Wayne County, Kentucky
A Century of Wayne County Kentucky, 1800-1900
by Augusta Phillips Johnson, 1939
Submitted by Janice Rice
Early Preachers - Churches--Lawyers--Doctors
There is much evidence that the early settlers of Wayne, as well as the surrounding counties, were people with a deep- laid religious nature. The war for independence had been fought and won, the frontier had been conquered and they were free to give full play to this religious impulse. There were signs of a great religious awakening that reached to the outposts of civilization.
The construction of log houses of worship quickly followed the erection of homes. These earliest settlers were chiefly Baptists from southwest Virginia and North Carolina, largely from the settlements on the Holston and Clinch where there was an active group of Baptist churches, the Holston Association.
Old Concord Church on Big Sinking is thought to be the oldest church in Wayne County.
George Rogers, affectionately known in later life as "Father Rogers," came into this section in 1798. He gathered a congregation and built a church and held services in different sections of the county. Father Rogers was born February 6, 1764, and was a Revolutionary soldier from Fauquier County, Virginia.
"NOTE: Father Rogers was a Revolutionary soldier under General Morgan at Cowpens. He was at the siege of York- town and in many other battles. He was a Christian who bore his sufferings with great fortitude.
(Signed) "William Simpson
"Clk. Wayne County."
He died November 18, 1858.
The Rev. Elliott Jones solemnized the first marriage recorded in the county, that of Thomas Stewart and Hannah Allen, May 27, 1801, and most of the marriages for the next few years. Two marriages in 1801 were solemnized by the Rev. Mr. Hill.
In 1801, Anthony Gholson gave land for a Baptist church and burying ground at Steubenville. This log structure was razed in the eighties and a frame house built. Anthony Gholson was buried here. In 1804, John Smith came from Stockton's Valley to the Little South Fork, married and built the Mt. Pisgah Church. He was not an ordained minister and Richard Barrier, a young preacher, was called to the church. There was a very early church at Parmleysville. Early congregations began by meeting at the homes of the settlers, but it was soon evident that they felt there should be a house, if only of logs, set apart and sanctified to the worship of God. The first church in Monticello was built on the hill across the creek, where later Joshua Buster built his home and where, in the old Buster graveyard, some of the earliest settlers were buried. This was the scene of many religious meetings up to 1830.
Many ministers' names figure in the early annals of the county. Isaac Denton from Clinton County, a godly man, mentor of John Smith, came to Wayne to preach. He officiated at the wedding of John Smith and Anna Townsend in 1804. John Adair was authorized by the court in 1807 "to solemnize matrimony." Dibrell's Meeting House on the Cumberland River was built before 1810, and the court in 1809 ordered "the road to Rogers Grove Meeting House be improved, overseer appointed to carry this order into effect." Lockett's Chapel was another early church in this section while Bethesda dates back almost to the beginning of the county. Old Salem Church and Alexander's Chapel in the northern part of the county have modern frame buildings superseding the early log structures that showed their early origin
About 1800, William Lockett, for whom Lockett's Chapel was named, moved into that neighborhood. The original building was erected on land donated by him. His daughter married Rev. Lewis Parker of Pulaski County, and their daughter married Rev. Thomas G. Harrison. William Lockett and his wife were deeply religious. Their religion was of that quality that enabled them to meet a most unusual and trying situation with the serenity that marks the true Christian character. The following narration, by one of their descendants, tells graphically the story of their dilemma and how they met it:
"My great-grandmother Lockett's maiden name was De Forrest. She lived in Virginia and married there, probably in the 1780's, a man whose name I am unable to recall certainly, but I think it was Pepper. He was also a resident of that state and they continued to live there after their marriage. Some three or four years later, when their baby girl was about two years old, he had occasion to go to Europe, leaving his wife and child at their home. For some reason, I do not know whether on account of shipwreck, capture or what, he did not return to America for some twelve or fourteen years, maybe longer. His wife concluded after some seven or eight years that he was dead, as she heard nothing at all from him or of him during this interval, and she married my great-grandfather, William Lockett, and they came to Kentucky, bought a farm and settled out in the Lockett's Chapel neighborhood.
"After some years, when she and her second husband had two or three children, the first husband returned to their home town in Virginia. Informed of his wife's marriage, after he landed, and that she and Lockett had come to Kentucky, he followed at once and came to the neighborhood where they lived. Instead of going to see them when he got there, he decided that the better course would be, if they were living happily, simply to slip away and leave them to continue to think that he was dead. Uncle Mike Castillo told me that his father told him that he, that is, this first husband, stayed at his house two or three days, and that he took him, Mr. Castillo, into his confidence and told him his story.
He said that he investigated sufficiently to satisfy himself that Lockett and his wife were happy and comfortable and that he had decided to go away without letting them know that he had been there or, for that matter, that he was still alive. But he said that he wanted to see his child. Mr. Castillo told him that he would arrange for him to do that. He accordingly arranged for her to come for water to the big spring near the house (in those early days many residences were located with reference to a spring, then the most convenient source of water) and her father came riding by casually, while she was there and stopped to get a drink. He talked to her for some time, but without disclosing his identity, but he told Mr. Castillo that the hardest fight of his life was to keep from telling her who he was and taking her in his arms. He went away then, and I know nothing of his subsequent history. Uncle Mike told me that his father said he gave an entirely satisfactory explanation of his detention in Europe and of his inability to communicate with his wife, and that he impressed him and the other two or three neighbors who met him as a man of integrity and intelligence.
"He requested that nothing should ever be said to his wife or any other member of the family of his visit, as he preferred that they should continue to think of him as probably dead. But somebody, for some reason, told Mr. Lockett about it after awhile, and he, feeling that it was the only honorable course, told his wife, explaining to her that while it would ruin his life to give her up, she must settle the matter as she thought best. She was a very religious woman (I have heard one of my mother's older sisters tell of her taking her with her to the grove of trees near the house where she went every day for secret prayer), and she told Mr. Lockett that she wanted to study and pray over the matter for a few days and would then tell him her decision. She came to him three or four days later and told him that she had reached a decision-that she had loved her first husband, but had, with good reason, believed him dead and mourned for him and been true to his memory, and that she had concluded that under all the circumstances her proper place was with her present husband and children. That is, she decided that it was her duty to stay with her second husband, and this she did. Lewis Parker, a young Methodist preacher from New York, married in 1824, Matilda Lockett, one of the children of this second marriage. My information is that in order to establish her marriage status and legitimatize the children of the second marriage, proper steps were taken to do so by court proceedings or legislative action. "No information is available as to the subsequent history of the first husband. The daughter remained with her mother and step-father. In young womanhood she married and moved to one of the western states, where, there is a tradition in the family that one of her sons became governor.
