August 30, 2012

Two Killed in Gunfight between Nortons and Arnolds, Rockcastle, 1906

Previously:

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

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[January 6, 1906] -

[In] what is said to have been a general battle between the Norton and Arnold factions in Rockcastle county, Ky., "Big Jim" and Harlan Arnold were instantly killed, and Mrs. Arnold was shot in both arms. [1]



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[January 8, 1906] -


GENERAL MIXUP.

Members of Two Kentucky Families Fight, With Serious Results. 

Cincinnati, Jan. 8.—A report reached Mount Vernon, Ky., late last Friday night that in a general fight between the Nortons and Arnolds, near Sand Springs, four miles south of there, big Jim Arnold and son was killed instantly and Mrs. Arnold shot through both arms.  The parties are related by marriage and had been in town attending court, there being a suit pending to get control of a grandchild of Arnold, whose daughter had married a Norton.  Trouble was anticipated before the parties left town.  There was some forty or fifty shots fired.  All county officers went to the scene. [2]





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[January 9, 1906] - 

In what is said to have been a general battle between the Norton and Arnold factions in Rockcastle county, “Big Jim” and Harlan Arnold were instantly killed, and Mrs. Arnold was shot in both arms.  About 40 shots were fired.  Mitchell, James M. and Horace Norton, Albert Hamlin and J. L. Cooper are under arrest and their trials set for to-morrow.  The trouble arose over the possession of a child of Joe Norton, who married an Arnold and from whom he had been divorced. [3]






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[January 12, 1906] - 


FIGHT. -- In what was a general fight, between the Nortons on the one side and the Arnolds on the other, near Sand Spring, four miles South of here last Friday evening.  “Big” Jim Arnold and son, Harlan, were killed instantly and Mrs. Arnold shot in both arms.  As to how the trouble started we are unable to give any particulars, as the examining trial has not been heard, on account of Mrs. Arnold not being sufficiently able to come to court, and a second reason on account of the illness of the County Judge.  There had been bad feeling between the parties for some time, and the day on which the trouble occurred the parties had been to town attending court, there being a suit pending for the control of a grandchild of Arnold, whose daughter had married Joe Norton, a son of Jim Norton, but had separated and she was recently married again to Jim Barnes.  The Nortons all came in and surrendered themselves and are now under guard.  The examining trial has been set for next Wednesday. [4]








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[January 19, 1906] -


CONTINUED. – The examining trial of the Nortons for the killing of the Arnolds will come for a hearing to-day, having been continued from Wednesday on account of the illness of County Judge Bethurum.  Neither side has given, so far as we are able to learn, any thing like a full account of the tragedy, hence we shall not attempt to give any history of the trouble, until the matter has come before the court for trial. [5]










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[January 25, 1906] -


Held For Alleged Murder.

Vernon, Ky., Jan. 25. – Lee, Joe and Horace Norton and Levi Roberts were held in $4,000 each.  Mitchell Norton in $2,000 and Albert Hamlin in $1,000 for the killing of Jim and Harlan Arnold and wounding Mrs. Arnold.  J. M. Norton and Lewis Cooper were dismissed.  All furnished bond. [6]





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[January 25, 1906] -

The examining trial of the Nortons, Hamlin, Cooper and Roberts, which was begun last Friday was completed Tuesday, for the killing of the Arnolds three weeks ago. Jim Norton, father of Joe, Horace, and Lee Norton, was turned loose by the examining court, as was also Lewis Cooper. The bonds of those held over to the Circuit Court was fixed as follows: Joe, Lee and Horace Norton, and Levi Roberts, $4,000.00 each, Mitchell Norton, $2,000.00 and Albert Hamlin $1,000.00. The bonds were readily given and all the parties returned to their homes. [7]







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[January 25, 1906] -

The examining trial of the Nortons and others charged with the killing of Big Jim and Harland Arnold and wounding Mrs. Arnold was concluded in Rockcastle Tuesday, after lasting four days. Horace, Joe and Lee Norton and Levi Roberts were allowed bail in the sum of $4,000.00 each; Mitchell Norton, $2,000.00, and Albert Hamlin $1,000.00. They gave bond. J. M. Norton and Louis Cooper were acquitted. [8]





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[February 16, 1906] - 

The grand jury Wednesday returned indictments against James Mitchell, Joe, Lee, and Horace Norton, Albert Hamlin, Levi Roberts and Louis Cooper, charged with murder for the killing of Jim Arnold and his son, Harland.  The bond of each of the parties was fixed at $6000.00.  James and Mitchell Norton and Albert Hamlin gave bond Wednesday, and we understand that bail will be arranged for the others to-day.  In the examining trial neither James Norton nor Louis Cooper were held over and the bonds fixed for Mitchell Norton and Albert Hamlin were $2000 and $1000 respectively.  Now that the bonds for each of these parties be fixed at $6000, it seems to be the general opinion that they are exorbitant. [9]





