Posts Tagged ‘Baker’

Kentucky Feuds – State of War Continues

August 25, 2011

One more article about the Baker-Howard-White feuds:

BEV. WHITE’S TOUGH DEPUTIES FALL OUT AT MANCHESTER, KY.
———
State of War Still Continues — Town in a State of Intense Excitement — Howard Faction Keeps the Baker’s and Their Friends Out of the Place — Sheriff White Purchasing Ammunition.

London, Ky., June 19. — News of a fight at Manchester between Sheriff Beverly P. White’s numerous deputy sheriffs has just reached this place. Prior to the convening of court at Manchester, Sheriff White swore in 25 desperate characters as deputy sheriffs. Saturday night after they had received their pay several of them got drunk. They met at the upper side of the town and fired off their pistols almost continually until a late hour.

This morning “Bill” Holland, the negro deputy, was missing and it developed that he had been so badly beaten during a fight in which several shots were fired that he is confined to his bed. Holland says Dave Chadwell undertook to get a bottle of whiskey away from him and he struck Chadwell, knocking him down. This angered Chadwell’s friends and he was beaten over the head with the butts of pistols until he was almost dead.

The town is still in a state of intense excitement and the Howards and Whites a hundred and fifty strong keep the Bakers and their friends out of the place. A courier arriving here says he heard after leaving Manchester that Andy Baker and Jason Bowling with a number of friends had come into Clay county and were at Bowling’s house at Begtown. This is where Chris Johnson was attacked by members of the Howard-White faction Friday night and it is feared that Bowling’s house will be the next scene of a battle between the warring factions.

Sheriff White has just returned to Manchester and it is reported that he has secured a large amount of ammunition and a number of guns with which to equip more men in case Governor Bradley attempts to send court there to try him and others on the charge of murdering Tom Baker. John Whitmore, whose horse’s throat was cut at Manchester has arrived here. He says the Whites deny most emphatically that Tom Baker was killed by any of them. Sid Baker and Hiram Bolin, the body guard of John G. White, accompanied him home to Winchester to-day and returned here this afternoon, leaving for Manchester later. It develops that Judge Eversole is related to James Bowling, who is now in the feud and this further complicates matters, allying the judge with the Baker faction. Judge Eversole has gone to Lesile county to hold court. Instead of going via Manchester, which is the usual route, he went via Richmond several miles out of the way. Court is to begin to-day but he cannot reach there before Tuesday. Cale, Robert and Dee Baker are still at the home of Chris Jackson, who will recover from the wound received Friday afternoon at Begtown.

Naugatuck Daily News (Naugatuck, Connecticut) Jun 19, 1899

UPDATE: The Feudin’ Never Seems to Stop:

KENTUCKY OUTLAWRY.

Five Men Killed in the Philpot-Griffin Feud.

Louisville. July 18. — A special from London, Ky., tells of a report reaching there of the outbreak of another feud in Clay county, by which five men lost their lives yesterday. The dead are said to be: Robert Philpot, Ed Fisher, Aaron Morris, Jim Griffin and Hugh Griffin. These fatalities resulted from a pitched battle fought near Little Goose creek, three miles from Manchester.

The feud dates back nearly two years. On Christmas, 1897, James Philpot was killed by Aaron Morris, but before he died he shot and killed William Bundy, a friend of Morris. The Morrises and Griffins were closely affiliated. Since then the feeling between the two factions has been very bitter, and it has been aroused recently by the White-Baker hostilities. The Philpots, which are the strongest faction in the mountains, numbering about 750 voters, openly espoused the cause of the Bakers, while the Griffins took sides with the Whites.

The story that reaches here from Manchester is to the effect that Rob Philpot was arrested yesterday by Deputy Sheriff Wash Thacker. It is said that while Thacker was taking Philpot’s bond the latter was shot from behind by a member of a crowd that had gathered. This precipitated a general fight with Winchesters and revolvers, which was participated in by George, Granville, Robert and Peter Philpot and Ed Fisher on one side, and Aaron Morris, Hugh, Jim and Green Griffin on the other. The battle raged fiercely for ten or fifteen minutes. When it was over it was found that the five men mentioned above had been killed outright, three of the belligerents were seriously wounded, while Pete Philpot was the only one on either side to escape injury. Granville Philpot is said to be one of the most seriously wounded. He is a Union veteran, having lost a leg at Stone River; is an ex-member of the Kentucky legislature, and is said to have killed three or four men. Ed. Fisher was about 23 years old, but was said to have killed three men.

The situation in Manchester is deplorable. The place is in a state of terror, scarcely any one daring to venture out of doors. Business is suspended and the residents are momentarily expecting a renewal of hostilities.

Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, Pennsylvania) Jul 18, 1899

Five Men Are Slain in a Pitched Battle
——-
FEUDISTS AGAIN AROUSED
——-
Philpot Griffin Broil is Revived by the White Baker Hostilities
Their Respective Followers Engaging in a Mortal Combat.
——

[Excerpt]

The story of this battle caused consternation here, notwithstanding the fact that serious trouble has been expected to break out among the mountaineers of Clay county ever since the assassination of Tom Baker several weeks ago. An effort was at once begun to secure deputies to go to the seat of the trouble and attempt to restore quiet, but there had not been enough responses to make up a force that would command respect.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Jul 18, 1899

FEUD SPREADING

Kentucky Factionists Gathering and Another Outbreak Feared.

London, Ky., July 19. — The Clay county feud is growing to gigantic proportions. Monday’s battle in which three persons were killed outright and several were mortally wounded is believed to be the beginning of a series of battles.

Armed Philpots have gathered from all sections, 100 strong. The opposing clans, the Morris, Griffin and Chadwell families, are said to be only two miles away fifty strong.

Ed Fisher, who was mortally wounded Monday, died yesterday. Robert Philpot was reported dying last night, but this morning he was not yet dead.

——-

Frankfort, Ky., July 19. — Governor Bradley has taken no action in the Clay County matter. He favors calling an extra session of the legislature as well as sending troops.

——-

London, Ky., July 19. — Details of the ferocious fight between the Philpot and Griffin factions show that Aaron Morris, William and Green Griffin were instantly killed, and Hugh Griffin, Ed Fisher and Robert Philpot were mortally wounded. The dead men were buried at Island Branch graveyard and the wounded conveyed to the homes of their friends.

Messengers from Manchester report the situation more threatening than ever, because of the spread of the feud to families not heretofore directly concerned. The Chadwells and Barnetts are said to be joining the Griffins and Morrises, while the Philpots, in themselves the strongest faction, are gathering their followers from neighboring districts in expectation that their antagonists who were worsted in Monday’s battle, will seek an early opportunity for revenge.

——-

Clay County Officers Criticized.

Frankfort, Ky., July 19. — Governor Bradley received full official particulars concerning the Clay county battle. The governor is more than every worried over Clay county affairs, but has not decided on any plans with reference to the latest outbreak. There is very severe criticism of the Clay county civil authorities in state official circles, and it is hinted that some of the judicial authorities in that district will be made the subject of rigid investigation by the legislature.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) July 19, 1899

Both Factions Have Quit Work to Prepare for the Tremendous Struggle About to Take Place

———

Arms Said to Have Been Received From Louden — Victims of the Fight the Other Day Escorted to Their Graves by a Heavily Armed Guard.

—–

LONDON, Ky., July 21. — Clay county appears to be alive with armed men; both sides to the feud have suspended all labor and are assembled in their respective neighborhoods. Preparations for war go on. Arms are said to have been received from this point and taken to Clay county. It is believed they were for both sides.

