In 1920, ten-year-old Geneva Hardman was murdered on her way to school, just outside of Lexington, Kentucky. Both civil authorities and a growing lynch mob sought Will Lockett, a black Army veteran, as the suspect. The vigilantes remained one step behind the lawmen and a grieving family erred on the side of justice versus vengeance.
During the short trial, tensions spilled over and shots were fired outside the courthouse leading to a declaration of martial law. Six were killed in what civil rights leader W. E. B. DuBois described as the “Second Battle of Lexington.” But was justice served? Delve into this southern city’s century old story of murder and mayhem.
Lexington has dozens of well-restored landmarks, but so many more are lost forever. The famous Phoenix Hotel, long a stop for weary travelers and politicians alike, has risen from its own ashes numerous times over the past centuries. The works of renowned architect John McMurtry were once numerous around town, but some of the finest examples are gone. The Centrepointe block has been made and unmade so many times that its original tenants are unknown to natives now. Join local blogger, attorney and preservationist Peter Brackney as he explores the intriguing back stories of these hidden Bluegrass treasures.
The Bluegrass played an oversized role in America’s educational, political, religious, and cultural development. From the native tribes who once lived here through the settlement and development of the area, Lexington has grown from a remote frontier settlement on the banks of Town Branch to a major urban center which, fortunately, has retained a lot of its history. Historians Foster Ockerman, Jr. and Peter Brackney have joined
forces to write a comprehensive field guide to all things historic in Lexington and central Kentucky.