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THE REPUBLIC' SUNDAY. JULY 7. 1901.
I TERMINATING THE FAMOUS KUKLUX BANDS THAT HAVE v s
OPERATED FOR YEARS IN THE MOUNTAINS OF KENTUCKY.
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WRITTEX FOR THE SUNDAT
- Lexington,- Ky.. July 6. For an Instant
only, on the crest of the ridge, a man's
body .stood out clearly against the skyline.
- The, crack of a rifle, a writhing- mass of
flesh and bone, a fatal wqund.
Death came a few hours later. The
marksman was a trifle nervous and the
bullet through the victim's body had not
touched the heart.
. And 'this only another Incident In he
fight against the Kuklux in Letcher County.-
Kentucky. Bill Wright. Jr.. of tho pos
se hunting the outlaws had made a mis
take. He showed himself above the ridge
'nil the act cost him his life. John Rey
nolds of the outlaws, from a position be
hind an oak not a dozen yards away, had
fired the fatal shot. He and his brother,
Koah;. had glanced down the sights of
their .'weapons once before when a Wright
- vu In front, and the Wright that time
: -waiOld'Man Bill." father of the lad who
Cot his death wound upon the ridge. "Old
Man Bill" sleeps with his fathers. Like
-.the son, he too made a mistake. He was
a little, slow In drawing and the price of
the blunder was the same in each In
stance. But there was a sequel' to the
son's death, a bloody battle following Im
mediately on the firing' of the shot. The
; other members of the posse Joined In the
fray .and the outlaws were put to flight.
but only after a. struggle such as has been
...rarely seen In the mountains. The fight
"if agamst the Kuklux was nearlng an end
ft and the outlaws were making; a last and
'- sleiperate stand.
fe Ths odds had been seven to- one. Now
3 they were only six. The posse that had
-?- bobs' out to search for the men who were de-
Smtmmw i , rMnrrtnmA t9 Tft)in w!ii.i.
&-. -: -t jki mil
L-" wren aoKcacs ua zus guu uuuuic, nui
JWrUfcV Jr- na Gerrard Wright, his
-cousins ana sons or uia Man tun, wop
detective who called himself "Wild Bill."
"-- Cm. the other side were John Reynolds and
i Creed Potter, and more daring men. better
-hots' and cooler heads could not be found
that section, noted for Just such char-
'- acterlstlcs In Its lnhabitans. The officers
t" knew that they were In the territory of the
?e Semolds taction. From the crest of the
Pi ridge where BUI Wright fell could be seen
$ down'- In, the winding valley a litue rea
i'- brlCK BOUSe., 16 leei Dy iu. im uiuo
r .... l.a.tMMA tAAnna VlYTmi ft TT3ft
JWIUQ -WiA5 wvwiit; .".v . -
U. Wm .- hand 1 flxTtfTae. men for
ar-fcyi -- .-- r :rr: - .
: w?r mm nnna nnpn aenance io uie omcero ui
h law. It holds a story that It will never
If 1L T
John Wright, the grizzled veteran or
mountain warfare, had warned his men. but
they:,had not heeded his advice. "Stay
Jib said, "while T co 'round and see
It 'l ,kin ketch any signs, of them fellcn." I
He had barmy gone nuy yaras, nwum-
S pahied by two of his men, when the lm-
T patient Bill Wright. notlUng more -nan a
3r boy' of 17, stepped above the ridge. A line
-"-Shot called John Wright's division back to
'f-- the scene. Gerrard. Wright and John "leury
at illklns were' close' upon- Bill Wright's heels.
and the boy fell In agony almost at his
brother's feet. "Bill's done for." said Gar
rard quietly, and. dropping to his knee,
.commenced pumping bullets from his Wln
.chester at the man who had slain Ills broth
er. Hop Gibson came up just as Creed Pot
ter began bhooting. and the duel opened
between them. Both of the outlaws Were
firing from, behind trees, although the sing
ing bullets of tbo "Wright faction which
scattered tho bark 'on either siiJe. kepi
them constantly dodging.
