Migration Patterns

This is another great article in case you run into a brick wall and wonder where your family members could have gone.


Since the first white settlers moved into Kentucky in the late eighteenth century, migration has been primarily responsible for the distribution of the state’s residents and has shaped the age-sex composition and social characteristics of the population. Migration patterns are indicators of economic conditions of the state and its regions.

The movement of settlers into Kentucky began in the 1770s, when it was still a part of the state of Virginia. To settle the territory, Virginia initially issued land warrants to veterans of the French-Indian and Revolutionary wars but soon opened the territory to the general public. The general westward movement into Kentucky continued for the next several years. Most migrants came overland by way of the Wilderness Road, but increasing numbers traveled down the Ohio River. After 1820, when the Kentucky population exceeded half a million, the growth rate dropped well below that of the nation, indicating a loss of residents to other states.

In 1850 the federal census began to collect data on places of birth of the population. A comparison of place of birth with place of current residence data reveals a rather slow change in the origin of Kentucky migrants, although in all decades most came from neighboring states. In 1860 Virginia was the origin of most migrants to Kentucky, followed in order by Tennessee, Ohio, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. By 1870 most migrants to Kentucky came from Tennessee. By 1970 most came from Ohio. Migrants from Indiana, Illinois, and West Virginia came to Kentucky in greater numbers during the twentieth century, while the numbers from North Carolina and Pennsylvania declined.

The movements of Kentucky natives to other states show a significant shift from a movement west in the nineteenth century to a movement north by the mid-twentieth century. In 1850 Missouri, followed by Texas, was the leading destination of Kentucky migrants and remained so until 1910. Gradually the migrant streams shifted to the north and northwest; Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan became major destinations of migrating Kentuckians. The availability of land had been the major attraction for nineteenth century migrants, but the lure of industrial jobs was a stronger moving force in the twentieth century.

Economic factors have exerted the greatest influence on the movements of people both into and out of Kentucky. Within sixty years after the first settlers moved in, the availability of good farmland farther west caused a net loss in population. The failure of Kentucky to develop major manufacturing industries to supplement agriculture and mining made it even more difficult for the state to retain its population in the years following World War II. The energy crisis of the 1970s produced simultaneously an industrial recession and a coal boom that temporarily reversed the direction of migration, creating Kentucky’s first gain in recent history. Since 1980, though, deteriorating economic conditions have sent migrants south and to the far West rather than to the industrial North.

Compared with more urbanized states of the region, Kentucky has attracted relatively few foreign immigrants. In 1850 the first count of the foreign-born tallied 31,400 immigrants, or 4 percent of the state’s population. The highest percentage (6.4) of foreign-born persons in Kentucky was recorded in 1869 and the greatest number (63,400) in 1870. From 1860 until 1950 both numbers and percentages of the foreign-born decreased. Since 1950 there has been a slight increase, but the 34,562 foreign-born counted in 1980 constituted less than 1 percent of the total population. Many of these foreign nationals were university students rather than true immigrants, while others were refugees or spouses of service personnel who had been stationed abroad.


Howard W. Beers, Growth of Population in Kentucky 1860-1940 (Lexington, Ky., 1942)

George A. Hillery, Jr., Population Growth in Kentucky, 1820-1960 (Lexington, Ky., 1966)

Simon S. Kuznets, ed., Population Redistribution and Economic Growth: United States, 1870-1950 (Philadelphia 1957).

Entry Author

In the print edition this entry appears on pages 636 – 637

Wilderness Road

I found a really good resource for those who are researching early settlers of Kentucky. In this article it shares the location of where it was located and the towns that it traveled through.


The first written record of the Wilderness Road is an announcement in the Kentucky Gazette on October 15, 1796: “The Wilderness Road from Cumberland Gap to the settlements in Kentucky is now completed. Wagon’s loaded with a ton weight, may pass with ease, with four good horses.” Before that time, most people called the route either Kentucky Road or the road to the Holston settlements, depending upon the direction of travel. On John Filson‘s map, the old trail is called “The Road from the Old settle[ments] thro’ the great Wilderness.”

The Wilderness Road more or less followed the old Warriors’ Path through the Cumberland Gap to Flat Lick, then parts of Skaggs’s Trace from Flat Lick to Crab Orchard, Kentucky. Old trails and county roads that extended from Crab Orchard to Harrodsburg and Louisville are also frequently called the Wilderness Road by historians. To follow the Wilderness Road today, the traveler starts from Gate City, Virginia, and takes U.S. 58 to Jonesville. At this point the old road went northward to the base of the Cumberland Mountains and followed the mountains southwest to the Cumberland Gap after rejoining U.S. 58 east of today’s Rose Hill, Virginia. Martin’s Station was located on the road near Rose Hill and Davis Station was on the Kentucky side of the gap, in what is now national park land. From Cumberland Gap to present-day Baughman, Kentucky, the Wilderness Road was nearly the same as U.S. 25E, except that it followed the west side of Yellow Creek north of Middlesboro and the east side of the Cumberland River north of Pineville.

The original route ran north of the present Barbourville, then joined and followed KY 229 to present-day London. Modrel’s Station was built along the road on the west side of the Little Laurel River in 1795; twenty-two militia were stationed there. North of London the road was approximately the same as U.S. 25 to Wood Creek, where it turned north and led to the top of Wildcat Mountain, where there was a trench battle during the Civil War . Farther north, the road ran along the ridge inside the bend in Rockcastle River, ascended on the northwest side, and crossed the river at Ford Creek below Livingston. The road then went up the south fork of Ford Hollow Creek to Sand Hill and followed the former Chestnut Ridge road into present-day Mt. Vernon. Part of the old road was destroyed during the construction of interstate highway I-75.

West of Mt. Vernon the original Wilderness Road is still visible, crossing Little Renfro Creek about 1.5 miles below U.S. 150, and following Boone’s Fork of the Dick’s (now Dix) River to Brodhead. The road followed the north side of the river for about two miles to a salt lick, then crossed to the south side, and followed for the most part U.S. 150 into Crab Orchard. From this point, travelers took county roads to their destinations. One of the most frequently used routes northward from Crab Orchard led to Danville and Harrodsburg, then to the salt works at Bullitt’s Lick, and finally to Louisville. Another road to Louisville from Harrodsburg ran north along the town fork of Salt River past McAfee’s Station to Hammons Creek, then across Big Benson Creek to Squire Boone’s Station, and westward past Lynn’s Station, Asturgus’s Station, the Dutch Station, Floyd’s Station, and the Spring Station.

The original Wilderness Road was not paved, but logs were added later in some sections as a surface material; one such section of corduroy road near Wildcat Mountain could still be seen as late as 1970. The log surfaces were probably installed by the Union army during the Civil War to support artillery and heavily loaded army wagons. On the north side of Wildcat Mountain, two parallel roads led up the hill, about sixty feet apart. One lane was used by double-teamed wagons going up the hill, the other by the spare horses going back down the hill to be double-teamed to another wagon.


Robert L. Kincaid, The Wilderness Road (Middlesborough, Ky., 1966)

Neal Hammon, “Early Roads into Kentucky,” Register 68 (April 1970): 91-131.