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[June 1, 1906] -

The case against the Nortons, Roberts, Cooper and Hamlin charged with the killing of Jim and Harlan Arnold was called Tuesday.  All of Tuesday afternoon, Wednesday and yesterday morning was spent selecting a jury.  Immediately after the jury had been selected and were ready to begin taking evidence, an affidavit was filed by the Commonwealth, that on account of sickness of one of the witnesses, who would not be during progress of trial able to appear and testify, asked for a continuance which was granted.  The defense was very anxious that the trial should go through and the asking for a continuance on the part of the Commonwealth came as a great surprise to them. [10]







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[December 14, 1906] -


Lee Norton and others for the killing of James Arnold and his son, Harlan, continued until next term. [11]






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[March 29, 1907] -


The Norton case will be called to-day. There is speculation as to whether or not the case will go to trial, however we get it that the defence will announce ready. [12]






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[April 5, 1907] -

There being no business before the court Monday afternoon, as the sheriffs were out summoning a jury in the Norton case, the Judge adjourned that the attorneys might have an opportunity to go down to Williamsburg and hear Senator Tillman in his famous speech on "The Race Question." Those who went from here were Judge Johnson, Attys C. C. Williams, J. W. Brown, and B. J. Bethurum, Judge L. W. Bethurum, Mr. G. C. Fish and ye editor. [13]








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[April 5, 1907] -


CIRCUIT COURT.

The Norton case has consumed the attention of the court all the week, Monday and Tuesday being spent int the selection of a jury. After exhausting the regular panel of twenty-four, a special venire of 124 was summoned and at 4 o'clock Tuesday afternoon this entire list had been called and only eleven retained. Another special venire of twenty-five was summoned for Wednesday morning, when the panel was filled. The following gentlemen were chosen to try the case: Sam Bryant, Andrew Martin, S. L. Durham, J. S. Langford, Steve Albright, Richard Moberly, Walter Brock, Alfred Alexander, P. F. Hopson, J. J. Brown and J. C. Kelley. The defense asked for a severance of the defendants and that only one be tried, the Commonwealth electing that Joe Norton, Jr., be the one for trial. There are about forty witnesses to the side and it will take the entire week to try the case. Atty. C. C. Williams, Judge Morrow and Judge L. W. Bethurum represent the defense, while Acting Commonwealth's Attorney B. J. Bethurum and Judge S. D. Lewis have charge of the prosecution. [14]





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[April 5, 1907] -


The trial of Lee Norton and seven others for killing "Big Jim" Arnold in Rockcastle in January of last year, is going on at Mt. Vernon. It took four days to secure a jury. [15]





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[April 12, 1907] -

The jury returned a verdict yesterday afternoon of two years in the case of Joe Norton for the killing of James and Harlan Arnold.  The case went to the jury about 3 o’clock Wednesday and yesterday morning about 10 o’clock, the jury announced that they wanted to report, at which time it seemed to be hopelessly hung there being six for acquittal and six for conviction ranging from five to twenty one years.  The jury was returned to the room, to reconsider the case, reporting again at 4 o’clock yesterday afternoon with a compromise verdict of two years.  While we have no report from the defense as to what action will be taken, but we take it that the case will be appealed. [16]






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[April 16, 1907] -


The jury returned a verdict of two years in the case of Joe Norton for the killing of James and Harlan Arnold in Rockcastle. [17]






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[June 28, 1907] -


The case against Lee Norton et al for the killing of Jim and Harland Arnold was called yesterday and both sides announced ready.  Both sides have also announced ready in the case against Rufus Spires for the killing of Colonel Lovings.  The Norton case will be tried first, if a jury can be secured from the regular panel, if not the Spires case first. As separate trials have been asked for in the Norton case, the Commonwealth has elected Levi Roberts for trial at this time. [18]








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[July 5, 1907] -

The trial of Horace Norton and Lias Roberts charged with complicity in the killing of James and Harlan Arnold has consumed the attention of the court this week. The case will go to the jury tomorrow. [19]





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[July 16, 1907] -

Levi Roberts and Horace Norton were each given six years in the penitentiary by a jury in the Rockcastle circuit court.  They were charged with killing "Big Jim" Harlan. [20]




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[September 13, 1907] -

Horace Norton and Levi Roberts were taken to the penitentiary at Frankfort Saturday by Deputy Sheriffs G. S. Griffin and John Robins, to serve a sentence of six years each, rendered at the June term of the Rockcastle Circuit Court, for complicity in the killing of James and Harlan Arnold.  The case had been appealed but had not been acted upon by the Court of Appeals, but the boys thought it best to go and be serving their time rather than staying in the Mt. Vernon jail for several months and then after all probably the case be affirmed. [21]








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[October 11, 1907] -

The suit of Ellen Arnold against W. M. Norton et al, pre-emptory instructions. [22]



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[December 13, 1907] -



The case against Lee Norton charged with the killing of James and Harlan Arnold was continued to the March term of court.  [23]





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[January 24, 1908] -

Mt. Vernon, Ky., Jan. 24, 1908.

