Tag Archives: Cave Hill Cemetery

The Kentucky Giant Dies in 1859

James D. Porter was not only Kentucky’s tallest man, but during his lifetime the tallest man in the world.  At seven feet nine inches he towered over everyone else in the city of Louisville.  Mr. Porter was a hackney driver and served as coachman to Charles Dickens, the famous English author, during his time in the city.

The Louisville Dailey Courier, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tuesday, April 26, 1859

Death of James D. Porter, The ‘Kentucky Giant’

We regret to learn that our distinguished fellow-citizen, James D. Porter, widely known as the ‘Kentucky Giant,’ died at his residence in Portland, on Sunday night, the 24th inst., in the fiftieth year of his age, having been born in 1810.  For some time, Mr. Porter had been in delicate health, but his last illness was of but few days’ duration.  The disease which terminated his life, we are informed, was an affection of the heart, to which he had been frequently subject.

Few men have been more widely known than Mr. Porter.  His extraordinary height, being about seven feet nine inches, ranked him as the tallest man In the world.  He seemed to labor under the consciousness that he was an object of universal curiosity and shunned rather than sought the public gaze.  He was modest and retiring – the very soul of honor and honesty.  His social feelings were elevated and refined, his affections strong and marked.  He was a gentleman of intelligence and wielded a considerable influence among his neighbors and friends.

He has resided here since early manhood.  In his early life he was warmly attached to the political fortunes of Mr. Clay, was a Whig of the old school, and never forgot his associations with that party.  He always gloried in his Whig name and principles and clung to them to the last.  When, however, the Whig party was disbanded, and new parties were organized, he ranged himself, like thousands of other patriotic Old-Line Whigs, with the Constitutional Democracy, and labored earnestly and successfully in its behalf.

His death will be universally deplored.  He was a useful citizen, an honest man and fulfilled, with fidelity, all the duties and responsibilities of his life, alike to his fellow-men and his country.

His funeral will take place at two o’clock this afternoon, at his residence in Portland.  His remains will be conveyed thence to Cave Hill Cemetery.

James D. Porter, born December 15, 181, died April 26, 1859.  Heighth 7 feet 8 inches.  Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Franzmann Family Buried In Cave Hill Cemetery – Jefferson County

The will of John Franzmann was posted earlier this week.  Today I want to share cemetery photos and clips from the local newspaper about this family.  All photos were taken in Cave Hill Cemetery and all newspaper clippings from The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

John Franzmann, from Wollstein, Hessen Darmstadt, Germany.  April 20, 1820 – April 11, 1897.  Louisa Franzmann, nee Loanaberger, October 12, 1824, in Reading, Pennsylvania, – August 30, 1907.

Most family members have their names and dates carved on the large stone, and also individual stones.  The large stone was probably added at a later date.  Daughter Louise Franzmann could have added it after the death of her brother George.  She was the only remaining member of the immediate family, just nieces and a nephew.I could not find an obituary for John Franzmann, but this loving memorial appeared in the newspaper six years later.

Wife Louisa’s individual stone.

George Franzmann, October 10, 1864 – June 23, 1943.

George Franzmann’s individual stone.

Franklin Franzmann, born July 18, 1853, died September 25, 1885.  Louis Franzmann, born November 15, 1857, died November 11, 1918.

Franklin Franzmann died at a young age.

There are no gravestones for Louise Franzmann and her brother Harry who died four years before Louise.  Her parents and the rest of the  brothers and sister went before them.  I would think the side of the large stone on which George’s name is placed would have been left for her.  Her nieces and nephews seem very loving as you can see from the following tributes in the newspaper.  Was this just an oversight?

Stained Glass Gravestone in Cave Hill Cemetery – Jefferson County

Ensor Plot

During our visit to Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, the first weekend in October, we chose just the perfect moment to visit this gravesite.  When we drove past, this stone captured our eye immediately.  If we had come earlier or later in the day the view would not have been as spectacular.  The sun hit the stain glass to make all the colors pop and look amazing.

