Location: Lexington Kentucky

Biography of Hon. Benjamin Shackelford

But few men of his day and time, a period when judges held office during good behavior, occupied the circuit bench longer than Judge Benjamin Shackelford. For thirty-six years-more than the average of human life-he presided over the Circuit Court of this judicial district. And during that time fewer of his decisions were reversed by the higher courts than of any judge, perhaps, in the State. Although making no parade of it, Judge Shackelford possessed in a full measure that absolute incorruptibility that insures purity in the administration of the law. His judgments were always distinctly marked with impartiality and even-handed justice. He believed in those fundamental principles embodied in our organic law-that every person ought ” to obtain right and justice freely, and without being obliged to purchase it,” and that he ought ” to find a certain remedy in the laws for all injuries and wrongs which he may receive in his person, property or reputation.” More endorsing than a monument of granite are the impartial acts of such a man. The questions discussed in the thirty-six years he was upon the bench are of the utmost importance, and are such as would naturally be expected to arise in that formative period of a rapidly growing State, and especially in one that has risen to the proportions of an empire in itself. He rests from his labors,...

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Life and travels of Colonel James Smith – Indian Captivities

James Smith, pioneer, was born in Franklin county, Pennsylvania, in 1737. When he was eighteen years of age he was captured by the Indians, was adopted into one of their tribes, and lived with them as one of themselves until his escape in 1759. He became a lieutenant under General Bouquet during the expedition against the Ohio Indians in 1764, and was captain of a company of rangers in Lord Dunmore’s War. In 1775 he was promoted to major of militia. He served in the Pennsylvania convention in 1776, and in the assembly in 1776-77. In the latter year he was commissioned colonel in command on the frontiers, and performed distinguished services. Smith moved to Kentucky in 1788. He was a member of the Danville convention, and represented Bourbon county for many years in the legislature. He died in Washington county, Kentucky, in 1812. The following narrative of his experience as member of an Indian tribe is from his own book entitled “Remarkable Adventures in the Life and Travels of Colonel James Smith,” printed at Lexington, Kentucky, in 1799. It affords a striking contrast to the terrible experiences of the other captives whose stories are republished in this book; for he was well treated, and stayed so long with his red captors that he acquired expert knowledge of their arts and customs, and deep insight into their character.

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Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

COLEMAN Horace W., b. 12 Oct. 1868, d. 1 Mar. 1910. PAYNE John, b. 30 June 1837, d. 25 June 1914. Husb. of Mary A, Mary A., b. 1859, d. 1899. MOORE Samuel, d. 7 Feb. 1855, age 54 yrs. Husb. of Mary J. Risk Mary J. Risk, b. 28 Dec. 1812, d. 23 Dec. 1903. Mary, wife of David Mooris, b. 4 Jan. 1859, d. 16 Jan. 1873. Los A., b. 25 Feb. 1851, d. 20 Mar. 1907. Samuel A., b. 21 Mar. 1837, d. 7 Sept. 1865. Churchill, b. 1846, d. 1898. BUTLER James C., b. 29 Aug. 1811, d. 15 Sept. 1888. Husb. of Lucy A. and Sarah H. Lucy A., b. 24 Dec. 1824, d. 26 Feb. 1912. Sarah H., d. 20 Oct. 1836, age 20 yrs., 11 mos. DAVIS Allen, b. 19 Jan. 1805, d. 21 Mar. 1861. Husb., of Betsey. Betsey, b. 15 Feb. 1807, d. 3 Dec. 1885. William P., b. 9 Jan. 1818, d. 3D Mar. 1881. Husb. of Elizabeth P. Elizabeth P., b. 22 Nov. 1821, d. 5 May 1884. Edwin S., b. 5 Apr. 1846, d. 2 July 1879. Somerville A., b. 29 Aug. 1846, d. 29 May 1918. STONE Mary Davis, d. 12 Apr. 1879. HOOD Eleanor Davis, d. 14 Sept. 1872. DAVIS Elizabeth N., b. 4 Oct. 1871. DAVIS William Todd, son of E. S. and S....

