Tag Archives: Civil War

Pine Knot Cemetery – McCreary County

A few of the photos taken in Pine Knot Cemetery in rural McCreary County.  Take US27 south past Whitley City, to the little area of Pine Knot, turn left to 1651.  If you get to Strunk, you’ve gone too far!  And if you reach the Tennessee border it’s time to turn around!

Kizzie King Lay, November 6, 1910 – April 8, 1941.  She was a kind and affectionate wife, a fond mother, and a friend to all.

Nettie King Young, 1875-1935.  Aunt Net is gone with Jesus.

Nancy L. Campbell, 1866-1920.  M. B. Campbell, 1866-1928.

Martha A. Swain, born April 9, 1864, died December 3, 1937.  The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

Dr. P. Medekle, March 23, 1844 – October 28, 1928.  At rest.

Ella Wood, wife of Harry Jones, born February 10, 1878, died July 11, 1913.  Ella, we miss you at home.

Calvin Richardson, Pvt CO E, 32 KY INF, Civil War, 1828-1888.

William J. Lee, March 20, 1853 – October 8, 1909.


Graham Springs – Famous Waters Bring Many To Mercer County

Who knew Harrodsburg had the reputation of one of the best mineral springs anywhere around?  Graham Springs and its hotel saw many of important and famous people visit both before the Civil War and after the turn of the 20th century.  It is said its guest registers hold the names of everyone who visited; and one was used in a murder trial in the 1850’s to locate the whereabouts of certain witnesses at the time of the murder.  You guessed it – they were at the Graham Springs Hotel.

Begun in 1820, a large hotel was built in 1843.  In 1853 the property was sold to the US government, and burned in 1865.  In 1911 the idea of the Graham Springs Hotel was reborn with another building, and continued through 1932 when the property was purchased by Glave Goddard.  In 1946 it was decided to build the James B. Haggin Hospital on the site of the Grahm Springs Hotel.

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Sunday, November 17, 1929

Autumn At Graham Springs

To the Editor of The Courier-Journal

Graham Springs Hotel stands upon a beautiful wooded hilltop overlooking the historic town of Harrodsburg, itself one of the oldest and most famous resort hotels in the South.

Twenty-five acres of almost virgin forestry surround it, in unusual beauty of location, its site superb, and its outlook majestic.  As the changing seasons come and go in Kentucky, they write a progressive record of the sylvan beauty upon these woods that thrill an observer with the sheer loveliness of it.  The bluegrass has a marvelous power of resurrection which no amount of scorching in summer drouths can destroy, and late rains of the fall season have laid an aftermath of tender green upon the sunlit slopes in Graham Springs woods.  Upon walnut trees of unusual size and symmetry dark clumps of mistletoe hang in profusion, their waxen berries turning to pearl in a setting of shimmering dark green leaves.  It is no wonder that the Druids worshipped the mistletoe, with its suggestion of everlasting life!  From oak and elm and walnut trees, brilliant autumn colors are flaunted in the face of on-coming winter, with a brave abandon.  As one by one, scarlet, gold and russet-brown leaves float softly to earth, in the still sunlight, a sense of peace and restfulness falls like soothing balm upon the spirit of anyone who may walk there.

In 1820, Dr. C. C. Graham erected a classic building resembling an old world castle upon these grounds, close to the famous Graham0 Springs, whose marvelous curative waters still attract people in search of health and pleasure.  It does not need a page from the United States Dispensary, which states that, ‘Graham Springs and Saratoga are the only saline waters of true worth to be found in America,’ to convince one who has tasted it.  Many have declared it equal to the waters at Baden-Baden.  Kentucky has an asset in this mineral water which she cannot afford to overlook, and progress will surely present it to the world in the fullest measure.  In 1865, that year of the War Between the States anguish, the old hotel was burned.  Its romantic memories, its charm and prestige, however, which are things of spiritual permanence, still cling about the place.

It was in Harrodsburg that George Rogers Clark planned his famous army for the conquest of the Northwest, in commemoration of which event, Old Fort Harrod has been made a State park.  It was within the hotel grounds that a beautiful pageant, representing the early history of Kentucky, was given in celebration of the centennial anniversary of the founding of Harrodsburg, several years ago.  A priceless old record book of Graham Springs Hotel shows names of men famous in the making of America.  Henry Clay was a frequent guest and left his name upon its register.  Pages might be printed of other famous signatures found there.

Old Dr. Graham himself, with his snow-white beard and princely bearing, was a conspicuous figure in the annals of Kentucky, not only leaving a record of his fame at Graham Springs, but at old Transylvania University at Lexington, where he received his education.  Dr. Ephraim McDowell at Danville, and Dr. C. C. Graham at Harrodsburg were men who measured up to the highest standards in the world’s medical records.  The wise old doctor saw to it that his guests had a full measure of exercise and pleasure as well as curative waters to tone up the human system.  A series of dances were inaugurated at Graham Springs before the War Between the States, which became famous for their brilliancy and aristocratic patronage.  The musicians were colored slaves of Dr. Graham, highly trained and gaily liveried.  The singing of ‘spirituals’ before an audience began, in the old South, upon these occasions.

The grave of the unknown girl who died of a heart attack at one of the balls given at Graham Springs.  Her grave is well-tended today.

To this day the weekly dances at Graham Springs are social events of importance in Kentucky, during the season.  Perhaps a mention of the ante-bellum balls may not be complete without reference to the beautiful ‘Unknown’ who danced so gaily and so long at one of them, that she died of a heart attack on the same summer night.  Her grave, marked first by Dr. Graham, and afterward by the City of Harrodsburg, is shown to tourists who never fail to respond to the pathetic appeal of her story.

