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Biographies from Old County Histories, affectionately called: "Mug Books"


This page is an effort to compile references to Bracken County in the county history books of other states, including the biographies of settlers in those states whose histories run through Bracken County. Do you have a mug book biography of an ancestor that you'd like to share? Please contact me about adding it to this page. The county history book can be from anywhere as long as the subject of the biography has a Bracken County connection. Old obituaries containing Bracken County, Kentucky, biographical information are also gladly accepted.


Charles F. Best

CHARLES F. BEST. The fact that the most successful men in Western Kansas are those who have lived longest in the country is a tribute not merely to length of residence but also to the character and ability of the men themselves. The older resident had many difficulties to contend with and those who succeeded were the cleverest in overcoming these difficulties and laying the safe and sure foundations for the future. One of them is Charles F. Best, a prominent farmer and stock man of Russell County and now serving as postmaster of Bunker Hill. Mr. Best came to Kansas when a youth of eighteen. He was born in Bracken County, Kentucky, February 10, 1867. His paternal ancestors were Scotch-Irish and were early settlers in Pennsylvania, where his father, J. W. Best, was born in Westmoreland County in 1835. J. W. Best, after reaching manhood moved to Bracken County, Kentucky, locating near Augusta. He was married in that locality and for about forty years was a farm owner and was also a tobacco merchant there. In 1886 he brought his family to Bunker Hill, Kansas, and developed a large stock ranch in that vicinity where he lived until his death in 1903. He was a democrat and a member of the Presbyterian Church and was also a Mason. Mr. Best, Jr., married Lucy Ware, who was born near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1810 and died at Bunker Hill, Kansas, in 1905. They had a family of seven children, Charles F. being the youngest. Their other children were: Emma, wife of R. P. Sells, of Fresno, California; W. A. Best, a stationary engineer at Lincoln, Nebraska; John S., a carpenter and contractor at Los Angeles, California; George, a farmer in Bracken County, Kentucky; Louis G., a farmer near Bunker Hill; Jacob C., who was connected with the Union Pacific Railway for twenty years but is now a farmer at Santa Anna, California. Charles F. Best received his early education in the rural schools of Bracken County, Kentucky. The first four years he spent in Kansas he was an employe of the Badger Lumber Company. He left that business to take up farming, and that was his steady vocation until 1913. He owns a well improved stock ranch of 560 acres three quarters of a mile west of Bunker Hill. He was appointed postmaster of Bunker Hill August 21, 1913, and his administration in that office during the past five years has left nothing to be desired in the way of efficient service. He is a democrat and a member of the Lutheran Church. In 1894, at Bunker Hill, he married Miss Lucy H. Biays, daughter of William H. and Henrietta (Miller) Biays. Her mother is still living at Bunker Hill. Her father was a real estate broker, and one of the early settlers in Russell County, served as postmaster of Bunker Hill under several administrations and also served as justice of the peace. Mr. and Mrs. Best have two children. Ruth, born December 15, 1898, is a sophomore in Midland College at Atchison. Frank, born June 15, 1901, is a senior in the Bunker Hill High School.

Source: A STANDARD HISTORY OF KANSAS AND KANSANS, written and compiled by William E. Connelley, Secretary of the Kansas State Historical Society, Topeka. [Revised ed.] Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1919, c1918. 5 v. (xlviii, 2530 p., [155] leaves of plates): ill., maps (some fold.), ports.; 27 cm. Page 2160.

Transcribed and contributed by Beverly Graver


Henry Boyd

HENRY BOYD, farmer-Jefferson Township, was born in Bracken County, Ky., June 8, 1811. His father, James, was born in Virginia and died January 20, 1852, being one hundred years, five months and fifteen days old; bis mother, Phebo (Webster) Boyd was also born in Virginia and died January 2, 1865, eighty -seven years old. They moved to Kentucky in 1790 and to Switzerland County, Ind., in 1819. He was a farmer all his life. The good old people belonged to the Baptist Church. Mr. Henry Boyd was married April 8, 1832, to Miss Lucretia Haycock, who was born in Kentucky, November 14, 1812. Their seven children were Lonsford, born February 2, 1833, died April 3, 1837; Morgan born January 6, 1835, died August 28, 1875; Parker, born October 14, 1837, died November 11. 1847; Phebe J., born March 11, 1839, Mrs. Funk; Minerva, born October 13, 1841, died September 13, 1854; Clinton, born February 20, 1847; Mary A., born December 27, 1848. Mr. Boyd was school director, clerk and treasurer under the old rule; he has been a member of the Baptist Church for over fifty years, and is now a deacon in the church.

