November 26, 2017

Tom Cain Kills Hiram Tucker, Lincoln, 1878

Previously:

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

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[August 9, 1878] -

MAN SHOT. -- The Barbecue at Squirrel Springs, near Hall's Gap Station, last Saturday broke up in a drunken row, in which Hiram Tucker was shot and probably fatally wounded. It seems that Tucker, who is disposed when drinking to be boisterous and troublesome, got into a fight with Frank Hooker. Both used pocket knives, but no serious damage was done further than the carving up of the fighters' clothes. While the fight was in progress Tucker was shot from the bushes by a ball from a large, square barrel navy pistol, which entered the little back of the shoulder and ranging downward to the dorsal part of the spine, produced paralysis of the lower extremities. It is alleged that the shot was fired by Thomas Cain, and although a warrant for his arrest was issued last Sunday and placed in the hands of the officers, we have heard of no attempt to bring him to justice. Dr. Steele Bailey, the physician called upon  to attend Tucker, says that the wound is a most dangerous one, and will no doubt prove fatal. [1]




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[August 23, 1878] -

ACQUITTED. -- Frank Hooker was tried this week on a charge of shooting with intent to kill Hiram Tucker, and acquitted.



SLOWLY DYING. -- Mr. Hiram Tucker, who was shot so severely at Foster's Barbecue, is gradually sinking, and the end must soon come. We learn from those who have talked with him that he is perfectly resigned to his fate. His cowardly assassin, alleged to be Tom Cain, is still at large. [2]





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[August 27, 1878] -


STANFORD.


Arrest of Thomas and John Cain, Charged with Shooting Hiram Tucker.


(Special Dispatch to the Courier-Journal.)

STANFORD, KY., Aug. 26. -- A party from Wayne and Clinton counties, consisting of W. O. P. McWharter, Jesse Hubbard, Higginbotham and Shelton, arrived here last night with Thomas and John Cain, whom they had arrested in Fentress county, Tenn. John Cain is indicted for arson, and Thomas for the malicious shooting and wounding of Hiram Tucker, at William Foster's barbecue, on the 3d inst. Tucker still lives, but with no chance of recovery. Another of the Cain brothers, Joseph, who is accused in assisting at the shooting of Tucker, is still at large. The trial of Thomas Cain is set for to-morrow, but he will be held until the effect of Tucker's wound is determined. The whole of the Cain family, consisting of the father and four sons, has been a disturbing element in this county for the last eight or ten years. [3]




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[August 29, 1878] -


STANFORD.

Death of Hiram Tucker, Shot by Thomas Cain, Aug. 3 -- Cain Committed Yesterday Without Bail.

(Special Dispatch to the Courier-Journal.)

STANFORD, AUG. 28. -- Hiram Tucker, shot by Thos. Cain at Foster's barbecue on the 3d inst. died last Monday. Cain was tried here to-day, and committed for murder without bail. Joe Cain, arrested as an accomplice, was discharged. [4]




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[August 30, 1878] -

DIED FROM HIS WOUND. -- Hiram Tucker, who was shot on the 3rd of this month at Foster's Barbecue, died from the effects of his wound on Monday last. [5]




