Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 9

[I’m now up to page nine of the special section. This is a page of five pictures, titled “The Streets of Kuttawa”. 1) “Governor Charles Anderson was instrumental in planning of the city of Kuttawa and its streets. According to historian Odell Walker, Anderson reportedly told the survey crews to widen the streets because “I don’t expect that people will always use horses and I want these streets wide enough for whatever type o f transportation is used in the future.” The picture shows a white haired man with a white mustache and thin, white, long beard. 2) “In the 1950’s, everyone who was anyone went to the Kuttawa Café or Wiseman’s. Wiseman’s connected to the pool room next door where jukeboxes played the rock and roll of the time.” This is a street picture which includes the Kuttawa Café. 3) “Crowds gathered on Saturdays to win silver dollars or to hear political speakers.” This is a picture of a wide street totally packed with people and cars. 4) A street scene of “near the old school where the divided highway begins in old Kuttawa”.

Rose Hill – The Cobb House
By Odell Walker

[This story includes a picture of Rose Hill]

Gideon Dyer Cobb and his wife, Modena, and several other families came to Eddyville with Matthew Lyon in 1801. His wife, Modena, was a granddaughter of Thomas Chittenden, the first governor of Vermont. She was also a niece of Mrs. Matthew Lyon. [a note from Debbie: I am a descendant of Mrs Matthew Lyon. Beulah Chittenden first married Elijah Galusha. I am descended from their son Elijah Galusha. After the death of her husband, Beulah married Matthew Lyon.]

Very soon after arrival, Gideon Dyer Cobb was angaged in several business activities in the new town of Eddyville. He operated a hotel and tavern, a ferry, a store, and had warehouses on the bank of the Cumberland River where he received all kinds of products to be shipped to New Orleans.

The Eddyville Furnace located near Kuttawa Springs was operated by the Cobb family during the 1830’s and 1840’s, and later sold to William Kelly.

Robert Livingston Cobb, one of the sons of Gideon Dyer Cobb and Modena Cobb, also became a successful businessman in Eddyville. Robert Livingston Cobb was the grandfather of Irvin S. Cobb, the famous journalist, humorist and writer.

About 1832, Robert Livingston Cobb built a house in Eddyville which still stands, and today houses the Lyon County Museum. The house stands across the street from the Eddyville State Penitentiary which overlooks Barkley Lake.

In 1844, ownership of the house went to Thomas Washington Catlett. From 1866 to 1897 the house was owned by Fredrick W Skinner and his wife, Helen. Fredrick W Skinner was a grandson of Matthew Lyon, and his wife, Helen, was the daughter of Thomas Washington Catlett.

From 1897 to 1942, the house was owned by Belle Pinner Hussey and her husband, Dr. J. H. Hussey. Belle Pinner Hussey was a granddaughter of Thomas Washington Catlett.

The Husseys lived in the house and Dr. Hussey conducted his medical practice there also. In 1942, the house went to James H. Hussey and his wife, Bess Hussey. James H Hussey was a great-grandson of Thomas Washington Catlett.

Bess C. Hussey taught school at Eddyville for several years. The above information shows that the ownership of the house remained in the family from the time it was constructed in 1832 until 1952.

In 1952, the house was purchased by the State of Kentucky and became housing for employees of the Kentucky State Penitentiary.

In 1891 [sic – 1981], the house was declared surplus property and plans were underway for its destruction. The Lyon County Historical Society made a plea for the house to be preserved because of is age and historical significance. The State of Kentucky gave the house to the Lyon County Historical Society to be used as a museum. The house is on the Federal Register of Historic Places.

In those days most of the mansions were named. The Historical Society has copies of old letters written by members of the family as far back as 100 years and the old letters refer to this house as “Rose Hill”.

The people who lived at Rose Hill from 1832 until 1952 were people of economic, social, political and professional stature. Many business plans were discussed and finalized in the parlor of this old house. Political discussions and plans originated here that affected both state and local politics. Social events were held that filled all the rooms with laughter.

In 1981 when the house was given to the Historical Society, it was in a poor state of repair, almost in shambles. A small number of dedicated, determined and hard working people gave many hours of free labor and professional skill in restoring an old house as near as possible to its original state.

The old house has been preserved for future generations. Many items of Lyon County history are also preserved inside the old house which is now home to the “Lyon County Museum”.

The parlor has been restored with period furniture to represent the time period that the house was in its heyday. There is one piece of furniture, a sideboard, which belonged to the Cobb family when they moved into the new house.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 8

Other fatal maladies included diarrhea, typhoid fever, malaria, syphilis and pneumonia. Interestingly enough suicides were relatively rare during those grim times.

Under one of the old cell houses lies a tunnel which leads back into the hill. This was “the dungeon.” There, in solitary darkness, unruly prisoners were chained to the walls, while they contemplated their wrongs.

There is no better way to depict graphically the environment of this 19th century prison and the penal philosophy of its administrators than to quote directly from the journal entry of Warden Louis Curry for October 7, 1889: “Prisoner Wheeler requested an audience with me. Wheeler, even by prison standards, is an odious creature… Upon granting him an interview, it was his request to obtain a Bible. The very idea that such a vile creature should hold God’s word was quite repugnant to me. I ordered him back to work, without further ado, and requested the keepers to retain a close scrutiny at his doings. One false step and Wheeler will know the true meaning of prison. A Bible indeed!”

A new and significant dimension was added to prison life in 1911 – the installation of the electric chair.

James Buckner from Marion County was the first to die by legal electrocution on the hot and steamy night of July 8, 1911. One hundred and sixty-one others have been executed since then. The last was Kelly Moss in 1962.

On July 13, 1929, starting at 12:24 a.m. and continuing to 2:22 a.m., seven men were electrocuted, the most ever to die there by electrocution in a single day. In the early morning of March 18, 1955, a afther and son were put to death only minutes apart.

A solemn and eerie procedure accompanied each execution. Shortly before midnight the warden, a physician, a minister, news reporters, guards and invited guests would meet at the warden’s office. The group would then march solemnly, in single file, to death row to carry out the execution.

When No. 3 cell house was occupied solely by black inmates, the occupants would hum and sing spirituals as the grisly ordeal was carried out.

Like all pirsons, Eddyville has had its share of riots and internal disturbances. From the very beginning, there have been numerous minor skirmishes between disgruntled inmates and “keepers”. Usually these outbreaks occurred in the dining hall and were caused by dissatisfaction with the food. Usually they were quickly subdued with the knocking of heads and a good lashing at the post.

By far the most serious uprising occurred in October 1923. Inmates Tex Walters, Lawrence Griffith and Harry Ferland had a pistol smuggled into the prison through the efforts of Tex’s wife, Lillian. An ill-fated escape attempt was made, resulting in the death of three prison guards. With their escape route blocked, Walters and his confederates retreated to the main dining room where they barricaded themselves. What followed was a rather untidy bit of military maneuvering.

About 50 members of the state militia were called in to lay siege to the building. They were bolstered in their efforts by 39 prison guards. During the first eight hours of the siege, the embattled convicts fired about 100 shots. Throughout most of the first night, the encirclement of militiamen and guards laid down a blanket of fire against the dining room’s outer walls.

The next morning an organized assault was made upon the dining hall, under cover of heavy fire from the militia. Gas grenades were shot into various sections of the entire building. One exploded on the ledge of the laundry, setting it afire.

Constant machine gun fire was directed toward the target during the next two days and nights. A decision was made not to dynamite the building as previously planned. On the third full day of the attack, a makeshift pipeline was laid across the prison yard behind two armor plated shields built for the occasion. Ammonia was then flushed in upon the hapless defenders.

Finally under heavy barrage of bullets and hand grenades, another charge was made by the state forces. It was conducted with a grand and dramatic flare, the leaders bravely yelling, “Over the top!”

This time they broke through and found all three inmates lyinig dead on the dining room floor. They had been so disposed for three days, and at their own hands. A defiant suicide note found near one of the victims proclaimed, “You didn’t kill us, all killed ourselves.”

Monday, April 28, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 7

Soon legislative committees were making official inspections of the Frankfort prison. Their grim reports shocked the conscience of lawmakers and voters. Slowly the tide of opinion began to turn in favor of Blackburn and his plan for prison reform.

The governor’s legislative package included many correctional principles implemented years later such as strict classification of offenders and “halfway” houses for prisoners moving back into a free society. Most important to the immediate need, however, was the appointment of a three-man commission to select a site and receive plans for a “branch penitentiary”.

A pivotal member of the commission was an old friend of Blackburn’s and a colorful hero of the Confederacy – General H. B. Lyon of Eddyville. After visiting several sites, the commission narrowed the choice to Bowling Green and the general’s hometown.

The people of Lyon County were excited at the prospect of the prison being located in their county seat. The railroads were overtaking the river market upon which Eddyville had depended through the years as its main economic asset. The community saw the prison as a much needed industry and pledged money and land for its construction.

The Eddyville location, high on a hill overlooking the Cumberland River, was ideal, according to the architects hired to advise the commission on site selection. The tract adjoined the Paducah-to-Louisville railway and was within 2,000 yards of the river, 116 feet above its low watermark.

The area was a healthy region, conducive to agricultural endeavors and blessed with a bountiful store of natural resources – coal, iron, brick clay and building stone. Perhaps most important to the minds of law-abiding citizens, Eddyville was remote from the populations centers of the state. It was considered good planning to have convicted felons as far removed from the mainstream of society as possible.

In 1844 [sic – 1884], after Blackburn had left office, the legislature appropriated funds for the branch penitentiary at Eddyville. Construction began in October of that year when the first inmates arrived to make up the bulk of the labor force.

The inmates were assisted by 30 Italian stonemasons, who hewed the large stones from limestone slabs dug from a quarry within 300 yards of the construction site and transported over a small gauge railway built for the purpose.

The state had purchased 87 acres for $4,000, of which $1,400 was donated by the citizens of Eddyville. The prison itself was to cover only 10.5 acres with the remaining land to be used for farming and garden plots for prisoners.

