Saturday, February 24, 2018

James Nourse & His Descendants

James Nourse & His Descendants

By Maria Catharine Nourse Lyle, Published 1897

            The Nourse family came to America from London and first settled in Berkley, VA.  Descendants moved into various counties in Kentucky in the 1800s, including Daviess County, Jefferson, Logan, Woodford, Henry, etc.

           It appears the family changed the spelling of their surname from Nourse to Norse.

            One descendant was Robert Norse who was born in London and came to America as a child. Robert’s children were James Hervey, Nancy, William Wallace, Joseph Robert, Ralph Erskine, John Newton, and Andrew Jameson. 

            A grandchild of Robert, and daughter of Andrew Jameson, was Artemisia Ann Norse (born 1839), who married William Grandison Abbott from Butler County (born 1835); and the following is a page from the Norse book showing the children and grandchildren of Artemisia and William Abbott (twelve of which have Ohio County connections- see chart below):

       There were several other Norse connections with Ohio County

•           Sarah Crozier Gibson, wife of Michael Norse, died in Ohio County 12 Aug 1891.
•           Mary Rebecca Cramer Norse married Judge John Carpenter Townsend, who died in Ohio County 7 May 1894. Rebecca remarried after the Judge’s death, to Mr. Helsley of Muhlenberg County.
•           Gabriel Augusta Norse married William Lewis Brown and they lived in Ohio County, and had three children born in Ohio County: Michael Norse Brown, Samuel Ellsworth Brown, and Halley Ewing Brown – all born in the 1870s.

       I found William L. Brown, the husband of Gabriel A. Norse (the last person listed above) in the 1910 census, age 75, living in Hartford - he is shown as a widower and is living with his son, Halley, and Halley's wife and their son.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Pension Application - Margaret Alice Chapman

Margaret Alice Chapman, of Hartford, born 22 May 1858, applied for a pension on 17 May 1912 based on her husband's service in the Civil War. Her husband, Wilson Lee Chapman, had died 4 Jan 1904.  Margaret died 3 Jun 1916. The Chapman's are buried in Old Bells Run Cemetery, Ohio County.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I thought I knew a lot about Ohio County history, but in the following short article I discovered something new to me - silkworms!

From THE KENTUCKY ENCYCLOPEDIA by John E. Kleber, Editor
Copyright 1992

Ohio County, the thirty-fifth county in order of formation, is in the Western Coal Field region of Kentucky.  It is bordered by Breckinridge, Butler, Daviess, Grayson, Hancock, McLean, and Muhlenberg counties and has an area of 596 square miles.  The county was established from part of Hardin County on Dec. 17, 1798, and was named for the Ohio River, which formed its northern boundary until Daviess County (1815) and Hancock County (1829) were created from it.  Hartford is the county seat.

The topography of Ohio County is undulating and well suited for agriculture.  County farms produce light and dark air-cured tobacco, soybeans, corn, cattle, and hogs.  An attempt was made at cultivating silkworms during 1842-48.  The principal waterways are Green River, Rough River, and various creeks.

Large burial mounds found along the Green River in the southern part of the county indicate that the area was once extensively occupied by prehistoric people.  Excavations there in the late 1930s by the University of Kentucky and the Works Progress Administration uncovered more than 1,200 skeletons at Indian Knoll. 

The first pioneers in Ohio County experienced several bloody encounters with the Indians, starting in the 1780s.  In 1790 Barnett’s Station (now Calhoun) was attacked and two children were killed.  Attacks continued into August of the same year.  After 1797 the raids ceased to be a danger.
Daniel Boone and Joseph Barnett were among the first surveyors in the region.  A Maryland Methodist minister, Ignatius Pigman, was a land speculator credited with bringing in a large number of settlers.  One of the first physicians in the county, Dr. Charles McCreery, arrived around 1807.

River traffic down the Green and Rough Rivers promoted the county’s growth.  Hartford became a riverport and mill town on Rough River.  On Green River, the major towns were Smallhous, Ceralvo, Rockport, and Cromwell.  The river traffic was disrupted during the Civil War and dealt a serious blow by the advent of railroads to the count in the 1870’s.

