Category Archives: Genealogy Ramblings

Casey County Courthouse Built In 1888

Friday Ritchey and I visited the Casey County Courthouse in Liberty, Kentucky.  Although showing its age, it is still quite beautiful!

From a 1995 article in The Advocate-Messenger of Danville, Boyle County, we learn that ‘The stately courthouse, built in 1888 on the Courthouse Square, has Richardsonian architectural features such as a stone foundation, quoins and porch balustrade.  The entrances are arched.  The tower sports Richardsonian brick and stone banding and an Italianate corbeled cornice.  The courthouse was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1977.  The original building cost $15,000 and was designed by McDonald Brothers of Louisville.’  Israel Sanford Matherly, originally of Washington County, did the woodwork at the courthouse.  He had a handmade lathe to turn the spindles for the stair rails and balusters at the courthouse.

Richardsonian architecture was named after architect Henry Hobson Richardson, 1838-1886.  His masterpiece is Trinity Church in Boston.

The McDonald Brothers firm included Harry (Henry) McDonald, who served in the Civil War as a Confederate soldier; Donald McDonald and Kenneth McDonald.  Several other courthouses in Kentucky were built by this firm – Adair County, Henry County, Hickman County, Simpson County, Muhlenberg County and Owen County.  Their work also took them out of the state of Kentucky.

Casey County Courthouse

Present seat of justice, built 1888, was preceded by log building, 1809, and brick structure, 1837.  Architects for current courthouse were the noted McDonald Bros. of Louisville.  Its asymmetrical design and lavish use of stone trim (by T. D. Dunhauser of Germany) are unusual features among courthouses on McDonald firm.  Listed on National Register of Historic Places, 1977.

Hon. Jasper W. Muir Obituary – Nelson County

Jasper W. Muir was the son of William Locke Muir and Mary E. Hester, born December 11, 1828, in Clark County, Indiana.  His family moved to Nelson County, Kentucky, the next year.  Jasper and Mary Elizabeth Wickliffe were married about 1850 and had six sons before her death in 1868:  Nathaniel Wickliffe, William Logan, Joseph Halstead, Jasper W. Jr., Charles Wickliffe and James D., who lived only eight months.  Nine years after Mary Muir’s death Jasper married a widow, Florida Sloan Talbott.  The couple had three children:  Joseph A., Mary and Henry Louis Muir.  William Logan Muir and James D. Muir predeceased their father.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thursday, April 11, 1907

Hon. Jasper W. Muir Dies at Bardstown

Pioneer Lawyer of Nelson County Passes Away In His Eighty-fourth Year

Bardstown, Ky., April 10 – Hon. Jasper W. Muir died at his residence here at an early hour this morning as a result of a stroke of apoplexy suffered three years ago.  He was eighty-four years old and was one of the most prominent men in this community.  He was a pioneer lawyer of the Bardstown bar, having been a partner of the celebrated Ben Hardin when that lawyer was at the height of his fame.  Mr. Muir was a veteran of the Mexican War, was formerly school superintendent of Nelson County, and was a member of the last constitutional convention.  He relinquished the practice of law about thirty years ago, and since that time had been engaged in the banking business.  He was one of the wealthiest men in Nelson County.  He is survived by his widow and seven children, one of whom is Mrs. Mary Hagan, wife of Robert J. Hagan, of Louisville.  The funeral will take place Friday afternoon.

Jasper W. Muir, December 11, 1823 – April 10, 1907.  St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.

