Squire Daniel Osburn

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Squire Daniel Osburn (Osborne)

Also Known As: "David"
Birthplace: Illinois, United States
Death: November 30, 1903 (55)
Hart County, Kentucky, United States
Immediate Family:

Son of John W. Osburn and Mahala Brown
Husband of Private
Father of Anna Nellis Bale; William T. Osborne; nora elizabeth; Minnie E. Druen and David M. Osborne

Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:
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Immediate Family

About Squire Daniel Osburn

Mexican War pensions 1846-1848 Osborn Squire ServiceMetcalfes Co. 3rd KY Vols Mex Sur 1887 Feb 15 Apl # 4965 Cert # 4423 Filed From KY - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/116283783

LaRue, Green, and Taylor Counties, Kentucky Genealogy

Squire D. Osborn, Sex: M, Birth: 1849 • Note: Squire Osborne was Murdered along with his son Dave by Custer Gardner. Custer Gardner was the last man that was hanged in Hart County, Kentucky.

Confession of Custer Gardner to the Killing of Dave & Squire Osborne November 1903 (copied from Hart Co.Historical Society Newsletter, taken from Hart Co.News 7-28-1904) ________________________________________________________________

In view of the fact that I must soon die on the gallows and pass into a boundless beyond, I will make known to an inquiring world a few secrets concerning myself; and in order to do so I will first give a short history of my life. And as I know that I am soon to appear before God to give account of what I shall now say, and every word that is herein contained shall be the truth, God being my helper.

I was born in the year 1887, August 5, near Aetna Furnace in Hart County, Kentucky; my parent's were always poor, therefore my chances in my boyhood days were very limited. My school amounted to nothing until about the time I was fourteen years of age, when I entered the common schools and attended two or three terms. In the year 1897 my parent's moved to Greensburg, Kentucky where we lived for about two years , and where I spent most of my time working on the farm; but growing dissatisfied, I returned to Pike View, my Old Home Place, where I lived with my Uncle James Hill, about one year; at the end of that time my parent's returned. I had always entertained the idea of joining the Army and should have gone at this time, had it not been that my grandmother offered me all I could make on her farm for one year. The following year I concluded to go to Illinois; which I did, and stayed there for about two months, when I came back home and worked on the farm the remainder of the year. During the years 1902 & 1903, I worked on my grandmother's farm again, getting all that I made.

In the fall of the year 1901,there was a protracted meeting at the Little Zion Church near Slayton's Mill, which I attended several times. One night during the meeting my mother requested me to take my sister with me to church, which I did. Previous to this time, Pet Bennett, a brother of John Bennett, had been giving some attention to my sister, to which I became opposed, because he was given too much to intoxicating drinks. On this paticular night he was very much intoxicated and wanted to engage the company of my sister, and I let him know that I was opposed to his keeping her company. Afterward I wrote him a letter telling him his presence in our home was not needed. In a few days after this I met Pet with his brother, John, at the home of my Uncle Nathan Ward, and asked him if he had recieved the letter which I wrote to him, he replied that he had not. I the told him in substance about the same I had wrote him in the letter; that we did not want him at our home. He became angry and talked in a very discourteous manner, to which I gave no attention, and then went into my Uncle's house.

In about a week afterward, on Feb.22, 1902, I met Pet Bennett again at PikeView, when he was again intoxicated. He was standing in the road at the time with Everett Jones. I rode down in speaking distance of him, and in his first words to me he called me a very vile name. I turned and asked who he meant, and he said it was another man, but while I was hitching my horse, he called my name twice and called me vile names again, I answered him by saying to him "You are drinking and I will see you when you are sober." I then turned away from him and went into a store when he caught me by the overcoat and said he wanted to talk with me, but after going a few steps, I saw that he wanted to urge me too far away and I refused to go further; thereupon he drew his pistol on me two or three times, using rough language.

There were a number of witnesses who saw this and had summons issued and forced me to go before the Grand Jury and indict him. I did not want to go before the Grand Jury, knowing the disposition of the Bennett Boys; nevertheless, being summoned beforehand, I and one of the wittnesses were compelled to go before the Grand Jury and the indictment was secured. On Sunday after having been before the Grand Jury, I met with him at Pike View Church; whereupon he asked me if I had indicted him, when I told him that I supposed I had but I had been as easy on him as I could. He still persisted in talking to me, but I told him that the case was out of my hands that he would have to talk with the courts. After this we met occasionally, when Pet would sometimes speak to me; and other times he would not. But John always spoke to me when it seemed that he could not get out of it, but always appeared cool toward me, and would use slighting words to others about me when he thought I would not likley hear of it. A month or two after the indictment I met Pet near the Aetna Union Church and he said to me that there was no use for this coolness existing between us, to which I answered 'I have no objections to being friendly, that I am not pushing the indictment against you," but I felt that he was doing this in order that the case against him might be made as light as possible.