During the Civil War, Ohio County was the scene of intense guerrilla activity.  On July 21, 1864, a partisan force, commanded by Capt. Dick Yates, ambushed a detachment of Daviess County Home Guards at Rough River Creek, killing four of the Guard.  On February 20, 1865, a group of Grayson County Home Guards attacked an encampment of guerrillas near Hartford.  Six of the guerrilla force were killed and four wounded.  The most damaging event of the war in Ohio County occurred December 20, 1864, when Confederate Gen. Hylan B. Lyon’s troops captured the county seat of Hartford and burned the courthouse.

Extensive coal mining took place in Ohio County after the Elizabeth & Paducah Railroad (now the Paducah & Louisville) came through the county in 1871.  A second railroad, the Louisville, St. Louis & Texas, crossed through Fordsville and Hartford in 1890 but was abandoned in 1942 except for a line from Muhlenberg County to Centertown in western Ohio County (operated in 1990 by CSX Transportation).  The Illinois Central (now Illinois Central Gulf) completed a third line through the eastern part of the county in 1893, but it had been abandoned by the 1980’s.  In 1912 oil was discovered four miles east of Hartford, and since then Ohio County has consistently been one of western Kentucky’s leading oil-producing counties.

By 1986 the county economy was a mixture of coal mining, agriculture, and oil.  The county’s incorporated cities in order of size were Beaver Dam, Hartford, Fordsville, McHenry, Rockport and Centertown.  The unincorporated village of Rosine, which was established in 1872 eight miles east of Hartford, is best known as the birthplace of Bill Monroe, the “Father of Bluegrass Music.”  The population of the rural county was 18,790 in 1970: 21,765, in 1980: and 21,105 in 1990.

See McDowell A. Fogle, Fogle’s Papers: a History of Ohio County, Kentucky (Evansville, Ind., 1970); Harrison D. Taylor, Ohio County, Kentucky in the olden Days (Louisville 1926).

 By Ron D. Bryant
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Added information about early oil wells in Ohio County:

Hartford, Ohio County, first commercial oil from western Kentucky. Oil price is about $0.60 per barrel (Smith, 1968). According to Bushong (1970) [The well was located] "about 5 miles northeast of Hartford in Ohio County, near Concord Church. The first well was commenced on the A.A. Carter farm in November, 1911 and completed in July, 1912 and was about 1,750 feet deep. The operator was Western Kentucky Oil and Gas Company, organized by Mr. W.M. Barnard. Production was a lime formation just below the Devonian Black Shake, known in Kentucky as the Corniferous Sand. [(Note that) Foerste (1910, p. 78) provides an account of an oil producing well drilled in 1889 (in Ohio County).]

      This is a view of the Howard No. 1 (Ohio County) well which was drilled to a total depth of 1,740 feet in 1913. Note the boiler in the left foreground. Photo by W. R. Jillson.

Significant oil production in Taffy, Ohio County. (Taffy is located about 7 miles north of Hartford)

Added information about silkworms:

Striped silk worms, full grown 5/13/1910. Univ. of KY Digital Collection:

Silkworm cocoons, 6/1/1905. Univ. of KY Digital Collection:

Silkworm cocoon on plants, 5/30/1905. Univ. of KY Digital Collection:

"Among the most stunning Shaker textiles are the silk kerchiefs produced by the Kentucky societies. They were worn by the Believers and also sold to the outside world. Western Shakers in Kentucky began practicing serculture (the art of raising silkworms and manufacturing silk) by 1816 and continued through the 1870s."
Source: Kentucky by Design: The Decorative Arts and American Culture, by Jean M. Burks - Copyright 2015

From the Nature Conservancy: "Did you know there was an effort to establish a silkworm industry in colonial United States? Silkworms, or the caterpillars of the domesticated silk moth, were an important economic commodity in eastern Asian countries, particularly in China, as a producer of raw silk. Along with importing the silkworms, colonists also brought white mulberry trees whose leaves were the silkworm's food of choice. Unfortunately for our early settlers, the climate was not compatible for cultivation and the silkworm industry failed. The white mulberry tree, however, thrived and has spread throughout the States."

