Governor Goebel's Assassination


Governor Goebel courtesy of KDLA
Governor Goebel courtesy of KDLA

The post-war reorganization of the State Guard was fraught with numerous obstacles such as old quarters being unfit and the lethargic public sentiment. In January of 1900 nearly 1,000 men from Eastern Kentucky arrived in Frankfort which added further confusion to the tempestuous political situation surrounding the election of William Goebel.

On January 30 Goebel was shot and the Frankfort Militia was immediately ordered to take over police duty in the city. A few days later Governor Goebel died and a highly irregular situation arose in which one part of the Kentucky National Guard assumed themselves to be under the command of the new Governor while the rest of the Guardsmen on duty ascended to the commands of the former Governor.

Consequently, units of the State Militia found themselves under opposite commands while in Frankfort; thus two small and distinct armies representing the two major political factions of the State found themselves opposing one another. Although coming into contact daily, no disorders took place between these men.‚Äč