LeComptes of Castle Haven

Sketches of Some Famous LeComptes

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© 2004-23
Cite as: LeCompte, Kirkwood.
"LeComptes of Castle Haven."
[Online] .

Noteworthy LeCompte Profiles

Anthony & Hester LeCompte

Calais Region Marked on Map of France Close Up Map of Calais Region
Approximate location of Antoine and
possibly Hester's birthplace in France.

Anthony (Antoine) LeCompte was born sometime before 1620, most likely near Calais in the ancient French region of Picardie (known as Nord-Pas-de-Calais in 2003). Although we know nothing certain about his childhood, he was probably the son of Calvinist protestant parents who were living to see King Henry IV of France issue his Edict of Nantes (1598), which bestowed limited religious freedom upon the Huguenots. His great-grandparents may well have lived under English rule, as Calais had been held by the English from 1346 to 1558.

Anthony came of age during the rule of King Louis XIII and, more importantly, his Chief Minister, Cardinal Richelieu of the Roman Catholic Church. Long before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes (1685), Anthony's family must have felt the increasing pressure to convert to Catholicism and may have even been forced to give up their land due to geographic restrictions on the practice of their religion.

Anthony fled his mostly Catholic homeland for England sometime after La Rochelle fell in 1628 to Richelieu's army, a foreboding of the end of protestant privileges, especially for the small number of Huguenots living north of Paris. In England, Anthony is reputed to have fought for the causes of King Charles I as a Lieutenant in the British Army, and even earned titles. However, as a French Huguenot (that is, a Calvinist protestant), Antoine would have been more likely to serve in the victorious New Model Army of Cromwell rather than the defeated Royalist Army of King Charles. In 1819 his great-grandchildren, Thomas and Daniel LeCompte tell us that Anthony:

"... joined the British army and fought eleven years for the King of Great Britain and when the wars were over his name was so great, and for his valor, had him knighted and the title of 'Monsieur' (Sir) given to him, and his 'coat of arms,' also which as we have heard from our ancestor is now in the tower of London ..."

Unfortunately, the brothers' testimony is the only reference to English knighthood that can be found. A search in May 2004 by William Hunt, Windsor Herald for the College of Arms in London, concluded that no knighthood of Antoine LeCompte (or its various spellings) is to be found in England. However, there remains the possibility that Antoine carried his family Arms from the European continent rather than for service to the English King.

After the Civil war in England between the Cavaliers and the Roundheads, and the subsequent execution of King Charles, Anthony headed for America. Whether his trip was self-financed or aided by others in the Huguenot community is currently unknown, but we do know that Anthony would later sponsor the crossings of other French Huguenots in the 1660s, such as Jean Gautier (John Gootee Sr.) who was also from Calais.

Choptank River Region
LeCompte and Horn explored the coastline
of the Choptank in search of safe haven.

Anthony arrived on the Chesapeake Bay before 1655, possibly as early as October 1650, and acquired 75 acres of land, "Compton," on the Western Shore near St. Mary's in Calvert County, Maryland. However, the Eastern Shore tended to attract those who wished to practice their religion freely, particularly French Huguenots. So, Anthony embarked on a scouting trip around 1658 with a man named Horn. They both decided that waterfront property on the Choptank suited their needs. Anthony probably considered the Eastern Shore a very safe place - perfect for the family he envisioned raising there - despite its remoteness and even the threat of Indians.

We know from the church register of St. Helen's Chapel Bishopsgate in London that Anthony returned to England in 1661 and married a young French woman, Hester Dottantte (also known as Esther Doatloan) from Dieppe, Normandy. Hester (most likely pronounced 'es-stair') was perhaps 20 years younger than Anthony. We know nothing about Hester's life before marriage, but we presume her family also fled France because of religious persecution.

We don't know how or where Anthony and Hester first met, but the proximity of Dieppe to Calais means the families may have been known to each other previously, or they may have lived in the same section of London along with other French emigrants of that period. Perhaps Anthony returned to Englandwith the intention to secure a wife, gather supplies and start a family. We do know they settled on Anthony's 700 acres, a land grant from Lord Baltimore, which was later patented as 800 acres, on the Choptank River in the New World, a place first known as St. Anthony, and later referred to as Castle Haven Neck.

Anthony and Hester raised their children along the creek and bay that would later bear their surname, and which became part of Dorchester County in 1669. Anthony was chosen as one of the county's first justices of the peace a few years before his death in 1673.

Editor's Note: Where was Anthony baptized? Who was his family in France? With whom did he fight in England? Is there really a coat-of-arms attributable to him? How did Hester and her family come to be in London? Who was her family?