There is a book from 1840 titled, Burlington Silk Record, published in Burlington, New Jersey, that goes into detail about the silk industry in the United States. It appears that the publisher was in the business of selling silk worm eggs. Kentucky is mentioned in this book, but not Ohio County.

The following is an excerpt from "Historical Collections of Ohio" by Henry Howe, copyright 1888, and is about the State of Ohio, not Ohio County, KY, but contains the following about the silkworm industry:

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Robert Simpson, Nancy Ellen Leach and Laura Ann Embry

Robert Simpson, Nancy Ellen Leach and Laura Ann Embry

Early Life

            Robert Simpson was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky on June 21, 1841. Robert's father, Hedgman Simpson, was born in Virginia in about 1788. He had served in the War of 1812, enlisting in Woods County in what is now West Virginia and seeing duty at Fort Meigs near present day Toledo, Ohio.

            Sometime after the war, Hedgman had married and moved to Kentucky where at least one child, Santford, was born in about 1836. That wife presumably died and Hedgman took an Indiana or Pennsylvania born bride, Mildred Holmes, on July 20, 1838. Robert was the only child known of this union. Where the marriage took place is unknown, though Kentucky is the likely candidate, since all of Hedgman's known children, both before and after this time were born there. The union was short lived, with Mildred's death probably occurring in 1843 or 1844. Oral tradition says that Mildred died when the team of horses pulling her wagon bolted and she was thrown to the ground. Then on October 8, 1845, in Jefferson Co., Kentucky, Hedgman remarried. The new bride was Pennsylvania born Rachel White, who was to be the only mother that Robert was to ever know.

            Little is known of young Robert's early life. His home life would have been a bit unusual to most. His father was some 52 years his senior. He had a stepmother, her children by Hedgman, and a half brother from Hedgman's marriage preceding that to Mildred. According to an affidavit Robert would subsequently provide, the "clan" moved to Ohio County, Kentucky in about 1848. It was probably there that Robert first went to school and, like his father before him, learned to read and write. Robert's absence from the 1850 census is an enigma. The eight year old Robert and his siblings do not appear in the tabulation. Perhaps they were omitted by mistake or perhaps they were away with relatives.

            Few facts are known of the next eleven years of Robert's life. From his pension files we can infer that the family lived in one community somewhere in the Cromwell post office district from the time of their arrival until the war. We know that Robert attended school and we know that he was a healthy young man. One neighbor would later recall his participation in log rolling contests.

Civil War

            With the outbreak of the Civil War in the Green River counties in the fall of 1861, Robert and half-brother Santford went to war. They signed up in Hartford on October 3, 1861, for a three year stint with a Kentucky state militia regiment formed by West Point graduate John H. McHenry for support of the Union. Privates Robert and Santford Simpson were assigned to Captain Hudson's Company of the 17th Regiment of the Kentucky Voluntary Infantry. This subsequently became known as Company D.

            Only the barest of military training had been conducted when the word came that Confederates were heading north to defeat the fledgling force before their preparation was complete. No doubt the alarm was great given the fiasco at Bull Run the preceding spring when raw Yankees were thrashed. However, Confederate soldiers were little better prepared and when they met on October 29th near Morgantown in Butler Co. a standoff ensued. The bulk of the Union forces were led along the north bank of the Green River towards the town of Woodbury in Butler Co. Colonel McHenry and the 17th had crossed the river, intent upon making their way along the south bank. As they came to the spot that would become known as Big Hill, they encountered a small Confederate patrol. In the ensuing skirmish, three men from both sides were wounded. A friend of Robert's, Private Granville Allen, fell fatally wounded. Granville and three others had been deployed about 40 yards out in front of McHenry's mainline. As Rebel horsemen approached, the four took cover behind trees. At some point during the subsequent exchange, Allen stepped out from his cover and was instantly killed. The body was quickly taken back to the Regiment's camp near Cromwell. This being the first death due to conflict in the regiment and in the region, a man was sought to bear the body and the bad news back home to Beaver Dam. Robert, being a close friend, volunteered. Dressed in his still new uniform, Private Simpson took an ox cart and made the short journey, arriving during church services. Understandably, Robert's appearance with the body of one of the young men of the town caused a considerable stir. Granville was buried in the Leach cemetery near Rosine and Robert returned to his company.

