Tuesday, September 30, 2014


HENRY FREDERICK ARMENDT, Ohio County, was born in Lawrence County, Ky., February 5, 1853, and in childhood removed with his parents to Ohio County, where he has since resided. His father, Henry F. Armendt, a native of the city of Darmstadt, was born April 30, 1826, and landed in the United States in 1848. His father, Louis, and his mother, Sophie, natives of Darmstadt, were intelligent and well educated. Henry F. married Margaret M., daughter of Dr. John and Magdalen (Lerg) Weinsheimer, of Bingen on the Rhine; she was born in Oppenheim on the Rhine, September 24, 1828, and from their union sprang Henrietta M. (Becker), Louis G., Henry Frederick, William B., John A., Laura I., Eleanor H. and Mary F. April 19, 1877, Henry Frederick Armendt married Ida E., daughter of Alfred T. and Sarah J. Hines, of Ohio County; she was born February 18, 1857, and to them have been born Clarence L. and F. Roy. Mr. Armendt was reared a farmer until his eighteenth year, when he labored at the carpenter's trade for three years. He served two years as guager in the United States revenue service and has recently been engaged in the distilling business. In 1881, he commenced a general merchandising business, in which he has met with encouraging success, being located at Hines' Ferry. He took the United States census in 1880. Politically is a Republican.

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

Saturday, September 27, 2014


JAMES FERDINAND AMBROSE, Ohio County, was born February 6, 1845, on the place where he now resides, in Ohio County, Ky. His father was born November 24, 1801, in Ohio County, and died in 1873. His grandfather, a native of Germany, was a patriotic soldier, under Gen. Green, in the American Revolution. Subject's mother, Betsey Ambrose, died July 26, 1868. To her and husband were born Mary M. (Smith), Pricy S. (Medcalf), William L., James Ferdinand, Sallie A. (Johnson) and Annie E. In youth James F. was fortunate in receiving a common English education, and has, in a commendable manner, availed himself of every opportunity of seeking information. December 18, 1873, he was united in marriage to Charlotte, daughter of John and Charlotte (Smith) Midkiff, of Ohio County, born April 18, 1849, and this union has been blessed by the birth of two daughters, viz.: Iva and Myrtie. Mr. Ambrose is a farmer, owning 180 acres of well improved land in a good state of cultivation. In politics he affiliates with the Democratic party.

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


WILLIAM PORTER ALLEN was born October 18, 1829, in Ohio County, Ky., where he has always resided. His father, Capt. Levi Allen, a native of Sumner County, Tenn., was born in 1794, a soldier in the war of 1812, and died in 1861. He was the son of Theophilus Allen, of Maryland, who died about 1835, at the age of sixty-five years: His father was Rhodam Allen, of Maryland. Levi was twice married; first, to Jane, daughter of John Esque, of Tennessee, and to them were born Alfred, Bradford and Franklin. He afterward married Elizabeth (Allen), and from this union sprang Elizabeth J. (Earp), Louisa (Clark), Amanda M. (Willson), William P., James H,, David, Eli B., Margaret (Axton), Oscar and Caroline (Awtry). January 8, 1850, Mr. Allen married Martha A., daughter of Willis and Lucinda (Bratcher) Campbell, of Ohio County; she was born November 2, 1836, and their union has been blessed by the birth of Levi, Ledisca A. (Miller), James B., Franklin and Lueller. Mr. Allen is a farmer, having 126 acres of fair land in good condition, and in a high state of cultivation. He is a member of the Christian Church and of the Masonic fraternity. He is a Republican. 

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

Saturday, September 20, 2014


WILLIAM HENRY ACTON was born November 4, 1834, in Ohio County, Ky., where he   has always resided. His father, Bartemus Acton, a native of Charles County, Md., removed toKentucky about 1825, and died in 1867, at the age of sixty-five years. He was the son of         Oscar Acton, of Maryland. Bartemus married Sarah Robey, of Maryland, who died in 1850,  and their children are Susanna C. (Mitchell), Mary J. (Bean), Thomas W., Gabriel, Chloe A. E.(Bean), William Henry, Fielder W., Martha A. (Crawford) and Eveline (Davis). Jan. 24,      1856, William Henry Acton married Martha J., daughter of Hugh C. and Rebecca (Foreman) Crawford, of Nelson County, Ky.; she was born April 28, 1838, and to them have been born William M., Stephen S., Sarah P. (deceased), Amanda E., Hugh C., Rebecca E., Robert B.,      and Ira W.  Mr. Acton is a farmer, owning 240 acres of fine land in a good state of                 cultivation. In religion he is a Methodist, and in politics a Democrat. 

