Category Archives: Features

Jim Ross wouldn’t die with a lie in his mouth

Jadon Gibson

Jim Ross had no interest in sleeping after his visitors left on the evening of February 7, 1889. He was to be hanged in Brandenburg, Kentucky, the following day.

“I was there,” Ross, a black man, answered to a news reporter’s question about the murder of Benedict Rhodes. “I was holding the light.

“I’ll tell you the whole story about what happened. I was boarding at the home of Walter Parker who lived near the dead man. Continue reading Jim Ross wouldn’t die with a lie in his mouth

Ann Cook’s honor

Jadon Gibson

Col. Solomon Sharp was a leader in Kentucky politics in the early 1820’s. He served as a state representative, U.S. Congressman and Attorney General. Upon meeting Ann Cook at a function he was taken aback by her beauty. Her physical qualities and charm commanded the attention of nearly every man who saw her in Frankfort, KY, in the early 1820’s.

Col. Sharp’s power and wealth allowed him to literally sweep the lithesome miss off her feet and into her boudoir. After some time he moved along with his life disavowing any promise or involvement with the heartbroken Miss Cook. Continue reading Ann Cook’s honor

Not my brother’s keeper (conclusion)

Jadon Gibson

Many hangings in the era of public executions were in the open air for all to see but some jurisdictions had closed hangings where the scaffold was built inside of an enclosure, building or large box. The hanging of George Gibson and Wayne Powers was of the latter variety.

There were approximately seventy-five individuals in the building on February 6, 1885, including Sheriff Strong, Deputy Cowden, Jailer Beverly, Rev. Walker, Rev. Pannell, Rev. Bellamy, Doctor Morrison, Doctor Patton, additional guards and members of the Gibson and Powers families. Continue reading Not my brother’s keeper (conclusion)

Not My Brother’s Keeper, Part 4

Jadon Gibson

An estimated three thousand people were in Estillville, Virginia, on February 6, 1885, for the hanging of George Gibson and Wayne Powers. The two men were sentenced to hang for the murder of Will Gibson. Jonas Powers, brother of Wayne Powers, was also sentenced to hang for the murder but his attorneys were successful in winning him a thirty day stay of execution from Virginia Gov. William E. Cameron so he remained in the Scott County jail.

Estillville’s name was later changed to Gate City. Continue reading Not My Brother’s Keeper, Part 4

Not My Brother’s Keeper, part 3

Jadon Gibson

George Gibson and brothers Wayne and Jonas Powers were found guilty of first degree murder in the death of William Gibson in 1884. Both of them shot William Gibson before George stabbed him, taking his life.

After Judge John A. Kelly sentenced the three to hang Virginia Governor William E. Cameron granted Jonas a stay of execution for a month. It was said Jonas left the group before they purchased the liquor and began drinking. There was an ongoing quarrel between William Gibson and Wayne Powers and it escalated after they became intoxicated. It would soon lead to the murder. Continue reading Not My Brother’s Keeper, part 3

Not My Brother’s Keeper, part 2

Jadon Gibson

Jonas Powers was the first to be put on trial for the murder of William Gibson. It was during the August 1884 term of the Scott County, Virginia, circuit court in the extreme southwestern Virginia. Judge Kelly presided over the trial that lasted several days. The jury deliberated for approximately 24 hours but failed to agree on a decision and the members were discharged. The cases of George Gibson and Wayne Powers were continued to the November term. Continue reading Not My Brother’s Keeper, part 2

Not my brother’s keeper

Jadon Gibson

The marriage of Spencer and Sally Gibson ended in the 1860’s with Sally eventually finding her way to Missouri and Spencer to Alabama. The three children, two boys and a girl, lived with different relatives. The younger two, George and Eliza, lost touch with William, their older brother.

On February 15, 1884, George Gibson left Scott County, Virginia, along with two Powers bothers, Wayne and Jonas, and Joseph Meade. They were bound for West Virginia where they sought employment and a place to settle. Continue reading Not my brother’s keeper

We’re in the heart of Daniel Boone country

Jadon Gibson

Daniel Boone contributed a great deal to Kentucky’s early development while becoming an American hero more than 200 years ago. He became a very prominent American at a comparatively young age although he was not aware of it. Boone always remained a simple, quiet, trustful, generous and unsophisticated person.

Many highways, parks, schools, streams, counties, towns and individuals have been named after him. His likeness has been the subject of many paintings and statues. The statue on the Eastern Kentucky University campus in Richmond, is perhaps the best. An exact duplicate of the statue rests in Cherokee Park in Louisville, KY. Continue reading We’re in the heart of Daniel Boone country

Pioneer story with unhappy ending

Jadon Gibson

The family of Samuel Davies resided in what is now Lincoln County, Kentucky in 1782. An Indian attacked him by surprise while he was working in the field. He got the better of the encounter and then raced to his cabin to make sure all was well.

