Rulers of Jerusalem- Boulogne Family (Bolling Family).

I cannot recall the original source of this information, but I have attached all that I had in hopes that interested parties can research further on this subject matter. The Bolling/ Bowling and various spellings have thought to have had their surname changed many times. The original spelling is thought to have been Boulogne, De Bolling, Bolling, Bowling, and various other family spellings. this is interesting reading.


Boulogne family

• Godfrey         1099 – 1100

• Baldwin I       1100 – 1118

Rethel family

* Baldwin II     1118 – 1131

Anjou family

* Foulques       1131 – 1143

* Baldwin III   1143 – 1162

* Amairic I      1162 – 1174

* Baldwin IV   1174 – 1185

Montferrat family

Baldwin V de Montferrat         1185 – 1186

Anjou family

* Sibylle          1186 – 1190

Lusignan family

* Guy  1186 – 1192/94

Montferrat family

Konrad I de Montferrat            1192

Champagne family

* Henry           1194 – 1197

Lusignan family

* Ainalric II     1197 – 1205

Isabella I          1205

Montferrat family

Maria   1205 – 1212

Brienne family

* Jean  1210 – 1212, regent 1212-25

* Isabella II      1225 – 1228

Hohenstaufen family

Note: Jerusalem was lost in 1244, the Kingdom being based at Acre thereafter

* Friedrich       1225 – 1228

* Konrad         1228 – 1254

* Konradin      1254 – 1268

Lusignan (Châtillon) family

* Hugh III        1268 – 1284

* Jean  1284 – 1285

* Henri IV       1285 – 1291

To Egypt          1291 – 1516

To the Ottoman Empire           1516 – 1918

To Great Britain           1918 – 1948

State of Israel   1948 –



Breathitt County Feud 1903 (One of Many).

The Feud In Breathitt County – 1903

(Thought to have been written by the president of the S.P. Lees College Institute in Jackson at the time of the feuds.)

For several months the gaze of the public press had been turned almost daily upon the little mountain town of Jackson, Kentucky, the county seat of “Bloody Breathitt” County, the scene during the previous year of three assassinations of increasing boldness and atrocity, and occurring within a 100 steps of the business center of the town. In the many newspaper accounts of the tragedies the word “feud” has been almost universally employed to denote the state of affairs in Jackson. “Feud” is a choice word for picturesque, romantic, and unique effects. It has a pleasant medieval sound, a distinct flavor of the antique, but in this instance it is misleading. An acquaintance of several years with the town and the people, including all these prominently connected with recent events in Jackson, leads me to think it necessary to look for other motives than those usually supposed to actuate participants in a family feud.

The three men who were assassinated were, it is true, in certain legal and business relationships to one another; but there was not among them any tie of blood so close as that subsisting between one of the victims of assassination and the man who according to the testimony of an eyewitness shot him deliberately from a well-selected hiding place. Personal feeling entered into the situation, as it must, but as will appear in the sequel political motives have been to all appearance at least as strong in their influence. And the so-called “other side” has not, so far as I am informed, fired a shot or attempted to fire a shot. If such a state of affairs constitutes a “feud,” it is, as regards active participation, a solitaire game.

The town of Jackson is by no means wholly outside the pale of civilization and progress. It is 90 miles by rail from the center of the “Bluegrass.” The whole country around is one vast deposit of coal, layer above layer, from one foot to 14 feet in thickness, while on the surface, in hollow and on hill, mighty poplars, oaks, and walnuts rear their heads. Capitalists from the East, the West, and the North are buying large tracts of this valuable land for early development. Two 20 or 30 miles leaders to the main railroad line are rapidly opening part of this great territory, and others are contemplated as soon as there is assurance of peace and order. Because of its central position and its railroad facilities, an immensely disproportionate volume of business flows through this little community of 12 or 15 people. It is a collecting and disturbing point for eight or ten counties. There are two department stores, sometimes doing a business of one 1,000 to 2,000 dollars a day each, a well-conducted bank, three hotels, five church organizations with four buildings, a public school, and a denominational school established 20 years ago, which now has an annual enrollment of over 300 students, and excellent collegiate, music, business, normal, and industrial courses. Students from this institution go into business or attend college, and compare favorably in appearance, ability, and character with those from any other part of the state. As two examples out of many, one of the most prominent and efficient preachers and church executive officers in one of the leading denominations, and the nominee for mayor of one of the largest cities of the state, are both Kentucky mountain boys. A graduate of this school was second in the oratorical contest to represent Central University against the state the first year he was at college.

There are many excellent people in Jackson, some of whom have come in from outside, but the native people of town and county are kindly, hospitable, shrewdly alive to their own interests, and ambitious for their children. Many believe, and have said to me sotto voce, that if a certain mere handful of men were in some way to be subtracted from the 15,000 population of Breathitt County, the present reign of lawlessness would be at an end.

It is perhaps impossible for anyone who has not lived among the people of these mountain hollows, to form a just conception of their intense individuality of feeling, thought, and action. The personal is all-pervasive, and the desires of the individual are often taken as sufficient excuse for what has been done. Public opinion is a growing force, but in many of the remoter parts of the region it is still a negligible quantity. Consequently, the views of life, standards of judgement, and aims are often unique. In some localities, for example, less open to the influences of the outside world than the town itself, it is thought a needless extravagance to pay the $2.50 necessary to procure a marriage license; nevertheless, the wife, or as they put it, the “woman,” is negotiable and is frequently exchanged for one judged at the time to be more attractive or more desirable.

Some of the departures from accepted proprieties seem almost incredible. One of the frequent visitors to the mountains told me that once in her travels she came to a house very remote from the influences and standards that are rapidly supplanting more primitive conditions at Jackson. The woman of the house was in the field hoeing corn, squaw-like, as is the frequent custom of the women in the remoter localities. She came promptly to the house, welcomed her guests with the unfailing hospitality which is characteristic of the people, and then paid what seemed in the light of that which followed, an unnecessary tribute to cleanliness by washing her earth-soiled feet in a common tin basin. She then proceeded, in accordance with her usual custom and with utter unconsciousness of impropriety, to mix the simple ingredients of the mountain cornbread, coarse-ground “grit” bread, in the same basin. But she did have her own idea of what was proper; she had rinsed the basin.

Another “furrier,” who had frequently penetrated to the heart of the most retired localities, told me of an old woman who had spent almost her whole life in one deep mountain hollow, from which she could see only the hills and the sky. She was sitting one October evening on the humble stoop of her cabin as the sun shone slant and golden on the gorgeous yellows, browns, and crimsons of the dying foliage. A friend she had known long and well who was spending the night at her house, sat beside her wondering when she would speak and what she would say. After a silence of an hour and a half, unbroken save by the puffing of her pipe, she slowly removed this boon companion from her lips, and said, “The trees air a ‘yallerin,’ ain’t they?”

An ailing husband of Jackson went to Florida in the hope of restoring his health. He died in a very short while, and his wife took upon herself the sad duty of bringing his body home for burial. She remained in Florida, however, for a week, which was the limit of time allowed by her round-trip ticket. She finally returned with the body, and when asked why she had stayed so long, replied, “Well, they’d fixed him up so he’d keep, an’ I didn’t see no sorter use in was ‘n’ thet thar ticket, so I thought I’d travel roun’ an’ see the kentry.” But she seemed to realize that there was some need of self-defense, and added: “Thar was a man at the deepo’ whar was setting’ fer me, but I wouldn’ look at him. I couldn’ have nothin’ ter do with no man while the corpse was above groun’.” Needless to say, she was not a widow for many months.

A son of this woman, a little fellow of six, perhaps, kept bringing sticks of wood into the room where lay the dead body of his father. “Thet thar kid ‘mos’ pesters the life outer me bringin’ in wood,” remarked his mother to a friend. “Why does he bring it?” was the reply. “He says his pa’s in thet box an’ can’t git out, an’ he’s goin’ ter bust it open. I’ve done whipped him fer it a ‘ready more time ‘n’ I kin count, but he won’t quit.”

It is not such aspects, however, of the typical as these that have at this time attracted the attention of the public to this little mountain town. The two following incidents throw a direct psychological light upon the Breathitt County reign of terror, the leading events of which I shall soon relate. They show in youth and image the mental attitude of which the recent assassinations are the outcome.

The hero of the story of the sticks of wood, when ten or 12 years old, was taken to Louisville by a friend. About the middle of the day he spied in front of a restaurant a bill of fare, which was to his liking. The cost of the dinner, read the legend, was 25 cents. He walked in, pulled out a long knife, and with a threatening air demanded the meal for 15 cents. Charmed by this exhibition of youthful independence, the proprietor accepted the cut in his rates. But the boy was in deadly earnest, and if he had not been satisfied, would undoubtedly have attempted a cut to which the proprietor would have had serious objection.

Barbaric criteria still appear here in age as well as in youth. An old woman in the county had made for her husband’s grave a wooden imitation of a tombstone. It was neatly painted white, and in order to do full justice to the virtues of the deceased, there was painted on the “stone” in black a hand gripping a .45, from which the bullets were streaming. So pleased was the widow with the realistic appearance of the tribute to the memory of her man, that she could not bring herself to the point of removing it to his grave on the other side of a neighboring hill, but kept it on her front porch where she could point out its merits to all comers with admiring pride.

The average number of deaths by violence in Breathitt County in a year used to be about 20. It is said that from November 1902 to June 1903, there were 30 or more. Most of these fatalities, have been the outcome of drinking, and many of them have resulted from open fights between town or county officials and those they were endeavoring to arrest. It is not unusual for friends or members of the same family to injure each other when drunk and armed. But assassinations, at least in recent years have been very rare. A large majority of the more serious offenses go scot free. There is either no indictment or the jury is friendly. Only one man has ever been hung in Breathitt County.

