Monday, December 31, 2012

William Brooks Leach

Went by nickname "Brooks." Nickname taken from newspaper article regarding death of infant child.

Ohio County Court Records: Will Book D,  p. 265, Will of W. B. LEACH, of Horton, Ohio County, KY, gives to wife Lizzie LEACH and his children Francis J. LEACH, Mary W. B. LEACH, James S. LEACH and Decota (sic) B. LEACH, his entire estate, both real and personal, each to share equally with the other. Appoints James F. SULLENGER as Guardian for his three oldest children, Francis, Mary and James. Appoints H. C. LEACH, L. L. TAYLOR and T. H. FAUGHT as executors, to serve without bond, and at their discretion, they may sell and convey any and all of the estate, real and personal, at such time on such terms as they may desire. Asks that the executors make no return of any appraisal or sale bill, all laws to the contrary notwithstanding. Asks that wife, Lizzie LEACH, be Guardian for fourth child, Decota (sic) B. LEACH. Executors to have three years, if necessary, to wind up his estate, and that no suit be brought against them for any legacy herein given until after that time shall have expired. January 16, 1889. J. T. MUIR and William B. DeHAVEN, witnesses. Statement signed by wife, same date, that she has this day had the will of her husband read in her presence and that she is and will be satisfied with the said will and will in no way object or give any trouble after his death. Signed before T. J. SMITH, County Clerk. Probated February Court 1889.

Note: First wife was Mary F. Sullenger, who died 9 May 1884 (Hartford-Herald: May 14, 1884.  The wife of W. B. Leach of Elm Lick died on Fri. last after long illness). Second wife was Elizabeth (Lizzie) H. Atherton. Six children born to first marriage; one child to second marriage. Home was near Rosine, Ohio County, KY.

William Brooks Leach fought for the North in the Civil War. There is a W. B. Leach listed as a member of the Cromwell Home Guards, a volunteer unit that protected Ohio County during the Civil War (June 1861 -  about Jul 1862).  He is listed as a Pvt.  Later, he was in the 17th Kentucky Infantry. Rank: Private; Company or Division: H; Unit/Regiment/Flight: 17th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry; Military Service began: 4 Jan 1862, Calhoon (sic) KY; Military Service ended: 23 Jan 1865, Louisville KY; Source: The Kentucky Adjutant General's Report, p.84.

William Brooks Leach is buried near Horton in an old Family Cemetery with his father Talbott, his first wife, small children and a Kinchen Martin believed to be his Brother- in-Law.  A military headstone was provided by the US Government.

Sunday, December 30, 2012


STEPHEN SLADE TAYLOR (1804-1883) also united with the Church on the day it was organized, coming by letter, as did Alfred and Mary Ann (Mahon) Taylor, from the Sandy Creek Church, in Butler County. Mrs. Taylor died while in the membership, on May 29, 1852. Alfred Taylor was a member in 1836-1857 and again in 1864-1865, dying while a member on October 8, 1865. SARAH "SALLIE" (WHITAKER) TAYLOR, the wife of Stephen Slade Taylor, became a member of the Church by Christian experience and baptism in the revival of 1838, at age thirty-three (b.c. 1805). They had been married on March 19, 1824, on a Butler County license, by Pastor Joseph Taylor, the groom's father. They became the parents of seven children, six sons and one daughter, as follows: Milton Taylor (b.c. 1825); Melvin Taylor (b. February 22, 1827); Tabitha (Taylor) Kahn (b.c. 1829); Alfred Warder Taylor (b.c. 1834); John Robert Taylor (b.c. 1836); Frank M. Taylor (b. September 4, 1838); and Curran Slade Taylor (b. December 13, 1845). The first four were born in Butler County and the last three in Ohio County. Melvin (about 1848), Alfred Warder and Curren Slade (both about January, in 1864,) and Tabitha (Taylor) Kahn (about 1848) became members by Christian experience and baptism. The latter died in April, 1851. The three sons and the mother and father became Charter Members of the Slaty Creek Church, in December, 1870, and were lettered out from the Green River Church, in January 1871. Melvin Taylor served as the Church Clerk from December, 1860, through July, 1863. Stephen Slade Taylor served as a Trustee of the Church for nearly eighteen years - from July, 1853, until January, 1871. Brother Taylor had been a member of the Church over thirty-four years. 

A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.

Thursday, December 27, 2012


DEACON THOMAS L. TAYLOR: Thomas L. Taylor, the subject of this sketch, was born in Fairfax County, Virginia, on August 10, 1795. He was in the War of 1812 and participated in the siege of Baltimore in the year 1814. In the year 1816 he moved to Shelby County, Kentucky, where, in 1818, he married the daughter of Elder Samuel Vancleve, a Baptist minister in that county. In the year 1823, Mr. Taylor moved to Ohio County, Kentucky. The following year tragedy entered the home which resulted in the death of his wife, on June 24, 1824, she leaving two sons to the care of her grief stricken husband. The youngest child died in infancy, while the other grew to manhood and became a Baptist preacher, Elder J. S. Taylor, whose sketch is also included in this history. In 1828, Mr. Taylor married Miss Sallie McCrocklin, who lived to survive him. 

