Colbert, Henry

Extant biographical information about Henry Colbert has not been found to date. Newspaper articles identified him as an African American man who worked as a farmhand and lived in Kentucky in 1883. Despite their racial biases, newspaper accounts of the preceding incident agreed on several facts.  The Hickman Courier covered the lynching and proceeding trial. […]

May, Richard

Richard May was an African American male, who worked as a field hand. Beyond his sex, race, and occupation, which were mentioned in the newspaper articles, there is no extant biographical information is available. According to contemporaneous accounts, Sod Kelly, a white farmer, employed Richard May as a tobacco picker in Owensboro, Kentucky in 1884.  […]

Cooper, Nelson and Bailey, Sam (also recorded as Sam Daily)

Nelson Cooper was an African American man who lived in Greenville, Kentucky.  Given the frequency of the name “Nelson Cooper” in the U.S. Census Records of 1860, 1870, and 1880, it was difficult to ascertain reliable, specific biographical information about him.  Please check Ancestry Library for more information. Similarly, given the commonness of Sam Bailey’s […]

Tyler, William

            William Tyler was born in 1872 in Nicholas County, Kentucky. According to Ancestry Libraries William Tyler’s mother’s name was Manda Tyler and his father’s name was Elijiah Tyler ( also referred to as Lige Tyler in The Cincinnati Post). According to the 1880 Census, William Tyler was the oldest of three siblings. The younger […]

Laferdetta, Louis

There is little extant biographical information about Louis Laferdetta. Newspapers of the time did not report on his personal life, and his murder was written about in brief articles without any identifying information.  Contemporary reports used the same language about his class status, that he was a “tramp” or a transient worker. There’s also a […]

Rich, Berry

            Berry Rich was one of approximately 50 white lynching victims in Kentucky between 1880 and 1950, accounting for the considerable biographical information about his life. Rich was born in 1847 in Webster County to Mary Rich and an unnamed father. Rich had five sisters and an older brother. While he did not attend school, […]

Ardell, Harry

Harry Ardell – There is no extant biographical information about Harry Ardell. He was a white lynching victim, one of about 50 white victims between 1880 and 1950.  In contemporary newspapers, he’s referred to as both “Harry” and “Charles” Ardell. While some claim that his real name was Harry Forrest, no such Harry Forrest living […]

Traughber, Edwin

There is little extant biographical information about Edwin Traughber. Newspapers of the time gave conflicting accounts of Traughber’s residential information and work history. Traughber was an African American man, living and working as a farmhand in Logan County, near the Tennessee border.  On the night of July 15, 1894 a group of masked men entered […]

Hewlett Howton, Hewlett (also known as James Hewlett Howton)

Since Hewlett Howton is one of about 50 white lynching victims in Kentucky, there is considerable biographical information documenting his family, labor, and residences. Hewlett Howton (also known as James Hewlett Howton) was born around 1864 to Joseph (Joe) Howton and Cynthia in Caldwell County, Kentucky.  He had three brothers, John, Berry, and Leroy, and […]

West, Martha and Dever, William

There is ample biographical information about Martha West and William Dever, because they were two of the approximately 50 white people lynched in Kentucky between 1880 and 1950. Martha West (also identified as Pattie Funk, Miss Patty Funk, and Martha Funk) was born around 1861 in Kentucky. According to the 1870 Federal Census, her mother […]