At the primary election in the spring of 1901 and at the final election in the fall of the same year there was a bitter political fight for the offices of Breathitt County. James Hargis, of the firm of Hargis Brothers, was elected county judge by a considerable majority, while Ed Callahan secured the sheriff’s office by a very small majority. The election of Callahan and of one or two other officials was contested by the opposing candidates, and Hargis supported Callahan and his other friends in their defense of their election. During the course of the contest there was an altercation at a conference at which Hargis, Callahan, their attorney, the opposing attorney J. B. Marcum, and one or two others were present. Serious trouble was averted only by the prompt action of one of the attorneys in taking two of the disputants out of the room. Warrants for Hargis and Marcum were sworn before the police judge of the town, Cardwell, a relative of whom had killed a brother of hargis some years before. This relative had been pardoned, but the feeling between the Cardwell and Hargis families had ever since been, to say the very least, unfriendly. Marcum was arrested by the town marshal, the local police officer, and paid his fine. The marshal, James Cockrill, with a brother, Tom, as deputy, then attempted to serve the warrant on Judge Hargis. The latter escaped by running into his store while the revolvers of the Cockrills were covering him. Judge Hargis asserted that he had surrendered to Sheriff Callahan, who was standing near, before Cockrill served his warrant. The Cockrill boys declared that he surrendered to the sheriff afterwards, and that they had not arrested him only because they saw it would precipitate a fight with the sheriff who had drawn his revolver. The sheriff and the town marshal both have power of arrest within the town limits, and such conflicts of authority are not rare.

This incident occurred in the spring of 1902. About a week later Tom Cockrill, who had aided his brother James in the attempt to arrest Judge Hargis, and Ben Hargis, a brother of the judge, and usually a pleasant, genial fellow, met in a wholesale liquor store. It is pretty certain that Hargis had been drinking, and thet they had had some words a few days before about the attempt to arrest Judge Hargis. Cockrill said that Ben Hargis sent for him. However this may be, they seem to have opened fire on each other almost simultaneously. The testimony as to this point is conflicting. Both were badly wounded, but Hargis much more seriously. He lived only for a day or two, while Cockrill recovered after a long and painful confinement. It is credibly reported that just before his death Hargis asked his brothers not to pursue the quarrel, as it had been an open fight and he had merely gotten the worst of it, and that they agreed. However this may be, Tom Cockrill was arrested and put in jail, where for one reason or another he stayed for many weeks before he was brought out for trial.

Owing chiefly to the efforts of Dr. Cox, one of the leading physicians of Jackson, and guardian of the Cockrill boys, Cockrill’s trial was transferred to an adjoining county. Judge Hargis declared over his signature that he would not prosecute the case against Cockrill there for fear of personal injury. Cockrill was acquitted.

Dr. Cox feared assassination after this, and told his friends he expected it. He said that he felt it was his duty to champion the cause of Tom Cockrill as he was his guardian and there was no one else to render the aid. One moonlight Sunday evening in May, during church service, two shots rang out, a pause, then a third. Dr. Cox, who had not only been working for a change of venue for Cockrill’s case, but had been active in the canvass against the Hargis ticket, was found dead with more than 20 buckshot wounds in his body. He had been called to his office by telephone, but found no one there and started home again. He was shot from the direction of the Hargis Brothers’ stable yard, which is just to the rear of their store and across the street from the Cardwell store, in the second floor of which Dr. Cox had his office. The intersection of this street between the Hargis and the Cardwell stores, and Main Street, is the assassination center of Jackson. The Hargis and Cardwell stores occupy the north and west corners, respectively, the courthouse the east corner, while on the south corner is the building which contains the office of John Patrick.

As I hurried to Dr. Cox’s house immediately after he was shot, and was just approaching the spot where he fell, there came behind me along the silent and deserted streets, a feeble old woman. She kept looking apprehensively around and said, “May I go along with you? I’m afraid they’ll shoot me.” It was the mother of Dr. Cox’s wife, going to the home of her bereaved daughter.

No apparent effort was made to find the assassins. No special term of the grand jury was summoned. No evidence was offered at the regular session in June. No one desired to take an initiative which everyone thought would be deadly. No one knew what to expect next. People talked with bated breath. There was not one public expression of condemnation of the dastardly crime, except from the pulpit. I walked through the principal streets of the town about eight o’clock in the evening a few nights after Dr. Cox’s assassination. The brilliant moonlight revealed no one beside myself. The streets were deserted at an early hour for a long time after this murder, the stores were closed at dusk, and blinds were drawn. Later, the streets were frequently patrolled by armed men who would stop every one on their own authority until satisfied of the peaceable intentions of each passer-by. The Hargis Brothers were for along time accompanied by guards when they went about or on their trips by rail. Their store was guarded night and day against the assassin they said they feared and the incendiary that never came.

About two months after the assassination of Dr. Cox, in July 1902, James Cockrill, the town marshal who had attempted to arrest Judge Hargis as already narrated, had an altercation with Curtis Jett, in which several shots were exchanged, but without injury to either. A few days later, about the middle of the day, as Cockrill was standing in front of the Cardwell store, he was shot five or six times from a second story window of the courthouse on the corner diagonally opposite. Several of the shots took effect, and he died the next day. It is said that no one was for a time allowed to search the courthouse, and that when the search was finally made, the assassin helped to look for himself. The same night the building in which Ben Hargis had been fatally wounded by Tom Cockrill a few months before, was burned to the ground.

John Patrick, a young lawyer of Jackson, had an office directly across the street from the window of the courthouse from which Cockrill was shot. Patrick told someone that at the time of the shooting he was in his office and saw the muzzles of three guns protruding from the window. He averred further that he recognized one of the assassins. He was warned to leave the town, and left very promptly. Some months later he was summoned to appear before the grand jury, but he refused, saying in an open letter to the judge of the circuit court, Judge Redwine, that he feared assassination, but would come if protected by troops. Sheriff Callahan was sent for him, but in spite of an apparently diligent search, failed to find him. Some months later, when the town was filled with troops during the trial for a third assassination, Patrick appeared before a special grand jury, and testified that he had seen Curtis Jett at the window from which James Cockrill was shot, but had not recognized his companions.

Public opinion connected Hargis and Callahan with the two assassinations. Curtis Jett is a nephew of Judge Hargis, and had been befriended by him in many ways. He was also for a time deputy sheriff under Callahan. He had been in jail under many indictments and several times was let out under circumstances mysterious to the public. On one occasion after he escaped in the night, there was a hole in the wall of the jail through which he might have passed. Dr. Cox was the guardian of Tom Cockrill who had fatally wounded Ben Hargis, and he was also actively opposed to the Hargis ticket in the election as well as instrumental in having Tom Cockrill’s trial removed from Breathitt County. Whatever may have been the reason, there was a notable falling off in the number of visitors to the Hargis store. For many weeks it had an air of desertion. The many wagons which ply from the county stores to town for supplies either went to other stores or did not come to Jackson. There was a large increase in the trade of the other department store at this time. Hargis and Callahan denied all connection with the assassinations, and professed themselves deeply grieved at the death of Dr. Cox, but so far as I am informed they expressed no such regrets in the case of James Cockrill.

A merchant of the town, C. X. Bowling, was after considerable delay appointed guardian of the remaining Cockrill boys in the place of Dr. Cox. During the winter, Mr. Bowling’s store was burned to the ground in the night. After the burning of the wholesale liquor store in which Ben Hargis was shot, mentioned before, the insurance companies cancelled, promptly, every fire insurance policy in Jackson, and no renewals could be secured for some months.

Mr. Marcum, as has been said already, was attorney for the contestants in the election cases, and participant in the original altercation which is supposed by many to have been the starting point of the series of calamities of which this is the story. He had left Jackson after the killing of Cockrill, and did not return until November, when he had business before the circuit court meeting then. He had been warned repeatedly that he would be killed if he did not go. He told me of one of these warnings at a chance meeting, and said he was going to his office to do his duty by his clients and by the town. He was president of the Board of Trustees, which is the governing power in small Kentucky towns. He had often complained of the impossibility of properly carrying on the town government and making needed improvements because of friction with the county authorities.

After Mr. Marcum returned to Jackson, he published a circumstantial statement of the information he alleged had been given him from time to time as to plots against his life. He asserted tat he had been able to escape on several occasions only because the man who had been hired to assassinate him had told him of each plot as it was made and had managed to put his fellow assassins off the track. Mr. Marcum would remain in his room all day and steal out in the dark, or he would slip down a back street in company with his wife or daughter, or would carry his baby in his arms for protection. Mr. Marcum’s informant also had published a signed statement corroborating Mr. Marcum’s assertions, and naming as the men who had hired him to assassinate Marcum; Hargis and Callahan. The latter promptly brought suit for libel against Marcum and also against the paper which published the statements just mentioned.

Marcum was vigorously preparing to reopen the election cases, which had been tried before a special judge who had declared the election void because of fraud on both sides. Meanwhile, the apparently successful candidates had been promptly appointed by Judge Hargis, the county judge, to serve until the next election. The libel case against Marcum was transferred to an adjoining county in order to secure a fair trial, as Breathitt County has long been notorious for its partisan juries. The trial was set for the 11th of May 1903. The contested election cases also were soon to be passed upon by the Court of Appeals, the supreme court of the state. On the fourth of May, while standing in the front door of the courthouse with his hand on the shoulder of B. J. Ewen, a deputy sheriff, Mr. Marcum’s attention was attracted by a man named Tom White passing by him out of the courthouse and scowling at him. Marcum remarked to Ewen that he was afraid of that man, he was a bad man. The words were hardly out of his mouth when he was shot from behind by someone in the hall of the courthouse. Ewen testified that he saw Marcum fall, then saw “Curt” Jett advance upon him with his pistol held in both hands. Then the second shot was fired at such close range that the powder burnt Marcum’s face. The ball penetrated the brain. Either shot would have been fatal, and Mr. Marcum died in a few minutes without being able to speak.

