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Outlaws of
Cave-in-Rock


Rogues' Gallery

Rogue's Gallery
By JON MUSGRAVE
Hardin Co. ILGenWeb Coordinator
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This is a partial list of some of the men associated with the outlaws active in southeastern Illinois and western Kentucky. It's by no means complete. It's presented as a research tool for those studying the outlaws of that time period.

For more information on the major characters who make up the Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock check out the Southern Illinois History Page site on Cave-in-Rock.

  • James Belden — Member of the Sturdivant Gang chasing James Hall's posse after the arrest of Roswell and Merrick Sturdivant in June 1822 in the first raid against Sturdivant's Fort.
        Sources: Ron Nelson. April 1998. "The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • John Black — Criminal activity unknown. Elected constable of Cave-in-Rock township in 1829. However, that Isaiah L. Potts and Francis Prince put up his bond makes him suspect.
        Sources: Ronald L. Nelson. July-August 1985. "In Search of Billy Potts, Part II." Springhouse Magazine. 2:4 26-30.

  • ______ Blair — Member of the Sturdivant Gang chasing James Hall's posse after the arrest of Roswell and Merrick Sturdivant in June 1822 in the first raid against Sturdivant's Fort.
        Sources: Ron Nelson. April 1998. "The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • Lewis Field — Member of the Sturdivant Gant convicted of passing counterfeit money in 1819.
        Source: Ron Nelson. April 1998. The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort. Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill.

  • Maj. James Ford (c 1770 -July 5, 1833) — Leader of the Ford's Ferry Gang. May have been James Wilson who operated the Liquor Vault at Cave-in-Rock in 1799. Later ran tavern at site of Rosiclare, probably in what became Sturdivant's Fort. Owned plantation outside Tolu, Kentucky, opposite Elizabethtown, Illinois. Operated Frazer's old saltworks at the Lower Lick in the 1820s. Tied to John Hart Crenshaw in the kidnapping business. Assassinated by Vincent B. Simpson's son, Vincent B. Simpson Jr., and a group of Regulators, at the Ford's Ferry house still occupied by Simpson's widow. Authorized to operate ferry at mouth of Crooked Creek just above Cave-in-Rock on Oct. 6, 1823, at the site of the old Frazer's Ferry. Married Elizabeth or Betsy Frazer, the widow of James Frazer, on Jan. 14, 1829.
        Public Office: Elected delegate to early Tennessee constitutional convention on Dec. 18-19, 1795, attended convention following Jan. 11, 1796. Appointed justice of the peace of the Deer Creek neighborhood of Livingston Co., Kentucky in 1803. Appointed by the acting governor a justice of the peace in Randolph Co., Illinois on May 20, 1809. Removed from office by territorial governor Sept. 9, 1809. Authorized to administer oaths of office by acting governor on May 21, 1809. Later appointed overseer of the poor in the Grand Pierre area of Illinois. Took oath as sheriff of Livingston Co., Kentucky, on Feb. 7, 1825.
        Military Service: Captain of the Livingston County Cavalry of the 24th Regiment of (Ky.) Militia from July 1, 1799 to Dec. 15, 1802. Captain of the Grand Pierre area militia, 4th Regiment of (Ill. Terr.) Militia, Jan. 2, 1810. Promoted to one of the two major positions in the 4th Regiment on Nov. 28, 1811.
        Relatives: Philip Ford, father; Elizabeth Ford, mother; John Ford, maternal grandfather; Philip Ford Jr., brother; Richard Ford, brother; William Prince, step-father; Robert Prince, step-uncle; Susan Miles ( - 1820s), first wife; Philip Ford, son; William Ford, son; Cassandra Ford (1805-1806 - October 1844), daughter; James N. Ford Jr. (c.1830 - October 1844), son; Charles H. Webb ( - Oct. 30, 1844), son-in-law; Richard Miles, Sr., father-in-law; Richard Miles, Jr., brother-in-law; Elizabeth "Betsy" W. (Armstead) Frazier, second wife; Henryetta, Elizabeth and Rosannah Frazer, step-daughters; Nanny W. (1829-Oct. 7, 1849), Augusta W., Charles H., and Cassandra F. Webb, grandchildren.
        Sources: Various. — W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 186, 189-190, 193.

