BOONE LOGAN'S Letters to the Sentinel-Democrat (Mt. Sterling, Ky) Pertaining to the Rowan County Feud And Other Matters.
[Although titled for Boone Logan, this pamphlet was published by Zachary Taylor (Z.T.) Young to defend his role in the Rowan County Feud. Webmaster]
To the Citizens of Kentucky:
I see that his Excellency, Gov. S. B. Buckner, in his message to the General Assembly of Kentucky, refers to the troubles in Rowan County, Ky., and to some extent comments on the same, and also refers them to the report of the Adjutant General, and from an extract from Adjutant General Hill's report, I see he claims to have obtained from good citizens of Rowan County facts conducing to show that I incited the election riot of August, 1884, and that I used my influence, in connection with others, to prevent persons guilty of crime from being indicted by the grand jurors of Rowan County. These charges were made against me when I was a candidate for Commonwealth's Attorney before the Democratic Convention in the Fourteenth Judicial District, and in July, 1885, I wrote and published a letter, together with statements of the grand jury and some other citizens, which refute said charges. I herewith give in full said letter:
Morehead in 1890
Morehead, Ky., July 30, 1885.
There has been much said through the press of this and other States concerning the Rowan County troubles and my connection therewith, which I have allowed to pass unnoticed, not because there was any truth in it, but from the fact that I did not desire a newspaper controversy. I have learned by experience that it is impossible to please those who have made up their minds not to be pleased, and especially that class of humanity, in whose blood and bones inherent malice and hate burn and blaze to the exclusion of every generous thought and noble impulse, and who can see everybody vices except their own and nobody's virtues. In retiring from the prosecution of the men on trial for killing Benjamin Rayburn, this classes of individuals were ready to condemn me for tailing to perform my duty as County Attorney, and had I not done so, it would have met their disapproval in that they would have said I was playing the part of a Judas in the prosecution, and I am aware that unjust criticisms will be offered to what I may say now.
The broadest and most profuse statements made against me were published as an interview between the editor of a Republican paper at Mt. Sterling and Miss Sue Martin. When Miss Martin is placed upon the witness stand and asked as to the truthfulness of the charges she made against me to this editor, she says she told him that said charges were the rumor of the country, but that as to herself she knew nothing about it whatever, save what she heard, and when asked from whom she heard it, she said that it had been so long back, and that she had been so grievously troubled that she had forgotten who told her these statements. But the editor represents her as stating these charges as facts within her own personal knowledge. The things she claims to have heard as rumors of the neighborhood are, about as follows:
That I advised the grand jury to pass the matters by and not investigate or indict the persons who forged the order for those who killed John Martin at Farmers, and that I also advised John C. Day and Floyd Tolliver, at the August election of 1884, "to kill four or five of the damned Radicals. Now. I denounce each and every one of these statements as a base and diabolical falsehood, as well as all of the statements purporting to come from the mouth of Miss Martin on that occasion in reference to me, and I defy Miss Martin or this editor, or anyone else, to prove these statements. I say that they cannot prove the charges or anyone iota of them by any respectable or responsible person; and I now ask Miss Martin, this editor, or anyone for them, to come forward and prove these charges against me, and if they cannot, they owe it to themselves, to the people who have listened to and read their statements and to me to retract them. I now demand it as a matter of justice at their hands to do one or the other. I here offer the statement made by the grand jury of the Rowan Circuit Court who sat at the February term 1885 of said court, and is the only jury that has been impaneled in our court since Martin was killed. Two of the grand jurors, J. W. Nickell and Robert Keesee, have moved West, and Thomas Ham lives quite a distance in the country, hence I did not call on them to sign this statement, which is as follows:
"We the undersigned persons state that we are members of the grand jury of the February term, 1885, of the Rowan Circuit Court, and that while we were thus engaged, nor at any other time, did Z. T. Young directly or indirectly try to prevent us from finding an indictment against the persons suspected of the killing of John Martin. We further state that the only case in which said Young said anything to us on the subject of finding an indictment was when we asked his advice on finding an indictment against W. C. Humphrey for aiding in the killing of Floyd Tolliver, and Mr. Young told us 'he did not think the evidence sufficient to warrant a conviction against Humphrey, and this is the only instance in which we asked Mr. Young's advice, and the only case in which he gave us any advice upon the subject of indictments at said term of said court.”
J.. A. Nickel
R. R. Cassity
R. E. McIntire
J. W. R Johnson
R. A. Roberts
Z K. Phelps
E. H. Hamilton
J. K. Swimm
Z. P. Johnson
A. B. Bumgartner.
This 23d day of July, 1885.
It will be remembered from this statement that I did not, as stated by Miss Martin, try to induce the grand jury to pass the matter of the 'killing of John Martin by without investigation by said jurors. The statement made by them shows that I said nothing to them on the subject and that instead of trying to get rid of Sheriff Humphrev, and do him an injustice, as has been heretofore stated, I advised the grand jury not to find an indictment against him. While I believed him to be guilty of the charge, I did not believe a jury in this county would convict him, he having the benefit of prestige of being sheriff of the county, and in addition to this I believed an indictment against Humphrey for this offense would strongly tend to renew the troubles here which had seemingly become quiet. The evidence against Humphrey was this: That he offered a man two hundred and fifty dollars to kill Floyd Tolliver, and that Humphrey, Martin and others went to Farmers on a certain occasion, where Tolliver lived, armed with pistols and guns and acted in a rather threatening wanner toward Tolliver, and that a few minutes before Martin killed Tolliver, they, Humphrey and Martin, as he and Humphrey walked along up the street, said, ”I will, free him from his bond before sunset." Tolliver was then under bond, charged with killing Bradley. Martin killed Tolliver with Humphrey's pistol. This was the evidence that the grand jury asked my advice on; and as the charge made against me of ordering Day and Tolliver to kill four or five Radicals, I here give you the statements of W. A. Caudill, J. W. Johnson and H. Al. Keeton, which shows that statement untrue.
"We certify that we were at Morehead, Ky., on the first Monday in August, 1884, and were in the yard of the Court House when the fight occurred in which Bradley was killed and Sizemore wounded, and we saw Z. T. Young in the yard and heard him hollow before the shooting began to part the parties, and Young remained in the yard and never went where they were fighting, and John Day and Floyd Tolliver came up in an opposite direction from where Young was, and Young did not have an opportunity to say to Day or Tolliver to go and kill those Radicals, and we think that accusation against Young is untrue. We further state that we have never heard anyone say they heard Young make such a statement.
W. A. CAUDILL, H. M. KENTON, JAS. W. JOHNSON."
I see that the Courier-Journal has been pleased to state, from some cause, that I induced the Sheriff to summons W. W. Phillips as one of the Magistrates to try the parties charged with murdering Rayburn. This is also untrue, and I here give the statement of the Sheriff, which I say is true, so far as I have any knowledge of it. It is as follows:
"This is to certify, that it is not true that I selected W. W. Phillips to act as an examining Court to try the parties charged with the murder of Ben Rayburn, at the instance of Z. T. Young. I believe Phillips to be an honest, good man, and for this reason I selected him myself and without advice or suggestion from Young, and the report in the Courier-Journal to that effect is wholly untrue, and does Young and myself an injustice.
A. J. McKenzie, Sheriff of Rowan County."
I have been severely criticized for what I did and said in the trial when Pearce was on the stand as a witness. The facts as they occurred there were perverted by the press. It was known before Pearce was put on the stand that he intended to retract, what he had stated in his confession, and while Hon. F. K. Prichard, counsel for defendants, was examining Pearce, I asked Prichard and the Court to allow me to ask him some questions as I was personally interested, he having, together with Rayburn, attempted to assassinate me, and from what he told me, and from what he was then saying, I knew I could show his statement on the witness stand false. After asking him a few questions, and showing him up in a bad light as to his previous statements concerning the log, the rock and other facts and circumstances, showing conclusively that he could not have described these things so accurately without having been there, and hence that he; must have been telling the truth in his confession and a lie on the stand when he retracted his confession. And just at this time Gen. Hardin whispered to me and said that he had no objection to my asking him any question that I might desire to show the confession made to me by Pearce was voluntary and not induced by any unfair means up on my part. I immediately stopped and said to the Court that I had desired to ask Pearce sufficient questions to show that what he was swearing to was a lie, and that his confession was true. And I also stated that Gen. Hardin objected to my questioning the witness, and that I should ask him nothing further, whereupon I stopped my examination. And when this was said by me Gen. Hardin arose and said that statement should not go unchallenged, and that he believed that Pearce was swearing the truth and made quite a sensitive little speech, saying that he wanted to know who should control the case, he or I. In response, I said I had given the control of the case up to him and did not desire to take it away from him. I also stated to the Court that Pearce's statement made either way did not affect the guilt or innocence of the prisoners on trial. Whether Pearce and Rayburn did or did not shoot me in either case it furnished no excuse to the prisoners to unlawfully shoot Rayburn. I also added that I knew Pearce was swearing to a lie, and I now submit it to a fair public whether or not it was admissible for me to show the man who for a few dollars had watched the roadside to shoot my life out, could not be shown up as a liar by me when I was able to do so and whether I did wrong in saying what I did.
It will certainly seem strange to the public that one thus outraged should have been prevented from bringing out the facts as they are and showing up this would-be assassin in his true light. I dare say that there is a good per cent of men who would have shot him in his seat had they been treated by Pearce as I was.
It will be remembered and Rayburn, and they undertook their steal off my person,the thought of I might state that in the trial just both sides great latitude in investigating instance was there a single fact proven committed in this county, or even account of the false statements made Hardin to prefer charges against me that he could not make any charges that I had committed, nor of anyone to the charges, and I told him to them and take the proof, and he said kind, and I now demand of my accusers investigation of said charges, notice on them now that I will go and demand an investigation, and if not, I want them to say to the world me. This is all that I can do, and all honest and fair-thinking men that by anyone.
Mr. Z. T. Young
Zachary Taylor Young
I went before the Grand Jury and asked an investigation of said charges against me at the August term of the Rowan Circuit Court, 1885, and said Grand Jury investigated same and reported that they could find no evidence against me, and I also give you what a few of the newspapers of the Fourteenth Judicial District said concerning my response to the charges made by enemies when I was a candidate for Commonwealth's Attorney. I stumped the district, challenging my enemies to prefer specific charges against me, which they failed to do.
