Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Adeline Klein

There were Kleins in DH's family, but I don't think this particular lady was one of them. His Kleins were actually Klijewskis that didn't want their name to sound so ethnic. So right before World War II, they changed it. Probably not a good move.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wills and Inventories and Sales, Oh My!

I must be getting old. It used to be that I would do some data entry after a hard day in Fort Wayne, in the hotel in the evening. After this trip, I did a few vital record entries, knowing that I was not going to scan anything until I got home, where I could use my combo printer/scanner/fax/copier with a sheet feeder. It just makes it so much easier.

Finally, back home, I began organizing my copies for scanning. And then I put them aside. So it was that I found myself transcribing directly from the page instead of using Transcript (I've written about this little gem before) to transcribe them. This morning I pulled the five pages from the Abstracts of Frederick County, Virginia: Wills, Inventories & Accounts, 1743-1816, and scanned them using the sheet feeder on my multifunction printer. And then loaded the first page into Transcript and it makes transcription so easy. None of that where did I leave off nonsense.

Now, there were two George Bowmans in Frederick County, father and son. The father, my great-great-great-great-great grandfather died somewhere between the date of the codicil to his will (August 28, 1766) and the date his will was probated which was March 2, 1768. So I am guessing he probably died in late February of 1768. The other George Bowman was his son as his will, written June 27, 1769, probated September 5, 1769, names his sister Mary Stephens; his brother Abraham and brother-in-law George Brinker named as executors.

George Bowman senior had a huge estate with several properties; George junior a smaller estate with a single property a servant and a "Negro fellow." The confusing thing of course is that these wills are being probated fairly close together. Can we spell confused? And it appears that final settlement did not occur on George Bowman senior's will until 1789. It appears that George junior's was finally settled in 1798.

George senior's executors were his sons, Jacob (died 1780), George (died 1769) and son-in-law Isaac Ruddle/Ruddell. The family began to migrate from Virginia not long after the death of Mary Hite Bowman, their mother. As her death caused some re-distribution, this further delayed settlement. Then there was the fact, that Isaac Bowman, Abraham Bowman, John Bowman and Joseph Bowman, all sons of George, were off exploring and surveying Kentucky. Until the Revolution began. Joseph died at the battle of Vincennes in 1779. Abraham was Colonel of the German or 8th Virginia Regiment. He was also my great-great-great-great grandfather. For more about Abraham go here. And yes, the family was German, Hans Georg Baumann being born in Eppengen, Baden, Germany in 1681.

I once claimed that my ancestors owned slaves, but there were few that I could put names to. The April 5 1769 inventory of George Bowman, Senior's property names Charles, worth of 16 pounds, Win (female) worth 18 pounds, Nell, worth 40 pounds (including child or children, not named), Milly worth 12 pounds and Dick worth 30 pounds. Also named in the will were Harry & Esther, slaves who were to be given to his wife Mary Hite Bowman and sold and monies divided among heirs at her death. Later sales name a few more.

I found it interesting in 1789 more than 20 years after his death, George Bowman's senior's estate is finally divided, even naming his wife, who died before 1773. As her share was to be divided among her children, I guess her 972 pounds and 10 1/2 pence had to be accounted for also.

Okay, I guess that is enough blathering on about this confusing family. I better get back to those transcriptions.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Thriller Thursday - The Murder of Addison Ball Chinn concluded

The following are newspaper accounts of the capture, sentencing appeals and hangings of Whitney and O'Brien, murderers of A. B. Chinn. Note that Thompson was Earl Whitney's alias. These articles date from October 1902 through July 1903.

WARNING: These accounts include a very graphic account of the execution.

"Two men are held as suspects in Chinn murder"

Developments in the murder of Mr. A. B. Chinn and the serious wounding of his son Asa by masked burglars at an early hour Saturday morning took a serious and sensational turn last night at 7:30 o'clock when two white men giving their names as Charles Thompson and Claude O'Brien were placed under arrest by the police on suspicion of being the men who entered the Chinn home.


Whitney and O'Brien, sentenced to be hanged February 13, 1904 for the murder of A. B. Chinn.

"Murderers of A. B. Chinn Must Hang"

The Court of Appeals today affirmed the judgments of the Fayette Circuit Court sentencing Claude O'Brien and Earl Whitney to be hanged for the murder of Merchant A. B. Chinn at Lexington.  The murder was committed in October last, which Chinn surprised the men trying to rob his house.

"Would Not See Her"

Mrs. E. C. O'Brien, the mother of Claude O'Brien, the doomed murderer of A. B. Chinn, called this morning to Mrs. Chinn, the wife of the murdered man at her home on East Maxwell street presumably in the interest of her son.

From the Lexington Herald, July 25, 1903.


Unshaken By a Tremor, O'Brien's Lips Were Moving in Prayer. Remarkable Courage Displayed By Boys Hanged Yesterday.

Their last gaze upon a crucifix, a blur of curious faces dimly appearing in the background; a smile still playing upon the features of one and a stoical expression  wrapping the countenance of the other, his lips moving in his last prayer for forgiveness and peace as the black caps were drawn, two boys yesterday morning shot through a trap that left their bodies with necks broken dangling at the ends of the hangman's chords, and the murder of Addison B. Chinn was expiated.

It was 8:08; the chant of the priests was still echoing through the corridors of the Fayette county jail and all was silence within the enclosure where a hundred stood with uncovered heads, when the cluck of the trigger, the thud of the released trap and the groan of stretching hemp told in chorus the earthly agony of Earl Whitney and Claude O'Brien was ended.

Though meeting death under most ignominious circumstances, the display of courage, of grit, of fortitude, of poise furnished by these two lads was admirable, and robbed the execution of a horror and gruesomeness that was expected. It was an inspiration to see boys die like martyrs who were offering up their lives as sacrifices on the altar of some great cause, and one paused to consider what impress such masterly courage and such innate power might have left upon the century could it have been directed along lines of good instead of evil. In itself a powerful sermon, the hanging of these youths was probably the most impressive ever witnessed in Kentucky. It was the supreme test; they met it like heroes.

March to the Scaffold.

Excepting the scenes enacted on the scaffold itself the march from the death cell was the most impressive incident of the execution.

At 7:58 the death march began. The sheriff with his deputies had gone to the death cell where the condemned men were in religious service with the priests. In the corridor they were met by Jailer Wallace and his deputies. The formal transfer of the prisoners was made to the Sheriff to do with them according to the dictates of the law. The death march was delayed several minutes at the request of the priests.

At 7:58 o'clock with the priests in their sacerdotal robes leading, O'Brien and Whitney following. Sheriff Wilkerson and his deputies next and Jailer Wallace and his deputies last, the procession moved with measured tread through the corridors down the winding stairs of the jail. The priests chanted the while and the subdued sound of their voices penetrated the remotest corner of the jail, and floated like the sound of some distant dirge out to the hundred bared spectators in the yard below. Gradually the sound of the chanting became more distinct as the dread procession drew nearer, and finally emerged from the small steel door into the yard.

Doomed Men Appear.

Every eye was riveted upon the doomed men. At 7:59 o'clock out of the door they came with heads erect, smiling faces, and tread as firm as if they were going to receive the plaudits and laurels of an approving audience for some heroic deed, rather than to meet an ignominious death. Whitney appeared much the cooler, more self possessed man of the two and was actually laughing. As he emerged from the door, he passed several policemen to whom he waved his hand and said cheerfully "Good bye boys, good bye to you all." The words were spoken without a tremor and more like he was bidding farewell to friends whom he would see in the evening. Just before mounting the scaffold, he paused a moment to shake hands with several parties. The grip was firm and the hand shake was hearty, while the words of parting were spoken with a smile. His actions did not seem forced, but were as natural as they might have been under the most happy circumstances. While O'Brien was not noticed to smile, and did not  speak to any person, his conduct was thoroughly characteristic of his entire course of action since his imprisonment, he being more reserved and distant than Whitney. His step was firm and in his face there was no tremor.

On the Scaffold

Up the ten steps of the scaffold the procession moved in the same order in which they emerged from the door. As O'Brien cleared the last step and was on the scaffold it was just eight o'clock.

Whitney was still smiling, but the countenance of O'Brien remained unmoved. On the scaffold the prisoners took position on the trap facing each other, Whitney looking toward the north and O'Brien toward the south. As they took their places O'Brien looked round to the upturned faces, then to the persons on adjacent buildings and then toward the sun. He then looked down at the platform and remained in this position through the services read by the priests. Whitney looked with smiling face out upon the curious throng. While Father Boland, of Somerset, read the service the boys stood reverently attentive, and O'Brien's lips moved in fervent prayer. O'Brien seemed more fully to realize the terribleness of the situation than did his partner in crime. While reading the hand of Father Boland shook perceptibly and his voice was unsteady.