At the time of the shooting, according to their own testimony, Judge Hargis and Sheriff Callahan were just inside the Hargis store directly across the street. Hargis said he was not directly in front, and could not see the assassin. Callahan said he saw his form, but could not recognize him for the smoke. A number of witnesses testified that smokeless powder was used. Judge Hargis, the county judge, advised Callahan, his sheriff, not to go to look for the assassin for fear of personal injury. Some minutes elapsed, and Hargis finally directed Ewen to make the search, which was fruitless.

Many witnesses testified that Jett and White apparently had a conference just before the shooting, that they both entered the side door of the courthouse shortly before the shooting, that White came out of the front door as already narrated, while Jett was seen shortly after the shots to look cautiously out of the side door, and then come out and mingle with the crowd around the wounded man.

Ewen was called to a conference with Hargis, Callahan, and one or two of their adherents in a second story room of the Hargis store, and was there asked what he knew about the shooting. Ewen testified that he said he did not recognize the assassin, because he was sure he would be killed if he told the truth. He told a number of friends the next day or so that he had recognized the murderer, and named Jett as the man. Jett went about town as usual for a few days. No further attempt was made on the part of the authorities to ascertain the identity of the assassin. Judge Hargis did send a message to the widow of Mr. Marcum offering to have a warrant served on anyone she might desire. Jett finally went on a visit to his mother in one of the Bluegrass counties, and was there captured without resistance. He was anxious to be taken to Jackson for trial, and was finally taken there. White was captured later by a detail of soldiers from the 200 troops sent to preserve order, and to protect witnesses during the trial. While told his captors that if they had been a few minutes later he would have escaped. It was currently reported that a friend of Whites’ was sent to warn him before the special sheriff was notified of the order for his arrest.

After Ewen had given his testimony against Jett, declared that he was approached by a man who offered him $5,000 to change his testimony so as not to incriminate Jett, and who threatened that if he would not accept the bribe, Hargis and Callahan would kill him. He told the briber that he could not talk to him then in such a public place, but he would see him at his own house at a time appointed. Ewen and a witness, whom he had concealed in the room, both testified before the grand jury as to the repetition of the offer of the $5,000, and of the threat that he would be killed if he did not accept. Ewen promised another witness at the time of the trial. This testimony was brought out before the grand jury.

Ewen had refused to accept the bribe, and early one morning while he was in the camp with the soldiers for safety and his family were asleep, his large hotel was burned to the ground, and almost all the contents destroyed. This fire occurred during the Marcum trial, and Ewen’s friends thought it was an attempt to get him out in the open where he could be shot. Alex Hargis, one of the firm of Hargis Brothers, said he thought Ewen had had the fire started himself in order to throw suspicion on Judge Hargis. As the value of the property, and it was all Ewen owned, was about $10,000 and the insurance companies had canceled the insurance a few weeks before, because they feared incendiarism, this opinion of Judge Hargis’ brother did not find many adherents.

All the jury, but one, were for Jett’s conviction, but that one persisted in his opinion and the jury was discharged and a new trial appointed to be held at Cynthiana, 100 miles from the troublous town of Jackson. The discharged jury had been procured from the adjoining county of Magoffin, and a short while after the failure to convict and the discharge of the jury, the following item from Lexington appeared in The Jackson Hustler, one of the two weeklies published in the town:

“The report comes here from Salyersville that Burns Fitzpatrick, the man who hung the jury that tried Curtis Jett and Tom White at Jackson, has left Magoffin County, and returned to his former home on Jennie’s Creek, in Johnson County. It is said Fitzpatrick’s neighbors cut him, and the talk was so against him that he was forced to leave. Before leaving he stated that he did not think he would ever come back.”

The new trial of Jett and White resulted in conviction and a sentence of imprisonment for life. The jury in Kentucky fixes the sentence in such cases, and one juror held out against the death penalty. Indictments were found against two teamsters of Hargis Brothers for setting fire to Ewen’s Hotel, and against a man named Plummer for offering Ewen the $5,000 bribe. L. T. Bolin, who corroborated Ewen’s testimony as to the offer of the bribe, said he was warned by Plummer’s wife to leave Jackson. He left, saying he didn’t think he could live there after giving the testimony.

Such, in outline, is the story of what many believe to be a conspiracy on the part of those in official power to accomplish criminal ends.

Later Note From Newspaper Items

January 1907

Jett was sentenced to be hanged for the murder of James Cockrill, secured a new trial, confessed the crime, implicating Hargis and Callahan, denied his confession on the witness stand, re-confessed his part in the murder at a subsequent trial, and was sentenced to life imprisonment instead of hanging. The “life” imprisonment lasted only a few years, whereupon Jett took to preaching.

Hargis and Callahan were sentenced to pay Mrs. Marcum in a civil suit for conspiring to kill Marcum the sum of $8,000, although acquitted in the criminal trial due to Jett’s withdrawal of his charge against them, it is said, an interesting legal anomaly.

 Source: Clay County Genealogical Society, date unknown.

The Bowling Name in History

These stats were gathered after I read the book, “The Bowling Name in History” by Ancestry. I have listed some of the most interesting numbers:

The Bowling Name in History

Timeline in History

1840- 110 Bowling Families with most living in Kentucky. (21).

1861-1865- 163 Bowling Union Soldiers and 358 Confederate Soldiers.

1880- Top Bowling US Occupations- Keeping house, farmer, laborer, at home.

1881 England- Most Bowling residents lived in Lancashire and Yorkshire Counties

1900-1170 Bowling Families with most living in KY, average household size 5.34

1914-1918 World War I- 1,565 Bowling draft registrants, with most registering in KY.

1920- 1844 Bowling households of which 44 percent owned home, 70 % of these individuals were literate.

1939-1945 World War II- 895 Bowling soldiers joined the US Army.

Today- Most Bowling families in US  live in Kentucky and Ohio.


1832-1904- Bowling land patents were issued from the federal government.

1821-1948- Most Bowling immigrants to US came from England, Ireland, and Canada.

1945- Most Bowling Immigrants to the US arrived in 1945. The Queen Mary was the most common ship that Bowling immigrants sailed on.


Ships the Bowling’s Sailed On:

Queen Mary-20 ppl                                         Adriatic- 8ppl

Leviathan- 16 ppl                                            Baltic- 8 ppl.

Queen Elizabeth- 15 ppl

Britannic- 14 ppl

Cedric- 11 ppl

City of Limerick- 9 ppl

General Maurice Rose- 9 ppl

Majestic- 9 ppl

1840 Fun Facts

US population was 17,069,000

Inventions: Sewing machine, vulcanized rubber

Most popular spectator event: Horse racing

10- hour work day was established.


States with the most Bowling Households in 1840-

Kentucky -21


Tennessee- 11

Indiana- 9



Bowling Households in Kentucky


Early Kentucky inhabitants included members of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Shawnee Indian Tribes. Daniel Boone established the first English-speaking settlement in the area in 1775.  Kentucky became a state in 1792.  The 1820 Missouri Compromise confirmed its status as a slave state. Kentucky’s 1840 population was 780,000 including 190,000 people of African descent.


1880- Did you know?

US Population- 50,155,783.

Residents born outside the US: 5,248,568

Teacher’s salary monthly: male- 71.50  and female: 54.50 per month

Life expectancy was 39.6 years

Bike Ownership- 50,000

Miles of Railroad track- 87,000


States with most Bowling’s in 1880

Kentucky- 110

Virginia- 73






Mary Pennington Bowling

Mary Pennington Bowling…


According to just about every notation that I have read – Mary Pennington was born at the hollow of the Yadkin River on the east side of Blue Ridge and New River in Wilkes Co., NC.  Now someone who knows the area fairly well can probably tell me where that is, exactly.  I suspect that it is probably near or in what is now known as Ashe Co., NC.  Ashe Co., NC was carved out of Wilkes Co., NC in 1799.  We know that Mary Pennington’s father, Micajah lived in Ashe Co., NC and probably had land there when she was born. 


Mary Pennington was the oldest daughter of 10 children and married her husband when her youngest sibling was only three years old.  Jesse Bowling was probably a widower with one son when he married Mary Pennington when she was 19 years old on 6 Jan 1785 in Wilkes Co., NC.  He was a veteran of the Revolutionary War having served as a Sergeant from North Carolina and has a recorded pension (#514974).  He was the son of Benjamin Bolling and Patsy Phelps.  There has been an ongoing discussion for years that Jesse Bowling was a descendant of Pocahontas…I have enough trouble keeping up with Bowlings who are related to the Penningtons without getting into that discussion.  So here is Mary, newly married and a new step mother and married to a man who is a military veteran.  In the early years of their marriage they are recorded in Wilkes Co., NC, Lee Co., VA and Hawkins Co., TN.  Jesse and Mary probably moved to Hawkins Co., TN at least by 1794 and perhaps earlier.  Jesse is baptized by Rev. Andrew Baker of the Blackwater Primitive Baptist Church and was himself a Baptist preacher. So that perhaps explains their wanderings in the early years of their marriage.


