Wednesday, October 29, 2014


SAMUEL L. BAIRD was born January 27, 1824, in Ohio County, Ky., and is the sixth child in a family of fifteen children born to Thomas and Elizabeth (Ford) Baird. Thomas Baird was born in Bardstown, Ky., where his father, who was a native of Ireland, settled, but soon after moved to this county, and settled near where subject now resides. Thomas Baird was a farmer of limited means, and died in 1859. Samuel L. was reared to farm work, and attended the neighboring schools, and at twenty-one years of age hired out at farm labor for $8 per month. After four years he was overseer in Daviess County for a year, receiving much better pay, which he saved, and returned to this county; bought 100 acres of land (timber), which he improved and traded for his present farm. He now owns a farm in a high state of cultivation, of 228 acres, with large residence and fine surrounding improvements. The farm is well stocked with best breeds of cattle, horses and hogs, and has all the latest improved farm implements. August 28, 1850, he married Miss Tabitha A. Bennett, daughter of Joseph B. and Sarah Bennett. Mr. and Mrs. Baird are members of the Methodist Church. Mr. Baird has served several terms as school trustee. He is a Democrat.

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

Saturday, October 25, 2014


ALEXANDER B. BAIRD was born February 12, 1821, in Ohio County, Ky., a son of James and Rebecca (Barnett) Baird. James Baird, subject's father, was a native of County Derry, Ireland, and when a year old, in 1782, came to America with his parents, who first settled in Chambersburgh, Penn., and lived there seven years; they then moved to Bairdstown, now known as Bardstown, Ky.; this town was first settled by and named in honor of two of subject's grandfather's uncles, who were immigrants from Ireland, and settled the place, after serving through the Revolutionary war in behalf of the colonies. Subject's grandparents moved to Hartford in 1792, where they spent the remainder of their lives. James Baird, subject's father, when twenty-one years old, was appointed sheriff over a large area, now comprising several counties, and was one of the first magistrates of the county, a position he held many years. He was a commissioner in building court-house and jail, and was identified with all public enterprises. He died January 18, 1868; his wife died in September, 1859. They were Cumberland Presbyterians, and reared six children, the eldest and youngest alone survive: Rachael, now Mrs. Thomas Barrett, eighty years old, living in this county, and Alexander B. The latter was reared and given the rudiments of an education in Hartford and vicinity. At twenty-two years of age he was appointed deputy sheriff, and in the years 1844, 1845 and 1846, flat-boated to New Orleans during winters and farmed during summers. In connection with farming for three years, in 1847 he was assessor, and in 1851 was elected one of the first magistrates under the new constitution, but resigned before the expiration of his term, and was elected county judge in 1854, holding the office two terms of four years each. In 1861 he engaged in the tobacco business as agent for a New York firm, continuing until 1870, when he developed a coal mine on the then new Chesapeake, Ohio & Southwestern Railroad. Since 1883 he has been engaged in civil engineering and insurance business; he now holds the position of school trustee. December 24, 1844, he married Miss Sallie M. Barnett; their children are Laura, now Mrs. G. F. Purcell, of Denver, Col.; Clinton T., secretary of the Underwriters' Insurance Company, Louisville, Ky.; Naomi, now Mrs. Samuel E. Hill; Prudie, wife of Dr. V. W. Taylor, Lietchfield, Ky.; Dr. A. B. Baird, Jr., of Hartford; Lillie and Ada at home. Mr. and Mrs. Baird are members of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, in which he is an elder. He has represented the church at the General Assembly at McKeesport, Penn. He is a Royal Arch Mason.

