John Ludford Sandford

John Ludford Sandford

Information comes from an article in Pieces of the Past, Volume1, pages 188-190 by Jim Reis and printed here with his permission.

John Ludford Sandford was born December 7, 1837 in Covington, Campbell County, the son of Cassius Sandford and Frances Leathers.  Cassius was the son of Thomas Sandford, the first representative of Campbell County serving from 1800-1802.  John served in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.  After the war he went into banking and was a cashier at Covington's Farmers and Traders Bank.

John Sandford had a quick temper and a knack for making enemies.  A wedge was driven between State Senator William Goebel and him when Goebel agreed to represent a citizens group opposed to toll increases.  Sandford supported toll increases. The court battle lasted three years. The Court of Appeals ruled against the increases.

The in-fighting among Kenton County Democrats stepped up in July 1894 when a publication called the Covington Commonwealth attacked Goebel in a series of articles called him "Boss" Goebel.  It accused him of channeling money into certain banks and away from others.  At the time, Goebel was a director of Citizens National Bank of Covington.

Another law Goebel pushed through the state legislature eliminated a number of county public works projects.  Sandford was connected with the Lexington Pipe Co. and lost half his revenue because of the Goebel bill.  On April 6, 1895 a publication appeared that said Goebel accused Sandford of having syphilis.

Thus Goebel and Sandford met at 1:30 pm April 11, 1895 on the steps of the First National Bank at 513 Madison Ave.   They exchanged a few brief remarks, then both pulled guns and fired.  Seconds later John Sandford lay dying on the steps.  Goebel turned himself over to a policeman and Sandford was carried into the bank, where he died.

Sandford's Episcopal funeral was held at the home of M K Thompson at 508 Greenup St.  The streets around the house were clogged with mourners.  Among them were Dick Morgan and Basil Duke, respectively the brother and brother-in-law of the famous Confederate raider Gen. John Hunt Morgan.  The funeral procession consisted of 37 carriages and numerous buggies where they wound up Dixie Highway to Highland Cemetery where Sandford was buried.

Sandford's widow Kate M, suffered a mental breakdown and spent 15 years in a sanitarium before dying in Lexington Sep 16, 1914, at age 74.  Sandford's estate of 68 acres along Dixie Highway was sold in 1909 to the Suburban Land and Improvement Co. for the construction of a subdivision.

William Goebel was acquitted on self-defense and was declared the winner of a corrupt gubernatorial election in 1900.

Return to Families S Index