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On December 22, 1769, Daniel Boone’s hunting party members were captured by the Shawnee, near Eskippakithiki, who took their hides and most supplies. They released Boone’s men, leaving them enough food for their journey home. The Shawnee gave them the warning, “never to come back or the wasps and yellow jackets would sting them.” Boone and Stewart did not leave Kentucky and were recaptured a short time later, but they escaped again.
December 22, 1798, the Kentucky legislature passed an act merging rival Presbyterian institutions of learning. The Kentucky Academy in Woodford County and Transylvania Seminary of Lexington merged and became Transylvania University.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 24
December 22, 1798, Shelbyville Academy was chartered by the Kentucky General Assembly, with a grant of 6,000 acres of land south of the Green River. In 1836 the name changed to Shelby College, and in 1841 the Protestant Episcopal Church took control. The campus consisted of 18 acres, a brick building, and the president’s home. In the late 1840s and 1850s, the college expanded its curriculum for surveyors, civil engineers, astronomers, pharmacists, and physicians. The school’s main classroom building included an astronomical observatory built by Kentuckian Gideon Shryock. Disputes over a lottery to provide funding hurt the college, and it closed in 1868. After the college closed, the campus was used as a school for boys and then an elementary school. Later the building was razed.
December 22, 1838, Washington native Albert Sidney Johnston became the Republic of Texas’s Secretary of War. He provided for the defense of the Texas border against Mexican invasion, and in 1839 conducted a campaign against Indians in northern Texas. In February 1840, he resigned and returned to Kentucky, possibly back to his home in Mason County.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Vice President Adlai E. Stevenson who wed Letitia Green Stevenson in 1866. Letitia helped establish the Daughters of the American Revolution as a way of healing the divisions between the North and South after the Civil War, and succeeded the wife of Benjamin Harrison as the DAR’s second president-general. They had three daughters, Mary, Julia and Letitia, and a son, Lewis Stevenson.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Louisville native St. Elmo Brady born in 1884. Brady was the first African-American to receive a Ph.D. in chemistry. Equally as significant, Brady went on to build chemistry curricula, faculty, programs and facilities at four major historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), where he and his colleagues mentored multiple generations of African- American chemists.
December 22, 1898, Deputy Marshal Ren Ashby, Slaughtersville Marshal’s Office, was killed by the son of a man who had just been arrested by the town marshal. The marshal had arrested the man on an outstanding charge of violating the peace. After turning the man over to the sheriff, the marshal and Deputy Marshal Ashby met on the street and talked. The man’s 27-year-old son suddenly appeared with a shotgun and, without warning, fired at both men. Deputy Ashby died while the marshal was struck in the face and back and severely wounded. A former town marshal arrested the man and took him to Dixon’s jail and charged him with murder. The suspect was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to eight years. On December 24, 1902, he was pardoned by Governor J. C. W. Beckham. When the boy’s father got out of jail, he left Slaughtersville, and they told him never to return. On June 17, 1899, he did go back and was found the next morning dead from a shotgun blast in the face. The former town marshal who arrested his son was charged with his murder. He was acquitted.
December 22, 1899, a meeting of the election board, to canvass the votes of the 7th congressional election, put into motion the deadly fight for the Governor’s Mansion. The Kentucky General Assembly was dominated by the Democrats and a Republican won the governor’s race.
December 22, 1908, Deputized Civilian John Brooks and Deputy Robert Smith, Knox County Sheriff’s Office, were killed while serving a warrant on three men for robbing a miner. He had deputized four men, including John Brooks, to assist with the arrests. As Deputy Smith read the warrant to the three men one of them produced a handgun and opened fire, striking him in the abdomen. A shootout ensued between the three suspects and five officers in which Deputy Brooks and one of the suspects were killed. The other two suspects fled the scene but were both quickly arrested.
December 22, 1935, Patrolman Robert Rowland and Patrolman James Hays, Kentucky Highway Patrol, were killed while attempting to question two brothers about a stolen automobile at the garage they operated in Franklin. One of the brothers was sentenced to life and one was sentenced to six years. The brother who was released after only six years went on to murder another police officer in Tennessee.
December 22, 1942, the Keeneland Association wrote check number 2591 for $35,000. It was presented to the Community War Chest during WWII. Service members received gifts and amenities through this foundation’s work.
December 22, 1946, Sheriff Joseph Jones Gibson, Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed after responding to a disturbance call involving a man with a gun. The 28-year-old suspect was arrested, convicted of murder, and sentenced to death. A year later he received a second trial and was sentenced to life.
December 22, 1962, Kentucky’s Cotton Nash battled for a loose ball as the ninth-ranked Cats played No. 7 West Virginia in the UKIT championship game in Memorial Coliseum. Despite trailing by five at halftime, UK went on to win, 79-75, behind Nash’s 30 points. UK would finish the season 16-9.
December 22, 1970, Emma Parkes Watts passed away. Her home is in downtown Richmond and borders Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). According to rumor, Emma despised EKU with a passion and arranged to have it written into her will, in perpetuity, that EKU could never, ever get their hands on her property. The house is empty now but the house is still furnished just as it was at the time of her death. The Richmond City Council holds occasional events in the front yard of the property, and gives tours of the home every Halloween.
December 22, 1980, a federal judge gave Kentucky more time to reduce the population of Kentucky’s two largest prisons; Kentucky State Reformatory and Kentucky State Penitentiary. Each prison had to reduce their population by 600. Most prisoners were being transferred to a new prison, Luther Luckett Correctional Facility, in Oldham County.
December 22, 1981, nearly 500 visitors attended the Christmas open house in Eddyville. Family members were frisked and food inspected when Superintendent Al Parke revived the prison’s Christmas open house on a scale never attempted before.