Talbot - Courtney - Montgomery InGenWeb Project

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Talbot - Courtney

Source: Montgomery County, Indiana H. W. Beckwith, 1881 History of Montgomery County, Indiana (Chicago: Hill)
COURTNEY TALBOT, who died in Montgomery County, Indiana, September ll, 1867, was a native of Bourbon County, Kentucky, and was born September 4, 1804. His grandfather, Samuel Talbot, was born in Virginia, March 17, 1756. He married Constantine Reagan, also a native of Virginia, in 1775. Nicholas Talbot, the father of the subject of this sketch, was their only son. He removed to Kentucky while young and married Miss Aria Kennedy, a daughter of John Kennedy, who was captured by the British at the battle of Guilford Court House, in North Carolina, March 15, 1781, and died soon after on board of a British prison-ship, from the effects of the bad treatment he received from his captors. The day before he started on the campaign, which resulted in his capture and death, he wrote a letter from Virginia to his brother Thomas, then in Kentucky, the original of which, in a beautiful plain hand, is yet preserved, and is now in the possession of Eli M. Kennedy, of Dover, La Fayette County, Missouri. In this letter he breathes a spirit of the most fervent patriotism and devotion to the cause of the colonies, but expresses some misgivings as to the final result of the contest for independence. If the spirits of the dead are ever permitted to look down upon the conduct of those who were near and dear to them in life, the spirit of John Kennedy must have experienced intense satisfaction at witnessing the heroic and unflinching patriotism of his grandson, the subject of this sketch, to maintain the government which he had sacrificed his life to aid in establishing. For although Courtney Talbot lived in Kentucky at the commencement of the war, in the midst of a bitter rebel sentiment his devotion to the Union grew the more firm as the spirit of disloyalty increased in fury. When Andrew Johnson delivered a strong Union speech in the summer of 1861, at Paris, Kentucky, to a vast concourse, made up largely of maddened secessionists, he appealed to the Kentuckians to know if they would permit the national army to march through Kentucky to the relief of his oppressed people in East Tennessee. Mr. Talbot, in the midst of great excitement, sprang to his feet, and in a voice of deep earnestness answered, "Yes, sir, we shall not only allow the Union army to go to East Tennessee, through Kentucky but will go with it and aid it in suppressing this infernal rebellion." And he did volunteer at once, but on account of his age was not mustered into the service. He, however, joined a company of home guards, and during Kirby Smith's invasion of Kentucky, in 1862, he was captured and paroled. He afterward had his written parole framed and hung in his parlor, that his descendants, as he said, to the latest generation, might know that he was always true to his country. Mr. Talbot was a man of great industry and muscular power when in his prime, and always took the lead in all hard work done upon his farm. He was often known to cut up and shock forty shocks of heavy corn in one day. Marvelous stories are preserved in the traditions of the family about one of his great-uncles in Fairfax County, Virginia, who was noted far and wide as a giant in size and strength. Mr. Talbot had many strong and noted traits of character. He was scrupulously punctual in all his engagements, and throughout an active business life of more than forty years never contracted a debt which he did not pay when due. He was never involved in but two lawsuits, both of which he gained, but afterward yielded up what he had contended for, saying his only object was to have the court decide he was in the right. He occupied a high rank in the Masonic fraternity, to which order he was strongly attached. He had an unconquerable will and unyielding moral and physical courage. He had acquired a more thorough knowledge of history, poetry, etc., than men of his calling usually do. He was a great admirer of Burns, and could repeat from memory many of his poems. He was fond of reading the great speeches of Daniel Webster, and nothing delighted him so much as to learn by heart, and repeat from time to time to his family and friends, some of the striking sentiments of patriotism from Mr. Webster's finished orations. Mr. Talbot was not connected with any Church, but was always fond of listening to good sermons. He was a believer in the general doctrines taught by the Universalist denomination, and would always attend the preaching of that denomination when he had an opportunity to do so. He was liberal in his religious views and looked upon the golden rule as the sum and substance of Christianity. Mr. Talbot was married, in Fayette County, Kentucky, December 16, 1830, to Miss Elizabeth Harp, daughter of John Harp, a leading farmer of that County. Her mother's maiden name was Leah Ritter. The result of this union was thirteen children, ten of whom are yet living. Their names, in the order in which they were born, are as follows: Nicholas, Elizabeth Emily, John, Margaret, Rebecca, Henry, Aria, Mary N., Benjamin F., Joseph W., Alice, and Daniel W. Mrs. Talbot, his widow, who was always a devoted wife and faithful mother, still re- sides on the homestead, near Crawfordsville, and four of the children, Margaret, Joseph W., Alice, and Daniel W., reside with her. Elizabeth married James M. Fisher, in Kentucky, and is now a widow with a large family of children, and lives near Lexington, in that state. Nicholas married Miss Mary M. Penn, in Bourbon County, Kentucky, and now lives on a farm in Boone County, near Covington. Emily married P. S. Kennedy, now of Crawfordsville, Indiana. Rebecca married James A. Wilson, and lives in Columbus, Ohio. Henry married Miss Hettie A. Evans, of Waveland, and lives on a farm near Crawfordsville. Mary N. married Milton K. Wheat, and now lives near Pleasant Hill, Missouri. John, Aria, and Benjamin F. died in their infancy. Besides these ten children Mrs. Talbot has living twenty-seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild. - transcribed by kbz

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