Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Helm, John Larue

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HELM, John Larue, governor of Kentucky, b. in Hardin county, Ky., 4 July, 1802; d. in Elizabethtown, Ky., 8 Sept., 1867. He was descended from Maj. Benjamin and Capt. Leonard Helm, of Fauquier county, Va., early pioneers of Kentucky, who were distinguished in Indian warfare. At an early age he was employed in the office of the circuit clerk, afterward studied law, was admitted to the bar, and appointed county attorney. He was in the state house of representatives in 1826-'37, and state senator from 1844 till 1848 and again from 1865 till 1867. when he resigned. He presided in the legislature seven years, was elected lieutenant-governor in 1848, and in 1850 became governor, which office he held till 1852. In 1854 he was made president of the Louisville and Nashville railroad. He was again chosen governor of Kentucky after the civil war, and was inaugurated at his residence in Elizabethtown on 3 Sept., 1867, five days before his death. — His son, Ben Hardin, soldier, b. in Elizabethtown, Ky., in 1830; d. in Georgia, 21 Sept., 1863, was graduated at the U. S. military academy in 1851, assigned to the 2d dragoons, and served in the cavalry-school for practice at Carlisle, Pa., and on frontier duty at Fort Lincoln, Texas. He resigned his commission on 9 Oct., 1852. From 1854 till 1858 he practised law in Elizabethtown. and from 1858 till 1861 in Louisville, Ky. He was a member of the Kentucky legislature in 1855-'6, and commonwealth attorney for the 3d district of Kentucky from 1856 till 1858. In 1861 he joined the Confederate army as colonel of the 1st Kentucky cavalry, served at Shiloh, and was made brigadier-general in March, 1862. He took part in the battles of Perryville and Stone River, where he commanded a division, led a Kentucky brigade at Vicksburg in the summer of 1862, and commanded a division at Chickamauga, where he was fatally wounded.