Clyde Franklin Ensor, Sr., June 20, 1922 – November 17, 2009.  Beloved husband and father.

Anna Ashcraft Ensor, October 23, 1924 – August 10, 2003.  Beloved wife and mother.

I do not know anything about the family but wanted to share this glorious gravesite with you.

1893 Will of John Franzmann – Jefferson County

Ritchey and I had a great three-day weekend in Louisville.  Ate lots of great food, shopped, visited the planetarium – and Cave Hill Cemetery.  This cemetery is one of the largest in Louisville, established in 1846.  Filled with history there are many historic figures of the state and county buried here.  In total we spent about five hours over two days and took almost 900 photos.

Today I want to share with you the will of John Franzmann, born in Hesse Darmstat, Germany.  I cannot tell you when John came to the United States, but he met and married his wife, Louisa Loanaberger (Leuenberger) in Pennsylvania, where their two oldest children were born, but had moved to Kentucky by 1849, when their son Adam Adolph Franzmann was born.  Nine children were born to John and Louisa – John, Jr., Philip, Adam Adolph, Franklin, Caroline, Louis, Henry, Louisa and George.

This is a map of part of downtown Louisville, the west side, that shows where the property listed in John Franzmann’s will was located.  This is fairly pricey property today.

Will of John Franzmann

Volume 21, Pages 210-212, Jefferson County, Kentucky

I, the undersigned John Franzmann, of Jefferson County, being of sound mind and memory do hereby make and declare this as my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills made.

Item 1.  My farm of thirty- six and one-half (36 ½) acres of land situated on the Eighteenth Street Road near Louisville, shall be divided as follows:

“A” To my son Louis Franzmann, I give and bequeath and devise the northern part of said land on which is situated a brick house with four rooms and frame kitchen and containing twelve (12) acres.

“B” To my son George Franzmann I give and bequeath and devise the twelve and one-half (12 ½) acres of said land and adjoining the property described in “A” on which is situated a large brick house with about eight rooms.

“C” The remained twelve (12) acres of said tract of land I give and bequeath and devise to my son Harry Franzmann.

It is my devise that my executrix shall make deeds to the three

parties named herein giving the proper boundaries by which deeds they shall have a fee simple title to their respective shares of said property.

Item 2.  I give and bequeath to my son, John Franzmann, the eastern part of my lot of land having a front of thirty-nine (39) feet on the south side of Market Street, between 16th and 17th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, together with all the improvements thereon and extending clear through to Congress Alley.  To have and to hold the same in fee simple.

Item 3.  I give and bequeath and devise to my son Adolph Franzmann the western part of my lot of land having a front of thirty-nine (39) feet on the south side of market Street, between 16th and 17th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, together with all the improvements thereon and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

My executrix is directed to make deeds to John and Adolph Franzmann, conveying to them a fee simple title to said property.

Item 4.  I give and bequeath and devise to my daughter, Caroline Rosenberger, the eastern part of my lot of land and all improvements thereon having a front on the south side of Market Street, between 11th and 12th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, of forty (40) feet and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

Item 5.  I give and bequeath and devise to my daughter Louisa Franzmann, the western part of my lot of land together with all the improvements thereon, in Louisville, Kentucky, situated on the south side of Market Street, between 11th and 12th Streets, having a front of forty (40) feet and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

My executor is directed to make deeds conveying to each of my two daughters twenty (20) feet front and extending through to Congress Alley.

Item 6.  I give and bequeath and devise to my granddaughter, Emma Franzmann, daughter of my son Frank Franzmann, deceased, my two (2) acres of land situated on the south side of Fountain Ferry Road near 29thth Street, and I also request my executrix to expend the sum of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00) in the erection of a house on said two acres of land in favor of my said grandchild, Emma Franzmann.

Item 7.  I give and bequeath and devise to my son, Philip Franzmann, twenty (20) shares of Falls City Hall Market Company stock and also the sum of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00), and it is my desire that my executrix shall keep said stock and money for seven years after my death, and when said seven years have expired and nothing has been heard from my said son Philip, of whom I have not heard for nearly twenty years, that then in that event, the above stock and money shall be divided among my other children and my grandchild, Emma Franzmann.

