Adair County Obituaries & Death Certificates
Transcribed from a photocopied clipping from
Adair County, Kentucky, Vol. XXV.
August 8, 1895, page one.
F.L. Wolford Calmly Expires at His Home Last Friday
Original Character With Few Equals and No Superiors
The death of General Frank
Lane Wolford, which had been expected for about two weeks, occurred at the
family residence in this city last Friday afternoon, at three o'clock and
The funeral services were
taken charge of Sunday morning by the Masonic fraternity, of which the
deceased was a member. All of the lodges in Adair County, the one at
Jamestown, and many others were represented in the procession.
For an hour before the
time the services were to be held, the people began to pour into the
court-house, and by the time the remains were brought in, every seat was
taken, and a large crowd was standing.
Songs were sung, and Prof.
Appleman read a passage of scripture and offered a word of prayer.
The speakers present were
Judge James Garnett, who had been selected by the Columbia Bar to deliver an
oration; ex-Gov. J. Proctor Knott, and Col. Silas Adams, who spoke in the
order named. The orations were all well-prepared and fitting for the occasion,
and brought to mind the life and character of a great man, a battle-scarred
veteran, a hero of two wars, whose record was untarnished; a giant among men,
kind and charitable, whom everybody loved and respected. A man whom
Kentuckians will always be proud to honor was being honored with the last
rites due to man on earth, and certainly the occasion was solemn and earnest.
The body was taken to the
cemetery and with the usual ceremonies of the Masonic Fraternity, placed in
the tomb, while the life and public acts of General Wolford has gone into
history and will be remembered as long as time lasts.
Gen. Wolford first married
Miss Nancy Devers, of Marion or Lincoln county, and by that union three
children were born -- George, John, and Miss Mary. His first wife died about
1860. His last wife, who survives him, was Miss Bettie Bailey, of Liberty.
They were married thirty years ago last April, and seven children were born to
them -- Miss nancy, Mrs. S.D. barbee, Sam, Clay, Mrs. John Stone and Miss
Mabel. All the children are living except two -- Misses Mary and Nancy.
the Columbia Bar and Columbia Lodge No. 96, F. & A.M.
KY., Aug. 3, 1895.
At a meeting of the
members of the Columbia Bar, and the officers of the Adair Circuit and County
Courts, held at the court-house in said place, this day, to take action on the
death of Gen. Frank L. Wolford, on motion Judge James Garnett was called to
the chair, and H.C. Baker was appointed Secretary. Gov. J.R. Hindman, J.F.
Montgomery, and F.R. Winfrey were appointed a committee to confer with the
family to arrange for the funeral ceremonies. On further motion, a committee
composed of Judge James Garnett, Judge W.W. Jones, H.C. Baker, J.F. Montgomery
and Rollin Hurt was appointed to prepare resolutions appropriate to the
occasion. Said committees reported the following resolutions which were
Resolved, that in the
death of General Frank L. Wolford, which occurred at his home in Columbia, Ky.,
on the 2nd day of August, 1895, this bar has lost one of its most eminent
members; a fearless and faithful advocate who was at all times true to the law
and to his client, and whose zeal and success in the defense of innocence were
alike commendable and remarkable. As a citizen he was distinguished for his
unceasing advocacy of the right and his faithfulness to convictions; and among
his fellow-men he stood alone in his strong, marked, unique and vigorous
personality. As a soldier of two wars he was ever ready to respond to the
uttermost in the defense of his country, and was posessed of a superb courage
and gallantry which bore him with marked distinction and honor through many
battle fields; and his numerous scars received in defense of his country's
safety and honor bear unfailing testimony to the sturdy character of his
patriotism. As a legislator, having served twice as a member of the Federal
Congress, and often as a member of the State Legislature, he was eminent for his
conservatism and faithfulness to principles. He was a christian gentleman, and
his charity always stood open-handed at his door, ready to bestow the last
farthing upon any fellow-being who sought it; his benevolence was as wide as
humanity itself, and his rugged honesty was pre-eminent among men. In all the
walks of a long, stormy and eventful life, in all things he was true; he was as
brave as Caleb, as faithful as Jonathan, and as just as Epamanondas,
which traits earned for him a character and history, which will endure justly
appreciated, among his fellow-men, to the succeeding generations.
