Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Nehemiah Adair Cravens

Shearn Church is a Methodist Church that was built in Houston, Texas in 1842. Mr. Nehemiah A. Cravens became the pastor of the Shearn Church in 1847.  He was an old-fashioned Methodist preacher who believed in pastoral visiting, praying with families and instructing children. He was a good singer.  In 1875 he was transferred to another Texas church.

The following was taken from a book titled History of Shearn Church 1837-1907, Houston, Texas, written by Mrs. I. M. E. Blandin, published in 1908:

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Charles Courtney Curran

Charles Courtney Curran

The Art Institute of Chicago, Catalogue of Objects in the Museum, published 1896;
Modern Oil Paintings, displayed in Rooms 43, 44, and 45:

At page 113:


Early American Impressionist Charles Courtney Curran was memorable both for his elegant interior and exterior portraits of women and children, as well as for his leadership role at the Cragsmoor Art Colony. Often compared to fellow American Impressionists Mary Cassatt, Frank Benson, and Edmund Charles Tarbell, Curran’s iconic paintings featuring graceful young women in flowing dresses set against the vast expanse of nature captivated art critics and the public, as well as his contemporaries. Curran’s impressionistic techniques utilizing loose brushstrokes and a vivid palette combined with his nostalgic subject matter encapsulate the leisurely summer beauty of Cragsmoor.

Charles Courtney Curran was born in 1861 in Hartford, Kentucky and raised in Sandusky, Ohio. He studied under Thomas B. Noble at the Cincinnati School of Design for a year before moving to New York City in 1882 where he first attended the National Academy of Design and later studied at the Art Student’s League under Walter Satterlee. At the age of 23, he made his public debut at the Academy of Design, a venue that showcased his work for the remainder of his career. In 1887, Curran’s paintings also began exhibiting at the Pennsylvania Academy where he continued to show his work for nearly three decades. He left for Paris in 1889 where he studied under Jules Lefebvre at the Académie Julian for two years. Upon his return to the United States, the artist settled in New York and began teaching at the Pratt Institute and Art Students League.

In 1903, fellow artist and friend Frederick Dellenbaugh invited Curran to visit Cragsmoor. A bourgeoning summer art center started by Edward Lamson Henry, Cragsmoor was located along a plateau in the Shawangunk Mountains of the Hudson River Valley. Captivated by the landscape and creative atmosphere and Curran set up a summer home and studio. He soon established himself as a central figure of the art colony, painting, teaching, and with the help of his wife, editing the student art publication Palette and Brush during his summers in Cragsmoor. While he is best known for his sweeping landscapes featuring young women and children, Curran also painted many portraits and created a series of works featuring the Imperial Temples of Peking.

For nearly thirty years, until his death in 1942, Curran split his time between Cragsmoor and New York City. He continued to paint and maintained teaching positions at Pratt Institute, Cooper Union, and the National Academy. In addition to his role as a leader of the Cragsmoor Art Colony, Curran remained an active member of the American Water Color Society, Society of American Artists, and the National Arts Club.

Written and compiled by Lauren A. Zelaya

Works by the artist may be found at the Art Institute of Chicago, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Flint Institute of Arts, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Richmond Art Museum, and at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

1861 Born February 13 in Hartford, Kentucky
1880 Attends Cincinnati School of Design
1881 Attends National Academy of Design, New York
1886 Attends Art Students League, New York; studies under Walter Satterlee
1887 Earns first exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
1888 Marries Grace Winthrop Wickham of Norwalk, Ohio
1889 Travels to Paris to attend Académie Julian, Paris with Benjamin Constant,
Jules-Joseph Lefebvre, and Henri Lucien Doucet
1903-42 Spends summers painting and teaching at the Cragsmoor Art Colony,
Cragsmoor, New York
1904 Begins teaching at the National Academy of Design Pratt Institute Art School, Brooklyn, New York and Cooper Union, New York
1936 Travels to Peking, China; Switzerland, Italy, Spain and Yugoslavia
1942 Dies on November 9 in New York City