Entry Author

In the print edition this entry appears on pages 952 – 953


Content Copyright © 1993 The University Press of Kentucky

John Jay Dickey Diaries. “Ghosts of Kentucky, Volume 1 Supplement.”

The Following are Abstracts taken from the John Jay Dickey Diaries. “Ghosts of Kentucky, Volume 1 Supplement.”

Baker, Rev of the M.E. Church

Roll 3 Pg 1602 1 Jan 1896


Baker, Mr. A.C.

A young lawyer from Covington.  On YMCA Committee.

Roll 1 Pg 150,265,423 Feb 1884 / 29 Mar 1885           Jackson


Baker, A.W.

On town board, his brother and brother-in-law are too. He owns a saloon.

Roll 3, Pg 1982 dated 3 Jan 1898 Manchester.


Baker, Abner- Made salt near “Dr” Burchell.  Dr. Baker was cousin of “Juder Bob” Baker and Francis Clark.. Abner was the first clerk of Co. Information by: Anderson Philpot

 Roll 3, Pg 2198, 2221 and Roll 4, Page 2715.  Dated  Mar 1898 / 20 Mar 1899 Clay Co.


Baker, Allen

Writes from Jackson, Breathitt, KY wants to sell out here and settle there. A brother has gone to Barboursville to look around.

Roll 3 Pg 2041,2471 and 2521. Dated April 1898 / June 1898 / July 1898 Manchester


Baker , Andrew

Baptized Jesse Bolling at Black Water church, now Hawkins Co. TN. Information by; Jason W. Bolling.

Roll 3 Pg 2344 15 June 1898 Benge


Baker, Mr. Ans  (Ance).

Under peace bond for shooting on street.  He was a Saloon Keeper.  Ance and John fought Holland Campbell on Laurel Creek.

Roll 3 Pg 1931, 1967, 2041 dated 8 Nov 1897 / 31 Jan 1898    Manchester


Baker, Billy

Brother of George who was buried yesterday. Billy was hung for killing Frank Prewitt, but his wife, on her death bed, said she did it. Information by: John D. COLDIRON

Roll 3 Pg 2225, 2226 dated 9 Apr 1898


Baker, Bowling, Senator

Brother of John, Senator (called “Teneretta” / “Rent-A”). Bowling, (son of Senator) Junior, was bound to Daughter White to learn salt making. He killed Morgan Dezan. Then Bowling fled the county. Information by: A.E. Robertson.

Roll 3, Pg 2282-83 Apr 1898


Baker, “old” Cana

Made up rhyme on the “Cattle War”. The Baker’s and Garrad’s were always together.

Information by: Jason W. Bolling.

Roll 3 Pg 2344, 2422 dated 15 June 1898      Benge


Baker , Charles, Surveyor

Roll 3, page 1678 dated 9 May 1896


Baker, Clem “Rev”

Spoke at Pastor’s conference here.

Roll 7- Pg 5571 dated 12 June 1927                Winchester


Baker, Cord

Has little daughter.

Roll 3, page 1933 dated 11 Nov 1897 Manchester


Baker, Dan

Visited here

Roll 3 Pg 2545 23 July 1898             Wooton, KY


Baker, Dr.

Hung here, (said David Y. Lyttle ) for killing Daniel BATES. “Dr” was “crazy” and jealous of his wife.

Information by: Henry Lucas

Roll 3, page 2092 Manchester


Baker, Frank Nelson “Dr”

Of Winona IN. Spoke at the Sunday School Conference at Berea.

Roll 6, Pg 5078, dated 12 July 1924  Flemingsburg


Baker, Gardner

Has place here. Wilson Howard killed near here. John and Tom Baker accused of the killing. Baker’s and the Howard’s are on the outs.

Roll 3, Pg 2034-35, dated 13 Apr 1898           Crane Creek/ Clay Co.


Baker, Garrard

Roll 3 Pg 2548 24 July 1898             Hyden


Baker, Jack

½ brother to Isaac BAKER. Died on Cutshin at about 100.

Roll  3- page 2280  dated Apr 1898



Married Rachel Fields

Roll 3 Pg 2280 dated Apr 1898


Baker, Jackson

Married Sallie Maggard. An old man near Bufflo. Information by: Reuben Maggard

 Roll 3 ,Page  2141 dated  1898


Baker, James (Claybank)

Married Esther Robertson. Son of John Sen (Teneretta)

Roll 3, page 2282, dated  Apr 1898


BAKER, James

Married Sallie DAVIDSON

Roll 3 Pg 2216 30 Mar 1898



Died in NC recently at about 105. He was very rich.

Roll 3, Page 2278-80, dated Apr 1898







Baker, John

Frank Clark and John shot and killed on Horse Creek, Clay Ky. Creek, in Clay Co. Kentucky on  20 July 1898. Dick McCollum was with them, but O.K.  John was charged with lots of crimes. He was young about 25; He has a wife and 1 or 2 kids. He is Garrard Baker.

Roll 3, page 2547-48, dated 24 July 1898 Hyden.


Baker, John

A  ½ brother to George, hence an ½ Uncle to Tom. Has turned against Torn and the others and is stirring up trouble.

Roll 3 Pg 2521 dated  July 1898       Manchester


Baker, John

Of Perry Co. John Baker son of “Juder Bob” Baker, married Lucinda Amis/ Amos. They were step brother and sister. Genealogy by Jason Bolling.

Roll 2 Pg 1402 / Roll 3 Pages 2249, 2282 ,2221  dated 28 July 1890 / Apr 1898


Baker, John G.

Son of George. John was called “Cana the Rhymer”.

Information by: A.E. Robertson.

Roll 3, page  2283  dated  April  1898



Baker, John “Teneretta” (“Rent-a”)

Pa of “Juder Bob”. Great great grandson of Jason Bolling. He came to Buffalo Creek from Boyle Co. He was uncle of Robert P. Letcher, Gay. of KY. Information by: Jason Bolling.

Roll 3 Pg 2221,2282-83 dated 8 Apr 1898     Manchester, Clay, KY


Baker, Julius Robert            – Called “Juder Bob”, married widow of John Amis/ Amos. He is great grandpa of Jason W. Bolling. His son John married Lucinda Amis (step brother and sister). “Juder Bob” was in war of 1812. He is buried in Buffalo, Owsley Co. Son of John (“Teneretta” / “Rent-a”) Information by: Jason Bolling.

Roll 3 Pg 2221-2, 2344 dated  8 Apr 1898     Manchester, Clay, KY


Baker, Lilly


Roll 3 Pg 1932  dated 9 Nov 1897   Manchester


Baker, “Mr”

Young. Gave the first public display of a radio.

Roll 6 Pg 4828  dated 18 Jan 1923  Flemingsburg


Baker, Nancy

Married Roderick McIntosh in Hancock Co.TN.   Information by: R.G. Lewis    

Roll 3 Pg 2259-60  dated 23 Apr 1898            Hyden.


Baker, Nathan

Killed in accident with mules and car 24 Sep 1923. He was a Carter Co. farmer, here to buy and sell stock. He lived about 3 miles form Oliver Hill. The car was driven by Oscar Lytle. He left a wife and 3 kids.

