Wingo is located nine miles south of Mayfield, in Graves County; next to Mayfield it is the largest place in the county. Jerman Juduthen Wingo settled it in 1825, when he was 18 years of age. The site where Mr. and Mrs. Wingo settled became known as Point Curve. Mr. Wingo was born August 17, 1807, and died December 28, 1873. Local lore says that he came from the Carolinas and was married January 17, 1826 to Ann "Amy" Yancey Beadles born March 19, 1904, and died December 10, 1879. Jerman and Ann are buried in the Greer Cemetery, which is located by the parkway in Wingo. They had eleven children, several of the descendants are still living in this area.
As Kentucky came into the Union as a slaveholding state, Mr. and Mrs. Wingo could own slaves, and had several. many of them took his anme and were willed land when he died. Even after they were freed, many of them refused to leave Mr. Wingo.
Wingo is an outgrowth of the railroad, and dates its history from the year 1854, at which time Jerman Wingo laid off several lots of his land, and brought a stock of goods to the place. A station was established and other businessmen came in and opened stores, among whom were Wesley Stimson, Bird Gregory, James Frost and John Frost.
Back in 1854, a big black locomotive of the Chesapeake, OH and Southwestern Railroad screamed to a halt in front o fthe new station at Points Curve. A small crowd had gathered for this unusual sight, became most had never seen a train before.
One man, Jerman Wingo, in the small crowd was more than mildly interested in that black monster. When plans were made for the first railroad to come through Wingo, Jerman gave the right-of-way for the tracks to run through hi sland with the agreement that he would be allowed to ride the train free anytime he wished. Mr. Wingo only tried once to ride the train. When he boarded the train, the conductor asked for his ticket. Mr. Wingo said, "Why, I'm Jerman Wingo!" Apparently not knowing the significance of this remark, the conductor replied, "I don't care if you are Santa Clause! If you ride this train, you will have to buy a ticket." Mr. Wingo bough the ticket as requested but was so angry that he vowed never to ride a train. He got off the train at Mayfield and made the trip back to Wingo behind a team of oxen. Despite Mr. Wingo's vows against trains, he lived to see the day the railroad was a real help to the community. At one time five passenger trains stopped in Wingo, two in the mornig, one at noon, and two in the afternoon.
The first post office was established in Point Curve, January 22, 1861, with Mr. Jerman Wingo's son, Theophilus, as the first Postmaster. In 1862, the name of the post office and railroad station was changed to Wingo Station; and another of Mr. Wingo's sons, Jerman J. Jr., was appointed Postmaster. On November 29, 1882, Wingo Station name changed to Wingo.
The first town marshal was WW Charlton, the first jail in Wingo was a brick building that had six bunks and plenty of floor space located in a corner of the public square.
The Frost family owned a flour mill. It was a large two-story buidling with a millpond. A ginning bed, which covered one acre, was owned by WM Andrew and was located where the school is now standing. This is a plant much in demand for use in medicine. He shipped his ginning all over the United States.
Dr. Wesson, who had a chair factory behind the stores, ran a snuff factory and shipping point.
There was a livery stable with horse and buggies to hire; this establishment included a blacksmith shop.
Mr. Jim Blaclock and Mr. WR Byrns owned a tobacco-prizing barn.
In May of 1869, St. Paul Methodist Church was established land for the church and cemetery was donated by Mr. "Wes" Stimson. Three different church building have been erected on the same site; first was a small frame building. In 1886 the old building was replaced by a beautiful brick structure; on March 3, 1919, the church building burned. The third building was completed in 1920.
The population of Wingo in 1895/96 was 600; WUJH Fauntleroy was postmaster; JH Copland, justice; Robert Covington, barber; AF Crew, grocer; H Robertson, railroad agent; Thomas Clark, blacksmith; and Mr. Pembroke was the owner of the Tartt Hotel. Plumblee, and Brother Madison and Daniel S. were listed as carpenters and undertakers.