1888 Third Hallgarten Prize in Oils, National Academy of Design 
1890 Honorable Mention, Paris Salon
1893 Clark Prize, National Academy of Design
1893 Medal, World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago
1895 Second Hallgarten Prize, National Academy of Design
1895 Silver Medal, Cotton States and International Exposition, Atlanta
1900 Honorable Mention, Universal Exposition, Paris
1901 Silver Medal, Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, NY, Assistant Director
1904 Carnegie Prize, Society of American Artists, New York
1904 Silver Medal, Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis
1905 First Corcoran Prize, Society of Washington Artists
1906 Shaw Fund Prize, Society of American Artists
1920 First Altman Prize, National Academy of Design
1933 Salmagundi Club

1883-1900 National Academy of Design (1904, 1916, 1920, 1925)
1887-88 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (1892-1903, 1905-1906, 1908-1910, 1917-1927)
1888 Art Institute of Chicago (1894-1903, 1905-1907, 1910-1916, 1919)
1888 Art Students League, New York (1890)
1890 Salon, Paris
1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, Chicago
1895 Cotton States and International Exposition, Atlanta
1900 Universal Exposition, Paris
1901 Pan American Exposition, Buffalo
1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis
1904 Society of American Artists, New York (1906, 1933)
1905 Society of Washington Artists
1911-13 City Art Museum, St. Louis
1980 Henry Art Gallery, University of Washington

You can see images of his paintings here:

I found an online site that sells prints of Curran paintings:

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Crutcher Walker and father, Judge Elijah Dudley Walker

Elizabeth (Lizzie) Crutcher Walker, born Jan 1862, Hartford, and died 27 Nov 1903, Nashville, TN at age 41– buried Oakwood Cemetery, Hartford. Lizzie had three poems published in 1892, which are shown below.

Her father was Judge Elijah Dudley Walker, born 28 Jan 1827, Hartford; and died 15 Oct 1898, Hartford. 

Biography of her father:

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Stagecoach Robbery

Please see update at bottom of this page. 14 Sept 2019

In November 1880 there was a stagecoach robbery near Cave City, Barren County, KY.  A man was arrested in Ohio County and charged with this crime.  He was taken to Glasgow, the county seat for Barren County, tried and convicted.  The newspaper reports said his name was T. J. Hunt and that he had worked at the McHenry Coal Mines for about five years, that he was married and had at least one child, and was a resident of Ohio County.  The foregoing information was taken from an article in the Hartford Herald dated 24 Nov 1880 and is attributed to the Glasgow Times. That article also said that Mr. Hunt had been previously been a teacher in Barren County ("this county").

The 1880 census for Ohio County does not show anyone living in Ohio County with the surname Hunt.

The next article, dated 1 Dec 1880, was from a Lexington newspaper that said "the Hunt brothers lived near the McHenry coal mines in Ohio County and robbed stage coaches.  One has been arrested and the other brother has fled the country."

In an article dated 19 May 1882 in the Bourbon News (Paris, KY) it says "Hunt was convicted but pardoned May 1, 1882 by Governor Blackburn and released after 18 months in jail after proving he resembled Jesse James who was the actual leader of the Mammoth Cave stagecoach robbery.  Among the effects of Jesse James when he was killed was a watch taken at the Mammoth Cave robbery.  

In an article in the Hartford Herald dated 19 April 1882 he is called James Hunt. In an article from the Filson Quarterly (October 1995) he is identified as Thomas J. Hunt. There is an article about this event in the Courier Journal dated 16 May 1937 and he is identified as “William Hunt of Ohio County.”

I could not find a Thomas J. Hunt, William, Bill Hunt, or any Hunt in the Ohio County census for 1880.  The 1880 census was taken between 1 June 1879 and 31 May 1880 – the robbery took place in Nov 1880.  I found a Thomas J. Hunt in the 1870 census in Muhlenberg County age 13 (with brother James E.) & he married in Muhlenberg County 7 Mar 1876 to Susan Day; he was born Oct 1856 and died Sep 1934 – but I have no way of knowing if the Thomas J. Hunt I found in Muhlenberg County is the person that was arrested so don't jump to any conclusions.

Further, I found a book about stage coaches that contained a few pages about this robbery and in the story, copied below, he is also identified as T. J. Hunt.