Slowly the massive limestone structure began to rise upon the hilltop, dominating the horizon and posing like a brooding monster over the peaceful river valley. It took on the appearance of a large medieval fortress.

The “Castle on the Cumberland” was completed officially in 1886, at a cost of $275,000, a pittance compared to today’s prison costs.

[Picture on this page is a full view of the “river side/front” of the prison. The lake is shown in the foreground of the picture, and the water tower with the letters, KSP, stands behind and above the prison. A small pleasure boat is seen on the lake in the foreground of the picture. The picture seems to have been taken from the vantage point of a boat on the lake.]

Before the mortar had hardly dried and inmates began filling up on its cavernous confines, a large sign was placed above the front entrance: “Abandon Hope, All Ye That Enter Here”.

Early living conditions for the convicts were far from the humane designs of Governor Blackburn. An 1897 legislative investigation produced alarming revelations. Twelve-year-old boys were being incarcerated at the prison. Corporal punishment, including lashings at the post, was inflicted regularly. Sometimes permanent injury such as broken bones was sustained.

The mortality rate was shocking. In 1896, there were 35 deaths from natural causes. A year later, 27 prisoners died. The main cause of their demise was sewer gas, which languished in the damp and squalid basements of the cell houses where long-term prisoners were confined without proper ventilation or exercise.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 6

Twenty years following the construction of Kentucky Dam, in 1964 the Vice President of the United States, Hubert Hump[h]rey, dedicated Barkley Dam and Lake. Lake Barkley did not come about painless[ly]. Ninety percent of the old and established towns of Eddyville and Kuttawa had to be relocated. That is the reason in the narrative I have referred at times to old Eddyville, new Eddyville and the same for Kuttawa. In acquiring the necessary private property both in the county and in the towns, and in bringing about the relocation of the towns, the following words give some description of the upheaval and turmoil that came about. There was surprise, disappointment, excitement, anger, hate, controversy, prejudice, shock, disagreement and dissatisfaction.

Lyon County survived this ordeal and had not recovered from the shock when the Land Between the Lakes was proposed and implemented. This again required thousands of acres of private property and the relinquishing of this property brought stronger protest than the Barkley Lake project.

Thousands of acres of land and property were taken from the tax base. Many prominent and influential citizens who were stripped of their property moved outside the county. Because of the loss of tax base and population, for a period of time it was questionable if Lyon County could survive as a county entity.

Historically, Lyon Countians have faced difficulty with courage and have received good fortune with humility. Perhaps we have been made stronger by our tribulation and wiser by our experience.

At present, good fortune smiles on Lyon County. Progress has been slow and painful, but at present our tax base is solid and our population continues to rise. The economy is good and greater things appear over the horizon.

Kentucky State Penitentiary
By Bill Cunningham

The Kentucky State Penitentiary at Eddyville is over 100 years old.

In the untamed days when pathfinders were leading early settlers into the vast and rugged western portion of Virginia, law and order was a personal concern. The area that became Kentucky was governed by the criminal code of the Old Dominion, but as a matter of practice the code had a very limited influence.

Whether a malefactor was hanged most times depended upon the character of the accused and the temper of the crowd, rather than the formal dictates of law.

With Kentucky statehood in 1792 came a more meaningful attempt at establishing and enforcing some type of uniform criminal sanctions. Jail houses and stockades sprang up but no prisons. With no penitentiary in which to incarcerate the more serious offenders, the Commonwealth adopted a very practical, if draconian, approach. It simply made the death penalty the punishment for most felonies.

[Picture on this page: “Kentucky State Penitentiary in the 1890’s” shows several well dressed men, women and children dressed in long skirts, hats and suits under a canopy at the front doors and at the top of the steps to the prison. Also on this page is the following: “A Special Thanks… Thanks to the Lyon County Historical Society, Odell Walker, Bill Young, Mrs. Maxine Jones and Shirley Greene for supplying the old photos used in this special section. Also a big thanks to all of the writers for this special product. We hope you all enjoy and treasure this piece of Lyon County’s history. – The staff of the Herald Ledger”.]

Capital offenses included such relatively minor crimes as perjury, forgery, destroying a will and larceny. Needless to say, with such extreme penalties being extracted, there was little need for prisons in which to stow felons.

That changed in 1797, when Kentucky revamped its criminal penalties and all but did away with the death penalty, reserving it for only one crime – murder.

Almost immediately there was a need for the first Kentucky prison, which was constructed in 1799 in Frankfort near what was then the governor’s mansion.

Our penal system received little attention the next 80 years.

By 1875, the prison was a disgrace. The unheated bathhouse contained only two large tubs in which several prisoners bathed together in the same dirty water.

The prisoners suffered from a terrible diet of clammy cornbread and salted meat, uch of it rancid. Rain-soaked clothing of the inmates often froze stiff in the unheated cellhouse. Frostbite and respiratory diseases were common. Punishment for inmates was harsh, brutal and inhumane.

This festering sty of squalor and suffering was terribly overcrowded. Many inmates died from “natural causes.” It was, in the words of a prominent politician of the day, Kentucky’s “black hole of Calcutta”.

Upon this scene of human misery arrived one of Kentucky’s more unusual and resourceful governors – Dr Luke P Blackburn.

Blackburn was born in Woodford County in 1816 and studied medicine at Transylvania College. He was practicing medicine in New Orleans when the Civil War began, and he spent the war years administering to the suffering citizens and soldiers of the Confederacy.

He returned to Kentucky in 1873, and helped wage war against the yellow fever epidemic that swept the South in 1878. His selfless and courageous efforts made him a hero to many Kentuckians and though he was completely untutored and inexperienced in politics, he was pressured by pro-southern Democrats into running for governor in 1880. He won by an overwhelming margin.

Upon moving into his official residence in Frankfort, this humanitarian chief executive was appalled at what he saw across the street in the penitentiary. The new governor quickly began to use his pardoning power to help reduce the prison’s population, offering his first act of clemency on the day of his inauguration.

Within the week, seven more inmates had been freed because of poor health. By the time the legislature convened in late December, 52 prisoners had been pardoned.

Throughout the state, a loud and bitter outcry arose against Blackburn for his action. There were scathing editorials in local newspapers and citizen demonstrations. Undaunted the courageous chief of state laid for the legislature a bold and imaginative plan for prison reform.

[picture on this page: “The electric Chair of the Penitentiary in Eddyville”.]

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 5

[Pictures on this page: 1) “People gathered at the Mineral springs to take water home for the evening.” This picture shows small children, men in hats, women in dresses and several of them with cups, drinking from the springs. And 2) “Camp meetings were held at the springs”. This picture shows a pavilion chairs inside and out, filled with people.]

Kuttawa citizens being education conscious, in 1900 established Century Normal College which served Lyon and surrounding counties with distinction until 1910.

One mile northwest of Kuttawa there was a cluster of five mineral springs within 500 feet of each other. At this spot, there was a beautiful valley on the east side of Knob Creek, and on the west side a gently sloping hillside. This was an ideal place for a resort. A group of Kuttawa businessmen formed the Kuttawa Springs Corporation. A hotel was constructed in 1909 and people came from far and near to relax in the shade and drink and bathe in the mineral waters.

A restaurant was constructed, specializing in the finest barbecue. Cabins were built around the rim of the hillside and youth groups would come and spend a week camping. Tennis courts and other sports facilities were provided. A swimming pool was constructed – one of the finest outside of the larger cities.

A large open air pavilion was constructed for religious services and other types of meetings. The first two weeks in August each year a great Camp Meeting was held under the auspices of the Methodist Church. Second Sunday, called Homecoming, sometimes drew as many as 5,000 people. Many large political meetings were held there, when candidates would mount the stump.

Kuttawa Mineral Springs was a widely known resort area and served religious, political and social functions until its demise upon the construction of Barkley Lake.

Upon the coming of World War I, Lyon County’s native sons answered the call with honor and many received recognition and awards. Following World War I, Lyon County entered a period of gradual decline. To find work, many young people made their way to the north to find jobs in the factories.

In 1937, the highest natural flood ever recorded covered the entire Ohio and Mississippi watershed. Eddyville and Kuttawa were both built on the bank of the Cumberland River. The towns were located just two miles apart. This flood brought great destruction, property loss, hardship and misery. The two towns never completely recovered from this natural disaster.

Prior to the flood, a high dam on the Tennessee River had been discussed and proposed in Congress. The great flood brought new and greater emphasis to this project. This dam and lake were proposed to help control flooding, improve navigation and supply hydro-electric power.

Many people and government agencies contributed to this project. Senator and Vice President Alben W. Barkley and Luther Draffen of Calvert City made great contributions. Kentucky Dan and Lake on the Tennessee River became a reality and was dedicated by President Harry Truman in 1944.

In the humble judgement of this writer, the construction of Kentucky Dam and Lake has made the greatest impact on Lyon County of anything in its history. The production of hydro-electric power at Kentucky Dam, along with the good West Kentucky leadershipi brought industrial plants to the Calvert City area The plants brought good jobs and Lyon County workers were eager for the jobs and made good workers.

The millions of dollars of payroll has brought Lyon County from a stgruggling and poor farming county to a middle class and proud community. The economic benefits and standard of living and quality of life have been multiplied many fold in Lyon County. All one neds to confirm this stand is to have had the opportunity to travel through Lyon County in the 1930’s and travel across the same area today.

The network of modern roads replacing the dirt roads, the beautiful and comfortable homes with neatly kept lawns, the business climate and recreational opportunities boggle the mind.

[pictures on this page: 1) “The flood of 1937 devastate old Eddyville and Kuttawa.” It shows a a street in Eddyville near the Mays Motor Co., under water. 2) “A crowd shot from old Kuttawa in the early years”. This photo shows a completely packed street, crowded with people, with some people on the porch and the second floor porch of the Kuttawa Hotel. 3) “A photo of one of the old hotels in Lyon County possibly shows some of our ancestors.” This picture looks like the same hotel as in picture 2. The people are lined up on the porch, and in front of the building, in chairs and sitting on the ground, all posing for the picture.]