Mrs. James Harrod, widow of the hardy old pioneer who founded Harrodsburg, lived to a very old age, and was an honored guest at Graham Springs on the first anniversary celebration held there.

Nancy Lewis Greene, Harrodsburg, Kentucky

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Thursday, January 1, 1942

Where Southern Gentry Met to Freshen, Fatten and Flirt

This article of 1942 talks about the many ‘watering places’ or mineral springs located in Kentucky, and used before the advent of the Civil War.  It is said physicians strongly recommended taking the waters and were advertised as being ‘especially beneficial to persons suffering from diseases of the stomach, live and kidneys, as well as from asthma, gout, dyspepsia, rheumatism, bilious disorders, neuralgia, autumnal fevers and general debility.’  I believe that takes in almost anyone!

In 1803 John Kennedy’s stagecoach lines helped bring patrons from the city to the country where they might take the waters.

At Olympian Springs, in Bath County it was said ‘there was much flirting, sometimes by ‘married charmers, thirsting for universal dominion.’  Disputes between the ladies often involved ‘pillows, bolsters, fingernails and the poignant sarcasm of the tongue,’ and, at time, the dueling pistols of sensitive gentlemen could be heard in a nearby woodland settling ‘affairs of honor.’

‘Dr. Christopher Columbus Graham, veteran of the War of 1812 and “for many years the champion off-hand rifle shot of the world,” purchased the Greenville Springs in 1827, and the following year bought the “Harrodsburg or Sutton Springs” from his father-in-law, Captain David Sutton, for $10,000.  Dr. Graham then combined these two watering places under the name of Harrodsburg or Graham’s Springs.

‘A guest, viewing the Springs in retrospect, said of them: “The walk to the spring before breakfast was very fashionable, a long board-walk covered with tan-bark and shaded with locust trees, their branches meeting and arching overhead the whole distance.  The belles and beaux walked up and down the long portico of the hotel in what seemed to me a fair procession.  The ladies with their beautiful elaborately dressed hair in the New Orleans fashion, as from there we got the styles, and their organdy muslins, which were not then to be bought outside of New Orleans.  The envy of all were the exquisite wide embroidered collars and cuffs worn by the Southern belles.  A score of Creole beauties, prim and particular in their lovely, fleecy, muslin dresses were always present.  The ballroom at night was a scene of enchantment; old Dr. Graham, the proprietor, was the master of ceremonies and the life of the party.”’

It was said that during the summer months of 1833, when the Asiatic cholera was rampant in Kentucky, many came to the springs for healing.  ‘Dr. Graham, at Harrodsburg, announced: “These Springs are perfectly free from the cholera and they never have been otherwise,” and “the many who visited the Springs, from the various cholera districts, with the disease upon them, have all quickly recovered.”’

‘By the middle ‘40’s the watering places of the state were in their heyday.  To keep abreast of the times, Dr. Christopher Graham of Harrodsburg Springs erected an elegant and commodious hotel during the late fall of 1842 and winter of 1843.  This splendid building, costing $30,000, was acclaimed by many to the “the finest edifice in the West.”’

And this July 19, 1851, note in The Courier-Journal gives a rousing description of the dance in the Graham Springs Hotel ball room.  ‘Returning from the ball room, brilliantly illuminated by the sparkling eyes, rivaling the stars in their dazzling brilliancy, methought, if in the cool evening zephyrs that continually fanned my brown, (such were a possibility) to collect, my thoughts scattered in the whirling waltz, to the northern extremity of my brain.  Truly the poet says there’s a “magical influence in the wafted breeze;” but I am afraid (like the charming coquette) she has her favorites, for in spite of all my efforts, my thoughts continue to revert to the ball room!  What a potent charm there is in the dance, and how delightfully sounds the music!’

This popularity of ‘taking the waters’ continued into the early 1850’s.  in 1853 Dr. Graham sold the Springs to the United States Government and it was turned into a military asylum for old and disabled soldiers.

In 1856 the main building burned.  And during the Civil War the buildings that remained were used as a hospital.  After the Battle of Perryville on October 8, 1862, in Boyle County, the ballroom was used as an operating room.

But the Springs did revive in the early days of the 20th century.

The Kentucky Advocate, Danville, Boyle County, Kentucky

Friday, April 21, 1911

It will be pleasant news to the people of Central Kentucky to learn that the far-famed historical old Graham Springs will be opened as a select summer resort the coming season.  The Cassell mansion, one of the most elegant brick buildings in the Blue Grass has been converted into a choice hotel.  Old fashioned cooking will be provided and food in abundance will be supplied.  The water that pours from Old Graham Springs is the finest in the world and it is a wonder that somebody has not long ago erected a hotel there sufficient to accommodate five hundred guests.  The property is now owned by Mr. Ben C. Allin and Editor T. Sanders Orr has charge of the publicity department.  The water from these springs should be bottled and shipped throughout the country.  Reasonable rates will be made.  Many Danville people will doubtless take advantage of the fine accommodations and benefit themselves by drinking the pure water that made Harrodsburg famous sixty years ago.

This 1923 advertisement for the Graham Springs Hotel touts its ‘tennis, croquet and shady grounds, is located on a high eminence with splendid views and amid beautiful scenery.’  Perhaps this was the first of what today is known as farm-to-table – ‘its table is supplied with the best of foods, old-fashioned cooking, chicken dinners, including pure Jersey milk from our own herd, fresh vegetables and fruit from our own gardens.’

