Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bill Smothers - Part II

Bill Smothers – Continued

The following continues from the History of Daviess (sic) County, Kentucky:

            “One of the most remarkable events of Smothers' life was his arraignment at Hartford on the charge of murder. He was defended by the celebrated Jo Daveiss. The circumstance was as follows: One summer evening a keel boat made fast at the landing at Yellow Banks, and the crew paid a visit to the house of Smothers. A man named Norris led the crew. He was of Herculean proportion, and it was the common boast that he had never met his match in a fisticuff from Louisville to New Orleans. While in the house the boat men indulged themselves in such freedom of remark that Miss Molly, Smothers' sister, concluded she could not remain with propriety, and ran to the house of Felty Husk. Smothers remonstrated at their behaviour, and six of the number left the house. Norris remained. The crew on returning found the lifeless body of their comrade extended on the floor with the warm blood trickling from two ghastly wounds. Smothers at their approach had fled the house and concealed himself in a strawberry bed in the garden. He escaped from here to the woods where he s t the night. At daylight next morning he knocked at the door of Ben Duncan, Esq., who lived on Pop Creek, ten miles from the Yellow Banks. He informed Squire Duncan of the nature of the charges against him, and demanded a judicial investigation. The crew of the boat were summoned as witnesses. They came in a body to the house of the Justice, many of them armed, and declaring their intention to hang the prisoner on the spot. But the friends of Smothers were there prepared to defend him and the day passed without serious disturbance. Smothers gave bond and security for his appearance on the first day of the next term of the Ohio Circuit Court. He was perplexed in mind upon the subject of employing good counsel in his defense. He was poor, and lawyers' fees were high. His anxieties about the matter were, however, happily relieved, for Jo Daveiss, who knew Smothers well and admired him for his independent spirit and indomitable courage, sent him a message from Frankfort: “Don’t ruin yourself hiring lawyers; I will be with you on the day of trial." The fame of Jo Daveiss and the-widespread acquaintance of the deceased, brought such a concourse of people together at court on the day of trial, as had never before been seen in Hartford. The keel boatmen from Louisville were there, and strangers from a circuit of a hundred miles were in attendance, curious to see Bill Smothers and anxious to hear Jo Daviess. In due course the case of the Commonwealth versus William Smother, alias Bill Smothers, was called. Judge Brodnax occupied the bench. John Daveiss, the brother of Jo Daveiss, was the prosecuting attorney.

            The evidence in the main was in accordance with the facts already stated.
From the historic interest to the people of Daviess County connected with the names both of defendant and his counsel, we make room for a traditional report of the further proceedings in the case from the pen of the Hon. Thomas C. McCreery: Jo Daveiss made no labored effort at cross-examination, but permitted the witnesses to make their statements in their own way, sometimes putting a single question, to elicit explanation. When the Attorney announced that the testimony was closed on behalf of the Commonwealth, Jo Daviess exchanged a few words with Smothers and then rose and said, that his client, from motives of delicacy, had positively refused to introduce his sister, who was the only witness who could state anything material to the defense—that the prosecuting attorney might proceed with his argument to the jury. By the feeling manner in which he made this simple statement, he seemed already to have gained the vantage ground. But John Daveiss was a man of no ordinary ability, and knowing that he had to cope with one of the greatest advocates in the country, or the world, he put forth his full strength in his opening speech, endeavoring to forestall the impression which had always attended the powerful efforts of his brother. The evidence was arrayed in a masterly manner, and he closed by a spirited and strong appeal to the jury to discharge their sworn duties honestly and faithfully, exhorting them to disregard alike the fame and the passion of the orator who was to follow him, and assuring them that whilst the wicked might rejoice at acquittal, all good men would say amen to the condemnation and the execution of a marauder, an outlaw, an assassin and a murderer.

            That wonderfully eloquent and strangely eccentric man, Jo Daviess, then rose to address the jury. It was his ambition to do everything after a fashion that nobody else in the world ever had attempted. He never was known to ride to a court-house. but made his circuit on foot, whilst a negro boy accompanied him on horse-back, carrying his papers and clothing in a pair of saddlebags. His manner, his style, his tactics at the bar, were all his own, and they all lie buried with their great master on the field of Tippecanoe. No fragment of a speech of his remains today; and from the erring and fading memories of men we derive our only ideas of that inspiration which moved upon the feelings and swayed the passions, until he could drive his triumphal car over any obstacle that might oppose his onward course. Tradition furnishes a dim outline of his speech in defense of Smothers, which was probably the greatest forensic effort of his life. It was made for a friend, without hope of reward, and the whole power of mind, body and soul were poured forth in his cause.

            He commenced as if he had a fee to assist in the prosecution. He reiterated the strong points in the Attorney's speech, and offered additional arguments in favor of conviction. The friends of the accused began to whisper that he was a snake in the grass, and that he had come to help his brother, and the eyes of Smothers were raised in calm surprise to the face of his counsel. But Daveiss went on, urging that an acquittal, under all the circumstances, would be a monstrous outrage upon law and justice, and insisting that the jury ought, without hesitation, to hang the criminal. Adopting all the epithets which had been so liberaly bestowed, he called upon them to hang the marauder, hang the outlaw, hang the assassin, hang the murderer. Proof or no proof, let the hang-man proceed on his mission of strangulation. That such, in effect, was the common reasoning of prosecuting attorneys, and he had been repeating in substance what had fallen from the gentleman who preceded him, but the law was established upon principles precisely of an opposite character. He dwelt upon the tenderness and mercy of the law, and the safeguards it threw around the life and liberty of the citizens. That malice - premeditated malice - was an essential ingredient in making out a case of murder. That if the killing was in sudden heat, it was manslaughter, and if the blow was given in self-defense, or in defense of family and home, then it became a virtue, and was no crime at all.

