Samuel Haycraft of Hardin County Kentucky

I share with you today a short biography of Samuel Haycraft, a very early citizen of Hardin County, who wrote a history of the county in 1869, which was published by the Woman’s Club of Elizabethtown in 1921.  Mr. Haycraft sounds like someone I would love to meet!  He evidently loved history, lived through a big part of the early history of his county, and thankfully wrote it down for later generations!

On May 7, 1866, he wrote a letter to the editors of The Courier-Journal newspaper.  He speaks of the two political parties in the United States at this time – ‘the Radical Abolition party, led by Sumner, Stevens and those of like ilk;’ and ‘that stripe of the Democratic party that met in Louisville on the 1st of May.’  He then gets to the heart of the matter of standing for saving the Union –

‘Now, if that statement be true, then I belong to no party, for I solemnly repudiate both, and set them down as one discordant party with two wings tending to the same end.  The first wing moving heaven, earth and the lower regions to break up the Union and destroy the Constitution, and the second so lately at it that I am afraid to trust them yet, but have some hope that they may yet wheel into ranks.

‘But I do claim to belong to a class of men, Old-line Whigs and Democrats, who, without regard for party names, stood, and still stand, for the Union; and who are determined to stand at the back of that firm and brave patriot, Andrew Johnson, in support of his reconstruction policy, and in the policy shown in two vetoes and his speech following the fist veto, and who wanted the Union speedily restored and our venerated Constitution preserved.  I contend that it is unworthy of the name of an American citizen to stand higgling about a name when our very foundation is sliding from under us.’

Before the war, in March of 1861, we find Mr. Haycraft as an experienced fruit-grower in Hardin County, giving information and advice on the growth of Northern apples.  Has anyone heard of these?  The Northern Spy, Rambo, Lady Apple, Rhode Island Greening, Summer Scarlet Pearmain, Early Strawberry – to name a few.

Thirty years previous, on the 25th of November, 1831, at a ‘meeting of a number of the citizens of Hardin County, Kentucky, friendly to the American System, and to Henry Clay, was convened at the courthouse in Elizabethtown.’  John L. Helm, Esq., was chair and Samuel Haycraft, secretary.

And It was Samuel Haycraft, an old family friend of Abraham Lincoln, that proposed he return to Kentucky for a campaign swing during the presidential race of 1860.  Lincoln, however, felt that it was unlikely to sway any of the Democratic voters to his ticket.

Samuel Haycraft

In the Samuel Haycraft was born August 14, 1795, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, in a double, round-log cabin.  His father was Samuel Haycraft, a Revolutionary soldier, and a man of great public and private worth, who settled in Kentucky early in the latter quarter of the eighteenth century.  His mother was Margaret VanMeter, daughter of Jacob VanMeter, and belonged to one of the old and honorable pioneer families of the State.  The subject of this sketch, one of the most remarkable men who ever lived in Elizabethtown, spent nearly seven years of his boyhood in the country schools, the last two chiefly in studying the Latin language.  He was a careful, discriminating, and extensive reader and few men of the country were so thoroughly and universally well informed.  His long public career commenced when he was fourteen years of age.  At that time, in October 1809, he began to write in the office of the County and Circuit Clerk, Major Ben Helm.  The duties of this position he performed, with little variation, until 1816, when he received the appointment of Clerk of both Circuit and County Courts of Hardin County, and held this clerkship, uninterruptedly, until 1857.  He said of himself, ‘That, from the time he entered this office, he was attentive to business, and never neglected it; but, in leisure moments was fond of gay and lively company, particularly of dancing parties, but hardly ever descended to low company or rowdyism, but was a wild, wicked sinner.’  On retiring from this office, in 1851, the court and bar adopted, and placed on record, resolutions in every way flattering to him in his official capacity, as well as social and private relations of life.

