Notorious Ending?

The following article, in its entirety, was published on September 1, 1856 by the New York Times, and is copyrighted by NYT as well. The article is quoted as taken from the Louisville Courier Journal, dated August 27, 1856.
“Early yesterday morning information was brought to the city that the notorious Paschal D. Craddock, long resident of Jefferson county, some 6 miles from the city, had been foully murdered. His body was found in the morning, in the lane leading to the Bardstown Road, about 3/4 mile from his house. He was found stone dead, having evidently fallen by the hand of some midnight assassin, the body a gore of blood, the throat, face, and breast much torn and mutilated by hogs, that had been attracted to the spot by the scent of blood. His faithful stud, the only witness of the horrible murder, was found standing within a few feet of the body.
“It appeared that Craddock had been summoned from his bed about 10 o’clock the previous night by a negro man belonging to Andrew Hicks, a neighbor who had been sick some time, and thinking he was really sent for, immediately got up, went out, saddled his horse, and started, apprehending no attack, and telling his family, who were opposed to his leaving the house at that time of night, that he would soon be back. From that moment he was never seen alive again by any member of his family, but was hurried into eternity by the hands of midnight murderers.
“Captain McGowan, the Sheriff, and Henry C. Morton, Deputy-Sheriff, together with the Coroner, started to the scene as information was given them, and the body of the deceased taken charge of and conveyed to his late residence, where an inquest was held. Mr. Morton, on examination, discovered traces of 3 horses near the place where the body had been found, also evidences that they had been hitched there, the riders lying in wait for their victim. The tracks of 2 of the horses led to the road, and a third through the woods. Several shots were heard in the night, evidently pistol shots. The following is the result of the inquest:
“The body was found in a lane on the north side of Bardstown turnpike, just beyond the second toll-gate. It had 3 shots in the thigh, one of the balls passing through. None of these wounds could have caused death. The neck was broken, and the face, head, and neck were mutilated by hogs, the ears having been eating off. Craddock was on horseback when he was shot, and it is supposed that, after he was shot, he fell off his horse and broke his neck. The horse was found standing in the lane just beyond the body this morning, as he was afraid to pass it. Two pieces of rope, having some blood on them, were found near the fence. The Coroner found in one of the pockets of the deceased a counterfeit $50 bill on the Union Bank of Louisiana and a counterfeit $ 10 bill on the Farmer’s Bank of Kentucky, and under the lining of the hat a $10 bill on a New Haven (Conn.) Bank. No other money was found. A dirk knife was found on the body. The verdict of the jury was that ‘Craddock came to his death by violence.’
“This deed of violence has excited much feeling in the community, connected, as it is, with the deepest mystery, together with the fact that the murdered man has been warned by a committee of a great majority of the most respected citizens of the county, his immediate neighbors, to remove from the county and State in 6 months. The allotted time expires today, and he is hurried off into eternity. Let the record of the past be forgotten. Deputy Sheriff Morton, in order to obtain a clue to the murder, arrested and lodged in the jail, Bill, the negro man of Mr. Hicks, also one of the negroes of the deceased. The former is the man who went to the house on the night of the murder, and called Craddock out, on the pretention that a neighbor had sent for him.”


About Gclee

I am a long time genealogy and local history hunter from Barren Co., KY. I have many stories to share that may be of interest to other local genealogists and history buffs. I enjoy this as a hobby and hope I can be of encouragement to others. I also hope everyone enjoys my stories as much as I have enjoyed learning about them.
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16 Responses to Notorious Ending?

  1. Andrew says:

    The neighbor’s name was Andrew Hikes (as in Hikes Lane) not Hicks. He was a friend of Craddock and there was a rumor that Craddock’s death was faked to save his life although obviously someone would have to have been murdered to exchange the bodies – probably not true but there were people who swore seeing him alive 10 years later down south of Kentucky

  2. Gclee says:

    Somehow, Craddock faking his own death would not surprise me… Thanks for the correction and info. Craddock was quite a piece of work in the Barren County area.

  3. chad goodwin says:

    i am related to the former slaves of the area of which Craddock was murdered. where his ghost is reputedly seen was once my great grandfather’s hog farm. I have heard stories and my students and i are currently in class learning about him. they are thrilled because its halloween time now. i would like to know more, I guess i will have to check records downtown.

  4. Sid Craddock says:

    I am a nephew, many times removed, of Paschal Craddock. From all I’ve read and the stories passed down through family, he is not a relative to be proud of.
    I have an oil painting of “Uncle Paschal” hanging in my home. If any one is interested I will e-mail a photo of this painting.

    • Gclee says:

      That sounds absolutely fascinating! I am glad you contacted me. No, Paschal Craddock was not a relative to be proud of, from all I have found. We may never know if he truly did murder anyone, but he came to a very bad end there in Buechel, KY. I would be interested in seeing this painting of the man. His name still carries alot of weight in Barren Co., KY. I will send you an email so you can email me.

      • isabel craddock says:

        Would love to see Paschal D. picture. As of now I am aware of only one excisting portrail that it may be in Colorado. This would be great.

    • Geoge Craddock says:

      Would love to have that picture. He is my husband 3ggg-grandfather

    • isabel Craddock says:

      Love to see the picture.

      • Gclee says:

        I have just posted it on a new entry entitled “Notorious Ending? Paschal Craddock”. You should be able to download it from the site. Thanks for your interest, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

    • Bill Baker says:

      Is this Paschal the uncle or his nephew Paschal

      • Gclee says:

        Not for sure what you are asking… This is the Paschal Craddock who was sheriff of Barren Co., KY in the early 1800s and died in a village on the south side of Louisville, from accounts I have gotten. Did he have a nephew? I know the Craddock family in Metcalfe County was quite extensive at one point.

    • Bill Baker says:

      I absolutely love the picture! Thank you so much for sharing. I have been searching for a long time. Thank you again!

    • Toni Tanksley says:

      Dear Mr. Craddock,

      Hello. My name is Toni Webber Tanksley. Paschal Craddock is my 2nd Great Grand Uncle. His brother, William Irving (Irwin) is my Great Great Grandfather, Jennie Craddock is my Great Grandmother and her daughter Faith McElroy Simpson Webber West is my Grandmother. I have been gathering genealogy on the family for years and would love an emailed copy of Uncle Paschal.

      Thank you so much!

      Toni Webber Tanksley

      • Sid Craddock says:

        Hello, I will send you a copy of Paschal’s painting but I need an e-mail address. I can’t remember how I did this before, maybe Gclee will help out!

      • LARA A CRADDOCK says:

        Hi Toni, my name is Lara Craddock. My father is Sidney Craddock who has the portrait of Paschal Craddock. I am recently getting into all of our family history. William Irving Craddock is my 2nd Great Grand father also! I am having difficulty with finding out who Williams father is. Some trees say Paschal and some say Zarel. Any help would be appreciated.

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