Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Source: Daviess-Nelson County KyArchives Biography 
Author: History of Daviess County, Kentucky, Inter-State Publishing Co., 1883

CHRISTOPHER JACKSON was born ten miles east of Hartford, Ky., in what was then Nelson County, March 13, 1813. His father, George Jackson, was born on the banks of James River, Virginia, and came with his parents to Mercer County, Ky., when a child. His father, Christopher Jackson, a doctor, was born in England and came with his parents to Virginia when a young man. He enlisted in the war of the Revolution, and was with Washington until the close of the war. He then returned home to Virginia and married Magdalene Boggus, and at a very early day emigrated to Mercer County, Ky.; was the first settler of Danville, at that time a howling wilderness full of Indians; from there he came to the Green River country and settled near where Hartford now stands, about 1778. There was a fort there at that time. He lived there a number of years; he died on his farm near Hartford. His son, George Jackson, remained on the old homestead near Hartford, and married Sarah Crawford. In January, 1816, just after the battle of New Orleans, he and wife came with six children to Daviess County, and was one of the first, if not the first, settler in what is now Boston Precinct. He settled on the farms now owned by James Melton and Dr. William  Knox. In the winter of 1823 Mr. George Jackson purchased a large tract of land of 1,400 or 1,500 acres in the southeast part of what is now Masonville Precinct, where he died, November, 1838. He and wife had a family of twelve children, four daughters and one son now living. Christopher was the third son and fifth child. He was but three years old when his father came to Daviess County. Christopher Jackson married Nancy Lacklin, Jan. 7, 1841. She was born in Henry County, Ky., June 29, 1825, and was a daughter of Fielden and Elizabeth (Kelly) Lacklin. Mr. Lacklin died in Henry County in 1828, and in the fall of 1836 Mrs. Lacklin came with her children to Daviess County and settled on the farm now owned by James Ray, in Masonville Precinct. After his marriage Mr. Jackson settled on his farm in Masonville Precinct, where he still resides. Mrs. Jackson is a member of the Baptist church. Mr. and Mrs. Jackson have had twelve children, six living--Henry, born Nov. 27, 1844, married Eliza Christian Feb. 14, 1878; Josephine, born Nov. 7, 1846, married Virgil Johnson; Walker, born Sept. 18, 1848, married Amanda Christian, Nov. 10, 1881, and resides on his farm in Masonville Precinct (he and wife have one son, Virgil, born Nov. 23, 1882. Mrs. Jackson is a member of the Baptist church at the Bell's Run church. Mr. Walker Jackson is a Mason and a member of John J. Daveiss Lodge, A. F. & A. M., No. 389, at Sugar Grove church); Mercer Jackson was born March 10, 1852, married Sarah Burton; Richard Jackson was born May 4, 1856, married Mary F. Ware; Robert Jackson, born July 26, 1868. Mr. Christopher Jackson owned a farm of 400 acres, which he has divided among his children, except 140 where he and wife and youngest son reside. Mr. Jackson is one of the few old pioneers of Daviess County that are living. His uncle, Hugh Crawford, was an old Indian fighter of Daniel Boone's time. This uncle, with a few others, was captured by Indians while on a scouting expedition. All were killed except one man, who returned home and told the fate of each man. He saw all burned at the stake, among them Hugh Crawford and one of Bill Hardin's brothers. In politics he is a Democrat. He is a distant relative of "Old Hickory" Jackson. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Sanford L. Fulkerson

Hartford Republican
February 19, 1892

Sanford L. Fulkerson

Was born and reared in Ohio county near Ceralvo, on Green River. He remained with his father on the farm until he was twenty-one years of age, when he started in life to battle for himself. He carried with him the same rugged honesty, that had characterized his youth, and which has since made him so popular with his people, and won for him his well merited success.

Mr. Fulkerson has filled several positions of honor and trust, with great credit to himself, and benefit to his country. He was elected Constable in the old Centertown District, in 1875, and remained one term. During the years 1877-78-79- 80 he was Deputy Sheriff; in 1881-82 he was Deputy Assessor; he was Deputy Clerk in his part of the county; in 1888 he was elected and served as Police Judge of Ceralvo; in 1889-90 and until June, 1891, he was Deputy Sheriff under our present Sheriff, Mr. S. C. Taylor, when he took his seat as Justice of the Peace for the Rockport Magisterial District, to which position he was elected in August, 1890.

Perhaps no man in Ohio county has been as continuously in the service of the people, and filled so many different positions in the last seventeen years us has Mr. Fulkerson. He has been married twice and has two children, both boys -- Henry, aged 8, and McHenry, aged 4 years.

He has given much attention to music, both vocal and instrumental, having won several prizes in contests in vocal music, and having organized and maintained one or two very successful cornet bands.

Mr. Fulkerson is now engaged in mercantile business at Ceralvo, where he holds his office as Justice of the Peace.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Hartford Republican 3/2/1892 - Thomas and Baird

The Hartford Republican
March 25, 1892


W. P. Thomas is Seriously Wounded by a Desperate Character Named Ben Long, Jr.

Ben Long and son, Ben, living about two miles above town, were accused of hog stealing, and on last Saturday a warrant was issued for their arrest. On Monday about 3 o'clock Town Marshal W. P. Thomas and J. S. Moseley went to their home and arrested the two men, who made no resistance and said they would go along at once. All parties were sitting by the fire talking when young Ben got up, walked to the rear of the room and taking down an old musket when the officers were not expecting it, turned upon them with the gun. Moseley ran to a rear door of the house while Long continued to advance on Thomas, who tried to knock the gun away, but missing it, received the load in his forearm, which was torn in a frightful manner. The load went up his sleeve and not a shot passed out, the wad, shot and all lodging in his arm near the elbow. Moseley fired from the rear but missed Long, and Thomas, who had fallen, needing his attention, he was assisting him when Long appeared at the door and threatened to shoot both of them.

Moseley finally succeeded in getting Thomas out of the yard and leaving him in the care of old man Long and Strother Hawkins, came to town for a physician. Young Long loaded his gun and came on to where Thomas was lying wounded, attempted to shoot him, but being prevented by his father and Hawkins, fled. Thomas was brought home and Drs. Pendleton, Baird and Miller dressed his wound. A close watch has been kept for Long, but so for he has not been captured.

Judge Baird Dead.

The reaper of death has again visited our town and taken away one of our oldest and best citizens. Alexander Burnett Baird was born in this county, February 21, 1821; died March 20,1892. At the of age 21 he was appointed Deputy Sheriff of Ohio county, and in 1851 he was elected Justice of the Peace, being one of the first to serve under the new Constitution, but resigned to take his seat as County Judge to which position he was elected in 1854, holding that office two terms - 8 years; in 1861 he was engaged in the tobacco business here as agent for a New York firm. Since then he has been engaged in the Civil Engineering and Surveying business. He was a prominent member of the C. P. Church, in which he stood high, having represented that Church in a General Assembly at Keesport, Pa.

On December 24, 1844, he was married to Miss Sallie M. Barnett and is the father of Col. C. T. Baird, of Louisville; Dr. A. B. Baird, of this town, and the father-in-law of Gen. Sam E. Hill, of Lexington. He was buried in the Hartford Cemetery Monday at 3 p. m. in the presence of a large crowd of sorrowing friends and relatives.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


FEBRUARY 26, 1892


            The subject of this sketch was born in Ohio county, near Bell’s Run Church, July 11, 1843.  His father, Ben McKinley, died when he was very young and his mother, Charlotte Bozarth McKinley, died when he was fourteen years of age.  His step-father, Moses Spencer, was a great hunter in the early days of the county.  Joseph was the oldest of eight children and being left an orphan at such an early age, had a hard struggle to get on in life.  He had little or no educational advantage but by close application at home he has acquired a very good business education for a man of his age.

