May 25, 2017

Joe Taylor Hanged for Killing of Dan Design, Rockcastle, 1876

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[November 3, 1876] -

KILLED. -- A man named Jones, while in a drunken condition, went into the house of a colored woman, at Mt. Vernon, last week, and seeing a pistol on the table commenced fooling with it. The woman attempted to take it from him, and in the scuffle it was discharged, the load taking effect in the abdomen of Jones, killing him in a short time. The coroner's verdict was in accordance with the above facts, and exhonorated the woman from any blame in the matter. The woman is the wife of the man now in jail under a sentence of death for the murder of another colored man. [1]




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[November 4, 1876] -

Interior Journal: A man named Jones, while in a drunken condition, went into the house of a colored woman at Mt. Vernon last week, and seeing a pistol on the table commenced fooling with it. The woman attempted to take it from him, and in the scuffle it was discharged, the load taking effect in the abdomen of Jones, killing him in a short time. The woman is the wife of the man Taylor, sentenced to be hung in Rockcastle county next Friday. [2]


May 23, 2017

One Regulator and Two Occupants Killed in Attack on Residence, Pulaski, 1868

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[September 23, 1868] -

TERRIBLE AND BLOODY AFFAIR IN LINCOLN COUNTY.

Tragical Result of an Old Feud.

Two Men and One Woman Killed.

The Full Details of the Tragedy.

CRAB ORCHARD, KY., Sept. 20, 1868.

To the Editor of the Louisville Courier:

A year or two since an unfortunate difficulty occurred near this place at a meeting-house, in which men named Anderson and their friends upon one side, and the Adamses with their friends upon the other, were engaged. In this fracas a man named Simms, son-in-law of the elder Adams, was killed and several others on each side were shot or otherwise wounded. A trial at the time of each party resulted in an acquittal of all concerned. A short time after this as the elder Adams was returning home from Lancaster he was assassinated by being shot from his buggy by some one stationed in a church near the road side.

The most deadly enmity has existed ever since between the belligerents, and many men have been suspected by the Adamses ex particeps criminis to the murder of their father. Among the the number accused, or who was thought by the Adams family to have been concerned in his death, was a man named Cummins, who lived near the Lincoln and Pulaski county line, beyond this place eight or ten miles. Threats have been made, we learn, by the Adames, upon Cummins, and last night it culminated most tragically. It seems, from what we can learn, that two of the Adames, together with three or four of their friends went to the house of Mr. Cummins, at night -- demanded admission, which was refused; and thereupon Rodney Adams broke down the door and as he entered was shot dead. The [assault?]ing party then fired, killing a young lady, daughter of Mr. Cummins, and also shot and killed Cummins. They shot at Mrs. Cummins also, but missed. It is not known whether any others of the assaulting party were injured or not. It is reported that the party took young Adams away from the house, and carried him to a house on the wayside, and left him, and that one of the party told the landlord that there was a dead man, his brother, and he wanted him to stay there until morning; and after putting a pillow under his head, he stooped down and kissed him. This is thought to be young Mack Adams, the only brother of Rodney, except a small boy.

We cannot vouch for the truth of this latter statement, but give it as we heard it. It may be proper to state that the community doubt that Cummins had anything whatever to do with the killing of the elder Adams.

The story, true or false, of Cummins having a hand in the death of J. Q. Adams, certainly did not, nor does it, excuse this party in assaulting a whole family, and [striking?] down an innocent girl, who certainly was guilty of no wrong, unless they deemed it wrong to be the child of a suspected man. There is but one remedy for these multiplied evils which daily teem the press, and it is for the "halter" applied to the culprit's neck by the slow and uncertain forms and process of the law, or if need be, to quell it by the hands of an outraged community.

We know nothing of the real facts in this case beyond what we have attempted to give from hearsay; but if  it be that this midnight assaulting party perpetrated these bloody deeds without cause amply sufficient for their justification, our community owe it to themselves, to the State, to the world of law and order at large, and especially to the stricken survivors of this afflicted family, to search out to the bitter end the perpetrators of this most hideous and diabolical outrage, and see that justice, stern and inflexible, is meted out to each and every one of them.  M. [1]

[I have been unable to find newspaper articles detailing the meeting-house killing, or J. Q. Adams' death in or about February of 1866. Please email me if you have any.]


