Saturday, October 22, 2016

Centertown Never Forgets

Centertown Never Forgets

Sunday, May 31, 1942, was the memorial service for Welborn Lee Ashby, service number 287-44-72, who died at Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, on the Battleship U.S.S. West Virginia (BB48) nickname ‘WeeVee.’ He was a 24 year old enlisted man, fireman third class. His military tombstone is next to that of his parents in Centertown Cemetery.

He was a 1936 graduate of Centertown High School, enlisting in the Navy on September 24, 1940. His last visit home after basic training was in November of 1940, after which on November 15, 1940 he boarded the West Virginia. He had been in Hawaii since February, 1941. His Naval career was over in February, 1942, with the arrival of a Navy Department telegram to his parents, Otis Welborn and Mary Inez (Tichenor) Ashby, stating they were unable to locate their son. The notice ended with “declared to have lost his life in the service of his country as of December 7, 1941.” He was also survived by two sisters and three brothers. The year 1942 also saw the loss of the Ashby home to fire.

Welborn Lee Ashby was born October 19, 1917, and better known to his friends as ‘Tiddely.’ In a letter, the governor of Kentucky, Keen Johnson, awarded him a posthumous commission as a Kentucky Colonel. His notification of the award referenced “that Kentucky appreciates his sacrifice.”

The service held at Centertown Baptist Church was to serve as a memorial for all war dead. Songs were included in the service by both Centertown choir and West Point choir.
To those living in Ohio County in 1941, this first casualty of the Japanese brought the reality of World War II to all homes, by the end of the war that number increased to 85 from Ohio County. For years the community was reminded of that loss at the annual Welborn Lee Ashby American Legion Horse Show held near Centertown School.

Saturday, June 13, 2015, at 10 AM was the dedication of F3c Welborn Lee Ashby Memorial Highway going past the cemetery and through Centertown on Highways 85 and 69. The dedication took place at Centertown City Hall/Community Center. The City of Centertown also announced the name change of Heritage Park to Welborn Lee Asbhy American Legion and Auxiliary Heritage Park.

As the 1942 memorial service was for all war dead, this 2015 dedication was a symbolic tribute for all community veterans.

A motorcycle escort from Kentucky Rolling Thunder and others met at Midway Taxidermy at 9:30 on Highway 69 South and rode through Centertown Cemetery, where Ashby is buried, to pay tribute to him.

Welborn Lee Ashby is interred in the Honolulu Memorial located in the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. The cemetery, located in an extinct volcano, is also known as ‘The Punchbowl.’ The Honolulu Memorial includes 18,096 names of American World War II Missing in Action, lost or buried at sea in the Pacific. His remains were recovered in 2007 and after two years of DNA testing, verified for burial. The Japanese attack having killed 2,402 Americans at Pearl Harbor.

Source:  Ohio County Historical Society
PO Box 44
Hartford, Kentucky 42347

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


ELIAS GESS HUNLEY, Ohio County, was born April 29, 1826, in Muhlenburgh (sic)
County, Ky., where he grew to manhood, and 1857 removed to Ohio County, where he has since resided. His father, Wyatt P., was born in 1800; removed to Kentucky in 1824, and died in 1833. He was the son of Nehemiah Hunley, of Virginia, who settled on the land where Cincinnati now stands. His sons were Wyatt P., Robert, James, Thomas, Benjamin, and Edmund. Wyatt P. married Martha V., daughter of Elias G. and Hannah (Vaught) Smith, of Muhlenburgh County; she was born in 1805, died in 1865, and their children are Elias G., Hannah E. (Glenn), Susan H. (Stum), and Sisera (Fulkerson). Mr. Hunley was married September 11, 1851, to Sarah E., daughter of David and Margaret (Reid) Shull, of Ohio County; she was born in 1831, and to them have been born Lizzie C. (deceased), Elias S. (deceased), Martha A. (Muir), David C., Wyatt P., Ophelia M. (Muir), James H., Susan F., Albina C., and Thomas E.  Mr. Hunley is a farmer, having 130 acres of good land in a high state of cultivation. He is a member of the Methodist Church, and in politics a Democrat.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Note:  Mr. Hunley died 13 April 1900 at age 73 in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky and is buried in Hopewell Cemetery, Ohio County.