            May 12, 1863, he was married to Miss Cyntha Sharp, sister of Fleming Sharp, one of the richest farmers of the Crane Pond country.  To them was born ten children, all living but two, Ida P., who died two years ago and a child that died an infant.  The living are Samuel, Fleming, Benjamin Porter, Isaac Newton, Rousseau, Della May, Joseph, Jessie Davis and Loney Cleveland.  Mr. McKinley’s first wife died March 15, 1890.  He was married to Miss Susan Chapman, Oct. 1, 1891.  He has always been a great tobacco raiser, his crops of tobacco often reaching fifteen thousand pounds and more.  In religion he is a Baptist, in politics a Democrat.  He is a Master Mason, a member of Joseph Ellis’ Lodge at Bell’s Run.

            He was elected twelve years ago to fill the unexpired term of Hiram Chapman in the Buford Magisterial District and has been re-elected three times in succession.  He is a man of great energy, a friend of education and of public improvements and is very popular among his acquaintances.

Monday, February 18, 2013


FEBRUARY 19, 1892


            Was born in our sister State, of Tennessee, April 24, 1859, son of William and Mary Slagle Myers.  William Myers was a man prominent in local politics, once making a race for a seat in the Legislature of Tennessee and being defeated by only a few votes.  While Henry was quite young his father moved to this State and settled in Madison county, and finally in 1873 he moved to this county and bought a farm near Rosine, where he has since lived.  Young Myers worked hard on the farm and owing to that fact his educational advantages were limited to the district school.  But he made such good use of the opportunities that were here afforded that he acquired a fair education, and in 1887 taught a very successful school at White Oak, near Olaton.

            Mr. Myers wooed and, won Miss Malinda Bennett, daughter of John Allen Bennett, Sulpher Springs, to whom he was married in July, 1885.  They have three children, Buelah Ernestine, aged four; Gay Fulton, aged two, and Eulah Edna, aged one.  To religious belief Mr. Myers is a Methodist, in political belief a Republican.  From among a number of candidates he was elected Justice of the Peace in August, 1890, for the Rosine Magisterial District, and is a careful faithful, officer.  He has been appointed by the Court a member of the Board of Commissioners, authorized to build the Barretts Ferry bridge over Rough River, which is, by the way a worthy compliment worthily bestowed.

            Trained in the school of adversity, bred to the independent life of the farmer, possessed of a rugged house, having raised by hard labor from humble circumstances to competency, Henry Franklin Myers moves among his fellows a model, upright honest man.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


FEBRUARY 26, 1892


            On March 22, 1847, the hearts of Tobias W. and Artemesa Chapman Taylor were made glad by the birth of a boy, and they gave him the name which heads this sketch.  He comes of one of the oldest and best, and excepting perhaps the Stevens family the largest connection in the county.  His mother died in 1858 and his father in 1878.  Cal., as he was called and he is yet most familiarly known, grew to be an honest, upright, intelligent boy and laid the foundation for a noble manhood.  His education was such as the county schools could afford, but by hard study and experience he has given himself a fair business training.  He has always lived in the Southern part of the county near Rochester, where he owns a very fine farm.  He has dealt largely in stock and saw-logs.  He has made several business and pleasure trips over the Southern States, but says he has found no place like old “Kaintuck.”

            He is a Democrat in politics, and in 1888 was the “dark horse” in the Democratic County Convention and received the nomination for Sheriff, to which office he was elected after one of the hottest fights in the history of Ohio county politics.  He was re-elected in 1890.  Mr. Taylor is a man of Stalwart frame, with a cool head and a kind heart.  He is modest, unassuming, courteous and brave; speaking good of all and evil of none, a man with many friends and few enemies.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

County Directory - 1896

Hartford Republican
January 24, 1896

County Directory.


Hon. W. T. Owen, Judge -- Owensboro.
Hon. J. Edwin Rowe, Attorney - Owensboro.
J. W. Black, Jailer -- Hartford
G. B. Likens, Clerk Hartford.
B. D. Ringo, Master Commissioner - Hartford.
G. B Likens, Trustee Jury Fund - Hartford
Cal. P. Keown, Sheriff - Hartford.
Deputies - Samuel Keown – Hartford - Joe Roberts, Fordsville; Thos. R. Bishop, Centertown; S. T. Stevens, Cromwell.

   Court convenes first Monday in March and August and continues three weeks, and third Monday in May and November - two weeks.


John P. Morton, Judge - Hartford.
D. M. Hocker, Clerk - Hartford.
E. P. Neal, Attorney – Hartford.
Court convenes first Monday in each month.


Begins on the third Monday in January, April, July and October.


Convenes first Monday in January, and Tuesday after the fourth Monday in October.


G. S. Fitzhugh, Surveyor – Sulphur Springs.
N. C. Daniel, Assessor - Cromwell.
Z. H. Shultz, School Supt. – Hartford.
L. W. Hunt, Coroner – Sulphur Springs.
Mrs. Mizella Tanner, Poorhouse Keeper, Hartford.

Friday, February 15, 2013


FEBRUARY 26, 1892


            First saw the light of day on March 30, 1844, near Hartford, son of J. B. and Francis Ann Benton Bennett.  His great-grandfather was one of the pioneer settlers of the county.  Perry was the third in age of a family of fourteen children and being the oldest boy had the greater part to bear in caring for the family.  His educational advantages were very limited.  He enlisted in company, G. 12th Ky., Calvary Aug. 23, 1862, and held the position of duty Sergeant.  He was mustered out Aug. 23, 1865.  During this period he was never in the hospital and was never absent from his regiment.  His superior officers often called upon him to carry out difficult undertakings and he was always equal to the emergency.

            He was married to Miss Sopha E. Ambrose, November 20, 1866.  To them were born four children: Annie Florence, wife of Willie Ward, a thrifty young farmer; Silas E., Hattie P., and Dillis Solomon.  Mrs. Bennett died December 25, 1876, and Mr. Bennett was married to Miss Sarah Shown, February 25, 1877.  They have seven children, three of whom - Sammie, Wilbur and Bramlette are dead and Minnie, Ella, Viola C., Estille H. and Vernie Francis living.

            He is a farmer and log man in both of which he has had success.  Mr. Bennett is a Methodist and a Democrat and 1890 was elected Justice of the Peace for the Hartford Magisterial District.  He is a careful and conscientious officer, an unassuming, worthy citizen.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


Col. Edgar Bennett August 18, 1892 Breckinridge County KyArchives Obituaries

Breckinridge News; 8/24/1892


Mr. Edgar Bennett, one of the wealthiest and best known farmers in our county, died at his beautiful residence, Summer Seat, last Friday morning at 8 o'clock.  His illness was only of three weeks' duration and death resulted from inflammation of the stomach and bowels.

Mr. Bennett was about fifty years of age and had always enjoyed the best of health.  He had an excellent constitution and up to three weeks ago looked as if he had many years before him.

His death will be a great loss to the section in which he lived, as few men possess the enterprise and business sagacity that he exhibited.  He was a valuable man to his community and to the people among whom he moved, always taking an active interest in all matters of a public character that came up.

Mr. Bennett began life as a poor country boy, but by diligent application worked himself up to a position of prominence in his county.

Early in life he exhibited rare mechanical skill, and was considered one of the best workmen in his line in the county.  The Courthouse at Hardinsburg was built under Mr. Bennett's supervision.  This work brought him into prominent notice, and later he superintended the erection of the Hartford, Ky. jail, and also constructed several bridges in this and adjoining counties.  He was for several years employed by the King Bridge Company, of Cleveland, Ohio, and did a great deal of valuable work for them.