He, then, began the practice of law at the Elizabethtown bar; but after four years of legal practice, was again called by the people to fill the vacant clerkship of the Circuit Court, caused by the death of the incumbent.  In 1857 he was elected to represent the people in the State Senate and held this position for four years.  He was, therefore, a member of the Legislature during the most important and critical period of the State’s history.  His record made in that body was most honorable to himself, and, in light of the present, is stamped by a wisdom, foresight, and fearless devotion to just and true principles, of which any man might well be proud.  He was instrumental in enacting some measures beneficial to the general good; and it was through his efforts, mainly, that the Legislation was induced to appropriate even the meager sum it did for the erection of a monument to Daniel Boone.  And, in that body, he was one of the most determined and staunch supporters of the Union.  He was then sixty-seven years of age, and, had lived with his father through the greater part of the life-time of the nation, and now stood in the Senate, gray with time and honor, one of the noblest Romans of them all, every ready to say, “The Union must and shall be preserved.”  But neither in that august body nor among his friends and neighbors at home, was he ever obnoxious in his opinions; on the contrary, however, conciliatory generous and discriminating, claiming only to himself his private opinions, and deeply sympathizing with the troubles of his neighbors and the misfortunes of the times.

He was again elected Clerk of the Circuit Court and retired in 1868, at the age of seventy-three, after an unparalleled service of sixty-five years.

He said of himself that, “On the first Saturday in April 1832, my wife and I were baptized by Elder Warren Cash, who also married us; and, in answer to my mother’s prayers, she lied to see all her children in the church, and to hear her youngest son preach the Gospel.”  For over forty years he was a member of the Baptist Church, a teacher in the Sabbath-schools and observed family prayers twice a day.  For several years he was a Trustee of Georgetown College, to which he made some bequests.  Of himself, he says: “I have occupied the same seat in church for over forty years, and never sit back in the scorner’s place.  On the 29th of October 1818, I was married to Sarah Brown Helm, a daughter of Judge John Helm, of Breckinridge County.  I regard the transaction as the most fortunate move of my life, temporally speaking.”  They had four children: Edgar H., DeSoto, Iowa; Sarah M., wife of S. McMurtry, Hardin County; Louisa Ann, wife of William Dix, Breckinridge County; and Margaret J., wife of C. D. Poston, once Representative in Congress of Arizona.  Mr. Haycraft was a fine public speaker and one of the most interesting conversationalists.  His disposition to joke was inveterate and a vein of humor seemed to underlie the most serious moments in his life.  He was a man of fin address, most genial temperament, courteous manner and splendid personal appearance; and few men of his age showed such high preservation of all the noble elements of manhood.  He stood as a monument of the effects of correct principles and practices of life, both physically and mentally.  Ye he modestly said: “My life has been rather quiet and monotonous, and does not afford much matter for history, especially of an extraordinary character.”

His wife died August 14th, 1878.  They had been married 60 years, lacking two months.  To her he repeatedly paid tribute throughout his career, and she was as much of a character in the town as he was.  A gentle, generous, pious woman of the old generation she was “Aunt Sallie” to the whole community.  Many of us still remember her agreeable peculiarity of always having on hand “sweet cakes” for distribution to the children who came to her house.  She and her husband lived in the fine square colonial brick house that stood on the northeast corner of Main and Poplar Streets, the first brick house erected in Elizabethtown.  It was a house of character, and it was a loss to the town when it was destroyed by fire about 1882.

He followed his wife to the grave in his 84th year on December 22nd, 1878, four months after her death.

1790 Will of Valentine King

According to an article on the King family published in Genealogies of Kentucky Families, Valentine King was born in Stafford County, Virginia, about 1747, ‘the son of William King, Clerk of the Court, and Justice of Stafford County, 1742-1760, and his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, daughter of John Edwards and his wife, Jane Arrington, of Westmoreland County, Virginia.’

Valentine King, along with his brothers, John, William and Nimrod, fought in the Revolutionary War as members of the Stafford County Militia, 3rd Virginia Regiment.  They were all discharged from the camp at Valley Forge, February 16, 1778, and returned to Stafford County.  They soon moved to Kentucky, receiving land for their military service.

Valentine King received land in Jefferson County, Kentucky.  He died in early April 1790.