Dr. Aquilla Talbott Obituary – Fayette County

Dr. Aquilla Talbott, December 17, 1838 – September 3, 1907.  Sallie J. Head, his wife, January 13, 1839 – August 2, 1909.  Lexington Cemetery, Fayette County, Kentucky.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wednesday, September 4, 1907

Dr. Aquilla Talbott, one of the best-known physicians of Lexington, and an ex-Confederate soldier, died at his residence in this city at 6 o’clock this morning.  Dr. Talbott had been in bad health from a complication of kidney and stomach diseases for several months.  Yesterday afternoon he felt so ill that he went home about 1 o’clock and retired, hoping that he would feel better after a night’s rest.  he, however, grew gradually worse until he expired this morning.  Dr. Talbott was born in Bourbon County in 1838.  When he was seventeen years old the family moved to Franklin County, where he grew to manhood.  When Bragg’s army invaded Kentucky he joined Scott’s Louisiana cavalry and served with that organization until the close of the war.  In 1870 he came to Lexington and began the practice of medicine, in which he gained a wide acquaintance and popularity.

The funeral services will be held at the family residence tomorrow afternoon at 3 o’clock, the Rev. Preston Blake officiating.  The interment will be in the Lexington Cemetery.  The pallbearers will be as follows:  W. H. Snyder, Shelby Kinkead and Ben T. Head, of Lexington; J. S. Head, Jr., Ashland, Ky.; R. C. Head, of Louisville and Augustus Talbott of Paris, Ky.

The Frankfort Roundabout, Franklin County, Kentucky

Saturday, September 7, 1907

Amsden-Sanders Plot In Versailles Cemetery – Woodford County

  James P. Amsden, January 15, 1847 – October 29, 1906.  Versailles Cemetery, Woodford County, Kentucky.

These beautiful gravestones are located in the Versailles Cemetery in Woodford County, Kentucky.  They are two of eight, all family members.  In addition to James and Laura Sanders Amsden, the following are buried in this plot:

  • Son, John Sanders Amsden, October 13, 1883 – February 21, 1899
  • Laura’s daughter by a previous marriage, Margaret (Pearl) Voorhies, wife of James B. Haggin, June 13, 1869 – June 8, 1965;
  • Daughter, Jean Amsden, wife of William M. Haupt, February 5, 1880 – September 28, 1966;
  • Son-in-law, William M. Haupt, April 1, 1880 – September 26, 1957;
  • Laura’s parents, Margaret H. Sanders, September 4, 1804 – Jun 13, 1878 and Col. Lewis H. Sanders, 1796-1864, on one stone;
  • Laura’s brother, Lewis Sanders, born in Franklin County, Kentucky, November 7, 1826, died July 2, 1871.

In the 1850 census of Woodford County we find James P. Amsden, 3 years of age, living with his parents, John Amsden, 41, jailer, born in Massachusetts, and Lucretia, 35, born in New York.  John L, 6; and Laura B., 1, are siblings.  In 1860 the family is living in a boarding house, and father John is a merchant.  Two other children, Mary, 9; and Charles E., 6; make up the household.  Young daughter Laura is not listed.  I feel she must have died sometime between 1850 and 1860.  In 1870, John Amsden is a banker, son John is a salesman and son James a clerk in a bank.  No other children are listed.

James P. Amsden married Laura E. (Sanders) Voohries, June 3, 1879, in Louisville.  B. M. Messick performed the ceremony and witnesses were Mr. and Mrs. Lloyd Tevis and F. W. Ferguson.  One year later in the 1880 census baby Jean has been born; Pearl Voohries, 10, was living with the family.  Pearl is Laura Sanders’ daughter from a previous marriage.  She married George T. Voohries, and must have divorced him since he lived until 1913, but he maintained a good relationship with his daughter, and was at Pearl’s home when he died.  He was a Confederate veteran.  In 1900 James and Laura have only one child living with them, Jean, aged 20.  Margaret Pearl had married by this date.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tuesday, October 30, 1906

Laura L. Sanders, wife of James P. Amsden, November 18, 1844 – February 25, 1929.

The Owensboro Messenger, Daviess County, Kentucky

Tuesday, February 26, 1929

 

Seven Depart This Life November 27, 1913

When searching newspapers for information on pioneer families I found this list of seven people who died on the same day, November 27, 1913.  Two are listed as members of pioneer families, Mrs. Mary Pearce Dodd and Austin P. Speed.  Two were German immigrants, August Moeller and Simon Schoening, who came to this country at an early age, both 82 years of age at the time of their deaths.  Two were railroad men, Captain Wilmer Ridgway and Frank Hanke.  James Graham, a much younger man, was a boilermaker. 

