September 10, 2014

Killings Involving William Owens, Rockcastle, 1870-1879


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


This post contains articles and documents regarding the killing of Henry Langford by William Owens in 1870, John Griffin by William Owens in 1872, William Pickens by James Langford in 1874/1875, and James Langford by William Owens in 1879.


I typically do not include oral histories that I come across online for a variety of reasons (genealogy isn't my focus, we all know how unreliable the "telephone game" is, usually there's no source name included, the information is usually otherwise unsubstantiated, there are plenty of other websites out there which focus on gathering this type of information anyway, etc etc).  In this instance, I am making an exception because the newspaper articles which reference the murder of Henry Langford by William Owens all do so in hindsight from 1876, and state that the murder happened in 1868. This oral history, however, indicates the murder happened in May 1870, which is substantiated by the 1870 U.S. Census Mortality Schedule for Rockastle County.

From: Charles S. Owens [] Sent: Monday, August 24, 2009 2:22 AM To: Subject: Fw: Mt. Vernon Owens in the NY Times Hi Terry, Good to hear from you - it has been a while since we corresponded. Here is the article from the NY Times of 30 or 31 Dec. 1879, you'll have to scroll down to the article. I haven't been able to isolate it from the column - had to save the whole column from the Times. I have heard my grandfather talk about this incident, in fact I used to play with Uncle Bill's pistol when I was a kid, of course granddad made sure it wasn't loaded. Granddad was 9 years old when the first shooting took place at a county fair in Mt. Vernon in May 1870. The whole family was there and Uncle Bill and Henry W. Langford got into a fight over something and Henry cut Uncle Bill in the shoulder with his hunting knife and was going after him trying to stab him when Bill pulled his gun out and shot him. This was in May 1870 and according what I have been able to find out, Henry lived through the night and died the next day. Uncle Bill was arrested by his uncle, Ashley Owens, was either the sheriff or a deputy at the time, but released because of self defense. Henry Langford's brother James was a pretty rough individual and spent the next 9 years trying to kill Bill. He even tried to kill Rev. Martin Owen (Bill's uncle) late one night when the Rev. was riding home, but he got away safely. James did kill John Pickens from ambush one night in 1874. Mr. Pickens looked a lot like Uncle Bill and rode a horse similar to Bill's. James ran away to Missouri, but was captured and returned to Mt. Vernon to face murder charges, but the jury was afraid to convict him so I've been told. ... [1]


[May ?, 1870] -

The 1870 U.S. Census Mortality Schedule indicates that Henry W. Langford was 27, not married, a farmer, died in May 1870, and in the cause of death it says "Hemorrhage from Gun Shot Homicide." (click to enlarge) [2]


[July 12, 1872] - 

On the Fourth the community was startled at receiving the intelligence of the death of Mr. John Griffin, an old and well known citizen of Stonesburg, caused from a shot by the hands of Wm. Owens, son of John Owens, of Cave City. Mr. Griffin was an old resident of this county, and, by frugality, economy and industry, had accumulated a considerable estate in lands, &c. He accused Owens of infringing on his rights, by cutting his timber for the use of a steam saw mill in which Owens was somewhat interested. The difficulty first occurred a day or two before, and on this occasion it was renewed by Griffin in a very obstreperous and threatening manner, with an attempt to draw his weapons, when Owens commenced firing as rapidly as possible. Griffin received three shots, one of which merely passed through the fleshy part of his arm, and the other two entered his chest near the heart and lungs, either of which were fatal. He received the fatal shots about 1 o'clock P. M., and expired at 3 o'clock the next morning. Owens has not been seen or heard of since the difficulty, and his whereabouts are not known. Mr. Griffin has eight dead and ten living children, and their mother is still a hearty and robust woman, and will, apparantly, live for generations to come. The departed leaves many relatives and friends to mourn over his untimely death. [3]


[October 11, 1872] -

There were a good many indictments returned for carrying concealed weapons, but very few of any other character. The grand jury failed to find an indictment against William Owens for killing John Griffin. [4]


