Tag Archives: Woodford County

James & Graves Family Gathering in Woodford County, Ky

Woodford County (KY) Historical Society
Woodford County Historical Society, Versailles, Kentucky

Join a family gathering of pioneers, preachers, and prisoners; slave traders and bankers; biodiesel and hemp hucksters. The marriage between the Graves and James families formed a kinship of power and influence that spans over 250 years. Now the two families meet again at the Woodford County Historical Society in Versailles, Kentucky for a historical gathering reuniting the Graves family with cousins of Frank and Jesse James.

James-Graves Bankers of Woodford County, Kentucky

Speaking before the group will be Jesse James family historian Eric F. James, author of Jesse James Soul Liberty. Eric also is the publisher of the James family official web site Stray Leaves and blog Leaves of Gas. Several years ago, Stray Leaves featured the story of the James and Graves that now will be transformed into a book of its own when Forks of the Road, Volume III of the Jesse James Soul Liberty quintet is published three years from now.

Bardstown Hampton Inn
Hampton Inn, Bardstown, Kentucky. This Hampton Inn has been the site of a recent meeting of the Annual James-Younger Gang Conference.

Presently, the author offers this preview of This Bloody Ground, Volume II of Jesse James Soul Liberty, to appear in late 2016.

Daniel James, John’s brother, was gone to Virginia on an errand when Indians approached Daniel’s cabin outside Frankfort. Inside were Daniel’s new wife, Nancy Ann Graves, his newborn daughter Mary, and his woodworking apprentice Crutchfield. Crossing a hill to summon help from a neighbor, Crutchfield was shot dead by Indians. No one wanted to go alone to check on the well-being of Nancy and her child Mary. Throughout the night, neighbors ran for help to Cave Johnson’s place. Johnson assembled a militia at Billy Haydon’s station. Meanwhile, Jarrett Demint, a young bachelor with no family at all, assumed the immediate challenge of scout. No sooner did Jarrett depart than a shot rang out, leaving Jarrett presumably dead. He was not. Jarrett moved onward intrepidly; but as he approached the James’ cabin, Jarrett was run up a hill by Indians and captured. His fate was left unknown. Finally a day later, Cave Johnson’s rescue party found Mrs. James securely boarded inside her cabin. She and her daughter were removed to safety, to await Daniel James’ return.

The Graves Family Gathering begins in Bardstown, Kentucky on Thursday, September 8, 2016. To attend all events, download the information appearing  in the organizer’s pdf file here. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Graves family gathering 2016
Graves Family Gathering, Bardstown, Kentucky, 2016


Midway Museum Peeps

Directors cropped

Had dinner the other night with my peeps (board of directors) of the Midway Museum, in Woodford County, Kentucky.

We set our agenda for 2010, that includes a new web site I’m charged with building. Watch for an announcement here by the end of January. We’ve planned it to be a blockbuster. At least as good as Stray Leaves, and maybe better.

By way of introduction, L-R, are Ken Alexander. He’s a former broadcaster, with a specific interest in the Kentucky army in World War II, and Kentucky High School basketball, about which he’s writing a book.

Next are Bill & Leslie Penn, who own & operate the Midway Museum Store. Bill’s also a violinist, and plays for re-enactors of ballroom dances of the 18th century. Bill is completing writing The History of Midway, a book first being written by James Walter “Jim” Sames III when he died. Jim was a former founder of this group. Bill also put together a fine booklet about Midway, Ky., that will be available free & downloadbale on the web site. Leslie is our liason with local culture and interest groups. She also keeps the Museum’s books. So she paid for dinner.

Next is David Hume who has a farm in the Bluegrass and also owns an automotive shop devoted to French cars. I haven’t informed him yet, but David is cousin to the James. His 2nd great grandfather, Phillip Swigert, was known to our A. J. James. Both were mayors of Frankfort. Both were bankers. Swigert developed the Lousiville & Nashville (L&O) Railroad, so well used by Frank James.

Yours truly is in the rear.