It looks like it is about 67 miles from Hartford to Cave City; in those days travel was usually by horse-back or stage coach and I don't think there was a stage coach that ran between Hartford and Cave city, so we can assume that if Mr. Hunt went to Cave City he went by horse.  At a trot horses usually go about 10 miles per hour, so it would have taken Mr. Hunt all day to go to Cave City and another long day to return; I doubt if a horse could have done that without some rest, plus a lot of water.  Anyway, it looks like the law and the newspapers were certain that Mr. Hunt was the guilty party (innocent till proven guilty?) and the jury also found him guilty - but all along he was telling the truth. And it cost him 18 months in jail!


Thanks to a message from Laura Hunt Angel I have found out much more about the Mr. Hunt described above.  You can read her message below in the "Comments" section. 

Based on her comments I found Mr. Thomas Crutchfield Hunt in and found the following memorandum posted by by a member of

"At 25 years old, Thomas C. Hunt was just the right age for soldiering when the Civil War came along. He joined up on the Rebel side on July 15, 1863, and started out in Company "I" as a corporal with Johnson's 10th Reg't. of the Kentucky Cavalry. That meant he was a horseman, an honored position in those days.
Thomas was a fourth cousin of the great civil war general, John Hunt Morgan, and he fought with him at a battle called the Indiana-Ohio Raid. Along with many others, he was captured during the battle and sent to Camp Douglas, near Chicago, for 18 months. It was renowned as a cold and cruel place, and between the years 1862-1865 it is estimated that at least 10,000 prisoners died there, but the true number is unknown. During and for a little while after the war, dead bodies from the camp would wash up along the shores of Lake Michigan near Chicago because prisoners who died were often thrown into the lake.
On the day Tom and the other soldiers were marched into the prison camp, Union guards noticed that there was a black soldier among them. One of the guards shot and killed the black soldier as he walked through the prison gate.
The cavalry soldiers who fought with John Hunt Morgan were known as Morgan's Raiders, and they were especially hated by the Union, and as prisoners were treated very harshly. For their part, however, Morgan's Raiders were  courageous and would not back down to the prison commanders. They often encouraged the other prisoners, and pulled pranks on the Union guards even though they would have to pay dearly for it. They even started their own prison newspaper, secretly passing the articles around. Soldiers who could not read would  gather quietly around a soldier who could to hear the articles.
When several of the Raiders escaped, the commander of the camp was replaced with a new commander named Col. Sweet. To impress his toughness on both the prisoners and his higher ups, he took away the prisoners' blankets and food rations. The prisoners had to catch rats and anything else they could find to eat; soon they were left with nothing but their shoe leather to boil for food.
Col. Sweet had a little dog that he was very fond of and brought to the camp with him. One day the dog disappeared, and the Col. had his guards search high and low, but the dog was never found. Soon a little poem appeared in the camp and was circulated among the prisoners. The poem read:
                  'For lack of bread the dog is dead; For lack of meat the dog is eat.'
This poem's author was never discovered, but maybe this is the origin of E. S. Hunt's poetic ability!
In truth, prisoners on either side of the conflict were treated cruelly and many did not survive their imprisonment. Even though Tom was the only Rebel in our Hunt family he was still very much loved. When his parents heard about the prisoners' harsh treatment, they began taking loans out to send supplies to Tom and the other prisoners at Camp Douglas. Other families on the Union side may have done the same thing, and it was a difficult time for everyone whatever side they were on. Kentucky was officially a Union state, but in reality it's residents were divided and sometimes neighbors or even family members found themselves on opposite sides during the war. 
Close to the end of the war Tom and some of the other surviving prisoners at Camp Douglas were taken by train to Point Lookout, MD, where Confederate POWs were exchanged for Union POWs. He was released with a Distinguished Service record and had to make his own way home to Kentucky.
One day shortly after the war, Tom was mysteriously arrested. He had bought a watch from someone, and that watch was part of the loot from one of Jesse Jame's robberies. The watch was traced to Tom and he was blamed for the robbery.
Jesse James had a relative - an aunt - who lived right in Mortons Gap, KY. The house still stands today. After one of his robberies Jesse hid out there for awhile and evidently found it necessary to sell some of his stolen goods. When Jesse was asked how he felt about Tom Hunt being jailed for a robbery he himself had committed, Jesse replied, "Let'em Rot!". Eventually the case was straightened out and Tom was freed.
Tom had property along McIntosh Chapel Rd. near his parents. His cabin stood not far from where a little bridge crosses over the creek that runs under part of the road. There was a spring nearby, and a big rock near the spring's mouth. Tom carved the big rock into a basin and used it to wash dishes and clean up. Both the spring and the rock basin are still there, but care must be take to find it because it is a favorite spot for thirsty snakes!
Tom married a widow lady named Barbara McKenzie. He never had children of his own, but did have one stepson from Barbara's first marriage, so he raised young Willie Gunn as his own son. In reality, all of his grandneices and nephews treated him as a grandfather.
Thomas Crutchfield Hunt died on Jun 10, 1928 at nearly 90 years old. His grandnephew, Eugene Spencer Hunt was 5 years old and sang his first song in public at the funeral. It was the hymn, "Where We'll Never Grow Old." Tom is buried in the old graveyard near where he lived, along with many of his grandfathers and grandmothers. His tombstone is one of the largest in the graveyard, and is the only one there that marks a Confederate soldier's burial site. Long after his death, a great niece, Ruth Agnes (Hunt) Pendley, called and had a confederate military marker placed there to honor him. 
Each year family members clean up the grounds of the old cemetery, including Uncle Tom's spot, which is adorned with flowers. Even though no one living now ever met him, he is still very much loved and honored by his "children"."

