Category Archives: Genealogy Ramblings

W. E. Gill and Sarah Belle Slaughter Gill Obituaries


W. E. Gill, May 12, 1843 – August 4, 1904.  Sarah B., his wife, March 4, 1847 – February 27, 1940.  New Providence Presbyterian Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Thursday, August 11, 1904

Mr. W. E. Gill died at his home in our town Thursday morning of last week. On April 16 last he suffered a severe stroke of paralysis. He was well known throughout the county. He was the son of Major Edward Gill and had spent all his life in this community. He was 61 years of age; had served in the Federal Army during the Civil War, and since a prominent Republican and President of Farmers Bank at Salvisa. He leaves a wife and six children. The remains were interred in Providence Cemetery.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, March 1, 1940

Mrs. Sarah Belle Gill, one of the most venerable and beloved women of the county, died at 9 p.m. Tuesday, February 27, 1940, after a  short illness with pneumonia at her home in Salvisa. Death came on the eve of her 93rd birthday, which would have been Monday, March 4. She was the daughter of Gabriel Slaughter and Lydia Maddox Slaughter, of Mercer county. Her father was a nephew and namesake of Gov. Gabriel Slaughter, who became Chief Executive of Kentucky in 1816. She was a member of the Baptist Church, a splendid woman of strong personality and retained all her faculties to the end in spite of the unusually long years of life. Her husband, W. E. Gill, died Aug. 4, 1904. She is survived by three sons, Gabe, Ed and Will Gill, of Salvisa, and one daughter, Mrs. Jane Gill Harris, of Louisville; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Her funeral was at 2 p.m. yesterday at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Gabe Gill, in Salvisa, with the Rev. T. Hassell Bowen, pastor of the Harrodsburg Christian Church, conducting the rites. Burial was at Providence Cemetery, near McAfee. The bearers were Edmund Miller, Lloyd Houchin, W. S. Harmon, Earl Terhune, Oscar Brown and W. H. Keightley.


Aged Couple Go To Their Heavenly Reward

Richard Henry Bohon and wife, Mary Ellen VanArsdall Bohon, were descendants of the very early pioneers of Mercer County.  What a long lineage of history flowed through their veins. 


Richard Henry Bohon, 1829-1912.  Mary E. Bohon, 1830-1924.  Spring Hill Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, November 29, 1912

On Sunday morning last, at one o’clock, Mr. Richard Henry Bohon, a lifelong citizen of this place, and the oldest member of the Assembly Presbyterian Church, passed away at the ripe age of 84 years. He was on the streets the preceding Wednesday, apparently in his usual state of health. On Friday he went to bed, but was not complaining of anything beyond a somewhat unusual weariness which continued until Sunday morning, without pain or suffering of any kind, and at one o’clock death came to him like the sleep of an infant.

At the close of the Revolution, Watt Bohon emigrated to what was then Kentucky County, Virginia, and located at Harrodsburg Station, and John Bohon, father of the deceased, was born in the old fort, so that Mr. R. H. Bohon was a direct descendent of one of the early pioneers, and his name is connected with the beginnings of Harrodsburg. Sixty-three years ago in 1849, he married Miss Mary Ellen Vanarsdall, who survives him, and all these years their lives have been in a marked degree happy and blessed, filled with the sunshine of peace and contentment. Mr. Bohon was a good man, a good neighbor, a good citizen, commanding the cordial respect and friendship of the community, and the confidence and love of his household and relations. His aged wife, now in her eighty-third year, who divided his sorrows and doubled his joys, has been an equal partner in all the blessings which this home has received and conferred, and now, crowned with years and blessings, she awaits the time when she shall take up the broken thread of life where partings are unknown.

Besides his wife deceased leaves three sons, Daniel, of Monticello, Illinois; George, of Appleton, Wisconsin; and Joseph, of Los Angeles, California. The first two of them reached their father’s bedside before his death. The funeral service, conducted by his pastor, Dr. M. V. P. Yeaman, was held at the Assembly Presbyterian Church and the interment took place in Spring Hill Cemetery.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, April 11, 1924

Mrs. Mary Ellen Bohon, widow of the late R. H. Bohon, died on College Street in this city. She was stricken with pneu­monia in both lungs a few days before, and owing to her advanced years had not the strength to combat the disease. Her funeral was held Sunday afternoon at 2:30 at the United Presbyterian Church, conducted by her pastor, Rev. S. S. Daughtry, and the interment was in the family lot in Spring Hill Cemetery: The pallbearers were Messrs. James Isham, Hanly Bohon, Bush W. Allin, H. C. Bohon, Nat VanArsdall and Frank D. Curry. Mrs. Bohon was next to the oldest member of the congregation and Mr. Daughtry paid a brief but beautiful tribute to her.

