September 17, 1769, Lucy (Virgin) Downs, thought to be the first white child born west of the Allegheny Mountains, was born in what is now Fayette County, Pennsylvania, to Jeremiah and Lucy Virgin. In 1790 the family moved to Maysville. She relocated with a brother to Cincinnati in 1792 and was married there in 1800, to John Downs. She died in 1847 and was buried in Oldtown near the Little Sandy River in Greenup County, where she had resided for forty years.
September 17, 1927, happy birthday to George Frederick Blanda. Blanda was UK’s quarterback, kicker and punter under Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant. Blanda arrived in his sophomore year, following a 1–9 season. The Wildcats lost three games in each of the next three years.
September 17, 1939, night Policeman Roscoe Halcomb, Cumberland Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a hitchhiker who had threatened a motorist with a handgun. The motorist had picked up two hitchhikers in different cities, including one in Splint. When the driver pulled into a service station in Cumberland the man drew a pistol and demanded that the driver return him to Splint. The motorist was able to alert Policeman Halcomb. A shootout ensued as Policeman Halcomb attempted to arrest the subject and both were killed. Policeman Halcomb had only served with the Cumberland Police Department for three months. He was 23 and survived by his wife.
September 17, 1970, a 12-year-old boy, believed to be one of the youngest persons ever charged with a capital murder offense in Kentucky, was cleared in Trigg Circuit court. The shooting was ruled accidental.
September 17, 1975, Jailer Jessie Keen Frost, Allen County Detention Center, succumbed to injuries sustained on August 3rd, when he was beaten by an inmate in the Allen County Detention Center. Jailer Frost had entered the jail cell to server supper when one of the inmates pushed the food car causing the food to spill. The inmate then attacked Jailer Frost after he slipped on the spilled food. Jailer Frost sustained a fractured cheekbone and other serious injuries in the attack. Another inmate and Jailer Frost’s wife were able to subdue the inmate and call for assistance. Jailer Frost was taken to the Veterans Hospital in Nashville, Tennessee where he remained until succumbing to his injuries on September 17th, 1975. The inmate, who had been being held on a child abuse charge, was charged with first-degree manslaughter. Jessie was 54 and survived by his wife, two daughters, one grandson, and five siblings.
September 17, 1994, five go to post for the Grade I Ruffian Stakes at Belmont Park. Four are Keeneland graduates. The entries included; Sky Beauty, Dispute, Educated Risk, Link River and You’d be Surprised.
September 17, 2011, Louisville beats Kentucky in Lexington 24-17 to win the 24th Governor’s Cup. It was the 3rd game of the season for both teams. It matched Coach Joker Phillips against Coach Charlie Strong. Louisville goes on to lose in the Belk Bowl against NC State with a young Teddy Bridgewater.
September 17, 2016, an 1852 gold medal honoring Henry Clay sold for $346,000 at a Dallas auction; more than quadruple the required bid of $75,000. The one of a kind 30 ounce California gold had a portrait of Clay on it and came with an engraved silver case with a picture of his Ashland Estate. The medal was consigned for auction by Henry “Hank” Clay Anderson List, a fourth-generation grandson of Clay who lives in Lexington.