            Without a note, he reviewed the evidence from beginning to end. Calling the names of the witnesses as he went, and contended that the Commonwealth had failed to prove that his client had slain the deceased. That he was found dead in the house of the prisoner at the bar, but no man had seen the prisoner inflict the wound. That (those) circumstances, however, conclusive they might appear, were frequently deceptive. He read a case in the English Reports, where an innocent man had been executed upon circumstantial evidence even stronger than that before the jury, and took the position that the unscrupulous and vindictive prosecutor was guilty of murder, and the twelve jurors were his aiders and abettors because they did not require that positive and undeniable proof which leaves no room for a reasonable doubt. That if, in truth, it was the hand of Smothers that directed the blade, the facts in the case warranted the conclusion that the other was the aggressor. That the prisoner was a man of sense and a man of prudence, and never would have sought an encounter with a giant, whose physical force was so great that be had never found an equal; and who had a host of thirty comrades who would have rushed to his call and staked their lives in the quarrel. That the deceased was the aggressor in the beginning, and it was a fair inference that he so continued to the end. That unbidden he had invaded the sacred precincts of the prisoner’s home, and in return for civility and hospitality, had offered insult and injury. That his foul false tongue had aim to fix the seal of infamy upon the spotless tablet of a maiden sister’s fame. That when his companions, impelled by repentance and remorse, had left the house like a fiend of darkness he lingered upon the spot. That if Smothers bad slain him, he slew him in the holy cause of religion and of virtue, and that the King bf Heaven had strengthened the arm that drove the pointed steel to his heart.

            He paid an eloquent and glowing tribute to the brave pioneers who, by their toil and sweat and blood, had won the great valley of the Mississippi from the Indians, and consecrated it to agriculture, to commerce and to the arts. That a golden crown had been tendered to Julius Cream for his victories in Gaul, and for the addition of that province to the Roman Territory. That these men had conquered an Empire thrice as great and thrice as fertile as Gaul. and neither the charity, nor the bounty, nor the justice of the Govern-ment, had ever induced it to bestow upon one of them so much as an iron skillet. That a Representative of that Government was here today, appealing to a jury of the country for the blood of one of the bravest, because he had stood upon the threshold of his rude hut, which was his castle in the eye of the law, and had defended his family against the licentious and wanton insults of a blackguard and a ruffian. He said that if Smothers had to die, it was meet and appropriate that he should die at Hartford. Hartford had been the theatre of his valor, and Hartford should be the scene of his execution. That he came with the party that erected the first fortification; that his hand dug the ditch and planted the palisade; and when the Indians besieged, and fired upon you from stump, bush and tree, whose aim was deadliest and whose rifle ran clearest in your defense? And when they were defeated and turned their backs in retreat, who was fleet-footed enough to lead the van in the pursuit; who hovered around them like a destroying spirit until he had dyed the waters of your rivers in their blood? Who trailed them to their homes beyond the prairies and restored your stolen property without ever receiving one cent in compensation? That whatever falsehoods may have been invented and circulated against his client, the forked tongue of slander itself had never charged that his soul had been stained by the sin of avarice. That with ample opportunities of securing an immense landed estate, there was not a foot upon earth that he could call his own. That whilst others had enriched them selves by speculation, peculation, violence and fraud, the poverty of Smothers was a vindication of the sterling integrity of the man.

            In his charge to the jury, Judge Broadnax approved himself the able lawyer and the upright man. Forgetting the many annoyances of Smothers, he exhorted the jury to look in mercy upon the prisoner, and to give him the full benefit of every reasonable doubt. The jury, after a retirement of ten minutes, brought in a verdict of “Not Guilty.“

            Smothers invited his counsel to go home with him, and Daveiss accepted the invitation. He was so well pleased with the country around Yellowbanks that he settled the place known as Cornland, now owned by James Rudd., and planted the orchard which stands upon the slope of the hill. His brother, John Daveiss, not long afterwards commenced opening the farm upon which the Crutchers’ long resided and lived there for many years. Smothers not long after emigrated to Texas, where he ended his life.”

Source: “An Illustrated Historical Map of Daviess CountyKentucky,” published in 1876 by Leo McDonough & Co.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Early History - Bill Smothers

The following is an excerpt from the opening chapter of “An Illustrated Historical Map of Daviess County, Kentucky,” published in 1876 by Leo McDonough & Co.

            "There seems good authority for the claim that the first permanent settlement in what is now Daviess County was made by the celebrated William Smoothers, otherwise known by the more popular name of Bill Smothers. This settlement was made on the site of the present city of Owensboro. Hartford, on Rough Creek, and Vienna (now Calhoon) at the falls of Green River, now respectively the County seats of Ohio and McLean Counties, were the centres of the principal settlements made in this part of Kentucky. Each place was rudely fortified against the attacks of the Indians, and crowded with men, women and children, who had gathered in the stockade for safety. Disease began its ravages among them. Their chief source of subsistence, wild game, became scarce in the vicinity, and as soon as danger from Indian depredations was somewhat over, the families settled outside the forts, though usually at first within an easy distance of the centre of the settlement. The families at Hartford located on the banks of Rough Creek, and those at Vienna scattered through the hills in the rear of that place.

            Among the settlers at Hartford and Vienna was Bill Smothers. For the incidents of his history we are indebted to articles in the Owensboro Monitor from the pen of the Hon. Thomas C. McCreery. He was born on the western frontier of Southern Virginia, near the Holston River. One day his father while hunting was killed by the Indians, and his mother on the ninth day afterward followed her husband to the grave, dying from grief. These tragic circumstances engendered an undying hostility against the Indians in the breast of William Smothers, who was then a boy of twelve. Standing by the graves of his parents, he raised his hand to Heaven, and swore that he would devote his life to the destruction of the Indian race. When he subsequently came to Kentucky it was with the intention of fighting Indians, and avenging the murder of his parents, and so joined a party who were coming down to fortify the Green river country. A fort was built on Rough Creek, and called Hartford. In besieging this fort it was noticed that the Indians generally came from lower Kentucky, and waded Green River at the falls. At this point, now the spot where stands the. County seat of McLean County, a fort was accordingly established and called Vienna. After its construction, the Indians seldom came in great numbers, and the white families soon scattered and selected locations where inclination, or safety directed.