Saturday, October 15, 2016


JOSEPH A. HUDNALL, Ohio County, was born in Warren County, Ky., March 4, 1826. He is the son of Renny C. Hudnall, a native of Virginia, who came to Warren County, Ky., when a small boy, and lived on a farm with his father until the year 1819, when he married Sallie, daughter of Joseph Taylor; she died in 1838, leaving a family of ten children: James E., Nancy, Elizabeth, Joseph A., William C., Mary J., Polly A., Isam C., John W., and Sidney Ann. Renny C. Hudnall's second marriage occurred in 1842, with Miss Leah Carroll, who departed this life in the autumn of 1869, leaving four children: Virginia, Catherine, Ellen and James. Joseph A. Hudnall was, at the age of fourteen years, bound to one Alfred Cherry, with whom he lived and worked on a farm for six years, and at the expiration of his "time" hired on a farm for one season; next year he boarded with a farmer and raised a crop; after which he kept "bachelor's hall," while he raised a crop of corn, and in the autumn, October 24, 1849, married Eliza Jane, daughter of Hardin Doolan, of Warren County, Ky. After marriage he continued to lease and rent land and farm until 1854, when he bought 125 acres of (Warren) County, which he sold in 1856, and bought 192 acres in Butler County, where he remained until 1869. In this year he removed to Ohio County, where he has ever since resided. He now owns 335 acres of well-improved land, with 150 acres fenced and under cultivation, and carries a yearly average of $1,200 in stock. Mr. Hudnall does not inherit any part of his possession, his energy and business tact having brought him to his present state of comfortable independence. Mr. and Mrs. Hudnall are members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in which Mr. H. holds the office of steward. He is also a member of Rochester Lodge No. 272, A. F. & A. M., in which lodge he has passed through all the honors. In polities Mr. H. is a Democrat, and takes an interest in the political issues of the day.  Mr. and Mrs. H. are the parents of three children: Leander J., Sarah A. (deceased), and Francis R.  Mr. Hudnall is temperate in habits but takes no position on the question of temperance.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Note:  Mr. Hudnall died 19 February 1927 at age 100 in Tallmadge, Summit County, Ohio and is buried there.  He apparently moved to Tallmadge to be near his daughter, Francis. His wife Eliza Jane had died in 1858 at age 28. He remarried Ann Catherine (Adeline) House 16 August 1899 in Ohio County, KY when he was 73 years old.

