Bullitt County History

Historical TidBits and Trivia

Below you will find an assortment of historical tidbits and trivia related to Bullitt County. This is an ongoing project to collect small bits of information related to the county's history and people.

As we add new items to the list they will be put at the top so that you can easily see what is new. For your convenience we have added links below that let you jump directly to an item that interests you.

1909 County Fair Advertisement
Albert S. F. Magruder
Amendment to the Act establishing Shepherdsville, passed in 1811.
Automobile dealers in Bullitt County in 1915
Bank of Shepherdsville in Early 1800's
Bank Statistics in 1906 and 1914
Benjamin Hughes, Shepherdsville postmaster in 1816
Boiler Explosion
Bullitt County Attorneys and Officials in 1922
Bullitt County Fair - 1949
Bullitt County Lawyers, 1850-54
Bullitt County officials in 1902.
Bullitt County Post Offices and Postmasters in 1859
Bullitt County Post Offices, 1856
Bullitt County school district #29 in 1883-4
Bullitt County tax assessment in 1912
Bullitt County women who enter sisterhood of the Loretto Society in 1819
Cancer Society in Bullitt County Notes
Commissioners' Audit of Bullitt County Schools - 1854
Development in Bullitt County in 1870
Dr. Benjamin M. Wible biographical sketch
Dr. John Lay Cook
Dr. Roscoe I. Kerr information
Early Brashear Marriages in Bullitt County
Ellison Sligar biographical sketch
Enlarging the Shepherdsville voting district in 1864
Fellowship of Concern Begins in Bullitt County
Fire destroys H. E. Jones' large barn in 1878.
Fiscal court and taxes in 1906
Frederick and Margaret (Hall) Lewis
General Assembly Act Empowering the County to Sell Property - 1872
General Assembly Act for Shepherdsville Baptist Church, 1841
George Penny, Mail Carrier
George W. Hinman in 1791 Bullitt County area
Grandstand Burns at Bullitt Fair Grounds
Hiram Murray Family
Holloway King, Nelson Smith and Ed Bateman
How Floyd's Fork Got Its Name
Improper relations - a Shepherdsville court case
Information Related to Adam Shepherd

Inspection stations for tobacco, hemp, and flour established in 1799.
J. H. Rogers, sheriff of Bullitt County in 1888
James Bland English, Baptist Pastor
James P. Foster biographical sketch
Jeremiah P. Hinton deposition in 1836
Joe B. Hall to coach at Regis College in 1959
John W. Beckwith biographical sketch
Joseph Alexander Ireland, M.D. biographical sketch
Judge John Speed - A Brief Sketch
Judge W. T. Simmons
Knob Creek voting precinct in 1839
Lebanon Junction Baptist Church Building Dedicated - 1907.
Lebanon Junction railroad yard in 1904
Little Flock Church in 1835
Louisville Firemen Aid Shepherdsville during 1909 Flood
Martha Alderson - Gabe Beckwith engagement in 1928
Mary Ingersoll married to Thomas Josiah Mann
Missing boy found okay in Bullitt County in 1946
Mt. Washington Academy, 1846
Nannie Helen Burroughs
News from Solitude in 1948
Pond Creek Bridge, 1907
Registered Pharmacists in Bullitt County in 1901
Robert Seaman Granger - KY Union Troops Commander
S. G. Thornsberry biographical sketch
Samuel Oldham Peyton biographical sketch
Severe Rain Causes Suicide
Shepherd - Goldsmith Marriage, 1909
Simmons family court case
Some Gentry and Polk People With Bullitt County Roots
Textbook Adoption, 1886-1889
Train Depot Construction, 1870-71
Two Civil War Quotes
W. E. Close murder in 1928
Was Henry C. Magruder a Bitter Water Blues Enlistee?
Wilhite Carpenter Death Notice
William R. Grigsby biographical sketch
William F. Joyce Obituary
William Shain and a Runaway Slave
William T. Washer and the Pond Creek bridge in 1878
William Wilson, Attorney


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According to the Bulletin of the Kentucky Department of Education in September 1909, the Bullitt County Board of Education members were S. N. Brooks, William Foster, and J. E. Magruder all of Shepherdsville, and Milton Church of Belmont. The County Board of Examiners included Mattie Glenn and C. P. Bradbury, both of Shepherdsville.