It is also a tourist manual, giving ideas for outings in the surrounding country – ‘beautiful and full of historic interest.  The roads are ideal for riding, driving and motoring and short excursions may be made to the site of the old fort, to Daniel Boone’s Cave, High Bridge, Shakertown, Perryville Battlefield and other points of interest.’

This photo was taken during those early days of the 20th century.

This is what the area looks like today.

Martha Southard Jolly – 100+ Years of Age

When Ritchey and I visited Oakland Cemetery in Johnson County, Iowa, about fifteen years ago, we were mainly interested in his Hertz and Leuenberger families.  But there was one stone that caught my eye – that of Martha Jolly who died at the age of 100 years, almost 101!  It was first the name that drew my attention, since Ritchey’s grandfather was a Jolly.  In fact, his grandmother, Esther Hertz Jolly, is buried in Oakland Cemetery.  Since we knew very little about the Jolly family at that time I thought perhaps this may be useful in our research at a later time.  Then when I saw the dates I knew this woman would have an interesting story to tell – whether it was part of Ritchey’s family, or not.  She is not related.

Martha Southard, the daughter of Benjamin and Temperance Platt Southard, of Long Island, New York, was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, March 1, 1813.  Benjamin and Temperance had at least three other children, Rebecca, Isaac and Jane.

Martha Southard married Charles Jolly 2 May 1833, having their license issued 26 April 1833, in the County of Dearborn, State of Indiana.  John Godbey, Justice of the Peace, performed the ceremony.  The family lived together in the same county and state until Charles’ death in 1873, a total of one son and seven daughters.  In 1870, Martha’s sister, Jane Southard, 56, lived with them.

William Henry Jolly, only son, was wounded at the Battle of Vicksburg, and died August 31, 1863.  A copy of a letter sent to his family just before his death will appear in another blog.

The daughters were Mary Temperance, Susan J., Rebecca, Sarah, Lydia, Charlesetta and Annabella.

Charles died in 1873 at the age of 70.  By this time daughter Rebecca had married William Martin.  They moved to Johnson County, Iowa, and her mother, Martha, came to live with them.  In the 1880 census for Johnson County is William Miller, 39; wife, Rebecca, 39; their son Harley, 6, born in Iowa; Martha Jolly, 67, listed as mother-in-law; and Charlesetta, 26, sister-in-law, who was a dressmaker.

The following article was published in 1909, when Martha Jolly was 96 years of age.  She lived another 4+ years!

The Iowa City Press, Johnson County, Iowa

Wednesday, April 28, 1909

Old Settlers of Johnson County

Martha Southard Jolly

Living in quiet retirement at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Miller, two miles north of Solon, Mrs. Martha Jolly is spending the declining years of her life in peace and content.  This aged lady is remarkable – for her years, and for the experiences through which she has lived.  Grandma Jolly, as she is familiarly called, can lay claim to being the oldest woman in Johnson County.  On March 1, 1909, she rounded her ninety-sixth milestone and her health is such as to warrant the hope that she may live to round out her century.  Except for a slight dimming of the eye and ear and a certain lameness in her joints, she is as well as ever.  Moderation has been her practice for many years, in work, in eating, in all things.  To that and to the good care that is always hers from her daughters’ hands can be attributed her preservation and any longevity.

It is indeed a pleasure and a rare privilege to one of the second or third generation removed, to talk to her and listen to the story of a remarkable life.  Her mind is still keen and bright, so that her story sounds like a revelation to us so far removed in years.  Few people there are who are pioneers of two commonwealths, living for a number of years in each.  Mrs. Jolly is such a person.  From 1875 Iowa has been her home and previously she lived in Indiana, arriving there from Long Island, while it was yet a territory in 1816.

March 1, 1813, Martha Southard was born at Hempstead, Long Island.  James Madison was then president and the War of 1812 was raging.  Her father, Benjamin Southard, was a farmer and wagon maker and had a large family.  Immediately after the war, eastern people began moving ‘out west’ to Ohio and Indiana, and in 1816, Benjamin Southard sold his farm, loaded his family into a wagon and started for the west.  The rough, slow journey over the ‘mountains’ took three weeks – now a matter of a few hours.  A thief robbed him of his money, one of the horses died, the roads were rough and the settlements few and far between, yet he kept on.  Cincinnati was their goal, was then a struggling village of a few hundred people, strung out along the Ohio River.

Hearing of the rich lands in the Whitewater River bottoms of Indiana Territory, the family yet pushed on, finally settling on Farmers Creek, Dearborn County, Indiana.  In reaching this spot, they passed North Bend, Ohio, the home of General William Henry Harrison, long afterward elected president.  But settlers were few on Farmers Creek.  The tired, homesick family found temporary refuge with a settler in his one room log cabin, while Mr. Southard secured his land and erected a rude cabin.  For ten months sixteen children and four grown people lived in that one-room cabin!

The story of those pioneer days of early Indiana are even more the story of a wild frontier life than that which our early Iowans experienced.  This part of Indiana was ‘big woods,’ covered by a heavy growth of mammoth trees.  Bear, wolves, deer and the dreaded panther were its inhabitants, sharing the wilds with these few hardy white settlers and the native red man.  The Indians had not yet forsaken their old haunts.  Indeed, it was just five years before that General Harrison beat Tecumseh so badly at Tippecanoe.  It was over a mile through big woods, over a rough trail, to the Southard’s nearest neighbors.  As time wore on, however, more settlers came in.