When the Texas railroad was first talked of, Mr. Bennett took an active part in working up an interest in that enterprise and it was through his influence that the road was finally located along the Dry Valley route, instead of going along the river near Brandenburg as was at first anticipated.

The present town of Irvington was planned and laid out by Mr. Bennett in connection with some other gentlemen, and he owned large interests there.  He rendered much assistance in securing the L. H. & W. railroad, a branch of the Texas, at Irvington, which runs through his farm.  A few months ago he opened a rock quarry at Summer Seat and at the time of his death was working some forty or fifty hands in that business.

Besides all of these business connections, Mr. Bennett owned and superintended one of the finest farms in the county.  Summer Seat was purchased by him in 1878.  The whole farm consists of more than four hundred acres.  All the buildings on it were by him, and are models of neatness and comfort.

Mr. Bennett had a host of friends not only in his county, but elsewhere, wherever he was known, and his death will be deplored by all.  He was justly considered one of our leading citizens, and was also the true type of the hospitable Kentucky gentleman.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013



Ignatius Pigman, the preacher who led many Marylander's to Ohio County around 1800, was a Methodist Episcopalian, a denomination organized in Maryland in 1784 (commonly referred to as the “M. E.” church), a cousin of the current Methodist Church.  Therefore, several early Ohio County churches leaned heavily towards the Methodist beliefs.  It is said that the first Methodist Church to be organized in Ohio County was at Goshen, just outside of Beaver Dam, in 1804.  Shortly afterwards, the No Creek M. E. and Bethel M. E. Churches were established.

Born about 1755, Pigman was handsome, a minister, an adventurer, an opportunist, a holder of thousands of acres, and he died in poverty, the fourth child and third son of Matthew and Mary Pigman. He was born about 1755 near Laytonville, Frederick (now Montgomery) County, Maryland. Although he is the most publicized of all the Pigmans, nothing is known of his first 20 years. On 19 September 1775 he received the original survey for 122 acres of Hillsborough in Anne Arundel County, the site of the 1790 Pigman Mill. This property was patented to his elder brother, Joshua 27 July 1795 (HR Land Office). It was during this period that Ignatius became interested in property and mills. He and Edward Crowe built several mills in the area and one as far south as Georgetown.

On 3 August 1777, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the Rev. Thomas Reed of Rock Creek Parish married Ignatius and Susannah Lamar. She was the daughter of John and Sarah Marshall Lamar (Sarah was the daughter of William Marshall, and she was also married at certain times to John Pettinger, and Higginson Belt, and was widow of John Lamar). They lived in the same area as the other Pigmans, although Ignatius does not seem to have farmed. In 1782 he was admitted into connection of the Methodist Church. This was the beginning of an intensive career in the church for the next six years.

The children of Ignatius and Susannah Lamar Pigman, all born in Montgomery County, Maryland, were:

RHODA, the first child born 25 April 1778. She married Stephen Statler, 18 June 1797. He was born in Pennsylvania in August 1770 and became the first sheriff of Ohio County, Kentucky. Children were: Eliza, Mattie, Sallie, Susannah Lamar, Learner Blackman, and Ignatius Pigman. Rhoda died in 1852; Stephen 9 June 1856; both buried in the Tatum Graveyard in Ohio County.

ANNE (AMY) was born 14 January 1781. On 13 January 1801 she married Samuel Work, who was Clerk of the Court in 1803. He was born 25 November 1722. One child George born 12 November 1801. Samuel died 4 March 1818, Warren County, Kentucky. Amy died 15 October 1846 Hinds County, Mississippi.

SALLIE was born in 1784. Ignatius wrote Ato Daniel (Lamson) Morrison, of Bardstown, "I am willing to give my daughter Sallie, on account of my friendship for your father Isaac Morrison." They were married 7 June 1805, in Owensboro. Sallie died 9 December 1852 in Covington, Tennessee.

SIDNEY married John Rice on 29 June 1809 Ohio County, Kentucky.

PHILENIA, named for her aunt, married Harrison Taylor 6 October 1813, the son of Harrison and Jane Curlet Taylor. A child was Dr. Pigman Taylor. Harrison died in December 1878, he and Philenia are buried in the Taylor Cemetery near the site of Barnetts Station.

POLLY was born after 1790. She never married and lived to an old age.

WESLEY, the only son, went to Ohio after his father's death and his return from New Orleans. Nothing more is known of him.

The following is copied from "Ohio County, Kentucky in the Olden Days". A series of Old Newspaper Sketches of Fragmentary History, by Harrison D. Taylor. Originally published Louisville, 1926. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 74-88166

Ignatius Pigman was a Methodist preacher of widespread fame, both in Virginia and Maryland. He was an orator, a Christian gentleman, and an energetic business man. He came to this county and acquired titles to various lands, returned to Maryland and sold Kentucky lands to his neighbors and friends, and took in exchange their homes or the proceeds of their homes in Maryland. This perhaps was done in good faith, but it resulted disastrously for some who bought Kentucky lands. A good many persons had come to the county during the fall season when the low flats, or bottom lands, were most lovely to the eye of the beholder, and they bought such lands; but during the following winter and spring their lands were almost entirely submerged in water, and they abandoned them in despair. It was then thought that the value of the lands of the county was in proportion to their elevation. The whole face of the country was at that time covered with a rich, black loam-mould and a luxuriant growth of cane and pea vines. Many of Pigman's emigrants, therefore, selected the most broken, hilly locations. It needed only a few years' cultivation for the rains to wash away their soil and their hopes. That fact accounted for so many abandoned farms in the county. The men owning the bottom or oldest title finally recovered most of their lands that had been sold. In the meantime Pigman became insolvent, and, with his only son, removed to New Orleans, where he died in 1815.

On a review of the whole case we may perhaps justly record Ignatius Pigman as a public benefactor. Nearly all of the early settlers he brought from Maryland were peaceable, industrious, and moral citizens. Many of them were strictly pious. The strict economy and unwearied industry which it required to live on their poor lands, or to purchase the better titles to them when lost, grew into a second nature or habit. This has been handed down from generation to generation, and we now number among our most peaceable, orderly, and prosperous citizens many of the descendants of those early Marylanders.

To attempt a true delineation of Mr. Pigman's character would be difficult. Tradition represents him censured by some and highly esteemed by others. That he stood high in the estimation of many is evident from the numerous children that were named after him, Ignatius, Ignatius P., and Pigman still being the given names of many of the men and boys of the county. On the other hand it is evident that many men suffered from buying lands from him to which their titles were defective, and others from buying land that proved poor and worthless. It may, however, be urged that few men in that early day were judges of the better titles, and that his own favorite son-in-law, who no doubt had choice of his lands, selected among the poorest. That Pigman was a public-spirited man is evident from the fact that at such an early day he built a cotton gin in Hartford. Upon a survey of the whole case it seems that bad luck or bad management, or both, were his only crimes. He had five daughters, all of whom married worthy men, whose descendants rank among our most respectable citizens.

The following is a foot note to this chapter:

No printed biography of Ignatius Pigman has been found. He was born in Virginia or Maryland, and in 1777, while living in Montgomery County, Maryland, married Susannah Lamar, daughter of John Lamar. "The Minutes of the First Methodist Conference at Baltimore," a manuscript in possession of the Baltimore Historical Society, indicate that in 1782 he was "admitted as preacher," and served various churches in Virginia and Maryland until 1788. During that year, or shortly thereafter, he came to Kentucky in the interest of his church. His many land transactions, in all probability, were made primarily for the purpose of helping settle Ohio County and establish a stronghold of followers in his denomination. He failed in the land business chiefly for the same reason as many others of his time who suffered in consequence of unreliable titles. He evidently did not fail in his religious work, for tradition has it that he built one of the first churches in the county; but to what extent he succeeded is now not definitely known.

