Newspaper Archive of
Bath County News - Outlook
Owingsville, Kentucky
November 4, 2009     Bath County News - Outlook
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November 4, 2009

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2 November 4, 2009 Your Hometown Newspaper Bath County News-Outlook THE PAINTED TREE "I showed Colonel Du- val Payne the road I was well acquainted with... and the marks on the trees, and there were a great many painted trees and images of men and animals cut on the trees on and about the (Upper Blue) Lick." Deposition of James Ireland, recorded in the Nicholas County Com- plete Record Book, de- posing about the Atlata- Oh-Waimee, or Warriors Trail, or War Road, as it was called. The road passed from the mouth of Cabin Creek on the Ohio River southward to the Upper Blue Licks, and then to Plumb Lick and Ned Boone's Creek. It was on this creek where Shawnee warriors killed Joshua Bennett and Mathias Spahr; where Michael Cassidy was nearly beaten to death but hid beneath the roots of a hawthorn tree. Continued from last week's column. Heaven Is I A LN UkeI "7"1 I Nov. 12, 1784, along the edge of Ned Boone's Creek, The small group of fron- tiersmen found the des- ecrated bodies of Joshua Bennett and Mathias Spahr in the middle of the War Road, right where James Beath had told them they would be. They'd buried what had been left of them. It had been Beath that had found Cassidy. He'd been breaking hemp when Michael Cassidy had come running out of the thick woods, but he was so altered from his wounds and all the blood that Beath didn't recognize him. When he finally did recognize him, Cassidy had muttered in a whisper, "Shawnee .... they ... killed Bennett and Spahr," and then he had collapsed. Beath carried him back to Strode's Station, and Captains John Fleming and John McIntyre had set out with Beath and others to find Bennett and Spahr. They buried the two men, right in the middle of the War Road and fol- lowed the trail of the five warriors to the Ohio Riv- er, but went no further. On their return they saw where wolves had attempted to dig up the bodies. After lingering awhile between the place where Bennett and Spahr were buried and the little grave near the Plumb Lick where Ned Boone was buried, Beath had spoken some Shawnee words in a tight whisper. It had been the only time he's spoke since they bur- ied Bennett and Spahr. Now he stood trans- fixed, looking at a peeled oak tree with strange symbols and figures painted upon the smooth side. Beath was one of the old guard, one of the orig- inal Berkley Men who'd come to Strode's Station in 1779. But the Shawnee had captured him the next summer while hunting at Blue Licks. Old man Orchard had been killed and Cud Steele had been taken prisoner too. Beath had been shot in the shoulder while he distracted the warriors so young Van Swearingin could make his escape. Van made a heroic leap across a deep ravine, and though he dropped his musket in the process, he escaped. Beath ,and Steele were made prisoner and marched back to Old Chillicothe by a splin- ter group from the Byrd Invasion of 1780, when Ruddle's and Martin's Station had been cap- tured. The Shawnee let Beath's wound go unat- tended until it was swol- len and infected. Then they made him run a long gauntlet, with each Shawnee partici- pant who was armed with a switch or a club, taking particular close aim and striking Beath's horrible shoulder wound. But he had survived and was released in peace negotiations in 1783 when British agents also released many of the Ruddle's and Martin's captives. But his captivity had hardened him and he developed a terrible tem- per. "Here!" Captain Flem- ing said as he smacked Beath's arm with a whis- key flask. Beath looked at him with those crazy eyes, but they softened when he saw it was Fleming who stood by him. He took the flask and after flexing his shoulder that Fleming tapped, seeming to remind Fleming that his shoulder still hurt, he took a long swallow and handed the flask back to Fleming. "It's good to be riding with you again John," Beath said and with a sly grin poked him in his stomach, near where he'd taken his own ter- rible wound in the Battle of Upper Blue Licks, two years earlier. '"tou gonna' stand there staring at that tree all day, or tell us what is says?" Fleming asked and added, '2VIy brother George, who was raised by the Iroquois showed me some paintings like that once, near our base camp, north of here, and said it was some warrior's