Item 8.  All the rest and residue of my entire estate of every nature and description and wheresoever situated, I give and bequeath and devise to my wife Louisa Franzmann, with power on her part to dispose of same by will or deed.

Item 9.  I hereby appoint my wife, Louisa Franzmann, as executrix of this my last will and testament and as guardian for my grandchild Emma Franzmann, without requiring bond or security and empower my said executrix to make deeds for the different pieces of property devised to my children and grandchild named herein and the share of my daughters and the share of my grandchild shall be held as their sole and separate estate, free from the claim or control or debts of any husband they or either of them now have or may hereafter have, with power to dispose of same by will or deed as if they were unmarried.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal to this my last will and testament this 13th day of March 1893.

John Franzmann

Signed and acknowledged by said John Franzmann as his last will and testament in our presence and signed by us as witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other.

George L. Everbach, C. M. Lasater

State of Kentucky

At a County Court held for Jefferson County at the Court House in the City of Louisville on the 22nd day of April 1897, the foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of John Franzmann, Deceased, late of this County, was produced in Court and prover by the testimony of George L. Everbach, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, who also proved the attestation of C. M. Lasater, the other subscribing witness thereto, whereupon the same was established by the Court to be the last will and testament of said testator and ordered to be recorded and is recorded in my office as Clerk of said Court.

Attest.  William P. Johnson, Clerk

John Franzmann, from Wollstein Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany.  April 20, 1820 – April 11, 1897.  Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

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.

Capt. D. T. Bligh – Famous Detective From Louisville Kentucky

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sunday, March 2, 1890

Capt. Delos T. Bligh, the veteran Chief of Louisville’s detective force, is dead.  The melancholy event occurred last evening at his residence, 1024 Seventh Street.  The immediate cause of death was organic disease of the heart, although, since he first became ill, he had suffered with dropsy.

Capt. Bligh’s illness dates some five months back, and he has been growing gradually weaker ever since.  He had not been out of the house for three months, but during that time had rallied frequently, sufficiently to create strong hopes in the breasts of his family that he would eventually recover, despite his advanced age.  He had, however, told Capt. Daly that he would never get well.  He was conscious up to the supreme moment and passed away with a struggle.  He had been growing noticeably weaker during the forenoon and had caused Capt. Daly to be telephoned for.  While conversing with Capt. Daly he exhibited signs of weakness, dozing off after speaking a few words and rallying with an effort.  His eyes would roll, and he gave every evidence of approaching dissolution.  He seemed to realize the fact, and when Capt. Daly left, about 12:30 o’clock, the sufferer said, ‘Good-bye, Jim,’ and feebly waved his hand, his manner and tone indicating that he knew the farewell was for all time.

Had Capt. Bligh lived until the 19th of this month he would have been sixty-seven years old.  He was not a member of any church, but all his family belong to the Broadway Methodist Church, of which Dr. Gilby C. Keller is pastor.  He leaves a widow, Mrs. Kate Bligh, and six daughters, three of whom are married.  All were present at the time of his death, except Mrs. C. P. Williamson, wife of the well-known foundryman of Birmingham, the eldest daughter, who has been summoned by telegraph and will reach this city today.  The next daughter is Mrs. Dr. Wiley Rogers, and the others are Misses Anna and Amy, twins, Miss Lois and Mrs. Nellie Watts, now a resident of Winfield, Kansas.  Miss Anna is a teacher in the Tenth Ward school, Miss Amy in the Ninth Ward, and Miss Lois occupies the position of critic teacher in the Normal School.

Capt. Bligh was an old and honored member of the Masonic fraternity, having been made a Mason in Abraham Lodge, No. 8, of which Judge R. H. Thompson is the present Master, May 28, 1857.  He was made a life member of the lodge October 25, 1872.  As soon as the tidings of his death reached the City Hall, the fire bells were tolled, conveying the sad news to many friends who, anticipating the event, would know to whom this honor was paid.  A detail of officers was made to watch beside the body.  Detectives Daly and Fritsch were on the first part of the night, to be succeeded by Detective Cassin and Officer Leatherman the latter part, with Officer Wash Slater to perform a similar service after daylight this morning.  Maj. Owens will make still further details today.