Source: HISTORY OF DEARBORN. "OHIO AND SWITZERLAND COUNTIES, INDIANA. FROM THEIR EARLIEST SETTLEMENT. ILLUSTRATED." Chicago: Weakley, Habramak & Co., Publishers. 1885. Biographical sketches. Pg 1195.

Transcribed and contributed by Beverly Graver

Transcriber Note: I found the tombstones for Henry and his parents as stated above in the Boyd-Truitt Cemetery in Switzerland Co., IN.


Rev. Jerome B. Bradley

BRADLEY, REV. JEROME B., Saltlick. Shawnee, Ohio, minister of the gospel in the Methodist Episcopal Church, was born April 5, 1846, in Bourbon county, Kentucky, the son of Washington and Nancy (McDowell) Bradley. Rev. Bradley was raised a farmer, and followed agricultural pursuits during the summer season, and school teaching in the winter season, until the year 1870. In September of 1869 he was licensed by the Mount Olive Quarterly Conference to preach, and in the following spring of 1870 he entered the traveling connection of the Kentucky Annual Conference, preaching upon the circuits of Carrolton, two years; Meade, one year; Somerset, a half station, three years, where he went in March, and began a revival meeting in August, where they had made a brush arbor for the purpose. The work proved a decided success, and lasted during his pastorate stay, and resulted in the addition of three hundred good members to the church, and a revival of religion all over Pulaski county, Kentucky. Hand in hand goes religious feeling and religious work, by which he was enabled also during his pastoral work to build up on this circuit three new churches. One was three miles from Somerset, on Pittman creek, and, to his honor, called Bradley Chapel; one some seven or eight miles from Somerset, on Buck creek, and christened Wesley Chapel; and a third one, a neat frame church, where the brush arbor stood, and called Mount Zion; this was near Science Hill, on the Cincinnati Southern R.R. The church in Somerset was repaired, also, and, upon the whole, the church property was increased from $2,500 on appraisement in 1872, to $4,500, appraised in 1875, notwithstanding the great decline in all kinds of property during this time. Next he was sent to Sardis and Murpheysville, Mason county, Kentucky, where he remained for two years, and had a revival meeting at Sardis, thirty-five members being the accessions. After his mission here he went next to Fallsboro circuit, Lewis county, Kentucky, where he had some six churches under his charge, and had good revival meetings at each church, resulting in the accession of fifty souls to the church during his labor of two years upon this work. During his labor at this place he was secretary of a camp meeting association of the Maysville district, that bought and dedicated to camp meeting services what is known as Ruggles camp meeting grounds. Now he is sent to Vanceburg, county-seat of Lewis county, Kentucky, where his charge was over a half station and three other appointments, laboring in this connection one year, during which he took charge of the camp meeting held at Ruggles camp meeting grounds. In 1880 he was transferred to the Ohio Conference, and stationed at Shawnee, Ohio, where he had charge of the M. E. Church two years. Upon entering this work he found thirty-five members, but during a revival meeting in 1881, the number was increased to one hundred and fifty full members, and thirty-five on probation. During this year they have also built an addition to the church that cost $735. At the first and only call for money for this purpose, $862.50 was subscribed, and the work was soon completed and paid for; in all, the church raised and paid, in 1881, about $2,300. They also have purchased a neat frame parsonage, that cost them $900, during 1881. This year of 1882 they increased the salary of Rev. Bradley from $800 to $900, and still move on with the work. During this winter they held another revival, which has resulted in thirty-seven accessions to the church. Rev. Bradley was married September 31, 1865, to Miss Barbara, daughter of J. B. and Matilda (Maston) Insko, of Bracken county, Kentucky, who died July 20, 1875, leaving him with three children, viz.: Lucy E., Joseph W., William W., all now living and at home. He was married a second time December 2, 1876, to Miss Lucy-Helen, daughter of Thomas and Serepta (Owens) Galbraith, of Bracken county, Kentucky. They are the parents of two children, Ethan G. and Morley.

