Hello Forest County Residents!
Today the community of Crandon is celebrating “Kentuck Days” and I encourage everyone to visit to the courthouse square in downtown Crandon to join in the celebration. “Kentuck Days” recognizes the mass migration of rural Kentucky residents to Forest County around 1900. The people of Kentucky came to Northern Wisconsin looking for jobs in the lumber industry, to take advantage of the abundant natural resources, to escape the violence of local feuds, and to join family members that had already moved(Flannery 2013).
They were described as ” a people that settled throughout the woods and were a great help in the logging process. The Kentucks were good Christian people and never did any harm to anyone unless they interfered with their moonshine still. To them that gave cause to shoot someone on site” (Holt 1948:20).
Zorie Cracraft, a 101 year old resident, recalls her move from Kentucky as such ” I moved to the Crandon area in 1934 from Kentucky. Some of the people that were already here were the McMillions, Griffiths, Deatons, Spencers, and the Kings. I recall hunting as a major factor in part of the move to Wisconsin. The family moved here because of the beauty of the area, hunting, job possibilities”.
The majority of today’s Crandon residents can trace their ancestry back to Kentucky as you can see from the sample of 1920 Federal Census records below.