In the name of God amen.  I, Valentine King of Nelson County and district of Kentucky, being of sound mind and memory, thanks be to God for the same, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following.  That is to say, first of all, I recommend my soul to God who gave it and my body to the earth from whence it came, to be buried in a Christian-like manner at the discretion of my executors hereafter named, and as to the worldly estate it hath pleased God to give me I dispose of it in the following manner.

Imprimis.  My will and desire is that all my just debts and funeral charges be first paid and satisfied.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my beloved sister, Elizabeth Owens, during the term of her natural life, one third of the profits arising from the plantation I purchased of Patrick McGee, which said plantation after her decease goes to my brother, John Edwards King.  I also give and bequeath to my said sister, Elizabeth Owens, during her natural life one Negro girl called Cate, which said Negro after my said sister’s decease goes to my brother, John E. King, and I further give to my said sister, Elizabeth Owens, one half the increase of the said Negro

Cate, that shall be raised from her during the life of my said sister, to her and her heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath to my beloved brother, John Edwards King, the plantation and land I purchased of Patrick McGee, he, paying annually to his sister, Elizabeth Owens, one third part of the profits arising from the said plantation during her life, to him and his heirs and assigns forever.  I also give my said brother, John E. King, after the death of his sister, Elizabeth Owens, one Negro called Cate and one half the increase that shall have been raised from her to him and his heirs and assigns forever.  I further give my said brother, John E. King, two hundred acres of land in Jefferson County, known by the name of the Poplar Level to receive the same and have possession after the death of Elizabeth Crips, to whom I have left the said land during her natural life and I further give to my brother, John E. King, my wearing apparel with my saddles, bridle and saddle bags to him and his heirs forever.

Item.  I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Crips, daughter of Nancy Brashear, during her natural life, two hundred acres of land, her choice, out of five hundred acres of my

land in Jefferson County, known by the name of the Poplar Level on Floyd’s Fork, which said land at her death goes to my brother, John E. King.  I also give to the said Elizabeth Crips my mare called Jenix and three thousand weight of tobacco to her and her heirs and assigns forever.

Item.  My will and desire is that all the rest of my estate, real and personal, be equally divided between my beloved mother and my brothers William and Withers King and that my mother’s part at her decease go to my two brothers, William and Withers, to them, their heirs and assigns forever.

And lastly I do hereby appoint my trusty and beloved friends, George and Cuthbert Harrison, Executors of this my last will and testament, hereby revoking and making void all other wills by me heretofore made, declaring this and only to be my last will and testament, in testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 22nd day of February 1790.

Valentine King

Signed, sealed, published and declared by this testator in presence of – Anthony Foster, Paul Kester, Cuthbert Harrison.

At a Court held for Nelson County on Tuesday the 13th day of April 1790.  This last will and testament of Valentine King, deceased, was presented in Court by Cuthbert Harrison, one of the Executors herein named and proved by the oaths of Anthony Foster, Paul Kester and Cuthbert Harrison, subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to record.

Teste.  Gen Grayson, Clerk of the Court

Nelson County – Will Book A, Pages 1-4

 

 

Mark Wedding Obituary

Mark Wedding, August 26, 1820 – February 25, 1894.  Cloverport Cemetery, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.

The Breckenridge News, Cloverport, Kentucky

Wednesday, February 28, 1894

An Old Resident Dead

Mr. Mark Wedding, seventy-two years of age, died of consumption at his home in this city at 1 o’clock p.m. Sunday, February 25.  His remains were interred in the Cloverport City Cemetery yesterday.

Mr. Wedding had been in bad health for some time, and his death was not a surprise to those who were acquainted with his condition.  He has been a respected citizen of Cloverport for many years and his death is regretted by many friends.  He raised a family of four sons, who are filling lucrative and honorable positions in other parts of the country.  He leaves a widow to mourn the loss of a good husband.


Mark Wedding was married twice.  His first wife, Nancy Jane Hale was the mother of his seven children.  Mark and Nancy married August 19, 1843, in Ohio County, Kentucky.  They lived there through the 1860’s.  Mark was made Postmaster of Fordsville July 20, 1865.