Source: HISTORY OF PERRY COUNTY, OHIO Biographical Sketches Surnames

Contributed by Marla McCullough


Vincent Brown

Vincent Brown was born in Kentucky in 1786; came to this township in 1801, and was married soon after his arrival her to Martha Ann Allen, thus being the first marriage ceremony performed in the township. Martha Ann was born in Kentucky in 1793 and died at the old homestead October 17, 1857; Vincent died January 7, 1853. His daughter, Mary, was born April 6, 1814 in the township and married James Young who was born in 1811 in Bracken County, Ky. James settled in the township in 1856 and was a lawyer by profession.

Source: THE HISTORY OF BROWN COUNTY, OHIO, Containing A History of the County; Its Townships, Towns, Churches, Schools, Etc.; General and Local Statistics; Portraits of Early Settlers and Prominent Men; History of the Northwest Territory; History of Ohio; Map of Brown County; Constitution of the United States, Miscellaneous Matters, Etc., Etc. (Chicago: W.H. Beers & Co., 1883), 559.

Contributed by Marla McCullough


Dr. J.W. Daily

DR. J. W. DAILY, practicing physician and surgeon, located in Salina, Kan., September 1869, and continued the practice of medicine. He was born in Bracken Count, Ky., May 3, 1838. Graduated at Eminence College, Henry County, Ky., in 1860. Began the study of medicine in 1861. Graduated at the Cincinnati College of Medicine and Surgery. June 24, 1864. He practiced medicine for about fifteen years, and then graduated at the Homoeopathic Hospital College at Cleveland, Ohio, March 12, 1879, and immediately returned to Salina and resumed his profession. He was A. A. Surgeon in the United States Army, and for several months Chief Surgeon of the Fifteenth United States Infantry. He was on duty at the general hospitals at Atlanta, Chattanooga and Louisville. He had charge of the left wing of Camp Douglas Hospital from March until June, 1865 at which time he was honorably discharged. Was married November 30, 1865, to Miss Drusie Cauffield, of Brookfield, Ohio. They have two children - Charles C. and Mary Belle. He is a well known writer for the press.

Source: WILLIAM G. CUTLER'S HISTORY OF THE STATE OF KANSAS FRANKLIN COUNTY, Part 8, BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (Haley-Potter)

Contributed by Marla McCullough


About the University of Kansas Collection

KANSAS COLLECTION BOOKS William G. Cutler's was first published in 1883 by A. T. Andreas, Chicago, IL. Presented with permission of the Kansas Collection (www.ukans.edu/carrie/kancoll).


Pearl C. Harber

MR. PEARL C. HARBER, the junior member of the thriving and enterprising mercantile firm of Eveland & Harber, of Miamiville, Ohio, is a native of Bracken county, Kentucky, his birth having occurred there Feb. 2, 1878.

On Christmas day, 1881, Pearl C. Harber came from Kentucky to Miamiville with his parents, John N. and Ida J. (Poe) Harber, who shortly after located on a farm in Miami township. Mr. Harber acquired his early education in the schools of the district, spending his boyhood days on the farm. Later, he attended the high school at Milford, Ohio, and following his graduation from there learned the machinist's trade at Cincinnati, which occupation he pursued for six years, but desiring to be nearer home returned here and in 1907 Mr. Harber entered into partnership with Mr. W. B. Eveland in his general store. The company is conducting an up-to-date, prosperous business, and enjoys a large patronage.

Mr. Pearl C. Harber has one sister, Margaret, who is the wife of James Moorhead, of an old Clermont county family. His mother passed away in April, 1911, in her fifty-second year. His father, John Harber, resides in Miamiville, and has been the sexton of the cemetery for the past twelve years. He is a Republican, and has served his party as assessor of the township.

In political views, Mr. Harber favors the principles of the Republican Party. He has served as school director for several years. Socially he is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America at Miamiville.

Mr. Harber is a strong, vigorous man, with a keen mind and indomitable energy, conducting his duties in such a manner as to be free from all unpleasant comment.