Brother Taylor became a Christian early in life and in the year 1831 placed his membership in the Bell's Run Church. In the year 1833 he was ordained as a deacon of this Church. To his energy and promptness as a deacon may be attributed much of the success of this historic Church during his lifetime. He was also a prominent member in the organization of the Association, in 1844, and always cooperated and urged his Church to faithfulness in cooperating with the Association in its work. He was active in every good work, and about the last thing that he did was to deed to the Bell's Run Church a lot of ground upon which to build a new house of worship. His death prevented him from seeing the new house completed. Brother Taylor raised seven sons and four daughters, nine of the children being born after his second marriage. He saw them all take up their cross and follow him as he followed Christ. On February 7, 1877, he was stricken with paralysis, from which he did not recover, but died at his home on July 18, 1878. Daviess County Association and Bell's Run Church lost a valued and loved member in the death of Deacon Thomas L. Taylor. "Mark the perfect man and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."

"A HISTORY OF THE DAVIESS-McLEAN BAPTIST ASSOCIATION IN KENTUCKY, 1844-1943" by Wendell H. Rone. Probably published in 1944 by Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, p. 475. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


CHRISTOPHER C. THOMAS was of English descent, with the Virginia Branch of the Thomas family being derived from a single immigrant who arrived in America from England about the year 1635 and took up 3,400 acres of land in Culpeper and neighboring Counties of Virginia. He was mentioned first as William, son of Thomas. His sixth generation descent, also named William Thomas, became the father of Massey Thomas (b. March 23, 1760 - d. March 23, 1818). The latter was born in Culpeper County, Virginia, and at age 16 (1776) enlisted in the American Army (Virginia Militia) during the American Revolution, serving about seven years. He was in a number of engagements, and was a participant in the siege of Yorktown (1781). 

Massey Thomas was united in marriage to Dicey Talbert (b. March 24, 1763 - d.c. 1856) in Culpeper County, Virginia, on June 3, 1783. They had five children by 1795, as follows: Rhoda Thomas (b. September 24, 1784); James Thomas (b. August 27, 1786); Benjamin Thomas (b. September 20, 1788); John Thomas (b. December 29, 1792); and William Thomas (b. May 12, 1795). About 1798 Massey Thomas and family came from Virginia to Kentucky and settled in Ohio County. He is listed on the Ohio County Tax list for 1799, as Clerk of the Beaver Dam Baptist Church in 1802-1805, and as foreman of a 21-man grand jury sworn in at the March 28, 1803 Session of the Circuit Court of Ohio and Breckinridge Counties. He died on March 23, 1818, his birthday, and in the beginning of his fifty-eighth year. His wife lived to the advanced age of ninety-three years, and was never ill until the day of her death, sometime in 1856. Their earthly remains rest on a farm plot (owned in August, 1971 by Miss Ruby Daniel) near Axton Cemetery near Olaton in Ohio County. 

William Thomas, their fifth child and fourth son, married Sarah "Sallie" Jackson, the daughter of Christopher M. Jackson and Catherine (Rhodes) Jackson, on an Ohio County license on November 18, 1824. Mr. Jackson appears to have been a first cousin to President Andrew Jackson. They became the parents of fourteen children. One daughter, Corrina Thomas (b. August 5, 1825) became the wife of James F. Austin, three times Pastor of the Green River Church. Mr. Thomas was a man of considerable wealth and influence, who died in 1862 at age sixty-seven. He was the grandfather of Christopher C. Thomas. 

Christopher Thomas, the son of William Thomas and Sarah "Sallie" (Jackson) Thomas, was born in Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky, on August 13, 1834, and received such advantages as were afforded by the public schools of the day. In November, 1856, on a Butler County, Kentucky license, he married Miss Harrriett Kuykendall, the youngest daughter of Matthew Kuykendall (1794-1865) and Martha B. (Gilbert) Kuykendall (1804-1873) of Butler County. She was born about 1839. They became the parents of eight children before her death on September 16, 1872, in her thirty-second year of age and fifteenth year of marriage. 

On December 20, 1875, Brother Thomas married Mrs. Sally (Shultz) Taylor, widow of Moses Taylor. She was born on March 16, 1850, in Cromwell Precinct, Ohio County, Kentucky. He was a prosperous farmer and lived about two miles west of the Big Bend of Green River in Ohio County and near Cromwell. He and his second wife united with the Green River Church by letter in November, 1888. He died on March 4, 1904 in his sixty-ninth year, and his body was consigned to the grave in Green River Cemetery. We have no information as to the burial site of his two wives. 

Christopher C. Thomas was the sixth child and third son of the eight children born to Christopher Thomas and Harriett (Kuykendall) Thomas, and was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, near Cromwell, on November 10, 1868, a few years after the Civil War. He grew up on a farm and attended the public schools at hand. On September 3, 1894, he was united in marriage to Miss Cordia Edmonds on an Ohio County license. She was a native of Butler County and was born on November 4, 1874. They became the parents of at least three children, as follows: Robert C. Thomas (b. August, 1895); Eva Mae (Thomas) Burgess (b. November 5, 1897, who became the wife of Cleve Burgess (b. April 5, 1886 - d. July 20, 1951); and Ruth (Thomas) Rone (b.c. 1901). 