Through the census records I have found the names of their children:

  1. Emily, born about 1844, died 1915 in Ohio County.
  2. Charles Lee, born 1845, died 1918 in Indiana.
  3. Mark, born 1848, no record of death.
  4. Caleb H., born 1848, died 1929 in Texas.
  5. Columbus Victor, born 1855, died 1915 in Missouri.
  6. Millard F., born 1855, no record of death.
  7. Annie J., born 1859, died 1939 in Larue County, Kentucky.

Mark started out as a carpenter, thus listed in the 1850 census.  In 1860 he was a farmer, and by 1870, and a move to Breckinridge County, he was a merchant and thus remained until his death.

Nancy Hale Wedding died in 1874.  Two years later Mark married Sophronia Shacklette.  She had two children from a previous marriage – Emma and Alfred, listed in the 1880 census.  Sophronia Shacklette Wedding moved to Rome, Indiana, to live with her daughter after the death of husband Mark.

War Memorial in Carlisle Cemetery

War Memorial at Carlisle Cemetery, Nicholas County, Kentucky.

Ritchey and I visited the Carlisle Cemetery in Nicholas County about three and one-half years ago.  It is a beautiful cemetery, with an exceptionally nice War Memorial to the veterans of the World Wars and Korean War.

World War I soldiers buried here are:

  • Ernest Harmon, 1894-1918, died at Camp Meade, Maryland
  • James W. McCracken, 1894-1919, died at Coblenz, Germany
  • William H. Brooks, 1892-1918, killed in action, St. Die Sector, Vasges, France
  • James F. Delaney, 1893-1920, died at Carlisle, Kentucky
  • Eddie Roy McGinley, 1892-1918, killed in action, Argonne Forest, France
  • Samuel F. Watkins, 1892-1918, died of wounds, Aimes Hts., France
  • James Spencer Huffstetter, 1890-1918, died at Cruthe, France
  • Walter Purcell, 1893-1918, died at Camp Taylor, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Orville Edward Mann, 1896-1918, died at Camp Funston, Kansas
  • Aquilla D. Stone, 1897-1918, died at Great Lakes, Illinois
  • Michael Bryan Laughlin, 1897-1918, died at league Island Navy Yard, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • George Rector Clark, 1892-1918, died at Part Clinton, Ohio

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Saturday, October 12, 1918

Ernest Harmon, Milltown

Carlisle, Ky., Oct. 11 – Relatives at Milltown, this county, of Ernest Harmon, who died of influenza at Camp Meade, Maryland, have been notified that his body will be shipped home for burial.  The burial will take place in Carlisle beside the three Nicholas County boys who have heretofore died of that disease.  A lot has been provided here for a burial place of all young men from this city and county who die in the country’s service.

A newspaper article from 1919 gives more information, including a few names not listed above.  These men were from Nicholas County, but not all buried in Carlisle Cemetery.  Of the fourteen listed, eleven died of disease.

The Richmond Daily Register, Madison County, Kentucky

Tuesday, June 8, 1920

German Gas Kills

James Delaney, 27 years old, son of Robert E. Delaney, died at his home in Carlisle.  He became ill Saturday after setting tobacco all day and never rallied.  Mr. Delaney was a captain in the 801st pioneer infantry during the war.  While serving in France he was severely gassed and never recovered from the effects.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sunday, May 9, 1926

At a meeting of the members of Nicholas Post, No. 17, American Legion, last night, it was decided to hold Memorial Day services at the graves of the soldier dead in the Carlisle Cemetery Sunday, May 30.  The graves of the twelve soldiers who died during the World War, and who are buried in graves around the $10,000 memorial erected to their memory in the Carlisle Cemetery, will be decorated.