Kiss the Crucifix.

At the conclusion of the reading, Father Cunningham presented the crucifix, which was kissed first by O'Brien and then by Whitney. The priests then shook hands with both boys, bidding them good bye, and then stepped behind. In the farewell there was no sign of quaver or unsteadiness upon the part of the boys, who remained as firm as at any time since they took their stand upon the scaffold.

Hands Bound.

After the conclusion of the service and as soon as the priests had stepped from the trap, the officers took hold of the boys and turned them facing Limestone street, Whitney on the south and O'Brien on the north. Deputy Sheriffs C. H. Wilkerson and John McElroy then proceeded to strap Whitney's hands and feet, while Deputy Freedman performed the same duty for O'Brien. In the strapping, the hands of the officers shook so that they could with difficulty accomplish the work.

Pulled the Rope Too Tight.

Deputy McElroy then placed the rope around Whitney's neck in doing so pulled it so tight as to choke the prisoner, which caused his face to turn red and the tears to start in his eyes. Whitney said, "Don't pull the rope so tight, it's choking me." The rope was immediately readjusted.

Deputy Ben Freedman placed the rope around O'Brien's neck. The work was done rapidly and without the least confusion. The black caps were then placed. That for Whitney had to be cut as it was too small.

The Trap Sprung.

As soon as this was done, the deputies stepped back, and at 8:08 o'clock Sheriff Wilkerson pulled the lever. The bodies shot downward. There was no sound save the groan of the ropes and the click of the trap as it caught by the lever which retained it in place and kept it from swinging. The work was done so quickly that the spectators could hardly realize that in an instant, in the twinkling of an eye the two lives had been taken.

The Straps Released.

The straps were immediately removed from Whitney's limbs by Jail Physician A. W. Jones, and Dr. A. W. Hawkins, while Drs. F. O. Young and R. L. Gordon unbuckled those which bound the hands and feet of O'Brien. After the limbs of Whitney had been released the body drew up in several contortions, his hands moving and his whole body trembling for a moment. From the first O'Brien did not more than quiver. It was plainly evident that O'Brien's neck was broken, the vertebra being pulled apart, but there were many in the crowd who believed that Whitney was dying of strangulation. The necks of both boys were broken, however, though Whitney's neck resisted the severance shown in O'Brien's condition.

At 8:15 Dr. Young pronounced O'Brien dead and at 8:22 Dr. Jones pronounced Whitney dead. The time required for life to become extinct in the latter was fourteen minutes.

The drop for Whitney who weighed 145 pounds, was 5 feet 4 inches and for O'Brien who weighed only 118 pounds, 5 feet, 10 inches. For Whitney a three quarter inch rope was used and for O'Brien a five-eighths inch rope.

Jail Yard Cleared.

As soon as the trap was sprung the police began the work of clearing the yard. The spectators exhibited considerable reluctance in leaving before they had seen the whole thing through, and it was sometime before the last of the crowd was forced to leave the yard.

As soon as the crowd began to move out County Judge Bullock instructed Coroner Molloy to examine the bodies and see that life was extinct.

Ropes Cut and Bodies Taken Down.

At 8:20, after the bodies had been examined by Coroner Molloy, the ropes were cut and the bodies taken in charge by Undertaker Baker, of the firm of J. H. Wiehl & Son. The ropes were cut by Deputy Freckman, and with the assistance of two negro helpers they were placed in baskets in the yard for the purpose.

The Inquest.

When the bodies had been placed in the baskets, Coroner Molloy summoned jurors from the spectators and held an inquest according to the requirements of law. The verdict of the jury was that the bodies before them were those of Claude O'Brien and Earl Whitney, who had come to their death from being legally hanged.

Removed to Undertaking Establishment.

At the conclusion of the inquest the bodies were placed in Wiehl's dead wagon and removed to the undertaking establish where they were prepared for burial. The body of Whitney was shipped to Nashville, Tennessee, yesterday afternoon, leaving on 5:10 C & O train. The remains of O'Brien will be shipped to Nashville sometime today.

The Last Night.

The last night was spent in the utmost quietude, the prisoners remaining cool and cheerful. Shortly before retiring O'Brien engaged in an exchange of pleasantries with James Bess, under sentence to be hanged for the murder of Mrs. Martha Martin. The sounds of the voices could be heard throughout the gratings of the cells and the repartee was much enjoyed by the prisoners.

"I want to see the hanging," said Bess.

"You'll be next," retorted O'Brien.

"I've got some good evidence coming for me," responded Bess.

"It don't looked good to me," was the rejoinder.

The parries were greeted with titters by the prisoners.

Whitney went to bed at 9:45, while O'Brien stayed up and played his French harp until 10:15. By half past ten both boys were sound asleep and slept until wakened Friday morning at 5:30 o'clock by Deputy Thornton. They both said they "never felt better."

Fathers Boland and V. Cunningham came to the jail at 6 o'clock and at 7 o'clock the boys breakfasted. As they were both Catholics they ate no meat, and fish and eggs were the predominating articles of the meal. Even this meal was deferred until they received holy communion.

Long before the day had dawned the crowds began to collect about the jail, but were later dispersed by a squad of police under Captain Jenkins and Lieutenant Overly. Ropes were stretched across Short street on each side of the jail, and only those having tickets to the execution and newspapermen were allowed to pass.

Until the time to put on their grave clothes at 7:30 the boys remained with the priests. Both made confessions, but did not give permission for them to be given to the public. Shortly before the trap was sprung, the Sheriff asked the boys if they had any statement to make. Both declined the offer and the secret as to which fired the shot which killed Mr. Chinn goes to the grave with them.

Herald Extra.

The drop fell at 8:08 o'clock. Seven minutes later the Herald had its extra on the streets. Its competitor was beaten by twenty minutes. A special telephone line from the office of the jail enabled the Herald to receive a continuous account from the scene of the hanging.
They were executed by hanging on July 24, 1903. Justice was swift back then.

I couldn't find death certificates, but did find these transit permits for shipping the bodies for burial.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Batchellor and Percival

We're off to Vermont for this wedding:


The marriage of Miss Jessie Percival, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Clarence N. Percival, of St. Alban's Bay, and Burton Newell Batchellor, son of Mr. and Mrs. Carlos N. Batchellor, of Fort Worth, Texas was solemnized at the First Congregational Church in this city at 10 o'clock this morning. The Rev. S. W. Anthony performing the ceremony. The bride was given in marriage by her father. She wore a suit of Madura brown broadcloth and carried Orphelia roses. The attendants were Mrs. Frederick E. Pierce, of New Smyrna, Fla., sister of the bride, who acted as matron of honor, and Miss Jessie Warner and Miss Hazel Parmelee, of this city also Miss Beatrice O'Brien, of Swanton, teachers of the Messenger st. school, where the bride has been principal for several years. All the attendants were attired in suits of dark blue and wore corsage bouquets of Orphelia  rosebuds. Merrill D. Armstrong of this city acted a best man. The ushers were Donald Brill and Henry Allen, both of this city. Ralph F. Watson rendered an organ recital before and played softly during  the ceremony. The church was simply decorated with yellow and green.

A breakfast was served at the home of the bride's aunt. The house decorations and breakfast were in charge of Mrs. L. M. Tracy.

Those present from out of town were Mr. and Mrs. C. N. Batchellor, of Fort Worth, Texas, Rodney Brown and Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Brown and family of Franklin; Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Stiles and Mr. and Mrs. William Flynn of Alburg; and Mrs. F. E. Race, of Burlington.

After a trip up the St. Lawrence, and the Saguenay Rivers to Chicontimi, Mr. and Mrs. Batchellor will pass several days in Quebec City. Upon their return to St. Albans they will reside at "Comfycot" the home of the bride's aunt, Miss Gertrude A. Percival.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Newspaper Miscellanea

I found this article in items one of my sisters handed off to me. It involved an explosion that killed six men working on a water intake tunnel in Detroit on June 9, 1930.

(Undated and unsourced. Probably about 6/10/1930.)


    Plas Tollison, of Sparta, Tenn., veteran foreman of blasting crews, was responsible for the dynamite explosion that killed six men, including himself, 215 feet below the bed of the Detroit River, off the eastern end of Belle Isle.

    This was the statement of five of the six men injured in the blast.

    Statements from the injured were taken today by Lloyd A. Loomis, assistant prosecutor, in St. Mary's Hospital. A statement also was taken from Alvin Smith, night foreman, in the huge water intake tunnel in which the explosion took place.

    "It is difficult to place blame so far as the investigation has gone," Loomis said. "The evidence points to Tollison, however. Smith said about two loads of dynamite failed to explode Saturday night when the last blast was set off.

    "One of these two caches of dynamite killed the six workmen. About 30 pounds of dynamite exploded.