Was money common?  Whenever a piece was secured it was carefully hoarded to be used when the very occasional trip to Cincinnati, 30 miles east, was made and the few necessities they could not produce were purchased there.  Such conditions forced the settlers to be practically self-sufficient.  Mr. Southard made rude plows, wagons, spinning wheels, rope machines and kitchen utensils, not only for himself, but for neighbors for miles around.  He and his family spun and wove their own cloth and made it into clothing, tanned leather and made shoes, made them hats and caps, indeed, almost everything they needed.  The forest and the small clearing furnished meat and grain.  As cradles had not yet come into use, wheat was cut with a sickle.  Such was pioneer life in Indiana.

Nor were schools common.  Mrs. Jolly states that she was twenty and married before a three-months’ subscription school was started.  What little education the Southard children could get was at home and at the short occasional private schools.  Martha learned to read from the New Testament – her only reader.  A crude speller and an arithmetic were the only text books for the family.  Books were indeed precious.  No newspapers came into those parts for many long years.

But the Southard children did not grow up ignorant and idle.  What they lacked in schools the parents furnished out of their own minds and experiences.  They were all trained to useful occupations.

The mother trained her daughters to be skilled house-folk – especially with the needle.  ‘Don’t e ashamed to meet anything you have made,’ was her advice often given and much practiced.  It is a pleasure to see Grandma Jolly’s face light up and her eyes sparkle as she talks of her sewing – her specialty – her hobby all her long life.  By twelve, because of the thoroughness of her mother’s methods, she could sew as regularly as a machine of today.  ‘If I saw a piece of work anywhere, I could go home and make it myself,’ she says.  That she has not lost her skill with the needle is shown by her recent achievements – seven quilts, two of them silk ones, which she has cut and pieced since she turned ninety, besides doilies and other things she had made.  One quilt which she made when 95, was exhibited and took first prize in open competition at the Johnson County Fair last fall.  ‘The young people of now-a-days can’t use the needle as we used to,’ is her comment on affairs of today.  Before her eyesight became dim she could knit the finest of lace, one specimen being made of No. 7000 linen thread after she was eighty years old.

Mary 2, 1833, Martha Southard was married to Charles Jolly, a native of ‘Jersey’ as these old people called New Jersey, born in 1803.  His grandfather was one of the martyrs of the famous ‘Sugar House,’ the British prison at New York City during the Revolution.  Soon after their marriage they removed to Logan, Dearborn County, where they lived until Mr. Jolly’s death.  Eight children were born to them:  William, the only son, died at Memphis, Tennessee, during the Civil War, a sacrifice to patriotism; Mary, married R. A. Keen, came to Iowa in 1861, lives in Iowa City; Mrs. Rebecca Miller, Solon, Iowa; Mrs. Susan Martin, Iowa City; Mrs. Sally Hays, died at Topeka, Kansas; Mrs. Lydia Matthews, Olathe, Kansas; Etta [Charlesetta], of Chicago; and Mrs. Annabelle Pratt, Summit, South Dakota.  This aged lady has now 22 grandchildren and about 12 great-grandchildren.

In 1873 Charles Jolly died and the old, happy Hoosier home was finally broken up.  The widow came to Iowa, whence most of her daughters had preceded her, and has since made her home with Rebecca.  Although the experiences of pioneer life, such as she knew in Indiana were gone, many changes have occurred in Iowa since she came here in ’75.  It is marvelous to think that such old people are able to grasp new things when they come up.  The modern school books, newspapers, free delivery, the railroad, telegraph, and many, many other things are all newer than Grandma Jolly, yet she is happy and glad to be alive in the 20th century.  May her remaining years be calm, happy ones.

After this article was published in 1909, each year, on the date of her birth, March 1, an article appears mentioning her long life.  In 1910 it was said she ‘celebrated her birthday quietly at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Miller.’  In 1911 is mentions she is very active ‘for one of such advanced age and takes a keen interest in current events, being a great reader.’  In 1912, when she was 99 it was mentioned that she ‘was born at Hempstead, Long Island.  She resided in Cincinnati when it was a log village.’

The Daily Times, Tuesday, March 11, 1913

The Des Moines Register, Tuesday, January 13, 1914.

Martha Jolly, born March 1, 1813, died January 12, 1914.  Oakland Cemetery, Johnson County, Iowa.

What a wonderful, long life!



Samuel Haycraft of Hardin County Kentucky

I share with you today a short biography of Samuel Haycraft, a very early citizen of Hardin County, who wrote a history of the county in 1869, which was published by the Woman’s Club of Elizabethtown in 1921.  Mr. Haycraft sounds like someone I would love to meet!  He evidently loved history, lived through a big part of the early history of his county, and thankfully wrote it down for later generations!

On May 7, 1866, he wrote a letter to the editors of The Courier-Journal newspaper.  He speaks of the two political parties in the United States at this time – ‘the Radical Abolition party, led by Sumner, Stevens and those of like ilk;’ and ‘that stripe of the Democratic party that met in Louisville on the 1st of May.’  He then gets to the heart of the matter of standing for saving the Union –

‘Now, if that statement be true, then I belong to no party, for I solemnly repudiate both, and set them down as one discordant party with two wings tending to the same end.  The first wing moving heaven, earth and the lower regions to break up the Union and destroy the Constitution, and the second so lately at it that I am afraid to trust them yet, but have some hope that they may yet wheel into ranks.

‘But I do claim to belong to a class of men, Old-line Whigs and Democrats, who, without regard for party names, stood, and still stand, for the Union; and who are determined to stand at the back of that firm and brave patriot, Andrew Johnson, in support of his reconstruction policy, and in the policy shown in two vetoes and his speech following the fist veto, and who wanted the Union speedily restored and our venerated Constitution preserved.  I contend that it is unworthy of the name of an American citizen to stand higgling about a name when our very foundation is sliding from under us.’