[October 3, 1873] -

On last Saturday, 21st inst., Jas. Langford shot with a double-barreled shot-gun and seriously, if not fatally wounded Willie Owens, lodging five buck-shot in his body. [5]


[July 9, 1875] -

MURDERED. -- John A. Pickens, of this place, was murdered near Mt. Vernon, on the evening of the 5th. He was shot by some unknown person lying in ambush near the road side. On examination it was found that twelve slugs had taken effect in the back, left shoulder and arm. A coroners jury was summoned, and rendered a verdict of murder, by some person or persons unknown. His remains were brought to Pine Hill for interment. No clue to the murderer, but it was supposed that he was mistaken in his prev.  Mr. Pickens was about 47 years of age, and was a good citizen and leaves a wife and one son. [6]


[July 30, 1875] -

It will be remembered that in our last communication we told of the murder of John A. Pickens, of this place, on the night of 5th July. The murder caused the most intense excitement throughout the county. The County Judge offered a reward of five hundred dollars for the arrest and conviction of the guilty person or persons. The Governor being informed of said facts, put out a like reward. Suspicion rested on certain parties in this section, and on the night of the 22d, in Jackson county. Messrs. Bowling and Isaacs, of McKee, arrested Liberty Langford, Jr., of this county. His father, James Langford, was in the same house, but made his escape. Messrs. Bowling and Isaacs not knowing the parties or anything of the murder, did not press their efforts, and only supposed Langford's to be suspicious horse thieves. Young Langford was brought to Mt. Vernon, and placed in custody, and awaits his trial on the 30th. Then we hope it will be ascertained who are the guilty ones. [6.5]


[September 8, 1876] -

The Sequel to a Kentucky Tragedy.

The sheriff of Rockcastle county, Ky., passed through St. Louis yesterday with James Langford, who is charged with the murder of John A. Pickens, who was murdered near Mt. Vernon, Ky., in July, 1875.  Pickens was a farmer, living a couple of miles from Mt. Vernon, and he was shot one night while riding home from town.  Langford had been seen in the neighborhood a short time before, and disappeared from the country directly after the shooting, so that suspicion was fastened upon him at once.  No one knew of any quarrel that Langford and Pickens had, but the supposition was that Langford mistook Pickens for a man named William Owens, whom he had sworn to kill to avenge the death of his brother, shot by Owens a year or two before.  Nothing was heard from Langford until about a week ago, when the sheriff of Rockcastle county, Ky., received word from the sheriff of one of the interior counties of Missouri that he had arrested Langford. He started for the place immediately, and received the prisoner on a requisition from the Governor.  Langford has already been indicted for murder by the Grand Jury of Rockcastle county.  He is a middle-aged man, and has a wife and several children living on a farm only a short distance from where Pickens was shot.
-- [St. Louis Times. [7]


[January 26, 1877] -

In the case of the Commonwealth vs. Liberty Langford, Jr., indicted for the murder of James Rickens, the jury returned a verdict of "not guilty." [8]


[March 9, 1877] -

Geo. W. McClure, County Judge, Wm. M. Fish, Circuit Clerk, and several other of our citizens, are absent this week in Barbourville, where they have been summoned as witnesses int he case of the Commonwealth vs. James Langford, charged with the murder of Wm. Pickens.  The murder was committed in this county more than a year ago.  Langford's trial was moved to Knox county by change of venue.  The case will be called this week, but it is thought probable, that, on account of some absent witnesses, a trial will not be held this term of the Court. [9]


[March 16, 1877] -

The trial of James Langford was begun last week, in the Knox Circuit Court. It was expected that the case would be given to the jury Monday or Tuesday. [10]


[March 30, 1877] -

The case of the Commonwealth vs. Jas. Langford, for murder, tried in the Knox Circuit Court last week, of which mention has heretofore been made in these columns, resulted in a verdict of "not guilty." [11]