Brother Christopher C. Thomas united with the Green River Church by Christian Experience and Baptism in October, 1903, being baptized by pastor A. B. Gardner. His wife, Cordia (Edmonds) Thomas, had come into the Green River Church prior to their marriage by Christian Experiance [sic] and Baptism in November, 18l88. She was fourteen years of age at the time. He was one of the five men selected and ordained as Deacons by the Church on April 23, 1909. The others were: J. P. Miller, Warren Shields, Martin Flener and Benjamin Benton. Pastors G. W. Gordon, A. J. Snodgrass and A. B. Gardner served as the ordaining Presbytery. He filled the office until his death, on November 26, 1937. His wife died on July 9, 1944. Both of them were buried in the Green River Cemetery. He had served as a Deacon for twenty-eight years. She had been a member of the Church for fifty-six years.

A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.

Monday, December 24, 2012


RUSSELL WALKER: Russell Walker is perhaps one of the best Bible expositors in this Association at present. He was born at Fordsville, (Ohio County,) Kentucky, on July 2, 1888, and is the son of Clinton H. and Lula May Walker. He attended the common schools at hand and also graduated from High School and State Normal School. After being called to preach he spent two years at the Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, where he studied English Bible under the great Dr. B. H. Carroll. For about three years he taught school. 

Our subject was converted in a revival held by Rev. H. D. Burch at the Pleasant Grove Church, Ohio County, Kentucky, in November, 1901, and was baptized into the fellowship of that Church by the pastor, Rev. W. R. Oldham. This same Church licensed him to preach the Gospel in July, 1909, and in September, 1911, he was ordained to the Gospel Ministry by Revs. C. M. Corley, W. R. Oldham, and W. W. Williams. He had been called to the pastorate of the Macedonia Baptist Church in Breckenridge [sic] County, Kentucky, and this same Church requested the Pleasant Grove Church to ordain him. He has served the following Churches: Macedonia, Clover Creek, Hite's Run, Stephensport, and English, in Breckenridge [sic] County; Caneyville and New Hope in Grayson County; Pleasant Hill, Adaburg, Hartford, and Barnett's Creek in Ohio County; Buck Creek and Basin in McLean County; Friendship in Hancock County; Whitely City in McCreary County, Panther Creek, Bethabara, and Seven Hills in Daviess County. All of these pastorates were either one-fourth or one-half time with the exception of Hartford, from November, 1917, to December, 1922; Whitely City, from October, 1928, to October, 1930; and Seven Hills, from January, 1932, to March, 1936. He was in the ministry from 1911 to 1938, over a quarter of a century, and nearly all this time was spent in village and rural Churches. 

Our brother served as Assistant Moderator of the Breckenridge [sic] County and Ohio County Associations; as Chairman and Clerk of the District Mission Board of the Ohio County Association; as the Assistant Chairman of the District Mission Board of the Daviess- McLean Association; and as a member of the State Mission Board from McCreary County Association in 1929-1931. He preached the annual sermon before the Breckenridge [sic] County Association in 1914 and 1917; the same before the Ohio County Association in 1914 and 1938; before Goshen Association in 1937; and before the Daviess County Association in 1925. Thomas Todd, formerly of Fordsville, Kentucky, entered the ministry under his preaching and is at present the Secretary of the Anti-Saloon League, State of Oregon. 

Mrs. Walker was formerly Miss Vava A. Duncan, the daughter of James P. and Elmina Duncan. They have five children, John Carroll, Dorothy Page, William Russell, James Hart, and Anna Jean. The two oldest boys are at present in the armed forces of the United States. Both have majored in the field of Radio with much success. Brother Walker has been serving as a guard at the Ken-Rad Corporation since about the year 1939.

"A HISTORY OF THE DAVIESS-McLEAN BAPTIST ASSOCIATION IN KENTUCKY, 1844-1943" by Wendell H. Rone. Probably published in 1944 by Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, pp. 410-411. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012


DEACON SYLVESTER FOREST WHITELY: This brother beloved was born at Deanefield, Ohio County, Kentucky, on April 18, 1866, and is the son of Henry and Lucy Hobbs Whitely. He attended the grade schools at Aetnaville, Kentucky, and has followed the occupation of farming all of his life. Our brother was converted in the year 1878 and was baptized into the fellowship of the Zion Baptist Church by Elder Gabbert. He was ordained as a deacon of the Zion Baptist Church in the year 1898 and has served that church and the Whitesville Baptist Church in this office for the past forty-five years. He has also served his Church as Sunday School Superintendent, Assistant Sunday School Superintendent, as Moderator, and for the past fourteen years has served as the representative of the Whitesville Church on the Executive Mission Board of the Association. In all the above offices he has given faithful and devoted service and has gained the acclaim of the brethren as a Christian gentleman of the first order. Mr. Whitely is the brother of D. B. Whitely, lately deceased. On November 21, 1891, he was united in marriage to Miss Sarah Whiteler. She died in 1937. They had no children.