            Bill Smothers disliked living in a densely settled neighborhood, preferring
rather the solitude of the wilderness, and he accordingly fixed on a location on the Ohio River at a point nearest the settlements. He built a cabin where now stands Owensboro. It was erected on the bank of the river near the gas works, and the exact spot is now occupied by the tobacco factory of Frazier Brothers. His cabin is described as being of round logs, and having two doors, one of which looked out on the Ohio, and the other opened into his garden On the lower side of the house there was a shed room, made by extending the main roof, being enclosed by slabs of timber planted in the ground. About four feet of a single log had been cut out to make a passway into the room. In this were deposited his peltries and groceries, and when he entertained a large company, which was frequently the case, it was converted into a bed-room, more comfortable and agreeable in cold than in warm weather, owing to the abundance of deer and bear skins and buffalo robes which were kept there. Such was the beginning of the city of Owensboro. In person Smothers was within an inch of being six feet in height. His hair was dark brown, and his thin heard of the same color. His complexion was fair, and his eyes deep blue and prominent, and the expression of his face pleasing and intelligent. His figure was erect, his limbs and body firm and symmetrical, his motions easy and graceful, denoting great activity and a considerable amount of muscular power. He did everything deliberately, nothing in a hurry. His mind was in keeping with his body, quick, active and vigorous. He was rarely vulgar in conversation, and never affected the coarse manner and rude speech of the ruffian. He was inferior to no man in personal courage. In short, if he had received a thorough education and possessed good morals, he might have occupied a prominent and honorable position. His love of fun, the controlling passion of his life, led him into many improprieties, and perhaps clouded his memory with crime.

            It was some time about the opening of the present century, certainly not later than 1799, that Smothers made his home on the Ohio. The situation was lonely enough to delight him with the solitude. From Panther Creek to the Ohio, and Green River to Blackford be was the only inhabitant. He roamed the forest alone, and slaughtered the game at pleasure. The necessaries of life were obtained at his door. The barges, slowly cordelled by their armed crews down the Ohio, would stop and give him salt, flour, and groceries in exchange for dried venison, hams, bear meat, and buffalo robes. These advantages enabled him to live in a style far beyond the towns of his old friends and comrades. No gentleman below the falls could furnish so sumptuous aboard, and no man entertained with more genuine hospitality. “Old rye" and “ flour bread " were unknown in the interior, and his visitors manifested a general partiality for those articles. “ Pass the flour bread up here," “start the old rye down here," were remarks usually heard at his table, while the generous host was attentive to the wishes of his guests, and labored to supply their wants. The one fear Smothers possessed above all others was that new settlers would intrude upon the domain he had marked his own, that farms would be opened up, the game driven away or destroyed, and that he would be left in his old age without the means of support in the very country from which he had expelled the Indians. He regarded a surveyor’s chain with particular abhorrence, and "corner trees" were an abomination. He determined that his house should present fewer attractions, and that he would thus not assist in luring strangers to the neighborhood. Instead, therefore, of delicacies, the simplest and coarsest fare of the hunter supplied his table. He almost deserted his home, wandering in the woods for weeks and months together. He hunted deer and bear on the Kentucky side of the river, and twice a year took an Indian hunt on the other side of the Ohio, where he was as equally successful. Sleepless days and nights would he spend to get a shot, and at every crack of his rifle an Indian fell. If Indians were plenty, which was generally case on the upper Wabash, he would kill from two to half a dozen on a hunt; and if they were scarce he sometimes crossed that stream and shot them on the boundless prairies beyond. When horses were stolen from the settlements at Hartfort and Vienna, he led the pursuit, and generally returned with the animals, or an equal or greater number. These expeditious made him familiar with the country as far west as the Mississippi. Smothers was compelled at last to witness the inroads of other settlers. The news saluted his ears that about twenty families had arrived on his territory, and were preparing to build houses and open plantations. The surveyor, with compass and chain was making new lines, and the axe was laying low the trees."

Wednesday, April 27, 2016



Bible record of George M. Allen family


G.M.  Allen was married to S. A.  Leach April 29 1865


G.M.  Allen was born August 12, 1847
S.A.  Allen was born December 7, 1847
Sibby Allen was born February 5, 1869
Lener Allen was born November 17, 1871
Lizy Allen was born November 7, 1873
George Allen was born January 1, 1875
Mattie Allen was born March 7, 1876
Nelie Allen was born March 10, 1878
Luther Allen was born July 1, 1881
Odie Allen was born August 1, 1885
Vasti Allen was born October 5, 1887


Electa Mackeny died May 14, 1870
George Allen died January 12, 1881
Sibbie Allen died September 1894
Charles Minton died September 19, 1894
Mattie Minton died May 27, 1896
Albert Allen died August 7, 1870
Vasti Allen died July 20, 1888
Sibbie King died April 17, 1900
James M.  King died September 8, 1901
John Leach died May 14, 1906
Harrison Elder died December 21, 1909
M.  Allen died July 7, 1913

Thanks to Helen McKeown


Bible Record of Barnard / Kimbley Family, Ohio Co., KY

                                                            Page 1 of Births

Ezekiel V.  Kimbley son of F.  E.  & E.  B.  Kimbley was borned in Muhlenberg Co., Ky. on           the 4th of May 1817
Margaret Kimbley late daughter of J.  S.  & S.  Graves was borned in Muhlenberg  Co., Ky.          on the 6th July 1812
John Francis Kimbley first son of E.  V.  & M. Kimbley was borned April 11th 1841 in Ohio         Co., Ky.
Susan Easter Kimbley eldest daughter of E.  V.  & M. Kimbley was borned Feb 27th 1843 in       Ohio Co., Ky.
William A.  J.  Kimbley second son of E.  V.  & M..  Kimbley was borned the 31st March                1845 in Ohio Co., Ky.
Elizabeth Jane Kimbley second daughter of E.  V.  & M.  Kimbley was borned the 21st                    March 1848 in Ohio Co., Ky.
Jesse Kinchelo Kimbley third son of E.  V.  & M.  Kimbley was borned on the 24th July                1850 in Ohio Co., Ky.
Ezekiel Oliver Kimbley son of E.  V.  & M. Kimbley was born Nov 15th 1852
E.  M.  fifth son E.  L.  and K. Barnard was born Oct 9th 1899
W.  D.  Barnard 6th son of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard was born Dec 12th 1902