Here is what the Flemingsburg Times-Democrat of October 9th, 1885, says:
As previously stated, Z T. Young spoke to a crowded audience at the Court House Monday. His speech was a masterly review of his connection with the troubles in Rowan, showing clearly that his course had been one of peace and not one of bloodshed. He met and refuted every charge that had been made against him of a sufficiently specific nature to be met and combated. One favorite charge with the Republican press has been to say Humphrey was not allowed to hold the office of Sheriff of Rowan County because he was a Republican. In refutation of that Young cited the well-known fact that all the county officers of Rowan, save himself, were elected as Republicans, and held their offices as such, and that the reason Humphrey had to give up the office of Sheriff was that he could not give bond for the collection of the levy and revenue taxes, and for that reason the office was declared vacant by Judge [James] Stewart, a Republican. He also exploded the charge that he "set up" the Grand Jury for the August term of the Rowan Circuit Court, by citing the fact which is, or should be, known by every intelligent man, and certainly to every attorney, that Jury was selected six months before the August term of Court by Commissioners appointed by Judge Cole at the February term of Court nearly five months before the killing of Rayburn and burning of the Martin house. He also denied in toto the allegation that he had procured or solicited in any way the presence of George T. Halbert at Rowan Circuit Court, or that he favored his election, but that on the contrary he voted for G. A. Cassidy, of this place, and that he afterwards asked Halbert to appoint said Cassidv as special prosecuting attorney, but that he refused to do so, and appointed Geo. E. Roe. He further demonstrated, as clearly as he possibly could, that he had not advised the Grand Jury at the February term, of the Rowan Circuit Court not to find an indictment against the murderers of John Martin. He also showed that instead of Humphrey being driven out of office because he was a Republican, he (Young) had more right to say that his life had been attempted and he had been driven from home because he was a Democrat who held an office in Rowan County. At the close, he invited anyone who had any question he desired to ask him, or who was not satisfied with his explanation on any point, to make it known, and he defied his enemies to controvert any of the statements he had made, but no one offered to question the truth of a single one, although W. C. Humphrey and several of his Rowan County backers were prominently present. The speech occupied about two hours in delivery and was listened to with marked attention by the large audience, and many who had come there opponents of Taylor Young went away his warn friends and supporters.
We like to see fair dealing. We dislike to see a man falsely accused. It is the noblest instinct implanted in the human breast which impels us to espouse the cause of one we believe to have been wrongfully accused, and that sentiment is making Z. Taylor Young friends everywhere. We said some time since that if Young's accusers could establish by proof the truth of a single one of the numerous charges so freely insinuated against him, we would "drop him like a hot potato." But on the contrary, instead of their bringing forward testimony to prove their truth, he now takes the bull by the horns and proves, as far as it is possible for a man to prove a negative, that there is no truth in them. Those who are howling at his heels should "show up or shut up.”
The Carlisle Mercury has this to say of my speech at that place under date of October 1, 1885:
On Monday last Col. Z. T. Young, candidate for the Democratic nomination for Commonwealth's Attorney in this Judicial District, addressed a large crowd of people in our Court House, and in. presenting his claims to the people in his earnest and manly way, won at number of them to his support. He said that having been born and raised in Nicholas County, he came before her people with that degree of pride usually felt by one coming back to his own people and friends, and that while he disliked, to enter into a discussion so personal to himself, he would do so as a matter of right and in justice to his good name. He had been charged with the most heinous offenses known to the annals of crime, and when he demanded proof from his accusers, they only replied with the cry that he was too smart to be caught. He had been charged with ordering the murdering of men, but when he asked for proof, the cry was, "You have done it, but we can't prove it." He had been charged with selling out in the discharge of his duties as an officer, but when asked for proof it was not forthcoming. He had been charged with corrupting juries, but when he asked proof it could not be furnished. He had been charged with fixing courts, but when he asked, proof, it was said he had acted one way and voted another. In his most earnest tones he denounced his accusers and defied them to substantiate one of their charges and he would retire from the field.
Taken all together, it was a very frank and strong statement of his case and made him a number of supporters.
The following is the comment of the Vanceburg Courier on my speech at that place:
According to previous announcement Col. Z T. Young spoke at the court house last Monday afternoon. The audience was fairly good as to number, and comprised the substantial, solid and intelligent people of the neighborhood, who were attracted not so much by the well-known force and ability of the speaker as to learn from his own lips the history of the Rowan troubles and his connection therewith. To these subjects the principal portion of his address were directed. It was a manly defense of himself, and his denials of any unlawful or unholy alliance with the law breakers and rioters of that county were so strongly sustained by the most incontrovertible evidence that there was left in the minds of his hearers no longer any groundwork upon which to base a belief of guilt. The charges of his enemies were scattered like chaff, and the flimsy scraps of slander caught up one by one and torn to shreds before the eves of the auditors. So complete was his denial and so convincing the evidence to sustain that denial that many who had heretofore been skeptical openly declared their belief in his innocence. Even a leading Republican of the District, a lawyer of superior ability who is actuated in all things by a spirit of fairness, declared that there was nothing against him but rumors. From the first outbreak of difficulties in Rowan until the culminating thereof, all events with which his name has been in any way connected, were taken up in regular form and handled in such a masterly manner that all attempt to connect him in any way with the outlawry of Rowan, fell under the weight of testimony by which his contradictions were sustained. Had his enemies one-half the proof of' his guilt that as he has of his innocence there would be strong reason for the doubts they claim to possess. As it is, they acknowledge, when penned to the point, that they are in possession of nothing but rumors, and all efforts to run these rumors down have proven fruitless.
As the matter now stands his enemies must hasten to bring forward some evidence to sustain them or their charges will fall with crushing weight upon their own heads and produce a reaction of public sentiment that cannot be checked. The belief that Colonel Young is being persecuted by a gang of political shitepokes and slanderers is gaining ground, and the bold and manly manner with, which he defies his accusers in every portion of the district is winning for him good friends and golden opinions. The idea of fair play is prevalent, and the Democrats are determined that no more unholy alliances shall be made - no more calumniation allowed to the detriment of any candidate in the fight.
The following is what the Licking.Valley Scorcher says, after quoting a part of an interview by a Yeoman reporter with Hon. James Andrew Scott, who is now a member of the present house of representatives:
“We extract from James Andrew Scott's letter to the Yeoman the following: Taylor Young is a magnificent specimen of physical and intellectual manhood. He is about six feet high, weighs about two hundred pounds, has dark hair and moustache, and keen brown eyes. He has a fine form, a handsome face, and a way of looking you full in the eye that almost convinces you that he is a deeply injured man. He is courtly and magnetic in his manner, is a ready debater and a good lawyer; altogether, he is probably' the brightest, ablest man, of his age in the mountains. His enemies concede his great ability, but, say also that he is the meanest man in Eastern Kentucky. This is not true. No man ever stood closer or 'longer by his friends than Taylor Young. No matter what they do, though to stand by them may drag down and engulf him, in the hour of their trouble he is there to stay. He never forgets an act of kindness, and is steadfast in his friendships."
The Scorcher says, editorially, that "Mr. Scott ought to have said further that he was generous to a fault, and incapable of doing a vicious or a mean act. As County Attorney of' Rowan County, he has rescued it from financial ruin, improved its public highways, reduced the burden of' taxation, and when he made an effort to reform its public morals by bringing offenders to justice, he was set upon and an attempt made to assassinate him on the public highway. The efforts of his enemies to bring him into public contempt have been seconded by a venal press and the strong arm of the State invoked to aid in the dirty work. He has defied his enemies to complicate him with any crime; and today he stands on the summit of victory, looking down contemptuously on the parties who would destroy him. The people of that district will vindicate him by electing him Commonwealth Attorney, and in so doing they will honor themselves and do justice to a much injured man."
The following from the Greenup Gazette:
Z. T. Young, Esq., addressed the citizens of Greenup at the Court House Monday at one o'clock. His speech was a defense of himself in connection with the Rowan County trouble. He reviewed' the history and circumstances of the Rowan county trouble and his connection with the same clear though vindicating from his standpoint, his honor and standing officially and personally. He denounced his accusers as liars and scoundrels and defied them to prove that his conduct in the trouble in his county had not been proper and straight as an official and a gentleman. Mr. Young is earnest, and if his enemies have any proof of his guilt they should bring it forth, or forever hold their peace. They owe it to him and the public. He in going to make a determined fight for the nomination for the office of Commonwealth's Attorney in this district. If he should be so fortunate as to secure it, we have no doubt he will make a brilliant and aggressive campaign.
None of these papers supported me in my canvass except the Flemingsburg Times-Democrat. I desire here to say that I did not submit my claims to the convention, not because I was skeptical of the result of that body, but I believed it best for the harmony of the party that I should decline making the race. I had no doubt that I would be nominated had I continued to be a candidate.
That the origin of the trouble of August, 1884, may be properly understood, I will give a few general facts:
In August, 1884, one John Martin and one Floyd Tolliver had a difficulty, and Martin swore that he would kill Tolliver the first opportunity he had. Martin, on one occasion, went to Farmers in company with others, armed, and went to the house of Tolliver, it was believed, with the intention of killing him, but Tolliver avoided him by keeping in the house.
In the following December Tolliver went to Morehead, which was the first time after the trouble in August previous with Martin, and on this occasion John Martin shot and killed Tolliver.
Thus, you see, that the "Martin faction" committed the first wrong.
The next wrong was committed by the "Tolliver faction" by their taking John Martin out of the jail at Winchester and shooting him at Farmers, from the effects of which he died.
Farmers Train Depot
The next outrage was committed by the Martin faction. They hired Pierce and Rayburn to waylay the public road and shoot me in March, 1885.
Thus, the wrongs went on; a violation of the law on one side brought on another. There were three attempts made to assassinate me after I was waylaid and shot. I herewith give the confession of Ed Pierce, the hired assassin, which was published in the paper of Eastern Kentucky at the time it was made. The statement is as follows:
Owingsville, Ky., May 28.
A few days Ed Pierce, a noted desperado of the mountains, who was captured in Greenup and lodged in jail at this place on an old charge of robbery now proves to be rare game and his capture will assuredly lead to the arrest and conviction of all the guilty parties engaged in the recent disgraceful proceedings in Rowan County.
