Jesse E. Fogle

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Jesse E. Fogle, a well-known lawyer of Hartford, was born in Liberty, Casey County, Kentucky, April 7, 1848. His father, Hon. McDowell Fogle, one of the foremost lawyers of the state, was born in Lebanon, Kentucky, December 30, 1815, and was the second child, and first male child, born in that now flourishing city. He was educated in the district and private schools and in St. Mary’s College in Marion County; -adopted the legal profession and studied law privately and under the direction of one of the learned lawyers of that locality, and after being admitted to the bar, he began the practice of his profession at Liberty, the county seat of Casey County; continued there until about 1853, when he removed to Owensboro, accompanied by his brother-in-law and pupil, the late William N. Sweeney, who became one of the most prominent and powerful pleaders at the bar in Western Kentucky. Mr. Fogle practiced law in Owensboro for only a short time, when he returned to Liberty and resumed the practice there and in adjoining counties until 1872, and then retired from regular practice. For many years he was a member of the firm of Fogle & Fox, the latter subsequently becoming judge of the Eighth judicial district. He was also for many years associated in the practice of the law with Colonel Silas Adams—who has since represented the Eleventh district in Congress—under the firm name of Fogle & Adams. His party frequently honored him by electing him to office; he served two or three terms as county attorney; was appointed master commissioner and receiver of the Casey Circuit Court; was a member of the Kentucky legislature in 1855-57 and 1859-61, representing the counties of Casey and Russell; and Democratic elector for his district.

When he gave up the practice of law in 1872 he retired to his farm in the country—but a short drive on the turnpike road leading from Liberty to Middleburg—where he is independently situated, and with his interesting family is enjoying the fruits of an honorable and well spent life. He was quite successful in his profession and succeeded in accumulating a large property, and is now one of the largest land owners of his county. He is a member of the Methodist Church, as was his wife, the mother of the subject of this sketch, and his home has always been a hospitable retreat for the ministers of his church and for others, who have been royally entertained thereat. He married Miss Emily J. Sweeney of Liberty, February 17, 1841, who was born there June 4, 1821, and died at Liberty, October 14, 1852, and is buried in the Liberty cemetery, near her father and mother. She was the mother of six children: Marietta, Isabelle, Sarah Frances, Jesse Edwin, William McDowell, and a daughter who died in infancy, a few days preceding the death of its mother.

Subsequently Mr. Fogle married Miss Sallie Barger of Russell County, who died after about a year of wedded life. His third marriage was to Miss Martha J. Murphy of Casey County. By this marriage there were seven children: James M., Elizabeth A., Robert B., Joel, Lena J., D. Edgar and George Preston. Joel died in infancy, and William McDowell died September 3, 1883. Robert H. Fogle (grandfather) was born in Maryland, May 1, 1788, and came with his parents to Marion, then Washington County, Kentucky, in 1792, with the pioneers; he helped to clear the land where Lebanon is located, and built the first house that was erected in Lebanon, and when the town was established was one of its first trustees; and was appointed the first postmaster of that place. He was a saddler by trade; gained considerable wealth, and in 1829 quit the saddlery business and invested his money in lands near Lebanon and engaged in agricultural pursuits; he owned a great many slaves, but gave them their freedom before he was compelled to do so by the emancipation proclamation. He removed to Daviess County in 1849 and purchased a large, valuable farm near Owensboro, whereon is now located Elmwood cemetery, and there was interested in farming until the death of his wife, in 1860, when he sold his land, liberated his slaves and divided his wealth among his children, and made his home amongst them until his death, which occurred February 17, 1884, in the ninety-sixth year of his age.

He married Miss Rachel Shuttleworth, who was the mother of five children: Ebenezer, McDowell, Sallie Ann, who married Milford Purdy of Daviess County, and Mary, who married W.B. England of Lebanon, and one who died in boyhood.

His second wife was Sallie Newbold. There were two children of this marriage: Catherine, who married Thomas England of Lebanon, and Rachel J., who married John Murphy, deceased, of Owensboro.

Mr. Fogle was a member of the old school Presbyterian Church, and during his stay near Owensboro was the superintendent of the Sunday school of the First Presbyterian Church of that city. He was loved and respected by all and his buoyant spirits and his kind and unselfish nature made his coming always a source of pleasure to his children and grandchildren.

The great-grandfather Fogle married Sarah Hammet.