  • "Edict of Nantes." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. (2001). [Online] 2003 at
  • Atchley, Sharon and John Wylie. "Regions: Nord-Pas-de-Calais." [Online] 2003 at
  • Daniel, Dr. Gwyneth R., "The Huguenots In France." [Online] 2003 previously at
    http://www.descroissette.com/huguenots2.html and
  • Jones, Elias. "Revised History of Dorchester County Maryland." (Baltimore: 1925).
    [Not Available Online] [1902 version is online]
  • Stanley, Dennis. "Maryland LeCompte Family Geneaological Project." 1999-2001. [Online] 2001 previously at
  • LeCompte, Thomas & Daniel. "Historical Statement of the LeCompte Family." 1819, Cambridge, MD. Transcribed 1859 by Richard T. Bryan, Leavenworth, KS. Transcribed 2003 by Kirkwood LeCompte. [Online] 2004 at

Artist Rowan LeCompte

The Triumphal Entry
The Triumphal Entry,
stained glass window
designed by Rowan
LeCompte at
Washington National

Rowan LeCompte was an artist. Inspired at the age of 13 by the blessed poetry and radiant glory of stained glass, he went on to design and install more than 45 windows for the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. Rowan mastered and then advanced techniques that date back to the 12th century. His glasswork can be found illuminating observant souls in cathedrals, museums, and galleries worldwide. And age hasn't softened his passion, as he continues to produce heart-lifting glasswork that undoubtedly inspires the next generation of craftsmen.

National Cathedral Rose Window
Enlarge The stained glass Creation Rose Window at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. by Rowan LeCompte.

His most popular work is undoubtedly the "Creation Rose," set above the west front portal of Washington National Cathedral in 1976. This spiritual masterpiece, 25 feet in diameter, contains over 10,500 shards of glass that unite, with the help of the sun's rays, to illuminate LeCompte's abstract vision of the beginnings of our universe.

The National Cathedral web site describes Rowan's early years as follows:

"As a thirteen-year-old boy visiting the Cathedral in 1939, he was awestruck by the north rose window, the masterpiece of artisan Lawrence Saint. LeCompte resolved that day to learn everything he could about stained glass.

"Long conversations with Cathedral architect Philip Hubert Frohman led to his first Cathedral commission when he was just sixteen years old. He visited the Cathedral on January 2, 1942, to show Frohman his watercolor design for a little window in tiny St. Dunstan's Chapel (now the Cathedral Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage). Frohman marveled at LeCompte's sketch and LeCompte left that day with an offer from the Building Committee to create the window.

"As a young Army soldier during World War II, he found himself standing in Notre Dame Cathedral. With him on that historic day was another soldier, Charles Matz, who would become the principal author of the iconographic scheme for the Cathedral's eighteen clerestory windows. When LeCompte returned home in 1946, he began his formal arts education studying with Ben Benn and at the New School of Social Research in New York. Further studies came at the American University and the Institute of Contemporary Arts in Washington, D.C."

Photo of Rowan with family of Kirwood A. LeCompte
Rowan LeCompte visits with his cousins Cathy, Nate, Kirk and Adam LeCompte, summer of 2007.

Rowan's precision, dedication, and artistry captured the imagination of Norman Rockwell who first witnessed the young artisan patching a stained-glass window in Westminster Abbey. Years later, after Rowan and his wife Irene shared their latest designs with Rockwell in his Stockbridge studio, Rockwell decided to adapt his recollection to canvas. The finished work, which became the cover of the Easter edition of the Saturday Evening Post in 1960, shows Rowan, kneeling on a wooden support, tools-in-hand, intently patching a larger-than-life stained-glass recreation of the Resurrection.

Rowan LeCompte on Cover of Post

Rowan LeCompte, in a Norman Rockwell painting, on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, April 16, 1960.
© Curtis Publishing

In 2001, Rowan LeCompte offered this benediction upon the stained glass in his beloved National Cathedral: "May all the windows work together to achieve a great visual music that will sing harmoniously with the architecture so to truly lift the heart and in every moment of daylight offer up its radiant prayer of passionate praise and gratitude."

Genealogy of Rowan LeCompte
(Rowan8 > Stuart B.7 > Stephen Barnett6 > Moses5 > Moses4 > William3 > Moses2 > Anthony1)
Rowan Keith LeCompte was born in Baltimore, MD on March 17, 1925, second son of Stuart B. & Helen LeCompte Sr. In 1950, at the age of 25, he married Irene Matz, sister of Charles Matz of New Jersey. The couple resided in New Jersey and worked together as artists in New York, NY. Irene passed away in 1970 after a long illness. Rowan memorialized her in a mosaic in the Resurrection Chapel of the Washington National Cathedral. Rowan married second, Peggy Monet. Rowan had no children by either marriage. Rowan passed on February 11, 2014 in Fishersville, VA.

Additional Information

For more on Rowan LeCompte, visit this April 2009 NPR archived summary and radio interview, and if you can find it, a lecture at the National Cathedral from March 2001.

An archive of ALL of Rowan's stained glass is underway at rowanlecomptewindows.com.

Check out the documentary film, "Let There Be Light," about the creation of Rowan's final masterpiece.

Let There Be Light Trailer
from director Peter Swanson on Vimeo.

