Perusing Ancestry.com’s records, I came across this Kentucky newspaper article from 1896.
During a drunken brawl, a man, Billy Patrick, was stabbed in the head. At the time the article is written, Patrick is expected to die. The perpetrator, my great-great-grandfather Ben Risner, attacked the deputy sheriffs who came to arrest him. During the ensuing gunfight, my great-great-grandfather was shot dead.
The reporter has no doubts as to the crime’s cause and its perpetrator.
My grandmother, whom I wrote about last time, married Parker Arnett. Parker’s mother is Josephine Risner Arnett. Josephine’s father is Benjamin Risner.
My great-grandmother Josephine was 14 when her father died at the hands of the deputy sheriffs. One of the deputies, Charley Arnett, is probably an uncle or cousin to my as-yet-unborn grandfather Parker Arnett.
Both my grandmothers were keepers of their family’s histories. I have heard bits and pieces of the lore, such as the Ramey family story I described in my last post.
My paternal grandmother, Flora King Hudson, lived to 94. The information she provided has proved reliable. Once, in her eighties when her eyes were bad and she had difficulty reading, she asked me if I wanted to hear the alphabetized list of everyone that she’d ever known. She took several minutes reciting the A’s and had just started with the B’s when I asked her to stop. She hadn’t written the list anywhere except in her memory.