August 26, 2017

Preacher Kills Another Preacher, Whitley, 1910

Previously:

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

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This post was made at the request of Alice, a great-granddaughter of Rev. Robert Vanover. If you have any further information on this murder, please contact me at papershake.blogspot[at]gmail.com. 


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[June 18, 1910] -

PASTOR KILLED IN HIS PULPIT

Rival Ministers Fight in a Kentucky Church.

CONFLICTING TALES OF CONGREGATION

Tragedy Will Cause Church to Be Broken Up.

Rev. Robert Vanover is Excluded from the Meeting of Church Trustees and Following This He is Ordered Out of His Pulpit -- A Fight Results in His Being Knifed To Death -- Arrests Made.

Williamsburg, Ky., June 18. -- Following the killing of Rev. Robert Vanover in the pulpit of the Rock Creek Baptist church, Friday night, Rev. Isaac Perry and his cousin, Blaine Perry, are in jail here under indictment charged with the killing of Vanover, and five other men are being sought by officers in connection with the affray. Vanover was excluded from a meeting of the church trustees, Friday night, when they met to act on his request for a new trial on serious charges which had been filed with the trustees against him. 

Following this, he attempted to conduct the regular Friday night services, but was ordered out of the pulpit by Rev. Perry, who had been acting as pastor following the filing of the charges against Vanover. When he refused to leave, Perry is said to have shoved him, and the fight started, causing a panic among the congregation, who tell conflicting stories of the fight.

When the excitement subsided, Vanover was lying dead on the pulpit, his throat cut from ear to ear. Some witnesses say Blaine Perry held Vanover while his cousin cut Vanover's throat, and others declare Vanover drew a knife first. 

The church, it is predicted, will be broken up because of the tragedy and the church building abandoned. [1] 







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[June 19, 1910] -

FATAL FIGHT IN A WHITLEY CHURCH

THE REV. MR. VANOVER'S THROAT IS CUT.

TEN PERSONS ENGAGED IN THE STRUGGLE.

TWO MEN ARE IN JAIL.

Lexington, Ky., June 18. -- A special from Williamsburg says that the Rev. Robert Vanover and the Rev. Isaac Perry, well-known mountain preachers, who had been holding rival meetings, and eight other persons in the church had a fight in the Rock Creek Baptist church, in Whitley county, last week, during which Vanover's throat was cut from ear to ear. He died in a short time.

The trouble grew out of charges against Vanover, which were being tried in the church when the fight occurred. Minister Perry and his cousin, Blaine Perry, are in jail at Williamsburg.

After an investigation of the fight the authorities of Whitley county found evidence implicating eight other persons in the fight, according to later reports from Williamsburg.

The Rev. Mr. Vanover was one of the most widely known mountain preachers in the State. He 'rode circuit' for many years and had acquired a considerable reputation by his success in the remote communities to which his work called him.

The church was crowded at the time and a wild panic ensued. The two Perrys were quickly arrested and hurried to the Williamsburg jail. 

The fight occurred during the hearing of serious charges made against the Rev. Mr. Vanover. He had been tried once before, had been deposed and the church turned over to the Rev. Mr. Perry. The Rev. Mr. Vanover claimed that he had not had a fair hearing at the first trial, and asked that he be given another chance to prove his innocence.

This was done, and it was during this hearing that the fatal fight occurred. 

The Rev. Isaac Perry, Thomas, Samuel, Richard, William and Mack Perry and Hustler and James Head have been indicted, the first named as principal in the alleged murder of the Rev. Robert Vanover and the others as accessories.

The Perrys are all related to each other and to the Heads. [2]



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[June 20, 1910] -


PREACHER KILLS PREACHER

WILLIAMSBURG, KY., June 18th. -- Rev. Robert Vanover was fatally cut in a fight with Rev. Isaac Perry in the Rock Creek Baptist Church a week ago Friday and died last Sunday. They had disagreed over some Church matters and Vanover had been ousted from the Church. [3]




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[June 21, 1910] -


PULPIT TRAGEDY


Minister Slays Another by Cutting His Throat at Williamsburg.

