Rory Jay Draughn


Rory Jay Draughn

Letcher County, Kentucky, USA
Death 18 Dec 1913 (aged 45)
Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky, USA
Burial Hazard, Perry County, Kentucky, USA
Plot No headstone exists as of October 2020
Memorial ID 62681992 View Source
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Town Marshal Jay Draughn was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man on Main Street for being drunk in public.

Marshal Draughn knew the man, who was a candidate for county sheriff, and attempted to talk him into accompanying him to the police station. When the man drew his weapon Marshal Draughn told reminded him that they were friends and told him not to shoot. The man then opened fire, striking him four times.

The suspect was arrested and placed in jail.

Marshal Draughn had served with the Hazard Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife, Hattie Baker.


Hazard, Ky.,--In repeated dreams several nights before the crime, J. O. Combs says he saw himself murder Town Marshal Jay Draughn at Hazard, Ky. Combs was given a life sentence.

Combs swore to his peculiar dreams and several of his witnesses also declared that Combs went to them and told them he had dreamed he and Draughn had had trouble and that he had shot Draughn.

Combs on night put his arm around Draughn and shot him to death.

Dec 18, 1913 newspaper "The Hazard Herald"

Jay Draughn Killed by Jas. O. Combs

Tragedy Occurred on Main street at 7:25 Wednesday Night.

Draughn received 4 wounds, from Effect of Which he died at 3 O'Clock this morning.

Jay Draughn, Town Marshall of Hazard, was shot and fatally wounded last night at about 7:25 by James O. Combs. It is said that Combs was under the influence of intoxicants and met Draughn upon Main Street in front of the vacant place between the Wootton & Morgan building and Campbell & Walker's store. It is said that Combs placed his arm around the neck of Draughn and drew his pistol, whereupon Draughn said: "Don't shoot me, Jim, I am your friend--come with me and I will take care of you" Then, according to witnesses, Combs began firing, the first shot passing through Draughn's ear and glancing on his head; another shot penetrated his right breast; another the right shoulder; and another one in the stomach. Draughn dragged himself to the door of the Hazard Pharmacy from where he was carried to the offices of Drs Hurst and Gross, where everything possible was done to alleviate his sufferings. He died at three o'clock this morning.

--- On Wed, 1/12/11, Rita Day wrote:

Leadville Lake County Date Aug. 20, 1897 Front Page

Both Handy With A Rifle

Uncle and Nephew Have a Quarrel and The Latter Concludes To Do A Little Gunning

John Coddelll and Hiram Baker have an improtue duel at Grant and both mortally wounded.

Grant, Aug 19

A double shooting occured at Bakers Sawmill, ten miles from this place in the North end of Geneva Park last night between Hiram Baker and his nephew John Coddell.

Coddell was shot fatally in the bowels and Baker was wounded in the right shoulder, His wound being severe if not fatal. The shooting was a result of a quarrel over money matters. Coddell worked for Baker and the latter owed him $175.00, which he could not pay at this time.

Both men were in Grant yesterday afternoon and had some words while here. They started back to the mill but Coddell refused to ride with Baker. Coddelll shot at Baker who was in a wagon with a couple of women but missed him. On their arrival at the mill, Coddell, who had been drinking, quarrelled with a man named Boyer and tried to shoot him with a rifle.

Boyer prevented him from shooting and Coddell then started for Bakers house, saying he would clean out certain people that night.

Coddell went into Bakers house with his rifle cocked and was met at the door by Baker who also had a rifle ready. Both men fired at about the same time and both bullets took effect. Baker fell to the floor and tried to shoot again but his little boy got in front of and prevented a second shot.

Coddell dropped his rifle and went to his tent, saying he was fatally shot and expected to die before morning, Both men were alive at 11 o'clock this morning . Although they had been wounded 17 hours earlier, they had been unable to secure medical attendence. Their recovery is not thought probable;

Bakers wife and three children were in the house when the shooting occurred.

Grant is a station on the South Park about 90 miles from Leadville and near the Platte Carion. the shooting occurred some 10 miles from Grant where the Saw Mill is located.

This is one of several articles I have . Please take into consideration that there are conflicting reports as to dates, times and places, much like our news is broadcast even today.


This is Jay Draughn and Rudolphus ( Dolph) using aliases. I transcribed it from the news paper.


"Marietta Daily Leader 10/7/1897"

Denver Colorado Oct 6 - "Cursing the officers who held him in custody and threatening to take their lives at the first opportunity, Jay Draughn, alias Hirma Baker, the wounded Kentuckian, has been taken to the depot on a stretcher and placed on a train. He is now on his way to Paintsville, Ky, where he is wanted for killing Ben Cunningham and wounding Sam Rice. The officers who have charge of him are John A Draughn, his cousin, and Sheriff Bays of Johnson County KY. Some weeks ago Jay Draughn killed R A L draughn, the father of John A Draughn, near Grant Colorado and in the fight was himself seriously wounded, a bullet having broken his left shoulder. He was exonerated by the coroner's jury."

Concerning Dolph Draughn written by Rita Day

Yes, it was my grandfather Rory Jay Draughn who killed him.

In the 1900 census, I found my grandfather Jay in the state penitentiary in Kentucky. I always assumed it was for killing Dolph. It turned out not to be the case. He did kill Dolph claiming self defense and was acquitted by the coroner's jury.

Dolph was killed in Fair Play Colorado. Jay was shot up pretty badly by Dolph. The story I heard is, Dolph ran over Jay's 2 year old with a wagon and killed him. This was in December of 1896. My mother told me, she had a brother who was run over and killed but, this was long before she was born. I guess she didn't know the details, only that they were in Colorado. I do not know if this is why Jay killed Dolph or not.

It appears, Jay had killed a man named Ben Cunningham in 1892. He fled to Colorado under the alias Hiram Baker. There was a reward of $400.00 for Jay but, he was not found until after he killed Dolph. In 1897, he was taken back to Paintsville Ky. on a stretcher by train. He apparently tried to escape when they denied him bond and was involved in a street fight with John Draughn and his brother Kelly. They shot him up pretty badly and took him back to jail. This is apparently why he was in the penitentiary in Kentucky, not for killing Dolph.

My father always said, Jay received a pardon from the governor and at the time of his death he was Town Marshall of Hazard. Daddy also said, he carried the pardon with him in his pocket.

2016 Cemetery changed from Combs Cornett to DY Combs as a news article was found.

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