    "It was the duty of Tollison, as day foreman, to investigate the result of Saturday night's blasting. The five injured men I talked to said Tollison had done so and was drilling to dislodge the unexploded dynamite. They said to drill around dynamite, to dislodge it, was the customary procedure, and is considered safe.

    "The theory of these men is that the electric drill in Tollison's hand slipped, striking the fuse cap on the dynamite."

    Fifteen men who were in the tunnel and escaped injury were among workmen who went down into the huge bore this morning when R. S. Morroe & Son, the contracting firm resumed operations.


    Meanwhile, investigators for the police department, the prosecutor's office, the mayor and the county coroners were preparing formal reports. These reports are to be given to the mayor and prosecutor.

    Autopsies were completed today on the bodies of the six dead, and they were turned over to relatives. The autopsies revealed death in each case to be due to external blows or concussion.

    Coroner James E. Burgess was to set a date for the inquest.

    Investigators scoffed the theory that the dynamite could have been placed in the tunnel maliciously. This theory was advanced when it was recalled a mysterious explosion occurred two weeks ago at Water Works Park, damaging equipment of the construction company.
Being the curious person that I am, I had to find out who Plas Tollison. I did find him, only his name was Pleas, not Plas. And he was from Sparta, Tennessee, a fact that really intrigued me since I live north of there in Cookeville. I found a link to him on Find-A-Grave and the FAG poster actually put one of Pleas' great-granddaughters in touch with me. She is going to end up with whatever I find on him, since he is not related to me at all.

It also led me to Gendisasters, events that touched our ancestors lives. There are some really great links here. And of course, one of the links is to this accident under the Detroit river. My readers might remember that my grandfather was an engineer for the city of Detroit and was supervising engineer on the water intake tunnel projects.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fort Wayne (DETROIT)

Oh, I am oh so sorry I missed the Haunted Tour at Detroit's Old Fort Wayne. They are/were held July 17, Aug 28, Sept 4 and 18 and Oct 23 and 30. 

I have actually been to this Fort, as my dad was a Fort/Battlefield/Cemetery nut. It's where I get it from. So if you live in the greater Detroit area, CHECK THIS OUT.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Lucie Howard Chinn

One database that I have used over the years, is Duff's Funeral Notices, a wonderful resource for those with history in the Lexington, Kentucky area. More than the memorial card of today, these were actually "invitations" to the funeral. In this time, there were often no daily death notices in the newspapers, since most newspapers were weeklies. These funeral cards were sent out to notify friends and relatives of the funeral arrangements.

Funeral Notice for Lucie Howard Chinn, May 27, 1869.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sometimes You Get Lucky!

Genealogy Bank sent me a notice of new content today. One of the newspapers I check out is the Arkansas Gazettes (Little Rock) because some of my Percival descendants lived there - the Weaver and Knox families come to mind.

So I was pleasantly surprised to find this little "obit" for a five year old:


Died in this city, on the 5th inst., of Scarlet Fever, Horace, youngest son of S.M. and Eliza Weaver, aged 5 years and 5 months.

"Weep not for those whom the veil of the tomb,
In life's early morning, hath hid from our eyes,
Ere sin threw a veil o'er the spirit's young bloom,
Or earth had profaned what was born for the skies."

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thriller Thursday - The Murder of Addison Ball Chinn continued . . .


Grass Found on Socks of Prisoners; Thompson Suffers Much From Wound.

Police Confident the Right Men Are Under Arrest; Daughter Arrives; Men Will Be Taken Before Mrs. Chinn for Identification; Yesterday's Developments in Chinn Murder Case.

Lexington continued to stand agape yesterday at the horrible tragedy committed Friday night. The first words at greetings were expressions of opinions as to the guilt of the two men arrested. The police are confident that the guilty men are in custody.

The most important development of yesterday was the discovery by Capt. Stough of clots of blood in a chicken shed adjoining the Chinn home. The shed is in the rear of an unoccupied house owned by Mr. George Ott. The discovery of this blood lends strength to the theory that one of the murderers at least was wounded. The police believe that the burglars entered this shed and removed their shoes, that they walked to the Chinn house barefoot in order to make no noise and thus to enter the house. The theory is that one was shot, and after making their escape through the window, they went to the shed after their shoes and a few drops of blood dripped on the floor. The blood, however, may not be human blood or it may be much older than is supposed.

Grass on Socks

This discovery adds strength to the incriminating evidence against Thompson and O'Brien. When Thompson's* shoes were removed at the station house, his socks were found to be not only badly soiled, but muddy. Spanish needles were adhering to them and on the bottom of one of the socks was a stick weed, a grass resembling Timothy. These stick weeds and Spanish needles are found in the path leading to the chicken shed. It is known that the burglars that entered the house an hour previous on the same night entered in their sock feet. This was apparent from the muddy imprints on the bare floor where the burglar had overstepped the rug.

Difference in Bullets.

Another important development was the discovery upon closer inspection that the bullet extracted from Thompson's leg is identical with the bullets fired from Asa Chinn's pistol, which were found on the floor and in the door. All the bullets connected with the case are 38-caliber, but one of the bullets picked up off the floor and the part of the bullet which was found and which was believed to have been the one that fractured Asa's jaw is hollowed at the butt end, just as are the bullets in Mr. Slade's pistol. The police believe the burglars that entered the Slade home and stole a pistol also went to the Chinn home and committed the murder with this pistol.

Thompson Suffers From Wound.

Thompson says he was shot by a negro last Wednesday. Jailer Wallace says that when he visited the men in the jail suspected of breaking into Van Deren's Hardware store, Thompson did not limp. He limped very slightly Friday morning when arrested. He could not walk without assistance when he was taken to the jail Saturday night. He did not leave his bed yesterday. He was kept away by the pain all Saturday night and when the wound was dressed yesterday afternoon the leg was badly swollen and more inflammation had set in. An opiate was given him last night to make him sleep. Had he been shot Wednesday, as he says, the police and doctors reason that he would have been unable to walk by Thursday night.

Upward Course of Bullet

Besides the bullet entered his leg at a distance of 20-1/2 inches from the ground and was cut out an inch and three quarters higher. That is. It too a decidedly upward range, such as it would have taken had he been shot by Asa Chinn when the latter was on the floor. If he had been shot by the negro in the position  he indicated, it would have taken a downward course. the bullet did not strike a bone and thus was not deflected. Thompsons made conflicting statements to reporters Saturday as to the manner in which the difficulty between him and the alleged negro arose.

The other evidence against them was the fact that the clothes of both boys were saturated when arrested. They stated that they entered the car at midnight, at which case their clothing would have been dry, for it did not begin to rain until about half past two o'clock Saturday morning.

Fatal Mark on Trousers

The trousers which Thompson wore had no bullet hole to mark the entrance of the bullet. He says that he destroyed the trousers he had on at the time the negro shot him and purchased a pair of second-hand ones.  The ones he now wears bear the mark of "Lowenstein, Nashville." O'Brien's trousers have a hole in them at the knee which corresponds to Thompson's wound and the police believe that they exchanged trousers with the idea that if they were arrested the wound would escape detection. However, O'Brien's trousers are rather small for Thompson, and vice versa. The police are unable to find the local dealer whom Thompson says sold him the trousers.

No incriminating evidence was found on the men when they were arrested nor after a thorough search of the car. If they are guilty, their pistols and masks have been done away with. The police made a thorough but futile search for the pistols and masks on the route from the Chinn premises to the railroad yard.

Citizens Asked to Search

Chief Reagan requests the residents of Lexington, and especially of the southern portion, to make a search of their premises for these articles and to have their boys search vacant lots and other places where the articles may have been thrown or concealed. If anything is found it should be reported immediately to the police.

A Mrs. Chisholm, living in Adamstown, near Lexington avenue, says she heard the volley of shots and in a few minutes heard two men running south on Lexington avenue. This clue indicates that the murderers ran in that direction after the tragedy.

Just as soon as Mrs. Chinn is able to withstand the ordeal and Thompson's wound will permit him to walk, the prisoners will be taken before her for identification. They will also be taken before Asa Chinn. Mrs. Chinn stated to a relative that she believed she would recognize the men whose forms she saw and whose voices she heard on the fatal night. It will be remembered that the men struck a match on entering the room, and though they were masked, she observed their stature, etc.

How Prisoners Spent the Day.

Throngs of visitors were attracted to the jail yesterday, but very few were admitted to see Thompson and O'Brien as they insist on calling themselves. Perhaps no one will now be admitted without the permission of Chief Reagan.

Thompson, the wounded man, is occupying the topmost cell, known as the hospital. A prisoner named Morris keeps him company. He suffered a great deal from his wound Saturday night and yesterday and it was necessary to give him an opiate to make him sleep last night after his wound was dressed in the afternoon. He ate very little and was not inclined to talk.