SOURCE: HISTORY OF CLERMONT AND BROWN COUNTIES, OHIO, VOLUME II 1913-Page 154

Contributed by Marla McCullough


John W. Howard

JOHN W. HOWARD, the leading argriculturist of York Township, perhaps of the county, is a native of Kentucky, born in Bourbon or Bracken County, in the troublesome days of 1812. His father, Thomas Howard, was born on Carrol's Manor, Md., and of the same beautiful region of our commonwealth, his mother, Nancy HUGHES were married, and in an early day they moved to Kentucky, in the hope of improving their fortunes, coming all the way on horseback, carrying some of their children in open sacks, which were balanced by the use of flat-irons, and locating on Flat Run, near Paris, in Bourbon County. From here they subsequently removed to the North Fork of Licking River, Bracken County, Ky., and in 1815 to Rising Sun, Ind. Prior to his removal to Rising Sun, Thomas Howard had always pursued the vocation of a farmer, in which he had been quite successful; but forsaking this pursuit for that of merchandising, in which he failed, his entire possessions almost were swept away. He died in December, 1840, his widow passing away in June, 1843. They reared thirteen children, whose names are as follows: Betsey, Asbury, Levi, Samuel, Ann, Polly, Nancy, Hester, Matilda, Mahala, Thomas, John W. and Louisa. John W. Howard, whose name introduces this sketch, lived in and about the town of Rising Sun till he grew to maturity, receiving the rudiments of an education in the schools of that vicinity. His earlier years were passed in the varied occupations of school boy, attending store and farming, in each capacity giving evidence of superiority. August 11, 1833, he married Miss Aletha MARCH, daughter of George and Catharine (REMER) March. She was born in Boone County, Ky., November 15, 1811. Their union has resulted in the birth of ten children, nine of whom are still living, namely: Thomas, Nancy J., Mary L., Elizabeth, Hester, James, Catharine, Aletha and Sarah. John W. died April 27, 1865, aged about eight years. After his marriage, Mr. Howard attended his father's farm and rented land two years. He earned the money with which he purchased his first horse by chopping cord wood at 31 cents per cord. In 1832 he cut cord wood in Mississippi at 50 cents per cord. About 1834 he went with a cargo of produce to New Orleans, and in 1835 he bought his first land, 100 acres more, at a cost of $900. In 1839 he bought 200 acres on which he has since resided, and here he will probably end his days. Mr. Howard did not cease his efforts with the possession of 400 acres, but with unabated energy and ambition pushed onward, mastering his financial situation at every point, and meeting all his obligations promptly and with ease. In this line of progress he continued till his failing strength warned him to desist from further effort, but not until his labor had been crowned by the enormous accumulation of 1,721 acres of land. Of this, 1,223 still remain in his possession, 498 acres having been divided among his children. Mr. Howard has never permitted his paper to go to protest. He has acquired his property chiefly by farming, having harvested as much as 4,000 bushels of wheat in a single year. In all his business transactions he has been quite successful, aided and encouraged by the untiring efforts of his faithful wife, who yet bears him company as they descend the downward slope of life, in whose setting sun their shadows lengthen toward the grave. All honor to their earnest efforts! May they live long to enjoy the fruits of their early toil and tears, which can only find the fullness of their reward in the grateful esteem of their children and those who in their turn shall follow them. Mr. Howard is an honored member of the Masonic fraternity, Royal Arch degree, an enthusiastic Republican in politics, and a Liberal in religion.

Source: HISTORY OF SWITZERLAND COUNTY, INDIANA 1885. Chicago: Weakley, Harraman & Co., Publishers, 1885.

Contributed by Marla McCullough


William Marsh

MARSH FAMILY: WILLIAM MARSH 1736-1831 born near Baltimore, MD, married in 1762 Patience Lemon. Their children: Nanacy, Rebecca, William and Thomas were born in Maryland. Their next stop was the Redstone country on the Monongahela River in Washington County, PA, where Patience, Temperance, Elizabeth, Joseph (who also settled in Indiana), and Mary wree born. Richard February 12, 1782-1833 and John B. were born in Bracken County, KY, across the Ohion River from Cincinnati.