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General Assembly Act Empowering Bullitt County to Sell Property

Chapter 255

AN ACT empowering the Bullitt county court to sell the circuit and county court clerks' offices in said county.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

§ 1. That the county court of Bullitt county, a majority of the justices therein concurring, be, and the same is hereby, authorized and empowered to sell and convey the property belonging to said county known and used as the circuit and county court offices, and the lot on which the same are situated, and reinvest the proceeds of said sale as the court may direct for the benefit of said county.

§ 2. Said sale shall be at public vendue, at such time and place, and upon such terms, as may be ordered by said court : Provided, That possession shall not be given of said property until the new circuit and county court offices in said county are completed and ready for occupation.

§ 3. The said court may appoint a commissioner to make said sale, and to convey to the purchaser the property herein named.

§ 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.

Approved February 10, 1872.

page 311 Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1872

From Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1872

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Lebanon Junction Baptist Church Building Dedicated - 1907.


The new $8,000 brick meeting house of the Baptist Church at Lebanon Junction, Ky., of which Rev. C. H. Bailey is pastor, was formally dedicated the fifth Sunday in June. Dr. M. P. Hunt preached in the morning to a congregation of some 600 on "Blessed Giving," and the good people responded with a collection of $2,900, which more than covered the indebtedness.

"Dinner will be spread for all on the grounds" was announced, and adjournment was had. It is estimated that more than 1,000 people were fed and then the supply was not exhausted. In the afternoon the dedication sermon was preached by Rev. W. B. Gwynn, of Glendale, a former pastor. Pastor C. H. Bailey led the dedication prayer. This was followed by the ordination of two deacons, Pastor S. P. Martin, of Shepherdsville, preaching an appropriate sermon. The house seats about 500 and has Sunday School rooms, baptistery, and, last, but not least, a neat parsonage near by. Brother Bailey is safe and sound and makes a fine leader. He and his people are to be congratulated on their great success and splendid opportunity for the future.

Baptist and Reflector, Nashville, Tennessee, 11 Jul 1907, page 9

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General Assembly Act to Benefit Trustees of Baptist Church in Shepherdsville, 1841.

Chapter 282

AN ACT for the benefit of the Trustees of the Baptist Church in the Town of Shepherdsville.

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That the Trustees of the Baptist church at Shepherdsville, in the county of Bullitt, to-wit, Humphrey Simmons, Thomas Joyce, Samuel A. McKay, and Frederick Tevis, be, and they are hereby, authorized to sell the following lots, and parts of lots, in and adjacent to said town of Shepherdsville, (to-wit: lot number forty three, and a fraction of lot number seventy nine, and also one half of an acre near said town,) for the best price they can get.

Sec. 2. That the proceeds of the sales of said lots, made under this act, shall be applied to the payment of the debts contracted by said Trustees, in the purchase of said lots; and if there be an overplus, the said Trustees shall hold the same for the benefit of the Baptist church, in the town of Shepherdsville. The said Trustees, or the survivors thereof, upon receiving the purchase money, shall convey the title to said lots to the purchaser or purchasers thereof.

Approved, February 13, 1841

From Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky: Passed at Called Session, August, 1840, and at December Session, 1840.

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The Evening Herald, Ottawa, Kansas, Jan 29, 1898

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The Jeffersonian, Jeffersontown KY May 29, 1958

William F. Joyce, 87, Shepherdsville, Dies

William F. Joyce, 87, a retired Bullitt County carpenter and construction worker, died Saturday, May 17, in Norton Memorial Infirmary, Louisville. He was an uncle of Lawrence T. Miller, Jeffersontown.

Although he had been in failing health several months, Joyce had been active until he submitted to surgery the Thursday before his death. He had lived at Shepherdsville since 1918 and retired a few years ago.

His wife wasa the late Clara B. Miller, Jeffersontown, who died March 13, 1950. He was a past master of Bullitt Lodge of Masons, past master of Miles Lodge and a honorary member of McNeal Lodge. He was the first member of the Bullitt Lodge to receive a 50-year pin.

