Louisville, KY

Kentucky Irish and American (Newspaper) Louisville Kentucky February 14, 1903

Foiled-Despicable Attempt to Jeopardize Morality of a Young Girl
Heartless Mother Is Back by Women of the Liberty League
Horrible Revelations in Court 

The Kentucky Irish American has from its first number in a family newspaper, and its editor has tried all ways to leave out of its columns even a semblance of the filth that is frequently found in the less circumspect daily journals. Occasionally desperate diseases require heroic remedies, and as a case in point attention is called to the attempt of Mrs. Hattie Nuckols, who on last Tuesday attempted through habeas corpus proceedings to secure the release of her 16-year-old daughter, Martha Nuckols, from the Convent Of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. Over a year ago Martha Nuckols had been placed under the care of these good women, who are doing a noble work. Martha had in sound in a disreputable locality and in company with a man of bad character. She, on account of her apparent tender years, was arrested and brought into court. Judge Ruben Buckley, who is not a Catholic, was at that time Judge of the police court. He assessed a fine and workhouse sentence, in lieu of which the girl was turned over to the Children's Board Of Guardians, who committed her to the care Of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd.


She has been in that institution more than a year, and as she herself testified, has been well cared for and well treated. Her mother, it seems, at the earnest solicitation of others, undertook to secure her release. Every evidence pointed to the fact that the mother only desired her daughters release in order that the girl might enter upon a life of shame and that the mother might live through the profits of her daughters prostitution. . The mother was represented in court by W. T. Burch, the attorney for the Woman's Liberty League, and organization akin to the A. P. A. Mr. Burch recently, it will be remembered, God and bad with the Louisville Bar Association on account of questionable transactions and the practice of his profession. Alderman James J. Fitzgerald represented The Sisters.


The case was up before Judge Asher G. Caruth of the criminal division of the Jefferson Circuit Court. The evidence showed that Mrs. Nuckols was the mother of six children, three boys and three girls; that she had cause the boys to be committed to be Louisville Industrial School of Reform; that she had caused her husband to be sent to the penitentiary, where he now is on the charge of committing and unmentionable offense; and that her two elder girls were now living lives of shame. Mrs. Nuckols attempted to through that her daughter was 19 years of age and introduced in evidence a copy of the Bible, on one leaf of which was written the alleged date of the birth of her daughter Martha. She declined to state why the dates of the births of the other children were not put down. Mr. Fitzgerald took the book and upon opening it discovered that it was printed in 1899. This was a knockout blow. Mrs. Nuckols then stated that the writing had been done on Tuesday morning. She refused to say who's handwriting it was. During the hearing of the case Mrs. Nuckols and her attorney Burch were given the moral support of Dr. DT Smith and several women of the Liberty League. Judge Caruth promptly refused writ and returned the girl to the care of The Sisters. In passing on the case judge Caruth said: "in this case it was shown that the mother of Martha Nuckols had brought into the world six children, three boys and three girls. The boys, on her petition stating that she could not control them, were committed to the School of Reform and are now in that institution. Of the three girls to our office at two and inmates of houses of ill -- fame. The remaining child, Martha Nuckols, when of tender years, was sent by the mother repeatedly to the places where her other daughters were plying their occupation and the most disreputable quarters of the city to get money from her sisters for the support of the family -- the mother dies living on the prostitution of the otters. One midnight this child Martha was arrested in the "red -- light district," in company with a man under such circumstances as warranted her detention up on a charge of disorderly conduct. On the trial in the Police Court the extreme penalty of the law for this offense, viz, $20 fine and a bond of $1000 for 12 months, was fixed. But on the intervention of some charitable citizens, in lieu of this judgment the Court committed her to the custody of the Board Of Children's Guardians, as under the statute it had a right to do. The Board of Children's Guardians placed her under the care of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. She is now at St. Xavier’s on Bank Street, and well cared for. It is complained that, the mother being a Baptist and the institution in which her daughter is confined being conducted by a Sisterhood of the Roman Catholic Church, she should the returned to the mother. The mother has shown her self totally incapable of raising her children in moral courses. This is not a question of religion, but of humanity. This is the only institution in the city devoted to the care and reformation of fallen women, and which places around young girls it's protesting walls and prevents them from entering upon lives of shame. I' Accurate except the Names good people of every creed should encourage this great and charitable work. I would the guilty of a crime if I said this young girl away from the control and influence of these good Sisters and gave her to this unworthy mother. I will not do this. The response to this writ is held sufficient and the writ is dismissed." Judge Caruth is to be commended for the stand he took in this case. He is not a Catholic, nor did he act through the influence of any Catholic  or set of Catholics. He acted the part of a humane man who desires to save a fellow creature from moral destruction.

 The Kentucky Irish American Louisville KY 2/21/1903
Is She Ingrate?

Mrs Hattie Nuckols, the woman who last week attempted to secure the release of her daughter, Martha Nuckols, from the Convent of the Good Shepherd, has been the recipient of charity from St Cecelia’s conference of the St Vincent de Paul Society for more than a year.

Kentucky Irish and American Louisville Kentucky February 28, 1903
 Judge Toney denied a writ of habeas corpus this week to the motley crew who are seeking to take from the care of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd the Nuckols girl, who they would save from a life of shame. In delivering his opinion Judge Toney was even more severe than Judge Caruth, who refused the writ applied for about a week before.

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