The following article by Charles Hartley originally appeared in The Courier-Journal on 6 June 2012. It is archived here with additional information for your reading enjoyment.
Although Bullitt County's population was beginning to swell in the mid 1960's, it was still essentially a rural county. It's three communities of Shepherdsville, Mt. Washington, and Lebanon Junction were the main centers of population, each with its own high school.
However, an influx of people from Jefferson County was moving into the northern parts of the county, especially in what was then called Maryville, bringing a decidedly urban flavor to the county.
By late 1965 there was a call to organize a chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce for young men in the county. Better known as Jaycees, the purpose of the organization was the improvement of the local communities, and the personal development of its members through a variety of projects.
The following February saw the organization of Bullitt County's first Jaycee Chapter. Its elected officers were Sam Hardy, president; Jack Lloyd, internal vice-president; Lonnie Dawson, external vice-president; C. L. Lane, secretary; Tom Waller, treasurer; Billy Howard Smith, Moise Napier, and Bill Beeler, directors.
Other original members included William Armstrong, William Bryant, John Carnes, Billy Carpenter, Donal Crowe, Terry Edwards, Herman Firkins, William Francis, Richard Martin, Norman McAdams, Cecil Shepherd, Norman Troutman, and David Winkenhofer.
The chapter began looking for suitable projects. One glaring problem in the county was the lack of road signs on county roads. Like most rural counties in the state at that time, there had been little need for road signs since almost everyone knew where the roads led. But with the growth in population, there were now many folks who were strangers to our roads.
In September, the chapter voted to promote a county road sign project. Tom Waller was the project chairman. They initially purchased 15 signs like the one shown here for Coral Ridge Road, and made arrangements with Fiscal Court to place them around the county.
Enthusiasm for the signs, coupled with donations from local banks, and collections from residents who wanted signs on their roads, led the chapter to order an additional 23 signs the following April. By November a total of 42 signs were on display.
Most of these signs have since been replaced by the county and cities, but for many years these Jaycee road signs guided travelers, and prevented many a wrong turn.
Another Jaycee project was the Miss Bullitt County Pageant. For the first time the winner would advance to the Miss Kentucky Pageant, thanks to the chapter's support. C. L. Lane was selected to head the pageant. Under his leadership the Jaycees and Jayettes (wives of the Jaycees), put on a fine pageant in April 1967.
Three currently well-known ladies of Bullitt County were the finalists. Second runner-up was Ann Wigginton (McAfee) who presented a dramatic scene from Thorton Wilder's play, "Our Town." First runner-up, Gwinn Thompson (Hahn), sang "I Enjoy Being A Girl," from South Pacific. Miss Bullitt County was Delores Ann Crenshaw (Mudd) who presented a dramatic reading entitled "The Creation."
In those first two years, the Jaycees had several other projects including a golf tournament in Lebanon Junction, and a drive for the Mile of Dimes led by Chester Porter in Mt. Washington, Don Hatfield in Lebanon Junction, Donald Crowe in Shepherdsville, and Terry Atherton in Maryville. But the highlight occurred on December 13, 1967.
The previous March, the Jaycees were trying to improve the looks of their newsletter. For the cover they were seeking a symbol that would immediately identify them with Bullitt County. The suggestion was made to use a picture of the county flag. Imagine their surprise when County Judge Farris informed them there was no county flag. With that a project was born.
With the help of local artist Chuck Crume, and the Bullitt County Historical Committee, the Jaycees presented their flag concept to Fiscal Court in September for its approval. It was received enthusiastically.
The flag, shown here, has a white background representing salt which was so important to early county history. The color green was used to represent the beautiful landscape. The circle of 20 stars represents Bullitt County's rank as the 20th county created in the state. 1796 is the year the county was created. The crossed muskets represent the pioneer days and the battles fought to gain and hold the land.
Since the county was created on December 13, 1796, the flag was presented to the county on that day in 1967 at Roby Elementary School. At the event, C. L. Lane presented the flag to Judge Farris following a presentation of county history by Tom Pack. A writer for The Pioneer News described the scene this way: "Everyone there left the ceremony with a deeper sense of pride in being a Bullitt Countian, a Kentuckian, and an American. Hats off to these young men of the Bullitt County Jaycees!" To which we add a hearty amen!
Copyright 2012 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.