J. R. Lemon
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James Robert Lemon (1848 - 1919)

James Robert (J. R.) Lemon aka Lemonds
Born in Guilford, North Carolina, United Statesmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 13 Mar 1873 (to 20 Mar 1885) in Marshall, Kentucky, United Statesmap
Husband of — married 6 Oct 1885 in Benton, Marshall, Kentucky, United Statesmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Mayfield, Graves, Kentucky, United Statesmap
Profile last modified | Created 23 Oct 2015
This page has been accessed 588 times.




James Robert Lemon, James R. Lemon, Col. J.R. Lemon; J.R. Lemon appears to be his preferred name.


James R. Lemon was a prominent person in Western Kentucky, having been an an educator, merchant, newspaperman and an influencer in the Democratic party. He was the founder and active member of the Mayfield Daily and Weekly Messenger which became Graves County, Kentucky's best newspaper. James also prepared and published Lemon's Hand Book of Marshall County, Kentucky which provided "its history, advantages, etc. and biographical sketches of its prominent citizens".[1]

1848 Birth and Parentage

In 1848, J.R. was born seven miles from Greensboro, NC in Guilford County where the Battle of Guilford Court House was fought during the American Revolutionary War (1781). He was the son of Joseph G. Lemonds b. 23 Dec 1818 Rockingham Co, NC d. 21 Jan 1885 Marshall Co, KY and Demaris A. Helton b. 11 Apr 1833 Rockingham Co, NC d. 14 Nov 1878 Marshall Co, KY. The Lemonds were early NC settlers and farmers.

1855 Migration to KY

In Nov 1855, J.R.'s parents brought him and his two brothers on a 7-week trip 800 miles "west" across the Appalachians in a two-horse wagon to Birmingham, Marshall County, Kentucky. The surrounding area had just a few settlements and the family were renters in a few of them for several years. James was raised on a farm and attended public schools in poor neighborhoods at the time which wasn't conducive to learning. His parents furnished J.R. books and he studied hard to become one of the top scholars in the community.

1870-73 Teacher

In 1870, a 22-yo J.R. visited relatives in Henry County, Tennessee and taught in subscription school at Lebanon Church for three months and made $56. He also taught at public schools in both Salem and Briensburg Kentucky. On 27 Mar 1870, J.R. entered the Marshall County Seminary in Benton, Kentucky led by Professor A. Pomroy, a able educator. He attended both the spring and summer sessions and taught fall school in the country until the seminary disbanded in Apr 1871. Then J.R. clerked at Col. T.B. Waller General Store in Briensburg until Sep 1871, taught at another school and returned home. From Aug 1872 until the spring of 1873, J.R. taught in a Briensburg schoolroom.


  1. On 13 Mar 1873, J.R. married Benton, KY resident Cora A. Wilson b. 30 Jan 1851 KY d. 20 Mar 1885 Benton, Marshall Co, KY and made their home in Briensburg, KY. Cora was the daughter of Dr. James K. Wilson b. 8 Aug 1812 Londonderry, Ireland d. 17 May 1874 in Marshall Co, KY and Geraldine H. Cooley b. abt. 1819 Stewart Co., TN d. after 19 Jun 1880 Benton, Marshall Co, KY. Cora passed away in 1885 leaving James with 3 small children.
  2. On 6 Oct 1885 Benton, Marshall Co, KY, J.R. married Lucretia C. Thompson b. 22 Mar 1862 Benton, Marshall Co, KY d. 08 Jun 1930 Mayfield, Graves Co, KY d/o Daniel David Thompson b. 28 Mar 1821 NC d. 16 Aug 1868 and Martha Ann Wood b. 15 Sep 1823 in NC d. 12 Dec 1896. Proof of their marriage date and place can be found in a news report on their 24th wedding anniversary. Judge W. P. Lee, the Benton Co Judge who married them was the toastmaster at the large gathering where the honorees received many valuable and costly gifts.[2]