To L. W. Bethurum, Judge of the Rockcastle County Court, and Hon. S. D. Lewis, County Attorney of Rockcastle County: You are here by notified that we will on Tuesday the 4th day of February, 1908, at Frankfort, Ky., request the Kentucky Board of Prison Commissioners to parole Levi Roberts, who is now in the State prison for a period of six years, on the charge of killing James Arnold.

Yours truly,

J. E. Norton,
Lewis Cooper.

We, the undersigned L. W. Bethurum, Judge of the Rockcastle County Court, and S. D. Lewis, County Attorney Rockcastle County, do hereby acknowledge service of the above notice.

This the 24, day of January, 1908. 

L. W. Bethurum, J. R. C. C.
S. D. Lewis, County Atty.

Attest: -- Lewis Cooper, C. C. Williams.


Mt. Vernon, Ky., Jan. 24, 1908.

To L. W. Bethurum, Judge of the Rockcastle County Court, and Hon. S. D. Lewis, County Attorney of Rockcastle County: You are here by notified that we will on Tuesday the 4th day of February, 1908, at Frankfort, Ky., request the Kentucky Board of Prison Commissioners to parole Horace Norton, who is now in the State prison for a period of six years, on the charge of killing James Arnold.

Yours truly,

J. E. Norton,
Lewis Cooper.

We, the undersigned L. W. Bethurum, Judge of the Rockcastle County Court, and S. D. Lewis, County Attorney Rockcastle County, do hereby acknowledge service of the above notice.

This the 24, day of January, 1908. 

L. W. Bethurum, J. R. C. C.
S. D. Lewis, County Atty.

Attest: -- Lewis Cooper, C. C. Williams.


Mt. Vernon, Ky., Jan. 24, 1908.

To L. W. Bethurum, Judge of the Rockcastle County Court, and Hon. S. D. Lewis, County Attorney of Rockcastle County: You are here by notified that we will on Tuesday the 4th day of February, 1908, at Frankfort, Ky., request the Kentucky Board of Prison Commissioners to parole Joe Norton, who is now in the State prison for a period of two years, on the charge of killing James Arnold.

Yours truly,

J. E. Norton,
Lewis Cooper.

We, the undersigned L. W. Bethurum, Judge of the Rockcastle County Court, and S. D. Lewis, County Attorney Rockcastle County, do hereby acknowledge service of the above notice.

This the 24, day of January, 1908. 

L. W. Bethurum, J. R. C. C.
S. D. Lewis, County Atty.

Attest: -- Lewis Cooper, C. C. Williams. [24] 



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[April 7, 1908] -

Sam Magee and another prison guard passed up to Mt. Vernon Sunday with Joe and Harve Norton and Levi Roberts, sent up from Rockcastle county. They were to testify yesterday in an important case. [25]




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[April 10, 1908] -

Capts S. D. Magee and E. S. Leslie, guards in State prison, Frankfort, brought Joe and Horace Norton and Levi Roberts, who are serving sentences there for the killing of James and Harlan Arnold, here Sunday to testify in behalf of Lee Norton, whose case went to trial Wednesday for the shooting and wounding of Mrs. Arnold widow of James Arnold, at the same time.  [26]









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[April 14, 1908] -

Lee Norton was given a year in the penitentiary for shooting and wounding Mrs. Jim Arnold in Rockcastle. [27] 



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[April 21, 1908] -

Lee Norton, who was given one year in the pen for shooting Mrs. Arnold, was granted a new trial because of an error in the instructions, by two words being left out by the stenographer in copying. --Mt. Vernon Signal. [28]




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[May 15, 1908] -

This pathetic story told of Rockcastle people, we clip from a Frankfort paper:

"Carrying a baby only a few months old in her arms, a young woman, hardly more than a girl, who said she was only nineteen years old, Friday called on Acting Gov. W. H. Cox, seeking a pardon for her husband, Horace Norton, now serving a six year sentence in the penitentiary.

The woman said she was married when she was only sixteen.  She came to Frankfort to try to get her husband out of prison.  She told the acting Governor that her husband's brother had killed a man in a difficulty in Rockcastle county and her husband had been convicted as accessory and given a six years' sentence.  The Governor took no action in the case and told Mrs. Norton that he could not release her husband.  She has taken up the matter with the Board of Prison Commissioners." [29]







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[July 3, 1908] -


The case against Lee Norton charged with the shooting and wounding of Mrs. James Arnold, at the same time her husband and son were killed by Joe Norton, was called Monday but passed over until yesterday it being necessary to summon a special venire, of seventy-five men to get the jury.  The following jury was selected and the taking of evidence was begun yesterday before noon.  The case will go to the jury today.

