Bullitt County History

Bullitt Academy

Perhaps the first school in Bullitt County was the Bullitt Academy, established in Shepherdsville about 1798. It appears to have lasted at least to the time of the Civil War, and perhaps longer.

In 1798, the Kentucky General Assembly passed an act to establish a number of academies throughout the Commonwealth, including one in Bullitt County. According to The Statute Law of Kentucky by William Littell, Esq., Volume II, page 243, in "An ACT to establish and endow certain Academies," approved on 22 Dec 1798, "Henry Crist, Benjamin Summers, Benjamin Pope, Daniel Donaldson, Samuel Crow, Richard Summers, Joseph Saunders, John Lewis, Thomas Speed, Armstead Morehead, and Thomas Greenfield, be, and they are hereby constituted a body politic and incorporate, and shall be called and known by the name of the trustees of the Bullitt Academy; and they, or a majority thereof, shall fix upon a seat for the same."

A decade later, on 19 Feb 1808, in "an act to amend 'an act establishing the Town of Shepherdsville, and for other purposes,'" the General Assembly included a section that stated, "be it further enacted, That Henry Christ, Frederick W. S. Grayson, John W. Beckwith, James Alexander, David Brown, William Summers, Samuel Crow, Benjamin Summers, and Thomas Sanders, shall be, and they are hereby appointed trustees for the Bullitt academy, and they and their successors are hereby constituted a body corporate and politic, with perpetual succession, in the stead and place of the former trustees of said academy, to be known and distinguished by the appellation of "the Trustees of the Bullitt Academy," and they and their successors are hereby invested with similar powers and authorities as have been heretofore given or granted to the trustees of other academies within this state; and all acts and parts of acts of assembly within the purview of this act, are hereby repealed." [The Statute Law of Kentucky by William Littell, Esq., Volume III, page 478]

Then in his 1848 book, Historical Sketches of Kentucky, Lewis Collins wrote "Shepherdsville ... contains one Methodist church, (a handsome brick building, appropriated to the use of Bullitt Academy,) four stores, two groceries, five doctors, seven lawyers, three taverns, and twenty mechanics' shops." [page 216]

Then on 15 Feb 1860, the General Assembly authorized "Samuel A. McKay, Lorenzo Hoglan, and Robert F. Samuels, surviving trustees of Bullitt Academy" to appoint six other trustees to "act with them in the discharge of their duties, according to the charter of said academy." [Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Volume 1, 1860, page 433.]

We are seeking additional information about this school.


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The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 11 Aug 2015 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/bullitt_academy.html