Streaming online at Amazon Prime

  • National Cathedral Web Site [Online] 2003 at
  • LeCompte, Rowan. "Lecture with Rowan LeCompte." (Wash., D.C.: 24-Mar-2001). [Online] 2003 previously at
  • Norman Rockwell Museum of VT. "Newsletter." 1999. [Online] 2003 previously at
  • Various Correspondence in Library of Kirkwood A. LeCompte. (1998-2003). Contact
  • Glassmasters. "Legendary Stained Glass: Creation Rose" 1999. [Online] 2003 previously at

Cover of Saturday Evening Post is © Copyright Pineapple Publishing, Curtis Publishing Co., All Rights Reserved.

Judge Samuel Dexter LeCompte

Judge S. D. LeCompte
Only known photo of Judge LeCompte as published by the Kansas Historical Quarterly. Enlarged from postage-size picture in the collection of the Kansas State Historical Society showing members of the Kansas House of Representatives of 1868.

Samuel Dexter LeCompte is most often remembered as the first Chief Justice of the Kansas Territorial Supreme Court, a position he held for 5 turbulent years (1854-1859) as the settlers of that territory wrestled violently over whether Kansas would be admitted to the Union as a free-state or a slave-holding state.

[ For a recent article on Judge LeCompte's days in Bleeding Kansas, visit Kansas History Online. ]

By all accounts, Judge LeCompte was not a neutral party in the days of "Bleeding Kansas." He is on record as writing:

"To the charge of a pro-slavery bias, I am proud, too, of this. I am the steady friend of Southern rights under the constitution of the United States. I have been reared where slavery was recognized by the constitution of my state. I love the institution as entwining itself around all my early and late associations."

Although he avoided and condemned the violence and fraud that prevailed around him, LeCompte did go out of his way to lend federal judicial support to the political interests of the pro-slavery legislature in the Territory, a legislature that was considered "Bogus" by many for it was elected by a flood of Missouri citizens, labeled "Border Ruffians," who claimed to be Kansas settlers. For championing their cause, and to honor their powerful political ally, the pro-slavery contingent renamed their intended state capital LeCompton and made Judge LeCompte the President of the LeCompton Town Company.

For his support of slavery in the 1850s, LeCompte was vilified by the leaders of the Free Soil and Abolitionist movements for the rest of his life. Some historians have even allowed him to be blamed for the "sack of Lawrence" by a mob of pro-slavery men, an event of which he had no prior notice and in which he had no authority to intervene anyway. President Pierce, the man who appointed LeCompte in the first place, even attempted prior to the 1856 election, to remove LeCompte as a plausible scapegoat, an effort that Congress failed to support.

There is no doubt that LeCompte found himself on the wrong side of history. However, those who were personally acquainted with LeCompte have consistently described him as a diligent student, a respectable lawyer, a prominent Democratic politician, and possessed of the personal instincts and demeanor of a gentleman" and as a "learned" and "good humored gentleman, more violent in his words than in his acts."

Long before he was appointed a territorial Judge to Kansas and thrust into the national spotlight, Samuel Dexter LeCompte had proven himself a solid lawyer and respected politician. Born and raised in Cambridge, MD, he attended Kenyon College in Ohio for two years before transferring to Jefferson College, PA, where he graduated with honors in 1834 at the age of 20. Returning to Maryland, he studied law with the honorable Henry Page of Dorchester County.

From 1837-1844 he practiced law in Westminster, Carroll County, MD, outside Baltimore, and was elected to the State Legislature (1841-1842). It was here that he met Camilla Anderson, who became his wife in 1841. After the birth of his second child in 1843, they relocated to Cambridge, MD, where Camilla gave birth to another 8 children, most of whom died in infancy. In 1850 he was defeated as the Democratic candidate for Congress. In 1854, they returned to Camilla's hometown of Baltimore, where he continued his law practice and remained active in the Democratic party.

In October 1854, LeCompte was appointed by President Franklin Pierce to serve as chief justice of the supreme court of Kansas, a position he held until March 9, 1859. After his days as a federal judge, LeCompte continued to live and practice law in Leavenworth, KS. After the war he renounced his position on slavery and became a republican. He served as a probate judge, served on the state legislature, and was even elected chairman of the Republican Congressional Committee of the First District in 1874.

It is not known when his wife died, but his eldest son died of a tragic fall in 1860, leaving only two living children. LeCompte moved in with one of these sons in 1887 in Kansas City, and died there in 1888.

Genealogy of Samuel Dexter LeCompte
(Samuel Dexter6 > Samuel D.5 > ?4 > James3 > John2 > Anthony1)
Samuel Dexter LeCompte was born December 13, 1814 in Dorchester County, MD, eldest of Samuel D. LeCompte and Araminta (Frazier) Smoot. On April 28, 1841, at the age of 26, he married, at Todd's Point in Dorchester County, MD, Camilla Anderson of Baltimore, MD, age about 19. They resided in Carroll County, MD and later Baltimore, MD, then Lecompton, KS and Leavenworth, KS. They issued as many as 10 children, most of whom died young. In 1887 he moved in with his son in Kansas City, KS, where he died on April 24, 1888.

