Sunday, December 9, 2007

First Session of Circuit Court Crittenden County 1842

Crittenden County was created from Livingston County, Kentucky in 1842. The county and circuit courts met at the home of Samuel Ashley, who lived at or very near the early inn or ordinary called Cross Keys. The location of Cross Keys was near the present site of Crooked Creek Missionary Baptist Church, about 1 1/2 miles from Marion. It wasn’t until June 1844 that the court held sessions in the new county courthouse.

The circuit court met quarterly and each session might last for a week or more. Cases heard divorces petitions and will contests, as well as those accused of murder or other felonies, breaking the Sabbath, tippling, swearing, selling spirits without a license, fornication and failiing to keep the roads in repair and those filing to become a naturalized citizen.

The following has been abstracted from Circuit Court Order Book A (1842-1850), page 1.

Agreeably to an act of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky establishing the County of Crittenden, approved 26th January 1842 and an Act attaching sd. County to the 16th Judicial District approved 23rd February 1842.

A Circuit Court was begun and held for sd. county at the house of Samuel Ashley on Monday the 23rd day of May 1842. Present the Honourable W.P. Fowler, Judge. Whereupon the Court proceeded to appoint a clerk, and David C. Flournoy and Harvey W. Bigham applicants for sd. appointment, personally appearing in Open Court and Bigham producing to the Court a Certificate from the judges of the Court of Appeals of his qualifications to discharge the duties of clerk ... In the words and figures following to wit: “State of Kentucky, We do certify that Harvey W. Bigham hath been examined by our Clerk in our presence & under our direction, and we judge him well qualified to discharge the duties of clerk to any County Court, Circuit Court or Court of equal dignity within this Commonwealth ... William Owsley, B. Mills. Attest: J. Swigert.” Was thereupon duly appointed clerk of Crittenden Circuit Court. And thereupon ... Bigham, as clerk of this Court, entered into and executed Bond in the penalty of Ten Thousand Dollars ... with Joseph Watts, Presley Gray, John S. Gilliam, Joel E. Grace, Wm. B. Hickman, Peter Clinton & Daniel Travis, his securities.

A grand jury was empannelled, to wit, Alexander Dean, Foreman, Edward Ashley, Williamson Ashley, Mathew Parmley, Martin Hammond, William Hoggard, John M. Wilson, Isaac Lloyd, Jacob Gill, George Melton, John E. Wilson, Uri G. Witherspoon, Andrew J. Hill, James W. Hill, Thomas Akers & Angus McAlister.

Col. George A. Barbour, Francis H. Dallam, Robert H. Marr, Paterson C. Lancer & Sumner Marble produced to the Court License as Counsellors and attornies at law & took the necessary oaths.

Presley Gray, William Kennady and James Cruce Esqr. was appointed Commissioners for the purpose of selecting a Jury for the next term of this Court.

On motion of Presley Gray, William Kennady and James Cruce, Commissioners, return in open Court a list as required by law Sealed and Signed by them ... which was delivered by the Court to the Clerk for Safe Keeping.

John Rourke vs Hermogene Brown, Anthine Labranch and Laurent Syronge, In Chancery. Ordered that a Subpoena with an injunction be awarded Complainant (Rourke) enjoining and restraining defendants from selling or conveying or removing sd. property of any part of same in the Bill mentioned out of the jurisdiction of this Court. Sheriff is directed to take into his possession all personal property named in sd. Bill & keep same subject to the future order of this Court but to deliver to Defendants upon their executing bond to the complainant ... in the penalty of $1500 ....

John S. Gilliam to report to the Trustee of the Jury fund the amount of taxes and forfeitures in his hands.

The Grand Jury returned the following presentment ... against John L. Elder for Standing Bull. Against John Gregory & Rachel Lacy, fornication. Same against James Long & Lucinda Ferrell an indictment for Adultery.

Ordered that Court adjourn until court in course. [signed] W.P. Fowler.

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