• John McDaniel, Midway Correspondent

Midway News - Personals and Comments

The 14th annual 5K Race for Education will take place Saturday, April 8. All you old runners should probably be getting out and loosening up. If you are like me, the workouts should have you up to a fast walk by race time. Volunteers are needed for this year's 40th Horsey Hundred that comes through Midway every year. About eight local volunteers are needed to share the story of Midway to the 1,200 or so riders that will be making a stop here. Go to the site http://horseyhundredvolunteers.ivolunteer.com/hh_003 scroll down to the yellow boxes for Midway and sign. All volunteers who register now receive free t-shirts and get to test snacks while working with new and old friends. Hope to see you there. ... This month's free community dinner will take place at the Midway Christian Church fellowship Hall this coming Monday. Starting time for the dinner is at 6:30 p.m. ... I need to give a big shout-out to Nuckols Hay and Grain for sending out truckloads of grass hay rolls to those who have been affected by the wildfires in and around Hardin County Buffalo, Oka. I have to say that calls for a Midwegian Good Will Award of the Month. ... There was a comment on a Facebook page talking about the history in Woodford County isn't written about as much as it should be. So this week, since the news itself is a little short, I thought I would mention the oldest house in Midway. The residence in question was once the scene of a grisly ax murder. The log structure was originally located at the Harper's Nantura Farm off Old Frankfort Pike. It was intended to be the home of Betsy Harper when she married. Although Betsy never married, the cabin was her residence and it was there on the night of Sept. 10, 1871, that she was murdered with an ax. She was 77 years old. Her brother Jacob, who was sleeping in the big house next to Betsy's cabin, was also killed. There was another brother, John, who was sleeping at the race track near Lexington. On the very same night that Betsy and Jacob were killed, someone had attempted to gain entry into the locked area where John was sleeping alongside the horse, Long Fellow. It is believed that the visitor was trying to gain entry so that John would have been killed also. Why all this killing? It was widely believed that Adam Harper, the nearest of kin to the two that were killed, committed the murders. The Harpers were among the wealthiest families in the area, and that included the Alexander family of Woodburn fame. Adam would have inherited much of that wealth. At the trial, witnesses stated the general belief of the community that Adam Harper was implicated in the murder, but there was never enough evidence to substantiate the charges. Did you know that the cabin that Betsy Harper was killed in is now the oldest structure used as a residence in Midway? It is located on Starks Alley and is owned by Midway University. Did you know that the log cabin located on Starks Avenue was moved from the Harper farm to its present location by Dooley Rogers around 1942? The cabin itself was built in the late 1700s. The oldest originally built house in Midway, according to local historians, is the house on Main Street or Railroad Street that Dr. Iles had built. According to the book Woodford County, Kentucky - The First Two Hundred Years, two of the most historic houses in town are found side-by-side on Railroad Street and both houses date back to the first doctor in town, Dr. Thomas Iles, who came to Midway in 1835. It appears that Dr. Iles needed an office and had it built. Even though it was very small as buildings go, he managed to make it his living quarters as well. The address of this home is 115 West Main Street, which is now the home of Mavis Wilson. It didn't take long for the doctor's practice to become successful, and in a very short time he got married. It was then he had the house next door built for his new bride. The address of this home is 119 West Main Street and is presently the home of Richard and Cornelia Ethington. This house was built in 1838.

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