Neither prisoner was allowed to read the newspapers.

O'Brien is the only prisoner on the ground floor. It was in one of the eight cells on this floor that Axline was kept in confinement for a long time. It is on this floor that the old scaffold is stored. Neither of the prisoners appeared to worry over his predicament. O'Brien ate both meals heartily and was by no means reticent, though very few people were given access to him. Capt. Stough had a long talk with him in the afternoon, but he still sticks to his first story. Thompson did not get out of his bed yesterday. O'Brien has no one to talk to except the guards when they bring his meals.

Tell-tale Course of Bullet.

It appears almost providential that the bullet in Thompson's leg did not pass through it, but spent its force before it reached the outer skin. Had it passed on through, it could not be told definitely at which end of the wound the bullet entered, and it could not be discerned whether the bullet ranged upward or downward. As it is, there is no question that the range was upward. There are only three possible explanations of this. He might have been standing in an elevated position when shot, which is unlikely. He may have been recumbent or his assailant was recumbent. He says that he and the alleged negro were standing. Had this been so, the bullet would have taken a downward course. The range is just such a one as would result from a wound inflicted by Asa Chinn, who was prostrate on the floor when he shot.

The Daughter Arrives.

Miss Eleanor Chinn arrived from New York with her uncle, Mr. Charles Runyon, on the Q & C train last night. She was met at the depot by her uncle, Mr. James Runyon, and Dr. Coleman. The party drove to the Good Samaritan Hospital. The meeting between mother and daughter was an affecting one. Clasped in each other's arms, their heart throbs beat in unison and their tears flowed together in a common grief. The young woman had left father and brother in happiness, in perfect health, in all the comforts of security. In a brief while she returned. The father was dead and the brother dangerously wounded. She was not taken to see her wounded brother, as he was sleeping. Mother and daughter remained at the hospital last night. Miss Chinn stood the journey in the shadow of the awful tragedy remarkably well. Mrs. Chinn was much more composed today.

May Have Been In Tyrone.

The police received a telephone message from a man in Tyrone yesterday that he believed from the description of the suspects he saw them in that place Wednesday. He will be here today to identify them. If they prove to be the men he has in mind, they could not have been a Williamstown Wednesday, where Thompsons says he was shot by a negro.

No Clue to Others.

No word has been received concerning the two suspicious looking white men Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Graves met nine miles from the city on the Winchester pike early Saturday morning. The police are still desirous of finding these men and learning their story. Although the police believe the guilty parties have been captured, they have not relinquished their efforts to "round up" all the suspicious characters. Every clue possible will be run down.

The Jail Guarded.

Guards remained at the jail Saturday night until three o'clock and remained until midnight last night. They usually lock the jail about ten o'clock. One man is left at the jail, but the keys are not in his possession.

The Fayette county jail is one of the most secure in the country. Entrance can not possibly be gained except through the front door. It would require hours of work to break this open without the keys. One man on the first landing could keep a regiment out. If the keys were given to a mob it is doubtful if they could get to the prisoners, so complicated are the locks.

It is impossible to burn the building. On account of the arrangement of the street, a few policemen could keep a mob from off the street.

Asa Chinn Doing Well.

At the hospital it was reported that Asa passed a very quiet day and rested easy last night. His physicians are sanguine of his recovery, but the marks of that awful night will go with him to his grave. His face will not be very much disfigured, but the scars will always remain. The wounds in the nose and lips may become almost indistinct. The fractured jawbone will always be more or less prominent and a scar will always remain on his cheek.

Diagram of the House.

A brief word diagram of the Chinn home in which the murder was committed will suffice to give a general impression of the desperate encounter. The house is a two-story frame on the south side of Maxwell street, beyond Lexington avenue. On the east is the vacant house belonging to Mr. Ott, and on the west the home of Mrs. Thompson, Both of these houses are close. The driveway to the Chinn home is on the east side of the house under Mrs. Runyon's window. The front door opens into a hall. On the east side of the hall is the parlor and in the rear of this, Mrs. Runyon's room. Just beyond her door is the bottom of the stairs running up from the hall. The front room on the west side of the hall is Asa's room and at its rear is the family room. Asa's room door and the parlor door are directly opposite. The family door opening into the hall and Mrs. Runyon's door are directly opposite.

When Asa was awakened by his mother's screams of murder, he secured pistol and rifle, stepped out of his room and went to the family door, about twelve feet away. A confused idea is prevalent as to who fired the first shot. Asa and Mrs. Chinn agree that the burglars heard Asa in the hall and fired. One of them had his pistol pressed against Mr. Chinn's breast, which was powder burned. The burglar shot was the signal for Asa to open fire. He emptied his revolver of five chambers. Three of his bullets struck the door. The bullet which penetrated the door showed the elevation. He was in a prostrate position. Perhaps one of the bullets which did not strike the door struck a burglar, and Thompson's wound corresponds to one made by a ball that he may have fired.

A desperate encounter evidently ensued in this terrible hand-to-hand battle at the door. Bullets flew thick and fast. Asa was shot to floor as the burglars came out of the room. That he was lying on the floor is apparent from the range of the bullets in the door and from the fact that one of the burglar bullets tipped his nose and went through his lips and into the floor. Otherwise it would have entered his breast.

Mr. Chinn tottered out of his bed and fell to the floor of the hall lifeless, his feet almost inside the family room. It was then that Mr. Runyon aroused the neighbors and called the police. Many of the neighbors had already been awakened by the peal of the shots.

Groundless Rumors

A great many groundless rumors were afloat yesterday. One stated that a pistol had been found near the Chinn home, and that it had been identified as belonging to a man who was held up and robbed Friday night. This report is groundless, and as far as the police have learned, no man was held up Friday night. Other reports gained currency which were found to be groundless. One reported stated that confessions had been obtained, which was without foundation.

The Funeral Today

The funeral services of Mr. A. B. Chinn will take place at the family residence, No. 248 East Maxwell street, at 2:30 o'clock this afternoon. The services will be conducted by Rev. I. J. Spencer of the Central Christian Church.

The honorary pallbearers are Major R. S. Bullock, Messrs. Cicero Coleman, R. P. Eastin, Albert Allen, R. C. Morgan, C. F. Estill and Thomas F. Cassell.

The active pallbearers are Profs. James G. White and A. Fairhurst, Judge Matt Walton, Dr. B. L. Coleman, Messrs. Jacob Graves, James A. Todd, G. A. DeLong and William F. Price.

The burial will be in Lexington Cemetery.

{*Blogger's note:  It was a few days before it was discovered"Thompson" was an alias and he was correctly identified as Earl Whitney.}

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Percival & Zimmeth

Sometimes you don't find a newspaper article for a wedding. Sometimes you can't even find a newspaper mention of a marriage license. Which for my parents at the time was probably a good thing.

Hank & Kaye on cruise for their 50th anniversary.
My parents drove to Fremont, Ohio in July of 1946, to be witnesses for friends who wanted to get married. Hank and Kaye, as they were known to their friends, those oh-so-crazy-and-impetuous-kids, decided what the heck let's get married, too on July 20th, 1946. I am sure my dad was thrilled as he had been chasing my mother for a while via letters while in the Navy during WWII and afterward when he was living in the same boarding house with his father that my mom and her sister, Margie also lived in.

The deed done, Hank and Kaye returned to Detroit and resumed their former living arrangements, Hank living with his father and Kaye with her sister, and did not clue anyone in to their newlywed status. Both were unemployed.

Life progressed in this fashion for three weeks until someone discovered that they had eloped.

My mother always told me that a fortune teller told her that she would be married twice. And so she was. On February 23, 1947 Kaye and Hank were again married, this time at St. Boniface Catholic church in Detroit.

So while I have no newspaper articles of my parents wedding, I have this great family story. Incidentally, yesterday would have been my parent's 64th wedding anniversary.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Research Roadblocks

Ancestry Search Screen
You know, researching can be frustrating enough, but a few times recently, I have gotten this screen when I've signed on to Ancestry. (Be sure to click on it to see a larger version. Use your browser button to click back here!)

Isn't it bad enough that their indexing sucks royally? Or that you search in a particular state in a particular time frame and get hits in different countries and different times?

Oh and the line that says "Tell us what you think of this page" - it's an expired link.

Someone wants me to work on something else?

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, July 19, 2010

Relatively Speaking - Cousins That Blog: Happy Birthday Younger Daughter!

 How cool is this, it is my turn for the RSCTB (Relatively Speaking, Cousins That Blog) and it is also Younger Daughter's 28th birthday.

Not quite 2 years old
I didn't know it at the time, but my 28th birthday was my favorite. So much so that I stayed 28 for, well let's just say I am still 28 and leave it at that! So I am especially happy to wish younger daughter many happy returns. In honor of her 28th Birthday, I may just start telling people my real age. Or not.