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Biographical Sketch of Thomas R. Shaw

Was born near Decatur, Macon county, Illinois, June 19, 1845. In 1846. his parents removed to Iowa and settled near Mount Pleasant. He completed his education in the Mount Pleasant high school under Prof. John. A. Smith, in 1861. From that time until 1864, he was employed as a clerk, excepting one year spent in visiting relatives at Lexington, Kentucky. In 1864 he enlisted in Company A, Forty-fifth Iowa Volunteer Infantry for a term of 100 days. At the expiration of his enlistment he returned home and soon after made a prospecting tour to the Missouri River, visiting Omaha, Plattsmouth, and Nebraska City, and finally came to Gallatin in September 1865, where he began the study of law under Col. James H. B. McFerran and was admitted to the bar in May, 1865, by the Hon. K A. DeBolt and at once began the practice of law at Gallatin. In 1871 he was appointed, public administrator, to fill a vacancy, by Gov. Joseph McClurg, and in 1872 was elected to the same position. In 1876 he was elected Probate Judge and in 1880 was reelected his own successor. September, 1867, Mr. Shaw was joined in marriage to Miss Jane Buchhols, a lady who was born and reared in Gallatin. They have five children; namely, Pinkie, Milo Francis, Charles Lewis, Preston and an...

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Biographical Sketch of Wilburn K. Nation

Wilburn K. Nation was born near Lexington, Kentucky, July 1, 1817. His father was a native of South Carolina. When he was a child his parents moved to Claiborne county, Tennessee, and in 1833 to Callaway county, Missouri, and in 1835 to this county. He participated in driving out the Mormons from this county, and was at the battle of Honn’s Mill, in Caldwell county. Mr. Nation was united in marriage, November 8, 1841, to Miss Nancy Tarwater, who was born September 23, 1818, and is the daughter of John Tarwater, who was the third white man that settled in this county, and who started the first ferry on Grand River in Daviess county; he settled in this county February 25, 1830. She is the oldest settler to-day in this county. By this union they have eleven children: Lithey M., born August 14, 1842; Phoebe A., born August 1, 1844; John C., born September 2, 1846; William E., born November 13, 1848; Isaac H., born January 3, 1851; Ruth J., born June. 12, 1853; Mary O., born August 28, 1855; Nancy C., born October 8, 1857; Sarah E., born August 21, 1860; Wilburn K., born December 8, 1862; and Louisa M., born April 10, 1865. Mr. Nation has made farming his business through...

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Biography of Hon. James B. Reavis

Much interest attaches to the life and work of an attorney such as Mr. Reavis, whose chief endeavor both privately and professionally has been to realize a high degree of public justice. He is a man whom the people feel safe in having by; for they can trust his sagacity and integrity, knowing that he is thoroughly incorruptible by any influence, corporate or otherwise. He is one of the men of whom both unscrupulous politicians and monopolies have a wholesome fear. Glancing at his ancestry, we observe that he came honestly by these rugged qualities, being in lineal descent from among those who have subdued and civilized America. He was born in Boone county, Missouri, in 1848. His parents were Kentuckians, his grandparents Virginians, and on the maternal side were descended from the colonial Lee family of Revolutionary fame. Mr. Reavis received his education at Lexington, Kentucky, and studying law was admitted to practice at Hannibal, Missouri, in 1872. He also began to exert a wide influence in that state as the editor of the Appeal, at Monroe; but his prospects in journalism were voluntarily relinquished in view of his removal to California in 1874. In that state he engaged in the practice of his profession, making his home at Chico. His characteristic and hereditary restlessness, however, led him to seek a new field, and in 1880 he came...

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Slave Narrative of John W. Fields

Interviewer: Cecil Miller Person Interviewed: John W. Fields Location: Lafayette, Indiana Place of Birth: Owensburg, KY Date of Birth: March 27, 1848 Age: 89 Place of Residence: N. 20th St., Lafayette, Indiana Cecil C. Miller Dist. #3 Tippecanoe Co. INTERVIEW WITH MR. JOHN W. FIELDS, EX-SLAVE OF CIVIL WAR PERIOD September 17, 1937 John W. Fields, 2120 North Twentieth Street, Lafayette, Indiana, now employed as a domestic by Judge Burnett is a typical example of a fine colored gentleman, who, despite his lowly birth and adverse circumstances, has labored and economized until he has acquired a respected place in his home community. He is the owner of three properties; un-mortgaged, and is a member of the colored Baptist Church of Lafayette. As will later be seen his life has been one of constant effort to better himself spiritually and physically. He is a fine example of a man who has lived a morally and physically clean life. But, as for his life, I will let Mr. Fields speak for himself: “My name is John W. Fields and I’m eighty-nine (89) years old. I was born March 27, 1848 in Owensburg, Ky. That’s 115 miles below Louisville, Ky. There was 11 other children besides myself in my family. When I was six years old, all of us children were taken from my parents, because my master died and his estate...

