Front-Page New York Times Story on "The Whole Nine Yards" (UNCLASSIFIED)

Bonnie Taylor-Blake b.taylorblake at GMAIL.COM
Thu Dec 27 17:36:20 UTC 2012

On Thu, Dec 27, 2012 at 12:04 PM, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC
<Bill.Mullins at> wrote:

>> By the way, several months ago I was able to piece together who was
>> using "the whole six yards" in *The Mt. Vernon [Kentucky] Signal* a
>> century ago.  The paper's correspondent from Livingston was William
>> Will/Bill) Martin Owens (1866-1944), born and raised in nearby Level
>> Green (Rockcastle County) and in neighboring Pulaski County; at some
>> point he settled down in Livingston.  At the time I wasn't able to
>> figure out what W.M. Owens did for a living, but he seems to have been
>> an upstanding member of the community, enough so that he was tasked
>> with reporting happenings in Livingston to the publisher in Mt.
>> Vernon.
> 1900 census:  Farmer (in Livingston); wife is Alice
> 1910 census:  Farmer (in Livingston): widowed
> 1920 census:  no occupation; wife Celia
> 1930 census:  laborer steam RR; wife Celia
> 1940 census:  no occupation; wife Celia
> Here is his tombstone:
> 95
> Bonnie, if you want a copy of his death certificate I can send it.

Ah, thanks for figuring out Mr. Owens's occupation, Bill.  There were
*a lot* of Owenses in that part of Kentucky at the time (still are)
and lots of William Owenses at that, so I had difficulty in sorting
out who was who.  It wasn't until our Livingston correspondent started
referring to family members of his then-new wife (Celia Griffin) that
I was able to figure out which William Owens we were looking at.

I'm fine with just seeing the gravestone, Bill.  I assume Mr. Owens,
to whom we owe a debt of gratitude in helping us with this little
puzzle, lies there in repose, forever safely wrapped up in the whole
six (or nine) yards of his burial shroud.

-- Bonnie

The American Dialect Society -

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