No funeral arrangements have been made, and none will be made until after the arrival of Mrs. Williamson from Birmingham.  It is probable, however, that it will take place tomorrow afternoon.  It is the desire of the family that the obsequies shall be as quiet as possible, but Capt. Bligh was so universally known, and so popular, that it is likely that this will have to be in a measure abandoned, in order that his friends may testify their appreciation of the worth of the man who, more than any other individual, has been of such great service to the city in ridding it of evil-doers and keeping them away.

The Detective’s Life

Capt. Delos T. Bligh was one of the most notable detectives of this country.  By his sobriquet of ‘Yankee’ Bligh he was known far and near.  To the crooks of the land the mere mention of his name caused a feeling of uneasiness.  The sight of his towering figure and searching eye gave them a frigid sensation.  He knew and had handled nearly all the clever thieves.  Many of the cracksmen, konjacker, bunko steerer, forger, murderer and dark worker in every avenue of crime had felt the power of his hand, and one and all knew his reputation was not the result of fulsome praise or nerveless dread.  The terror of his name alone, in keeping knaves away from the city, was worth all he ever received for his services.

He ranked second in his profession, Allan Pinkerton alone enjoying a more redoubtable position in the estimation of the people they had to deal with.  And this fact arose largely from the latter having at his command a far greater number of assistants.  In many respects Bligh was the equal and in some the superior of the founder of the Chicago detective bureau.  They were great personal friends and always had a high regard for each other.  Whenever Pinkerton wanted anything in Capt. Bligh’s territory, the latter was the man consulted.

The bare recital of all the detective work done by ‘Yankee’ Bligh would furnish a volume as thrilling as the most ingenious weavings of Gaboriau or Du Boisgobey or their rivals in the field of detective fiction.  But Capt. Bligh had one trait that many others in his business lacked.  He never sought notoriety and praise for his achievements.  He was sometimes considered a little too reserved about telling the stories of his arrests and the facts about the captives.  His mind was a storehouse of information about criminals that might have brought him a large pecuniary return had he consented to publish it.  But his he never would.  He kept most he knew to himself or imparted it only to his colleagues and subordinates when the occasion required.  He was always careful not to allow a picture of himself to get into the hands of any one.  He thought it might be reproduced and destroy a part of his effectiveness as a detective.  But, two years ago, feeling that his active service in he field was about closing, he consented to allow his likeness to be published, and the first authentic sketch and portrait of him was given to the Courier-Journal at that time.

The afterward famous detective was born in the Empire State.  It was at the little town of Franklin, Delaware County, New York, March 19, 1823, that he first beheld the light of day.  While he was a mere boy, his parents removed to Meadville, Pennsylvania.  As he grew up he was apprenticed to the trade of bricklaying and became a fair mechanic with the trowel.  But this vocation was not entirely to his liking.  The outdoor work developed a naturally grand constitution, and when he attained manhood his physical strength was equaled by that of few men.  Added to this was an ignorance of such a sensation as fear.  Still, he was very different from most men endowed with attributes.  He was never overbearing or in the remotest degree brutal.  On the contrary, he had a keen sense of right, and never abused the power of his personal strength or official position.

In his youth he read the stories of the great Far West.  He heard the occasional tales of stragglers who had crossed the rolling prairies and slept in the shadows of the snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains.  So, when he was nineteen years of age, he packed his carpet-bag and started.  He had very little money.  Up to that time he had never had much he could call his own.  So, he had to work his way.

Reaching Pittsburgh, he halted for a time to replenish his exchequer.  He remained there only a short time.  In the meantime, he had cogitated his plans for the future.  He was scarcely able to decide upon the course he would take, but finally concluded to go to the Rocky Mountains and enter the fur trade at the first round.  But for the chance that caused him to locate in Louisville, he might have become to that craggy land what Kenton and Boone were to Kentucky, what Crockett and Houston were to Texas.