Contrary to the wishes of the family, my sister, Katie, ran away and married Alfred Madden, and the Bennett Boys, feeling they were acting contrary to the wishes of our family, busied themselves to bring about the marriage. I wasn't paticulary opposed to the marriage, but I am sure the Bennett Boys thought I was. We had good evidence to show us that they had worked up the prejudices of some of our relatives against us, causing them to seem distant and cool toward us. I have cited the above facts to show the state of feeling existing between myself and the Bennett Boys, which extended through a space of nearly two years, and that I am not to blame for it; for I would have been willing at any time to have laid down and cast aside any and all unkind feelings, but they seemed indifferent about the matter.


On Thursday, the 24 day of November 1903, Dave Osborne, my cousin and the person of which I am convicted of killing, came over to my home to get me to write a letter and help him out with his sweethart Miss Doris Skaggs, a daughter of James Willis Skaggs, who lives near Celery Postoffice, in Hart County, which is about six miles from my home. I wrote the letter for him, and promised him that I was going to her home on Thursday, that I would take the letter and give it to her. I went on Thursday as I intended, but in someway neglected to give her the letter. Dave and I had been in the habit of going to see our sweetharts together, as my sweethart was the sister of Miss Doris, the girl who Dave was going to see, and both lived with their father.

On this same day and before I had written the letter for Dave, we were engaged in a conversation in which it was mentioned that some of the boys in the neighborhood were opposed to our seeing the Skaggs girl's. I remarked that if they stopped me from going they would have to dry my hide; and remarked further "How is it with you Dave?" and he said "The same over here." On the next Saturday I met Dave at Pike View and arranged to go see our sweethearts on the following Sunday, and as Dave had no horse to accomodate him I agreed to go with him and walk.


According to our arrangments Dave came to my home on Sunday Morning, and we started together to see our sweetharts. After going about 2/3 of the distance we were overtaken by John Bennett and Will Gardner, who were on horses and riding rather hurriedly. At once it began to dawn on me that Dave Osborn had not kept his promise to keep our trip a secret, for Dave knew well that I did not want to spend the Sunday in company with either one of the Bennett Boys, and I saw that his attitude toward me was not as friendly as I had supposed. Our only view in keeping our trip a secret, was to keep those away who were opposed to our going; for I knew that if they knew it that they would be there for no purpose than to interfere with my affairs. Bennett and Gardner being on horseback, arrived at the home of the girls before we did, and when we got there they were engaged in conversation with the girls. The time was passed very pleasantly, except during the whole visit I could plainly see that all three of the boys, Bennett, Gardner and Dave Osborn were casting slurs at me. Miss Verda Skaggs and myself had occasion to engage in conversation aside from the other parties; when we returned to the room, Gardner and Bennett had gone, and Dave Osborn handed me a note which informed me that the other boys had gone to the still house for whisky and they intended to beat the hell out of me when they returned, and told him to keep me there until they came back. The truth is they had realized they could not beat me up with the girls there. Dave had asked me before the other boys caught up if I had my pistol with me.

On Receiving the information that they intended to beat me, I immediately prepared to leave, not desiring any trouble. Dave almost positively refused to go with me, but seeing that I was going anyhow, he reluctantly got ready, and followed along behind, lagging back. In order to elude the pursuers, I told Dave that I would go a nearer route which he strongly opposed but followed, as he saw that I was determined to go. After we had gone about four miles on the road home, we heard Bennett & Gardner, whooping and yelling in the distance, and in a few moments they overtook us as in a drunken condtion with the horses foaming with sweat.

John Bennett alighted from his horse and gave dave Osborne a bottle of whisky then pulled his coat off and handed it also to Dave,and without saying a word to me stepped up and hit me in the face with his fists two or three times knocking me down; this angered me and I arose with the intention of taking my own part with my fists, but seeing he had a knife in his hand I said to him "John , I have done nothing to you to make you mad," and he said "You are a liar you have run over my brother Pet and insulted me". I replies that I had not insulted him and he said "Don't you deny it or I will kill you". At this time he was making the air blue with oaths and said he was not afraid of death, hell or the grave, and cared for nothing or nobody. He said to me "You have told a lie on me," and I denied it, then he told me if I denied it he would kill me. He beat me awhile in the face then began cutting at me with a knife. At one time if I had not dodged he would have killed me. Finally he quit beating me and left off flourishing his knife, and then he spat in my face. The spit was of a slimy nature, owing to the whisky he had drunk, which almost glued my eyes together. Instinctively I used my coat sleeve to wipe it out. My trying to remove it angered him, he again used his fist on my face, knocking me down, when I got up he spat in my face again and told me if I wiped it out he would kill me and said moreover "That is nothing, if you wipe that out of your face I will (here he threatened to put Gardener's face about parts of the horse that are unbecoming in this article to mention).