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

William Hayden Porter

William Hayden Porter (1818-1888)

"Col. William H. Porter, Jr. was born in Morgantown, Sept. 15, 1818, and was educated in that place and Russellville, under the principal ship of Marmaduke Morton of Logansport, who was President of the bank in the same town, and now Clerk of the Court in Russellville.  He was a surveyor thirty years and county surveyor eight years. He married, December 20, 1838, to Hannah Lee, daughter of William and Sarah Lee, the latter one of the first settlers in Ohio County, and was some time in the old Hartford Fort.  Col. Porter’s grandfather was Col. John Porter, who came to America from Ireland and settled in Morgantown in 1787. He became a popular and leading citizen and twice represented his county in the Kentucky Legislature.  Col. Porter served his country faithfully all through the Mexican War, being a member of Company F, Fourth Kentucky regiment, Capt. D. C. McCrary – Col. John S. Williams – and was all through the campaign with Gen. Scott as Sergeant.  In the Civil War he served seven months with the commission of Major in the Twelfth (FED) Cavalry.  He was crippled at that time, but saw much service afterwards in the Home Guards, first as Captain and finally as Colonel of the Regiment. He now owns a farm of fifty acres one mile and half from Cromwell, and is well known throughout the county.  He is a fine scholar, both Latin and English.  His uncle, Oliver Cromwell Porter, built the first house in Cromwell in 1835, when the town was called Porter’s Landing. This uncle represented Butler County in the Kentucky Legislature."

Added notes:

The foregoing item was found by Judith Wilson and sent to me for this blog. It was originally posted on Ancestry.com by Joe Taylor (deceased), who was a wonderful Ohio County researcher. It is thought that Joe's posting was an excerpt from the 1885 biographies published by Battle, Perrin & Kniffen.

Col. Porter was the son of William and Nancy Porter. Col. Porter died 5 September 1888 in Cromwell. Census records do not show any children of this marriage.  A nephew, Hayden Porter, was the subject of an item on this blog on April 21, 2013.

In Fogle’s Papers, A History of Ohio County, Kentucky, published in 1981, at page 319, it is stated that the town of Cromwell was named after Oliver Cromwell Porter, an uncle of Col. Porter, mentioned above.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Rockport - 1895

1895-96 Kentucky State Gazetteer


On Green River, in Ohio County, 11 miles south of Hartford, the county seat and bank location. It is on the C.O. & S.W. Ry. Southern Express. Western Union Telegraph. Population, 500. M. J. Reid, postmaster.

Business Directory

Blivens, Robert B., shoemaker
Campfield, M. V., general store
Culbertson, J. J., barber
Daniel, J. & Co., restaurant
Davenport, Mrs. M. C., hotel
Duncan, D. J. & Co., general store
Fulkerson & Rap. Livery
Graves, W. P., lumber
Her, R. E. & Co., general store and drugs
Her, R. R., saddler
James, W. B., justice
Layton, Charles W., physician
Maddox, John D., physician
Monroe, Felix, lumber
Reid, L., transfer agent
Reid, Haden & Co., general store and drugs
Rogers & Brown, sawmill
Rossen, Wallace, teacher
Smith, Joseph, railroad & express agent
Tilford, William, fisherman
Woodburns & Dural, sawmill
Young, H. J., general store

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Testimony of Arthur Haven from Leach vs Leach lawsuit.

The following testimony of Arthur Haven was taken 11 February 1948; this post is the eleventh of eleven. The background (explanation) for this testimony can be found in my post dated 23 July 2014.


Chester F. Leach, Clyde F. Leach, Oscar Leach, Otis Leach, Ersa Leach, and Samuel Leach, Plaintiffs.


S. D. Leach, Defendant.


Also the deposition of Arthur Haven taken at the same time and place and for the purpose stated in the caption. Witness being first duly sworn and examined by Otto C. Martin, Attorney for defendant, testified as follows:

Q. 1   State your name
A.  Arthur Haven.

Q. 2   Your age?
A.   53

Q. 3   Where do you live?
A.   Near Cromwell.

Q. 4   Did you ever live out in the Rob Roy or Bald Knob section of Ohio County?
A.    Yes sir, quite awhile.

Q. 5   About how long?
A.   Fifteen years, I guess.

Q. 6 I believe you married a Leach?
A.   Yes sir

Q. 7   Did you know S. W. Leach during his lifetime?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 8   Did you know the farm he lived on when he died?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 9   How long have you known that farm?
A.  I have known that farm for thirty-five years, I guess.

Q. 10   How close did you live to it when you live in t ha Rob Roy section?
A.   A part of the time on adjoining farms to it, and close to it all the time.

Q. 11   Been over it very much?
A.  Yes, quite a bit.

Q. 12   See the timber on it?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 13   Do you remember when Mr. Leach died?
A.   I remember the occasion but not the date.

