Bullitt County History

Bullitt County in 1918

The following description of Bullitt County was written by J. R. Zimmerman of Shepherdsville. It appeared in the Kentucky Library Commission Fourth Biennial Report, 1915-1917 in the History of Counties Section on pages 62-64. It was published in 1918.


J. R. Zimmerman, Shepherdsville, Ky.

Bullitt county lies in the north-middle section, her northwestern corner reaching almost to the Ohio river.

Bullitt county was organized in 1796, was named for Alexander Scott Bullitt, and is the twenty-second county in point of organization. It has a population of 10,350, has an area of 301 square miles and 360 miles of roadway, including sixty miles of pikes.

The county is bounded on the north by Jefferson county, on the south by Hardin and Nelson counties, on the east by Spencer county and on the west by Hardin county. It is in the Fourth Congressional, Twelfth Senatorial, Tenth Judicial, Third Appellate and Forty-first Legislative districts. Salt rivei runs almost through the middle of the county from east to west, the entire length of the county. Other important streams are: Floyd's Fork, Rolling Fork, Cox's creek, Pond creek, Knob creek, Cedar creek, Cane Run, Long Lick and Bullitt's Lick. Along the banks of these streams is to be found as fine corn lands as the State of Kentucky affords.

The hills of central, western and southern Bullitt are full of iron ore, and in the olden days when stone furnaces were scattered abroad in the land, the Belmont and Bardstown Junction furnaces used a great deal of ore, but later on larger and richer fields were found and the furnaces and iron fields of Bullitt were abandoned.

Bullitt county might be described as rolling, although there are many high hills in parts of the county, notably the southern portions, where fragments of the Muldraugh hills attain a height of eight hundred feet. Bullitt county claims one of the best agricultural and horticultural fairs in Kentucky, and since its organization, the improvement in stock has been very great.

Diversified farming is carried on here very generally, and our proximity to Louisville makes truck farming very remunerative.

Long View stock farm, near this town, is the pioneer farm in breeding the famous black cattle (Polled Angus) in this section of Kentucky.

Bullitt county has five graded high schools, and educational interest in the county is at fever heat all the time.

Shepherdsville, the county seat, was incorporated in 1793, the oldest incorporated town in Kentucky, with the exception of Harrodsburg, is located on the north bank of Salt river, has a fine flour mill, electric light plant and ice factory, two good banks and many fine stores.

The first salt made west of the Alleghenies was made at Bullitt's Lick, three miles west of Shepherdsville, and before Louisville became a village, hundreds of men worked in the salt industry at this place. The first standing army ever assembled in Kentucky guarded the salt works and killed game for the salt makers and their families.

In May, 1778, while bringing a flat-boat loaded with supplies to the salt works, Henry Crist and his companions were attacked by savages, fifteen miles below this place, and so great was the slaughter that Crist and one woman were the only ones to escape. Senator Beckham's great-grandfather (Christian Crepps) received wounds in that fight which caused his death. There is some timber in Bullitt which would be considered first-class saw timber, but the virgin timber has been cut out, and young timber has taken its place.

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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 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments are available by calling 502-921-0161 during our regular weekday hours. 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: 12 Jan 2024 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/bc1918.html