By 1804, they are probably back in Lee Co., VA according to the birth places of their children and it is likely they were living close to her parents by that time.  By 1810, Jesse and Mary are in Clay Co., KY and are recorded in the census there.  I find it very interesting that they live in Clay Co., KY because I find traces of several Penningtons there as well as other members of the maternal side of my family.    Jesse and Mary are recorded in 1820 in Perry Co., KY.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that they moved much because Perry Co., KY was formed from Clay and Floyd Co., KY and when they are recorded as dying in Breathitt Co., KY aft 1840, it is still could be the same area as Breathitt Co., KY was formed out of Clay, Estill & Perry Counties.  Since I am not that familiar with where they lived exactly, history and geography tell me that they probably lived in the same area but the county lines might have changed on them.


So, they have traveled from North Carolina, to Virginia, to Tennessee and then back to Virginia and finally have settled in Kentucky.  Along the way, Jesse worked as a Preacher and they had 12 children together.  Their children were:

  • Hannah Bowling b. 28 Apr 1786 Lee Co., VA d. 1841 m. Nelson Gay m. Leonard Huff
  • Mary “Polly” Bowling b. 1 Mar 1788 VA/NC d. aft 1880 Perry Co., KY m. Abraham Barger
  • John S. Bowling b. 1789 Hawkins Co., TN d. 26 Jul 1838 Krypton, Perry Co., KY m. Mary Lewis
  • Justice Tucker Bowling b. 1790 Wilkes Co., NC d. 1880 Perry Co., KY m. Hanna Reed
  • Rachel Bowling b. abt 1792 m. Joseph Reason
  • Elizabeth Bowling b. 1 Apr 1794 Hawkins Co., TN d. Feb 1866 Jackson Co., KY m. Abel Pennington
  • Eliajah “Lige” Bowling b. 22 Jan 1798 Lee Co., VA d. 22 Oct 1883 m. 1 – Susanna Roberts m. 2 – Mary Ann Keen m.3 – Nancy Ann Bryant
  • Jesse Bowling, Jr. b. abt 1800 d. bet 1848-1850 Breathitt Co., KY m. 1 – Nancy Dewees m. 2 – Winifred Lewis
  • Margaret “Patsy” Bowling b. 1804 Lee Co., VA m. 1 – Joseph Spencer m. 2. – ? Maggard
  • William “Priimpy Bill” Bowling b. abt 1806 Lee Co., VA m. Deborah Duff
  • Nancy Bowling b. abt 1808 Lee Co., VA or KY m. Edward Begley
  • George Bowling b. abt 1810 m. Phoebe Lewis
  • Jesse’s oldest son from his first marriage was John E. Bowling b. 1777 Wilkes Co., NC d. aft 1839 m. Susan Sizemore


This is a large family – but the two most intriguing children are Mary Polly Bowling and Elizabeth Bowling.  Mary “Polly” Bowling had at least 5 children but they intermarried with their Johnston cousins through their mother’s family (Sarah Pennington m. Samuel Johnson/Johnston) and their children marry into some of the more well-known families in Kentucky such as Gay, Brewer, and Spurlock.  Elizabeth marries her possible cousin Abel Pennington and their children also marry into some well-known families including their Johnson/Johnston cousins, Combs, Turner, Moore & McGee.  Between these two daughters, I have met the majority of Mary Pennington descendants through my research.


Jesse and Mary Pennington Bowling died with a year of each other.  Jesse died 10 Mar 1841 and Mary died 21 Mar 1842 both in Breathitt Co., KY probably around Quicksand creek.  For their time period, they both lived to be old people and probably also saw the death of at least three of their children.  There is a lot left to be done to fill out the families and probably many puzzles to unravel.  These families seem to intermarry enough and used so many similar names that sometimes it is very difficult to figure out which is which…but if you are descendant of Mary Pennington through her daughters Elizabeth or Mary – you could be a member of three different Pennington family groups – which is certainly confusing enough. by Carmen Johnson




Bowling Fun Facts…..

 The Bowling Name in History

Timeline in History

1840– 110 Bowling Families with most living in Kentucky. (21).

1861-1865– 163 Bowling Union Soldiers and 358 Confederate Soldiers.

1880– Top Bowling US Occupations- Keeping house, farmer, laborer, at home.

1881 England– Most Bowling residents lived in Lancashire and Yorkshire Counties

1900-1170 Bowling Families with most living in KY, average household size 5.34

1914-1918 World War I- 1,565 Bowling draft registrants, with most registering in KY.

1920- 1844 Bowling households of which 44 percent owned home, 70 % of these individuals were literate.

1939-1945 World War II- 895 Bowling soldiers joined the US Army.

Today– Most Bowling families in US live in Kentucky and Ohio.

1821-1948– Most Bowling immigrants to US came from England, Ireland, and Canada.

1945– Most Bowling Immigrants to the US arrived in 1945. The Queen Mary was the most common ship that Bowling immigrants sailed on.

Ships the Bowings Sailed On:

Queen Mary-20 ppl                                         Adriatic- 8ppl

Leviathan- 16 ppl                                            Baltic- 8 ppl.

Queen Elizabeth- 15 ppl

Britannic- 14 ppl

Cedric- 11 ppl

City of Limerick- 9 ppl

General Maurice Rose- 9 ppl

Majestic- 9 ppl

1840 Fun Facts

US population was 17,069,000

Inventions: Sewing machine, vulcanized rubber

Most popular spectator event: Horse racing

10- hour work day was established.

States with the most Bowling Households in 1840-

Kentucky -21


Tennessee- 11

Indiana- 9


Bowling Households in Kentucky 

Early Kentucky inhabitants included members of the Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Shawnee Indian Tribes. Daniel Boone established the first English-speaking settlement in the area in 1775. Kentucky became a state in 1792. The 1820 Missouri Compromise confirmed its status as a slave state. Kentucky’s 1840 population was 780,000 including 190,000 people of African descent.

1880- Did you know?

US Population- 50,155,783.

Residents born outside the US: 5,248,568

Teacher’s salary monthly: male- 71.50 and female: 54.50 per month

Life expectancy was 39.6 years

Bike Ownership- 50,000

Miles of Railroad track- 87,000

States with most Bowlings in 1880

Kentucky- 110

Virginia- 73




Did you know?

Most common Bowling Civil War Ranks at discharge.

Private- 432

Corporal: 27

Sergeant: 22

Other: 8

1st Lieutenant: 7

Most Common Bowling Civil War Units

17th Virginia Cavalry: 11

Capt. Cooper’s company- Virginia Light Artillery: 7

16th Virginia Cavalry: 5

24th Virginia Infantry: 5

30th Virginia Infantry: 5

Most common Civil War Enlistment Day, Month and Year for Bowling’s

Day: Monday

Month: August

Year: 1861

Occupations: 1880

Did you know? The average workday was 10 hours. People were generally paid in cash, but some received wages on a weekly or even monthly basis. Employee’s like grinders, carpenters, engineers, and laborers were paid between $1.00-$3.00 per day.

$1.00 in 1880 was equal to $2.55 in 1950 and $17.83 in 2000.

Did you know?

World War Two Draft Registration for the Bowlings family “ Old Man’s Registration.

Did you know the fourth registration often refer to as the old man’s generation was conducted on 27 April 1942 to register men who were born on or before 28 April 1877 and 16 February 1897, consisting of men who were between the ages of 45 and 64 years old and who were not already in the military. This registration is the only World War Two draft registration that is currently available to the public. The other registrations are not available due to privacy laws.

Bowling’s draft registration by age-( fourth registration only)

Age of the youngest registrant was 45 years old

Age of the oldest bowling registrant was 64

The average age of the bowling registrant was 54.

Remember, this is only the “Old Man Registration.”

World War I Draft Registration:

Did you know in 1917 and 1918 approximately 24,000,000 U.S. men registered for the draft the total population at that time was more than 100,000,000 if you have family in the U.S. during world war one you are likely to find information in the large draft registration card collection.

The registration cards contained names, dates and significant genealogical information such as birthplace and citizenship status.

Most common Bowling locations of employment when registering for world War I :

Clay County with 93 Bowling’s

Nelson County with 40 Bowling’s

Mercer County had 37 Bowling’s

Leslie County had 36 Bowling’s

Carter County had 32 Bowling’s.


Did you know?

The US population was 106,521,537

The average car price was $295.

The average household income was $1236 per year.

The life expectancy for a male was 53.6 years and female was 54.62 years

The unemployment rate was 5.2%.

The illiteracy rate was 6%.

The states with the most Bowling households in the 1920s where Kentucky with 453, Virginia 168, Tennessee 138, West Virginia 102, Missouri 94.

Source: Ancestry Bowling Book of Facts.

Pocahontas and Her Family- (One View).