Q. 14    Do you recall when his widow sold this farm to J. N. Leach?
A.   Yes, I remember something about it.

Q. l5   Had you figured on buying that place yourself?
A.   Yes, some.

Q. 16   You knew the condition of the improvements on that place?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 17   Any fencing on it?
A.  None worthwhile.

Q. 18    You knew about the surface, the kind of surface and the timber, the location etc.?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 19   What, in your opinion, was the reasonable fair market value of that farm in 1919 when it was so1d to J. N. Leach?
A.  If I remember right, he paid $2,000.00 for it. That is more than I would have paid for it at that time.

Q. 20   What in your opinion was the value of the timber, lands and improvements at that time?
A.  Well, that was higher then I figured I could pay for it.

Q. 21   How much higher?
A.    $300.00 or $400.00

Q. 22   What, in your opinion, was the value of the timber on the land when sold to Mr. J. N. Leach?
A.   I figured the timber was worth as much as the land itself. I would have given as much for the timber as the land if buying them separate. If it had been sold separate I think the timber would have sold for as much as the land.

Q. 23   You didn’t think the timber and land together were worth $2,000.00?
A.   It would not have been worth that to me.

Q. 24   I am talking about the fair market value of it?
A.  That was higher than 1 could have paid for it.

Q. 25   Considering that Mr. Leach's widow was 62 years old, and in poor health when he died, and that she had a life estate in that farm, that is the right to the custody and control, and possession of it, the right to live on it, cultivate it and collect the rents and profit, but had no interest in the timber or minerals, and was subject to pay the taxes and upkeep of the farm, what would her life estate be worth?
A.   Mighty 1ittle to me.

Q. 26   What would be the fair, reasonable cash value if some one wanted to buy it and she wanted to sell it, what would it have been worth?
A.  I doubt if it would have sold for more than four or five hundred dollars.

Cross-examination by Claude E. Smith, Attorney for Plaintiffs

Q. 1  How much did you know about the timber on this place?
A.    Not a great deal. I am not a timber man.

Q. 2   I meant to ask you what knowledge did you have of the quantity of the timber on the Leach farm?
A.   Well, I don't know.

Q. 3   Did you ever count the trees?
A.  No sir.

Q. 4   What kind of timber was on this place?
A.    I guess principally White Oak and Black Oak, some beech on it.

Q. 5   Fairly good size, some of it?
A.   Yes, some that was fairly good size for that kind of ground. Of course, nothing like the timber in bottom land.

Q. 6  None of that timber had been cut off that you know before Mr. J. N. Leach cut It?
A.   Not that I recall.

Q. 7   Whose son are you?
.A.   Cornelius Haven' s.

Redirect by Otto C. Martin, Attorney for defendant.

Q. l   You had been through this timber and looked at it in a general way?
A.  Yes, l had been through it and sorter looked it over.


State of Kentucky
County of Ohio

I, Edna Hudson, a Notary Public in and for the county and state aforesaid, do certify that the foregoing depositions of Charles Fulton, L. L. Leach, O. D. Miller, Laban Hines, F. M. Williams, Rob Williams, Roy Williams, C. Wayne Leach, Clay Leach, Martin Porter and Arthur Haven were taken by me at the time and place and for the purpose stated in the caption; that each of said witnesses were first duly sworn by me before giving the same; that said depositions were taken by me in shorthand and afterwards transcribed
from my notes, signature and reading of depositions waived; that the foregoing pages contain a transcript of my said notes.

I further certify that the plaintiffs, Oscar Leach and Ersa Leach, were present in person, and that all the plaintiffs were present at said taking by Claude E. Smith, their attorney; that the defendant was not present in person, but by attorney, Otto. C. Martin.

Witness my hand, this March 12, 1948.

My commission expires October 6, 1948.

Signed:  Edna Hudson

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Testimony of Martin Porter from Leach vs Leach lawsuit.

The following testimony of Martin Porter was taken 11 February 1948; this post is the tenth of eleven. The background (explanation) for this testimony can be found in my post dated 23 July 2014.


Chester F. Leach, Clyde F. Leach, Oscar Leach, Otis Leach, Ersa Leach, and Samuel Leach, Plaintiffs.


S. D. Leach, Defendant.


Also the deposition of Martin Porter, taken at the same time and place and for the purpose stated in the caption. Witness being first duly sworn an examined by Otto C. Martin, attorney for defendant, testified as follows:

Q. 1  State your name.
A.  Martin Porter.

Q. 2   Your  age?
A.  54.

Q. 3   Where do you live?
A. At Hartford, Kentucky.

Q. 4   In what business are you engaged?
A.  Hardware business.

Q. 5   You are a member of Porter-Leach Hardware Company?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 6  Where were you born and reared?
A.  I was born near Cromwell, left there when I was 14 years old and went down to Rob Roy.