name. Is that was this is James?" Beath turned back and stared at the painted tree. The ancient oak was easily 20 feet in diameter and had been carved and painted upon dozens, per- haps hundreds of times, by members of various clans of Native American tribes. Beath starred at what appeared to be the fresh- est painting on the tree. "It's a name of a bad, Dear Editor, The History of Bath County was written by John Adair Richards, I believe in 1960 and was used as the basis for your recent article on Eleanor Gillespie. I would like to try and enlighten your readers with a few details omitted by Mr. Richards, some interesting tidbits With the help of her son they tied a rope around the man's neck and as the family version goes, "One went one way and the other went the other way." This version was relayed to me by a descen- dant of Rebecca Gillespie. My family descends from an older daughter, Ann who married in Sept. of 1817 and helped raise about what was included: Rebecca ......... : by the author and also the Interestingly; the May family's version of events which corresponds much closer to the newspaper account in May of 1817 than the version by Mr. Richards. Eleanor was charged with and found guilty of the murder of John Hawkins, the Sheriff of Bath County, who was her second husband. Richards says that the husband's name was not listed in the record, but it is in the newspaper account, "A Mr. John Hawkins was murdered about (April 10th) near Capt. John Jouett's in Bath County by Eleanor Gillespy, his supposed wife and her son." The son, Jacob Gillespie's charges were dropped or he was acquitted possibly because of his age - about 14. The family version of events was that Hawkins was a drunkard who was both physically and sexu- ally abusive to Eleanor and her children. She couldn't turn to "the law" for help as he was the law. She took matters into her own hands on the night in question. He was drunk and up to the usual. Luckily for little 7 yr. old Rebecca Gillespie, he passed out before he was able to abuse her. Eleanor had had enough. 1817 newspaper account states that "the deceased being intoxicated, they took this opportunity of accomplishing their de- sign, by putting a rope round his neck, & one pulling at each end until he expired. He was found with the rope round his neck, nearly bedded in the skin." That corresponds with the family version of events NOT the book's version of the molten lead being poured down his ears. You might find that in Shakespeare's Hamlet, though. The acting sheriff af- ter the murder was none other than the son of John Hawkins. If he was anything like his father, he would not have a prob- lem with seeing a white woman hung for murder. (Eleanor was the first and only white woman ever to be hung in the state of KY.) Hawkins, Jr. is the one who quite possibly started the rumor that Hawkins was murdered over money, not wanting the real reason to get out which would lead to sym- pathy for the defendants. The newspaper account stated %Ve understand the deceased was in pos- session of a considerable sum of money & to obtain this, they formed the de- sign of murdering him." N Bath County News-Outlook is published every Wednesday by M.C. Investments d/b/a/Bath County News-Outlook, 71 Miller Drive, Owingsville, KY 40360 Periodicals Postage Rates are paid at Owingsville, KY 40360 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bath County News-Outlook, PO Box 272, Carlisle, KY 40311 Members of the Kentucky Press Association The International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors 2009 SUBSCRIPTION RATES: $25.00 for year in Bath County, $30.00 elsewhere in Kentucky and $35.00 out of state. Subscriptions include sales tax where applkable. All subscriptions payable in advance. In your article, you mentioned that Col. George Lansdowne, the step-father of Richard Menefee (for whom Me- nifee Co. was named) helped in an escape at- tempt. The man, David Fahey who stopped the escape was a friend of the acting sheriff. Of course, he was not told of the es- cape attempt though oth- ers were in on it as many of the town's people were. Another interesting tidbit was that the murder took place "near Capt. John Jouett's in Bath County". I recently found out that Richard Menefee was married to Sarah Bell Jouett, the granddaugh- ter of Capt John "Jack" Jouett. Your readers may not be aware that Col. George Lansdowne acquired his property, Olympian Springs in Bath Co. supposedly in a poker game from Henry Clay