Answer: James Culton, Sr., the son of Eupemia Stewart and John Culton and the grandson of Alexander Stewart and Mary Anderson.
James Culton, Sr., was a farmer by occupation. About 1851 he was elected to the Kentucky Legislature from Knox and Harlan Counties, and was re-elected in 1854. He was elected county judge of Harlan County in 1858, and held that office for twelve years during the turbulent times of the civil war. When Union forces burned the Lee County, Va., Courthouse at Jonesville, Rebel troops retaliated by burning the courthouse in Harlan in October of 1863, then known as Mount Pleasant. Fortunately, the county court clerk's office was located in a separate building and few if any court records were destroyed in the fire.
On May 23, 1865, Leonard Farmer wrote the State Inspector General that Harlan County had not had a Circuit Court there for three years. He added that the guerrillas had nearly laid waste to the county by pillaging, plundering and robbing, taking arms, clothing, bacon and so forth, and that when they found a man that opposed them they would burn the house and furniture and leave the women and children without clothing or beds on which to sleep. According to Farmer's letter, old men would take their blankets and hide in the mountains to avoid assassination.
James Culton was also licensed to practice law, and had been quite a prominent attorney in eastern Kentucky. He was a minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and had devoted a great deal of his time to the ministry.
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