Louisville was already a large city 105 years ago.  In the 1910 census the city was home to 223,928 people.  The hub on the Ohio was where many came from more rural areas to seek their fortunes and become immersed in the large community.  Within the last hundred years or so the population has tripled.

Cave Hill Cemetery is located at 701 Baxter Avenue in Louisville, originally the old farm of the Johnston family.  In 1846 the cemetery began and from the start was considered to be a garden cemetery.  It is quite beautiful.  I had a short 30 minutes or so in this cemetery about ten or twelve years ago. 

St. Louis Cemetery is located at 1167 Barret Avenue, Louisville.  In 1811 it was located behind the original St. Louis Church at 10th and Main Streets.  The church was relocated in 1831, the gravesites were moved to the Catholic section of Western Cemetery.  The present St. Louis Cemetery was opened in 1867.  About 48,000 are buried there.  This cemetery is on my list to visit.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Friday, November 28, 1913

Death Quick

Mrs. Mary Pearce Dodd Victim of Heart Attack

Stricken as She Was Preparing for Visit

Austin P. Speed Succumbs to Bright’s Disease

Day’s Necrology List

Mrs. Mary Pearce Dodd, widow of John L. Dodd, who was a leading Louisville attorney, died of heart disease at 12:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon at her residence, 1375 South Fourth Street.  Although she had been in ill health several years, her death came as a shock.  She was stricken Wednesday morning as she was preparing to go to Henderson to spend Thanksgiving.  Her condition did not appear serious until midnight, when she lapsed into unconsciousness.

Mrs. Dodd was born in Maysville, Kentucky, in 1860.  She was the daughter of Charles and Maria Schultz Pearce, a pioneer family.  She attended school at Maysville and at Cincinnati.  In 1883 she was married to John L. Dodd.  She is survived by one son, John L. Dodd, who is a student at the Culver Military Academy; three brothers, Charles D. Pearce, of Louisville, president of the Citizens National Life Insurance Company; Edward Pearce, of Lexington, and Crit Pearce, of the Treasury Department at Washington, D.C.; two nieces, Mrs. Thomas McGoodwin, of Birmingham, and Mrs. Marie Dodd Semple, of Louisville, and one nephew, C. Pearce Dodd, of Louisville.

Mrs. Dodd was a member of the Second Presbyterian Church during the entire time of her residence in Louisville and was a prominent religious worker.  She was of quiet and retiring disposition, but a faithful contributor to all charitable causes.

Funeral services will be held at 10 o’clock Saturday morning at the residence.  Burial will be in Cave Hill Cemetery.

Austin P. Speed Dead

Member of One of Kentucky’s Pioneer Families

Austin P. Speed, formerly a prominent coal dealer of Louisville and a member of one of Kentucky’s pioneer families, died of Bright’s disease at his home, 417 Park Avenue, at 1 o’clock yesterday afternoon.  Mr. Speed had been ill several months, and his death was not unexpected.

He was a native of Nelson County and a son of Thomas S. Speed.  At the age of 17 years Mr. Speed came to Louisville where he completed his education, and later engaged in the coal business as a member of the firm of Byrne & Speed.  Later Mr. Speed engaged in mining coal until three years ago, when he was forced to retire on account of ill health.  He was well known in business circles in Louisville and was closely connected with the Fourth Avenue Presbyterian Church.

His widow, Mrs. Georgia A. Speed, and one son, Goodwin Speed, of Montana, survive him.  One brother, Hanan Speed, of Oklahoma, and one sister, Miss Louise Speed, of Indianapolis, also survive.  Mr. Speed was a brother of the late Thomas Speed, clerk of the United States Court.