                                                            Page 2 of Births

Ezekeil Lonnie Barnard was born Jan 21st 1866
Ada Elizabeth Muir first daughter of B.  and S.  E.  Muir was born July 7th 1866
Joseph Lee Muir first son of B.  and S.  E.  Muir was born January 28th 1868
W.  E.  Muir second son of B.  & S.  E.  Muir was born May 31st 1869
K.  Barnard was born December 3rd 1864
Sallie Bertha third daughter of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard was born Jan 12 1897
Susan Ann Barnard was born May 22nd 1870
W.  R.  Barnard first son of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard was born April 17th 1884
B.  A.  Barnard first daughter of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard was born March 23 1886
J.  H.  Barnard 2nd son of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard was born Dec 20 1887
B.  R.  Barnard 3rd son of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard was born April 3rd 1890
I.  B.  Barnard 2nd daughter of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard was born March 20th 1892
R.  A.  Barnard 4th son of E.  l.  And K.  Barnard was born March 22nd 1894

                                                            Page 1 of Deaths

John Francis Kimbley first son of E.  V.  & M Kimbley died Sept the 26th 1844 in Ohio Co.,         Ky.  age 3 years 5 months a & 15 day
Jesse Kinchelo Kimbley third son of E.  V.  & M.  Kimbley died August 17th 1858 in Ohio             Co., Ky.  Age 8 years & 29 days
Susan E.  Muir died Jan 21st 1870
Elizabeth J.  Barnard died Jan 24th 1878
Ezekiel O.  Kumbley forth son of E.  V.  & M.  Kimbley died December the 21 day of 1878
Ketrola Barnard wife of E.  L.  Barnard died Nov 8th 1908
J.  H.  Barnard 2nd son of E.  L.  & K Barnard died 11 Feb 1911
Joseph Lee Muir first son of B.  and S.  E.  Muir died February 21st 1868
Wm.  E.  Muir second son of B.  And S.  E.  Muir died September 17th 1870
Brentwood Muir died September the 15 day the year 1879
Ada Elizabeth Muir first daughter of B.  and S.  E.  Muir died June 28th 1880
Margaret Kimbley wife of E.  V.  Kimbley died July 12 the 1879
W.  R.  Barnard first son of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard died May 5th 1887
W.  D.  Barnard 6th son of E.  L.  and K.  Barnard died December 30th 1902
E.  A.  Barnard died July 25 1948

                                                            Page 1 of Marriages

Ezekiel V.  Kimbley and Margaret Graves his wife were married June 18th A.  D.  1840
Wesley D.  Barnard & Elizabeth J.  Kimbley were married June 21st 1864
Brentwood Muir & Susan E.  Kimbley were married July 23rd 1865
William A.  J.  Kimbley & Nancy J.  Morehead were married Nov 26th 1865
E.  V.  Kimbley and Elisabeth Maddox was married May the 1 the 1883
E.  L.  Barnard and Kitrola Carter his wife were married May 9th 1883
A.  Barnard and Lillian W.  Parrish were married Sept 11, 1911

Thanks to Helen McKeown


Bible record of Monroe Bratcher family


This certifies that Monroe Bratcher and Angeline Flener were solemnly united by me in the bonds of holy matrimony at Flenerville on the 6 day of April in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and 78 conformably to the ordinance of God and the laws of the state.

Roy Bratcher & Iva Barnes married December 24 1914


Monroe Bratcher born 15 March 1858
Angeline Bratcher born 19 September 1861
Eddie J Bratcher born 2 April 1879
Salley M Bratcher born 18 May 1881
Vioma Bratcher born 18 June 1883
Nettie B Bratcher born 16 January 1885
Nevada Bratcher born 16 December 1886
Ivena Bratcher born 3 March 1888
Herbert B Bratcher born 2 April 1890
Leona Bratcher born 15 October 1893
Rosey Bratcher born 5 May 1896
Roy Bratcher born May 5 1896
Iva Bratcher born July 15 1896
Rossie Bratcher born July 7 1919
Weldon Smith Bratcher born November 11 1923


Rosey Bratcher died 27 January 1897
Angeline Bratcher died 21 July 1901
Monroe Bratcher died 20 August 1901
Ivena Hill died 8 January 1909
Dead baby born/died November 16 1928
Salley Maddox died 2 November 1936
Roy Bratcher died 19 December 1941
Eddie J Bratcher died 29 March 1945
Vioma Bratcher Williams died 3 December 1947
Nevada Bratcher Morris died 16 November 1957
Weldon Smith Bratcher died February 19 1958
Herbert B Bratcher died 10 April 1965
Nettie Bratcher Ashby

Thanks to Helen McKeown


Bible Record of the Davisson Family Bible.  I do not have a copy of the front page, only copies of the "Family Pages."  These copies were made in the early '80's, and at that time it was in the possession of L. Davis of Lexington.  The present location is unknown.

Parents Record.