Friday, April 25, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 4

In the first decade of 1900, Lyon County was a principal participant in the Black Patch War or Night Rider Movement. James Duke of North Carolina had gained a monopoly on dark fired tobacco and was literally stealing the tobacco from area farmers for one, two and three cents per pound. Tobacco was a cash crop that farmers had depended on for years to feed and clothe families. When people are hungry, they sometimes take drastic measures. West Kentucky and west Tennessee was the central belt for the production of dark fired tobacco.

To counteract Duke’s monopoly, the Dark Fire Tobacco District Planters Protection Association of Kentucky and Tennessee was formed. The purpose of this organization was for farmers to band together and hold all tobacco off the market until a suitable price was offered. One tactic was to advise tobacco buyers and warehousers not to buy tobacco for the Duke trust.

The tobacco interest scoffed at these backwood farmers. Many members of the association bonded themselves together into a somewhat secret guerilla army and met at night at schoolhouses and other remote places to plan strategy.

The leader of this group was Dr. David Amos, a country doctor from Cobb, in Caldwell County. Dr. Amos by nature was a military strategist. This group of farmers later referred to as the “Night Riders” trained at night under Dr. Amos.

Tobacco warehouses had not cooperated with the Association and plans were made to burn several warehouses filled to the hilt with tobacco.

Several warehouses were burned, Princeton and Hopkinsville the most noteworthy. At Princeton, hand-picked men trained by Dr. Amos, at the same exact second, took captive the police station, the telephone station, and the fire station. These facilities were held at gunpoint and the town was helpless.

Night Riders who gathered outside the city, swarmed in taking their time, pouring kerosene throughout the warehouse and set the torch. They waited for a while to see that they had done a good job and vanished into the darkness. Not a drop of blood was shed and several million pounds of tobacco lay in ashes. A few weeks later the same thing happened in Hopkinsville.

Night Riders had infiltrated every segment of society in Lyon and surrounding counties to the extent that they boasted that they “feared no judge and no jury”.

Some farmers did not join the Association and others in desperate need for cash broke their promise and sold tobacco. This action pitted one farmer against another and acts of violence resulted, such as destroying plant beds, burning tobacco barns, and visiting some that did not comply, in the darkness of night and inflicting a brutal whipping.

Many public officials as well as businessmen were members of the Night Riders. Lyon County Sheriff Sam Cash was one such person. These were perilous times and fear reigned supreme in Lyon County as well as surrounding counties.

By 1908, several factors brought this lawlessness to an end. Federal and state laws had broken the tobacco monopoly. A successful lawsuit in Federal Court in Paducah struck a fatal blow. A regiment of the State Militia came to the area and their presence intimidated the Night Riders.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 3

During the Civil War, Lyon County was pro-Confederate. Two of the greatest heroes emerging from this conflict were Willis B. Machen, a wealthy businessman and farmer, who served in the Confederate Congress and later became a U.S. senator. Mr. Machen’s plantation home was on a mound near the Cumberland River and he insisted [on] flying the Confederate flag. As federal gunboats moved up and down the river, they often took potshots at his house.

The other hero was General Hylan B. Lyon, grandson of Matthew Lyon. General Lyon was a West Point graduate, intelligent, skilled and daring. General Lyon, with a small group of handpicked soldiers, traveled through western Kentucky burning courthouses and was dubbed the “Courthouse Burning General”.

Apart from the gunboat activity along the river, there was only one battle of significance in Lyon County which occurred at Saratoga, about four miles southeast of Eddyville. (See related story.)

[A picture on this page of the newspaper is of “The Kuttawa Home of Attorney Walter Krone”. It shows a modes home with a small front porch, a picket fence and a buggy sitting in front of the picket fence.]

The next milestone in Lyon County history was the founding of the town of Kuttawa. William Kelly, spending more time on his experiments instead of managing his business, went broke. In 1866, his creditors foreclosed and his iron holdings, including 10,000 acres of land, was sold at the courthouse door.

Charles Anderson, an ex-governor of Ohio, bought the holdings. At the site of Kelly’s New Union Forge on the Cumberland River, Governor Anderson surveyed and developed the town of Kuttawa which he promoted for the rest of his life. Kuttawa is an Indian word meaning “Beautiful City”. The town was chartered in 1872 and grew rapidly.

In 1871, plans were being made to construct the Paducah-Elizabethtown Railroad. To entice the railroad to locate the route through Lyon County, Kuttawa and Eddyville, Governor Anderson gave many miles of right-of-way and the county made cash grants to the railroad. For 100 years the railroad was the heartbeat of Lyon County, providing good passenger and freight service, and bringing much needed jobs. The railroad still runs through Lyon County, but for the most part hauls bulk freight.

At the turn of the century, Kuttawa was producing more manufactured goods than Eddyville. The Suwanee Spoke and Lumber Company was the largest producer of spokes for wooden wheels in the world. At this same time, the services of the railroad was [were] increasing and shipping on the river was declining.

In 1880, when Governor Blackburn was elected Governor of Kentucky, conditions at the state prison in Frankfort were deplorable. Governor Blackburn has gone down in history as the prison reformer of Kentucky. The governorrequested that the General Assembly make rapid improvements for prison facilities. The General Assembly did not respond favorably and the Governor got their attention when he began to issue wholesale pardons. During his term in office, he pardoned over 1,000 inmates.

In 1880, the General Assembly authorized the governor to appoint a three-man state committee to study prisons, select a site and have plans and specifications prepared for a branch penitentiary. General Hylan B. Lyon was appointed a member of that committee.

After extensive travel and study of other prison systems, the committee selected Eddyville as the site for the new branch penitentiary. H.P. McDonald and Brothers of Louisville were selected to prepare plans and specifications.

The committee presented their recommendations to the 1881-82 session of the legislature. Funds were not approved for construction. The 1884 legislature approved funds for the construction and work began. In addition to local contractors and labor, 30 skilled Italian stone masons were brought in to supervise and aid in laying the huge limestone blocks, quarried at the nearby farm of General Lyon. Over 200 inmates from the Frankfort Penitentiary were brought in as laborers.

Construction was finished at the Eddyville Branch Penitentiary in 1889 and the first inmates were received on Christmas Eve of that year. The Eddyville Branch was renamed the Kentucky State Penitentiary in 1912. In 1911, the electric chair was installed. In and between 1911 and 1961, 166 persons met their fate in the chair. On July 13, 1929, between 12:24 a.m. and 2:22 a.m. seven men were electrocuted. The facility, at present, serves as a maximum security penitentiary for Kentucky.

The penitentiary has been both a blessing and a curse to Lyon County. A blessing in the millions of dollars in payroll brought to Lyon and the adjoining counties; a curse that society must have such an institution and the fears of Lyon County citizens when riots and breakouts occur.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 2

Eddyville continued to grow rapidly. Lyon established a large boatyard on the bank of the river and manufactured boats and secured contracts to make boats for the U.S. Government. Farm products, especially tobacco from the present day areas of Princeton, Fredonia, Lamasco and as far away as Madisonville, were brought by wagon to Eddyville and placed in warehouses to be shipped down the river to New Orleans.

The oldest established public road in Lyon County was the Varmet [Varmint?] Trace road. It started at Princes Place at the big spring, now Princeton, and followed the general corridor of present-day U.S. 62 to the present day community of Fairview and Shelbys pond. From there it took a westerly route to the Cumberland River and on to [a line of text is missing from the printing] second oldest road was from Princes Place to Eddyville.

The lower Cumberland River basis [sic-basin] has been blessed by nature with large deposits of iron ore lying almost on top of the ground. Present day Lyon County, entered into the era of the iron industry. Two iron barons, Thomas Watson and Samuel Stacker, built an iron furnace on Knob Creek in 1832. It was two miles northwest of Eddyville and was called the Eddyville furnace.

There was an abundance of the three raw materials necessary for the production of pig iron: namely, iron ore, limestone rock and hardwood timber for the making of charcoal for fuel.

From 1832 until 1880, present day Lyon County was a beehive of activity related to the production and shipping of iron. In 1845 the Fulton Furnace was built and put into production by Thomas Watson and Daniel Hillman. Mammoth Furnace was built in 1845 by Charles and John Stracker [sic]. The Suwanee Furnace was built by William Kelly about 1851.

In addition to the iron furnaces operating in the area, there were two other related operations. The Tennessee Rolling Mill was moved from Nashville to near Eddyville on the Cumberland River. Here pig iron from nearby blast furnaces was processed into boiler plate sheets, beams and other usable iron products shipped all over the country. Boiler makers sought boiler plate from the Cumberland Basin because of its superior quality. The Tennessee Rolling Mills was later sold to the L.P. Edward Iron Company.

In 1846-47, at the present site of old Kuttawa, William Kelly built the New Union Forge. Here pig iron was made into usable iron products. Kelly’s main operation was the manufacture of all kinds and sizes of kettles. Here thousands of large kettles that were cast were shipped to the southern sugar producing belt.

Lyon County holds the title and honor of being the birthplace of steel, the invention that moved the country and the world from the iron age to the steel age.

William Kelly was born in Pittsburgh in 1811. He graduated from college with a degree in metallurgy. Kelly went into the mercantile business with his brothers. There [sic] warehouses burned but were rebuilt. Kelly made a trip to Nashville to buy stock and equipment for the new stores.

Here he met Mildred Gracey who was the daughter of N.J. Gracey, a wealthy businessman from Eddyville. Mildred was attending a girls finishing school. She and William soon married and chose Eddyville as their home.

Kelly secured enough capital to go into the iron business. He bought the Eddyville Furnace and constructed the Suwanee Furnace and the New Union Forge. Up until this time, steel was made only by the long and expensive process of heating in a forge and hammering. By accident, Kelly conceived the idea that a blast of cold air could be forced through the molten iron to produce instant steel.