            The day after the skirmish at Big Hill, the remainder of the Union forces went on to Woodbury and engaged the Rebels, but the 17th took no part in this action. These engagements must have made it clear that these regiments of novices were in some danger of if engaged by an experienced Rebel force. Consequently, they retired some thirty miles to the northwest to Camp Calhoun along the Green River in McLean Co., KY to finish their training. At Calhoun, measles and pneumonia swept through the troops, leaving many disabled and requiring many to be discharged. It was a scene that would become common in the early part of the war.

            Robert’s unit fought at Ft. Donelson and then fought at Shiloh, Corinth, then joined other units in Huntsville and moved to Nashville and on to Louisville and then back to Clarksville and Nashville. Their last battles started near Chattanooga, then to Atlanta, and then back to central Tennessee, ending with the battle of Franklin.

            Robert's discharge became official on January 23rd, 1865 when the unit was disbanded in Louisville. He had served just over three years and three months. Of the 1,473 men who had served in the 17th, 135 had died in battle or as a result of their wounds, 363 had been wounded and 163 had died as the result of disease, prison or accidents. Thus, almost forty five percent of the men available for service did not survive the war with their health intact. Many, like Robert, would suffer for many years to come.

Marriage and Family

            Having returned from the war, Robert seems to have spent some time fighting the effects of army life. He was plagued by diarrhea and lung problems. Both symptoms commonly associated with consumption, a disease which permanently weakened many men and killed many more. His condition progressed to the point that he was forced to live with a Dr. Whitinghill while he received treatment. Fortunately for Robert, treatment in a warm, clean home was far more successful that field hospital incarcerations, with the commensurate filth, disease and cold.

            Thus, he recovered and soon took for his bride, the 16 year old Nancy Ellen Leach (Robert was 24). They were married on June 8, 1865, at her parent’s home. Nancy Ellen, had been born October 1, 1849, in Ohio Co. Nancy was the 4th child and 2nd daughter of Leonard Washington Leach and Rosannah Morris. She seems to have been named after her paternal grandmother, Nancy Leach (1792 - 1848). The young couple quickly set to the task of building a family with the birth of Leonard Santford on March 2, 1866 and William on August 27, 1867.  Their next child, James Ewing, was born August 27, 1870. James was the first of Robert's children to die, passing away on August 29, 1872. 

            Throughout the 1870’s, the children continued to arrive on a regular basis. First, John Thomas was born on September 25, 1872, and Simon Jackson on March 21, 1874. The first daughter, Elizabeth Ann was born on August 23, 1875. She was followed by Joseph Franklin on October 8, 1877.

            By 1880 the family was living in the Rosine post office district. Robert was still attempting to farm. His brother Santford, also a Rosine resident, lived nearby with wife Mary E. and their four children.

            The 1880’s saw no let up in the growth of the family. Hardin was born on August 25, 1880, followed by Warren Ciscro on January 4, 1883. The blessing and joy of a growing family was tempered later that year, when Robert's degrading health compelled him to begin the tedious process of trying to obtain a government pension. It was a process that he would be a part of for the next 45 years. He had been experiencing back pain which he attributed to a spinal affliction which he had contracted while on a march from Nashville, Tennessee to Bowling Green, Kentucky in August or September of 1862. When the 41 year old Robert met with the Ohio Co. Court Clerk that day to make his deposition, he was described as being 5'10", with a fair complexion, light hair and blue eyes. During examination by an Owensboro surgeon, Dr. Todd, it was noted that Robert's right testicle was atrophied to one-quarter of its normal size. This was the result of complications related to the mumps which Robert had contracted at Shiloh. The doctor would describe him as three-fourths disabled due to these afflictions. This latter aliment would cause Robert frequent pain over the next several decades. Sometime shortly thereafter, the army awarded him a disability pension at the rate of $2 per month.

            After eight boys and one girl, the string of three girls in a row must have come as some surprise. Ilona was born on June 6, 1884, followed by Sarah Francis on April 16, 1886 and finally Margaret Irene on May 15, 1888. 