Happy Birthday, Andrea!

Younger daughter, right with her big "sisser"

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Henry Martz

 Click on the image to see a larger rendering. Use your browser's back button to return to this page.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 16, 2010

Last Minute Flurry

When prepping for a trip, I try to be oh-so-organized. I spend a lot of time dotting that "i" and crossing that "t" in preparation for a trip and there is a really good reason for that. In our travels, we've left key items behind.
To-Do list, microfilm

First time we left anything behind was on our wedding night. I locked myself out of the house I was sharing with a friend and we forgot to check out of our hotel. We remembered these things at the same time, DH returning to the hotel to check us out and me calling my roommate at work to borrow her keys.

The second key time was when traveling with our not such good traveler kids. We were on our way to a motel near Kings Island, Ohio when our youngest, aged 4 said, "I hope you didn't forget our clothes." We had. Fortunately, it being summer all they needed were sun suits, underwear and toothbrushes. Their bathing suits and flip flops were packed and they were wearing their shoes! I had locked their suitcases in their closet because they were unpacking clothes and repacking toys.

Another time, not long after I purchased a portable printer for trips, DH and I were headed on a research trip and I left the printer behind. Not a horrible thing, but it had my printed to do list in the same bag. I promptly emailed it to myself and printed at the research location. In that instance not everything was set out in the same place.

The real kicker was when we were headed to Buffalo for a cousin's wedding, and got almost to the Michigan-Ohio Border (actually mile marker 9) and turned around to retrieve our dress clothes for the wedding. While I might have been able to find dress and shoes, and him a sport coat, pants, shirt, tie & shoes, time would not have allowed that. We had placed our garment bag in the laundry room closet with intentions to pick it up on the way out.  Oops.

So now I spend some time making those lists, making sure everything is packed and that all is set out in the same spot the night before. The To-Do list is the longest process. First I go over it and see if there is anything else I need. Then I try to make it as consistent as possible. This year, I've decided in my single day at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, that I would concentrate on Vermont vital records. I had a few on my list, but wanting to make the most of my time there, I added the film reel number to the list so that I wasn't jumping back and forth. These films occupy items 27 to 72 on my list. The list I had whittled down to 7 pages is now 10 pages long. I can't wait to get there.

[Okay, I cheat. This blog was written BEFORE our trip to Fort Wayne and other northern destinations. We didn't leave anything behind.]

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Chinn Murder continued

From the  Lexington Leader, page 1 and page 8.

Police Send Out Circulars to Central Kentucky Towns.
Suspicious Characters Chased on Winchester Pike, But Get Away

   The chase after the murderers of Mr. A. B. Chinn, who was shot to death in his house at an early hour this morning, was taken up at once by the police department, although in formation of the crime was not communicated to the station house for probably fifteen minutes after its commission.

   Patrolman James Peel was the first officer on the scene. Detective Harry Stough was also communicated with, and he summoned his department together and the search began.

   The various all night sallons were searched adn the roads, pikes and railways leading in and out of the city were watched, while Captain Stough, Lieutenant Jenkins and Detctive Hayes went on to the fair ground and searched the different stables in the hope that the murders might have made their way out there and hidden themselves until daylight. No clue could be found and after hunting till daylight the officers went out on another track.

   The only things left by which the murderers may possibly be identified if the officers are successful, are the bullets  picked up and the footprints left of the men as they went away. This morning as a LEADER reporter was exmaining the premises he found and a clear and distinct print of the heel of a man's boot on the window sill. Careful measurement of it was taken which was preserved.


   At 8 o'clock this morning Lieutenant of Police Charles Overly, Sergeant Thomas J. Ready and Dective D. J. McCarty were at the residences when Mr. Jacob Graves of Chilesburg, a cousin of the murdered man, arrived. He at once told the officers that on his way to Lexington and when about six miles from the city, he met two men on the road, both of whom acted in a very suspicious manner. One of them he stated, appeared as if frightened and sought to avoid being seen. He said they acted so strangely that his close attention was directed to them and at one time he thought of stopping and questioning them. He did not, however, and continued his journey to Lexington.


   With this information Lieutenant Overly, accompanied by Fire Chief G. W. Muir, in the latter's buggy started for Winchester. As soon as they left Sergeant Ready telephoned to both Winchester & Chilesburg asking the officers at both places to llok out for one or two men, and if strangers to pick them up and hold them. At noon Lieutenant Overly communicated with the local department from Pine Grove saying  that he had not come across the two men as described by Mr. Graves.


   The entire police and detective forces are at work on the case, Chief of Police Reagan caused several hundred circulars to be mailed to different points in Kentucky describing as nearly as possible the men and peculiar features of the crime.

   By noon today nine persons of a suspicious character had been arrested and held pending an investigation into their whereabouts last night and early this morning. Their ages arange from 18 to 35. No formal charges were preferred against any of them, but they are simply held on suspicion. They will be released, however, on giving satisfactory accounts of themselves or if no evidnece can be found against them.


   James Alexander, colored, a servant at the residence of George Denny, at the corner of Mill and Pine streets, tells a story which indicates that he probably saw the men who did the terrible deed at the Chinn residence.

   Alexander had been out late and returned at 12:30 o'clock. He went at once to his room in the basment adn prepared to go to bed. He heard footsepts on the street in front of the house, which sets very close to the street. He threw open the shutters of his room with considerable noise and saw two men go out Pine street at a brisk run. Alexander says they went toward the east. They were, he says, men of small stature. He is convinced that shes were the men who did the deed, since hearing the description given by Mrs. Chinn of the men who killed her husband. Alexander's description of them and hers are similar.


   Chief G. W. Muir and Lieut. Overly returned to the city shortly after 1 o'clock, after having a long chase after the men Mr. Graves saw on the Winchester pike and who appeared to him to be acting suspiciously. This chase was fruitles. Chief Muir said on returning: "We drove as fast as we could out the Winchester pike, and although we inquired of every person we met and the residents along the road, no one seemed to have seen the men. We drove to Pine Grove, about four miles this side of winchester, but nodbody there had seen the men. We then went down the Clintonville pike, crossed into Bourbon passed through Clintonville and returned around by the L & E Road to the Bryan Station pike, inquiring as we went. No trace could be found of the men.

   "It is my opinion that these men were probably the men. If they had been all right there would have been no occasion for them to leave the pike as they evidently did. Their taking through the country indicates that probably Mr. Graves' suspicions were well founded. All of the poeple out in that section that we could reach were notified to be on the lookot and others were asked to notify all whom they met. I think the report was pretty generally scattered."

   The fact that the men were masked when seen by Mrs. Chinn by the light of the match prevented her from being able to determine whether either of the men wore whiskers.

   Before the LEADER went to press this afternoon fully thirty men had been arrested on suspicion, but a larger portion of them were released on giving satisfactory accounts of themselves. No positive clue had, up to that time, been discovered.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Double

From the December 20th, 1906 Lexington (Kentucky) Herald I found this little gem. The couple I was interested in was Clara Sellers and Arthur DeLong.


The double wedding of two attractive sisters, Miss Henrietta Sellers to Mr. Lawrence Jasper Mitchell and Miss Clara Sellers to Mr. Arthur Ami DeLong was celebrated yesterday afternoon at 3 o'clock at the East Hickman Baptist Church, the Rev. Mr. A. R. Willet officiating. It was a beautiful wedding in all details and the attractive little church was crowded with friends for the impressive ceremony. Mrs. Allan McDowell, of Nicholasville, who presided at the organ played a beautiful program of music during the moments of waiting and Lohengrin's bridal chorus and Mendelssohn's wedding march for the entrance and departure of the bridal party. From the windows to the center chandeliers in the church were garlands of smilax forming a pretty picture overhead; the altar was banked with palms and ferns and where the bridal couples stood for the ceremony, hung a beautiful white wedding bell. First came the bridesmaids up the right aisle, Miss Martha Baker, of Nicholasville and Miss Clara Sellers of Versailles, followed by Miss Helen Baker, of Nicholasville and Miss Madge Reynolds of Missouri. They wore stylish tailor suits of broadcloth and picture hats and coming slowly behind them were the two charming brides. They wore beautiful gowns of blue chiffon broadcloth with large blue picture hats and as they neared the altar, they were joined by the bridegrooms who entered the left aisle followed by the groomsmen, Messrs Sidney DeLong, John Clarke, Melvin Knight and Wallace Sellers, of Lexington. The picture formed was a beautiful and impressive one as the four young people stood to take the marriage vows and as the responses were made "Hearts and Flowers" was softly played.