"A HISTORY OF THE DAVIESS-McLEAN BAPTIST ASSOCIATION IN KENTUCKY, 1844-1943" by Wendell H. Rone. Probably published in 1944 by Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, pp. 481-482. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012


HORACE S. WIGGINTON served as the Twenty-Fifth pastor of the Green River Church in the period 1926-1927, but the exact dates when his ministry began and when it closed cannot be given due to the fact that the Record Book for 1924-1937 is missing or destroyed. The dates given are taken from the Association Minutes of Ohio County Association and show that the Church Clerk reported him as the pastor at that time. He was born in Ohio County, Kentucky, on November 26, 1878; being the son of F. J. Wigginton (b. November 27, 1838 - d. July 12, 1912) and Margaret Ann (Arvin) Wigginton (b. April 8, 1849 - d. November 3, 1925), who were married on March 3, 1863. Their remains lie buried in the Mt. Carmel Baptist Church Cemetery, Ohio County, Kentucky, near where they lived and near their home, where their son was born. Brother Wigginton had the privilege of attending Grade and High School and two years of College. For a number of years he was a farmer and followed that occupation. He was converted under the ministry of Dr. J. S. Coleman at Pleasant Ridge, Daviess County, Kentucky, and was baptized into the fellowship of the Mt. Carmel Church, in Ohio County, in December, 1892, in his fourteenth year. 

In the year 1910, at the age of thirty-two, he was licensed to preach the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ by the Mt. Carmel Church. Two years later, in 1912, he was ordained to the full Gospel Ministry by the Island Baptist Church through a Presbytery composed of Pastors John A. Bennett, O. M. Shultz, C. T. Brookshire, Norris Lashbrook, B. F. Jenkins and W. W. Williams. For the next twenty-five years he served Baptist Churches in McLean, Daviess, Ohio, Butler and Muhlenberg Counties. He served the Basin Church and the Buttonsbury Mission of the Island Church, in McLean County; Brushy Fork, Curdsville, Sugar Grove, Hopewell, Karn's Grove, all in Daviess County. He also served the Rumsey Church in McLean County. For several years he served the Church at Rochester, in Butler County. In 1926, 1932 and 1936 he preached the Annual Sermon before the Gasper River Association, and also served as a member of the Kentucky Baptist State Board of Missions from that same Association. A new House of Worship was erected at the Hopewell Church while he served there. A new building was also erected for the Buttonsberry Mission while he served there, too. Brethren R. P. Brown, Dave Bunch and Hubert White began their ministry under his preaching. Due to ill health, his ministry was greatly curtailed after 1937. He died on November 17, 1958, in his 79th year, and is buried in Island Baptist Church Cemetery.

Bro. Wigginton was married to Miss Hallie M. Wood, on November 24, 1897. She was the daughter of George and Mary Wood. Their children were: Ethel, Albert, Addie, Frank and Sarah Wigginton. Frank became a Baptist Minister and served in Detroit and Western Kentucky. Mrs. Wigginton died on September 28, 1961, in her 81st year. She, too, is buried at Island. Brother Wigginton witnessed more than one thousand conversions and baptisms during his ministry. He also authored a tract entitled: "Twenty-Five Reasons Why The Believer Can Never Lose His Salvation." The Tract sets forth the great Scripture truth concerning the safety and security of the true Believer in our Lord Jesus Christ and exposes the evils and falsity of the view of apostasy wich [sic] teaches that the true Christian can and will so sin as to forfeit and lose his salvation and be lost again.

A Sesquicentennial History of the Green River Missionary Baptist Church 1836 - 1986, Written and Compiled by Wendell Holmes Rone, Sr., For the One Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Founding of the Church, 1987.

Friday, December 21, 2012


JAMES JOSEPH WILLETT: J. J. Willett is among the oldest living ministers who have served the Churches in this Association. He was born of good Baptist stock. He came from a family that has produced a number of useful and faithful Baptist preachers. His date of birth was January 22, 1861, and his place of birth was Meade County, Kentucky. He is the youngest of twelve children born to Richard and Mary Willett. Brother Willett was converted at the age of twelve and united with the Hill Grove Church in his native County. He was ordained to the ministry about the year 1885 but where and by whom we do not know. His education was secured from the common schools at hand, Bardstown Male and Female Institute, and still later Georgetown College. His theological studies were completed at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. V. I. Masters, former Editor of the Western Recorder, states that, "When the Editor was in the Seminary in the early nineties, among his fellow students were three Willetts, all Kentuckians, one of whom was the subject of this sketch, while a second, Rev. J. Oliver Willett, now resides at Phoenix, Arizona, and has for years rendered faithful service in that state. The third of the three Willetts, Rev. A. R. Willett, has now passed on to be with God after a very fruitful life and work". 

He was united in marriage to Miss Mary Allie Brown, of Brandenburg, Kentucky, on August 9, 1887. They lived together as faithful companions for almost fifty-two years. Her death occurred in Owensboro, Kentucky, on March 23, 1939, at the age of sixty-eight, and the funeral was conducted from the Walnut Street Church by Revs. R. E. Humphreys, A. F. Cagle, and W. S. Coakley. Her body was interred in the Rose Hill Cemetery. Four children blessed their wedded life. Mrs. R. S. Sumner lives in Owensboro, Ky., and Mrs. Earl Baum and Mrs. W. J. Bell live in Miami, Florida. The one son, Dr. Dwight H. Willett, spent twenty- seven years in the ministry and recently died at his home in Irwin, Tenn, at the age of fifty-two. His sketch is given in the list of deceased ministers. 