Roll 6 Pg 4961-2  dated 25 Sep 1923              Flemingsburg


Baker, Perly “Dr”

National Superintendent of Anti Saloon League.

Roll 5 Pg 3970 dated 23 Dec 1912  Washington D.C.




Bowling, Eli

Killed by John Cundiff, uncle of Henry Lucas. (A bully with great power) They quarreled about Milly Henson, and John stabbed Eli. Eli was bad and his son James looked for John. Elijah born 1798 at 3 forks of Powell River, Lee, VA. His pa was Jessie and his ma Mary Pennington of Lee Co. VA.

Roll. 3 Pg 2112 / Roll 3 Pg 2344 dated  22 Dec 1897/ June 1898              Clay Co.  Benge


Bowling, “Rev” Hughes

I am a preacher in the Missionary Baptist Church. I joined in 1884. I was born 8 Apr 1857, Bull Creek, Clay, KY.

Roll 3 Pg 2246-48 Apr 1898              Hector Creek


Bowling, James

Had a sister Mollie who married a Gilbert. James had a brother who was the father of “Hungry” John Bowling/Bolling, who is still living on Sinking Creek, Knox, KY.  James’ brother also the father of Mrs. John Holland, mother of Anderson Holland , of Martins Creek, Clay, Ky. She is still living.  James Bowling drowned in well (near Tanyard Branch), called McHone hole. James married Mahala Wilson

 Roll 3- pages 2160,2194,2246 dated  1898  Clay Co. KY


Bowling/Bolling, Jason Walker

Jason said his great grandpa “Rev” Jesse Bolling, baptisted “Rev” John Gilbert. I am great great grandson of “Teneretta” Baker, great grandson of Julius or “Juder” Baker.

Roll 3-Pg 2181, 2221, 2344  dated Mar 1898 / 8 Apr 1898 / 15 June 1898            Benge, Clay KY  and Manchester, Clay, KY.



Bolling/ Bowling

Of Clay Co. sell whiskey for John F. Young. Early settlers on Middle Fork.

Roll. 3-  Pg 2211 and 2420

Roll 4- Pg 2737 dated 1898 / 26 Mar 1899



One married ? Maggard.  One never married.  Children of Jesse.

 Roll 3 Pg 2343-5  dated 15 June 1898           Benge


Great Grandmother of David B. Redwine. She was of Russell Co., Va. Information by William J. Cope

Roll 3, Pg. 2538   Jackson




Married Susan Baker.  Parents of Jason Walker Bolling.

 Roll 3- Pg 2221, dated 1898


Bolling, Benjamin

Born about 1852-3. Son of “Maj” John and Elizabeth Blair. One of 19 sons.  Information by: Jason W. Bolling

Roll 3- Pg 2344 dated 15 June 1898                Benge


Bolling, Delany

Of MO. Son of “Maj’ John and Elizabeth Blair.  One of 19 sons. Information by: Jason W. Bolling

Roll 3- Pg 2344-5 , dated 15 June 1898          Benge


Bolling, Eli

John Cundiff, uncle of Henry Lucas, killed Eli Bowling who was a bully, a man of great power. Milly Henson was the woman they had a quarrel about. Bowling kicked John Cundiff, a small man. He went away and came back with a dirk knife, called Bowling to the door and plunged it into him. He died in a few minutes. John left the country and never retuned. Eli Bowling was a bad man. His son James, was hunting for John when he met grandfather Cundiff, who said “Jim, put that gun down. We have gotten rid of 2 bad men and let the matter stop.”   Information by: Henry Lucas.

Roll 3-  Pg 2112 dated 22 Dec 1897                Manchester


Bolling, Elijah

Grandfather to Jason W. Elijah born 1798 at 3 Forks of Powell River in Lee Co., Va. and was 12 when his father came to Perry Co., KY. Son of Jesse.  Information by: Jason W. Bolling

Roll 3- Pg 2344 dated 15 June 1898                Benge


Bolling, Graham

Was shot and killed by Stephen Robison, Eli Bolling, and M.C Jones were shot also. Information by: “Judge” Dickerson

Roll 3 page 2172


Bolling, Jason Walker

My great grandfather, Jesse BOLLING, came to KY in 1810. My grandfather was Elijah. Daniel Duff baptized my grandfather Elijah. “Rev” Andrew Baker baptized my great grandfather at Black Water Church, now Hawkins Co., TN. My great great grandfather was “Maj” John Bolling, he had 19 sons. I do not know that there were any daughters. John Gilbert and John Amis married sisters of James, Eli and John Bolling.  Jason gives his “Baker” genealogy, Roll 3 Pg 2221.

Roll. 3 Pg 2221, 2344-6 dated 8 Apr 1898 / 15 June 1898


Bolling, Mary

Abijah Gilbert’s father went to Richmond to get license to marry Mary Bolling, who had brothers: Eli, John, William and Levi. Sister Nancy married John Sizemore.

Roll 3 – page 2383


Bolling, Robert

Son of “Maj” John and Elizabeth Blair Bolling.  One of 19 sons. Information by: Jason W. Bolling

Roll 3- Pg 2344, dated 15 June 1898               Benge


Bolling, William

Son of “Maj” John and Elizabeth Blair Bolling. William married Martha Jefferson, sister of President Thomas  Jefferson. One of 19 sons.

Roll 3 Pg 2344 dated 1898                Benge


Bolling, William

Married Deborah Duff. Daniel Duff  baptized Elijah Bolling

Roll 3- page 2319  dated May 1898



Roll 4 Pg 3272  dated 24 Jan 1902  Washington


Byrley, Naomi

(2) wife of Robert Carnahan. They married in Clay Co.

Roll 3- Pg 2297,2301 dated 1898.



Married Sookey Roberts. (female).

Roll 3, page 2065, 2217 dated 1897



Came to town Saturday and died Sunday.

Roll 3, page 1969, dated 13 Dec 1897 Manchester


Bowling, Dan

Has brother Dave, grandson of Eli, son of James

Roll 3, Page 2246-7 dated 22 April 1898  Hector Creek


Allman, Douglass/Duglass

Of Harris and Allman. Mr. Allaman bricklayer on academy.

Roll 2 Pg 705,837,919  and  Roll 3 Pg 1676  dated 4 Nov 1886 / 8 May 1896


Alton, G.W. “Bro”

Had his funeral. Left wife and 3 kids and their families. Mrs. S.B. Tully, lives in Manchester, 0. and her 2 sons, J.W. and C.D. in Covington, KY

Roll 6 Pg 4723  dated 24 Apr 1922  Maysville



Married Susanna Boggs. Daughter of Rebecca and Abel. Information by:

Rebecca Maggard.

Roll 3 Pg 2262 Apr 1898    Montgomery Co. KY


AMBROSE, “Rev” and M.D.

He married William Holland SHOCKLEY to Ann Eliza DICKEY 7 May 1851.