Joseph Allen Hudnall and wife Eliza Jane Doolan

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


EDWARD CLARENCE HUBBARD was born near Chicago, Illinois. His father, Theo-
dore Hubbard, a physician, was a native of Vermont, and traced his ancestors to the Rev. Peter Hubbard, who immigrated to Plymouth Colony in 1639. His mother was Anna Ballou, a descendant of the famous Ballou family, among whom were Garfield and the Rev. Hosea Ballou. Theodore Hubbard and wife reached Chicago, Illinois., in 1836, the former dying in 1872, and the latter still living as an old resident of that city. Edward C. was reared in Chicago, aad graduated at the Chicago High School in 1859, and immediately entered business with his brother at Amboy, Illinois., where he was located at the outbreak of the Rebellion. He entered the Thirteenth Illinois Infantry, May 24, 1861, as sergeant-major; acted as adjutant until his muster out June 6, 1864. He was with Fremont in the Missouri campaign; was at Pea Ridge with Curtis, whose command reached Helena, Mo., in July, 1862. Here the Thirteenth Illinois joined the Fifteenth Army Corps, First Division, Gen. Steele, First Brigade, Gen. F. P. Blair, and participated in the engagement at Chickasaw Bayou and surrender of Arkansas Post, and was with Sherman during the siege of Vicksburg, and held the extreme right of the Federal line. The regiment was with Sherman in his advance to Jackson, and returning participated in the battle of Lookout Mountain, Mission Ridge and Ringgold. Mr. Hubbard was never absent from his regiment during the war. In 1864 he returned to Chicago, served in the quartermaster's department until the close of the war, and engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1870, when he removed to Hartford, Ky., and entered into the practice of law, and became a leading lawyer in the Green River section of Kentucky. Mr. Hubbard is a Republican, and was a delegate to the Republican national convention of 1876, and also in the famous convention of 1880, in which he voted against Grant and the Unit Rule, notwithstanding his State instructions. He was temporary chairman of the anti-third-term convention at St. Louis, in 1880, and made the most noted speech at the great anti-Grant meeting held in Chicago, during the convention. In 1884 he was elector for the State at large and canvassed the State for Blaine and Logan. In 1867 he married Miss Lucy Shanks, daughter of Col. Q. C. Shanks, of the Twelfth Kentucky Cavalry. They have three children: Walter Q., now a student of St. Ignatius College; Pauline; and Mabel. Mr. Hubbard has the reputation of being a fine lawyer; is a gentleman of literary tastes and is the owner of a large library. 

Note:  Mr. Hubbard was born about 1843 near Chicago and died 27 June 1887, at age 44, in Chicago, Cook County, Illinois. He is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Glyn Ellyn, Dupage County, Illinois.  Mrs. Hubbard, Lucy Shanks, lived until 20 Feb 1926. Daughter Pauline died 14 Aug 1890; daughter Mable (Mabelle) died 1 Feb 1907; son Walter died in 1916.

Inscription is difficult to read, but it is thought it say: Sergeant Major (or an abbreviation of those words); E. C. Hubbrad; 13th Illinois Inf.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Caney Creek Civil War Skirmish

Caney Creek Civil War Skirmish

by James Taylor

       According to students of Mrs. Amy Bratcher (Arthur) Wilson, a teacher at Horse Branch School in the elementary grades, there was a skirmish near the curved bridge area on Highway 62. Her grandfather was captured and taken to Tennessee, also some of the soldiers were buried on top of the hill near the skirmish site. Family lore further states he had to walk to Tennessee. Currently unable to specify whether this was her maternal Grandfather James Wilson or paternal Grandfather Isaac Bratcher. His Union allegiance made him susceptible to capture by the remaining fleeing Confederate troops. The skirmish site would have been above Horse Branch near the Grayson County line. This article is an effort to document this community legend.

       From Ohio/Grayson border history—November 23, 1860, William Henry Burden married Mariah Ellen Renfrow, daughter of Albert and Nancy Pierce Renfrow, who lived in the Richland community. William Henry Burden enrolled in the Civil War, 17th Kentucky Infantry, Company B of the Union Army. Foy Burden, a grandson, tells of an event that took place following his grandfather’s return from the War. Kentucky being a border state, loyalties were divided between North and South. Soldiers from both sides were returning to their homes when a dispute broke out one night in the Caneyville community of Grayson County. A Union sympathizer was killed, the Confederate soldiers then mounted their horses and headed toward Ohio County. Union soldiers, bent on revenge, gave chase. They stopped to pick up William Henry Burden who reportedly tried to dissuade the angry men. Being unable to do so, he joined the hanging party.

       The Confederate soldiers were soon found, having taken refuge in a home at the foot of Leach Hill. This was home to a Union sympathizer, thus the women were being forced to prepare food. During the shoot out that followed, the women lay on the floor until a Confederate was hit. Then the Union men entered the home, produced a rope and dragged the dead soldier across the road where he was quickly buried. Mr. Foy Burden says that he often heard his grandmother tell this story, knew the location of the grave and seldom passed that way, as a boy, without stopping, even though his grandfather was on the opposite side. The other Confederate bodies were reportedly buried nearby on the same Pierce farm.