As he neared the family dwelling something led him to be cautious. He concealed himself in a nearby field and soon learned that his wife and kids were in danger. There were several Indians in and around the cabin. Davies knew he couldn’t control the situation so he ran five miles to the station of his brother, James Davies, for help. One of the Indians who was somewhat older noticed him and gave chase but Davies had the greater incentive. The Indian stopped and returned to tell his fellow tribesmen. Continue reading Pioneer story with unhappy ending

Daniel Trabue, conclusion

Jadon Gibson

In Daniel Trabue’s memoirs of his life written in 1827 he told about the oppression of religious freedom in early America. Several Baptist preachers were imprisoned but they continued to preach to large crowds gathered outside to hear them. Eventually the local people persuaded a majority of those on the court to give the imprisoned preachers their bounds. This was an area used for exercise in the courtyard of the jail.

The jailer offered Joseph Anthony and William Webber an opportunity to escape. Continue reading Daniel Trabue, conclusion

Daniel Trabue, part 4 Imprisonment didn’t stop Baptists

Jadon Gibson

In Daniel Trabue’s writings he said he came to the conclusion that pastor John Waller was one of Christ’s ministers and was preaching the true doctrine. He was ten years old when he heard Waller preach in 1770.

“I immediately began praying to God to direct me,” Trabue later wrote in his memoirs.

It is Daniel Trabue’s writings of his life, a period which spanned the exploration, settlement and new statehood for Kentucky, that provided much of the material for this series of articles. Continue reading Daniel Trabue, part 4 Imprisonment didn’t stop Baptists

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Real self defense techniques and tips for women instructed by women! This FREE class will cover safety tips and you will be introduced to one of the most proven and effective martial arts for self defense, jiu jitsu! No equipment or uniform required. Wear comfortable clothing. Bring a friend and get ready to learn! Continue reading Free Women’s Self Defense Class

Daniel Trabue, part 3

Jadon Gibson

Anabaptists cause an upheaval in early America

We resume our study of the Daniel Trabue family in 1770 “in the new world” as North America was called in that era.

“My parents were very moral and were members of the Anglican Church,” Trabue wrote. “It was the established Church of England and was also the established church of Virginia.”

Trabue wrote about two Baptists, William Webber and Joseph Anthony, who were invited by some of the residents of Chesterfield County to preach among them. Webber and Anthony were members of Lower Spotsylvania Baptist Church in Goochland County, Va., but were not ordained preachers. Continue reading Daniel Trabue, part 3

Daniel Trabue’s ancestors sail to America, part 2

Jadon Gibson

John James Dupuy returned home on the evening before his young wife was to be tortured and put to death in France in the late seventeenth century. Dupuy was the grandfather of James Trabue whose writings provide a glimpse into this time period when many Europeans migrated to early America.

The priest denounced her as a heretic for espousing her belief in Jesus Christ instead of the Catholic Church. He postponed her execution until the following day so that her husband, himself a strict Roman Catholic, might change her mind. Continue reading Daniel Trabue’s ancestors sail to America, part 2

Jadon introduces pioneer Daniel Trabue

Jadon Gibson

Daniel Trabue was born in Virginia, in 1760, and was part of the westward migration of settlers through Cumberland Gap and into the wilderness that would become Kentucky.

In 1827, he wrote about his family before coming to America and gave an accounting of his own life. Trabue’s writings detail a fascinating period of our history and provide an insight into the reasons our forebears came to America.

I am changing some of his words to ones that are commonly used today so that it can be readily understood.

The reign of King Louis XIV, the King of France, started when Louis was 4 years old and continued for more than 72 years, the longest of any monarch in European history. Continue reading Jadon introduces pioneer Daniel Trabue

1904 Train Catastrophe at New Market

Jadon Gibson

The Carolina Special left Chattanooga destined for Salisbury, North Carolina, on September 24, 1904, comprised of four coaches, a combination baggage-mail car and three Pullman cars loaded with 210 passengers. The journey for many of them began in Missouri where they attended the St. Louis World’s Fair.

Engineer G.M. Dick Parrott and conductor Tom Murphy received their orders at the Strawberry Plains station instructing them to continue on the main track. Continue reading 1904 Train Catastrophe at New Market

A rebuttal book to Hillbilly Elegy

Melissa Martin

The Appalachian region, defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission, includes 420 counties in 13 states in the United States. All of West Virginia, parts of Kentucky, and parts of Ohio are considered Appalachian.

The story of an Appalachian family was told by J.D. Vance in his 2017 book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir Of A Family And Culture In Crisis. It will soon become a Ron Howard Hollywood movie.

Many rural readers took offense to Vance’s stereotypical representation. As did Elizabeth Catte—so much that she responded with her own book, What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia. Continue reading A rebuttal book to Hillbilly Elegy