The ceremony was followed by congratulations and the bridal party was then driven to the home of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Mitchell near Nicholasville, the parents of one of the bridegrooms, where they were entertained with a beautiful dinner. The evening was happily spent drinking to the health of the popular couples and an elegant dinner of several courses was served. The lovely brides are two of the county's most attractive accomplished girls. They are daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Sellers and have always been social favorites. The bridegrooms are prosperous young farmers and are both very popular. Mr. and Mrs. Mitchell will go immediately to housekeeping on a pretty farm on Union Mills Road and Mr. and Mrs. DeLong will keep house at his attractive country place on the Tates Creek Road. They were remembered with many handsome gifts and their host of friends are extending to them their best wishes and congratulations.

(Click on the image to see a larger rendering. Use your Browser's back button to return to this page.)

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

How One Thing Leads to Another

I've been posting headstones on Find-A-Grave for a few years now, and I really enjoy doing it. I've gotten so much help, been pointed in the right direction and solved a few mysteries with the help of FAG. So, when I take photos, when they get linked in my database, they get loaded on to FAG.

Occasionally, you get really lucky and someone contacts you because of your post. Such was the case recently, when I was contacted by Sherry W. who was looking for more information on the Woolfolk family whose headstones I posted. It seems that Sherry W. connects directly to these Woolfolk lines. It's wonderful when you find someone more directly connected to a line you are researching.

Sherry W. asked me if I knew that Sallie B Woolfolk, daughter of Sowyel Woolfolk and Sallie Bowman (Sallie Bowman is a daughter of my great-great-great-great grandfather, Colonel Abraham Bowman, so Sallie B. Woolfolk is his granddaughter) had perished in the Sultana disaster. Sallie was the widow of Dudley Mitchum Woolfolk, her first cousin. For Sallie B. Woolfolk's Find-a-Grave record go here.

Well, I had heard of the Sultana disaster, years ago while reading one of my dad's Civil War Times. It is to date the largest maritime disaster in the United States. More information on it can be found here. And there is a blurb on the anniversary of it here.

With many thanks to Sherry W., this is Sallie's obituary from the Lexington Observer & Reporter, May 20, 1865:

On the 27th day of April 1865, Mrs. Sallie B., relict of Major D. M. Woolfolk, dec’d.

The deceased was a passenger on board the ill-fated Sultana, which exploded on the Mississippi river a few miles above Memphis, and was one of the victims of the disaster.  Her remains were recovered, and her bereaved relatives have the sad consolation of receiving them unmarred by the violence of the explosion, and of venting their sorry in the last sad offices in which affection may pay its tribute to the dead.

A large circle of attached friends will sympathize with the bereaved mourners in the sudden stroke which has removed one so tenderly beloved.  In her were admirably blended the graces which charm the social circle, and the virtues which cheer the home.  Her genial manners inspired a cordiality which, ripened into esteem, as more intimate acquaintance revealed the qualities of mind and heart which endeared her to all.  Though death came in a manner so unexpected and startling, they who mourn are sustained by the hope that the stroke found her not unprepared, and that their loss is her eternal gain.  A member of the Christian Church since early girlhood, her consistent walk illustrated her profession, and crowned her life with the fruits of the faith which cheered and guided her in prosperity, and afforded strength and consolation in affliction.

“After life’s fitful fever, she sleeps well.”
I love it when I can tie a person or family to a historical event. Isn't that what family history is all about? However, in researching newspapers following this event, there is not a great deal of in depth reporting on the Sultana. This event was less than two weeks after the assassination of Lincoln, and the country was caught up in that drama.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, July 12, 2010

Funeral Trains

Over the many years that I have researched my family, I have found many funeral reports. I don't mean "The funeral will be held ..." type of reports I mean full descriptions of the actual funeral. Sometimes that is the only mention of a death that I can find.

Often, because the death was in a different city/county/state,  the coffin would arrive via train. Such was the case with my own grandmother. She died up at "the Soo" and her body was transported first to Detroit, where she lived and then onward to Lexington, Missouri, where her family lived and where she was buried.

Imagine my surprise however, when transcribing an obituary for a former Vermont Railway employee who died in 2000, I found the following: 

Following the church service, as a final tribute to Mr. X, the Wulfson family of the Vermont Railway Corp., will provide his last ride on the railroad to the Green Hill Cemetery in Wallingford for interment and the graveside service.
 How fitting for someone who was a longtime railway employee.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Jane Lada

 Possibly a friend of the late Stella Zalot. The funeral home is on Caniff in Hamtramck, Michigan and the burial was at nearby Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Detroit. Click on the image to see a larger rendering. Don't forget to use the back arrow in your browser to return to this page.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 9, 2010

It Doesn't Seem Right

One of my new blog topics - Thriller Thursday has been concentrating on the murders of several family members. Not all at once. One of the more horrific instances was the home invasion/murder of Addison Ball Chinn. Bear with me for the outcome of this one as it will take several weeks to get through the meat of it. I am contemplating whether or not I will transcribe all the articles. But I don't want to give anything away.

Anyway, it just struck me as rather sad that the only account I have of some people is the account of their murder or suicide or horrific accident. But if it is all you have, you do have to acknowledge it, even if it is only in the notes you keep.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Home Invasion circa 1902

This particular victim, Addison Ball Chinn, was my second great granduncle - the eighth child of twelve of my great-great-great grandparents, Dr. Joseph & Barbara (Graves) Chinn.

From the Lexington Leader, October 11, 1902, p1 c-14


Robbers Enter House at an Early Hour This Morning and Murder the Popular Merchant After Demanding Money

His Son Asa Fires on the Intruders, Who Turn Their Murderous Weapons on Him, and a Desperate Fight  Ensues.

Battle in the Hallway in Which the Young Man is Shot and Seriously Wounded -- A Heroic and Unequal Struggle

Mr. Addison Ball Chinn, senior member of the well known local dry goods firm of Chinn & Todd, was foully murdered in his own home at 248 East Maxwell Street, at 3:20 this morning by two masked burglars who had entered the house through a window for the purpose of robbery, and Asa Chinn, his son, was shot and dangerously wounded.

At the time of the tragedy, the house was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Chinn, Asa Chinn, his son, Mr. George B. Runyon, brother of Mrs. Chinn, who occupied a room upstairs, and Mrs. Mary G. Runyon, the mother of Mrs. Chinn, who is now 93 years of age.

The family had all retired at the usual hour with the exception of Asa who had been to a German at the Merrick Lodge building, and did not get home until after 1 o'clock. He was asleep in bed when the robbers entered the house. LEADER reporters went to the Chinn hope this morning and from interviews with various persons obtained the details of the distressing tragedy.


Shortly after 3 o'clock this morning Mrs. Chinn was awakened from her slumbers by the sound of some one moving in the house. She aroused her husband and told him of her fears. He replied that as some of the windows were open the noise she had heard might have been caused by the wind. Just at that moment, the door of the room opened and two masked men forced their way into the room and approaching the side of the bed, covered both Mr. and Mrs. Chinn with revolvers and demanded money, on pain of death if they refused.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Chinn sat up in bed but did not get up and told the intruders that they had no money in the house but that they could look round the house, take what they wanted and leave. Again the robbers demanded money and Mrs. Chinn began to scream. Her screams awoke Asa, the son, who was sleeping in an adjoining room, and he, springing out of bed, grasped a pistol in one hand and a small rifle in the other and ran out into the hall prepared to give battle to the men.

The house was in complete darkness and nothing could be seen of a moving figure or figures and the only opportunity that any one now living had of seeing the men was when they struck a match in the bed room for the purpose of getting the locality of the bed and its occupants. Mrs. Chinn saw the men plainly at that time, but only for an instant before the light of the match flickered out. She describes them as being two in number, short, and heavily built. Bot wore green masks which completely concealed their features, but from the sound of their voices she knew they were white men. She also describes one of wearing a soft black or slouch hat, but did not notice the other before the light of the match went out.


When the son ran into the hail and had got near to the door of his parents room, the robbers, doubtless hearing his coming, fired the bullet which ended the life of Mr. Chinn. The ball, which was of 38 caliber penetrated the breast on the right side passing through the lungs producing internal hemorrhages which caused death. The bullet deflected slightly in its course through the body and passed out the back an inch or more below the line of entrance on the right side of the spinal column. When the pistol was fired it was held within an inch of the body, as the wound bears the plain marks of numerous powder burns all around it. As soon as he was shot, Mr. Chinn sprang out of bed, saying to his wife, "Mother, I am shot," and gave chase to the robbers, who fled through the window through which they had entered. On reaching the hallway Mr. Chinn fell. When lights could be procured the body of the aged merchant was found dead with a pool of blood about it that had flowed from the wound.


