27 July 2010

William H. Mackoy, Greenup County, KY - More to the Story

compiled by Teresa Martin Klaiber

My copy of the History of Greenup County, Kentucky was handed down to me. It is cherished and belonged to my great uncle Henri Gorath Halderman.

Uncle Henri had a knack for writing notations in books. Yes, we are taught in school not to deface or dog ear or write in books. But how wonderful that Henri still talks to me through the many books from his library. Some of his entries are humorous, many historical and a few naughty. He also glued clippings and even stuck stamps in books.

As a side bar, the back of my copy of the Greenup history includes four prepaid sales tax stamps for the state of Ohio, now collector items. In pencil under the stamps Henri wrote "I returned a book on which I paid tax evidently the clerk allowed me credit on the tax as well as the first cost. For I paid 10 cents for this book and the state tax would be 30 cents. 1951."

The history book was written by Nina Biggs and Mabel Lee Mackoy in 1951 and Uncle Henri's memory of the incident written about on page 86 was to large to include in the margins so he paper clipped a sheet of writing paper to the page. Since he presented the book to my mother I believe he was addressing her when he wrote his memories of that fatal day.

Page 86 has a sub title "Tragedies" and includes several incidences. Paragraph two:

"In 1887, William H. Mackoy, of Siloam, was killed when a gun he was carrying was accidentally discharged as he was mounting his horse."


In pencil Uncle Henri has written " Dr. S. S. Halderman, Sciotoville was called." Then attached, in ink, is the story as told by Henri Gorath Halderman. Henri was the son of Stephen Simpson Halderman, M.D. I have left all spelling and writing in Halderman's own words.

"On page 86 - it is recorded that William H. MacKoy was accidently shot while hunting. He was climbing over a fence and carelessly placed his gun over the fence and leaned upon it to climb over and the gun was discharged as I recall so it was told. Your grandfather S. S. Halderman was located at Sciotoville at the time and was called. He took me with him and while he was engaged I was amusing myself by climbing upon a stake and rider fence to see better the men working on the C&O RR bed which had but at that time was built thru to Maysville, KY. I ran a splinter in my left thumb and upon removing home father cut it out - my thumb nail yet shows a split where father cut a 'V' shaped piece out to remove the splinter. I was 11 years old and remember yet how hungry I grew waiting on the river bank for a skiff with Mrs. Davis to get across the Ohio River to home.

Apropos of all this, I was told by one of the author's of this book, Mabel Mackoy that at the time of the accident to William Mackoy the question arose "what doctor shall we call" and Mabel's father suggested Dr. S. S. Halderman just across the river and added - by the way Dr. Halderman is a DEMOCRAT, too..."


I was able locate the sale that followed William Mackoy's administration, published in the Portsmouth Times 26 November 1887. "Saturday, December 3rd, at the residence of the late W. H. Mackoy, Greenup County, Kentucky, opposite Sciotoville, Ohio at 10:00 a.m." Among the items being cited in the sale is a horse, a colt, cows and sundry items. J. B. "Macoy" was administrator.

As a child walking along Gay Street in Portsmouth, hand in hand, with my great uncle I can remember seeing the funny shape of his thumb nail. He loved his books and had a large collection on the 2nd floor of the family home. Tomorrow I am sure to open another book and find more tidbits, wisdom and wit that are scribed in his hand.

William Henry Mackoy
born 31 August 1856
died 16 November 1887
burial: Old Christian Church Cemetery at Siloam.










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