Brother Willett preached his first five years as a minister at Valley Creek, Middle Creek, East Rhudes Creek, and White Mills, near Elizaabethtown [sic], Kentucky, during which time more than 250 persons were baptized into the Churches on profession of faith. Our brother next accepted a pastoral field near Vevay, Indiana, the Churches being Friendship, Fairview, Brushy Fork, Palltown, and Macedonia. Later he preached at Dunkirk, Indiana, and still later to Churches in the State of Ohio. On account of failing health the family returned to Meade County, Kentucky, and our brother gave twelve years in pastoral services to Churches in Salem Association, and served as a part-time missionary for that body of Baptists. This was followed by five years of pastoral service at Hardinsburg, Kentucky, and other country Churches near there. His last field of service was in the vicinity of Owensboro, Kentucky, where for a period of five years he served the following rural Churches: Panther Creek, Dawson at Philpot, Friendship Centertown, Macedonia, South Hampton, and South Carrollton. From 1919 to 1930 he held his last pastorate at Hall Street Church in Owensboro, and thus he closed a very active and successful ministry of about fifty years. His was a ministry blessed of God to the saving of the lost, and the cheering and building up of believers wherever this faithful man labored. Brother Willett bore his share of responsibilities placed upon him by his brethren, these included ten years as clerk of the Daviess County Baptist Association, and as secretary of the Mission Board of the Association for a period of twenty-five years. He resigned this last position of responsibility in his eightieth year. New buildings were erected at Hite's Run, in Breckenridge [sic] County; South Carrollton, in Muhlenberg County; and Hall Street, in Owensboro, Daviess County, Kentucky, during his pastorate at these places. 

Brother Willett was married to Mrs. Birch Shields, the widow of Rev. Birch Shields, in the early part of 1940, and since that time has made his home at Beaver Dam, Ohio County, Kentucky. He is also a member of the historic Beaver Dam Baptist Church. Even though he is now in his eighty-third year our brother can still tell you why he is a Baptist and can preach to you a very able sermon. The ministry has been blessed and enriched by the life and labors of James Joseph Willett. He gave much encouragement and counsel to the author during the early days of his ministry and he will be forever grateful for it.

"A HISTORY OF THE DAVIESS-McLEAN BAPTIST ASSOCIATION IN KENTUCKY, 1844-1943" by Wendell H. Rone. Published in 1944 by Messenger Job Printing Co., Inc., Owensboro, Kentucky, pp. 425-426. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Coal Mine Explosion - 1910

The following articles concern a coal mine explosion in 1910 in Muhlenberg County that killed many miners, including four men with connections to Ohio County.

Hartford Republican – February 4, 1910

Horrible Disaster

Many Miners Killed By Gas Explosion

Browder, Muhlenberg County, Scene of Another Tragedy of Life

Rockport, Ky  - Feb 2: (Special to Republican) - The little town of Browder, in Muhlenberg county today presents a scene of ruin and desolation as the result of yesterdays mine disaster which cost many miners their lives. Bodies of forty victims have already been recovered and there bodies are lying in an improvised morgue awaiting identification. That there is still a large number of miners entombed in the fiery furnace there is no doubt. It is estimated that there were seventy-five men at work in the ill fated mines when the horrible disaster occurred. Already forty bodies have been recovered and rescuers arc at work endeavoring to reach the entombed men, none of whom can possibly be alive. The explosion which cost the miners their lives occurred at Browder Mines yesterday afternoon. The news of the disaster spread like wild fire and soon the entire  population were congregated at the mouth of the mines awaiting news of their loved ones. The agonized cries of gray haired mothers intermingled with the heart rendering screams of wives and the wails of orphans were pitiful indeed. Strong men wept like babies at the thought of the horrible fate of their less fortunate friends. The shock of the explosion shook the entire county for miles around. Finally an engineer was lowered into the mines and the crowd awaited above in breathless suspense.  What had been the fate of the entombed miners? Would they be alive or dead? These thoughts passed through the crowd with lighting like rapidity. They were not to be long in suspense, the signal for the raising of the cage sounded and the crowd began to press forward. The cage was piled up with blackened and charred bodies of men who had entered the mines that morning never to return alive. The scene was a pitiful one and the greatest excitement prevailed. The loved ones pressed forward to claim their dead and their bodies were soon removed and placed in the improvised morgue.  A large rescuing party was organized and worked all night long in their efforts to reach the bodies of the dead and to rescue the living if there were any. The work of rescue was slow and difficult on account of the gas and foul air and the men were forced to leave the mines time and again. Today the rescue party is still at work, but unable to remain in the mines only a short while at a time. It is thought that the majority of the bodies will be recovered by tonight. The cause of the explosion seems to be a mystery and no one seems to know what was responsible for it. Hemmed in 1ike rats in a trap the miners met an awful death. The burning gas swept the mines from one end to the other reaping a rich harvest of victims. Coffins for the dead miners are being rushed to the scene and preparations for the funerals are being made. Rescuers are hard at work and it is thought the fate of the miners will be ascertained by tonight. Browder is a small mining town located on the L & N Railroad near Drakesboro.