Also surviving are two sons, Howard M. Joyce, Shepherdsville, and Thomas P. Joyce, Brooks, Ky.; a daughter, Mrs. Mary E. Framer, Brooks; a sister living in California and several nieces and nephews.

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The following article was printed in the publication titled Power on 18 Apr 1911 (page 626).

Boiler Explosion at Mt. Washington, Kentucky

One person was instantly killed and four others were hurt, two probably fatally, when a boiler of a traction engine operating the sawmill of Brumley & Jones exploded on Thursday, April 6, 1911, at 10:15 a.m.

The accident occurred in the woods, on the farm of John Cornell, on Drake branch a mile below Whitfield in Bullitt county. The explosion was heard for miles around and caused much excitement. The injured members of the party summoned assistance from the nearest farm houses and physicians hastened to the scene. The young man who was killed was standing beside the engine, of which his brother, who was the engineer, had charge, when the boiler let go. His body was literally torn to pieces.

The engineer was scalded about the face and internally injured. It is feared that his eyesight will be permanently affected.

A laborer employed in carrying lumber from the mill was frightfully scalded and it is thought that his injuries will prove fatal.

The boiler let go without the slightest warning and caught the crew entirely unaware of the impending danger. Pieces of the wreck were picked up hundreds of yards from where the accident occurred. It is said that the engine was comparatively new and the cause of the explosion remains unexplained.

Earlier, The Bullitt Pioneer reported on the event in their April 7th issue. Below is Edith Blissett's transcription of that article.

Boiler Bursts

The boiler of Brumley and Jones sawmill near Mt. Washington exploded killing Merritt Jones, 15 and severely injured John Jones, 27, Charles Williams, 35, Ben Brumley, 50, owner of the mill, and Sam Brumley, 25. Accident happened in the woods on farm of John Cornell, on Drake branch, a little below Whitfield. Explosion heard for miles around. Drs. J. W. Turner of near Seatonville, and Overall and Settle of Mt. Washington, and Bates and Weller of Shepherdsville and Coroner Maraman were summoned.

Merritt Chester Jones was a son of J. G. and Sue (Brumley) Jones.

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The following was printed in The Jeffersonian, a local Jeffersontown paper, on 25 Jun 1948. It is typical of the kind of neighborhood reporting that was common during those days. Many names local to Bullitt County are included.

Solitude News
by Miss Jennie Bridwell

Mr. and Mrs. Louis Roby, Sr. of Valley View and Mr. and Mrs. Louis Roby, Jr. of Waterford Road, Misses Mayeleene, Jeaneene and Donna Lee Roby of Valley View and Mr. Caleb Tichenor of Mt. Washington last Sunday afternoon visitors of relatives here.

Mr. and Mrs. Snellen and family have moved from "Shorty" Berman's residence at Solitude to Chapeze.

Mr. and Mrs. Jess Deacon and Mr. and Mrs. Arnold Hopkins and baby were in Louisville last Saturday.

Miss Beatrice Biven has returned from a visit with Mr. and Mrs. Emanuel Snellen, of Deatsville.

Mr. and Mrs. Asa Lee Fulkerson and daughters spent one afternoon the past week with Mr. and Mrs. Oscar Runmange.

Mr. Jack Crenshaw of Shepherdsville spent the week-end with Mr. and Mrs. James Lavely.

Mr. Vernon Troutman has finished painting Birdwell Sister's residence and will begin painting for S. T. Wells soon the house formerly owned by Miss Mattie Thomas, deceased.

Mr. Will Hessee is having a new porch erected. Mr. and Mrs. Hessee and daughter just recently moved to Mt. Washington.

The much needed rain came at last and the farmers are very thankful.

Mr. R. L. Bridwell and sisters Misses Jennie and Norah Bridwell, were recent Sunday dinner guests of Mr. and Mrs. Louis Roby, Jr., on the Waterford Road. Other guests present were Mr. and Mrs. Louis Roby, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. James Ford Roby and family, Misses Mayeleene, Jeaneene and Donna Lee and Robert Ray Roby and Messrs. Caleb Tichenor and A. J. Roby. A delicious dinner was served which was greatly enjoyed by everyone.