One of the few remaining links of the past with the present was broken with the death of Mrs. Bohon. She was 93 years old, having been born in Mercer County, November 28, 1830. It is doubtful if any women whose life’s span was lived in this community ever left a better record of true womanhood. She was the daughter of Daniel VanArsdall and Leah Stagg VanArsdall, and is a descendant on both sides of the early pioneers in Kentucky who settled in this region. On October 28 — her nineteenth birthday — she was married to the late Richard Henry Bohon, who passed away in 1912. She was a devoted and helpful wife, a loving and tender mother and a friend above the price of rubies. Her life has been spent in unselfish devotion to her family and those about her, and also in her younger days, to activities in her church. She is the last of a family of seven children, and she leaves with those who knew her the memory of a beautiful and useful life.

Three daughters have been waiting with their father in the Land Beyond, and three sons remain to mourn her. They are Dan V. Bohon, Harrodsburg; Joe Bohon, Los Angeles, California, and George R. Bohon, of Appleton, Wisconsin. Mr. Joe Bohon has recently been seriously ill and was not able to make the long trip here.

Walker D. Darland Obituary


Walker D. Darland, March 29, 1856 – February 2, 1937.  Bruner’s Chapel Baptist Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, February 5, 1937

Funeral services for Walker Darland, 81, retired farmer, who died at the A. D. Price Hospital Tuesday night, February 2, were held Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Bruner’s Chapel Baptist Church with Rev. T. Hassell Bowen officiating, assisted by Rev. George M. Trout. Interment followed in Bruner’s Chapel cemetery.

His survivors include four daughters, Mrs. William Sims, Burgin, Ky.; Mrs. John Yeast, Mrs. Homer Donovan, and Mrs. James Jackson, all of Harrodsburg; five sons, Oscar Darland, Marietta, Wis.; and Omer, Grover, John, and D. Darland, also of Harrodsburg; three sisters, Mrs. James Hungate, Rose Hill; Mrs. Willie Hungate, Harrodsburg; and Mrs. George Harlow, Mackville, Ky. Other survivors include 36 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

Six grandsons served as pallbearers. They were Roy Jackson, Lafon Darland, Everett Casey, Harvey Yeast, Willard Yeast, and Claude Yeast.

James and Mary Wood Garnett Obituaries

I do love the sentimental, flowery obituaries from the early days of the twentieth century.  You truly feel as if you know the person, their character and their life, after reading of their death.  Perhaps the obituaries of today should be written with more depth and feeling.

img_8487James Garnett, July 8, 1835 – January 25, 1905.  Columbia Cemetery, Adair County, Kentucky,

garnet-picfrom The Adair County News, Columbia, Kentucky

Wednesday, February 1, 1905

At the age of eighteen years, fifty-two years ago, the above distinguished citizen, then an inexperienced young man, left his country home, five miles out, and came to Columbia, to face the responsibilities and fight the battles of an active public career, and the many familiar with the results of his labors and accomplishments known how well he succeeded.  His only capital was honor, honesty and industry backed by a strong mind, unwavering purpose and a good English education.  Thus armed he accepted a position of deputy clerk of the circuit and county courts of this county, under William Caldwell.  Three years later he was elected county school commissioner.  While performing the duties of clerk and school commissioner he burned the midnight oil in preparing himself for the profession of law, and in 1856 was admitted to the bar, and his knowledge of law and general fitness soon pointed him out as a suitable man for county attorney, which position he filled with a marked degree of success.  After the expiration of his term as county attorney he practiced his chosen profession uninterrupted until 1871 when he was chosen to represent this county in the Kentucky legislature for the years ’71, ’72 and ’73, and while in that body he was chosen a member of the committee on judiciary and statutes, a position where only the deepest legal talent is sought.  In 1874 immediately after the expiration of his services in the Legislature, he was elected Circuit Judge, of the Sixth Judicial District, composed of the counties of Adair, Metcalfe, Barren, Cumberland, Clinton, Monroe, Hart, Allen, and retired from that honorable station with the esteem of his constituents and the honor and reputation of an able, impartial jurist.  In 1881 he was elected senator of this, the 16th Senatorial district and was again placed on the committee of judiciary and railroads and later was made the chairman of the judiciary committee.  In this capacity he labored faithfully and effectively and retained that high esteem of his associates as an able lawyer and legislator.  In 1898 Judge Garnett entered the race for the Democratic nomination for Appellate judge of this district.  He lost that prize, that position, which would have more fully demonstrated to the people of this State his thorough comprehension of law and its just application, simply because he would not stoop to low and groveling methods.  That fight was made and lost with honor and dignity while success seemed to be in reach through means and methods of questionable nature.  He spurned every intimation of such a course and stated to his close friends that through honorable and dignified methods he would win or lose.  He kept the faith.  Since that date he has practiced his profession with his only son, James Garnett, Jr., our present county attorney, and enjoyed a large clientage, which was common with him from the beginning of his chosen profession.