Source: J. H. BATTLE, W H. PERRIN, & G. C. KNIFFIN 1885

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


LEVI MARION AXTON, Ohio County, was born June 9, 1845, in Posey County, Ind., and in infancy removed with his mother to the place where he now resides, near Barrett's Ferry, Ohio Co., Ky. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, Twenty-sixth Kentucky Infantry, and remained in the service during the war. His father, Levi C. Axton, a native of North Carolina, was a soldier in the war of 1812, and died about 1845. He was the son of Robert, of North Carolina. Levi C. married Sallie Jacobs, of Missouri, who died in 1850. Their family consisted of William (drowned), John J. (drowned), Olive (Dymond), James T., Mary E. (Shelton), Benjamin M. (died 1850), Lucy C. (Woodward), Isaac H. and Levi Marion. December 2, 1868, Levi M. married Amanda C., daughter of John P. and Nancy A. (Anderson) Park, of Ohio County; born September 10, 1845, and to her and husband have been born Mary C., Sarah E. (deceased), William L., Enola B., Jonny (deceased), John B., Jimmy (deceased) and Joseph M. At her birth, Mary C. weighed but one and one-half pounds. Mr. Axton is a farmer, having 174 acres of land in good condition and a high state of cultivation. In politics, he is a stanch Republican.

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

Saturday, October 18, 2014


WILLIAM McKENDREE AWTRY, Esq., was born April 20, 1842, near Rosine, Ohio Co., Ky., where he has always retained his residence. His father, William Awtry, a native of Metcalfe County, Ky., in youth removed with his parents to Ohio County, where he died in 1863, at the age of fifty-seven years. He was the son of John Awtry, who settled on the farm where the village of Rosine now stands, and died about 1835, at an advanced age. William, our subject's father, married Elizabeth, daughter of Samuel Wilson, of Ohio County; she died in 1851, aged forty-two years; and to them were born Polly A. (Pierce), Susan, Bethair (Sinclair), Sarah (Camp), John W., William McKendree, Nancy (White) and Almeda (Raley). In youth, subject's educational advantages were limited, but by careful application he has secured a good store of information and is a useful citizen. September 7, 1870, he married Mrs. Caroline, widow of Lorenzo D. Axton, and daughter of Levi and Elizabeth Allen, of Ohio County; born March 20, 1845, and their union has been blessed by the birth of Elizabeth, William L., Mahala (deceased), Thomas H., Oscar and John L. Squire Awtry is a farmer, having sixty-six acres of fine land in a good state of cultivation. His wife is a member of the Baptist Church. He served the public as constable for some time, and is now magistrate, and a member of the court of claims in Ohio County. He is a member in good standing of the Masonic fraternity; in politics he is an active Republican.

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


EDWARD G. AUSTIN, Ohio County. The ancestors of Mr. Austin were among those who came at an early day from Virginia to this State and have always been prominent citizens. His father was the celebrated Rev. Bishop James F. Austin, who was born in Ohio County in 1820, and baptized by the Rev. Alfred Taylor, one of Kentucky's earliest ministers. Bishop Austin was educated in the common schools, and later acquired a vast fund of information by close study and application, and at the age of twenty-two entered the ministry of the Baptist Church, And, although his labors were mostly in Ohio, Muhlenburgh, Warren, Daviess and Butler Counties, he established a reputation throughout the entire State, and was for many years superintendent of the Association of Ministers. As a pulpit orator, financial manager and bishop his rank was second to none. He died of Bright's disease, October 4, 1883. Mr. Austin's mother was a Miss Corinna Thomas, also a native of Ohio County, born in 1825. She obtained her education in the common schools, and was married in 1843. They had thirteen children, five of whom never reached the years of accountability: James P. married a Miss Phelps and has two children: Sally, wife of W. L. Rowe, has three children; Josephine, wife of F. J. Davenport, of Ellis County, Tex., has seven children; William T.; Luvena (deceased); Victoria, wife of Thomas Hendricks; our subject; and John W. The mother still lives at the old homestead, six miles southwest of Cromwell, where they have 340 acres of fine land.