Before the war, in March of 1861, we find Mr. Haycraft as an experienced fruit-grower in Hardin County, giving information and advice on the growth of Northern apples.  Has anyone heard of these?  The Northern Spy, Rambo, Lady Apple, Rhode Island Greening, Summer Scarlet Pearmain, Early Strawberry – to name a few.

Thirty years previous, on the 25th of November, 1831, at a ‘meeting of a number of the citizens of Hardin County, Kentucky, friendly to the American System, and to Henry Clay, was convened at the courthouse in Elizabethtown.’  John L. Helm, Esq., was chair and Samuel Haycraft, secretary.

And It was Samuel Haycraft, an old family friend of Abraham Lincoln, that proposed he return to Kentucky for a campaign swing during the presidential race of 1860.  Lincoln, however, felt that it was unlikely to sway any of the Democratic voters to his ticket.

Samuel Haycraft

In the Samuel Haycraft was born August 14, 1795, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky, in a double, round-log cabin.  His father was Samuel Haycraft, a Revolutionary soldier, and a man of great public and private worth, who settled in Kentucky early in the latter quarter of the eighteenth century.  His mother was Margaret VanMeter, daughter of Jacob VanMeter, and belonged to one of the old and honorable pioneer families of the State.  The subject of this sketch, one of the most remarkable men who ever lived in Elizabethtown, spent nearly seven years of his boyhood in the country schools, the last two chiefly in studying the Latin language.  He was a careful, discriminating, and extensive reader and few men of the country were so thoroughly and universally well informed.  His long public career commenced when he was fourteen years of age.  At that time, in October 1809, he began to write in the office of the County and Circuit Clerk, Major Ben Helm.  The duties of this position he performed, with little variation, until 1816, when he received the appointment of Clerk of both Circuit and County Courts of Hardin County, and held this clerkship, uninterruptedly, until 1857.  He said of himself, ‘That, from the time he entered this office, he was attentive to business, and never neglected it; but, in leisure moments was fond of gay and lively company, particularly of dancing parties, but hardly ever descended to low company or rowdyism, but was a wild, wicked sinner.’  On retiring from this office, in 1851, the court and bar adopted, and placed on record, resolutions in every way flattering to him in his official capacity, as well as social and private relations of life.

He, then, began the practice of law at the Elizabethtown bar; but after four years of legal practice, was again called by the people to fill the vacant clerkship of the Circuit Court, caused by the death of the incumbent.  In 1857 he was elected to represent the people in the State Senate and held this position for four years.  He was, therefore, a member of the Legislature during the most important and critical period of the State’s history.  His record made in that body was most honorable to himself, and, in light of the present, is stamped by a wisdom, foresight, and fearless devotion to just and true principles, of which any man might well be proud.  He was instrumental in enacting some measures beneficial to the general good; and it was through his efforts, mainly, that the Legislation was induced to appropriate even the meager sum it did for the erection of a monument to Daniel Boone.  And, in that body, he was one of the most determined and staunch supporters of the Union.  He was then sixty-seven years of age, and, had lived with his father through the greater part of the life-time of the nation, and now stood in the Senate, gray with time and honor, one of the noblest Romans of them all, every ready to say, “The Union must and shall be preserved.”  But neither in that august body nor among his friends and neighbors at home, was he ever obnoxious in his opinions; on the contrary, however, conciliatory generous and discriminating, claiming only to himself his private opinions, and deeply sympathizing with the troubles of his neighbors and the misfortunes of the times.

He was again elected Clerk of the Circuit Court and retired in 1868, at the age of seventy-three, after an unparalleled service of sixty-five years.

He said of himself that, “On the first Saturday in April 1832, my wife and I were baptized by Elder Warren Cash, who also married us; and, in answer to my mother’s prayers, she lied to see all her children in the church, and to hear her youngest son preach the Gospel.”  For over forty years he was a member of the Baptist Church, a teacher in the Sabbath-schools and observed family prayers twice a day.  For several years he was a Trustee of Georgetown College, to which he made some bequests.  Of himself, he says: “I have occupied the same seat in church for over forty years, and never sit back in the scorner’s place.  On the 29th of October 1818, I was married to Sarah Brown Helm, a daughter of Judge John Helm, of Breckinridge County.  I regard the transaction as the most fortunate move of my life, temporally speaking.”  They had four children: Edgar H., DeSoto, Iowa; Sarah M., wife of S. McMurtry, Hardin County; Louisa Ann, wife of William Dix, Breckinridge County; and Margaret J., wife of C. D. Poston, once Representative in Congress of Arizona.  Mr. Haycraft was a fine public speaker and one of the most interesting conversationalists.  His disposition to joke was inveterate and a vein of humor seemed to underlie the most serious moments in his life.  He was a man of fin address, most genial temperament, courteous manner and splendid personal appearance; and few men of his age showed such high preservation of all the noble elements of manhood.  He stood as a monument of the effects of correct principles and practices of life, both physically and mentally.  Ye he modestly said: “My life has been rather quiet and monotonous, and does not afford much matter for history, especially of an extraordinary character.”

His wife died August 14th, 1878.  They had been married 60 years, lacking two months.  To her he repeatedly paid tribute throughout his career, and she was as much of a character in the town as he was.  A gentle, generous, pious woman of the old generation she was “Aunt Sallie” to the whole community.  Many of us still remember her agreeable peculiarity of always having on hand “sweet cakes” for distribution to the children who came to her house.  She and her husband lived in the fine square colonial brick house that stood on the northeast corner of Main and Poplar Streets, the first brick house erected in Elizabethtown.  It was a house of character, and it was a loss to the town when it was destroyed by fire about 1882.