Col. Z. T. Young and his son, Allie, arrived in this place Monday evening, and, in company with Hon. J. M. Nesbitt, a prominent attorney of this place, repaired to the jail, where quite a number soon congregated by the report that Pierce had sent for the Messrs. Young for the purpose of making a "clean breast" of the part he had taken in the "Rowan war." When brought ought of his cell, Pierce refused to talk in the presence of so many. All then left the save Z.T. Young and Mr. Nesbitt. To these gentlemen it is said Pierce made a confession. Learning these facts, your correspondent went to the jail on the following day and obtained from Pierce, in substance, the following statement:
"He was visited at his home some time in January by David Martin, brother of John who offered him $2 per day and all the whisky he wanted to go with him to Rowan and assist him. Pierce refused to go. Martin made two other trips before he consented to go with him. He went, and on that occasion formed the acquaintance of Sheriff Cook Humphrey. On this trip he and eight or ten others, whose names we give, including Humphrey and his deputy, Bumgardner, went into an arrangement to go into Morehead one night during Circuit Court and mob Jeff and Alvin Bowling, John C. Day, Z. T. Young and, others. Humphrey was to look over the ground and report to the rest of them, who stopped within a quarter of a mile of town to view the expediency of the moyal at that time. Humphrey reported a good number in town, and some of the gang weakened and then Pierce went home. After this Humphrey and Miss Sue Martin came after him and he went back to Rowan. He was handed a list, with some seven or eight names on it, including that of Z. T. Young, and told that he would be paid $50 for killing Young and $25 for each of the others. In company with one Ben Rayburn, he watched the road between Morehead and Queen City two days to kill Jeff Bowling, but Bowling failed to come along.
"A short time after this Stewart Bumgardner, the Deputy Sheriff, came to Ben Martin's house, where Pierce and Rayburn were being harbored, and told them that Young had been employed to go to the country and attend to a suit on Saturday, March 7, and that would be the time to get him. The arrangements were made. Bumgardner was to accompany Young to the trial but Young was not to be shot while in company with Bumgardner, as that would throw suspicion on him. They stayed the night before at Ben Martin's, and when Young and Bumgardner passed by Young was pointed out to them by Miss Sue Martin from the window of an upstairs room, who told them to take a good look at him, so they could easily recognize him. They then went and stationed themselves on the road and watched for Young until he came back. Rayburn did the shooting, firing two shots. When they went back that night, Mrs. Ben Martin was very indignant because they had failed to kill Young. She said she would get old Clate Jones and they two would kill Young. Humphrey paid them $7.50 a piece for what they had done and they went home. The evening before the shooting they were sent a pint of whisky by Miss Sue Martin, which was to be drunk on the occasion of the shooting of Young.
“Humphrey again came and prevailed on Pierce to return. On this occasion he was boarded by Captain James Carey in Morehead, and Humphrey gave him a Winchester rifle. They did nothing more on this trip than to fire on Bowling, Day and Allie Young in Morehead, when a general shooting match took place between the two parties. When the Tolliver side was reinforced to such an extent as to cause a retreat, they intended to bushwhack. Some of the Martin party became doubtful about success. So they concluded to go to the governor to try to get troops.
"When they came after me to go to Rowan they represented to me that there were a few lawless men whom they wanted to kill and get out of the way, and that all of the good men would stand up to us in the action. When I got there I found it just the reverse, and that the side I was on had no-good men for friends. It is my opinion that if Young stays in Rowan County, Humphrey together with the Martin women will have him killed. Humphrey visited me in the jail here last week and told me not to tell anything that he would get me bond, but he has not done it."
It is learned from the Town Marshal of Owingsville that Humphrey told him that he (Humphrey) was 'to blame for all that Pierce had done in Rowan that he took him there. That whatever harm was done to Pierce should be done to Humphrey, as he was responsible for his actions in that county. It is believed that the course Young has adopted will result in bringing all of the guilty parties concerned in the late Rowan troubles to justice and punishment. He succeeded in convincing one of the parties in the Fleming Circuit Court last week.
The next move made by the "Martin faction" was to have me and others killed at the instigation of old Dr. H. Logan, and one Jas Pelfry and Lou Rayburn were to do it, an account; of which was published at the time by the Kentucky Press. I herewith give an account of it, written by D. D. Logan, which bears date of September 20, 1886:
MOREHEAD, Ky., September 20, 1886
At the August election, when the people of Rowan County so bluntly rebuked Cook Humphrey and his followers by electing the men they opposed by the largest majority ever given to a whole ticket for county officers in this county, and when in the following week of Circuit Court, Humphrey, through his attorneys, secured the cancellation of the charges against him by the Commonwealth on the conditions now so familiar to every reader, a delicate hope was born in the winds of all good citizens and cherished by every patriotic heart in Rowan County, that the final scene between the warring factions had ended, and that they would soon erase the 'bloody recollection of past conflicts. But the past week has brought to light such circumstances as to completely expel the fond delusion. A few of the circumstances it is my intention to relate.
From the incipiency of the “war in Rowan" till the last term of the court, the Martin women and Cook Humphrey, on that side, ostensibly played the most prominent part. But it has been felt all the while that there was a dark mover behind the curtain that was the life boat of their existence. He indeed zealously defends their conduct, but stoutly denies complicity in any scheme of theirs to assassinate and murder; but developments of the past week have well nigh fastened guilt of participation where it has so justly belonged on many occasions of 'disgrace and dishonor.
On the 10th inst., the Creston Circus exhibited in Morehead. The occasion, as usual, brought many people from the surrounding country to Morehead, and among others James Pelfry, brother to Whit Pelfry, who was killed at Hog Town by Thom Goodan. Pelfry got drunk and was put in jail and kept until next day. Jim expected to be persecuted for his' shortcomings by Taylor and Allie Young. Pelfry had brought his wife and two children to the show. His wife had to drive the team home (two horses and a farm Wagon). Taylor Young, who was not in Morehead that day and came home that evening. On the next morning (Saturday) he learned of Pelfry's misfortune and remarked to his son, Allie Young, who is the present County Attorney of Rowan County, in the presence of Green Mannin, that Pelfry was poor and that his brother, Whit, had been killed but a short time, and that it would be inhuman to prosecute him for being drunk and advised Allie Young to have him let out of jail to go home to his family. Accordingly, Pelfry, to his pleasant surprise was not fined. Pelfry ad Green Mannin engaged In conversation some time during the day after Pelfry was let out of jail, when he, Pelfry, remarked that he expected to be fined for being drunk, but was not. Mannin answered that Taylor Young had interceded for him, or possibly he would have been put to some trouble. Pelfry questioned Mannin closely about that Tavlor Young said that Mannin observed that Pelfry's countenance and words showed an unusual degree of interest. This furnished the key to the revelation of a conspiracy to assassinate several citizens. Mannin asked Pelfry why he was so inquisitive. Pelfry responded "that it had been but few days since Henry Logan offered him $100 to kill Taylor Young. He has treated me like a gentleman, and I intend to tell him (Young) about it."
Pelfry was then taken to Young, and upon further inquiry told the following shocking story:
'On the Friday preceding the Fleming County Court day in August (4th Monday), James Hoffman and I went to Lewis County to rent a farm. On Kinney we met Dr. Henry Logan and Louis Rayburn, a cousin of Ben Rayburn, who was killed at Mrs. Martin's last winter. After calling me to one side, Henry Logan said he had been wanting to see me for several days. He said, 'Jim, your brother Whit has been killed, and the Morehead clique is going 'to acquit Goodan for it. I want you to help Louis Rayburn (Rayburn was standing by us during the entire conversation) kill Taylor Young, Wm. Ramey, Henry Ramey, D. B. Logan and John Keeton. I will furnish you a Winchester rifle and give $100 apiece for everyone you kill.’ I told him I could not afford to get into trouble of that kind, as I had a wife and two children depending on me for support. He insisted, and I agreed to help. I did not go after reflection.”
Pelfry said he could demonstrate the truth of what he said by getting Henry Logan to come to him at some designated place with the rifle and the money. This he agreed to undertake, and for that purpose went to Henry Logan's residence last Monday.
He found Logan at home and agreed with him to meet him (Logan) and Louis Rayburn at an uninhabited house about two miles from Morehead, on a branch one mile distant from the habitation of anyone. The arrangement was to meet on Thursday, the 16th inst., at 9 o’clock a. m. Pelfry, in company with five well-armed men, went on Thursday morning, before daylight, to the appointed place and all secreted themselves but Pelfry. They waited till after the hour had come and gone when Logan and Rayburn should have arrived, but they did not appear.
Logan's and Rayburn failure to come caused some doubt as to Pelfry's sincerity, and the parties interested began to investigate to see if circumstances warranted belief of Pelfry's story, and to see if the other side had got wind of the movement.
Sure enough the traitor was found. John Keeton had on Monday made known the acknowledgments of Pelfry to old Allen Keeton, his father. "Old Al" has for a long time belonged to that clan. Straightway he revealed the matter, and of course, old Henry Logan got the news as quick as a courier could take it to him, which, however, was not sooner than Wednesday evening, for as soon as the arrangements had been completed with Pelfry on Monday old Henry Logan made off for Rayburn house in the northeast part of the county.
Rayburn and old Henry came down the north fork of Triplett together on Wednesday evening. Rayburn told several persons on the way that he was going down home with Dr. Logan to get some medicine. Old Ben Rayburn, father of Louis, was in town on Saturday and gave as excuse for Louis coming down with old Henry at that particular time, that Louis and old Henry were trying to make a cow trade. However, the cow trade was not much, and as to whether Louis got the medicine or not I cannot say. Pelfry says Rayburn told him on Kenny, the day he first met old Henry and him (Rayburn), that he (Rayburn) already had his rifle and $100 to begin with.
Rayburn also told Pelfry of a difficulty that had occurred between him (Rayburn), and D. B. Logan at Pine Sprigs on last August election day, a circumstance which Pelfry would not likely have known without Rayburn had communicated to him, and which tends to support Pelfry’s statements.
I am also informed that old Henry acknowledged that Pelfry was at his house on Monday and said that he intended to kill Taylor Young. But that comes after plans for assassination is discovered and does not reflect anything to old Henry's credit. Pelfry says old Henry told him on Monday that he had a man who had been watching Taylor Young's movements for a month and that when he (Pelfry), got ready to kill him he could hide himself in a growth of high weeds at the rear of the Central Hotel and could shoot him any morning between six and nine o'clock.
This query for the man who thinks, "where does the money come from?"
Why should Wm. Ramey and his son, Henry, be placed on the dead list'?
Dr. Henry Logan and Louis Rayburn are only tools of iniquity.
