Henderson County, Kentucky Biography



Owen GLASS was born in Henderson, Kentucky, about 1841 or 1842, and was foully murdered in Union County, Kentucky in September 1862, by a Federal soldier named LAWRENCE, a member of Captain James H. HOLLOWAY'S Company, disguised as a Confederate.

His father, Dr. Owen GLASS, removed from Shelby County to Henderson in the early part of the 19th century. He was born in the 90's of the 18th century. He was a classical scholar; a leading and highly esteemed citizen of Henderson; for years a successful physician, but abandoned the practice on account of failing eyesight; and, at the time of his death in 1859, President of Farmer's Bank. He lived just across the street from our residence on Second Street, where the Kingdon Hotel is now. He was married three times. All three of his wives were my blood relatives.

His first wife was a Miss ______ TERRY, a daughter of Col. Robert TERRY by his wife, Nancy SMITH, sister of Obediah SMITH, and a first cousin through the HOPKINSES, of my grandfather, Joseph CABELL and General Samuel HOPKINS.

His second wife, a Miss _______ BARBOUR, granddaughter of General Samuel HOPKINS, was a sister of Major Philip BARBOUR, who was killed at the Battle of Monterey in the Mexican War, and who was the first husband of his cousin, Martha HOPKINS, who second husband was Col. John T. BUNCH, and whose daughter, the late Mary BUNCH, was loved and respected by a host of Henderson people.

His third wife was Elizabeth DIXON, sister of my father.

Owen GLASS was the only child of the second marriage. He graduated at Center College in the spring of 1861; soon thereafter, joined Captain Rice GRAVES battery in the Confederate army; distinguished himself as a brave and capable soldier; was captured at Fort Donelson; escaped from Camp Morton to Canada; and was on his way south when he was killed. Just two weeks before his death, my brother Arch and myself started to college in Toronto, Canada. Before going, we went out to my father's "hill" farm to see him. He was in the center of a cornfield in a sort of tent he had made out of cornstalks, the very picture of health and hope. About five feet, ten inches in height, 160 pounds in weight, highly educated, intellectually exceedingly bright, a born orator, an athlete, red-headed, genial, jolly, good natured, good looking, gifted, and brave, he commanded himself to the favor of his fellows. "Framed in the prodigality of Nature", he was one of the most symmetrically formed men I have ever seen.

At the age of twenty, with all these acquirements and natural gifts, to be so untimely cut down, O, what a pity!

The circumstances of his death were these: In the company of Dr. MUIR, of Morganfield, he was riding horse-back on his way to Henderson to see his elder brother, Robert, who was ill.

LAWRENCE, representing himself as a Confederate, joined them. About seven miles this side of Morganfield, HOLLOWAY'S Company, coming from the opposite direction, appeared in a curve in the road. OWEN, instinctly putting his hand on his pistol holster, exclaimed: "There come the damned Yankees". LAWRENCE, who was behind him, shot him twice in the back. OWEN fell from his horse, and, as he lay on the ground, cried out: "Don't shoot any more, you've killed me!"

The fellow then shot him three more times and finished him. Public opinion fixed no blame on Captain HOLLOWAY for complicity in this crime; as kind and warm friends of Owen GLASS, my immediate family, I know, fixed no such blame; indeed, Captain HOLLOWAY'S reputation as a brave, honorable and kind-hearted gentlemen, scotched at the very start all talk of his complicity in this dastardly murder. Mary HOLLOWAY (nee HILLYER) the mother of Captain HOLLOWAY, was, through the HARTS, a first cousin of my father.

In early boyhood, and all through life, I knew Captain HOLLOWAY well, and can personally vouch for the high estimate of his character contained in this sketch. He was promoted to a colonelcy, and was a distinguished solder of the Union in the unhappy War Between the States.


In the spring of 1858, my cousin, Owen GLASS, my brother, Arch, and myself went hunting. Owen was 16, Arch 14 and I 12.

As we were passing the BARRETT residence in the upper end of town, Owen fired at a field lark. BARRETT and his brother-in-law, a Mr. BLACK, were standing at the gate. BARRETT, in high, imperious tones, exclaimed: "Damn it all! What are you shooting in the highway for?"

Owen, who stammered, replied: "Do-do-you o-o-own the high-high-high-way?"

Addressing Arch and myself, BARRETT said: "Young gentlemen, I'll report you to your father, and as for you, Mr. GLASS, I'll report you to the authorities." Owen replied: "You co-co-come outside of that ga-ga-gate and I'll wear you out on the gr-gr-ground."

And he was really able to it, for he was an athlete. BARRETT was then about 48. BLACK said: "Don't go out BARRETT, the young man's excited." And BARRETT didn't go.

BARRETT was a monied autocrat, and though he and my father were warm friends, my democratic spirit couldn't brook his autocratic manners, and I never fancied him. He died in 1861, leaving an estate of over $3,000,000. The current gossip was that BARRETT didn't like the marriage of his nephew, John B. MALLORY, with Owen GLASS' sister, Sally, and that was ascribed as the reason for his rudeness to Owen.
Henry Cabell DIXON

Story found in the Henderson County Historical & Genealogical Society's family files.


Contributed by Netta Mullin, HCH&GS
Copyright 2005 HCH&GS