Feb 152024

More than once I have joked that I come from a long line of horse thieves, card sharks, shady ladies, and other assorted riffraff. I’ve always claimed that in jest, but it appears I wasn’t that far off the mark.

I’ve always been interested in history, so I guess it was natural I would be interested in my own history as well, which got me into genealogy. A few years ago I was looking through some old Cincinnati newspapers on newspapers.com and plugged in the name of John Sanders Stephens, my great-grandfather, who lived across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, in Ludlow, Kentucky. I didn’t find anything new about him, but I did find some information on one of his grandsons, a first cousin one time removed or some such, also named John.

Most of great-grandfather Stephens’ family seem to have been great citizens who made a lot of contributions to the community, including one of his sons, James, who was president of the First National Bank of Ludlow, as well as the City Treasurer of Ludlow for many years.

But not my ne’er-do-well cousin. According to newspaper records, in 1936 his wife divorced him on grounds of desertion. Two years later, he was hauled before the judge and given 30 days for failure to provide child support for the two children of that union. The newspaper article reported that the judge said the defendant had been in his courtroom for the same charges several times previously. Then, in 1939, he was charged with cutting another man in a barroom fight. And as if that was not enough, that same year he was sentenced to a year in prison for stealing 47 chickens. Again, the newspaper said it was not the first time he had been charged with theft. I had to stop reading about that time, because I didn’t know whether to laugh out loud or to hang my head in shame.

I guess when you shake your family tree, you have got to expect a few nuts to fall out, don’t you?

It’s Thursday, so it’s time for a new Free Drawing. This week’s prize is an RV camping journal donated by Barbara House. Barbara makes several variations of these, and they all have pages where you can list the date, weather, where you traveled to and from that day, beginning and ending mileage, campground information including amenities at RV sites, a place for campground reviews, room to record activities, people met along the way, reminders of places to see and things to do the next time you’re in the area, and a page for notes for each day.

To enter, click on this Free Drawing link or the tab at the top of this page and enter your name (first and last) in the comments section at the bottom of that page (not this one). Only one entry per person per drawing please, and you must enter with your real name. To prevent spam or multiple entries, the names of cartoon or movie characters are not allowed. The winner will be drawn Sunday evening. Note: Due to the high shipping cost of printed books and Amazon restrictions on e-books to foreign countries, only entries with US addresses and e-mail addresses are allowed. After 90 days, unclaimed prizes revert back to the drawing pool for a future contest.

And finally, here’s a chuckle to start your day from the collection of funny signs we see in our travels and that our readers share with us. This is a lot more information than I need to know about this driver.

Thought For The Day – Never test how deep the water is with both feet.

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  One Response to “Maybe Not A Horsethief, But Close”

  1. My maiden name was Sherman. My grandfather told me I could not claim a distant relationship with the general unless I also acknowledged the horse thief that caused his sons to change their name to Sherman.

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