As a father and husband the intimacy and devotion between he and his family was particularly noticeable, and on many occasions we have heard commendable praise of this happy state that makes home akin to heaven.  Such manifestations of devotion were more discernible, to the public, in the relationship between his son and himself, who were partners in business.  Not the least sign of friction ever appeared between them, but perfectly agreeable in everything, as companionable as two school boys wrapped in up good will, they went from office to their homes together and from home to office nearly every day.

Judge Garnett was born in Adair County, Kentucky, July 8, 1834, a son of Anthony and Mary A. P. Garnett.  He was married to Miss Mary Wood, near Edmonton, Kentucky, August 2, 1866.  To this union four children were born all of whom are living, together with the widow.  The children are Mrs. E. W. Barnett, of Mississippi, Miss Jennie and Miss Fannie Garnett and James Garnett, Jr., of this city.

In this death, unexpected and sad, our community lost one of its most useful and distinguished fellows – a man of deep convictions, noble endeavors and lasting accomplishments.  The Baptist Church of this town, his love, his pride, its strongest support, Russell’s Creek Association an irreparable loss and the legal profession has parted from one of its ablest and profoundest lawyers.  His wife and children a true and devoted husband and father, while the writer, in common with a large number of good citizens, a true and substantial friend.  This entire community has thoroughly manifested its loss and sympathy with the bereaved family.  Funeral services were held in the Baptist Church Sunday the 29th at 10:30, conducted by the pastor, Rev. J. P. Scruggs, assisted by Eld. W. K. Azbill, Rev. W. C. Clemens and Eld. W. B. Wright.

img_8490Mary Wood Garnett, 1840-1908

from The Adair County News, Columbia, Kentucky

Wednesday, May 6, 1908

Mrs. Mary M. Garnett

One of Columbia’s Most Prominent and Highly Respected Ladies Called to Her Reward

Funeral Services Largely Attended

Tuesday night April 28, 1908, at 11:30 the spirit of this estimable lady left its tenement of clay and entered the celestial city prepared for those who walk in the fear and admonition of the Lord.  Death had no sting, as it was known and remarked by those who were intimately associated with her, that she had cared but little for life since the demise of her late husband, Judge James Garnett, though she has been surrounded with the comforts of life, loved fondly by her children, to whom she was perfectly devoted.

Mrs. Garnett was a daughter of Buford and Frances Wood and was born and reared near Edmonton, Kentucky, her father being prominent in the affairs of Barren and Metcalfe counties.  She was educated at Georgetown College, and in 1866 she was happily married to Judge James Garnett and for forty-two years she resided in Columbia.  When the end came she was 67 years and four months old.

Her life was that of a true Christian woman, taking much interest in religious affairs, and especially was she devoted to the Baptist church of which she was a member and had been since she was sixteen years of age.  Her children, her brothers, the Church and this entire community has sustained a great loss, one whose place in the home cannot be filled and whose counsels in church affairs will be sorrowfully missed.

[a portion of this obituary was missing]

The remains were taken to the city cemetery and her body was laid by the side of that of her husband’s.  When the family and friends withdrew from the grave they left the body sleeping under a bed of flowers.

The pure life and high estimate that was placed upon the noble Christian character of the deceased – universal sympathy – is consoling to the four devoted children and the two affectionate brothers.  The children are Mrs. E. W. Barnett, Corbin, Kentucky, Mrs. J. P. Scruggs, Midway, Kentucky, Mr. James Garnett and Miss Jennie Garnett, this place.  The brothers are Mr. W. T. Wood and Dr. B. T. Wood, Danville.

Such a life as Mrs. Garnett led is a priceless heritage to all those who were near to her by the ties of blood, and all who were intimately associated with her.

Silas Lillard Obituary

Thought it interesting that Mr. Silas and his brother John were born in Danville, Boyle County, then moved to Breckinridge County.  There are Lillard’s buried in Spring Hill Cemetery in Harrodsburg, Mercer County, and I’m sure there are Lillard’s buried at Bellevue Cemetery in Danville.

img_3578Silas Lillard, 1832-1913.  Cloverport Cemetery, Breckinridge County, Kentucky.

from The Breckinridge News, Cloverport, Kentucky

Wednesday, July 2, 1913

Last of the Lillard Name Gone

Silas Lillard Dies At His Home At Skillman – Funeral and Burial Takes Place Here – The Rev. Mr. Stout Conducts Services.

Eighty-One Years Old

The funeral of Mr. Silas Lillard was held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank English in this city Wednesday morning at 10:30 o’clock.  The services were conducted by the Rev. Mr. W. W. Stout of Hawesville, and the interment took place in the Cloverport Cemetery.