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

Saturday, October 11, 2014


ALBERT S. AULL, Esq., was born in Owensboro, Ky., October 5, 1840, and was reared to manhood at that place. In 1861 he enlisted in the Fourth Kentucky Infantry, remaining in that service eighteen months, and in 1863 located in Ohio County, where he now resides. His father, Robert P. Aull, a native of Bardstowm, was born in 1812; removed to Daviess County in 1883, and died in 1871; he was the son of James Aull. Robert P. married Sarah E., daughter of William and Ann (Kinney) Steele, of Owensboro, born in London in 1818, and died in 1852. Their offspring are subject, Alcinda (Luckett) and Henry. To him by a second marriage were born John A. and Belle (Springfield). Squire Aull obtained a good common school education and is a reading man. He was married June 17, 1864, to America, daughter of William G. and Amanda (Redding) Wallace, of Ohio County, born September 25, 1846, and to them have been born Thomas Henry, Eugene S., Ada L.; Jennie L. and Edna. Squire Aull engaged in merchandising for some years. He also served as constable and postmaster, and is now magistrate and a member of the court of claims. In politics he is a Republican.

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

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Catherine Ann “Kitty” (Jenkins) Smith

Catherine Ann “Kitty” (Jenkins) Smith
February 1831 – December 28, 1902

Catherine Ann, called “Kitty Ann” by her parents and friends, was the daughter of  Benjamin Shacklett Jenkins and Elizabeth Tichenor Humphrey.   Her paternal grand- parents were John S. Jenkins and Sarah Quick Shacklett of Meade County, Kentucky; her maternal grandparents were Abijah Humphrey and Catherine “Katy” Emerson, from Cumberland County, Kentucky.

She married Thomas Smith, Jr. in 1848 on Christmas Day in Meade County, Kentucky.  Both were seventeen years old, and both their fathers had to sign a “consent” form to give to the county clerk.  The consent was necessary to verify the parents’ permission and approval of the marriage.

When Kitty Ann’s parents moved from Meade to Ohio County in about 1857, after the birth of James Thomas Smith in December 1856, the young couple also moved there.  The death certificate of James Thomas Smith documents that he was born in Meade County.

As mentioned, this couple had five children: Benjamin Franklin; Eliza Elizabeth; Sarah “Sallie” Catherine; James Thomas, and John Fulton.  Kitty Ann was six months pregnant with her last child, John Fulton, when her husband was captured.  He didn’t live to return home to see his little son. 


Life dealt Kitty Ann Jenkins, 31, who was six months pregnant, a hard blow when her husband was captured by Rebels on New Year's Day at Borah's Ferry on Green River in 1862.  Thomas and his squad of home guards were captured and carried off by Rebels to a prison in Maryland.  Kitty Ann was left with five children to raise and also a farm to run, to try to survive throughout the rest of the war. It was the greatest trial of her life to be separated from her husband and pregnant with their fifth child.

In that day and time, when a father died with minor children, the law specified that a guardian must be appointed, other than the mother, which was usually a relative or perhaps a close friend.  Said guardian had to make timely reports to the Court once a year as to any disposition made of any monies, such as for clothing, room and board, etc. for his wards.  Abe Bilbro, a friend of Kitty Ann’s father, was appointed guardian over all four children.  None of Abraham Bilbro’s records and reports to the court have been researched.


On December 22, 1862, it was ordered that H. L. Iler, J. P. Taylor and James A. Stevens be appointed appraisers of the Thomas Smith Estate, and that any two of them could act, to peruse the Estate of said decedent as prescribed by law, and report to the county court. 

During the February 1863 term of court, an inventory and an appraisement list of the assets of Thomas Smith was recorded in Book H, Page 455, as follows:

An Inventory of the Property of Thomas Smith, Deceased
Made on the 9th of January 1863

1 Auger                                                                      $ 0.40
1 3-quarter Auger & drawing knife                           0.15
1/3 of a cross cut saw                                                               1.00
1 clevis                                                                             .35
1 Scythe                                                                           .75
1 hoe                                                                                .75
1 hoe                                                                                .25
1 Basket                                                                           .10
1 Flat iron                                                                       .50
2 Sheep                                                                          3.00
6 Shoats                                                                         6.00

Kitty Ann purchased all of the above items, except two – J. H. Arnold purchased 1/3 of a cross-cut saw for 75 cents and J. J. Leach purchased the Scythe at a cost of 75 cents.

H. L. Iler and James A. Stevens signed the report to the Court as the Appraisers and J. J. Leach and Catherine Smith, signed as Administrators.  Reports from the guardian continued to be made until the minors reached the legal age, but none are available here.