He followed his wife to the grave in his 84th year on December 22nd, 1878, four months after her death.

Hon. Phil B. and Martha Thompson Celebrate Golden Wedding

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Wednesday, November 2, 1892

A Golden Wedding

Hon. And Mrs. Phil B. Thompson, of Harrodsburg, To Celebrate Theirs Tonight

They Were Wedded Fifty Years Ago At the Home of the Bride, On Her Father’s Plantation In Mississippi, Near Natchez, On the Bluff.

Harrodsburg, Ky., Nov. 1 – (Special) – The social event of the week in Central Kentucky, and one that is attracting great attention, will be the celebration of the golden wedding of the Hon. and Mrs. Phil B. Thompson, of this place, to occur tomorrow evening between the hours of 7 and 11 at their elegant and handsome residence, on East Lexington Avenue, this date being the fiftieth anniversary of their marriage.

The marriage of Phil B. Thompson and Miss Martha Montgomery was solemnized on the 2nd day of November 1842, at the residence of the bride’s father on his large plantation, near Natchez, Mississippi.  They immediately, after their marriage, came to Harrodsburg, the home of the groom, where fifty years of blissful and happy married life, unruffled by a single incident of domestic infelicity, have been spent.

Mrs. Martha Montgomery Thompson is the daughter of the late Davis Montgomery, of Mississippi, who at the time of his death was one of the wealthiest plantation owners in the south.  She was born in August 1824, and reared near Natchez, Mississippi.  She is a very devout member of the Christian church and has been since 1846.  In the interests of the church, together with the many charitable societies of which she is a member, she has spent a great deal of time, and is known throughout the State among the members of her church and societies as one of the ablest supporters and most liberal contributors.  Being a lady of remarkable vivacity, endowed with brilliant social qualities and possessed of a kind and generous nature, it is needless to say that she has been the gem of happiness in her home for a half century, and has presided over the household of her talented and honored husband with that queenly dignity, cultured taste and devotion for which Kentucky women are so famous.

The Hon. Phil B. Thompson, Sr., was born in Harrodsburg, on January 8, 1821, and is a son of John B. Thompson, the once noted lawyer, now deceased.  He has three brothers and four sisters.  The brothers are Judge James H. Thompson, of Hillsborough, Ohio; J. B. Thompson, who was in 1857 United States Senator from Kentucky, and Charles Thompson, who, with the exception of the first, are deceased.  The sisters are Mrs. M. T. Davis, Harrodsburg, Ky.; Mrs. A. P. Tribble and Mrs. Susan Massie, Columbus, Ohio, and Mrs. Kate Dun, Mechanicsburg, Ohio.

Mr. Thompson was educated at Jefferson College, Pennsylvania, from which he graduated in 1838.  In the fall of 1838 he began the study of law under his senior brother, John B. Thompson, and was admitted to the bar in 1840.  He immediately commenced the practice of law, which he continued until October 1846, when he was mustered into service at Louisville, as a volunteer of the Mexican War.  Leaving a young wife and three small children at home, he, with that same unswerving allegiance to duty that has characterized him through life, heeded his country’s call, and marched to battle to save it from invasion by a foreign power.  He was Captain of Company C of Col. McKee’s regiment, and stood within a few feet of Col. Clay when he was shot at the Battle of Buena Vista.  Having serviced in this war with distinction, he was mustered out at New Orleans in July 1847.  He returned to Harrodsburg and again began the practice of his profession.  In 1851 he was elected Commonwealth’s Attorney for his Judicial district, serving until 1856.  In September 1861, he entered the Southern army, was a member of the Provisional Government of 1862, served during the war under the command of Gen. Bragg and Gen. S. B. Buckner, and returned home in 1865, when he again resumed the practice which he has ever since continued, it being conceded at all that he has since that time been the leading attorney of the very able bar at this place.

The name and fame of P. B. Thompson is familiar to every court and lawyer in Kentucky, and to many all through the South.  He has been publicly recognized for a quarter of a century as one of the most brilliant, successful and famous criminal lawyers in the State.  There are but few counties in the State, and none in Central Kentucky, whose courts and juries have not, at some time during his long career of successful practice, listened to and felt the wonderful power of his magnetic oratory.

Of the many cases in which he has been engaged, one was the defense of Tom Buford, charged with the killing of Judge John Elliott, at Frankfort, Ky., the case being tried in Owen County.  Another was the defense of James Arnold, charged with the killing of Robert Little, at Richmond, Ky.  His associate counsel in this case was Hon. Dan Voorhees, Hon. W. O. Bradley, Hon. Curtis Burnam and Hon. James B. McCreary.

Mr. Thompson served in the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1885-1886, was the Chairman of the Criminal Law Committee, and is the author of the bill permitting the defendant to testify in criminal cases.  He has never sought political distinction and has an aversion for politics.  He is a Democrat, and with his remarkable intellect, magnetic bearing, genial sociability and indomitable courage, had he preferred to enter the political arena, rather than enjoy the quiet, peaceful and successful practice of law, there is no doubt but that he would have attained high honors.

Three bright boys, now in the prime of manhood, blessed the union of this venerable couple.  The are Dr. Davis Thompson, of Chicago; Hon. John B. Thompson, Jr., of this place, one of the most noted lawyers in Kentucky, and proprietor of the Old Fort Springs Distillery here; and Hon. Phil B. Thompson, Jr., ex-member of Congress of this district and now practicing law in New York, of whom it is said by people able to judge that few brighter intellects ever graced the halls of Congress or the United States bar.