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Bank of Shepherdsville in Early 1800's

In 1833, S. J. Sylvester of New York published Sylvester's Bank Note and Exchange Manual. In it he listed only two solvent Kentucky banks, both branches of the Bank of the United States, one located in Louisville and the other in Lexington. He stated, "Notes on all other banks in this state [are] uncertain." Then on page 10 he listed eleven Kentucky banks that he indicated were either insolvent banks or fraudulent institutions. Among these was the Bank of Shepherdsville.

Another publication, an almanac for the year 1835, listed the Shepherdsville bank as one of those that had failed or discontinued business sometime between 1811 and 1830.

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Textbook Adoption, 1886-1889

We recently came across the document displayed below. While we cannot say for sure if it is original, or a duplicated document, the named school superintendent, O. P. Combs, was indeed Bullitt County School Superintendent in 1887. Oliver P. Combs was identified in the State Superintendent's report for that year. We think he was the same man by that name who was a Bullitt County farmer and nurseryman for many years.

This list does give us an indication of the textbooks in use at that time.

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Information Related to Adam Shepherd

According to page 314 of The Public Papers of Governor Keen Johnson 1939-1943, edited by Frederic D. Ogden, and published in 1982 by the University of Kentucky Press, "Shortly following the Revolutionary War, Matthew Walton and Adam Shepherd, engineers who served with General Washington's army, left Virginia to seek land in Kentucky." He goes on to identify Shepherd as the founder of Shepherdsville, and that he and Walton had surveys made in 1800 that claimed the land around Cumberland Falls.

We do not have any reliable primary source for this information. We do not find Adam Shepherd listed in the DAR listings nor in the Revolutionary War pension lists. However, this does not eliminate the possibility that he did serve.

We also found two deeds along the Rolling Fork river in Washington County KY in which the heirs of Peter Shepherd are named as Adam Shepherd, Margaret Hamilton, Elizabeth Gutrey, and Susanna Shepherd. There was a Margaret Shepherd who married a John Agnew Hamilton in Baltimore MD. They appear to have had a son named for his father in 1787, as shown below. We are not certain if this is Adam's sister and her family.

Name: John Agnew Hamilton
Gender: Male
Birth Date: 9 Nov 1787
Birth Place: Maryland
Christening Date: 9 Feb 1788
Christening Place: Baltimore, Maryland
Father's Name: John Agnew Hamilton
Mother's Name: Margaret
FHL Film Number: 13699

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Livingston's Law Register for the years 1850-1854 lists the following lawyers in Bullitt County, all in Shepherdsville, the county seat.

Richard H. Field, 1850-54
Abram H. Field, 1852-54
C. C. Kalfus, 1852-54
Phil Lee, 1852-54
Nathaniel P. Saunders, 1851-54
Edwin H. Summers, 1850-51
William R. Thompson, 1850-54
William Wilson, 1850-54

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The following brief biographical sketch of William R. Grigsby comes from The Biographical encyclopædia of Kentucky of the Dead and Living Men of the Nineteenth Century (Cincinnati, J.M. Armstrong, 1878, page 697).

GRIGSBY, W. R., Lawyer, was born in Nelson County, Kentucky, November 14, 1797; and was the son of Nathaniel Grigsby, a worthy farmer of that county. He received his early education in the country schools, and started in life as a teacher. He afterwards began the study of law, under James I. Dozier, who was then a law practitioner in Shepherdsville, and began the practice of his profession in 1822. He afterwards removed to Louisville, where he practiced successfully for five years.

In the days of Andrew Jackson, he was nominated, on the Whig ticket, in Bullitt County, for seven years in succession, for the Legislature. At first the party was not strong enough to elect a candidate, but he was finally honorably elected, and, for several years, served as a member of the Legislature from Bullitt and Nelson Counties.

