Tag Archives: Mason County Kentucky

Casto-Metcalfe 1862 Duel


William T. Casto, born January 24, 1824, died May 8, 1862.  Maysville Cemetery, Mason County, Kentucky

from The Lexington Observer and Reporter

May 10, 1862

Fatal Duel

A duel took place at half past four o’clock on Thursday evening last, at some point not far from the city of Maysville, between William W. Casto, Esquire, a lawyer of that city, and Col. Leonidas Metcalfe, of Nicholas County. The challenge, we understand, was sent by Casto, and the difficulty grew out of his arrest sometime last winter by Col. Metcalfe, and his being sent to Fort Lafayette. Casto was an ardent Secessionist, and Col. Metcalfe was in command of a Kentucky regiment at the time.

Col. Metcalfe received the challenge on Wednesday, promptly accepted it, fixed Thursday evening at 4 ½ o’clock as the time, colt’s rifles as the weapons, and sixty yards as the distance. The parties met, in pursuance to this arrangement, and at the first fire Casto was killed instantly, the ball passing through his heart. Casto, it is said, fired at the word one, and Metcalfe at the word two. Col. Metcalfe was not injured.


Casto Family Gravestone

Historic Marker (in Bracken County on the Mason County line, KY8)

On the Ohio River shore near here one of the last duels fought in Kentucky under the “code duello” took place on May 8, 1862, between William T. Casto, former Maysville Mayor, and Col. Leonidas Metcalfe, U.S. Army, son of former Governor Thomas Metcalfe. Colts rifles were used at 60 years. On the first fire, Casto was mortally wounded. Metclafe was not hit.

The duel climaxed a bitter Civil War episode. In October, 1861, Metcalfe was ordered to arrest 7 men, including Casto, for aiding Confederates. They were sent north to Union prisons; all were later released, Casto in February, 1862. His belief that Col. Metcalfe was responsible for his arrest led Casto to challenge him to a duel which ended in his own life.


Susan, wife of Abijah Casto, born May 9, 1792, died March 12, 1835

William T. Casto was the son of Abijah and Susan Casto.  After the duel that took his life he was buried beside his mother, along with two infant siblings, William and Thomas.  This stone marks their final resting place.  Dueling was an out-moded social custom and had been outlawed in Kentucky for over fifty years.


W. T. Casto.  A Patriot, his country’s first unwavering Friend, he was willing to die for his Principles, and as a Man of Honor, nobly fell a Votary of the sacred and inviolable right of Personal Liberty.

Will of William H. Cox, Mason County


I, William H. Cox, being of sound mind and disposing memory do make and publish this my last will and testament. 

First.  I direct my just debts, if any, and funeral expenses to be paid.

Second.  I devise and bequeath the rest of my estate, real and personal to my live sons and only heirs at law, William H. Cox, Jr., and George L. Cox, and their heirs and designs forever.

Third.  In dividing all or any portion of my estate between these my said live sons, in case they cannot agree shall submit the matter to arbitrators of live friends, one selected by each, and if they cannot agree they are to call in a third where award shall be final.

Fourth.  I appoint and nominate my said sons, William H. Cox, Jr., and George L. Cox, Executors of this will and request that they be allowed to qualify without surety.

Fifth.  It is my desire and I so direct that no inventory, appraisement, sale bill or settlement of their accounts in court shall even be required of my executors.

          January 24th, 1885              Will. H. Cox

Signed in the presence of the undersigned, who attest in the present of the testator, and in the presence of each other, at the request of the testator.     A. M. J. Cochran, Robert A. Cochran, John P. Phister

State of Kentucky, Mason County Court, February Term, February 9, 1885

All instruction of writing bearing date January 24, 1885 purporting to be the last will and testament of William H. Cox, deceased, was this day produced in court, and filed and proven by the oaths of Robert Cochran, A. M. J. Cochran and John P. Phister, the three subscribing witnesses thereto.  Wherefore it is ordered that said writing be and the same is hereby allowed and established as and for the last will and testament of said William H. Cox, deceased, submitted to record as such.  Thereupon William H. Cox and George L. Cox, the executors named in said will being in court agreed to undertake the execution there of and took the oath prescribed by law and ordered into and acknowledged bond with the Commonwealth of Kentucky, conditioned according to law without security as provided in said will which is approved by the court.  Attest. W. W. Ball, Clerk.


