KY-FEUDS-L ArchivesArchiver > KY-FEUDS > 2001-06 > 0993392047
Subject: [KY-FEUDS] Page One- The Sugar Pond and the Fritter Tree> Cattle Wars
Date: Sun, 24 Jun 2001 10:14:07 EDT
THE OLD CATTLE WAR
It could be said that "The Old Cattle War" was "when Leslie County and
Clay county had a war with Perry County" except that at the time it happened,
none of these counties existed. The Cattle War happened in the headwaters of
the three forks of the Kentucky River. That territory in 1806 was a part of
far-reaching Madison County whose county seat was in Richmond. Even
Barbourville, the seat of Knox County and Prestonburg in Floyd County were
nearer or easier to get to than Richmond.
The Cattle War has been spoken of as "the fight between the North Forkers
and the Middle Forkers." It could have been known as the Callahan-Bowling
Feud or as the Sons-in-Law War because the principals on the North Fork were
husbands of the daughters of Edward Callahan and the captains of the Middle
Forkers were married to daughters of old James Bowling. As women in those
days had few civil rights and no legal standing in court except as a wife or
if she had no husband she had to be represented by a trustee or guardian, so,
of course, no one would have given them the questionable status of having a
feud called by their maiden names.
I suppose that had there been no collective term for bovines and they
were called instead "bulls and heifers" the Cattle War would have been called
"The Bull War."
The North Forkers
Edward Callahan came from Virginia about 1800 and settled on the North
Fork, on and about the mouth of Grapevine Creek. With him came his sons,
William and Isaac and his daughters and their husbands: Jennie (Mrs. William
Strong), Elizabeth (Mrs. Samuel Davidson), Charlotte (Mrs. Roger Cornett) and
Zelpha (Mrs. Robin Cornett).
Samuel Davidson’s several brothers and sisters and their father, also
came and settled on Grapevine and on Bullskin. Their father Daniel Davidson
had been a soldier of Daniel Morgan’s Riflemen during the Revolutionary War.