That he was highly esteemed by most of his contemporaries is inferred from the following tradition: Discouraged with his efforts in Ohio County and wishing to get into a milder climate, he moved to New Orleans about 1810. He aided the American soldiers-including the Ohio County boys in their preparation for the city's defense against the English. Exposure resulted in pneumonia of which he died. The Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815, and two days thereafter the news that peace had been declared on December 24 preceding reached New Orleans. This same news had reached Hartford before the report of the battle. A peace celebration was in progress in Ohio County, with the Reverend Thomas Taylor as the chief orator, when the victory at New Orleans was announced to the assembled crowd. With the same messenger came the report that Ignatius Pigman had died, and the peace celebration was prolonged into a memorial meeting in his honor.

Ignatius Pigman was the father of five daughters and one son: Rhoda (Mrs. Stephen Statler), Anne (Mrs. Samuel Work), Sidney (Mrs. John Rice), Philena (Mrs. Harrison Taylor-Harrison, son of Richard), Polly (died at an advanced age unmarried), and Sallie (Mrs. Daniel Morrison), and Wesley Pigman who after the death of his father, made Ohio state his home.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Stephen Stateler

Hartford Herald 12-2-1891 page 1  

Stephen Stateler, Biography and Adventures of This Old Pioneer - Early Days in Hartford

Editors Herald: This is in answer to a Mrs. Miller, of Owensboro, who addressed me a letter in my distant home in Montana, some time since, requesting me to furnish her the date of my father, Stephen Stateler’s, arrival in this country.  I felt at a loss to answer her inquiries, so was not prompt to answer her letter.  She said it was her purpose to write an account of his early life, and his history in this country. There are a few items of his early history that will be interesting to read, and I will give them as best I can from memory.

My father was born on the Monongahela river. My grandfather having in the early settlement of that country, erected a fort on the above river, at the mouth of Dunkard’s creek, thought to be in the State of Virginia, but when Mason and Dixon’s line was run, it fell in the State of Pennsylvania.  My father’s grandfather came from Germany, hence he was of German descent instead of being of Dutch descent.

A number of my father’s kindred were killed in that country by the Indians during the war.  I have no means of knowing my father’s age, for the records were lost and I have heard him say he did not know his own age.  This much I have heard him say, that during the Revolutionary war he was large enough to be sent to mill, and could hear the cannon in the distance.

Sometime between the years 1780 and ’85 in company with several others, he started from his home on a trading boat for New Orleans.  They passed where Cincinnati now stands, at which place there was a military fort, called Fort Hamilton, and Louisville, then called the Falls of the Ohio, where there were a few cabins at that time, from where they continued down the river, and not far from Evansville they landed on the Indiana side.  My father and two others were sent out for the purpose of killing a supply of meat, as game was very plentiful. They saw some old marks on some trees, and one of the men took fright and slipped off, ran back to the boat and said they had seen Indian signs and reported that he heard the report of a number of guns, and had no doubt that the other two men were killed.  The boat at once cut cable and floated away and left these two alone in the woods in an Indian country.

They at once set about making a raft of dry logs, bound together with grapevines in order to pursue the boat.  Just below where they put the raft in, there was a fallen tree that reached out in the river.  My father told the other man if they put the raft in above the tree it would strike the end of it and sink them, but he insisted on putting it in, and they got in and started out.  And accordingly, when they started, it struck the log and began to sink.  My father caught up his gun, jumped on the timber and that gave the raft a turn, and it went out in the river with the other man still on.  Father called to him to come in to shore and help him out, but he went on and left him alone to perish.

There were limbs hanging from the trees out over the log on which my father stood, so he fastened his gun to limbs.  He must have perished there, but as he knew how to swim, he reached the shore, for the water was twenty feet deep, as he afterward ascertained.  He saved his shot-pouch and butcher-knife, by which he had the means of making a fire, which he did, and dried his clothes and rested until morning. As soon as it was daylight, he looked for his gun, but it was gone.  He supposed that floating timbers passed and tore it off.  He then started and followed the stream down until he reached a point called Big Pigeon, where Evansville now stands. He could not cross that stream, so he thought the best thing to do was to make a raft and cross over to the Kentucky side, which he did, and landed at the mouth of Green river.  He then went up the Ohio river as far as where Owensboro now stands.  There he waited two or three days, hoping to get some boat to take him on board.  Though a number of them passed, and he hailed them, none of them would come to his relief, fearing a decoy from the Indians.  He had heard of a falls on Green river, called Vienna, and thought he would try and find that place.  The whole country then was a vast cane brake and elk and other game were in abundance, but he had no means of killing anything.  Though he was starving to death, he traveled on for a number of days, having no road and not knowing the right course.  He made his way to Hartford instead of Vienna, and I think, about the tenth day he arrived at the bank of Rough creek, about sun down. He could hear the children at play, so he called and was answered.  After a while a man called Rhoads came down to the bank of the river and talked to him.

My father informed him that he was a lone man that had been lost from a boat on the Ohio river and was nearly starved to death.  Mr. Rhoads told him that the Indians had been there the night before and had stolen their canoe and that they were very careful about strangers, fearing they might be decoyed into the camp of the Indians.  My father assured him he was alone, that he need have no fears, and asked him to come over after him.  Mr. Rhoads told him there was a trough in a gulch, about a quarter of a mile below where the present bridge now is, but a tree had fallen across the mouth and had shut it in, but if he would wait he would go and get an axe and cut the tree away and bring him over; so he told him he would wait.  He accordingly cut the log away, went over and brought my father to the Hartford side and took him to his home and took care of him. He was so near starved that Mr. Rhoads would only give him a mouthful to eat at a time, and just kept him along for a few days that way until he thought it safe to let him have what he wanted to eat.  During his long fast, he ate the berries off the rosebushes, chased an o’possum, killed it, and having his powder horn and flint, he made a fire and roasted the meat and so was able to subsist on that.

Mr. Rhoads wife, who spoke the German language, scolded her husband very much for bringing that renegade in there; she told him he would stay a little while and then would slip off and bring the Indians in on them, but he told her he didn’t think so, that they should show kindness to a stranger, which they did not fail to do.  After some days, my father saw an almanac hanging there and took it down and was looking at it.  Mrs. Rhoads asked him if he understood that; he told her that when a boy he had been sent to a German school and understood the language.  She seemed very much mortified that he had understood her when she had been talking about him being a spy.  After she had recruited, he told them to give him a gun and he would go out and kill them some meat.  They were, however, very careful, counted out a few balls to him and sent one of the men out with him to see that he didn’t run away. Finding however, that he did not try to run away, they trusted him to go out alone and kill game.

The Indians made a raid after he had been there some time, killed some children and captured one little girl, knocked down a woman and scalped her.  As well as I remember, the little girl was a daughter of Gen. Barnett, who was the father of the late Colonel Robert Barnett, who resided near No Creek.

A call was made for volunteers to pursue the Indians and my father was one that made a respond to the call.  They started in pursuit, the father of the little girl being in command of the company.  They had not gone far on the trail, when they found where the Indians had stopped and taken off the little girl’s shoes and stockings; they supposed the Indians had put moccasins on her, so she could travel.

They circled around until they turned in the direction of the Ohio river.  The General told them they intended to take the child to their town beyond the Ohio river, and that they might possible overtake them before they reached the river, but unless they killed the Indians at the first fire they would kill the child, that it was better to let them take her on into captivity and risk ransoming her through traders, which was finally done within a year’s time.  So accordingly they turned back to Hartford.

The people were all kept within the fort, as it was not safe for them to go out to live elsewhere.  The only way they could cultivate was to post guards all around their fields and while some watched others cultivated the ground.  My father being a good shot and good hunter, he grew in favor with the people and when any Indian depredations called or men to pursue, he was always on hand.