Mr. Lillard died at his country home at Skillman Wednesday.  His death was not unexpected on account of his advanced age and his failing health.  For six months or a year he had been very weak, often falling while walking in the house or yard.  These falls were very trying on him and kept the family in a state of constant anxiety.  During his illness he was very patient and it seemed to bring out all the kindness of his heart, instead of making him hard to care for and to nurse through the long hours of his old age.

Mr. Lillard was eighty-one years old January 27 and was born in Danville, Kentucky.  He came to Cloverport when a boy.  He engaged in the tobacco business with his brother, the late Mr. John Lillard, both then succeeded and accumulated comfortable means.  Mr. Lillard’s farm and property in this city is left to his niece, Mrs. English.  She and her daughter are the only ones of his immediate family left.  He was unmarried.

Mr. Lillard was a great lover of hunting and this was his pastime in life.  In his younger years he hunted a great deal and one time went on a big hunt in Arkansas.  In the party were Messrs. David Oglesby, Richard Witt and James Stephens.  Mr. Lillard talked of these old times very frequently, but more serious talks during the last two years were about his preparation for the last pilgrimage and it was pleasing for the Rev. Mr. Cottrel to be with him on these occasions.

Miss Laura Murphy and Mrs. John Lillard came from Skillman to attend the funeral.

Mrs. Elizabeth Browne Nichols Obituary

img_0332Elizabeth L. Nichols, January 25, 1826 – August 20, 1904.  Pleasant Grove Presbyterian Cemetery, Washington County, Kentucky

from The News-Leader, Springfield, Washington County, Kentucky

Thursday, August 25, 1904

Death of Mrs. Nichols

Mrs. Elizabeth Browne Nichols, formerly of this county, died at the home of her son Dr. Thomas Nichols, near Bardstown, on last Friday night after an illness of several week’s duration.  The deceased was born in Washington County in 1826, being one of the large family of Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Browne.  In 1845 she married Mr. Thomas B. Nichols and they lived in the Pleasant Grove neighborhood for a number of years, a few years ago moving to Perryville, where Mr. Nichols died.  About three years ago Mrs. Nichols began making her home with her son in Nelson County where she died.  Perhaps a more lovable Christian character never lived than Mrs. Nichols.  She enjoyed the respect and confidence of all with whom she was thrown in contact and her life was a beautiful example of Christianity.

Mrs. Nichols leaves one daughter, Mrs. F. R. Neale, of this place, and a son, Dr. Thomas Nichols of Bardstown.  She was a sister of Mr. John Browne of Marion County, Stephen B. Browne of Missouri, and Mrs. Evan Rogers of this place.  The remains were brought to this place and taken to Pleasant Grove for interment.  Rev. Dr. Patterson, pastor of the Bardstown Presbyterian Church, conducted the funeral services.

W. D. and Martha Jane Hungate Obituaries


W. D. Hungate, January 1, 1848 – October 18, 1936.  Martha Jane Hungate, his wife, January 14, 1850 – May 21, 1928.  Bruner’s Chapel Baptist Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, May 25, 1928

Mrs. Martha Jane Norvell Hungate was born January 14, 1850, and died suddenly on May 21, aged 78 years. She seemed as well as usual and had just finished breakfast, and died while seated in her chair conversing with her family. She was united in marriage to W. D. Hungate in March, 1871, and eight children were born to this union, four of whom, with her husband, survive. They are Messrs. Frank, Henry and William Hungate and Mrs. Dave Claunch. She also leaves eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. She was the daughter of Ralph and Betsy Norvell and was one of the family of twelve, seven of whom are now living. When sixteen years of age she confessed Christ and joined Berea Chris­tian church. Later she united at Bruner’s Chapel and had been a member there for about forty years. She was looked up to as a faith­ful Christian, a devoted wife and mother, and a good unselfish neighbor.

from The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, October 23, 1936

W. D. Hungate, 88 years old, died at 11:45 on October 18, at the home of his son, Henry Hungate, near Rose Hill. He was a well known retired farmer who was held in high esteem and had been in failing health for about six months. He was the son of John and Eliza Gray Hungate and married Miss Martha Jane Norvell, who died May 21, 1928. Children surviving include a daughter, Mrs. Dave Claunch, and three sons, Frank, William and Henry Hugate, all of Mercer county. He also leaves seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

The funeral was on Tuesday, October 22, at Bruner’s Chapel of which he was a member having confessed the Baptist faith a number of years ago. The service was by his pastor, the Ref. George M. Trout and burial was in the family lot in the chapel cemetery. The bearers were Lee Moore, Thomas Peavler, William Watkins, Ed Graves, Ben Logue and Harvey Brown.