William H. Cox, born September 24, 1820, died February 3, 1885.  Elizabeth Russell, wife of Wm. H. Cox, born June 21, 1828, died November 9, 1862.  Maysville Cemetery, Mason County, Kentucky.

Schatzmann Family Buried At Maysville Cemetery


The Louis Schatzmann family is buried in the Maysville Cemetery, in Mason County, Kentucky.  Louis and his wife, Matilda Bohrer, were both born in Brown County, Ohio; both families coming to the United States from Prussia.  By a strange circumstance, their first child, Catherine M. Schatzmann, was born in Iowa.  Did the family move there for a short time?  Were they visiting relatives?  The next three children were born in Ohio, and the last two in Kentucky.

In the 1880 Census of Mason County, Louis is listed as 44, and running a boarding house.  Matilda is 40; Catherine M.; 24, Lilly B., 22; William, 20, a clerk; George S., 17, a carriage smith; Rachel, 15; and Emma, 12.  A niece, Elizabeth Schatzmann, is also living with them.  Boarders listed are William P. Coons, 40, a lawyer, born in Kentucky; Andrew Cahill, 50, a stone cutter, born in Ireland; Frederick Weil, 40, works in a bar room, born in Baden, Germany; and Jonas Kissel, 52, a minister, born in Bavaria, Germany, and his son Edward, 12, born in Indiana.


Louis Schatzmann, born July 4, 1836, died February 6, 1887.  Matilda, wife of L. Schatzmann, born December 25, 1840, died October 8, 1881.  ‘Rest mother, rest in quiet sleep.  While friends in sorrow o’er thee weep.’

From a Maysville newspaper – ‘Mr. Louis Schatzmann, proprietor of the Schatzmann House on Market Street, died yesterday morning from enlargement of the liver. Deceased was born in Brown County, Ohio, and has been a citizen of Maysville for twenty-three years.  He was fifty-one years of age.  Was married twice and leaves five children, all grown, by his first wife, and one infant boy by his last wife.  The funeral will be at ten o’clock a.m., tomorrow.’


George S., son of L. and M. Schatzmann, born October 22, 1862, died March 22, 1886.  Rachel S. Criesman born March 17, 1865, died September 18, 1908.

Two children of Louis and Matilda.


James Hopgood, 1868-1924.  Emma Hopgood, 1867-1937.

Daughter Emma and husband James.


Jacob Linn, born July 30, 1854, died March 12, 1902.  Catherine M. Linn, born November 10, 1856, died February 28, 1920.

Daughter Catherine M. and husband Jacob.


W. L. Schatzmann, 1860-1905


Anna M. Schatzmann, 1860-1931

Son William and his wife, Anna.  All the children of Louis and Matilda Schatzmann are buried with their parents except daughter Lilly.

Thomas Family Buried At Maysville Cemetery


This beautiful stone marks the final resting place of many members of the Jacob Thomas and Amanda Cooper family.  Jacob was born in Virginia and made his way to Kentucky at a young age.  He met and married Amanda, born in Kentucky, around 1833.  After their marriage the couple moved to Indiana for a time; their two eldest children were born there.


Jacob Thomas, July 7, 1807 – July 27, 1885.  Amanda A. Thomas, February 20, 1813 – May 14, 1871

In the 1850 Census of Mason County Jacob is listed as 43, a farmer; Amanda, 37; James C., 16; John N., 14; Richard B., 12; Oliver H. P., 6; Alice J., 2.  A period of six years between Richard and Oliver make us suspect that a couple of children died during that time period.  In 1860 Jacob is 52; Amanda, 47; John, 24, is a clerk; and Oliver is 15.  Alice died in 1851 and Richard in 1854.  In 1870 there is Jacob, 63; Amanda, 57; and Perry, 25.  I believe this must be son Oliver, due to the ages from 1860 and 1870 – and since he was named for the famous naval commander.  In 1880 Amanda has already passed away.  Jacob is listed as 72, with son James, 44; his wife, Elizabeth, 38; and children John, 19; Lilly, 11; Jacob, 9; and Laura, 3.


Richard B. Thomas, July 19, 1838 – October 24, 1854.  Alice J. Thomas, March 12, 1848 – February 12, 1851.

Richard and Alice are children of Jacob and Amanda Thomas.