The following are the gentlemen who were selected to try the case:  Jason Robinson, Frank Adams, Ike Herron, J. C. Phillips, Louis Owens, A. P. Chandler, J. E. Craig, Sam Rose, W. M. Lunceford, Willis Bustle, Joe Bullock, and R. G. Shearer. [30]




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[July 10, 1908] -

Lee Norton who was on trial at the time of our last issue for the shooting of Mrs. Arnold, was fined $50 and six months in jail. Norton by payment of $340 was released from the jail sentence. [31]






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[July 14, 1908] -

Lee Norton, who was on trial at the time of our last issue for the shooting of Mrs. Arnold, was fined $50 and six months in jail. Norton by payment of $340 was released from the jail sentence. -- Mt. Vernon Signal. [32]




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[September 25, 1908] -


Joe Norton, serving a two years sentence for the killing of James and Harlan Arnold, was released last Tuesday.  His time would have been up in about a month. [33]





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[May 11, 1909] -


Levi Harris and Horace Norton, from Rockcastle county, serving six years each on a charge of manslaughter, were paroled by the Prison Commission. [34]






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[1] Excerpt from Column 1. The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. January 6, 1906. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

[2] “General Mixup.” Palestine Daily Herald, Palestine, TX. January 8, 1906. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86090383/1906-01-08/ed-1/seq-2/


[3] Excerpt from "Locals." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. Jan 9, 1906. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1906-01-09/ed-1/seq-3/

[4] “Fight.” The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. January 12, 1906. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1906-01-12/ed-1/seq-3/

[5] “Continued.” The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. Jan 19, 1906. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1906-01-19/ed-1/seq-3/

[6] “Held For Alleged Murder.” The Paducah Sun, Paducah, KY. January 25, 1906. Page 8. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052116/1906-01-25/ed-1/seq-8/


[7] Excerpt from "Local." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. January 26, 1906. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1906-01-26/ed-1/seq-3/

[8] Excerpt from "Locals." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 26, 1906. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1906-01-26/ed-1/seq-3/

[9] Excerpt from "Local." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. February 16, 1906. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1906-02-16/ed-1/seq-3/

[10] Excerpt from “Circuit Court.” The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. June 1, 1906. Page 4. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1906-06-01/ed-1/seq-4/

[11] Excerpt from “Circuit Court.” The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. December 14, 1906. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1906-12-14/ed-1/seq-3/

[12] Excerpt from "Local." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. March 29, 1907. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-03-29/ed-1/seq-3/

[13] Excerpt from “Personal.” The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. April 5, 1907. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-04-05/ed-1/seq-3/

[14] Excerpt from “Circuit Court.” The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. April 5, 1907. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-04-05/ed-1/seq-3/

[15] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 5, 1907. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1907-04-05/ed-1/seq-1/

[16] The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. April 12, 1907. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-04-12/ed-1/seq-3/

[17] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 16, 1907. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1907-04-16/ed-1/seq-1/

[18] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. June 28, 1907. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-06-28/ed-1/seq-2/



[19] Excerpt from "Local." Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. July 5, 1905. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-07-05/ed-1/seq-3/

[20] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 16, 1907. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1907-07-16/ed-1/seq-2/

[21] Excerpt from "Local." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. September 13, 1907. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-09-13/ed-1/seq-3/

[22] Excerpt from "Local." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. October 11, 1907. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-10-11/ed-1/seq-3/

[23] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. December 13, 1907. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1907-12-13/ed-1/seq-3/



[24] Excerpt from "Local." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. January 24, 1908. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1908-01-24/ed-1/seq-3/

[25] Excerpt from "Locals." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 7, 1908. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1907-04-07ed-1/seq-3/

[26] Excerpt from "Local." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. April 10, 1908. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1908-04-10/ed-1/seq-3/

[27] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 14, 1908. LOC. Page 2. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1907-04-14/ed-1/seq-2/

[28] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 21, 1908. LOC. Page 1. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1907-04-21/ed-1/seq-1/

[29] Excerpt from "Local." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mt. Vernon, KY. May 15, 1908. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1908-05-15/ed-1/seq-3/

[30] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. July 3, 1908. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1908-07-03/ed-1/seq-3/

[31] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. July 10, 1908. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1908-07-10/ed-1/seq-3/


[32] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 14, 1908. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1907-07-14/ed-1/seq-1/

[33] Excerpt from "Personal." The Mount Vernon Signal, Mount Vernon, KY. September 25, 1908. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069561/1908-09-25/ed-1/seq-3/

[34] Excerpt from "In Neighboring Counties." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 11, 1909. Page 4. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052021/1908-05-11/ed-1/seq-4/


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