August 31, 2012

Man Kills Another Over Card Game, Laurel, 1907


Click here for a list of my other Pulaski/Rockcastle/Laurel County KY articles


[July 5, 1889] -

James Barnes and his son Robert were both badly cut by J. W. Woodall, with whom they had a difficulty near the colony Saturday. Woodall was promptly arrested and placed in jail. He has been in several difficulties heretofore. [1]


[August 6, 1907] -


Brothers, Uncles and Cousins Die in Separate Quarles.

London, Ky., Aug. 6. – Late yesterday evening Lum Whitaker, who belongs to a prominent family was shot and instantly killed by J. W. Woodall near Bernstadt, this county, over a game of cards.  This is the sixth tragedy to occur in that locality within the last few years, in which one of the Whitaker family was killed.  Each of the five who have been killed heretofore were either brothers, uncles or cousins of this man.  There has been no family feud in that neighborhood and each tragedy was the result of separate and distinct cause.

About 15 months ago Ray Whitaker was killed by Robert and James Barnes who now stand indicted for murder.  Henry Whitaker was killed about four years ago by John Farmer. Elihua Whitaker was shot while riding a canoe in the middle of the Rockcastle River five years ago by James Mize and instantly killed.  Mize was sent to the penitentiary for life and got out on parole a few months ago.  Only a few years further back W. L. Whitaker was shot from ambush and killed and Fox Baton was charged with the crime.  About the same date William Whitaker was killed by William Mize.

Friends of the murdered man say that the killing of Lum Whitaker was entirely without provocation.  A posse is searching for Woodall.  Late last night news reached here that the posse had surrounded the house of Woodall's brother, where the fugitive is hiding, among the hills of Pulaski County, and were expecting to bring the prisoner to London today. [2]


[August 7, 1907] -

Near London, Ky., J. W. Woodall shot and killed Lam Whitaker over a game of cards.  This is the sixth member of the Whitaker family to be killed during the last three years. [3]


[August 9, 1907] -

Lum Whitaker was shot and killed by J. W. Woodall near Bernstadt, Laurel county, in a fight over a card game. [4]


[August 16, 1907] -

Kills Winner Over Card Game. 

London, Ky. – Lem Whittaker was shot and killed by J. W. Woodall near Bernstadt, this county, in a fight over a card game.  Whittaker had won from Woodall.  A posse is searching for the slayer, who is thought to be in hiding in Pulaski county. [5]


[August 13, 1907] -

J. W. Woodall, who killed Lum Whittaker in a card game at East Bernstadt last Sunday, gave himself up to the authorities and is now in jail at London. [6]


[September 12, 1907] -

Grand Jury's Report.

London, Ky.--Seventeen indictments were returned by the Laurel county grand jury, among them those of J. W. Woodall, for the murder of Lum Whitaker, and of George Drew, for the murder of his sweetheart, Miss Nannie Smallwood.  The latter was admitted to bail.  The murder of Miss Stella Smith, who was shot and placed on the railroad track, will be investigated at the coming term in October. [7]


[1] Excerpt from "London, Laurel County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 5, 1889. Page 4. LOC.

[2] “Six Are Victim.” The Marion Daily Mirror, Marion, OH. August 6, 1907. Page 4. LOC.

[3] Excerpt from "Latest News." Daily Public Ledger, Maysville, KY. August 7, 1907. Page 3. LOC.

[4] Excerpt from “In Neighboring Counties.” The Interior Journal, Sanford, KY. August 9, 1907. Page 1. LOC.

[5] “Kills Winner Over Card Game.” The Montgomery Tribune, Montgomery City, MO. August 16, 1907. Page 6. LOC.

[6] Excerpt from “In Neighboring Counties.” The Interior Journal, Sanford, KY. August 13, 1907. LOC.

[7] “Grand Jury's Report.” The Citizen, Berea, KY. September 12, 1907. Page 7. LOC.

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