[April 25, 1879] -

Our Mt. Vernon letter tells of a deplorable State of affairs in Rockcastle. Armed men have unlawfully banded together to intimidate, murder and burn, should the administration of justice conflict or interfere with their idea of the way it should be done. An unsuccessful attempt to arrest and disband them was made, when a couple of officers were seriously wounded by the rascals, in ambush. This highhanded action, coming as it does with the Circuit Court, shows that trouble of a serious nature may be expected during the term, unless prompt action be taken by the officials. We do not approve of the pacificatory measures that have been used with the offenders. A parlying[sic] with criminals always makes them worse, and in all cases where the law has been violated the most prompt and vigorous measures, only, have ever succeeded in putting an end to it. A number of very important cases have been sent from this county to Rockcastle, and our people feel a deep solicitude that justice may be meted out to the offenders without fear or favor from surrounding circumstances. The cases referred to were taken there for a purpose; but we trust in the good citizens of the county and the ability of the officers, to see that no farce is enacted. Let the guilty be punished, that law and order may become supreme.

A DEPLORABLE STATE OF AFFAIRS. -- For some time past the country has been full of flying rumors to the effect that a band of men were holding weekly meetings in the night tie on the Hausell[?] ridge above town. The object of the band purported to be an organization for protection against the Ku Klux, to kill certain parties if they escape indictments at the Circuit Court, and to kill certain of the county officials. The cremation of Mt. Vernon was also hinted at in their councils, so the report said. Good citizens living in the vicinity of their place of meeting, became alarmed, and notified the officers of such facts as they knew, demanding the arrest of the conspirators. Prominent among the names of the ringleaders were those of Dave Bethurum, Mike Pitman, James Langford, Jess Pitman, some of the Lawsons, the Joneses, the Fredericks, and a number of negroes. Last Saturday evening, information, deemed to be reliable, was brought to the County Judge that the conspirators had met there, they were gone when the officer and posse arrived, and the latter proceeded to the house of Jess Pitman. Not finding him at home, they started on their return, traveling on the State road. Just after they had passed Zack Hausell's on top of the hill above town, they were fired into by a party of bushwhackers, seven or eight in number, who were concealed in the undergrowth and behind the trees and fences near the road-side. The fire was returned and both parties kept up a lively interchange of shots for several minutes. Two of the posse are reported wounded -- one of them, Wm. Pointer, who lives in town, rather seriously. Two buckshot [?]ted his forehead, one went through his shoulder, and another went into his body behind his arm. One of the bushwhackers is said to be badly shot. The affair has caused considerable excitement. Another attempt was made Tuesday by the Sheriff, to arrest some of the parties, charged in the former writ, but they took to the brush and escaped. LATER. -- The battle of Saturday night has been the prevailing topic of discussion in all circles, but the excitement may now be allayed, and speculation as to when the belligerents will have another encounter, need no longer be indulged in. On Wednesday, a Peace Commission was organized. Four of the prominent citizens of the town, J. J. Williams, Charles Kirtley, W. M. Weber and M. J. Miller, met James Langford by appointment at the house of M. J. Cook. Langford denied that the organization he controls was effected for the purpose of killing any body, or destroying their property. He claimed that they simply meant to protect themselves, that there are parties in this county, who want to take his life, and he collected these men to assist in his defense. He agreed, upon assurances being given hi by the Commissioners that he should not be molested, and that the writs against him and his men should be withdrawn, to disperse his followers. The whole matter is to be investigated by the Grand Jury. We hope that this arrangement will secure us peace and quiet during Circuit Court. In the event that any arrests are to be made, and it appearing that a Sherriff's posse cannot be summoned without including some one who is objectionable to the offenders, Judge McClure has called on the Governor for troops. [11.5]


[December 1879] -

This 1880 Census Mortality schedule indicates that James Langford died the previous December, that he was age 42, married, from Kentucky, farmer, resident of Rockcastle for 42 years, and cause of death is "shot, murder." 