Judge W.L. Brown, London, who has tried many mountain feud fighters, says that he regards this as the most serious trouble Clay county has ever had, and he expects to hear of a desperate fight.

Hugh Griffin and Aaron Morris were laid in the same grave. Harvey Griffin was placed beside them. The funeral procession escorted the corpses to the burial grounds under a heavy guard, armed with Winchesters.

The Philpot-Morris feud can be traced back over eight years. It began in the Pigeon Roost fight, in which the Philpots and Fishers were engaged with a number of alleged followers of Morris. On election day I.B. Philpot was killed, and a young man named Nicholson, a clerk in the pension department at Washington, who had come home to vote, had a leg shot off. George Cole, who last year killed Marshal Roach at Barboursville, and is now a fugitive from justice, was riddled with bullets. Several others were wounded. Sam Philpot, who figured prominently in that fight, was wounded at the battle of San Juan hill.

The next fight was about six years ago. One of the Stuarts and Maj. Jack Downey, of the Chadwell-Stuart forces, were killed. The Stuarts are alleged allies of the Chadwells and Griffins in the present feud. Joe Nance and John Bowling were sent to the penitentiary on account of their participation in this battle, but were afterward pardoned.

The next engagement was four or fives years ago, when Tim Philpot, Ed Fisher and others on one side were engaged by the Chadwells and George Thompson on the other. Thompson was killed, and both Tim Philpot and Ed Fisher were indicted and tried, but they were acquitted.

One other fierce but short battle occurred at Dripping Springs, Clay county, in which Dave, Hugh and Joe Bowling lost their lives at the hands of the Hamptons, who are now in the Morris-Griffin ranks. Others were wounded.

The next battle was fought on Horse Creek, at a saloon, a year ago. In this fight James Crow Philpot shot and killed William Bundy, and was in turn killed by Aaron Morris, Bundy’s son-in-law. Morris was sentenced for 21 years, but on a new trial he was acquitted.

It is charged that the Whites, of the Howard-White-Baker feud, assisted him.

As a result of last Monday’s battle four men, Hugh Griffin, Aaron Morris, Harvey Griffin, of the Morris side, and Ed Fisher of the Philpot faction, have been buried. Two others will probably die.

Lima Daily News (Lima, Ohio) Jul 21, 1899

LONDON, Ky., Sept. 5.

Deputy Sheriff Wash Thacker was found dead on the roadside on the road to Manchester where it is supposed he was shot from ambush. He had recently testified against the Griffins.

Butler County Democrat (Hamilton, Ohio) Sep 7, 1899

KILLING DUE TO KENTUCKY FEUD.

Deputy Sheriff, of Clay County, is Slain From Ambush.

BARBOURSVILLE, Ky., Sept. 6. — [Excerpt]

…Later details of the killing of Deputy Sheriff Thacker, of Clay county, give the surmised reason for his assassination. Thacker had served as deputy sheriff of Clay county for fifteen years, and it was believed he was a favorite. No threats against his life had come to his ears and he felt perfectly secure in the discharge of his official duty. Since his murder it is recalled that he was a witness of the Morris Philpot fight and that his testimony in court was favorable to the Philpots. Sheriff Beverly White’s zeal in pursuit of the murderers with an armed posse of fifty men would seem to indicate that the White faction has no sympathy with the criminal.

Fort Wayne News (Fort Wayne, Indiana) Sep 6, 1899

FEUD ON IN EARNEST AGAIN.

One Faction in Kentucky Making War on Women.

LONDON, Ky., Sept. 11. — The opening of war between the Griffin and Philpot factions in Clay county began last night. The house of Widow Chadwell, wife of Evan Chadwell, brother of Deputy Sheriff Dave Chadwell, the leader of the Griffin faction, was fired into from all sides. She escaped by throwing herself on the floor. All the cattle, hogs and dogs were killed and a notice was posted on her door giving her twenty-four hours to leave or be killed. It was done by a body of horse-men whom the Griffins say were Philpots. The jail here, which has two Griffins in it, is heavily guarded by men with Winchesters.

A rumor is also current here that a battle was fought yesterday in Clay county resulting in killing four men and wounding seven. The rumor locates the battle on Red Bird creek, eighteen miles from Manchester. There have been several killings there of late and the battle may have been either between the Markums and Roberts or the Sizemores and Ashers, which four factions are at war with each other.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Sep 12, 1899


Slain from Ambush in Kentucky.

Wash Thacker, a deputy sheriff of Clay County, Ky., has been shot from ambush and killed. A mule on which Bob Smith, who accompanied Thacker, was riding, was slain, but Smith lay motionless on the ground for a couple of hours, feigning death, and thus escaped assassination.

Bessemer Herald (Bessemer, Michigan) Sep 16, 1899

Fear Serious Trouble.

Pittsburg, Ky., Sept. 27. — The situation in Clay county is very serious. The trial of the Griffins, Chadwells and Barnetts for the killing of Wash Thacker was again postponed. Two bands of 40 men each of the Philpots went to Manchester, all heavily armed. An unexpectedly large force of Griffins are near that town well equipped with Winchester rifles. The jail is being guarded by a large force, as the Griffins claim that the jail will be attacked and an effort made to lynch the eight inmates, members of their faction. Law-abiding citizens of Clay county are clamoring for troops.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Sep 27, 1899

Kentucky Feudists Tried.

Manchester, Ky., Oct. 2. — The trial of seven Griffin feudists for ambushing Deputy Sheriff Wash Thacker and Jim Smith of the Philpot faction has been held. Eddy and Floy Chadwell, Sol, Jim and Tom Griffin were held without bail, and Charles Burnett, Dan Hampton and Anderson Griffin were discharged.

The Wellsboro Agitator (Wellsboro, Pennsylvania) Oct 4, 1899

KENTUCKY FEUD TRIAL TO-DAY.

LONDON, Ky., Oct. 22. — The Clay County Circuit Court opens to-morrow at Manchester. Five feudists, Eddie and Floyd Chadwell, and Sol. Jim, and Tom Griffin, will be tried for the killing of Deputy Wash Thacker of the Philpot faction.

Gov. Bradley has troops in readiness to go to the protection of the court immediately upon the request of the Judge.

Since the last term of court twenty men and one woman have been shot and there are only five indictments.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Oct 23, 1899

The Clay County Trouble.

Manchester, Ky., Oct. 26. The grand jury impaneled here at the term of court with began Monday has a big task before it. There are 12 murders besides the assassination of Tom Baker to be investigated. The jury has returned true bills against Sol, Jim and Tom Griffin, charging them with the murder of Sheriff Wash Thacker, and Eddy and Floyd Chadwell, charging them with complicity in the crime. Eddy Chadwell confessed that the plot was made and executed by the Griffins to revenge the advantage Thacker had given the Philpots by his testimony against the Griffins after the battle of July 17, in which four Griffins and one Philpot were killed. The town is full of witnesses and feudists. Judge Eversole did not arrive, and C.B. Little is holding the court.

The Trenton Times (Trenton, New Jersey) Oct 26, 1899

INDICT KENTUCKY MURDERERS.

——-

The Regular Judge, However, Fails to Appear in Court — Armed Feudists Await Further Developments.

Special to The New York Times.
MANCHESTER, Ky., Oct. 25. — True bills of indictment, charging Solomon and Jim and Tom Griffin with the murder of Deputy Sheriff Wash Thacker in Clay County on Sept. 4, and against Eddy and Floyd Chadwell with complicity in the crime, were returned by the Grand Jury here to-day. The regular Judge, H.C. Eversole, for some reason has not arrived as yet, but he sent word to two members of the bar to elect a special Judge and go ahead with the court. Judge C.B. Little was chosen, and a Grand Jury empaneled.