Stopped Here By Accident

However, young Bligh’s home was never nearer to the Occident than in the city beside the Ohio Falls.  When the boat on which he took passage at Pittsburgh reached Louisville it had to lay up, because of low water preventing navigation.  The first morning he walked up the levee into the city that was destined to become the scene of his later triumphs, he little thought he would make it his home.  Still less did he anticipate the course he afterward pursued in his life.  But that day he learned it would be a long wait before he could get further west.  The only means of travel was by water.  He could not live on nothing, so he sought work and found it, as a hod-carrier on the old Louisville Theater, the erection of which had just been begun on the site of the present Courier-Journal building, at Fourth and Green Streets.  For a few weeks he climbed the ladder literally, bearing upon his broad shoulders the bricks and mortar for the Thespian temple.  Then he metaphorically climbed the ladder of life one notch by receiving a promotion to the somewhat more exalted place at the top of the walls.  He served as a brick-layer until the structure was completed.  By this time, he had become attached to Louisville.  He liked the people and they took well to the herculean young stranger whom chance had thrown among them.

When the United States threw the mantle of protection over the struggling Lone Star State, then smarting under the Mexican yoke, and war was declared, among the first to answer the call for troops was the Louisville Legion.  Young Bligh was in the van.  In May 1846, he enlisted in Company A, and a few days later went with it to help the Texans whip the greasers.  Over the Rio Grande the Kentuckians went, to plant the stars and stripes above the cactus-covered Mexican soil.  Private Bligh was a great favorite with his comrades.  His presence seemed to make the bivouacs on the parched soil more endurable and the sharp marches less fatiguing.  But he was not destined to stay with his company till the moment of triumph arrived, when Gen. Scott entered the City of Mexico at the head of the United States soldiery.  At Bareta, nine miles from the mouth of the Rio Grande, he had his left arm broken, but he remained with his company.  When the great battle of Monterey occurred, young Bligh entered the fray with his arm still in the sling.  In the engagement it was again injured, and that time so badly that he never again was able to use it as effectively as he had before.  The surgeon ordered him home and he arrived here in November 1846, after an absence of six months.  It was a few weeks later that he entered first upon the duties of the vocation that brought him into prominence.  Mayor Kaye sent for him and appointed him a deputy under Capt. William A. Ronald, then City Marshall.

At that time the entire police force consisted of sixteen Deputy Marshalls, two for each of the eight wards into which the city was divided.  He remained in that position for several years, and then resigned to take the place of a private policemen at the theater he had helped to build.  In 1856 he was again appointed to a place on the Louisville police force, this time by Mayor Barbee.  He was soon made a day watchman-at-large and was the first officer of that character Louisville had.  Later he was joined in the same capacity by Joe Jeans and still later by Capt. Jack Gallagher.  For a long time, Capt. Bligh watched the river front, where all travelers arrived and departed from, before the days of the iron horse.  Here he became acquainted, at least by sight, with all the crooks who traveled up and down the Ohio River.

He had developed remarkable aptitude for his work.  While he had not himself given it any thought when he first began police duty, he was possessed of almost unequalled natural gifts as a detective.  His memory of names, faces and facts were extraordinary, and this was of invaluable assistance to him.  Many are the anecdotes related in criminal and police circles about his recollection.  It has been frequently asserted, and most of his confreres still stoutly asseverate that if he saw a man once and had reason to bear him in mind, as he would in the case of a crook, he never forgot him.  No matter what the circumstances, he would know him again wherever he saw him.  But the only disadvantage he had was that the rule worked both ways.  If ever a crook had dealings with Capt. Bligh, he, too, remembered the detective.  It was next to impossible for him to disguise himself.  He stood six feet one inch tall and weighed usually from 240 to 250 pounds.  Whatever else he might do, he could not disguise the form.  Capt. Bligh was fully aware that the value of disguise existed principally in the imagination of ‘Old Sleuth’ romances.  The best detectives of all time have put little stress upon the assistance of disguises.  Capt. Bligh scarcely gave them a consideration.  He depended largely upon his mind.  He studied criminal life from personal observation.  So diligent was he in this regard that he mastered the details of the methods pursued by each actor in the drama of crime.