" The Wayne Circuit was organized in 1803 by Jacob Young. This included Wayne, Clinton, Cumberland, Pulaski, and Russell counties. Lewis Parker was the preacher of that circuit in 1824.
About the year 1830 Colonel Walter Emerson moved from Tennessee and settled in Wayne County, Kentucky, near the Pulaski County line. Indeed, a part of his farm lay in Pulaski County and a part in Wayne. After he had established his home, it was used as a preaching place by the Methodists for a number of years. In 1852, William Alexander was appointed to the Wayne Circuit and secured a deed from Colonel Emerson to a lot lying in Pulaski County on which a modest frame building 28 by 32 was erected. It was about this time that Isaac W. Emerson, a member of the Louisville Conference, married Miss Sally Parker, daughter of Rev. Lewis Parker of Pulaski County. It was also about this time that Colonel Emerson's youngest daughter, Miss Myrtle, married the Rev. R. C. Alexander who, for many years, was a useful and highly esteemed member of the Louisville Conference. When the little church referred to above was dedicated and named Alexander's Chapel, it was the only Methodist church within a radius of 10 miles, but there are now four charges, Monticello, West Monticello, Mill Springs, and Wayne Circuit, embraced within the territory which was then served by the original Wayne Circuit. In this territory there are now fourteen Methodist churches. There was an organized Methodist church in the home of Colonel Emerson at least fifteen years before the Alexander's Chapel church building was erected. Lovell's Chapel church, which is located up South Fork of Cumberland River across from Burnside, is an offspring of Alexander's Chapel. It was erected about 1905.
The old church at Alexander's Chapel was torn down in 1912 and a new brick church erected at a cost of about $4,000 and this has served the community as a place of worship since that date. The records are incomplete but they show that the following have served as pastors of this historic church since it was erected: William Alexander, James L. Edrington, B. A. Cundiff, Thomas G. Harrison, W. T. Davenport, P. A. Edwards, John S. Keen, Robert W. Stone, James G. Freeman, George H. Means, W. C. Brandon, J. V. Guthrie, Jesse L. Murrell, G. W. Shugart, D. F. Walton, Pat H. Davis, Frank E. Lewis, James E. Wooldridge, and T. L. Hulse, presiding elder of that territory from 1907 to 1911. About the same time a Methodist church was erected at Meadow Creek on land given by Archibald Woods. It was the first of four churches, in that section of the county, which comprised the Mill Springs Circuit. Archibald Woods had invited the Methodists to use his home as a place of worship. This was done until the Meadow Creek Church was erected about 1830.
Thomas J. Chilton was a minister in this section in this early period. He is mentioned as having baptized Isaac T. Reneau. In 1808, John Smith was ordained a minister in the Baptist church. William Burke from Green County was probably the first Methodist preacher to visit Wayne. James Lair was long a minister of this faith in Wayne. Francis P. Stone was a clergyman at Monticello in 1830. A few Scotch Presbyterians came into this section and became affiliated with the Baptists and worshiped with them. The first Presbyterian meeting ever held in Wayne was by Thomas Cleland in 1809- David Rice, a prominent Presbyterian preacher, also visited Wayne at an early date and James McGready took part in the great revival in this region. In this period, the first and second decades of the nineteenth century, there began a great religious controversy and the storm center was the Cumberland and Green River section. Out of this grew the Christian Church and its history closely parallels the history of "Raccoon" John Smith. He was deeply troubled by doctrinal teachings and was in grave doubt when there fell into his hands "The Christian Baptist" written by Alexander Campbell who, disturbed by the number of divisions in the Protestant Church, wanted to restore its original unity. He had only one creed, "only to believe as the early Christians at Antioch.
Smith went to Central Kentucky where a great meeting was in progress. He heard Alexander Campbell. He felt inspired himself to speak. The congregation were disposed to make light of the mountaineer in homespun. "Who is he?" they asked.
He arose and in dramatic fashion said: "I am John Smith from the Little South Fork in Wayne where saltpeter caves abound and raccoons have their homes."
Then he proceeded to electrify the vast assemblage. He won the name Raccoon John Smith that he kept throughout life. He was called to Central Kentucky churches to preach. A prominent citizen of Monticello wrote asking him to come to Monticello. He returned to Wayne and "for eight days and nights taught the people from house to house." He was urged again to return and in 1831 he advised the group of his followers to meet every Lord's Day. They followed his advice and thus was organized the first congregation of the Christian Church in Wayne County, in October, 1831-The first building was a log house on the hill where the old Buster burying ground remains. The charter members were: James Jones and wife (father and mother of Eliza Jones Phillips) Micajah Phillips, John L. Sallee, Frank Coffey, W. J. Kendrick, Joshua Buster, Mrs. Juan Hall, Dr. Jno. S. Frisbie, Sr., Peter Marshall. Dr. Jno. S. Frisbie, Jr.,
After the Masonic Hall was built it was used for services until 1860 when the church on Columbia Avenue was built. Captain Tuttle, in his diary, says he spent the day " . . . . helping erect the framework of the church." The first resident minister of the church was William Simpson.
Later pastors were: Caleb Sewell, Joseph Ballou, John I. Rogers, James L. Allen, James Zachary, Roy L. Porter, A. H. Hope, William Stone, A. H. Baugh. This recital would be incomplete without the mention of Rev. William Cooper. As a Baptist preacher, he left the imprint of his godly character upon the people of Wayne. Throughout the county he was known and loved. He was a familiar figure when he was well past eighty years of age riding horseback into Monticello. His erect, almost military, bearing never failed to call forth admiration. He left a long record of good work behind him.
