No Destination: John Milton Elliott

Catlettsburg, Ky.
John Milton Elliott statue in Catlettsburg, Ky.
On the courthouse grounds of Boyd County is a statue dedicated to Judge John Milton Elliott. You may recall Judge Elliott from my earlier post on Frankfort's Hampton House (where Judge Elliott was assassinated). Aside from being a judge on Kentucky's highest court, Elliott had a storied c.v. as he served in the House of Representatives of both the United States and the Confederacy as well as in the Kentucky General Assembly. He was also indicted for treason in Frankfort's federal court in 1861.

He was born in Virginia, but his family moved to Kentucky when he was a boy. In 1841, he began his law practice in Prestonsburg (Floyd County). After the Civil War, he located in Bath County and was elected to the Court of Appeals. Assassinated in Frankfort; he too is buried in Franklin County. Apparently, Elliott County is likely named after either him (but possibly for his father, who was also a state legislator). All of which begs the million dollar question: Why is this statue in Boyd County??

Of his murder, the New York Times wrote that it "could scarcely have taken place in any region calling itself civilized except Kentucky, or some other Southern state." In kinder words, Elliott was described as "a man above medium height with a clean shaven full face, genial in manner and social by nature. He was a brave and true man in every sense of the word. He acted well his part in the great drama of life."