Samuel's parents, Samuel and Araminta, were both previously married and widowed, so in addition to his three younger sisters, Henrietta, Margaret, and Araminta, Samuel had two half-brothers, and two half-sisters. His elder half-brother Edward Price LeCompte served as Clerk of Dorchester County, MD and had a son, Edward White LeCompte, who was Maryland's Secretary of State under three governors. His other half-brother, Joseph Smoot, died in early manhood. Little is know about his half-sisters, Elizabeth and Mary Smoot.

Samuel's younger sister, Henrietta, married Joseph Richardson Eccleston, brother-in-law of Samuel Woodward LeCompte. This is of interest because Samuel W. LeCompte's brother, Benjamin Woodward LeCompte is the one who sat down with two blind family members to record the often quoted LeCompte Family Manuscript in 1819. Clearly, Judge Samuel was well acquainted with Benjamin, beyond the consideration that they were 4th cousins, which helps explain why he possessed an original copy of the 1819 manuscript.

[Editor's note: does anyone know more about Samuel D. LeCompte's progeny? Any living descendants? Does anyone know how he got on the short list to be chief justice of Kansas?].

  • Malin, James C. "Judge LeCompte and the 'Sack of Lawrence,' May 21, 1856." Kansas Historical Quarterly. (Aug & Nov 1953). Vol. 20, No. 7 pps 465-494, and No. 8 pps 553-597. Transcribed by Tod Roberts for the Kansas Historical Society. [Online] 2003 at
    http://www.kshs.org/publicat/khq/1953/53_7_malin.htm and
  • Willis, Mary-Sherman. "The Fight For Kansas: The Letters of Cecilia and John Sherman." [Online] 2003 at
  • Nicolay, John G. & John Hay. "Abraham Lincoln: A History." Volume 1, p.289+. Transcribed by Project Gutenberg EBook volunteers 27-Jan-2003. [Online] 2003 previously at
  • PBS Online. "Bleeding Kansas 1853-1861." Africans in America, Part 4, Resource Bank. (WGBH: 1998). [Online] 2003 at
  • Blackmar, Frank W. "Kansas: A Cyclopedia of State History." Volume II, p.128. (Chicago: 1912). Transcribed July 2002 by Carolyn Ward. [Online] 2003 previously at
    updated url: http://www.ksgenweb.org/archives/1912/l/lecompte_samuel_d.html
  • Jones, Elias. "Revised History of Dorchester County Maryland." (Baltimore: 1925).
    [Not Available Online] [1902 version is online]
  • Woolston, Barbara & Steve <woolston@dmv.com>. "Marriage Records 1780-1921 Dorchester County Maryland." USGenWeb Archives. [Online] 2003 previously at
  • LeCompte, Samuel Dexter. "Samuel LeCompte the Surveyor." Transcribed 1859 by Richard T. Bryan, Leavenworth, KS. Transcribed 2003 by Kirkwood LeCompte. [Online] 2004 at
  • LeCompte, Thomas & Daniel. "Historical Statement of the LeCompte Family." 1819, Cambridge, MD. Transcribed 1859 by Richard T. Bryan, Leavenworth, KS. Transcribed 2003 by Kirkwood LeCompte. [Online] 2004 at
  • Biographical And Historical Catalogue of Washington & Jefferson College. "Samuel Dexter LeCompte." Email 19-Sep-2003 from Michelle Wybranowski, Office of Alumni Relations.
  • Kansas State Historical Society and University of Kansas. "Samuel Dexter Lecompte, 1814-1888." Territorial Kansas. [Online] 16-Sept-2003 at

Pioneer Charles LeCompte

Like so many colonial families of the Eastern Shore, the LeComptes of Castle Haven can mostly be found in Maryland from the 1600s through the 1800s. The pioneer spirit led very few away. One early exception was the father of Charles LeCompte, Robert Winsmore LeCompte.

Although his motivation is not on record, we do know that Robert sold his land interests for 1000 lbs of tobacco and £5 cash to his brother James in 1748, and then headed toward the Kentucky frontier with his wife.

That pioneering spirit was passed on to their son Charles who was born during their travels through, or shortly after their arrival in, Monongahela County, PA (what is today Pittsburgh). There is sketchy and conflicting information about the family life of Robert and his wife after leaving Maryland. But we can attribute the majority of the LeCompte frontier families to the descendants of their son Charles.

Elkhorn Creek by Gene Burch
"Elkhorn Creek." Copyright 1992 by Gene Burch.
Charles LeCompte led several expeditions up the Kentucky River into the Elkhorn region.

We first learn about Charles in his twenties, when he leads a party of would be landclaimers down the Ohio and up the Kentucky River in 1775. Anthony Lindsay and other Marylanders joined up with LeCompte, who in turned joined up with William McConnell and other Pennsylvanians at Fort Pitt. We learn from the research of Kenneth Lindsay:

"At Fort Pitt, they built canoes, a flatboat for their horses, gathered supplies of food and gunpowder. They made their way down the Ohio River, camping on the south bank each night. They were all cautious men and well aware the Shawnees watched their progress.