Other ministers who preached and solemnized marriages were: Lewis Parker, about 1832; Isaac Powell, 1837; Abner Jones, 1840; William Cooper, for a long period beginning in the sixties; William Floyd and John Price were noted in Wayne in 1841; William Gooding in 1832; A. Davis and E. M. Bosley in 1835.
Dr. J. S. Frisbie was authorized to solemnize marriage in the late thirties. Captain Tuttle in his diary speaks of going to hear "Brother Moore" in the sixties. J. W. Blackburn in the nineties can be well remembered. He was pastor of the Baptist church erected at that time, largely through the efforts of Mr. John H. Shearer, a well-to-do and prominent citizen. The names of the churches in the county arc redolent of a deep feeling of reverence, peace, and loyalty. They are not sectarian or denominational names. There are the names of the old Biblical sites with their sacred significance -Bethel, Bethesda, Salem, and Mt. Pisgah. Then there are Charity, Concord, Pleasant Hill, Pleasant Grove, with their suggestion of peace and harmony; and those of some faithful shepherds give names to Lockett's Chapel, Alexander's Chapel, and Roger's Grove.
These are the places of worship where real religion abounds and many a meeting has been held in each of them, sending out their congregations inspired to a life of devotion.
Bethel Church at Parmleysville was organized in 1810. The records have been preserved intact, one of those rare occurrences, and are in possession of W. M. Powers. There could be no greater privilege than that of having access to this early record book of Old Bethel whose names tell the story of a splendid God- fearing, law-abiding section.
We quote from the record book: Bethel was constituted 3d Saturday in July, 1810, with 9 members." John Smith (Raccoon John Smith) was pastor for seven years. The first clerk was Philip Smith, brother of John Smith. The first pastor to follow John Smith was William Rice. Then came Isaac Story, followed by Eben Fairchild, who was succeeded by Ephraim Bunyard. William Cooper, Elias Hopkins, Lewis Fairchild, Reuben Jones, and Wesley Denny were some of the preachers who served Old Bethel through the century and a quarter since its beginning. M. W. Powers has been clerk for twenty-five years. There has been no more splendid congregation in the county than that of Old Bethel, for the citizenry that has gone to make the church was of that fine old stock that settled there, before, and immediately after, its formation in 1800. And these good Baptists of Old Bethel had doubtless met to worship in the homes of the members before John Smith formally organized the church in 1810.
PLEASANT HILL CHURCH
Pleasant Hill Church was established on Carpenter's Fork of Otter Creek, June 12, 1841. In faultless penmanship, the old record book recites: 'The Brethren and Sisters who were given up by Otter Creek Church of United Baptists and by the Clear Fork Church, being assembled, agreeable to appointment at Pleasant Hill Meeting House, were constituted a Baptist Church of Jesus Christ by elders acting as Presbyters to wit: Richard Barrier and Henry Tuggle." The names of the charter members are as follows: Henry Blevins, Emilia Blevins, Joel Bertram, Elizabeth Bertram, Elijah Bertram, Camealy Bertram, Ephraim Bertram, Laruhanna Bertram, Jacob Bertram, Louvena Bertram, Ahial Bertram, Rowena Bertram, Jonathan Bertram, Feroby Bertram, William Bertram, Sr., Nancy Bertram, William Bertram, Jr., Andrew Young, Eady Young, Lilly Brown, Benjamin of color, Eady of color, Martha Savage, John Koger, Rachael Koger, Louis Koger, Vicy Deering, Rhodes G. Rains, Nimrod Stinson. Received by experience Sallie Stinson, Serelda Kennedy, Esther Denny, Polly Deering, Jerusha Young, Nancy Lockhart; Henry Blevins, Moderator; Elijah Bertram, Clerk, pro tern. At the next meeting Joel Bertram was chosen clerk and continued in this office until I860 when William Bertram took his place. In 1871 another Joel Bertram came in as clerk remaining until 1884, giving way to Reuben Bertram, then James Bertram, then W. C. C. Bertram continuing until the present time. A Bertram for clerk for nearly a century.
Moderators were Henry Blevins, Henry Tuggle, William Bertram, Nimrod Stinson, James Abston, R. R. Dick, Ephraim Bertram, N. Albertson, Alvin Bertram, Wesley Denny, W. R. Davidson.
The Dalton family came into the community and into the church in 1842. Big Spring Church is referred to, with Abijah Fairchild bearing a letter asking for assistance. The minutes of Pleasant Hill Church are a key to the character of the people of that section, showing a high moral standard of conduct, deep religious feeling, and a stern devotion to duty. The list of members throughout its existence contains the names of men and women who have been identified with the life and development of the county and state.
In 1828, Daniel Shearer helped to build a church at Pleasant Bend, now Cooper. A. N. Shearer, father of Miss Ala Shearer, then a lad of nine, remembered going with his father to do this. The Oatts, Coffeys, Vickerys, Alexanders, Shearers, etc., met there to worship. "Raccoon" John Smith, William Simpson, Brother Burdette were the early preachers. They called it the Church of Christ. In 1852, they organized and planned to build a church in Shearer Valley. The Civil War came on and this house was not completed until the war was over, but enough was done that the soldiers camped in it during the war. This house stands yet, and members of the Church of Christ meet there for worship. Jenkins Shearer, and later Daniel Shearer, preached in this church.
Matthew Floyd preached at old Beaver Creek Church and also in Old Salem at Frazer.
Other preachers of an earlier day were Reverends Rexroat, Matthews, Davis, and Wright.
The old "Union Church" was built in 1860, and used by all denominations until the end of the century. Absolute harmony prevailed during this period-an everlasting tribute to the real religious spirit of the people of the community, as well as the literal interpretation and acceptance of the terms of the Constitution of the United States. Such a situation could exist only among men and women of a high order of intelligence, with rare breadth and tolerance, in a period characterized by petty religious squabbles.
This was an experiment so unusual as to arouse interest. The whole population turned out to hear a visiting preacher, regardless of denomination, to listen with an open mind and sympathetic interest. So far as is known this situation has not been duplicated anywhere.