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Biography of Charles G. Blakely

Charles G. Blakely, whose attainments as a business man have made his name familiar not only in his home City of Topeka but in many parts of the state, has been a resident of Kansas since the fall of 1883, and his first experience here was as teacher in Brown County. His is the interesting story of a boy born and reared in the mountainens district of Eastern Kentucky, where people lived on the plane of the simplest existence but not always of the highest ideals. There, in his early youth, came a stimulus to his ambition and hope which raised him out of his circumstances, and by self-help he struggled upward on the road of aspiration and finally made himself a place among the world’s influential workers. In the early days of Kentucky about the time Daniel Boone made history from the “dark and bloody ground,” members of the Blakely and Brown families from North Carolina and Virginia respectively settled within the borders of that commonwealth, and aided in reclaiming it from the domain of the wilderness, fought wild beasts and wild Indians, and for several generations lived peacefully and contentedly in the mountainous districts of the state. Many years later John Chestnut Blakely, a native of the mountains of Laurel County and Sarah Brown of the Bluegrass region, met and married, and they were the parents of...

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Slave Narrative of Mary Wooldridge

Interviewer: Mamie Hanberry Person Interviewed: Mary Wooldridge Location: Hopkinsville, Kentucky Place of Birth: Washington County, Kentucky, Age: (about) 103 Place of Residence: Clarksville, Pike R.R. #1, Hopkinsville, Kentucky “Mary and her twin sister were slaves born in Washington County, Kentucky, near Lexington, belonging to Bob Eaglin. When Mary was about fourteen years old she and her sister was brought to the Lexington slave market and sold and a Mr. Lewis Burns of the same County purchased her. Mary doesn’t know what became of her sister. Five or six years later she was again put on the block and sold to a Negro Trader but Mary does not remember this traders name. While here she was kept in a stockade and it was several years before she again was bought by a white man. Mr. Thomas McElroy near Lexington bought her and she remained his slave until the slaves were freed. Mary looks her age. She is a tall gaunt black Negro with white hair about one inch long and very kinky, and still she dresses as the older slave woman dressed in the past days. She wears an old bodice with a very full skirt that comes to her ankles and this skirt has very long deep pockets and when I asked her why she had such pockets in her skirt her answer was, “Wal you sees honey I...

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Slave Narrative of Harriet Mason

Interviewer: Sue Higgins Person Interviewed: Harriet Mason Location: Garrard County, Kentucky Age: 100 Story of Aunt Harriet Mason age 100-a slave girl: “When I was seven years old my missis took me to Bourbon County, when we got to Lexington I tried to run off and go back to Bryantsville to see my mammy. Mas’r Gano told me if I didn’t come the sheriff would git me. I never liked to go to Lexington since. “One Sunday we was going to a big meetin’ we heared som’in rattling in the weeds. It was a big snake, it made a track in the dust. When we got home missis asked me if I killed any snakes. I said to missis, snake like to got me and Gilbert, too. “They used to have dances at Mrs. Dickerson’s, a neighbor of General Gano (a preacher in the Christian Church). Mrs. Dickerson wouldn’t let the “Padaroes” come to the dances. If they did come, whe[TR:she?] would get her pistol and make them leave. “When General Gano went from Texas to Kentucky, he brought 650 head of horses. He sold all of them but Old Black. “Mas’r Gano went back to Texas to take up a child he had buried there. The boat blowed up, and he came nigh gittin’ drowned. “One time I wus out in Mas’rs wheat field. I would get the...

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Slave Narrative of Peter Bruner

Interviewer: Evelyn McLemore Person Interviewed: Peter Bruner Date of Interview: 1936 Location: Kentucky Place of Birth: Winchester, Kentucky, Clark Co. Date of Birth: 1845 ESTILL CO. (Evelyn McLemore) Story of Peter Bruner, a former slave: Peter Bruner, was born in Winchester, Kentucky, Clark Co., in 1845. His master was John Bell Bruner, who at that time treated him fairly well. When Peter was 10 years of age his master brought him and his sister to Irvine. After arriving in Irvine, Peter’s master was very cruel to him. They got only cornbread, fat meat and water to eat. If his master’s hunger was not satisfied, he would even take this little from them. The[TR:?] were tables to eat from. Once Peter, was taken into his master’s house to nurse the children and was made to sleep on the floor with only a ragged quilt to lie on and one thin one over him. Often he was whipped because his mistress said the washing was not clean, when it was. On one occasion when he was beaten his master took a piece of sole leather about 1 foot long and 2 inches wide, cut it full of holes and dipped it in water that was brined. He then took the leather and lashed the poor slave’s back. Joe Bruner, was a better master to his slaves than John. Once when Peter...