The Grand Jury has its hands full, there being about 10 killings and assassinations to investigate, all of which have taken place since the last term of court, in June, and this in addition to the killing of Tom Baker, which Judge Eversole has promised Gov. Bradley to investigate. Troops are being held in readiness at Lexington, and it is believed by members of the bar that Judge Eversole will not come until the Governor agrees to furnish him with military protection. In view of this fact, Judge Eversole’s instructions to try unimportant matters until he arrives is being disregarded, and Judge Little will take up the cases as they are reported by the Grand Jury.

It is now believed that the assassin who killed Tom Baker while he was a prisoner will never be found. Sheriff White, from whose house the fatal shot was fired, is seriously ill and has left the business of his office with his deputies. Commonwealth’s Attorney Isaacs has also failed to appear. He sent word that he would be compelled to be absent during the term because of sickness in his family. In Perry County, County Attorney Turner and B.B. Golden of Barbourville will represent the Commonwealth.

The Griffins and the Philpots are on hand in force, all heavily armed. Every one appears in the best of humor, and they mingle together telling jokes. Valentine G. Philpot came near causing a riot yesterday by stating that he told the farmer who came up with his two-horse wagon and offered to haul off the dead after the Philpot-Griffin fight on July 17, that he only wished they could finish out a load for him.

The Griffins heard of this remark and there was a rush to arms, but through some agreement the matter was settled and no blood spilled. The report that Pete Philpot, the boy who shot three Griffins in the big fight, had been shot yesterday, is untrue. “Tom” Whittamore, a Philpot sympathizer, is dead, the reports to this effect having been confirmed.

Gov. Bradley will be requested to place the whole county under martial law by the citizens who hope to have an end put to the feud at once, but this plan is not considered practicable by the Chief Executive.

The following is a list of the people killed in the Philpot-Griffin feud since the last term of the Circuit Court:

July 6 — James Stubblefield, Deputy Sheriff, killed while attempting to arrest Mart Smith. Smith escaped.

July 17 — Aaron Morris, Harvey Griffin, Green Griffin of the Griffin faction, and Ed Fisher of the Philpot faction, killed in pitched battle. Several other men wounded. Philpot tried and cleared.

Sept. 2 — Bill Lewis, Deputy Sheriff, killed while trying to arrest Mart Smith. Smith again escaped.

Sept. 4 — Wash Thacker, Deputy Sheriff, killed while riding along the road with Jim Smith, a friend. Jim, Tom, and Sol Griffin and Eddy and Floyd Chadwell arrested, and are to be tried for the crime.

Sept. 5 — James Robertson, Philpot sympathizer, assassinated. No arrests.

Sept. 28 — Eli Taylor, a juryman in Philpot cases, assassinated. No arrests.

Sept. 6 — [maybe meant to be Oct 6?] Henry Marcum, a Griffin feudist, assassinated. No arrests.

Oct. 23 — Tom Whittamore, friend of Philpot’s, assassinated. No arrests. Simon Philpot assassinated at Pigeon Roost. No arrests.

One woman was shot and seriously wounded, having been mistaken for a Philpot, and the homes of a number of the factionists riddled with bullets at night.

The New York Times (New York, New York) Oct 26, 1899

Banished From Clay County.

London, Ky., Nov. 7 — Dave Chadwell, father of Eddie and Floyd Chadwell, who are accused of complicity in the murder of Deputy Sheriff Wash Thacker, has been run out of Clay county. He was shot from ambush and almost killed two weeks ago and afterward notified to leave the county. He did this, going to Corbin, but on Sunday he was warned that he was still too close to Clay county to please the Philpots and advised to go farther. Consequently he has removed with his family to Winchester.

The Trenton Times (Trenton, New Jersey) Nov 7, 1899

TROOPS ORDERED OUT

Corbin, Ky., Dec 11. — Governor Bradley ordered the company of state guards just organized here, into service to protect Floyd and Eddie Chadwell, who killed Town Marshal Hartford Saturday night. The town is crowded and an attempt to lynch them may be made.

The two Chadwells are feudists from Clay county, sons of Dave Chadwell, one of the leaders of the Griffin faction in the Philpot-Griffin feud. They said, “We just wanted to show how we have fun back in Clay.”

An attempt at rescue may be made by Clay countians.

The Daily Review (Decatur, Illinois) Dec 11, 1899

 

Shooting at the Commercial Hotel, Berea, KY

October 10, 2009

For commenter, Randolph Baker, who said:

MY GRANDPA WAS SAM BAKER. SHOT AND KILLED IN 1910 AT JARVIS STORE KY. I WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THIS IF ANYONE KNOWS.

From what I can find, Jarvis Store seems to be in Knox Co., KY. I wasn’t able to find any articles about a Sam Baker being shot and killed in that location. SORRY! What I did find is the following:

THREE-CORNERED FIGHT

Ends in Killing of One Man and Fatal Wounding of One.

Berea, Ky., March 7. — Samuel Baker was shot and killed and Marcus B. Bowlin, proprietor of the Commercial Hotel here, was fatally injured in a three-cornered fight in the hotel today. Baker and a brother, Burnam Baker, raised a disturbance and when Bowlin tried to quiet them, Burnam Baker, it is alleged, shot the hotel keeper. Bowlin ran to a rear room where his wife handed him a shot gun. He then returned to the lobby of the hotel and shot Samuel Baker dead. Burnam Baker was not injured and left the place before officers arrived. His capture is doubtful.

Mansfield News (Mansfield, Ohio) Mar 7, 1910

*****

TWO SHOT IN HOTEL FIGHT.

One Dies, Another Is Fatally Injured and Third Makes Escape.

BEREA, Ky., March 7. — In a three-cornered affary [affray] in the Commercial Hotel here today, Samuel Baker was shot and killed and Marcus B. Bowlin, proprietor of the hotel, was fatally injured. Baker and a brother, Burnam Baker, raised a disturbance and the hotel man interfered. Burnam Baker escaped.

The Indianapolis Star (Indianapolis, Indiana) Mar 8, 1910

Kentuckiana Digital Library has some  newspapers online.  One of the papers there also printed one of the short mentions that I have quoted above.

Below are the census records I found which appear to be the Sam and Burnam Baker mentioned in this incident:
Name: Samuel Baker
Home in 1900: Berea, Madison, Kentucky
Age:     17
Birth Date: Feb 1883
Birthplace: Kentucky
Race: White
Ethnicity: American
Gender: Male
Relationship to Head of House: Son
Father’s Birthplace: Kentucky
Mother’s Name: Jennie
Mother’s Birthplace: Kentucky
Marital Status: Single
Residence : Berea Town, Madison, Kentucky
Household Members:
Name     Age
Jennie Baker 57 widowed
Carrie Woods 33 daughter
Burnam Baker 21 son
Pearl Baker 19 daughter
Samuel Baker 17 son

*****

Name:  Burnam Baker
Age in 1910: 27
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1883
Birthplace: Kentucky
Relation to Head of House: Head
Father’s Birth Place: Kentucky
Mother’s Birth Place: Kentucky
Spouse’s Name: Cora
Home in 1910: Paint Lick, Garrard, Kentucky
Marital Status: Married
Race:     White
Gender:     Male
Household Members:
Name     Age
Burnam Baker 27 (his age seems to be off here)
Cora Baker 23 wife
Pearl Baker 4 daughter
Ruth Baker 2 daughter
Sam Baker 2/12 son

NOTICE: Burnam has a baby boy, named Sam Baker, possibly named after his deceased brother? Census’ are usually taken about June, the shooting was in March, and the baby was about 2 months old.