There is a mainspring that moves these machines.
Whenever the turf is set over the corpse of the workman that moves these machines, then will Rowan county be a place where decent citizens may live in peace.
In the third attempt to kill me, they also included Judge Cole and my son, Allie Young. This was revealed by Alexander Harris, alias Alexander Pendulum. Pendulum, who had been for several weeks staying at old Henry Logan's, came to Morehead, and his movements exciting suspicion, he was arrested, and, when asked where he was from, did not give a straight account of himself. On his person was found a pistol and some shotgun cartridges loaded with buckshot. These circumstances excited suspicion, and ultimately Pierce, alias Pendulum, made a statement in which he confessed that "Dr. Henry Logan had hired him, Lou Rayburn and Morgan McClerry to come to Morehead and kill Judge Cole, my son Alley Young and myself. That they were to kill us from the bushes, provided that they could do so, and if that could not be done that they were at night to burn the hotel where we were staying and to kill us as we ran out.
Now, that the public may more fully understand the origin of the troubles in Rowan County, and the history as to the commencement and origin, I give you the following statements which were written by D. B. Logan in September and October, 1885, and published in the Mt. Sterling Sentinel-Democrat. So far as I am acquainted with the facts, they are correct. The writer of this communication to the Sentinel Democrat is the same D. B. Logan who was the leader of the mob in Morehead on the 22d of June, 1886, which mob killed the Tollivers and Cooper.
I presume his statements are good authority with the "Martin faction."
Said communications are as follows:
Morehead, Ky., August 31.
P. Watt Hardin's game-bag must be very capacious judging from the emanations appearing in the Courier-Journal from time to time. We hope he will disgorge the nauseous contents soon. Mr. Hardin, you can’t hide behind "Editorial" and "Correspondents from Morehead." Your name is stamped indelibly in every sentence. Besides, we know that the lowest and meanest man in Morehead is not low and mean enough to write such an infamous pack of lies as the pieces in the Courier-Journal in reference to Rowan County. To read the Courier-Journal one would think that there was but one side to the Rowan trouble, and a very bad side, "and Taylor Young at the bottom of it." We propose to give a review of the matter and let the people judge.
Several pieces have been written to the Courier-Journal setting forth the facts in the case, but as they did not suit the "Frankfort ring,” they never found their way into that organ. There has, since the war, been two parties in this section of the country, both political and factional. Previously there were the Holbrook and Underwood factions. John Martin was a survivor of the Underwood faction. You need only to ask the best people in this and adjoining counties and you will find that Martin was a very bad man, a noted horse thief and murderer. Among his victims was one Pres Blair, his sister-in-law's brother. The said Blair once belonged to the Underwood faction. Blair became conscience-smitten, and concluded to quit their deviltry, and began his new life by writing a history of their intrigues and black deeds.
This did not suit Martin and his colleagues. So on one bright Sabbath morning Martin sallied forth to kill Blair. Martin called Blair out from the presence of his (Blair's) sister and shot him down. Martin of course came out clear, as he had his witnesses prearranged. Immediately after this Martin and his colleagues searched the house and found Blair's writings and confiscated them. To the present day they have not turned up.
He had committed innumerable crimes, which would be tedious and useless to mention, but always came out clear by suborning and intimidating witnesses, and such other tricks as thieves and murderers resort to. He was a terror to the country, and scarcely anyone had termity enough to criticize his deeds, for they had good grounds to believe that their necks would pay the penalty.
On the 6th of August, one year ago, John Martin shot and killed Sol Bradley, as can be proved but for fear full justice would not be done, Z. T. Young advised the grand jury to indict Floyd Tolliver jointly with Martin, as Tolliver fired a shot during the melee. The Martins all knew that Tolliver could prove his innocence of the charge, and knew fully as well that John would be proven guilty, and that was sufficient grounds for them to want to put Tolliver out of the way. They were aided and abetted by their confederate Cook Humphrey. So the grand jury decided last February, also this last term of court. They put their diabolical plan into execution, by John Martin shooting Tolliver in the most cowardly, dastardly manner. Martin was immediately arrested and put in jail. Taylor Young put a strong guard around the jail to thwart any attempt at mobbing the murderer. The guard was composed mostly of Martin's friends, his brothers, and Cook Humphrey being one of them. He was kept in jail here only one night when Young procured an order to send him to the Winchester jail for safe keeping. Mr. Young, with a strong guard of Martin's friends, escorted him to the depot; rather, they stopped about 200 yards from the depot to avoid any possible harm to Martin. At the request of Martin's wife and mother, Young accompanied him as far as Mt. Sterling. Indeed, Young took such particular care of Martin that more than one was heard to remark: “Young is a string pearl before swine. If any harm comes to Martin, they will blame Taylor the first one."
This very bad man (Martin) ended a very bad career on the night of the 17th of last December.
We do not justify the manner in which he came to his death. Far from it. We think it was cowardly and mean to kill him in the way he was killed, but we do say he richly deserved his death.
Mrs. Martin, his mother, assumed that Floyd Tolliver's kindred and friends did the deed, and vowed over her son's dead body to be revenged on them, and according, to prophesy accused Tavlor Young of being at the bottom of it. Everyone knows that he was not, and only his bitterest enemies will say that he was, and, they know they lie when they say so.
Craig Tolliver carried his brother Floyd's body away from here, and was not again seen here, only at court, afterwards, until the 1st or 2nd day of April. He came here then in this way: He had started West to make his home there. He got off of the train at Mt. Sterling, and while waiting for it to start heard a telegram read to the effect that F.A. Pierce and Cook Humphrey had attacked John Day and Jeff Bowling. He waited in Mt Sterling till the first train passed going east; that he boarded and came to the rescue of his friends.
It plainly shows that the so-called Tolliver faction had no idea of a shooting match or any further trouble, or Craig would never have started Wrest. The Tolliver party may have done many things during that first war that was wrong. We censure them for whatever they did wrong, and don't seek to justify them. All we ask is a fair, impartial statement of facts, and we are perfectly willing for the public to judge.
As soon as the famous peace commission was signed, Tolliver started to see his mother Mora, but was solicited to return and become our Town Marshal. He did return at the earnest solicitations of his friends and a great many of the Martin party.
When Cook Humphrey heard that Tolliver had become. Town Marshal he leaped into the air and exclaimed: "We have got him now where we want him. It will be an easy matter to get rid of him now."
The Martin party, boasted that they only signed the treaty to get more time to fix their plans and increase, their forces. One Muse (one of Humphrey's deputies) wrote to Pierce and told him to hold himself in readiness; that as soon as the leaves put out good they would want him again; that the treaty was only to give them more time.
They seemed to mean what they said, for from time to time the citizens could hear, of their warlike preparations. Men well armed were seen several times looking up at the Cottage Hotel, where Craig Tolliver boarded at the dead hour of night. These demonstrations were taken note of, but not resented, for the Tolliver faction was anxious to have peace. Craig Tolliver staid in town and attended strictly to his business; and let me say right here we never had a more efficient Marshal than Craig Tolliver. He knew neither friend or foe, black or white, in the discharge of his duty.
The Courier-Journal of August 27 says: "The facts of the late killings are fresh in the minds of your readers. The C. and O. midnight train East brings from Farmers the part of the clan stationed there." The truth is there was no organized Tolliver clan, and Tolliver had no men stationed at Farmers or any place else. He came a1one on the midnight train in answer to a telegram asking him to come, as Humphrey and his men were expected every minute to raid the town. Such was the report and belief, backed by the stubborn facts. When the train arrived at Morehead he found five men and boys guarding the Cottage Hotel. Two of them lived there, and a third was stopping there for the night. He lived out of town several miles. It vas believed that the Cottage Hotel would be their first point of attack. that being Tolliver’s boarding place. Judge Minnick was there. He had been spending his nights there for some time. His life had been threatened and he considered it dangerous to stay at home.
When Tolliver came Minnick gave him the warrant for the arrest of Humphrey and others, and he summoned the men there to go with him to the Martin home and make the arrests. Humphrey, with armed men, had been seen repeatedly at Martin's. Miss Sue, swore before the grand jury that Humphrey came to bid his sweetheart bye. Humphrey swore that he was on his way to give a new bond, although the office of Sheriff bad been declared vacant on the Friday before Tolliver failed to make the arrest. He was badly wounded by Humphrey. Rayburn was killed while resisting arrest. Sue Martin and Cook Humphrey telegraphed the Governor for troops, and they were sent instantly. Can the Governor explain his inconsistency? During the first outbreak he was applied to through the proper channels and in a legal way for troops. He refused them, and instead dragged some of' our citizens down to Louisville at the expense of the State and then fixed up a kind of treaty. This last time he was applied to by two private individuals of the Martin faction, and he without any legal right whatever, complied with their demands. Then came Proctor in a few hours hunted up the County Judge [James Stewart], had him write out some documents and forge the date, having him date them prior to the arrival of the troops. I don't wonder that they want legislation. They surely need it to cover up some of their illegal acts.
Troops in Morehead
Hardin says it was known from the beginning that Phillips, one of the magistrates, would acquit the men arrested for the murder of Rayburn. That is false. But it was known two weeks before the beginning that Moore, the other Magistrate, would condemn them if he ever got a chance. This fact, as well as all the others we state can be proven.
Uncle Billy Phillips is widely known as a just Christian gentleman. No one can tell the truth and say aught against him. He has always been sustained in his rulings by the higher courts, having never had a decision reversed. Neither is he a crouching coward. While the trial was going on he found one morning a note sticking on, his gate-post, telling him to be careful how he ruled, and not to acquit the men on trial, or his life would pay the forfeit. But he brave1y and manfully went on and did his duty in face of the mean threat.
We were in the courtroom when Young fully demonstrated the truth of Pierce's printed confession. I would advise Hardin to read up a little and see what the duty of a Commonwealth's Attorney is. I think he will find that. they owe a solemn duty to the accused. Pierce's confession had nothing to do with the guilt or innocence of the parties under arrest, but if it had it would have been the duty of the Commonwealth's Attorney to get the pure truth if possible. We failed to hear or see any menace or threat to Hardin from the defendants or their friends. We also failed to hear, although we paid strict attention, Hardin reprove Colonel Young. Wattie, I believe you have forgotten that old axiom, "Self praise is half scandal." I am surprised that you effect to despise manipulators after offering A. J. McKenzie $500 if he would consent to be a candidate for Sheriff and telling Mr. Roe, you would get the Legislature to make an appropriation of $300 for him if he would prosecute the parties, intimating that he must follow your directions and wishes in the prosecution. Because they were too honorable to be bought, you turn on them and try to tarnish their fair names and escutcheon. Shame! Shame!