On February 1, 1863, B. S. Jenkins (Kitty’s father), Wm. M. Anglea, (a blacksmith and neighbor of Kitty’s father); A. P. Montague (a leading merchant in Cromwell until his death); and Jabich Williams filed a report to the court as claimants against the estate and agreed to whatever settlement the court would make.  Two of them may have been partners with Thomas in a crosscut saw, and Thomas may have been farming crops on the halves on land owned by one of the claimants, since it did not appear Thomas owned any land.  Montague may have let him buy seed and supplies on an account at his store.  

Tax records would show the value and number of hogs, sheep, ox and wagons he owned.

In March 1865, J. J. Leach and Catherine Smith were appointed Administrators to the settlement of Thomas Smith, deceased, who died intestate.  Administration was filed during the February 1865 Term of court, and was filed and approved in the settlement book; approved and filed for record in the March Term 1865. Records mentioned that the Settlement Book “B” was in the courthouse basement.  Settlement proceedings apparently carried on throughout the war until 1865.


Grandmother told me her grandmother had a hard life – she had little or no money when her husband was captured, and there was not much she could do except try to go forward. And try to keep her children healthy.  Her parents and brothers probably helped her as much as they could.  They ate from their garden, and part of the hogs she grew were butchered so they would have ham, bacon and sausage to eat. She may have raised one or two hogs to sell or to use in bartering for other things her family needed.  Her sheep furnished her with wool for their needs.  Very little of anything was made for sale.

My aunt, Elizabeth Sandefur, whom we called “Auntie,” told me that Kitty Ann grew one acre of cotton every year.  Even for one acre, it took a great deal of back-breaking work to plant, weed, tend and pick.  Cotton planting began in early spring and she plowed the rows herself using her ox and a heavy plow.  Grandmother said she could plow as good as a man.  All the children old enough helped and picked the cotton and stuffed it into their small bags.  Each was expected to do their share. Picking started in late August. The cotton provided cloth, which she carded, spun and wove herself.
Auntie said that every evening after the regular day’s work was done, Kitty Ann gave each of her children a cup and they picked the tiny black cotton seeds out of the fluffy white cotton with their fingers and put them in their cups.  The seeds were stored in a container for the next year.  Picking out seeds was a tedious task, but an easy one.  Most likely she saved only enough seeds to use for planting the next year; probably none was for sale to a market.  It is reported that it took all day long for one person to pick the seeds out of cotton to get ten pounds done.

“One day they were sitting around picking out cotton seeds,” Auntie told me, and one of the boys looked out the window and said, “Look mama, the Rebels are coming.”  And sure enough they were coming down the road and into their yard. 

With all the men and boys gone off to war, Kitty Ann Smith had learned to plow her land with her ox until the Rebels came and raided her farm.  They barged inside the house and demanded her money.  She told them she didn’t have any; however, she was sitting in her rocking chair with little rolls of dark colored quilt scraps in her lap, where she had hidden her money in the rolls.  The soldiers then raided her farm, taking with them her only ox and wagon and all her blue geese.  They went upstairs looking for money and tore the feather mattresses and pillows apart and threw them out the windows, scattering feathers everywhere.  They emptied her cellar of food, and took all the corn and grain stored in the barn. Perhaps she later had to borrow a horse from her family members to raise a garden and a patch of grain and corn to feed the farm animals.  It was almost as difficult for the women left at home during wartime as it was for the soldiers who left their families and went off to fight.

After being a widow for nearly five years, Kitty Ann, at age 36, married a second time to James Willeby, on July 4, 1867, as recorded in Book J, page 361, Ohio County marriage records.  She was dealt still another hard blow when she learned that James Willeby was already married, and therefore, was a bigamist.  She had the marriage annulled within a month.

About six years later, on October 20, 1873, she was married for a third time, at age 42, to Franklin Williams as recorded in Book S, page 394 of the county marriage records.  He had a number of children and for some reason the marriage did not work out.  My grandmother told me she remembered her mother telling her about seeing him come down the road with all his children and his things loaded in his wagon.  He nodded his head as he went by the Smith’s home.