2nd. Resolved, that we
tender our sympathy to his family in their sad bereavement.
3rd. Resolved that a copy
of these resolutions be furnished to the family, and that they be spread upon
the records of the Adair Circuit Court, and THE
and other papers in the State are requested to publish them.
Whereas, It has pleased
God in His infinite wisdom to remove from the daily walks of life our venerable,
highly respected brother, Gen. Frank L. Wolford. In the death of Bro. Wolford
the country has lost a patriot, whose love for equal rights was unbounded; the
State of Kentucky, a statesman, whose fame is not confined to her borders; the
county of Adair, a useful and upright citizen; the bar, a learned and able
advocate; the family, a kind and devoted husband and father, and the Masonic
Fraternity, a bright, devoted and faithful Mason. Therefore, be it resolved,
1st. That we, the Columbia
Lodge, No. 96, of F & A.M., tender to the surviving members of Gen.
Wolford's family our sincere sympathy in their sad bereavement and loss.
2nd. That the members of
F. & A.M. fraternity wear their usual badges of mourning for 30 days.
3rd. That these
resolutions be spread upon the Memorial book of this lodge, and that a copy be
furnished by the Secretary to the family, and that the Masonic Home Journal, of
Louisville, and THE COLUMBIA
be requested to publish same.
Jas. Garnett, Jr..
a photocopy of the microfilmed
3, 1895 edition, page four
Gathering Will Honor the Dead Soldier at Columbia.
Church Buildings Compel Other Funeral Arrangements
the Bar Will Attend as Honorary Pall-Bearers.
TO THE MAN.
Columbia, Ky., Aug. 3 -- (Special)
-- The death of Gen Frank Wolford has caused the profoundest regret, but the
end of the old warrior had been expected hourly for some days, so low was his
The arrangements for Gen.
Wolford's funeral are complete. Neither of the local church buildings are
adequate to hold the crowd that will be here. The remains will be brought to
the rotunda of the courthouse and there viewed by hundreds of friends. They
will then be conveyed to the courtroom, where religious services and addresses
will be made, and at 2 o'clock Sunday afternoon the procession will move to
the cemetery, headed by the family and Masonic fraternity. The active
pall-bearers are J.H. Hudson, Dr. J.H. Grady, L.P. Hurt, A.G. Todd, E.G.
Atkins, J.L. Hurt, W.W. Jones, Thomas A. Murrell, H.C. Baker, J.R. Hindman,
F.M. Frazier, J.E. Murrell. All the Members of the bar are honorary
pall-bearers. The bar has just had a meeting and adopted suitable resolutions
on the General's death.
Frank Lane Wolford was
born in Adair county, Ky., in the second decade of the present century. His
parents were poor, and in youth he trod no primrose path. He received but the
rudiments of an education, as his labor on the farm was necessary to his
family. He married early in life and he used to tell how, the day after the
wedding, the neighbors gathered in, cut and hewed the logs and erected a
house, into which he and his bride moved two days later. The young man Wolford
labored unceasingly as the boy Wolford had done. He grew up a stalwart man,
athletic and strong. He read few books, but those he mastered, and few men
could repeat more passages from the Bible than this uncouth farmer.
Wolford was an ambitious
young fellow. When scarce out of his teens, he was a formidable stump speaker
in the Whig cause, and not long after he attained his majority he was licensed
to practice law. He "rode circuit," and in criminal cases held his
own with the best lawyers of that section, famous for an exceptionally strong
When war was declared
against Mexico, Wolford was one of the first men in Kentucky to volunteer. He
raised a company which he sought to have attached to the famous Second
Kentucky; but the regiment was already full. Wolford found a place in the
ranks and proceeded with the command to Mexico as a private in the ranks. At
the battle of Buena Vista he was near young Henry Clay, Lieutenant Colonel of
the regiment, who was mortally wounded. Around Clay's body a desperate
struggle took place and Wolford was in the midst of it, fighting hand to hand
with a score of Mexicans. Though desperately wounded, he was one of those who
helped to bear Clay's body off the field after Jefferson Davis at the head of
the Mississippi Rifles had driven back the Mexicans and restored the battle.
He never forgot Davis and later took his political life in his hand when
expressing his grateful admiration for that distinguished leader.
