Thursday, September 27, 2018

Crittenden County, Kentucky County Officials 1902

The local newspaper of Crittenden County, Kentucky, provides information on the of county officials who were elected in November 1901 and took office in January 1902.[1] The retiring officers were J.G. Rochester, County Judge; D. Woods, County Clerk; John T. Pickens, Sheriff; J.F. Canada, Assessor; Miss Mina Wheeler, Superintendant of Schools; A.S. Hard, Jailer; and J.B. Kevil, County Attorney.  The new officers, elected for a term of four years, were all Republicans. They were as follows:

County Judge Aaron Towery was born in Crittenden County Dec. 29th, 1849. He attended county schools until 18 years of age and then entered the Academy at Providence. He attended Princeton College and graduated in 1871. He served as county surveyor for 16 years.

County Attorney Carl Henderson has been a resident of Marion some three years, and has acquired a lucrative practice as a lawyer. He was born in Grayson County, Ky. in 1869. He removed to Webster  County and was engaged in the railroad business at Blackford for eight years. He studied law in a private office and then entered a law college at Bowling Green where he was graduated and admitted to the bar.

Mr. C.E. Weldon, the new County Clerk, was born in Livingston County in 1873. He removed to this county while a boy. He attended school in this county and graduated at a business college at Lebanon, Ohio. Was united in marriage with Miss Willie M. Stone in 1895.

Miss Mina Wheeler, for the past eight years County Superintendent of Schools, retired from the office Monday and Mr. John B. Paris succeeded her. Mr. Paris is 32 years of age and was born in this county. He began teaching when only 17 years of age and has been constantly engaged in that work. In 1896 he married Miss Luella Miller of Livingston County. In 1897 he was the Republican nominee for Supt. of Schools, but was defeated by Miss Wheeler.

Mr. James Watts Lamb, the new sheriff, is the youngest county official. He was born in Crittenden County 26 years ago. He is a son of Mr. J. Wesley Lamb, of Bells Mines. He attended the county schools. In 1897, he entered the High School of this city and was graduated with honors in 1899. He taught school two years. Mr. Lamb was the Republican nomination for sheriff after a hard fight. He was the leading candidate on the Republican ticket, receiving the largest vote.

Mr. George T. Belt, the new Assessor, is a prominent and prosperous farmer of Sheridan. He was born in this county Aug. 15th, 1863 and has always resided in Crittenden. In 1888 he was united in marriage with Miss Anna Weldon, daughter of Mr. W.E. Weldon. He is an influential member of the Baptist church.

Mr. Albert Travis, who succeeds Mr. A.S. Hard as jailer, is a most friendly and accommodating gentleman. He has been a resident of this county all his life and until elected had been engaged in farming.

[1] "New Officials," Crittenden Press, 9 Jan 1902, Vol. 23, p. 2.

Published 27 September 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - Chas. Walton

Memory of
Chas. Walton
Died Nov. 8th 1845
Aged 31 [34?] years 

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 8 October 2014. Note the weeping willow tree, the universal symbol of mourning,  at the top of the tombstone.  If there was ever an epitaph, it is now below ground level. 

Charles Walton and Mrs. Elizabeth Seldon were married 16 January 1840 by James McCawley, JP.   S.Y. Fletcher gave consent in the following note: "I do hereby cirtify that Mrs. Elisabeth Seldon is under my protection & has my consent to marry Mr. Chas. Walton."[1]

 Charles Walton appears on the 1840-1845 Livingston County Tax lists. He is listed as a white male age 21 and over. Apparently, he owned neither land nor horse.

 Elizabeth Walton, age 30 and born North Carolina, was living in the household of Caroline Hall on the 1850 Livingston County census.[2] It is unknown if she was the widow of Charles Walton.

[1] Joyce McCandless Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records Including Marriages of Freedmen Vol. II (Aug 1839 - Dec 1871), (Evansville, IN: Evansville Bindery, 1994)  6.
[2] 1850 Livingston County, Kentucky census, roll M432_210, page 387A, Household of Caroline Hall, age 23 born Indiana,, accessed 6 July 2018.

