Kingdom of Poosey


The Kingdom of Poosy/Poosey

Only a handful of  people ever admitted to being residents of Poosey. One or two declared themselves to be "King of Poosey." Others, when asked to define the geographical boundaries of that place, usually answered "There, just over that hill." One tradition said that the original Pooseyites were the early settlers whose ox teams had pulled the family cargoes westward from Posey County, Indiana. The extra "o" crept into the spelling as a result of the southern drawl of their Missouri neighbors formerly of Tennessee. Others say the name originated with settlers from an area of Kentucky known locally as Poosey.

The Kingdom of Poosy, in the opinion of a citizen whose grandparents on both sides of the family settled in the northwest part of Livingston county many decades ago, is centered in Section 2, Township 59, Range 25. That would put it in the vicinity of South Fork and Gee's Creek, immediately to the south of the Grundy County line and some eight miles north of Springhill. And, according to Flick Girdner of Chillicothe, the historian referred to above, the word is Poosy, not Poozie or Poosey.

Mr. Girdner and Judge James Davis, who owned farms in that fabled land, studied the atlas some time and called upon their long familiarity with the northwest area before reaching a decision as to the possible hub of Poosy, the elusive land which is always just over the hill.

"But the positive location never will be decided," Girdner added. "However, Poosy is a kind of province bounded by Hogskin Hollow, Red Brush and Possum Trot.

"Red Brush is named mostly for the stuff there in the fall. The colorings are vivid and very beautiful. Red Brush starts over northwest of Springhill and circles around the hills. There is some not so far north of the old Graham's Mill.

"An outpost is Hogskin Hollow (pronounced holler). It is kind of hard to describe. It is in the neighborhood of the old Scott Miller place. There is a myth that a man stole a hog and butchered him there, leaving behind only the skin. Thus, the name."

Judge Davis pointed out that the Happy Hollow school used to be called Hogskin Hollow school and said "all the old timers" still refer to it as Hogskin Hollow school, although the name is officially Happy Hollow.

Girdner believes the mythical center of Poosy is the Dockery neighborhood in the aforementioned Section 2. The Dockerys were prominent early settlers there. "Another area of Poosy," Girdner continued, "is Hell's Half Acre on the outskirts of Red Brush. There was a big argument about the location of the school building, which was moved back and forth so often that the folks started calling it Hell's Half Acre. "Anyway that is the folklore handed down from father to son."

Livingston Countians agree that the Kingdom of Poosy is in both this county and over into Grundy County. There is quite enough of Poosy to go 'round for both counties.

Charles Cornue, another outdoorsman familiar with every bend of the streams, courteously acknowledges that Davis and Girder might be right, but nonetheless believes the Dockery neighborhood is a little far north to be the capital of Poosy, and he vows that the spelling is Poosey -- with an "e."

"I would say," Cornue said, "that Poosey is bounded on the north by Hickory in Grundy County, on the west by Dogtown, which is a fictitious community east and south of Jamesport, Springhill on the southeast and Sampsel on the south and southwest. It goes up the river past Elmer Bluff and the convergence of Honey Creek and Thompson Fork.

"In my last conversation with Chet McCarthy up there," he concluded, "Mr. McCarthy said his barn just wasn't quite in Poosey. It was outside just a wee bit."

"And Poosey was just over the hill."

Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune, November 7, 1939
Ibid, October 8, 1948.