Evidence Implicating Eight Other Persons in the Killing.

Lexington, Ky., June 18. -- A special from Williamsburg, Ky., says that Rev. Robert Vanover and Rev. Isaac Perry, well known mountain preachers, who had been holding revival meetings, fought a duel with knives in the Rock Creek Baptist Church, Whitley county, yesterday. Vanover's throat being cut from ear to ear. He died in a short time.

The trouble grew out of charges against Vanover, which were being investigated by the church when the fight occurred. Minister Perry and his brother, Blaine, are in jail at Williamsburg.

It is said that Perry ran at Vanover while the latter was in the pulpit. The two men clynched and, while struggling in each other's arms, Perry drew a knife. At this juncture Blaine Perry seized Vanover, it is said, and held him while Isaac Perry cut Vanover's throat.

The church was crowded, and a wild panic ensued. The duel occurred during the hearing of serious charges made against Vanover. He had been tried once before, had been deposed and the church turned over to Perry. Vanover claimed that he had not had a fair hearing at the first trial, and asked that he be given another chance to prove his innocence. This was done, and it was during this hearing that the fatal fight occurred.

After an investigation the authorities of Whitley county found evidence implicating eight other persons, besides Rev. Isaac Perry and his brother, in the killing, according to late reports.

Rev. Mr. Vanover was one of the most widely known mountain preachers in the state. [4]







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[June 23, 1910] -

PREACHERS FATAL FIGHT: -- It is reported from Williamsburg that Rev. Robert Vanover was killed in the Rock Creek Baptist church, Whitley County by the Rev. Isaac Perry. The reports are conflicting as to the cause of the trouble. It seems, however, that Vanover was up for trial on his own appeal from the former action of the church deposing him, and during the trial the difficulty arose which resulted in Vanover's throat being cut by the Rev. Isaac Perry. 

Other reports hint that a number of people were implicated in the murder, but only Isaac and Blain Perry have been placed in jail.

Vanover is survived by a wife and five children. [5]











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[June 23, 1910] -

One Preacher Kills Another in Whitley.

Williamsburg, Ky., June 18. -- Rev. Robert Vanover was fatally cut in a fight with Rev. I. Perry in the Rock Creek Baptist Church a week ago Friday and died last Sunday. They had disagreed over some church matters and Vanover had been ousted from the church. He demanded a rehearing and a the fight followed.

Last Wednesday indictments charging murder were returned against Rev. Isaac Perry, Tom Sam, Richard, Willie and Mack Perry, Hustler Head and Jim Head, the first named as principal and the others as accessories. The accused are all related by family ties. [6]






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[June 24, 1910] -

PREACHERS FIGHT TO DEATH

BLOODY DUEL WITH KNIVES IN WHITLEY COUNTY.

A dispatch from Williamsburg, Whitley county says: that the Rev. Robert Vanover, and the Rev. Isaac Perry, well-known mountain preachers, who had been holding revival meetings, fought a duel with knives in the Rock creek Baptist Church in Whitley county and Vanover's throat being cut from ear to ear. He died in a short time.

The trouble grew out of charges against Vanover, which were being tried in the church when the fight occurred. Minister Perry and his cousin Blaine Perry, are in jail at Williamsburg.

It is said that the Rev. Isaac Perry ran at the Rev. Vanover while he was in the pulpit. The two men clinched, and while struggling in each other's arms the Rev. Perry drew a knife. At this juncture Blaine Perry seized the Rev. Vanover, it is said, and held him, while the other pulled his knife across the Rev. Vanover's throat, inflicting a wound to which he succumbed in a short while. [7]



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[August 5, 1910] -

CHURCH FIGHT

Henry Martin, Clerk of Church, Shot and Instantly Killed in Whitley Co.

