Charles J Helm

Charles John and Louisa Helm


Kentucky: A History of the State, Battle, Perrin, & Kniffin, 7th ed.,
1887, Campbell Co.

Charles John Helm was born at Hornellsville, Steuben Co., N. Y., June 20, 1817, to Francis Taliaferro and Sallie Bankhead (Carney) Helm.  Francis Taliaferro Helm was the son of Capt. William Helm, of Caroline County, Va., an officer in the Revolutionary army, and the owner of large estates in Virginia, among which were "Greenlevel", "Epsom" and "Blenham". 

William married Miss Pope, of Virginia.  Their children were Capt. John Helm, of the regular army, who married Margaret Kinzie, and served in the war of 1812; Hay Helm, who was killed in Louisiana, was not married; Matilda Helm, who  married William Fitshugh, of Loudoun County, Va., and Francis Taliaferro Helm,  the father of the subject of this sketch. 

In 1815 Francis married Sallie B. Carney, daughter of Maj. John T. Carney, an officer who served under Gen. Lafayette, and enjoyed his personal friendship.  The subject of  this sketch was their eldest child; the others were Algernon Helm, now a resident of Missouri; James Taliaferro Helm, an Episcopal minister in Louisville, Ky; H. D. Helm, now deceased, late of Campbell County, Ky.; William Helm, a lawyer in Louisville, Ky., and Matilda Helm, who  married a Mr. Ford of St. Louis, Mo.

Charles John Helm was educated in the schools of Campbell County and the city of Newport, he studied law under Col. John W. Tibbatts, and was admitted to the bar in 1842.  He was a partner of his preceptor for some years, and soon rose to prominence in his profession.  At the commencement of the Mexican war he was commissioned lieutenant in the Sixteenth Kentucky Regiment, Col. Tibbatts commanding; he served on the staff of Gen. Wool, and was brevetted major for meritorious conduct on the field of battle.  The regiment was disbanded August 16, 1848. 

In 1851 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives from Campbell County, and was a prominent candidate for speaker, though unsuccessful.  In 1853 he was appointed by President Pierce commercial agent for the United States at the Island of St. Thomas, in the West Indies.  While occupying this post he was instrumental in having the Danish Government abolish some imposts and dues that had become very onerous to the American shipping, and in testimonial of their appreciation of his services the ship owners of the United States presented him with a magnificent service of solid silver.

In 1854 he was married to Louise A. Whistler, a daughter of Col. William Whistler, an officer in the regular army, at Newport, who returned with him to his post at St. Thomas.  In 1858 President Buchanan appointed him consul general at Havana, Cuba for the United States.  He discharged the duties of this position so creditably that, at the breaking out of the late war, Secretary Seward, hearing of his intention of resigning and casting his lot with the Confederacy, wrote him urging him to remain, and sent him a silk flag, but, believing his duty to be otherwise, he resigned, and tendered his services to the Confederacy. 

Mr. Davis sent him back to Havana as a special agent for the Confederate States.  He served in that position all during the war, and by his abilities and integrity rendered valuable service to his cause.  At the close of the war he went to Europe, en route to Canada, where his family had preceded him through the States; here he remained until his death in February, 1868, forming one of the coterie of prominent persons who had been in the Confederacy, among whom are numbered Mr. Davis, Gens. Breckinridge and Early, Mr. James Mason and many others. 

He left surviving him his widow, (Louisa Whistler Helms Obituary) who since, in 1883, died at Detroit, and three children, Charles John Helm, who was born in St. Thomas, October 11, 1855; Louise, who was born at Havana, October 31, 1864, and now resides with her brother, Charles J., at Newport, Ky., and William W., who was born at Niagara Town, Canada, September 3, 1866, and is now a cadet at West Point military academy. 

Charles John Helm, the younger, received his education in Canada, and after his father's death returned to Kentucky.  He studied law under William S. Abert at Newport, Ky., and was admitted to the bar in September, 1875; he then began its practice in said place.  In July, 1876, he married Anna Mannville Webster, a daughter of F. M. Webster, a prominent member of the bar of northern Kentucky.  He has two children, one, Charles John Helm III, born July 26, 1877, and F. M. Webster born March 27, 1879.  He is a Democrat in politics, is a member of the school board of the city of Newport, and has also been county attorney for Campbell County, and enjoys a lucrative practice in his profession.  He is a member of the Episcopal Church, and a Mason.

The following information comes from the family files at the Campbell County Historical Society in Alexandria, Kentucky

Charles John Helm Jr. was city attorney of Newport, county attorney general of Campbell County and circuit judge 1892-1898; the first circuit judge under the Constitution of 1892.  Soon after he and Anna were married they moved to Ft. Thomas and lived on a farm off of Highland Avenue.  They bought property adjoining the Bigstaff land on North Ft. Thomas Avenue and built a fine home (once the Erschell Funeral Home)  They moved into this place in 1901 but Judge Helm enjoyed it only for two years. He died in 1903 and the house was sold in 1906.

Charles John Helm Jr. 1903 Obituary


Charles John Helm III married Helen Lee DeMar 26 Feb 1880 and he died Feb 21, 1954.  Webster Helm married Agnes Jones 2 Dec 1911. Agnes died July 29, 1943.  They had no children.

Webster was admitted to the bar of Campbell County in 1911 and practiced law in Newport.  He served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the District of the Highlands and later as a member of the council.  He also served as attorney for both district and city.  He was elected to the Kentucky Senate 1912-1916 and reelected 1916-1920.  He was appointed Referee of the United States Court of Bankruptcy for the Eastern District of Kentucky from 1935-1947. Through his influence a bill to transfer the District of Highlands to a city of 4th class passed and Ft. Thomas came into its existing status.

Webster Helm died 12 March 1975.


Children of Charles John Helm III and Helen Lee Demar

1. Ann Louise Helm-b-24 Mar 1904 Mobil Ala; m-Edson Allen Hoffman Jr. 26 Mar 1923; died 25 May 1946 Ft. Thomas
2. Jane Helm-b-12 Sep 1905 m-Dunbar Susong 27 June 1905
3. Charles John Helm IV-b-1 June 1908 d-1928
4. James DeMar Helm-b-27 May 1920 m-1st Catherine L Wehle 2d-Etta May Napier
5. Hugh King Helm-b-12 Jan 1915
6. Milicent Lee-b-12 Jan 1915 m-Wert Earl Chapman
7. Gerald Whistler Helm-b-25 Oct 1917 m-Elverta Merganthal


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