Family Stories

Captain Richard P. Finn Biography

from Simpson County, Kentucky – Biographies

Captain Richard P. Finn was born in Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky, November 9, 1840, and is the youngest of nine children born to John and Frances W. (Bigger) Finn, the former of whom was a native of Cork, Ireland, and the latter of Simpson County, Kentucky, and of English descent.  John Finn received a good English and commercial education in his native land.  Soon after attaining his majority he, in company with his sister, immigrated to the United States, first stopping in Philadephia, where he located his sister, remaining himself, however, only a short time.  From Philadelphia he came directly to Franklin, Simpson County, Kentucky, then only a small village, where he engaged in general merchandising.  This he continued until about 1825, when his store was destroyed by fire.  He then engaged in the dry goods trade at same place in company with his brother, Lawrence Finn, continuing the same until his death, which occurred in 1841.  Mr. Finn twice represented Simpson County in the lower house of the State Legislature, first in 1836 and again in 1838.  He married soon after he came to Simpson County.  He was a devout member of the Catholic Church, and his wife of the Cumberland Presbyterian.  The death of Mrs. Frances W. Finn occurred on the 3rd of January, 1873.  Captain Richard P. Finn received a thorough English and classical education in early life, graduating with high honors from St. Joseph’s College, of Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1861.  He then commenced the study of law with Smith & Finn, of Franklin, Kentucky, but remained only a few months.  In September, 1861, he enrolled as a private in Company I, Sixth Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (Confederate); at the organization of the company he was commissioned first lieutenant, and after the battle of Shiloh, at the reorganization of the company and regiment, at Corinth, he was promoted to captain, holding that rank until the close of the war, but for the last seven months of his services, viz.: after the battle of Jonesboro, Georgia, he commanded the regiment.  He participated in the battles of Jackson, Mississippi, Stone River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge, Atlanta and many others.  After his return from the army, he was employed as a salesman in a grocery store at Franklin, and after a few months he bought an interest in the store and continued the business for two years.  He then engaged in the manufacture of brick at same place which he continued for another two years.  Since that time he has been engaged in teaching and farming.  He owns a well improved farm of seventy-one acres near Middleton, which is in a high state of cultivation.  The Captain was superintendent of the county schools for two years, 1881 and 1882, and represented Simpson County in the lower house of the State Legislature from 1873 to 1875.  He first married, May 28, 1866, Bettie Evans, a native of what is now Simpson, formerly a part of Logan County, Kentucky, born May 3, 1846.  She was a daughter of Walter W. and Susan C. (Harris) Evans.  To this union was born one son, Walter T.  Mrs. Bettie Finn departed this life May 1, 1869.  Captain Finn next married, September 5, 1874, Sallie Evans, a sister of his first wife, also a native of Simpson County, born March 24, 1854.  One daughter has blessed their union, Bettie E.  The Captain is a member of the Catholic Church and Mrs. Finn of the Missionary Baptist Church.  In politics he is a Democrat.

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