May 21, 2017

Eugene Spires Kills Henry Lovings, Rockcastle, 1905

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[June 2, 1905] -

Colonel Lovings was shot and killed by a man by the name of Spires last Tuesday near old Providence church. There was a celebration in the grove near the church and the best information we have been able to receive is, that Lovings and Spires met up at a spring near the church and the trouble followed. It was the result of an old grudge. [1]







May 19, 2017

Daniel Selby Kills Thomas Black, Laurel, 1903

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[September 19, 1903] -


Accidentally Killed.

London, Ky., Sept. 18. -- [Special.] -- Thomas Black was shot and instantly killed at Pittsburg, two miles from this place, this evening. Andrew Patterson and a man named Feltner were scuffling over a pistol, when the weapon was accidentally discharged. Black was a bystander. [1]



May 13, 2017

William Oakes Kills William Petrey from Ambush, Lincoln, 1877

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[October 5, 1877] -

A COWARDLY MURDER. -- On Thursday evening last, Mr. Wm. Petre was waylaid and killed by one Wm. Oakes, in the woods about five miles from Crab Orchard. The facts as we gather them from his son, Jas. B. Petre, are as follows: About a year ago a difficulty occurred between Mr. Petre's eldest son and a Oakes, since which there has been a bad feeling existing between Oakes and the Petres. The Monday previous to the killing the younger son, James, had also a difficulty with Oakes, who swore that he intended to kill him and the whole Petre family. Hearing these threats and believing that Oakes would do violence to his son, Mr. Petre accompanied him while hauling some lumber, hoping by that means to deter Oakes for executing his threat. On Thursday evening of last father and son were returning from Crab Orchard on a wagon and when about five miles from town Oakes raised up from behind a log, where he was concealed and without a moments warning leveled his gun and shot the old man. He died from its effects in less than an hour. Immediately on firing, Oakes threw down his gun and ran and the weapon which proved to be an Enfield rifle, was picked up by the son who in his excitement and frenzy broke it to pieces over the log. Oakes told some of his friends what he had done and then fled the country. Mr. Petre, the murdered man was about 49 years old and was a highly respected gentlemen. It is thought that Oakes has either gone to Campbell county, Tennessee, where he has two uncles living, or to McLean county, Kentucky, where he also has relations. The County Court in session last Monday, petitioned the Governor to offer a reward of $500 for his apprehension, and Mr. James B. Petre, authorizes us to say that he will give $50 for his delivery to the Jailer of Lincoln county. Oakes is thus described: He is about 5 feet 10 inches high, has no beard, has sandy, curly hair, walks erect and proud, has a peculiar grin, and talks through his nose. We hope the officers and others will keep a look out for him. [1]



May 6, 2017

Three Regulators Shot in Attack on Residence, Lincoln, 1868

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[October 14, 1868] -


LOUISVILLE, October 13.

Last night a party of eight or ten men went to the negro cabins near Hanging Fork, in Lincoln county, this State, a water station on the Crab Orchard road, between Stanford and South Danville, for the purpose, as is alleged, of hanging two negroes. They broke in the door of one of the cabins, when they were fired upon by the inmates, and one of the scoundrels killed and two seriously wounded. The others fled, leaving their dead and wounded on the ground. One of the negroes was shot through the hand and shoulder. He got on the train to come to this city, but was arrested at Lebanon by the Sheriff and sent back to Stanford. 

The attacking party was composed of roughs who live in that vicinity, and claim to be Ku-Kluxes. The above are all the facts that could be gained from passengers on the train.

There is intense excitement in the city to hear the result of the elections to-day. The streets are thronged, and the newspaper offices are crowded with eager inquirers for the returns. [1]



May 4, 2017

Three Sisters Arrested For Killing Sister-in-Law, Pulaski, 1876

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Thanks to Jessy S. for helping with this one. Thank you! 


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[October 17, 1876] -

6.  Nancy Surber, 19, Murdered. October 17, 1876. [1]













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[October 27, 1876] -

The most horrible and bloody murder that ever startled a civilized community, was committed near Buncombe, in Pulaski county, last week. The victim was a woman, and the perpetrators of the awful crime, strange to say, are also women, and sisters-in-law of the deceased. The murdered woman, Mrs. Surber, had been left by her husband at home with her little baby, early in the morning, and it was not until four o'clock in the evening that the deed was discovered, and then by a sister of the deceased, who was passing. Certain threats and other suspicious circumstances, led to the arrest of a number of the Surber family, and at the examining trial, three of the women were sent to jail to await the action of the grand jury. The evidence is overwhelmingly against them. The axe and knife, with which the deed was committed, their bloody dresses and hands, all go to show the guilt which they do not pretend to deny. [2]



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