World War II soldiers buried in Carlisle Cemetery:

  • Ollie C. Bussell, 1921-1945, killed in action, Germany
  • William L. Morris, 1925-1944, killed in action, Italy
  • Edgar L. (Jack) Ham, 1921-1945, killed in action, Italy
  • Howard J. Ritchie, 1918-1944, killed in action, Layte Island
  • William L. Jenkins, 1911-1944, killed in action, Italy
  • Lloyd J. George, 1919-1943, killed in action, North Africa Area
  • Marion M. Letcher, 1924-1944, killed in action, France
  • Leslie B. McVey, 1913-9144, killed in action, France
  • Lloyd F. Duncan, 1914-1945, killed in action, Belgium
  • Robert T. George, 1916-1944, killed in action, Normandy
  • Ollie Guthrie, Jr., 1926-1945, killed in action, Iwo Jima
  • Cecil Kenneth Jolly, 1924-1944, killed in action, Italy
  • Andrew B. Metcalfe, 1920-1945, killed in action, Italy
  • Everett S. Cook, 1915-1945, killed in action, Belgium
  • Lloyd Waugh, 1918-1944, lost in action, Invasion of Normandy, France

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wednesday, May 2, 1945

Kentucky Navy Dead

Gutherie, Marine Pfc. Ollie, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. Ollie Gutherie, Sr., Sharpsburg.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Friday, May 4, 1945

Bussell, T/Sgt. Ollie C., son of Mrs. Annie B. Bussell, Moorefield.

More information on WWII soldiers from Nicholas County.

Two Sweet Little Girls

Look at these two sweeties!  I love their little dresses with lace collars.  And the little boots!  Not sure why, but children’s boots are so cute.  I suppose because they are so tiny.

This photo was taken by Simpson, Boston Gallery, 94 1/2 E. Washington St., Indianapolis, Indiana.  This photo is rather easy to date since the back of the card has a full design imprint – I would say 1890.  Simplicity was the rule of the day for the mid and late 1890’s, with less being more.

1770 Indenture Between Sarah Foster and Benjamin Mason

An indenture is another word for deed – used mainly in colonial days and the early days of our country.  I wanted to share this, first for the wording of indenture, and for the handwriting.  Like today, everything is precisely written, facts mentioned several times, to make sure all the T’s were crossed, and I’s dotted. 

The handwriting of this indenture is beautiful, quite different from most I’ve seen.  Each letter and word is so exact, today it could be a font.  Would you have guessed the last name of the seller to be Foster?  The capital ‘F’ is very elaborate, and you must look carefully at the ‘s’, otherwise you may think it a second ‘o’.  The G’s, whether upper or lowercase swoop back in an elaborate half circle.  The uppercase L looks much like an S, there, again, having an elongated tail on the end – and they are all exactly the same.  The uppercase S is quite ordinary in comparison.

Benjamin Mason is my fifth great-grandfather.  His daughter, Ann Mason, married Captain John Linton in this same year, 1770.  Benjamin was a vestryman for Cameron Parish.  He was also a lawyer according to page 400 of the Loudoun County 1784-1785 Deed Book – ‘Know all men by these presents that I, Henry Alexander, of County of King George in the Commonwealth of Virginia, by these presents do nominate, constitute and appoint, my trusty friend, Benjamin Mason of Loudoun County, my true and lawful attorney.’

Benjamin Mason died in 1795.

This Indenture made the thirteenth day of January in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and seventy, and between Sarah Foster, of the County of Prince William of the one part, and Benjamin Mason, the son of George Mason, deceased, of the other part.  Witnesseth that for and in consideration of the sum of seventy-seven pounds current money of Virginia, to the said Sarah Foster in hand paid by the said Benjamin Mason, at or before the sealing and delivery of these presents, the receipt whereof doth hereby acknowledge and thereof doth release, acquit and discharge the said Benjamin Mason, his heirs, executors and administrators by these presents, she, the said Sarah Foster hath granted, bargained, sold, aligned, released and confirmed and by these presents doth grant, bargain, sell, align, release and confirm unto the said Benjamin Mason in actual possession now being by virtue of a bargain and sale to him thereof made by the said Sarah Foster for one whole year by indenture bearing date the day next before the day of the date of these presents and by for of the status for transferring into possessions and his heirs all that tract or parcel of land situated, lying and being in Cameron Parish in the County of Loudoun and bounded as followeth.  Beginning at a white oak on Broad Run being corner tree to Neilson and Waters, extending then with their line south

