Floyd Frazier, or
The Murder of Ellen Flannery

clippings transcribed by Steve Green

Berea Citizen ~ May 30, 1907

An Atrocious Crime

Lexington, Ky.—The body of Mrs. Ellen Flanary, 30, a widow, of Perry Creek [sic], was discovered near her home beneath a heap of rocks, stabbed in the breast, with her throat cut and several fractures, unearthing the most inhuman tragedy in the murder annuals [sic] of Letcher county. Floyd Frazier, 18, revealed bloody clothes and was arrested. No motive is known.

Gloomy for Frazier

Sergent, Ky.—The chain of evidence fastening the murder of Mrs. Ellen Flannery upon young Floyd Frazier is gaining strength, the police say. A bloody knife was found near the scene of the murder. Stains of blood also were found on his garments.  Frazier refuses to talk.

Hazel Green Herald ~ February 6, 1908

Because one juror in the Floyd Frazier murder case in Letcher county held out for life imprisonment against eleven for hanging, the case goes over to the next term of court. Frazier is the self confessed murderer of Ellen Flannery.

Interior Journal (Stanford, Ky.) ~ May 5, 1908

The jury in the Floyd Frazier murder case of Whitesburg  returned a death verdict. A jury from Floyd county tried the case. Frazier murdered Mrs. Ellen Flanary, a widow, by cutting her throat.

Interior Journal (Stanford, Ky.) ~ May 5, 1908

Floyd Frazier will be hanged at Whitesburg July 3 for murdering Mrs. Ella Flaney [sic]. It will be Letcher county's first legal execution.

Berea Citizen ~ May 7, 1908

Death Verdict for Murderer

Sergent, Ky.—The jury in the Floyd Frazier murder case, Whitesburg, returned a death verdict. The jury from Floyd county tried the case. Frazier murdered Miss Ellen Flanary, widow, at Port Creek, this county, May 23 of last year, by cutting her throat.

Interior Journal (Stanford, Ky.) ~ November 24, 1908

Sheriff Rice W. Johnson and Officer Lew Mays captured Floyd Frazier, who is under sentence to hang in Letcher county. He was captured on Bryson mountain, near Middlesboro. Frazier, with seven other prisoners, escaped from the county jail at Pineville. He had been sent to that county for safe keeping.

Mountain Advocate (Barbourville, Ky.) ~ December 4, 1908

Floyd Frazier Captured

Floyd Frazier, who, with seven others made his escape from the Pineville jail about two weeks ago, was captured last Thursday in Tennessee and returned to the Pineville jail.

Interior Journal (Stanford, Ky.) ~ April 30, 1909

Floyd Frazier, who killed Mrs. Ellen Flannery in Letcher county, got a death sentence.

Hazel Green Herald ~ May 13, 1909

Floyd Frazier, who cut Mrs. Ellen Flannery's throat with an old case knife in May, 1907, causing her death, was sentenced to be hanged at the recent term of Letcher Circuit court.

Paducah Evening Sun ~ January 31, 1910

Kentucky Kernels

Floyd Frazier, first man hanged in Letcher county.

Interior Journal (Stanford, Ky.) ~ February 1, 1910

Unless Gov. Willson interferes and grants a commutation of the sentence, Floyd Frazier must hang for the murder of Ellen Flannery, in Letcher county. The Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the lower court in his case.

Clay City Times ~ February 3, 1910

Floyd Frazier, aged 20 and of a good family must hang at Whitesburg for the murder of a woman some time ago. This will be the first legal hanging to occur in Letcher county.

Interior Journal (Stanford, Ky.) ~ February 4, 1910

Floyd Frazier, under sentence of death at Whitesburg for the murder of Mrs. Ellen Flannery in 1907, collapsed when the Court of Appeals affirmed the death sentence. Frazier is only 20 years old.

Mountain Advocate (Barbourville, Ky.) ~ February 11, 1910


Court of Appeals Affirms Letcher Circuit Court

Floyd Frazier Must Hang for His Atrocious Crime

Last Friday the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment of the Letcher Circuit Court in the Floyd Frazier case. This means that the jury's verdict of death on this unfortunate young man shall be carried out unless something unforeseen happens within the next ninety days. Most of our readers know that on May 21, 1907, Mrs. Ellen Flannery, a widow, was found murdered near her home on Pert Creek in this county. Floyd Frazier was arrested and the first trial resulted in a hung jury. The second trial was by a Perry county jury and a death verdict was brought in, but owing to some error the Court of Appeals granted a new hearing. The third trial was by a jury from Knott county and again a death verdict was rendered. Gov. Willson will fix a date for the execution of the court's sentence as soon as a mandate issues, which must be within thirty days from the date of the handing down of the judgment. After the mandate issues the time limit of the execution is from thirty to sixty days. It is highly probable that an effort will be made to have Gov. Willson to commute the sentence to life imprisonment. A legal hanging has never taken place in Letcher county. Floyd Frazier is related to some of the oldest and best families in Letcher county, Eastern Kentucky and Southwest Virginia. —The Mountain Eagle.