 Pocahontas and Family
(Please note, I am sharing this article with you as it is written. There are many views on Pocahontas so read, review and distinguish what you see as truth. It does contain grammatical errors, but I left it as such so show the author’s authenticity.)
Our understanding of the Powhatan and surrounding Native-American peoples is derived primarily from archaeology and the writings of early European explorers and settlers. By about 1300 AD, the tribes of the Coastal Plain lived in semi- sedentary villages supported by small hunting and gathering camps. Increasing reliance on horticulture focused the location of villages along floodplains and areas of rich sandy soil near rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. The rich environment provided almost unlimited quantities of fish and shellfish, much of which was dried for storage. The material goods of these people included tools and ornaments made from stone, wood, bone, and shell. The era from about 1200 BC to 1600 AD, known as the Woodland period, also marked the introduction of pottery into the Eastern Native-American groups. By the time of European contact; a wide variety of pottery styles and shapes were in common usage.
Throughout most of the Late Woodland period (900 to 1600 AD), these groups formed small independent tribal societies. By the 16th century, however, larger chiefdoms developed and hundreds of villages dotted the landscape. European traders were able to capitalize on the Native Americans’ extensive use of personal ornamentation. The men of the group painted and tattooed themselves and wore various types of ornamentation. The women painted and tattooed their faces and also wore ornaments of bone and shell, including necklaces. Their clothing consisted of short apron-like garments of skins.
By 1600, the Powhatan chiefdom, under the rule of Wahunsunacock, covered an area extending from Washington, D.C., to the North Carolina line, and included at least 32 sub-chiefdoms in over 150 villages.  The Powhatan chiefdom was one of a number of Algonquian language groups in the larger region. John Smith noted that  
“ The forme of their Common wealth is a monarchical government, one as Emperor ruleth over many kings or governours. Their chief ruler is called Powhatan .”
Powhatan controlled these groups through inheritance and power; they paid him tax or tribute and received his aid in times of need.
Pocahontas, also known as Matoax or Matoaka, was born to Powhatan sometime around 1595 or 1596. The colonists reported her place of birth as Werowocomoco, along the York River, Powhatan’s principal residence until 1609.15 Pocahontas began visiting the Jamestown settlement with some regularity and developed a friendship with Captain John Smith, who realized the need to cultivate communication between the English and Native Americans. ‘I She appears to have been very willing to help break the language barrier and assist settlers in procuring food from the more cooperative members of her group. However, her most famous service to the colonists is the legendary rescue of Captain Smith. As the story goes, Smith had been captured and taken to Werowocomoco, where he received a death sentence from Powhatan and his advisors.
As he was about to be killed, Smith reports in his Generall Historie that Pocahontas took his head in her armes and laid her owne upon his to save him from death.
Powhatan agreed to spare Smith’s life and proposed that he return to Jamestown and deliver two guns and a grinding stone in exchange for adoptive membership in the Powhatan fold.”
The almost mythical story of Pocahontas had its origins in the first accounts of the settlers: the histories of Smith, Argall, Dale, Purchas, and Hamor. Fictional accounts appear to have begun in the late 18th century with a romanticized version of the story, The Female American, written by Mrs. Unca Eliza Winkfield in 1767.
If the story of Pocahontas grew during the late 18th century, it blossomed during the first half of the 19th. Historian Frances Mossiker has noted that “grease-paint Pocahontases overran the stages of America throughout the first half of the 19th century. 1121 The earliest of these dramas was The Indian Princess; or, La Belle Sauvage, the 1808 work by James Nelson Barker and John Bray, an “Operatic Melo-Drame in Three Acts. 1121 The Pocahontas story continued to be told in story, verse, and song throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Although most of the works provide some detail on her son Thomas and his family, Pocahontas’s story usually ends not long after her death in England.
Pocahontas did not marry Captain John Smith as many believe. In 1613, she was abducted by the English and brought to Henrico, where she remained for a year or more, and in 1614 was converted to the Christian faith. It was while in Henrico that Pocahontas met her future husband, John Rolfe. Shortly after her conversion, Rolfe wrote to Sir Thomas Dale, expressing his desire to marry Pocahontas. Dale felt the union would benefit the colony, and after a trip to obtain permission from Powhatan, the couple was married in the church on Jamestown Island in April 1614. The Rolfe’s built a new house along the James River near Varina, between Henrico and Bermuda Hundred. In 1615, Pocahontas gave birth to her only child, a son named Thomas. Later the same year, members of the Church of England proposed the creation of an Indian school – in Virginia and suggested that Mrs. John Rolfe might visit England to launch the venture. The Virginia Company appropriated the idea as a way to raise more money and attract new colonists to Virginia.
In June 1616, John Rolfe, Pocahontas, and son Thomas arrived in England. The Seven-month visit was a success in every way, generating new interest in the settlement of Virginia and important financial backing. The celebration quickly ended, however, as Pocahontas and her family prepared to return home. While waiting for the ship to sail from Gravesend, England, Pocahontas became ill and died. She was buried in St. George’s Parish Church on March 21, 1617.
John Rolfe returned to Virginia, but without his son. Thomas was placed in the care of his uncle, Henry Rolfe, who raised the boy. Father and son did not see each other again. When Thomas returned to Virginia in 1635, he received his father’s land in Varina as well as several thousand acres left to him by Powhatan. It appears that Thomas settled in Surry County, in an area known as “Smith’s Fort.” Although Thomas visited the Powhatan on occasion, he lived the life of an English tobacco planter. Thomas married Jane Poythress, and the couple had one child, a daughter named Jane. Little else is known of their life together.
Linebaugh, Donald W. Kippax  Plantation: Traders, Merchants, and Planters. An Exhibit Celebrating the Families of Pocahontas.Center for Archaeological Research, the College of William and Mary, Historic Hopewell Foundation, Inc. The City of Hopewell (1995).

Bowlings of Kentucky

We are descendants of the early Bollings/ Bowlings (along with misc. spellings) of Virginia and Kentucky.

Benjamin Bolling was born June 30, 1734 and died January 10,1832 in Flat Gap, Wise County, Virginia. He married Patty Phelps on June 20,1753 in Albermarle County, Virginia. Patty was born in 1736 in Albermarle County. Patty died on March 8, 1767 during childbirth with her daughter Elizabeth, in Rowan County, North Carolina. Benjamin later married Charity Larimore in 1768. Charity was born in 1734, and died in Flat Gap Wise County, Virginia. She is buried along side of Benjamin Bolling. This is where the brick wall usually starts for the Bowling DNA Group 5.

Rev. Jessie Bowling was born on May 22, 1758 in Orange, Hillsboro, North Carolina and died March 10,1841 in Quicksand Creek, Breathitt County Kentucky. He married first Polly Green, in 1776 in Wilkes County , Va. and she died just two years later, they had no children. He later married Mary Elizabeth Pennington on January 6, 1785 in Wilkes County North Carolina. She is the daughter of Micager Pennington and Nancy Jones. Mary was born on November 18,1765 in Grayson County, Va and died March 21, 1843 in Qucksand Creek, Breathitt County Kentucky. Together Jessie and Mary had 11 children.

Elijah “Lige” Bowling, son of Rev. Jessie Bowling was born on January 22, 1798 in Lee County, Va. and died on October 20, 1883 in Laurel County, KY. Lige married Susannah “Sookie” Roberts on March 18, 1819 in Clay County, Ky. Sookie was the daughter of Jesse Roberts and Nancy Anderson. She was born 1800 in Va.

Jesse Boyd Bowling, the son of  Elijah Bowling  and Susan Baker Born in 1830 had a son Jason Walker Baker Bowling, who was born on July 15, 1848 and died on February 25, 1911 in Fogertown, Clay County, Ky. Oral history in our family says that Jesse and Susan were not married when Jason, (some spellings are Jacient) was born. Susan’s father took the baby and told  Jesse that he better do right by the baby and so he then later married Susan and they raised Jason together.

Susan Baker was born on 2 Jun 1830 in Buffalo, Owsley Co, KY and died on 18 Apr 1867 in Homeplace On Burton Fork Of Long’s Creek, Breathitt Co, KY at age 36.

General Notes:  Before Susan married ‘Preacher’ Bob Burton, she had a first child born out of wedlock. His father was Jesse B Bowling. The child was named Jason Baker and was on 1 census of Owsley County. John Hammond Baker, Susan’s father, took Jason to Nicholasville, Ky and adopted him to his father at the age of 1 month old. See court document, Nicholasville, KY. Jason was renamed Jason Walker Bowling. (See John J Dickey Diaries). Jason became a United States Federal Marshall. He married Kettie Bowling.

Susan married Jesse B Bowling, son of Elijah ‘Lige’ Bowling and Susannah Roberts, in Owsley Co, KY. Jesse was born on 14 Jan 1822 in Perry Co, Ky, died on 14 Sep 1878 in Laurel Co, KY at age 56, and was buried in Bowling Cemetery, Laurel Co, KY.

Jason Walker Bowling was the father to my great grandfather Albert Sidney Bowling. Jason married Kettie Bowling, daughter of Christopher Bowling and Elizabeth Cornett. She was born on January 5, 1854 and died June 11, 1916.  I have notes that say that Jason later married a Hampton, but I am still looking into that, for Kettie died five years after Jason.

Albert Sidney Bowling married Callie Bell Spicer, who was the daughter of Anderson R. Bowling, “Big Ance” and Nancy E. Baker. They were not married when Callie was born on March 15, 1878 and died on June 20, 1921. According to the 1880 federal census, Callie’s mother Nancy was married to Sutton Moore, and on the census Sutton, aka as Elijah, was listed as her father. Nancy married Big Ance a few years later, and had a few more children. Anderson was married to a Hacker, and the oral history of their family states that Anderson had two boys with Ms. Hacker, and he took the boys and she never saw them again. Albert died on December 13, 1922 of pulmonary Tuberculosis. Callie had preceded him by six months, it is unknown to me how Callie died, for I am still trying to locate her death certificate.

Albert and Callie were cousins, Elijah Bowling had two sons, Jesse who was on the paternal side and Delaney who was on the maternal side. Jesse and Delaney were brothers.

Albert’s parents had 9 children, Margaret, Eliza, John, Lucinda, Albert, Jesse, Amanda,Taylor and Chester. I have notes that lead me to believe that Chester may be the son of the Ms. Hampton  and Jason Walker Bowling, mentioned earlier. Kettie  had her children ranged from 1873 to 1885, and Chester was born in 1896 making that an eleven year span between the last two.