 Roll 3 Pg 2380 / Roll 5 Pg 3834,4235  dated 1898 / 1911 / 1917



Her husband was a minister, also an M.D. Information by: Mrs. Martha J. GILBERT

Roll 3 Pg 2262 / Roll 5 Pg 3834,4235 dated 1898 / 1911 / 1917


AMIX, George

Received medal at school

Roll 4 Pg 3179 dated 4 June 1901   Hazel Green


AMOS, A.R. “Mrs.”

At Library meeting.

Roll 6 Pg 5059  dated 6 May 1924  Flemingsburg


AMOS, John (or AMY / AMIS / AMUS)

Was first settler about mouth of Cutshin. John was killed at first term of court in Clay Co. Oct 1807. James TODD saw John AMOS killed. Killed by Joel ELKINS, whom he had partly raised. A relative, Lincoln AMOS, came and got land at Cutshin after John’s death. William BEGLY had possesion. John was in “Cattle War”. John was brother-in-law of John GILBERT, having married BOLLING sisters. Wiley, a son of John. Information by: John EVERSOLE and Andrew COMBS

 Roll 3- Pg 2120,2125,2126,2182,2271,2321,1676  dated 8 May 1896  Clay Co.


AMOS / AMIS Lucinda

Married John BAKER (step brother and sister) Information by: Jason BOLLING

 Roll 3 Pg 2221 dated  8 Apr 1898   Manchester


AMOS, “Mrs”

Sister to William Jackson (Jack) HENDRICK. Also to sisters in Kansas City, MO.

Roll 6 Pg 5173 dated  23 Feb 1925  Flemingsburg


AMOS, Susan

Married Charles HOUSE (HOWES). Information by Melville JOHNSON

Roll 3 Pg 2128 dated  Jan 1898        Clay Co.


AMOS, Thomas

In 3rd Battalion of 14th KY Cavalery. Information by: William B. EVERSOLE

Roll 3 Pg 2146



AMOS, Wiley

Had “war” with William  STRONG. Wiley, Toni, Anse, and Bob AMOS/AMIS left after STRONG was killed after “Cattle War”. The STRONG & AMIS “war” in 1873, was result of “Cattle War”. Not really an AMOS, he was born out of wedlock and took his Mother’s name. ( his ma was a BOLLING ) Was a son of John AMOS’ widow. Information by: John EVERSOLE

Roll 3 Pg 2125,2412,2424 July 1898 Clay Co.



Spoke at Dist. Convention here.

Roll 6 Pg 5344 dated  23 May 1926   Fairview


ANDERSON. “Bishop”

Mrs. ANDERSON formerly lived in Maysville, both of Cincinnati now.

Roll 5 page 4161 / Roll 5 page 4451, dated 24 Feb 1916 / 19 May 1910               Lexington



Of Pittsburg

Roll 3 Pg 1888  dated  Sep 1897



C.W. ANDERSON steward of church

Roll 3 Pg 1637, 1831 dated 4 Mar 1896 / 1 Apr 1897



Secretary of Bible class. Charles was a “Romanists” (Catholic).

Roll 5 Page 4099, 4116 dated 8 Feb 1915     Hutchison







Activist and writer Michael Harrington (1928–1989) published The Other
America: Poverty in the United States in 1962. Read by President Kennedy and
many others, this highly influential book argued that despite America’s
apparent postwar prosperity, tens of millions of Americans were stuck in
desperate poverty. The Other America spurred many of the domestic policy
initiatives undertaken by the federal government in the 1960s, known as the  “War on Poverty.”

In April 1964 president Lyndon Johnson traveled to Martin County, Kentucky, in the heart of Appalachia to launch the nation’s War on Poverty. Within a year—with passage of the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965 (ARDA)—Appalachia was designated as a special economic zone. The act created a federal and state partnership known as the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), whose mission is to expand the economic opportunities of the area’s residents by increasing job opportunities, human capital, and transportation.

Over $23 billion had been spent on the region through the auspices of ARDA; roughly half of the funds were from ARC and the remainder were from other federal, state, and local programs. Most of which seemed to have been spent on initiating support for the people in their current time, but little was allocated for future education of the next generation or small business entrepreneurship. Another issue was that there was very little funding allocated for the schools and vocational programs..

 Now that we are in the Information age,  the problem with the region today is that because very little was done to educate the children of the five generations that followed the initiation of the ARDA. The region and people are not considered advantageous in soliciting businesses and companies to move to the area.

What are your thoughts on this issue? Do you believe that more could have been done to help the people of the Appalachian?

My opinion is that America is much to wealthy of a country to have the poverty and homelessness problems that we do. We need to take care of our own, and fix what is broken internally, not only physically, but mentally and Spiritually as a Nation.


ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission). 2009. Performance and Accountability Report
Autor, David, Lawrence Katz, and Melissa Kearney. 2006. “The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market.” American Economic Review Papers and Proceedings 96, no. 2: 189–94.

Billings, Dwight, and Kathleen Blee. 2000. The Road to Poverty: The Making of Wealth and
Hardship in Appalachia. Cambridge University Press

Caudill, Harry. 1963. Night Comes to the Cumberlands: A Biography of a Depressed Area. New York: Little, Brown.

Harrington, Michael. 1962. The Other America. New York: Scribner

Bowlingtown, Kentucky–A Lost Communiy, but not Forgtten

Interesting article on Bowlingtown, I never noticed that my blog was used as an original source for her article.

Our Unbounded Heritage: 12th Century & Beyond

This post tells the story of the Bowling’s/Boling’s and Bowlingtown– a story as viewed by ancestors and living relatives; it includes a famous colonizer; a single woman’s efforts to keep Bowlingtown and its families on the map and in our memories; and, a local newspaper’s documentary about them all.

A Brief History

Daniel Boone, the Great American Pioneer, used his daring, wood-craft, and “wilderness scout” skills and experiences to open up the landscape and colonize Kentucky for his family and other settlers that founded Bowlingtown like the Bowling, Boling,  Barger, Begley, Combs, Duff, Hacker, Rice, and West families.

Bowlingtown was a thriving community of hundreds that once prospered where Buckhorn Lake state park now stands. After several years efforts (1995-1999), by Jewell Gordon, one of the last residents’ of Bowlingtown, a plaque now appears at the front of the Buckhorn Lodge that reads:

Bowlingtown 1800 -1960:

Long before Buckhorn…

View original post 1,756 more words

Robert Bolling and Anne Stith

Robert Bolling and Anne Stith
(Please note, this was copied the way it was written, there are spelling errors and Bolling is often spelled Boiling. I kept it authentic as possible).

In 1681, widower Robert Bolling married Anne Stith, the daughter of Major John Stith. The couple had five sons and two daughters: Robert, Stith, Edward, Anne, Drury, Thomas, and Agnes. After 28 years of marriage, Robert Bolling died on July 17, 1709, following a lengthy illness. The Bolling brothers had their father’s landholdings legally partitioned and then swapped land among them. Drury (b. June 21, 1695) inherited the family seat at Kippax. Under his ownership, the plantation extended to over 500 acres. Drury died in 1726, leaving his wife Elizabeth and daughter Frances (b. 1724) to reside on the plantation.