James Cooper Thomas, eldest son of Jacob and Amanda, married Elizabeth Jane Soward, from Fleming County, November 24, 1859.   I could not find them in the 1860 or 1870 census, just in the 1880, living with James’ widowed father.


John N. Thomas, July 16, 1836 – February 3, 1896.  Jacob Thomas, 1872-1932.  Lulu Y. THomas, 1871-1965.  James C. Thomas, 1898-1950.  Marybelle Thomas, 1965-1965.

John Thomas is the son of Jacob and Amanda, and brother to James Cooper Thomas.  Jacob and Lulu (Lilly) are children of James and Elizabeth.  I’m not sure how the last two fit in the family.


James C. Thomas, April 2, 1834 – October 23, 1917.  Elizabeth J., wife of J. C. Thomas, June 24, 1842 – July 4, 1899.  Charles Thomas, son of J. C. & E. Thomas, March 12, 1862 – April 5, 1863.

A tiny son, born during the Civil War, is listed on the stone with his parents.  Elizabeth Soward Thomas died on Independence Day in 1899.  James lived another 18 years.  His death certificate says he was born in Indiana, his father Jacob was born in Virginia, and his mother, a Cooper, was born in Kentucky.  He was widowed, a retired farmer.  It said he died, sitting in a chair, after eating a hearty meal – at the wonderful age of 83!

Green-Ranson Family Buried at Maysville Cemetery

IMG_4141This tall monument stands in the Maysville Cemetery in witness of the Green-Ranson family that lived in Mason County, Kentucky.  It wasn’t until I found the last piece of the puzzle that all my facts aligned and I could pinpoint how these three people were related!

IMG_4142Matilda Chase Green, born in Maryland, August 7, 1791, died in Maysville, Kentucky, February 23, 1881.  We all owe so much to this wise and affectionate woman.

The first side of the stone is a tribute to a woman born 17 and 29 years, respectively, before other two.  Until the last moment of this genealogy hunt I thought she was the mother of one of them.  I will save my conclusions until the end – keep you in suspense!  I love the the last line on the stone “We all owe so much” – she must have been steadying force in several lives.

IMG_4143Achsah S. Ranson, born in Washington, Kentucky, November 16, 1820, died in Maysville, Kentucky, April 16, 1889.  Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

IMG_4144Richard H. Ranson, born in Jefferson County, Virginia, February 25, 1808, died at Covington, Kentucky, November 21, 1858.  He was an affectionate husband and father and a true and honorable gentleman.

Well, now we have a husband and wife.  My first thought is to go to the census records.  Richard and Achsah are living in Boone County, Kentucky, in 1850.  They had married the previous year in June.  Matilda C. Green is living with them, along with four boarders.  Richard is a farmer, with real estate amounting to $17,500.

According to his gravestone we know he died in 1858.  Achsah must have been devastated – such a short time together.  Richard Ranson’s will was written three days before his death.  Was he ill?  Did he write his will since he was traveling to Covington – where he died?  I think it odd he died three days after the will was written.  The beginning of the will has no usual start with ‘being weak of body but sound of mind’.  He starts with a bequest to Matilda Green of $1,000, followed by one of $50 per year for Sarah Durham.  His wife, Achsah, is then left the household and kitchen furniture.  Richard notes that his son Joseph H. Ranson had previously received $3,000 and this must be charged to his portion of the estate.  Joseph is not the son of Achsah, hence she must have been a second wife.  The only other direct bequest is to his son Franklin Bedinger Ranson, a young son of four, ‘my gold watch and chain’.  The rest of the estate is divided between his wife and children now living.

In the 1860 census Achsah, 37, is living in Mason County with her brother, John G. Hickman, a lawyer, 39.  Matilda Green lives in the household, 69, along with Achsah’s children – Matilda, 10; Franklin, 6; and Elizabeth, 3.

In 1870 the household is much the same, except for the addition of John Hickman’s young son – Samuel, aged 6 six years.  Evidently John married shortly after the 1860 census, but his wife must have died soon afterwards.

