRuyter to Cortland was preserved through leases until it was purchased outright by the Elmira, Cortland & Northern Railroad which was the immediate antecedent of the Lehigh Valley. The so-called "western extension" between Freeville and Scipio Summit was operated under lease by the UI&E between 1873 and 1876 when it was sold to the newly-organized Ithaca, Auburn & Western. This line was extended to Auburn in 1889, but only lasted three years, and was abandoned in 1891. Items are excerpted from local newspapers of the day and other sources.
See below area newspaper accounts of situation there?
" Cortland Standard & Journal, Sept. 16, 1873
Utica, Chenango & Cortland R.R.
We have been repeatedly asked of late what the directors of this road were doing toward its completion. In another column will be found an advertisement over the signature of the President, Mr. Allen B. Smith, calling a meeting of the stock-holders at the office of the company in this village on the 14th of October, for the purpose of taking into consideration the agreement entered into between the directors of the company and the directors of the "Central Valley Railway Company," for the consolidation of those two companies. The conditions of the consolidation are not set forth in he advertisement, but we infer that it is expected that this consolidation wll inure to the complation of the road.
It has been urged with increasing emphasis, that the season for railway building is rapidly passing away, and that th work remains stationary. We have no information as to the causes of the delay, nor as to how soon it is expected the work the work will be resumed in case the consolidation is perfected, but we suppose the directors have ben unable thus far to either raise the means for going on with the work, or to make a union with any company, which would enable them to do so. Without doubt the directors are fully aware of he responsibility resting upon them, and have done and are doing their best to meet the just expectations of the punlic. We have no authority to speak for them, and can only point to their official action, as apparent from the advertisement published in the Standard & Journal elsewhere.
The Utica, Chenango & Cortland R.R. Company
Notice is hereby given that a meeting of the stockholders of "The Utica, Chenango & Cortland Railroad Company" will be held at the office of the company in the village of Cortland, Cortland county, N.Y., on Tueday, the fourteenth day of October, eighteen hundred and seventy three, at one o'clock in the afternoon fo the purpose of taking into consideration the agreement entered into between the Directors of "The Central Valley Railway Company" and the directors of 'The Utica, Chenango & Cortland Railroad Company," for the consolidation of said companies and railroads, under and pursuant to th act entitled "An act authorizing the consolidation of certain railroad companies, passed May 20th, 1869, and acts amending the same."
And for the purpose of said stockholders voting by baallot fo the adoption or rejection of said agreement.
Dated September 8, 1873
ALLEN B. SMITH
Pres't of the Utica, Chenango & Cortland R.R.
Frank Place, Sec'y 20w4
(Subsequent issues of the newspaper carried no followup articles on this meeting).
Hammondsport Herald, Wed., April 21, 1875
Capt. Wood has been in Smithville, N.Y., the past week, sperintending the removal of the iron for our rail road. The work is being pushed rapidly forward by T.E. Rollins, of Corning, who has charge of the work. They were delayed two days last week by the fall of a foot of snow, and the washing away of a bank by the high water. The rails will be sent to Bath as fast as they can get car loads made up.
Chenango American, Greene, N.Y., Thursday, April 22, 1875
We understand that parties are now engaged in taking up the iron of the Central Valley Railroad, and that it is being taken to Hammondsport, Steuben County where it is to be used in another road. The rolling stock has also been sold. Thus ends the Central Valley Railroad and the inhabitants of Smithville are somewhat out and injured, as we anticipated they would be when the project was commenced.
Two Lumber Mills Built
In 1877 a large lumber mill was set up at Walltown, a few miles from Kings Mountain and another at Staffordsville, just west of the Casey County and Lincoln County line. Houses, shanties and a grog drop arose, and the town soon contained three or four hundred people, who worked in the woods and at the mills.
In 1879 a train track was built from Kings Mountain to Straffordsville. The cars, which ran on wooden rails, were pulled by oxen or mules, which were taken out when the cars reached the top of the hill. The volume of traffic was too great to be handled in this manner for very long, and after a year the train was replaced by a narrow gauge railroad.
The mills at Duncan and Staffordsville supplied the railroad with great loads of lumber which were brought to Kings Mountain to connect with the Southern Railroad and shipped to all parts of the country. Within a few years the lumber was gone, The panic of 1893 cut short any efforts toward the extension of this narrow gauge Railroad, and it gradually fell into neglect as the timber disappeared.