Kelly developed a converter, an egg shaped barrel into which he poured molten iron. He developed an air compressor to force air into the bottom of the converter. As Kelly experimented with his ideas, his friends called him crazy. His father-in-law, Mr. Gracey, wanted to have him committed to a mental institution. The family doctor, Dr. George M. Huggins, was called upon to render a judgment on Kelly’s sanity. Dr. Huggins called Kelly’s mental faculties normal and further stated that the process he espoused had merit. (See related story on the Huggins house.)

In 1856 William Kelly called together a group of ironmasters and other interested persons. There he demonstrated his “Pneumatic Process”, known today as the “Bessmer [sic] Process”. At his own Suwanee Furnace he poured molten iron into his converter and forced blasts of air into the bottom. After the flames, sparks and smoke stopped coming from the top of the converter, Kelly poured a small amount of molten iron into a cooling tray.

After it cooled, a blacksmith took a portion of the steel, fashioned a horseshoe and nails, and nailed the shoe onto the hoof of a horse. There is positive proof that William Kelly developed the Pneumatic Process before Sir Henry Bessemer, however, Bessemer applied for a patent before Kelly.

The last furnace to operate in the area was the Center Furnace which closed in 1812 [sic-1912]. [ ] Lyon County stood tall in the iron industry for nearly 100 years. []

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The History of Lyon County Kentucky - Part 1

Our Heritage
A Look Back
At The
History of Lyon County…
A Special Publication of the
Lyon County Historical Society and
The Herald Ledger Newspaper
July 3, 1996

[I won’t attempt to copy the photos since my copy of this newspaper is quite faded. I’ll just describe the pictures located on each page.]

[There are two pictures on this page. One picture is a copy of a painted portrait of Matthew Lyon and the other is a drawing of the Tennessee Rolling Works. It also has the words: Ewald Iron Company. It’s a picture of a very busy factory with smokestacks and two ships in the water next to the factories. One of the boats is a paddle wheeler.]

The History of Lyon County – by Odell Walker

Before Kentucky became a state in 1792, present day Lyon County was a part of Fincastle County, VA. Lyon County has been a part of a succession of counties until it gained its present identity in 1854 when it was carved out of Caldwell County.

Lyon County is located in western Kentucky, 190 miles west of Louisville, and 40 miles east of Paducah. The Cumberland River flows from south to north through Lyon County.

Lyon County was named for a native son, Chittenden Lyon, who served in Congress four terms – 1827-1835. However, at the time he served, Lyon was still part of Caldwell County. Chittenden was the son of Matthew and Buleah Lyon.

Matthew Lyon was a distinguished Congressman from Vermont who cast the deciding vote that made Thomas Jefferson president over Aaron Burr. Buleah Lyon was the daughter of Thomas Chittenden first governor of Vermont.

The county seat of Lyon County is Eddyville. Eddyville holds the distinction of having been the county seat of three counties – Livingston, from 1798 – 1804, Caldwell, from 1809 – 1817, and Lyon from 1854 – present.

Eddyville was founded in 1798 by David Walker of Virginia. David Walker was a distinguished veteran of the Revolutionary War, having served in several important campaigns. He was with Lafayette when Cornwallis surrendered in Yorktown.

Virginia had set aside certain lands of the Green River to reimburse Virginia soldiers for their service in the Revolution. David Walker received two 1,000-acre grants of land on the east bank of the Cumberland River where the town of old Eddyville now stands.

David Walker wished to make improvements on the land to increase the sale value. At the present site of old Eddyville, Walker surveyed and laid out 60 lots for a town. He named the town Eddyville, because of the “eddies” or swirls in the Cumberland River. The town was chartered in 1798.

Walker advertised the lots and land for sale in the “Kentucky Gazette”, a Lexington, KY newspaper. The paper came into the hands of Matthew Lyon in Washington, D.C. while Lyon was serving as a Congressman from Vermont. Lyon had for some time been considering moving west. Lyon was a good friend, and politically aligned, with Andrew Jackson of Tennessee.

Jackson advised Lyon that there was business opportunity on the lower Cumberland. Lyon came to Tennessee to visit Jackson and came on downriver to Eddyville. He liked what he saw and bought more than half of the town lots and several acres of land on sight.

Matthew Lyon went back to Vermont, sold his holdings and finished his term in Congress. Lyon and his family and 12 other families left Fair Haven, Vermont in the fall of 1800 and came in wagons to Pittsburgh where they spent the winter and built flatboats. In the spring of 1801 they loaded all their goods, equipment and livestock on the flatbeds and floated down the Ohio River to Smithland and from there up the Cumberland River to Eddyville.

Lyon was a good businessman and political leader. The people that came with him were skilled artisans of all types. Very quickly they had in operation a grist mill, saw mill, tannery, harness and saddle shop, wagon and buggy shop, blacksmith shops, lime kiln, pottery shop, etc. Because of Eddyville’s location on the river, it quickly became a center of commerce. For many years Eddyville was the larges and most thriving center of commerce between Nashville, Tenn. And Cairo, Ill.

In all of this move, Matthew Lyon lost only one term in Congress. In 1803 he was elected back to Congress from the Western Kentucky District and served four terms, 1803 – 1811.

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Next Project - The History of Lyon County Kentucky

On July 3, 1996, The Lyon County Herald Newspaper and the Lyon County Historical Society published a special section of the newspaper. Rae Wagoner, General Manager of The Lyon County Herald Ledger has given me permission to reproduce the section in my blog. The edition was 24 pages long and included articles by Odell Walker, Bill Cunningham and others. This will take me quite a while to complete. Rae also sent me information on a book that is being put together by The Lyon County Herald Ledger in conjunction with the Marshall County Tribune-Courier and The Cadiz Record. It is a Pictoral History of the Lakes Area, and they're looking for historical pictures of the area. You can find information about the book and submission information here:  [update 8 Mar 2015  This is no longer a valid link for the herald ledger book.  I don't know if it was ever published or not.]

Happy reading. I'll start the typing tomorrow night.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Lyon and Caldwell County Sites in Kentucky

Here is an album of some pictures I took on a trip to Lyon and Caldwell counties in Kentucky:

I still have memories of those buildings in old Eddyville. Most of the town was torn down to make way for Barkley Lake. New Eddyville was built some miles away.

Getting Started in Genealogy

Here are a couple of presentations that I did for the Tennessee Genealogical Society recently. I'll be giving a shortened version next month too. These are for the person looking to get started in genealogy, who wants help in deciding what kind of hardware and software to buy, and for Memphis folks it gives specific information on the location of local Shelby county records. I refer quite heavily to a great book, "THE SOURCE", the third edition, edited by Loretto Dennis Szucs & Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (available at most libraries and here for purchase: )

These presentations were PowerPoint presentations, but I've converted them to PDF format, and included the "notes" along with the slides.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Revolutionary War Pension Records

The previous post completed the Caldwell County Revolutionary War pensioners. A few additional names aren't included on this site, as those extractions are included on web sites of other researchers. You can find those with a Google search. This was a very interesting project.

Here's a site that lists the pension laws that applied to the Revolutionary War Soldiers:

Now I'm searching for the next project to add to the blog..... Stay posted.

Elijah Veach of Caldwell County Kentucky

Elijah Veach of Caldwell County Kentucky

Revolutionary War Pension File

VA Veach, Elijah S37.498

Kentucky Roll (No 1291)
Elijah Veach
Col Crawford Private
Virginia Line 1777 3 years
In the army of the United States during the Revolutionary War
Inscribed on the Roll of Kentucky
At the rate of 8 Dollars per month to commence on
The 25th of May 1818
Certificate of Pension issued the 30 of June 1818
And sent to Matthew Lyon Esq
Eddyville, Caldwell Co Ky
Arrears to 4th of Sept 1818
3 months 7/37 $26.86
Revolutionary claim
Act 18th March 1818

State of Kentucky Caldwell County towit
In the Record of proceedings in the County Court of said County among others are the following
Be it remembered that At a County Court begun and held for Caldwell County at the Courthouse in the town of Princeton on Monday the 24th day of July 1820 the following proceedings were had towit: A motion of Elijah Veach he produced in court his affidavit which being sworn to by him was ordered to be recorded and certified according to law which affidavit read as follows towit:
State of Kentucky Caldwell county on this 24th day of July 1820 personally appeared in open court being a Court of Record for said County Elijah Veach age Sixty five years resident in Caldwell County Ky who being duly sworn according to law doth on his oath declare that he served in the Revolutionary War as follows: In the 1st Regiment of Virginia Continental Troops that he applied for a pension on the 25th day of May 1818 and that he has received a pension Certificate No 1291. And I do solemnly swear that I was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift sale or in any manor disposed of my property or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled “?? Act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary war” passed on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not ?? any person in ?? for me any property or security contracts or debts due to me nor have I any income other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and by me subscribed, which is one horse worth 25 dollars, one cow worth 15 dollars one plough and other farming utensils 12 dollars household furniture worth about 12 dollars. My family consists of a wife 55 years and one daughter 35 years old who is helpless from natural deformity, one weakly son 16 years old and an orphan grandchild two years and 3 months old all of whom are helpless and very little able to assist me by labor. My occupation is that of a farmer at which I am very little able to labour, from my age and bodily infirmity.
Elijah (X his mark) Veach

In Caldwell County Ky Court on 22 May 1818 Elijah Veach appeared
He said he enlisted in January 1777 with Lieutenant Springer in Col Crawford’s Reg’t of continental Troops in the Virginia line in Morgantown Virginia for three years. That he served three years on that frontier when he was discharged, the proof of which discharge he got recorded in Green county Tennessee but has lost the discharge. That he afterwards enlisted and served ten months under Gen’l Sumpter and was in the battle of Eatan Springs Orageburg and Dorhester that he was then discharged but has no copy of it and he further swears that from his reduced circumstances he needs the assistance of his country for support which is ordered to be certified.

