Union Cemetery

Union Cemetery
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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Murder and Mayhem in Kentucky

Sorry I have not posted anything in the last couple of weeks but I am working on a project titled "Murder and Mayhem in Kentucky". The period from 1862 to 1910 in central Kentucky was fraught with lawlessness, killings, gangs of bandits, lynchings and regulators. Most of that stemmed from the period of the Civil War, when Martial Law was declared and local law enforcement was rendered ineffective. Some people took the law into their own hands as a means of self preservation and some saw it as an opportunity to take advantage of others.
Some of our family were dragged into it or the victims of it. Bradford Pipes was murdered, so were Isaac Thomas Hourigan and Samuel T. Harmon. And yes, some of the perpetrators were married into the family and many were neighbors.
William S. Wilson, The Crowdus family, The Rousey family from Milledgeville and Butchertown and the Rowes, Bluford Kennett, John Pennington, Benjamin Hardin Whitehouse and other familiar family names all were involved in one way or another. It is an enthralling historical story and one that really grabs your imagination.
Thanks to two of my mentors from Boyle and Marion Counties, (Karen Fowler Caldwell and the late John Sheperson), I have been sent many, many newspaper clippings and articles over the last few years about all of the above. In my files is a copy of a letter written in 1970 in Missouri by a grandson of Silas Pipes. And in the letter, the grandson describes how Silas told him in the early years of the 20th Century about the day in late November of 1868 when Smith Rousey died in a gun battle on the Isaac Shelby farm south of Danville. The story will give you goosebumps.
If you have any information about any of the violence that occurred in this period, please consider sharing it with me. Please contact me first as I have a lot of items already but I really need more. I have many small snippet items that were published in local newspapers but I may have missed some.
My plan right now is to put all of this into a booklet that will be sold as a fund raiser for the cemetery.

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