TODAY IN KENTUCKY HISTORY

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Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Richmond native Christopher Houston “Kit” Carson, born in 1809 in Madison County.  Kit became known as a White Indian who learned the universal sign language used by western tribes and spoke six different Indian tongues.  At 25 he took an Indian wife for five blankets, three mules and a gun.

December 24, 1864, a group of rebels branched off from General Lyon and burned the courthouse at Leitchfield in Grayson County.  They were ordered to harass and delay the Union Army. 
Roadside History: A Guide to Kentucky Highway Markers edited by Melba Porter Hay, Dianne Wells, Thomas H. Appleton, Jr., Thomas H. Appleton; pg: 10

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Newport native Brent Spence born in 1874.  The long-time Democratic Congressman, attorney, and banker from Northern Kentucky is better known today for the bridge that connects Covington and Cincinnati.

December 24, 1879, Belle Brezing began her profession at the “bawdy house” of Jenny Hill on Main Street in Lexington.  This house was formerly Robert S. Todd’s house, where Mary Todd Lincoln grew up.  Belle was so successful at this enterprise that she started her own house two years later.

December 24, 1881, the Ashland tragedy occurred.  This was the name given to a violent murder of three teenagers, Robert and Fannie Gibbons and Emma Carico.  The crime has left its lingering mark that still haunts the town to this day.

December 24, 1887, Town Marshal Jim Tom Hubbard, Barbourville Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest three drunken men who had been firing their guns into the air in an effort to ambush him.  Marshal Hubbard had arrested one of their friends 30 minutes earlier for being drunk in public.  The remaining three subjects then began to shoot their guns in town to attempt to get Marshal Hubbard to try to arrest them as well, when he did so, they opened fire on him, fatally wounding him.

December 24, 1892, Marshal John Cox, Lamasco Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man for disturbing a religious gathering on Christmas Eve.  The subject fled the area after shooting Marshal Cox but was arrested in Princeton, two months later.

December 24, 1898, Town Marshal Sam Casebier, Hartford Police Department, was stabbed to death while attempting to arrest a man who had interfered in another arrest.  Marshal Casebier was attempting to arrest a drunk and disorderly man when the second subject pulled out a large dirk.  Upon seeing the knife Marshal Casebier informed the man he was under arrest as well.  As he the marshal grabbed his arm he was stabbed several times in the upper body.  The suspect was taken into custody.

December 24, 1900, Deputy Sheriff John B. Usher, Graves County Sheriff’s Department, was shot and killed as he and the sheriff attempted to serve a warrant.  The lawmen were met with gunfire when they arrived at the scene and Deputy Usher was killed.  The sheriff was able to return fire and kill the suspect.  Deputy Usher was survived by his wife and four children.

December 24, 1910, Town Marshal A. H. Hamby, St. Charles Police Department, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man causing a disturbance in a company store.  During the arrest, the man produced a handgun and opened fire.  Despite being mortally wounded, Marshal Hamby was able to return fire and killed the suspect.  Marshal Hamby had served with the St. Charles Police Department for five years.  He was survived by his wife, five children, mother, and six siblings.

December 24, 1911, Deputy Marshal Elijah F. “Lige” Hoskins, Crab Orchard Police Department, was shot and killed while investigating a disturbance at a local soft drink stand.  The proprietor of the sand had gotten into an argument with another man the previous week, in which both men had threatened each other.  The argument had become more heated and it was believed it would end in violence between the two.  A friend of the proprietor had convinced him to go home to avoid any violence.  After the proprietor went home, the other subject and several of his family members went to the soft drink stand and started drinking.  Deputy Marshal Hoskins, who was aware of the feud, went to check up on them but was confronted by one of the family members who told him to remove his hand from his pocket.  When Deputy Marshal Hoskins refused to remove his hand from his pocket the man shot him in the leg.  Deputy Marshal Hoskins immediately returned fire, killing the man. He then retreated out of the building, but was attacked by another family member.  As the two struggled a third family member came from across the street and shot Deputy Marshal Hoskins four times, killing him.  The man who fatally shot Deputy Marshal Hoskins was arrested and charged with murder.

