Monday, February 2, 2015

A Fresh Start in Mt. Sterling, Montgomery Co., Kentucky

Map of Mt. Sterling, 1879
Four months ago, I closed the chapter on the first phase of Thomas Probert's life. He was acquitted in the shooting of Jacob Spears. Shortly after his acquittal, he married Catherine Richardson, and the new family moved to Mt. Sterling, Montgomery County, Kentucky.

If you recall, Thomas began his career in Lexington as a "confectioner." This was the trade he took up in Mt. Sterling.

According to a History of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, 
. . . the earliest baker to build a significant reputation in the community was Thomas Probert, who was in Mt. Sterling by 1859. By 1871 he was listed as a confectioner and liquor dealer, and apparently went completely in the liquor business after that." p.184)
There are no records nor mentions in the newspapers in those first couple of years. On March 18th, 1860, Bettie B. was added to the family, joining two older half-sisters. This was "Kate's" first child. Unfortunately, their time of great joy was to be short-lived, as Bettie died seven months later. A son, Col. Speed Fry, was born on February 14th, 1862. Col. Speed Fry was Thomas' first surviving son -- but he, too, would die young, living only 3 1/2 years. Maggie O. was born in 1864, but would also die just short of her first birthday. Col. Speed Fry and Maggie died within two months of each other. Kate, stepmother to Addie and Lucy, was yet to have one of her own children survive to the age of four. I can't imagine the pain.

Sleep little darlings, sleep.
Not in the cradle bed.
Not on the Mother's breast
But with the quiet dead.

History of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, 1792-1918. Carl B. Boyd and Hazel Mason Boyd, 1984.


  1. How sad and what a sad little poem for a grave stone.

    1. In light of the anti-vaccinators in the news recently, I always think of all of the children I've discovered who died from diseases I have to look up (diphtheria). One grandparent lost two grandchildren in less than 24 hours who were from different families. I can't imagine. We are so blessed.


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