Mr. Hardin's conduct and statements have been altogether partial and unjust in the extreme, and there is only one thought that will tend to palliate his unjust course, and that is this: When he arrived at Morehead he was besieged by the Martin women from morning till night; they poured doleful tales into his willing ear, put on their sweetest, saddest looks, and now and then a gentleman friend would drop in on Mr. H., as if by accident, and corroborate their sad story. Oh, the chicanery and cunning of the Martin party. Hardin didn't seek to investigate the other side. On the contrary, he avoided any conversation with them.
One more point. Hardin, while "persecuting" an officer and his posse for legally and justly killing an outlaw and hired assassin, defended real criminals and justified their crimes. lie stated that Humphrev did right to shoot the officer who was attempting to arrest him "but it was a great pity he didn't take a little better aim," that he would have been perfectly justified if he had killed the officer and all his posse, thus setting up a defense for Humphrey before he was on trial and before the grand jury had indicted him. He also stated in his smooth, insinuating manner that the warrant sworn out against Mrs. Martin was without foundation, defending her before she was on trial, and making a false statement to do it. Who wants such a man to act as Commonwealth's Attorney? Echo answers, Who? Defending the guilty while persecuting the innocent. The grand jury decided, on their oaths, that he was wrong in both cases. Sworn evidence against P. Watt Hardin's prejudiced, unreliable statements. Which is to be believed? This is only a sample of his unjust conduct while here. We need a special act of the Legislature to enable Hardin to defend his favorites and persecute their enemies, and to make it lawful for Knott to steal his nomination, and to make the State officials accountable for spending the State's money illegally as they have done in Rowan and elsewhere. They know of their illegal acts, and want to stuff a Legislature to cover up their illegality.
The Flemingsburg Times-Democrat states the plain truth when it says: "Gov. Knott and Gen. Hardin became as strong partisans of the Martin faction as Taylor Young could be of the Tolliver clan." Taylor Young has done more to keep down trouble in Rowan than any other man. His advice has always been for peace.
We agree with Col. Z. T. Young's enemies as to his shrewd ness and ability as a lawyer, and give it as one of the chief reasons for his trying to keep order and peace. His home, his property, his very life depends on the unity of the factions. We are forced to believe that it is envy of his high attainments that has caused his enemies to persecute him in the way they have.
The reporters that have written up the Rowan history have willfully or ignorantly written up the most compact set of lies that have ever been in print.
P. S.- Dillon was not forced to resign as deputy under Humphrey. He said to a citizen of Morehead (who can be produced at any time): "Cook Humphrey promised to turn all the business over to me and leave the county. He did not keep his agreement, so I wouldn't have anything to do with the Sheriff's business."
Morehead, Ky., Aug. 24.
Your correspondent has noticed an article in the Courier-Journal of 22nd inst. purporting to be written from Morehead and headed "Rowan County." No citizen of this county would have hardihood to write such intolerable lies as are found in almost every sentence of the article referred to. As a citizen of Rowan County, and feeling as I do, an interest in the peace and welfare of the county and its citizenship, and a restoration of order and the enforcement of the law, I deem it my duty, in defense of myself and relatives and the people among whom I live, to challenge this collection of falsehoods. Hitherto the scribblers for the press have generally assailed the so-called Tolliver faction, but in that article the author assails the judge who presided at the late term of the Circuit Court, assails the Commonwealth's Attorney pro tem, assails the Grand Jury properly selected by the Jury Commissioners six months ago, before Rayburn or Bumgardner was killed or Z. T. Young was wounded, and before the fighting in April or the burning of Mrs Martin's house, before a State official or soldier ever appeared on the scene of trouble. He also assails the late Sheriff McKenzie, appointed by the County Judge [James Stewart] and at the instance of the friends of the so-called Martin faction and Attorney-General Hardin. In fact he assails the integrity of every officer connected with the court. He charges that two of the Grand Jurymen were lately on trial for the murder of Ben Rayburn. This is untrue. James Oxley, one of the parties tried for the murder of Rayburn before the examining court was on the Grand Jury, but was selected, as before stated, by the Jury Commissioners six months ago, and is a man against whom naught had ever been said until he was charged with the murder of Rayburn. He (Oxley) was the only man on that Grand Jury that was charged with or tried for killing Ben Rayburn. He (Oxley) and T. J. Trumbo, father of John Trumbo, one of the men tried for killing Rayburn were excused from the Grand Jury on the 2d or 3d day of sitting on their own motion, and other men, unconnected with the trouble, put in their places. I defy, challenge and will pay a liberal reward to the author of the infamous article to show up any member of the Grand Jury in any other light than that of a law-abiding, peaceable, honest citizen. That correspondent tells how the law has been overridden in other counties for a time, and how, finally the strong arm of the law triumphed when backed by the moral support of the good people, and how the courts punished the guilty and restored peace and good order. And then asks why the case is different in Rowan County, and pretends to solve the question by saying the officers of the law have been the chief actors, and that they have used their offices as a pretext for crime and as a refuge for the criminal. I don't know what officer has acted so badly. He intimates that the County Attorney, Z. T. Young, is one. Mr. Young seems to be the object of his text. Indeed the whole text, to borrow the writer's own language, smells strong of the dictation of one whose bias is a byword here, of one who came to gather laurels for his own brow by punishing a few innocent men while the guilty were to be left lurking in the brush to again begin their capacities undertaken for money, of one who suffered disappointment at the hands of his "master manipulator," as he is pleased to call him, of one who took advice and obtained information only from partisans who are masters in the liars' profession. The reader's attention is invited to a communication published in the Yeoman of August 23d as an interview with James Andrew Scott, in which Scott discloses the fact that he and Major Kinney were here for the express purpose of preventing trials from being had. Both Scott and Kinney were sent here at the instance of Governor Knott. I infer from the language of the article in the Courier-Journal that the author is a full partner of Knott, Hardin Co., and therefore am forced to believe that he seeks advantage from the firm's own wrong. Besides, he heaps an unjust censure upon the head of the court for not discovering this bad faith in the agents of the Governor. When I say bad faith I mean it. For it was costing the tax-payers of the State not less than $25O per day to maintain and pay the soldiers and the ordinary expenses of the court - all that the agents of the Governor might "stave off trials" as Scott expressed it. The article in the Courier says Humphrey and Rayburn had cautiously crept to Mrs. Martin's house so that Humphrey could bid his sweetheart good-bye before starting for Kansas. But Humphrey testified before the Grand Jury that he had come to execute bond as Sheriff of Rowan County, although the County Judge [James Stewart] had declared the office vacant on the Friday previous. He (the writer) alleges that Allie Young and Craig Tolliver suggested to Ed Pierce his confession. This is untrue. Pierce testified that it was a lie that lie himself had made it without the aid or suggestion of any one.
The writer says that the Governor and Attorney General, before Halbert was elected Judge, and before he appointed Roe Commonwealth's Attorney, interviewed him (Halbert) in person and made known the situation and requested the appointment of W. W. McGuire, who had assisted in the prosecution before the examining court of the parties charged with the murder of Rayburn, and who was conversant with the facts &c. I want the readers of this to know that McGuire had money in his pocket to prosecute the Tollivers and to defend Mrs. Martin for selling the poisoned turkey. Yet this man was selected by the Governor and Attorney General as a person fit for Commonwealth Attorney pro tem, instead of the Hon. Geo. E. Roe, of Greenup, a man who knew none, or very few at least, of the parties to the late difficulties. Be it said in defense of the fairness and honesty of James A. Scott that he had the manhood to withdraw far enough from the firm of Knott, Hardin Co. to acknowledge that the conduct of George E. Roe was perfectly fair and upon a high plain in the interview before referred to the press of the State has sailed into the Tolliver faction, and the State officials and press can see no harm in the Martin faction. If they will look at both sides they will see wrongs, grievous wrongs, in either. They will see it was wrong to mob John Martin, to kill Bumgardner, or burn Mrs. Martin's house. They will see there is something in the dark to induce Rayburn and Pierce to be here in the capacity of assassins when they have no friends nor relations in the trouble. On the other hand they will see Craig Tolliver's motives was to revenge the death of his brother.
The origin of the difficulties here dates back to the famous Green Hargis, trial, in 1879. The slanderers who have brought disgrace to the county and perverted the truth to such a shameful degree were trained in the art of lying with impunity in the school of that perfidious old renegade, Tom Green. Here in this county almost to the man who held up the hands of Tom Green and accepted his base lies for gracious truths, have been the men (and women) who took a delight in traducing the character of every gentleman or lady who did not stand by and uphold the conduct of Cook Humphrey and his hireling followers, and on the other hand condemn the men against whom their calumny was hurled, and who were the intended victims of their deadly hatred and hireling capacities.