Special to The Advocate.

Williamsburg, Ky., Aug. 6. -- During a business meeting at Rocky Creek Baptist Church in Whitley county, Henry Martin, clerk of the church, was shot in the back by Goldman Troxell and instantly killed. It is alleged that Troxell requested Martin to cash a check, which for some reason he refused to do. Upon his refusal, Troxell shot and killed Martin. Rocky Creek church gained wide notority about three months ago when services were being held one Saturday afternoon. A dispute arose over some church matter. An encounter ensued between Rev. Robert Vanover and Rev. Isaac Perry. Vanover was stabbed in the heart by Perry and died instantly. The fight took place in the pulpit. [8]







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[September 2, 1910] -


STILL FIGHTING IN THAT WHITLEY CHURCH


In a fight at the Rock Creek Baptist church in Whitley county, resulting from Henry Martin, clerk of the church, refusing to cash a check for Goldman Troxell, Martin was shot through the back and killed.

Rock Creek church is gaining notoriety as a place for fatal encounters. It is here a month ago that the Rev. Isaac Vanover and the Rev. Isaac Henry fought a duel to the death with knives in the pulpit, Vanover being killed. Troxell and Martin had never had trouble before. [9]





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[October 4, 1910] -


Gets Five-Year Sentence.


Williamsburg, Ky., Oct. 3. -- (Special.) -- Isaac Perry was sentenced to five years in the penitentiary for killing the Rev. Mr. Vanover at Rock Creek church here last summer. The trouble occurred over a church trial. [10]




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[October 29, 1910] -

With Shotwell the Sheriff brought two ministers of the gospel. One is sentenced to serve ten years and the other five years in the penitentiary. Tom Strunk, convicted of criminal assault, and sent up for ten years, Isaac Perry, also a minister, was sent up for five years for manslaughter. [11]




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[October 31, 1910] -


2 PREACHERS


Rev. Thomas Strunk and Rev. Isaac Perry Are Taken to the Penitentiary.

The sheriff of Whitley county passed through Danville Saturday en route to the Frankfort penitentiary with two preachers. Rev. Isaac Perry goes to the pen for five years for manslaughter and Rev. Strunk for ten years for assault. Perry got into a fight in the Rock Creek church with another minister and when the smoke had cleared away, his assailant was dead. [12]







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[1] "Pastor Killed in His Pulpit." The Marion Star, Marion, OH. June 18, 1910. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

[2] "Fatal Fight in Whitley Church." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. June 19, 1910. Page 34. Newspapers.com.

[3] "Preacher Kills Preacher." The Public Ledger, Maysville, KY. June 20, 1910. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[4] "Pulpit Tragedy." Hopkinsville Kentuckian, Hopkinsville, KY. June 21, 1910. Page 5. Newspapers.com.

[5] Excerpt from "In Our Own State." The Citizen, Berea, KY. June 23, 1910. Pages 1 and 5. Newspapers.com.

[6] "One Preacher Kills Another in Whitley." The Bee, Earlington, KY. June 23, 1910. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[7] "Preachers Fight to Death." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. June 24, 1910. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

This article also printed in: 
Excerpt from "Kentucky Neighbors."  The Big Sandy News, Louisa, KY. June 1910. Newspapers.com. This image is incorrectly saved on Newspapers.com as being Page 3 of the December 18, 1914 issue.

[8] "Church Fight." Kentucky Advocate, Danville, KY. August 5, 1910. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

[9] "Still Fighting in that Whitley Church." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. September 2, 1910. Page 4. Newspapers.com.

[10] "Gets Five Year Sentence." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. October 4, 1910. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

[11] Excerpt from "Stripes Donned." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. October 29, 1910. Page 4. Newspapers.com.

[12] "2 Preachers." Kentucky Advocate, Danville, KY. October 31, 1910. Page 1. Newspapers.com.

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