Funeral services will be held at the residence at 10:30 o’clock tomorrow morning.  Burial will be in Cave Hill Cemetery.

August Moeller Dies At 82

Fall Believed to Have Hastened Retired Furniture Dealer’s End

August Moeller, 82 years old, a wealthy furniture dealer, died of senility at his residence, 225 North Seventeenth Street, at 2:30 o’clock yesterday afternoon.  A fall down a stairway in his home two weeks ago, while not causing any noticeable injury, is thought to have hastened his death.

Mr. Moeller retired from business thirty years ago.  During his residence of seventy-four years in Louisville he had made eleven trips back to Hanover, Germany, his native land.  He was planning to make another ocean journey to his fatherland in the early spring.

Coming to Louisville at the age of 8 years, Mr. Moeller entered the furniture business when a young man.  At his retirement he was one of the officers of the Kentucky Furniture Company.

He married Miss Catherine Hart in 1849.  She died twenty-five years ago.  Mr. Moeller is survived by three sons, H. C., W. H. and E. A. Moeller, all of Louisville, and four daughters, Misses Augusta, Emma and Anna Moeller, of this city, and Mrs. Robert Lenz, of Mack, Colorado.

Funeral services will be held at the residence at 2 o’clock tomorrow afternoon.  Burial will be in St. Louis Cemetery.

Captain Wilmer Ridgway

The death of Captain Wilmer Ridgway, veteran conductor of the Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad, was made known to Louisville friends yesterday through a telegram from Olive Hill, Kentucky, where he had gone for a week’s vacation.  The message stated that he had been stricken suddenly with heart failure while hunting.

Captain Ridgway was 50 years old and had been running between Louisville and Ashland for many years.  He retained a residence both at Ashland and Louisville.  At the latter place he made his home at the Preston Hotel, rooming with Captain J. D. Burch, a lifelong friend and a fellow conductor on the Chesapeake & Ohio.

He had a wide acquaintance among the traveling public.  He was a member of the Scottish Rite, Knights Templar, Shriners and Blue Lodge Masons.  His wife survives him.  Funeral services will be held at Olive Hill Saturday.

Frank Hanke

Frank Hanke, 67 years old, died at his home, 816 South Shelby Street, at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon of heart disease.  Mr. Hanke was a native of Indiana but had lived the greater part of his life in Louisville.  He was employed by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company.  He is survived by three sons and one daughter.  Funeral services will be held at the residence at 8:30 o’clock Monday morning and at 9 o’clock at St. Martin’s Church.  Burial will be in St. Louis Cemetery.

Simon Schoening

Simon Schoening, 82 years old, a retired shoe merchant, died of senility at 9 o’clock last night, at his home, 1973 Deer Park.  He was a native of Lippe Detmold, Germany, and came to America in 1858.  For many years he was connected with a shoe industry at Eighteenth and Jefferson Streets, but retired from active business about twenty years ago.  Mr. Schoening is survived by his widow, Mrs. Anna Schoening, and two daughters, Misses Emma and Minnie Schoening.  Funeral arrangements have not been made.

James Graham

James Graham, a boilermaker, 34 years old, died at his home in Berry Boulevard early yesterday morning after a short illness of a complication of diseases.  He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Clara Graham.  Funeral services will be held at the resident at 2 o’clock this afternoon.  Burial will be in St. Louis Cemetery.

Slaughter of Kentuckians at the Battle of Blue Licks

Blue Licks Battlefield – On August 19, 1782.  Pioneers suffered a bitter defeat and were routed by their Revolutionary War enemies.  Captain Caldwell concealed his British and Indian army along the ravines leading from this hilltop to the Licking River.  Advancing into this ambush, the Pioneers were outnumbered and forced to flee across the river.