They made camp at the confluence of the Ohio and Kentucky Rivers. This was where the present city of Carrollton in Carroll Co., Kentucky, now stands. Each day they fanned out to explore the new territory on both sides of the Kentucky River. They moved on down that river to the mouth of the Elkhorn River. Again, they set up camp and explored both banks of that river, before moving on down to the forks of the Elkhorn.

They moved their camp to the forks, and spent weeks exploring the land drained by both branches of that stream. They liked what they saw. William McConnell was a surveyor and staked all their claims. The next few weeks was spent building cabins as improvements. William McConnell and a few others remained. LeCompte led the others back up the Ohio to Cox's Fort by canoe. After a brief stay at this fort, they made their way to Fort Pitt. The party divided, each returning to their respective homes."

In 1779, LeCompte would lead a wagon train of pioneers, including the Lindsay family, back to the claimed lands. These expeditions would preserve the name LeCompte to the present day, as part of the Kentucky River and its tributaries were named in recognition of his leadership. See LeCompte's Bottom and LeCompte Run. The region known as Stamping Ground and Buffalo Spring in Scott County, KY, also apparently owe their name to LeCompte and McConnell, who, although they may not have been the first to see the place, gave the ancient herding trail and watering hole of the American Buffalo it's lasting name.

In 1780 Charles is recorded as having served with George Rogers Clark in a campaign against the Shawnee Indians, and as protecting the fort at Georgetown during the Revolution. He also appears to have fought at the bloody Battle of Blue Licks on August 19, 1782 against a superior force of Indians and British-Canadians.

Charles married sometime between 1779 and 1787 (probably closer to the latter), Elizabeth Coons (Kuntz?), presumed daughter of David Coons, in Jefferson County, VA. Elizabeth, based on ongoing research, appears to be the widow of Coleman Brown (d. abt 1776), and also Reuben Waits (d. abt 1780). Together they reared 7 or more children, one of whom would become a Kentucky Congressman.

Genealogy of Charles LeCompte
(Charles4 > Robert W.3 > John2 > Anthony1)
Charles LeCompte was born about 1749 in Monongahela County, PA, and is believed to be the son of Robert Winsmore LeCompte and wife. About 1787, at the age of 38, he married, at Jefferson County, VA, Elizabeth Coons Brown Waits of Kentucky County, VA, age about 37. She is believed to be the daughter of David Coons (or Kuntz), and widow of Coleman Brown and Reuben Waits. They resided in Henry County, KY and issued at least 5 children, all of whom married and left descendants. Charles died in Henry County in late 1824 or early 1825 as indicated by his last will and testament.

The marriage date of Charles & Elizabeth is unclear. One daughter, Priscilla LeCompte who married John Faught, has been assigned a birthdate prior to 1787 and as early as 1780. Another son, John LeCompte who married Sibby Brewer, must also have been been born about the time of Priscilla. Five other children appear to have been born between 1788 and 1797. While these latter children are likely the children of Elizabeth, it is not so clear that the earlier children were.

Personally, I have often wondered whether there was an intervening generation between Charles (born abt 1749) and Robert Winsmore LeCompte (born abt 1700). My only reasoning is the large gap in dates, and the fact that Charles didn't name any children Robert, but he did name at least two of them John. Unfortunately, we know little about Robert once he headed West. Even less about his other son, Samuel LeCompte. There is certainly room for additional research in this area. The research of Peden & Wright (2002) speculates that Charles has the following lineage: Charles5 > Charles4 > John3 > John2 > Anthony1.


Congressman Joseph LeCompte

As the son of pioneer and revolutionary soldier Charles LeCompte, Joseph had a family name well known along the Kentucky River. He was even raised in a place named for his father, LeCompte's Bottom in Henry County, KY. Of course, his own name became popular among his extended family as parents honored the Congressman when naming their children.

As a young man, Joseph served in the War of 1812 with the Kentucky Riflemen and participated in the Battle of New Orleans with Davy Crockett. He entered politics in his twenties as a Democrat, serving in the State House of Representatives in 1819 and 1822 before being elected four consecutive times (1825-1833) to the U.S. House of Representatives from the State's 6th district, the last time as a Jacksonian. He was a good friend of his fellow Congressman from Kentucky, the "Great Compromiser," Henry Clay.

Joseph married shortly before becoming a Congressman and had a son soon afterward. However, the couple must have found Congressional life too busy for family rearing, as their next child wasn't born until Joseph decided not to run again for federal office. After his time in Washington, D.C., he continued his political career closer to home and was elected to the State House again in 1838, 1839, and 1844.

He remained in Kentucky his whole life. When he wasn't pursuing his political career, he attended to agricultural interests. Joseph died fairly young, in his fifties, and left behind a wife and 5 children, the youngest of whom was only 7.

