The following article by Charles Hartley was originally published on 8 Jan 2014.
The Bullitt County History Museum has identified over 300 different cemeteries in the county with at least five of them containing more than 1000 burials. While we have some large cemeteries, most of them are fairly small. Many are tucked away in the forests and hollows, or hidden away on Fort Knox land where they are seldom visited or even seen by the general public.
However, that's not true of one particular cemetery that sits just beside a busy road. Many of you pass by it almost every day, and perhaps have cast an eye its way in curiosity. This Jackson family cemetery, surrounded by a black metal fence, contains just seven burials, all of whom were laid to rest between 1871 and 1883.
John Jackson, the family patriarch, was born in Fauquier County, Virginia about 1799. We don't know who his parents were, but young John left home at eighteen and headed west into Kentucky. It's likely that his father was a cooper, as this was John's trade for much of his life.
He first settled in Shelby County where he married Lydia Holloway in 1822. They lived there until sometime in the late 1830's when they moved to Spencer County. Then sometime in the 1840's they uprooted again, and moved to Bullitt County where John purchased a farm in 1853 from Caleb and Matilda Tucker that lay about two miles from Shepherdsville.
This 161 acre farm was part of a larger tract of 361 acres that Woodford and Louisa McDowell sold to the brothers William and Caleb Tucker in 1848. It was also likely part of the larger estate of John McDowell, an early settler and saltmaker in the county.
John and Lydia had eight children, five daughters and three sons. Their youngest daughter Mary married Philip Yenawine in 1863 here in Bullitt County. They had three children, and were living on the Jackson farm in January 1871 when Philip died.
At Philip's death, John Jackson, who was blind by this time, directed that Philip be buried near the edge of the farm where it lay next to the Shepherdsville - Mt. Washington road.
Then ten months later, in November, Lydia Holloway Jackson died in her seventieth year. Space was left next to Philip's grave, and then Lydia was buried south of that plot.
John and Lydia's eldest daughter, Nancy Jane was born in Shelby County just before Christmas 1823. She married John Harrison Bridges in Spencer County in 1843, and they had four boys and a girl by the time they were living in the Crossroad section of Jefferson County in 1860. Then Nancy Jane died in January 1874 and her remains were returned to her parent's farm and interred in the growing family plot.
John and Lydia's youngest son, John was born in 1841 in Spencer County. He married Margaret Robards, daughter of William and Mary Jane (Deacon) Robards, and they had a son named William the next year. Then two years later they were blessed with a daughter they named Josie. She was approaching her fifth birthday when she became ill and died in September 1875. Once again the family gathered at the small cemetery to say good-bye.
Margaret Jackson was born in 1834 while John and Lydia were still in Shelby County. She married J. C. Holt in the mid 1850's, and by 1867 they had two sons and a daughter they named Mary. They would have three more daughters, but Mary was lost to them when she died in April 1876. Nine year old Mary Holt was the fifth to be buried in the Jackson plot, and John's second granddaughter, both of whom were born after John lost his vision.
Three years later in his eightieth year, John Jackson himself was buried beside his wife Lydia, leaving behind seven children and quite a few grandchildren to mourn his passing.
The farm would remain in the family for another decade, and during that time Margaret Jackson Holt died in 1883 and was buried beside her daughter Mary; the final grave dug in the small fenced-in plot.
Of the other children of John and Lydia Jackson, Mildred Ann Jackson married William Cook in Spencer County where they continued to live.
Judith Jackson married James T. Bishop and they moved to Union County, Kentucky where they reared a family of nine children. Judith died there in 1882.
Andrew Jackson was a school teacher in 1860, and we believe he may have been a minister at Pleasant Grove for a short time. He married Elizabeth Ridgway, daughter of Richmond and Frances Ridgway, and they had a daughter named Ellen.
James William Jackson married Sarah Elizabeth Holloway and they lived on their farm in northern Bullitt County near the county line. Among their eight children was a son they named John Thomas Jackson. J. T. moved to Lexington where he operated a lumbering business.
By 1889 the farm was in the hands of James William Jackson, and in December of that year he sold it to Hayden Bridwell who owned a neighboring farm.
In the deed it was expressly stated that "the first party reserves the grave yard now enclosed and enough land immediately west of said grave yard lot, the same width of the lot now enclosed as will make one-eighth of an acre. That is one-eighth of an acre including that already enclosed."
And reserved it is, all these years later. But don't you just imagine that John and Lydia would be amused at that great big giraffe that stands watch over their resting place. And now you know just exactly where the Jackson Family Cemetery is.
Copyright 2014 by Charles Hartley, Shepherdsville KY. All rights are reserved. No part of the content of this page may be included in any format in any place without the written permission of the copyright holder.