After he had driven me to perfect submission by beating me so that me face had rose,and by subjecting me to indignities unbearable by self respect, he then got a bottle of whisky from Dave and passed it around to the other boys and lastly to me ,saying "If you have nothing against me after I have given you a good beating, take this and drink." Hoping to get some relief from the treatment he had been giving me, I took the bottle and drank a very small portion, knowing that if I did not drink with him the trouble would continue. Bennett immediatly got on his horse with Dave Osborne behind him, the same Dave Osborne with whom I had left home that Sunday Morning, and whom I had been assisting in his love affairs, and who had just stood by and held the overcoat and the whisky while John Bennett beat me unmercifully and rode away, leaving Will Gardener mounted and myself behind on foot. Will insisted so strongly that I ride behind him that I consented and we started. After crossing the creek I insisted on getting down and going directly home, but he urged me strongly to ride on with him, saying that he would soon come to another road that would be nearer for me to go home. On reaching that point he insisted that there was still another and nearer route further on; I consented to go on further with him as the road led somewhat in a circle around my home; finally he urged me so strongly that I consented to go as far as the home of my Uncle Squire Osborne.

After going with him about a mile and a half I told him that as my sweetheart had seemed somewhat cool today I believed I would go off and join the army inside the next two weeks. He laughed at me. I asked him if he did not believe it and he said "No" that I would soon get over that; he remarked to me that he had bought a gun like my brother's and proposed to go hunting next day. I told him that I had bought the gun from my brother and that I used it a great deal and that I was of the opinion that my brother thought I was using it too much. He then asked me whether or not I could get another gun and I told him that we had borrowed Mr. Bowmar's gun and that Willie Jaggers had mentioned Mr.Thorton Shipp's. He then said you get a gun and come over tomorrow and we will go hunting. On reaching the home of Squire Osborn's Dave invited me to come in, but as he had treated me so unkindly that day I felt it would be painful for me to so and declined and went on to Pike View to see Mr.Shipp about getting his gun to take on the hunt with Will Gardener the next day.

It had passed through my mind to do any injury to John Bennett, before I reached Mr. Shipp's, but the thought of murder was not being entertained by me. After securing the gun and starting home and reaching a point where one road leads to my home and the other to Uncle Squire Osborne's and knowing that John Bennett was yet down at Osborne's where I had left him, I concluded that I would go down and call him out and see him further about the way he had treated me, as I was then able to defend myself.

After going about half way, I concluded not to go, thinking that I should go down there and call Bennett out I would get into a general hurrah with all of them, the thought then entered my mind to go down and eavesdrop, and with that thought uppermost in my mind I went; and on reaching there I took a position at the back of the house, thinking that I would listen for a while at that place, but being unable to hear anything distinctly I went around to the chimney corner to where there was a small opening against the chimney, through which I could see John Bennett and hear him distinctly. He was relating about how he had treated me that evening. I heard Dave Osborn remark "I knew it was coming up but I did not want it to come up there much"- - - - he meant he didn't want it to come up in the presence of the girls at the Skaggs home. Bennett then said " I gave it to him hot and heavy; I bet he will remember that as long as he lives" and then he threw himself back and laughed, hahaha!!!

This was a pivitol point of my history; I felt that I could endure it no longer. I fired both barrels of my gun through the crack in the wall at him, one closley succeeding the other. At once I was all axcimated without, and they all excitement within. I heard them all charging and shooting at me and heard Dave Osborn saying " he would kill me if it was the last thing he did." Feeling that all those inside were against me and feeling uneasy for my own safety, and seeing Uncle Squire Osborn coming toward the window where I was, with something in his hand, and instantly recalling how he, not long before that had led a body of 7 or 8 angered and maddened men against me, with their revolvers drawn, and told me to immediatly get the sum of .25 cents which he claimed I owed him, but which God knows I did not owe him; with these thoughts on my mind and the circumstances before me, I shot him but did it altogether by impulse. Knowing that I was outnumbered and realizing that I was into a serious fight, I went to the back window, and seeing Will Gardener who had once said he had hot lead for me at the time I could see the the print of the pistol in his pocket, and who on another occasion pulled off his coat to whip me, had on that day stood by and saw John Bennett heap indiginities on me that himself or no other human being could or would have endured, and being wrought to a high pitch and being in a desperate state of mind, and having suffered for years from prolonged provocations at the hands of these boys- - - I fired the shot that tore his jaw away.