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[August 30, 1878] -

THE CAPTURE OF THE CAINS. -- Last Sunday night Messrs. Jerome Hubbard, T. Z. Shelton and J. L. Higginbotham, of Wayne, and Perry McWherter, of Clinton, arrived here and delivered over to the proper authorities, Tom Cain, the alleged murderer of Hiram Tucker, and John Cain, who was indicted by the last Grand Jury for arson. The captors had learned that the men were stopping at a relative's in Wayne, and they prepared to arrest them, but by the time their plans were fully matured, the Cains had set out for Tennessee. They followed them and found them in a house in Fentress county, (that strong hold of murderers and thieves.) This house was situated on such a rough spot that not even a man on horseback could approach nearer than a mile. They tied their horses, and about day-light arrived at the house. Both of the men wanted were inside asleep, but they were soon aroused by the other inmates who had taken in the situation, and Tom Cain escaped through a half open door and commenced to trot off on his hands and feet in dog fashion, when he was observed and taken in. John Cain remained in the house, and the inmates swore that he had escaped, but search was made and John was marched off with his brother. They were both lodged in the Lancaster Jail, John to await the trial of the indictment for arson, and Tom the result of Tucker's wounds. Tucker died on Monday afternoon, and on Wednesday Tom Cain had his examining trial. There was a great deal of conflicting testimony, but enough corroborating to warrant 'Squires Carson and Portman in sending him on without bail. Tom Cain, who also figured with his little pistol on the day of the shooting was discharged. Three of the Cain boys are now held for trial, with a likelihood of each one of them being convicted. They bear a bad reputation, and we sincerely hope they have reached the end of their rope. There had been no reward offered for Tom Cain, but there was a contingent reward for John Cain of $100 -- which is captors will, in all probability get. They deserve to be well rewarded pecuniarily for their trouble and expense. [5 ibid]



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[October 11, 1878] -

BOY SHOT. -- Mrs. Kane, the mother of Tom Kane, now confined in the Lancaster jail for the murder of Hiram Tucker, accidentally shot her little son in the abdomen a few days ago. She was fooling with a pistol and as usual didn't know it was loaded. It is said that the boy will die. [6]




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[October 25, 1878] -

The trial of W. R. James for grand larceny, is set for to-day, and Tom Cain's, for the murder of Hiram Tucker, for next Thursday, the tenth day of the term. [7]




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[November 1, 1878] -

JAIL BIRDS. -- The new jail being in condition for use, all the prisoners from this county, heretofore confined in the Lancaster jail, have been brought back and quartered in it. They number eighteen. [8]



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[November 1, 1878] -

John Cain, charged with the burning of a house belonging tot he heirs of Parks Taylor, was found guilty and his punishment fixed at 10 years in the Penitentiary. 



The trial of Peter Cain for the burning of Parks Taylor's house, was in progress at the adjournment of the Court last evening. Four of the Cain brother's are now confined in the jail here. [9]






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[November 2, 1878] -


STANFORD, KY.


A Bad Lot of Brothers Escape from the New Jail -- A Sheriff's Posse in Pursuit -- The Congressional Contest -- The Blackburn Brothers Arousing the People.

(Special Dispatch to the Courier Journal.)

STANFORD, Nov. 1. -- Thomas Cain, John Cain, Peter Cain and Joseph Cain escaped from the jail here last night at twelve o'clock by breaking out a bar from the main cell and from the window. Thomas Cain is indicted for the murder of Hiram Tucker in August last, and was committed without bail. John Cain has been convicted of arson at the present term of the Circuit Court, and his punishment fixed at ten years in the penitentiary, and the trial of Peter, for the same crime, is in progress, with almost certainty of conviction. Joseph Cain is indicted for carrying concealed deadly weapons. They are brothers and a very bad set, and have been an annoyance to this county for a number of years past. The Jailer has offered a reward for their recapture, and a posse is in pursuit of them this morning. Three other persons -- Westmoreland, who is convicted of larceny; Wm. Blakely, who is indicted for placing obstructions upon the railroad, and --- Privett, who is serving out a term for carrying concealed weapons, escaped at the same time, but they waked up the Jailer, who resides one hundred and fifty yards form the jail, informed him of the whole matter and surrendered themselves into his custody and went back to jail.