Albert and Callie Bowling had 5 children, Earl, Thomas, Maude, Nancy  and Wilson Pershing Bowling. Wilson the baby was born in 1919, and was the baby of the family. When Callie got sick, and died; Albert only survived for six months afterwards. I was told that the children were split up, and Wilson “Wick”, my grandfather was sent to an orphanage in Ohio, where his sister Maude worked. Maud died at the age of 27 years old from TB as well, like her father. So I am only assuming that Callie died from it as well.

Bowlings & Baker Family Connections!

Recently dove into the Baker Family doing some research of the connections between the two
families, and wow…. They go back a long Way! I had hit a brick wall with Benjamin Bowling Sr, without proof if he was a descendant to Col. Robert Bolling. I found another connection with his daughter Mollie Bowling who married Andrew Baker. This ties me by blood through Jason Walker Bowling. He was the son of Jesse B. Bowling and Susan Baker. (They were not married).

John Renty Baker- First Settler of Owsley County, Kentucky.

Owsley County was formed in 1843 from portions of Clay, Breathitt, and Estill Counties and was named for Governor William Owsley. Owsley County was Kentucky’s 96th county. Parts of Owsley County were used to form Jackson County in 1858 and Lee County in 1870.

The first settlers in Owsley County were John Renty Baker and John Abner. They first settled in 1780 near the present Clay County line at Courtland. The exact year of their settlement is unknown, however, a gravestone found in a cemetery in Upper Buffalo Creek reads, “Milly, wife of John Abner, died March 1846.”

John Renty Baker and his sons, who were all gunsmiths, also invented and developed hand operated machines to cut the rifle barrels. John Renty’s father, Robert Baker, developed the rifle that became known as the “Kentucky Rifle”.

John Renty Baker was known as one of the “Long Hunters”, spending more than a year at a time in the forests of Tennessee and Kentucky trapping and hunting. In “The Conquest of the Old Southwest”, it is stated that in 1766 John Baker hunted with Daniel Boone’s brother-in-law, John Stewart. He lived on the Green River among the Cherokees in what is now Kentucky and made trips down the Cumberland River to Spanish Natchez to sell their furs.

After the death of his wife, John Renty Baker became a recluse and lived in a rockhouse near the mouth of Buffalo Creek and died there in 1820. He fathered at least 21 children that are documented.

The Bakers are the source of many colorful stories. The were involved in one of the longest and bloodiest family feuds in U.S. history which began in 1943 when Dr. Thomas Baker (a grandson of Julius Bob) shot John Bales. Dr. Baker and John Bales were both married to daughters of John White and the two young couples became more intimate than is usual in this mountain country. Dr. Baker became insanely jealous of his wife and Bales. Finally in a fit of rage, he deserted her and began suit for divorce but suddenly withdrew it. He went to the salt works, where Bates worked in Manchester, called him to the door and shot him with an old-fashioned “pepper box” pistol. Bates died, but while he was dying he cursed Baker and authorized $10,000 from his estate to be used toward the capture and conviction Baker. The feud lasted for 59 years and took over 100 lives before it ended.

The first settler in the City of Booneville was James Moore, Sr. The site of their home is located just outside of Booneville in front of Booneville Homes apartments. James Moore, Jr., son of James Moore, Sr., built a two room cabin on the opposite side of the river from his parents. This home still stands, although it has been remodeled through the years, and is owned by Mayor Charles Long and his wife.

The Moore’s land included all of Booneville, east across the South Fork River and toward Lerose. The community was known as Moore’s Station and was later named Booneville after Daniel Boone. James Moore, Jr. was the first postmaster. Elias Moore donated land for a seat for the new county in 1843 and the town was incorporated Booneville in 1846. The Owsley Court House Post Office opened in 1844 and was renamed Booneville in 1846. In 1858, Owsley County lost some of it’s territory to Jackson County and in 1860 to Wolfe County. In 1870, when Lee County was formed, again Owsley County lost some of its territory.

The Moores, Bowmans, Bakers, Gabbards, and Reynolds were the first permanent settlers.

Most land patents came from Virginia. The three types included military service, grants from settlement or preemption, or warrants from the treasury. There are still families here who have their original land grants.

In January 1929, and again on January 5, 1967, there were courthouse fires. All records were lost in the 1929 fire.

For more information contact:
Ronnie Callahan, Jr. – Chairman
Booneville/Owsley County Industrial Authority
P.O. Box 637 · Booneville, KY 41314
Phone: 606-593-6800 · Fax: 606-593-7700

Feuds of Clay County Kentucky

June 8, 1899 this date is important to set the tone, this is the date Bad Tom Baker and thirty of his kinsmen rode into Clay County seat of Manchester. Soldiers had been sent in to maintain order and the reason they were there was because of Thomas Baker sometimes called “Bad Tom”, Baker unhitched his horse and started for the courthouse, Tom was the leader of the Baker clan and had an ongoing feud with the Howard and White families. Twice in recent months he had been accused of murder, and the most recent was the killing of Deputy Sheriff Will White. Word had been sent to Tom, his son James and brother Wiley to come in and face trial, Tom’s belief is he could never get a fair trial because the courts were controlled by his feud enemies the Howard and White families. The local lawmen of the area also knew that the Bakers could summon up fifty men or so in minutes to defend the clan if need be and tension was high that day, they were not eager to go up on “Crane Creek” and bring Tom in.
Tom had sent word he would come in if Governor Bradley sent in troops to protect him and get him a fair trial he also said that he would not be put “that stinking rat hole of a jail.” They surrendered their weapons and escorted to the court room by Col. Roger D. Williams who was in charge of the troops sent to the area, on the way they saw James “Big Jim” Howard, the man who had killed Tom’s father Baldy George Baker, after two delays and a hung jury (reported 11-1) for acquittal , Howard had been found guilty by a Laurel Circuit Court but was free on appeal. Taller then Tom Jim Howard only stared with no expression at the Baker’s as they went into the courtroom.
Another figure was arriving in town at that moment none other than General Theophilus Toulmin (T.T.) Garrard, hero of the Mexican and Civil wars, former member of Congress and the state legislature, grandson of a governor, and patriarch of the Garrard family, he had also opposed the Whites, in commerce and politics and the degrading feud, the Whites and their followers, he had come in from “Goose Creek” to lend support to the Bakers. In court Col.

Williams set opposite the judge so as to maintain order while A.C. Lyttle the attorney argued for a change of venue, but Judge Cook who had came up from Pineville to oversee the proceedings called a recess, and on going outside Tom thanked T.T. Garrard for being there on his behalf, Tom, Jim and Wiley ate dinner at the Potter House, smoked for awhile and returned to court. Attorney A.C. Lyttle made a passionate plea for a change of venue again to Judge Cook, he also pointed out that the county was under control of the Whites and Howards, he added there would be bloodshed if Baker went on trial for killing a White in Manchester.

The isolation of the county was also apparent from the 1800’s settlers were beginning to sink big salt wells along “Goose Creek” and salt was so valuable at the time that the state built the first road into the county, it was not much of a road but it was a road. In the year of 1802 there were two wells in the county output of about 500 bushels a year, and by 1845 there were fifteen deep wells some up to a thousand feet, whose water yielded up to a pound and a quarter of salt per gallon, about 255,000 bushels a year at about a dollar and a half to two dollars a bushel. Game was a plenty in the area bear, elk, deer, wolves, foxes and beaver as well as rabbits, raccoons and squirrels. It was an elk hunt that triggered the first violence in the area, in 1806 that become known as the Cattle Wars. In that year Clay was formed and about 100 people lived in Manchester nothing more than a village.
T.T. Garrard was born June 7, 1812 son of Daniel Garrard and Loucinda Toulmin Garrard,,,Daniel was son of James Garrard governor of Kentucky from 1796-1804 he moved to Clay Co. Around 1805 and married Loucinda in 1808. When T.T. was twenty he married Nancy Brawner at the home of ALEXANDER WHITE which implies relations were not always hostile between the families, T.T. And Nancy had two children the first died as an infant and Nancy herself died in 1838, in 1841 T.T. Garrard ran against Daugherty White for state representative, he loosed but never gave up and in 1843 he ran against Josiah Combs and won, and the next election he was elected without an opponent. T.T was a Democrat and the Whites were Whigs,(Republicans after 1860). 
In 1844 Abner Baker Jr. Married Susan White, and this is the start of trouble, Abner was the county’s first Court Clerk, and also a good surveyor and proved unbiased over squabbles about property lines, Abner also had a reputation for erratic behavior and a bad temper. After the wedding the couple moved in with Daniel Bates who had married Abner’s sister Mary and Bates was also a prosperous salt maker, apparently the parents did not hold well with the marriage because they did not build their own house. Anyway after the wedding Abner showed signs he was not playing with a full deck, he began accusing various men in the area of adultery with Susan including Daniel Bates, her own father and visitors and servants, the Whites on the other hand took a dim view of the situation and tried to get Susan to move back home. His family begged him to see a doctor, but he stormed out of the house and went to Knoxville, Tenn. But on September 13, 1844 he returned and went directly to Daniel Bates salt works and shot his friend in the back. As he lay dying Bates dictated a will in which he freed his servant Pompey, and his slave’s Joe Nash and his wife Lucy. He also directed his son to take revenge on BAKER and see he was prosecuted or killed, he left $10,000 to make sure it was done. This in fact split the community from those who did not think a crazy man should be hung and others who thought he should be strung up with little fuss, unsure of what to do GARRARD refused to hand Abner over to the Sheriff or the Bates family. On September 24 he was took to two magistrates one of which was Garrard himself and they deemed him insane and turned him over to his brothers both of them being doctors themselves. But he fled from Knoxville to Cuba where they said he might regain his sanity, this did not sit well with the WHITES & BATES so the persuaded the commonwealth to indict him for murder, doctors testified that Abner was suffering from a mental disease “monomania” but, this did not sway the jury, he was found guilty and on October 3, 1845 he was led to the gallows and hanged and a wedge had been driven between the powerful families of Clay Co. KY. The BAKERS wept with rage for the WHITES helping the BATES to bring Abner Baker to trial when they knew he was insane. The lines had been drawn and competition for salt hardened into hostility.
In 1847 the Mexican War came on and a lot of young men of the area signed on, T.T. Garrard was among the first to sign up he returned to Manchester a Captain, he had been a widower for more then ten years but on his return from the war he married Lucinda Burnam Lees, but not more than ten days after the wedding T.T. & his brother William and two slaves became Forty-Niners and set out for the gold fields of California. In his “memoirs” T.T explained he wanted to know the excitement of the ‘gold rush’ and his new wife understood. The brothers joined a wagon train out of St. Louis and making it to California bought a share in a gold mine and for a while T.T. Hauled provisions to the mine, but did not think much for mining so he ended up selling his share of the mine but his brother William stayed on and spent the rest of his life in California. T.T. Went down to San Francisco and caught a ship for Panama, but before he left the one of the slaves begged to be allowed to stay and promised to send T.T. $500 as soon as he could earn it although male slaves were worth much more than this, T.T. Complied and several years later he received a letter with $500 dollars in it, the former slave had done well and had made a business of his own. The other slave (William Tillet) however wanted none of California or Panama and chose to return to Clay Co. KY. The two of them caught a ship to Panama , crossed the mountains on foot and took a dugout canoe down the Chagres River to the Atlantic and boarded a freighter to New Orleans, there they booked passage on a Steamboat to Louisville and rode home to Manchester arriving February 5, 1850, in his diary T.T. said “Panama cane” grew up to eighty foot high and people built houses out of it (probably Bamboo).
In the fall of 1849 another Baker was accused of murder, William Baker son of Sarah and Boston Bob Baker apparently had killed Frank Prewitt a shoemaker, Matilda his wife was also suspect, he was tried in Manchester and although the GARRARDS came to his defense even hiring outside help he was led to the gallows on January 15, 1850, John Gilbert the hangman and Sheriff was in tears William was rather serene, he asked his friends not to forget Job Allen, Adonriam Baker and Robert Hays for testifying falsely against him. “James WHITE has too much money for a man such as me to live.” Five years later Matilda on her death bed confessed to the murder of Prewitt. Another wedge was drove not only the WHITES & GARRARDS but between the BAKERS & HOWARDS as well.