Genealogy of Joseph LeCompte
(Joseph 5 > Charles4 > Robert W.3 > John2 > Anthony1)
Joseph LeCompte was born December 15, 1797 (or December 18, 1791 by some accounts) in Woodford County, KY, son of Charles LeCompte and Elizabeth Coons. About 1824, at the age of 26, he married Margaret Morrison Mitchell, age about 20. They resided in Lecompte's Bottom, KY. They had at least 5 children, including a daughter who married into the Kavanaugh family. Joseph died on April 25, 1851 and is buried in a private cemetery in LeCompte's Bottom, Henry County, KY. Margaret's date and place of death is currently unknown.

[Editor's note: Actively seeking descendants of Congressman Joseph LeCompte. Please contact kirk.lecompte@usa.net.]


Congressman Karl Miles LeCompte

Congressman Karl Miles LeCompte
Portrait of Congressman Karl Miles LeCompte (published with permission of Karl M. LeCompte Memorial Library, Corydon, IA).

The son of a newspaper man and postmaster, Karl M. LeCompte was always well-informed. In 1910, the year after having graduated from State University of Iowa, Karl took over the family paper, the Corydon Times-Republican. Not surprisingly, he entered politics as a republican, and at the age of 30 was elected to the State Senate, serving from 1917-1921. While attending to his political duties, he also served in 1918 with a medical detachment of United States General Hospital. Just days before turning 40, Karl married Dorothy Tye.

At the age of 51, he became a Congressman, and was elected for 10 straight terms (1938-1958). During his tenure, he took an active interest in agricultural improvements and conservation as well as working tirelessly for better conditions for miners and laborers, a position that often grouped him with progressives rather than conservatives in the republican party. He was a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; he worked on committees for public lands and insular affairs; and twice he served as Chairman of the Committee on House Administration.

In 1959, at the age of 71, he voluntarily returned to his newspaper in Corydon. Even after retiring, he remained a contributing editor until his death in 1972.

The Congressman was honored by his family and hometown friends when the Corydon Public Library was named after him in 1977. The original library owes its start to the family of Karl's mother, especially Mrs. Ben Miles, as early as 1897. When it came time for a new library building in 1977, Karl's sister Miriam, who served as the local librarian for many years, donated a building on the town square. The town chipped in additional funds for remodeling while the library trustees secured grants for furnishings and equipment. The bulk of remodeling was financed by the estate of Karl's wife, Dorothy Tye LeCompte.

Karl was a member of the Iowa Historical Society, Sigma Delta Chi, Sigma Delta Kappa, Phi Theta Pi, Mason and Elk.

Karl Miles LeCompte (1887-1972) Genealogy of Karl Miles LeCompte
(Karl Miles8 > Charles F.7 > William W.6 > Stephen5 > John4 > William3 > John2 > Anthony1)
Karl Miles LeCompte was born September 25, 1887 in Corydon, Wayne County, IA, to Charles Francis LeCompte and Hannah D. Miles. On September 10, 1927, at the age of 39, he married Dorothy Tye, age 36, daughter of John Bell Tye & Minerva Gatliff. They resided in Corydon, IA. They had no children. He died suddenly September 30, 1972 at the age of 85 and was soon followed by his wife who died October 1973 at the age of 82. Both are buried in Corydon Cemetery.

Karl M. LeCompte had three brothers. Clarence LeRoy LeCompte and Charles Edward LeCompte died as infants before Karl was born, and William Rollin "Rollie" LeCompte died unmarried at 35. Karl also had three sisters. Miriam Belle "Dit" LeCompte was born March 19, 1890 and never married. She resided in the LeCompte family home in Corydon until her death in July 1982 at age 92. She is buried near her brothers and parents. Martha "Nell" LeCompte married Dr. Jesse Ullman Reaves and moved to Mobile, AL. They had no children. Coy married Abel Lynch Hill, resided in NC and had issue, including grandsons that carry the Congressman's name: LeCompte Hill and Karl Hill.

Interestingly, the extended family of Karl Miles LeCompte has always pronounced their name "LeCount." In fact, many LeCompte families of the Eastern Shore today pronounce their name "LeCount," while others pronounce it "LeCompt" with a short "o" sound. How Antoine pronounced it is anyone's guess, but probably "LeComt" with a long "o" sound, as is common in modern French.

[Editor's note: Actively seeking collateral descendants and ancestral information of Congressman Karl Miles LeCompte. Please contact kirk.lecompte@usa.net.]


Lecomte the Race Horse

For a brief time in the 1850s, a chestnut brown colt, known as Lecomte, was considered by many to be the fastest race horse in the world. Lecomte was named for the planter Ambrose LeComte (not a Castle Haven descendant, but may have been spelled LeCompte) after he gave the animal to his horse training friend Jefferson Wells as a gift. The town of Lecompte, LA, was named after this famous competitor. Back in the days of Lecompte High School, the yearbook carried an image of the racehorse on page one.

Race Horse Lecomte
Lecomte, a world-class racehorse from the 1850s, gave its name to a town in Louisiana.