Joel Sweeney (maternal grandfather) was a native of Casey County and was educated in the private schools; was bred a lawyer, but did not practice law; was elected, when quite a young man, clerk of the Casey County Court and Circuit Court, and held this dual position during life; he was a man of wealth, owning a great deal of land, including a large and valuable farm adjacent to Liberty, numerous slaves, a large mill in the town, and much valuable real estate, besides being interested in the mercantile business; he was an upright, honorable and respected citizen; a man of exemplary character; generous to the poor and needy, and highly esteemed by the people of his county.

He married Obedience Edwards of Garrard County, and they had eight children: Elizabeth, married Major G. W. Sweeney of Casey County; Amanda, married Dr. Martin Adams of Somerset; Jesse G. Sweeney, a merchant of Lancaster; Emily J., who married McDowell Fogle; W. N. Sweeney, deceased, the eminent lawyer of Owensboro; Anna Eliza, married Captain C. M. Whipp of Liberty; Marietta, married Dr. D. S. Parker of Arkansas, and James, who was killed by an accident during boyhood.

Joel Sweeney died at his home in Liberty, in 1869, and his wife died while on a visit to her son, Hon. W. N. Sweeney, in Owensboro, in 1873, and is buried beside her husband at Liberty.

Charles Sweeney (maternal great-grandfather) was a native of Virginia, who came in early life to Casey County, and married Frances Shachelford there. His principal occupation was that of a farmer.

Jesse Edwin Fogle attended the Seminary at Liberty, and the Parochial Academy at Houstonville, Lincoln County, and taught school in Casey County, and clerked in the general store of his brother-in-law, George G. Fair, in Middleburg, Casey County, before going to Kentucky University at Lexington, where he concluded his school days in 1870. It had not occurred to Mr. Fogle to enter the law, but, “a competent knowledge of the laws of that society in which we live is the proper accomplishment of every gentleman and scholar, and highly useful, I had almost said essential, art of liberal and polite education.” This quotation from the first chapter of Blackstone’s Commentaries, picked up in his father’s library and read out of curiosity, so impressed him that he became interested therein and after having completed the reading of the work determined upon the study of the law, which he did in his father’s office and under his instruction. He was admitted to the bar at Liberty, May 25, 1871, and began the practice in partnership with his father. It was a severe trial for him to separate himself from his father and boyhood home, but it appeared to him that it would be the best for him to do so, and, thereupon his maternal uncle and namesake, Jesse G. Sweeney, volunteered his kind assistance and made known his inclination to his brother, the late William N. Sweeney of Owensboro, who then represented his district in Congress, and he kindly expressed his willingness to assist him, either in Owensboro or elsewhere. At that time Mr. Sweeney had a son preparing for the law, and his law partner, the late Judge James Stuart, had also a son just entering law, and under these circumstances Hartford seemed to be the best point to begin and have his uncle’s assistance and to abide future developments, and it was at his kind suggestion that he came to Hartford, September 4, 1872, and there associated Mr. Sweeney and Judge Stuart with himself in the practice, and thereafter had the benefit of their assistance and friendship during their lives.

Mr. Fogle’s success in the practice of his profession demonstrates the wisdom of his choice, yet he never forgets an overruling Providence and the valuable and unselfish assistance rendered him by his distinguished uncle and law partner. He is considered one of the best lawyers at the Hartford bar, made up of good lawyers, and by his industry and good management has become financially independent. Besides owning one of the most desirable residences in Hartford, he owns other valuable property in the city, and an extensive mercantile establishment, over which are his law offices. Adjacent to the town he has a valuable farm, and is also one of the stockholders of the Bank of Hartford.

While at Liberty he joined the Christian Church. Still, the church of his father and mother and his wife’s church, are alike the objects of his solicitude; he has been a friend to the temperance cause from his boyhood.

Mr. Fogle was married June 6, 1877, to Miss Lelia Addington, only child of the late Virgil P. Addington, a merchant of Hartford. She was born in Hartford, October 15, 1856. She is a member of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, refined and cultured and has rare good judgment. Mr. Fogle attributes no small amount of his success to the faithful assistance of his wife, and is very much attached to his home and family. They have two children: Annie, born April 14, 1878, and now in Hartford College, from which she will graduate June, 1896, and McDowell Addington Fogle, born June 22, 1888.

Source: Biographical Cyclopedia of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. John M. Gresham Company, Chicago, Philadelphia, 1896.