There have been other churches used in turn by different denominations, but none as an actual union church. The children of adherents of different faiths attended the same Sunday School. There could have been no experience so calculated to develop the spirit of real religion.
RACCOON JOHN SMITH
No preacher exerted a more powerful influence on the lives of the early inhabitants of Wayne than Elder John Smith, known as Raccoon John Smith.
No more picturesque figure stands out in the annals of those days. With the zeal of the prophets of old he fought the good fight. More exactly, his was the voice in the wilderness proclaiming the word of God.
The older inhabitants who were living in 1900, or later, who had come under the spell of his fiery gospel, remembered him with profound feeling. His life was romantic and exciting, with comedy and tragedy intermingled. He was born in Sullivan County, Tennessee (North Carolina at that time), October 15, 1784. When a boy of twelve with his father and older brother he came over the Wilderness Road to Crab Orchard, thence through Wayne to Stockton's Valley. The mother and younger children remained at home until a place could be prepared for them.
Needing meal and also needing the older boy's help in clearing the forest, John, the younger son was sent by his father one hundred miles on horseback through the wilderness to Horine's Mill. His clothes were ragged, his father not having completed his deerskin shirt and trousers. He returned in safety with the needed supplies. A band of Cherokees had camped near his father's cabin and John became friendly with them and learned their language as he sat at night around their campfire. In 1799, Isaac Denton, a Baptist preacher, came to Stockton's Valley and built a meeting house on Clear Fork, the first church in this section. John came under the influence of this pious man and loved him. Robert Ferrill, a wheelwright, a man who had for that day a good education, also settled there. He had some good books and started a school and it was from him that John Smith received most of his education. He visited Monticello frequently and married Anna Townsend there. She died in 1814 and he married Nancy Hurt of Wayne County. When the controversy in the church was at its height he preached sermons that seemed inspired, throughout Central Kentucky. In the early days, his cabin on Little South Fork in Wayne had been destroyed by fire, burning two of his children to death. His inward conflict over the eternal damnation of these infants disturbed him powerfully. His first wife, mother of the children, soon followed them. He died at the home of a daughter in Mexico, Missouri.
His life was one of ceaseless activity and much of it was spent in Wayne. He performed many marriage ceremonies there and we have record of the following:
1815- James Bertram and Gilly
1816- John Chrisman and Sallie Stone
1817- Jacob Eads and Ada Norman
Silas Young and Elizabeth Conaldson
John Williams and Lavina Bertram
Joseph Hurt and Polly Eads
Joshua Buster and Julia Haden
Silas Sheppard and Polly Stone
Isaac T. Reneau, who had been educated to be a physician, came under the spell of Elder John Smith's convincing logic in 1831, in Wayne County. He very soon after entered the ministry and preached there. He was precise in manner and speech. He was quoted as saying, "I make no mistake in walking or talking" -with a definite New England accent. And immediately there after, strolling out in the night into the yard where he was being entertained at the home of Milton Mills, he stepped into the cellar. This was considered a joke on the man who "made no mistake in walking or talking."
The first attorney admitted to the bar in Wayne County was Samuel Brents, a young man who had been admitted shortly before to the bar of Green County. Francis Emerson, who had also been qualified as attorney in Green in 1801, came before the Wayne Court to practice. There was a brilliant array of young lawyers in Green County at this time, men who were later distinguished, and many of these came to the Wayne Circuit courts. Among these were Allen Wakefield, first Circuit Judge; Samuel Brents, Benjamin Hutchins, John King, Richard Buckner, William Owens, William Adair, and Benjamin Burks. John Rowan and Ben Hardin went at an early date from Green to Nelson. Rodes Garth, the young teacher, early qualified as attorney, and represented Wayne many times in the State Legislature, both in the Senate and House of Representatives. A list of early members of the legislature will be found in this chapter. Micah T. Chrisman was clerk of the House, 1867-1873. The legislature, June 3, 1865, appropriated money to erect a headstone at the grave of Milton Buster, who was State Senator at the time. Of the early lawyers practicing in the courts of Wayne, the following article gives an account:
OLD-TIME JUDGES AND LAWYERS
The lawyers of Kentucky whose professional lives began with that period which marks articulation of the last days of the second with the first days of the third constitution of the state are rapidly passing away. Indeed but few of them yet remain to connect the deeper learning of fifty years ago with the superficial training of the last decade. Their contemporaries of other avocations, except one here and there, are not. Singly and sometimes, it seems, in small groups they left-"each one," as our Scotch kinsfolk cautiously say, "for his ain place."
He whose life spans both epochs will find, in the characteristics which differentiate one from the other, food for rumination-profitable or not, pleasant or not, as he may use or abuse the opportunity. He will have more than a chance to indulge the reminiscential mood common and usually so pleasant to those whom age has but gently touched. More than a chance truly! The opportunity will seek him: for there is that affinity between age and retrospection which almost makes the twain one.
There are many now living who can recall with reasonable distinctness the bench and bar of the region of country bordering Green River and the lower Cumberland in Kentucky, when Judge Zack Wheat, of Adair County, was on the bench. He was the first elective judge under the Constitution of 1849-50. Through this long stretch of vanished time, one can yet see his portly form, his benignant face, his kindly mien-the air of candor and fair- ness which betoken a benevolent gentleman and a just judge.
His immediate successor was Judge Thomas E. Bramlette of the same county. He was elected in 1856, defeating Hon. A. J. James, of Pulaski County. At the same election E. L. Van Winkle, of Wayne County, defeated N. B. Stone, of Russell County, for Commonwealth's Attorney. In manner Judge Bramlette was thought to be somewhat austere. Deficient in suavity, approaches to him were not readily made by the masses of people: but it was understood by those more intimately acquainted with his temperament that despite a hasty temper and a haughty air, he had the impulses and the sentiments of a kindly disposed gentleman.