Name: Harry B Baker (using the name Harry now?)
Home in 1920: Clear Creek, Monroe, Indiana
Age: 41 years
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1879
Birthplace: Kentucky
Relation to Head of House: Head
Spouse’s Name:     Lota Z
Father’s Birth Place: Kentucky
Mother’s Birth Place: Kentucky
Marital Status: Married
Race: White
Sex: Male
Image: 668
Household Members:
Name     Age
Harry B Baker 41
Lota Z Baker 32 (born Indiana, must be different wife)
Pearl Baker 13 daughter
Ruth Baker     12 daughter
Harry C Colman 10 step-son
Samuel J Baker 9 son
Keneth M Colman 8 step-son
Robert B Baker 3/12 son
W H Wells 43 boarder
Gertrude Wells 28 wife

*****

Name: Burnam Baker
Home in 1880: Brandy Springs, Garrard, Kentucky
Age: 1
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1879
Birthplace: Kentucky
Relation to Head of Household: Son
Father’s Name: Joe
Father’s birthplace: Kentucky
Mother’s Name: Jennie
Mother’s birthplace: Kentucky
Marital Status: Single
Race: White
Gender: Male
House Number: 13521183
Household Members:
Name     Age
Joe Baker     36
Jennie Baker 36 wife
Baker Baker 3
Burnam Baker 1
Lena Woods     7 step-daughter
Mary Gorden 8 servant/housekeeper

*****

NOTE: It doesn’t look like Burnam Baker was ever tried (or at least not convicted) of the shooting. That might explain why I can’t find anything else on this shooting.

One more thing, there was another Sam Baker, born in 1882 KY, who also died in 1910, only in April, according to several family trees on Ancestry.com. Evidently, he had a son born in 1910, also named Sam. I think they were in Knox Co., KY, so maybe that is the Sam Baker that was killed in Jarvis Store.

Not only that, I ran across ANOTHER Sam Baker who was murdered in 1909, but I can’t find the source again, although I think it was on Ancestry.com as well.

I just might think twice before naming a son, Sam Baker, lol.

If you know more about this incident or these people, additional information would be appreciated.

Notable Kentucky Feuds

July 21, 2009

notable feuds 1899

In the mountains of Kentucky, where many years ago sturdy Scotch immigrants made themselves homes, the only law is the law of the clans, as strong today there as it was in the Highlands five hundred years ago. Let a man be killed in a dispute over a stolen shoat, a $20 buckboard or a paltry raft of logs — and they kill men there for just such things as these — his kinsmen kill his slayer, and thenceforth every ready rifles keep merrily popping until one or the other of the families is practically exterminated.

Such a feud is that now being waged  between the Bakers and the Howards, which, in fourteen months, has cost six lives and has caused the authorities to decide on sending into Clay county a special judge and prosecuting attorney, under a strong state guard, to bring the murderer of “Tom” Baker to a far different justice than that vowed by his widow, who, over his body, pledged her young sons to avenge their father’s death.

A STATE OF VENDETTAS.

Bloody as has been the Baker-Howard feud, there are others still more bloody in Kentucky history, feuds that have numbered their victims by the dozens, says The New York Herald. A feud begun, in troops of two and threes, with rifles ready, the participants have scoured the mountains in search of their enemies, ready with murderous weapons as soon as some turn of the road brought their foes into view.

The first feud of importance in Kentucky was the Hill and Evans vendetta, which began in 1829 and continued for more than twenty years. The leaders were practicing physicians and they became enemies over a dispute over slaves. It was probably the most terrible feud ever known in the United States, for the members of the two families would fight wherever they met. Dr. Oliver P. Hill was the leader of one faction and Dr. Samuel Evans led the other. Their bloody battles terrorized the citizens of Garrand county. Altogether twenty-seven men were killed.

One of the first feuds to start after the war was the Strong-Amy feud, in Breathitt county, Capt. “Bill” Strong and John Amy being the respective leaders. This feud lasted thirty-five years, and one man a year was killed. The two forces met in a field one moonlight night, and when the firing was over there were five dead men and several badly wounded one.

The Howard-Turner feud in Harlan county was the next important feud. In this thirty men were killed and much valuable property was destroyed by fire. The feud ran for ten or twelve years, and no man was punished until Wilson Howard, one of the leaders, killed a man who did not belong to either faction, and was hanged for the crime. This broke up the feud.

More on the Harlan County, KY feuds can be found HERE.

MARTIN-TOLLIVER TROUBLES.

Another feud that cost the state a great deal of money was the Martin-Tolliver feud, of Rowan county. Craig Tolliver was the most desperate man that ever led a feud, and he terrorized the people of Morehead and Rowan counties until they were afraid to call their souls their own. After the state had spent more than $1000,000 in efforts to put down lawlessness, Gov. J. Proctor Knott gave it up, and told Boone Logan, then a young lawyer of Morehead, that the people of the county would have to be all shot before he would do anything more. Logan mortgaged his home and bought $500? [hard to read] worth of rifles and ammunition and armed one hundred of the most determined men in Rowan county.

He then swore out warrants for the arrest of Tolliver and his men. They began shooting at the posse which had gone to serve the warrants. Logan had secreted his men around the hotel in which the Tollivers had taken refuge and had posted many of them along the road that Tolliver would be likely to take when he left the house. The firing became so heavy and bullets entered the plank hotel so rapidly that Tolliver and his men ran out and tried to escape only to be caught in a crossfire. Three Tollivers, including Craig, were killed and several others wounded. The rest left the country and the feud was ended., after twenty-three men had been killed.

Then came the French-Everitt feud of Perry county, with Fulton French at the head of one faction, and George Everitt, a brother of Judge H.C. Everitt of the Clay county circuit court, at the head of the other. This feud raged for ten years, and thirty-eight men died with their boots on.

THE PRESENT VENDETTA.

The last, and in many respects, the worst feud Kentucky has experienced, is the Baker-Howard feud, which is now being waged so furiously. It has been stated that a feud between the Bakers and Whites existed over half a century ago, but this is untrue. The present vendetta began only a little more than a year ago. Three months ago only the county of Clay was affected. Now the counties of Perry, Jackson, Owsley, Laurel and Breathitt are involved, and there is no telling how far the war will spread unless vigorous measures are quickly taken.

The attempt to assassinate Jason W. Bowling, at Bogtown, last week, when the assassins mistook “Chris” Jackson, brother-in-law of “Tom” Baker, for him because he was riding Bowling’s horse, has aroused the largest and most powerful element of mountain fighters of any one incident of this feud. Jason Bowling is a leader among his people, and has always been opposed to the manner in which the White family has conducted the affairs of Clay county. He owns a farm near Bogtown, and last week received reliable information that he would be the next man killed by the Whites and Howards, and that one of their spies would call upon him in a few hours to find out just where he could be found. Sure enough that evening one of the White faction came to his house, ostensibly on other business, and then rode away. He had not gone more than 300 years before Bowling saddled his horse and rode away to London, some ten or twelve miles distant, where he stopped at the home of Christopher Jackson, whose young wife was Iby Baker, “Tom” Baker’s oldest sister. Here he was joined by his half-brother, “Andy” Baker of Jackson county, who was in the thirty-five-year war in Breathitt county between Capt. “Bill” Strong and “Wash” Amy. “Andy,” during that long war, was shot at twenty or thirty times, and carries a bullet in his leg, while a forty-five caliber ball went through his left lung.