  • Philip Ford (1800 - Nov. 23, 1831) — James Ford's son and gangmember. Wrote will on Nov. 21, 1831, in "great haste and under the most severe tension." Found dead in a creek two days later. Indicted for assault and force on Joseph Mercer in 1827 along with his brother William and Briant Thomas. Indicted on Sept. 11, 1828, for trespass, assault and battery along with brother William.
        Relatives: James Ford, father; Alura G. (maiden name unknown) (Jan. 26, 1809 - July 25, 1821), possible wife though no marriage record found, died in childbirth at age 12; Francis Ford, son; Augusta Ware Webb, niece and daughter-in-law; Augusta Webb Ford, granddaughter.
        Sources: Various. — W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 63. 107.

  • William M. Ford (c 1804 - Nov. 3, 1832) — James Ford's son and gangmember. Shot by a traveler he tried to rob on the road near the Illinois shore of Ford's Ferry. William wrote his will June 21, 1832, filed it twice. Indicted for assault and force on Josepnh Mercer in 1827 along with his brother Philip and Briant Thomas. Indicted on Sept. 11, 1828, for trespass, assault and battery along with brother Philip. Charged with the murder of William Pickering in 1830. Grand jury though failed to return a true bill. The Ford's Ferry Road ran through Pickering's property. Ford also had the license for the former Flinn's Ferry or Prince's Ferry, just upriver from Ford's Ferry Ohio.
        Relatives: James Ford, father; Nancy Coffield, later Grimes, former mistress and mother of William Ford, Jr., then 17 (c. 1815 - ); Ternicia Wamack, more recent mistress and mother of Richard M. Ford, then seven months old at the time of the father's will (Dec. 1831 - ); Jane Lacey widow of Joshua Lacey, aunt; Elizabeth Prince, daughter of Francis Prince, cousin; Mary Thomas, formerly Broomfield, then living in Monroe, Arkansas Terr., possible mistress since she is mentioned in the June will.
        Sources: Various. — W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 63, 107.

  • Andrew Frazer — Ford's agent at the saltworks of James Ford & Co. at the salines as of July 1828. Testified in Hiram slave case. Had hired Hiram, a slave of Vincent B. Simpson's, as a woodchooper at the price of $10 a month.
        Relatives: James Frazer, either son or brother; Elizabeth "Betsy" Frazer Ford, former daughter-in-law or sister-in-law.
        Sources: Various. — W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co.

  • Syrus Halberd — Member of the Sturdivant Gang convicted of passing counterfeit money in 1819.
        Source: Ron Nelson. April 1998. The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort. Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • John Harmon — Associate of Ford family, mentioned in William Ford's will. Indicted at least once for kidnapping a free Black woman and her child. Snively describes as a "notorious seller of freed Negroes." Associated with Hardin Kuykendall (probably should be Lewis Kuykendall?) and John Hart Crenshaw. Testified in the Hiram slave case. On Aug. 28, 1833, a Livingston County Justice of the Peace, R. H. Haynes, ordered Harmon to apprehend Henry Neal for the murder of James Ford. Appointed patroller for town of Salem, Ky., by the court of Livingston County.
        Source: Various. — W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 140, 143, 173-174.

  • R. H. Haynes — Pro-Ford justice of the peace in Livingston County. Authorized John Harmon to apprehend Henry Neal for Ford's murder, later voted for Neal's trial even though testimony showed Neal had a rifle in his possession the day of the murder, not a shotgun which was the murder weapon.
        Relatives: Unknown relationship, if any, to John Haynes of White Co., Illinois, indicted in 1828 or 1829 for kidnapping, or to John T. Haines/Haynes who married a daughter of Lewis Kuykendall.
        Source: Various. — W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 173, 176.