       The above mentioned gravesite was actually on the side of the Leitchfield to Hartford Road. Reference to Hopewell is a community of southern Grayson County near the Ohio County line. Richland is also located in Grayson County.

      From Collins, Annals of Kentucky, February 20, 1865—Captain Bates and some Grayson County home guards attack a camp of gorillas…Ohio County, and after a brief skirmish kill 6, wound 4, and disperse the balance; home guards lose 1 killed and 1 wounded.

      February 16, 1865, A Fight with Guerillas—A Brilliant Affair. From Headquarters, Provost Marshal, Third District, Bowling Green, Kentucky, February 12, 1865. To the editors of the Louisville Journal.

      Captain William Bates, commanding the Home Guards of Grayson County, has made a report to these headquarters of eleven captured guerillas, taken in Grayson County (Ohio County), who were turned over to the commander of the post at Bowling Green today. On Friday, February 10, a band of guerillas, commanded by Captain John L. Webster, in raiding through Grayson County, killed three men. Captain Bates heard of them, and learning the road they were on, gathered his forces together, numbering 31 men, and followed in pursuit. The outlaws were on the road leading from Leitchfield to Hartford. They camped near the house of Mr. Pierce. Captain Bates made a reconnaissance of their position, and found they had out a double line of pickets about 2 o’clock Saturday morning. A brisk and determined resistance was made by the guerillas, who numbered 33 men, but the Grayson boys soon proved too much for them. Captain Bates captured 11 of the guerillas and left 6 dead on the field, one of them Lt. Bayless. The remainder, with Captain Webster, made their escape. Captain Bates and his men captured 29 horses. He lost one man killed and one wounded.

       The names of the captured guerillas are as follows: J. C. Oats, of Muhlenberg County; W. R. Baldwin, of Lyon County; J. C. Nickolds (Nichols) of Caldwell County; H. B. Holder, of Lyon County; J. A. Rodgers, of Meade County; J. W. Martin, of Lyon County; H. T. Walker, of Crittenden County; J. G. Morris, of Webster County; J. A. Webster, of Stewart County, Tennessee; R. Smith, of Montgomery County, Tennessee; G. H. Williams, of Stewart County, Tennessee.

      This is quite a brilliant little affair—more so than any other we have heard of lately. This makes the second or third engagement Captain Bates has conducted equally successful. He and his men are entitled to much praise.

       Submitted by A. G. Hobson, Captain and Provost Marshal, 3rd district of Kentucky.

Following is an account of an apparently soon after skirmish involving the same groups as above, as they moved on through the area.

       Louisville Press, February 19, 1865—A squad of guerillas numbering 33 men of Brigadier General Hylan B. Lyon’s command, have been operating in Grayson and Edmonson Counties, and murdered 4 citizens a short time ago. Captain William Bates, in command of the Home Guards of Grayson County attacked their camp.

      Louisville Journal, Thursday, February 16, 1865—A band of 21 guerillas, that had been operating in Ohio County the past few days, on Sunday night last crossed the dividing line between Butler and Ohio Counties, and camped about 6 miles from Morgantown. The Grayson County Home Guards learned of their presence, and speedily effecting an organization, mounted their horses and started on a vigorous pursuit. The guerilla camp was attacked about daylight on Monday morning…taking them by surprise, offered but feeble resistance.


On the Boundary line between Ohio and Grayson Counties Kentucky (Some Early Settlers of the Hopewell Community) by Natalia Decker Mallisee.

History of Kentucky, Volume I, Lewis Collins, Richard H. Collins, 1874

Kentucky Soldiers and their Regiments in the Civil War, Volume V, 1865, Abstracted from the pages of contemporary newspapers, Steven L. Wright.

