There is a story in the Hoover family about an aunt who was found dead, sitting on a rock outcropping found in southern Estill County. In her hand, was the murder weapon - a rattlesnake, dead as well. The story goes that as she was sitting there, a rattlesnake was nearby and coiled. It struck and bit her on the nose. As it did, she grabbed it and squeezed. She squeezed it to death.
This story has intrigued me since I first heard it. The thought of this girl or young lady, dying without family or friends, goes through my mind each time I visit the area where this happened. The rock outcropping is called Standing Stone. During the summer, it can barely be seen through the trees. However, once fall comes and the leaves have been shed, it rises as a monument. During a multi-family reunion, I asked someone if they'd heard that story before. He hadn't, but knew the place well. He told me about one trip with his father. They sat and rested from their hike. As they talked, they heard the familiar rattle that causes a sane person to stop in their tracks. Then, another. And another. Slowly they moved. After the rattles subsided, they peaked under the ledge and found a nest of snakes.
In my research, I've found one aunt that is unaccounted for. One of John Andrew Jackson Hoover and Lucinda Stamper's daughters was named Rose. She was born about 1873 in Estill County. There is no other record of this daughter. There are no marriages for her. No death record. No 1900 Census record. Was this the aunt that died alone on the mountain that day? I hope to find out some day.