John Henry Klklns can give thank3 that
he came out of the battle with only four
wounds. For lilm there' was a romance en
tangled in this tragedy. He Was engaged
to he married to the sister of voune' Jllil
'P. Wright, and the picture of the brown-iye
little mountain girl, weeping for her acad
brother, fired him to deeds of reckless dar
ing. His ole purpose was to kill John
iij Reynolds, no matter what the cost. He
nrca one or two snow irom nis nne i
luo man niaing Demnu ine tree, aim men
cast. Jt aside. Drawing ' his heavy army'
Colt, lie leveled it,, with both, arms out
stretched, mountain fashion, anil .with lils
head crouched between hla houlderj, to
that ho could look aloos the" sights, ad
vanced toward the oak tree,, that shslte'red
.Reynolds. A Winchester bullet "relieved him
-of his hat, but still he advanced., until with
in a few feet of the ;tree. A bullet aimed
at the heart struck his revolver, and, glan-
JVoIng. wounded him', in four places. It bent
' the cylinder anl the weqpon was uscics3, ue
J" cause It would no longer revolve. Elklns
0 .started back toward his rifle; and Just then
. the other members of the posse camo into
''?' view on the rid;c They entered the figl't
'i with alacrity, and the outlaws, outnum-
Sj .bercd, were forced to retreat. Creed Fetter
Ig fled, with four bullet holes In his i.othes.
fefjohn Reynolds stayed a few.B2c3ndsllor.grr.
He backed, away from tree to tree. For the
gr twinkling of an eye, Just, before ho dls
' ni.piarea behind a bowlder, he and John
- Wright, Ills mortal enemy, covered ench
- other with their weapons. Reynolds's. Wln-
cnester oau ciippeu a piece lrum v 41311 a
K- .hat, not 'an Inch from the left temple. Al-
;,,most at the.'samo time his own right ana
A; lea useless at. nis sice.
w -LThe' posse had fared badly. Bi'.l Wright
' was taken to a cabin three miles away, but j
. survived only a few hours. Neal had a I
rfi wound in the side which was then thought ,'
g to be fatal, but he "will recover. The glan-
li e U.V nwM.4.M tJ a awua
?5 pinces. thus, enaed tne most notable fight
-QUlUlg Uie JJUUL 4.W. UiC JVUUUA All. IMG U1UUQ
-tains 'of Xetcher.
'Sv' "H1 Kuklus of the "mountains are much
X T .;?. --"""
.. .aecupnu ox me ouue immeaiaieiy alter tne
Jgfc.Clvll Wan They, area band bound together
l-SLibr.-'.?lemn oath, and they pretend to reg-
i.:kte morals of the community, lien and.
AUiwemtn.are taken from their homes at 'night
-t-l','insVeama' and whipped or otherwise'
.jnMtTeted';for real or alleged wrongdoing.
fvnsn.-.ujey receive warning, to leave tno
:iplnrt";"5cr b-:iai" twenty-live years
nothing of this kind has been known In the
central section of the State, but it has
moved to the mountains where the people
are more backward In aevelopment. The
home of the feud gave the Kuklux a hearty
welcome, for It was a ready method of pay
ing old scores without having the enemy
get wind of the true perpetrators.