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Slave Narrative of George Scruggs

Interviewer: L. Cherry Person Interviewed: George Scruggs Location: Calloway County, Kentucky Place of Birth: Murray, Kentucky Story of Uncle George Scruggs, a colored slave: I wuz a slave befo de wa. My boss, de man dat I b’long to, wuz Ole Man Vol Scruggs. He wuz a race hoss man. He had a colod boy faw evy hoss dem days and a white man faw evy hoss, too. I wuz bawn rite here in Murry. My boss carrid me away frum here. I thought a heap uv him and he though a heap uv me. I’d rub de legs uv dem hosses and rode dem round to gib em excise. I wuz jes a small boy when my boss carrid me away from Murry. My boss carrid me to Lexinton. I staid wid Ole Man Scruggs a long time. I jes don no how long. My boss carrid me to his brother, Ole Man Finch Scruggs. He run a sto and I had to sweep de flo uv de sto, wash dishes and clean nives and falks evy day. Ole Man Finch Scruggs carrid my uncle up thar wen Ole Vol carrid me. Ole Man Finch Scruggs liv’d at a little town called Clintinvil on tuther side uv Lexinton. Wen Ole man Vol Scruggs marid, he take me away from Old Man Finch Scruggs and carrid me to liv...

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Biographical Sketch of William McChesney Martin

William McChesney Martin, born in Lexington, Kentucky, July 2, 1874; son of Thomas L. Martin and Hettie (McChesney); attended Higgins school and Alleghan Academy (Professor A. N. Gordon), Lexington, Kentucky; A. B., 1895, Washington and Lee University; LL. B., 1900, Washington University Law School; married Mary Rebecca Woods of St. Louis, November 21, 1905; children William McChesney Martin, Jr., and Malcolm Woods Martin; moved to St. Louis, as secretary to superintendent of terminals, Louisville & Nashville Railroad, March 1, 1896; chief clerk to division passenger agent, same road, 1898-99; resigned to attend law school; admitted to St. Louis bar, June 15, 1900; substitute teacher English classics, Smith Academy (St. Louis), 1899; entered trust department, Mississippi Valley Trust Company latter part of 1900 to take care of legal work in connection with estates; elected safe deposit officer of Mississippi Valley Trust Company, April 1, 1904; elected assistant bond officer same company, December, 1905; elected assistant trust officer and assistant bond officer of same company, 1908; elected vice president same company, April 22, 1914; resigned to accept position as chairman of the board and federal reserve agent of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, to which he was appointed September 30, 1914; author of several books and monographs on the law and practice of banking; member of American Bar Association; member St. Louis Bar Association; Presbyterian; clubs, Noonday, City, University,...

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Biography of James Sidney Rollins

James Sidney Rollins, lawyer and statesman, distinguished for extraordinary public services, was born April 19, 1812, at Richmond, Kentucky, and died at Columbia, Missouri, January 9, 1888, in the seventy-sixth year of his age. His parents were Anthony Wayne and Sallie Harris (Rodes) Rollins. The father was a native of Pennsylvania, a graduate of Jefferson College in that state and an eminent physician. He was a son of Henry Rollins, who was born in County Tyrone, Ireland, emigrated to America during the Revolutionary war, enlisted in the Continental army and fought in the battle of Brandywine. The mother, a lady of refinement and beautiful character, was a native of Madison county, Kentucky. James Sidney Rollins was educated in Washington College of Pennsylvania and in the University of Indiana at Bloomington, being graduated from the latter institution in 1830 with the highest honors and as valedictorian of his class. His parents having removed to Boone county, Missouri, he followed them after his graduation, taking charge of the large farm upon which they had located. During the same time he read law under the instruction of Judge Abiel Leonard of Fayette. During the Black Hawk war, in 1832, he acted as aide-de-camp on the staff of Major General Richard Gentry and was actively engaged for six months on the Des Moines river, deriving from this service the title of major. He...

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Biography of Capt. George Fry

CAPT. GEORGE FRY, an old and honored citizen of Shannon County, Missouri, is a native of the Buckeye State, born in Franklin County in 1817. His father, George Fry, was a native of Pennsylvania, who went to Ohio in 1812 or 1813, floating down the Ohio River to the Sciota in flatboats with his family and household effects. He then went up the Sciota where he afterwards located, and there passed the balance of his days, dying when seventy-seven years of age. He was in the Indian War, and was in the battle of Tippecanoe. When he first went to Ohio the Indians were still there; in fact that State had only been admitted into the Union about ten years, and was but sparsely settled. Capt. George Fry, who was one of seven children, spent his school days in Athens County, Ohio, whither his parents had moved, and there reached man-hood. He turned his attention to farming at first, but afterward was superintendent of the iron works at Vinton Station, Vinton County, for fifteen years. Following this he took up railroad contracting on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, and afterward, in 1869, went to West Virginia, and was on the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad. He was also in Kentucky on a railroad south of Lexington, and all the time was building railroad bridges, etc. Later he came West with...

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