He was accounted an able and a just judge. He resigned his commission in 1861 to accept Colonelcy in the Federal army. Judge Durham, or Danville, was appointed by the governor to fill the unexpired term. His incumbency was of such brief duration, beside, civil affairs of that period were so greatly overshadowed by the engrossing events of the war, that but little is remembered of his distinctive qualities as judge. It, however, may be well assumed that the energy and strong practical sense which marked his career as a lawyer and subsequently as representative to Congress, gave tone and color to his judicial administration.
His successor was Judge F. T. Fox, of Danville, who was elected in August 1862 for the full term of six years and re-elected in 1868. By comparison with previous times his personality as a judicial character is well remembered. The history of Kentucky is luminous with the names of jurists whose just renown would have added luster even to English Courts.
Judge Fox was not the equal of many of them in professional learning, but in those higher qualities which left the brave and true judge beyond the reach of temptation he was fit associate of that great company. In that galaxy which the pride and affection of Kentucky have dedicated to the memory as their most honored officials, no name shall shine with purer ray than that of Fontaine T. Fox.
Judge M. H. Owsley was elected as the immediate successor of Judge Fox in 1874, and was re-elected in 1880, serving the two full terms of six years each. In astuteness of intellect and clearness of apprehension Judge Owsley stood preeminent. His elemental legal learning was neither extensive nor profound. He had never been a student of literature or of law, but he possessed the natural aptitudes of a lawyer. Barring a few minor shortcomings, he was an ideal trial judge-quick to discern the controlling issue in a cause, able to separate the relevant from the irrelevant, rarely afflicted with a confused understanding of a legal proposition and habitually leaping to conclusion with the rapidity and inerrancy of feminine intuition. With more self-denial and less sociability, more dignity and less disposition to secure public favor, he would have left a better if not a more enduring fame. He died in 1891, just at that age when usually the mental powers have reached their highest stage.
In 1886, Judge Morrow was elected in the old Eleventh Judicial district, serving until 1892 when the change of Judicial districts, under the present Constitution, went into effect. He has been twice elected in the Twenty-ninth district which embraces only three counties of the old Eighth. Owning qualities of a great judge, he is a worthy successor of the best of those who have preceded him. But few attorneys who practiced before Judges Wheat and Bramlette are living-perhaps none who were at the bar in Wheat's day. The majority of them who practiced before Judge Fox and before Judge Owsley during his first term are dead: Cravens, Suddarth, Parker Hardin, Nat Gaither, T. C. Winfrey, and possibly Ed Butler and E. Dohoney, of Adair, long since entered their last appearance. Wolford, Adams, and Fogle, of Casey; N. B. Stone, of Russell; William Moore, Virgil Moore, W. McKee Fox, A. J. James, and R. M. Bradley, of Pulaski; Sherrod Williams, F. P. Stone, Shelby Stone, Henry Taylor, Hiram Phillips, E. L. and J. S. Van Winkle and J. S. Chrisman, of Wayne, beside a number of younger members of the profession in each of these counties, have gone hence. At their respective homes they were well known to the public of that day, and the names of some of them will abide in local history. Several of these were men of undeniable mental force. Considering that they studied and practiced far from the center of commerce, when the character of litigation and amount in controversy stimulate the practitioner to greater study, their professional attainments were not to be ridiculed. It has been the consensus of opinion that F. P. Stone was the most intellectual, and taking into account only his natural gifts, the least successful of all those who have been named. Ill health and resultant misfortune assailed him before he had fairly reached the zenith of his power. Bereft of clear reason for fifteen years, the light of his great intellect flickered like a dying lamp until life closed amid the settled gloom of insanity.
There is yet living in Russell County one of the contemporaries of these older lawyers who was probably the youngest of that class, Hon. Joseph Elsie Hays. He still survives in honored age and comfortable independence at his home in Jamestown, Kentucky. A few years since he voluntarily retired from practice to enjoy the repose, which befits the closing days of a life of unremitting labor. It was one of the moral precepts of mythology that the gods should not bestow all the good on one. Colonel Hays was not a special favorite of fortune. He was not born with the traditional silver spoon in his mouth. Had the environment of his early life been less ungracious, it would be difficult to estimate the professional reach to which he might have attained. He came of the best Virginia blood, but his father in early manhood became so broken in health and as a consequence so decayed in fortune that the entire support of his family was devolved on his son Joseph before the lad had reached an age for such responsibility.-J.A.P.
The following are brief biographical sketches of some of the later lawyers of Wayne County. James Stone Chrisman, who served in the State Legislature, the Congress of the United States, and the Confederate Congress died in 1881. His colleagues passed the following resolutions on his death: "The death of the Honorable James S. Chrisman, who died on the 29th day of July last at his home in Monticello, Kentucky, demands that his professional brethren who served with him and the officers of the Court where he so long and prominently labored should place on the records of the Court some expression of their sense of his worth and character. "Major Chrisman's strong ambition and restless activity brought him into conspicuous notice before the Country for the last thirty-five years-years so full of historic events, of war and peace, of national troubles and progress. He filled with distinction many state and national offices of importance, having been a member of the Convention of Kentucky which framed our present Constitution, twice a member of the Kentucky Legislature, a member of the Congress of the United States and of the Congress of the Confederate States. "In these bodies he was an active and prominent member, advocating his views with impetuous eloquence or opposing his adversaries with fiery vehemence. His professional life, for the most part, was spent in this Judicial District where he was generally known and ranked by his people among the foremost lawyers of his locality. He was an advocate of more than common parts possessed of declamatory power and feeling, unsurpassed by any of the many distinguished men whom he met in contests of the forum.
"He had many genial qualities and was companionable and oftentimes exceedingly fascinating to his associates. He had strong resentments and firmly noted friendships; his integrity in his public and private relations was above reproach. His loss to his family is grievous and irreparable and his disappearance from among us leaves a void that will long be noticed. We tender his family our sincere sympathy and ask that this paper may be spread on the order book of the Court, suitably published in the newspapers and a copy be made out by the clerk of the Court ant presented to his bereaved widow and children.
"I. N. Sheppard, Secretary
"Jno. S. Van Winkle
"T. Z. Morrow
"John W. Turtle
"Jno. L. Sallee"
Micah Chrisman Saufley was born in Monticello, Kentucky, on the thirteenth of May, 1842. He was a man whom to know was to honor, for in every relation of life he was found ever true to duty and to the trust reposed in him. In youth he acquired an academic education and his professional training was received in the Louisville Law School.