Richard married Mary Pattison/Patterson April 1, 1781-March 19, 1855 in Bracken County, KY. Their three oldest children Patience, John, and William were born in Bracken County. Richard and Mary then crossed the Ohio and settled one mile west of Owensville in Clermont County now the eastern edge of Cincinnati. James, Joseph, Thomas, Edward and Ananias were born in Ohio.

Edward April 21, 1816-January 22, 1891 married November 28, 1859 Margaret Ann Moore June 28, 1818-March 13, 1852 in Clermont County where their first son, Samuel August 31, 1840-December 21, 1927 was born.

Soon after, they came to Jennings County purchasing 200 acres in Spencer Township. Born in Indiana were: Francis (Frank) Asbury April 17, 1842-September 15, 1900; John W. March 23, 1844-May 24, 1864; Eucebius October 18, 1846-May 23, 1893; Triplet daughters were born February 10, 1849; Mary died August 4, 1852, Rachel July 18, 1850, Elizabeth December 24, 1851. Their youngest, George Moore Marsh 23, 1851 died as an infant.

Samuel, Frank, John, and Eucebius all served in Indiana Regiments during the Civil War. John died of disease picked up in prison shortly after returning home. The other three boys homesteaded in Iowa and Minnesota and have lost touch with Indiana relatives about 30 years ago.

Source: JENNINGS COUNTY, INDIANA PICTORIAL, By Jennings Co. Historical Society, Turner Publishing

Contributed by Marla McCullough


Francis M. McCally

FRANCIS M. McCALLY, contractor for brick and stone work, was born in Lewis County, W. Va., in 1842. Here he learned the trade of stone mason,and for some years followed the same as a journeyman in Bracken County,Ky. He came to Ottawa March 10, 1870, and was for five years employed by R.W. Crosett, contractor for mason work, and in 1875 embarked in his present business. He does quite an extensive business in his line, employing at times from twenty to forty-five men, and to facilitate the work in erecting buildings uses the Sweetland Lightning Elevator for hoisting material, etc. Among the many buildings Mr. McCally has erected here are the Jefferies Brick Block, "Ober" Brick Block, Ottawa Opera House, and the handsome stone block known as the Headquarters. He is the leading man in this business in the City of Ottawa.

Source: WILLIAM G. CUTLER'S HISTORY OF THE STATE OF KANSAS FRANKLIN COUNTY, Part 8, BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHES (HALEY-Potterf)

Contributed by Marla McCullough


William Richard Norris

WILLIAM RICHARD NORRIS, was born in Bracken County, Ky., June 12, 1832; son of Edward and Catherine (Brightwell) Norris, and is of English extraction. His father, born in Bracken County, Ky., February 8, 1805, and died in Shelby County, Ind., in 1877. The mother of Mr. Norris born also in Bracken County, Ky., in 1804 and died in Shelby County, September 6, 1865. The paternal grandfather of Mr. Norris, Joseph Norris, born in Baltimore County, Md., and died in Bracken County, Ky., at a ripe old age. He erected the first log cabin and built the first mill in Bracken County. The maternal grandfather of Mr. Norris was one of the pioneers of Bracken County, Ky., and was the first surveyor of the county. The Norris family received its introduction to Shelby County in 1832. Our subject is the eldest of six children only two of whom are now living. Was raised on the farm, educated at the early schools. Taught school for a number of years. In the fall of 1857, went to Missouri and remained till May, 1860, and then returned to Shelby County. While in that State he taught school for some time. In 1860, he was elected Surveyor of Shelby County, and re-elected in the fall of 1862. Was appointed in 1868, City Engineer of this city, and served more than one year. In the fall of 1869, he was elected Real Estate Appraiser of this county. In 1871, appointed School Examiner of this county, serving two years. In 1873, elected County Superintendent, making him the last School Examiner and the first County Superintendent of this county. Since 1873, he has been engaged in the practice of law to some extent, and engaged in various other capacities. Married November 22, 1863, to Mrs. Maria Roberts of this county. Have two children, James E., and Robert Ross. Has a step daughter, Rose E. Roberts. In politics, Independent, up to 1882 a strong partisan Democrat. He is a Mason and is a well posted and greatly respected citizen of this county.

Source: Page 520 "HISTORY OF SHELBY COUNTY, INDIANA 1887" By Brant & Fuller.

Contributed by Keith Selke


Rev. Augustus H. Tevis, A.M.M.D.

