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.
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?
Daniel, Dr. Gwyneth R., "The Huguenots In France." [Online] 2003 previously at http://www.descroissette.com/huguenots2.html and http://www.descroissette.co.uk/huguenots2.html
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 http://www.horsethieves.com/lecompte/l_ant001.htm
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 http://www.lecompte.net/manuscript.htm
Artist Rowan LeCompte
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.
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.
"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
"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."
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.
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 >
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.
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.
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
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
[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?].
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 http://www.knowledgerush.com/paginated_txt/etext04/lchs110/lchs110_s1_p289_pages.html
Jones, Elias. "Revised History of Dorchester County
Maryland." (Baltimore: 1925). [Not Available Online] [1902 version is online]
Woolston, Barbara & Steve <email@example.com>.
"Marriage Records 1780-1921 Dorchester County Maryland." USGenWeb Archives.
[Online] 2003 previously at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/md/dorchester/vitals/marriages/
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 http://www.lecompte.net/manuscript.html
Biographical And Historical Catalogue of Washington &
Jefferson College. "Samuel Dexter LeCompte." Email 19-Sep-2003 from Michelle
Wybranowski, Office of Alumni Relations.
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
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.
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
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 >
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
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.
Gerding, Carla. Research notes and letters 2007, including
Will of Charles LeCompte. [Not available online]
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 >
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
[Editor's note: Actively seeking descendants of Congressman
Joseph LeCompte. Please contact
"Obituary of Mrs. B. B. Graves." The State Journal,
Frankfort, KY, August 5, 1924. Transcribed by Beulah A. Franks. [Online] 2003 previously
Jones, Elias. "Revised History of Dorchester County
Maryland." (Baltimore: 1925). [Not Available Online] [1902 version is online]
Congressman Karl Miles LeCompte
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.
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
Jaquiss, Deborah. "Karl Miles LeCompte." (Rootsweb:
23-Dec-2001). [Online] 2003 previously at http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/IAWAYNE/2001-12/1009155050 and http://archiver.rootsweb.com/th/read/IOWA/2002-04/1018460217
See also special collections department of University of
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.
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."
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."
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
Another interesting tidbit from the past comes from a "Backtrack"
posting by the Baltimore Sun looking back 75 years from August 6, 1995:
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
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.
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 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
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
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
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,
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
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
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].
Woolston, Barbara & Steve <firstname.lastname@example.org>.
"Marriage Records 1780-1921 Dorchester County Maryland." (USGenWeb). [Online]
2003 previously at http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/md/dorchester/vitals/marriages/