He removed to Bardstown, Nelson County, and is now the oldest law practitioner of Nelson County. He is still of vigorous intellect, working successfully at his profession. In politics, he has always been a Whig, and is yet devoted to the principles of that party. He has been, throughout his life, a man of exemplary moral and social habits; occupies a fine position in his profession; has, for over half a century, been one of the leading members of his community; and is one of the few remaining landmarks of the old brilliant days of the legal profession in Kentucky.

He was married, in 1844, to Miss Martha A. Newman, sister of the late Judge Newman, of Louisville. By this marriage he had four children.

He was possibly born on 14 Nov 1797 in Nelson County, and died there on 31 Aug 1887.

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Grandstand Burns at Bullitt Fair Grounds
Courier Journal, November 17, 1907

Shepherdsville, Ky., Nov 16. - [Special] - The grandstand at the Bullitt county fair grounds was burned this afternoon. By hard work the floral hall and the refreshment stands were saved. Several fine shade trees were killed by the intense heat. The fire is supposed to have been accidental. it is believed that crap shooters or hunters carelessly threw a lighted match on the dry leaves.

The fair directors intended to erect a new stand in time for next year's fair and the greatest loss is that of the shade trees. The total loss on buildings is $1,500, with $500 insurance.

The Bullitt county fair grounds are the shadiest and prettiest in the State and large crowds of Louisville people come out every year. New buildings will be erected at an early date.

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Severe Rain Causes Suicide
Bullitt Fair Secretary, Disheartened and Unstrung, Takes His Life.

Shepherdsville, Ky., Aug. 24 - The body of A. E. Cochran, 40 years old, secretary of the Bullitt County Fair, was found hanging in his warehouse and a Coroner's jury returned a verdict of suicide. He was a member of the firm of O. A. Lutes & Co., prominent in Masonic work and a steward in the Methodist church. A nervous breakdown is given as the cause of his act. The fair was in progress at the time and a severe rain cutting down the attendance is believed to have completely unstrung him, as he had devoted weeks of effort to the Fair's success. He leaves a wife and one child. His wife was Miss Edith Henderson, a school teacher. [Hopkinsville Kentuckian, August 25, 1917]

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Not all historical records are flattering. Take the case of Holloway King, Nelson Smith and Ed Bateman who drank too much, became violent, and ended up with $50 fines and thirty days in jail each.

The Kentucky Law Reporter [Volume XXXII, page 80; Frankfort: The Frankfort Printing Co., 1908] reported on an appeal of their conviction which was denied. In it we find the following statement:

"The grand jury of Bullitt county, in the name and by the authority of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, accuse Holloway King, Nelson Smith and Ed. Bateman of the offense of breach of peace which was committed as follows, to-wit; On the 9th day of September, 1905, and in the county and Commonwealth aforesaid the said Holloway King, Nelson Smith and Ed. Bateman did then and there unlawfully commit a breach of the peace by being publicly drunk, cursing and abusing Mrs. Ethel Ogle and by assaulting her and threatening to kill her husband and to kill her and calling her a liar and throwing rocks at and into the dwelling house of Rich Ogle, his wife, the said Ethel Ogle, and children being therein and by breaking the windows and doors of said house to the terror and disturbance of all good citizens then and there being contrary to the form of the statute in such cases made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the Commonwealth of Kentucky."

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Bullitt County Attorneys and Officials in 1922

According to the Adair County News, [Tuesday, April 4, 1922, page 8], the following Bullitt County attorneys and officials endorsed D. A. McCandless for Judge of the Court of Appeals of Kentucky.

Attorneys: H. H. Glen, J. R. Zimmerman, C. P. Bradbury, also Master Commissioner, T. C. Carroll, also County Attorney; Ben Chapeze, A. E. Funk, J. F. Combs, Chas Carroll.

County Officials: Lindsay Ridgway, County Clerk; E. E. McCormick, Deputy Clerk; Chas G. Bridwell, County Surveyor; Ora L. Roby, County Superintendent; O. W. Pearl, Circuit Clerk; J. A. Shelton, County Judge; E. G. Quick, Jailor; W. F. Monroe, Deputy Sheriff; A. L. Roby, Sheriff, J. H. Shafer, Coroner; Bert Shepherd, County Tax Commissioner

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William Shain and a Runaway Slave

The following notice was published in the Kentucky Gazette, a Lexington newspaper on 16 Jul 1802. It is transcribed beneath the image. It is not known if Harry, the runaway slave, managed to avoid recapture, or if he ended up working at Dry Lick.

