Tag Archives: Boyle County Kentucky

Colonel Joseph McDowell of Boyle County

The McDowell name is well known to those of us in Mercer and Boyle counties.  The Danville hospital, Ephraim McDowell, is visited by many in the area, named for the eminent doctor of the same name, and brother to Colonel Joseph McDowell.  Following are a couple of old newspaper articles about the McDowell family, the first concerning the colonel’s daughter, Anna.

The Olive Branch and Danville Advertiser, Boyle County, Kentucky

Thursday, December 15, 1825

Married – On Thursday evening last, by he Rev’d Samuel K. Nelson, Mr. Abram I. Caldwell, to Miss Ann McDowell, daughter of Col. Joseph McDowell – all of this vicinity.

The second concerns family members moved from a family cemetery to Bellevue Cemetery in Danville.

Interior Journal, Stanford, Lincoln County, Kentucky

Friday, June 3, 1892

Col. Nicholas McDowell, commissioner of agriculture, completed Tuesday the removal of two of his ancestors from the old Gov. Adair farm, in Mercer County, to the Danville Cemetery [Bellevue].  They were Samuel McDowell, who died in 1830, and his wife, who died in 1816.  A portion of Mrs. McDowell’s coffin was well preserved, showing the walnut wood and velvet bound to wood by brass tacks.  From this same Mercer County farm the remains of Gov. Adair and wife were 16 years ago taken to the Frankfort Cemetery.  In the Danville cemetery, in addition to those placed there Tuesday, and in the same lot, are the bodies of Col. Joseph McDowell and wife, Judge Samuel McDowell, the eminent jurist, and wife.  The dust of Dr. Ephraim McDowell, another of this prominent pioneer family, is in the old cemetery, now called McDowell Park, adjoining the First Presbyterian Church.  Mr. Samuel McDowell, the father of the commissioner, who died in 1859, and his wife, are also buried in the Danville cemetery.

I checked my photographs taken in Bellevue Cemetery, but had none for the McDowell family – I see another trip there in the future!

Historic Families of Kentucky, Green, 1889

Colonel Joseph McDowell of Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

The fifth son of Judge Samuel McDowell and Mary McClung, Joseph, was born September 13, 1768.  A child when the Revolution commenced, and still a boy when it ended, yet was his character molded by the stirring events transpiring around him, and by the patriotic deeds to the narration of which he was an eager listener.  Coming to Kentucky, with his father, in 1784, his youth was passed in intimate association with the men who, in Danville conventions, prepared the way for separation from Virginia, and who established and gave its peculiar tone to the commonwealth.

In the Indian campaigns, in which Kentuckians were engaged in the North-west, between the dates of his attaining the age for military service and the treaty which followed the victory of ‘Mad Anthony’ Wayne, he was a prompt and brave participant.  He was a private in Brown’s company, in Scott’s expedition of 1791.  He was in both expeditions under General Hopkins, 1812.  The reputation for good sense, sound judgement, military capacity and courage won therein, induced his appointment, by Shelby, to the position of adjutant-general upon the staff of that hard fighting commander.  He served from the beginning to the close of Shelby’s campaign in the North-west, and was at the Thames, where Tecumseh fell.  For good conduct and valuable service rendered in that campaign and battle, he received complimentary mention, not only by his immediate commander, but also from General Harrison.

The occupation of Colonel Joseph McDowell was that of a farmer.  Disdaining all shams, and himself one of the most unassuming of men, his was eminently a veracious character; in the perfect uprightness and simplicity of his life, there was a constant beauty.  One of the most amiable, quiet and unobtrusive of men, of all his sex there was none more resolute and determined.  A ruling elder of the Presbyterian Church for many years, and devoutly religious, in his observance thereof there was no parade.  In the decline of his honorable life, after he had withdrawn from all active participation in public affairs, the writer was witness to the respectful deference shown him by the entire community among whom he lived.  He died, in Danville, June 27, 1856, at the good old age of eighty-eight years.