  • Ebenezer Hays — Member of the Sturdivant Gang convicted of passing counterfeit money in 1819.
        Source: Ron Nelson. April 1998. The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort. Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • ______ Hazle/Hazel — One of Duff's accomplices arrested with Duff at the Illinois Salines by soldiers from Fort Massac. Unknown if this man was a partner in Duff's counterfeiting operations, or just in salt-making. While no first name is given, a Daniel Hazel is in western Kentucky at this time. The arrest of Duff and his men probably took place in 1799. Daniel Hazel help co-found Smithland, Ky., in 1797. Note, James Ford bought land in Smithland that year as well. Daniel's older son included William, Daniel Jr., and Richard. The Hazels settled near the Hays both in Kentucky and later in Pope Co., Illinois. Not known if Ebenezer Hays is connected.
        Sources: Otto A. Rothert. 1924, Reprint 1996. Outlaws of Cave-in-Rock. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press. 271-279; Alvin R. Griffith. Spring 1999. "The Hazel Family: Pioneers of Pope County, Illinois. The Saga of Southern Illinois. 26:1. Carterville, Ill.: Genealogy Society of Southern Illinois. 40-42.

  • Berry Hodge — Appointed one of two deputy sheriffs of Livingston Co., Kentucky, on Sheriff James Ford's nomination.
        Source: W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 91. (Thanks to Brenda Joyce Jerome for pointing out that Hodge's first name is Berry and not Benny as listed in the book).

  • Dr. _____ King — Leader of outlaw gang (along with a man named Nysonger) based at Potts Hill, "there, men robbed, stole and were killed."
        Relatives: Relationship to Jefferson King unknown if any.
        Sources: Hardin County Independent Dec. 10, 1920.

  • Jefferson King — Kidnapper indicted in 1851 in Saline County. The case was continued for a number of years, but King never appeared. The case was eventually dropped. Jefferson King was 31 and lived in the Shawneetown Precinct of Gallatin County during the 1850 Census. He was listed as a farmer born in Mississippi.
        Relatives: Melissa Skinner, wife (m. Oct. 10, 1839); unknown relationship to Dr. King.
        Sources: Jon Musgrave. 1997. Black Kidnappings in Southeastern Illinois. IllinoisHistory.com; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index. [http://www2.sos.state.il.us/cgi-bin/marriage]

  • James Leach — Member of the Sturdivant Gang convicted of passing counterfeit money in 1819.
        Source: Ron Nelson. April 1998. The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort. Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • Louis Levell/Leavell (1802 - ) — Worked as overseer for James Ford at Flynn's Fery beginning April 12, 1829. Testified in the Hiram slave case to the fact that the slave suffered from a hernia or "busen" as big as a fist and could not work. Not known if active in any of Ford's criminal enterprises.
        Relatives: Edward Leavell, father; Thomas H.(olland), Roy, William, brothers; Nancy Arnold, wife (m. Aug. 2, 1835).
        Sources: W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 146.; Robert A. Scherrer. Aug. 6, 1999. "Edward Leavell & Rosamond Wiatt/Wyatt." Leavell Family Genealogy Forum, GenForum.com; Illinois Statewide Marriage Index.

  • Richard Miles — Brother-in-law to James Ford. Appointed as one of Ford's two deputy sheriffs for Livingston Co., Kentucky, in 1825. Later served as executor of Ford's estate. Appointed captain of patrollers for town of Salem on April 7, 1829, served until Feb. 6, 1832. Territory bounded by area beginning at the mouth of Deer Creek, up to Coffield's Fork of Deer Creek, up to the point where the road leading from Salem to Ferry Ohio (Ford's Ferry Road) crossed the latter, down the Ford's Ferry Road to the mouth of Crooked Creek, and from there down the Ohio to the mouth of Deer Creek.
        Relatives: Richard Miles Sr., father, Susan Miles, sister; James Ford, brother-in-law.
        Source: W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 91.

  • John H. Mosley — Identified by John Wilson as a horse thief and passer of counterfeit money by a Ford witness in the Hiram slave trial. Wilson testified that he heard a conversation between Simpson and Mosley concerning Hiram whom Simpson had sold to Ford. Prior to this conversation in 1829, Mosely had lived in Hopkinsville, Ky, then later for a short time in Caldwell County. Apparently the conversation Wilson heard took place in Raleigh, in Union Co., Ky. At that time Wilson learned that Mosley had moved to the lead mines in Missouri.
        Source: W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 146-147.

  • James Mulligan ( - c1833) — Accomplice of Henry Shouse in the murder of Vincent B. Simpson. Fled with Shouse and William H. J. Stevenson to Arkansas. Captured, then died.
        Sources: Brenda Joyce Jerome. February 1999. "Behind the Legends of Ford's Ferry Ohio." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 16:1. 33-37.