Published 25 September 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, September 20, 2018

The House On Charlotte Street

For several  years I have been researching the Barner family, along with the house they lived in, on Charlotte Street in Smithland. Benjamin Barner was the first of the family to live in this house and, about 1841, his brother and sister in law, Sterling M. and Sarah Jane (West) Barner, moved from Nashville, Tennessee to live with Benjamin. Also living in the household were Sterling and Sarah Jane's children, Mary E., Joseph, and Martha "Miss Pattie" Barner.

Unfortunately, all members of the family were deceased by 1870 with the exception of Sarah Jane. She and her grandson, Sterling Barner Taylor, child of Miss Pattie's unfortunate marriage to B. Waller Taylor, moved to Russellville, Kentucky  to live with her sister, Elizabeth Saffrans. In 1873, Sarah Jane married George Blakey and then died in 9 January 1879 in Bowling Green, Kentucky.  Through the years the  Barner house in Smithland was rented out to various tenants, including J.W. Bush,[1]  Mrs. Nannie (Haydock) Ferguson,[2] and E.G. Leeper.[3] Leeper agreed to pay rent of $125 per year.

By 1890, Miss Pattie's son, Sterling Barner Taylor, a physician living in Columbus, Ohio and the only surviving heir of the Barner family, began to sell off the property in Smithland, including the house on Charlotte Street.  Mrs. Nannie Ferguson, who had first rented the house in 1866 and had also been living there since the summer of 1880, agreed to buy Lots #37, 38, and 39 which included the dwelling house, for the sum of $500.[4]

Nannie Ferguson died in 1901 and the Charlotte Street house and two extra lots were inherited by her children, Hamlet, Nettie and Maude Ferguson. Hamlet  was living in Kansas City, Missouri  when he conveyed his interest in the property to his sisters, Nettie and Maude.[5]   By 1919, Nettie and Maude had moved to San Diego, California and sold the house to J.E. Massey.[6]  Massey and his family lived in the property for a number of years and then it sat empty for some time. On 1 December 2009, the house was destroyed by fire. Today the lot on which the house stood is vacant with no remnant of the old house remaining.  It was said that the oldest part of the house was an original log cabin in the center portion of the house. This appeared to be true from what remained of the house after the fire. Very likely the house was enlarged to accommodate the larger number of people when Sterling moved his family to Smithland.

There are various rumors about the house on Charlotte Street. A local tradition says it was the oldest house in Smithland, but no one, to my knowledge, has offered proof.  Some people believe that slaves escaped to free territory via an underground tunnel leading from the house to the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers, just a half block from the house.  Whether this is true or not, I cannot say, but I do know that on the 1850 Livingston County Slave Schedule, Sterling Barner had four slaves listed as his property. In 1860, Sterling had four slaves and his brother, Benjamin, had two slaves. It is interesting that the 1870 Livingston County census does not show any black or mulatto persons with the surname of Barner. Did they move away from Livingston County when they were freed or did they change their surnames? 

Watch for a post soon on the Ferguson family who lived in The House on Charlotte Street.

Barner House 4 December 2009  (after the fire)

[1] Rental agreement dated 1 Jul 1865 between J.W.Bush and Mrs. Sarah J. Barner to rent part of her residence until 28 Dec 1865; copy of letter in compiler's files.
[2] Letter dated 6 Feb 1866 from Pattie Barner to her mother, Sarah Jane Barner, stating "I suppose by this time Miss Nannie has become fully installed in her new [house?]. Give my love to Mrs.  Haydock and Miss Nannie also ..." Transcription of letter in compiler's files.
[3] Rental agreement dated 7 Jan 1870 between E.G. Leeper and Sarah J. Barner to rent her dwelling house 
[4] Livingston County Deed Book 19:155-156, Sterling B. Taylor to Mrs. Nannie Ferguson, 12 May 1890; recorded 7 Dec 1892.
[5] Livingston County Deed Book 29:445-447, Hamlet Ferguson and wife Mathilde to Nettie and Maude Ferguson, 14 Sep 1903; recorded 20 Oct 1904.
[6] Livingston County Deed Book 45:472-473, Maude and Nettie Ferguson to J.E. Massey, 31 Jul 1919; recorded 27 Mar 1920.