This description of Lecomte was published in "Spirit of the Times," November 9, 1856:

"Lecomte is a rich chestnut, with white on one hind leg, which reaches a little above the pastern joint. He stands fifteen hands three inches in height. Is in a fine racing form, and well spread throughout his frame, with such an abundance of bone, tendon, and muscle, that he would be a useful horse for any purpose. His temper is excellent; he is easily placed in a race, and yet responds to the extent of his ability. He never tears himself and his jockey to pieces by attempting to run away. His action is low, smooth, and easy. His stride is about twenty-three feet, and he gets away from the score like a quarter-horse. He has a constitution of iron, the appetite of a lion, would eat sixteen quarts of feed if it was given to him, and can stand as much work as a team of mules. In a word, he has all the good points and qualities of both sire and dam, without their defects; consequently, he is about as fine a specimen of a thoroughbred as can be found in this or any other country."

Lecomte raced and frequently won at the Fairgrounds racetrack in New Orleans. His maiden victory was reportedly in 1853 at the Metairie Race Course, winning at mile heats, the second heat being the fastest run to that date. A rivalry grew between Lecomte and another thoroughbred, Lexington, who defeated Lecomte in 1854. Lecomte later avenged his loss and handed Lexington his only career defeat. In 1856, Lecomte was purchased for $10,000 by Lexington's owner, Richard Ten Broeck and sent to England where he died of colic the following year.

Each year at the Fair Grounds in New Orleans, there is a $100,000 1 mile race named in honor of Lecomte, namely the "Lecomte Stakes," also known as the "Lecomte Handicap."

  • Fair Grounds Race Course. "Racing Hall of Fame: Lecomte". [Online] 2003 at
  • Eakin, Sue. "Rapides Parish History." (LA: 1976). [Online] 2003 previusly at
  • MEKenyon. "Re: City Founders of LeCompte Louisiana." 30-Dec-2001. [Online] 2003 at
  • Thompson, Gaytha Carver. "Town: Lecompte, Rapides Parish, Louisiana." (USGenWeb). [Online] 2003 previously at

Recommended Reading:

Game Warden E. Lee LeCompte

E. Lee LeCompte was a past President of the International Association of Game, Fish and Conservation Commissioners (renamed IAFWA in 1976)

E. Lee LeCompte, a lifelong resident of Dorchester County, MD, is most remembered for his career as State Game Warden from 1916 to 1945. James Michener, in his 1978 book "Chesapeake," modeled his game warden character after LeCompte. However, his fellow Cambridge citizens may well remember him simply as the owner of E. Lee LeCompte & Co, a shoe store with the motto "Footwear - That's All."

Maryland District Warden Bage
Former Game Warden Badge

Before the Maryland Conservation Commission appointed this 41 year old into the role of Game Warden, E. Lee had served as President of the Dorchester County Fish and Game Protective Association. During his tenure with the State, he also served as President of the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (1925-26), Chief of the American Fisheries Society (1930-31), and Chairman of the American Game Conference in Baltimore (1938). His duties made him a frequent and popular speaker to sportsmen and conservationists across the State and beyond.

Early in his administration, LeCompte played a key role in enacting the first statewide hunting license law. Anticipating licensing revenue of $35,000 in the first year (1918), state officials actually generated $61,770.43.

Another interesting tidbit from the past comes from a "Backtrack" posting by the Baltimore Sun looking back 75 years from August 6, 1995:

LeCompte - Sherman Hunting Party

Enlarge This Todd Point hunting party from 1925 appears to have made their 25 duck per person limit. Pictured (left to right): Thomas Leonard, Howard M. Sherman, Granville S. LeCompte, Olin LeCompte, Joseph Robbins.

75 Years Ago
We have received a complete copy of the Maryland Conservation Laws from E. Lee LeCompte. At the last session of the Legislature a number of the laws were made uniform throughout the State. It will also be necessary for persons to procure a license from the Clerk of the Court, unless he be the owner or resident of the land, when no license will be necessary. The license fee will cost $1.10 which will entitle him to hunt in the county in which he procures the license, or $5.10 for a State-wide license. A non-resident of this state must pay $10.25. In addition a permit must also be obtained from the owner or tenant on whose grounds it is desired to hunt. There are also bag limits and restrictions on the disposition of game similar to the few past years. For some years there had been two open seasons when it was lawful to kill squirrels. The 1920 law provides for but one open season for killing squirrels, the same as for rabbits and partridges - November 10th to January 1. Union Bridge Pilot, August 6, 1920.

A line from his 1947 obituary reads, "Always an advocate of game laws with teeth in them, Mr. LeCompte largely was responsible for the system of game and bird sanctuaries throughout the State. An ardent conservationist, he sponsored much legislation protecting streams and the State's game and bird life. He always urged hunting in moderation."

The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) honored the conservation work and values of E. Lee LeCompte by giving his surname to the LeCompte Wildlife Management Area (WMA), which serves as a public, 500 acre refuge for many native flora and fauna, an outdoor laboratory for wildlife biologists, and a nature walk for visitors.

