Family Stories

Killed By His Neighbor

George Zachariah Simpson and his wife, Alice B. Wheeler

George Zachariah Simpson was killed by his neighbor, Asbie Sebastian, during a quarrel between the two men on June 17, 1916.  George is the son of James Simpson and Mary Jane Hill.  His grandfather, Isaiah Hill, was killed during the Hill-Evans Feud.  When my book, A Garrard County Tragedy, was published in 2000, Zack’s granddaughter enjoyed it so much she gave me this beautiful photograph of him and his wife, and another taken during the funeral.  Zack and Alice had four children listed in the 1910 census – Mary, 17; Bill, 15; Letcher, 10; and Richard, 8.  George Zachariah Simpson was buried in Wheeler’s Cemetery, in Garrard County.  He was born 152 years ago today.

from The Central Record, Lancaster, Kentucky

Thursday Afternoon, June 22, 1916

Zack Simpson of Spoonville Killed By His Neighbor, Asbie Sebastian

As the result of a quarrel between Zack Simpson and Asbie Sebastian, who own adjoining farms in the Eastern section of  Garrard County, Kentucky, near the Madison County line, Asbie Sebastian last Saturday morning about 11 o’clock shot and instantly killed Zack Simpson with a shot gun, and Sebastian was severely beaten and bruised at the hands of Simpson’s two sons, nineteen and twenty-one years of age respectively.  Simpson was shot one time in the bowels and lived only a few minutes.  Sebastian surrendered to the officers but was unable to be brought to town by Sheriff Ballard until late in the afternoon on account of his condition.  He was allowed a guard and placed in the care of Dr. J. A. Amon.  It was stated to Judge Arnold by Dr. Amon that the defendant will be able to be in Court on Thursday morning at which time the day will be set for holding an examining trial.  the defendant has retained J. E. Robinson and L. L. Walker to defend him in the case.  Both the deceased man and Sebastian have large family connections and are among the most prominent people in the county.

Asbie Sebastian was eventually charged with voluntary manslaughter and given an indeterminant sentence in the penitentiary from three to twenty-one years.

7 replies »

  1. George Zachariah Simpson was the grandson of isaiah Simpson. Was Isaiah middle name Charles and did he have 2 wives, as I have Isaiah Charles Simpson and Elizabeth Scott was the parents of James Simpson.
    Thanks for verification. Dottie Porter Himes

      • According to the first info sent today by you, Isaiah Simpson was the grandfather of George Zachariah Simpson. I had his grandparents were Charles Simpson and Eliz. Scott , so I thought that his first name or middle name must have been Isaiah. The picture shows that Isaiah Simpson was maried to Lydia A. Ross. Can you write to the relative that sent the pictutre of Isaiah and his wife. Dottie Porter Himes

  2. Such a beautiful couple…. such a sad story, could almost feel the sorrow at the grave sight….

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