Category Archives: Features

Pearl Bryan didn’t deserve it!

Jadon Gibson

Colonel John Lock’s farm was located in the country outside of Fort Thomas, Kentucky. It was just becoming daylight on February 1, 1896, when young James Hewling noticed something lying beside the old wagon road.

He looked closer and found it was a woman. She didn’t look right. The sixteen year old lad said later he didn’t think much about it at first. Continue reading Pearl Bryan didn’t deserve it!

Young girl writes of 1800’s trip to the mountains

Jadon Gibson

Gen. O. O. Howard, of Gettysburg fame, is given much credit for the founding of the burgeoning Lincoln Memorial University in Harrogate, Tenn.. The general and his close ally, Dr. E. O. Guerrant, founded many schools and churches in the mountain area.

Here is a letter written by Grace Guerrant to her sister, Anne Guerrant, during a trip with her father to the mountains in the late 1800’s. Continue reading Young girl writes of 1800’s trip to the mountains

Daniel Boone’s courtship and marriage, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

Seventeen year old Rebecca Boone rode to her wedding to Daniel Boone behind her father on his horse, sitting on a second saddle called a pillion. The dark-haired, dark-eyed beauty wore the finest that the frontier afforded in that day.

Weddings were important events in the backwoods so they were celebrated by nearly everyone living in the area for miles around. Daniel Boone and his party, astride their mounts, came upon a group of well-wishers. They reveled in firing their weapons in the air, covering the wedding party with smoke and causing one or more to nearly fall from their horses. Continue reading Daniel Boone’s courtship and marriage, conclusion

Silent Crimes Need to Become Less Silent

Jeff Rubin

April is Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time that places the spotlight on two issues I find disturbing, both for the nature of the crimes and the helplessness of the victims. That’s why the recent report on child maltreatment released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Children’s Bureau got my attention. The report cites Kentucky as the second highest state in the nation for child abuse. Disturbing as that may be, it’s only the tip of the iceberg when you include domestic violence or abuse that includes the elderly as well as the young. Continue reading Silent Crimes Need to Become Less Silent

Cowboys and Indians

Jadon Gibson

I grew up playing “Cowboys and Indians.” It was natural I guess because there were so many western movies for youngsters to see, heroes like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy, the Durango Kid and others. The admission price was low and for a nickel we could get a candy treat.

The cowboys were always portrayed as the good guys while the Indians seemingly had little redeeming value except for the occasional sidekick such as Tonto. Continue reading Cowboys and Indians

An Answered Prayer on the Borderland

Jadon Gibson

Rufus Branson built a rude cabin for his young family not far from Boonesborough in the late 1770’s. It sat a little ways back from the Kentucky River, nestled in a little valley with cliffs jutting up in front and in the back.

Branson was able to maintain a friendship with the Indians for several years. The native Americans learned that he could be trusted, resulting in Branson and his wife feeling secure in an insecure environment. When Indians came by his home, Branson offered them food from the larder where it was stored. Continue reading An Answered Prayer on the Borderland

Cherokee Bill’s wild life led to hanging

Jadon Gibson

There’s been added interest in Cherokee Bill who was twice sentenced to hang by the hanging judge, Isaac Parker. His real name was Crawford Goldsby, the son of an Alabama black man who served in the Union Army during the Civil War. The senior Goldsby was a Buffalo soldier, a name given to the black cavalrymen by the Indians with whom they fought. He had to flee from Alabama after returning from the war to keep from being hanged. Cherokee Bill’s mother was a mixture of Indian, African and white ancestors. Continue reading Cherokee Bill’s wild life led to hanging

The Hanging Judge, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

Judge Isaac Parker, the famed hanging judge, lost much of his authority toward the end of his service on the bench at Fort Smith, Arkansas in the late 1800’s.

Congress enacted a law in 1889 giving the Supreme Court the right to review important criminal cases. Convicted felons could petition the president to change their sentence or ask their trial judge to be retried. Judge Parker seldom granted a new trial. Continue reading The Hanging Judge, conclusion

The Right to be Heard and the Opportunity to Make a Difference

Jeff Rubin

“A nation is judged based on how it treats it’s least, it’s last, it’s littlest” is a quote attributed to many authors over the years, from Henry Ford to Harry Truman to Mahatma Gandhi, among others. It remains a good yardstick by which to measure so much of what is happening in our country today. That’s why I’m so impressed by what our young people are doing in response to the tragedies that have taken place in Florida, Kentucky, and too many other communities across the country. Continue reading The Right to be Heard and the Opportunity to Make a Difference

The Hanging Judge, part 3

Jadon Gibson

Judge Isaac Parker was born in Ohio and practiced law in Missouri after being admitted to the bar. He served during the Civil War and later was elected to Congress by his constituents in the Show-Me state of Missouri.

