Colonel Frank Lane Wolford
* Biography Posted with Permission from The
University Press of Kentucky
WOLFORD, FRANK LANE. Frank Lane Wolford, lawyer, Union officer, and congressman, was born to John and Mahalia Wolford on September 2, 1817, in Adair County, Kentucky. He studied law under Hiram Thomas, was admitted to the bar in Casey County, and practiced law in Liberty, Kentucky. During the Mexican War, Wolford served under Col. William R. McKee. In 1847 he returned to Kentucky and was elected to the Kentucky House, serving from 1847 until 1849. From 1849 until the outbreak of the Civil war, Wolford earned a reputation as one of the best criminal lawyers in the Green River region.
During the Civil War, Wolford recruited for the 1st Kentucky Cavalry, serving as Colonel. He spent most of his time in the 1st Cavalry chasing Gen. John Hunt Morgan of the Confederate Cavalry until Morgan's capture in July 1863. In March 1864, Wolford was dishonorably discharged from the army by President Lincoln after publicly criticizing his presidency and was arrested and jailed several times by Gen. Stephen T. Burbridge until Lincoln intervened and ended the matter in 1865.
On March 4, 1865, Wolford returned to the Kentucky House to represent the Casey‑Russell district, serving until 1867. In 1865 and 1869, he was a Kentucky presidential elector, voting for Gen. George B. McClellan and Horatio Seymour, respectively. In 1867 he was appointed adjutant general by Gov. John W. Stevenson (1867‑71), serving until 1868. He practiced law in Liberty until 1879 and then in Adair County. He was elected to the U.S. Congress, where he represented the 11th Congressional District, serving two terms (March 4, 1883, to March 3, 1887).
Wolford was married twice: to Nancy Dever on November 2, 1849 and to Elizabeth Bailey on April 6, 1865. He died August 2, 1895, and was buried in the Columbia, Kentucky, cemetery.
See Hambleton Tapp, "Incidents in the Life of Frank Wolford, Colonel of the First Kentucky Union Cavalry," FCHQ [Filson Club Historical Quarterly] 10 (Apr. 1936): 82‑100.
* Information source: The Kentucky Encyclopedia, John E. Kleber, Editor in Chief; The University Press of Kentucky, 1992 (Second Printing), page 963.