When a regular detective force was established in this city Capt. Bligh was one of the four men who composed it.  He was made Chief Detective and had remained in that capacity through every change political or municipal ever since.  When the clashings of Mayoralty or other contests made every other officer in the department quake for his head, Capt. Bligh remained unconcerned, and, with the best of men being decapitated all about him, he always remained in his position undisturbed.  It was a tribute every Mayor had to pay the man’s genius, his value to the public, that none ever thought of displacing him.  He formerly made frequent trips to all parts of the country but had ceased to do so of late years.  Nearly forty-four years ago Capt. Bligh first became a public officer.  The last term of service had extended over a continuous period of thirty-four years, and altogether he had devoted about forty-three years of his life to the vocation of public peace officer and detective.

Capt. Bligh was twice married, and his domestic relations were always of the most felicitous nature.  The great hunter of criminals had a dual side to his character.  Away from home he was ever the alert, shrewd detective, dispassionately and cleverly doing his duty.  At home he was simply the man, wrapped up in the love of and for his wife and children.  He was largely endowed with a love for domesticity, and not the least praiseworthy of his characteristics was the manner that characterized his every act as husband and father.  He ten children, all daughters, five by his first marriage and five by his second.  His first wife was Miss Cassandra Davis, a native of Virginia, who, however, with her parents, resided in Louisville at the time of her marriage to Capt. Bligh, about forty-five years ago.  Three of the daughters who blessed this union are dead.  The other two are Mrs. Emma Rogers, wife of Dr. Wiley Rogers, the well-known druggist, and Mrs. Mary H. Williamson, wife of Mr. Charles P. Williamson, head of the Williamson Iron Company, of Birmingham, Alabama.  Their mother died in 1858, at the age of thirty-three years.

Capt. Bligh’s second marriage took place in 1859, when Miss Kate Ovington, of this city, became his wife.  Four of their daughters and Mrs. Bligh survive the noted detective.  The daughters are Misses Amy, Anna and Lois Bligh and Mrs. Nellie Watts, who, until recently, lived here, but now resides in Kansas.

Some of His Famous Cases

To attempt to enumerate the famous cases in which Capt. Bligh played a part would involve the criminal history of this section of the country.  On many occasions he would probably have lost his life had he not been ever watchful in handling criminals.  On only one occasion did he find it necessary, however, to take a human life.  That was when, a few years ago, in the purest self-defense, he shot an infuriated Chinaman, who was charging on a crowd with an uplifted hatchet.  Had he not fired his life would beyond doubt have been taken by the unrestrainable Celestial.  Capt. Bligh was very promptly acquitted and fully exonerated both by the courts and public opinion.

One of the notable arrest he made was in company with Detective Gallagher, when George Shepherd, one of the Younger gang, was caught.  The Youngers, Shepherd and two other members of the band of outlaws, named Cummings and Samuels, had robbed the bank at Russellville and killed the cashier.  This was in 1866.  A few months later Capt. Bligh located Shepherd in Nelson County.  Taking Detective Gallagher with him he went to arrest him.  Shepherd was found in a little cross-road grocery, armed to the teeth.  As Bligh and Gallagher walked into the store Shepherd saw them.  He threw a hand back to each hip, where a couple of revolvers adorned his cartridge belt.  But before he could draw either pistol the two detectives were upon him.  He struggled hard, and it looked several times as if the only way to save their own lives was to kill the desperado.  Here was where Capt. Bligh’s physical strength served him well.  Shepherd was subdued and disarmed.  But for Capt. Bligh’s strength human blood would almost certainly have paid the penalty of an attempt to arrest the outlaw, who seemed to rather court death than submit to arrest.

