Tuesday, July 14

From Lower Broadway To Broadway

It was a busy day in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office, Court was going on and Grace was upstairs, people were coming and going, getting license renewed, checking on this and that and this couple walked through the door and walked up to the desk. I asked them if there was anything I could do for them. The lady answered me, "Yes, we need to find a document that I am pretty sure will be of record here in your office."

I listened to her as she told me that her daughter attended second grade at Lower Broadway and then sometime later they moved away. It has been so long ago I am not sure what the document was, but I am thinking it was a change of name document. I asked her the time frame and the names we would be looking for on the Index Book. She gave me the information I needed to start my search for the document she needed.

As I was searching she talked with me about her daughter Cora Marie. I listened to her and continued turning the pages. I did not have a hard time finding this document at all for she did a good job giving me the proper information.

I said, "Here, is this the document you are needing?" She looked at the document and pointed to the name, "Cora Marie Frye". "Yes, this is exactly what I needed, can you make me a copy to take with me?" I told her I could do that and now I wish I had taken the time to at least read over the document I had found for she continued. "Does that name mean anything to you?" I told her that I did not know the name and really had never heard of the name Frye before and that I had lived in Hazard all of my life.

She laughed as she said, "Oh, you won't know her by Cora Marie Frye, but I bet you will know her by "MARIE McDONALD". She then related to me some of the history of this famous movie star since she attended the second grade in Hazard. She had really made a name for herself, growing up and becoming "THE BODY". They dubbed her that in all the movie magazines that I had read along the way. Cora Marie Frye had moved on from our sleepy little town of Hazard to made it big. She paid for the copy of the document and she and her husband left Grace's Office, and long after she had gone I wish I had asked her questions but as I said at the beginning we were very busy that day. I have always wished I had read the document but try as I may I cannot come up with the date of the document to try to find it again, but it lies hidden in one of the big books there in Grace's Office, a piece of a famous movie star.

I will say that not too long ago I got curious after talking with Shane about this little incident and "googled Marie McDonald" and caught up on her history and her death. She went a long way from Lower Broadway to Broadway, and I wonder if somewhere in the archives there might be a picture of the second grade whereby she stands with all the rest of her classmates.


  1. I only wish Mrs. Joe Foley was still around. I'm sure she would remember Marie. Foley was the Principal at Lower Broadway School for many years and started teaching there in 1927. She was there when the school closed in the early '60s.

  2. That's a terrific story. Marie was a great star but unfortunately few people remember her today. I have been a fan for many years and I have always wanted to find some of her friends or relatives who are still alive. I'd love to know more about her childhood years in Hazard. If anyone wants to learn more about Marie McDonald check out mariemcdonald.org

  3. Elizabeth Ann, you might be interested in these facts found in the PERRY COUNTY CENSUS OF 1930.

    They lived before or after 1930 in Estill County. I think at one place her birth place was given as Estill County (Inez/Ravenna area) and her Dad worked with the L & N.

    If we ever find that document, it will give information that was important enough to her parents to come to Hazard to obtain a copy. Still wish I had been "nosy" that day.

    Here is the 1930 Perry County Census Information (Ward 6)

    230-270 Frye Cora M. b. 6 Jul 1923 Estill
    230-270 Frye Everett M.
    230-270 Frye Marie nee McDowell

    I surely think that Marie's father was with the L & N and was transferred from Inez to Hazard and that is why they were there.