January 13, 2015

One Killed, One Injured in Row Between Thompson & Lawson Families, Laurel, 1885


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


[June 16, 1885] -

LAWLESSNESS IN LAUREL.-- In row over some gossip among their families, at East Bernstadt, Friday, between George, William and James Thompson, brothers, and Wilkerson and Rufus Lawson, cousins, Wilkerson Lawson was instantly killed and Rufus seriously wounded. A spectator, B. L. Poynter, was shot in the calf of the leg. [1]


[June 16, 1885] -

A terrific shooting affray, with pistols and shot gun, took place at East Bernstadt, Laurel county, Thursday afternoon, between three brothers, George, William and James Thompson, and Wilkerson and Rufus Lawson, cousins. Wilkerson Lawson was instantly killed, having received besides other wounds, a charge of buckshot in the side of the head and face. Rufus Lawson is seriously wounded in the left side and lower portion of the left arm by large pistol balls. The difficulty was over some gossip among the families of the combatants, and would probably have been amicably settled but for the meeting of James Thompson and Wilke Lawson, who immediately began firing at each other; the others being around and expecting trouble, soon took part. B. L. Poynter, a spectator, was severely wounded by a pistol shot in the calf of his left leg. [2]


[November 19, 1886] -

The trial of George, William and James Thompson for the murder of Wilk Lawson, at East Bernstadt two years ago, resulted at London this week in the acquittal of William and the conviction of the other two, who get two years each in the penitentiary. A defect in the indictment will likely cause all the work to be done over, however. [3]


[May 31, 1887] -

The jury in the case of George Thompson for the killing of Wilks Lawson, at East Bernstadt, which at the last term of Court was referred, with that of his brother James Thompson, to the grand jury for a new indictment, after remaining out for twenty-four hours, reported Sunday evening the utter impossibility of their ever agreeing and were discharged. Hon. H. C. Eversole was the judge in the case, Judge Boyd having been employed by the prosecution before the election. The Commonwealth in this case was represented by Judge R. Boyd and J. A. Craft in addition to her very able attorney, Col. Clark, while the defense had such legal lights as Col. R. L. Ewell, Judge W. L. Brown, Col. J. J. W. Jones, L. A. Byron and County Attorney Catching managing its case. All these gentlemen argued the case before the jury and with much credit to themselves, the whole of Saturday being consumed in speech-making. [4]


[July 3, 1888] -

At the trial of James Thompson, who killed Wilk Lawson, at East Bernstadt, in June 1885, he was acquitted at London last week. Judge Jackson, of Louisville, presided, Judge Boyd having engaged to prosecute before his election. [5]


[1] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. June 16, 1885. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1885-06-16/ed-1/seq-3/

[2] Excerpt from "Kentucky Knowledge." Semi-Weekly South Kentuckian, Hopkinsville, KY. June 16, 1885. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn86069394/1885-06-16/ed-1/seq-2/

[3] Excerpt from "Local Matters." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. November 19, 1886. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1886-11-19/ed-1/seq-3/

[4] Excerpt from "London, Laurel County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 31, 1887. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1887-05-31/ed-1/seq-1/

[5] Excerpt from "Local Lore." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. July 3, 1888. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1888-07-03/ed-1/seq-3/


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