Thanksgiving tale: Billionaire steps in to buy woman a home

CARLISLE, Ky. — The odd story of the single-wide, the traffic jam and the small town that, for a while, had the world watching now includes one of America's richest men calling up Frances Barton of Nicholas County and telling her to go shopping.

"He said 'Get your heinie up and put on your shoes'," said Barton, who recalled the name of her California benefactor only as Tim.

Tim, it turns out, is billionaire Tim Blixseth, who according to grew up poor in Oregon and began building his $1.3 billion fortune with a savvy donkey sale at 15. He wired $20,000 to Doyle Mobile Homes in Flemingsburg, Ky., who moved Barton's new single-wide mobile home to a lot in Nicholas County Wednesday.

"I've never seen anything like this," said Diane Bowling, who took Blixseth's original call to the mobile home office.

"It just makes you feel great to be a part of something like this," said David Doyle, who actually oversaw the move.

The money from Blixseth, plus $10,000 from an anonymous Florida donor, plus $7,000 deposited in a fund for Barton at The Deposit Bank in Carlisle, makes a total of $37,000 so far. (The median household income in Nicholas county, according to most recent Census records, is $33,142.)

Barton made national news when her mobile home was destroyed after it was stuck on U.S. 68 in Nicholas County, blocking traffic. Twelve people, including eight children, lived in the mobile home, which Barton, who was helping run the mobile home park to cover her lot fee, tried to move, fully loaded, using a farm tractor.

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