Know all men by these presents that I, C D Veach of the County of Mercer and State of Kentucky have constituted and appointed and by these presents hereby constitute and appoint Frances A Dicken of Washington City District of Columbia my true and lawful attorney in fact for me and in my name to demand and receive from the proper officer in the City of Washington a copy of the Declaration and Testimony of Elijah Veach deceased late a pensioner on the Roll of the Kentucky agency. I being one of the heirs at law of the aforesaid Elijah Veach and desiring the said paper to have them filed with the executive department in the State of Virginia for the purpose of obtaining a land warrant from said State for the services rendered by said Veach in the Revolutionary War, to do and perform all acts in the ?? which my said attorney may deem proper or necessary. Hereby notifying and confirming whatever my said attorney may do for me in the ??
In testimony where of I have hereunto set my hand and seal this 11th day of April 1843
E D Veatch

[In a letter to Charles H Veach of Kalida Ohio in response to his request for information, the letter gave the information I’ve already given above and the following:
In 1833 reference was made to Mr Elijah Veatch of Tompkinsville, Kentucky.]

12 Aug 1833 Elijah Veach in Tompkinsville, Ky

Will you be so good as soon after the reception of this as convenient as to write to W Elijah Veatch at Tompkinsville who the person is who was appointed the successor of Col Richard ? Anderson dec’d as surveyor of the lands set apart for Virginia soldiers he being one please to transmit in the same communication any form and directions necessary for him in the consummation of his title to land deserved from his revolutionary services in that may(?) taking great pleasure in writing and acting as far as I can for these old patriots with out ?? or reward, I am sure that you’ll pardon the trouble I give you even if the business did not come strictly within the sphere of your office.
I am ?? very respectfully your most obed sev’t
Joel Yancey

Friday, April 18, 2008

Henry Thomas of Caldwell County Kentucky

Thomas Henry of Caldwell County Kentucky

Revolutionary War Pension File

VA Thomas, Henry S.38433

Transfer from [4557] roll of Tennessee [crossed out] to Kentucky
Henry Thomas, Capt Neal, Private, Virginia Line
In the army of the United States during the Revolutionary War
Inscribed on the Roll of Tennessee
At the rate of Eight dollars per month, to commence on the 26th of May 1818
Certificate of Pension issued the 24th of Nov 1818
And sent to Judge McNairy, Nashville, Tenn
Arrears to 4th of Sept 1818 3 m. 6/31 4/30 27:14
Semi-anl all’ce ending 4 March 1819 48:
$ 74:14
Revolutionary Claim
Act 18th March 1818
’77 three years

Treasury Department
Second Comptroller’s Office
March 5th, 1841
Under the act of the 6th of april 1838, entitled “?? Act directing the transfer of money remaining unclaimed by certain Pensioners, and authorizing the payment of the same at the Treasury of the United States,” The adm’or of Henry Thomas a Pensioner on the Roll of the Kentucky Agency, at the rate of Eight Dollars per month under the law of th 18th March 1818 has been paid at this Department from the 4th of Sept 1837 to the 6th January 1838.
Respectfully yours,
Albion K Parris, comptroller

District of West Tennessee
On the 26th of May 1818, Henry Thomas a citizen of Smith County in the State of Tennessee came before me and claimed to be placed on the pension ?? of the United States in consequence of his service in the army of the United States during the revolutionary war and after being duly sworn according to law, deposed and said that in the year 1777 he entered in the service of the United States as a soldier in Captain Neals company and served in that company nearly one year. Neal resigned(?) and he transferred to Capt Enoch(?) Springer’s Company, that he ?? served in the 13th Virginia Reg’t commanded by Col. John Gibson and afterwards in the 9th Virginia Reg’t commanded by Lieut. Col. Richard Campbell and served until the 1st day of March 1780 when he was discharged at Fort Pitt and produced his discharge, which is herewith enclosed. He further made oath that the said discharge is the same which he then received.
That he is ?? and very infirm, very poor and unable to labor, being severely afflicated the rheumatism, that he has no pension from the United States or any State.
Sworn to & subscribed before me. John McNairy
[signed Henry Thomas]

County of Callaway
On this 28th day of August 1827 before me, the subscriber a Justice of the Peace for said County of Callaway personally appeared Henry Thomas, who on his oath declares, that he is the same Person who formerly belonged to the company commanded by Captain James Oneal in the Regiment commanded by Colonel John Gipson in the service of the United States that his name was placed on the pension roll of the State of Tennessee from whence he has lately removed. That he now resides in the State of Kentucky where he intends to remain and wishes his pension to be there payable in future; and that his reasons for removing to the state of Kentucky are that myself and wife are both old and infirm and were living with our youngst son who has the care of us & he removed to Kentucky and we had to go with him.
Sworn & subscribed to, before me the day & year aforesaid
Reuben E Rowland
[signed Henry Thomas]

[affidavit 28 August 1827 in Callaway county Kentucky of John Mccartney who says he knows Henry Thomas]

Commonwealth of Kentucky
Washington County
Captain Lewis Thomas living on Harding Creek in said County, aged sixty six years, who served as a Lieutenant in the thirteenth Virginia regiment under the command of Colonel John Gibson in the revolutionary war came before me the subscriber a Justice of the peace in and for said county of Washington and made oath that the said Lewis Thomas as Lieutenant in Captain Healys company in the year seventeen hundred and seventy seven, enlisted his brother Henry Thomas as a private in said company for the term of three years that his said brother served in said war, his full time and received his discharge from Col Richard Campbell of the said Virginia line which was then reduced to the ninth regiment and that his said brother Henry Thomas, Thomas was a private under Capt Uriah Springer when discharged. Given under my hand this 16th day of May 1818 and 26th of the Commonwealth(?)
Jno Lancaster

District of West Tennessee
On this seventeeth day of August 1820 personally appeared in open court in the County of Sumner in said state being a court of record for the said county, Henry Thomas aged sixty three years 17th February?? Resident in said county in said district who being first duly sworn according to law doth on his oath declare that he served in the revolutionary war as follows, that he enlisted with Lieutenant Thomas of Capt Neals Company in the year 1777 which company was attached to the thirteenth Virginia regiment of infantry but when discharged was reduced to the 9th Virginia regiment and then belonged to Capt Uriah Springers Company of Col John Gipson’s regiment and was dischared by Col Richard Campbell and that he served as a soldier three years, that on the 26th day of May 1818 he made declaration of the foregoing facts before the honorable John McNairy district judge for the district of West Tennessee in consequence of which he received a certificate from the war department bearing date the 26th day of May 1818 and has since received by virtue of said certificate of the paymaster two payments which amounted to one hundred & sixty nine dollars & fifty cents.
And I do solemnly swear that I was resident citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift sale or in any manner disposed of my property or any part thereof with intent thereby to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of congress entitled “an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the revolutionary war” passed on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not not has any person in trust for me any property or ?? contracts or debts due to me nor have I any incomes other than what is contained in the schedule hereto annexed and by me subscribed.
Schedule: One mare said to between 16 or 17 years old, one cow & calf one two year old heifer, Eleven young hogs (say shoats?). four head of sheep, and one old shovel, plow, two pots, two ovens, one without a lid or legs, one ad(?) one iron wedge, one saw, one drawing knife, one spike gumblet, one set of knives and forks, one old pewter dish & plates, one small earthen dish & a few earthen plates, one pair of old chain braces, one weeding hoe, one small skillet, one flat iron.
I am by occupation a farmer, but not able to pursue it with advantage being afflicted with rheumatism. My family consists of my wife aged sixty one years who is very infirm and sickly, one son about 18 or 19 years old who is with me occasionally but is generally from home working for himself and one daughter about twenty one years old who lives with me, but manages labors for herself and her own interest altogether.
Henry Thomas

[in a letter to Mrs Adah Thomas Strahan of Walla Walla Washington dated 15 Nov 1928:
Concerning Henry Thomas, pension claim S.38433, he was born 17 Feb 1758, place not stated; he was allowed pension on his application executed 26 May 1818, at which time he was living in Smith county, TN; He died 6 January 1838]

[ a copy of his discharge is contained in the file, signed by Richard Campbell, Lt Col of the Virginia Regiment]

Eddyville, September 4, 1827,
Hon James Barbour Esquire
Secretary of War
Washington DC
Care of J L Edwards
Pension Office

Eddyville Ky
Agreeable to instructions rec’d from the War Department under date of June 16, 1827 I herewith transmit the application of Henry Thomas for the transfer of his name to the role of the Kentucky Agency which application I trust is in due form and properly authenticated, if so you will please forward the transfer to my address.
Respectfully your obe serv’t
Chitt’n Lyon

Hon James Barbour
Secretary of War

Enclosed I send you the papers to establish my pension as a soldier in the Revolutionary war if any communication is necessary to make to me from your office your will please direct to the post office Hartsville Sumner county West Tennessee
I am respectfully your humble serv’t
Henry Thomas
May 26th 1818
The Honbl Secretary of War

[from a letter to the War Dept dated 13 Feb 1928 from:
Adah Thomas Strahan
This person is asking for the record of Owen Thomas of the Revolutionary War from Rowen Co North Carolina and enlisted in Virginia. This person says that Owen was the son of Henry Thomas and they served together. He said Owen served from 1777 for 3 yrs with the VA continental line”. This person also said that Owen married Polly Hardin a daughter of John Hardin who was a brother of the old original Mark Hardin of George Creek PA. There was no include letter from the war department back to her confirming any of the information.]

[letter from J E Willis of Chehalis Washington on 23 Mar 1915 asks for information on his great grandfather, Henry Thomas who married Rachel Stillwell. No letter confirming the info was included in the file.]