In 1898 the Bank of Wingo was established. Their first home was destroyed by fire in the 1914 blaze that wiped out most of the downtown district. The first president of the bank was Dr. PW McKeel and Isaac M. Brann was the first cashier. With the advent of the depression that closed many banks across the nation, the Wingo bank remained open. One of the most revered names in the history of this bank is that of Pumlee. Mr. BT Plumlee worked for the bank from 1910 until the time of his death in 1952. His brother, Auley, was president of the bank in 1910, until he retired in 1940. Noah Caldwell was president from 1940-1945, then Mr. BT Plumlee took over until 1952, from 1952 until - Mr. Neville B. Mays was president.
An article in the Mayfield Messenger dated July 8, 1901 states "that there were three dry goods stores: MJ McNeely, DH Slaughter and JR Winston. Five grocers: JR Weaks, WT Moore, McNeely and Ice, CN New and DH Slaughter. MJ Andrew and Company and JR Winston are the two drug houses. WT Baker is the postmaster."
Wingo has had several newspapers over the years. Honorable Henry George started The Purchase in 1886, but suspended it the following year. In 187 WT Winn established The Labor Journal and published it in the interst of the Wheelers, a farmers' organization. Not finding enough patronage, he removed the newspaper to Fulton. On November 8, 1901, Wingo Outlook, a weekly newsppaer published every Friday was time-honored by Matt McNeeley and existed for about 5 years. JW Lloyd founded the Tribune newspaper in 1913 and it was discontinued in 1918.
In 1914, a fire destroyed a drug store and doctor's office of Dr. Winston, a grocery belonging to J. Horace Robertson, the Dry Goods Store occupying two buildings belonging to Dr. Dan Slaughter, an Mr. Burn's hardware store, the bank of Wingo, Mr. Bullock's shoe shop, the barber shop, the Hat and Dress shop belonging to Mrs. Winston, Dr. McKeel's office and Dr. Mullins office over the stores were burned. The citizens of Wingo rebuilt the town.
In 1918, the Wingo Cumberland Presbyterian Church burned to the ground, as the new church was being built, they attended the Wingo Baptist Church. Within the week, as people were going to the Methodist Church, it caught fire and was destroyed. Its people also attended the Baptist Church until their church was rebuilt.
The Opera House was a large two story building located where the ladies clubhouse was for many years. Road shows were here for most of the summer season and it was used for a skating rink all winter. In 1922, the Opera House (Masonic Lodge) caught fire. Tremendous winds fanned the 2-story building, spreading the fire. This fire consumed the Opera House, Mr. Blaylock's Tobacco Barn, Dr. Bowlen's office, the Coffin Shop, Wingo Baptist Church and the Tartt Hotel. The Tartt Hotel was a full block, and was located near the railroad. It was noted for the best food any place between Louisville and Fulton.
In 1902 a new Masonic Hall was completed at Wingo at a cost of $2500.
In 1933, a fire swept the Furniture Store, AB Burnes Grocery, the Post Office, Lumberyard, Water and Electricity Office, and Mr. Weak's grocery.
The buidlings surviving three fires are the Train Depot, Saloon in Mr. Dunn's basement, Dr. McNeely's office, restaurant, Scale pen, Jail, and Dr. Wesson's Civil-War era house.
The first school building, a frame structure, was located on the north side of West Lebanon Street in front of the Wingo cemetery street. In 1882 a two-room brick school building was erected, just a few yards from where the present school now stands. In 1910, this was torn down, then a brick building was built on Hwy 45, on a lot owned by Dr. Mullins. The next school building was built in 1937. An addition, class rooms and a gym, were added in 1956. The school that was built in 1937, was demolished in 2000.
In 1920 the Wingo Alumni Association was formed.
November 18, 1941, hard surfacing of streets began in Wingo.
Over the years, Wingo has had many doctors. Some were Drs. JG Puryear, William T. Bowling, WP McKeel, JW Gholson, John McNeely, Dr. Flint, Mont McNeely and the last, Stanley Mullins.
Trade Day, Mule Day or Swap Day, as it is known, was started in 1930 and has been an annual affair ever since, which is the first Saturday in April.
In 1909 Mr. JH Humphreys is listed as having an undertaker business in this area. Later J. Luther was an undertaker and owner of the funeral home, later it was sold to Hopkins and Brown, and is presently being run by the Brown family.
In March of 1956, Wingo's antiquated telephone system went out of existence, replaced by the West Kentucky Rural Telephone Cooperative.
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