Friday, February 13, 2009

Death and Destruction - Crittenden County, Kentucky

On the 13th of April 1919, Thomas H. Bugg, 37 years of age, was found lying unconscious in the middle of a street in Crittenden County, Kentucky. Coming to his rescue was Circuit Court Clerk David Lowery, who carried Bugg to the Lowery home. The next day Bugg went to his own home. His troubles were not yet over.

Something went terribly wrong in Bugg’s mind as he proceded, with a can of kerosene and a box of matches, to cut a swath of death and destruction through the Piney Fork neighborhood. After sitting fire to the home and storehouse of Sherman Crayne, he entered the home of of T.J. Alexander, where he struck Mrs. Alexander over the head with a shotgun and left her dead in the yard. He then set fire to the Alexander home and storehouse. In all, ten or eleven buildings were burned, including the home owned by Rev. Carl Boucher, a former resident of the county.

Officers captured Bugg and took him to the Crittenden County courthouse, where he attacked the deputy sheriff with a knife, stabbing him in the breast and on the hand. An inquest regarding Bugg’s sanity was held and, as a result of the findings, he was sent to Western State Asylum, where he died 26 July 1925, at the age of 43 years.

Sources:"Left Death Trail, Insanity Is Charged," 16 April 1919 issue of the Lexington Herald, "Crazy Man Runs Amuck in Crittenden County - Kills Woman and Burns Buildings," 15 April 1919 issue of the Princeton Twice-A-Week Leader, death certificates of Nancy Alexander and Thomas H. Bugg. The Princeton newspaper article and death certificate of Nancy Alexander were provided by Linda Ward, Princeton, Kentucky.

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