In 1856 the Garrard’s backed John Bowling for jailer he won but, within six months was found shot to death, the evidence pointed toward ED WHITE, which was tried and acquitted, T.T. Ran for the senate and won but resigned and ran for Congress against Greene Adams of Harlan Co. He lost, but ran against Carlo Britain of Harlan Co. And won the state senate, he served until he entered the Army on the onset of the Civil War. Although a staunch Democrat he joined the Union Army and was named Colonel by President Lincoln, he helped to raise 10,000 men of eastern Kentucky, at one point his father heard he was going to lead troops against Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer,”I hope he gets a good whipping,” his father said, but he did not, Boston Bob Baker who joined at the age of 63 under the command of T.T. Garrard was the one who supposedly killed Zollicoffer.

After the war some hostilities arose but most had fought for the Union, the politics of the area found in 1866, Beverly White county judge, John Ed White as commissioner of schools and Will White as county court clerk. An argument broke out in the courthouse doorway between Sheriff John G. White and Jack Hacker, Dale Lyttle joined in to protest the John White bullying and White was joined by his brother Will and cousin Daugh. Someone eventually pulled a pistol and Hacker and Lyttle fell dead in the doorway, the WHITES were arrested tried and released and of course the Garrard, Baker clan was furious because Lyttle was kinsman of the Bakers Tom Baker married Emily Lyttle. this is the stuff that feeds the feud.


In the spring of 1897 another play to take back the courthouse was waged, this being encouraged by Granville Philpot winning the election to the state legislature and of course the success of the Philpot’s in gunfights, T.T. Garrard called a meeting of the BAKERS, WEBBS, McCollum’s & PHILPOTS but Judge B.P. White also called a meeting counting on the HOWARDS, HALLS, BENGES,& GRIFFINS, the Griffins had a feud of their own going on with the Philpot’s. Bev. White and Jim Howard won and George Baker was elected to County Attorney, the courthouse remained under White control. During the week of August 7, 1897 Deputy Sheriff George HALL & former revenue officer Holland Campbell met John & Anse Baker and Charles Wooten on the road near Manchester, the WHITE-HOWARD faction had scheduled a meeting in the courthouse that day and Hall thought they were going to interrupt it, someone started shooting but none was killed Anse was wounded and his horse was killed. The following night Hall’s home and Campbell’s store at Pin Hook were burned, Anse and Bad Tom Baker were charged with arson, Tom swore he was miles from that area with friends who could vouch for him, T.T. Garrard bailed him out. February 14 1898 Tom and Anse Baker were to be tried for arson and they were acquitted, Sheriff Beverly White was most disappointed and him and John were having words in the hallway and an all out fist fight ensues, the Bakers continued the fight out to the courthouse yard where they mounted their horses and made off for “Crane Creek.”
Accounts of what happened around Crane Creek in the month of April 1898 are confusing indeed and is hard to know who the real villains are, Dickey’ diary has an entry for April 10 (Dickey is a preacher); Written by T.T. Garrard;” My son James Garrard was the Auditor’s agent when Ball Howard failed as Sheriff, as such he sold Howard’s property and the state bid it in. It was the timber on this land that Tom Baker and the Howard’s fell out over, I understand that James Howard has threatened to kill my son James since this feud has come up because of his official work.” The Sheriff T.T. is referring to is known as Ball Howard, but in Harlan his name was Adrian Ballenger apparently Ball owed Tom Baker money for some trees a matter of $15, Ball and his sons Israel and Corbin were putting the finishing touches on the raft on Crane Creek when Tom Baker approached him for the money, Ballard had told Tom he did not owe him any money as they stood there someone reached for a weapon Tom threw an auger at Ball, who ducked and swung a peavey at Tom, then Tom hit Ball a glancing blow with a pistol, Israeli Howard then fired at Tom giving him a slight flesh wound, Corbin Howard and Jesse Barrett jumped in to defuse the situation before anyone was killed, but the fuse had been lit. Meanwhile Big Jim Howard had heard of the Crane Creek incident and went to the office of George W. (Baldy George) Baker to propose a truce, and apparently an agreement had been reached because they shook hands and was glad a peaceful solution had been reached, problem is they did not inform their families at Crane Creek.
The next morning the Bakers were pushing logs into position for trip down river and on the other side the Howards were doing the same and when noon came the Bakers nodded and left for dinner, when Tom arrived home he was with Charlie WOOTEN, Jesse BARRETT and Toms brother Wiley, Tom nodded to his wife and asked James his 18 year old son to come on, James knew something was afoot and complained of being sick, but his mother told him “get your sorry thing up from there and help your daddy.” James got up got his rifle and followed the others, back at the lumber yard the Howards cast off their ropes and Israel and Corbin and a man named Davidson headed down river. Wilson, Ball and Burch Stores headed for home, As the group started past the house of Gardener & Cythena Baker, Thena (short for Cythena) came out and rang the bell, what is Thena ringing that bell for now ? Wilson wondered. As they passed about 200 yards of the Baker home a rage of bullets rang put, Wilson Howard fell riddled with bullets, Burch Stores had his head practically blown off, Ball Howard hit in the chest fell forward across his horse, which veered and galloped away as he fled the ambushers apparently came out and finished off Wilson and Stores. Wilson shot six times according to the Howards identified the murders to be the Bakers,(It is possible that he lived for a while?) Ball escaped along with the Shackle ford boys and John Lewis although he was badly wounded. A curious thing happened John Sester who was coming down Crane Creek said that Thena came down to Bal while Gard went and got a sled and took him to their house and treated the wound and got his family, Thena and Gard later helped the Howards get the bodies of Wilson and Burch Stores. (Of note also is that Ball said they came out and finished them off, in that case Will could not identify anyone, but Ball was very seriously wounded and was running for his life.)