To persons who have lived here in Rowan since 1879, who are conversant with the details of that trial, and with the late trouble here, it is unnecessary to trace this; for it has become a part of what they know just as well as they know that Monday follows Sunday. In that trial the malingers of Hargis learned to testify to whatever their vicious impulses caused them to tell, or they heard told, with as much solemnity as if it had been a sacred truth. Hargis' friends did not hesitate to challenge these falsehoods. The friends of and witnesses of Green of course took offense at this censure. Neither party ever made any concessions or apologies to the other. Every trivial difficulty which arose between the friends or adherents of the factions tended to broaden and deepen the already distinctly defined chasm that kept ajar the avenues of slander. Either party generally always clung to his friend, right or wrong, from the date of the Green-Hargis trial till now. Especially at each election did the Green and Hargis factions martial themselves against each other, and the number on each side being about the same, the success of either depended considerably on the amount of money used and the skill with which it was used. Every drunken fight which occurred on election day was sure to make the incision deeper and the hatred more deadly. The reader will recollect that Judge Hargis' valise which contained his law license was stolen while here at Morehead, and that John Martin was charged with the theft, and that Martin was a witness against Hargis for Green. A. M Bowling was Marshal of Morehead at the time, and a witness for Hargis. During his trial Martin and Bowling became inveterate enemies of each other. The press has indulged much vague speculation, and has reported many perversions of the cause of the difficulty on August 4, 1884, (election day), in which Solomon Bradley was killed and John Martin and Ad. Sizemore wounded. There is a gentleman connected with your paper that will bear witness to the truth of what I now write: A few days before the August election in 1884, Judge Carey, proprietor of the Gault House at this place, gave the young folks leave to dance awhile one night in one of the rooms of the Gault House. Win. Trumbo and wife were there; H. G. Price, a stave dealer, was boarding there at that time. Trumbo's wife went upstairs to a room while the dance was going on below and lay down on a bed and went to sleep. She did not know that she was in Price's room. Price went up to bed and found her in his room and made some indecent remarks to her. Trumbo's wife told him about Price's mistake, which enraged Trumbo, but, however, he said nothing till election day, when 'le got full of whiskey and found Price and commenced a quarrel with him, and a fight between Trumbo and Price ensued. This took place about 4 o'clock p.m. just after the passenger train from the West arrived, which brought Floyd Tolliver, James Carey and others from Farmers. As usual John Martin run in where Trumbo and Price were fighting, with his pistol in hand and was soon engaged in a quarrel with John Keeton. Trumbo and Martin are brothers-in-law, but Martin took Price's side in the fight. Allen Sutton, then Marshal of Morehead, appeared on the ground in time of the quarrel between Keeton and Martin and took their pistols from them. Sutton got into the row himself by getting angry at some offense offered him by Keeton. A general row ensued, and when Floyd Tolliver and John C. Day arrived on the scene of trouble; Day, as Sheriff, commanded peace, but he had not more than spoken til rocks began to fly through the air in a manner that never meant safety and peace. Day shot and seriously wounded Ad. Sizemore. Floyd Tolliver and John Martin engaged in a fight with each other. Solomon Bradley was shot and killed. It is not known to a certainty who did it. Both Tolliver and Martin were indicted for it. Bradley was trying for peace, and certainly was. shot accidentally. All the parties engaged in the fight, when indictments were found against them, they came into court and executed bond for their appearance at the succeeding term of the Circuit Court. Both Martin and Tolliver came into court and executed bond for their appearance to answer the charges against them for the killing of Bradley. But, alas, before the six months rolled around .John Martin and Floyd Tolliver were in their graves. At this time is when Cook Humphrey's connection with the trouble commences. It will be remembered that Sam Goodan was the Democratic candidate for Sheriff and W. C. Humphrey the Republican. Tolliver was a Democrat and supported Goodan, and Martin was at Republican and supported Humphrey. Humphrey was elected by a majority of twelve votes. He came to town the next day after the election which was the first day of the Circuit Court in this county. The minds and feelings of the people were excited to the upmost degree with the previous day's tragedy. Humphrey publicly avowed that he would furnish $100 to aid in the prosecution of Tolliver. The leaders of the Republican party in this county are James Carey, James M. Carey, son of James Carey, and H. M. Logan. They are all men of high party prejudices and overbearing and illiberal in disposition. They undertook to browbeat witnesses, and charged the grand jury with corruption because they did not find indictments according to their vicious wishes and in conformity with their corrupt prejudices. Humphrey was led to believe by these men and John Martin that Sizemore was wounded and Bradley killed because they had supported him for Sheriff, and hence he Humphrey ought to help to revenge the injury. At any rate, in a few days Humphrey, John Martin, Stewart Bumgartner always Humphrey’s "pal" and afterward his deputy and two or three others went to Cross Roads, the home of Tolliver, all heavily armed, as was afterward disclosed for the purpose of killing Tolliver. Tolliver did not like the maneuvers of the gang, and discreetly stayed at home until they left. Humphrey knew that a bitter feeling existed between Alvin M. Bowling and Floyd and Marion Tolliver and sought to take advantage of it to procure the assassination of Floyd Tolliver by Bowling. He offered Bowling $250 to kill Tolliver. This is not rumor. It is a fact developed in the grand jury room. Bowling refused to be hired to assassinate a man, remarking that if ever he killed Tolliver it would be in self-defense. Things went on quietly for three or four months. On the 2nd day of December following Floyd Tolliver and John Martin, in company with C. Humphrey, were seen on the streets of Morehead all apparently in a good humor. Humphrey and Martin kept close together all day, and were seen in close consultation, and Martin was heard to remark: "I'll release him of his bond before the sun goes down." This remark was made to Humphrev, but no names were mentioned in hearing of the witness. In less than twenty minutes after this remark of Martin, Floyd Tolliver died at the muzzle of Cook Humphrey's pistol in the hands of John Martin.
Immediately after Martin killed Tolliver, S. B. Goodan, then Deputy Sheriff, and John C. Day, Sheriff of this county, arrested Martin, and he was committed to jail in less than ten minutes after he had murdered Tolliver. The circumstances and facts connected with the immediate scene of the killing are as follows:
Tolliver went into the barroom at the Gault House, where John Martin and T. B. Tippet were taking a drink of liquor, and he Tolliver invited Tippett and Martin to drink with him. Martin refused. Tolliver said that they ought to disregard the past difficulties and become friends again; and remarked to Martin that he (Tolliver) had frequently stopped over night with him Martin when, in the past, he had occasion to pass through Rowan County, and that he (Martin) had uniformly treated him kind and clever, and that it was very foolish for them to be enemies of each other. Martin replied that Tolliver had treated him wrong, to which Tolliver had rejoined that he (Tolliver) did not consider that he had; when Martin instantly drew a pistol from the breast pocket of his overcoat and shot tolliver through the heart. Just here I want to remark that Floyd Tolliver had often been heard to say that he intended to make friends with John Martin. Dr. J. S. McMillan came from Farmers to Morehead with him that day. He told McMillan on the road here that day, that at the first opportunity he intended to have a talk with Martin and have a peaceable adjustment of their difficulty; as the combat between them on election day was unexpected, and there was no cause for it, and that it was too trivial a matter for him (Tolliver) to hold enmity against any man for. Those who were most acquainted with Floyd Tolliver say that this very disposition to strive to lay aside malice toward those with whom he was at variance, was a strong characteristic of his nature; and they are the ones who are the readiest and surest to denounce the insinuation of the Martin faction that Tolliver was aiming to get "the drop" on John Martin, but that John was too quick besides the two witnesses present, will, at any time, state that Floyd Tolliver was apparently unconscious that Martin was going to do him any harm at the moment he shot his life away. Furthermore, if Tolliver intended to kill Martin, as the Martin faction allege he did, and then run off, as they allege, why did he not shoot John without warning when he first went into the barroom? But enough on this point, for the world knows it's a lie.
John Martin was safely guarded that night in the jail here, the guard being composed mostly of his friends. A mandamus was obtained the next day through proper channels at the instance of Z. T. Young to send John to the Winchester jail to await his inquiring trial, and he was taken there on the first train that day. Everybody here felt that John Martin had played the last act of a life that had been but a drama of foul murders, robberies and thefts. Always before he had his testimony pre-arranged, and by the chicanery and perjury of his followers, had gone on from bad to worse, always coming out law proof. This time the people saw the same instruments with which he had so many times thwarted justice and escaped the penitentiary and gallows, come into full play to obtain the extension of the scoundrel's life and liberty which had been so many times forfeited by his own acts of villainy. The people felt that some harm would come to Martin from the very moment that he took the life of Tolliver in such a dastardly manner. They knew the reputed determined courage of the Tolliver family in Elliott and Morgan Counties, and was sure that the death of Floyd Tolliver would not go unrevenged. At this period is where Humphrey began to show that he was unfit to be trusted. As I said in my last communication, Humphrey declared he would furnish money to prosecute some parties but the people considered it the exercise of a legitimate right and paid no particular attention to it. But Tolliver's corpse was not cold until Humphrey and the other leaders of the Martin clan were browbeating and menacing witnesses to stifle the truth, and were telling lies to manufacture a defense for John .Martin. Humphrey went to Elliott County and brought Stewart Bumgartner to Rowan to help bulldoze and intimidate in the interest of Martin's defense. I will give one instance of his conduct which occurred on the third or fourth night after the murder of Tolliver. James W. Johnson went into the Hog Town neighborhood to collect some accounts, and was delayed so that he had to stay over night at that place. He had lodged that night with Logan Stewart [,the son of County Judge James Stewart], who kept hotel there at that time After Johnson had gone to bed, some parties rode up to Stewart's door and asked who was there that night. Stewart told them J. W. Johnson. They invited Johnson down, but Johnson refused to come. There they told him to warn Tavlor Young if John Martin was hurt or prosecuted too severely that his neck would pay the forfeit. They rode on down the road about 100 yards further to George A. Johnson's, a merchant there at Hog Town and called him up out of bed and told him that Tolliver was dead and John Martin was "flying." Each of the Johnsons recognized Humphrey's voice, and Humphrey told Logan Stewart that Stewart Bumgartner was with him. These high-handed impositions and threats were perpetrated by those two “outraged angels" of the Martin clan - Humphrey and Bumgartner. These things are facts and not speculations. Just one week to a day after Martin killed Tolliver, Alvin M. Bowling and two of the Evans boys went with an order which proved to be a forgery, to Winchester and got Martin, ostensibly to bring him to Morehead to his inquiring trial, but it proved to be a trick to take Martin's life, and he was accordingly mobbed at Farmers, in this county, that night. This was a very mean murder, but it was attended with many circumstances which tends to lesson the enormity of the. crime and to furnish the perpetrators with an excuse for such an extreme measure. They should be brought to account for it according to our laws, for it was certainly a flagrant violation of that law which guarantees to the guilty, alike with the innocent, a fair and speedy trial in the court house by a jury of his countrymen. But to return to the victim (Martin), he was brought to the Powers Hotel, at Morehead, where he died in a few hours. His corpse was surrounded all day by his friends and followers, the most of whom indulged in the most vicious threats and the free use whisky
Time went on and Circuit Court came in February. Nothing occurred worthy of note till the commencement of the court, except that Mrs. Martin indulged freely in making horrid threats of vengeance against those whom she conjectured were connected with or known to the scheme concocted to murder John. Four or five days before court began, Colonel W. Alderson was robbed, and during court the grand jury indicted Allen Sutton, D. H. Tinsly and Wm Martin (John's brother) for the robbery. The whole Martin faction, by this time considerably augmented, took a very active part in the defense of Sutton and Tinsly. Wm. Martin had left the State and was not in court. The people looked for trouble at court when the grand jury began to investigate the lawlessness that had prevailed for the six previous months, and knowing too that the court would make an opportunity for the enraged parties to meet, and that the most trivial occurrence might give cause for a collision and general slaughter. Humphrey's friends advised him on the second day of court to go away and stay until court adjourned, which he did. This act of Humphrey's created a sympathy for him, even with men who had regarded him with suspicion for some months past. But their fondest hopes decayed when he and Bumgartner returned at the close of court with Winchester rifles in their hands, and Bumgartner took the oath of Deputy Sheriff. The Martin faction and the press of the State has set up a great "hue and cry" because the people of Morehead petitioned the County Judge [James Stewart] to appoint Craig Tolliver Marshal of Morehead because he lived in Morgan County. But it makes considerable difference whose ox is gored the readers will see. It was all right with Humphrey's followers for him to bring Stewart Bumgartner from Elliott County in February and make him Deputy Sheriff and arm him with a repeating rifle; but it was an awful act of tyranny and injustice for the people of Morehead in the following April to petition the County Judge of Rowan [James Stewart] to appoint a man Town Marshal who lived in Morgan; County. They could swallow the camel in February, but the gnat gagged them in April. They set the precedent but would not abide by their own law. Sutton and Tinsly filed proper affidavits for a change of venue, and the change was granted and their case sent to the Fleming Circuit for trial.