Upon hearing the alarm Mr. Asa Chinn, with the pistol and small rifle in his hands, ran to the room and opened fire though the partly open door of the bed room. He emptied his pistol, firing six shots altogether. The robbers then turned and opened fire on him, the first bullet striking him in the arm, causing him to drop the rifle, but he still kept firing with the pistol. In the darkness he could see no object, but he was familiar with the hall and hearing the sound of voices convinced him that the invaders were in his parents' room, and he shot in that direction. Three bullets were picked up by the police which are now in their possession. One of the bullets from Asa's pistol struck the upper panel of the door, another struck the lower rim of the woodwork, and a third passed through about the center of the door. It is not known if either of the robbers was wounded. The young man gave it as his opinion that at least one of them was hit, but which he could not tell.

The burglars fired four shots at Asa Chinn and one at the father, thereby suggesting by inference that the weapon used was a five chambered pistol. One of the bullets struck Asa on the tip of the nose and plowed its way though the flesh portion of the cheek. Another, evidently shot from behind, entered the neck on the left side and struck the jaw bone, producing a fracture and turning inside pass through the cheek. The third ball penetrated the arm below the elbow and plowing through the fleshy parts came out above the elbow, thus, producing two wounds with the same bullet. The fourth bullet, fired downwards buried itself in the floor of the hall and was found by the police and extracted.

After wounding Asa Chinn the robbers made their escape by crossing the hall and passing through the room occupied by Mrs. Runyon, jumped out the window which they had left open. Mrs. Runyon, whose vision is defective by reason of extreme age, said that after hearing the sound of the shots she called to Mr. Chinn to come to her assistance, not knowing that he had been mortally wounded, and she then saw the form of a man disappearing through the window of her room. The robbers made good their escape and left no clue behind them.

Asa, bleeding profusely from his wounds, paced the hall while Mr. George Runyon, who had been attracted by the sound of the shots rushed down stairs and seeing the young man's dangerous plight went for medical assistance.

The report that one of the men escaped through the door in front of the house is erroneous, as Mr. Runyon states that the door was locked and that it remained locked until he turned the key to open it to go after a doctor. Asa Chinn never lost his feet in the struggle he engaged in with the murderers of his father. He was full conscious of all that was taking place and maintained his coolness until put to sleep through the administration of opiates.


While the burglars and midnight assassins left no trace of their identity behind them they left visible signs of their approach and departure to and from the house. The window through which an entrance was made is situated on the east side of the house and overlooks a driveway. The window, as previously state, belongs to the room occupied by Mrs. Runyon and is never fastened at night. On account of infirmities it is necessary that she have a plentiful supply of fresh air and following the usual custom the top sash of the window was pulled down nearly sixteen inches from the top, thereby leaving the window sashes unfastened. The burglars had obtained a large dry goods box which stood in the driveway and moving it beneath the window they stood on this to enable them to raise the lower sash with as little noise as possible. From the marks left on the sill, it is evident that a small instrument was used to pry the sash up to enable them to get their fingers under to lift it further. The instrument used was either a large nail or a knife as the scratches are discernable on the sill. Having opened the window they got into the room occupied by Mrs. Runyon, passed through the door leading into the hall, cross the hall to the room directly opposite and which was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Chinn. The door of this room was closed at the time and they opened it and entered, when the terrible tragedy as above related followed. They departed in precisely the same way as that in which they had entered after killing Mr. Chinn and seriously wounding his son. The burglars got no booty.


Dr. David Barrow responded to the call for medical assistance from Mr. Runyon and upon his arrival at the scene of the crime he dressed the wounds of the young man. Dr. Barrow pronounced the wounds as not necessarily fatal, although extremely serious. At 11 o'clock this morning, on Dr. Barrow's advice, the young man was removed to the Good Samaritan Hospital and the ambulance was used to convey him.

Mrs. Chinn, who was compelled to sit by and see her husband murdered in cold blood in his own bed, by the hand of marauding assassins, was prostrated with grief and the shock to her nervous system was so severed that her attending physician, Dr. H. Bewlay, was in constant attendance upon her. Acting upon his advice she was also taken to the Good Samaritan Hospital and followed her son to that institution. Both are resting well as the LEADER went to press.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Wedding Wednesday - Smith & Keene

 From the Lexington Leader, May 14, 1902:


Mr. R. E. Smith and Miss Patye Chesterfield Keene were quietly married today at 12 o'clock at the home of Rev. J. W. McGarvey, the officiating minister. The bride is a very handsome and lovable lady of the county and the groom is the son of Charles E. Smith, of North Broadway, the well known Eastern Kentucky timber dealer. The wedding was a very quiet one and a surprise to the friends of the young couple. They left for New York and other Eastern cities after a wedding luncheon at the Phoenix Hotel. They will be at home in about two weeks.

[Patty Keene was the great-granddaughter of Mary Bowman Keen. Mary was the daughter of my great-great-great-great grandparents, Abraham Bowman & Sarah Henry.]

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Some Things Just Don't Make Sense Until You Do the Research

I have been searching for the sons of Thomas Holt and Jemima Jane Foor for many years. I knew who they were, and have some basic information on them, but that was about all.

 So I started my search for once again for Dr. Warner Holt. The last mention of Dr. Holt was a 1920 census record. But, I never found even a death notice. I did find that he was removed from his position in the Pension Office for stating that pensions had been given to bald men. He was reinstated after his statements were substantiated.

On the 1920 census, Warner is listed as a widower, is residing as a boarder and is still in Washington, D.C. Anna is living with her brother, Spencer Greer and his family in St. Paul, Minnesota. She has her daughter, Edith with her. Anna is listed as married, but W for widow is crossed out.

Over the years, I have looked for Dr. Warner Holt on Find-A-Grave. I did finally find the record along with an image of his headstone. With the death date, I was able to finally find a death notice for him dated December 15, 1939.

My attention then wandered over to his wife, Anna Greer Holt. She was not buried with him in Washington, D. C., but I found her in Sunset Cemetery, Clinton, Anderson County, Tennessee. Further investigation, found her daughter, Edith Holt Sams also buried there. The 1930 census revealed Abel and Edith Sams with mother-in-law Anna G. Holt (born Virginia), listed as a widow. Since this is 1930, and I know she is not a widow, I'm figuring a separation. However, it appears that her death record (thanks to indexing by FamilySearch) indicates that she is married, not divorced or widowed. Warner Holt is nowhere to be seen in 1930, so I can't check to see whether or not he is listed as divorced or widowed. I've also not found further information on Abel Sams.

Norman and Ella Holt are still nowhere to be found after 1900. Norman is referred to as the "Late Norman Holt" in my grandfather's obituary - they were stepbrothers and former business partners. Some day, I hope to get a handle on where he died.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Monday, July 5, 2010

Takin' a Break

I've been really busy transcribing newspaper articles. Most recently, I've been transcribing murders. See my Thriller Thursdays for the lurid details. I'm also still in the process of proofing the family letters. Wowsa. There are a lot of them. In between times, DH and I have been taking advantage of the slightly cooler, slightly less buggy evenings. Temps have been more in the normal range of 80's rather than 90's and the humidity/dew point has dropped - a lot! In between times, I have been trying to prep for our next trip which is thankfully longer than 2 nights!

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Sympathy Saturday - Albert Schulte

Yet another stray funeral card. The Weitenberner Funeral Home was in Detroit, Michigan. Mr. Schulte was 68 years, 9 months and 6 days old when he passed. 

(To see a larger image, click on the funeral card. To return to this blog, use your browser's back button.)

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Friday, July 2, 2010

Whew - Saved by the Library

As you may recall, I spent a few hours at the Lexington Public Library a couple weeks ago. Gee, maybe I should say last month, because time does fly.

I do try to be careful when I am copying things, but the thing is, their film printer is just a tiny bit "off." So you can imagine I was quite dismayed when we returned home (4 hour drive) and I discovered that I inadvertently clipped off the bottom of an article*. Dang!

No fear, making my way to the library's website, I discovered I could request the page via email. Which I did. I had the paper, the page and the column. Today my rear was saved by the arrival of said page.

Thank you, Lexington Public Library!

* This article will be the feature of an upcoming "Thriller Thursday" blog. Stay tuned.
Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Home Invasion Circa 1934

Home invasion, as we call it today, is not a new thing. In fact, I have two instances it recorded in my family histories. This, the second one, I note because of the number of the victims involved.

Taken from The Lexington Herald, August 2, 1934, p1 c8.



Prominent Landowner is Killed After Opening Safe Upon Demand of Two Masked Thugs


Car Used in Crime Found Abandoned on West High Viaduct Here


F. D. "Dixie" Knight, 68 years old, Jessamine county land owner and farmer, was shot and killed at his residence 11 miles form Lexington on the Harrodsburg pike last night shortly after 6 o'clock by two bandits, one of whom was a cripple, who robbed him of jewelry valued at $1,500.  Before slaying Mr. Knight, the robbers took possession of the residence of half an hour and tied four persons with adhesive tape and wire.