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Thomas Williams of Caldwell County Kentucky

Thomas Williams of Caldwell County Kentucky

Revolutionary War Pension File

DEL Thomas Williams S35728

Thomas Williams
Of Caldwell in the state of Kentucky who was a private in the regiment commanded by Colonel Hazlets of the Delaware line, for the term of eighteen months.
Inscribed on the Roll of Kentucky at the rate of 8 Dollars per month, to commence on the 29th of September 1818
Certificate of Pension issued the 28th of June 1819 and sent to Matthew Lyon Eddyville, Ken.
Arrears to 4th of ?? 20.78
Semi-anl. All’ce ending 4th Sep 1819 48.99
Diff betwn ?? 68.78
Rev Pen: 4th Mar 1819 20.78
Revolutionary Claim
Act 18th March, 1818

State of Kentucky Caldwell Circuit
June Term 1820
In the record of proceedings in the Circuit Court aforesaid among others are the following towit, “On motion of Thomas Williams he produced the following affidavit in writing which having been sworn to by said Williams here in open court the same is ordered to be recorded and Certified which read as follows towit” “ On this 27th of June 1820, personally appeared in open Court being a Court of record for the said Circuit Thomas Williams aged 79 years resident in this County who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath declare, that I served in the revolutionary war as follows, One year in Col. Hazettets Continental Regt in the years 1776 & 1777 he thinks, and I was in the battle of Long Island where Lord Sterling was taken prisoner, that I was wounded in the arm in that battle. That afterwards in the militia I was in the battle of Shallow Ford & in one at Baldding Swamp and in another at Lilndseys Mills in north or South Carolina where I remained until Charleston was taken. That on account of my disability occasioned by my wound I was placed on the pension list of U.S on the 27th of July 1814 which pension ceased on my receiving a pension under the law of the United States of the 18th of March 1818. My certificate being numbered 12.181 and dated June 28th 1819 and I do solemnly swear that I was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th of March 1818 and that I have not since that time by gift sale or in any manner disposed of my property or any part thereof with intent thereby so to diminish it as to bring myself within the provisions of an act of Congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States during the Revolutionary war passed on the 18th day of March 1818 and that I have not nor has any person in ??sh for me di?? Due to be nor have I any income other than is contained in the schedule annexed and by me subscribed. Two mares one about 12 years old and the other about 9. She is about 14 hands high the other about 13 not worth more than $50. Two cows and calves $20. five yearlings $20 and two, two year old heifers $12. 9 pigs $13. & 5 sheep $7.50. In all in the estimation of the court not worth more than one hundred & fifty dollars. My occupation is that of a farmer with very little ability to pursue it owing to my wound and to old age. My family consists of my mother 102 years old and helpless and my wife 68 years old.
Thomas X [his mark] Williams

Mississippi Territory
Madison County
A Judge of the District Court deposed Thomas Williams. He stated his battles. This was on the 7th of February 1814.

Joseph Greenwood gave a statement that he knew Thomas Williams and of his service in the Revolutionary War.

State of Kentucky Caldwell County
In the record of proceedings in the Caldwell County Court among others are the following towit.
Bet it remembered that at a County Court begun and held at the Courthouse in the town of Princeton the 25th day of May 1818 the following proceedings were had towit. Thomas Williams an indigent Revolutionary Soldier personally appeared in order to be heard respecting his being entitled to the benefit of the law of the 18th of March 1818 entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of theUnited States during the revolutionary war and being duly sworn deposeth and saith that sometime in 1776 he enlisted under Capt Nathan Adams in the first Delaware Regiment Commanded by Col John Haslet that he was in the batatle at Long Island where his Captain was killed and himself wounded that he was at the taking of the hessians at Trenton & Princeton where his Col was killed and that after having served in that regiment of Continental Eighteen months he was discharged which discharge he has lost that after serving several tours in the militia he joined Col Gibbs regiment of north Carolina Continental Troops in which he served three months and was discharged on account of his disability occasioned by his wound after which he served several tours in the militia. He further swears that from his reduced circumstances that he needs the assistance of his country for support….. 29 September 1818

In the Case of Thomas Williams of Caldwell County in the State of Kentucky a petitioner for a pension under the act of congress of ?? 18 March 1818 entitled “an act of provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War”

Office of the Secretary of the State of Delaware
Dover 3 June 1819
?? office ?? no pay rolls of Captain Nathan Adams company: but there is in it “a muster roll of Captain Nathan Adams company & Delaware Regiment of Continental Troops commanded by Col Dover the twelfth day of April 1776” from which it appears that a person named “Thomas Williams” enlisted into the said company on the 20 January 1776 and was serving therein as a private soldier at the date of the said muster roll. This is the only muster roll of the said company in this office, and the only paper to my knowledge that tends to prove the services of the said Thomas Williams as a solder in the revolutionary war.
C?? for the United States War Department . ? M Ridgely

I Edward B Gaither practicing physician in Washington do certify ??? on the 27th July 1814 agreeable to appointment by the judge of the KY district have examined Thos Williams relative to a wound ?? to be [sic] have been rec’d in the revolutionary war find a scar on the carpus of the left hand & ranging along the joint of the wrist to the lower end and about the middle of the radius where is to be seen another scar, which wound has distroyed [sic] all distinct motion of the wrist and has so contracted the fingers as to render them of but little use. He states on oath that in cold weather the motion of the fingers are so intirely [sic] lost that he is unable even to draw his cloaths [sic] & I find on examination that his left arm is rather smaller.
Given under my hand the date above written.
[signed E B Gaither]

I hereby certify that on the day of the date hereof Doctor Edward B Gaither of Washington County Kentucky made oath before me that the above certificate bearing his signature is true – turther that I am authorized to say, as well from public fame, as from his sole attendance on a large family of my own for ten or twelve years, that the said Gaither in the line of his profession ranks amongst the first in Kentucky and further that the above named Thomas Williams on his examination took an oath ?? before me well and truly to answer such questions as should be put to him by the said Doctor on his examination. Given under my hand and ?? this 27th day of July 1814.
John Reed

Kentucky District
Washington County

In pursuance to the annexed commission to me directed John Reed of the aforesaid county do hereby certify that on the 27th day of July 1814 at the request of Thos Williams caused Ephraim Townshend of said county personally to appear before me, who being first duly sworn by me on the holy Evangelists of Almighty God to depose of an concerning a wound said to be received during the revolutionary war between the United States of America and Great Britain by Thomas Williams late a soldier in the Delaware Regiment commanded by Colonel John haviselott – Deposeth and said that he (Townsend) served and soldier in the Delaware Regiment in the before mentioned War was in the battle of Long Island in the month of August 1776, the particular day of that month he can not recollect – that he was well acquainted with Thomas Williams (the man now present and under examination by Doctor Edward B Gaither) that said Williams was then a fellow soldier with him in said Regiment – was in the said Battle of Long Island where and at which time he said Williams received a severe wound in the wrist of the left hand about the joint which appears now to be entirely stiff and further saith not
Ephraim (X his mark) Townshend

Another affidavit from Mississippi Territory, Madison County
Dr Joshua Prout also testifies as to the damage to the wrist of Thomas Williams on 7 February 1814

State of Kentucky Barren County
By virtue of a commission to ?? from the Honorable Harry Innis Judge of the District Court for the United States for the District of Kentucky. I have proceeded to examine Henry Williams with respect to Thomas Williams the claimant (as pensioner). The said Henry Williams being sworn deposeth and saith that he was well acquainted with the claimant Thomas Williams before the Revolutionary War with great Britain and since that the said Thomas Williams served in said War as a soldier until the time for which he enlisted expired. He then returned to the place of his residence in Kent County State of Delaware where he resides about two years. He then removed to Orange County State of North Carolina where he resided a number of years and in the time of his residence there he served two tours of duty in the militia service before the expiration of the Revolutionary War from there he removed to Barren County Kentucky where he has lived upwards of ten years, which is still the place of his residence, this deponent further states that the said Thomas Williams for the support of himself and family has been honestly employed (from appearances) in the business or occupation of a farmer and further saith not
Henry [X his mark] Williams
15 April 1814

William Roark deposeth and sayeth that he was well acquainted with the claimant Thomas Williams when he lived in Kent County in the State of Delaware. That after the said Williams returned from the service in the army said Williams and myself with others removed to the County of Orange in the State of North Carolina and that during his residence there he served a tour with him in the militia service before the expiration of the Revolutionary War and this deponent afterwards removed to the State of Tennessee and from there to Barren county Kentucky where I now reside and that the said Williams since my arrival in Kentucky moved from North Carolina to Barren County and has lived in the same neighborhood about ten or eleven years and that the said Williams always supported the character of a good Republican Citizen and has for the support of himself and family been employed in the way of a farmer and further this deponent saith not.
William Roark; 2 June 1814

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

James Scott of Caldwell County Kentucky

James Scott of Caldwell County Kentucky

Revolutionary War Pension File

There was more than one James Scott from Virginia receiving a Revolutionary War Pension.

James Scott of Caldwell Co In the State of Kentucky who was a private in the Company commanded by Captain Pendleton of the regt commanded by Col. Crawford in the Virginia militia for 9 months from 1777.