Kentucky has had her full share of prominent lawyers, and chief among them is Judge Saufley. He removed to Stanford after admission to the bar and was elected County Judge of Lincoln County in 1870. He rapidly acquired a considerable practice, and for ability, conscientious fidelity, and successful effort he was excelled by few. In 1880, he was elector from the Eighth Congressional District.
He entered the Confederate Army in November, 1861, as a private of Breckinridge's Brigade, but was soon made lieutenant in Morgan's Cavalry.
Soon after the war, in 1867, he married Miss Sallie Rowan of McMinnville, Tennessee, daughter of a distinguished lawyer and granddaughter of Governor Caswell. In 1888, he was appointed by President Cleveland Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the Territory of Wyoming. In November, 1892, he was elected circuit judge of the Thirteenth Judicial District of Kentucky. His record on the bench was a brilliant one. His gift of oratory, his dignity, his fine sense of justice place him in the forefront of the Kentucky judiciary.
"Judge M. C. Saufley "is out in the Interior-Journal with a short biography of Hon. Thomas Peyton Hill, which it is needless to say is well done. As the Colonel when a young man was a citizen of Monticello, we copy that part which refers to his life while here: With a law license in his pocket and a young wife by his side he moved to Monticello, Kentucky, to offer his legal services to those who were inops consilii. In the course of a short time he was appointed by the county court, under the law then in force, to the office of county attorney. He remained at Monticello but a few years doing but little good for himself or anyone else. A passion for fox and deer hunting had developed in him and he spent about all he made in buying and keeping packs of hounds. An old lawyer who discovered that he would make a better disciple of Themis than Nimrod very brusquely took him to task on account of his improvidence and with friendly peremptoriness ordered him to leave the town and locate in Somerset for the practice. Hill took his advice. Leaving his dogs and gun with his fellow sportsmen in Wayne, he gathered his mammon and impedimenta, which consisted of 25 cents to pay ferriage across the Cumberland, a pair of saddle bags and a woman's satchel, and with wife and baby he dropped down on James Griffin, a tavern keeper of Somerset.' -Wayne County Outlook.
Ephraim L. Van Winkle, Secretary of State in Kentucky during the Civil War, was from Wayne County. He died before the expiration of his term and his brother, John S. Van Winkle, was appointed to fill the unexpired period. The Louisville Daily Courier of May 29, 1866, thus speaks of him:"
The following from the Frankfort Yeoman will in some measure enable our readers to form an idea of the great loss which the state has sustained in the death of the late Secretary of State: " 'Ephraim L. Van Winkle was born July 20, 1827, in Wayne County, Kentucky. His father was Micajah Van Winkle and his mother was Mary Phillips. His grandfather was Abraham Van Winkle, the first of the name in Kentucky, and belonged to the Dutch family who came with Governor Stuyvesant in 1647. Ephraim Van Winkle was brought up in the mercantile business but early manifested a thirst for knowledge. He attended the Monticello Academy and was graduated from the Louisville Law School in 1850, with highest honors. He practiced with success in his native county until 1855 when he was chosen to represent his county in the State Legislature, which he did with distinguished ability. In 1856 he was elected Commonwealth's Attorney for the Sixth Judicial District and removed to Somerset. In 1860 he was elector for the State-at-large on the Bell-Everett ticket. He became distinguished for his logic, eloquence, and boldness in debate. In 1863 he was appointed Secretary of State by Governor Bramlette and removed to Frankfort. His official and social position, his mental and social worth, his distinguished ability as well as kindly personal relations, long sustained, demand extended notice.' " He died May 23, 1866, and was interred at Frankfort. At a called session of the Wayne County Court held at Monticello on Monday, May 28, 1866, Hon. G. K. Marcum, presiding, on motion of W. Simpson, Esq., John W. Tuttle, James L. Hardin, and M. C. Saufley were appointed by a committee to draft resolutions expressive of feelings of members of the bar on the death of E. L. Van Winkle.
Signed: John L. Sallee, Clerk; B. Mills, Sheriff; J. E. Vickery, Deputy Sheriff; W. Thornton, Jailer; Tim Sumpter, Coroner; J. Smith Frisbie, I. N. Sheppard, J. J. Garth, P. W. Hardin, William Simpson, Marshall Stone, J. S. Chrisman.
John S. Van Winkle was born March 8, 1829, in Wayne County, Kentucky. He was the youngest of six sons and four daughters born to Micajah and Mary (Phillips) Van Winkle, natives of North Carolina. Micajah Van Winkle was born on the Yadkin River in 1792, and in 1798 was brought to Lincoln County, Kentucky. He was an active and influential citizen of Wayne County, to which he had moved with his parents. He served as magistrate and sheriff of Wayne for many years. In 1853, with his family, he located in Jasper County, Iowa, where he carried on farming until his death. He was a son of Abraham Van Winkle, a native of Maryland, who with his parents went to Virginia and thence to North Carolina, where he married Miss Charity Sallee. He moved to Lincoln County, Kentucky, in 1798, and thence to Wayne County, where he filled the office of justice and sheriff for a number of years. In 1837 he moved to Morgan County, Illinois, where many of his descendants still live. Some of his children were emancipationists. He died about 1845, at the age of eighty-five years. His ancestors came from Holland with Peter Stuyvesant.
Mrs. Mary (Phillips) Van Winkle was a daughter of Cornelius Phillips, who married a Miss Shores, both of North Carolina. They settled in Wayne County about 1800. Cornelius Phillips was an influential farmer and slave owner, served as magistrate and sheriff of Wayne Count}', and was of English origin. John S. Van Winkle was raised on a farm, and received an academic education at Monticello. In 1852 he began the study of law with his brother, Hon. E. L. Van Winkle, and was graduated from the law department of the University of Louisville. He was licensed and admitted to the bar in 1854, when he opened an office and practiced in his native county. In 1861 he was elected to represent his county in the legislature. In 1863 he located in Danville and in 1866 was appointed Secretary of State by Governor Thomas E. Bramlette. At the expiration of his term, he resumed the practice of law at Danville.
