Tag Archives: watchmaker

Two Civil War Soldiers From Scott County

Today we are going to Scott County.  Just in case you are a little unfamiliar with the counties of Kentucky, Scott is in the north central portion of the state, just above Fayette and Woodford.

The Frazer family is buried in the little cemetery of St. Francis Catholic Church, first settled by Marylanders who arrived in 1786.  Many Irish are also buried here.  Robert Frazer was born in Comber, County Down, Ireland June 19, 1800.  He married Catherine Miller about 1832, since their first child was born in 1834.  Catherine was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

In the 1850 census of Scott County Robert is 51, a watch maker; wife Catherine is 34.  Children in the family are John C., 16; James K., 12; William K., 8; Frank, 6; and Mary, 2.  Daughter Susan was born in 1852.  Robert was a son of James Frazer and Susannah Kennedy (the initial ‘K’ in James and William’s names is for Kennedy, in honor of their grandmother).  In the 1860 census Robert is listed as a jeweler.

But then the Civil War upended the lives of all those who lived in the United States.  Two sons of Robert and Catherine entered the war – James Kennedy Frazer and William Kennedy Frazer.

Robert Frazer, born in  Comber, Ireland, June 19, 1800; died January 23, 1863.  ‘A kinder father and husband, a truer friend and a better christian, never lived.’  St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, Scott County, Kentucky.

Robert Harris died in January of 1863.  He was spared the sorrow of knowing that both sons who entered the war were killed in the same year.  James Kennedy died May 21, 1863; William Kennedy died December 24, 1863.  Their mother, two brothers and two sisters were left to mourn them.

J. K. Frazer, born March 31, 1838, died May 21, 1863.  W. K. Frazer, born June 18, 1841, died December 24, 1863.

Catherine Miller Frazer lived a decade after the deaths of her husband and two sons.

C. E. Frazer, wife of Robert Frazer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, March 15, 1813, died December 9, 1873.  ‘During life she praying said, oh Lord, I suffer grievious pains, but I am well content to suffer because I fear thee.  Thus she died leaving the memory of her death an example of virtue and fortitude.’

Edward M. Russell Obituary


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

Thursday, October 26, 1911

It came as quite a shock to many friends here when on Friday morning it became known that Mr. Ed M. Russell was at the point of death.  While Mr. Russell’s health had not been good for some time, having been a sufferer from heart trouble, yet he had been attending to his business as usual and on Thursday was at his store.

It was in the early hours of Friday morning when the fatal attack came, which caused his death Saturday morning.

Mr. Russell was born in Bardstown, Kentucky, January 16th, 1849.  His parents were natives of Dublin, Ireland, and emigrated to this country in 1838.  His father, William Russell, was an expert watchmaker, and indeed jewels has been the occupation not only of Ed M. Russell but of all his paternal ancestors, as far back as his great-great-great-grandfather.

He was educated at St. Joseph’s College at Bardstown, Kentucky, and when 16 years of age he entered his father’s jewelry store where he remained until 1869 when he went to California where he resided for ten years when he opened a jewelry store in Springfield and remained until his death.  He had traveled extensively in South America and was well posted in history and scientific studies.

During his long residence here he enjoyed the esteem and respect of all.  For several years he was Marshall of the city of Springfield, and as an officer he was distinguished for his fearlessness in the discharge of his duty and for his coolness in trying circumstances.

He was also, for several terms, City Councilman and served with credit in this office.

As a merchant he won the friendship and confidence of all by his courtesy and square dealing.

He married Miss Louisa Byrd, of London, England, a daughter of Col. Robert Byrd.  He is survived by his wife and eight children:  Mrs. R. D. Marks, Mrs. R. E. Foster and Miss Margaret Russell.  The boys are Messrs. William, Robert, Arthur, Charles and Ed Russell.

Edward M. Russell, January 16, 1848 – October 21, 1911

Louisa B. Russell, September 30, 1859 – July 3, 1938