Inscribed on the Roll of Kentucky at the rate of 30 dollars 50 cents per annum to commence on the 4th day of March 1834

VA Scott, James S14421

Certificate of Pension issued the 14 day of March 1833 and sent to
Tho Haynes Esq Princeton Ky
Arrears to the 4th of March 1833 $60.99
Semi-anl allowance ending 4 Sept 1833 15.00
Revolutionary Claim
Act June 7, 1832
Recorded by W L Williamson Clerk
Book 2 Vol 7 Page 27

Virginia State Troops

20 August 1832: James Scott appeared in County Court before James C Weller, Morton A Rucker, William Lander, justices.
He was a resident of Caldwell County and was 76 years old.
He entered the service in Culpepper County Virginia as a private in the militia of state troops sometime in 1777 for a six month tour under Captain James Pendleton and Major William Roberts.
He marched from Culpepper into New Jersey and round back of Philadelphia where they joined the main army under Genl Washington. His regiment was commanded by Col Crawford.
The British were at this time in Philadelphia, and it was Washington’s design to attack them, but from some circumstance or other he did not do it and went into winter quarters. That he remained in Washingtons army (under the command of Captain Rucker instead of Capt Pendleton who had been advanced to a Colonel on our march out to join Gen’l Washington until his term of service expired and until the winter set in, we were then discharged and sent home. There was no engagement with the British during this time. That again, just before Cornwallis was taken at York, the precise length of time he does not remember, he again entered the service from the same county, under Col Alcock and Captain Kirk for a tour of three months and marched to intercept Cornwallis on his march through the country – not to engage him, but under the orders of Genl Washington to play along before him and harass his march as much as possible, but not to come to any engagement; which we did and continued in the service, marching from place to place until the expiration of our term and we were discharged and relieved by another party sent for the purpose – and this constituted his revolutionary services as a soldier – That he served with Lisman Bacey, Randall Staliard, Stephen Rucker and many others, but whether any of them are living he does not know – they are not in this country and he cannot therefore procure their evidence, but he supposes his name is on the roll of the Virginia Militia and to that he refers. He states that he was born in Culpepper county Virginia in the year 1756. That he was living in that county when he entered the service; that he entered both times as a volunteer; and that he never received any written discharge that he recollects of, as he was marched home by his captain from the first campaign who did not give any written discharges, that he remembers. That he lived about 15 years in Culpepper after the war and moved to South Carolina where he lived five years and then moved to Tennessee & lived there 5 years and then moved to Kentucky, Caldwell County where he now lives & has for the last 15 or 16 years. That he has his fathers bible in which his age was recorded, but the page containing the record has been torn out and he now keeps his age from recollection having often seen the record of it in said Bible…… He further states that there is no clergyman of his acquaintance living in his neighborhood whose attendance he can procure without much trouble and expense.
[signed] James Scott

[affidavit by William Vaughn, Thomas Johnson and James Perry on his credibility.]

James Scott
Pri Rev War
Act: June 7 1832
Index Vol 1 Page 332

[a letter requesting info of 5 Oct 1929 from Mrs L. Boyd Finch of Denver Colorado says that he was in Rutherford county TN before Caldwell County, but the documents don’t state this.]

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

William Porter of Caldwell County Kentucky

William Porter of Caldwell County Kentucky

Revolutionary War Pension File
There were THREE William Porters from Virginia who received Revolutionary War Pensions. There are more documents in this file than any I have yet seen (100 pages). It seems that the War Department got the three William Porters confused also. This one resigned his commission, but they got him confused with one that served to the end of the war. There were letters from two counties in Kentucky, Caldwell and Christian counties AND from Illinois to add to the confusion.]

VA Porter, William; Sally W24909
S. died Jan 8, 1828

William Porter
Of Caldwell County in the State of Kentucky who was a lieutenant in the regiment commanded by Col Spotswood of the Virginia line for the term of three years.

Inscribed on the roll of Kentucky at the rate of 20 dollars per month to commence on 24 April 1820

Certificate of Pension issued the 2nd of Aug 1820 and sent to M. Lyon, agent, Eddyville, Kentucky
Arrears to 4th of Sept 1820 $87.33
Semi-anl all’ce ending 4 March 1821 $120
4 mos 11/30 1821 $207.33
Revolutionary claim
Act 18th March 1818
And 1st May 1820

William Porter
Caldwell Co Kentucky
24 April 1820
2nd lieut in Col Spotswoods regiment 2nd Virg line
February 1776 to March 1779
Property not more than $150
Found on the rolls of the Virginia line as a lieutenant
M. Lyon, agent Eddyville, Kentucky Rec’d 1st Aug 1820

State of Kentucky Caldwell County ??
Be it remembered that in the record of proceedings of the Caldwell County Court among others are the following towit. At a County Court begun and held for the said County on Monday the 24th day of April 1820 came William Porter in open Court and made oath to the truth of the statements contained in the following affidavit which is ordered to be recorded and read as follows. “Personally appeared William Porter of this neighborhood aged sixty three years who being duly sworn according to law doth on his oath make the following statements and declaration in Order to obtain the provision made by the act of Congress entitled “ An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and Nval Service of the United States in the Revolutionary War.” That he the said William Porter in the month of February 1776 enlisted into Capt Edward Meads Company in the 2nd Virginia Regiment in the Continental Establishment then Commanded by Col. Alexander Spotswood. That he served in said Regiment as a private or non commissioned officer until May 1777 at which time he was appointed an ensign in said Company and Regiment and that some time short time after he was appointed to a second Lieutenant in said Company and Regiment in which ??tion he served until March 1779 at which time his affairs requiring his indispenceable attendance at home he resigned his commission. That he was in the Battle of Monmouth and several other skirmishes. That in the latter part of the years 1779 he joined the Army in the staff Department as an assistant quarter master and ?? Commissary of Military Stores at South Hampton and other places. That in resignation he gave up his commission. That he is in reduced circumstances and needs the assistance of his country for support and that he has no other evidence of his services. And the court being satisfied that the said William Porter did serve in the Revolutionary War in the continental Army as a commissioned officer for more than nine months at one time as stated in his declaration and also that the said William Porter stands in need of the assistance of his country for support do order the proceedings in this case to be recorded an that a transcript thereof be duly transmitted to the War department pursuant the directions of the before mentioned act of Congress.

State of Kentucky Caldwell Circuit
June Term 1820
In the record of proceedings in the Circuit Court aforesaid among others are the following towit
On motion of William Porter and he producing here in open court his affidavit which being sworn to by him is ordered to be recorded and certified according to law which affidavit here follows towit. State of Kentucky Caldwell Circuit Court. Personally appeared in open court the circuit court for the Caldwell Circuit being a court of record William Porter aged 64 years resident in this circuit who being first duly sworn according to law, doth declare that he served in the Revolutionary war in the 2nd Virginia Regiment on the Continental establishment agreeably to his former declaration on which he has received no certificate and he solemnly swore that he was a resident citizen of the United States on the 18th day of March 1818 and that he has not since that time by gift sale or in any manner disposed of his property or any part thereof with intent thereby to diminish it so as to bring himself within the provisions of the act of congress enti?? An act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land and naval service of the United States in the Revolutionary War passed on the 18th day of March 1818 and that he has not nor has any person for him in trust any property or securities contracts or debts due to him other than what is contained in the schedule annexed and by him subscribed. He declares himself a farmer by occupation and b??illy able to labour – that he has a wife a very infirm woman and a son about 15 years old who can contribute little to the support of his father and mother – and the said William Porter further declares that his property consists of one blind horse worth perhaps $20, one common cow and calf $12, One two year old Heifer and one yearling worth $8, two small sows and twelve pigs 6 dollars, 4 shoats 6 dollars, 4 sheep 6 dollars and broken set of surveyors instruments $20, One wooden clock $6, two old ploughs and gears $8, two hoes and a mattock $2, a log chain and a set of small harrow teeth $6 an old shot gun $2. In all it is the estimation of the court that is not worth more than one hundred and fifty dollars. [signed: Wm Porter] [John Phelps, circuit court clerk signed…]

Sally Porter
Widow of William Porter who was an ensign and commissioner of Military Stores in the Revolutionary War.
Inscribed on the roll at the rate of 42 dollars per annum to commence the 4th day of March 1843 and end 25th August 1843
Certificate of Pension issued the third day of Feb 1837; sent to A H Markland
Acts of March 3, 1843

[note: died: January 6, 1828]

State of Kentucky. On this fourth day of December 1838 personally appeared before the undersigned a justice of the Christian County Court Sally Porter a resident of the county of Christian & state aforesaid aged seventy five years who being duly sworn, according to law doth on her oath make the following declaration in order to obtain the benefit of the provision made by the act of congress passed July 7 1838 entitled “an act granting half pay and pensions to certain widows”.
That she is the widow of William Porter who was a commissioned officer in the continental army during the revolutionary war. That the said William Porter in the month of February 1776 enlisted in Capt Everard Meads company in the 2nd Virginia Regiment in the continental establishment, then commanded by Col Alexander Spotswood. That he served in said Regiment as a private or noncommissioned officer until May 1777 at which time he was appointed an ensign in said company and regiment and that some short time after he was appointed to a second Lieutenancy in said company and regiment in which situation he served until March 1779 at which time his affairs requiring his indispensable attention at home he resigned his commission. That he was in the Battle of Monmouth and several skirmishes. The ?? the latater part of the year 1779 he joined in the army in the Staff department as an assistant quarter master and was commissary of military stores at Southampton and other places. That in his resignation he gave up his commission. All of which will move fully and at large appear from the statement or declaration of said William Porter made during his lifetime on the 24th day of April of Caldwell County in order to obtain the provision of an act of Congress entitled an act to provide for certain persons engaged in the land & naval service in the United States in the Revolutionary war. That her deceased husband the said William Porter, was a pensioner under the said act of Congress and drew a pension as a commissioned officer under said act from the year 1820 until his death – he being a lieutenant . She further declares that she was married to the said William Porter on the 20th of June in the year 1782 (seventeen hundred and eighty two) and that her husband the aforesaid William Porter died on the 8th day of January in the year 1828. That she was not married to him prior to his leaving the service, but the marriage took place previous to the 1st of January 1794 viz at the time above stated.
[her mark: Sally X Porter]
Porter from bodily infirmity being unable to attend in court to make her declaration was this day duly qualified before Mr William Moman a justice of the peace in and from the County of Christian and State of Kentucky that the Matters and ?? contained in the foregoing declaration was ?? to the ?? of her knowledge an ?? (December 1838; William Thomas J.P.)
Christian County Sct. This day William C Porter personally appeared before the county court of Christian County, which is a court of record and made oath that the following is a true copy taken from the family record of William Porter decd now in his possession, which is ??pressed on the record in fair legible ?? figures as follows
Wm Porter married to Sally Johnson the 20th of June 1782.
The original family record from which the above is taken was here produced before the said court by William C Porter in whose possession the same has been kept and was sworn to by him as the law required.
Said William C Porter doth further depose and say that said marriage took place in the State of Virginia as he has been informed & believes, that said William & Sally Porter lived together as man & wife in the State of Kentucky thirty nine years. That the said William Porter died on the 8th day of January in the year 1828 and that the said Sally Porter was never afterwards married.

4 December 1838, another Christian County Court Meeting was held.
Daniel S Hays
Wm Me?rell
S D B Stewart
Matthew Wilson Justices
William C Porter appeared.