In Letcher County the Kuklux had been
quiescent for some years until October, 1S99,
when a band of men-met up on Rockhouss
Creek, in an Isolated spot near tho wreck of
a raided still. There were Just thirteen in
the party, and following their rude notions
of the proper ceremony on such an occasion
they assembled on Friday at midnight and
took the Kuklux oath. It had been written
for them by an almost illiterate school
master and was read by the light of a dim
stable lantern. Here It Is:
"I swear by God Almighty, by heaven,
bis home, by the earth, his foot rest, and
by hell, his prison home, to befriend and
hold in the sacred bonds of brotherhood all
members of the band. I swear that I will
He for them, steal for them, light for them,
die for them. I will be burned In ell, cut
to pieces and salted rather than inform on
them. If they are in trouble I Will give up
everything I have to save them. I swear
to obey my captain In all things even to
killing my kin folks. And If In any way I
break this oath, I hope God may strike me
dead in my tracks. And it he lets me live,
may I be cut In pieces by the members of
the band and may my whole life be
The band began operations at once. Nell
Hall, supposed to have caused trouble In
the family of "Bill" Lucas, was taken out
and whipped. Sarah Clinch and America
Holman also received the attention of the
kuklux for like alleged wrongdoing. Gecrge
Sexton, an enemy" of one of the band, was
beaten with hickory sticks. Del'.le Craft,
supposed to be a reat friend of Sam
Wright, was treated in a similar fashion,
but Sam came upon the scene not ten min
utes after the "Kuklux had cone. He took
a short cut, caught them Just as they were
riding through the ford of Boone's Frk,
and in the bright moonlight opened fire from
behind a bowlder. Two dead horses and
some blood on the river bank was the re-
LITTLE NELL'S HOME WILL STAND ONLY
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"Such Are the Changes Which a'
Few "Years Bring 'About, and so' Bo
Things Pass AwayLlke a Tale Thai " '
Is Told."-Old Curiosity Shop. 4
WTUTTEN FOR THE StJNDAT'BEPTJBUC.''
uiiouxands of people, in every: part of the
- wurld will feel a" pang.of regret.at CheMn-
I jrr. k. - - -- ---
f ( MMHHHMnMMi
ALLEGED AUTHOR. OF-THE: KLUK1.UX7
flj.-.rr.- .. ,,. .
.psriEcnvewHo l&d 1
; TH PURSUIT . ; Jh
suit. One of the horses was Identified as was the wealthiest man in Letcher. By
that of Bland Combs. Wright had Identified industry and good management he had ac
some of :ae men In tho moonlight and a cumulated J30.0C0 In the logging business,
dozen art fits followed. Combs got away on He lived on the adjoining farm to the
the promise of joining tho army, and la now Reynolds boys John and Noah. They
in the Philippines. The other indictments quarreled. The Wrights say the Reynolds
were filed away on good behavior. This were Jealous of the old man's success. The
ended the first band of Kuk'.ux In Letcher. Reynolds say that Wright was overbearing
The county was allowed to remain In and insulting. Both say that they had a
peace only a few months. BUI Wright, Sr., quarrel about a poplar tree which Wright
OLD ODfilOSITY SHOP IN LONDON, MADE FAMOUS BY DICKENS..
telllge'nce that the original of 'Charles Dick
ens's "Old Curiosity Shop" Is to be tors
"down to give" place to a modern structure.
It Is said by- those who watch the slght
seets'"' that no place exept the Tower at
tracts so "many' intelligently Interested ylsr
Iters as this queer little' place that lives in
.the memory of every' reader of- Dickens as
the home- of 'Little Neil and Grandfather.
Looking Into'-the,, old-fashioned windows
BANDS OATH tjy
Iras Mima. Ha.-li.7S
li-oE vermin, 10 ,
CHANGED TO TMG A
KLUKL.UK BAWD, ft
from the' street, one can imagine how the
impossible Qullp, back of one of them; lay'
and gurgled In the tiny bedroom of Little
Nell while she and her grandfather stole
out and away from the sorrow that had
cast so deep a- shadow oyer them.
"The place," says' Dickens, '"was. one of
those receptacles for old 'and curious things'
which seem to crouch' in odd corners of this
town, and' to hide .their musty' treasures
"i DWEI-UIN6 PL.AC& OE
fwlsfieJ to Tray from the Reynolds.
iV gradations In the Quarrel are not 1
At any event, the' two young men, or boys.
and old man Bill met in a narrow road near
the latter's house. The wife at the win
dow heard shots and saw her husband fall.