A probate inventory of his possessions, taken in January 1726, indicates that Drury left an estate worth estimated 543 pounds sterling, including 12 African-American slaves. This inventory, while not room by room, suggests at least two structures on the property in 1726, a main dwelling house and quarter. The presence of at least four bedsteads, quantities of imported bed linen and cloth, and an extensive collection of ceramics, furniture, and books suggest that the Bolling’s lived a relatively affluent and comfortable lifestyle. Drury’s inventory also lists several items commonly associated with the Indian trade. Interspersed among the listing of his furnishings, livestock, and slaves are

“one Indian basket, a parcel old metal buttons, teaspoons, two pairs of small still yards, artificial flowers and beads … 1 ½  gross new pipes”.

The buttons, buckles, bells, artificial flowers, and other “trifles” reflect objects mentioned by many 17th-century traders. Whether these items remained from his father’s business activities or were the result of Drury’s participation in trade with Native Americans is unclear.

Archaeological excavation of a 7-foot-square brick-lined cellar, filled between 1730 and 1750, provides possible physical evidence of Drury’s role as a merchant/trader. A wide range of domestic artifacts were recovered from the cellar fill, including an early 18th-century antler handle knife, a folding knife, a trade gun side plate, buttons, buckles, straight pins, and a bottle seal marked DB (Drury Boiling [?]).Analysis of the artifacts indicates that the cellar was filled over a relatively short period. The majority of the artifacts were recovered from the dark organic level just above the clay floor. The date of deposition and the DB bottle seal suggest that the artifacts may represent the change in households that occurred following the death of Drury Boiling in 1726, or changes following the marriage of his daughter Frances to Theodorick Bland in 1739.

Perhaps the most interesting artifact group recovered from within the cellar fill is the 1,775 glass trade beads. These beads are probably of Dutch or Italian manufacture and date to the 17th century. The red, blue, and white colors have significance in Native-American cosmology; blue and white are representative of knowledge and light, and red represents fire and the rejuvenative aspects of fruit and berries. Most of the beads were recovered during screening of the soil; however, one strand of beads was discovered intact during excavation.

These imported beads represent the Bolling’s participation in trade with the Native-American population. Some Chesapeake archaeologists have suggested that glass trade beads only occur in any quantity on sites during the first half of the 17th century when Native-American trade peaked. They have concluded that the appearance of a few trade beads on colonial sites after the mid-17th century suggests usage primarily by colonists. The large quantity of beads recovered at Kippax, while of later date, suggests continued trade activities with Native Americans and subsequent use by African-American slaves rather than primary usage by colonists.

The two most significant items at Kippax that can be firmly connected to the fur trade are the beads and the steelyards listed in Drury’s inventory. Steelyards are unequal arm balances, a type of scale that utilizes levers and weights. Steelyards were carried by traders and used to weigh furs and powder.

The other Native-American trade item found in both the 1726 inventory and in the excavations at Kippax is beads. Documentation suggests that glass beads were a highly prized commodity that imitated traditional wampum beads. In the early years of settlement, glass beads were so valuable that the

 Virginia Colony stated that “the Comoditie of Beads was like to prove the verie Coyne of that Country.”

As William Byrd II learned from experience, “the want of beads or some other trifles [is] often times a great prejudice to success.”

Linebaugh, Donald W. Kippax Plantation: Traders, Merchants, and Planters. An Exhibit Celebrating the Families of Pocahontas. Center for Archaeological Research, the College of William and Mary, Historic Hopewell Foundation, Inc. The City of Hopewell (1995).



Bowlings & Baker Family Connections!

Recently dove into the Baker Family doing some research of the connections between the two
families, and wow…. They go back a long Way! I had hit a brick wall with Benjamin Bowling Sr, without proof if he was a descendant to Col. Robert Bolling. I found another connection with his daughter Mollie Bowling who married Andrew Baker. This ties me by blood through Jason Walker Bowling. He was the son of Jesse B. Bowling and Susan Baker. (They were not married).

Feuds of Clay County Kentucky

June 8, 1899 this date is important to set the tone, this is the date Bad Tom Baker and thirty of his kinsmen rode into Clay County seat of Manchester. Soldiers had been sent in to maintain order and the reason they were there was because of Thomas Baker sometimes called “Bad Tom”, Baker unhitched his horse and started for the courthouse, Tom was the leader of the Baker clan and had an ongoing feud with the Howard and White families. Twice in recent months he had been accused of murder, and the most recent was the killing of Deputy Sheriff Will White. Word had been sent to Tom, his son James and brother Wiley to come in and face trial, Tom’s belief is he could never get a fair trial because the courts were controlled by his feud enemies the Howard and White families. The local lawmen of the area also knew that the Bakers could summon up fifty men or so in minutes to defend the clan if need be and tension was high that day, they were not eager to go up on “Crane Creek” and bring Tom in.
Tom had sent word he would come in if Governor Bradley sent in troops to protect him and get him a fair trial he also said that he would not be put “that stinking rat hole of a jail.” They surrendered their weapons and escorted to the court room by Col. Roger D. Williams who was in charge of the troops sent to the area, on the way they saw James “Big Jim” Howard, the man who had killed Tom’s father Baldy George Baker, after two delays and a hung jury (reported 11-1) for acquittal , Howard had been found guilty by a Laurel Circuit Court but was free on appeal. Taller then Tom Jim Howard only stared with no expression at the Baker’s as they went into the courtroom.
Another figure was arriving in town at that moment none other than General Theophilus Toulmin (T.T.) Garrard, hero of the Mexican and Civil wars, former member of Congress and the state legislature, grandson of a governor, and patriarch of the Garrard family, he had also opposed the Whites, in commerce and politics and the degrading feud, the Whites and their followers, he had come in from “Goose Creek” to lend support to the Bakers. In court Col.

Williams set opposite the judge so as to maintain order while A.C. Lyttle the attorney argued for a change of venue, but Judge Cook who had came up from Pineville to oversee the proceedings called a recess, and on going outside Tom thanked T.T. Garrard for being there on his behalf, Tom, Jim and Wiley ate dinner at the Potter House, smoked for awhile and returned to court. Attorney A.C. Lyttle made a passionate plea for a change of venue again to Judge Cook, he also pointed out that the county was under control of the Whites and Howards, he added there would be bloodshed if Baker went on trial for killing a White in Manchester.

