(Photo & transcription from the May 14, 1919 edition of the Adair County News)

Death of Barksdale Hamlett


Once Prominent in the Affairs of Kentucky Politics, State Superintendent a Known Educator---Editor Adair County News.


End Comes In Beechhurst Sanitarium.


Last Saturday morning, three weeks ago, Mr. Barksdale Hamlett, in company with his brother, Mr. J.C. Hamlett, left here ostensibly for Farmville, Va., where he expected to remain until he recuperated his health, he having been in rather a serious condition for two weeks. Upon reaching Louisville he was too sick to continue the journey and he was placed in Beechhurst Sanatarium, in the East end of the city where he died with meningitis. His brother remained with him for two days, then left for Virginia with the intention of returning as soon as Mr. Hamlett was able to travel.

The first two or three days he showed signs of marked improvement, but complications set up, and he gradually grew worse until the end came, which occurred last Wednesday night [May 7th] between eight and nine o'clock. Mrs. Hamlett was in Louisville a few days before he died, and asked if she could see him and was advised by the attending physician not to come, as Mr. Hamlett's mind was utterly blank and that he would not know her, and she returned to Columbia.

In October, 1917, as agent for his wife, he purchased The Adair County News from Mr. C.S. Harris and immediately assumed charge as its editor and manager. He remained with the paper in that connection until about two weeks before leaving for Virginia.

During the eighteen months he lived in Columbia, his business afforded him an opportunity to become acquainted, and when he left was know and like- [paper torn; one or two words and the end of "like-" missing] majority of the best men in the county. He was a fluent conversationalist, using the purest English, hence he was a very entertaining man, and his death was universally regretted here.

As soon as the news of his demise reached Columbia, Mrs. Hamlett, accompanied by her two sons and little daughter, left for the city to make arrangements for the funeral.

The deceased had many striking characteristics, and when in good health he was a very companionable gentleman, his company being sought by those who were seeking information, as he was a learned historian, modern and ancient.

He was kind-hearted and many in this town could testify to his generosity, and will miss him.

The deceased was also a lawyer and did some practice while here, though he had no sign out and made no effort to secure business in that line. He was a good advocate, his speeches forceful and to the point.

Barksdale Hamlett was born in Prince Edward county, Va., Feb. 3, 1879, and was married to Miss Daisy Crume, of Hardin county, Ky., May 24, 1899, the ceremony being performed in Jeffersonville, Ind.

To this union were born three children, Edward C. Hamlett, 17; Barksdale Hamlett, Jr., 10, and, Margaret Barksdale Hamlett, 3, all living.

The death of Mr. Hamlett removes from Kentucky politics one of the former Democratic [paper torn; last two lines in column missing] superintendent of the city schools at Hopkinsville, principal of the Barret Manual Training High School, at Henderson, and served for four years as the Superintendent of Public Instruction in Kentucky, and while in this position he wrote and secured passage of many of the progressive and reform school laws, now in effect.

He was largely instrumental in having the large and handsome public school building erected at Hopkinsville. His name is inscribed on the building.

Mr. Hamlett was educated in the high schools of Virginia and Hampden-Sidney College of the same state [the college was located in Prince Edward County, Va., about six miles from Farmville], and graduated with [an] A.B. degree in 1898. The honorary degree of L.L.D. was conferred on him by the University of Kentucky in June, 1914. He was the son of Coleman Simmons and Alice R. Hamlett, who reside at the old home in Virginia.

He was a prominent lodge man, being a member of the Masons, Elks, K. of P. [Knights of Pythias] and Woodmen of the World.

In addition, he has held all positions of honor in the educational association of the State. As President of the Kentucky Educational Association and under his leadership, this association was incorporated and made to become a more powerful factor in shaping the educational policies of the Commonwealth.

He was the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in 1915.

Besides his wife and three children, Mr. Hamlett is survived by seven brothers and three sisters.

He was a believer in the crucified and risen Savior, and a few years ago was a regular attendant upon the ordinances of the Baptist Church, and was also prominent in Sunday-school work.

On Friday the body of Mr. Hamlett, accompanied by his wife, son Edward, and brother, Mr. J.C. Hamlett, of Farmville, Va., and many friends was taken to Frankfort, the deceased having expressed a desire to be buried at the capitol. Many of his former associates attended the last rites.

[Mr. Hamlett also served a four-year term as the Chairman of the Board of Regents of Eastern Kentucky Normal School, now Eastern Kentucky University; authored History of Education in Kentucky; and edited & published The Common School Laws of the State of Kentucky, among other accomplishments.]

Barksdale Hamlett Death Certificate