James K. Polk Frazer who married Marietta,
daughter of Cosby Oatts, came as a young
man to Monticello to engage in the practice of law. His untimely death
cut short his career.
Sam C. Hardin and Jack Saufley were young attorneys in the eighties. Saufley, a brilliant and handsome member of a prominent family, died early. Hardin removed to Clinton after his marriage to Miss Johnston of Lancaster. The Monticello Signal of June 3, 1886, publishes his card of announcement as a candidate:
"To the People of Clinton County: "Some months ago I came into your county for the purpose of practicing my profession, and making Clinton County my future home. It is unnecessary to state that I have received a cordial welcome on every hand. I now feel that I am fully identified with the interests and aspirations of her people, and from these considerations, coupled with many solicitations from the citizens of the county, I have concluded to become a candidate for County Attorney. I therefore take this method of formally announcing myself as a candidate in the columns of the Monticello Signal, independent of any clique, caucus, or party. I am not the candidate of any ring, or individual, and make the race solely on personal merit and qualifications. I have no record as a public officer and can only refer the people of Clinton as to characterand official fitness to the citizens of her sister county, Wayne, where I was born and raised. If I am elected to the position to which I now aspire, I promise the people to make them a faithful and sober officer.
"Sam C. Hardin"
Hiram Hays, who came to Wayne from Russell County, in his boyhood, practiced law in Wayne for several years. He was a good lawyer with an engaging personality that gained popularity for him. He served the county in different capacities and was always active in the life of the community. He was especially noted for his fine sense of loyalty. He married Miss Eva Owens and removed to Pulaski. Two young attorneys in the latter part of the nineteenth century were E. T. Sanders and J. P. Harrison. Sanders died after a few years' practice. An editorial in the Monticello Courier June 2, 1902, comments thus on Harrison as a candidate for Congress:
"J. P. Harrison, who was nominated for Congress
by the Democratic convention,
recently assembled at Corbin, having concluded to make the race for
Congress, made his first speech at Albany,
Kentucky, on Monday, the first date of Circuit Court. He will make quite
a number of speeches throughout the district
during the campaign. We take pleasure in saying in behalf of Mr.
Harrison that his conduct, from boyhood up, has
been without reproach and that he possesses ability, culture, and
probity, and if elected to the high office to
which he aspires, will reflect credit upon the district. He was admitted
to the bar several years ago and has demonstrated
all along the line much aptitude in his chosen profession. We feel
assured Mr. Harrison will be able to present
the principles of his party in the most satisfactory manner."
A picturesque and interesting figure in the social and political life of Wayne, in the "Stage-coach Period," was "Boss" Sheppard. He served for many years as County and Circuit Clerk, and it was as a sort of self-constituted custodian of the courthouse, that he received the title of "Boss." He was also Postmaster for many years in later life. He was a Democrat of the old school, with intense prejudices and loyalties. In 1887, his friends urged him to become a candidate for the State Legislature, but he was defeated. Judge Joseph Bertram, of the well-known family of that name, was born in Wayne County and was prominently identified with the political life of the community. He was a teacher in his early life while preparing for his chosen profession, the law. He practiced in the courts of Wayne and adjoining counties for some years, and was elected county judge in 1891 and represented his county in the legislature. He was a classical scholar and a man of profound legal knowledge.
Of some of the foregoing preachers, lawyers, and doctors the following letter gives an impression:
Mrs. Mary Cecil Cantrill,
George Town, Kentucky.
Mrs. Mary Cecil Cantrill, Theobald Place, George Town, Kentucky. Dear Madam: I must inform you that I have just arrived home from the old historic town of Greensburg and find your letter of November the 14th enclosing a check for two dollars for the "Hayden letter." I am sorry to part with such relics as old letters, yet as Mr. Hayden was your Grandfather I feel sure you will keep it in a safe place. Some years ago I was in Mount Sterling and found an old letter written by Joshua Buster to Eld. Raccoon John Smith describing his visit to Danville in 1837 to hear Alexander Campbell preach, who was at that time making a preaching tour over Kentucky. He preached a Sermon in Nicholasville at that period and went on to Danville where he was met by more than five thousand people who heard him preach on the subject of "Christian Union Upon the Bible Alone." Your Grandfather Buster rode on horseback from Monticello to Danville to hear Mr. Campbell and his letter to John Smith speaks of Mr. Campbell as one of the greatest preachers he ever heard. I have no collections of relics at home. 1 never married, and travel very often in the interest of the Filson Club. Your Father, Granville Cecil, was born in Montgomery County, in Southwestern Virginia about the year 1807 or 8. Mr. Kendrick was a native of Washington County and came to Wayne County about the year 1829. He was a very remarkable man and if his lot had been cast among such a money-getting people as the Yankees he would have been a Millionaire. I knew your father personally. I also knew Mr. Kendrick. I never could tell which was the smartest. Your father was quicker to jump to a conclusion than Kendrick, yet he seldom was wrong in his judgment. Monticello, when I first visited the place in 1848, had as many remarkable lawyers in it as any town I ever visited. There were some extraordinary men in the little town. Littleton Beard, J. S. Chrisman, Ephraim L. Van Winkle, also John S., were all able men. But these men about the little town attracted my attention in those days more than all the lawyers in the place: Eld. Wm. Simpson, Joshua Buster, and Dr. Jonathan Frisbie. I have often thought about these men. Frisbie was born in Connecticut, came to Wayne County in 1819, died 1860, but I have no time to say more. Present my regards to Judge Cantrill.
SAM'L M. DUNCAN.
December 6, 1897.