Q.7   In the Rob Roy section of Ohio County?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 8   How long did you live in the Rob Roy section of this county?
A.   I left there when I was 35 years old.

Q. 9   I believe you married a daughter of J. N. Leach?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 10   A sister to S. D. Leach?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 11    Did you know S. W., Samuel, Leach?
A.   Yes I did.

Q. 12   Know his wife?
A.   I did.

Q. 13   Were you related to them?
A.   Yes, I couldn't tell you how much, but I was.

Q. 14  Your mother was also a Leach?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 15   She a relative of S. W. Leach?
A.  She was.

Q. 16   How far did you live from the S. W. Leach farm when you 1ived in the Rob Roy neighborhood?
A.  About two miles.

Q. 17   How long have you known that farm?
A.  All my life, since I was big enough to know anything.

Q. 18   Do you know when Mr. S. W. Leach died?
A.  Yes I remember when he died.

Q. 19  When he died was he living on this farm out there by Rob Roy?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 20   Who was in his family at that time?
A.  Living with him?

Q. 21  Yes sir.
A.  His wife was all I know of.

Q. 22   Had the boys married and left home?
A.  Yes, they had. Chester 1ived across the creek from him, I think.

Q. 23  On his farm?
A.  Yes sir.
Q. 24   How near to his father?
A.  Not over a half mile I don’t guess.

Q. 25   Do you remember when S. W. Leach’s widow sold this farm to your father-in-law, J. N. Leach?
A.  I remember him buying it. I was at the sale that day.

Q. 26  When the personal property was sold?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 27   That was sold at public sale?
A.   That is right.

Q. 28   Do you know whether or not Chester advised his mother to sell that farm?
A.  I don’t know.  I know one of the boys, Leslie or Clyde, was in a shoe shop at Beaver Dam.

Q. 29. To refresh your recollection Leslie died about a month before his father's death.
A.  Well, Clyde then. I went to town, and whichever it was, I suppose it was Clyde, said to me, that he wanted his mother to sell the farm and come to town; that she was too far out in the country. If she needed a doctor she couldn't get one. I thought it was Leslie, but they say it was Clyde.

Q. 30   The evidence shows that Leslie died a month before his father’s death.
A.   It was Clyde then, because it was after cousin Sam died.

Q. 31   He told you he wanted his mother to sell the farm and come to Beaver Dam?
A.   He never said Beaver Dam, he said come to town.

Q. 32   For what reason?
A.   She was too in the country and if she got sick she couldn't get a doctor.

Q. 33    Was she in good health at that time?
A.   I couldn't say, but I don't think too good health then.

Q. 34   Do you own land in that same neighborhood, Mr. Porter?
A.  Yes sir, I still own the same farm.

Q. 35   The one your father owned?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 36   How many acres in it?
A.   150.

Q. 37   Have you farmed it all along?
A.   Yes, I have tried to.

Q. 38   Did you know about the condition of the S.W. Leach farm, building, timber, etc.?
A.  I have been on the farm. I don't know anything much about the timber. I am not a timber man, but the buildings were old and pretty worn out when I can first remember them.

Q. 39   What about the cleared land?
A.  It was poor, always was, even where it was not cultivated.

Cross-examination by Claude E. Smith, attorney for plaintiff:

Q.  1   You own a farm adjoining this Leach farm?
A.   No sir.

Q. 2   Is it the same character and qua1ity of land?
A.   No sir, it is not the same kind of land. My land is about two miles from the Leach farm.

Q. 3   Lower ground?
A.  I don't know as it is lower ground. It is just better soil the way I look at it.

Q. 4   Have you seen the S. W. Leach farm recently?
A.   It has been two or three years. The last time I saw it had gone down considerably.

Q. 5    You mean the land, farm, improvements and everything?
A.   The farm had not gone down so much, it was already down. The buildings were almost completely rotted down. My father-in-law and Jake Leach put a new roof on the house after they got it, and done some work on it.

Q. 6   That had rotted off when you were up there?
A.  Yes sir.

Q. 7   And the timber was gone?
A.  I think there was some timber sold off of it, but there was some small timber on it.

Q. 8  There was some fairly good timber on this farm when Mr. Leach died , was there not?
A.  I don’t imagine any fine timber.

Q. 9  Was there not some valuable timber on this land when S. W. Leach died?
A.  I judge there was.

Q. 10   You just don't know about it?
A.   No sir, I don’t.

Q. 11  Other than being roofed, do you know of anything being done to keep this property up after February 15, 1919?
A.  That when it was sold?

Q. 12. Yes sir.
A. Well, yes, Jake Leach lived there and he was one of the best farmers in the community, and he built up some of this land after he moved there.

Q. 13  Jake lived there a few years and then moved away?
A.   Yes sir.

Q. 14   Since then has anything been done toward keeping the place up or repairing it?
A.   Nothing that I know of.