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dr. William M. Davis

I found a letter from a doctor living in in Hartford, William M. Davis, dated 16 Jul 1839, addressed to General Stephen Van Rensselaer III, a New York landowner, businessman, militia officer, and politician. Van Renesselaer graduated from Harvard and was active in New York politics, serving three terms in the US House of Representatives as a congressman from New York.  He was a Mason and served as GrandMaster of the Grand Lodge of New York from 1825 to 1829; since this letter is dated July 1829 we can speculate that the subject of the letter might have to do with ending his term as a congressman which ended March 3, 1829; there is also reference to "his son in Bogota" but the rest of the letter seems to be about General Van Rensselaer.

Dr. Davis is a bit of a mystery as I do not find him in the 1840 census for Ohio County.  Possibly these men became friends as classmates at Hartford or in military service. Perhaps one of you can shed some light on Dr. William M. Davis.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

Barnett, Bennett, and Morton

Alumni of DePauw University, started in 1837 near Greencastle, Putnam County, IN:

Class of 1877:

Class of 1897:

Wednesday, February 6, 2019



Why not smile once in a while
As you do your work each day?
It will make the day more pleasant
For you and others on the way.

What’s more helpful than a smile
As you meet both friend and foe?
You can give good cheer to many
It matters not what path you go.

All will greet you when you smile
With a handshake good and true,
They will then forget their troubles
When they get a smile from you.

You can spread good cheer around you,
With a smile you make them glad,
They’ll respond to your good greeting,
They’ll forget, then, to be sad.

If you wish to help your fellows
Meet their problems all the while,
You can do no greater service
Than give each one a pleasant smile.

Henry Leach

July 31, 1943

The author is James Henry Leach, born 1 Jul 1870, Ohio County, and died 6 Jun 1945, Ohio County. His first wife was Susan Mary Jones who died 27 Feb 1917; his second wife was Zella May Nall. James Henry and Susan had one son, Hinton Taylor Leach (1899 - 1988) who married Gladys T. Bennett (1904 - 1991) and they had three children: James Hinton, Susan Lois, and Judith Ann.

The poem was found in estate of Mertigene Bell; her sister Betty Jo married Leon Nall whose aunt would be Henry’s wife.  

Thanks to Helen McKeown

Saturday, February 2, 2019

William Berry Morgan

William Berry Morgan, son of Phoecian Morgan and Elizabeth Morgan, was born 16 Apr 1858 at Hartford, Ohio County.  He moved to Denver, CO prior to 1900.

Mr. Morgan married Lenora “Winna” Thomas 24 Apr 1891 in MO (she was born 1864, died 16 Mar 1947 in Los Angeles, CA).

Mr. Morgan died in Denver after 1925 and before 1930 (see 1930 census for W. B. Morgan, Denver).

Mr. Morgan and Winna had one son, John T. Morgan, born Jan 1892, and one daughter, T. Winna born 1912 (see 1930 census).

Colorado Lawyer Directory 1917