The jail is a new one, not yet finished, and the magisterial wisdom of the county considered it a marvel of security. It was built upon the plan and under the supervision of Mr. McDonald, architect, of Louisville, who has been paid a good round sum of money by the county for his supervising wisdom and knowledge and experience of such work, and I suppose Mr. McD will now be called upon to explain. [10]



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[November 15, 1878] -

TWO OF THE CAINS CAPTURED. -- Wednesday night Messrs. George A. Gover, S. Q. Gover and B. F. Epperson, on information obtained from the Interior Journal and other sources, captured Tom and John Cain, who escaped from the new jail here on the night of the 31st ult. They had seen some  suspicious looking individuals during the day dodging in the brush, and that night they laid in wait about half a mile this side of the Cumberland River bridge. About eight o'clock they heard them coming, and pulling down their double-barrel guns on them, demanded a surrender. They did not hesitate to do so, and with a comrade, who gave his name as Ben Woolum, they were brought back to Mr. Gover's house, where they tied and kept all night. Yesterday they were brought here and delivered to the jailer, who promptly paid the $25 a piece that he had offered for them. The party will also get $300 for Tom Cain, the amount named in the Governor's proclamation. We interviewed the Cains last evening and learned from them that the scantling used to break the bars had been left in the jail. They had no idea at first that they could break out, but in experimenting the bar snapped with a report as loud as a gun. They had no greater trouble with the bars in the window and about 12 o'clock (midnight,) they slipped forth from durance vile. They first went in an opposite direction from home but afterwards went there and remained around for several days. They were making for Tennessee, and would have made better time had not Tom gotten sick. It will be remembered that Tom is under indictment for the murder of Hiram Tucker, and that John is under a ten year sentence to the Penitentiary for arson. [11]




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[November 15, 1878] -

THE JAIL BUSINESS. -- All the prisoners confined in the new jail on felony charges were taken back to Lancaster for safe-keeping, and the Magistrates have decided not to sue the jail until it is fully completed. Architect H. P. McDonald came up this week, and decided that contractor Baughman should replace the broken bars with new ones, which he will do, and the trouble about it being received by the county will, no doubt, be settled. [11 ibid]





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[November 15, 1878] -

If the county will give us $200 we will guarantee to build a jail here that the Cains cain't get out of with a scantling. Nearly $10,000 for a jail that wouldn't hold the prisoners for scarcely a fortnight! We expect that the tax-payers would have been better satisfied with the investment of their money if those who had the matter in charge had expended more on the jail proper, and not so much in building a palatial residence for the jailer, who we know could be induced to stay with a much less imposing structure, while the prisoners require much stronger inducements, it seems, than is at present afforded to get them to stay. We should do all in our power to have them satisfied to stay, if the jailer has to "rough it" in an old army tent, if necessary. The present inducements for jailer will produce an extended list of candidates, provided the jailer is not held responsible for the escape of prisoners, by breaking through the pliant bars of the jail. There are a great many men in the county like ourselves, no doubt, who are deserving of an elegant and commodious residence at the expense of the public. And, we may as well state in this connection that it has always been our misfortune heretofore to be patriotic enough to heed the voice of the majority in preference to our own individual interest. [12]




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[January 31, 1879] -

ATTEMPT TO BREAK JAIL. -- The Cains, one of them confined on a charge of murder, and the other awaiting the action of the Court of Appeals, on his sentence to Penitentiary for ten years for arson, and Thomas Robinson, serving out a sentence for carrying concealed weapons, made an attempt to free themselves this week, by sawing out the bars. Mr. Newland fortunately discovered the plan, and by threats of punishment compelled them to give up their saw, which was found to be the blade of a knife, filed down for the purpose. [13]





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John Cain v. Commonwealth, Lincoln, 1879


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[February 7, 1879] -

AFFIRMED. -- The Court of Appeals has affirmed the decision of the lower Court, and John Cain will leave in a day or two for a ten years siege in the Penitentiary, for arson. [14]





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[February 14, 1879] -

A PETTY SWINDLE. -- It required three men, each as large as their little prisoner, and each armed with a huge pistol, to take John Cain, handcuffed, to the Penitentiary last Tuesday. Cain is a diminutive specimen of the breed, whom one man could have taken with the greatest ease, yet the Sheriff, knowing that his chances on the treasury are fast fading away, sends three guards, so as to enable him to make their per diem and other little items, they having engaged to go for their actual expenses and the State is euchered out of $90 for the little trip, when $30 would have easily sufficed. This and other kind of leaks to the treasury have run up the expenses of the State for the current year, of $42,000 over the taxes, and it behooves our next Legislature to look into the matter of carrying prisoners to the Penitentiary and prevent the daily repetition of this kind of swindle. [15]