Listed on the line below James Langford is James' son Liberty Langford, who was murdered in October 1878. (Click to enlarge) [12]


[December 30, 1879] -


Proceeding In Criminal Cases - Offenses Reported Yesterday

Mount Vernon, Ky. Dec. 30 - There was a bloody ending of a long-standing feud in Rock Castle County to-day.  About 1 p.m. at Pine Hill, William A. Owens shot and killed James Langford.  They had been deadly enemies for years.  In 1868, Owens killed Langford's brother Henry.  Owens was tried and acquitted, since which time Langford has several times to kill him.  Once he emptied the contents of a shot-gun into Owens's back as he was fleeing for his life.  At another time he chased Owens several miles on horseback, when the latter only escaped by taking to the woods.  To-day they met and quarreled at the store of A. P. Ricketts, at Pine Hill, and Owens, being unarmed, ran to his house and got a double-barreled shotgun and a navy revolver.  Returning, he met Langford on the road, and after emptying both barrels of his gun at his enemy drew his pistol and emptied four chambers of that.  Langford fell at the first fire.  The contents of both gun barrels entered his body, and three pistol balls passed through his brain.  His own large navy revolver was found strapped to his body with all of the chambers loaded, and if is presumed that he had no chance to use it.  A warrant for murder was issued against Owens, and it is thought that he will not attempt to escape.  His victim bore a desperate character, was about 40 years of age, and was the son of one of the first settlers in the county.  In 1874 John Pickens was shot from the bushes while on his way home.  Owing to his remarkable resemblance to Owens, Langford was charged with the murder, it being supposed that he mistook his man.  He fled, but was captured near Kansas City, Mo., in 1876, was brought to this state for trial, an acquitted, though the acquittal did not alter the common belief in his guilt.  Besides the shooting affray with Owens some years ago, Langford has been mixed up with other bloody affairs, and the manner of his death to-day surprises no one. [13]


[December 30, 1879] -

Pine Hill, Ky., Dec. 30.

In 1868, Wm. A. Owens killed James Langford's brother Henry and was acquitted.  Langford attempted several times to kill Owens.  Once he emptied a shot gun into Owens' back as he was fleeing.  Another time he chased Owens several miles on horseback, when the latter escaped by taking to the woods.  Yesterday they quarreled at a store.  Owens ran home, got a double barreled shotgun and navy revolver, and returning, met Langford on a road and emptied both barrels of the gun and four chambers of the revolver at his enemy.  The loads of both gun barrels entered Langford's body and three pistol balls passing through his brain.  Langford's navy revolver was found strapped to his body.

A warrant for the murderer was issued, and it is thought he will not attempt to escape.

In 1874, John Pickens was shot from bushes while on a road home.  From his striking resemblance to Owens, Langford was charged with the murder, it being supposed that he mistook his man.  He fled, but was captured in 1876 and acquitted.  Langford has been mixed in other affairs of bloodshed.  Owens killed John Griffin not two miles from the spot of to-day's tragedy.  He was acquitted.

In Indiana three years ago he killed his fourth man.  He is not more than 23 years old and is a son of one of the best citizens of the county.  Opinion is divided as to whether Owens' act was justifiable. [14]


[January 2, 1880] -

The old year has a bloody ending in Rockcastle. Last Monday evening another man handy with his pistol got in his work, another soul was hurled into eternity, and the gore of another victim stained with its foul blot the already crimson record of the county.  On that day Wm. A. Owens shot and killed James Langford, near Pine Hill.  The weapons used by Owens were a double-barreled shot gun and a navy pistol. He emptied both barrels of his gun which was loaded with navy balls and several chambers of his pistol. Just how many balls took effect, I am unable to say, the reports being very conflicting.  When Langford's body was visited a few moments after the shooting, he was found lying on his face.  Three balls had passed through his head.  The skull was shattered into small fragments, and the brains had all oozed out.  Langford's pistol was found in the scabbard, strapped around him and all the chambers were loaded.  He had no chance to fire, or he would certainly have improved it.  After the shooting Owens went into Pine Hill and confessed the killing.  He then went to his home, and remained till next morning when he was arrested by Deputy Sheriff G. H. Albright, and brought before Judge G. W. McClure.  His trial was fixed for yesterday (Thursday).  There are so many wild rumors afloat that I shall make no attempt to detail the facts which led to the homicide in this letter.  Owens and Langford have been deadly enemies for years. In 1868 Owens killed Henry Langford, a brother of James.  He was tried for the offense and was acquitted.  After the trial James Langford made several attempts to kill him.  Once he emptied a double-barrel gun heavily charged with buckshot into Owen's back while the latter was fleeing for his life, giving him a wound which nearly took him to his grave.  Again he chased him for several miles on horseback, and Owens only made his escape by leaping from his horse and taking to the brush.  It has long been regarded as only a question of time when one of these men would kill the other.  Langford's tragic end surprises no one.  He was a desperate man and a dangerous foe.  He was accused of the murder of John A. Pickens in 1874, tried for the offense and acquitted.  Before his trial he was a fugitive from justice for several years.  He was in his life mixed up with many affair of bloodshed. Wm. Owens is also a desperate character.  Besides the two Langfords he killed a man named John Griffin in this county some years ago.  He was tried for this and acquitted.  It is said that he killed a man in Indiana two or three years ago, but of this I have nothing reliable.  He is a young man about 25 years of age, and is a son of John Owens, one of the best citizens in this county. [15]