The isolation of the county was also apparent from the 1800’s settlers were beginning to sink big salt wells along “Goose Creek” and salt was so valuable at the time that the state built the first road into the county, it was not much of a road but it was a road. In the year of 1802 there were two wells in the county output of about 500 bushels a year, and by 1845 there were fifteen deep wells some up to a thousand feet, whose water yielded up to a pound and a quarter of salt per gallon, about 255,000 bushels a year at about a dollar and a half to two dollars a bushel. Game was a plenty in the area bear, elk, deer, wolves, foxes and beaver as well as rabbits, raccoons and squirrels. It was an elk hunt that triggered the first violence in the area, in 1806 that become known as the Cattle Wars. In that year Clay was formed and about 100 people lived in Manchester nothing more than a village.
T.T. Garrard was born June 7, 1812 son of Daniel Garrard and Loucinda Toulmin Garrard,,,Daniel was son of James Garrard governor of Kentucky from 1796-1804 he moved to Clay Co. Around 1805 and married Loucinda in 1808. When T.T. was twenty he married Nancy Brawner at the home of ALEXANDER WHITE which implies relations were not always hostile between the families, T.T. And Nancy had two children the first died as an infant and Nancy herself died in 1838, in 1841 T.T. Garrard ran against Daugherty White for state representative, he loosed but never gave up and in 1843 he ran against Josiah Combs and won, and the next election he was elected without an opponent. T.T was a Democrat and the Whites were Whigs,(Republicans after 1860). 
In 1844 Abner Baker Jr. Married Susan White, and this is the start of trouble, Abner was the county’s first Court Clerk, and also a good surveyor and proved unbiased over squabbles about property lines, Abner also had a reputation for erratic behavior and a bad temper. After the wedding the couple moved in with Daniel Bates who had married Abner’s sister Mary and Bates was also a prosperous salt maker, apparently the parents did not hold well with the marriage because they did not build their own house. Anyway after the wedding Abner showed signs he was not playing with a full deck, he began accusing various men in the area of adultery with Susan including Daniel Bates, her own father and visitors and servants, the Whites on the other hand took a dim view of the situation and tried to get Susan to move back home. His family begged him to see a doctor, but he stormed out of the house and went to Knoxville, Tenn. But on September 13, 1844 he returned and went directly to Daniel Bates salt works and shot his friend in the back. As he lay dying Bates dictated a will in which he freed his servant Pompey, and his slave’s Joe Nash and his wife Lucy. He also directed his son to take revenge on BAKER and see he was prosecuted or killed, he left $10,000 to make sure it was done. This in fact split the community from those who did not think a crazy man should be hung and others who thought he should be strung up with little fuss, unsure of what to do GARRARD refused to hand Abner over to the Sheriff or the Bates family. On September 24 he was took to two magistrates one of which was Garrard himself and they deemed him insane and turned him over to his brothers both of them being doctors themselves. But he fled from Knoxville to Cuba where they said he might regain his sanity, this did not sit well with the WHITES & BATES so the persuaded the commonwealth to indict him for murder, doctors testified that Abner was suffering from a mental disease “monomania” but, this did not sway the jury, he was found guilty and on October 3, 1845 he was led to the gallows and hanged and a wedge had been driven between the powerful families of Clay Co. KY. The BAKERS wept with rage for the WHITES helping the BATES to bring Abner Baker to trial when they knew he was insane. The lines had been drawn and competition for salt hardened into hostility.
In 1847 the Mexican War came on and a lot of young men of the area signed on, T.T. Garrard was among the first to sign up he returned to Manchester a Captain, he had been a widower for more then ten years but on his return from the war he married Lucinda Burnam Lees, but not more than ten days after the wedding T.T. & his brother William and two slaves became Forty-Niners and set out for the gold fields of California. In his “memoirs” T.T explained he wanted to know the excitement of the ‘gold rush’ and his new wife understood. The brothers joined a wagon train out of St. Louis and making it to California bought a share in a gold mine and for a while T.T. Hauled provisions to the mine, but did not think much for mining so he ended up selling his share of the mine but his brother William stayed on and spent the rest of his life in California. T.T. Went down to San Francisco and caught a ship for Panama, but before he left the one of the slaves begged to be allowed to stay and promised to send T.T. $500 as soon as he could earn it although male slaves were worth much more than this, T.T. Complied and several years later he received a letter with $500 dollars in it, the former slave had done well and had made a business of his own. The other slave (William Tillet) however wanted none of California or Panama and chose to return to Clay Co. KY. The two of them caught a ship to Panama , crossed the mountains on foot and took a dugout canoe down the Chagres River to the Atlantic and boarded a freighter to New Orleans, there they booked passage on a Steamboat to Louisville and rode home to Manchester arriving February 5, 1850, in his diary T.T. said “Panama cane” grew up to eighty foot high and people built houses out of it (probably Bamboo).
In the fall of 1849 another Baker was accused of murder, William Baker son of Sarah and Boston Bob Baker apparently had killed Frank Prewitt a shoemaker, Matilda his wife was also suspect, he was tried in Manchester and although the GARRARDS came to his defense even hiring outside help he was led to the gallows on January 15, 1850, John Gilbert the hangman and Sheriff was in tears William was rather serene, he asked his friends not to forget Job Allen, Adonriam Baker and Robert Hays for testifying falsely against him. “James WHITE has too much money for a man such as me to live.” Five years later Matilda on her death bed confessed to the murder of Prewitt. Another wedge was drove not only the WHITES & GARRARDS but between the BAKERS & HOWARDS as well.

In 1856 the Garrard’s backed John Bowling for jailer he won but, within six months was found shot to death, the evidence pointed toward ED WHITE, which was tried and acquitted, T.T. Ran for the senate and won but resigned and ran for Congress against Greene Adams of Harlan Co. He lost, but ran against Carlo Britain of Harlan Co. And won the state senate, he served until he entered the Army on the onset of the Civil War. Although a staunch Democrat he joined the Union Army and was named Colonel by President Lincoln, he helped to raise 10,000 men of eastern Kentucky, at one point his father heard he was going to lead troops against Confederate General Felix Zollicoffer,”I hope he gets a good whipping,” his father said, but he did not, Boston Bob Baker who joined at the age of 63 under the command of T.T. Garrard was the one who supposedly killed Zollicoffer.

After the war some hostilities arose but most had fought for the Union, the politics of the area found in 1866, Beverly White county judge, John Ed White as commissioner of schools and Will White as county court clerk. An argument broke out in the courthouse doorway between Sheriff John G. White and Jack Hacker, Dale Lyttle joined in to protest the John White bullying and White was joined by his brother Will and cousin Daugh. Someone eventually pulled a pistol and Hacker and Lyttle fell dead in the doorway, the WHITES were arrested tried and released and of course the Garrard, Baker clan was furious because Lyttle was kinsman of the Bakers Tom Baker married Emily Lyttle. this is the stuff that feeds the feud.