Father:  Stephen Davisson was born January 15th A.D. 1785 and died June the 12, 1859                age 74 years 4 months 27 days

Mother: Lucy Davisson was born October 13th A.D. 1785 and died may the 8, 1873 age 87        years six months 21 days


Leroy Davisson was born June 27th 1809
Elizabeth J. Davisson was born May 30th 1812
Huldah An Davisson was born Jan 3rd 1815
Nathaniel N. Davisson was born March 25th 1817
Mary H. Davisson was born Nov 23 1819
Marthany An Davisson was born Feb 22nd 1822
Lucy C. Davisson was born Sept 24th 1824
George W. Davisson was born Jan 26 1827
Phana N. Davisson was born Nov 12 1829
Susan Y. Davisson was born April 30, 1832


Stephen Davisson & Lucy Neighbours was married September 1st 1808
Leeroy Davisson and Elizabeth H. Felts was married March 2nd 1835
Huldah Ann Davisson and Thornbery G. Anderson was married Sept 20th 1838
Mary H. Davisson and John T. Neighbours was married Mar 10th 1841
Marthany Ann Davisson and Mathew Gidcumb was married Nov  1844
Elizabeth J. Davisson and William Neighbours was married May 8th 1845
Phana N. Davisson and Humphrey Brooks was married Dec 6th 1849
George W. Davisson and Mariah Wedding was married Dec. 26 1849
Susan Davisson and Washington Wedding was married Sept 8 1853

Nathan N. Davisson Died Jan 11th 1845, Age 28 years 9 months 18 days
Elizabeth H. Davisson Died March the 4th 1847, Age 41 years 7 months 7 days 
Elizabeth J. Neighbours Died Nov. 29 1848, Age 36 years 5 mo 29 days 
Susan Y. Wedding Died April 23, 1895, Age 62 years 11 mo. 23 days
Marthany Ann Gidcumb died March the 26th 1863,  Age 41 years 1 month 4 days 
Lucy C. Davisson Died June 13, 1871 age 46 years, 8 mo 20 days

This family was from Buckingham Co., Va. and settled in Butler, Warren and finally Ohio Co., Kentucky.

Thanks to Robert Wedding


Bible Record of Underwood Family

John Underwood was born May 17, 1808 Ohio Co., Kentucky
Lucinda Underwood (Campbell) wife was born January 18th 1811, Ohio Cty.
Anjaline Underwood daughter of John and Lucinda Underwood was born June 1st 1828,             Ohio County
Mary Elizabeth Underwood daughter of John and Lucinda Underwood was born December        2nd 1832, Lebonon (Illinois)
John Underwood died April 21st 1887 at Gainsville, Texas
Lucinda Underwood died December 10th Gainsville, Texas 1889
Anjaline Underwood daughter of John & Lucinda departed this life April 2nd 1848 in St.              Louis
Vitula (Underwood) Kennedy departed this life October 3rd 1863 in Jackson City
Mary Elizabeth (Underwood) Bowlin daughter of John & Lucinda Underwood departed 
     this life in St. Louis Mo on the 14th of March 1855
James Matthew Underwood son of John & Lucinda Underwood was born St. Louis                        January 20th 1849 in Missouri
Frank Bowlin son of George & Mary (Underwood) Bowlin and grandson of J & L                             Underwood was born 17th March 1851 in the Citty of St, Louis Mo.
Mary Estella Bowlin daughter of George & Mary E. Bowlin and grand daughter of  J&L                 Underwood was born 9th March 1853 in the City of St. Louis, Mo.
Lucindy J. (Underwood) Wise daughter of John & Lucinda Underwood departed this life            Jan 18 1911 buried at Lindsay Oklahoma
Mary Estella Bowlin daughter of George & Mary E. Bowlin and grand daughter of J&L                Underwood departed this life 6th August 1853
William D. Underwood son of John & Lucinda Underwood was born April 20th 1935 in                Lebonon (Illinois)
Laura Ann Underwood daughter of John & Lucinda Underwood was born August 10th                1839 Lebonon (Illinois)
John H. Underwood son of John & Lucinda Underwood was born June 14, 1842 Lebonon
Laura Ann Underwood died September 10th 1841 in Illinois
John H. Underwood departed this life in St. Louis May 11, 1861 of a wound received the              day before the 10th at Camp Jackson
Mary Ellen Underwood daughter of James M. & Epsie L. Underwood was born March 20th       1875 Died September 11th 1875

Additional Comments:
This comes from an old family bible in the possession of a great granddaughter of John C. Underwood. It is water stained but still quite readable. It is not known but it thought to have been either John or William's bible, William being the son of John and Lucinda.

Thanks to Sara Collins


Bible Record of Thomas Wedding Family of Fordsville, Ohio Co., KY

The Holy Bible, Containing the Old and New Testaments: New York: American Bible Society, 1893


 Thos. S. Wedding was borned Oct 9 1860
 Sarah C. Lloyd was borned Oct 1st 1868
 T.H. Medcalf born March 4 1854           

Edgar Ellis Wedding was borned July 12th 1891
Olga Thomas Wedding was borned June 10th 1893
Mary Cecil Wedding was borned Feb 4th 1896
Ollie Young Wedding was borned June 19th 1897
Margaret E. Medcalf born Jan 14 1919

Olga Thomas Wedding died Aug 8th 1894
Mary Cecil Wedding died sept 1st 1896
Thomas S. Wedding died Dec 14 1898
Henry Lloyd died Aug. 11 1935
Thomas Henry Medcalf died June 11 1938, Died at five thirty
Ollie Young Wedding Died June 29 1954, 57 yrs. old
Sarah Catherine Lloyd Wedding Medcalf died Mary 27, 1957, 3:AM Mobile,                                      Alabama, Little Sisters of the Poor - 88 yrs old
Edgar Ellis Wedding, Sr. died Oct 29 1960 (Sat) 5 o'clock PM.     Buried Mon. Oct 31st 1960       with Requiem Mass at 11 A.M. AGE 69


Thos. S. Wedding & Sarah C. Lloyd was married June 10th 1888
Thos. H. Medcalf & Sarah C. Wedding was married Mar 4 1909