Runaway Slave


From John Caldwell in Green county, in January last, a Negro Man named HARRY, about 5 feet, 9 inches high, between 30 and 40 years of age, well made - He formerly belonged to Col. Nicholas, and it is probable he is now in the neighborhood of Lexington. Whoever will secure the said Negro in any jail so that I get him, shall have Ten Dollars, or for delivering him to William Shain at Dry Lick, in Bullitt county, Ten Bushels of Salt will be paid. (signed) William Caldwell, July 14th, 1802.

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Frederick and Margaret (Hall) Lewis

Most of the following information comes from History of Kentucky by William Elsey Connelley and E. M. Coulter, Volume IV, published 1922 by The American Historical Society, page 9

John Q. A. Hall married Mary Ann Swearingen on 27 Nov 1839 in Bullitt County [FHL Film Number 482690]. Their daughter Margaret Frances was born 29 Mar 1848, also in Bullitt County. She married Frederick Nantz Lewis who was born at Springfield in Washington County on 22 Feb 1846 to John Buford and Marion (Nantz) Lewis. Frederick and Margaret's only child, Henry Hamilton Lewis, was born at Louisville on 26 Sep 1870.

In 1918 the Lewis Implement & Seed Company was incorporated in Louisville with Frederick Nantz Lewis as its president, and his son Henry as vice-president.

Margaret Hall Lewis died 29 Jan 1913. Frederick died 21 Mar 1927 according to his death cerificate.

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Some Gentry and Polk People With Bullitt County Roots

The following genealogical tidbits come from American Guthrie and allied families: lineal representations of the colonial Guthries of Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, North and South Carolina, some post-revolutionary emigrants and of some allied families by Laurence Rawlin Guthrie. It was published in 1933 in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania by the Kerr Printing Company.

Willie N. Woodrow, son of Thomas A. and Annie (Moore) Woodrow, was born 20 Oct 1885. He married Rosa Gentry who was born 12 Apr 1897 in Bullitt County. They had three daughters: Hazel, Lorainne, and Inez. Willie died 31 Dec 1928. [pages 681-2]

Sarah Elizabeth Blankenbaker, daughter of William Henry and Katherine E. (Wheeler) Blankenbaker, was born 6 Jul 1899. She married Hallie F. Gentry who was born 15 Jul 1893 in Bullitt County. They lived in Buechel where they had five children: Edith Nadine, William Raymond, Nellie Ruth, Hallie Floyd, and Walter Taylor Gentry. [pages 550-1]

Dalton Wilson, who was born 2 May 1844 in Johnson County, Indiana, married Elizabeth Francis Polk on 25 Oct 1870. Elizabeth was born 16 Jun 1847 in Bullitt County to William and Sarah (Shoptaugh) Polk, both of whom were from Nelson County. Elizabeth died 25 May 1908; Dalton died in 1924. Their children included Susie Polk, Burr L., Clifton H., Bessie Dean, and Hal W. Wilson, all born at Greenwood, Indiana. [page 424]

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County Fair Advertisement

The following advertisement appeared in the 15 Aug 1909 Courier-Journal.

County Fair Advertisement

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Train Depot Construction, 1870-71

During the fiscal year ending 30 Jun 1871, the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company built new depot buildings at Brook's Station, Huber's Station, and Shepherdsville in Bullitt County according to their annual report.

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Bullitt County Post Offices, 1856

Bullitt County had six post offices in 1856. The following table lists them, along with the names of the postmasters, their compensation, and the net revenue that the post office returned in the previous year. This information comes from page 65 of Post Office Directory; or, Business Man's Guide to the Post Offices in the United States by D. D. T. Leech [New York: J. H. Colton and Company, 1856].

Note: Some charts on this page will require horizontal scrolling on smaller screens. We apologize for the inconvenience.