[January 9, 1880] -

When the examining trial of W. A. Owens, for the murder of James Langford, was called last Thursday, Judge McClure retired from the case, it having been made known to him that the father of the deceased objected to his presiding. By consent R. H. Frith and J. R. Calloway, two Justices, were selected to constitute the examining court. The investigation began last Tuesday an closed Wednesday evening. Fifteen witnesses were examined for the prosecution and twenty-three for the defense. A clear case of murder was made out by the prosecution. The defense was previous threats on the part of the deceased; an attempt on his part to take the life of the accused, and his character as a vicious, dangerous man. No man, perhaps, ever had proved against him a worse character than that of the deceased. The Court decided to hold Owens in a bond of $1,500 to the Circuit Court to answer the charge of manslaughter. The decision of the Court was much commented on from the singular fact that the prisoner was either guilty of murder or he was justifiable. There was no evidence to warrant his being held for manslaughter. It is hoped that this killing is the last homicide that will occur in our county for a long time to come. [16]


[January 13, 1880] -

Glasgow Times: Bill Owens, a young man from the head-waters of Bitter Creek, Rockcastle county, Ky., who had already killed three men, shot and killed Jim Langford on Monday, having killed Henry Langford, his brother a few months ago.  The Langfords were desperate characters, and Jim had killed a man named John Pickens by mistake for Owens. [17]


[May 7, 1880] -

W. A. Owens and W. A. McKinney, indicted for murder at the present term, were refused bail and remanded to jail. [18]


[January 14, 1881] -

On Tuesday the case of the Commonwealth vs. W. A. Owens, for the murder of James Langford, was taken up. The killing occurred in December, 1879, and the details are familiar to the public. Both parties announced themselves ready, and the selection of the jury began. About 75 persons were examined touching their qualifications as jurors, from whom the jury was selected. Their names are as follows: Hugh Edwards, Tazwell Huff, James Hardin, Wm. F. Baker, J. W. Pinkston, Monroe Bailey, James Crawford, D. A. Winsted, Wm. Wallin, Elias Prewitt, James Lawrence, Owen Allen. The taking of testimony began Wednesday morning. The case of the Commonwealth vs. Robt. Randall for murder was continued till the next term. Same vs. Emmett Snodgrass, for murder, is set for Monday next. In the case against Owens, Mr. Warren is assisted in the prosecution by Judge B. K. Bethurum, R. M. Bradley, B. F. Holman, W. O. Bradley and Isaac Stuart represent the defendant. This trial will probably occupy the time of the Court for two days. 

