ODENVILLE – After his older sister won the St. Clair County History Fair several years ago, Nicholas Barclay was determined he would do the same.

His determination paid off last week when Barclay, a fourth-grader at Odenville Intermediate School, won the 2018 St. Clair County History Fair. His project was entitled “Two Families, One County,” and it was on the Ash-Newton Cabin and the John Ash House.

His project was one of 10 on display and judged at the Fortson Museum in Odenville.

Barclay was so determined to win that he started planning and researching his project back during the summer.

“It is so close to where I live (four miles), and I am just so fascinated about this being part of our history,” he said. “It is so cool that an accident led to these two families being part of St. Clair County.”

When asked about the most fascinating portion of doing the project, Barclay said it would have to be finding out that John Ash’s daughter, Betsy Ash, fell off the wagon after Mr. Ash shot at a deer and it spooked the horses causing his daughter to fall.

“She fell off the wagon and lay unconscious for three days before she died,” Barclay said. “The family was headed to Shelby County, but decided not to leave the daughter where she was buried. They built the Ash-Newton Cabin. The Ash family moved out and built the John Ash House. Had she not fallen off the wagon, these families may have moved on and settled elsewhere.”

Barclay won $25 for winning first place.

It took Barclay about a month to do his project.

St. Clair Historical Society’s History Fair chairperson Carol Waid said all of the projects at the Fortson Museum were the ‘cream of the crop’ from all of the schools throughout St. Clair County. She congratulated all of the students and said they were all winners.

“Barclay’s project will be on display at the St. Clair County Exhibit in the Alabama State Traveling Exhibit for the bicentennial,” Waid said. “That will be in Moody at the Civic Center. It will be on display for about three weeks in April.”

Hayden Barnes from Steele Jr. High School earned second place. His project was on the Pope and Free Lumber Company, and he won $15.

Colt Carder from Coosa Valley Elementary School took third place. His project was on The Kitchen. He won $10.

Those receiving honorable mention included Ariana Crocker from Ashville Elementary; Hayden Whitten from Eden Elementary; Brayden Marlow from Margaret Elementary; Ryan Carlisle from Moody Middle; Abby Phillips from Ragland School; Carsen Norris from Iola Roberts Elementary; Action Bounds from Springville Elementary; and Abby Smith from Walter M. Kennedy Elementary.

Reach Gary Hanner at ghanner@thestclairtimes.com.