Parker was an outspoken advocate of increased rights for women and Native Americans in his day. In 1875, Judge Isaac Parker was appointed to the federal bench in Fort Smith, Arkansas, with jurisdiction over Continue reading The Hanging Judge, part 3

The Hanging Judge, part 2

Jadon Gibson

The hanging Judge Isaac Parker, played a major role in establishing law and order in the southwest territory.

His court was in Fort Smith, Arkansas and he had jurisdiction over 70,000 square miles of frontier territory. Upon his arrival he noted there was “a great depravity and a great wickedness” prevalent in the territory and previous judges had been swayed by threat and graft. He vowed that he would not bend to either. Continue reading The Hanging Judge, part 2

Free Fishing Workshop For Educators Planned

Fishing at Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park

Kentucky Dam Village State Resort Park is hosting a “Teacher’s Tackle Box” workshop for teachers and youth group leaders on April 7, 2018.

This free workshop, offered by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, is designed to help adults lead a fishing field trip for youths. No previous experience is necessary. This workshop is designed for educators, scout leaders, and other youth leaders.

Continue reading Free Fishing Workshop For Educators Planned

The Hanging judge

Jadon Gibson

“I sentence you to be hanged by the neck until dead,” Judge Isaac Parker directed toward Sam Fooy in 1875. “And may God have mercy on your soul.”

Parker was new to the bench and had vowed to bring law and order to the lawless southwest territory. He was rapidly gaining a reputation among bad men.

“They were bad eggs, men of great depravity, great wickedness,” a court reporter wrote. “They acted out of burning lust, unholy greed or pure unadulterated meanness. They’re like preying wolves…unfit to live.” Continue reading The Hanging judge

Evidence 50 years late for hanged man

Jadon Gibson

John C. Hamilton was a wealthy citizen of the so-called “Green River Country,” in what is now Metcalfe County, Kentucky. He was a trader in livestock and, at times, slaves. Periodically he sold some of his slaves in Mississippi.

Following a successful trek to Mississippi in 1817 he returned to Kentucky along with Dr. John P. Sanderson, a wealthy farmer who resided near Natchez, Mississippi. Sanderson was interested in buying more slaves and carried a large sum of money. Continue reading Evidence 50 years late for hanged man

A time for all things

Jadon Gibson

It was no surprise that a lad christened with the name John Peter Gabriel Muhlenberg was brought up close to the church. It was in the 1700’s and Muhlenberg eventually became a minister, pastoring a church in Woodstock, Virginia.

Many colonists like Muhlenberg wanted to become independent from Britain at the time. He detested the British influence on religion “in the new world.” Many of his parishioners openly resisted the influence of the crown and Muhlenberg supported their efforts insisting that the Lord Jesus Christ was their ally. Continue reading A time for all things

A Boy named Sue, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

Sue Mundy, born Marcellus Jerome Clark, was barely sixteen years old when he joined the Confederate army at Camp Cheatham in Robertson County, TN. Though very boyish in appearance, he served with distinction at Fort Donelson, on the Cumberland River in early 1862. The fort was built to control the Cumberland River, a major waterway in Tennessee.

Yankee Brig. Gen. U. S. Grant’s Yankee forces captured Fort Henry on February 6, 1862, and marched his men across country with Continue reading A Boy named Sue, conclusion

A Boy named Sue

Jadon Gibson

Kentucky was a neutral state during the Civil War and her people were evenly divided in their sentiment toward the north and south. It resulted in Kentuckians fighting against their own brothers and neighbors in many battles during the war.

In the Battle of Murfreesboro there were seventeen Kentucky regiments on the side of the Confederates and fourteen regiments fighting for the Federals. In the second Battle of Murfreesboro there were 23,500 combatants. A total of 3,024 were killed, 15,747 wounded and 4,744 unaccounted for. Never had so many Kentuckians killed each other for any cause. Continue reading A Boy named Sue

The unlucky good-luck piece, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

Armistead M. Swope and William C. Goodloe were born and raised in Lincoln County, Kentucky. Both became attorneys and enemies.

Col. Goodloe offended Col. Swope at the Republican State convention in Louisville, May 1, 1888. Swope was bitter and sought Goodloe without success but found him the following month at the Phoenix Hotel in Lexington. A violent argument ensued resulting in threats of violence. Good friends intervened on their behalf and each selected two representatives to confer with the aim of alleviating their hostility. Continue reading The unlucky good-luck piece, conclusion

The unlucky good-luck piece

Jadon Gibson

Col. Armistead M. Swope and Col. William Cassius Goodloe were born and reared in the same section of Lincoln County, Kentucky. Goodloe was from a aristocratic family while Swope had a humble upbringing.

As young men they became attorneys and desirous of becoming leaders in the Republican party in Kentucky. Resentment between the two men grew and it heightened when President Chester A. Arthur appointed Swope to the position of Internal Revenue Collector, resulting in his move to Lexington. Continue reading The unlucky good-luck piece