The excellent wife of Colonel Joseph McDowell was Sarah Irvine, sister to Anne Irvine, who married his brother, Samuel – a relative, whose symmetrical character made her, in every way, worthy of such a man.  Samuel, their oldest son, married, first, Amanda Ball, granddaughter of John Reed, already mentioned, and a cousin of James G. Birney.  Of this marriage, the sole issue was a daughter, who was the wife of Dr. Meyer, of Boyle County.  This Samuel McDowell, married, secondly, Martha Hawkins, by whom he had children, among them Samuel and Nicholas, both farmers in Boyle County.

Colonel Joseph McDowell’s oldest daughter, Anna, married Abram I. Caldwell, descended from one of the most reputable of the Scotch-Irish families of the Valley, and a farmer of Boyle; they have a number of children living in that county.

Sarah, the second daughter of Colonel Joseph McDowell, married Michael Sullivant, of Columbus, Ohio.  Of wonderful energy and the most sanguine temper, Mr. Sullivant engaged in gigantic agricultural enterprises, first upon his inherited acres in Ohio, and afterwards in Illinois.  He is best known to the world as the once owner of the princely estates of ‘Broadlands’ and ‘Burr Oaks,’ in the latter state.  Throughout the most tremendous operations, and amid the saddest vicissitudes, he preserved an untarnished honor and the sunniest of tempers.  Large hearted as well as of herculean stature; free handed as he was unreserved and cordial in manner; frank, generous, hospitable and cheery, his image will continue with the living as the most pleasant of memories.  The only son of Sarah McDowell and Michael Sullivant, Joseph McDowell, is a prosperous farmer near Homer, Illinois.  Annie, one of their daughters, is the wife of E. L. Davison, now of Louisville; and Lucy, another daughter, is the wife of Wm. Hopkins, a grandson of General Samuel Hopkins, and resides in Henderson, Kentucky.

Margaret Irvine McDowell, the third daughter of Colonel Joseph, of Danville, was the first wife of Joseph Sullivant, of Columbus, a younger brother of Michael.  Mr. Joseph Sullivant’s second wife was Mary Eliza Brashear, granddaughter of Judge William McDowell.  He was a man of cultivated tastes, devoted to scientific pursuits, too public spirited for his own welfare in a pecuniary sense, and did much to develop literary and scientific ambitions and enterprises in his native Columbus.  In many ways a public benefactor, in all ways he was a useful citizen, and at all times a gentleman.  He lived to a venerable and respected old age.  His first wife died in giving birth to their only child, Margaret Irvine Sullivant, the wife of Henry B. Carrington, a brigadier-general of volunteers in the Union army, colonel of the Eighteenth Regular Infantry, now on the retired list – a gallant and capable officer.  Mrs. Carrington is dead; two worthy sons survive her.

Magdalen, the fourth daughter of Colonel Joseph McDowell, of Danville, married Caleb Wallace, a lawyer, of Danville; her husband was a grandson of Judge Caleb Wallace, of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, whose wife was a sister of Colonel William Christian.  Mrs. Magdalen Wallace is still living, in Danville, blessed with two manly sons, McDowell and Woodford.

Latimer-Parks 1842 Boyle County Marriage Bond

Know all men by these presents that we, John B. H. Latimer and H. Jackman, are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in the sum of 50 pounds, to the payment whereof well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents.  Sealed with our seals, and dated this 18th day of April 1842.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas a marriage is shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound John B. H. Latimer and Elizabeth M. Parks, of this county.  Now, shall it always hereafter appear, that there is no cause to obstruct the said marriage, then the above obligation to be void, else to remain in full force and virtue.

John B. H. Latimer, Houston Jackman

Test, Duff Green, Clerk, Boyle County Courthouse, protem

I certify that the consent of Moses Parks, father of Elizabeth M. Parks, to the within mentioned marriage is as expressed in a certificate from him which was proved by the oath of Houston Jackman, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto – April 18th 1842.