Capt. Bligh and Gallagher also worked out the clues and traced down the famous counterfeiter Pete McCarthy, the most renowned maker of the queer that ever infested the Central United States.  He was located and did his work at an old frame house, at Twenty-Ninth and Bank Streets, and there he was caught.

Another gang of counterfeiters that had been flooding the country with base coin was broken up by Capt. Bligh about 1866.  It was known as the ‘Dago band’ and had their headquarters on Second Street, near Main.  The plan was to make the money here and ‘shove’ it in all other parts of the country.  Capt. Bligh worked a long time, tracing the counterfeiters to the seat of manufacture, and captured the whole band at one bold stroke.  They were all sent to the penitentiary for long terms.

Brice McPhun, the Calcutta, forger, who had mulcted his victims in India for a quarter of a million, was also captured in this city by Capt. Bligh and Detective, now Maj. William Owens.  The failure of the Calcutta officer to bring one paper allowed McPhun to go free on a technicality, habeas corpus being the means of his release.

When Stephen A. Douglas was stumping the country in his presidential canvass, in 1860, Capt. Bligh captured a whole busload of English pickpockets, who were following the campaign speakers, fleecing the people.  Again in 1876, when Hayes was here, he repeated the operation, only this time the pickpockets were of all nationalities.

The consequence of such achievements as continuously marked his public career was to make thieves shun Louisville as the one place in the country where their most dangerous foe was.  ‘Don’t go to Louisville,’ they would say to any ‘pal’ who had never been here, ‘that “Yankee” Bligh will nab you, sure.  He is the toughest fly cop in the country and can’t square him.’

D. T. Bligh, born March 19, 1823, died March 1, 1890.  Kate Ovington, wife of Delos T. Bligh, born June 29, 1836, died May 26, 1912.  Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Monday, May 27, 1912

John M. Kaufman, Wagonmaker, Obituary

John M. Kaufman, May 31, 1812 – August 1, 1900.  Regina Kaufman, February 25, 1836-January 6, 1918.  Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thursday, August 2, 1900

Long Life Ended

John M. Kaufman, Oldest Wagon Maker In Louisville, and Fifty Years An Odd Fellow

Mr. John Michael Kaufman, the oldest and one of the best-known wagonmakers in the city, died at 9:35 o’clock yesterday morning of old age at the family residence, 1619 Frankfort Avenue.

Mr. Kaufman was born in Metzing, Wurtemburg, Germany, May 21, 1812.  He came to this city in 1837, and was employed as a wagonmaker.  In 1840 he branched out for himself, opening a shop on Floyd Street, between Market and Jefferson.  He sold his establish-

ment in 1875 to Messrs. Killgore & Stilz and retired from active business.  He had the unique distinction of having built the first platform spring wagon west of the Alleghany Mountains.

Mr. Kaufman was married twice.  In 1840 he married Miss Mary Barbara Byerly, who died in 1870, leaving four children – Mrs. Elizabeth Roth, of Jeffersonville; Mrs. Annie Knodler, Mrs. Amelia Becker and Mr. Tom J. Kaufman.  On September 5, 1876, he married Miss Regina Nichols, who survives him.  No children resulted from this union.

Mr. Kaufman was a prominent member of the Louisville Lodge of Odd Fellows, which he joined in 1850.  The fiftieth anniversary of his membership was celebrated by the lodge in March.

He was one of the founders of the German Protestant Orphan Asylum and a member of its Board of Directors.  He was several times President of the board.

He was a member of the German Methodist Episcopal Church at Hancock and Market Streets, having joined it in 1841, and always took an active interest in church affairs.

The funeral will take place at the family residence Friday afternoon at 2 o’clock.  The Rev. G. E. Hiller, of the German M. E. Church, will conduct the services, and the interment will be in Cave Hill Cemetery.  The pall-bearers were chosen from among his grandchildren as follows:  J. M., H. J., Fred, George and Clarence Knodler and V. F. Kaufman.  The honorary pall-bearers will be chosen from members of the Louisville Lodge of Odd Fellows.