Published 20 September 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, September 17, 2018

From The Photo Gallery - 1897 Flood Smithland, Kentucky

Reverse:  "This view is from cemetery hill looking North west."  This photo of the 1897 flood in Smithland, Kentucky was sent to Mrs. Mamie M. McCawley in Sarcoxie, Missouri from her husband, Alfred McCawley, both former residents of Smithland.  None of the people pictured have been identified.

This photo is shared through the generosity of Jerry Bebout, Livingston County, Kentucky.  Click on the photo for an enlarged view.

Published 17 September 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Importation of Slaves 1860

Slaves imported from a foreign country since the first of January 1808, or slaves who had been tried and convicted of a felony in any other state or territory, were not to be imported into Kentucky. Anyone knowingly in violation could be fined $300 per each imported slave. In addition, no slave could be imported into Kentucky as merchandise or for the purpose of sale or barter, in or out of the state, under penalty of a fine of $600 per slave.

Within 40 days of a person importing slaves to Kentucky, the new resident had to present a list to the county court clerk of his slaves, listing their names, ages, and sex. Within 60 days, the new resident had to take an oath in their Kentucky county of residence regarding their intention of importing the slaves for their personal use. [1]

The following list of slaves of Philip Guier can be found in a file of "Importation of Slaves," Caldwell County Clerk's Office, Princeton, Kentucky.

"I Philip Guier now of the County of Caldwell in the State of Kentucky would report the following slaves as imported from the State of Louisiana into this State, viz, Austin a man aged 40 years, Daniel a man aged 38 years, Edward a man aged 24 years, Wash a man aged 19 years, Reuben a boy aged 14 years, Josh a boy aged 11 years, Peter a Boy aged 7 years, Jacob an infant aged 15 months, Jennett a woman aged 38 years, Eliza a woman aged 35, Big Caroline a woman aged 21 years, Susan a woman aged 23 years, Easter a girl 12 years, Georgia Ann a girl aged 4 years, that I have received and imported the slaves named in the foregoing into the State of Kentucky for my own private use, that they were not purchased or received and imported for sale or speculation or to be treated as merchandize and I do not believe any one of them to have been imported into the United States since the 1st day of January 1808, or that any one of them has been convicted of felony in any other State of Territory. Given under my hand this 9th day of March 1860." [signed]  Philip Guier.

Sworn before W.E. Mitchusson, D.C. [Deputy Clerk] 9th day of March 1860.

[1] "Slaves, Runaways, Free Negroes, Etc.," The Revised Statutes of Kentucky and An Appendix, Vol. II, (Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1860), Article II on the Importation of Slaves, Sec. 1, 2 and 3, Google Books.

Published 13 September 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - Joseph Haydock

Joseph Haydock
in Rahway, N.J.
Dec. 8, 1800
at Paducah, Ky
Aug. 5, 1835

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Livingston County, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 10 July 2017.

Joseph Haydock married Maria Ferguson, daughter of Richard and Nancy Ferguson, 10 September 1823.[1] Maria died 26 January 1834 and Joseph then married Mrs. Catherine F. (Given) Ferguson, widow of James B. Ferguson.[2]

[1] Joyce M. Woodyard. Livingston County, Kentucky Marriage Records, Vol. 1 (Oct 1799-July 1839), (Smithland, KY: n.p., 1992) 71.
[2] Woodyard. Livingston County Marriage Records, Vol. 1, 131. Joseph Haydock obtained a marriage bond to marry Mrs. Catherine F. Ferguson 18 June 1834.

Published 11 Sep 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Crittenden County Guardian Bonds 1867

The intention of the law regarding guardians was to protect the rights of children who were orphans or not old enough to care for their own business. If an underage child inherited property, a guardian was usually appointed to protect his interests. A guardian might also be appointed to represent the child in a law suit (guardian ad litem). At the age of 14 years, a child was allowed to choose his own guardian, but with the county court’s approval. If under age 14, the county court had the responsibility of appointing the guardian for the child. To guarantee the faithful performance of his duties, the guardian and his surety signed a bond. The following entries have been abstracted from Guardian Bond Book 1853-1871 as well as County Court Order Book 3 (1861-1868), Crittenden County Clerk’s Office, Marion, Kentucky. The letter and numbers at the end of the entries refers to the County Court Order Book and page number. For example, 3/349 refers to Order Book 3, page 349.

