Saturday, February 16, 2019

Stagecoach Robbery

In November 1880 there was a stagecoach robbery near Cave City, Barren County, KY.  A man was arrested in Ohio County and charged with this crime.  He was taken to Glasgow, the county seat for Barren County, tried and convicted.  The newspaper reports said his name was T. J. Hunt and that he had worked at the McHenry Coal Mines for about five years, that he was married and had at least one child, and was a resident of Ohio County.  The foregoing information was taken from an article in the Hartford Herald dated 24 Nov 1880 and is attributed to the Glasgow Times. That article also said that Mr. Hunt had been previously been a teacher in Barren County ("this county").

The 1880 census for Ohio County does not show anyone living in Ohio County with the surname Hunt.

The next article, dated 1 Dec 1880, was from a Lexington newspaper that said "the Hunt brothers lived near the McHenry coal mines in Ohio County and robbed stage coaches.  One has been arrested and the other brother has fled the country."

In an article dated 19 May 1882 in the Bourbon News (Paris, KY) it says "Hunt was convicted but pardoned May 1, 1882 by Governor Blackburn and released after 18 months in jail after proving he resembled Jesse James who was the actual leader of the Mammoth Cave stagecoach robbery.  Among the effects of Jesse James when he was killed was a watch taken at the Mammoth Cave robbery.  

In an article in the Hartford Herald dated 19 April 1882 he is called James Hunt. In an article from the Filson Quarterly (October 1995) he is identified as Thomas J. Hunt. There is an article about this event in the Courier Journal dated 16 May 1937 and he is identified as “William Hunt of Ohio County.”

I could not find a Thomas J. Hunt, William, Bill Hunt, or any Hunt in the Ohio County census for 1880.  The 1880 census was taken between 1 June 1879 and 31 May 1880 – the robbery took place in Nov 1880.  I found a Thomas J. Hunt in the 1870 census in Muhlenberg County age 13 (with brother James E.) & he married in Muhlenberg County 7 Mar 1876 to Susan Day; he was born Oct 1856 and died Sep 1934 – but I have no way of knowing if the Thomas J. Hunt I found in Muhlenberg County is the person that was arrested so don't jump to any conclusions.

Further, I found a book about stage coaches that contained a few pages about this robbery and in the story, copied below, he is also identified as T. J. Hunt.

It looks like it is about 67 miles from Hartford to Cave City; in those days travel was usually by horse-back or stage coach and I don't think there was a stage coach that ran between Hartford and Cave city, so we can assume that if Mr. Hunt went to Cave City he went by horse.  At a trot horses usually go about 10 miles per hour, so it would have taken Mr. Hunt all day to go to Cave City and another long day to return; I doubt if a horse could have done that without some rest, plus a lot of water.  Anyway, it looks like the law and the newspapers were certain that Mr. Hunt was the guilty party (innocent till proven guilty?) and the jury also found him guilty - but all along he was telling the truth. And it cost him 18 months in jail!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dr. William M. Davis

I found a letter from a doctor living in in Hartford, William M. Davis, dated 16 Jul 1839, addressed to General Stephen Van Rensselaer III, a New York landowner, businessman, militia officer, and politician. Van Renesselaer graduated from Harvard and was active in New York politics, serving three terms in the US House of Representatives as a congressman from New York.  He was a Mason and served as GrandMaster of the Grand Lodge of New York from 1825 to 1829; since this letter is dated July 1829 we can speculate that the subject of the letter might have to do with ending his term as a congressman which ended March 3, 1829; there is also reference to "his son in Bogota" but the rest of the letter seems to be about General Van Rensselaer.

Dr. Davis is a bit of a mystery as I do not find him in the 1840 census for Ohio County.  Possibly these men became friends as classmates at Hartford or in military service. Perhaps one of you can shed some light on Dr. William M. Davis.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Barnett, Bennett, and Morton

Alumni of DePauw University, started in 1837 near Greencastle, Putnam County, IN:

Class of 1877:

Class of 1897:

Wednesday, February 6, 2019



Why not smile once in a while
As you do your work each day?
It will make the day more pleasant
For you and others on the way.

What’s more helpful than a smile
As you meet both friend and foe?
You can give good cheer to many
It matters not what path you go.

All will greet you when you smile
With a handshake good and true,
They will then forget their troubles
When they get a smile from you.

You can spread good cheer around you,
With a smile you make them glad,
They’ll respond to your good greeting,
They’ll forget, then, to be sad.

If you wish to help your fellows
Meet their problems all the while,
You can do no greater service
Than give each one a pleasant smile.

Henry Leach

July 31, 1943

The author is James Henry Leach, born 1 Jul 1870, Ohio County, and died 6 Jun 1945, Ohio County. His first wife was Susan Mary Jones who died 27 Feb 1917; his second wife was Zella May Nall. James Henry and Susan had one son, Hinton Taylor Leach (1899 - 1988) who married Gladys T. Bennett (1904 - 1991) and they had three children: James Hinton, Susan Lois, and Judith Ann.

The poem was found in estate of Mertigene Bell; her sister Betty Jo married Leon Nall whose aunt would be Henry’s wife.  