1874-1900 Business Owner and Traveling Salesman

In 1874, the Lemons moved to Benton where J.R. partnered with his father-in-law, Dr.Wilson, in Lemon & Wilson, a drug store. Shortly thereafter, Wilson died so he continued the business under his name until the 1880s when he partnered with W. A. Holland in a drug and grocery store. In 1881, J.R. became a traveling salesman for Patrick & Wilson, book and stationery dealers at Evansville, Indiana. His territory included western Kentucky, southern Illinois, southeastern Missouri and Arkansas and was considered the most successful salesman on the road. on 17 Nov 1884, he expanded his Benton drug business by buying all competitors and becoming a junior partner a well-known firm Starks and Lemon. On 13 Oct 1890, when Barry retired he bought out J.R.'s interests in Starks and Lemon and continued the business in the Lemon name. In 1894, J.R. formed a stock company at Paducah, Kentucky, under the name of the Lemon-Gregory Hat Company, being the prime mover in establishing a wholesale hat house in that city, and was president and general manager of the company until it discontinued business in 1899. On 06 Jan 1897, J.R. was a Paducah resident, a hat company president, the editor of the Paducah Evening Journal, the postmaster at Benton and the vice president of the Register Company.[3]

1873-1916 Politician and Postmaster

Although a teacher and successful businessman, J.R. gravitated toward politics, became a strong Democrat and served in several positions. On 19 Jun 1873 J.R. was appointed postmaster at Old Briensburg, Marshall Co, KY Kentucky and served until 1875.[4] In 1875 as Benton's postmaster, he earned $93.21.[5] Colonel Sam Gaines of Hopkinsville, Kentucky appointed J.R. supervisor of Marshall County and took the Benton and Oak Hill census. In March 1886, He was the Benton postmaster for seven years under the administrations of Grant and Arthur, and was again appointed at Benton on 05 May 1893, by William Johnson Stone (June 26, 1841 – March 12, 1923) the US Representative from Kentucky's 1st District[6] under Cleveland’s administration. J.R. held that position for nine years and was considered one of the best of postmasters. As Benton's postmaster in 1895 and 1897, he made $504.89 and $538.29, respectively.[7]

J.R. was appointed by Governor J. Proctor Knott, of Kentucky as a member of the state board of equalization, with headquarters at Frankfort, to fill out the unexpired term of C. C. Coulter, deceased. To this position J.R. was elected in November 1886, over several competitors, and received a three thousand majority. He was one of the most prominent members of the board and did much for his constituents in reducing taxation. In 1892 J.R. was appointed master commissioner of Marshall county by D. G. Clark, a judge of the common pleas court of that district, which position J.R. held until his resignation in 1893.

On 09 Jun 1898, J.R. received letters from friends urging him to run for railroad commissioner in 1899 and although he was non-committal he said there was plenty of time for him to make that decision.[8] It was reported 25 Jan 1901 that J.R. considered running for state senator against Mack D. Ferguson, incumbent and Bill Dance. J.R. said, "I'd make just as good a senator as either of the other two, and think I would be a complete failure if I couldn't make a better one."[9] On 18 Apr 1901, he decided to run for state senator in a crowded field of five candidates.[10]

On 07 May 1904 in Mayfield, KY, J.R. was made secretary of the newly formed Hearst Club to support William Randolph Hearst's failed run for the U.S. presidency that year. This club had 537 members making it the largest Hearst Club in the state.[11] In Feb 1906, J.R. was in favor of Mayfield and Graves Co, remaining dry and praised the town's effort to prosecute recent violators. J.R. said, "There will come a time in the near future when a bottle filled with whiskey will be as much a novelty in Mayfield as is possible to imagine."[12] In 2018, Graves is currently a "limited" dry county, meaning that the sale of alcohol in the county is prohibited except for wine and beer in restaurants in Mayfield which have seating for at least 100 patrons or at the Mayfield Golf & Country Club. In 1906, J.R. was among those who supported the immigration movement convention. He was quoted as saying, " I will gladly attend your meeting and will help you In my paper. In fact It will be helping all of this end of the state for I believe as you do that a great deal of good can be done for this section of the country along the lines you suggest."[13]