From “Andy” Baker he received pledges of the support of all the Deatons, Burtons, Sandlings and Bakers in the upper counties. All the families named are closely related by blood and marriage to Bowling and have been for years known as expert fighters.

To give still greater strength to the brothers of “Tom” Baker, the powerful Philpot family is beginning to take sides against the Whites and Howards. The Philpots and Whites, while Republicans, belong to separate factions, and the Philpots have been the “outs” so far as county offices are concerned, for so long a time that there is much feeling between the followers of the two families. In one voting precinct in this county, every voter is either a Philpot or kin to one.

They are rich, and at the same time desperate men, having been engaged in numerous pistol and rifle battles. It is said of the Philpots that no man ever shot at one of them and lived to die a natural death if he remained in Clay county. The Philpots are friendly to Gen. T.T. Garrard and his sons, and this fact is not pleasing to the White and Howards. While General Howard has taken no part in the war, his sympathies are with the Bakers, and he may yet be dragged into the feud in a more active way.

USING EXPLOSIVE BULLETS.

On the other hand the Whites and Howards have not been idle. They have go more and better guns than they had last year, and have added to their stock of ammunition smokeless powder cartridges, which will render bushwhacking much safer than it was with the old-fashioned black powder. It was smokeless powder that was used in killing “Tom”Baker, and the same kind was used when the attempt to kill him on his own porch was made a month ago.

Not satisfied with the smokeless powder, the Whites and Bakers have secured a supply of explosive bullet cartridges, which, when fired into an enemy, produce such an ugly wound that it resists all surgery. Never before in the history of mountain feuds in Kentucky has a war been carried on with such terrible and scientific weapons, and to this fact is due the great loss of life already chronicled.

The men doing the principal fighting on the White and Howard side are those who have been sworn in as deputies of Sheriff “Bev” White. Among them are George, “Chad” and “Doc” Hall, who were the most reliable fighters on the French side in the noted French-Eversole feud of Perry county, which most the lives of seventeen Eversoles and nearly as many of the French faction. It is the presence of these three men, clothed with the authority of the law and armed to the teeth, which causes Judge H.C. Eversole to be afraid to hold court without a strong body of state troops present.

ONE SAD FEATURE.

On of the saddest features of the feud is the desperate condition in which it left Mrs. “Tom” Baker and her eleven children. The oldest, “Jim,” is in jail at Barbourville, charged with the murder of Wilson Howard and Burch Stores, while the other ten boys, who range in age from fifteen years to one year, are at “Tom” Baker’s old home. Their mother received warning that the Whites and Howards have threatened to blow her house up with dynamite and to kill the children, and one of the opposing faction is said to have declared that “we won’t rest until we exterminate the whole Baker brood.”

It was the mother’s wish to have her children admitted to the Masonic Widows’ and Orphans’ Home in Louisville, but thus far no arrangements have been made.

Mrs. Iby Jackson, sister of “Tom” Baker, had to leave Clay county two months ago. She had carried a pistol to kill “Jim” Howard for killing her father in what she considered cold blood, and she was warned that she would be shot from ambush if she did not leave the county.

— Louisville Letter.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin)Jul 8, 1899

*****

In THE BOY WITH THE U.S. CENSUS BY FRANCIS ROLT-WHEELER, which can be read online at the Project Gutenberg website, is a chapter entitled,  A BLOOD FEUD IN OLD KENTUCKY, which mentions the Baker-Howard feud.

Baker-Howard Feud

July 20, 2009
Boys and men stand around George Baker's dead mule in front of Oneida Baptist Institute. The mule was killed when two men on opposite sides of the Baker-Howard feud clashed and opened fire. Charlie Roberts intended to shoot George Baker, but missed and shot George's mule instead. Bystanders are dressed for Commencement Day at the Oneida Institute in 1915.

Boys and men stand around George Baker's dead mule in front of Oneida Baptist Institute. The mule was killed when two men on opposite sides of the Baker-Howard feud clashed and opened fire. Charlie Roberts intended to shoot George Baker, but missed and shot George's mule instead. Bystanders are dressed for Commencement Day at the Oneida Institute in 1915.

Image from University of Louisville Digital Collections. *If the photograph date is correct, this must have been a different George Baker, maybe his son or some other relative.

KENTUCKY BARBARISM.

Barboursville, Ky., April 13. Five more murders resulted from the Baker-Howard feud. On Saturday George Baker was shot and killed by members of the Howard faction while on his way to town. On Sunday Al Baker and his brother went to Howard’s home, called the old man out and shot him to death, and then killed his wife and two children.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Apr 13, 1898

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Howard-Baker Feud Reopened.

BARBOURVILLE, Ky., June 4. — The Howard-Baker feud broke out again Thursday night, when Tom Baker shot and instantly killed Beverly White, a member of the Howard faction. They met on the highway several miles north of Manchester.

Naugatuck Daily News (Naugatuck, Connecticut) Jun 4, 1898

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SIX MEN KILLED.

PINEVILLE, Ky., June 4. — (By Associated Press) — Six men have been killed in the past ten days in the Howard-Baker feud. Judge Brown will not be allowed to hold court on Monday, and has sent to the governor for troops. The governor has none to send, and the civil authorities are powerless.

The Massillon Independent (Massillon, Ohio) Jun 6, 1898

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HOWARD-BAKER FEUD.
A Collision Is Feared Before Troops Can Come Upon the Scene.

MIDDLESBORO, Ky., June 10. — The news from the Howard-Baker feud in Clay county is startling. Howard’s party, 50 strong, has taken possession of the town of Manchester. The Baker following, consisting of 40 well armed men, have rendezvoused three miles from the town. Judge Brown is wholly unable to proceed with holding court. Although he expects troops sent by Governor Bradley it is feared the two parties will come into collision before the troops can arrive.

Eau Claire Leader (Eau Claire, Wisconsin) Jun 11, 1898

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Trouble in Kentucky.
(By Associated Press.)

MIDDLESBORO, (Ky.), June 10. — The news from the Howard-Baker feud in Clay county is startling. Howard’s party, fifty strong, has taken possession of the town of Manchester. The Baker following, consisting of forty well-armed men, have rendezvoused three miles from town. Judge Brown is wholly unable to proceed with holding court. Although he expects troops sent by Governor Bradley, it is feared the two parties will come into collision before the troops arrive.

A company of State troops arrived at Rowland, Clay county, to-day and left in vehicles for Manchester, the site of the Baker-Howard feud, where Judge Brown is attempting to hold court. Judge Brown is with the troops and has warned the Whites and Howards, who are holding the town, that if a demonstration is made against the troops serious trouble will follow. The Bakers, who are surrounding the town, broke into a warehouse and secured six barrels of whiskey last night and a messenger from the scene this morning says they are all drunk and will attempt to follow the troops into the place. The State troops are new volunteers and are green, having only received their uniforms and guns a week ago.

The Weekly Gazette And Stockman (Reno, Nevada) Jun 16, 1898

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THOMAS BAKER KILLED.
Principal in Kentucky Feud Is Shot from Ambush.

Thomas Baker, principal in the famous Howard-Baker feud, was shot from ambush and killed near his home at Winchester, Ky. Baker was alleged to have said there were four men in Clay County he was going to kill, after which he was willing to be hanged. Baker has a great number of friends, and the bloody war between his faction on one side and the Howards and Whites on the other is expected to result in other murders.