After the close of Circuit Court nothing occurred to interrupt the peace for about two weeks. It is true that Bumgardner and Humphrey were carrying their repeating rifles with them wherever they went, but the citizens looked upon this only as an act of indiscretion on their part. It is true that Dr. C. A. Black and a railroad ticket agent, on two consecutive days, about the 3d and 4th of March, saw two armed men between this place and the home of Jeff Bowling, who concealed themselves at the approach of Black and the ticket agent. This gave no considerable alarm as the citizens thought probably it was a hunting party, but it proved to be Pearce and Rayburn, lying in wait for Jeff Bowling, as Pearce afterward confessed.
On the 3d of March Tubalo Manning employed Z. T. Young to go to the country to attend to a case of forcible entry, which was to be tried the 7th of March. Bumgardner, as Deputy Sheriff, executed the processes in the case, and knew that Young had promised to be present at the trial. Young and Bumgardner went from this place to the trial, about eight or nine miles, together, and Bumgardner made an excuse to keep from returning with Young by saying that he had urgent business at Hog Town that he must attend to, and Young returned alone.
On his return, about three and a half miles from Morehead, he was shot and seriously wounded. There were two of the assassins. The writer visited Young the day after he was shot. Young described the assassin who shot him as a tall, rough-featured man, with a high receding forehead and light mustache, and the other a small man in statue. Young, of course, only got a glance at them; if he had looked at Ben Rayburn all hour I doubt whether he could have given a better description of him. As to the other man, the size answers well for Ed Pearce, but of course that is indefinite. When Young was shot the news spread rapidly, and from that time on everybody felt a sense of impending danger; but nobody could work himself up to believe that hirelings had been secured to take human life.
On the seventeenth of March (just ten days after Young was shot) Stewart Bumgardner was shot and killed on Christy Creek, a mile below Hogtown. His repeating rifle, which he had been carrying for the past three weeks, was taken by the parties who committed the murder. It is yet unknown who committed this murder so far as the writer has any knowledge. Cook Humphrey left the county about the time Bumgardner was killed, and did not return for several days. Z. T. Young had partially recovered from his wound; and had gone to Mt. Sterling, where he staved several weeks.
When Humphrey returned on the 30th of March, he was accompanied by Ed Pearce, both heavily armed. The people expected an outbreak at any moment. On the second day after Humphrey and Pearce came to Morehead, they went into the pool room at the Central Hotel, where John C. Day and Jeff Bowling were engaged at a game of pool. Day saw some suspicious glances between Pearce and Humphrey, and peremptorily demanded what they meant. A few angry words were exchanged, and they separated. Bowling and Day went to the Cottage Hotel at the depot. Humphrey and Pearce went to the Galt House and got their guns and followed Day and Bowling. When they got within about 100 yards of the depot they stopped and tried five or six shots, when Day and Bowling fired upon them from the back yard of the Cottage Hotel. Twenty or thirty shots were exchanged, but without effect. Then Humphrey and Pearce retreated to the Galt House.
Allie Young heard the shooting and came out of his office to see what was the matter and was fired at by Pearce, who was by this time sheltered in the Galt House, and had to run to save his life. That evening Craig Tolliver came from Mt. Sterling, and that night the Galt House was fired on, about 100 shots being fired into it.
The next morning Ed Pearce shot at J. C. Day, which renewed the shooting. Day, Bowling and Tolliver took advantage of the houses and got into Col. W. Aldeson's store house, only about 60 yards from the Galt House, and a number of shots were exchanged without effect. There had gathered about eight or nine of Humphrey's friends to the Galt House to assist him by this time, among them H: M. Logan, Matt Carey and Richmond Tussey, a brother-in-law of John Martin. About three o'clock that evening ten or twelve armed men came to the Cottage Hotel to help the Tolliver side. Among them was Dr. J. Wilson and several of the Tolliver boys. Humphrey and his men left the Galt and went to the woods, and the other side never followed them, but fired several shots into the same.
Pearce and Humphrey went back to Greenup County, and H. M. Logan and James Carey went to Frankfort, and the "peace conference" was held, with which the readers are all familiar, and the articles of peace framed and signed.
Allen Sutton, the town marshal of Morehead, had been indicted for robbery and sent to the Flemingsburg jail, thereby creating a vacancy in the marshalship of Morehead. Everything seemed quiet, and the citizens petitioned the County Judge [James Stewart] to appoint Craig Tolliver marshal of Morehead. Humphrey and Matt Carey both signed the petition. Nobody refused to sign it but H. M. Logan and James Carey. The judge appointed him. Young's malingers immediately accused him of getting up the petition and scheming to get Tolliver appointed marshal. This is not true Dr. Jerre Wilson wrote the petition. Young was not at home, and did not know anything about it until after he was appointed and had executed bond.
The regular election of officers for the town of Morehead is the first Saturday in May. At the election of a town council, police judge and town marshal, Craig Tolliver was a candidate for marshal and received fifty-one votes while his competitor, Bob Messer, received but six votes.
Fleming Circuit Court came the third week in May and A. Sutton and D H. Tinsley were tried for the robbery of Alderson. Tinsley was acquitted. Sutton was convicted and sentenced to the penitentiary for two years. A great many of the Martin faction were present at his trial and took a deep interest in his defense. Among them were Mrs. Martin, mother of John. H.M. Logan, Jas. Carey, H. C. Powers, Sheriff Humphrey and E. Bradley. This elan charged the jury with partiality and the witnesses for the prosecution with perjury.
About this time Ed Pearce was captured in Greenup County and taken to Bath County to answer the charge of robbery, for which he is now serving a seven years' sentence in the penitentiary. While the marshal of Owingsville, Sam Nixon, was bringing Pearce from Greenup to Owingsville, he (Pearce) voluntarily disclosed to Nixon a great many things about his connection with the "Rowan row," and among other deeds the attempted assassination of Z. T. Young. He sent for Young to come over to Owingsville, that he might make a full confession to him of his connection with the difficulties in this county. Young went and in company with Hon. J. M. Nesbitt, visited Pearce in the jail, and he made the confession which he retracted before the examining court at the inquiring trial of the parties charged with the murder of Rayburn. Not any one of the Tolliver faction had ever heard of such a name as Rayburn being connected with the difficulty until Pearce gave it in his confession.
Just here let me say that Fd Pearce's confession so precisely delineates facts and details circumstances and events connected with this "Rowan row," that the pleas, "I did it to save my neck" and "I was scare d into it," etc., only the more completely engulfed the miserable wretch in his weak efforts to escape bu such folly. The confession of Pearce made the Tolliver faction more suspicious of the movements of Humphrey and the rest of the Martin gang. But still peace prevailed till the 28th of June.
The County Judge [James Stewart] had awarded a rule against Humphrey to show cause why he should not give additional security on his general bond as Sheriff, and also on his county and State revenue bond. The day on which the rule was made returnable had come and gone, and Humphrey failed to respond. Hence the office of Sheriff was declared vacant on the 25th of .June. Humphrey cautioned the County Judge, through his son, Logan Stewart, not to appoint any of his (Humphrey's) friends. This put the Tolliver faction on the lookout.
On Saturday, the 27th of June, H. M. Logan and Matt Carey left Rowan on an unusually short notice. That night Humphrey came to the Galt House at a late hour and got his Winchester rifle. A gentleman passed Mrs. Martin's this same Saturday night after dark and reported to one of Tolliver's friends that he had seen two armed men at Mrs. Martin's. This report, connected with the sudden departure of Logan and Carey, and the suspicions movement of Humphrey in coming to the Galt House for his gun after night, caused a writ to be issued by Police .Judge Minnick and placed in Craig Tolliver's hands for the arrest of Humphrey. Tolliver went to Farmers that day and returned that night on the 2 o-clock east-bound passenger train, and received the writ, and at once summoned five men to aid him and started for Mrs. Martin's.
The guards whom Tolliver summoned to assist in making the arrest consisted of the following persons: R. E. Messer, Constable of the Morehead precinct, Jeff Bowling, Thomas A. Day, John Trumbo, and H. M. Keeton. They reached the Martin residence just at dawn of day, and concealed themselves to see what they might discover. Just about sunrise they saw a large man, who afterward proved to be Ben Rayburn, and Miss Sue Martin come into the back yard and rob a beehive. About 7 o'clock they determined on attempting the arrest. They went to the front door of the house and inquired of Sue if Cook Humphrey was there. She answered "No." Then they asked her who was there. She answered "Nobody." They commenced searching the house. After searching the lower rooms and finding no one they went upstairs. The first door they opened Craig Tolliver received in the face and left hand a load of buckshot. His gun stock was shivered by the shot, which possibly prevented him from being killed outright. Tolliver reeled, and came well nigh falling inside of the room, but was dragged down stairs by Jeff Bowling. The guards then retreated from the house and stationed themselves in security from the gun shots from the upstairs of the house. They fired in at the windows as they left, for Rayburn and Humphrey, to use the expression of Jeff Bowling, "was making it dangerous to be in fair view of the windows."