In the spring of 1897 another play to take back the courthouse was waged, this being encouraged by Granville Philpot winning the election to the state legislature and of course the success of the Philpot’s in gunfights, T.T. Garrard called a meeting of the BAKERS, WEBBS, McCollum’s & PHILPOTS but Judge B.P. White also called a meeting counting on the HOWARDS, HALLS, BENGES,& GRIFFINS, the Griffins had a feud of their own going on with the Philpot’s. Bev. White and Jim Howard won and George Baker was elected to County Attorney, the courthouse remained under White control. During the week of August 7, 1897 Deputy Sheriff George HALL & former revenue officer Holland Campbell met John & Anse Baker and Charles Wooten on the road near Manchester, the WHITE-HOWARD faction had scheduled a meeting in the courthouse that day and Hall thought they were going to interrupt it, someone started shooting but none was killed Anse was wounded and his horse was killed. The following night Hall’s home and Campbell’s store at Pin Hook were burned, Anse and Bad Tom Baker were charged with arson, Tom swore he was miles from that area with friends who could vouch for him, T.T. Garrard bailed him out. February 14 1898 Tom and Anse Baker were to be tried for arson and they were acquitted, Sheriff Beverly White was most disappointed and him and John were having words in the hallway and an all out fist fight ensues, the Bakers continued the fight out to the courthouse yard where they mounted their horses and made off for “Crane Creek.”
Accounts of what happened around Crane Creek in the month of April 1898 are confusing indeed and is hard to know who the real villains are, Dickey’ diary has an entry for April 10 (Dickey is a preacher); Written by T.T. Garrard;” My son James Garrard was the Auditor’s agent when Ball Howard failed as Sheriff, as such he sold Howard’s property and the state bid it in. It was the timber on this land that Tom Baker and the Howard’s fell out over, I understand that James Howard has threatened to kill my son James since this feud has come up because of his official work.” The Sheriff T.T. is referring to is known as Ball Howard, but in Harlan his name was Adrian Ballenger apparently Ball owed Tom Baker money for some trees a matter of $15, Ball and his sons Israel and Corbin were putting the finishing touches on the raft on Crane Creek when Tom Baker approached him for the money, Ballard had told Tom he did not owe him any money as they stood there someone reached for a weapon Tom threw an auger at Ball, who ducked and swung a peavey at Tom, then Tom hit Ball a glancing blow with a pistol, Israeli Howard then fired at Tom giving him a slight flesh wound, Corbin Howard and Jesse Barrett jumped in to defuse the situation before anyone was killed, but the fuse had been lit. Meanwhile Big Jim Howard had heard of the Crane Creek incident and went to the office of George W. (Baldy George) Baker to propose a truce, and apparently an agreement had been reached because they shook hands and was glad a peaceful solution had been reached, problem is they did not inform their families at Crane Creek.
The next morning the Bakers were pushing logs into position for trip down river and on the other side the Howards were doing the same and when noon came the Bakers nodded and left for dinner, when Tom arrived home he was with Charlie WOOTEN, Jesse BARRETT and Toms brother Wiley, Tom nodded to his wife and asked James his 18 year old son to come on, James knew something was afoot and complained of being sick, but his mother told him “get your sorry thing up from there and help your daddy.” James got up got his rifle and followed the others, back at the lumber yard the Howards cast off their ropes and Israel and Corbin and a man named Davidson headed down river. Wilson, Ball and Burch Stores headed for home, As the group started past the house of Gardener & Cythena Baker, Thena (short for Cythena) came out and rang the bell, what is Thena ringing that bell for now ? Wilson wondered. As they passed about 200 yards of the Baker home a rage of bullets rang put, Wilson Howard fell riddled with bullets, Burch Stores had his head practically blown off, Ball Howard hit in the chest fell forward across his horse, which veered and galloped away as he fled the ambushers apparently came out and finished off Wilson and Stores. Wilson shot six times according to the Howards identified the murders to be the Bakers,(It is possible that he lived for a while?) Ball escaped along with the Shackle ford boys and John Lewis although he was badly wounded. A curious thing happened John Sester who was coming down Crane Creek said that Thena came down to Bal while Gard went and got a sled and took him to their house and treated the wound and got his family, Thena and Gard later helped the Howards get the bodies of Wilson and Burch Stores. (Of note also is that Ball said they came out and finished them off, in that case Will could not identify anyone, but Ball was very seriously wounded and was running for his life.)


Jim Howard furious because of the agreement between him and George, he learned that Tom Baker’s father was away from home set out toward Crane Creek, they met on the road and Jim ordered Baldy George Baker to dismount, 25 bullets pierced the body of George Baker and apparently Jim taking his time as not to be a killing shot, the old man apparently bled to death on the road (This is the Baker version). The old man told Jim he had nothing to do with the killings.(The following version is from Rev. Dickey and the witness Calderon) Another account has it this way; The morning after the killings Jim went out on Crane Creek to retrieve the bodies after retrieving the bodies he drew near Boston Gap cemetery he was fired on from ambush, and he retreated to the Willow Grove school, he knew he couldn’t go up Crane past the Baker house so he choose another route and near Collins Fork, he was shot at again. Trying to figure out how to get home alive, he went back to the store and started talking with John Calderon, so mad he looked crazy according to Mrs. Calderon, when a young girl nearby said,” looks like Baldy George is out early,” and Jim turned toward the head of the Baker clan about 20 yards away. according to Stanley DeZarn, Calderon years later living in Indiana gave Jess Wilson an eye-witness account of what happened. “Jim was standing by his horse and reached up and grabbed his rifle, about the same time Baldy George saw him and grabbed his rifle and slid off his horse and Jim shot him, Jim was shooting a .45 x .90 the shot went right through the horse and hit Baldy George in the stomach, the doctor’s came from Manchester and operated on him on the counter of the store, but he died the next day.” Calderon’s version holds closely with that of Rev. Dickey, he talks of the doctor’s operating on Baldy George Baker on the store counter, and also only mentions one wound.
So where did the 25 shots come from in the magazine? Well, Tom Baker in a letter to Gov. Bradley months later, accused Jim of shooting Baldy 25 times. At any rate Jim forgot about going home that day and rode up Collins Fork and down Ells Branch, past the spot where men were digging graves for Wilson Howard and Burch Stores, he surrendered to Deputy Sheriff Will White at his home near Burning Springs. They had supper and talked and Jim spent the night with Will and his wife Kate, the next morning they rode to Manchester and Will turned him over to Judge Brown who released him on his own recognizance. Brown deputized forty men to protect the Howard home on Crane Creek, gunmen soon began shooting into the Howard home from the brush, Ball remained home until he could travel, then Jim and guards took him to HARLAN COUNTY home of one of Ball’s cousins (probably Berry Howard) and Ball remained there until the June term of court in Clay County. In Manchester things were tense the Garrard’s were demanding an immediate trial of Jim Howard for the killing of Baldy George and the Whites and Howards were demanding the trial of Tom Baker and his cohorts for the killings of Wilson & Burch. Baldy George had 15 sons and Bad Tom had 13, but not all of the Howards or the Bakers participated in the feud.
At the burial of Baldy Baker none of his 15 sons showed up, however, at Laurel Creek cemetery where the Howards were attempting to bury Wilson and Burch Stores shots rang out, and the Howards un-armed had to take the coffins and flee, they buried them at Maxine Baker cemetery several miles away near Oneida. The two graves at Laurel Creek remained empty for years. Will White was out in the county collecting delinquent taxes when he ran into Tom and Dee Baker and James HELTON, near the mouth of Jim’s Branch, Will was killed Tom supposedly fired the fatal shot. The GOFORTHS were sitting on their porch George and Lucretia, they hurried down the road in direction of the gunfire they had seen a horse veer with its rider and several men had ridden away. Will White had been mortally wounded but before he died he grabbed Mrs. Goforth’s hand and said promise me Lucy, that you will testify in court that Tom and Dee Baker and Jim Helton killed me, I promise Will she said. Will White had not been a popular man to say the least, he was known as a man of violent temper and his kinsmen would not take the killing lightly. Will was buried on June the 4th Dickey wrote; Miss Alice Callahan and I sang “nearer my God to thee” just as the grave was about to be filled John G. and Gilbert White rode up, they live in Winchester. On the 19th just as I was starting to Hyden I saw Will White jump on Tish Philpot and beat him about. White was drunk. The Whites will now help the Howards to exterminate the Bakers, the old White, Garrard feud has been going on for 50 years, but has never broken out in virulent form. The past few days the a large number of whites and Howards have been under arms, there were about 30 Winchesters (rifles) in town today.


