The strange case of the State of Tennessee v. Benjamin Franklin Thaxton (Clarksville, TN 1883)

This is one of the more entertaining Thaxton finds.  In 1883, Benjamin Franklin Thaxton (b. ~1860; son of unknown and Susan Thaxton) of Butler Co., Kentucky, Logan Co., Kentucky, and Clarksville, Montgomery Co., Tennessee, was accused of attempted murder and robbery, based partly on information from his wife, Purity Elizabeth Hooser, who said Benjamin was a “consummate villain and ought to be hung on general principles.”

Another key piece of evidence was that Purity’s brother-in-law William Taylor was killed in the robbery – or was he?  And when Thaxton was arrested at the home of his brother-in-law Dillard Sanders, how did he explain that bullet hole in his vest?  It’s pretty interesting reading.  Click on the PDF link below.

Numerous Logan Co., KY, and Montgomery Co., TN residents are mentioned.  From Montgomery County:  Jeff J. Garrott (Garrett) and his wife; John Tandy; Dr. Neville; Dr. Bailey; Dr. Beaumont; [Mr.] W. J. MacCormac; James T. Wood; William Fassbender; Thomas Wenzler; Walter Scott; Elizabeth Hooser Thaxton and her two children; Capt. or Chief of Police Carkuff (Carcuff); Judge Tyler; Attorney General Burney; Col. T. L. Yancey; William C. Smith, Esq.; Major Tom Henry; J. P. Smith; John Barry; T. L. Shyerer or Shierey and wife; Lewis Lowe.

From Logan County:  William Taylor and his father; Sheriff R. M. Warden; Dillard M. Sanders and Mrs. Sanders; Will O. Ackerman and Mrs. Ackerman (Akerman); David Ackerman or Dan Ackerman; Julius Ackerman; Mrs. Mason and daughter Belle Mason; Miss Lyon (Lyons); Tom Lyon; James W. Benton; Monroe Hardy; [Mr.] Joslin; Ed Short; Joe Murphey; Josh Binkley (Binkly or Benkley); Henry Harris.

Benjamin Franklin Thaxton and the Garrott burglary

One more piece of the puzzle: Taylor’s cousin was hanged at around the same time. From the Newark Daily Advocate, 26 Nov 1883:

Burglar’s Pal Arrested. NASHVILLE, Tenn. Benjamin F. Thaxton, a saddler, was arrested here and identified as a “pal” of a burglar killed at New Providence Saturday. Thaxton’s wife recognized the dead burglar as Wm. Taylor, a cousin of Andy Taylor, hanged at London Friday.

Researching Thaxton / Thackston?  We have 25 years of research to share.  Betty and Karra Porter, ThaxtonGenealogy@yahoo.com.

1 Comment

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One response to “The strange case of the State of Tennessee v. Benjamin Franklin Thaxton (Clarksville, TN 1883)

  1. Peggy Ackerman

    Thank you so much for posting the interesting material about the Benjamin Franklin Thaxton episode that involved the Ackermans of Logan County, KY.

    William O. Ackerman was the son of Daniel L., who was the son of Daniel, an early settler in Logan County.

    I have alerted several interested Ackerman researchers of your post.

    Peggy Ackerman

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