            One white man, John Richardson, and four colored men, Silas Sprall (sic), Columbus Sprall (sic), Henry Mason and Will Berry were former residents of Ohio county.

Hartford Herald – February 9, 1910


One of the Worst in the History of Disasters


Terrible Affair at Drakesboro in Muhlenberg County - The Dead and Injured

            Drakesboro, Ky Feb 2 - Thirty-four dead and one man, Foreman Pete Kelly, missing is the final count of deaths as the result of the explosion at the Browder mine yesterday.

            Crepe is on every other door of the straggling Main street of Browder. There were many funerals today. Coffins were carried in all sorts of vehicles and it was impossible to hold the funeral services in several cases. There is no move yet toward an inquest.

            There is no new light on the cause of the disaster.

            It has been definitely established that fifty-five men were in the wing of the mine when the explosion occurred. Of the twenty brought out alive scarcely one escaped unhurt. Two of the injured may die.

            Drakesboro, Ky Feb 2- Thirty-two known dead, two missing and half a dozen injured, one of whom may die completes the list of casualties in the explosion at the mine of the Elk Valley Coal Company, at Browder, near this place yesterday about noon.

            The bodies of the victims were so mutilated that recognition was difficult and it was some hours before the identity of all of them was established.


JUDGE MATT ALLEN, white, Judge of Drakesboro, 40 years old, marred, wife and six children survive.
RAY BENNETT, white, married, 28 years old
PETE KELLY, assistant foreman, married, 30 years old
MATT LLOYD, married, white, 27 years old
MACK ENGLING, white, married, 35 years old
J. A. RICHARDSON, white, married, 50 years old (Ohio County)
ESTILL CORNETT, white, single, 23 years old
ALEX WILLIAMS,  married, 25 years old
BEN LESLIE, white, married 26 years old
WILL W. WHITTAKKR, white, married, 32 years old
J. R. THOMAS, white, married, 35 years old
JIM WILLIAMS, white, married, 29 yearn old
DUDLEY EMPSON, white, married, 56 years old
WILL RENO, colored  (Ohio County)
RAL MARTIN, colored
COLUMBUS SPROLE, colored (Ohio County)
ALEX SWEAT, colored (Ohio County)
ALEX HUGHES, colored
OBI JONES, colored
JOHN DUFFY, colored
TERRY  CASR, colored
HENRY MASON, colored
BUD SMITH colored
WILL BERRY, colored
LEVY DUVALL, colored
SAM BARD, colored


SAM OATES, colored, bruised about the face by being hurled against a rib
JESSE JERNIGAN, white, married, skull fractured. Removed to his home in Drakesboro. Probably fatally injured.
JAMES LEMONS, white, badly burned, recovery doubtful. Taken to his home in Browder.
HERSHEL SCHOFIELD, white, badly burned, one leg broken, condition dangerous.
JOE JAMES, colored, slight injuries.
HARRIS BORAH, bruised and burned, will recover.
FLOYD AVERY, colored, burned and bruised, will recover.

            The verdict of the coroner’s jury, composed of J. D. Trice,  J. R. Buckhannon, G. R. McLane, J. L. Ledbetter, Don Key, T. J. T. Smith of Drakesboro and Browder, was as follows:  “We the Jury, find that the men came to their death by an explosion in the Browder mine, Muhlenberg county, Ky. Cause of explosion unknown.”

            The report of the inspection by the State authorities was given out tonight as follows: “We, Prof. C. J. Norwood, State Inspector of Mines, H. C. Jones, assistant and Tom Long, assistant inspectors, after making a thorough examination and comparing notes, have reached the conclusion that the explosion was caused by the setting off of a keg of powder. We found and have the exploded keg.”


In Wickliffe Coal Mine, Wherein 34 Men Met Death in a Terrible Explosion

            Drakcsboro, Ky Feb 2 – Thirty-four men lost their lives in a terrible explosion which occurred in an unused section of the Wickliffe mine, at Browder. Thirty-two of the bodies most of them terribly mangled and blackened, have been brought to the surface and are being buried today.

            When the explosion occurred, the concussion of which was a warning to those in other sections of the works, there were nearly a hundred men in the mine. The signal to hoist the cage was given and the frantic miners began pouring out.

            It was sometime before the work of rescue began, but when a party went down it was found that the dead and injured could be reached. The work of rescue continued throughout last night but it was necessary to abandon it for a time this morning on account of foul air. The air fans were started and cleared the mines sufficiently in an hour.

            The body of Peter Kelly, mine boss, and that of a negro had not been found at 3 o’clock this afternoon.

            Doubt is expressed as to the real cause of the explosion. Some bc1ieve that a large quantity of blasting powder was set off, while others say it was gas or dust. The bodies brought out with the exception of Kelly and the negro are believed to complete the list of dead. Several of these injured are in a serious condition.

SMALLHOUS. The remains of Arthur Richardson, who was killed Tuesday by an explosion in the mine near Drakesboro, were interred in “Aunt Nellie’s” burying grounds near Equality Wednesday afternoon.

