My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 7 by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1887.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

CHARLES J. HELM was born at Hornellsville, Steuben Co., N. Y., June 20, 1817, to Francis T. and Sallie B. (McKinney) Helm. Francis T. Helm was the son of Capt. William Helm, of Caroline County, Va., an officer in the Revolutionary army, and the owner of large estates in Virginia, among which were “Greenlevel,” “Epsom” and “Blenham.” He married Miss Pope, of Virginia. His children were Capt. John Helm, of the regular army, who married Margaret Kinzie, and served in the war of 1812; Hay Helm, who was killed in Louisiana, was not married; Matilda Helm, who married William Fitshugh, of Loudoun County, Va., and Francis T. Helm, the father of the subject of this sketch. He was born in Virginia; was first a midshipman in the navy, then exchanged into the army, and commissioned an ensign in the Thirteenth Infantry, in 1814. While in the army he carried a challenge to fight a duel to Maj. Carney, who declined to fight his principal, and Mr. Helm took his place, and was so seriously wounded in the hip as to cripple him and incapacitate him from military service; he then resigned. In 1815 he married Sallie B. Carney, daughter of Maj. John T. Carney, an officer who served under Gen. Lafayette, and enjoyed his personal friend ship. The subject of this sketch was their eldest child; the others were Algernon Helm, now a resident of Missouri; James T. Helm, an Episcopal minister in Louisville, Ky.; H. D. Helm, now deceased, late of Campbell County, Ky.; William Helm, a lawyer in Louisville, Ky., and Matilda Helm, who married a Mr. Ford of St. Louis, Mo. In 1817 Francis T. Helm moved to Campbell County Ky., where he lived an honored and respected citizen. He was the first mayor of the city of Newport, and its postmaster for many years; he died in St. Louis in 1873 while on a visit to his daughter. Charles J. Helm was educated in the schools of Campbell County and the city of Newport, he studied law under Col. John W. Tibbatts, and was admitted to the bar in 1842. He was a partner of his preceptor for some years, and soon rose to prominence in his profession. At the commencement of the Mexican war he was commissioned lieutenant in the Sixteenth Kentucky Regiment, Col. Tibbatts commanding; he served on the staff of Gen. Wool, and was breveted major for meritorious conduct on the field of battle. The regiment was disbanded August 16, 1848. In 1851 he was elected a member of the House of Representatives from Campbell County, and was a prominent candidate for speaker, though unsuccessful. In 1853 he was appointed by President Pierce commercial agent for the United States at the Island of St. Thomas, in the West Indies. While occupying this post he was instrumental in having the Danish Government abolish some imposts and dues that had become very onerous to the American shipping, and in testimonial of their appreciation of his services the ship owners of the United States presented him with a magnificent service of solid silver. In 1854 he was married to Louise A. Whistler, a daughter of Col. William Whistler, an officer in the regular army, at Newport, who returned with him to his post at St. Thomas. In 1858 President Buchanan appointed him consul general at Havana, Cuba, for the United States, He discharged the duties of this position so creditably that, at the breaking out of the late war, Secretary Seward, hearing of his intention of resigning and casting his lot with the Confederacy, wrote him urging him to remain, and sent him a silk flag, but, believing his duty to be otherwise, he resigned, and tendered his services to the Confederacy. Mr. Davis sent him back to Havana as a special agent for the Confederate States. He served in this position all during the war, and by his abilities and integrity rendered valuable service to his cause. At the close of the war he went to Europe, en route to Canada, where his family had preceded him through the States; here he remained until his death in February, 1868, forming one of the coterie of prominent persons who had been in the Confederacy, among whom are numbered Mr. Davis, Gens. Breckinridge and Early, Mr. James Mason and many others. He left surviving him his widow, who since, in 1884, died at Detroit, and three children, Charles J., who was born in St. Thomas October 11, 1855; Louise, who was born at Havana, October 31, 1864, and now resides with her brother, Charles J., at Newport, Ky., and William W., who was born at Niagara Town, Canada, September 3, 1866, and is now a cadet at West Point military academy. Charles J. Helm, the younger, received his education in Canada, and after his father’s death returned to Kentucky. He studied law under William S. Abert at Newport, Ky., and was admitted to the bar in September, 1875; he then began its practice in said place. In July, 1876, he married Anna M. Webster, a daughter of F. M. Webster, a prominent member of the bar of northern Kentucky. He has two children, one, Charles J., Jr., born July, 1877, and F. M. W., born March, 1879. He is a Democrat in politics, is a member of the State Central Committee for the Sixth Congressional District of that party; has been a member of the school board of the city of Newport, and its city attorney, both elective offices, and has also been county attorney for Campbell County, and enjoys a lucrative practice in his profession. He is a member of the Episcopal Church, and a Mason.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 41 biographies included in the Campbell County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 7 published in 1887 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 7

View additional Campbell County, Kentucky family biographies here: Campbell County, Kentucky Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.