Thanks to Robert Wedding


Saturday, April 23, 2016


SAMUEL H. GREER, Ohio County, was born in Nelson County, June 15, 1829. He is the son of Samuel and Minerva (Cooper) Greer and grandson of Samuel Greer, who was for seven years a Revolutionary soldier under Washington. He was a native of Ireland, and, about 1790, immigrated to Nelson County, Ky., then a wilderness, where wild beasts and Indians roamed. He was the father of three sons and five daughters, of whom the father of our subject was the youngest son. Many of the descendants now reside in Nelson and other parts of Kentucky, and are generally prominent and well-to-do people. Samuel H. is the second of a family of nine children. At the age of fifteen he lost his father by death, and the care of his mother and the younger members of the family devolved upon him. By industry and energy he overcame all difficulties, and acquired a good home and other property. He was married, January 5, 1854, to Mary Elizabeth Ward, the eldest daughter of James, and Nancy (Cooper) Ward. She was born May 8, 1828. Their children are John, married to Olivia Jane Burks — they have one child: Millie; Nancy, born December 14, 1857, died April 28, 1878; Samuel, married to Mary Lee Allen Ralph; Bluford Thomas; Fanny Ann; James Marion; Mary Drucilla; Minerva Ellen; Rebecca Susan. Mr. Greer has been school trustee for several years, and is now overseer of roads. He owns a farm of 400 acres of productive land in Ellis Precinct, near the town of Whitesville. His farm house is large and pleasant. He owns a fine herd of cattle and horses and much other property. There are of his father's descendants, now living — including children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren — nearly 200 representatives. Mr. Greer takes a deep interest in the education of his children. In politics he is a Democrat.

JOHN C. GREER, Ohio County, was born in Spencer County, near Mt. Eden, Ky. June 17, 1831, and removed to Daviess County, Ky., with his parents, Samuel and Minerva (Cooper) Greer, at the age of one year. At the age of eight years, his parents removed to Bartlett Precinct, Ohio County, where he was reared on a farm and attended the common schools, and at the age of twenty-one commenced farming for himself. At a very early age, he was left, by the decease of his father, with the care of his mother and a large family of younger children. His father was born in Nelson County in 1805, and his mother in the same place in 1812. The father died in 1855 and the mother about seventeen years later, and to the close of their long lives were consistent members of the Christian Church. His father was a well-to-do farmer and a successful man of business. John C., subject, was married March 2, 1854, to Martha E., third daughter of James and Nancy Ward, the former of whom died May 13, 1883. Mrs. Greer was born May 26, 1837. To them were born nine children: Amanda Ann, wife of Thomas H. Westerfield; Sanford Marion, married to Elizabeth A. White; James William, married to Lueinda White; Manora Ellen, wife of Leonard Bunger; Mary Elva, wife of Cornelius Hoover; Margaret Elizabeth, wife of Hiram C. Powers; Coleman D.; Mortina; and John Thomas. Mr. Greer weighs 215 pounds, and is the lightest of his father's family. This family of eleven, including the parents, averaged in weight 260 pounds each, and were probably the heaviest family in the State. There are eight children, eight grandchildren and fifty-eight great-grand-children. Mr. Greer, his wife and three children are members of the Christian Church. He owns 175 acres of good land, with comfortable buildings. He is well known as an intelligent and prosperous farmer. Mr. Greer himself has twenty-one grandchildren.

BLUFORD C. GREER was born in Ohio County, Ky., March 22, 1840, and is the seventh child born to Samuel and Minerva (Cooper) Greer; of their children, eight are now living, viz.: Samuel H., Margaret, John C., James, Fannie A., Bluford C., Thomas, and Mary E.  Samuel Greer was reared in Nelson County, Ky., where he married and soon after removed to Daviess County, Ky., and then to Ohio County, where he lived until his death; his widow continued to reside in Ohio County until her death on November 14, 1871. The grandfather, John Greer, was a native of Ireland and came to America before the Revolutionary war; fought with Washington until the close, when he assumed the peaceful life of a farmer; he was among the first settlers of Nelson County, Ky. Elizabeth, wife of John Greer, was a native of Scotland. When Bluford C. was six years old, his father died. The disadvantages contingent to a new country deprived him of an education, his assistance being necessary also to the support of the family of his widowed mother until the age of twenty-two, when he began life for himself, working by the month until the beginning of the war. He enlisted in November, 1862, in Company F, Twenty-sixth Kentucky Infantry, and served under Brig. Gen. Van Cleve, in Gen. Buell's division; was engaged in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Fort Anderson, Saltville (Virginia), Wilmington and Sugar Loaf Mountain, besides numerous skirmishes; he received an honorable discharge from the United States service in February, 1865, and returned home, raised a crop on his mother's farm, then farmed on shares — the next year with his brother-in-law; then returned home and farmed his mother's place until November 14, 1879, when he married Fannie Ann Rebecca, daughter of Joshua and Elizabeth (Kelly) Wade. They have been blessed with five children: Annie V., Morris L., Joshua A., Delilah E. and Minerva E., all of whom are living. After marriage, Mr. Greer continued to farm on the farm where he now lives, having a short time previously bought 214 acres; he cleared and put under cultivation seventy-five acres, which are well fenced and improved with good dwelling, barns and out-houses, all of which Mr. Greer has accumulated by his own labor and his wife's assistance. He was a member of the National Grange, and served in the capacity of treasurer of "Sawis Grove" Grange No. 744. In politics he is an independent Democrat. Mr. Greer takes a great interest in schools and in the education of his children.

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016


Note:  I found the following two articles concerning the Davis family from Ohio County on a genealogy blog owned by Lori Jo Humphrey-Basting, which is called the Western Kentucky Tree Climber, and with her permission I post them below. Her blog has information from several counties; it can be found at the following link


Richard Davis, Jr. Family Skeletons and other stories your Grandmother did not tell

By: Lori Jo Humphreys Basting; originally posted March 13, 2013

One of the most elusive Davis ancestors has been Nicholas Phipps Davis who was killed in 1886 on the railroad tracks in Central City, Kentucky. I must caution the newspaper article is a gruesome account of what happened to Phipps and his young son James Davis. Our Grand Uncle Dan Davis called him Phipps Davis so I spent many hours deep in census records and published records prior to the evolvement of and other websites searching for Phipps. In Official records he stated his name as N. Phipps Davis. The N was the problem!