  • ________ Nysonger — Leader of an outlaw gang along with a Dr. King that was based at Potts Hill. This is probably Peter Nighswonger or one of his sons, Reason, Hamilton or Jefferson, who lived just to the northwest. Reason and Hamilton reached Gallatin County at least by 1819, although some of their siblings didn't arrive until 1824.
        Sources:Ronald L. Nelson. July-August 1985. "In Search of Billy Potts, Part II."Springhouse Magazine. 2:4 26-30; Hardin County Independent. Dec. 9, 1920.

  • Billy Potts — Legendary outlaw that may actually have been real. As a teen-age member of the Ford's Ferry Gang got caught and exiled by James Ford, then sheriff (and thus dating the story to 1825 or after). About five years later returned home to his parents at Potts Inn where they didn't recognize him. Instead, they killed him thinking him to be a wealthy traveler.
        Relatives: Billy Potts Sr., legendary father; Isaiah L. Potts, real father if Billy Jr. truly existed.
        Sources: W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 131-136; Ronald L. Nelson. May-June 1985. "In Search of Billy Potts."Springhouse Magazine. 2:3 12-20; Ronald L. Nelson. July-August 1985. "In Search of Billy Potts, Part II."Springhouse Magazine. 2:4 26-30; Ronald L. Nelson. June 1997. "In Search of Billy Potts, Part III."Springhouse Magazine. 14:3 17-20. See Legend of Billy Potts and Potts Inn for more details. The following diary excerpt is the earliest recorded version of the dark tales surrounding Potts Inn.

  • Isaiah L. Potts — Real father of legendary Billy Potts. Justice of the Peace, inn and tavern keeper of Potts Inn at the crossroads of the Shawneetown-Golconda Trail and the Ford's Ferry Road from the saltworks to the various ferries on the Ohio. Put up security for William M. Ford's bond when he received the license to operate the ferry formerly known as the Flinn's Ferry and later Prince's Ferry.
        Relatives: Mary "Polly Blue, wife.
        Sources: Ronald L. Nelson. May-June 1985. "In Search of Billy Potts."Springhouse Magazine. 2:3 12-20; Ronald L. Nelson. July-August 1985. "In Search of Billy Potts, Part II."Springhouse Magazine. 2:4 26-30; Ronald L. Nelson. June 1997. "In Search of Billy Potts, Part III."Springhouse Magazine. 14:3 17-20.

  • Francis Prince — Possible member of the Ford's Ferry Gang. Pledged bond in 1829 for newly elected constable John Black along with Isaiah L. Potts. Pledged security along with Potts for William M. Ford's 1829 ferry license as well.
        Relatives: James Ford, likely step-brother or half-brother.
        Sources: Ronald L. Nelson. July-August 1985. "In Search of Billy Potts, Part II."Springhouse Magazine. 2:4 26-30.

  • Jacob Robertson — Member of the Sturdivant Gang chasing James Hall's posse after the arrest of Roswell and Merrick Sturdivant in June 1822 in the first raid against Sturdivant's Fort.
        Sources: Ron Nelson. April 1998. "The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • Lindsay Shoemaker ( - bef 1844) — Indicted in 1836 as Henry Shouse's accomplice in the murder of William L. Woffard on Nov. 3, 1832. Fled area after indictment. Never found.
        Relatives: William Shoemaker/Shewmaker, father; William Shoemaker Jr., brother, Patsy Adams, wife; Salina Shoemaker, daughter; Polly Adams, double sister-in-law; Robert Adams, father-in-law.
        Sources: Brenda Joyce Jerome. February 1999. "Behind the Legends of Ford's Ferry Ohio." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 16:1. 33-37.