Mr. and Mrs. P. B. Thompson have three grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Prominent among the people from a distance who are invited and expected to attend the wedding are:  Hon. Dan Voorhees, Hon. J. C. S. Blackburn and wife, Hon. R. P. Jacobs and wife, Hon. Joseph Lewis, Hon. W. L. Jackson, Jr., and wife, Hon. P. W. Hardin and wife, ex-Gov. S. B. Buckner and wife, Hon. John S. Branaugh and wife, Hon. Chas. Pierce, Hon. M. J. Durham and wife, Hon. J. C. Wickliffe and wife, Hon. J. J. McAfee and wife, Rev. W. P. Harvey and wife, Hon. E. J. Polk and wife, Hon. Richard Wintersmith and Hon. W. L. Davis.

There are about three hundred invitations issued and an elaborate supper will be served.  President John Williams, of Daughters’ College, Harrodsburg, will deliver the address of the evening, and while it is being delivered Mr. and Mrs. Thompson will stand under an arch constructed of holly and mistletoe, suspended from which will be cotton stalks with the bowls in bloom, and a hand of tobacco, the cotton being emblematic of the industrial product of the bride’s native state, the tobacco that of the groom’s.  Hon. Phil B. Thompson will hold in his arms their beautiful great-grandbaby, of whom they are so fond.  An old colored servant will stand at the rear of the parlor, he being the only living witness to their wedding of 1842.

John M. Jordan – At the Battle of New Orleans

Mt. Hebron Methodist Cemetery is located just over the county line from Mercer to Anderson, on US127.  Ritchey and I visited in May of last year.  One gravestone of interest is that of John M. Jordan.  He has a gravestone put there by his family, and a military one that was added at a later time.  John Jordan was an Ensign in Captain George McAfee’s Company in the War of 1812.  He was in the group of Kentuckians who fought in the Battle of New Orleans.  Gabriel Slaughter, a Mercer Countian, was the Lieutenant-Colonel.  The Quartermaster General did not deliver promised supplies to his regiment, and private funds were used to purchase boats for the trip down the Mississippi River.  Many soldiers had no weapons, and of the few guns in their possession, many of them would not fire.  Despite all obstacles, including being outnumbered, Andrew Jackson’s forces were successful.  Units from Kentucky and Tennessee, including Slaughter’s regiment, bore the brunt of the British attack.  Fortunately, John Jordan was one of those who survived the battle and returned home to his family.

In Mercer County, on March 2, 1820, John Jordan married Marillis Breckinridge, daughter of James Doak Breckinridge and Emily Driskill.  John and Marillis lived in north Mercer County, in the portion that was made into Anderson County in 1827.

From the 1850 Anderson County census we find John Jordan, 60, farmer, $2600, born in Virginia.  Wife Marillis is 47, born in Kentucky.  Children listed are Elizabeth, 24; Emily, 23; James, 21; John, 19; Mary, 16; Philip, 15; William, 13; and Susan, 11.  Two older children were married by 1850 – Garrett and Louisa.

The children’s marriages are as follows:

  • Garrett Jordan married Agnes Weatherford – February 3, 1845. Bond, David Weatherford.
  • James Smithy married Elouisa Jordan – December 8, 1848. Father, John M. Jordan.
  • Jefferson Leathers married Emily Jane Jordan – March 25, 1851. Consent by father, John Jordan.
  • Zachariah Lyen married Elizabeth Jordan – April 22, 1851.
  • John D. Jordan, 22, married Almeda F. Walker, 17 – December 15, 1853.
  • James P. Jordan, 24, married Margaret Beauchamp, 22 – June 14, 1855.
  • William E. Jordan, 21, married Sarah Mothershead, 19 – January 12, 1858.
  • Henry B. Walker, 26, married Susan M. Jordan, 22 – October 1, 1860.
  • Philip H. Jordan married Fannie Carpenter, 24 – June 22, 1867.

Garrett’s marriage bond was from Mercer County, the remaining were from Anderson County.

After his marriage in December of 1853, John D. Jordan lived long enough to have one son.  He died August 11, 1855, in Lawrenceburg – a victim of the cholera epidemic occurring that summer.  From August 7 to the 23rd cholera raged, taking 29 victims.  John Jordan’s wife, Almeda, died on the 20th, nine days after her husband.  Being so young, he left no will.  In order Book F, page 83 of the Anderson County Court records, dated October 8, 1855, I found the following:

‘On the motion of James P. Jordan, letters of administration granted him upon the estate of John D. Jordan, deceased, who took oath and with Armistead Miller and John M. Jordan, his securities, who were approved by the court, executed covenant, according to law, and on his further motion James M. Settles, G. W. Matthews and John F. Mill (any two of whom first sworn may act) he and they are hereby appointed appraisers of said estate, who will report to this court.’

‘Ordered that James P. Jordan be appointed guardian of James A. Jordan, infant child of John D. Jordan, deceased, under 14 years, who took oath and with Armistead Miller and John M. Jordan as his securities, approved by the court, executed covenant according to law.’

John left one son, James A., named for his brother.

In the 1860 census for Anderson County we find James P. Jordan, 31, farmer, with personal estate of $3,635.  His wife, Margaret, is 27.  Their young son, Thomas Jefferson, is 1.  James A., the son of his deceased brother John, is living with them, aged 6, with a personal estate of $4,000 – the inheritance from his father.