On 03 Mar 1909, J.R. was one of the prominent Kentuckians to appear at the first meeting of the state's Alaska-Yukon commission in Louisville, KY. The commission was appointed by Republican Augustus E. Willson, Governor of Kentucky to have Kentucky represented at the Seattle Exposition (World's Fair) held 01 Jun-17 Oct 1909. J.R.'s motion to confer the commission's chairmanship upon E. M. Flexner was unanimously endorsed. Meeting members discussed how funds could be raised to give Kentucky an attractive exhibit at the show.[14] On 24 May in Lexington, KY, J.R. was chosen as one of two delegates from the First District to 1916 Democratic National Convention held at the St. Louis Coliseum, St. Louis, MO.[15] In Jan 1913, J.R. was appointed by KY Gov. McCreary as a delegate to represent the state at a Southern National Highway Association meeting in Asheville, NC on 12 Feb that year.[16] In Mar 1915, it was reported that J.R. had wanted the Mayfield postmaster position but didn't get it.[17]

1884 Southern Harmony Singing Day Founder

Dating back to the late 18th Century, Southern Harmony Singing is a pure and authentic form of religious music using geometric shapes for the heads of notes. Those shapes are known as fasola notation: the right triangle is fa, the circle is sol, the square is la, and the diamond is m. This approach revolutionized the teaching of music singing to untrained church congregations. William Walker's Southern Harmony and Musical Companion became the most popular tune-book ever published and it is still being regularly used today over 180 years later in Benton, KY. This form of music has been celebrated annually on the fourth Sunday in May at an event called The Big Singing.[18]

The Big Singing began in 1884 Benton, KY under the leadership of James R. Lemon. We can only speculate why J.R. was interested Southern Harmony music. The Lemon family was from Guilford Co, NC which within range of William Walker's Spartanburg, SC home and his singing activities. It's thought that the Lemon family may have know Walker personally and participated in one of his schools. If so, it's possible that the Lemons brought the Southern Harmony tune book and their love of the music to Kentucky to share with other pioneers. As far as J.R. knew at the time, the last edition of the Southern Harmony tune book was published in 1854, although later editions appeared starting in 1939.[18] J.R. likely thought that the musical style was dying thus created The Big Singing event to keep it alive. On 24 May 1903, thousands of people from surrounding districts came to Benton for the Big Singing Day and many were a part of a train load of seven coaches that left Paducah. J.R. was there as the leader and a basket dinner was served at noon.[19] J.R., being a fine tenor, wrote this poem, "Big Singing", in 1908 to honor the day: "It is a great pleasure to us. To meet and shake your hand; And greet you once again, In singing 'Happy Land'.

On 23 May 1910 at Benton's 25th Annual Big Singing Day attended by over 10,000 people, J.R. was on hand to conduct the singing as he had over the previous 25 years. The event was described in the reunion style attended by people from all sections of Jackson's Purchase,[20] a region in the U.S. state of Kentucky bounded by the Mississippi River to the west, the Ohio River to the north, and Tennessee River to the east. On 23 May 1915, the event was moved to Paducah's county courthouse yard because the Benton courthouse burned down the previous year. At least 10,000 visitors were expected and the railroads offered favorable rates to visitors. J.R. was reported as having a find bass voice and with his ancient baton directs the huge choir. Is was assumed that the event would end that year,[21] however, the 135th Annual Big Singing just occurred on 27 May 2018 at Marshall County Fiscal Courtroom at 1101 Main St, Benton.[22]

1890-1919 Newspaperman and Author

J.R. was fond of the newspaper business and considered a natural journalist. On 01 May 1890, he succeeded W. F. Story to become editor and proprietor of the Benton Tribune,[23] soon making it one of the leading county papers in western Kentucky.[24] On 01 Jan 1895, J.R. planned to move to Paducah and the Tribune's management was to be assigned to I. B. Wear.[25] By 31 Jul 1896, the Benton Tribune had been sold twice after his control[26] and the last issue of the newspaper was published Jun 1903.[27]

In 1894, J.R. prepared and published Lemon's Hand Book of Marshall County, Kentucky which provided "its history, advantages, etc. and biographical sketches of its prominent citizens". On 04 Jan 1895, it was reported that the book was "well received."[28]

In 1895 J.R. became part owner of the Paducah Register, serving as vice president of the company until 1896, when he disposed of his interest. In 1898 politics in Kentucky became very warm, when the lamented Senator Goebel was a candidate for governor. At this time both papers in Paducah bolted the Democratic ticket, and he, together with W. W. Martin, of Eddyville, threw themselves into the breach and established the Kentucky Leader, which was the only paper that supported the Democratic ticket that year. On 24 Dec 1898, J.R. purchased the controlling interest in the Paducah Daily News.[29] As reported on 12 Aug 1899, he had recently established the Paducah Sunday Leader which was to be converted into an afternoon daily and "will heartily support the Democratic ticket."[30] He disposed of his interest in The Leader in 1899. On 30 Mar 1899, J.R. and Capt. E. W. Crumbaugh planned to launch a Sunday and weekday Paducah newspaper. The paper's outfit was purchased in Louisville, KY by Crumbaugh.[31]

On the 17th of April, 1901, J.R. went to Mayfield, Kentucky, and formed a copartnership in the newspaper business with W. K. Wall, a prominent young lawyer and city attorney, and established the Mayfield Daily and Weekly Messenger, which was not long in becoming Graves county's greatest newspaper. In Apr 1904, he bought Wall's interest in the Messenger and son Clay, who was working on the Ledger, left Paducah to take Wall's former position.[32] On 20 Jun 1901, J.R. and his wife left their many friends in Paducah for Mayfield to select a house and move to be closer his business, the Mayfield Messenger.[33]

In Mar 1904, J.R. and T. B. Wright of Murray, KY purchased the Murray Ledger plant and established Prof. Wright as the business manager.[34] In Jul 1909, he bough the Mayfield Monitor plant.[35] It was purchased for $1,001.[36] J.R. was protective of the newspaper business. He wrote in Jul 1918: "There is another danger confronting the newspapers of the United States, and that is that there will hardly be a session of congress in the future that an attempt will not be made to punish the newspapers in some way. Congressman throughout the country, as well as United States senators, have come to the conclusion that newspapers are afraid to criticize their acts, and in order to prevent criticism they will do everything possible to destroy the power and influence of the newspapers." [37]

1904-1913 Kentucky Press Association (KPA) Member

J.R. was an active member of the KPA. On 13 Jan 1869, the KPA was founded in Frankfort. KP and today is the nation's 10th oldest state press association. It's purpose is "to promote the interests of its members, the newspapers of Kentucky; to expand their field of endeavor; to maintain a high code of ethics among all journalists; to enhance the usefulness of the newspaper industry and to promote and maintain a spirit of fraternal regard among its members; and to do any and all things necessary to carry out the purposes of this corporation."[38] On 12 Jun 1904 at the KPA business meeting in Louisville, KY, an application was approved for J.R. Lemon and Miss Maud Lemon (daughter) of the Mayfield Messenger to travel to St. Louis and remain there for meetings until after Kentucky Day on 15 Jun.[39] On 22 Jun 1911 after the election of officers at the annual outing of the press association held in Cadiz, KY, J.R. was scheduled to lead participants in the song "God Be With You 'Till We Meet Again."[40]

On 13 Jun 1913, it was announced that J.R. would be a KPA vice-president.[41] On 11 Jun 1914, he was elected KSA president and he was eulogized by some half dozen members of the association seconding the nomination. J.R. responded "feelingly."[42] On 10 Jun 1915 in Olympian Springs, Olympia, KY retiring KSA president J.R. gave a speech called "A Polished Traveler," which was full of 'wit and humor."[43] At the time of his death in Jan 1919, J.R. was referred to as the dean of the KSA.[44] As a KPA member, he gave many presentations and led roundtable discussions for many years at the association's meetings.

1909 Exposure to the Automobile

First, a little history of the automobile in the US. Thirty American manufacturers produced 2,500 motor vehicles in 1899, and some 485 companies entered the business in the next decade. The four-cylinder, 15 horsepower Ford Model N (1906-7) was the first instance of a low-cost motorcar driven by a a gas engine. The $825 four-cylinder, 20 horsepower Ford Model T was first offered in Oct 1908 but not mass produced until 1913-4. Here’s a newspaper article on J.R. Lemon's early look at a car in 1909 with a quote from James' article on that event in the Mayfield Messenger:[45]

Our good neighbor Mayfield Is one of the most enterprising and hustling towns of Its size in the country. Mayfield folk say It Is the best. For some reason however It was slow to take to automobiles. For many seasons Paducah machines have visited the capital of Graves and showed our neighbors the beauties of motoring, and on countless occasions Paducah dealers have tried to sell automobiles there without results. The first of this summer there was not a machine there but a few of the more bold of the Mayfield men bought cars and now that they are becoming common. Mayfield can not understand why they are a novelty to other towns.
The following article Is from the Mayfield Messenger edited by our good friend Col J R Lemon who on the occasion of a visit of one of The (Paducah newspaper) Sun's contest cars to Mayfield came out to take a look at the prize. The colonel, like all persons taking a good peep at an auto for the first time, peered around it in a very timid manner, inspecting every part. He hesitatingly laid one of his bands on the radiator of the machine, when the boy driving the car, with mischief in his eyes, honked the horn, and Colonel Lemon jumped about five feet high and made a frantic dive for his office door. Now he comments on his neighboring town, and former home as follows:
"Horse's over at Benton (KY) are about the greenest set of animals that ever trotted down the pike. For instance, last Sunday a party from Benton drove over to Mayfield In a hurry and just as they were driving along the north side of the square one or two of Mayfield's handsome automobiles came whizzing up and made the horses mad for a few seconds and the three women in the buggy leaped frantically out, they appearing to be as excited as the horses. Of course the team had never seen such a machine because they came from Benton and people who saw the incident say that the occupants of tIe buggy displayed as much greenness as the animals. The driver, who was a large and strong man held the horses in check and finally got them into Stevenson's livery stable without damage. The women with their bundles of clothing and their garments completely covered with dust wagged along for several blocks while the people on the streets gazed curiously at them."
"The proper way for Benton stock owners to do, it seems, is to bring them over to Mayfield and let them see some real autos so they may become more accustomed to them. It would also be a good idea for the citizens to come over, too.”

1915 California Trip

Editor J.R. Lemon, of the Mayfield Messenger, traveled to California with the winners in a popularity contest consisting of: Miss Mary Hargrove, Mrs. Emma Blane, Miss Maymie Leonard, Miss Ruby Usher and Misa Kathleen Wyatt. They were going by the Southern Pacific route and planned a return by another road, about three weeks later.[46] He seemed to surround himself with pretty women because on 17 Jul 1911, J.R. accompanied five attractive girls to the Capitol in Washington D.C. who were guests of Rep. Ollie Murray James.[47]

Upstanding Citizen and Sensible Man

In his book, The Hand Book of Marshall County, J.R. described himself as "a Mason, a Knights of Honor, an Odd Fellow, a Democrat, a member of the Christian Church and trustee of the Marshall County Seminary for 15 years." He goes on to say that he was "an energetic, hard working, business man, and never drank whiskey, chewed tobacco, or gambled, and was always punctual to comply with his contracts."[1] During what must have been an unseasonably hot 1914 summer in Western Kentucky, J.R. was quoted: "If you are going to visit these hot days, please wait until you are invited and don't rush yourself upon your kinfolks, thinking they are crazy for you to pay them a visit. Hot weather visitors are not always accompanied with abundant welcome, but if you do impose yourself upon your kinfolks and good friends please be as gentle and easy to please with what you have, to eat as possible."[48]

1912-1919 Illnesses

Back in Oct 1912, J.R. was "seriously ill of kidney and bladder troubles and malarial fever."[49] In Dec 1918 at the Mid-Winter KPA meeting in Louisville, KY, he was in "good health and cheerful spirits" leaving the meeting by Illinois Central train.[50] Shortly in mid-January 1919, J.R. became critically ill for days with rheumatism which alarmed his family and friends.[51][52]

1919 Last Will and Testament

It's likely due to his poor heath condition in early 1919 that J.R. created his last will and testament dated 15 Jan 1919; the will that would later be contested in court by his daughters. The document filed in Graves County Court in Mayfield distributed his estate as follows:

  1. His spouse Lucretia C. Lemon received his residence on the east side of North 6th St, Mayfield debt-free (lien paid from the estate), the brick business house on the south side of Broadway between 8th and 9th streets occupied by his newspaper plant known as the Mayfield Messenger, all household and kitchen furniture at his residence, $4,000 in life insurance and the remainder of his estate such as money on hand, money in the bank after debts are paid.
  2. His daughters Mrs. Luna Baker and Mrs. Maud Proctor received $500 each of a $1,000 Mutual Life Insurance Company policy.
  3. His sons Clay G. Lemon, Scott T. Lemon and Bryan T. Lemon received the Mayfield Messenger and the newspaper plant, including all machinery, fixtures and stock, and everything owed to the newspaper for subscriptions and advertising. The newspaper and plant would be turned over to them after the will is probated.

J.R. appointed Lucretia his executrix and the will was witnessed by J. E. Robbins and R. G. Robbins. [53]

1919 Death and Obituary

On 27 Jan 1919, only 12 days after creating his will, 71 year-old J.R. died of paralysis at his home in Mayfield, Kentucky. On 29 Jan, his body was accompanied by Western KY officials, numerous friends and his family from Paducah, KY to Murray, KY. Rev. J.J. Castleberry of Mayfield held services in Benton and "floral tributes were profuse."[44] J.R. was buried next to his first wife Cora in Strow Cemetery, Benton, Marshall Co, KY.[54]

Two days after his death, a dispatch to the Courier-Journal from Mayfield concerning the death of J.R. Lemon, Editor of the Mayfield Messenger read:[55]

"He was a fighter for everything right, and was one of the town's best citizens."
"The man who fights for everything right, and whose days are long in the land, enjoys an enviable life. He is not invariably victorious. He is fortunate indeed if he does not lose the fight nine times in ten, but for the fighter for everything right there are compensations even in defeat. There is always another good fight to be fought so long as the sinews of the sword arm endure the strain of the fighting. If the next fight ahead. and the next, and the next, are sure to be losing ones still they are inspiring. Each in prospect is a vision of pure delight to the man of high courage and of pure conviction. Each in its turn provides more stimulation than enough, and a little more than enough, of the beverage that fills bonded warehouses, and afterward there is no headache, no remorse, no flaccidity of body or weariness of spirit. The finger of scorn is not pointed at the loser. Even his successful foe respects him. His growth of dignity is cumulative. He never loses standing by reason of having lost a bout. If when he lays down his lance at threescore and ten a good deal remains wrong in and about the arena in which he fought, and upon far horizons toward which he shook a lance, which distance made it impossible for him to shiver "against the brazen forehead of effrontery," his reverses at arms are matters of no consequence by comparison with the spirit and purpose of his fighting."
"To an honest man a good fight lost is better than a bad fight won."

1921 J.R.'s Will Contested and Upheld

The 1919 will J.R. executed was probated on 05 Jun 1919 at Graves County Court in Mayfield by H.A. Coulter, county court clerk.[53] As the will directed, the Mayfield Messenger newspaper and plant were given to his three sons - Clay who was the paper's editor, Scott the business manager and Bryan who oversaw the mechanical department. J.R.'s spouse Lucretia who was a stepmother to Clay, Luna and Maude, received J.R.'s residence and personal property which was valued at approximately $30,000 ($438,000 in 2018). As the will stated, the $1,000 ($15,000 in 2018) in life insurance was split by J.R.'s daughters Luna and Maude..[56]

Luna and Maude sued Mrs. Lemon by challenging J.R.'s will made 12 days before his death on the ground of mental incompetency and lost in Graves Circuit Court. Luna appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeals and lost on 12 Oct 1921.[56][57][58]


J.R. and Cora had issue:

  1. Lillian C. Lemon b. 15 Apr 1874 Marshall Co., KY d. Jun 1876 KY; died at 2 yo.
  2. Clay Gladstone Lemon b. 09 Jul 1876 Benton, Marshall Co, KY d. 22 Apr 1948 Chicago, Cook Co, IL bur. Maplelawn Park Cem, Paducah, McCracken Co, KY; m. 16 Aug 1900 Massac Co, IL Carrie Miller b. 19 Jul 1884 Paducah, McCracken Co, KY d. 01 May 1931 Chicago, Cook Co., IL; had issue; co-owned The Mayfield Messender newspaper, owned the Livingston Enterprise, Smithland, KY newspaper and worked for the Chicago Tribune.
  3. Luna E. Lemon b. 13 Jul 1878 Benton, Marshall Co, KY d. 19 Mar 1948 Miami, Dade Co, FL bur. Woodlawn Cem, Miami, FL; m. 27 Mar 1901 Metropolis, Massac Co, IL Lloyd Elwyn Baker b. 31 Mar 1878 Paducah, McCracken Co, KY d. 14 May 1954; bur. Oak Grove Cem, Paducah; had issue.
  4. Maude S. Lemon b. 18 Mar 1881 Benton, Marshall Co, KY d. 16 Jun 1966 Rialto, San Bernardino Co., CA bur. Maplewood Cem, Mayfield, KY; m. 25 Dec 1909 Mayfield, Graves Co, KY James Clyde Proctor b. 14 May 1884 Logan Co., Kentucky d. 03 Jun 1921 Mayfield, Graves Co, KY bur. Maplewood Cem; had issue.

J.R. and Lucretia had issue:

  1. Robert C. Lemon b. 17 Jul 1888 KY d. 29 Sep 1893 KY bur. Strow Cem., Benton, Marshall Co., KY; died at 5 yo.
  2. Scott Thompson Lemon b. 12 Apr 1890 Benton, Marshall Co., KY d. 27 Jul 1974 Marion, Williamson Co, IL; died single; no issue; co-owner of The Mayfield Messenger newspaper; 4 term Democratic mayor of Mayfield - 1933, 1945, 1949 and 1957.
  3. Bryan Thompson Lemon b. 12 Jun 1896 Benton, Marshall Co., KY d. 1 Jul 1972 Mayfield, Graves Co., KY; m/1 21 Apr 1919 KY to bef. 1930 Geraldine Stevens, no issue; m/2 bef. 1934 Mildred Douglass; had issue; Bryan was named after William Jennings Bryan, candidate for President in 1896.
  4. James King Lemon b. 24 Aug 1898 KY d. 25 Jan 1899 KY bur. Strow Cem., Benton, Marshall Co, KY; died 5 mo. old.


  1. 1.0 1.1 J.R. Lemon, Lemon’s Hand Book of Marshall County Kentucky: Giving its History, Advantages, Etc. and Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Citizens, Benton, Kentucky 1894, Reprinted 1987 by Marshall County Genealogical Society, Inc., pp. 70-71.
  2. "Celebrate Marriage Anniversary," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 07 Oct 1910, Fri Page 2.
  3. "Men Out of a Job," The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 06 Jan 1897, Wed Page 4
  4. Ancestry.com. U.S., Appointments of U. S. Postmasters, 1832-1971 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010 : accessed January 23, 2020 at [1]
  5.  : accessed January 23, 2020 at [2]
  6. Interior Journal (Stanford, Kentucky) 05 May 1893, Fri Page 4
  7. Ancestry.com. U.S., Register of Civil, Military, and Naval Service, 1863-1959 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2014 : accessed January 23, 2020 at [3] and [4]
  8. The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 09 Jun 1898, Thu Page 4.
  9. "May Be Three," The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 25 Jan 1901, Fri, p 4 : accessed 13 Sep 2018 at newspapers.com.
  10. "Another Prospective Candidate," The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 18 Apr 1901, Thu Page 5.
  11. "Hearst Club Organized," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 08 May 1904, Sun Page 2
  12. "Mayfield People Mean Business," The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 20 Feb 1906, Tue Page 4
  13. "Many Responses to Invitations," The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 27 Aug 1906, Mon Page 4.
  14. "Alaska-Yukon," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 04 Mar 1909, Thu, p 8 : accessed 13 Sep 2018 at newspapers.com.
  15. "Harmony Marks The Convention," Hopkinsville Kentuckian (Hopkinsville, Kentucky) 27 May 1916, Sat Page 1.
  16. The Ohio County News (Hartford, Kentucky) 29 Jan 1913, Wed Page 4.
  17. 'Why Is It Anyhow," The Advocate-Messenger (Danville, Kentucky) 09 Mar 1915, Tue Page 5.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Walker, W., & Wilcox, G. C. (1993). The Southern harmony & musical companion: Containing a choice collection of tunes, hymns, psalms, odes, and anthems, selected from the most eminent authors in the United States and well adapted to Christian churches of every denomination, singing schools, and private societies : with a musical anthology on compact disc. Lexington: University Press of Kentucky, Introduction, pp i-xiii : accessed online at [5]
  19. The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 25 May 1903, Mon Page 4.
  20. "Old Singers Meet," The Twice-A-Week Messenger (Owensboro, Kentucky) 25 May 1910, Wed Page 1.
  21. "Old Southern Singing," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 29 Mar 1915, Mon Page 3.
  22. Benton Big Singing on Facebook : accessed 16 Sep 2018 at [6]
  23. Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Kentucky) 20 May 1890, Tue, p 1 : accessed 12 Sep 2018 at Newspapers.com.