E. Lee LeCompte (1874-1947) Genealogy of Edwin Lee LeCompte
(Edwin Lee7 > Francis Asbury6 > Hugh5 > Moses4 > William3 > Moses2 > Anthony1)
Edwin Lee LeCompte was born October 18, 1874 in Salem, Dorchester County, MD, sixth son of Francis Asbury & Eveleene Foxwell LeCompte. On December 27, 1897, at the age of 23, he married at Grace Methodist Church in Cambridge, Delia Augusta Sherman, age 20, daughter of James N. Sherman and Martina Augusta Hurley. Delia was born June 27, 1877 at White House Farm near Bucktown in Dorchester County, MD. They resided in Cambridge, MD. Although they had no children of their own, they raised Delia's niece, Lucille Phillips, daughter of Henry H. & Anna Margaret Sherman Phillips.

Delia S. LeCompte (1877-1944) Delia died 29 July 1944 at the age of 67 (see obituary). E. Lee died a couple of years later on March 16, 1947 at the age of 72 (see obituary). They are buried in Christ Church Cemetery in Cambridge. Lucille Phillips died unmarried at the age of 86 on March 4, 2001 in Cambridge. Despite having 11 siblings, Mr. LeCompte was survived by only four nephews, the youngest of whom honored his uncle by naming his youngest child Edwin Lee LeCompte. His namesake still wears the watch his great-uncle received after 25 years of loyal service to the State of Maryland.


Secretary Edward W. LeCompte

By all accounts, Edward White LeCompte was a thoroughly well-liked and industrious gentleman. When he passed away at the age of 61, The Evening Capital noted that there were no shortage of mourners:

"The funeral of Secretary of State Edward W. LeCompte took place from Christ Protestant Episcopal Church yesterday afternoon and was attended by over a thousand persons, including a large number of prominent officials and citizens from various parts of the State. Almost every section of Dorchester county was represented and the church would not accommodate the congregation."

Maryland State Seal
As Secretary of State, Edward W. LeCompte was official custodian of the Great Seal of Maryland and responsible for applying the seal to official documents. (More about seal)

Edward was the second oldest of nine children, 4 of whom died in infancy. His father, a clerk for Dorchester County, died when Edward was 11. Edward's paternal uncle was Judge Samuel Dexter LeCompte.

Edward served as Register of Wills for Dorchester County for twenty-four years. In 1866, he was Commissioner of the Dorchester and Delaware Railroad, the first railroad in Cambridge, MD. In 1868 he was director of the first telegraph company in Dorchester County. Active in politics, he served as Secretary of State from 1886 to 1893 under democratic Governors Lloyd, Jackson, and Brown.

As Secretary, Edward earned $2,000 a year. According to the Maryland State Archives, "An article from The Evening Capital of April 8, 1890 shows that a large part of his responsibilities as secretary of state was opening the governor's incoming mail; that task frequently took him half of his workday."

Edward served as the first President of the Maryland Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), his maternal grandfather, Edward White, being the patriot ancestor. He was elected on April 20, 1889 when thirty-six charter members met in the Old Senate Chamber in the State House in Annapolis to organize the eighth oldest SAR society. It was in that very same room that General George Washington had resigned his commission as Commander of the Continental Army.

Edward was the only one of his siblings who married, and since he had no children, he marks the end of one branch of Anthony LeCompte's family tree.

Genealogy of Edward White LeCompte
(Edward White7 > Edward P.6 > Samuel D.5 > ?4 > James3 > John2 > Anthony1)
Edward W. LeCompte was born July 28, 1831 in Dorchester County, MD, eldest son of Edward P. LeCompte and Emily White. On December 6, 1853 in Dorchester County, MD, at the age of 22, he married Mary Elizabeth Wall age 24, born August 10, 1829, died July 11, 1909. They resided in Cambridge, MD and had no issue. Edward died at home on May 5, 1893 and was buried May 8 at Christ Protestant Episcopal Church, in Cambridge, MD.

[Editor's note: does anyone know whether Edward's mother remarried after her husband's death? She appears in 1850 census with 5 children and the Goldsborough Family].

  • Posted by Maryland State Archives. "Mr. LeCompte's Funeral." (Evening Capital: 8-May-1893). [Online] 2003 at
  • Jones, Elias. "Revised History of Dorchester County Maryland." (Baltimore: 1925).
    [Not Available Online] [1902 version is online]
  • LeCompte, Edward W. "Application for Membership to Maryland Society of the S.A.R." (Cambridge: 20-Apr-1889).
    [Not Available Online]
  • Maryland Society S.A.R. "Past Presidents." [Online] 2003 previously at
  • Hall, Henry. "Year Book of the Societies Composed of Descendants of the Men of the Revolution, 1890." (New York: 1891).[Online] 2020 at https://books.google.com/books?id=0C4KAAAAIAAJ&pg=PA123
  • Waterman, Lynn of the Legacy Preservation Library. "Executive Officers of the States and Territories: Maryland." [Online] 2003 at http://www.usgennet.org/usa/topic/preservation/gov/officers1.htm
  • Woolston, Barbara & Steve <woolston@dmv.com>. "Marriage Records 1780-1921 Dorchester County Maryland." (USGenWeb). [Online] 2003 previously at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/md/dorchester/vitals/marriages/