I remember of hearing him tell of many Indian conflicts, the particulars of which I can’t repeat.  I remember he said the next fall after his arrival he got a company of men to go with him to where he had lost his gun.  They went to the river opposite the place, stationed part of the men there and the others swam across the river and hit the very place where the gun was lost.  They walked along the bank and there they found the gun.  The leaves and vines had hid it. They all returned home and said that confirmed the truth of his statement.

He spent his time in the common labors of the settlement, killing deer and dressing the skin, out of which they made their clothing.

I think he stayed three years.  He then secured a horse and joined the travelers, going on the trail eastward and going in force sufficient to protect themselves. Finally he arrived at his home on the Monongahela, to the astonishment and joy of his kindred and friends, who thought he was drowned going down the Ohio river.  He didn’t stay there long until he returned again to Hartford.

My grandfather, Ignatius Pigman, from Baltimore, Maryland, who had been for years a traveling Methodist preacher, came about that time to this country.  My parents became acquainted and were married, I reckon, about 1795 or ’96. My father settled on a farm about 4 ½ miles from Hartford.  There they resided all their married life and reared their children. There they died and are buried on the same place. I am their youngest child, and all have passed away except my youngest sister and myself.

I have now told from memory the incidents of my father’s life.  If you carry out your purpose in writing a history or biography of my father, I hope this may be of some assistance to you.  

Very respectfully,

L. B. Stateler

Note: Stephen Stateler went on to be first Ohio County sheriff.  The cemetery for Stephen Stateler is the same as Harrison Taylor is buried in.  It is on Hamlin Chapel Road.  Thanks to Helen McKeown for this article.

Saturday, February 9, 2013


WARREN P. SHIELDS (b. November 12, 1875 - d. September 22, 1948) was born in Ohio County, Kentucky and was the son of James W. Shields (b. January 12, 1835 - d. September 29, 1898) and Martha Elizabeth "Bettie" (Daniel) Shields (b. December 31, 1845 - d. September 2, 1909), who were married in Ohio County, Kentucky, on August 12, 1868, shortly after the close of the Civil War. His maternal grandparents were: George M. Daniel and Nancy A. (Tilford) Daniel, who were married in Ohio County, Kentucky, on March 15, 1827. His paternal grandparents, of record, were: William C. Shields (b. September 4, 1804 - D. April 11, 1855) and Rachel Shields (b. c. 1798 - d. August 5, 1864). His paternal grandmother was a Charter Member of the Church. She and her husband are buried in the Green River Church Cemetery as are his parents. He was a younger brother of Birch Shields (1869-1934), the Baptist Minister, Richard Shields (1871-1940) and Miranda Shields (b.c. 1873). In the Ohio County Census for 1880 his father is listed as a carpenter. 

Brother Shields was inducted into the fellowship of the Green River Church by Christian Experience and Believer's Immersion on October 25, 1890, being baptized by Pastor J. N. Jarnagin, in his fifteenth year. Having been chosen by the Church as a new Deacon on March 27th, 1909, he was duly ordained on April 23rd, 1909, by pastors G. W. Gordon, A. J. Snodgrass and A. B. Gardner. Brethren J. P. Miller, C. C. Thomas, Martin Flener and Benjamin Benton were ordained then, too. He served until he was lettered out in 1936, a total of over 27 years. Also, he served as the Church Clerk in 1917-1920; as the Church Treasurer from September, 1922, until he was lettered out in 1936; as Sunday School Superintendent in 1911, 1913, 1920-1927; as Ohio County Mission Board Member from Green River Church in 1923-1924 and in 1926-1927. He served as a Messenger from the Church to the Association in the years 1909, 1911-1912, 1914-1915, 1917, 1919-1925, 1928, 1930, 1933-1935. On November 27, 1898, on an Ohio County, Kentucky, license, Brother Shields was united in marriage to Miss Susan M. "Mattie" Davis, the daughter of J. T. Davis. She was born on August 8, 1881 and departed this life on August 7, 1954, in her seventy-second year. He had preceded her in death on September 22nd, 1948, in his seventy-second year, too. He died in Owensboro, Kentucky. Both of them were buried in Sunnyside Cemetery, Beaver Dam, Kentucky. 

In early manhood he was a farmer. Having left the farm, he moved to Cromwell and operated a hotel and livery stable there. He enjoyed much business from the trade generated on Green River by the Evansville-Bowling Green Packet Boats. In later years he owned a store on the Highway in modern Cromwell, and became familiarly known as "Uncle Warren" Shields to many persons. He was also a member of the Cromwell Masonic Lodge for years. At his death he was survived by his wife, and daughters, as follows: Mrs. Reathel Oglesby, Mrs. Clifford Warren, Mrs. Roscoe Embry and Mrs. J. K. (Ruth Shields) Shaver, as well as by one sister, Mrs. Pearl (Shields) Taylor.

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, February 7, 2013

Open letter regarding Temperance - 1853

Harrison D. Taylor (1802-1889) and H.T. Downard (1819-1874 )

Open letter regarding Temperance - 1853


Fellow- Citizens of Ohio County:

In thus obtruding ourselves upon your notice we feel that an apology is due, and yet we have none to offer but those feelings of patriotism and love of country which should predominate in the heart of every Kentuckian. We, too, are Kentuckians, and true to the blood of our sires, we feel it our duty to take our stand where duty points. We feel assured that the great moral, religious, social and political question which now agitates the country, requires the labors of every good man and true; we therefore make this open appeal to the good sense and patriotism of our fellow -citizens, and humbly ask their attention to that question — a question of more vital importance than any that has rested upon the shoulders of this generation.

What is that question, and how did it arise? The latter part of the eighteenth, and the beginning of the nineteenth century, was a period of revolutions; revolutions not only in government, but in the opinions and actions of men: freedom of action begat freedom of thought, and these combined have resulted in a series of brilliant and important discoveries, that have far surpassed all former ages. This present generation has been but one triumphal march of the arts and sciences. Improvements not of the visionary, but of the practical and useful, have crowded upon us until man's labor is more than half performed by the yielding elements; all the necessaries, conveniences, and elegances of life are furnished us at less than half their former cost; and yet the prices of manual labor have advanced. Such a state of improvement in the physical condition of the community ought to have produced an equal improvement in their moral condition; for crime and misery, through all ages, have been considered the necessary concomitants of want and poverty, whilst competence removes temptation and excites to virtue.

Yet amid all the blessings that have been showered upon this happy Union, philan-thropists have seen with astonishment that the moral condition of our community is at a stand still, if not on the decline. Yes, in this favored land, where every man should stand erect, self-poised, with the conscious dignity of an American citizen beaming from every feature, we find men degraded and debased; where all hearts should turn with thankfulness and adoration to the great giver of all good, we find religion on the standstill, and wickedness and crime on the increase; where competence could not fail to crown the labors' of all if rightly applied, we yet find squalid want. What is it that produces this state of things? Moral results are as necessarily governed by causes as natural ones. We answer there is an Achan in the camp. We have in our midst a great moral, social, and political evil that is degrading the spirit, corrupting the morals, poisoning the heart, and squandering the wealth of the community. Intemperance is abroad and to its influence have all these evils been traced; and the proof is so positive, so self-evident, that it would seem almost labor lost to array facts before you; but in endeavoring to destroy the monster evil we have deep rooted prejudice, heartless stupidity, and designing ambition to contend with, and must therefore contest every inch of ground. To prove that it squanders the wealth of the community and burdens us with taxes, it is only necessary to appeal to incontrovertible and statistical facts. Before arraying them, however, before you, it will be necessary to state some self-evident and incontrovertible truths, known to every man of intelligence and observation. They are these: First, that at least three- fourths of all the criminal prosecutions in the State, result from liquor; Second, that at least one half of the lunacy of the State is produced by ardent spirits; Third, that fully one half of the time of our circuit courts is occupied by the trial of criminal prosecutions or of civil suits that have had their origin in ardent spirits; and lastly, that fully one half of the pauperism of this State, is also the result of ardent spirits.