Tolliver procured a horse and came to town. Shortly after he arrived, Sue Martin came to the depot and was arrested and put in jail by him. Tolliver gave as his reasons for placing Sue in jail that she was aiming to secure a force to go back with her and defeat the design of the guard in arresting Humphrey. He immediately obtained a writ and summoned an additional guard, consisting of the following parties: Boon Day, Bill Day, "Mick' Day, James Oxley, and a young man named Collins, who immediately repaired to the aid of the guard left at the house by Tolliver, under direction of Constable Messer, and Tolliver also had the writ for shooting him (Tolliver) conveyed to Messer. The greatest consternation prevailed. All entertained the most dreaded apprehensions. No tidings were heard from the Martin house until about four o'clock in the evening, except that Annie Martin came to town about two o'clock and was placed in jail with her sister, Sue. Annie only reported that the guards were still around the house and that Cook Humphrey was there alone, stoutly denying that there was any person there except Cook Humphrey.
This act of Tolliver in putting Sue and Annie in jail the people did not approve, although they were sure Sue was aiming to incite parties to go to the rescue of Humphrey and Rayburn. But about 4 o'clock the guard returned and reported to a few individuals that Humphrey and another man whom they did not know run out of the house shooting at them, and that they had killed the unknown, but Humphrey had escaped. That night Mrs. Martin's house was burned, together with a little cottage about 100 yards west of the residence, but on her farm. The Tolliver faction say she burned it herself to create sympathy in her favor, as the residence was heavily insured. But the reasonable conclusion to which the writer is driven is that some of the Tollivers or their friends burned it. The late Grand Jury indicted six of the Tolliver faction for the crime.
The next day after the killing and burning, Squire W. A. Caudill held an inquest over the corpse of the party killed the day before. The body was identified as Ben Rayburn. Mrs. Martin and her daughter testified at the inquest that they did not know who the man was, although they said he had stayed all night there the night before he was killed and the day of the killing. During the day while the guards were secreted about the house and had several times asked Humphrey to come out and surrender, Mrs. Martin came out to them several times and declared there was nobody in the house but Humphrey, and advised Messer, the Constable, to go after Crit Johnson, the Coroner. saying that Humphrey would surrender to him. Finally Messer consented to go for Johnson and accordingly set out for Johnson's home about 2:.30 o'clock and was shot at several times on his return. This prayer of Mrs. Martin proved a trick to get Messer away, so that Humphrey and Rayburn might escape. Messer had not been gone an hour, till Rayburn and Humphrey attempted to escape, with which result all are familiar.
Just here I want to state some facts over which those may ponder who hold that in the Martin women and their aids there is no guile. In my last letter I said Ed Pearce first apprised the Tollivers that there was such a man as Rayburn connected with the Martins. None of the Tolliver faction had ever seen Rayburn to know him. The Martin faction stoutly denied Pearce’s printed confession and denounced Pearce in strong language. Sue and Annie Martin testified at the inquiring trial of the parties for killing Rayburn that Humphrey and Rayburn had come there to start West. It is certainly strange that Rayburn would come to the very place where to be found would strengthen Pearce's confession; that he would come to the very place where all prudential calculations should have admonished him to avoid; that he would come to the very place where to be seen by the Tolliver faction or any one else who had read Pearce's confession, would stamp him as a guilty party. Miserable wretch! Annie Martin said on the witness stand that supposed he had come there to start West, as he had been implicated in this trouble by the confession of Pearce. Miserable excuse! And yet this is the only excuse ever given for his connection with the strife here except that given in Pearce's confession. Pearce said he and Rayburn were to get $25 a head for killing certain parties, and that pursuant to that contract they shot Taylor Young, and would have gone on to try and complete their contract, but that the posse who went by Mrs. Martin's the day after Young was shot alarmed them somewhat, and they decided to postpone the matter till the brush got green. The reader is invited to conclude for himself which reason is best, Annie's or Ed's.
Troops in front of Rowan County Courthouse
It will be remembered that the office of Sheriff had been declared vacant two or three days before Rayburn was killed. Fently Muse was his deputy. Fently went to Flemingsburg the next day after the killing and telegraphed the Governor for the militia. They arrived here Monday night. The parties who killed Raymond were put on trial for conspiring, combining and confederating together to commit murder. The people of Kentucky know the proceeding in that trial so well that I will not detail them here. The Governor, Attorney-General and soldiers enlisted their sympathies with the Martin faction. A great many newspapers have propounded the question. "Why is this so?"' I undertake to answer. When the soldiers and Attorney General arrived in Mrs. Martin's house was in ashes. They met four women homeless and without shelter, except by the kindness of their neighbors And besides, one of them was an invalid approaching maternity, an object of pity indeed. Two of the girls had been kept a day and night in jail on a mere pretext of Tolliver's and had just been turned out. The mother was nearly sixty years old, the age when people desire to live peaceful, as a general rule but Mrs. Martin is a notable exception. This sad story told, as the Martin women can tell it, would move to tears the man of civilization. No patent medicine man can tell the story of his remedy with more skill and cunning than the Martin women call represent their grievances. They can capture with their story the shrewd and to the ordinary individual their version of their wrongs is irresistible. General Hardin refused to hear anything except the circumstance connected with the burning and killing on the 28th of June. This, as told and testified by the Martin women, would shock the civilized mind and drive a man, unacquainted with their malicious and revengeful natures, to the conclusion that the party opposed them deserve the gallows.
In four or five days after the soldiers arrived, H. M. Logan and M. Carey, who had suddenly left the day before the killing, returned. I want to impress on you, by the way, that they are not lackeys in plausibly representing their grievances. They can tell a story with rare skill and artfulness. They set to work to aid the Martins. H. M. Logan was particularly industrious in giving color to what the Martin women had already circulated, both in the camp and on the streets. Hardin and the soldiers thoroughly absorbed the sentiment of the Martin faction. They suffered their minds and feelings to become impregnated and gangrened by their lies, and a great many of the soldiers did not hesitate to express their preference. The parties charged with the murder of Rayburn, instead of courting the friendship of the Attorney General and soldiers, were reticent about telling how they had been wronged. They demanded an investigation of their cause in the court house.
This reticence and independence, coupled with Craig Tolliver's braggadocio manner while on trial, made Hardin and the soldiers form an unfavorable opinion of the prisoners. Much has the public press commented on and the acquittal of these parties. Two weeks ago a l parallel case occurred at Owingsville in an adjoining county. The Circuit Court was in session, presided over by Judge J. E. Cooper, whom all concede is incorruptible. In that case the court and jury, backed by the moral sentiment of the people, at once exonerated the officers and guard from all blame. In this case, though it was clearly proven that the guard was regularly summoned by an officer legally elected and regularly inducted into office, yet a morbid public sentiment once sprung up that thought to be unfinished. Why is it that so small a difference in the geographical situation of the two towns, Morehead and Owingsville, makes such an enormous difference in acts of like character and committed under like circumstances? You who object to this, solve the difference.
The Attorney General, Governor and soldiers are not so much to blame after all for the course they pursued while here. The burning of Mrs. Martin's house and the imprisoning of the girls enlisted their sympathies.
The sad, doleful stories of the Martin faction who were almost ready to get on their knees to elicit their sympathy on one hand and on the other the independent indifference with which the Tolliver side treated them, solves the question of the stand they took while here. There are many other things I could write, but as peace now prevails, and all seem to have profited by the lesson of the past, and have laid aside the instruments of war and are practicing the arts of peace.
I also give an interview between H. M. Logan and a reporter of the Louisville Times, which occurred at Frankfort, Ky., on the 25th day of February, 1886. This man H. M. Logan is my bitter enemy, and he says:
Frankfort, Ky., February 25.
I am constrained to believe from what I haye seen in Frankfort today, that the Rowan County war has ended, and that the factions wiil in future save their ammunition for other than human game to be shot from ambush. The indications point to a full and peaceful settlement of the bloody strife, and peace promises to keep spread her snow wings over the erstwhile sanguinary soil of rocky, riotous Rowan. Those who are accredited with being the leaders in the recent troubles, Z. T. Young of the Tolliver faction, and Howard N. Logan, of the Martin faction, have been here together, and were as familiar and friendly as though they had never crossed swords.
Messrs. Logan, Young end Judge Weddington, of Elliott County, formed a group in the Capital Hotel, which I invaded today and naturally I led the conversation up to affairs in Rowan. Both Logan and Young, who were on the best of terms, agreed that the "cruel war is over;" that all personal feeling had been laid to rest, and that in future they would not adulterate their politics with pistol practice. Shortly after I joined the group Mr. Young left and I made it my business to pump his quondam enemy for his opinion of Young.
"Taylor Young is the smartest man in Rowan County or in our section,'"said Mr. Logan to me. "He is a good lawyer, and when he takes a case generally wins it. While we are politically of different stripes, he being a Democrat and I a Republican, I feel it only just to say of him that he is true to his friends under any and all circumstances."
' If that is true," I said, " he has been misrepresented"
"There are few of those who were involved in the troubles in Rowan that were not," was the quiet rejoinder. " Young, however, was worse abused on account of his being smarter than the others."
" How did he happen to become a leader? " I asked
" When he came to Rowan County in 1872 there was practically no Democratic party there. There were Democrats, to be sure, but they drifted aimlessly along, without any organization, but when he came he put then on wheels and as kept them there. But for him there would be no Democratic party there now, and the Republicans could win in every race without trouble. The parties are pretty evenly divided, but I believe our side will win by at least fifty majority at the coming August election. Young's prominence anti power will make him a formidable foe if he is nominated for Commonwealth's Attorney, and he is doubtless the strongest man the Democrats can nominate. I shall try to defeat him, of course, but my opposition will be purely on political grounds."
Mr. Logan said that if a few more of the tough characters could be put in the penitentiary, or would leave the county, there would never be any more factional fights. Both he and Mr. Young left for Morehead by the night train.
I have herewith given a few of the prominent facts in the Rowan County troubles, that the public may see that there are wrongs on both sides, and that they are not all confined to any one faction, as the public are attempted to be led to believe. The reader will discover that the facts here given are by others, save a short statement from which is necessary to a full understanding of the statements and letters here published. I withhold the facts in detail of the troubles in Rowan County to he heard by the Committee who are to investigate the same. The facts here given are from others, and for the sole purpose of replying to that part of the Governor's Message and Adjutant-General's Report, that refer to the troubles in Rowan. If I should attempt to give the facts fully as to these troubles it might be construed by some as an effort upon my part to forestall public sentiment, and this I do not desire to do. But I hope all the facts and circumstances connected with these troubles will be brought out, and then the public can form a correct judgment as to who is responsible for the troubles in Rowan County.
Z. T. YOUNG.
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