Mr. Knight was shot twice in the chest with .38 caliber steel jacket bullets. He died 15 minutes later with his wife, nephew and niece, Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn Knight of Lexington, and the family cook within easy hearing distance of his pitiful calls for assistance, but powerless to go to his aid.

The bandits escaped in an automobile they stole from Blackburn Knight. The car later was found abandoned on the West High street viaduct in Lexington by Motorcycle Patrolman A. F. Yates, and the clothing used by the thugs in the shooting and robbery were found in a road leading to Lincoln school by patrolman John T. Dickey.

The clothing consisted of a pair of blue denim overalls, with a deputy sheriff's badge pinned to it, and a pair of striped coveralls. The clothing was taken to police headquarters and held for evidence.

A broadcast of the slaying and robbery was made from WPET, Lexington police radio, and officers in surrounding counties late last night were scouring their territories for a trace of the bandits. However, it is believed the men, after abandoning the car and discarding the clothing they wore in the robbery, boarded a freight train headed for Ludlow in the Southern railroad yards.

Auto is Recovered.

The automobile used by the bandits in their escape from the scene was taken to the city plant on West Second street. Lieut. Dudley McCloy, in charge of the bureau of investigation of the Lexington Police department, went to the garage late last night and examined it for fingerprints.

It is considered unlikely, however, that the machine will reveal any prints of value, as both of the bandits wore rubber gloves during the time they were in the Knight residence and also, when they commandeered the machine of Blackburn Knight. The gloves and covering the thugs wore over their shoes, obviously for the purpose of throwing off any scent in the event bloodhounds were pressed into use, were found near the clothing.

Threw Clothing Away

Two men were seen to drive the automobile of Mr. Knight onto the viaduct, get out, throw the clothing over the side of the viaduct and then start running toward the bottom of the passage way and head in the direction of Valley avenue and the railroad tracks.

Although there was no apparent reason for the killing of Mr. Knight by the bandits-he had told them they were welcome to anything in the house and had even opened his safe and given them the jewelry-Jessamine and Fayette county officers were working on the theory that at least one of the pair of bandits was recognized by Mr. Knight and that he was slain to prevent possible future detection.

Carrie Ross, 31, negro, of 185 North Eastern avenue, Lexington, the cook, was the first person on the farm to see the robbers. Carrie was in the kitchen of the home preparing supper about 5:30 o'clock. She said she heard someone in the room and, turning around, saw a pair of feet covered with a cloth. Carrie said she looked up and straight into the muzzle of a gun and a man told her: "Stand still and do what you are told and you won't get hurt."

Carrie said the man, who was tall, heavy and had a thin face walked toward her, grabbed her by the arm and asked where Mrs. Knight was. Carrie replied that Mrs. Knight was out in the yard feeding the chickens.

She said the man walked her to the kitchen door, looked out and said: "Sure enough, there is Mrs. Knight." Carrie broke away from the man and ran toward the chicken house, with him giving chase. She reached the chicken house and saw the man running toward her. (continued page 2 column 1)


Prominent Landowner is Killed After Opening Safe Upon Demand of Tow Masked Thugs.


Carrie said he ran with a decided limp.

She said that he reached into the chicken house and seized her and that Mrs. Knight, attracted by the commotion looked up and then started making outcries. Then Carrie said, the second bandit covered Mrs. Knight with a pistol. The two bandits marched Mrs. Knight and Carrie into the house, where Carrie broke loose and started running toward a side entrance. Carrie gained the side porch and was starting to a large bell which is used to call in Mr. Knight and farm hands and which can be heard for a distance of two miles, when the crippled bandit grabbed her and, twisting her arm hard, cautioned her: "Don't do that."

Wife, Cook Are Bound

The bandit then returned to the house with Carrie and she and Mrs. Knight were taken to an upstairs room, where the bandits produced a large roll of adhesive tape. One thug taped Carrie's wrists and placed adhesive tape over her mouth and nose. Mrs. Knight asked the bandits not to bind Carrie too tightly, as she suffered from heart trouble and had difficulty in breathing. Then the bandit took the tape from Carrie's nose, but left her mouth sealed with the tape. The other bandit then taped the wrists of Mrs. Knight and also placed a strip of tape over her mouth.

From the time the bandits captured Carrie and Mrs. Knight, they continually asked where Mr. Knight was and when he would return. Mrs. Knight told them he was out on the farm and would return to the house about 6 o'clock. They also asked Mrs. Knight where her diamonds were kept, and she told them they were in a Nicholasville bank.

Carrie said that when the crippled man came to the door he wore no mask, but that the first time she saw the second bandit, he had a cap pulled down over his forehead and was wearing a large handkerchief over the lower half of his face. She said the crippled man placed a handkerchief over the lower part of his face after he had been about the house for approximately 15 minutes.

After taping Mrs. Knight and the cook and leaving them on a bed upstairs, the crippled bandit went down to the first floor, while the other remained in the room with Mrs. Knight and Carrie.  In a few minutes the second bandit came to the first floor and he and the crippled robber started conversing.

At this point, Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn Knight knocked on the front door of the residence and, not getting any response started walking around the side of the house. About halfway around, they saw two men in the house. One of the men called out: "Come on in and keep your mouth shut, this is a holdup."

Nephew, Niece Held

Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn Knight went into the kitchen through a side door and were faced by pistols in the hands of each of the bandits. The thugs escorted them to a room on the first floor, where they ordered them to sit upon the bed. Then both Mr. and Mrs. Knight's wrists were bound tightly with wire and they were forced to lay upon the bed.

The bandits then left the room, "Crip" remaining downstairs and the other thug returned to the room where Mrs. Knight and Carrie were held prisoners.

In a few moments, Mr. Knight came in off the farm, walked in the kitchen and, after drinking a glass of water, called out, as had been his custom for years: "Hello cook, here I am ready for supper."

"Crip" then stepped into the kitchen and, covering Mr. Knight with his pistol, said: "This is a holdup."

Mr. Knight replied that he knew what the robber was there for and that he could have anything in the house. When he heard Mr. Knight enter the house, the bandit upstairs called out: "Hey, 'Crip,' is it all right for me to come down now?"

"Crip" replied in the affirmative. The bandit came down, and together they escorted Mr. Knight to a room in which a small iron safe is kept. Mr. Knight did not that his wife, Carrie, and Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn Knight were being held prisoners in the house.

Agreed to Open Safe.

Reaching the room in which the safe stood, the bandits asked what the safe contained and Mr. Knight told them it contained only a few insurance papers. Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn Knight could hear plainly all of the conversation between Mr. Knight and the bandits from the room in which they were held captive.

Mr. Knight told the bandits he could not see how to open the safe without his spectacles and also would have to obtain the combination. They allowed him to get his spectacles and the combination and stood over him while he opened the safe. When the safe door swung upon, Mr. Knight brought out the insurance papers and told the bandits the papers were of no value to them and asked them not to disturb them.

Then the robbers spied a diamond stud and ring in safe and said: "Let's have those." Mr. Knight reached into the safe and got the stud and ring and handed them to the bandits.

Then Mrs. Blackburn Knight said she heard one of the bandits say: "Let him have it." Two shots followed the sentence in quick succession. Mrs. Knight said "Following the shots, the bandits returned to the room in which Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn Knight were prisoners, robbed Mr. Knight of $4 in cash and his automobile keys.

Captives Warned

"Remain still for 30 minutes," the bandits told them, "and when the police come tell them we are negroes, or we will come back later and finish both of you. We have a man stationed in the kitchen who will stand guard for a few minutes until we are safely away."

Then the bandits went outside, ripped and cut all of the telephone wires leading into the house, got into Blackburn Knight's automobile, and drove toward Lexington.

At 6:30 o'clock Clyde Moore, 42, an employee on the farm, came in from milking and found Mr. Knight lying on the floor, dead. He searched the house and found and liberated Mr. and Mrs. Knight and Mrs. "Dixie" Knight and Carrie.

From a nearby residence, Jessamine county officers were called by telephone and Lexington police were notified. When an account of the shooting and a description of the man was dispatched from WPET, officers of the Fayette county patrol went to the Knight residence and made an investigation.

Mr. Knight at one time was one of the leading thoroughbred breeders in the state. It was on his farm that Exterminator, one of the country's greatest handicap horses and winner of the 1918 Kentucky Derby was foaled. Brown Bud, a stake winner of more recent years, also was foaled there. George Smith, 1916 Kentucky Derby winner, stood at Mr. Knight's 600 acre farm for several years after being retired to the stud.

Mr. Knight is survived by his wife, Mrs. Lydia Todhunter Knight; one brother, G. L. Knight, Nicholasville; eight nephews, Henry Knight, Chicago; Joseph and William Knight, Nicholasville; Blackburn and Grant Knight, Versailles; M. L. Knight, Portland, Ore.; and Lucien Knight, Lexington; and one niece, Mrs. Howard Smith, Lexington.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes