An American Family History

The Rowan County War 1886

The Tolliver-Martin Feud

Kentucky was originally a Virginia county and included the lands west of the Appalachians. In 1780, it was divided into Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties. Kentucky officially became a state on June 1, 1792.

On July 7, 1886, Sheriff William Ramey was fatally shot when he attempted to arrest Craig Tolliver, Cook Humphrey and Howard Logan.

" Another Bloody Chapter In tho Rowan County History. Louisville, Ky.,"
July 7.

Another bloody chapter in the Rowan county faction fight has been added. Sheriff Rainy, With a posse, attempted to arrest the notorious Craig Tolliver, Cook Humphreys and Howard Logan, the principals in the trouble. Tolliver submitted quietly, but Logan and his son William and Humphreys opened fire upon the posse, who returned the fire.

Sheriff Rainy was shot through the body and mortally wounded, while his son and a deputy sheriff wore slightly wounded. Logan's son was also shot, but not fatally. Information received reports that Logan and Humphreys are raising a mob of followers to kill the whole sheriff's posse. The governor has been telegraphed to for troops, and all is fear and excitement. (The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, Kentucky
07 Jul 1886, Wed  •  Page 1)

After this, Craig Tolliver and Cook Humphrey signed an agreement to leave Rowan County and never return.

Craig Tolliver and his faction are again up in arms in Rowan county notwithstanding Tolliver's pledge to leave the country. Dr. Henry Logan a brother of Howard Logan, who was recently murdered at Morehead, has been warned to leave the county under pain of death if he remains. A few applications of lynch law would go far towards restoring permanent peace in Rowan, and Tolliver is the first rascal who ought to feel the halter draw. (Semi-Weekly South Kentuckian , Hopkinsville, Kentucky, 30 Nov 1886, Tue  •  Page 2)


Appalachia was the 18th century backcountry and many settlers were Scots-Irish. It includes southern New York, western Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Virginia, West Virginia, eastern Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee and northern Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia.






Colonial Maryland
Colonial New England
Colonial Virginia & West Virginia
Quakers & Mennonites
New Jersey Baptists
German Lutherans
Watauga Settlement
Pennsylvania Pioneers
Midwest Pioneers
Jewish Immigrants

©Roberta Tuller 2020
An American Family History is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program,
an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.