  24. Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Kentucky) 20 May 1890, Tue, p 1 : accessed 12 Sep 2018 at Newspapers.com.
  25. "Here And About," Hopkinsville Kentuckian (Hopkinsville, Kentucky) 11 Dec 1894, Tue Page 7.
  26. "Benton Tribune Sold Again," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 01 Aug 1896, Sat, p 10 : accessed 12 Sep 2018 at Newspapers.com.
  27. "Benton Tribune No More," The Twice-A-Week Messenger (Owensboro, Kentucky) 26 Jun 1903, Fri Page 7.
  28. "Gossip About Kentucky People," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 04 Jan 1895, Fri Page 4.
  29. "Paducah News Sold," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 25 Dec 1898, Sun Page 7.
  30. The Twice-A-Week Messenger (Owensboro, Kentucky) 12 Aug 1899, Sat, p 2 : accessed 15 Sep 2018 at newspapers.com.
  31. "New Paper at Paducah," Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Kentucky) 31 Mar 1899, Fri Page 5.
  32. "Wall Sells Out," The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 11 Apr 1904, Mon Page 5.
  33. "Moves to Mayfield," The Paducah Sun (Paducah, Kentucky) 20 Jun 1901, Thu Page 4.
  34. Hopkinsville Kentuckian (Hopkinsville, Kentucky) 22 Mar 1904, Tue Page 4
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  41. "John Lawrence Chosen as Head of the Kentucky Press Association," The Owensboro Messenger (Owensboro, Kentucky) 13 Jun 1913, Fri p 1 : accessed 13 Sep 2018 on newspapers.com.
  42. "Flow of Soul," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) · 12 Jun 1914, Fri · Page 4 : accessed 13 Sep 2018 on newspapers.com.
  43. Stears Heads State Press," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 11 Jun 1915, Fri, p 5 : accessed 13 Sep 2018 on newspapers.com.
  44. 44.0 44.1 James R. Lemon Special to The Courier-Journal, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) · 30 Jan 1919, Thu · p 3 : accessed on Sep 12, 2018 at newspapers.com.
  45. “Shame On You Col. Lemon,” The Paducah Sun, 24 Aug 1909, Tue, Page 4.
  46. Hopkinsville Kentuckian (Hopkinsville, Kentucky) 06 May 1915, Thu Page 2.
  47. "Washington Notes," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 18 Jul 1911, Tue Page 8
  48. 'Timely Advice," The Advocate-Messenger (Danville, Kentucky) 07 Jul 1914, Tue Page 4.
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  50. "Popular Editor Dead," The Hartford Republican (Hartford, Kentucky) · 31 Jan 1919, Fri · p 1.
  51. Messenger-Inquirer (Owensboro, Kentucky), 20 Jan 1919, Mon, p 4.
  52. Richmond Daily Register (Richmond, Kentucky), 16 Jan 1919, Thu, p 3.
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  54. Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed 28 December 2019), memorial page for James Robert Lemon (10 Apr 1848–27 Jan 1919), Find A Grave: Memorial #26029258, citing Strow Cemetery, Benton, Marshall County, Kentucky, USA ; Maintained by Nia Gray (contributor 46585542) .
  55. "Fighters For Right," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 29 Jan 1919, Wed Page 6.
  56. 56.0 56.1 “Daughters Sue to Break Will of Col. Lemon”, The Central Record, Lancaster, Kentucky, 12 Jun 1919, p. 1 col. 2, compiled by Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress : accessed 05 May 2017 at [9]
  57. "Daughters Fail to Break Mayfield Editor's Will," The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky) 12 Oct 1921, Wed Page 3.
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  • A Century of Journalism in Benton, History of The Tribune-Courier by S. Rayburn Watkins
  • History of Marshall County, 1984, Marshall County Genealogical Society
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Rejected matches › James Spencer Leaman (1837-1917)