Jim Howard furious because of the agreement between him and George, he learned that Tom Baker’s father was away from home set out toward Crane Creek, they met on the road and Jim ordered Baldy George Baker to dismount, 25 bullets pierced the body of George Baker and apparently Jim taking his time as not to be a killing shot, the old man apparently bled to death on the road (This is the Baker version). The old man told Jim he had nothing to do with the killings.(The following version is from Rev. Dickey and the witness Calderon) Another account has it this way; The morning after the killings Jim went out on Crane Creek to retrieve the bodies after retrieving the bodies he drew near Boston Gap cemetery he was fired on from ambush, and he retreated to the Willow Grove school, he knew he couldn’t go up Crane past the Baker house so he choose another route and near Collins Fork, he was shot at again. Trying to figure out how to get home alive, he went back to the store and started talking with John Calderon, so mad he looked crazy according to Mrs. Calderon, when a young girl nearby said,” looks like Baldy George is out early,” and Jim turned toward the head of the Baker clan about 20 yards away. according to Stanley DeZarn, Calderon years later living in Indiana gave Jess Wilson an eye-witness account of what happened. “Jim was standing by his horse and reached up and grabbed his rifle, about the same time Baldy George saw him and grabbed his rifle and slid off his horse and Jim shot him, Jim was shooting a .45 x .90 the shot went right through the horse and hit Baldy George in the stomach, the doctor’s came from Manchester and operated on him on the counter of the store, but he died the next day.” Calderon’s version holds closely with that of Rev. Dickey, he talks of the doctor’s operating on Baldy George Baker on the store counter, and also only mentions one wound.
So where did the 25 shots come from in the magazine? Well, Tom Baker in a letter to Gov. Bradley months later, accused Jim of shooting Baldy 25 times. At any rate Jim forgot about going home that day and rode up Collins Fork and down Ells Branch, past the spot where men were digging graves for Wilson Howard and Burch Stores, he surrendered to Deputy Sheriff Will White at his home near Burning Springs. They had supper and talked and Jim spent the night with Will and his wife Kate, the next morning they rode to Manchester and Will turned him over to Judge Brown who released him on his own recognizance. Brown deputized forty men to protect the Howard home on Crane Creek, gunmen soon began shooting into the Howard home from the brush, Ball remained home until he could travel, then Jim and guards took him to HARLAN COUNTY home of one of Ball’s cousins (probably Berry Howard) and Ball remained there until the June term of court in Clay County. In Manchester things were tense the Garrard’s were demanding an immediate trial of Jim Howard for the killing of Baldy George and the Whites and Howards were demanding the trial of Tom Baker and his cohorts for the killings of Wilson & Burch. Baldy George had 15 sons and Bad Tom had 13, but not all of the Howards or the Bakers participated in the feud.
At the burial of Baldy Baker none of his 15 sons showed up, however, at Laurel Creek cemetery where the Howards were attempting to bury Wilson and Burch Stores shots rang out, and the Howards un-armed had to take the coffins and flee, they buried them at Maxine Baker cemetery several miles away near Oneida. The two graves at Laurel Creek remained empty for years. Will White was out in the county collecting delinquent taxes when he ran into Tom and Dee Baker and James HELTON, near the mouth of Jim’s Branch, Will was killed Tom supposedly fired the fatal shot. The GOFORTHS were sitting on their porch George and Lucretia, they hurried down the road in direction of the gunfire they had seen a horse veer with its rider and several men had ridden away. Will White had been mortally wounded but before he died he grabbed Mrs. Goforth’s hand and said promise me Lucy, that you will testify in court that Tom and Dee Baker and Jim Helton killed me, I promise Will she said. Will White had not been a popular man to say the least, he was known as a man of violent temper and his kinsmen would not take the killing lightly. Will was buried on June the 4th Dickey wrote; Miss Alice Callahan and I sang “nearer my God to thee” just as the grave was about to be filled John G. and Gilbert White rode up, they live in Winchester. On the 19th just as I was starting to Hyden I saw Will White jump on Tish Philpot and beat him about. White was drunk. The Whites will now help the Howards to exterminate the Bakers, the old White, Garrard feud has been going on for 50 years, but has never broken out in virulent form. The past few days the a large number of whites and Howards have been under arms, there were about 30 Winchesters (rifles) in town today.


On June 24th. John Howard was shot and killed at his home on Sexton Creek, he had been in the front room of his house when a shot came through the window and hit him in the arm, he grabbed his pistol and ran out and saw a man running he dropped him with one shot, only to be hit again and killed. The body of his victim was retrieved(?)by the killer no one was ever arrested. On July 1st. Bad Tom was tried and released for the killing of the Howards after witnesses swore he was miles away when the killings took place. Legend has it Wilson Howard lived until 4 in the afternoon and had identified his killers but to whom? Thena and Gard Baker could not swear to it even if they were willing, and they surely were not. On July 3rd Gilbert Garrard and his wife were shot at on the way to church, one shot cut Garrard’s coat and another creased his horse, on July 8th T.T. Garrard bailed John Baker out of jail in Barbourville, Dickey wrote Garrard had bailed out John to kill Howards. The cases of John Baker and Jesse Barrett were held in Clark Circuit Court in Winchester, the jury found the Bakers not guilty. Bad Tom was tried in Barbourville for the murder of Will White and handed a life sentence, but he appealed and was released, later that week Gilbert Garrard left Manchester, with four bodyguards for Pineville, near Red Bird they were fired upon and two of the bodyguards were killed, the rest of the body escaped and T.T. Blamed the Whites who said nothing. On July 20th John Baker and Frank Clark were on their way to T.T. Garrards when they were stopped by Sheriff Felix Davidson and Daugh White according to the corner, John Baker had 32 bullets in him and Clark had 11.


The change of venue so sought out by A.C. Lyttle had worked the trial of Bad Tom Baker would be held in Bourbourville, I want to thank you General Tom said, don’t mention it said Garrard I am glad you got the change of venue. Tom told his wife that she might as well go home and her and some of the boys could come down in the morning and accompany him to Barbourville. Tom walked back and stood with Emily in the doorway of the tent, some of the Baker kinsmen having retrieved their guns had started mounting up for the ride back to Crane Creek, but then a shot rang out, and bad Tom with a moan fell forward across his wife’s feet. Tom Baker was dead shot in the chest. The soldiers ran across the street and Captain Bryan ordered them to break down the gate and then they had trouble with a locked front door, the ran through the house but found no  one, they found a rifle in the front room with the barrel still warm, by an open rear window they found a hat with Sheriff White’s name on it. It is very unfortunate that the gun that killed Baker was found in your house, “Before God said White, I didn’t kill him.” A reporter who had came up and was scribbling away and peering over him was CHAD HALL, looking down on Tom with a fascinated stare. 

Chad Hall many years later on his death bed would confess the murder of Bad Tom Baker, an article was written in the Louisville newspaper attesting to this fact that he was the killer. Bad Tom Baker was buried in Boston Gap by his father George W. (Baldy) Baker.

Another rather colorful individual who wrote in his memoirs of the feuds in the area was none other than John Anderson Burns, who said his family moved to West Virginia to get away from the bloodshed in Clay Co. I have read his book and it is very informative indeed, John grew up in West Va. But returned to Clay in 1882 and worked logging in the area on the rafts and getting timber out. In 1899 when he said he got a message from God and founded the Oneida Baptist Institute, which still is located in Onieda and not to mention the Philpot’s and Griffins you read about above had a shootout on “Pigeon Roost” that lasted most of an afternoon and this resulted in the death of 3 men and a horse, as Burns describes the area if anything had got worse. Burns on the other hand was establishing schools on Rader Creek and later on Crane, and he was doing it with the help of none other than Tom Baker, who was not only a gunman but respected as a school trustee who wanted better education in Clay Co. Setting up a school on Rader Creek proved not to be just “reading, ritin & rithmetic. Burns learned early on that he was going to have to show that he could whip any boy in the school as well as some of their parents if he was going to establish any kind of discipline. He went to Tom Baker for advice “You go ahead and teach,” said Baker. “I’ll see you aren’t bothered. He then sent out word that anyone giving Professor Burns trouble would have to answer to Tom Baker. After this Burns had no more trouble.

It is also interesting how he got the name “Bad Tom” the newspapers and also the White’s in their letters to the governor called him Thomas Baker, the bad Tom part did not come in until after his death. No one seemed to question him on the hiring of teachers or their dismissals or to settle school matters. The Rev. John Jay Dickey who left many writings during the hottest part of the feud years was a Methodist Minister who had preached in Breathitt County, where he founded not only a church but a school, which developed into Lee’s Junior College, and established and published the Jackson Hustler the county’s first newspaper and he also taught and preached in Owsley County, which he found badly in need of salvation but he heard that Clay needed it even worse and he could hardly wait to begin God’s work there also. He had trouble from the state to even meet his daily needs, and he could not persuade Clay Countians to even build the church he had planned, but for almost ten years he kept diaries of his work in the mountains, and today they remain the most reliable.

The first white man to settle this region was John Gilbert who was a surveyor, you will find his name on thousands of acres and Felix G. Gilbert joined John later he can also be found on thousands of acres, the first settler to make salt there was James Collins who in 1775 tracked some animals to a large salt lick on what became known as “Collins Fork” of Goose Creek. But it was John Gilbert who led the South Forkers in the Battle of Hanging Rock against the North Forkers who were under the command of two men Callahan and Strong, names later remembered in the Breathitt County Feuds, the South Forkers were apparently headed for ambush when John Gilbert caught the glean of a rifle barrel and gave the alarm, and then led a flanking attack that saved the day. Later in life John became a preacher as did the leader of the North Forkers, William Strong. How this all came about was in the fall of 1806 a group of men living on the South Fork of the Kentucky River (Clay County) went over to Middle Fork (Leslie and Perry Counties) to hunt elk. They found instead a herd of cattle ? Apparently abandoned, they killed and dressed one of the cows for food and were driving the rest home, and this is when the North Forkers appeared, a gunfight ensued where one from each side was killed and the South Forkers retreated, gunfights took place between these groups for years and to think all this started over the killing of a cow, question on how many got killed in the cattle wars and feuds.

Tom Walters a Clay Co. Native who went to Florida and was a school official there, lists 55 people in the northeastern part of the county alone, Walters has another list compiled by a friends uncle from memory in the 1950’s of over 100 murdered in the feuds. Stanley DeZarn another Clay Co. Native who moved to Hamilton, OH. “Estimates” over 100 died in the feuds, James Anderson Burns one of my favorite authors that the feuds not counting the cattle wars took more than 150 lives. The earlier cattle wars had created an atmosphere in Clay Co. Of bitterness and hatred and it also established a pattern of violence an accepted way to settle disputes and protect property, this made violence an excepted way of life.


Credits: Author; John Anderson Burns, Memoirs of T.T Garrard, Diary of Rev. John Jay Dickey and Author; John Ed Pearce. Ella Sizemoore


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