You are sitting in the Yancey building. It was built in the spring of 1929 by Grayson Yancey. Grayson was the son of John H. and Alice Redford Yancey.
John H. Yancey was a prominent businessman who served as a confederate soldier and upon his death The Glasgow Republican Newspaper reported in their November 7, 1905 issue, that John died at his home in Horse Cave, Kentucky and that he was in his sixty-sixth year of life.
The Courier-Journal and Louisville Times wrote that at his death some 300 people escorted J. H. Yancey to the train depot for his ride to burial in Glasgow; another 300 people were waiting at the depot in Glasgow.
The obituary went on to say that some 35-40 years ago he traveled all over the region and later the state to buy tobacco. He and two friends from service, Col. Wm. Martin Wilson and J.R. Schooling began buying yellow and blue pryor, dog tail, apron leaf, lady finger and brittle stem tobacco. Kentucky and the United States hadn’t yet moved to burley.
When young John married his sweetheart Dora Barlow, from Monroe County, at the age of 22, the couple tried to build a family and the Glasgow Cemetery plots will show they had two children who died at birth, John Jr. and Alice.
It wasn’t until little Charlie was born that they would experience being parents. The Glasgow Republican later reported that there was never a more sad day for the loving parents than to lose little Charlie. He was 2 years old.
It appears after three lost children, the couple had a tremendous amount of pain; so much that after Charlie’s death, Dora fell ill and the couple stayed with relatives. That way she could be cared for while John would work and travel creating his Farmers Tobacco Company.
The company grew and grew to the point where the Courier Journal would describe him as a prominent businessman with a considerable self-made wealth.
John’s sweetheart Dora died at 49 years old. He stayed single for many years and at the time newspapers wouldn’t report on private lives, but from time to time, it would be reported that he would be in attendance at an event and wasn’t alone.
John wanted an heir so he was determined to remarry. He married a Glasgow girl named Alice Redford and they moved to Louisville. His status and wealth was known in the Louisville area and throughout the state, keeping his business ties to our region as well. These trips sometimes taking weeks of travel.
Local barber Jonathan is a 3rd generation barber, his grandfather Clyde Young began barbering in 1926 and came across the original shaving mug of J. H. Yancey and is on display above the bar. The mug is an original from at least 1905.
Alice was almost 30 years younger than John and soon she became pregnant with their son Charles Grayson. He as named after his father’s brother. The couple enjoyed a socialite life with a young son in Louisville, attending parties and official Derby events.
At age 66, John died leaving a 36-year old wife and a 4-year old son, Grayson. The law of the land at this time in 1905 would require Grayson to be 21 before he himself could access any inheritance.
Documents from censuses show him living in boarding houses with stays in Horse Cave. There is a Yancey Street in the town named after his father.
It wasn’t until the late 1920’s that he showed up back in Glasgow driving a yellow 1929 Packard convertible. About the same time he and his mother built this building and a home located at n South Green Street in Glasgow as well.
Local, attorneys Bobby Richardson and Joe Layne Travis tell stories of Grayson and his yellow Packard convertible. While retired business owner Marshall Bailey, tells a story he heard of him being pulled over for speeding in Munfordville, Kentucky later driving a new 1949 Buick convertible.
At the time the police could ticket, fine and collect payment. The charge was $25 and it was told that Grayson gave the officer a $50 and said, “keep the change I’ll be coming back through here soon.”
This styled building was once very popular yet now the only building on the square with the original Art Deco brick color. Notice the yellow brick and then take a drive down South Green Street and look for the only yellow brick house and you will find the home he designed for his mother.
The Glasgow Republican reported that Alice died at her South Green Street home at 1:30 p.m. on August 16, 1950. She was 82 and had lived 44 years as a widow after John’s death.
Grayson was identified as a businessman with several property holdings and the only child. He later retired and moved to Florida where he and his Glasgow wife Helen lived. No other records could be found other than another obituary published in a 1966 issue of the Glasgow Republican said she died in Orlando and left a a husband and daughter.
We are hopeful a visitor may help us complete the story of our Yancey building family.
New Owner Comments:
It is our goal to create something unique for Glasgow but also embrace and share our community’s rich history. The wood wall and the wood used for the bar was taken from rafters on the second floor. The piping used for foot rails at the bar and along the stage were old water pipes removed from the basement no longer connected. All materials and workforce for the renovation was provided by members of our community.
We hope you enjoy your visit