WEDNESDAY'S COURT PROCEEDINGS. -- The entire day was spent in taking the testimony in the case of the Commonwealth vs. Owens. A clear case of murder was made out by the prosecution. The defendant introduced some sixty witnesses, by whom he proved threats, and attempts to assassinate the defendant by the dead man. He also proved that Langford bore the character of a violent, desperate, dangerous and blood-thirsty man. The jury received the instructions of the Court on yesterday morning. The case was then argued by Hon. W. O. Bradley for the defendant, and Hon. R. C. Warren for the Commonwealth. Both gentlemen made very able arguments. The case was given to the jury at 12 o'clock yesterday, and a verdict may be expected by this morning. It is palpably evident that the jury will acquit, though they may fail to agree. The case has attracted considerable interest, and, in spite of the inclement weather, large crowds have daily thronged the Court room. [19]


[January 21, 1881] -

When I wrote you last week the jury was considering the case of the Commonwealth vs. W. A. Owens for the murder of James Langford. The closing speech for the prosecution by Hon. R. C. Warren was a masterly combination of eloquence and argument. Everybody that heard it pronounced it a splendid speech. The jury after considering the case until Friday, reported that there was no possibility of their agreeing, and they were accordingly discharged. [20]


[February 18, 1881] -

The friends of W. A. Owens, who is charged with the murder of James Langford, have joined in a petition to Governor Blackburn, asking him to grant Owens a pardon. He has once been tried and the result was a hung jury. Nobody believes a conviction can ever be obtained, and a pardon is asked as a matter of economy both to the State and the defendant. Judge McClure took the petition to the Governor this week. [21]


[February 25, 1881] -

Rev. Geo. O. Barnes is holding a meeting at Mt. Vernon, Ky. This is the place where one gentleman ambushed another gentleman several weeks ago and filled his abdomen with buckshot. He then walked up to the prostrate body of his victim and emptied the contents of five chambers of his revolver into his head. A jury of twelve impartial yeoman of Rockcastle, upon the murderer's trial brought in a verdict of acquittal. Healthy community that. --(Mt. Sterling Democrat.

The above item is not altogether correct. It is true that Mr. Barnes is holding a meeting here. It is also true that this is a healthy community. The other statements are utterly void of truth; they are, to say the very least of them, terrible mistakes. There has not been a man killed in this county [Rockcastle] for six months. No such assassinations, as above described, ever occurred here, in which the murderer was acquitted. The writer was possibly striking in a weak, maudlin sort of way at the Langford Owens murder, which occurred more than a year ago. Owens was not acquitted, though he, perhaps, should have been. The result in his case was a hung jury. The editor of the Democrat should quit writing at random. [21.5]


[January 13, 1882] -

The case of the Commonwealth vs. W. A. Owens was called in the Circuit Court yesterday morning, and the impression at the time of writing this, was that it would be tried. As there was no attorney present interested, who could act as special judge, it was passed until this morning. Hon. M. H. Owsley was expected to arrive yesterday evening. [22]


[January 17, 1882] -

The trial of W. A. Owens for murder began last Friday. The regular panel was soon exhausted and several bystanders examined, and two jurors, Elisha Bullock and Riley Jordan, were obtained. It appearing that jury could not be obtained in the county, the sheriff was ordered to summon sixty men from Pulaski county to appear in the Court-house yesterday morning, from whom it was supposed a jury could be obtained. [23]


[January 24, 1882] -

W. A. Owens, who was tried for the murder of James Langford at the last term of our Circuit Court and acquitted, has sent the following letter to this department with a request for its publication:

Editor Interior Journal:

I ask a little space in your columns to express my thanks to the very many kind friends who stood by me in my late troubles. I can never forget them, nor the good men from this county and Pulaski who tried my case, and who, believing I was bound to do what I did, turned me loose. My lawyers made a splendid good fight for me.  I shall always remember them for the way they stuck to me, and especially Mr. W. O. Bradley, who was untiring in his efforts.  His speech was very eloquent, and presented my case to the jury exactly as it was.  Mr. Warren, the Commonwealth's Attorney, prosecuted me hard, but it was his duty to do that, and I have no feelings over anything that happened in the trial.  I had much trouble, and now, with God's help, I intend henceforth to live a quiet, sober, peaceable life.  And in carrying out this resolution, I hope to receive the support and sympathy of all good people. W. A. OWENS. January 21st, 1882. [24]