With these preliminaries we will now proceed to give some extracts from the Auditor's Report for the year 1851.

Expenses of criminal prosecutions for preceding year,        $24 013
Jailor’s fees for dieting ironing criminals, &c,                           8,024
Rewards for apprehending criminals,                                          900
Slaves executed,                                                                      4 ,900

Total                                                                                      $37,837

Three-fourths of this sum would be                                      $28,378
Appropriations to lunatic asylums,                                         41,275
Salaries of judicial officers,                                                    31,661
Pay of jurors,                                                                          45,121

Total                                                                                       $118,157

              One half of which would be                                                      $59,073

"Which, added to the above three fourths of criminal prosecutions, makes the sum of eighty-seven thousand four hundred and fifty-one dollars, which is drawn directly and annually from the treasury of the State, in order that drunkards may enjoy the glorious privilege of making beasts of themselves.

But these are but a few of the leading charges upon our State treasury resulting from intemperance. Another large item has not been inserted, it is the sum of $19,587 for the support of idiots and lunatics not taken to the asylums. We will not attempt to discuss the question as to what amount of the idiocy of the country is traceable to ardent spirits but there is no better established fact than that intemperance in the parent is one of the most fruitful sources of idiocy in the offspring. We pass this disputed item, however, because without it we have facts almost too startling and astonishing for belief! We will glance at a few of them.

The county charges for pauperism have been estimated by the best judges at not less than $590 to each county. The private charities bestowed upon the victims of intemperance and their families at one half that sum. The amount of ardent spirits annually consumed is also estimated at 500 barrels to each county - estimating each barrel to contain 40 gallons, and 100 counties in the State, and we have as the annual consumption of ardent spirits in Kentucky, the enormous amount of 2,000,000 gallons. Say one half of this is sold to the consumer in larger quantities than the single dram at a cost of 30 cents per gallon, which, considering the high prices of some of the costlier qualities, is a very low estimate, and it produces the sum of $300,000; estimating the other half, or 1,000 000 of gallons to behold by the glass, or dram, at 5 cents per dram, and estimating each dram at one gill, and we find it costs the consumer $1.60 per gallon, or the enormous sum of $1,600.000.

Then the use of ardent spirits as set forth above, in a few plain, palpable items, may be enumerated as follows:

Amount annually drawn from the State treasury, as before stated,    $87,451
One half expenses of paupers in 100 counties at $500 per county,     25,000
Amount spent in private charities,                                                         25,000
Cost of 1.000 000 gallons of liquor at 30 cents per gallon,                 300,000
Cost of 1,000,000 gallons at 5 cents per dram, or gill,                     1,600,000

            Total                                                                                    $2,037,451

Making the total drain upon the State, annually, of two million thirty-seven thousand four hundred and fifty-one dollars. Yet, enormous and astounding as this annual drain may seem it is but a small item when compared to the time wasted, the losses sustained and the expenses incurred by the unfortunate consumer.

That it is degrading the spirit, corrupting the morals, and poisoning the heart, is equally self- evident; but still let facts speak for themselves. It is estimated that in our State 3,000 persons die annually the victims of intemperance; most of these victims have families. Thousands of other families are reduced to poverty and degradation from the same cause. Human nature is always progressive; the human intellect is never at rest; it is continually advancing: in virtue or vice. Each victim of intemperance not only adds to the great army of the vicious, but is too apt to school his offspring in vice and crime, thus shutting out themselves and their posterity from the pales of sobriety and order, giving a downward and degrading tendency to generation upon generation peopling the purlieus of vice and crime for ages yet unborn. Of this tendency we have a striking illustration in the fee or common schools of our State. Kentucky, with a generosity and munificence worthy of her name, resolved to extend the blessings of education to every child in the State. It is the sworn duty of the school trustees to invite the indigent children to attend school free of charge; but do we find the children of the drunken inebriate who has squandered his means at the doggery there? Seldom or never; he has not the means to clothe them like his neighbor's children; he feels that their rags are a reflection upon his own misconduct and he will not let his children go to the school. But the human mind is progressive and will not remain at rest; it will be taking lessons of some kind, and that little boy with genius and intellect beaming from his features, if not educated in the common school, will, by the side of his parent, take lessons in the common doggery; and that mind, capable of becoming an ornament and a blessing to society, may be turned into a blighting, withering curse.

The superintendent of public instruction in his last annual report, gives the number of parents who have no property subject to taxation at 10,449, and the children of these parents at 25,169; and the parents having less than $100 worth of taxable property at 11,213, and the children of these parents at 30,545, thus making in Kentucky a total of 21,662 parents having little or no property, and those parents having within the school ages, the host of 55,714 children. We intend to cast no reflections upon the honest but unfortunate poor of the State. Some, it is true, are unfortunately poor without any apparent fault of their own; but in this highly prosperous country, where it is almost impossible for the healthy, sober, industrious parent to fail in his efforts to acquire a competency. We may safely ascribe the poverty of a large portion of these 21,662 parents to intoxication, or the improper use of ardent spirits. How many of this large army of children will be reared in ignorance, time and our future legislation can alone develop.

Intemperance not only corrupts the rearing generation, but it also debases and corrupts the elective franchise. It not only has a direct tendency to keep every poor man from office, but it corrupts and degrades the moral sense of propriety and strict integrity; for treating is direct bribery, nothing less, call it by whatever name you may; palliate, disguise it as you will, it is bribery direct - base, palpable. For what purpose does the candidate treat? To procure your vote, nothing else. Was it from his exuberant benevolence and overflowing kindness, why does he not continue the practice after the election; but we see none of this. Nay, disguise it as you will, the veriest dotard knows that a candidate treats to procure votes, and he who would procure votes by liquor, would not hesitate to procure them by money; in fact the latter would seem the most honorable course. It would be fair trading for something like value received, whilst by treating, you first cheat your victim out of his reason and then out of his vote.

But it is useless to multiply examples of the degrading, damning influence of ardent spirits, it pours forth its lava streams into every ramification of society — every neighborhood has a monument of its ruins: every family some legend of its horrors. There is no crime in the calendar of wrong that has not been committed under its influence. There is no duty in the calendar of virtue that has not withered at its approach. There is no suffering to which humanity is incident, that it has not entailed upon our race. There is no pleasure that thrills through the heart that it has not turned into mourning; and yet astonishing to relate, when the wise and the good have arisen as one man, to banish the monster evil, they are every where met with the cry, "Oh don't bring the matter into politics!! Don't, oh don't let it bear on the elections." Yes, liquor is loading us with taxes, destroying our wealth, degrading our children, governing our elections, and we are appealed to with winning smiles, and crocodile tears, and told that temperance is a most beautiful thing, yes a most lovely thing, but don't, oh don't, bring it before the people. Such effrontery as this is only equaled by the Irishman who knocked down his neighbor, entered his dwelling, insulted his wife, kicked out his children, seized on his money, and when threatened with an appeal to the arm of the law for redress, he turned to his neighbor with the most patronizing air and exclaimed. "Now Johnny, I know that law and justice are most beautiful things in their place — let father Daugherty talk about them in the pulpit on Sundays, that is the place for them, my honey — but don't, oh don't, go to bringing them into the court house, you will be after raising such a fuss and bother, if ye do it my dear."