Uncle Dan told me his name was Phipps Monroe Davis. That has proven to be incorrect. I also suspect he was unaware of his Uncle and Grandfathers fate since this tragic story was one he would have shared with me I have no doubt. I have still been unable to locate their place of burial and I suspect the family was poor and could not afford markers for them. So their graves have been lost to the ages and are somewhere in Ohio County, Kentucky. Perhaps yet to be found I will keep looking. After reading in the article about Grandfather Phipps' tendency to be a drunkard I would imagine his death was of no great occasion in the community. Regardless of the man it was a victory for me to receive a copy of this article by posting an appeal to locate information on him on the Ohio County, Kentucky message board on A very nice lady looked him up in the newspaper archives she had access to and sent this to me within 24 hours! For those of you who know how long I have been researching this family you know what a find this was!

So tonight I introduce you to...

Nicholas Phipps Davis, born 1848 in Rosine, Ohio County, Kentucky to:

Garrett L. Davis (1805-1870) & Mary Ann Polly Elms (1804-1877)

Mary Ann Elms was the Granddaughter of the well documented:

Christopher Elms (1743-1807). Christopher was born in 1743 in Conococheague, then Cumberland now Franklin County, Pennsylvania. His parents John and Catherine Elms were immigrants from Ulster, Ireland and were Scotch-Irish who were fleeing the persecution of the Scottish people who were forced by England to relocate in Ireland (Hence, creating the Scotch-Irish people) the family immigrated sometime around 1730. Christopher enlisted with Capt. McClughan's Company of Delaware May 6 1758 as a Drummer Boy. He was described as having a Brown Complexion, Age 15, and 5' 3 ½” in height. He is recorded in 1777 at the Courthouse, Montgomery County, Maryland as having given his **Oath of Fidelity.

This documented act by Christopher Elms qualifies all descendants to enter the Sons and Daughters of the American Revolution. If you are interested you are welcome to use my documentation to make your application with your local DAR or SAR Chapter.

**The Oath of Fidelity and Support was an oath swearing allegiance to the state of Maryland and denying allegiance and obedience to Great Britain during the American Revolutionary War. As enacted by the Maryland General Assembly in 1777, all persons holding any office of profit or trust, including attorneys at law, and all voters were required to take the oath no later than March 1, 1778. It was signed by 3136 residents of Montgomery and Washington counties. Being a direct female descendant of a signer of the oath is sufficient condition to join the Daughters of the American Revolution.

Returning to my original subject:

Phipps Davis was born in 1848 in Rosine. It was said by Uncle Davis the Faughts' and Davis' were kin to the family of Bill Monroe, the father of Bluegrass music. I have not discovered any ties but I have not looked for them either so it is possible considering how tightly woven the farming families were in the days during slavery and the years following the Civil War.

In genealogy we have what is called a collapse in the tree, meaning we have a portion of the tree where a set of parents will appear twice - to explain this for the Davis' of Ohio County I will attempt it here in hopes of as little confusion as possible.

Phipps married his niece who was the Granddaughter of his parents, daughter of his sister, my 4th Great-Grand Mother Rebecca K. Davis Minton.

Phipps married niece Mary Polly Minton (1855-1879). In those days an Uncle marrying his niece must have been approved by the community due to limited access to non-related neighbors. Unbelievable, none of us would be here if the law was such as it is today. Uncle Phipps, er... I mean Grandpa Phipps would be in the state pen!

Phipps was a husband, widower, father, farmer, laborer, and coal miner.
Phipps & Polly Davis had 4 children that we can document:

Thomas Jefferson Davis 1871 – 1917
Mary Caroline Davis Hill Miller 1874 – 1965
James Davis 1876 – 1886
Sarah A Davis Gattis 1878 – 1967

Polly died in 1879 and in 1880  at Hartford, Ohio County, Kentucky, Phipps married Lucinda Robertson.

We descend from Thomas Jefferson Davis who was murdered in 1917 in Baskett, Henderson County, Kentucky; he was the father of  Richard Anderson Davis (1895-1966) who was also reported in the Gleaner as mortally wounded& slashed with a knife in the neck by the attacker of his Father.

Thank Goodness he recovered from his wounds or we would not be here. Once again fate steps in and allows him to live to an old age. Momma told me Mom (Marge) would throw a fit when he would come over drunk to eat family supper, she would make Grandpa take him back home before anyone could eat. Richard Anderson died in 1966 at the home of his daughter Rose Horn at 18 N Wabash in Evansville. He was the father of Richard Davis "Jr."(1924-2009).


By: Lori Jo Humphreys Basting; originally posted April 20, 2013

What we know for sure:

Nicholas Phipps Davis was born in 1848 in the community of Rosine (ohio County) to Garrett L. Davis (1805-1870) and Mary Ann "Polly" Elms (1804-Aft 1880).

Phipps married Mary Polly Ann Minton in 1871, who was his niece & the granddaughter of his parents and the daughter of his sister Rebecca K. Davis Minton (1839-1868) and Nehemiah Minton, Sr. (1818-1905)

Writers Note: By the time Phipps and Polly married her Mother Rebecca was dead and in those days this marriage was acceptable. In order to understand the family genealogy you must take a lesson in the social life of people in rural communities during the times of our ancestors.

In 1861, many of our Davis, Faught, and Minton ancestors enlisted in the Union Army at Hartford, Kentucky serving with the 17th Kentucky Infantry Regiment Company D, F, & I.

Most of Phipps brothers, cousins and Uncles went off to war but 13 year old Phipps and the other boys too young, the lame, simple-minded, crippled, deformed or men too old were left to care for their families, farming there in Ohio County, Kentucky. All three of Phipps brothers marched away from home to Calhoun, Kentucky.  The three brothers were:

**James Garrett Davis born 1834, died at Calhoun Military Hospital Dec 15th 1861. James died before the unit organized to March into Clarksville, Tennessee. Leaving two of his brothers to continue on to fight for the Union.

