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Col. Frank Wolford died on this day in 1895

Huge crowds filled the Adair County Courthouse for the funeral of one of the Civil War's greatest heroes. Eulogists were Judge James Garnett ex-Gov. J. Proctor Knott, and Col. Silas Adams" Pallbearers were 'J.H. Hudson, Dr. J.H. Grady, L.P. Hurt, A.G. Todd, E.G. Atkins, J.L. Hurt, W.W. Jones, Thomas A. Murrell, H.C. Baker, J.R. Hindman, F.M. Frazier, J.E. Murrell. All the Members of the bar are honorary pall-bearers.' Eugene Newman, the famed Savoyard writer wrote a sketch, "A Rugged Knight," which appeared in the Louisville, KY Courier-Journal

By "Jim"

Today, August 2nd, 2010, marks the 115th anniversary of the death of one of Adair County's best known native sons, Colonel Frank Lane Wolford. He had been in rapidly failing health, and his death "occurred at the family residence in [Columbia] last Friday afternoon, at three o'clock and fifty-three minutes, " a month to the day before his seventy-eighth birthday.

The funeral, first scheduled for 10 o'clock Sunday morning, August 4th, in the Columbia Christian church, was changed to accommodate the anticipated crowd. Columbia's only newspaper at the time, the venerable Spectator, reported that Col. Wolford's funeral was held Sunday afternoon in the court house, the biggest building in Adair County. Even so, "by the time the remains were brought in, every seat was taken, and a large crowd was standing."

The newspaper went on to state that "The speakers present were Judge James Garnett, who had been selected by the Columbia Bar to deliver an oration; ex-Gov. J. Proctor Knott, and Col. Silas Adams, who spoke in the order named."

Fellow Adair countian J.R. Hindman had served as lieutenant governor under former Gov. Knott. Adams and Wolford served together in the Civil War, and Adams had succeeded Wolford as Colonel of the First Kentucky Cavalry in the spring of 1864.

Continued the Spectator,
"The orations were all well-prepared and fitting for the occasion, and brought to mind the life and character of a great man, a battle-scarred veteran, a hero of two wars, whose record was untarnished; a giant among men, kind and charitable, whom everybody loved and respected. A man whom Kentuckians will always be proud to honor was being honored with the last rites due to man on earth, and certainly the occasion was solemn and earnest."
The Louisville Times informed readers that "The active pall-bearers are J.H. Hudson, Dr. J.H. Grady, L.P. Hurt, A.G. Todd, E.G. Atkins, J.L. Hurt, W.W. Jones, Thomas A. Murrell, H.C. Baker, J.R. Hindman, F.M. Frazier, J.E. Murrell. All the Members of the bar are honorary pall-bearers."

Col. Wolford's grave marker makes no mention of his wartime exploits, nor of his professional life as lawyer and politician. Rather, it gently reminds the reader that "While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest shall not cease." (From Genesis 8:22.)

The Saturday, August 3rd, 1895 Courier-Journal, under the title of "A Rugged Knight," carried one of the greatest word sketches ever penned, written by no less a personage than Barren countian Eugene W. Newman, better known by the nom de plume Savoyard.

This word sketch, as well as transcriptions of some of Col. Wolford's speeches, his (in)famous letter to Abraham Lincoln, as well as biographical sketches and among other items, may be viewed at KY

This story was posted on 2010-08-02 07:31:49
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