            Sometime in the 1880’s Robert's financial fortune seems to have changed for the better. The family now owned 120 acres, valued at $505. But their good fortune was not to continue. Robert's back problems continued. At times he could not get out of bed without help and periodically was forced to remain in bed for days at a time. Lifting had become a high risk activity, since even light loads could bring on an attack in the lower back. As a farmer, he was dependent upon such physical activity and thus, by 1887, his doctor considered the 150 pound Robert to be half disabled due to muscular rheumatism. This was in spite of his appearance, which the Doctor describes as strong and vigorous. Still, in response to the Doctor's assessment, the government in late 1888 increased his pension to $6 per month.

            However, it was to be Nancy who first succumbed to the limitations of 19th century health care. By 1893 the 44 year old Nancy was again pregnant, this time with twins (according to oral tradition). Perhaps it was due to complications of the pregnancy or during the labor itself, but in either case, Nancy passed away on November 18, 1893. It is not known if the children ever lived or were still-born. They are simply said to have died in November 1893. Oral tradition says that the babies were both boys.

            With nine children, five under 15 years of age, the need to remarry and provide a mother for his children, must have been great. Thus, at age 54, Robert took as his bride the Butler Co., Kentucky born Laura Ann Embry, daughter of Robert and Adeline Goff Embry. The marriage took place at Laura's home on April 28, 1895. It was the first marriage for the 31 year old Laura.

            Robert and Laura picked up where he and Nancy had left off. Their first child, Mary was born on October 11, 1896, soon followed by Ira on February 16, 1898, and Eurie on September 1, 1899.

            In the 1900’s, the 60 year old Robert continued to father children. Ery Gaither was born on February 2, 1901. He died August 4, 1902. Dewey was born January 24, 1903 and Glenn on October 2, 1904. Vena was born in the family's new home in Renfrow on June 17, 1908 and finally, Roscoe was born on May 28, 1910. Roscoe was Robert's twenty-second child, eight of whom had been borne by Laura (now 46).

            In 1911, the family moved to Rosine and in 1915 moved to Baizetown.

Decline and Death

            In 1921 Robert had kidney problems and required constant care; his monthly pension was now $50.00. In 1926 the pension was increased to $72.00 per month.

            By 1926 Robert's doctor, P. T. Willis, noted that he was suffering from senile dementia and falling spells which left him unconscious for some time. Coupled with his stiffness and rheumatism, he required full time care. Perhaps realizing that Robert could not long survive with his health rapidly deteriorating, twenty-seven adults and their children gathered at his home in Baizetown on July 1, 1926 to celebrate his 85th birthday. The event was page-one news in the local paper.

            The next year one of Robert's feet began to swell. At one point the swelling progressed to where the skin ruptured. Aside from it being painful, this must have only worsened his ability to get around. Though he was often seen by Doctors, this seems to have been solely for the purpose of satisfying the requirements of the Bureau of Pensions or as part of his constant petitioning for increases. At one point, having apparently been asked for the name of the doctor who had treated him, Robert replied, "I don't ever have any physicians to treat me as I am opposed to being treated by a medical doctor". Later, his opinion of the whole petitioning process would come out in a remark that perhaps provides the clearest insight that we have into the man. Having requested increases in his pension many times and having been told that he needed to provide some kind of evidence (of the date of his birth or the dates of his marriage or of the onset of his illness), Robert wrote Washington a short but sarcastic note, "I asked for a special examiner last autumn but you never sent one. Now if I have to wait until death for my increase I will not need it".

            Sometime in late 1927 or early 1928, the family left Baizetown and moved to McHenry. There bedridden due to his rheumatism, with kidneys failing, constant indigestion, failing lungs and a weakened heart he would live out his days. From this myriad of problems, the 88 year old veteran died at 5:20 pm on June 28, 1929, in his home. Dr. Willard Lake was the attending physician and attributed the immediate cause of death to acute indigestion. Robert was buried in the old Leach Cemetery just outside of Rosine in Ohio Co. Robert was laid to rest next to his first wife, Nancy Ellen Leach, surrounded by several of his children. 