The Sons of Temperance have been improperly and unjustly accused of forcing this question into politics; it is not their act it is rather a combination of causes and events that have been progressing for a quarter of a century. The blight of intemperance had arrested the attention of the philanthropist of every grade and order; temperance associations of every degree had continually kept the question before the public; legislative aid has been repeatedly attempted, but the most direct agent in producing the present result, was the thorough and radical change in our organic law; under the new constitution a host of candidates are thrown before the people at every election. This not only threw wide the door to bribery and corruption in treating, in such a startling manner as to arouse public attention every where but the continual recurrence of the question of license, or no license, which would be raided at each election of county officers, absolutely required a reference of the whole subject to the people of the State. But during this state of public sentiment and feeling — Maine, that little State of Maine had assumed a new position — had presented a new front to king alcohol and his legions; instead of wasting further time in trying to keep the monster in hands, she exercised her natural right of banishing the monster from her territory. Herein this age of discovery, was a discovery worthy of the age!! The means of getting rid of the evil seemed so simple, plain, and practical, that the friends of temperance every where exclaimed, "Banish the evil — give us a prohibitory law."

How could the Sons of Temperance act under these circumstances? The avowed aim and object of their organization is to suppress the evils of intemperance, and now when the good and virtuous of all classes are marshalling their forces for the contest — when the very principles that called them into existence is about to triumph, shall they sneak from the contest and say to those whom they have so long and so faithfully warned, " Our heart is faint, our arm is weak, we cannot aid you?" No, God forbid that any portion of the citizens of Kentucky should act so dastardly — true to their cause, true to their country, the Sons of Temperance enlist with alacrity in the great army, but they are a mere corporal's guard, compared to the great masses engaged in the cause; single handed and alone they cannot effect any thing, and the charge against them that they wish to sap the liberties of the State, and build up a great political party of their own, is alike equal for its falsehood and absurdity. Do they assume any exclusive rights, or attempt any invasion of the rights of the citizen, in the platform published at the mass meeting 'in Springfield, hear it:

"1st. We desire that a general law, founded upon the principles hereinafter set forth, shall be submitted to the vote of the people after its passage; and if the said law receive a majority of the votes which are cast, it shall be in force throughout the State.

2d. The law thus submitted should prohibit the manufacture and sale, except for medicinal, mechanical, and sacramental purposes, of all intoxicating drinks. It should provide in a fair, constitutional, and effectual manner, for the execution of the principles above stated, by adequate and speedy remedies, and by reasonable and sufficient penalties; and especially it should effectually suppress the retail, traffic and all public tippling; and prohibit minors and slaves from all dealing in said liquors under any circumstances whatever. The details of said law and the particular provisions thereof, being left to the Legislature.”

Here we have all that is asked or claimed by the Sons of Temperance, or the friends of a prohibitory law. A suppression of the manufacture and sale of ardent spirits for all except mechanical, medicinal, and sacramental purposes.

We will consider some of the many objections that are raised to this platform.

1st. It is objected that although intemperance is a very great evil, it is wrong that it should be mingled with, or brought into politics.

2d. That a prohibitory law would be unconstitutional.

3d. That it would be a violation of man's natural rights to prohibit him from making or dealing in ardent spirits.

Let us consider the first objection, that of bringing temperance into politics, and this objection might be answered by asking the question, how can any great question be settled without bringing it into politics? The traffic in liquor has been a political question for more than sixty years standing; session after session it has been the subject of legal enactments; from time to time, have the Legislature passed laws to restrain and control its use; every election since the organization of our government has been more or less controlled by ardent spirits and yet it is laughable to hear objectors say, ‘you should not bring the question into politics.’ Just so long as political demagogues can use intoxicating drinks to procure votes that their moral worth cannot command, the thing is all right, but when this great weapon is to be wrested from their hands the thing is all wrong; it should not be brought into politics. There is but a slight difference between us, gentlemen, at last — you say the thing should not be brought into politics now. We say the thing should never have been brought into politics, but you have had it in politics for the last sixty years, corrupting and influencing our elections; we now ask to get it out of politics, and let our elections be free and equal. But to dispose of this question at a word, an appeal to the people is the only mode known to our constitution and laws to settle any great question. We now pray an appeal to that great tribunal and you oppose it; we only ask that a law banishing the evil may be submitted to the direct vote of the people— their vote upon such a law will settle the question; but you contend for the curse being still retained upon them, without allowing them a vote on the subject.

Let us now examine the constitutional question — and here it may be remarked as a singular occurrence, that so long as a large portion of the citizens were prohibited from engaging in the traffic, and its whole profits monopolized by a few merchants and tavern keepers we never hear the constitutionality of a prohibitory law doubted, but so soon as this prohibition is proposed to be extended to all classes and this very favored class is to be placed on equal footing with their fellow citizens; they are the very first to make the sage discovery that a prohibitory law would be unconstitutional!!

This class certainly deserve great credit for their superior legal acumen in discovering, what the most profound jurists of the United States have failed to do; yet to what confidence should they be entitled by their fellow citizens for not sooner revealing the discovery, and admitting all to a share in the profits of a trade which they have so long monopolized to themselves. Perhaps these mighty expounders of constitutional law
might think it degrading to have their opinions compared with the opinions of such men as Judges Taney, McLean, Catron, Daniel and Grier, who have decided the question differently; and we shall therefore not be at the trouble of quoting their opinions; the fact is, that the constitutional question is so plain and simple that any candid and unprejudiced mind can form its own conclusions on the subject; in truth the constitution is wholly silent on the point. We only need to advert one moment to the nature of our government, and then a school boy can understand the whole question of constitutionality as clearly as the Judge on the bench.

Ours is a confederated government; all the supreme powers of government originally existed in the States, but by compact they have yielded a portion of these powers to the Federal Government. The powers granted the Federal Government are defined and set forth in the constitution of the United States; hence to test the constitutionality of an act of Congress, we have to examine if it is within the powers granted by that constitution, and if not in the granted powers it is unconstitutional. But a very different rule applies to State Legislation. The supreme, sovereign power of government still remaining in the States — except so far as relinquished by compact with the Federal Government, or restrained by the State constitution — the only test of the constitutionality of a law of a State is a direct prohibition. Is there any such prohibition in the constitution of our State? We have searched for it in vain, and we have called repeatedly upon those would-be expounders of constitutional law to show it, which none have done, for the simple reason that it was not in the book. Two conventions have assembled and two constitutions have been formed in Kentucky, whilst there existed on our statute books laws providing for the suppression in the sale, and for the seizure and destruction of ardent spirits, yet no clause is inserted, no provision made in either constitution to protect the citizen from this monstrous outrage upon his natural rights! No, the whole question is left for the superior legal acumen of these latter day saints in constitutional law!

Let us now consider the third objection, that of its being a violation of man's natural rights; and this question might be disposed of in the language of an able jurist in deciding a question on an old stale demand, in which he said that he who slumbered on his rights for twenty years should still slumber on. If the whole of the citizens of Kentucky, except a few merchants and tavern keepers, have slumbered over their rights to traffic in ardent spirits for more than sixty years, had they not better slumber on. Our Legislature have always exercised the right of controlling and limiting the traffic, prohibiting the great mass of the people from engaging in it, yet who, until recently, has ever complained? Who has been injured by this great infringement of the natural rights of the citizen?