Duff Green, Clerk, Boyle County Courthouse, protem

C. B. Overstreet Dies of Consumption

C. B. Overstreet, born December 14, 1823, died March 5, 1885.  Old Union Cemetery, Boyle County, Kentucky.

The Kentucky Advocate, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Friday, March 13, 1885

Mr. C. B. Overstreet died of consumption at his home, near Aliceton, at 5 minutes past 12 o’clock, Wednesday night, the 4th inst.  The deceased was 61 years old and was highly esteemed.  His remains were buried by the Masons at Union Church, last Friday.  Rev. R. H. Caldwell delivered the funeral discourse in the presence of a large audience of sorrowing friends.  He leaves a wife, one daughter, Mrs. Lizzie Harmon, and a host of friends.

Mary A., wife of C. B. Overstreet, born April 15, 1834, died January 23, 1892.

Blake Arnold’s 1872 Will

Yesterday I introduced you to the family of Blake Arnold, who is buried in the Old Union Baptist Cemetery in Boyle County, Kentucky.  Today I would like to share his will, written March 19, 1872, and proved at the June 1872 Court.  Evidently he knew the time of his death was drawing near.  Nine of his ten children are listed in the will – daughter Permelia died in 1867.

I, Blake Arnold, of the County of Boyle and State of Kentucky, make this my last will and testament, revoking all others by me made.

First.  I devise to my wife, Martha Arnold, my home tract of land, about one hundred and sixty acres, during her natural life.  Five hundred dollars in cash, all of my household and kitchen furniture, one bay horse, Swiss, and duo branded gray horse, one choice cow and calf, one choice sow and pigs, one large plough and two shovel ploughs, two pair of harness, also, provisions for eighteen months after my death, six yearling ewes and buck, the cash to be paid at my death.

Second.  To my son, John Arnold, eighteen hundred dollars above all allowance, he to account out of the same for a note held against him of six hundred dollars with its interest made payable one day after date, the balance payable to hi six months after my death.

Third.  To my daughter, Mary Harmon, five hundred dollars above all previous allowances payable six months after my death.

Fourth.  To my daughter, Patsy Holland, one thousand dollars to account out of the same for a note I hold against her husband, Robert Holland, with its interest, the balance to be paid to her six months after my death.

Fifth.  To my daughter, Nancy Crain, fifteen hundred dollars above all allowances heretofore made to her, payable six months after my death.

Sixth.  The balance of my land adjoining the land allotted to my wife, about two hundred and forty acres more or less, held in common by my five sons, Samuel Arnold, James Arnold, Woodson Arnold, Robert Arnold and William Creed Arnold, until the youngest arrives to the age of twenty-one years, then to be equally divided among the said Samuel, James, Woodson, Robert and William Creed Arnold, together with all other lands and others I may possess to be equally divided among them.  When William Creed arrive at the age of twenty-one years or to sell as they may think proper, their interest to be equal in rents from my death until William Creed arrives at lawful age.  Also, the home farm at the death of my wife to be equally divided between them the said Samuel Arnold, James Arnold, Woodson Arnold, Robert Arnold and William Creed Arnold, to have out of my estate one horse worth one hundred dollars, one cow, one bed and one saddle to be worth as much as the horse, cow, saddle received by James and Woodson without charge against them in settlement of my estate.  Samuel has received his bed and cow, but no horse.

Seventh.  The residue of my estate, consisting of stock notes and cash to be converted into cash and the proceeds divided equally after paying expenses and other charges between my sons Samuel, James, Woodson, Robert and William Creed Arnold.

Eighth.  I hereby constitute and appoint my sons Samuel and Woodson Arnold and my friend William Scraggins my executors to this my last will, fully authorizing them to carry all its provisions into effect.  Given under my hand and seal this 19th day of March 1872.

Blake Arnold

Test.  S. P. Burton, S. E. Bottom

Boyle County Court

June 18 Term, 1872

I, Jonas B. Nichols, Clerk of the Boyle County Court, do certify that the forgoing will of Blake Arnold, deceased, was proven to Court at the above term and duly proven by the oaths of S. P. Burton and S. E. Bottom, the subscribing witnesses thereto, and ordered to be recorded, which is now done.