Post OfficePostmasterCompensationNet Revenue
Belmont William Patterson 40.04 20.83
Cane Spring Sexton R. Samuels 15.14 10.67
Mount Washington William A. Foreman 119.03 46.31
Pitts Point Charles Greenwell 25.86 16.84
Shepherdsville William J. Colbow 123.20 106.67
Shortsville Samuel C. Russell 14.43 14.51

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Pond Creek Bridge, 1907

The [Jefferson County Fiscal] court resolved to join in with Bullitt county and construct a bridge to cost $4,000 over Pond creek, near Catherine station, on the Eighteenth-street road. This bridge is on the county boundary, and in accordance to the road law each county would be required to pay the cost of the bridge in proportion to its accessed value of property. This would have put about nine-tenths of the cost on Jefferson county. However, Bullitt county, in order to get the bridge completed as soon as possible, assumed responsibility for one-half the cost. R. H. Young was appointed commissioner for Jefferson county and W. C. Herps has been named commissioner for Bullitt county.

Transcribed from The Courier-Journal, Wednesday, 6 Mar 1907, page 10.

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Shepherd - Goldsmith Marriage, 1909

Friday, which many look upon as an unlucky day, did not prevent Charles Shepherd, a farmer whose home is near Shepherdsville, Ky., and Miss Kate B. Goldsmith, of Bullitt county, Ky., going to Jeffersonville yesterday afternoon, where they were married at the courthouse by Magistrate Charles S. Ferguson. The bridegroom is a native of Bullitt county, and will be 26 years old in November. The bride also was born in Bullitt county, and will reach the age of 18 in June. She is a daughter of Bluford L. Goldsmith, a farmer, who gave his written consent that the license could be issued, and as affidavit that the writing was true was make by Fred Losch, who accompanied the pair.

Transcribed from The Courier-Journal, Saturday, 17 Apr 1909, page 7.

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Transcribed from Kentucky: A History of the State by Perrin, Battle, and Kniffin; Seventh Edition, 1887, page 883.

W. T. SIMMONS was born September 22, 1823 in Bullitt County, Ky., and is a son of James and Mary (Winston) Simmons. James Simmons, a native of Bullitt County, was a Methodist preacher. His father, Robert Simmons, was a native of Maryland, and a farmer in Bullitt County, Ky. W. T. Simmons was educated at the county schools, and, when eighteen years of age, moved to Grant County, where he studied and practiced law until 1885. He now owns 500 acres of well-improved land. He was judge of the county court from 1874 to 1878. In 1853 he married Eugenia Price, of Boone County, Ky., a daughter of William T. and Eliza (McHenry) Price. Eight children have been born to this marriage, viz.: W. H.; Cora, wife of W. N. Hogan, of Grant County, who has four children; Lizzie, wife of Joe Homer, a merchant of Covington; J. E.; Eugenia; W. T., a lawyer in Grant County; Harry R. and Lena. Mr. Simmons is a Mason, a member of the I.O.O.F., politically a Democrat, and is a member of the Methodist Church.

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This summary of the commissioners' audit of schools in Bullitt County is taken from page 27 of the Report of the Superintendent Pubic Instruction to the Governor of Kentucky for the Year 1854 by John D. Matthews, Superintendent Public Instruction, printed in Frankfort in 1855 by A. G. Hodges, State Printer.

This legend identifies what the numbers in each column represent.

  1. districts reporting, by their numbers
  2. whole number of children in the district
  3. highest number at school
  4. lowest number at school
  5. average number at school
  6. number of months the school was taught
  7. cost of each child, for 3 months, counting the highest number of children
  8. amount of money received from the state the preceding year
  9. amount of surplus
  10. amount to be distributed

The Commissioners for this audit were R. K. Summers, W. Carpenter, and Joseph H. Wright, all of Shepherdsville. Mr. Wright is identified in the 1850 census as a constable in Bullitt County.

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The following excerpt is taken from pages 126-7 of this source:

Thwaites, Reuben Gold, & Kellogg, Louise Phelps, Documentary History of Dunmore’s War, 1774 (State Historical Society of Wisconsin, 1905)

Specifically it is taken from a journal kept by Thomas Hanson, excerpts of which are found in this book. Over a period of three days in 1774, Hanson recorded the following:

June 12th. We packed up our alls and marched for Salt Lick near Salt River, 12 miles bearing to the South West. We passed a large body of good land well watered and well timbered.

