Thank You For Visiting
On October 3, 1786, an entourage of fourteen families known as the McNitt Company paused to camp for the night in present-day Laurel County while traveling from Virginia to Central Kentucky. Only a man, a woman, and a female child survived the massacre, while 24 others died. The site became known as Defeated Camp or McNitt’s Defeat and is now within Levi Jackson Wilderness Road State Park. A stone wall now surrounds the cemetery, where the victims rest in peace.
Localtonians wishes a Happy Anniversary to Governor Gabriel Slaughter who married his third wife, Elizabeth Thompson Rodes, a widow from Scott County in 1813. Gabriel was the 7th Governor from 1816-20.
October 3, 1849, Midway University originally opened as the Kentucky Female Orphan School. With one teacher and sixteen female students, the nine member Board oversaw the school’s endowment, the building and five acres of land.
October 3, 1881, King Kalakaua of Sandwich Islands arrived in Lexington for a three day visit. He was the first foreign sovereign leader to have visited Lexington and was known for his travels around the world. Today the Sandwich Islands are known as Hawaii Islands.
The Squire’ Sketches of Lexington by J. Winston Coleman, Jr.; pg: 61
October 3, 1887, Morehead Normal School (MNS), the forerunner of Morehead State University, began classes in a rented house. It was operated by Phebe Button and her son, Frank, with help from the Christian Church of Kentucky. Annie Page was the first student, but eventually it became known as “a light to the mountains.” MNS was among 25 normal private schools opened in the state between 1870 and 1905 and became a public institution in 1922.
October 3, 1908, the lynching of the Walker family took place near Hickman in Fulton County at the hands of about fifty masked Night Riders. David Walker was a landowner with a 21 1/2-acre farm. The entire family of seven African Americans, including four children, died. National newspapers covered the event, and Governor Augustus E. Willson strongly condemned the murders. The Governor promised a reward for information leading to the prosecution, to no avail.
October 3, 1911, Bell County Sheriff’s Department, Deputy Oland Collins (21) and Deputy Sam Collins (23) were shot and killed in Lee County, Virginia, as they attempted to serve a warrant on a subject wanted as a witness in a murder trial.
October 3, 1923, Kentucky Department of Corrections, Guard V.B. Mattingly, Guard William Gilbert, and Guard Hodge Cunningham died at the hands of inmates attempting to take over the dining room at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville. They found the bodies three days later after the officers stormed the dining facility; the prisoners killed Cunningham during the ensuing standoff and the other two had committed suicide. Officer Cunningham became the first guard, at Eddyville, to be killed in the line of duty.
October 3, 1923, early in the morning, the inmates of Eddyville Penitentiary in Western Kentucky were preparing to leave their cells for breakfast. That was when Chester Walters made a mad dash for freedom along with two other inmates. A three-day siege that would later be called the Battle of Eddyville ensued, ending with all three prisoners and three guards’ deaths. When it was over, twenty-one-year-old Lillian Walters, Chester’s wife, was left to stand trial for conspiracy and murder, for the death of Hodge Cunningham, one of the guards.
October 3, 1963, Glasgow native Arthur Krock quoted a high-ranking government official: The CIA’s growth was ‘likened to a malignancy’ which the ‘very high official was not even sure the White House could control … any longer.’ ‘If the United States ever experiences [an attempted coup to overthrow the Government] it will come from the CIA and not the Pentagon. The agency ‘represents a tremendous power and total unaccountability to anyone. President Kennedy died two weeks later. Krock was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.
October 3, 1986, Breathitt County high school students used handmade “sunscopes” to observe a partial solar eclipse of the sun in Jackson. A group of students from Margaret Gross’s and Hubert Harold’s science classes used a variety of devices to observe the phenomenon.
October 3, 1997, Lyman Tefft Johnson passed away in Louisville. Lyman was an educator and influential role model for racial desegregation in Kentucky. He is best known as the plaintiff, whose successful legal challenge opened UK to African-American students in 1949.
October 3, 2015, New York Met Max Scherzer was pitching a no-hitter with the score 2-0 when Dan Uggla homered for the Washington Nationals. It would be the Kentuckians final bat in a very successful MLB career.