During all of this time Dave Osborn was in the house using the bitterest language against me, and saying that he would kill me, I knew that if he got within reach he would do it. He came out near me, not knowing exactly where I was, still swearing and threating. I shot him twice not knowing whether he was facing me or had his back turned. It has been said he pled with me for his life, and was on his knees. But if he pled with me I did not know it and I know he was not on his knees. As I shot him twice it seems that each took effect, one in the front and the other behind.

It was never in my mind to harm the women or Jesse Druen, a young man who was giving his attention to cousin Minnie Osborn, and who has lately married her. Thus ends the darkest and gloomiest part of my history. How this sad, sad section came into my life, I am unable to say; it seems more like a dream than a reality, at times I am almost unable to believe it. I had never had it in my heart to murder anyone, it seems more of a disaster than otherwise; surely it never came from deliberation. It may have been that little whisky that I drank that day had something to do with it, as I am not a habitual drinker, or it may have been that I was so badly treated that day that I was driven by desperation or partial insanity. One thing is certain, I acted more by impulse than I ever did before, and more so that I thought I could have acted. Some little time after I had shot Dave Osborn, Will Gardner came out of the house into the yard, and I saw fearfully I had wounded him. I took him by the hand and told him that I had not intended to kill him, and asked him to say nothing about who did it, and he said he would not. I had an idea that I should take him home, but fearing that he would give down on me while on the way I did not do it, and he went toward his home. I then took my gun and started for home, and after getting into the woods the though struck me on using the last two loads on myself. I set the gun down and laid down on the ground, debating whether I should do it or not. But remembering my unprepared condition to die I decided I would not. I then decided I would go by and lay the whole case before a friend of mine, which I did; and after talking with him a while I asked him if he would go with me to the Magistrate that night, that I might surrender myself to him, but he thought maybe I was acting under excitment and advised me to lie still and let them find out, and further told me to go home and that he would come over the next morning.

I took the advise and went home. On reaching home the family had gone to bed, and not having anything to eat since forenoon, I went into the kitchen and hunted for something to eat, and while stirring around , I woke some of the family, and they asked me the time of night and I told the about 7:00 when in reality it was about 9:00. I told this falsehood to keep them from asking where I had been so late, and they remained under this impression until they heard of my confession, and this is why many people thought they were swearing falsely for me. I then retired and arose early the next morning..

My mother asked me where I was going and I replied I was going to Pike View to mail a letter, and then caught my horse and started. But instead of stopping at Pike View, I went toward Upton, stopped by John Gardners ( a half Brother of mine) and asked him to come on to Upton to bring my horse, and bring it back home as I was going to Louisville. I went on to Upton and put my horse in the Livery stable, and bought a ticket to Louisville, and fearing I might be detected and seeing that I would have time before the train would be due, then I walked to Sonora which was about 3 or 4 miles further. Then I took the train, on reaching Elizabethtown I was arrested, and on the same day was brought to the Munfordville jail.

I want to add one more thing, and that is that I am now very glad I did not kill the man I was mad at ( John Bennett) and could die much better satisfied if Dave and Squire Osborn were living. The above is my confession of this awful crime, which is given of my own free will and without the least reservation.

Signed, Custer Gardner

Father: James Osborn b: ABT. 1825 Mother: Rachel Etherton b: ABT. 1825

Marriage 1 Mary Elizabeth Hill Children 1. Anmein Osborn b: 16 MAY 1873 2. William T. Osborn b: 3 FEB 1875 3. Dave M. Osborn b: 9 NOV 1877 4. Nora E. Osborn b: 29 MAY 1881 5. Minnie H. Osborn b: 29 SEP 1887

Squire David Osborne buried

http://www.so-ky.com/cem/hartcem/p/pikeview/pikeview-idx.htm this shows Squire David Osborne middle name And where he buried.



20 Jul 1852

18 Mar 1920

W/O Squire Dave Osborne; M/O Anna Nellie Osborne, William T. Osborne, David M. Osborne, Minnie H. (Osborne) Druen & Nora E. (Osborne) Druen; D/O William & Harriett (Sublett) Hill
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Squire Daniel Osburn's Timeline

June 1848
Illinois, United States
May 16, 1873
Magnolia, Larue, Kentucky, United States
February 3, 1875
September 11, 1877
May 1881
Upshur County, West Virginia, United States
September 29, 1887
November 30, 1903
Age 55
Hart County, Kentucky, United States