Carroll Sentinel (Carroll, Iowa) Jun 1, 1899

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Troops to End a Feud.

Chicago, June 1. — A special to The Tribune from Frankfort Ky., says: One hundred troops will be sent to Manchester, Clay county, to aid the civil authorities in capturing and bringing to trial the leaders in the Baker-Howard feud that has been carried on with bitterness for several years, resulting in the killing of nine or ten men. Two of the Baker faction are now in jail, and when the troops attempt to arrest the guilty Howards more bloodshed is expected.

The Evening Democrat (Warren, Pennsylvania) Jun 1, 1899

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Life in Kentucky.

Lexington, Ky., — June 3. — The Lexington battalion of the first regiment left this morning for Manchester, where the participants of the Baker-Howard feud will be tried. The troops are sent to prevent a possible outbreak during the trial.

All member of the battalion are dead shots. A gatling gun was also taken along. It is feared an attempt to ambush the troops will be made.

Daily Iowa State Press (Iowa City, Iowa) Jun 3, 1899

Tom Baker

Tom Baker

Image from Feuds of Clay Co., Ky on rootsweb. They authors provide a good amount of information that is worth reading.

Thomas Baker Killed.

Louisville, Ky., June 12. — The Howards and Whites have kept their word, and Thomas Baker, the recognized leader of the Baker faction in the Baker-Howard feud, is a dead man. He was shot through the body and instantly killed a moment after he had obtained a change of venue in his trial on the charge of killing one of the Howards. The killing was done in the Court House yard, with a battalion of militia all around at the time. The rifle shot was fired from a window in the house of Sheriff Beverly P. White, directly across the street from the Court House. White is one of the Howard faction.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jun 13, 1899

Manchester Courthouse - Clay County, Kentucky

Manchester Courthouse - Clay County, Kentucky

May Be More Bloodshed.

Manchester, Ky., June 13. — Sheriff White has been arrested and charged with the murder of Tom Baker, who was the leader of the Baker faction in the Baker-Howard feud. The sheriff is under the same military guard that was sent here in a vain endeavor to protect Baker’s life, but Col. Williams has taken every precaution to see that his new prisoner, if found guilty, shall pay the penalty without the premature fate of his alleged victim. Nevertheless, blood for blood is the cry of Baker’s relatives, and those who know them say they are sure to get it.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jun 14, 1899

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SHOT HIM DEAD.
Hidden Assassin at Manchester, Ky., Kills Tom Baker, Leader of a Famous Faction.

Manchester, Ky., June 12. — Tom Baker, the recognized leader of his faction, was shot and killed in the courthouse yard Saturday evening. The shooting was done after Special Judge A. King Cook had granted the Bakers a change of venue and the prisoners were to have been taken to Barbourville, bail having been refused. Manchester is wild with excitement. The Bakers and Howards have scores of friends in the country and there is no telling now where the trouble will end.

It has not been ascertained who fired the shot that killed Baker, but the consensus of opinion seems to be that it was fired from the house of Sheriff Beverly White, directly opposite the courthouse.

When the court adjourned Saturday afternoon Judge Cook had rendered his decision and there was no indication of trouble. The crowd was orderly and there was no visible excitement. At 5:30 o’clock the correspondent mounted his horse and set out for London. When about a hundred yards down the road from the courthouse the crack of a rifle was heard and a thin cloud of smoke hovered in the air behind the house of Sheriff White and the courthouse.

There was a sudden quiet. The lull was of short duration. A cry went up that Tom Baker was killed. It was true. Tom Baker lay dead flat on his back in front of the guardhouse tent. There was no need of sounding the assembly.

Instinctively the soldiers loomed up with fixed bayonets and charged across the street and surrounded the White residence. At the same time the gatling gun was hurried out and brought to bear on the place.

Meanwhile the wildest confusion prevailed. A rush was made for the courthouse, but the soldiers were already out and fearing a volley, the crowd hurriedly pushed down the hill again.

Up to the time the correspondent left Manchester no arrests had been made. It will be a difficult matter to ascertain who fired the shot, and the belief that it was aimed from the White residence is itself conjecture, though the position of the smoke seemed tell-tale evidence.

London Depot, Ky., June 12. — The Howards and their allies, the Whites, are in possession of the ground at Manchester in the Baker-Howard feud and few Bakers or Baker sympathizers are left to molest them. After Tom Baker, the head of the Baker faction, met his tragic death Saturday at the hands of an assassin whose deed stands alone the coldest-blooded in the history of Kentucky feudal wars, the state militia, under Col. Williams, with Wiley, Jim Dee and Al Baker, shorn of their arms, left over the mountain road for Barbourville, where there the charges of murdering Burch Storrs and Wilson Howard will be tried on a change of venue granted by Judge Cook.

Baker, when shot, was in his tent and within 75 feet of the assassin who fired from the porch of Sheriff Beverly White’s house, diagonally across the street. Baker told his wife that he was tired and would stand up for fresh air, and when he did so a bullet pierced his breast. Col. Williams sounded the assembly and the battalion of militia charged White’s house. They found the gates locked and the doors barred, but the boys in blue broke the locks and bars and found inside nothing save a stock of Winchester rifles.

Upon examination one of these guns was found to contain a freshly exploded cartridge, and it is this which sent the leaden missile through the heart of the fearless feud leader.

The people of this place and along the road to Manchester are wild with excitement. Sympathy for the Bakers is expressed on every side. The troops are powerless under Kentucky law to protect or execute the simplest duty, being subject to the orders of the county sheriff, who in this case is not in sympathy with their purpose. John G. White, of Winchester, Ky., a brother of Sheriff Beverly White, with two guards passed through here Sunday, going to the scene. It is stated that special Judge A. King Cook will order a special grand jury and attempt to indict the slayers of Tom Baker, but the fact that Judge Cook is not the regularly elected judge may delay this matter.

Barbourville, Ky., June 12. — Since the change of venue was granted at Manchester, Clay county, Saturday for the Baker murder trials to be held here in the Knox county courts, this city has been in a state of excitement. It will be impossible in this place, which has a population of between 2,000 and 3,000 inhabitants, with good officers, for such a tragedy to occur as that at the village of Manchester Saturday under the shadow of the court, when Tom Baker, the principal defendant, was shot dead while a prisoner of the court. As Tom Baker had killed William White, a brother of Sheriff Beverly White, of Clay county, and as the crowd saw the rifle fired from a window in the sheriff’s office at the time Baker fell dead into the arms of his wife it is thought that there may be another trial soon for a change of venue to this place.

Stevens Point Journal, The (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) Jun 17, 1899

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Another Victim of the Feud

London, Ky., June 16. — News was brought here late Thursday night to the effect James Howard, a member of the celebrated Baker-Howard feud, was shot from ambush and killed near Manchester Thursday evening. Howard belonged to the White and Howard’s faction of the Baker-Howard feud and has been suspected of having fired the shot last week that killed Tom Baker while under guard in the courthouse yard.

Stevens Point Journal, The (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) Jun 24, 1899

Column of Courthouse at Manchester. Holes and chips off are result of a feud fight in which 5 were killed and a number wounded.

Column of Courthouse at Manchester. Holes and chips off are result of a feud fight in which 5 were killed and a number wounded.

White Disperses Deputies.