By resorting however to first principles, this question of natural rights can be as easily settled as the constitutional question. If we consider man in a state of nature, without regard to his duties to his Creator or fellow man, he is certainly endowed with the most unlimited freedom of thought and action; but this right of unlimited freedom can only be enjoyed by a single individual, solitary and alone, and separate and apart, from any other living being, endowed with equal rights, for just so sure as this perfect freedom comes to be exercised in the presence of another individual equally free, a collision must necessarily follow. As well might you suppose two separate, independent monarchs sitting upon, and governing from, the same throne, as to imagine two individuals in the same vicinity enjoying unrestrained liberty: men are not hermits and to enjoy the pleasures and aids of society they gladly disrobe themselves of those natural rights which would conflict with the rights of others; what rights they thus surrender and what retain, are generally specified by the laws of the country under which they live. Our constitution; which is our organic law, carefully defines all the natural rights reserved to individuals; there is no feature of the proposed law that will at all conflict with any of those reserved rights. But the right to make such laws as will secure to the people the greatest amount of peace, happiness, and security is a right incident and appertaining to all governments; without this right, government would be a mere nullity. Law is defined to be a rule of action, commanding what is right and prohibiting what is wrong. Whatever is morally, civilly, or politically right, should be commanded by law; and whatever is morally, civilly, or politically wrong, should be prohibited by law. If intemperance is either morally, civilly, or politically an evil, it is wrong, and should he prohibited by law: it has been treated as an evil by all former legislation; the legislative right to so treat it has been claimed and exercised since the formation of our government; the proposed prohibitory law involves no new question of right; the whole question is one of expediency. But we are met with the question of vested rights, and the man is entrenched behind his stilts, and claims the protection of law merely because the law has not heretofore demolished him. According to this doctrine of vested rights, all an individual has to do is to procure a vested right in advancement of penal enactment, and he is then forever safe. Thus, if the assassin should be so fortunate as to invest a few dollars in a revolver and Bowie knife before any penal enactment against murder, he might forever plead his vested right against the law of murder.

A fancy sketch will best illustrate this question of vested rights. Imagine a State or Territory who have tried to exist without law, they have been trying that Utopian phantom moral suasion, until necessity compels them to resort to a code of laws. Their first Legislature is in session, and the committee on the penal code have reported a bill, with the usual penal enactments against murder, larceny, burglary, &c. &c and the bill is now under discussion. Mr. Speaker,” exclaims the burglar, “I shall oppose the passage of that bill, it would destroy my vested rights; behold the money I have invested in these picks, jimmers, bars and false keys to carry on my calling." "Mr. Speaker," cries another, “if that bill passes it will ruin me, for I have invested all my money in ropes and halters, to carry on the business of horse-stealing." “I am amazed,” cries out another, “that any set of men should have so little regard for the rights of their fellow men; my father died leaving me a handsome patrimony, I invested the whole of it in plates, dies, types, and fixtures to carry on counterfeiting, would the gentlemen attempt to reduce me to beggary?" Reader, had you been a member of that Legislature, and a vested right's man, what would you have done, changed your opinion, or moved an adjournment sine die? 

But waving all other questions and granting to the distiller the right to make, the vendor the right to scatter his poisoning draught into the bosom of the community, and the inebriate the right to wallow in intoxication, it is still a well settled maxim of law that where two rights come in conflict, the greater must prevail. How, then, stands the question? Arrayed against those rights are the rights of the peaceable, sober, tax-paying citizen, who is taxed like a Russian serf that these things may be. The rights of the wife driven forth in the howling storm. The rights of the aged parent mourning over the last scion of his race, pulling down disgrace on his once proud name. The rights of hordes of half clad, half starved children skulking and hiding from a demon father. The rights of fond parents daily appealing to the laws for help to protect their children from the snares of the grog shop ; and the rights of the whole community whose feelings are insulted, their property destroyed, and their lives endangered by this blighting curse. When rights like these come in conflict, which should prevail? Who would envy the reputation of that chancellor who would decide the question of right in favor of the distiller or vendor?

Through the medium of this address it would be impossible to answer all the false, foolish, and frivolous objections that are raised to a prohibitory law; the friends of the law have openly, freely, and fearlessly, proclaimed their principles, and invited public discussion; have they been thus openly met? No none have dared to meet the question in public debate; but privately have our principles been garbled and misrep- esented; the fool’s argument — the cry of humbuggery, fanaticism — has been croaked forth by every tap room orator, and designing demagogue; and craftily avoiding a discussion of our platform, they have seized upon the Maine Law, and given garbled and unfair representations of its details. Whether the Maine Law is perfect or imperfect, is not now the question before the people of Kentucky; the question is, whether the retail trade in ardent spirits is such an evil as should be prohibited by law; the details of that law we propose to leave to the assembled wisdom of the Legislature; whether that law will have ingrafted into it that odious right of search, so much harped upon in the Maine Law, will depend upon the members the people may elect. We would only remark, however, that this odious right of search, now for the first time dragged forth to public gaze, is a feature and principle that has stood prominent on our statute book, and been recognized as the common law of our land from time immemorial; not a citizen of Kentucky, since she has been a State, however exalted his station in society, but has at all times been liable to have his premises and person searched: and although we have strained our memory back to our earliest infancy, we have no recollection of ever hearing of an honest citizen of Kentucky complain of the law of search; however much burglars, counterfeiters, and thieves, may have dreaded and repined at this law, we venture the assertion that the law of search has never given one honest citizen one moment's trouble!

Fellow-citizens, the friends of Temperance have flung their banner to the breeze — on its broad folds are inscribed LAW, ORDER, HEALTH, PEACE, PROSPERITY, HAPPINESS; our principles awaken and call into action every generous sentiment and feeling of the heart— look on this, and then look on the dark banner of internperance; see on its folds, in lurid colors, the midnight revel, the bleeding corpse, the
drunken madman, the pale weeping wife—see, in a word, the tall pyramid of woe and ruin that it has entailed upon our race — and then choose under which banner you will serve. Generations yet unborn, a happier people: “regenerated, redeemed and disenthralled" from the shackles of intemperance, will look back with anxiety to the history of the present day, and the sons of now living sires will point to the poll books of 1853 and say, behold!! Our fathers belonged to the great army of Temperance!! Choose, then, fellow citizens, on which side you will transmit your names to Posterity.

                                                            H. D. TAYLOR,
                                                            H. T. DOWNARD

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Helen Purcell Leach

Helen Purcell Leach

     My mother, Helen Purcell Leach, died last Thursday morning in Nashville, TN. She was 94 and missed making it to 95 by only three weeks.  Mother was born in neighboring Grayson County on 21 Feb 1918.

     Mother married Samuel Leslie Leach in 1935. My dad was born in Ohio County in 1914 and he died in 2003. He was the third and youngest child of Harney Leslie Leach and Lucy Ellen Gardner (we think my paternal grandmother was born in Meade County 22 Sept 1883 but I have not been able to confirm the location of her birth).  My father had two older siblings, a brother and sister that were twins, Otis Allen Leach and Ersa Mae Leach. All three children were born in Beaver Dam. Their father, Harney Leslie, and their grandfather, Samuel William, both died of the flu in 1918. So my paternal grandmother was faced with raising three small children by herself. She ultimately remarried and the family moved to Owensboro.

     My paternal great-grandfather, Samuel William Leach, lived in the Cromwell area on Bald Knob Road. His farm was 112 acres and there is a small family cemetery on that farm. He was born in 1851 and died in 1918. He was married to Finis Leona Swain, whose family was from Prentiss, south of Beaver Dam. Samuel William served as Tax Assessor, Justice of the Peace, and also taught penmanship in the community, although he made his living as a farmer. At one time he raised bees and sold honey. He and Finis were members of the Baptist Church.

     Mother's father was Charles (Charlie) Gardner Purcell, a native of Grayson County, and he owned a mill in Clarkson, which is a few miles east of Leitchfield. He made & sold flour, corn meal, and feed for farm animals. I grew up playing and working in that mill for the first eight years of my life and most summers until I graduated from high school.  I remember that the cloth feed sacks were made of cotton and were printed with flowers and various designs - those sacks were used by customers to make dresses. My grandfather was born in 1881 in the Duff community of Grayson County, not too far from the Ohio County line.  My grandfather Purcell married Robb Patterson from Grayson County, who was born in 1889.