Kitty Ann’s brother, Benjamin Fulton Jenkins, became a popular ordained minister, very well-known and respected in several counties.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, had been married fourteen years, when their last child was born.  What should have been a happy event turned sad when Elizabeth died from complications of the birth.  She was only thirty-three when she passed away on October 17, 1882, at her home in Cromwell, one day after giving birth to Broadus Smith Jenkins.  “Bettie” as she was known was buried at the Arnold Cemetery, not far from Bald Knob Church

My grandmother told me that when Elizabeth died, Benjamin asked his sister, Kitty Ann, then 51, to look after the baby for a while, because he had other little children at home.  Kitty cared for him until he was almost two years old, when Benjamin married Nancy Emmaline Miller in 1884 and came after his little son, whom he had named Broadus Smith. It was said that Kitty Ann missed the baby terribly and was never quite the same afterwards.


On May 13, 1887, Kitty A. Williams (at age 56) and Eliza E. Smith sold to James T. Smith, “30 acres of land which we now live a stone on the original corner of James T. Smith.”  He was thirty-one.

On September 8, 1896 Mrs. K. A. Williams and E. E. Smith of Ohio County, Kentucky gave a deed to C. T. Smith of Ohio County, Kentucky, containing 20-1/2 acres, for a consideration of $50.00.  Said land was described as:
“A tract of land lying in Ohio Co. Ky. joining J. T. Smith’s, L. D. Taylor’s and Elvis Sanderfur’s land:  Beginning at South East corner, thence W 87 poles to E. P. Sanderfur’s line, to a stone; thence N. 38 poles to a red oak; thence E. 87 poles to a stone; thence S. 6 E. 38 poles to a stone at the beginning, containing 20-1/2 acres, more or less.”

C. T. Smith, who purchased this land, was probably Charles Thomas, the oldest son of James T. Smith.

Kitty A. "Williams", age 69, was listed in the 1900 census living at Cromwell, Ohio County with her daughter, Eliza E. Keown,  age 46, and Eliza's husband, Joseph Keown, age 47 - all born Kentucky, parents all born Kentucky.

Kitty was listed on the same census pages as Charles and Fidella Sanders and also James W. Cox and his second wife, Rebecca Patterson.  Kitty Ann reported that she was the mother of five children, four of whom were living.  (The youngest, John Fulton, had died in 1897 in Jacksonport, Jackson County, Arkansas.)


Kitty Ann Smith, age 71, died a few days after Christmas on December 28, 1902, at her home. Her daughter, Eliza was living with her.
The Hartford Herald, dated January 7, 1903, page 2, column 4, under Select, says:

"Mrs. Kitty Smith, better known as "Aunt Kitty" died the 28th of December ult. of old age and diseases incident thereto, and was buried at the graveyard near Luther Rogers the 29th."  (the next day).

My grandmother, Eva Caroline (Smith) Cox, however, said the paper got the cemetery wrong, and that her grandmother was buried at the Brickhouse Cemetery.  She should know.


Grandmother’s “Day Book” also lists the death of Eliza (Smith) Keown as August 22, 1905.  Eliza Elizabeth, daughter of Kitty Ann and sister of James Thomas Smith, lived all her life with her mother.  After Eliza married Joseph, he moved right in and they continued to live with her mother.   Evelyn Elmore told me that the marriage did not work out and by the date of her death in 1905, Eliza and Joseph were separated.

Thanks to Janice Brown for this wonderful article.

Thursday, October 2, 2014


HARDIN ASHLEY, deceased, was born March 20, 1836, in Grayson County, Ky., and is a son of Carey and Matilda (Bratcher) Ashley. In September, 1859, he married Eliza, daughter of Jonathan and Mahala A. (Roach) Hoover, and moved to the farm where his widow now resides. He left an estate of 234 acres, divided in two highly improved farms, of which the widow has complete ownership. His death occurred June 13, 1884. He was the father of eleven children, viz.: Mahala Ann (wife of J. H. Ambrose), Matilda L., Elmore, Morgan, Elizabeth, Octavia, James Scott, Owen, Cordelia, Soporo and Hardin.

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