Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  

Mr. Murray Scott Kidnapped By Gypsies

This article first appeared in issue 34, and was written by Lorena F. Jackson.

Juanita Scott told the story of Gypsies kidnapping her husband when he was 1 1/2 or 2 years old, around 1935 or 36. Around this period of time Gypsies occasionally came through this part of the country traveling in one or two vehicles instead of caravans.

Juanita's husband is Murray Scott. His parents had a booth at the Adair County Fair where they sold hamburgers and hot-dogs. They had arranged a tent over their booth, and had little Murray on a pallet sleeping in the back.

After awhile Murray's parents missed him, began searching frantically, and describing him to many people. His outstanding feature was having heavy curly hair. Right away visitors at the fair were telling Mr. and Mrs. Scott they had seen their child with Gypsies who were at the fair.

Soon the Scotts learned that the Gypsies were headed toward Russell Springs. Mr. and Mrs. Scott went to Russell Spings, located the Gypsies, and got their son who was not harmed.

Bereka Willis and Myrtle Grimsley, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Dillen Breeding, told about a long caravan of covered wagons occupied by Gypsies, coming by their home in the edge of Gradyville when they were children. Their home was on the road that is now Highway 80.

The breeding family was ready to go to church services when the caravan arrived. These wandering people asked Mr. Breeding if they could setup camp at his home. He thought it over and told them they could camp in his barn lot as it was fenced in.

Mr. Breeding thought it best that he not go to church that evening, so he stayed around home to be sure all went well; however the rest of the family went to church.

Neighbors from all around Gradyville came the next day to see and talk to the Gypsies. It was interesting to see all the clan sitting in a huge circle around a big black kettle of soup, each enjoying his own bowl of hot soup he was holding.

Big Creek ran close by, and the Gypsy women had washed their clothes in the creek. When they hung their wash to dry, the clothes completely covered the fence around the barn lot.

Bertha said she and the other neighborhood children had a great time running and playing with the Gypsy children.

Mrytle went inside their home and one of these roving ladies followed her inside. Then Mrs. Breeding followed the visitor as she walked all around in her home, guarding her belongings, being sure nothing was stolen.

This band of people had cash on hand for they bought feed for their horses, also eggs and milk from Mr. and Mrs. Breeding.

The Gypsies spent one night at the Breeding farm, then moved on by the middle of the afternoon.

(Writer Lorena Farris Jackson's first story appeared in February 1999. She lives in Cane Valley and has shared several of her collected stories about local families and events.)

This story was posted on 2001-04-15 12:01:01
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.


Quick Links to Popular Features content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link:

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401

Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.