Our anthem

By Russ Hatter Published:

Spring is here and theres music in the air.

Perhaps you were among those who found themselves singing My Old Kentucky Home this weekend. But did you also sing the song about Frankfort? Not many people realize it, but Frankfort has its own official song. It was written by Colonel Richard H. Dick Sturges in of all places, Tampa, Florida!

Recently Norman Snider brought in a photo-copy from the Frankfort Municipal Code Book relating to Frankforts official song. Heres the excerpt from the code book:

A certain song, titled (My Home in Old) FRANKFORT, KY., with words and music by Colonel Richard H. (Dick) Sturges, of Atlanta, Georgia, is hereby named, designated and adopted as the official song of the city, to be sung and played at appropriate times and places as the official song of the city. The song is in words as follows:

Ive been dreaming today of Kentucky

Its the grandest old state that Ive known,

And Im certainly happy and lucky,

That I always can call it my home.

In my dreams I can see, all the friends dear to me,

And I long to go back there and stay.

So each moment I yearn, for the day Ill return,

To my old southern home far away.

CHORUS:

Where the Bluegrass grows high

Round old Frankfort, K Y,

Near the forks of the old Elkhorn.

Ive been dreaming of when

I can go back again,

To that old City where I was born.

Tell the gang thats around,

On the Capitol ground,

That Im coming home bye n bye.

For I long to be there,

Down at Main and St. Clair,

At my home in old Frankfort, K Y.

Lynda Sherrard, one of our museum volunteers, donated the sheet music for Frankforts official song some time ago. In it we learned the story behind the song.

In Tampa, during the winter of 1949-50, Sturges was improvising on the piano keyboard with Weldon Bill South from the Forks of Elkhorn area. The melody sort of just developed itself. They tried to add words relating to Tampa but it didnt seem to fit. South then implored Sturges all that winter to write some lyrics about Frankfort to go along with the music.

When Sturges returned to his studio in Georgia, South continued badgering him to write some Frankfort lyrics. He finally came up with the above words.

Years ago the Rebels barbershop quartet sang it at a barbershop musical show and the citizens of Frankfort responded so gleefully that M. G. Scott and Pete Lea along with the author had it published. Perhaps some day we might hear it presented on stage at the Grand Theatre or during Capitol Expo. After all, it is the official song of the city!

Recent Acquisitions

Material we received on the Weisiger-Lindsey family (see below) proved quite interesting. Daniel Weisiger was one of Frankforts earliest settlers. Born around 1763 he migrated to Lexington where he met and married Lucy Price in 1791. Shortly they moved to Frankfort and began housekeeping on the southwest corner of Wapping and Washington where the Vest-Lindsey house stands today.

He served as trustee of the town of Frankfort and was Clerk of the Franklin County Court for 10 years. Quite successful as a storekeeper he built a large house at Montgomery (Main Street) and Ann known as the Weisiger House which became a tavern and a hotel. William Clark, of Lewis & Clark fame, dined here in 1809 and Lafayette spent the night here during his 1824 visit.

One of Weisigers daughters, Lucy Price, married Thomas Noble Lindsey and they inherited the old Weisiger Wapping Street home known today as the Vest-Lindsey House.

Among their children: Daniel Weisiger Lindsey, a general during the Civil War; Lucy W. Lindsey who married First Presbyterian Church minister John McClusky Blaney, and John Brown Lindsey who married Helen Talbot.

Daniel moved from the Wapping Street residence to his spacious home Rika-Don on Second Street while John B. moved into the Wapping Street house. John Brown and Helen Lindsey were parents of six daughters one of whom started the Frankfort Library, Lilian, and Cordelia who was instrumental in starting the Frankfort Womans Club and the Frankfort Garden Club.

Derrick Graham donated a thesis by former student Raymond J. Webb on Frankfort High School basketball coach Kermit Williams and his experiences while integrating the schools sports teams in the 1950s.

Ray Corns gave us a political campaign little check on THE SNEAKY little BANK.

Betty Glen Griffin donated photographs of Bradley and Mary Glen Weitzel whose parents owned the Capital Hotel.

G.P. and Raydeana Stockton gave us a copy of one of the Goebel juries that has some additional names on it. Her husbands grandfather was on the jury; his name was Preston Hardin Stockton.

Jack Burch loaned us a fiddle bow that was used for so many years by the late Jimmy Pop Baker.

Norm Snider brought in a small section of the hackberry tree that an assassins bullet lodged into on January 30, 1900. He also gave us a photo copy from the Frankfort Municipal Code Book relating to the official song for the City of Frankfort with words and music by Col. Richard H. Dick Sturges of Atlanta, Georgia.

David Tincher donated a photostatic copy of Willard Rouse Jillsons 1956 A Glimpse of Old Bridgeport, a Ruperts Grocery Store empty crate that originally contained Capitol brand matches and a pencil with Model Laundry on it.

Donors who wished to remain anonymous gave:

Political buttons for Save the Mansion and When Women Vote Democrats Win, and a hand-fan from Lyons Lumber Company when the phone number was 456.

A signed Michael Duval Finnell print of Petes Corner at Bridge and Second Streets.

Some 50 photos we scanned and related history of the Lindsey family of Frankfort. There also was included a family tree chart of the Weisiger Family and their ties to the Lindsey family.

The Capital City Museum appreciates receiving Frankfort family materials and photos. Not only do they put a face on our history but they enable us to unlock some of those mystifying moments of our past.

Over the years there have been many in Frankfort who have collected stories and written about their families and the early times of Kentuckys capital city. If you have knowledge of any papers or writings that have been stashed away, please bring them to light and let us share them with the community. Please get in touch by calling 502-803-1808 or emailing me at russh@mis.net.

The museum is located at 325 Ann Street and is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. We are handicap accessible and there is no admission charge. We look forward to your visit.

Current Reading

The Custer Autograph Album by John M. Carroll, Bayless E. Hardins Notes on Frankfort, Volumes 5 and 6, Pulitzer prize winner Doris Kearns Goodwins book on Lincoln and his cabinet Team of Rivals, and Ron Bryants Kentuckys Embattled City Frankfort in the Civil War.

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