James M. Swansey, over age 14, chose G.S. James as his guardian 14 Jan 1867. Surety: B.S. James  (3/349)

John P. Reed was appointed guardian of Ida May Reed, infant & heir of H.S. Reed dec'd 11 Mar 1867. Surety: A.W. Reed.  (3/355)

H.L. Leigh was appointed guardian of Henry Holmes 11 Mar 1867. Sureties: D. Bourland, M.G. Gilbert, U.G. Witherspoon, J.J. Hughes, James F. Flanary, Alfred Moore, W.T. Mayes. (3/356)

Wm. McMican appointed guardian ad litem for infant heirs of J.J. Mican dec'd 11 Mar 1867. (3/356) Not listed in guardian bond book and no surety listed.

T.J. Yandell was appointed guardian of Mary E. Armstrong, Wm. L. Armstrong & Annette Armstrong, minors of J.R. Armstrong dec'd 7 May 1867. Surety: D.N. Stinson. (3/364)

P.C. Stephens was appointed guardian of Marietta Bristow, infant of John Bristow dec'd 10 Jun 1867. Surety: Chapel Nunn. (3/370)

J.N. Woods was appointed guardian of John F. Howlin 11 Jun 1867. Surety: T.L.R. Wilson. (3/371)

Huston Branom was appointed guardian of Mary A. Bird 18 Jun 1867. Surety: Columbus Branom. (3/387)

J.M. Little was appointed guardian of Elizabeth Anglin Little and  John Little, heirs of Mary R. Little, 7 Sep 1867. Sureties: George H. Towery, Jas. Wilson, W.H. Brantley. (3/388)

M.E. Armstrong was appointed g uardian of Malinda Armstrong, Sarah T. Armstrong & Jas. Ella Armstrong, heirs of Alfred Armstrong, 10 Sep 1867. No surety listed. (3/388)

F.M. Wood was appointed guardian of Welly Ann Barnett, under age 14 and inant heir of Henry Barnett dec'd, 14 Oct 1867. Sureties: T.A. Kemp & A. Rankin. (3/392)

Junetta A. Stephens, over age 14, chose F.A. Mundt as her guardian. Mundt was also appointed guardian for the following children under the age of 14: Frances S. Stephens, Julia B. Stephens & Sarah J. Stephens, all children of Thos. N. Stephens dec'd, 14 Oct 1867. Sureties: G.S. Boaz, A. Koon. (3/392)

James W. Champion was appointed guardian of D.E. Gilliland, infant of Thos. Gilliland & the mother giving consent, 14 Oct 1867. Surety: K.P. Larue. (3/393)

J.R. Hughes was appointed guardian of Rossie Hughes & Mary Hughes 9 Dec 1867. Sureties: F.M. Clement, I.N. Clement. (3/411)

W.C. Puckett was chosen guardian by his heir, Permelia Puckett, who is over the age of 14, 9 Dec 1867. Surety: Elisha Conger. (3/411)

 Published 6 September 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Tombstone Tuesday - William B. Smith, Age 17

to the memory of
William B. Smith
Son of John H. &
Rhoda W. Smith
who departed this
life July 14th
A.D. 1844
Aged 17 years
10 months
6 days

Buried Smithland Cemetery, Smithland, Kentucky. Tombstone photographed 6 February 2013.

William B. Smith and his siblings purchased half of Lot #31 in Smithland in April 1844.[1] His siblings were listed as C.W. Smith; Malinda H. Cook, wife of Elbert Cook; John B. Smith and Mary Smith.

[1] Livingston County, Kentucky Deed Book HH, p. 423, Henry Bigham Commissioner to children of John H. Smith.

Published 4 September 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

Monday, September 3, 2018

Happy Labor Day!

Clip Art courtesy of Clipart Panda (

Published 3 September 2018, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,