Attempted Arrest Warrant in 1929 Ends with Family Tragedy

Men carry coffin up the creek bed to the family graveyard for burial, circa 1940. Library of Congress 2017805019 (Public Domain)

Granville Noble had a challenging situation. In the previous month, an unknown person, he blamed his enemies, had burned down his home. Now his two older sons, Lafayette and Alex, were helping him rebuild it. His wife and younger children needed a place to live.

As night was falling, three men approached. It was his brother-in-law, Deputy George “Pie Foot” Clemons, along with two other deputies. He knew it wasn’t a good sign, but he stood tall. Noble knew better than to show any fear in these situations.

In the south-eastern corner of Kentucky where Noble lived, Breathitt County had…

Accused Says Dental Work Caused Him to Try to “Clean Out Jail”

Dentist Office c 1910 (Colorized), LCCN: 2014707174, Library of Congress (US Archives, Public Domain)

While browsing early 1900 Kentucky newspaper clippings, I discovered an article that unexpectedly pulled together cocaine, alcohol, and the Breathitt County court system.

Breathitt County is in the south-eastern corner of Kentucky near the Appalachian Mountains. There is a long history of lawlessness and mountain-style justice. This story has more of a twist.

World War I Veteran Visits the Dentist

She ensured her son’s killer was punished

Townspeople in downtown Jackson, Kentucky ~1940 (Library of Congress [Number: 2017756877], Public Domain)

A Kentucky mountain woman delivered justice to Johnny Shepherd in a 1936 Breathitt County courtroom. Days earlier, on Christmas eve, the Shepherd boy had taken her son’s life and now the petite, grieving Viola Wickline would have her revenge.

“Mountain Justice” in the Courtroom

As the preliminary hearing started that brisk December day, Judge George W. Little called the first witness in his courtroom. Viola Wickline, 40, was sitting at the prosecutor’s table silently plotting her next action. Harvey was her only son. As was custom in this area, Moses Law prevailed, which meant eye-for-an -eye.

The accused, Johnnie Shepherd, was a 19-year-old man crippled…

Life and Love in the late 1800s of the Kentucky Mountains

Photo by Joshua Michaels on Unsplash

My great aunt described my great-great grandmother, Mary “Polly” Salyer, as a base child, which was the old way of saying she was a bastard child. Her father was a prominent Kentucky politician in the 1860s. Samuel Salyer, served as a representative for Floyd County in the Kentucky Legislature. His primary goal was to have Magoffin County formed and his constituents rewarded him by naming the county seat Salyersville.

Like many politicians in today’s papers, Samuel Salyer enjoyed the ladies. He took a shine to Margaret “Peggy” Picklesimer, a…

He walked off a prison road camp into the Appalachian folklore

Amos Fugate Portrait, Colorized, [Public Domain]

Amos Fugate lived up to his nickname of “Bad Amos”. Even for the lax standards of 1920 Breathitt County, KY, he was an outlaw. Fugate killed multiple people before reaching legal age, but he would become a folk hero with songs and poems written for him.

Fugate was handsome, with dark hair and gray eyes. He was short with a muscular build, but always well-groomed. While described as charming and good-humored, people knew he was quick to anger.

Use these 7 examples to improve your data storytelling skills

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

Data storytelling is a hard skill to learn — there I said it! It is a combination of editing, data prep, and style. By looking at what others have done, you can improve your taste level and get ideas on how to improve your stories.

Here I have some effective and ineffective examples. The effective examples are just good and you know they are good. The ineffective ones help you understand why certain approaches don’t work and, of course, avoid the issue yourself. …

Numbers are boring, People are Interesting — Hans Rosling

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Even using the best data in the world, you are not always convincing. Most people do not find statistics or even hard-hitting facts that compelling.

What you need for a compelling data story is an empathic main character whom the audience wants to help.

Why Don’t Statistics Move Decision Makers?

Rarely are people moved by statistics. Most people make an emotional decision. Later they rationalize their decisions with facts. You must use this emotional connection to establish empathy in your audience. This empathy is built using other humans or even animals.

Retailers have been using this strategy with exceptional results. One retailer improved sales and decreased…

Common questions asked when buying a motorhome

Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

The Great Outdoors! The Open Road! Doesn’t it ring of outrageous freedom after being tucked away in your home for many months? If you are like me, I love the outdoors but also love my soft bed. For many years, families who adopted the RV lifestyle are enjoying the delights of home while exploring our vast countryside.

During the COVID crisis, many private campgrounds remained opened. Campers or (RVers) noted that it was easy to respect the social distancing and enjoyed knowing they had their own clean spaces that felt safe.

Over three years ago, the hubby and I acquired…

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Use these tips to improve your reporting game

Reports are not new to business, they are a basic requirement. It’s important that reports help the users answer questions so they can be successful.

When done well, reports answer questions and rapidly move the company in a data-driven direction. When management understands the value in data, they move more quickly toward analytical maturity.

Here are some tips on how to improve your reporting.

What is the Report Purpose?

Before any data usage begins, you must identify what question needs to be answered and why it is being asked. Often the business question may not be present as an actual question but as a problem.


Ideas and Tips for Creating Your First Infographic

It is challenging to keep everyone absorbed by your data analytics. You’re faced with all kinds of challenges: poor data literacy, disinterest, and even a diminishing attention span.

Have you considered adding infographics to your data communications?

This technique tells a data story in a visually exciting way that lets users digest the data at their pace. Let’s review some infographic examples to find inspiration and then some tips for getting started.

What is an Infographic?

An infographic (or information graphic) tells a story with images, data visualizations, and text. This technique has many strengths, but I like it because it makes it so…

Tricia Aanderud

Editor Kentucky Family Stories (

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