  • Henry Shouse (c.1807 - June 9, 1834) — Member of James Ford's gang. On March 13, 1833, indicted for the murder of William L. Wafford whom he shot in the right side of the chest on Nov. 3, 1832. Shot Vincent B. Simpson on June 30, 1833, as Simpson walked onto Shouse's property on the Illinois side of the Ohio River. Along with step-brother William H. J. Stevenson and James Mulligan, the trio fled to Arkansas before being captured and brought back to Southern Illinois. Shouse was hung at Golconda just after 2 p.m.
        Relatives: Louesa (Stinson) Shouse Stevenson, mother; John W. Shouse, brother. James H. Stephenson, step-father; David L. Stephenson, step-brother. Name sometimes spelled Chouse.
        Sources: Brenda Joyce Jerome. February 1999. "Behind the Legends of Ford's Ferry Ohio." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 16:1. 33-37; W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 160

  • Nathaniel Simpson ( - 1832-1833) — Possible member and/or victim of James Ford's gang. Assaulted by Mr. Potts at Potts Inn while passing his tavern on Jan. 6, 1832. Potts theatened his and his son's death. On Jan. 12, 1832, Simpson wrote to Henry Eddy identifying Potts as the attacker. Green Wommack served as the third witness. Within the next 12 months, Simpson died, and James Ford buys all of Simpson's land and personal property, including the land on which Sheriff John Lane is living as of Jan. 5, 1833. On the following Thursday, Lane wrote that Ford would be at Simpson's old place to attend to the "trial of the Rites of the property" and wanted Eddy to serve as Ford's attorney. Thus it appears that Potts has attacked Simpson theatening to kill him. Simpson later dies, cause unknown. Ford buys all of John Simpson's personal and real property including his interest in his father's estate. The first question is did Ford have a gun to the son's head urging him to sign over his property? The second question is whether this incident had anything to do with the death of Vincent B. Simpson a few months later.
        Relatives: John Simpson, son. Relationship unknown to Vincent B. Simpson.
        Sources: John Lane to Henry Eddy. Jan. 5, 1833; and Nathaniel Simpson to Henry Eddy, Jan. 12, 1832. Henry Eddy MSS. Illinois History Survey, UI-Champaign.

  • Vincent B. Simpson (1780-1790 - Aug. 1, 1833) — Member of James Ford's gang. Ferrykeeper for Ford. Shot by Henry Shouse on June 30, and died the next day. Worked as ferryman at Ford's Ferry Ohio. Produced commission appointing him Justice of the Peace on July 6, 1829. Likely moved to Kentucky no later than 1825. Defendent in Hirman slave case brought by Ford in September 1829. Case dismissed on March 9, 1831. Simpson sold Hiram to Ford on Jan. 7, 1829, for $800, advertising Hiram as a blacksmith. Hiram died shortly thereafter due to a hernia or "busen."
        Relatives: Jane Jenkinson, first wife; Mary Huskins, mistress/second wife; F. M. Simpson, Mary (Simpson) Hull, V. B. Simpson, Martha (Simpson) Lucas, all children; Dr. James Hull, Jeremiah Lucas, both sons-in-law.
        Sources: Brenda Joyce Jerome. february 1999. "Behind the Legends of Ford's Ferry Ohio." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 16:1. 33-37.

  • Henry Slankard — Blacksmith and overseer for Ford at Flynn's Ferry. Testified for Ford in the Hiram slave case. Moved to Flynn's Ferry in February 1829, testified that Ford sent his hands to work at the ferry in late March 1829. Testified that Hiram had been a woodchoper at the saltworks in 1828, indicating that Slankard may have worked at the salines too.
        W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 144-145.

  • _____ Small — Member of the Sturdivant Gang shot dead during second raid on the Sturdivant Fort in May 1823.
        Sources: Ron Nelson. April 1998. "The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • Capt. James Steel (c.1773 - after 1850) — Member of the Sturdivant Gang chasing James Hall's posse after the arrest of Roswell and Merrick Sturdivant in June 1822 in the first raid against Sturdivant's Fort. Territorial Gov. Ninian Edwards appointed Steel captain of the militia company in the Grand Pierre area on March 30, 1812. This follows James Ford's promotion to major in the Fourth Regiment of the Militia. Later Edwards reappointed him captain on Dec. 10, 1817, in the Sixth Regiment of the Militia.
        Sources: Ron Nelson. April 1998. "The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • William H. J. Stevenson/Stephenson — Neighbor of Henry Shouse charged with assisting in Simpson's murder. Ran off with Shouse following the killing. Fled to Arkansas, overtaken and returned to Illinois. In late July 1833, Stephenson ("Stuson") escaped from the guard as they transported him from Shawneetown. Sheriff John Lane later captured him in the area of Rock & Cave Township and returned to Equality by Aug. 1. Stephenson may have escaped again as Shouse's attorney uses his escape as an excuse to delay the trial later in November.
        Relatives: Henry Shouse, step-brother; Louesa (Stinson) Shouse Stevenson, step-mother; John W. Shouse, step-brother. James H. Stephenson, father; David L. Stephenson, brother.
        Sources: Various. — W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 160, 180; Capt Jno Lane to H Eddey Esqr. Aug 1, 1833. Henry Eddy MSS. Illinois Historical Survey. UI-Champaign.