On June 24th. John Howard was shot and killed at his home on Sexton Creek, he had been in the front room of his house when a shot came through the window and hit him in the arm, he grabbed his pistol and ran out and saw a man running he dropped him with one shot, only to be hit again and killed. The body of his victim was retrieved(?)by the killer no one was ever arrested. On July 1st. Bad Tom was tried and released for the killing of the Howards after witnesses swore he was miles away when the killings took place. Legend has it Wilson Howard lived until 4 in the afternoon and had identified his killers but to whom? Thena and Gard Baker could not swear to it even if they were willing, and they surely were not. On July 3rd Gilbert Garrard and his wife were shot at on the way to church, one shot cut Garrard’s coat and another creased his horse, on July 8th T.T. Garrard bailed John Baker out of jail in Barbourville, Dickey wrote Garrard had bailed out John to kill Howards. The cases of John Baker and Jesse Barrett were held in Clark Circuit Court in Winchester, the jury found the Bakers not guilty. Bad Tom was tried in Barbourville for the murder of Will White and handed a life sentence, but he appealed and was released, later that week Gilbert Garrard left Manchester, with four bodyguards for Pineville, near Red Bird they were fired upon and two of the bodyguards were killed, the rest of the body escaped and T.T. Blamed the Whites who said nothing. On July 20th John Baker and Frank Clark were on their way to T.T. Garrards when they were stopped by Sheriff Felix Davidson and Daugh White according to the corner, John Baker had 32 bullets in him and Clark had 11.


The change of venue so sought out by A.C. Lyttle had worked the trial of Bad Tom Baker would be held in Bourbourville, I want to thank you General Tom said, don’t mention it said Garrard I am glad you got the change of venue. Tom told his wife that she might as well go home and her and some of the boys could come down in the morning and accompany him to Barbourville. Tom walked back and stood with Emily in the doorway of the tent, some of the Baker kinsmen having retrieved their guns had started mounting up for the ride back to Crane Creek, but then a shot rang out, and bad Tom with a moan fell forward across his wife’s feet. Tom Baker was dead shot in the chest. The soldiers ran across the street and Captain Bryan ordered them to break down the gate and then they had trouble with a locked front door, the ran through the house but found no  one, they found a rifle in the front room with the barrel still warm, by an open rear window they found a hat with Sheriff White’s name on it. It is very unfortunate that the gun that killed Baker was found in your house, “Before God said White, I didn’t kill him.” A reporter who had came up and was scribbling away and peering over him was CHAD HALL, looking down on Tom with a fascinated stare. 

Chad Hall many years later on his death bed would confess the murder of Bad Tom Baker, an article was written in the Louisville newspaper attesting to this fact that he was the killer. Bad Tom Baker was buried in Boston Gap by his father George W. (Baldy) Baker.

Another rather colorful individual who wrote in his memoirs of the feuds in the area was none other than John Anderson Burns, who said his family moved to West Virginia to get away from the bloodshed in Clay Co. I have read his book and it is very informative indeed, John grew up in West Va. But returned to Clay in 1882 and worked logging in the area on the rafts and getting timber out. In 1899 when he said he got a message from God and founded the Oneida Baptist Institute, which still is located in Onieda and not to mention the Philpot’s and Griffins you read about above had a shootout on “Pigeon Roost” that lasted most of an afternoon and this resulted in the death of 3 men and a horse, as Burns describes the area if anything had got worse. Burns on the other hand was establishing schools on Rader Creek and later on Crane, and he was doing it with the help of none other than Tom Baker, who was not only a gunman but respected as a school trustee who wanted better education in Clay Co. Setting up a school on Rader Creek proved not to be just “reading, ritin & rithmetic. Burns learned early on that he was going to have to show that he could whip any boy in the school as well as some of their parents if he was going to establish any kind of discipline. He went to Tom Baker for advice “You go ahead and teach,” said Baker. “I’ll see you aren’t bothered. He then sent out word that anyone giving Professor Burns trouble would have to answer to Tom Baker. After this Burns had no more trouble.

It is also interesting how he got the name “Bad Tom” the newspapers and also the White’s in their letters to the governor called him Thomas Baker, the bad Tom part did not come in until after his death. No one seemed to question him on the hiring of teachers or their dismissals or to settle school matters. The Rev. John Jay Dickey who left many writings during the hottest part of the feud years was a Methodist Minister who had preached in Breathitt County, where he founded not only a church but a school, which developed into Lee’s Junior College, and established and published the Jackson Hustler the county’s first newspaper and he also taught and preached in Owsley County, which he found badly in need of salvation but he heard that Clay needed it even worse and he could hardly wait to begin God’s work there also. He had trouble from the state to even meet his daily needs, and he could not persuade Clay Countians to even build the church he had planned, but for almost ten years he kept diaries of his work in the mountains, and today they remain the most reliable.

The first white man to settle this region was John Gilbert who was a surveyor, you will find his name on thousands of acres and Felix G. Gilbert joined John later he can also be found on thousands of acres, the first settler to make salt there was James Collins who in 1775 tracked some animals to a large salt lick on what became known as “Collins Fork” of Goose Creek. But it was John Gilbert who led the South Forkers in the Battle of Hanging Rock against the North Forkers who were under the command of two men Callahan and Strong, names later remembered in the Breathitt County Feuds, the South Forkers were apparently headed for ambush when John Gilbert caught the glean of a rifle barrel and gave the alarm, and then led a flanking attack that saved the day. Later in life John became a preacher as did the leader of the North Forkers, William Strong. How this all came about was in the fall of 1806 a group of men living on the South Fork of the Kentucky River (Clay County) went over to Middle Fork (Leslie and Perry Counties) to hunt elk. They found instead a herd of cattle ? Apparently abandoned, they killed and dressed one of the cows for food and were driving the rest home, and this is when the North Forkers appeared, a gunfight ensued where one from each side was killed and the South Forkers retreated, gunfights took place between these groups for years and to think all this started over the killing of a cow, question on how many got killed in the cattle wars and feuds.

Tom Walters a Clay Co. Native who went to Florida and was a school official there, lists 55 people in the northeastern part of the county alone, Walters has another list compiled by a friends uncle from memory in the 1950’s of over 100 murdered in the feuds. Stanley DeZarn another Clay Co. Native who moved to Hamilton, OH. “Estimates” over 100 died in the feuds, James Anderson Burns one of my favorite authors that the feuds not counting the cattle wars took more than 150 lives. The earlier cattle wars had created an atmosphere in Clay Co. Of bitterness and hatred and it also established a pattern of violence an accepted way to settle disputes and protect property, this made violence an excepted way of life.


Credits: Author; John Anderson Burns, Memoirs of T.T Garrard, Diary of Rev. John Jay Dickey and Author; John Ed Pearce. Ella Sizemoore


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