Between 1883 and 1891, several members of the Baisden family suffered troubles in their section of West Virginia and Virginia. What follows are some news and other accounts of those events:
At the mouth of Pigeon creek, in Logan county, Grant Bollman and Dr. Harrison Baisden got into a difficulty over a settlement, short words brought blows, when Bollman used a knife severely if not fatally stabbing Baisden. Thereupon he drew a revolver and shot Bollman, who died the same day from the effects of the wound. There is little hopes of the recovery of Baisden.
Parkersburg (WV) Sentinel, 18 August 1883
Judge McGinnis has issued a vacation order to the Circuit Clerk of Wayne County admitting Dr. Baisden, charged with the murder of Yancy Bolin, in Logan County, to bail in the sum of $2,000.
Huntington (WV) Advertiser, 31 July 1886
According to one item printed in an old genealogy newsletter: “John Smith Baisden was born May 14, 1864. On May 29, 1885 he married Martha Jane Wills who was born in Carroll County, Virginia, on August 4, 1870, the daughter of Hiram and Catherine Massey Wills. Martha had come to Floyd County, Kentucky, in a wagon train in 1879. She was fifteen when she married John Smith Baisden. They had two children: Flora, who was born on January 8, 1888, and Ruby Harrison “Harry” Baisden [February 7, 1890]. On May 4, 1890, John Smith Baisden was shot and killed by John Brewer and John Lee White, while the family was visiting in West Virginia. He was shot in an argument over a horse. It is thought that his murder was indirectly associated with the Hatfield-McCoy Feud. The Baisdens became involved after relatives married McCoys. About the same time of his father’s death, the Hatfields kidnapped and imprisoned Ruby Harrison Baisden (then only a child) and other members of the McCoy clan, and held them in a log barn in what is now Mingo County, West Virginia. Ruby Harrison Baisden was found by a roadside where he had been left for dead. Soon after John S. Baisden’s death, Martha, against the advice of family members, returned to Kentucky by horseback, traveling at night over lonely mountain trails with her son and daughter.”
Last week several capias against John Henry Baisden and John Smith Baisden were placed in the hands of the Sheriff of this County. The Baisdens had established the very unenviable name of being dangerous and desperate men, and, a part of the process was placed in the hands of Wm. Bevins with instructions to go by way of Marrowbone to summon a guard who knew the haunts of the Baisdens and to locate them if he could and meet the Sheriff, who was accompanied by Jailor Buskirk, Deputy Sheriff McDonald and several guards, at the mouth of the Trace Fork of Pigeon. Mr. Bevins arrived on Marrowbone on Friday morning and learned that just before his arrival the Baisden boys had made an attack on the house of James Brewer with Winchester Rifles, and that assisted by John Lee White, he had repelled the attack, mortally wounding John Smith Baisden. On learning this Mr. Bevins at once summoned a posse consisting of John Lee White, Brit Jones, James Brewer, Riley Brewer, Lee Brewer and John Brewer and followed the Baisdens to Pigeon Creek. Locating them at Dr. Harrison Baisden’s, Bevins left all of the guard about a quarter of a mile from the house, except John Lee White, who he took with him to find the position of the Baisden boys. As soon as he came in sight of them he demanded their surrender, which they refused to do and fire was opened on them. James Baisden was killed and John Henry Baisden was badly wounded and captured. William Baisden having left the crowd made his escape and is still at large. John Henry Baisden was brought to this place and is now in jail. He was shot through both arms and in the right side, but his wounds are not dangerous. All parties regret the killing of young James Baisden, as there was nothing against him. Heretofore a man in this county had thought that to establish for himself the name of a dangerous man was all the security that he needed against the officers of the law. That is now changed and all of them will hereafter be hunted down.
Logan County (WV) Banner, 24 April 1890
John Smith Baisden, who was shot by James Brewer and John Lee White, on April 18th, while making an attack on Brewer’s house, died last Sunday evening.