After the war Wolford
returned home and continued the practice of his profession. He was on the
stump in every campaign, and in the fifties he was elected to the Legislature.
He was a noted and a marked man in the mountains and a power in the Whig
When the war between the
States broke out Wolford espoused the Union side and raised a regiment whose
fame soon became national. "Wolford's Cavalry" fought over five
states and illustrated Kentucky valor and Kentucky prowess in a hundred
fights. A born politician, Wolford was bound to tinker with politics in the
army. By this time he was a Democrat, and soon he was in hot water. For he was
arrested and carried to Washington, where he remained several months and where
he had several disputes with the President about the conduct of the war.
He was released in time to
participate in the operations around Knoxville, where he commanded twelve
regiments of cavalry and performed prodigies of valor. In 1864 he stumped
Kentucky for McClellan and gave utterances to sentiments the super-loyal
After the war he again
turned his attention to the law and to politics. In 1865 he was elected to the
Legislature on the Democratic ticket, and to him more than to any other
individual is due the credit of the complete amnesty legislation of 1865-67.
He participated in every
political campaign for years and was one of the most effective stumpers in the
State. In 1880 he was a candidate for the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, but
was defeated in convention by a narrow majority. Two years later he was
elected to Congress and in 1884 he was re-elected.
After his retirement from
Congress, old age and his wounds cut short his activity, though nothing could
quench his ardor. To the last he took a deep interest in public affairs. He
was a type now almost extinct.
a photocopy of the microfilmed
3, 1895 edition, page one (continued to page ten)
Old Soldier Finds Relief at Last
Eventful Career in Peace and War.
OF MANY BATTLES.
Has Produced Few Characters So Remarkable.
OF HIS LIFE.
Columbia, Ky., Aug. 2 -- (Special.)
-- Gen. Frank L. Wolford's brave
struggle for life ended this afternoon. He died at 3:53 o'clock, after having
been unconscious for several hours.
Had he lived until
September 2 he would have been seventy-eight years old. He was a grand old man
and been a constant sufferer for years on account of wounds received during
the war. A few days hence he said when God called him he would be ready for
The funeral will take
place at 10 o'clock Sunday morning from the Christian church, and the funeral
services will be conducted by the Masonic fraternity, of which he was an
honored member. Col. T.B. Hill, of Stanford; Gen. Hobson, of Greenberg; and
Col. Silas Adams are expected to be present and deliver funeral orations.
Draws a Pen Picture of Frank Wolford's Unique and Powerful Personality.
The death of Frank Lane
Wolford severs a link that bound the Kentucky of the last decade of the last
half of the Nineteenth century with the Kentucky of the last decade of the
first half of that century. Soon the time will come when it will be impossible
to find in Kentucky that picteresque character of whom Frank Wolford was a
type, and the most pronounced type, as it is now impossible to find in
Scotland a type of the Black Douglas or the Red Cumin, embalmed in the
history, in the romance and n the poetry of that most historic, most romantic
and most poetic place.
Frank Wolford was born in
Adair county, Ky., September 2, 1817. He was the child of humble and honest
parents, the heir to no estate, except a good name and Roman virtues. He
acquired such education as was then afforded by the primitive "old field
school." He was endowed with an incisive mind and an imagination that,
properly trained, would have astonished and delighted the world. A natural
orator, he sought the field where orators gleaned, and when yet a youth was
admitted to the bar. At that time the bar in his section was brilliant in the
extreme. There was George R. McKee, who could have stepped into Westminister
and on the shortest notice made an argument that would have delighted and
instructed the bench of England; there was Thomas E. Bramlette, William T.
Willis, Richard A. Buckner, the greatest nisi prius judge in Kentucky's
annals; George Alfred Caldwell and his brother Isaac, each in turn to become
the head of the Louisville bar; there were Timoleon Cravens, Zachariah Wheat,
E.L. Van Winkle, Joshua F. Bell, Fontaine F. Fox and Aaron Harding, and there,
of a junior class, were Samuel H. Boles, James A. Rousseau, M.H. Owsley, James
Garnet, John H.C. Sandidge, Eldridge Hayes, T.C. Winfrey, William Stewart,
Gideon Suddarth, and William E. Russell. Among these men Frank Wolford was far
from the least. In that day it was oratory that told, and then it was that the
criminal practice invited the fancy lawyer, and he might as well have thrown
away his license and gone to the plow or the artisan's bench that possessed
not the tongue of eloquence. It was before a jury that Wolford gained his
fame. He was rude, unlettered and uncouth, but there was a fire in his eye, a
poetry in his imagination, an enthusiasm in his heart, that rendered him one
of the most effective advocates of his day. No man ever defended more
criminals, few men ever successfully gained so many verdicts in desperate
cases. He cared little what the evidence was, and less about the law. If there
was one salient fact in his client's favor it was sufficient for him.
Wolford soon became a
marked man. At that time politics was part of the trade of the lawyer, and if
there was one thing that Wolford loved to do better than he loved to make an
argument before a jury it was to make a stump speech to the populace. A Whig
of the Whigs, he was in his early manhood as much of a terror to the Democracy
as afterward became a holy terror to the Republicans. If not a born lawyer he
was certainly a born soldier, and when the Texas boundary quarrel kindled a
war on the Rio Grande, Wolford sprang to arms. In a few days he had recruited
a company and was chosen its Captain; the regiment, however, was completed
before he was commissioned and his company was disbanded. He then joined the
ranks, and made one of that heroic band that under the lead of Taylor stormed
Monterey and fought the bloody battle of Buena Vista. His arms it was that
bore young Henry Clay off the field, and his bayonet it was that saved the
body from mutilation at the hands of the barbarous lancers. And thereby hangs
a tale, but more of that anon. Wounded in the battle, and wounded desperately,
he was sent home, and at once was chosen a member of the State Legislature, in
which body he sat in 1847 and 1848. The next dozen years found him engaged in
his two chosen lines. When he was not in the courthouse, persuading a jury, he
was on the stump, persuading the populace that the only salvation of the
country was the triumph of the Whig party and Whig principles. After the death
of that party he became a Know-nothing, and gave the Democrats a great deal of
trouble. Though he had a tremendous practice he never accumulated any estate.
It is said that he never asked a client for his fee, and every dollar paid him
for legal services was a voluntary contribution. No prince was ever more
generous, and no philosopher ever had a more sovereign or a more genuine
contempt for lucre.
Thus Wolford lived until
congressional oratory drove the North and the South to cutting each other's
throats. Kentucky for three score and ten years had been part of the Union.
Clay had been the man of magnetism; her sons had won victories in Mexico, and
then, in even greater degree than now, the name Kentuckian was a synonym for
manhood in Boston and New Orleans; in Charleston and in Philadelphia. Kentucky
was naturally for the preservation of the Union, and overwhelmingly so.
Lincoln humored her; had Seward been President there would have been
separation -- temporary though it might have been -- without war; had Wade
been President he would have solidified the South and made Kentucky as
rebellious in 1861 as she became in 1866; but Lincoln was the greatest of
politicians, and his conservative utterances and conservative pledges held
Kentucky in the Union and sent Bramlette and Hobson and Ward and Wolford into
the Union army, and they took with them 100,000 men. The First Kentucky
Cavalry was recruited by Wolford, and he became its Colonel. It was the best
regiment in the army, and did more fighting than any other. Wolford was the
Forrest of the Federal cause, and like his Southern prototype was never able
to drill a squad. It is related that early in 1863 an inspection of the Army
of the Cumberland was had. Among the rest Wolford's regiment came under the
scrutiny of the regular army officers, and was a subject of much adverse
criticism. "Old Meataxe" became restive and grew impatient. Said he,
"I know nothing about your drills, your evolutions and your maneuvers. My
boys know how to ride, how to shoot, how to fight and how to stand fire. You
may take any two Yankee regiments in the whole army -- them two Michigan
regiments over thar will do -- station them where you please, on any ground,
in town or country, in field or in forest, and I will take my regiment and
what I don't kill of them I will chase out of the State of Tennessee in
forty-eight hours. The boys came out to whip the rebels back into the Union,
not to steal niggers." After delivering himself of this oration, Wolford
was permitted to handle his men to suit himself without interference from his
superiors. He fought so well that he was finally given command of twelve
regiments and his command it was that saved Knoxville from the clutch of
Longstreet. He led the van in every advance and brought up the rear in every
retreat. Many wounds, some of them severe, enough to kill the average man,
attested his personal bravery and for thirty years his will power alone kept
Though an officer at the time, Wolford was chosen a Democratic elector
for the State-at-Large in the Presidential campaign of 1864. He at once left
his command and began to make a series of speeches in Kentucky, doubtless the
most remarkable ever delivered on any stump. He was in the full plenitude of
his remarkable natural oratorical gifts. His arraignment of Lincoln and his
Administration would have cost any other man his life, and did cost him his
liberty. By almost a miracle he escaped assassination, and Wolford went to his
grave in the firm belief that only the interposition of Providence averted his
murder at the direct order of Burbridge. In one of his speeches he said the
country was crucified between two thieves -- Abe Lincoln and Jeff Davis. This
cost him his liberty, and he was sent to Washington in chains and under guard.
It was while in prison at Washington that he addressed that famous letter to
Lincoln upon the rights of the citizen in matters of opinion and speech that
even a Somers, in England, or a Black, in America, might have been proud to
father. It is now lost in the musty and neglected files of newspapers, but it
ought to be resurrected and printed again to show to the men of this day what
a man and patriot was thirty years ago.
After the close of the war Wolford was the first man in the country to
declare for amnesty. Happily for Kentucky a statesman and patriot was Governor
of the State, and he put in practice what Wolford preached. By the unlimited,
almost reckless, use of the pardoning power, Thomas E. Bramlette averted feuds
in Kentucky that would have cost oceans of blood and rendered the state a
Corsica. In 1865 Wolford announced himself a candidate for the Legislature on
a platform of complete and absolute amnesty. The district was composed of the
counties of Casey and Russell, both of which had not sent a dozen men to the
Southern army, and each of which had contributed a regiment to the Federal
army. His opponent was Silas Adams, the Lieutenant Colone of the old First
Kentucky Cavalry. He was a splendid fellow, a cultured lawyer, a fine orator,
a knightly gentleman, the idol of the then infant Republican party of the
State. He had a superb army record, having been in more than 110 battles and
actions. He was opposed to amnesty, as an overwhelming majority of the
district was. The opposing candidates held joint discussion in every school
district of the two counties, and the welkin was vocal with fervid eloquence.
On the Saturday before the election on the following Monday an immense
concourse greeted them at Liberty, the county seat of Casey county. Wolford
spoke first and created great enthusiasm. Adams arose to reply, and, after
speaking a few minutes, he turned to Wolford and said: "Gen. Wolford, you
claim to be for complete and unconditional amnesty for unrepentant rebels.
Now, sir, no dodging; tell this people if you are willing to discharge that
arch-traitor, Jefferson Davis, from his prison quarters in Fort Monroe."
Wolford said: "I'll answer you, Col. Adams, when your time is up."
"I want an answer now," roared Adams. There was not a single
Southern sympathizer in that vast throng. It was a crowd of Union men, Union
at all hazards and without condition. They believed that secession was the sum
of all villainies, and that treason should be made odious. His friends
trembled for Wolford and feared that he was lost however he answered, and
certainly lost if he took counsel of his heart in the answer he should give.
But Wolford showed his manhood. Stepping to the front, he said:
"Fellow-citizens, I was at Buena Vista. I saw the battle lost and victory
in the grasp of the brutal and accursed foe. I saw the favorite boy of Harry
of the West -- my Colonel -- weltering in his own blood. I saw death or a
captivity worse than death in store for every surviving Kentuckian on that
gory field. Everything seemed hopeless and was hopeless, when a Mississippi
regiment, with Jeff Davis at its head, appeared on the scene. I see him now as
he was then -- the incarnation of battle, a thunderbolt of war, the apotheosis
of victory, the avatar of rescue. He turned the tides, he snatched victory
from defeat; his heroic hand wrote the words Buena Vista in letters of glory
on our proud escutcheon. I greeted him then a hero, my countryman, my brother
and my rescuer. He is no less so this day, and I would knock the shackles from
his aged limbs and make him as free as the vital air of heaven and clothe him
in every right I enjoy had I the power to do so. Put that in your pipes, Silas
Adams and you new-dipped black Republicans, and smoke it." The effect was
electrical. Men cheered, laughed, wept. The sublime moral courage of the man
who thus bared his heart at the risk of political annihilation was not lost on
that mountaineer assembly; perhaps nowhere else except in the mountain section
of Kentucky could be found a community with appreciation of such moral heroism
so vivid. For a moment that crowd of stalwart mountaineers swayed, then,
altogether -- friend of amnesty and partisan of rigor -- sprang forward, and
taking the old scarred veteran on their shoulders, made a procession through
the town, singing and cheering as they went. Next Monday Frank Wolford was
elected by eight majority, and that tribute to Jefferson Davis elected him. In
the legislature he brought in the amnesty bill that is now in law, and by its
provisions the returned ex-Confederates again became Kentuckians with all the
rights and privileges of Kentuckians.
After his term expired he
went back to his former dual calling, that of jury lawyer and stump orator.
About a dozen mountain counties were laid off and called "Wolford's
Kingdom," and woe to the Republican that set his foot in that territory
when Wolford was about. He could talk a parrot dumb and an argument made no
more impression on him than a shower on a duck. I will not repeat the story of
how he drove Gen. Frye out of the territory by asserting in his speech that
Jeff Davis, Gen. Lee, A.H. Stevens and others were hanged to illustrate what a
"hell of a magnanimous party the Republican party was." But another
story equally good is not so well known. In 1880 the late A.M. Swope was a
Garfield elector for the State-at-large. Everybody in Kentucky remembers what
a superb stumper he was; he was sent into Wolford's "kingdom" and
the Democrats put Wolford on him. In his first and only speech Swope
criticised the Democratic party for passing over such statesmen as Tilden,
Thurman, Hendricks and Bayard and nominating Hancock, a mere soldier, and no
great shakes of a soldier at that. He called attention to the fact that
Hancock had never risen above the station of Corps Commander, and that had he
been much of a soldier Lincoln and Stanton would drafted him into the command
of the army of Virginia at sometime. They had tried in turn Scott, McDowell,
McClellan, Pope, McClellan again, Burnside, Hooker, Meade and Grant, but had
never thought of Hancock. In his reply Wolford delivered himself of the
following bit of oratory: "Fellow-citizens, Gen. Swope criticises Gen.
Hancock's record as a soldier; he don't know what he's talking about. In 1863
I was in Washington and we held a council of war. I was thar, Mr. Lincoln was
thar, Mr. Seward was thar, Mr. Stanton was thar, other members of the Cabinet
were thar and judge Jo Holt was thar. We discussed the matter the whole day,
and all of us were of the opinion Gen. Hancock should be appointed Commander
of the Army of the Potomac. Mr. Lincoln said that Hancock had always been his
first choice anyhow. Gen. Hancock was notified of the determination and came
to Washington, and old Abe gave him the command, but required that he should
rob, plunder and murder the Southern people, and Gen. Hancock was too
much of a gentleman to take command under any such conditions, and Gen. Swope,
that is the reason Gen. Hancock was not made Commander of the Army of the
Potomac. You don't know the history of your country, sir." I once asked
Gen. Wolford his reasons for adopting such methods on the stump. He replied:
"The Republican party is founded on a lie; all the stock in trade
Republicans have a is batch of lies. It is a good plan to fight the devil with
fire if you can get together fire enough. That is my way of fighting the
Republican party on the stump."
In 1882, by a combination in the State Democratic convention, Gen.
Wolford was defeated for the nomination for the Clerk of the Court of Appeals,
though the masses of the party were for him. The Legislature at once made a
congressional district for him, and he was given the nomination without the
formality of a convention and by general consent. Nobody took so great an
interest in the race as the ex-Confederates. Gen. Lewis was on nettles till
old Barren gave Wolford the largest majority she ever gave a Democrat, the
vote being just two to one -- 2,660 for Wolford to 1,330 for Carr -- though
Carr was a citizen of Barren. Gen. Duke was also active, and the party in
every district bore a hand in the bloody old Eleventh. In the canvass Wolford
Wolford adopted the tactics against Carr that had been so successful against
Frye, Swope, and others, and for two months he had Carr as mad as a wet hen,
and as miserable as a wet rat. In Congress the old war-horse was a unique
character. One Horr, of Michigan, engaged him in debate, and, though Horr had
bested S.S. Cox in a match of wits, Wolford floored him with half a dozen
passages of Scripture that set the house in a roar. On one occasion he fired a
Scriptural quotation at Speaker Carlisle that disconcerted that gentleman as
no logic could have done. Tom Browne, of Indiana, an able and brilliant man,
confessed himself worsted by Wolford, and declared that nobody but a hopeless
born fool would ever tackle him twice. He once answered a letter, declaring he
was in Congress to attend to matters of State, and that if his constituents
wanted a man to atend their private affairs they must get another Congressman.
His bullying Beck and Blackburn into consenting to the nomination of Jim
Smith, an ex-Confederate, postmaster of Glasgow, is well remembered. I could
relate numerous anecdotes of interest touching his congressional career if
Frank Wolford was a cross
between Davy Crockett and Bishop Bascom. He was a kinsman of Jim Lane, of Kansas
notoriety, and had he been a Harvard graduate he would have been one of the
great leaders of the country. With the kindest heart I ever knew, he was the
only man I ever saw who was absolutely fearless. He was rough and uncouth and
unlettered except in the writings of the holy Bible, and the literature of the
Baptist church, of which he was a member. As examples of his crudeness and
rusticity, he said "thar" for there, "whar" for where,
"pint" for point, "sot" for sat, but in the latter he had
the authority of the father of English literature. It was not that he did not
know better; it was that he was from and of the masses. Asked at Chamberlain's
what of all dishes he preferred, he replied: "Drap dumplin's and a biled
hen." He was low of stature, but powerfully built, with storage room for
lungs of immense capacity and bulk. His face was smooth-shaven and his hair
iron-gray. His eye was, possibly, a more prominent feature than his nose; it
fairly glowed with perceptible fire, was as keen as hawk's, and like that of
Marcius the Great, "was able to pierce a corslet," or "gaze an
eagle blind." The nose was large and prominent, Roman, an eagle's beak,
such as Napoleon delighted in. And yet this ideal soldier, this lion of battle,
was the gentlest and the kindest man I ever knew. Angry he was never known to be
except on two occasions, and then his enemies sought shelter, as well they
might. He is gone from among men, but the sod will rest lightly above his manly
breast, for of the thousands of manly hearts covered by the sod of Kentucky not
one is nobler than that of Frank Wolford. Make way, ye children of self, a
a Christian and patriot goes to his reward.
Savoyard, to whom authorship of the foregoing sketch "A Rugged
Knight" was attributed, was the
nom de plume of Eugene W. Newman, a native of that section of Barren Co.
KY which in 1860 was set aside as part of the new county of Metcalfe. Kentucky
Roadside Marker # 1000, located at Savoyard, Metcalfe Co. KY, reads as follows:
"Birthplace of Eugene W. Newman, whose pen name was given to the
town, formerly Chicken Bristle. A noted Washington columnist for several
metropolitan newspapers and author of sketches about the Pennyrile of Kentucky.
Known as great political writer, praised by contemporaries for understanding of
people and versatility. Newman lived 1845‑1923; buried Edmonton."
"Burbridge" ("...Wolford went to his grave in the firm
belief that only the interposition of Providence averted his murder at the
direct order of Burbridge) was Stephen G. Burbridge, 1831-1894, who was
appointed as a military comander by President Lincoln in the sumer of 1864. In The
Kentucky Encyclopedia, John E. Kleber, Editor in Chief, The University Press
of Kentucky, 1992 (Second Printing), page 142, Aloma Williams Dew wrote of
"As military commander, Burbridge had the power to invoke martial
law in the state. He was overzealous and antagonized much of the state. His job
was to enforce the congressional act of 1864 that gave military courts
jurisdiction over marauding guerillas, and to uphold President Lincoln's
suspension of the writ of habeus corpus."
"Harry of the West" was a nickname of Senator Henry Clay of
Kentucky. Senator Clay's son, Henry Clay, Jr., referred to in Savoyard's sketch
as "young Henry Clay"and (by Gen. Wolford) as "the favorite boy
of Harry of the West -- my Colonel" was killed at the Battle of Buena Vista
on February 23,1847. Young Clay was Lieutenant Colonel of the 2nd Kentucky Foot