Earlier in the month Ritchey and I visited Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park.  I was most anxious to see the memorial for those who fought and fell during this battle on August 19, 1782.  Some call it the last battle of the Revolutionary War, fought ten months after Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.  The battle was fought between about 180 Kentucky settlers and 240 British and Indians.  An attack on Bryan’s Station, Lincoln County, Kentucky, August 15, 1782, by the British and Indians, was led by Captain William Caldwell, loyalist Alexander McKee, Simon Girty and Matthew Elliott.  The Kentucky settlers took shelter within their stockade and fought back with all their might.  The British killed all the settlers’ livestock and destroyed their crops.  When they heard that the Kentucky militia were on the way they retreated.

The Kentucky force was led by Colonel John Todd of Fayette County, assisted by Lieutenant Colonels Daniel Boone and Stephen Trigg.  Plans were formed overnight and on the morning of August 19, 1782, this band of approximately 180 men set out to confront the British and Indians.  The two forces met at the Licking River, today located in northern Nicholas County.  The British and Indians secured for themselves the best spot on the riverbank for battle.  Advancing into this ambush, within fifteen minutes almost half the Kentuckians were killed or captured.  These were men who had fought hard and long with the Indians during their time in Kentucky.  It is said that Daniel Boone wanted to wait for Benjamin Logan, who was bringing enforcements.  He was a day or two behind.  Others thought this would give the enemy time to cross the Licking River and head north, eventually crossing the Ohio River into Indiana and Indian territory.

The Martyrs of the last battle of the Revolution lie buried here.  Dedicated March 14, 1935, by the Kentucky Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

After the battle, those still alive ran through the forest, trying to get back to Bryan’s Station.  Some did, some did not.  When Benjamin Logan’s militia arrived, they found the area littered with corpses.  Many were scalped, many were butchered, cut into pieces.  They were unable to identify anyone.  All were buried in a mass grave.

So valiantly did our small party fight that, to the memory of those who unfortunately fell in the battle, enough of honour cannot be paid.’  Daniel Boone
Colonel – Commandant John Todd Killed
Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Boone
Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Trigg Killed
Major Edward Bulger Died of wounds
Major Silas Harlan Killed
Major Hugh McGary
Major Levi Todd
Captain John Allison
Captain John Beasley Captured
Captain John Bulger Killed
Captain John Gordon Killed
Captain Samuel Johnson
Captain Joseph Kincaid Killed
Captain Gabriel Madison
Captain William McBride Killed
Captain Clough Overton Killed
Captain Robert Patterson
Lieutenant William Givins Killed
Lieutenant Thonmas Hinson Killed
Lieutenant John Kennedy Killed
Lieutenant James McGuire Killed
Lieutenant Barnett Rogers Killed
Ensign John McMurtry Captured
Commissary Joseph Lindsay Killed
Dedicated August 19, 1928
This monument, the gift of a grateful Commonwealth, commemorates the heroic pioneers, who, in defense of Kentucky, here fought and fell in the Battle of the Blue Licks, August 19, 1782.

On August 19, 1928, a granite monument was dedicated to the men who fought and lost their lives in the Battle of Blue Licks – a fitting tribute to these brave men.  If this battle had not been fought, Kentucky may not have been settled until much later.  We owe much to our brave pioneers.

The men who fought the Battle of the Blue Licks were as well qualified from experience to face the Indians as any body of men that were ever collected.’  Robert Patterson
Privates Who Were Killed
Black, Charles
Boone, Israel
Brannon, Samuel
Brown, James Surveyor
Corn, Esau
Cunningham, Hugh
Douglass, John
Eads, William
Farrier, Thomas
Ferguson, Charles
Field, Ezekiel
Folley, John
Foster, Daniel
Fry, John
Graham, ‘Little’ James
Green, Jervis
Greggs, Daniel
Harper, Francis
Harper, Matthew
Harris, William
Jolly, John
Ledgerwood, James captured and killed
Marshall, Gilbert
McBride, Francis
McConnell, Andrew
McCracken, Isaac
Miller, Henry
Nelson, John
Nutt, John
Oldfield, Joseph
O’Neal, John
Polley, Drury
Price, John
Robertson, William
Rose, Matthias
Shannon, William
Smith, James
Smith, William
Stapleton, John
Stephens, William
Stern, Valentine
Stevenson, John
Stewart, William
Tomlinson, Richard
Willson, John
Wilson, Isael
Wilson, John
Woods, Archibald
Wylie, Matthew
Ottawas and Chippewas

Each year a reenactment of the Battle of Blue Licks is held at the battlefield park.