**McHenry Hardin "Mack" Davis born 1837, served until he was listed in Hospital at Louisville Dec 1863 with Variobola, a mild form of Smallpox - it is noted he was vaccinated as a March and April of 1864 he is cured and continues on at the hospital nursing other soldiers of the 17th Inf. In April 1864 he is released to return to duty.

**John Wesley Davis born 1838 has a well documented service record as a Provost Guard in Co. I and was detached to Stevenson, Alabama where he was part of the Guard to oversee the occupation of confederate territory and to ensure the soldiers did not plunder, rape, or participate in any misdeeds to the community. His job was to maintain order and the respect of the people as ordered by President Lincoln. John was mustered out of service in Louisville, Kentucky on Jan. 23 1865 when he then returned home to Ohio County.

Writers Note: Imagine reporting for duty in 1861, three brothers together to take care of each other, which I am sure Mother Davis prayed. The eldest dies before they leave Calhoun. Many troops suffered from Typhoid Fever, Dysentery, Smallpox, and every imaginable disease due to the poor conditions. Penicillin was undiscovered during the war so at this time antibiotics were unknown, germs were unknown, simply washing their hands could have saved thousands. A sad note indeed.  

John Wesley Davis returned home to his wife Mary Jane Shroader (Family also intermingled in our tree). The couple had a large family and John lived until the age of 66 in 1904. I would think he was one of the old soldiers who attended the reunions-I am looking for his photo and will post when one is located, if it exists I will find it! [See note below by Charles Leach]

McHenry Davis married twice. 1st 1860 to Lucinda Keller & they had 7 daughters and moved to Bremen, Muhlenberg County and lived on Main Street. McHenry was a Laborer leaving the farm life when he left Ohio County. I have not found their graves. 2nd he married Francis N. in 1894 they had no children and are last listed in 1910 in Bremen.

Now take into account the newspaper article about Phipps and sons death. Phipps was a known drunkard and in a stupor passed out on the tracks and his young son probably was killed trying to move Phipps off the tracks. We will never know, only God and the Angels and the poor Railroad Engineer that witnessed the gruesome incident. Phipps left a wife and the children of his Niece 1st wife Mary. One of which was Thomas Jefferson Davis who also was killed tragically in 1917 at Baskett Station in Henderson County.


            Added by Charles Leach:  John Wesley Davis, mentioned above, is found in my personal tree.  I think his name was Jonathan Wesley Davis and that he might have been born June 1840 in Ohio County and died 7 June 1904 in Ohio County. He married Mary Jane Shroader (Aug 1847-1 Oct 1918) on March 15, 1865.  They had eight children. One of his children, daughter Amanda, married Jacob Herman Leach 2 May 1898, and they had two children, Effie Ann and Amanda Pearl. It is thought that Amanda died at or near the birth of her second child.  After Amanda’s death, Jacob Herman, being left with two young children, next married Olivia Davis, the sister of his deceased wife, Amanda. Jacob Henry and Olivia married 31 December 1902 in Ohio County, and they had eight children.  As for my connection, Jacob Henry was a nephew of my grandfather, Samuel William Leach. 

            When John Wesley Davis died in 1904 he was buried in the Leach family graveyard located on the farm of my grandfather, Samuel William Leach. John Wesley had served in the Civil war with Co. I, 17th KY Inf. and he actually died in St. Louis, according to the book, Torn Asunder, page 208.  Therefore he qualified for a military headstone, pictured below:

Saturday, April 16, 2016


WILLIAM A. GORDON was born June 19, 1844, in Daviess County, Ky. His father, Obadiah Gordon, was a Virginian, who immigrated to Kentucky and settled in Daviess County in 1837, and in 1864 removed to Ohio County, where he died in 1883, aged about eighty-eight years. In early life he followed the trade of a carpenter and builder, but later took up the vocation of farming. Subject's grandfather was a native of Scotland; immigrated to America and died in Virginia in 1800. William Gordon, at the age of twenty years, rented a farm for two years, and began work for himself; afterward bought 130 acres and erected a dwelling, and in the same year, July 6, 1865, was united in marriage with Gallia W., daughter of W. D. Coleman. They are the parents of twelve children, nine are now living: Henry B., Mary D., Lucy K., Annis G., William C., Bertie A., Carey C., C. Mabel, and Paul B.  In 1874 Mr. Gordon erected a tobacco warehouse and bought and shipped tobacco for several years in connection with farming. His farm of 85 acres is well improved and under cultivation. Mr. and Mrs. Gordon are members of the Baptist Church. Mr. Gordon takes a pleasure in saying that he joined the church at the age of fourteen and has been a member ever since, and never played a game of chance or swore an oath in his life; he takes a strong stand in favor of temperance, and is a member of the L. O. G. T.  In politics he is a Democrat and takes an active part with his party.

GEORGE W. GORDON is a native Kentuokian, born in Daviess County, February 4, 1846. His father, Obadiah Gordon, was born in Virginia, September 3, 1795. He followed the trade of a carpenter for forty years; died May 9. 1883. George W., at the age of twenty-two united himself in marriage with Cynthia E. Brooks of Muhlenburgh County; after marriage he followed the vocation of a farmer for eight years. In the year 1875 he engaged in the tobacco trade, which he has since followed in connection with farming. In 1876, he bought thirty-one acres of land, where he now resides, and now through trade and various business changes and close application, owns 227 acres of land, well improved and under cultivation, has good dwelling, barns and large tobacco warehouse, besides store, and stock of general merchandise. Mr. Gordon in merchandise and tobacco and on his farm carries from $4,000 to $5,000 in stock. Cynthia E. (Brooks) Gordon died August 4, 1883, leaving six children: Mary B., Elvada H., Lena L., Edna A., Finess W., and Georgie E., all of whom are living. In his second marriage Mr. Gordon was united with Mary Turley, of Ohio County, Ky. This union is blessed with one child, Lenna A.  Mr. Gordon is in politics a Republican. He is a member of the Baptist Church.