Additional info:

James Arthur Richardson, b. Nov 1857, resided or born in Ohio County, married to Ida Davis, 2 children

Columbus M. Sprole, b. Feb 1878, resided or born in Ohio County, married to Francis Sanders, 1 child

John Alexander Sweat, b. Oct 1868, resided or born in Ohio County, Widower, Alberta (Verda) Gentry, 4 children

William Reno, resided or born in Ohio County, married to Josie Maddox, 2 children

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Hartford Herald, February 06, 1889 - Beaver Dam Notes

The Hartford Herald, February 06, 1889


February 4, 1889. Clark Ferguson, son of Mrs. Rachel Ferguson, of this place, came to his death under circumstances peculiarly sad, on Friday evening last. He was in usual health, but had imbibed too freely of whiskey, which he and others procured from Jno. Hall, and perhaps some unknown party. Young Ferguson wag found in the rear of Jesse Shevan's livery stable in a lifeless condition, and all efforts made to resuscitate him by Drs. Taylor, Mitchell and McKinney failed to restore him.

Squire R. T. Render held an inquest I over the body, and the jury, after hearing the testimony of the physicians and others, returned a verdict of death occasioned by an epileptic fit superinduced by alcoholic intoxication. Young Ferguson was just 21 years of age, and was regarded  as a very quiet young man, but alas led astray in an unsuspecting moment. Two other young men, who drank it is supposed of the same liquor --were in a dying condition the same evening, and but for the timely aid of friends and physicians,, who were watching them, would, it is thought, have scarcely recovered. The impression is with some, that the "gray mule," who was in jail some months ago for peddling whiskey, was in the woods, and that his whiskey was badly "doctored." It would be well for the proper authorities to look after these walking dispensers of liquid poison before more serious consequences follow.


Awtrv. Wm. Awtry, Jr., son of Esq. W. M. Awtry, died at his fathers residence near Rosine, Monday, the 4th inst., of inflammation of the brain. Ho was 14 years old.

Wilson. At his homo near Rosine, Saturday, Feb. 2, James Wilson, of paralysis, in the 85th year of his life. Mr. Wilson was one of the first settlers in the eastern part of Ohio county, and has been a leading citizen in this country for a number of years. One by one the old land-marks pass away.

Butler. - Miss Mollie Butler, only daughter of Mr. and Mrs. C. W. Butler, of Shreve, died near Aetnaville last Saturday morning at eight o'clock. Miss Butler had been teaching school near Aetnaville  and contracted a bad case of measles. She was nearly recovered when she took a relapse, from the effects of which she soon died. Miss Butler was at one time a pupil in Hartford College, and is well known in this county. She was respected and loved by all who knew her. The remains were buried at Shreve Monday, and many were the friends who attended this last sad ceremony.

Marriage licenses since our last report: J. E. Keown to L. S. Simpson; H. H. Mabrey to Sallie A. Tichenor; H. B. Burdett  (probably Henry Bennett) to Almeda Leach; Alex King to Resenia Daugherty; Wm. J. Baize to Susan Rice.


V. R. Morton, a noted timber dealer, has cut a White oak log 36 feet long, 6 feet in diameter at the large end and 4 feet at small end. This log was cut on the Rowan land above Livermore, Ky., and will be rafted with other logs and taken to Evansville and delivered to Herman & Son, who will send it to Paris to be exhibited at the exposition there The log was hauled by John Greenwood's team. So, you see Ohio county is to be represented at the great exposition to be held at Paris.

Friday, December 14, 2012

1879-1880 Deaths - Stewartsville, Ohio County

1879-1880 Deaths - Stewartsville, Ohio County

In 1880 a census was conducted that lists the deaths for nine townships in Ohio County for the previous 12 months (June 1, 1879 through May 31, 1880).  These records are hand written and are difficult to read. Common surnames are recognizable, but unusual names are almost impossible to decipher. Also, the age of death is sometimes difficult to read as is the cause of death. I have done my best to transcribe these documents but I feel certain I have made some errors. I have included a question mark to indicate some of the most difficult words.

Persons who DIED during the year ending March 31, 1880 in Stewartsville, Ohio County, KY

Name                             Age   Gender             Month               Cause
                                                                        Of Death           of Death

Douglas, Missouri I.       3          F                    Sep                  Hives  
Robertson, John D.       29        M                   Dec                  Consumption
Premature                      0          M                   Mar                  Pneumonia?
Premature                      0          M                   Jan                   Pneumonia?
Morris, Lucinda E.          3          F                    Feb                  Pneumonia
James, H.                       48        M                   Feb                  Pneumonia
Premature                      0          M                   Mar                  Pneumonia
James, Victoria              19        F                    Aug                 Peritonitis
Smith, Mary                   50        F                    Sep                  Consumption
Fleener, Luella               20        F                    Feb                  Consumption
Burton, Donna               8/12     F                    Oct                  Meningitis
Reid, R. G.                     66        M                   Feb                  Pneumonia
Baize, Mary                    1          F                    Feb                  Bronchitis
James, Ona                   1          F                    Oct                  Meningitis

Source:  U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules

Thursday, December 13, 2012

1879-1880 Deaths - Rosine, Ohio County

1879-1880 Deaths - Rosine, Ohio County

In 1880 a census was conducted that lists the deaths for nine townships in Ohio County for the previous 12 months (June 1, 1879 through May 31, 1880).  These records are hand written and are difficult to read. Common surnames are recognizable, but unusual names are almost impossible to decipher. Also, the age of death is sometimes difficult to read as is the cause of death. I have done my best to transcribe these documents but I feel certain I have made some errors. I have included a question mark to indicate some of the most difficult words.