Forty-eight, west one hundred and forty poles to a small red oak, then south sixteen, east twenty-six poles to a branch of the said Broad Run, then up the said river and binding therewith south eighty-six, west sixty poles, then north eighty, west sixteen poles to a white oak, corner tree to William Byles, then with his line south one hundred and six poles to a red oak in the line of Sampson Turley, then with Turley’s line and binding therewith north seventy and west one hundred and forty-eight poles to an elm on Piney Branch, then north fifteen, east ninety-two poles to two red oak, corner to James Murray, still continue the same course north fifteen, east with Murray’s line one hundred and thirty-six poles to Cork’s line, then with his line south sixty eight, east one hundred and five poles to his corner near the lands of Abraham Warford, then with Warford’s line north twenty-two, east one hundred and eighty-two poles to a white oak, hickory and dogwood, his corner near the main Broad Run, then down the said run and binding there with being routed to a straight line in south sixty-nine, east to the beginning, containing two hundred and twenty-six acres, and all houses, buildings, orchards, ways, waters, profits, commodities, appurtenances whatsoever to the said premises hereby granted or any part thereof belonging or in any wise appertaining and the revision and reversions, remainder and remainders, rents and profits thereof and also all the estate right and the interest use, trust property claim and demand whatsoever of him, the said Benjamin Mason, of in and to the said premises and all deeds, evidences and writings touching or in any wise removing the same, to have and to hold the land hereby conveyed and all and singular other the premises hereby granted and released and every part and parcel thereof, with their and ever of their appurtenances unto the said Benjamin Mason, his heirs and assigns for ever to the only proper use and behoof of him, the said Benjamin Mason and of his heirs

And assigns forever.  And the said Sarah Foster, for herself, her heirs, executors and administrators, doth covenant, promise and grant to and with the said Benjamin Mason, his heirs and assigns by these presents that the said Sarah Foster, now at the time of sealing and deliver of the presents hath good power and lawful and absolute authority to grant and convey the same to the said Benjamin Mason in manner and form aforesaid.  And that the same promises now are and so forever after shall remain and be foresaid clear of and from all former and other gifts, grants, bargains, sales, dower rights and

Title of dower, judgements, executions, titles, troubles, charges and ? whatever made and committed or suffered by the said Sarah Foster or any claimant in by or under her, them or any of them the quit rents hereafter to grow and payable to the chief Lord of the ?, his heirs and successors for and in respect of the premises only, excepted and foreprized.  And lastly that the said Sarah Foster, her heirs, all and singular, the premises hereby granted and released with the appurtenances unto the said Benjamin Mason, his heirs and assigns against her, the said Sarah Foster and her heirs or any other person claiming in by her, them or any of them, and will forever warrant and defend the same by these presents.  In witness whereof the said Sarah Foster hath hereunto set her hand and seal the day and year first above written

Sarah Foster

Sealed and delivered in the presence of Howson Hooe, Patrick Hamrick, William Foster, James Foster, Benjamin Mason, John Howell

Received of Benjamin Mason seventy-seven pounds, the full consideration within mentioned this 13th day of January 1771.

Sarah Foster

Test – Howson Hooe, Patrick Hamrick, William Foster, James Foster, Benjamin Mason, John Howell

At a Court held for Loudoun County April the 8th 1771

This indenture together with the receipt thereon endorsed was proved by the oaths of

Benjamin Mason, Sr., William Foster and James Foster, three of the subscribing witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.

Test.  Charles Binns, Clerk of the Court

Benjamin Edwards and Elizabeth Bragdon 1788 Marriage Bond

Know all men by these presents that we, Benjamin Edwards and John Edwards, are held and firmly bound unto Edmond Randolph, Esq., in the sum of 50 pounds to the which payment well and truly to be made unto the Governor or his successors.  We bind ourselves, our heirs, executors and administrators, firmly by these presents, sealed and dated this 27th day of May 1788.

The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage intended to be had and solemnized between Benjamin Edwards and Elizabeth Bragdon, both of Madison.  If, therefore, there is no lawful cause to obstruct the same, then this obligation to be void, otherwise to remain in full force and virtue.

Benjamin Edwards, John Edwards

Madison County, Kentucky