[July 25, 1882] -

CIRCUIT COURT NOTES. -- The jury in the case of the Commonwealth vs. W. A. Owens, charged with the murder of James Langford, was selected Monday, the testimony heard, and arguments finished Tuesday. After deliberating for only a few moments, the jury returned a verdict of "not guilty," and the prisoner was discharged. Owens was ably defended by several attorneys. The argument of his leading counsel, Col. W. O. Bradley, was pronounced by all that heard it, one o[f] the most splendid efforts Mr. Bradley ever made. The verdict was not a surprise. [25]


[April 24, 1888] -

The first man ever hanged in this county was Jonathan Davidson who was hanged in 1852 [1842] for the murder of William Langford, a great-uncle of the boys who fired on Adams to-day.  Their only uncle, Henry Langford, was killed in 1873 by William A. Owens.  Owens was acquitted for the killing, but James Langford, father of these boys, was ever afterward trying to avenge his brother's death, and it is said waylaid and killed John Pekins near this place in 1874, thinking he was killing Owens.  Langford left the State after Pe[r]kins was killed and was gone for more than a year, when he was arrested in Missouri and brought back for trial charged with Pe[r]kins' murder.  He remained in Jail for a long time.  His case was finally taken to Knox County on a change of venue for trial, where, in 1877, he was tried and acquitted.  In the latter part of 1878 he was shot and killed by W. A. Owens, the man who had killed his brother.  For this killing also Owens was tried and acquitted. [26]

(See the full article image and transcription of this source in post on the killing of Liberty Langford by Jack Adams, Jr.)


[1] Posted by user teryssmith on 24 Aug 2009 to

[2] County: Rockcastle, Census Year: 1870. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

[3] Excerpt from "From Pine Hill." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 12, 1872. Page 3. LOC.

[4] Excerpt from "From Pine Hill." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 11, 1872. Page 3. LOC.

[5] Excerpt from "From Rockcastle." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 3, 1873. Page 1. LOC.

[6] "Rockcastle County News - Pine Hill." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 9, 1875. Page 2. LOC.

[6.5] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County News -- Pine Hill." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 30, 1875. Page 2. LOC.

[7] "The Sequel to a Kentucky Tragedy." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. September 8, 1876. Page 1. LOC.

[8] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 26, 1877. Page 3. LOC.

[9] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 9, 1877.
Page 2. LOC.

[10] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 16, 1877. Page 2. LOC.

[11] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 30, 1877. Page 2. LOC.

[11.5] Excerpts from Column 1 and "Rockcastle County." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 25, 1879. Page 2. LOC.

[12] County: Rockcastle, Census Year: 1880. U.S. Federal Census Mortality Schedules, 1850-1885 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2010.

[13] Excerpt from "Criminals and their Deeds." New York Times, New York, NY. December 30, 1879. Transcription as posted on

[14] Excerpt from "Telegraph." Watertown Daily Times, Watertown, NY. December 30, 1879. Page 1.

[15] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 2, 1880. Page 2. LOC.

[16] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 9, 1880. Page 2. LOC.

[17] The South Kentuckian, Hopkinsville, KY. January 13, 1880. Page 2. LOC.

[18] Excerpt from "Rockcastle." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 7, 1880. Page 2. LOC.

[19] Excerpt from "Rockcastle." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 14, 1881. Page 3. LOC.

[20] Excerpt from "Rockcastle." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 21, 1881. Page 2. LOC.

[21] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 18, 1881. Page 2. LOC.

[21.5] Excerpt from "Rockcastle County." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 25, 1881. Page 2. LOC.

[22] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 13, 1882. Page 2. LOC.

[23] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 17, 1882. Page 3. LOC.

[24] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 24, 1882. Page 2. LOC.

[25] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon Department." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 25, 1882. Page 3. LOC.

[26] Excerpt from "Again at It." The Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati, OH. April 24, 1888. Page 1. 

[27] entry for J. A. Pickens does not include birth/death information, but states Pickens was a veteran of the Mexican-American War. Pickens is buried in Pine Hill Cemetery in Rockcastle County.


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