  • Merrick Sturdivant — Member of the Sturdivant Gang convicted of passing counterfeit money in 1819.
         Relatives: Roswell and Stephen Sturdivant, brothers; Azor Sturdivant, father; James Strudivant, grandfather.
        Source: Ron Nelson. April 1998. The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort. Springhouse Magazine, Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • Roswell Sturdivant — Third-generation countefeiter and leader of the Sturdivant Gang of counterfeiters based out of Sturdivant's Fort (above present-day Rosiclare). Arrested by James Hall in 1822 during the first raid on the fort. Acquitted due to lack of evidence. Successfully drove off posse during the second raid in 1823. Shot in the nape of the neck during the third raid a few days later. Charged with assault and battery as well as counterfeiting. Disappeared. Possibly lynched on Hurricane Island following his second acquittal.
         Relatives: Merrick and Stephen Sturdivant, brothers, Azor Sturdivant, father, James Sturdivant, grandfather.
        Sources: Ron Nelson. April 1998. "The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • Stephen Sturdivant — Member of the Sturdivant Gang chasing James Hall's posse after the arrest of Roswell and Merrick Sturdivant in June 1822 in the first raid against Sturdivant's Fort.
        Relatives: Merrick and Roswell Sturdivant, brothers, Azor Sturdivant, father, James Sturdivant, grandfather.
        Sources: Ron Nelson. April 1998. "The Raid on Sturdivant's Fort." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 15:2. 25-32.

  • Abe Thomas — Hired by Joseph O'Neal of Hamilton Co., Illinois, in late 1849 or early 1850, to travel to Wolf Island and collect the balance of payments for three children kidnapped by O'Neal and sold to Newton E. Wright. While on the island, Wright hired Thomas for $150 to kill Dr. Swayne of nearby Hicco, Tenn. In May 1850, Thomas, using the alias of "Stewart" rode up to Swayne's house requesting that the doctor visit his sick father. Down the road, Thomas/Stewart fell behind and shot the doctor in the arm. Still alive the doctor escaped. The following year, John and Shannon Eubanks of White County took a herd of horses to Tennessee for sale. Near Hicco they met Dr. Swayne and heard him describe the assailant whom they identified as Thomas. A posse organized and traveled to Illinois where they arrested Thomas and took him back for trial.
         Relatives: Unknown relationship if any with Briant Thomas.
        Source: Jon Musgrave. 2000. Egyptian Tales of Southern Illinois. Marion, Ill.: IllinoisHistory.com. 72-73.

  • Briant Thomas — Indicted for assault and force on Joseph Mercer in 1827 along with Philip and William Ford.
         Relatives: Unknown relationship if any with a Mary Thomas, formerly Broomfield, mentioned in William Ford's will. Relationship unknown if any with Abe Thomas of Southern Illinois.
        W.D. Snively Jr and Louanna Furbee. 1968. Satan's Ferryman: A True Tale of the Old Frontier. New York: Frederick Ungar Publishing Co. 107.

  • William L. Woffard ( - Nov. 7, 1832) — Wounded by gun shot on Nov. 3, 1832. Died four days later. In 1836, Grand Jury named Henry Shouse (then dead) and Lindsay Shoemaker as the murderers. Woffard died the same day as William B. Ford mysteriously died. Jarret Wafford owned land on which the Ford's Ferry Road crossed.
        Relatives: William Woffard, father (according to Jerome) Jarret Wafford (according to Snively). Betcy Bumpass, wife (married Jan 10, 1821, Livingston Co., Ky.)
        Sources: Brenda Joyce Jerome. 1999. "Behind the Legends of Ford's Ferry Ohio." Springhouse Magazine. Herod, Ill. 16:1. 33-37.



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