Category Archives: Genealogy Ramblings

Captain E. W. Lyen Obituary

SAM_4228 1Lyen monument in Spring Hill Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Thursday, July 13, 1905

Captain E. W. Lyen

Captain E. W. Lyen died last evening at 6:30 o’clock at his residence on Cane Run Avenue. He had been ill several months, during which time he was a great sufferer. He was one of the best known and best liked men in the county, a man of splendid impulses, upright and honest to an unusual degree. His death is deeply regretted, and his loss will be felt by the whole community. He was one of the few gallant Confederate soldiers left of the rapidly thinning ranks, and the Lost Cause was very near to his heart. It was through his untiring efforts and open handed generosity that the beautiful monument to the Confederate dead was erected in Spring Hill Cemetery. He was a trustee of the Kentucky Confederate Home. He little realized how soon and in what way it would stand a revered monument to his own memory. Mr. Lyen was 72 years of age and had never missed a Confederate reunion until the one in Louisville last month, when he was too ill to attend. He is survived by a devoted wife, who was Miss Susan Holman, and by one daughter, Mrs. Cora Sharp, of Vanarsdell. The lives of few men have left such a deep impression upon the people among whom they lived. From moderate circumstances he rose to be one of the wealthiest men in the county, and his death has caused universal sorrow. No funeral arrangements had been made when we went to press.


E. W. Lyen, 1833-1905

Etha L. Brewer Obituary

IMG_2254Etha Linda Brewer, born May 20, 1820, died February 12, 1899.  New Providence Presbyterian Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Wednesday, February 15, 1899

Mrs. Etha L. Brewer, widow of the late L. D. Brewer, Sr., who was the grandfather of our Mr. L. D. Brewer, died of catchall pneumonia, Sunday morning, at her late home, near McAfee.  She had reached the advanced age of 79 and for the last sixty years had been a member of Providence Presbyterian Church and a devout and faithful follower of her Redeemer.  The funeral was conducted at Providence Church, by the pastor, Rev. S. F. Taylor, and the interment was in the old cemetery.

Ann McAfee Obituary

To visit Providence Cemetery in Mercer County is a step back in time.  Some of the earliest settlers to Kentucky came to this area to make their home – in the days when Indians still roamed this land and wanted to keep their hunting grounds.  One of those early families, the McAfee’s, is represented in the following obituary.  Many other members of the family are buried in this cemetery.


Ann E. McAfee, August 10, 1814 – October 5, 1898.  Providence Presbyterian Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Saturday, October 8, 1898

Mrs. Ann McAfee, an aged and highly respected lady, died Wednesday, at her late home near Salvisa. She was eighty-five years old and was truly a mother in Israel, for she had been a devout member of the Presbyterian Church for about seventy years. She was twice married, her second husband, Captain John McAfee, a son of one of the pioneer brothers of that name, dying in 1876. She leaves one son, Mr. Caldwell McAfee, and two daughters, Mrs. James H. Matheny, of this place, and Mrs. J. D. Burch, of Aurora, Texas. The funeral was conducted Thursday afternoon at New Providence Church, by the pastor, Rev. Mr. Taylor, and the interment was in the Providence Cemetery.


Captain John McAfee, born January 3, 1806, died May 29, 1876.  Providence Presbyterian Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Joseph Stephens Obituary

IMG_2831Joseph Stephens died April 2, 1885, aged 87 years.  Paris Cemetery, Bourbon County, Kentucky.

The only old Paris newspaper that I was aware of was The Bourbon News – have used it many times to find obituaries to go with gravestone photos I have taken. The on-line records are from 1895, and, of course, would not have an obituary from 1885. The following obituary was taken from The Kentuckian-Citizen, which was Bourbon County’s older and more widely known newspaper! I suppose it’s much like tiny Springfield, Kentucky, having two newspapers in the early years – The Springfield Sun and The News-Leader! Hurray for small towns and their multiple papers!