Given under my hand this 18th day of June 1872.

Jonas B. Nichols, Clerk, by R. J. Nichols, Deputy Clerk

Blake Arnold Family Buried in Old Union Baptist Cemetery

This small cemetery sits on a little knoll, just over the Marion County border in Boyle County.  I have wanted to visit this cemetery for years.  Old UnionBaptist Cemetery is just off US68 and I always passed it on my way to Danville, and still pass it visiting my sister.  Before my marriage it was always my idea to stop, never had the chance.  Then Ritchey and I have talked about it every time we pass.  So about 40 years later I finally made it!  In the above photo you can see a black plaque on the tallest gray stone.  It reads, ‘Site of Old Union Church in memory of Pioneers of the Doctors Fork Community, erected by the Harmon – Gray – Pipes Family Association.’

This marker reads – Doctor’s Fork Baptist Church, organized March 15, 1801.  the first permanent meeting house of this congregation was on this site in 1805 and remained so until 1957.  This marker has been erected for the occasion of the bicentennial of Doctor’s Fork Baptist Church in loving memory of the founding members of this church’s congregation and the family of faith that continues to serve her today.’  Across the way stands the new, brick Doctor’s Fork Baptist Church – which is ministered by a friend of ours!

Blake Arnold, born in the year 1803, died March 29, 1872.

Today we will talk about the family of Blake Arnold.  He was born in Virginia in 1803.  Blake first married Permelia Calvert in Washington County, Kentucky, August 15, 1828.   Together they had at least five children, since they are named in the 1850 census, John, Mary, Martha and Nancy.  Nancy was born in 1838.  Wife Permelia must have died shortly thereafter.  She is not listed in the 1840 census of Mercer County – the only 3 females are the daughters.

Know all men by these presents that we, Blake Arnold and Thomas Stewart, are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the penal sum of fifty pounds current money to the payment of which well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 17th day of August 1840.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a license about to issue for a marriage intended to be solemnized between the above named Blake Arnold and Martha Blagrave.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct said marriage then the above obligation to be void else to remain in  full force and virtue.

                              Blake Arnold, Thomas Stewart

Witness, John T. Allin, D. C.

On August 17, 1840, Blake Arnold married Martha Blagrave in Mercer County, Kentucky.  She is listed in the 1850 Boyle County Census with him, the five children mentioned above, and four children of there own – Samuel, Permelia (named for the first wife), James and Woodson Arnold.  In the 1860 Boyle County Census two additional children are listed – Robert and William Creed Arnold.

Martha J., wife of Blake Arnold, born April 25, 1818, died October 12, 1893.

Blake Arnold died March 29, 1872.  We will discuss his will tomorrow.  Martha lived another 21 years, raising the children.

Permelia, daughter of B. & M. Arnold, born September 16, 1842, died August 29, 1867.

Daughter Permelia died at the young age of 25.  She was probably taken away by consumption.

R. B. Arnold died July 26, 1883, aged 30 years and 5 months.

Son Robert also died at a young age.

John Arnold, July 30, 1828 – December 3, 1880.  Julia Arnold, August 6, 1833 – June 21, 1897.

Eldest son, John, died seven years after his father.

George Crane, October 15, 1835 – August 21, 1928.  Nancy Crane, April 30, 1836 – March 17, 1909.

Daughter Nancy, buried with husband George Crane.

This small cemetery was worth the wait!  It is beautifully cared for by the families mentioned above.  Thanks to them for their dedication to their ancestors!

McFerran’s Buried In Bellevue Cemetery

Earlier in the week I published a post on James B. McFerran and his family – originally immigrants from Ireland before the beginning of the American revolution.  To read more about this family click here.

Yesterday Ritchey and I visited Bellevue Cemetery in Danville, Boyle County, where many of the family are buried.  The larger stone is for the parents of James B. – James M. and Ruth Brown McFerran.