Manchester, Ky., June 26. Sheriff B.P. White, Jr., is much disturbed over the turn of affairs in the Baker-Howard feud, because of the killing of Tom Baker while a prisoner in charge of the State troops and the determination of Gov. Bradley to call an extra session of the Legislature which will probably abolish the county of Clay. White had retained twenty-six men as deputy sheriffs, who usually did the fighting. These deputies have now been dispersed, it being the aim of the officials to quiet the town as much as possible until the danger is past.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jun 27, 1899

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A Cincinnati paper comments on a remarkable coincident in the famous Baker-Howard feud in Kentucky. On June 2 1859, 40 years ago, Gov. Owsley ordered out the state troops to quell the feud between the Baker and Howard factions. ON June 2, of this year, Gov. Bradley ordered out the state troops for the same purpose. Forty years is long enough for any family row, and it is hoped that the end is in sight.

Stevens Point Journal, The (Stevens Point, Wisconsin) Jul 8, 1899

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The Watterson idea of ending the Baker-Howard feud by letting the opposing families exterminate each other, is precisely the idea that some folks have of ending a street car strike. The public, however, has rights that both contestants are bound to inspect.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jul 25, 1899

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The Feud in Clay County Settled.

Frankfort, Ky., July 28. State Inspector and Examiner C.W. Lester, Gov. Bradley’s special agent sent to Clay county to make an investigation of the Howard-Baker feud, has returned and filed his report with the Governor. He states that the feud is at an end and says that the presence of troops is not necessary. Neither does he recommend an extra session.

Portsmouth Herald (Portsmouth, New Hampshire) Jul 29, 1899

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No Trial.

London, Ky., Feb. 8. — Owing to the absence of witnesses for the defense, the trial of James Howard for the murder of George Baker two years ago, or of the results of the Baker-Howard feud of Clay county, did not begin.

Newark Daily Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Feb 8, 1900

William Goebel (Image from the Atlantic Constitution article)

These are the headlines from the full front page coverage in the  Jan 31, 1900 edition of the Atlantic Constitution:

GOEBEL DYING OF ASSASSIN’S SHOT — HE HAS BEEN DECLARED GOVERNOR IN TAYLOR’S STEAD

Climax of a Dark, Well Laid Plot Stirs Kentucky to Its Very Center.

PROBABLY FATAL SHOT FIRED OPPOSITE THE CAPITOL

Senator Goebel Was on His Way to Senate Chamber in Company with Colonel Jack Chinn. Taylor Expresses His Regrets.

“They have got me this time,” said Mr. Goebel. “I guess they have killed me.”

PHYSICIANS ENTERTAIN NO HOPE

MARTIAL LAW WILL PREVAIL IN STATE OF KENTUCKY FROM SIX O’CLOCK THIS MORNING SO SAYS DECREE

The Atlanta Constitution (Atlanta, Georgia) Jan 31, 1900

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JIM HOWARD TO HANG.

Convicted at Frankfort of the Murder of William Goebel.

WEPT WHEN TAKEN BACK TO JAIL

Howard and His Friends De—– Witnesses Who, It is Charged, Were in Goebel Conspiracy and Who Gave Evidence to Save Themselves.

Frankfort, Ky., Sept. 27. — James B. Howard, who has been on trial for the past ten days charged with being a principal in the assassination of William Goebel, was found guilty yesterday, the jury fixing his punishment at death.

The fact that the jury had deliberated all of Tuesday afternoon without reaching a verdict led to the belief that it was hopelessly divided, and this fact made the verdict shocking to Howard and those who hoped for his ultimate acquittal.

Howard did not lose his composure when the verdict calling for the extreme penalty of the law was read in the crowded court room. He glanced at his attorneys and smiled, but said nothing. After the jury had been discharged Howard was taken back to the jail, and here for the first time he betrayed emotion. He called for a pen and paper and wrote a ling letter to his wife, during which tears coursed down his cheeks. He was joined later by his attorneys, who spent a good part of the day in conference with him in regard to the motion for a new trial, which will be filed today, and other matters in connection with the case.

W.H. Culton, who is under indictment as an accessory to the Goebel murder and who gave damaging evidence against both Howard and Caleb Powers, was released on bail yesterday afternoon and his case was continued until the January term. His bond was fixed at $10,000, and his brother-in-law, E.E. Hogg, of Owsley county, and J.F. Halcombe and John Johnson, of Jackson county, became his sureties.

Howard and his friends are very bitter in their denunciation of witnesses, who, it is charged, were in the conspiracy to murder Goebel, and who have since been manufacturing testimony against others in order to obtain immunity for themselves.

Howard was represented by ex-Congressman W.C. Owens, of Georgetown, and Carl Little of Manchester. The prosecution was represented by Acting Commonwealth Attorney Williams, T.C. Campbell, of Cincinnati, and H.E. Golden of Barboursville.

“Jim” Howard as he is commonly known in the mountains, is a strikingly handsome man, 44 years of age, and would be one of the last to be pointed out by a stranger as the man on trial. He had the record, however, of being the leader of the Howard-White faction in the Baker-Howard feud in Clay county, in which numerous lives were taken.

He had killed George Baker, and was suspected of the assassination of Tom Baker, who was killed after the same fashion as the Goebel murder, and Howard’s friends believe that these facts had very much to do with the making of the verdict sentencing him to the gallows.

The trial of Henry E. Youtsey, of Newport, will be called next at Georgetown next Monday.

The Tyrone Daily Herald (Tyrone, PA) Sep 27, 1900

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Two Dead and Four Wounded.

Lexington, Ky., Sept. 6. — One of the bloodiest encounters in the history of Kentucky feuds took place on Saxtons creek, in Clay county, and as a result two men are dead and four dangerously wounded. The fight occurred between the Griffin and Philpott factions, the former being allies of the Howards while the Philpotts were identified with the Baker faction in the famous Howard-Baker feud of three years ago.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Sep 6, 1904

scales of justice

HOWARD BEGINS SENTENCE.
Life Imprisonment for the Murder of William Goebel.

(Bulletine Press Association.)

Frankfort, Ky., Feb. 2. — James Howard, convicted of the murder of William Goebel, arrived at the Frankfort penitentiary today to spend the rest of his life there, unless some unexpected turn of fortune liberates him. He is one of the most interesting characters that ever crossed the threshold of the penitentiary and his arrival caused considerable stir among the people of this city in general and the prison officials in particular. After spending nearly six years in jail, standing three trials and fighting his case through the supreme court, Howard was defeated in his struggle for liberty and the supreme court confirmed the judgement of the Kentucky courts. Howard never lost his nerve for a single moment. He was as cheerful on his way to the penitentiary and upon his arrival as he was on the first day of his arrest and said he was confident that he would eventually be vindicated and liberated.

In many ways Howard is the most picturesque figure of the Goebel murder cases. The commonwealth represented him as the typical mountain feud fighter and dead shot who went to Frankfort to kill Goebel in return for a pardon for having killed George Baker in a feud. Personally Howard does not fill the idea of such a person at all. He would never have been taken for a desperate man from the mountains. He is handsome and of distinguished appearance, of fine physique and unusually graceful, with easy manners. He looks like a man of fine intellect and a student. Indeed, he has been a student for five years, as during his imprisonment he has devoted his time to perfecting himself in the law.

Howard was born in Clay county forty years ago. His father was a school teacher. Howard lived in the mountains all his life and early became an expert shot, like all Kentucky mountaineers. He was first a deputy sheriff of Clay county, then school teacher, lawyer, general storekeeper in the government revenue service and finally assessor of Clay county, which he held when he became involved in the Goebel trouble.