State of Illinois
Wayne County
Be it known that satisfactory evidence has been exhibited to the county court of said county, sitting as a court of probate that Sally Porter widow of William Porter deceased was a pensioner of the United States at the rate of one hundred and seventy one dollars and twenty cents ($170.20). The ?? that she resided in Christian county and State of Kentucky and died in Said County of Christian and State of Kentucky on the 25th day of August AD one thousand eight hundred and forty three and left at her death the following named children only to wit William C Porter, Sally McLin, Elizabeth D Campbell and Horatio P Porter the latter two of whom have since died leaving William C Porter and Sally McLin the only surviving children of the said Sally Porter deceased and I hereby further certify that from the high character of the evidence adduced to said court I have no doubt but all the parts herein set forth are true and faithful.
Given under my hand at Haverfield this 21st ?? AD 1856. D. Turney ???

21 June 1856 in Wayne county Illinois
Rigdon B Sl??y appeared as the administrator of Sally Porter deceased.
He was attempting to obtain any back pay due Sally Porter.

John Adams, President of the United States of America
To all to whom these presents shall come, Greeting:
Know ye, that in consideration of military service performed by William porter (a subaltern for three years) to the United States, in the Virginia line on Continental Establishment, and inpursuance of an act of the Congress of the united States, passed on the 10th day of August in the year 1790, entitled “An act to enable the Officers and soldiers of the Virginia line on Continental Establishment to obtain titles to certain lands lying north-west of the river Ohio, between the little Miami and Sciota:” and another Act of the said Congress, passed on the 9th day of June in the year 1794 amendatory of the said Act, there is granted by the said United States unto the said William Porter a certain tract of land, containing One thousand acres, situate between the little Miami and Sciota Rivers, north-west of the river Ohio, as by survey, bearing date the thirtieth day of January in the year one thousand seven hundred and ninety five, and bounded and described as follows, to wit, Survey of One thousand acres of land on part of a military warrant number two thousand eight hundred ninety four, in favor of the said William Porter (the whole there of being for two thousand six hundred sixty six and two thirds acres) on the waters of Anderson’s Creek, a branch of Caesar’s Creek, beginning at a Lynn Sugar tree and Hickory, north-west corner to John Anderson’s Survey number One thousand two hundred and thirty six, running north, four hundred poles to an ash and two sugar trees, thence East four hundred poles to three sugar trees, thence south four hundred poles to three ashes north east corner to John Anderson’s, thence with his line west four hundred poles to the beginning, with the appurtenances: To have and to hold the said tract of land with the appurtenances unto the said William Porter and his heirs and assigns forever. In witness where of the said John Adams, President of the United States of America, hath caused the United States to be hereunto affixed and signed the same with his hand at Philadelphia the Eighth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred ninety nine and of the Independence of the United States of American, the Twenty third
John Adams
By the President
Timothy Pickering
Secretary of State

Pension Office
December 6, 1882
This certifies that the subjoined copy of an original Patent for One thousand acres of Land in favor of William Porter, who served in the Virginia line on continental Establishment and signed by John Adams, President of the United States, is a true and correct copy of the same. The original Patent has this day been sent by mail to the Post Master at Hopkinsville, Ky to be delivered to John W Campbell, taking his receipt therefore which is to be transmitted to this office.
The said Patent was filed in the application of Sally Porter widow of William Porter for a pension under the act of July 7, 1838 which was allowed – See file No 24.909.
The Patent is dated Feby 8, 1799
Wm H Welesly
Chief of old war & bounty Land division

[In a letter of 12 Dec 1933 to Doctor W E Carter of Columbia Missouri, the facts already stated appear, and also the following: “He was allowed pension on his application executed April 24, 1820, at which time he was aged sixty-three years and resided in Caldwell County, Kentucky. He afterward lived in Christian County, Kentucky, and in the fall of 1827, moved to the state of Illinois. He died January 8, 1828. Letters of administration on his estate were issued in White County, Illinois. The soldier married June 20, 1782, in Virginia, Sally Johnson who was born November 10, 1763. She died August 25, 1843, in Christian County, Kentucky. The following children of William and Sally Porter survived their mother: William C Pporter, in 1856, a resident of Christian County, Kentucky; Sally McLin; Elizabeth D Campbell, who died December 17, 1854 and Horatio P Porter, who died October 5, 1854. A grandson, John J McLin,lived in Princeton, Kentucky, In 1866 and John W Campbell, son of Elizabeth D Campbell, lived in Hopkinsville, Christian County, Kentucky, in 1879. One Benjamin P Campbell was named as a legatee of William Porter. [letter signed by A D Hiller, Assistant to Administrator]”

Sir, Babbs April 4th 17?1
I send you by the Veau? Sixty six damaged guns, twenty seven bayonets & 6 cartridge boxes all to be repaired. I am convinced you will lose no time in expediting the business you are engaged in. You need not send any more guns until you hear further from me. Cartridge boxes are much wanted. Have r?? the flints you sent down.
I am your obed servant
Paul Woolfolk

Cumberland ?? ?? 4th May 17?1
Received of William Porter Commissary of Military Stores. One hundred and sixty five dollars for expenses while at that place
C. Mosby

[a receipt for horse feed is also enclosed and signed by J. Payne]

William Porter
A letter of instruction addressed to Mr Porter C.M.S. signed Nat Irish. Com. Mil. Stores dated Prince Edwd Ct House May 2, 1780 and an order addressed to Mr William Porter C.M.S. signed by J Pryor, F.C.M.S. and dated Apr 30, 1781.
The above papers have been removed from this case in order to send them to the war dept.
F.W. May 22, 1911

Received from the Department of the Interior (Pension Office) one old account book sent to said office in 1839 by Wm C Porter which was filed in the claim of Sally Porter for pension. Dec 23, 1879. John W Campbell

See Heilman’s Historical Register ??.448 ?? gives three Lieuts of VA Cont. Line named William Porter & there are pension claims for two of them. It cannot now be decided which drew the U.S. Land Warrant 1745 as two of these served to close of Rev.
It also appears from the records of the ?? Land Office ?? U.S. Military Bounty land warrant no 1745 for 200 acres was send April 26, 1798 to the same Wm Porter of the Va continental ?? war regist?? In the land office Feb 26, 1805. It was located on Lots 38 and 39 (100 acres each) in the 1st qt 1 Township – 8th – range. In the military reservation in Ohio. In war ?? Apr 12, 1805 in name of Wm Porter.

The records of the General Land office show that Virginia military bounty land warrant No 2894 for 2666 2/3 acres was issued in the name of Wm Porter – it was located in 3 surveys as follows
Survey No 2079 1000 acres
2080 666 2/3 aacres
2081 1000 acres
Survey no 2079 was patented to William Porter Feby 8, 1779
Survey No 2080 ws patented to “the heirs and legal representatives of Wm Porter” June 25, 1842
Survey N 2081 was patented August 9, 1797 to John Clay to whom Porter had sold the survey

Illinois Agency
Sally Porter … William who was a ??? & Comm Military Stores…

Sally Porter
See Let 11 Jany 1839
Hon. E Rumsey

“Remarks – I do not understand how the examiner arrived at the amount of service rendered by Porter. But it is clear that he did not serve to the end of the war if he is to be believed. I should have reguarded the L? M? by the Secy of State as conclusive if he himself had not shown it’s falsity. Perhaps the rolls of this officer may relieve the case of it’s difficulties.” [not signed]

[A letter from William C Porter, calling himself the son of William Porter is included in the file.]

[W. Ogden Niles, En’g Clerk wrote the following after researching to clarify the claim of William Porter:
“… William Porter in his declaration under the Act of March 18, 1818, after stating his service as a private in the line of Virginia, alleged that in May, 1777 he was appointed an ensign in the 2nd Regt of the said line, and a short time after, a 2nd Lieut. In which grade he served until March 1779; at which time his private affairs requiring his attention he resigned his commission. That in the latter part of the year 1779, he again joined the army in the staff department as an assistant to Qr Master, and was commissary of Military Stores at Southampton and that when he resigned he gave up his commission. On examining the case I found that according to the Roll of the Resigned and Supemumerary (?) officers of the Virginia Continental Line, Porter was appointed Lieut. June 8, 1777 – and from the rolls of Capt William Taylor’s company of the 2nd Regt commanded by Felrger(?) that he resigned March 27, 1779, this confirming the statement in his declaration. In support of the service in the staff the agent has filed original papers showing that Porter was com. Of Military Stores, from May 2, 1780 to Aug 3, 1781 – 15 mos, for which with the additional service shown by the record of this office, the claim has been increased.”]

[Letter stating Sally Porter died August 25, 1843 and her pension “has been paid in full to that date”… letter dated 23 Dec 1836]

Hopkinsville July 15, 1881
W J A Bently; comr of Pension Office
Dear Sir: I received a ltter from you dated May 20th and being pressed in business at the time laid your letter aside and had forgotten to answer it until now is my excuse for not answering it wooner. You wish to know who would be the proper person to receive the patent refered to in your letter. William Porter and wife and all their children have been dead for a number of years. I am a grandson of Wm Porter and have had more to do with his estate that is his land matters in the state of Ohio than any other of his heirs. We had a suit pending in Clinton County Ohio for 12 or 14 years and finally was swindle out of the most of his claims. I had a power of attorney from the most of the ?? to attend to their interest, so I suppose I would be as proper a person to receive the patent as any one. The Patent being of now Sal?? To any of the heirs more than an old ret?? As a keepsake. I would like very much to get it as I have a good many of his old papers and would like to preserve them. My Post Office is Hopkinsville Christian County KY
Yours very respectfully
John M Campbell

[a letter written by a grandson of William Porter asking them to look at the pension again because he thinks the amount was too small. He said that William Porter made a partial move to Illinoise the fall before he died. He moved from Christian County Kentucky. William C Porter is an uncle to this grandson of William Porter. He tells them that he thinks the confusion of being more than one William Porter has caused the problem. The Grandson is John J McLin.]