            Having served Robert faithfully as both wife and full time nurse for many years, the 67 year old widow could not really take her rest. Two of their later children, Glenn, almost 25, and Vena, almost 21, were mentally retarded and required her full care. In 1929, Laura petitioned not only for a widow's pension but also for a pension for her two 'idiotic' children who were dependent upon her. Since the children were over 16, the Bureau of Pensions denied the claim for the children while approving Laura's request.

            Laura out-lived Robert by almost 15 years. Suffering from chronic heart disease, she died at 9:00 a.m. on June 1, 1944, having just passed the age of 80. She was buried the next day in Sunnyside Cemetery, east of Beaver Dam on Highway 62.

            This document was prepared by Kent W. Brown who gave me permission to use it on this blog; he also allowed me to shorten it by removing some of the narrative about Robert’s Civil War duty.  Many thanks to Kent for this research and for sharing it with us.

Saturday, February 10, 2018



            I am not an expert on religion but I do enjoy thinking and reading about the subject because religion was one of the most important things in the day-to-day life of the early settlers. Most of the social life of the community revolved around the local churches. Before church buildings were erected, church services were held in the homes of the settlers. I’m guessing a little, but it is likely that stability for the community came more from the church than the local government. After all, everything was local then – the distance (in geography and in time) of state government and federal government meant that people necessarily relied on each other for everything. So I think local religion might have been more important to stability and social life than we can imagine.

            The religious history of Ohio County, Kentucky, actually starts with early religion in Maryland, as most of our first settlers originally came to Ohio County from the state of Maryland.  So we should take a quick look at religion in early Maryland.

            In the early 1630’s King Charles I gave Sir George Calvert (Lord Baltimore) a grant for land in the upper Chesapeake area of the New World.  Lord Baltimore wanted to establish a refuge for Catholics because they were being persecuted in England.  Lord Baltimore was a Catholic, but King Charles was a Protestant, so Lord Baltimore extended his offer of refuge to both Catholics and Protestants, and thus the charter given to Lord Baltimore, unlike any previously granted, secured to the emigrants equality in religious rights and civil freedom, and an independent share in the legislation of the province. The government of provincial Maryland was absolute, embodying the most extensive grant of royal powers to a colonial settlement. The colony was formed in 1634 by two hundred emigrants, mostly Roman Catholics, who entered the Potomac and purchased from the Indians a village on the St. Mary's River, about ten miles from its junction with the Potomac.  Although there were struggles between Catholics and Puritans in the 1640’s, the religious toleration which already existed by charter was further established by a law of the Maryland Assembly, on April 2, 1649. 

            In 1689, with Protestants ascendant in both England and Maryland, the British crown assumed direct control over the province, and in 1692, the Church of England became Maryland's established religion.  This lasted until the death of the Calvert heir, Charles Calvert, in 1715, when his successor, a Protestant, was granted full proprietary control over Maryland.  During this period, 1715 to 1776, there was freedom of religion in Maryland and many different denominations flourished, although the Anglican Church (Church of England) had a strong foothold.

            My first Leach ancestor (that lived in America) was John Leach and John arrived in Maryland only 28 years after the first colony was formed in 1634.  John arrived as an Indentured Servant, which meant someone else paid for his passage and he had to work for them for a certain period of time to pay off that debt, typically three to seven years. During the time he was an Indentured Servant, he was given room, board, and clothing, but not wages. In the 1600’s nearly two thirds of the English that came to the colonies came as Indentured Servants. The descendants of John Leach that migrated to Kentucky were Protestant, so we can assume that John and his family were seeking freedom of religion (among other freedoms) when they left England for the colonies.  We know that John was one of the original vestrymen of All Saints Church in 1692, and that his first son was a member of the Anglican Church and a supporter of the Puritan Church.  Note that most Marylander's, if not all, became members of the Anglican Church in 1692 when the British crown assumed direct control over the colony, so his membership in the church was probably not voluntary.  It is more important to note that he was a supporter of the Quakers who were the dominant Protestant religion in Maryland around 1700.