That was all. The Reynolds boys fled, but
were soon captured, and their trial Is set
for tho August- tefm of Circuit Court at
Morgan Reynolds, a cousin of Noah and
John, a teacher, and known as "the smart
est man in Letcher," at onco organized a
Kuklux band for tho protection of his kins
men. In November, 1900, the State was
startled by tho murder of llrs. Jemima
Hall and her 13-year-old son on the upper
fork of Boone. She was a widow whose
hsuband had left her $300 In life Insurance,
which she foolishly kept-in her cabin home.
Earn Vanover stayed at the house to pro
tect the widow and her three children. The
Kuklux took It upon themselves to correct
this, to them, objectionable action. A
slight snow had fallen and served to muffle
their horses' hoofbeats. They drew near
the cabin and tied their horses. They ad
vanced to the door, and, calling loudly and
pounding on tho door, demanded admis
sion. The widow answered In trembling
tones, and the noise and gruff demands for
admission were repeated. Vanover knew
what It meant and opened fire through the
door from a position in the back roam.
There were curses and an answering volley
was returned. The widow sank back dead,
while the body of. her eldest son fell (cross
her. Vanover crept across the room under
the bed, while tho two children escaped
by a rear door Into the night. The mur
derers forced the front door and rilled the
place. They withdrew without Vonover
being able to recognize any of tham.
The next morning" some of the footprints
in tho snow were found to contain a tri
angular mark. Mountain .detectives wero
set to work and at the house of Lige Flem
ing was found a tell-talo pair of-shoes. Tho
right shoe bore on the so.e a triangular
patch: Fleming confessed and Implicated
Morgan Reynolds, Mac Yonts, Joe Johnson,
Ikey Potter, "Son" Newsom. George New
som, Zack Bentley, Josh Bentley, Sol Flem
IT IS SOON TO BE TORN DOWN.
from' the public eye In jealousy and distrust.
There were suits- of' mall standing Uke
ghosts in armor' here and there'; fantastic
carvings brought fronTmonkisn cloisters:
musty, weapons of. various Ttlhds; distorted
figures in china and woodand tron;;tapes
'trles .and strange furniture that might
have been designed In "dreams.;
"The haggard aspect of the.llttle old man-
was wonderfully JWlts to the place. ,a.
THE RSYNOUDS BOVS! J
ing, Llga Fleming, John and Martin
Wright, distant cousins of the detective,
but belonging to the opposite faction. Creed
Potter. John Reynolds and George Cook
were also supposed to have been in the
With the arrest of TJo-r Flemlnsr much
,-j, ,. i : .:'."- :.."t;
una oeen uone. ine capture oi tne oiners
followed rapidly until there were four of
the outlaws at large. Creed Potter. John
Reynolds. George Cook and the leader, Mor-
It was In the attempt to land this quartet
that Bill Wright was killed and the des
perate fight on the ridge precipitated. J.hn
Reynolds was arrested, being unable to live
In the brush with his wounded arm. Potter,
tired of the life In hiding, surrendered.
Morgan Reynolds took to the little brick
house, gathered his friends absut him and
openly defied arrest. This continued for a
period of some three weeks, when, weary
of the siege, he dispersed his band and, with
three companions, started to the distant
hCls. Cook, Jim Kelly and John Mulllns
were the men who accompanied htm. None
of them have been taken as yet.
Following the dispersal of the Reynolds
forces wholesale arrests were made, the
JUDGES WOMEN BY THE WAY
THEY CARRY UMBRELLAS.
The man who sat nearest the window said
he didn't mind the wet weather. 'Tt gives
me a chance to see how people carry their
umbrellas," he said. "I hove such firm faith
in my umbrella' deductions that I wouldn't
be afraid to choose a wife with them for a
The woman on his left smiled.
"I'm glad I'm not out there In thestreet."
she said. "You'd be picking out all the
kinks in my disposition along; with the rest
might nave' groped amonpTBe churches
and tombs and deserted, houses and gath
ered ..all the- spoils with his own hands.
There was nothing In the whole collection
but 'was In keeping with himself; nothing
that looked older or more worn than he."