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[March 28, 1879] -

TWENTY-ONE PRISONERS -- Are now confined in the county jail. Of this number are Tom Cain, charged with the murder of Hiram Tucker, and John Ferrell, for the murder of old man Sutton. The rest are, for the most part, in for minor offenses. [16]





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[April 11, 1879] -

THE DIFFERENCE. -- Tom Cain was sent to the Penitentiary for ten years from this county, recently, for the alleged burning of a house of ill fame. Sam Holmes murders the Sheriff of Lincoln, who was attempting his arrest for a misdemeanor, and the jury is sorry to have to put him in the inconvenience of spending two years in the State prison. The one is a poor man, with no friends, the other has wealthy and influential friends who stood by him to the end. [17]






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[April 25, 1879] -


The case of John Ferrell for the murder of Sutton, is set for trial to-day, and Tom Cain for the murder of Hiram Tucker, for next Tuesday, the 8th day of the term. [18]




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[May 2, 1879] -

Case of Thomas Cain for murder, and that of E. D. Kennedy, for same offense, were continued until the July Criminal Term. [19]





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[August 1, 1879] -

DISINTERRED. -- By order of the Court, the body of Hiram Tucker, alleged to have been murdered by Tom Cain, was disinterred on Wednesday, and search made for the ball which had caused his death. It was found by Drs. Peyton & McRoberts in the hollow of the backbone, and is now in the possession of the Court. The body had been buried for nearly a year, but the decomposition was not half so great as is usual, and he was easily recognizable. [20]





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[October 24, 1879] -

The trial of Tom Cain for the murder of Hiram Tucker was fixed for next Monday. [21]





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[October 31, 1879] -

The case against Tom Cain for the murder of Hiram Tucker at the barbecue near Hall's Gap, on the 2nd of August, 1878, occupied the Court on Monday and Tuesday. Our readers are too well aware of the circumstances for us to give an outline of the testimony now. With the exception of one or two witnesses who swore to the direct act, the evidence was mostly of a circumstantial nature, which had the effect of befuddling the jury, which followed the fashion and hung, with seven for acquittal, three for two years in the Penitentiary, one for ten years, and the twelfth old soldier, with a heroism greatly at variance with these degenerate times, stood up for the death penalty. Messrs. Hill, Saufley and W. E. Varnon, appointed by the Court to defend Cain, did their duty apparently as well as if a $500 fee awaited them. Mr. Bobbitt assisted Judge Denny in the prosecution, and the closing speech of the latter was particularly a fine effort. When he had concluded, old Mrs. Cain, the mother of the prisoner, arose and said, "Judge Denny, have you any children?" He replied in the affirmative, and the old lady added, "Well, I hope you may have to suffer what you have made me to-day." She could not be convinced that the Judge was simply doing his sworn duty." [22]



The bail in Tom Cain's case has been fixed at $750, but it is not at all likely that he will be able to give it. [22]




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[January 23, 1880] -

There are now but three prisoners confined here [Stanford], Cain for the murder of Hiram Tucker, and the two Fredericks for killing Thomas Hatfield. [23]




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[January 23, 1880] -

PARDONED. -- John Cain, who was sent from this county to the Penitentiary for ten years for assisting in burning a house of ill-fame, has been pardoned by the Governor. He had served since last April. [24]



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[April 9, 1880] -

For exhuming and extracting the ball from the body of Hiram Tucker, Drs. J. F. Peyton and O. H. McRoberts, of Stanford, asked the Legislature to give them $100, but they only allowed $46, and took occasion to abuse the doctors generally at that. [25]






