Terrible Tragedy


Terrible Tragedy in Grant County, Ky. — An old citizen, named Callahan, living near Williamstown, in Grant county, had an attractive daughter, whom he regarded with unusual affection. The son of a neighbor, named Lawrence, a young man of good standing, became the accepted suitor of Miss Callahan. Some time ago, Callahan, with pain and surprise, learned that his child had been seduced by Lawrence, under promise of marriage, and that she was enceinte [pregnant]. Lawrence fled from the neighborhood to avoid fulfilling his promise, and to save himself from the just vengeance of an injured parent. On Thursday he returned, and, while riding along the road, was suddenly confronted by Callahan and son, who firmly demanded that he should return with them to Williamstown, procure a license, and then marry the girl he had so foully wronged, or be shot upon the spot. Lawrence, knowing that the dread alternative of death was sure and certain, consented to the demand. The party then went to Williamstown, procured the license, and were returning to Callahan's house to carry out their intention, when they were met by a brother of Lawrence, who was in company with several friends. They all halted, and one of the opposite party called to young Lawrence, who started to leave the escort of Callahan and his son, when the latter fired at him. He broke into a run, and an indiscriminate firing took place, a ball from one of the opposing party striking the elder Callahan, inflicting a mortal wound, of which he in a short time died. The unhappy daughter, in whose defense a father lost his life, gave birth to a child a few hours subsequent to his death, and now lies in a critical condition. Lawrence, the seducer, the cause of this double calamity, was arrested, together with another of the party, and placed in safe keeping. It is stated that all the parties to this tragedy have borne good reputations, and are in good standing in the community.


Louisville Commercial, September 24th, as reprinted in the Sacramento [California] Daily Union, October 5, 1870