The queer .old place has been turned Into
a waste-paper shop in recent years, bat has
never lost: that -curious appearance which.
must have originally attracted the. noTelist-r
i "IiI 11
i -TT T) V3TT T
' , wluu OllX, t
CINCINNATI MAN .WHO
, tj-a& REF-M MUNTING
i n"-"3 VJl-tl-il
FOR THE BAND.
charge being confederating to protect those)
charged with murder. In all. forty-ftvs mea
are awaiting trial at Whiteburg either for
alleged murder or charges of confederating.
The trials are set for August. What toa
result will be lies with the Juries.
Governor Beckham has mustered in a
mountain company to protect good cltlsena
The comn,nrlty 13 determined, and It Is safs
to predict that Letcher has seen the last of
Kuklux bands for years to come.
"Oh," said the man. "1 sised yoo wg s
long time ago. Yon carry an umbrella whs
It's furled,. Just like that woman across the
street. You grab it In the middle and (
forging ahead with the ends of the handle
digging Into the unfortunate pedestrians
who go before and follow after."
"And what does that atgnlfyr 1
woman on .the left.
"Alertness, activity, selfishness sad j
"Cm-m-m," said the woman.
"But Just look at the third womam ta flss
procession," said the wnin, x pity the smsi
folks about her house, rn warrant tsey
have to get their own breakfast about six
mornings out of seven. I never yet saw
woman who dragged her umbrella along s
that yon could track her by the trail of tit
Up who wasn't dilatory and shiftless, ghs
never sews on a button, or darns, or ""V,
ana ner breakrast dishes are seldom wasfa4
before 1 o'clock.
'That other woman who is bustling along
holding to the top of the umbrella handle
like grim death and pointing the tip down
and forward. In a kind of south-by-soutfc.
westerly direction. Is altogether different.
She would set the world on fire If it wasn't
waterloggedl I am not sure that I'd want
to be married to her. either. She'd be to
energetic. She'd push everything before bey
and when she took a notion to clean things
up a mere man would have nowhere to lay
his head. What she Is good for Is serving oa
"That woman In the gray skirt Is a yea-end-nay
sort of person. She wants to agree
wnn everyDoay. ana follows wherever led,
Women who carry their umbrellas with the
point backward and downward are always
"But Just look at that girl who spins along
swinging her umbrella around In a circle as
If It were a magic, wand. I like her. She's.
Jolly and good-natured and gets more .pleas
ure out of life than ten ordinary people.
There's a woman carrying her umbrella
swung across her shoulder like a shotgun.
She's a true soldier of ortune and-was never
known to say die. I can't think of anything
that would feaze her."
The man. paused.
"And what would you say." asked the wo
man, "about that girl who carries her um
brella horizontally across the small of her
back and catches either end Into the crook
of her elbow?"
JTVell," admltteMhe man, "she is a new
woSuldn'tnbI?Mr.met her Defore- but x
woman r. De afraid to waiter that aha l
SmS" ?S "VhaVa'heart
?w& -M.fc n outdoors- Bt here." he added.
iJ?5iJ '-.she cuddles her umbrella protect-
i55j,yiUn2eL.nlr 25 "2 tt Bh doesn't want
even It to get hurt In the crowd. That wo
man Is gentle and thoughtful and kind
.The Master of life.
I am. the plow.
Master of Life.
Where my sharp coulter leads
And. by my largesses
Gladdened and" satisfied.
Follow the people!
I, In the glimmering lawn.
Leaving wide gaps where Death
Swung his black gates anon'
Traced the foundations, where
Rose the proud battlements.
Bastions and walls round '
Tho' City of Lifer
To me for charity
Come the worn mendicants, ' '
Footing It painfully
Out from the darkness
Into the silence.
Here are my alms for yon
Poured forth abundantly : - -.
Yours while the earth knows
Summer and winter.
' Seedtime and. harvest ' .; -
Eat and be glad I
Egypt and Nineveh.
. Rome, and Assyria,. -
Were but my pensioners; '
I am the permanent " "
..Still stand my kingdoms
"Still wave the, cornfields
. Seeming but slave Indeed.'
Master of Life am I
I am the plow! '