REV. AUGUSTUS H. TEVIS, A. M. M. D.: The scholarly subject of this sketch is a native of Rush county, Indiana, born on his father's farm, May 13, 1841, and was the ninth child of a family of three sons and seven daughters. His parents were Dr. Daniel H. and Phoebe (Scott) Tevis, the former having been a physician by profession, a self-made man, who enjoyed a large and lucrative practice. He (Dr. Daniel H.) was born in Bracken county, Kentucky, and was quite a scholar as a linguist, being a proficient in both Latin and Greek. The elder Dr. Tevis died in 1858, and his wife in 1862, both of whom are buried in Rush county, Indiana. After his father's death, the management of the extensive farming operations, embracing several large farms, left by him, all devolved on Augustus H., then but seventeen years old. In 1860 he entered Asbury University at Greencastle, Indiana, then under the control of Bishop Bowman. Early in the beginning of the civil troubles, however, young Tevis left college to volunteer like a true patriot and aid in suppressing the rebellion. He enlisted in September, 1861, and became second lieutenant of company H, thirty-seventh Indiana volunteers. He was in active service for over three years, participating in many hard battles, fights and skirmishes, including Stone river, New Hope Church, Resacca, before Atlanta, and numerous others. At Stone river, he was slightly wounded, and soon afterwards was promoted to a first lieutenancy. He was mustered out in November, 1864, and soon re-entered the same institution he had left to join the army. In the close of 1868 he was graduated therefrom, and, in due course was honored with the degree of A. M. On August 6, following, he married Sallie A. Webster, daughter of Dr. E. Webster, of Connersville, Indiana. One child has been born of this union, a bright little girl named Lora Belle. Dr. Tevis' first charge as pastor was that of the M. E. Church at Liberty, Union county, Ind. Following this he was stationed at Wooster and Taylorville, and was next elected superintendent of city schools at Madison, where he served one year. His conference then sent him to Palestine, thence again to Peru, from which latter charge he was transferred by Bishop Peck, to Carson City, Nevada, where he remained two years, and was chaplain both of the Legislature and State prison. It was while here that he went into print as an author, and wrote his "Jesuitism, the Bible, and the Schools," and also his "Beyond the Sierras," published by Lippincott & Co., of Philadelphia. He also corresponded for various newspapers and literary journals. Santa Barbara, California, was his next charge, and from thence he was sent to San Diego. The ill health of his family necessitated his return to Indiana in 1879, and he having already read medicine studiously, entered the Medical College at Indianapolis, from which he soon after graduated as M. D. He was then sent by Bishop Wiley to Springfield, Missouri, where he was pastor of Grace M. E. Church till the spring, of 1883, when he retired therefrom. Besides his more solid literary attainments, Dr. Tevis has paid considerable attention to art, and is quite proficient in music and painting, and has his home decorated with a number of paintings indicative of true art, produced by himself and wife. He has had many of his sermons published which rank him high as a theologian. At present, he is writing a book on infidelity considered in relation to its evil effects as contrasted with Christianity, which will be completed before this work is put in press. Had it not been for the assassination of President Garfield Dr. Tevis would doubtless have received the appointment to the Jerusalem consulate, for which he had received the recommendation of most public men at Washington. Zealous in his ministerial work, fully imbued with a love for mankind and a hearty desire for their spiritual and mental elevation, always a student and given to habits of indefatigable research, Dr. Tevis is one of those rare men who constitute a valuable acquisition to any community; while the high social qualities of himself and wife render their companionship in the keenest sense enjoyable, and win them hosts of friends wherever they are known.

Source: HISTORY OF GREENE COUNTY, MISSOURI, 1883, R. I. Holcombe, Editing Historian, Chapter 18 Biographies of Some Prominent Citizens

Contributed by Marla McCullough


Squire Vachel Weldon

Ripley, Nov. 18. SQUIRE VACHEL WELDON of Augusta, Kentucky, died yesterday afternoon. He was one of the oldest and most prominent citizens of Bracken County and has been a Magistrate there for nearly fifty years. He will be buried by the Mason and Odd-fellows at Augusta tomorrow.

Source: CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 19 Nov 1878 page 1

Transcribed and contributed by Bev Graver


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