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[April 23, 1880] -

Wednesday the case of Tom Cain, for the murder of Hiram Tucker, on the 2nd day of August, 1878, was called, but as the case had been tried here twice before, only five jurors out of the regular panel could be obtained, viz: Alfred Davis, G. W. Spangler, W. H. Morgan, J. B. Read and P. T. Pollard, and the Judge ordered the Sheriff to summon fifty men from Garrard. They appeared yesterday, and out of the number W. T. Smith, G. J. Salter, Tram Conn, Arch Kavanaugh, J. M. Palmer, A. O. Burnside and O. T. Wallace were chosen. The case was in progress last evening, and will likely occupy a good portion of today. [26]






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[April 30, 1880] -

CIRCUIT COURT. -- The trial of Tom Cain for the murder of Hiram Tucker, which was in progress when we went to press last week, resulted on Friday evening in a verdict of five years in the penitentiary. [27]




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[May 7, 1880] -

TO THE PEN. -- Sheriff S. H. Baughman, with D. B. Edmiston as guard, took the three convicts sentenced at the late term of the Court to the Penitentiary, via Danville, Wednesday. The names of the men are Tom Cain, who goes up for five years, Jos. Cloyd, two years, and Robt Smith, five years. [28]





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[December 10, 1880] -

Master Commissioner, W. G. Welch, made the following sales Monday: Fifty-eight acres of land belonging to the estate of H. C. Tucker, deceased, to Jos. McSmith for $625, and 64 acres of knob land belonging to same estate to same party for $70. [29]





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[1]  Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 9, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-08-09/ed-1/seq-3/

[2] Excerpts from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 23, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-08-23/ed-1/seq-3/

[3] "Stanford." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. August 27, 1878. Page 1. Newspapers.com. 

[4] Excerpt from "Stanford." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. August 29, 1878. Page 4. Newspapers.com.

[5] Excerpts from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 30, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-08-30/ed-1/seq-3/

[6] Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 11, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-10-11/ed-1/seq-3/

[7] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 25, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-10-25/ed-1/seq-3/

[8] Excerpt from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. November 1, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-11-01/ed-1/seq-3/

[9] Excerpts from "Circuit Court." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. November 1, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-11-01/ed-1/seq-3/

[10] Excerpt from "Stanford, Ky." The Courier Journal, Louisville, KY. November 2, 1878. Page 2. Newspapers.com.

The November 8, 1878 edition of the Interior Journal is not available online. Pages scanned in for that date on LOC and Newspapers.com are mislabeled, they are actually from March 1878.


[11] Excerpts from "Local News." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. November 15, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-11-15/ed-1/seq-3/

[12] Excerpt from "Lincoln County - Tunnel City." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. November 15, 1878. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1878-11-15/ed-1/seq-3/

[13] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 31, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-01-31/ed-1/seq-3/

[14] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 7, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-02-07/ed-1/seq-3/

[15] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 14, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-02-14/ed-1/seq-3/

[16] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 28, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-03-28/ed-1/seq-3/

[17] Excerpt from Supplement. The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 11, 1879. Page 5. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-04-11/ed-1/seq-5/

[18] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 25, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-04-25/ed-1/seq-3/

[19] Excerpt from "Circuit Court." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 2, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-05-02/ed-1/seq-3/

[20] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 1, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-08-01/ed-1/seq-3/

[21] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 24, 1879. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-10-24/ed-1/seq-3/

[22] Excerpts from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. October 31, 1879. Page 3. LOC.  http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1879-10-31/ed-1/seq-3/

[23] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 23, 1880. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-01-23/ed-1/seq-3/

[24] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. January 23, 1880. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-01-23/ed-1/seq-3/

[25] Excerpt from "Legislative Doings." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 9, 1880. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-04-09/ed-1/seq-2/

[26] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 23, 1880. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-04-23/ed-1/seq-3/

[27] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 30, 1880. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-04-30/ed-1/seq-3/

[28] Excerpt from "Local Matters." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. May 7, 1880. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-05-07/ed-1/seq-3/

[29] Excerpt from "Land, Stock and Crop." The Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. December 10, 1880. Page 3. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84038328/1880-12-10/ed-1/seq-3/

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