Persons who DIED during the year ending March 31, 1880 in Rosine, Ohio County, KY

Name                             Age   Gender             Month               Cause
                                                                        Of Death           of Death

McDaniel, John T.         8/12     M                   April                 Bronchitis
Otto, Fredy                    2/12     M                   unk                   Whooping cough
Morgan, Ellen D.            2          F                    May                 Measles
Wedding, Estill               1          M                   Oct                  Cholera
Keown, Luvina J.           2          F                    Aug                  Consumption
Gary, Mary A.                 28        F                    Feb                  Remittent Fever
Haynes, Rena                2          F                    Dec                  Croup
Alford, Samuel K.          9/12     M                   Aug                   Brain Fever
Likens, George H.          8/12     M                   Jan                   Flux
Johnson, Edward           1          M                   Feb                  Croup
Ferguson, Temperance  11/12   F                   Oct                  Croup
White, Leonard               2          M                   Apr                  Measles
White, Wesley                7/12     M                   May                 Measles
Porter, N. A.                    2/12     F                    Jan                  Typhoid Fever
Raley, Lucy A.                38        F                    Mar                  Typhoid Fever
Raley, Elizabeth             79        F                    Feb                  Dropsy
Daves, Polly                   24        F                    Nov                 Consumption
Sorrels, Margaret           22        F                    Oct                  Consumption
Day, David N.                11/12   M                   Sep                  Unknown
Renfrow, Josephine       6/12     F                    Nov                 Croup
Ferguson, Clarence       2          M                   Apr                  Croup
Bratcher, Isaac H.          20        M                   Apr                  Typhoid Fever
Liles, David                    89        M                   Feb                  Old Age
Neighbors, Hester A.      6          F                    Nov                 Diphtheria
Neighbors, Ziba J.          2          M                   Nov                 Diphtheria
Wilson, Polly                  65        F                    May                 Cancer on breast
Carahan                         s/b        M                   May                 Stillborn
Finley, Eliza                    20        F                    Apr                  Consumption
Robinson, Sophia           6          F                    May                 Croup
Davis                              26/30   F                    Nov                 Unable to read

Source:  U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

1879-1880 Deaths - Rockport, Ohio County

1879-1880 Deaths - Rockport, Ohio County

In 1880 a census was conducted that lists the deaths for nine townships in Ohio County for the previous 12 months (June 1, 1879 through May 31, 1880).  These records are hand written and are difficult to read. Common surnames are recognizable, but unusual names are almost impossible to decipher. Also, the age of death is sometimes difficult to read as is the cause of death. I have done my best to transcribe these documents but I feel certain I have made some errors. I have included a question mark to indicate some of the most difficult words.

Persons who DIED during the year ending March 31, 1880 in Rockport, Ohio County, KY

Name                             Age   Gender             Month               Cause
                                                                        Of Death           of Death

Bennett, S. T.                17       M                    Aug                 Congestion of bowels
Piper, Almelda              20        F                    Feb                  Childbirth
Ford, Catherine             34        F                    Nov                 Heart Disease
Taylor, Kitty C.              72        F                    Jan                   Acute Rheumatism
Insley, Alzada               1/12     F                    Jul                    Croup
Insley, Adeline              1/30     F                    Jul                    Stillborn
Taylor, T. W. Sr.           57        M                   Jul                    Consumption
Taylor, R. M.                 82        M                   Sep                  Falling down
Taylor, T. W. Jr.            19        M                   Apr                  Typhoid Fever
Davenport, S. A.           64        M                   Dec                  Consumption
Martin, Ara                    72        F                    May                 Chronic Diarrhea        
Dowall, Taylor               9          M                   Mar                  Rheumatism
Tenms, Billie                 64        F                    Apr                  Measles
Honerton, Elizabeth      64        F                    Apr                  unknown
Duke, J. W.                   60        M                   Feb                  Typhoid Pneumonia
Rowe, J. S.                    1          M                   Jun                  unknown
Carter, D. R.                  54        M                   May                 Heart disease
Herald, U. B.                 45         M                   Feb                  Pneumonia
Chinn, N. E.                  8/12      F                    Jul                    Cholera
Kelly, Mollie                   31         F                    May                 Childbirth
Kelly Infant                    1/30      M                   May                 stillborn
Kelly Infant                    1/30      M                   May                 stillborn
Robertson, Alice           18         F                    Aug                 Malarial Fever
Carter, Isaac                  2          M                   Nov                 Croup
Tinley, Margaret            1/12      F                    Jul                    Colic
Wright, Richard            72         M                    May                 Old Age
Miller, Sarah                  43         F                    Mar                  Anasarca

Source:  U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules