Saturday, August 31, 2013

Double Murder in Stamping Ground, Kentucky

One hundred and fourteen years ago, my Great-Grandfather and the Sheriff of Stamping Ground, Kentucky were both killed.   The known facts are that my Great-Grandfather, Thomas Southworth, had been drinking after celebrating the birth of his eighth child, there was a verbal altercation between the Sheriff (Charley Duke) and Thomas, shots were fired and two men were dead.  What is believed to happen is during the altercation the sheriff shot and killed Thomas.  What is not known is how the sheriff was killed.

I first learned about the nature of my Great-Grandfather's death about 20 years ago.  I found newspaper accounts from both the Lexington Herald and Lexington Leader.  I also found an article about the incident in the New York Times (click to read article).  I learned that Thomas's son, Luther, was present at the shooting and could have played a role in the shooting.

Thomas Southworth's Grave 
About ten years ago, my father, my two sons and I went to find Thomas Southworth's grave site in the community of Beechwood in southern Owen County. You can click on the the next link to find the Beechwood Cemetery (Directions to Beechwood Cemetery).

 I thought the story was over until about a month ago when a teacher friend, Jean Hardy,  showed me an article about the incident and new information about the "Double Murder in Stamping Ground, Kentucky".

This has inspired me to find out more about what happened that September night in 1899.  As I investigate the new evidence over the coming months, I am going to use this blog site to share my findings.  This could be the ultimate "Cold Case".

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