Mrs. Ruth B. McFerran, born October 31, 1811, died September 26, 1885.  ‘There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.’  Bellevue Cemetery, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky.

J. M. McFerran, born November 26, 1809, died September 17, 1884.  ‘Ask his neighbors.’

I’ve never seen such a simple line on a gravestone, but it speaks volumes.

James B. McFerran

Mattie Davis McFerran, James’ wife.

Leila McFerran Farris, James and Mattie’s daughter.

Lucy M. Welch, 1846-1927.  James B.’s sister.

Elizabeth McFerran, wife of William Crow, 1837-1919.  James B.’s sister.

William Crow, 1831-1900.  James B.’s brother-in-law.

A few others are buried in this lot, probably grandchildren to James M. and Ruth Brown McFerran.

James B. McFerran of Boyle County

James B. McFerran came from a long line of paternal James’, his grandfather emigrating from Ireland in 1761.  In the 1870 Census of Boyle County, James, 28, was living with his parents, James M. and Ruth Brown McFerran.  He is listed as a lawyer, as well as his 24-year-old brother, William.  In the 1880 Census, four years after his marriage to Mattie Davis, the couple are listed as boarders in a hotel in Danville, run by J. P. Thorel, and with them lives their 3-year-old daughter, Lela B.

Our story takes a sad turn as James B. McFerran died in Louisville, May 26, 1893, from hydatid cysts of the liver and spleen.  This was a parasitic infestation that is rather rare, especially to form in the spleen, as only 4% of cases do.  This is endemic in farming areas, and we know he came from a large farming family, as did his wife’s family.  Wife Mattie lived another 57 years.  She died May 22, 1944, and is buried in Bellevue Cemetery in Danville, Section 4, Lot 13, with her husband and other family members.

Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1887

Boyle County, Kentucky

James B. McFerran was born September 17, 1841, in Boyle County, Kentucky, and is the third of six sons and four daughters born to James M. and Ruth (Brown) McFerran.  James M. McFerran was born November 26, 1809, two miles south of Danville; was a large farmer and trader in stock; served as justice for twenty-four years, and represented his county one term in the lower house of the Kentucky Legislature, and died September 17, 1884.  He was a son of James McFerran, who was born in Ireland, July 16, 1757, and came to the United States with his parents when a lad of four years, and settled in Botetourt County, Virginia; when a young man about eighteen or twenty, he migrated, and located four miles south of Danville and became a substantial farmer and slave owner.  He married Elizabeth Young, of Lincoln County, and died in 1835, aged seventy-eight years.  He was the son of Martin McFerran, who came to Virginia from Ireland with his three sons, John, James and Martin, before the war for independence.  His religion was Presbyterian.  Mrs. Ruth (Brown) McFerran was born in Franklin County, Kentucky, in 1811, a daughter of Scott and Lucy (Monday) Brown, of Scotch descent.  She died September 26, 1855.  Scott Brown was a large farmer, and served as magistrate and sheriff of Franklin County.

James B. McFerran graduated from Centre College in the class of 1862; was a trader until 1867, when he began the study of law.  In the winter of 1867-1868 he attended the law school at Louisville, and was soon after admitted to the bar at Danville, where he had an excellent practice.  He has served as master commissioner four years, and also represented his county in the Kentucky Legislature in 1873-1874.  In 1883 he located on a farm of 200 acres, two miles south of Danville.  He was married May 17, 1876, to Miss Mattie Davis, daughter of James H. and Mattie (Alexander) Davis, the former a native of Garrard, and the latter a native of Mercer Count, Kentucky.  James H. Davis located in Boyle County about 1852, and became a leading farmer and breeder of shorthorns.  He had the reputation of having the finest herd of shorthorns in the state, realizing fabulous prices, but paying as high as $5,000 for a single bull.  He was a son of Asel and Sarah (Tucker) Davis, from Virginia.

Mr. and Mrs. McFerran have one bright daughter to bless their home.  In politics he is a Democrat, and is now engaged in the practice of his profession at Danville.