Logan County (WV) Banner, 8 May 1890
On Monday morning John Henry Baisden was turned over by the authorities of West Virginia to Wm. A. Bevins upon a requisition from the Governor of Virginia. Baisden is wanted in Buchanan county, Va., for the murders of a man named Irons. Bevins, accompanied by R.W. Buskirk and Lewis Dempsey, started with Baisden to Jeffersonville, Va., where he will be confined for safe keeping until the Buchanan authorities are ready for his trial. He was not taken to Buchanan as there has been some talk of lynching him there.
Logan County (WV) Banner, 26 June 1890
R.W. Buskirk, Wm. Bevin and Lewis Dempsey, who took John Henry Baisden to Virginia on a charge of murder, returned on Sunday. The prisoner was first taken to Jeffersonville, then to Grundy, and finally to Lebanon as neither the Jeffersonville nor Grundy Jail were safe.
Logan County (WV) Banner, 10 July 1890
A Logan Man Gone Wrong.
Wm. Baisden, formerly of this county, was last week sentenced to the Virginia penitentiary from Buchanan county, for the term of 18 years, for the murder of a man named Irons, some two years ago. Outside of whisky, Baisden was regarded as a good man, and had a great many friends on the Sandy side of our county, where he was raised, and where his relatives now live.
Logan County (WV) Banner, 6 August 1890
Baisdens Allowed to Escape.
John Henry Baisden who killed Robert Irons in Buchanan county, Va. last fall and who afterwards figured in a terrible tragedy in Logan county, W.Va., and who was captured and taken to Virginia has been allowed to escape. After killing Irons, he fled to W.Va. to find another man living with his wife. He got a party of his relatives and went to attack the man, but was met by an officer and posse in search of him. Two desperate fights ensued between the two parties on consecutive days and Jim and John Smith Baisden were killed. John Henry was captured, after being seriously wounded, and lodged in jail. The parties who captured him in W.Va. delivered him to the authorities all right and received the Reward. He was afterwards sent to Russell county jail and being taken back to Buchanan for trial was taken from the guard by his brother. It is thought that the officers were willing that the prisoner should be rescued.
Catlettsburg (KY) Republican via the Logan County (WV) Banner, 21 August 1890
Murder on Sandy.
Monday afternoon Harrison Baisden, Jr., a member of the notorious gang of Baisden outlaws came down to the Mouth of Pigeon where there was a whiskey boat moored on this side of the river. He took his horse across to the Kentucky side, and then returning, he walked deliberately up to Jack Maynard, between whom and himself, it appears, there had been some bad blood, and shot him through the head, killing him instantly. The last heard from Baisden he was in Kentucky riding from about five men, who were pursuing him hotly. As the report says he was very drunk and the men were only a mile behind, the chances are that he is captured by now. It is feared that if he is caught that he will be lynched.
Logan County (WV) Banner, 3 September 1891
A rumor has reached us that Reuben Baisden, the murderer of Jack Maynard, was found dead at the head of a lonely creek, in Johnson county, Kentucky, with fifty-three bullet wounds on his body and his dead horse lying on him. It was thought that he had been dead about three days when found. We do not credit the story.
Logan County (WV) Banner, 17 September 1891
Manslaughter for Dr. Baisden
In the Mingo criminal court last week, Dr. Robert L. Baisden was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for killing Grover Waldron, at Naugatuck on April 23, of last year.
The evidence showed that young Waldron was stabbed to the heart on the above named night near the signal tower at Naugatuck. Dr. Baisden was coming down the tower steps when some person threw a beer bottle against a stone wall not far away. Young Waldron and two companions were standing near the foot of the steps.
Using an oath Dr. Baisden inquired who threw the bottle at him and there came a reply and also an oath, that it was for him and some one of the three also called out that they would send Dr. Baisden to hell “feet first” if he was not careful.
Logan (WV) Democrat, 20 April 1911