Howard is a victim of a Kentucky feud, whatever were the circumstances of the killing of Goebel. He was in Frankfort the day Goebel was shot, trying to procure a pardon for killing George Baker from W.S. Taylor, then governor of Kentucky. The prosecution maintained that he was to get the pardon for killing Goebel. Howard has maintained that in this seeming connection he was a victim of circumstances. The Baker-Howard feud broke out in 1897. The Bakers one day ambushed Jim Howard’s father and two brothers, killing the brothers and desperately wounding the father.

Jim Howard, as soon as he heard of it, mounted his horse and rode to the scene. He claims the Bakers tried to ambush him and that he escaped by using his horse as a shield. In the encounter he shot George Baker to death.

Howard was indicted for the murder of Goebel in April, 1900. He was then in Clay county, where he might have remained indefinitely, as the mountaineers are Republicans and would have afforded him protection against an army. But in the month of May Howard went to Frankfort and surrendered. His first trial resulted in a sentence of death, his second of life imprisonment, both being reversed. The third verdict was life imprisonment and was sustained by the supreme court.

The Daily Northwestern (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) Feb 2, 1906

*****

This site has newspaper article images covering a variety of items, including this feud and others.

Here is some additional information about the William Goebel assassination and his rival, Governor Taylor.

The Milan Company Arrives in Gold Country

April 29, 2009
Placerville, CA (Image from http://bancroft.library.ca.gov)

Placerville, CA (Image from http://bancroft.library.ca.gov)

According to an article I will be posting at a later date, the Milan Company consisted of the following men:

Ebenezer B. Atherton, (Captain), Martin Smith, Harvey C. Page, Robert Smith, Samuel Wickham, Jno. G. Norton, Hiram Allen, Snow Edison, Geo. C. Choate, Chas. Goodrich, J. Gregory and Wm. Jennings.

Good News.

We have been favored with the following interesting letter from E.B. ATHERTON, Esq., the Captain of the Milan Company of California emigrants, which conveys the gratifying intelligence that they had all nearly arrived at the end of their journey, in good health and spirits: — Milan Tribune.

SACRAMENTO CITY, Aug. 25th, 1849.
MESSRS. H. CHASE & Co., — Dear Sirs:

I arrived here on the 23d, in advance of the Company, who are perhaps five or six days behind. They thought best that I should come through in advance of them, and examine the different mines, means of operating, and get such other information as would be of advantage to the company. I left them on Carson river, and made the journey here in eight days, with a small Indian pony, (distance, 242 miles,) packing my provisions, one pair of blankets, one buffalo robe and cooking utensils, over the California mountains. The distance over the mountains is about 70 miles. The road is difficult. There are several places to ascend, where a good team cannot more than draw up an empty wagon, and going down require the wheels all “locked” and the utmost caution, to prevent accidents. This route is a new one, and is called the Southern or Left-hand route, which is taken three miles west of the sink of Mary’s river; it strikes the Carson river 45 miles from that point, and 20 miles above the sink of Carson river. —

Carson River

Carson River (Image from http://nevada.usgs.gov)

This route is preferred to the northern one, on account of the pass over the mountains; the emigrant being obliged to pack his goods and wagon some seven miles over the summit, on the northern route. In descending the mountains, I struck Pleasant Valley, which I followed about 60 miles, and struck the American river 10 miles above this city.

When I arrived here I found myself and horse nearly “used up,” he having traveled several days without food, except weeds or browse, Grass may be found in the valleys, by going away from the road, from one to three miles. I was obliged to descend into one of these valleys on one occasion, after 10 o’clock at night, having traveled 34 miles over the worst portion of the mountains without grass, and sixteen miles without water. —

The whole distance from St. Joseph’s, Missouri, to Sacramento City, 2,000 miles. The teams will make the journey within four months’ time. We have found much on the route that has been interesting and pleasant to us while the whole journey is one of continual hardships and privations. Our company have enjoyed good health generally, except slight attacks from colds, and excessive fatigue, being in several instances obliged to travel all night to pass long stretches of sand without grass or water — a distance of from 20 to 45 miles. I have seen the men so much worn down with fatigue and loss of sleep, that they would sink down on the road and fall asleep.

These were hard times, but none murmured. Fording and ferrying the streams, is both hard work and dangerous; the water being generally cold, deep and rapid, requiring the utmost care, and frequently getting wet, beside the trouble and risk of swimming our mules and horses over these streams, there being no other mode of getting them over, the ferry boats being made expressly for wagons and packs.

Fording a River (Image from www.journal.forces.gc.ca)

Fording a River (Image from http://www.journal.forces.gc.ca)

We made the journey up to the time I left he company, without accident, except breaking a wagon hound, which did not hinder us more than two hours to repair.

The Indians have killed and stolen many horses, mules and cattle on the route; but we have lost none, our mules and horses have been strictly guarded to prevent such difficulties.

I have visited some portions of the mine, and think they fully meet my expectations. An industrious man can dig an ounce per day, ($16) and sometimes much more. I think it safe to say that a man can average from $10 to $20 per day, by working hard. The wet “diggings” are thought to be the best until the wet season, say until the 1st of December next; when the miners will go further into the mountains.

This city is on the Sacramento river, about 100 miles from its mouth. It has come into existence within the last three months, and now contains about 7,000 inhabitants. The buildings are principally built of canvass or cotton cloth, which is drawn over stakes and poles. In many instances common tents are used for stores and dwelling houses; the goods being mostly outside. Lots sell from $500 to $10,000 each.

These canvass houses are filled with the choicest goods, while the sides of the streets and river banks are covered with every variety of goods that our eastern cities can furnish. The utmost order and regularity prevail here; crime and thefts are punished with the rifle, pistol or bowie knife. Common labor is $10 per day; mechanics get $16. Flour is worth $16 per bbl.; Mess pork $40; fresh beef 25 cents per lb.; lumber $450 to $500 per M.; sugar 16 cts per lb.; baker’s bread 50 cts. per loaf; horses, cattle and mules are comparatively cheap. Money is plenty; any one can have it by digging after it.

Gold Rush Town (Image from www.buyteachercreated.com)

Gold Rush Town (Image from http://www.buyteachercreated.com)

I think our company will be here in time for us to commence operations within eight days, after which I will try to give you a less confused, and more particular description of matters and things here.

The Scipio and Norwalk companies will be here within two days; I passed them on the mountains; they were all well. Mr. J.V. Vredenburgh and son are some distance behind; they travelled in company with Captain Newton, of Norwalk, as far as Bear river. Dr. Thompson, (Dentist,) from Mansfield, Ohio, is here. Mr. Baker, of Monroeville, Cook, of Bellevue, and George Goodhue, will be here to-morrow.

The Milan company wished Mr. Waggoner to publish, for the benefit of their friends, the fact of their good health and highest expectations of success. I shall be glad to hear from you, and all others who will be kind enough to write to me, and will answer such letters with pleasure. You will please to remember me to your families, my friends in Greenfield, and others generally. We wish all letters sent to any member or members of our company, to be directed to Sacramento City. The next steamer sails from San Francisco on the 1st Sept. I am obliged to send this letter to that place by messenger, to be mailed in time, which gives me twenty minutes to write what I don’t believe you can read.

Yours sincerely,
E.B. ATHERTON.

P.S. Don’t fail to write often, and send papers frequently. Recollect I am a great distance from you — and bound to make some money before I see you again. I will try to give you a more full description of our route, and of this country in my next letter. I hardly know what I have written in this. E.B.A.

Huron Reflector (Norwalk, Ohio) Oct 30, 1849

**For more articles about the Gold Rush and some of the men mentioned here, click on my “Gold Rush” category on the right.