Thanks to Helen McKeown

Saturday, February 2, 2019

William Berry Morgan

William Berry Morgan, son of Phoecian Morgan and Elizabeth Morgan, was born 16 Apr 1858 at Hartford, Ohio County.  He moved to Denver, CO prior to 1900.

Mr. Morgan married Lenora “Winna” Thomas 24 Apr 1891 in MO (she was born 1864, died 16 Mar 1947 in Los Angeles, CA).

Mr. Morgan died in Denver after 1925 and before 1930 (see 1930 census for W. B. Morgan, Denver).

Mr. Morgan and Winna had one son, John T. Morgan, born Jan 1892, and one daughter, T. Winna born 1912 (see 1930 census).

Colorado Lawyer Directory 1917

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

History Repeats - Mexican Border War 1916

Mexican Border Conflict 1910-1919

From the beginning of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, the United States Army was stationed in force along the border and on several occasions fought with Mexican rebels or federals. The height of the conflict came in 1916 when revolutionary Pancho Villa attacked the American border town of Columbus, New Mexico. In response, the United States Army, under the direction of General John J. Pershing, launched an expedition into northern Mexico, to find and capture Villa. Though the operation was successful in finding and engaging the Villista rebels, and in killing Villa's two top lieutenants, the revolutionary himself escaped and the American army returned to the United States in January 1917. Conflict at the border continued, however, and the United States launched several additional, though smaller operations into Mexican territory until after the American victory in the Battle of Ambos Nogales, leading to the establishment of a permanent border wall.

August 27, 1918: The Battle of Ambos Nogales brings the Fence to the Border

In 1918, International Street ran right down the center of Ambos (“Both”) Nogales.

Arizona lay to the north; Sonora to the south. The railroad depot, stores and saloons straddled the border. If one lived in Nogales, Arizona or Nogales, Sonora it made little difference socially – the residents from either side occasionally brawled over women or too much mescal, but for the most part they enjoyed friendly relations and shared the benefits from the local economy based on smuggling cigars, liquor, firearms and cattle.

There had been a few skirmishes in the past (as when Pancho Villa had ridden into town), but still there was no fence down the middle of International Street. The residents understood the protocol – they were expected to cross at one of two entry points, either at Morley Avenue or farther west at Grand Avenue. When trains arrived at the border, First Class passengers could ride across in the cars, while those in coach got off the train, walked and then re-boarded after passing through customs.

On August 27 a carpenter named Gil Lamadrid was walking back into Mexico. As he crossed the border, a U.S. Customs Inspector ordered him to halt, curious about the large parcel he was carrying. Only a few feet away, Mexican customs officers directed him to ignore the summons and continue into Mexico. Gil Lamadrid became confused and hesitated as the two competing groups of customs agents shouted instructions to him. At this point, a U.S. Infantryman raised his Springfield rifle to encourage his return. In the midst of the ensuing commotion a shot was fired, and the carpenter dropped to the ground.

Thinking that the man had been shot, a Mexican Customs Officer grabbed his pistol and opened fire on the U.S. guards, wounding an army private in the face. A U.S. Inspector drew his revolver and returned fire, killing two Mexican Customs Officers. Shaken but unhurt, Gil Lamadrid jumped up and sprinted down a nearby street. As the sound of gunfire rattled the neighborhood, citizens on the Mexican side of the border ran to their homes and picked up rifles to join the Mexican troops.

The U.S. border authorities panicked – World War I was being fought in Europe and the Germans had been urging the Mexicans to abandon their neutrality. Was another front in the war now open? A troop of Buffalo Soldiers was called into town. Under heavy fire, the 10th Cavalry dismounted and crossed the border into the streets and buildings of Nogales, Sonora. Looking for a tactical advantage the troops mounted an assault on the heights immediately to the east of the towns, while militia on the Arizona side started firing their weapons from the windows and rooftops of their houses. Late in the fighting, members of the 35th Infantry placed a machine gun on top of a stone building and fired into the Mexican positions.

As the violence escalated, the Mayor of Nogales, Sonora, took a white handkerchief, tied it to his cane, and ran into the streets of his city in an attempt to quell the violence. As U.S. troops crossed to the Mexican side of International Street he pleaded with the angry crowd to put down their weapons. A shot from the Arizona side felled the Mexican mayor. About 7:45 PM, the Mexicans waved a large white flag of surrender over their customs building.

After the battle was over and the dead were buried and peace restored, the U.S. and Mexico authorities agreed to divide the two border communities with a chain-link border fence, the first border wall put in place between the two countries.

Best web site I found explaining the 1910-1919 Mexican conflict (sorry but it contains a lot of ads):

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Tobacco census 1910 - Shelby F. Wallace

Shelby Franklin Wallace was born 26 Jul 1864 in Ohio County; he died 15 Aug 1961 in St. Lucie County, Florida and is buried in the Carson Cemetery, Hartford.  He married Rosetta (Ettie) U. Davis 8 Jul 1888.  Following her death he married Lillie A. Royal 3 Jan 1892.  On 1 Jun 1905 he married his third wife, Ione B. Render.