Notes from the Clay County War

I’ve been in the special collections section of the Berea College archives. Until recently, this school had a large number of files associated with my family and the 100-year feud in Southern Kentucky. Apparently those files are now in Manchester, the County Seat.

Still, I found some interesting tidbits in the New York Times:

From April 18, 1898. The Bakers, who refuse to be arrested without their guns, stage a bloody retaliation against the White faction.


From June 11, 1898. The Howards take downtown Manchester with 50 men, while the Bakers assemble their own crew.


From June 3, 1899. The state prepares for all-out war after Bad Tom Baker is gunned down outside the Manchester Court House.


From July 18, 1899. On the eve of a large-scale battle between several factions involved.


From July 22, 1899. Tempers run high and battle lines are drawn. However, everyone in Clay County agreed upon one idea: the outside media was not welcome. Notice it was the sheriff who assaulted the reporter.


From Oct 26, 1899. Near the end of the year, the Courts could no longer keep up with the bloodshed in the area. The Governor began calling for unilateral powers to quell the violence. He was not granted those powers.


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  • Hoosiercountry April 6, 2011   Reply →

    Thanks for posting this information. In tracing my family tree I have found a connection with Clay County Kentucky and possibly ancestors involved in the fued you posted.

    • Brad King April 7, 2011   Reply →

      I’m actually writing a book on my family, The Bakers. I’d love to talk with you. (I even know some Whites as well.)

      • Kenneth Baker December 22, 2011   Reply →

        I would be interested in the book on the Bakers, {My family} As of right now I have my families geneology traced back to 1640 and the book would be a great adddition to our history. You can contatc me at with info.

      • Ronnie Baker June 28, 2012   Reply →

        we need to talk!!!

      • Denese Wiseman April 11, 2018   Reply →

        Mr. King I am Denese Baker Wiseman my family is the Bakers from Clay County Kentucky would love to hear more about your book.

        • Brad King June 15, 2018   Reply →

          Hello Denese! Nice to meet you. My cousin Paul lives down there in London! I’d love to talk to you!

    • Alice May 27, 2012   Reply →

      Are you a baker ,My dad was named Dallas baker You can contact me at

  • Ronnie Baker June 28, 2012   Reply →


    • R Sturgil63061 September 3, 2012   Reply →

      i;m robyn i  know a man his name is Paul Baker he  is the grandson of Tom Baker he has pictures and everything about his grandfather and would like to share them his address is 117 s smithville rd dayton ohio 45431 so please contact him he can explain alot about he’s family tree

  • Beverly Hollowell June 29, 2012   Reply →

    Hi Brad my name is Bev (BAKER) Hollowell. My Father is Hubert Baker, my grandfather is Boston Bobby. My dad died when I was 11 in Beaumont Calif. He was a secret man and I never was told about my grandfather. I am 58 and I am just finding out about him, on the internet.My son just went to Boston Gap cemetary. I seen your pictures and my cousin Bill and my uncle Robert. I havent seen them since i was a child. Thank you for those. Brad is you’re grandmother my aunt Virgie? I am on facebook please respond.

    • R Sturgil63061 September 3, 2012   Reply →

      my name is Robyn i know Tom Baker’s grandson his name is Paul Baker if  you want to know anything about your family contact him at 117 s smithville rd dayton ohio 45431 he has pictures and everything i love listing to him talk about his family it’s great he knows everything you want to know and he loves talking about it so please contact him

  • Ronnie Baker November 11, 2017   Reply →

    Hi im one the descendants of the Baker family and im looking for as much information as possible so i can make a movie script about this, i can be contacted at….PLEASE HELP,!!!

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