Auburn, Kentucky

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J. Henry Burnett was the son of Rev. J. H. Burnett (Professor & Preacher). J. Henry lived in Auburn until the 1930s when he went to Atlanta, Georgia. His love of Auburn prompted him to write to the Auburn Times about the many people he knew and admired so well. He named his writings "Auburn in the Long Ago."

Subject:    Mr. Alex J. Gooch, Traveling Man.

Auburn Times  1939

Mr. Gooch was not one of the old residents, but moved to Auburn to make his home and give his three children school advantages. His family consisted of Mrs. Gooch, two sons, Owen and Norman, one daughter, Mattie. Owen was very energetic and had considerable ingenuity. I recall one occasion when his mother and father left him and Norman at our home to board, while they took a trip. Guess Mattie must have gone with his parents. School was in session, so the Gooch boys and the Burnett boys were kept pretty busy. Anyway, Owen conceived the idea of organizing a band of several pieces, so when his parents returned, he and his band could meet them at the train. How he bought the instruments and how the band was taught, are hazy memories, but the band and the meeting of his parents is vivid. It was a real event in the boy life of Auburn and I am sure there are some who will recall Owen Gooch and his brass band.

I was correspondent for the country paper at Russellville and gathered the local news. I put this one in the paper about Owen. Someone came into the dry goods store where he was clerking, maybe during vacation, and asked for a spool of thread and in his pompous way, Owen said, “When calling for thread, always give color and number, it facilitates matters so.” He wanted to whip me for it, too.

I don’t know where any of the children are living now. I saw Norman in Atlanta several years ago. He was living there at that time. There was plenty of action when the Gooch children were around - - especially Owen. Mr. Gooch came to an untimely death, the details of which I will not relate. The old-timers will recall it.


Yours sincerely,

                        Macon, Georgia





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