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Submitted by without prejudice Kate Cain Rigbsy Bynum
Purr Andrew Rigsby, along with his first cousin William Robert Rigsby nicknamed
Jack, son of Robert Thomas Rigbsy and Elizabeth Catherine
Cat Murray, had become involved in an argument with three men while
visiting Winsteads Camp in Mount Vernon, Kentucky (see photo
section). The three men left before Purr and Jack, so they could lie in
ambush along the road. When they come by, Greeley Lear fired his gun and
instantly killed Jack. Purr jumped from his horse to the ground so he could
return the deadly gunfire. Purr killed one man. The others ran down the road
with Purr chasing them. Soon, Armp Roland fell dead, a twenty-one year old
victim to Purrs smoking gun. Soon, a trail followed. My great grandfather
Watt Rigbsy said his mother and father (Purr and Lucy Rigbsy) hitched up the
horses and wagon to go to the trial each day for several weeks.
Purr never served a jail sentence, for he was judged innocent on self-defense.
Greeley Lear. On the other hand, served nearly seven years for murdering
William Robert Jack Rigsby . He swore that he would kill Purr when
he got out of jail. (Greeley Lear & Purr Rigbsy was both around thirty
At this time, Mrs. Maggie Lears home was the community post office and
barber shop. As Greeley was released from jail, he spread word that he still
had a grudge against Purr to settle.
Days later, Purr went to the post office, got his mail, and chatted with the
postmaster. Hed been seen by Greeley, who was getting his hair cut. It is
said that he jumped up from the barbers chair and grabbed his gun, and said,
Im going to kill Purr Rigsby. Running into the post office
part of the building where Purr was talking, Greeley yelled Purr, turn
around! When he did, Greeley shot Purr in the chest. Purr then ripped
open his coat, pulled out a gun hed hidden there, and shot Greeley in the
bowels. Greeley was taken home by some friends as Purr rode home on his horse
and went to bed.
With little advancement in medicine in the rural areas, surgery could not be
preformed. The local doctor merely shook his head and said both men would die.
Some reasons given to support this was the hot, dry weather which usually
caused wounds to become rotten. The old doc was half right; Greeley Lear did
die and was buried near Armp Roland. Purr, however, survived and carried
Greeleys bullet in one of his lungs until he died, nearing his
Purr Rigsby is buried at the Brodhead Christian Church Cemetery in Brodhead,
Paris Greeley Lear is buried at John Moss Cemetery in Hiatt area of Brindle
Written By: a Great Great Grandson of Purr Rigbsy
Kate Cain-Rigbsy-Bynums note: Article appeared in the Mt Vernon
Signal Ky., newspaper October 8, 1897. Man being charged with William Robert
Jack Rigsby's murder was Greeley Lear.Armp Rowland was a cousin to
Greeley Lear, and they were both raised by their grandmother. Greeley
Lears tombstone says he died March 17, 1903. This might have been a
"family" type feud since so many Lear's married with Rigsby's. There
is rumor now that the argument might have started over a 'dog."