in the 1830's. Also, your readers might like to know that in the book, A Tale of Two Cities there is a scene where a woman is taken to her hanging riding in a wagon, knitting, very much like the description Richards painted of Elea- nor who "amused herself by knitting" on the way to the gallow. Sincerely, Roberta P. Newell A fourth great-grand daughter of Eleanor Gil- lespie Dear Friends, On Friday night, No- vember 6, from 5-8 p.m. participating churches and supporting organi- zations in Bath County will be hosting a Benefit Fish Fry and Auction for Jimmy "Buster Lewis and his wife, Wilma Kis- sick Lewis. This event will take place at the Ow- ingsville First Church of God, 320 Slate Avenue, Owingsville, Ky. For six years Jimmy has been afflicted with a very rare illness known as "Progressive Supranu- clear Palsy". As a result, he has been bedfast for three years, on a feeding tube for two years and unable to speak for two years. Prior to his ill- ness, Jimmy was an auto- mobile dealer and Wilma worked in the kitchen at the Bath County Middle School. This long term illness has been devas- Churches and community organizations that are a part of this fundraiser, we are urging you to be supportive. If you would like to volunteer to help by selling tickets, provid- ing auction items or just being here for the event, it would be greatly ap- preciated. I have felt strongly about helping to provide this benefit for a long time because I saw the need, but, Jimmy and Wilma wanted to do all they could for them- tating financially as well selves before ever giving as ph~c~j(~:~eb~fiitat-: ~heir consent. However, ing but because 'of the the time is now-,.here love and care he receives from his feimily and home health, he is able to be at home. One of the charac- teristics of our commu- nity over the years has been that we respond to the needs of others when there are events such as this benefit and auction and in behalf of all the wherein our help is need- ed and the challenge for us is to arise to the occa- sion and respond in such a degree that Jimmy and Wilma are blessed and we are blessed also be- cause of our willingness to share. Blessings, Lowell C. Rice bad warrior I know," Beath said as he pointed to the tree. "One of the bad ones that goes by the name Blue Jacket." They mounted their horses and rode back home after that. They imagined they be arriving in time to dig an- other grave for that crazy little Irishman, Michael Cassidy. But they ended up being wrong about that. Cassidy survived, and though scarred horribly for life across his face, he eventually healed and became a fierce Indian Scout. He often scouted and hunted with James Beath. And they would run into the great Shawnee War Chief named Blue Jacket one day in 1787. But that's another story, dear reader, and one I'm sure we will visit somewhere in the future if the Good Lord is will- ing. 24x24xg wt 3OxdOx I0 w] one 8x8 sliding door one IOxtO sliding door one entry door one entry door $4870 erected $78~ erected OUR PRICE INCLUDES ! WE ENCOURAGE LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Bath County News-Outlook welcomes letters to die editor. Letters must be signed and include a daytime phone number for confirmation. Unconfirmed letters and unsigned letters will not be published. Phone numbers are not published We reserve the right to deny publication of letters and to edit letters for content. The deadline for letters m the editor is 5 p.m. Friday. Send letters to: Editor, Bath County News-Outlook P.O. Box 272 Carlisle, KY 40311 Letters may also be e-mailed to: editor@thecarlislemercury.com However, if e-mail is used, the sender should call 859-289-6425 to confirm that the letter was ~ceived HOW TO REACH US Mailing address: P.O. Box 272, Carlisle, KY 40311 Phone: 859-289-6425 Fax: 859-289-4000 Email for news:editor@tbeearlislemercury.com Email for advertising: advcrtising@thecarlislemercury.eom DEADLINES: Editorial copy deadline is 5 p.m. Friday. Advertising copy wit[ proof deadline 5 p.m. Friday, advertising copy without proof, 10 a.m. Friday Classified advertising deadline l0 a.m. Tuesday. " PHOTOS/ELECTRONIC ADVERTISING: Color, black and white and digital )hotos are all accepted. Digital photos should be submitted in the jpg format and can be emailed. Old photos will be aeceptad at any time. Please do not submfi newspaper clippings or photocopies. Photos may be picked up after they are published in the newspaper. 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