In the 1880 census we have the same household, less Franklin Ranson.  He would have been 26 at this time and quite possibly married with a family of his own.  Achsah, instead of her brother, is head of household.  Matilda is listed as 90 years of age – and as aunt!  My first thought had been that Matilda was Achsah’s mother, but after finding this census with her listed as Achsah’s aunt, I found Achsah was the daughter of Caroline Green and David Hickman.  Caroline and Matilda were sisters!  Their father was Captain John F. Green, who fought in the Revolutionary War.  Their mother was Achsah Burgess.

Now we know why the beautiful epitaph was chosen for her.  She lived with her niece, Achsah, most of her life – helping raise her children after the death of her husband, giving her time and love.  She must have been a remarkable woman!

Mrs. Fannie Black Biography

from Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, 1887

Bracken County

Mrs. Fannie Black, a lady of culture and refinement, was born in Mason County, Kentucky, and is a daughter of Madison and Elizabeth (Bledsoe) Worthington. Her father, Madison Worthington, also a native of Mason County, Kentucky, has always been engaged in agricultural pursuits, and is a son of Thomas T. Worthington, who was born in Baltimore County, Maryland, immigrated to Kentucky in 1796, and settled in Mason County. He was a son of Samuel Worthington, a very wealthy gentleman, who was a native of England. Mrs. Elizabeth Worthington was a daughter of Benjamin and Fannie (Hawkins) Bledsoe; she died in 1854. Mrs. Fannie Black was reared in Mason County, and educated at the female institute of that county. June 10, 1862, she married Willie Black, son of Rudolph and Eliza (Cushman) Black. He was born in Bracken County, Kentucky, September 9, 1835, and died June 1, 1879. Four children blessed this union, two of whom are now living, Blanche and Claude. Mr. Black was industrious, active, energetic and painstaking in whatever he engaged in, and, for some time prior to his death, was interested in the tobacco business in Cincinnati, Ohio.

News Items From The Daily Public Ledger, Maysville

from The Daily Public Ledger, Maysville, Kentucky – Mason County

Saturday, October 24, 1896

James M. Mitchell

His Death at His Country Home Early This Morning

James M. Mitchell, one of the most honored citizens of Mason County, died at his home near Helena at 7:30 o’clock this morning, in his 75th year. He had been in poor health for some time, but his death was not expected. Born on the farm where he died, his entire life had been spent in this community, and no man was more honored and respected. He was a most successful farmer and able financier, and was President of the banking firm of Wells, Mitchell & Co., afterwards the First National Bank, and of late years of Mitchell, Finch & Co.’s Bank. His loss will be felt most seriously by the entire community. No arrangements have as yet been made for the funeral.

The Best Yet

The Men’s Rally at Y.M.C.A. Hall tomorrow Afternoon

Tomorrow afternoon from 3 till 4 o’clock the Men’s Rally will be held in the Association Hall, Masonic Temple, Mr. W. T. Berry, Principal of Third District School, will be the speaker. You have heard from others how charming and helpful are these rallies. If you have never been to one try tomorrow’s and the good you get will strengthen you to combat the many ills of life and petty temptations which arise in your business the coming week. Just look at the good things: An inspiring, hearty song service into which you can enter and thus do your share towards helping others, a piano and violin duet by Mr. Hoeflich and Miss Margaret Duke Watson – “Angel’s Serenade,” violin obligatte, a short talk which will do you good in a business way and perchance tell you something which may make you rich, and last you will be one of a crowd of men gathered from all classes and conditions in life met for a common purpose – to receive benefits which shall raise us to a higher level and give us a better appreciation of the wonderful advantages and opportunities with which we, as a people, are surrounded. The Hall is cheerful and bright, the reading table is full of all kinds of literate, and best of all a cordial greeting and a fraternal spirit are yours to command.

Other News

The first quintuple wedding in matrimonial annals of the state is to take place at Liberty Church in McCracken County, December 20th. The contracting parties will be Solen Mason and Miss Fannie Torian; Moss Council and Miss Callie McAllister; Tilla Fristoe and Miss Tommie Wallace; Rube Dossett and Miss Annie Harper; Edgar Griffin and Miss Stella Miller. Rev. Thomas will perform the ceremony, and the brides-to-be are young schoolteachers.

The funeral of the late Mrs. William P. Coons occurred yesterday morning from the residence of Mrs. Elizabeth Johnson on West Fourth Street. Rev. W. O. Cochran of the Central Presbyterian Church conducting the services. The burial was largely attended by relatives and friends of the deceased, while the floral tributes were exceptionally handsome.