They advanced in three divisions, in good order, and gave us volley and stood to it very well for some time.’  William Caldwell
Privates Who Escaped
Acres, Thomas
Aldridge, William
Allen, Elijah
Allen, James
Barbee, William
Boone, Samuel
Boone, Squire Jr. Wounded
Bowman, Abraham
Bowmar, Robert
Brooks, Thomas
Coburn, James Wounded
Coffman, Jacob
Collins, Joseph
Cooper, Benjamin A.
Corn, Edward
Corn, George
Craig, Jerry
Craig, Whitfield
Custer, William
Davis, Richard
Davis, Theodorus
Dierly, Peter
Ficklin, Thomas
Field, William
French, Henry
Gist, Thomas
Graham, Edward
Graham, James
Grant, Squire
Grider, Henry
Gullion, Jeremiah
Hambleton, John
Harget, Peter
Harrod, James
Hart, John
Hayden, Benjamin
Hays, James
Higgins, Henry
Hinch, John
Hunter, Charles
Hunter, Jacob
January, Ephraim
January, James M.
Kincaid, James
Lam, William
Lea, Wainright
Little, John
May, William
McBride, James
McConnell, James
McCullough, James
Morgan, Andrew
Morgan, James Capture but escaped
Morgan, John
Morgan, Mordecai
Netherland, Benjamin
Nixon, Henry
Norton, James
Patterson, Matthew
Peake, John
Penlin, Alexander
Pitman, John
Poague, Robert
Pruett, Elisha
Ray, James
Reynolds, Aaron
Rose, James
Rose, Lewis Captured
Rule, Andrew
Scholl, Abraham
Scholl, Joseph
Scholl, Peter
Scott, Robert
Scott, Samuel
Searcy, Bartlett
Searcy, John
Shortridge, Samuel
Shott, William
Singleton, Edmund
Smith, George
Smith, John
Sowdusky, Anthony
Steele, Andrew
Stevens, Jacob
Stevenson, Thomas
Stucker, Jacob
Summers, John
Swart, James
Twyman, James
Wilson, Henry
Wilson, Josiah
Woods, James Elijah Captured
Woods, Samuel
Yocum, Jesse Captured
Wyandots and Mingoes

You might enjoy reading History of the Battle of Blue Licks by Bennett Henderson Young.  I downloaded it from Amazon for $1.95.

No historian, who will give a faithful account of the settlement and transactions of this country, will omit to speak of the battle and the place at which it was fought.’  Court of Appeals of Kentucky
To the unknown heroes who took part in the Battle of the Blue Licks
This ‘Last Battle of the Revolution’ was fought between 182 Kentuckians, commanded by Colonel John Todd, on the American side, and about 240 Indians and Canadians, commanded by Captain William Caldwell, on the British side.
Shawnees and Delawares

This memorial was erected to honor those individuals whose names were omitted from the original monument.  New research has provided these additional names and corrected previous information regarding those individuals who so gloriously served Kentucky at the Battle of Blue Licks
Boone, Thomas Killed
Childress, John Escaped
Ledgerwood, James Captured but escaped
Peake, Jesse
Ward, James Escaped

Michael and Ann Foley of Limerick County, Ireland

Michael Foley, 1829-1904.  Ann, his wife, 1817-1895, of Co. Limerick, Ireland.  St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery, Mason County, Kentucky.

The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Saturday, April 27, 1895

The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Mason County, Kentucky

Tuesday, November 15, 1904