W. L. Harrison and Rowan Crabtree were celebrities of sorts in Christian County, Kentucky. Both were Confederate veterans, and both entered the Kentucky Confederate Home in 1904. As the only Christian County veterans in the Home, they were the subject of regular articles and updates in their hometown newspaper.
“Mr. J. Rowan Crabtree is out on a furlough from the Confederate home,” the Hopkinsville Kentuckian reported. “He is well pleased with the way the old soldiers are treated at Pewee Valley.”
The newspaper also made sure Harrison and Crabtree were remembered at Christmas. Each year the newspaper encouraged readers to donate gifts for Christian County’s war veterans.
“Small articles of wearing apparel, neckties, handkerchiefs, socks and such things, pipes, tobacco and good things to eat will be pleasant reminders from friends at home.” The newspaper reported that the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy would box the gifts for the men.
The Christmas parcels from Hopkinsville continued for twenty years, until Crabtree passed away in 1927 at age ninety-six.