Interior Journal (Stanford, Ky.) ~ March 11, 1910

Floyd Frazier will be hanged in Leslie county [sic] April 7 for the murder of a woman.

Paducah Evening Sun ~ March 17, 1910

Floyd Frazier, under sentence of death for murder at Whitesburg, makes daring attempt to escape, but is caught.

Paducah Evening Sun ~ April 5, 1910

Floyd Frazier, who is to be hanged at Whitesburg, Letcher county, next Thursday, jokes with men while they build scaffold.

Hopkinsville Kentuckian ~ April 7, 1910

Floyd Frazier will be hanged in Letcher county today for the murder of Mrs. Ellen Flanary. The Governor declined to interfere in the case, saying that he saw no good reason why he should set aside the verdicts of three juries, each of which fixed the punishment at death. Strong efforts were made to have the death sentence commuted to life imprisonment.

Hopkinsville Kentuckian ~ April 9, 1910

Murderer Gets Respite

Gov. Wilson grants a respite of the death sentence of Floyd Frazier, of Letcher county until May 19.

Berea Citizen ~ April 14, 1910


Wild Ride of Horseman to Reach Whitesburg in Time

Frankfort, Ky.—With all the speed that a horseman can urge out of his steed, a messenger traveled across the mountains of Letcher county from Sergent to Whitesburg and conveyed the information that Gov. Willson had granted Floyd Frazier a respite until May 19, in order that he may investigate his application for a commutation of life sentence more carefully. Whitesburg is in the heart of the Kentucky mountains, many miles from a railroad station.

Hazel Green Herald ~ April 14, 1910

Floyd Frazier, who was to have been executed at Whitesburg last week, was granted a reprieve by Governor Willson until May 19.

Hazel Green Herald ~ May 12, 1910

Peculiar actions on the part of young Floyd Frazier, under sentence of death at Whitesburg on May 19, caused the jailer, William Hall, to make a most systematic search of Frazier's cell. He found secreted away a bottle of carbolic acid, with which Frazier was determined to commit suicide, thereby cheating the gallows.

Paducah Evening Sun ~ May 17, 1910

Whitesburg ready for the execution of Floyd Frazier, murderer of Ellen Flannery.

Hopkinsville Kentuckian ~ May 19, 1910

Floyd Frazier will be hanged at Whitesburg today for the murder of Mrs. Ellen Flannery, Gov. Willson having refused to interfere.

Bourbon News (Paris, Ky.) ~ May 20, 1910

Frazier Pays Extreme Penalty

At Whitesburg, Ky. yesterday afternoon Floyd Frazier paid the death penalty for the murder of Mrs. Ellen Flannery on May 16, 1907. On the scaffold Frazier made a statement that his sins had been forgiven. The drop fell at 1:30 o'clock and in eleven minutes he was pronounced dead. Five thousand people witnessed the execution.

Berea Citizen ~ May 26, 1910


Gov. Willson having declined to interfere, Floyd Frazier was hanged in Letcher County last week. He made no public confession.

Clay City Times ~ May 26, 1910

Hanging at Whitesburg

Floyd Frazier, aged 23, was hung at Whitesburg last Thursday for the murder of Ellen Flannary sometime in 1907. This was the first legal hanging to take place in Letcher county and will be the last legal hanging in Kentucky as the law substituting electrocution at Frankfort for hanging will go into effect before another case of death penalty can be imposed.

Hazel Green Herald ~ May 26, 1910

After the attorneys and relatives of Floyd Frazier, a young white man, of Whitesburg, had exhausted every legal means to save him from the gallows, for the murder of Ellen Flannery, a poor young widow living with her three small children on Pert creek, on May 16, 1907, he paid the penalty for his crime last Thursday. An uncle of Frazier received a letter  from the governor when his body was swinging from the scaffold. The governor called attention to the heinousness of the crime and gave other reasons for refusing commutation of sentence.

Last Update: August 26, 2011