Traces of Laurel: Bakers at McKee Cemetery

This week I am writing about two former jailers. Layton Vanhook was jailer from January, 1958- March 31, 1965. He resigned due to ill health and his son Wilmer, who had been assisting him, was appointed to replace him. Wilmer Vanhook completed his father’s term serving from April 1, 1965 – December 31, 1965. Wilmer is the first jailer about whom I have written who is still living today. He is also the last living jailer for the Fourth Jail. In an interview I did with Wilmer he thought he might have been the youngest jailer in the county since he was only 32. However, if my research is correct, Daniel Hampton Lovill and John Rowan Hardin both began their terms as jailer when they were 28. Chester Scoville had just turned 29 when he took office as jailer his first term. I want to thank Wilmer who graciously provided additional information to supplement his father’s obituary.

Richard Layton Vanhook


The Sentinel-Echo, October 4, 1973, page A-3

The Rev. Layton Vanhook, 73, who served two terms as Laurel County Jailer and an ordained minister, died at 1:45 p. m. September 24 at the Marymount Hospital. He had been in declining health for 17 years.

Rev. Vanhook, retired, had been a Baptist minister for approximately 38 years. He resided on Route 5.

A lifelong resident of Laurel County, he was born April 26, 1900, the son of Franklin and Harriet Hale Vanhook and was married to Pearl Cordell, who with two daughters and one son survive: Wilmer Vanhook, Route 5; Katherine Chesnut, Hamilton; and Norma Disney, Walton, Ky., 18 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

Rev. Vanhook also leaves a sister, Mrs. Chester Harville, Route 1, London, and a half-brother, George Vanhook, Somerset.

Funeral services were conducted at 2 p. m. last Thursday at the Pine Hill United Baptist Church by the Revs. Isaac Proffitt, Bill George and R. V. Halcomb. Burial followed in the Locust Grove Cemetery at Keavy by the Bowling Funeral Home.

Children of Layton and Pearl:

Maxine Vanhook stillborn in Ohio and buried there

Lester E. Vanhook born October 22, 1926, in Cincinnati; married Ann E. Bailey; died November 15, 1969; buried Locust Grove Cemetery.

Kathrine Mae Vanhook born April 12, 1930 in Cincinnati; married Charles Raymond Chesnut; died May 20, 2016; buried Hickory Flats Cemetery in Overpeck, Ohio.

Wilmer Vanhook born January 18 1934; married Bertha Vaughn. Their children are Carolyn Herrel and Danny Vanhook.

Norma Vanhook born December 21, 1937; 1st married Curtis “Jack” Disney; 2nd married Pat Hodge; died January 19, 2020; buried Locust Grove Cemetery.

Wanda Belle Vanhook born May 22, 1942; died June 1, 1942; buried Locust Grove Cemetery.

You may contact me through the Laurel County Historical Society by calling 606-864-0607. The Laurel County Historical Society is located at 310 West 3rd Street in the old Health Department Building. Weather permitting we are open on Mondays & Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. We will open on other days by appointment. Please contact us far enough in advance to schedule a volunteer to open the library.

Due to COVID-19 and the age and health of the volunteers our library is open by appointment only. Patrons will need to adhere to CDC guidelines by social distancing and wearing masks correctly. To schedule an appointment you may call us at 606-864-0607 and leave a message or contact us through e-mail at (The first letter is a lower case l as in Laurel.) We plan to periodically check messages and hopefully respond to them in a timely fashion.

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