            Ignatius Pigman, the preacher that led many Marylander's to Ohio County around 1800, was a Methodist Episcopalian, which was 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, two miles south of Hartford, in 1804.  Shortly afterwards, the No Creek M. E. and Bethel M. E. Churches were established. In addition, the Baptist religion was strongly followed in early Ohio County, and remains strong today at several Baptist churches within the county.  It is noted that William Leach (Maryland 1718 – 1780), grandfather of William Brooks Leach (Maryland 1764 – Ohio County 1853), was baptized in the Seneca Primitive Baptist church (Montgomery County, Maryland) as an adult on April, 1777, shortly before he died, as were several of his sons.  His grandson, William Brooks Leach, became a member of the Methodist church in Ohio County.

            The Beaver Dam Baptist Church was established in 1798 and still stands on the same hill where it was originally established.  Church membership of early Kentuckians included Baptist, Church of Christ, Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic.  In 1799 a great religious revival swept through Kentucky based on the oratory of several evangelist preachers that traveled throughout the frontier areas.  The revival lasted until about 1805 and resulted in many churches being formed throughout Kentucky.

            If you want to take an additional look at the history of religion in Ohio County, look at my posts on 4 March 2013, 6 March 2013, and 30 Nov 2014.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018


JOHN H. MONROE, though a young man, has developed unusual ability as a tradesman, and is the junior member of the firm of J. B. Monroe & Co., engaged in a general merchandise trade at Horton, Ky. At the age of twenty years, young Monroe engaged in the timber business and stave-cutting, which he continued for one year, after which he traveled for pleasure one year, visiting many important and interesting points in the South and West; then entered into the mercantile trade, which now occupies all his attention. Mr. Monroe had fair advantages in education, and his mind is well stored with the learning of books, as well as with that of practical life. His father, John J. Monroe, is a native of Kentucky, and is yet living, aged fifty-six years. His grandfather was born in Virginia, and moved to Ohio County, Ky.; died at the age of sixty-five years in Ohio County. Charlotte (Stevens) Monroe, the wife of John J. Monroe, died in 1881, at the age of forty-nine years, leaving eight children, of which number the subject of our sketch is the fourth. His grandfathers, Andrew Monroe and Henry Stevens, were both natives of Ohio County, Ky. John H. is politically a Democrat, and takes a strong position in favor of temperance. He was born in 1861.

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

Note: John H. Monroe married Eleanor M. Crowder; he died 28 Nov 1935 and they are buried in Rosine Cemetery, Ohio County.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Grant/Leach Bible

Elizabeth Catherine Grant (1880-1941) married John Mellon Leach (1858-1941). Both were born and died in Ohio County. They married in 1905 and had eight children. Here are images of the Bible given her in 1915 by her husband:

Image one is front cover of the Bible.

Image two shows hand-written info about her father, Robert P. Grant (1842-1901) at top and info about his children and her father's military service at bottom.

Image three shows Elizabeth & John lived in Cromwell in 1915.

Image four gives information about their marriage.
Image five gives information about births for the family. Note that John Mellon Leach had previously been married to Elizabeth C. Sorrels (1871-1902) and some of the people listed in the Bible are children of his first marriage and some are grandchildren.

Image six shows marriage information.

Image seven shows death information.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

1851 mortgage

You might find this interesting.  In 1851 in Ohio County a man (William H. Leach) borrowed $212.69 from another man (Job L. Arnold) and the loan was to be repaid in one year. To secure the debt the borrower gave the lender a mortgage on some domestic animals - two horses, two cows, & ten hogs.  The "mortgage" was recorded in the Clerk's Office.

What this transaction does not include is payment of interest, which is odd.  It also doesn't say who will have possession of the animals, although I feel sure that the borrower kept possession of the animals because if the lender took possession he would have to spend money to feed them during the year.

Anyway, this was a business deal from 1851.

I think the borrower was William Howard Leach (1817-1900), the husband of Mary Ann Thomas, and the son of William Brooks Leach and Diannah (Atherton) Howard. They are found living in Ohio County in the 1850 and 1860 census; afterwards I think they moved to Arkansas (as did many people due to the difficult economy following the Civil War).  They later moved to Oklahoma.