December 24, 1923, Deputy Sheriff William Smith, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed in a shootout with a suspect on Christmas Eve.  After murdering Deputy Smith, the suspect fled into the nearby mountains.  A posse that was assembled to pursue him reached the town of Glomawr and were searching for him when someone in a store threw a fire cracker at them.  Thinking they were being fired upon by the suspect, the posse opened fire towards the store, killing several occupants.

December 24, 1931, Deputy Sheriff Jason Andrew “Bee” Webb, Letcher County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed by a man he had attempted to arrest earlier for drinking.  Deputy Webb was at home in his barn milking a cow on Christmas Eve, 1931.  His wife and two young daughters were in the house preparing supper for the Christmas celebration when a local man whom Deputy Webb had arrested on an alcohol charge a little while prior, stood outside the barn and called for Deputy Webb.  As soon as Deputy Webb stepped from the dark barn, the suspect shot him in the chest with a double-barreled shotgun at close range.  Hearing the shot, Deputy Webb’s wife ran from the house to her husband as the suspect left the scene.  Deputy Webb died in his wife’s arms with his daughters looking on.  The 25-year-old suspect was arrested six weeks later.  He was charged with murder and served three years in state prison.  In 1944, he was shot and killed by a relative of Deputy Webb’s widow.

December 24, 1938, Officer Charles W. Campbell, Augusta Police Department, was stabbed and shot to death by a drunk man he had just arrested.  The man pulled a knife and slashed at Officer Campbell, then pulled a pistol and shot Officer Campbell three times.  The gunman was convicted and sentenced to “twenty years and one day” for murder.  Officer Campbell was survived by his wife.

December 24, 1943, Deputy Sheriff James Cornett, Perry County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting to arrest an intoxicated man at a roadhouse in a rural area 11 miles south of Hazard on Christmas Eve.  As he made the arrest the subject and another man both opened fire.  Despite being fatally wounded, he was able to return fire and killed the subject.  The other suspect and his brother were both arrested and charged with murder.

December 24, 1946, Deputy Sheriff Jason Wells, Leslie County Sheriff’s Office, was shot and killed while attempting an arrest at a half way house.  Deputy Wells was survived by his wife and nine children.

December 24, 1968, Army SGT Edward L. Vanderpool from Beattyville in Lee County died in the Vietnam War.

Localtonians wishes a Happy Birthday to Lexington native Briana Green born in 1989.  Briana is best known for her freestyle and trick style and for being the fifteenth women to earn a spot on the Harlem Globetrotters.  She shares pictures and videos of her playing along with other lifestyle content to her Instagram and her over 290,000 followers.

Kentucky Trivia:  The number of bourbon barrels is more than double the number of Kentucky citizens.  As of October 2020 there are 9,266,228 bourbon barrels and 4,468,000 citizens.

December 24, 1995, High school football standout Tim Couch announced his intention to sign a letter-of-intent to play football at the University of Kentucky.  About 200 fans attended the news conference in a ballroom at the downtown Lexington Radisson Hotel, 90 minutes before the tip-off of the annual Kentucky-Louisville basketball game across the street at Rupp Arena.  “I came up to watch the basketball game, but I would have come up just to see this,” said fan Eddie Evans, 49, of Corbin.

Dec 24 Couch

December 24, 2018, Detective Deidre Irene Mengedoht, Louisville Metro Police Department, was killed when her patrol car was struck by an impaired driver while conducting a traffic stop on I-64, between 4th Street and 6th Street, in downtown Louisville just after 2:00 pm.  Her vehicle was stopped in the right lane with its emergency equipment activated when it was struck from behind by a Metropolitan Sewer District tractor-trailer.  The patrol car was pushed into the vehicle she had stopped and became engulfed in flames with Detective Mengedoht trapped inside.  The driver of the tractor-trailer was charged with driving under the influence and murder of a law enforcement officer.  She is survived by a young son.  In June 2020, I-64 in downtown Louisville was renamed Detective Deidre Mengedoht Highway.