The Dangerous Mell Ridge of Metcalfe Co., KY and the Death of Bill Stotts

Henry Schlinker of Buechel, KY, in South Louisville, hailed from Center in Metcalfe County, not far from Mell Ridge, a ridge that writhes along the Green County border, and was the home of over a dozen shootings from an old time feud. The stories he heard from that era were before his time, and he is sure they were garbled by the time they came down to him.
The city of Edmonton was not the backdrop for the Mell Ridge lore. The way led over the town hill and across the South Fork of Little Barren River, passed Mud Slash School and towards Sulphur Well, across East Fork Creek to Robert Henry Butler’s home – right on Mell Ridge.
The feud between the Dowells and the Edwards saw 3 men dead and 3 men wounded.
Duard Belmont Dowell, known to his friends as Dode, married Fannie Buckner, daughter of Charlie Buckner, and a first cousin of George Al Edwards. She was ill from recent childbirth when Deputy Marshal Bill Stotts came to the house, with several others in his party, investigating a report of moonshine activity on East Fork Creek. Sallie Dowell (Dode’s mother), Liza Edwards, and Aunt Lucie Ann Rose, were attending the sick woman. One of them asked the men to be quiet, and Stotts replied that it didn’t make a difference to him, that he had plans to kill Dode anyway. The death of Fannie Buckner Dowell a few days later was attributed to fright.
The slaying of Bill Stotts by Dode Dowell occurred on 16 May 1888, four years later, inside the courthouse at Edmonton. Circuit Court was in session on that Monday, with the judge ion his stand and the jury in its box. Deputy Marshal Stotts was in the crowd on the outside steps when he spotted Dowell crossing the courthouse yard.
Stotts ducked in the courthouse with plans to slip up the inside stairs and out the back way. He threaded his way passed the judge and jury and continued up the stairs. Dowell met him at the top, took aim, and shot him down. Down the stairs Stotts’ body rolled, on passed the jury box until it stopped in front of the judge’s stand.
Dates in the Dowell cemetery indicate that Dode was born 20 July 1868, and he was more than 3 years younger than his first wife, Fannie Buckner. She died 8 May 1884, when he was not quite 16 years old. Four years later, on that vengeful day in Edmonton, he was just 19 years old. Dode died on 16 May 1911. His second wife was Sallie Pendleton

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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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