Representative............................................Hon. Jno. H. Shearer
County Judge .......................................................Jas. A. Phillips
County Attorney ......................................................H. R. Hayes
County and Circuit Clerk.......................................I. N. Sheppard
Sheriff.....................................................................G. T. Ramsey
Assessor ..............................................................Jno. F. Goddard
Common School Commissioner..................................J. W. Sallee
Jailer......................................................................W. G. Huffaker
Surveyor...................................................................T. A. Dodson
Constable ................................................................Jas. G. Hardin
Coroner....................................................................G. K. Marcum
County Judge................................................................S. H. Tate
County Attorney ........................................................J. A. Brown
County Clerk...........................................................H. C. Kennedy
Circuit Clerk..............................................................W. C Rogers
Sheriff .....................................................................J. C. Huffaker
Superintendent of Schools .............................Mrs. Mollie Denney
Jailer.......................................................................J. A. Goddard
Coroner ...................................................................Thomas Bates
Master Commissioner.............................................John W. Turtle
Trustee Jury Fund.....................................................Will M. Tuttle
COUNTY JUDGES OF WAYNE, 1801-1938>
E. N. Cullom, 1801-1805
James Jones, 1806-1810
Nicholas Lloyd, 1811-1815
Abraham Van Winkle, 1816-1820
James Jones, 1821-1835
Micajah Van Winkle, 1836-1840
James Oatts, 1841-1845
W. P. Hardin, 1846-1850
John L. Sallee, 1851-1854
Milton P. Buster, 1855-1859
G. N. Markham, 1860-1862
G. W. Mills, 1862-1866
G. R. Marcum, 1867-1867
Joshua Berry, 1868-1876
E. A. Haynes, 1877-1881
J. A. Phillips, 1882-1886
E. A. Haynes, 1887-1890
Joe Bertram, 1891-1895
S. H. Tate, 1896-1898
Charles McConnaghy, 1899-1902
W. R. Cress, 1903-1905
H. C. Kennedy, 1906-1910
Isaac Walker, 1911-1913
J. S. Sandusky, 1914-1918
J. C. Denney, 1918-1922
J. S. Sandusky, 1922-1926
Hobart Roberts, 1926-1930
Roscoe Dalton, 1930-1933
G. E. Roberts, 1934-1938
MEMBERS OF LEGISLATURE FROM WAYNE, 1803-1877
Edward Cullom, 1809-1813
Martin Beaty, 1824-1828-1832
Rodes Garth, 1841-1844
Milton Buster, 1861-1865
Barton W. S. Huffaker, 1873-1877
(Wayne and Pulaski) John McHenry, 1833-1836
House of Representatives:
Arch. E. Mills, 1803
Isaac Crabtree, 1806
North East, 1807
George W. Gibbs, 1809
Isaac West, 1810
Thos. Cooke, 1811
Rodes Garth, 1813, 1814, 1824, 1828
Lewis Coffey, 1815
Joseph Jones, 1816
Walter Emerson, 1817, 1819, 1820
George Berry, 1818
Joseph Rapier, 1822
Thomas_ Hansford, 1823 ,
Moses Sallee, 1826, 1827
Sherrod Williams, 1829, 1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1834, 1846
Nimrod Ingram, 1835
J. S. Price, 1836
Shelby Coffey, 1837, 1838, 1839, 1842, 1843
Leo Hayden, 1840
Micah T. Chrisman, 1841
Littleton Beard, 1844
Milton Mills, 1845
Marshall N. Hudson, 1847
Martin Beaty, 1848
Joseph V. Warden, 1849
John L. Sallee, 1850
Isaac N. Sheppard, 1851-1853
Walter E. Hall, 1853-1855
Ephrairn S. Van Winkle, 1855-1857
Joseph C. Belshe, 1857-1859
Shelby Coffey, Jr., 1859-1861
John S. Van Winkle, 1861-1863
H. W. Tuttle, 1863-1865
Barton W. S. Huffaker, 1865-1867
Thomas J. Eads, 1867-1869
James S. Chrisman, 1869-1871, 1871-1873
Pearson Miller, 1873-1875
L. J. Stephenson, 1875-1877
In the summer of 1819, Dr. John S. Frisbie, a graduate of Yale and of the Philadelphia College of Medicine, rode his horse into Monticello, tied him in front of Roger Oatts tavern, glanced around the village of 200 inhabitants, and registered a determination to settle here in the practice of his profession. He had ridden over Central Kentucky and was more favorably impressed with Wayne than any other place visited. At any rate, he remained the rest of his life ministering to the sick, assisting the newborn into the world, and easing the last hours of the aged. He was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, of Scotch forebears, about April 8, 1790. He married Hannah Jones, daughter of James Jones, about 1820, and his son, J. B. S. Frisbie, succeeded him in the practice of medicine, continuing until about 1885. Thus for more than threescore years, the Frisbies concerned themselves with the bodily welfare of the people of Wayne, and "old Doctor Frisbie" in his later years turned to preaching and was authorized to solemnize matrimony by the court of Wayne County. Samuel Duncan, of Nicholasville, speaks of him in a letter written in 1848. He says he visited Monticello that year and he found more remarkable men than in any other town in proportion to the size. Among them he mentions Dr. J. S. Frisbie, the elder. He is the first physician of whom we have any record in Wayne, though it seems safe to assume that among the settlers from Virginia there might have been one or more. Marshall Hudson, born in 1816, died in 1858, became a doctor, but he died comparatively young. Dr. Edmund Bryan is mentioned in the court records as being in Wayne in the thirties. Dr. Richardson is frequently referred to in Captain Tuttle's Memoirs from 1861-1867. Later Dr. John Hall, a promising young doctor, died about 1875. Dr. Jones at Mill Springs, Dr. H. A. Phillips, and Dr. J. F. Young bring the list up to 1900.
No record of Wayne County doctors would be complete with- out the mention of the Cooks. There were four in one family, sons of Edmund Cook. They were Dr. John Cook and Dr. Littleton Cook, who went to Lincoln County, and Dr. Will Cook and Dr. A. S. Cook, who remained in Wayne. They were of that great body of physicians of that day who rode horseback over rough roads, regardless of the hour, the weather, or their own convenience, to minister to the sick-a group consecrated to service. A well remembered figure was Dr. A. S. Cook on his horse, riding to the remotest corners of the county in the service of his fellow men. Dr. J. W. Castillo was a contemporary of the Cooks, practicing in Wayne for many years. Dr. James Buster, son of Joshua Buster, preceded them.
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