You can read more about Joseph Stephens, Sr., in an earlier blog – Stephens Family Buried at Paris Cemetery.

from The Kentuckian-Citizen, Paris, Bourbon County, Kentucky

April, 1885

Death of Joseph Stephens, Sr.

Uncle Joe Stephens is no more! He died at his residence in Paris on Wednesday night last, at 2 o’clock. Although he had been confined to the house for some time, he had kept his bed only a few days before his departure. He died at the good old age of 87 years. He came here from near Huddles Mills, in 1810, and learned silversmithing. After the death of his employer (Mr. Phillips) he succeeded him in business, on the square. In 1835 he went into the dry goods business with George Ballard, from Maryland. After this he was engaged in various ways for some years, until he, and his son, Charles Stephens, went into the grocery business, in which he continued for the rest of his life, being able to attend to business up to quite a recent date.

“Uncle Joe”, as nearly everyone called him, was universally respected and loved. He was one of the sincerest and most unpretentious men that ever lived. In Paris, where he lived for three quarters of a century, he was regarded a model of uprightness and Christian integrity. For more than 60 years he was a faithful member of the Baptist Church, over 50 years holding the office of deacon, in which he was blameless. He was also treasurer of the church for a number of years.

Mr. Stephens is now, perhaps, more of the history of Paris than any other man, and was often sought for information on this subject. He has gone from our midst and will be greatly missed by the entire community. His wife preceded him to the tomb ten or twelve years ago. His surviving children are Joseph Stephens, of Marietta, Ohio; Mrs. Clark, of Louisville, Charles Stephens, Miss Josie Stephens and Mrs. Varden, of Paris.

The funeral, conducted by the pastor, Rev. J. A. French, occurred at the Baptist Church yesterday, at 3 o’clock. There was a large concourse of sympathizing friends present in spite of the bad weather.

Old Confederates of Mercer County

A Confederate soldier stands atop a monument in Spring Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg – a reminder of a long ago time period when families were split in their loyalties during the Civil War.  As Kentucky was a divided state during the war, so was Mercer County.  Many Confederates from Mercer were members of Morgan’s Raiders – led by the famous General John Hunt Morgan himself!  The following obituaries are for a few of those members who died 30+ years after the war. 

IMG_6941 1Erected in memory of those brave men who gave their lives and services to the cause of the south.  By William Preston Camp No. 96 United Confederate Veterans and their surviving comrades and friends.  Spring Hill Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

The Harrodsburg Herald, Thursday, December 25, 1902

The remains of Mr. George O. Herndon, who died at the Confederate Home, were brought here Tuesday for interment.  He was a native of this county and acted for a number of years as deputy circuit clerk.  He served with much gallantry throughout the Civil War, being a member of Burn’s battery in Morgan’s command.  He was captured at Buffington Island, and was a prisoner at Camp Douglass.  He was a most gallant soldier, and a brave and fearless one.  Many of his old Confederate comrades met the casket at the train and six of them acted as pall-bearers.  They were:  J. D. Bryant, J. O. Dedman, J. W. Roberts, Charles Bonta, J. M. Board and John Lane.  Rev. J. G. Hunter, himself a member of Morgan’s command, conducted the funeral.  The interment took place in the family lot in Spring Hill.

The Harrodsburg Herald, Thursday, February 26, 1903

The community was shocked by the sudden death of Mr. Edwin M. Glave, which occurred Wednesday morning at “Wildwood”, the home of his sister, Mrs. W. W. Goddard.  For the past week he had been confined to his room with a deep cold, but his condition was not thought to be serious.  He was 76 years of age and a native of Harrison County, but has made his home in this county for the past 25 years.  He served through the Mexican War and was a member of Morgan’s command in the Confederate service.  Mr. Glave was a member of high standing in the Methodist Church.  A wife but no children survives.  Dr. Vaughn will conduct the funeral services at 2 o’clock this afternoon at “Wildwood” and the interment will take place at Spring Hill Cemetery.  His death leaves ten Mexican War veterans living in this county.