Mary A., daughter of John & Marillis Jordan, born February 21, 1833, died December 22, 1856.  Mt. Hebron Methodist Cemetery, Anderson County, Kentucky.

Daughter Mary died in 1856 at the age of 33, of consumption.  She never married.

Marillis, wife of John Jordan, and daughter of James Breckinridge, born February 7, 1802, died April 10, 1857(?).

Marillis died April 10, 185?.  Since her gravestone broke, and has been repaired, it is difficult to read the year.  I checked all available death records for Anderson County, 1853-59, but did not see her listed.  Perhaps she died while visiting?  It is possible the information did not get added to the death records.

The name Amaryllis is occasionally given to girls – perhaps Marillis was a shortened version?  Two of her children, Garret and Elizabeth named children after their mother.  And perhaps daughter Mary A.’s middle name was Amaryllis.

The Civil War brought the family into its midst.  Son James P. Jordan enlisted with the Confederate Army.  He was Captain of Company F, 5th Kentucky Cavalry.  He died June 7, 1863.  In Order Book F, page 423, father John M. Jordan is ‘appointed guardian of James Jordan, infant, under 14 years of age, of James P. Jordan, deceased.’  It further says that ‘Margaret Jordan, widow of same, appearing in court and waving her right to administer.’

John M. Jordan, born April 1789, died October 29, 1868.

John Jordan lived until 1868 before passing away at the age of 79.  His will, found in Will Book B, pages 18-19, in Anderson County, lists nine of his ten children, or their descendants.  Daughter Mary, is the only one not listed since she left no descendants.

Will Book B, 1868.  Pages 18-19

I, John M. Jordan, of Anderson County, Kentucky, being of sound mind and memory

And being desirous to arrange my worldly matters, do hereby publish this my last will and testament, hereby revoking all others.  It is my wish that after my death, my funeral expenses, together with all my just debts, be first paid.  I wish my land to be sold to the highest bidder on a credit of one and two years, in equal payments, and the proceeds thereof, together with all my means left after the payment of my debts, be equally divided among my children and grand-children in in the following proportions.

To the wife and children of my son Garrett, one-ninth.

To my daughter Louisa Smithy, one-ninth and the note I hold on her husband James Smithy is to constitute a part of her ninth.

To my daughter Elizabeth Lyen, one-ninth.

To my daughter Emily Leathers, one-ninth.

To my daughter Susan Walker, one-ninth.

To my two grandsons, the sons of James P. Jordan, one-ninth.

To my son, Philip H. Jordan, one-ninth.

To my grandson, the son of John Jordan, one-ninth.

To the wife and children of my son William, one-ninth, to be managed by my son William as their trustee.

I hereby appoint my son-in-law, Jefferson Leathers, guardian of my grandsons, the sons of James P. Jordan.  I also appoint my son-in-law, Henry Walker, guardian of my grandson, the son of John Jordan.  I hereby appoint my sons Philip H. and William Jordan my Executors, to execute this will, and empower them to convey my lands by deed with general warranty to the purchasers thereof.  Upon the payment of the purchase money, or if they shall think proper they may convey the same provisions to the payment of the purchase money by reserving a lien upon the same for the purchase money.  In witness whereof I have hereunto subscribed my name this 8th day of May 1867.

John M. Jordan

Witness, W. E. Bell, Johnathan Loll

State of Kentucky – I, James M. Posey, Clerk of the Anderson County Court, certify that at a Fall Term of said Court, held on Monday, December 7th, 1868, the foregoing writing purporting to be the last will and testament of John M. Jordan, deceased, was produced in Court and proved by the oath of W. E. Bell, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, who also proved the signature and attestation of Jonathan Loll, the other subscribing witness and ordered to be recorded, which is accordingly done.  Given under my hand this 17th day of December 1868.

Margaret Jordan, widow of James P., married W. G. Driskill, January 21, 1869, at W. E. Jordan’s (her brother-in-law).  In the 1870 census they are both listed as 32.  Phillip, age 9, lives with them, under the name Driskill.  Since the couple had been married just over a year, this was the younger son of Margaret’s first husband, James P. – named for his father, James Phillip Jordan.  Elizabeth, 8/12, listed is the daughter of William and Margaret.  James A. Jordan, son of John and Almeda is living with his uncle, Phillip Jordan and wife, Fannie, in 1870, in Mercer County, along with Thomas Jefferson Jordan, oldest son of James P. and Margaret, who was born May 15, 1859.

I found no additional information on deaths of the family in later records.

Men and Their Whiskers

Today I wanted to share photos of men with their beards and/or mustaches, giving examples throughout the years.  Of course, men wore facial hair as dictated by their own personal style, but some fads are worn through certain decades.

Just looking at the hairstyle dates this photo to the 1850’s.  The extremely large lapels of the over-sized coat are another good indication.  And the silk bow tie seals the date!  A goatee on his chin.

This photograph is easy to date since it has a 3 cent stamp on back – used during 1864.  Definite sideburns for this gentleman – made famous by General Ambrose Burnside during the Civil War.  Also known as muttonchops.

This is an early 1870’s photo – the coat, although more fitted than our first photo, does not have the ability to be buttoned at the very top, as becomes popular later in the decade.  A goatee for this gent.

Another early 1870’s photo.  I believe this gentleman just likes hair!  Full beard and a longer hairstyle than usual at this time.

And our last photo – from the 1880’s – the glorious handlebar mustache!  Remember William Howard Taft?  Notice the small lapels on the jacket, giving view of the vest below – and what looks like a beautiful watch chain!