Thanks to James Taylor and - 

Ohio County Historical Society
PO Box 44
Hartford, Kentucky 42347

Wednesday, October 5, 2016



The contribution which penologists make to social advancement is not recognized, as a rule, by the general public, though their achievements in this respect are usually known to their fellow practitioners in this professional field, or to students of the other sociological endeavors. The fact that Lochie L. Daugherty has won public respect and esteem for his
work as Jailer of Ohio County is an indication that his success in this post has been achieved on a level which can be understood by the electorate and that it is aware of the progressive scientific measures which he has adopted to draw maximum value from the tax dollar supporting the penal system.

Elected to this important county office in 1937, Jailer Daugherty has steadily forged ahead in his work of improving conditions among prisoners and in inaugurating new techniques for their care and rehabilitation. His success in this respect has been recognized throughout Ohio County, and it has won him great public support.

Lochie L. Daugherty was born in Gilstrap, Butler County, Kentucky, on March 21, 1904, the son of Valentine Huston and Lue (White) Daugherty. The elder Daugherty was born in Flint Springs, in Ohio County, in 1874, and was a farmer who supported the Republican Party. The mother was born in Gilstrap in 1877, and now resides in Gilstrap.

Lochie Daugherty attended the county schools in Butler County and then worked with his father on the farm until 1924. In that year, he opened an automobile garage in Beaver Dam, which he operated until 1937, with growing success. He had in the meantime become interested in civic, political and penal affairs and, when the opportunity to be a candidate for the position of County Jailer arose, happily accepted in the belief he had a contribution to make in the public service— a belief in which the electorate supported him, for he has held the office ever since his election in 1937.

Mr. Daugherty’s wife is the former Ada Bell, who was born in Gilstrap on May 6, 1907. They have three children—Bonnie Mae Daugherty, who was born in Gilstrap on January 27, 1925; Willard Lindberg Daugherty, born in Butler County, on January 5, 1928; and Thomas Huston Daugherty, born in Ohio County on July 10, 1935. The daughter and first-born is now the wife of Conrad Dale Bartlett, son of Circuit Judge Clarence Bartlett, the marriage having taken place in Hardinsburg on November 15, 1941. They have one child, Conrad Dale Bartlett, Jr., born in Hartford on May 18, 1943. They reside on Judge Bartlett’s dairy farm, in the management of which her husband is active. Mr. Daugherty is active in the Baptist Church and in political and civic affairs. He continues giving the county jail system a progressive administration and grows daily in the esteem of the people of Ohio County who, recognizing their stake in proper penal management, appreciate the sincerity and interest of a man who, as County Jailer, protects their interests with skill and understanding.

Source: A Sesqui-Centennial History of Kentucky; by Frederick A. Wallis. Published 1945.

Note: Lochie L. Daughtery died on April 14, 1977, in Ohio County, Kentucky, when he was 73 years old.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


JOHN D. HOLBROOK was born June 10, 1851, in Ohio County, Ky., and is a son of Robert and Frances M. (French) Holbrook. Robert Holbrook was brought to Kentucky in 1817, by his mother and step-father, from Russell County, Va., and located in the eastern part of the State. In 1838, Robert Holbrook moved to Ohio County. He was twice married; his first wife was Elizabeth Bell. John D. Holbrook was reared on a farm, and obtained a fair education, and at twenty-one began farming for himself. He then engaged in the tobacco business; at same time was constable; was deputy sheriff under T. J. Smith; then went into business at Buford for three years; then bought his present farm of 250 acres, divided into farms, well improved with pleasant residences. He farms in connection with his tobacco business. November 30, 1875, he married Oma Fields, daughter of Joshua and Emma (Austin) Fields. This union was blessed with five children: Morton, Gilbert, Pearl, Vertie, and John Pendleton. Mr and Mrs. Holbrook are members of the Baptist Church. Politically he is a Democrat, and served as magistrate four years and a half.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1895

Note:  John Douglas Holbrook died 12 Oct 1926 in Ohio County. He is buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Buford, Ohio County.