The Harrodsburg Herald, Friday, October 2, 1908

Mr. Jouett McCoun, one of the most prominent men of the Providence neighborhood, died last Thursday evening of a complication of diseases, after a lingering illness.  His funeral took place at New Providence Church on Saturday afternoon, conducted by Rev. Harvey Glass and the remains were interred in the Providence Cemetery.  Mr. McCoun was a splendid gentleman and one of the most prosperous farmers of that section of the county.  He was a member of Morgan’s command during the Civil War, and on the last raid of that famous Confederate through Kentucky in 1864, Mr. McCoun was captured at Cynthiana and was held a prisoner at Rock Island until the close of the war.  He was a native of this county and has always been held in the highest esteem.  He leaves a wife and three daughters, Misses Ora and Mabel McCoun, and Mrs. Dulin, of Shelbyville.  The pall bearers were Dr. J. W. Powell, Dr. J. P. Lapsley and Messrs. George Forsythe, Eb. Adams, James Armstrong and Henry McGee.

The Harrodsburg Herald, Friday, October 22, 1909

Mr. John Wesley Robards died at his home in the Passmore house last Friday morning at one o’clock, and was buried in Spring Hill Cemetery Sunday afternoon, the funeral being performed at the house.  Mr. Robards was a most estimable man and was as true as steel to his many friends.  He was liberal almost to a fault and was always ready to help out some worthy case of charity.  Mr. Robards was a soldier in the Confederate service during the Civil War, serving in Company H, 2nd Kentucky Cavalry, which was part of Morgan’s command.  He was highly commended by all his officers and was termed a model soldier.  Col. Duke declared that he had not better soldier in his regiment.  He served continuously from 1862 to 1865 and was in active service all of the time except about eighteen months while he was a prisoner at Camp Douglass.  Mr. Robards was 69 years of age and had lived most of his life in Harrodsburg, where he was a popular contractor, making a specialty of concrete work.  He had also done much work in Danville and other neighboring towns.  All regret his untimely end and offer sympathy to the bereaved family.  Two children, Miss Mary Augusta Robards, who lives at Frankfort, and has a splendid position at that place, and Mr. George Robards of this city, who is Deputy County clerk, survive him.  The funeral was conducted by Rev. Lon Robinson of the Methodist Church and the local Confederate Veterans were in attendance.

Lafayette Wiley Obituary

IMG_2233Lafayette Wiley, 1867-1911.  New Providence Presbyterian Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky

A perpetual calendar is a handy thing to have when trying to figure out a date from the past – or the future.  In the following obituary it says Mr. Layafette Wiley died Saturday – and the paper was printed on Friday, September 1, 1911.  Going to the calendar for that year gives us his date of death – August 26, 1911.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, September 1, 1911

Mr. Lafayette Wiley, one of the most highly respected citizens of the Salvisa neighborhood, died Saturday after a week’s illness of typhoid fever.  Funeral services were conducted Sunday afternoon at the Salvisa Methodist Church by Rev. Matthews, assisted by Rev. Wells, and the burial took place in Providence Cemetery.  Mr. Wiley was about forty years old and had many warm friends.  He was buried with Masonic rites.  Two sisters and two brothers survive him.  He had lived with Mr. K. S. Woods for eighteen years, and the family extend thanks to many friends for kindness shown.

John J. McGee Obituary

IMG_2183John J. McGee, December 14, 1864 – July 3, 1906.  New Providence Presbyterian Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Thursday, July 26, 1906

John J. McGee was born December 10, 1864, and died July 3, 1906.  He was a son of John J. and Amanda A. McGee.  In early life he gave his heart and life into the care, keeping and service of the loving Savior, who had redeemed his soul by his precious blood.  He became a member of New Providence Church, of which he continued a consistent member throughout his life.  Since beginning in his early business life he has been one of our most prominent and successful agriculturists.  On January 2, 1901, he was happily married to Miss Virgilia Witherspoon, one of the most lovable and cultured young women our community has ever passed.