13th. Mr. Douglass made a survey for Mr. Christian of 1000 acres, round the Lick, then marched off for Salt River. We went five miles and met with a branch and called it Floyd's River. The land is broken and stony.

14th. We proceeded up Salt River 20 miles and found it very crooked, the land chiefly stony hills, except one small bottom.

The men referred to were John Floyd, James Douglas, and William Christian. The 1000 acre survey for William Christian is further described on another page.

Here also, Mr. Hanson identifies how Floyd's Fork got its name.

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On 10 May 1968 the Daily Review of Hayward, California reported the following story:

Group Formed To Aid Needy

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. [UPI] -- an interdenominational group called "Fellowship of Concern" has been formed here to provide emergency financial aid to needy persons.

Ministers and laymen from six denominations banded together to lend a helping hand to the poor in their communities until they can be cared for by an official community or welfare agency. The group, which receives donations from individuals and businesses, meets monthly to review requests for assistance.

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On 12 Nov 1953, The Kingsport Times of Kingsport, Tennessee reported the following:

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. [AP] -- Mrs. T. M. Crutcher, a former resident of Ghent, died yesterday at the home of her daughter, Mrs. T.C. Carroll. Mrs. Carroll is state commander of the Kentucky Division of the American Cancer Society.

Then on 13 May 1957, that newspaper reported the following:

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky. [AP] -- Gov. A. B. Chandler will address a "cancer memorial" dinner here Thursday. The dinner, with a fund-raising goal of $2,700, is believed to be one of the first of its kind in Kentucky.

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Early Brashear Marriages in Bullitt County

A list of Brashear marriage records in early Bullitt County is found on page 27 of The Brashear--Brashears family, 1449-1929 by Henry Sinclair Brashear, published 1929 in Texarkana TX.

Nicholas Brashear to Martha Simmons, 9 Aug 1787
Samuel Brashear to Hanna Standiford, 3 Nov 1790
Nancy Brashear to Basil Crow, 1796
Ruth Brashear to John Hackley, 18 Nov 1810
Marsham Brashear to Cordelia Brashear, 11 Apr 1799
Margaret Brashear to Ephriam Standiford, 20 May 1800
Richard Brashear to Sally Stallings, 15 Jan 1809
Cynthia Brashear to John Stallings, 16 Oct 1808
Sally Brashear to Thos. Stallings, 22 Feb 1812
William Brashear to Rachel Taylor, 23 Dec 1813
Ruth Brashear to Saml Ridgeway, 9 Mar 1815
Polly Brashear to Samuel Lashbrooks, 27 Aug 1815
Nancy Brashear to Benjamin Hughes, 6 Oct 1818
Mary Brashear to Ruben James, 20 May 1821
Rebecca Brashear to Isaac Stallings, 11 Jan 1824
Lucy C. Brashear to Daniel W. Brown, 31 May 1825
Rebecca Brashear to James Hoglan, 4 Mar 1826

 • •

Was Henry C. Magruder a Bitter Water Blues Enlistee?

On 25 Oct 1865, The New York Times reported on the execution of the Confederate guerrilla, H. C. Magruder. In this article, it remarked that "in his seventeenth year he joined the Bitter Water Blues, a company in the State Guard, and with that company joined BUCKNER's command at Muldrough's Hill in 1861. He was with BUCKNER at the battle of Fort Donelson, at which place he made his escape after the surrender of that post."

As Simon B. Buckner, who was appointed Inspector General of the Kentucky State Guard in May 1860, subsequently resigned that position in July 1861 and joined the Confederacy, and as we know from the report of John W. Ratliff that the Bitter Water Blues was among the units of whom a number left the guard to join the Confederacy, it is reasonable to believe that Magruder was a member of that unit.

 • •

Bullitt County government entered into a contract with William T. Washer on 8 Jul 1878 "for the construction of a bridge by Washer over Pond Creek, the boundary between Bullitt and Jefferson Counties." The contract "provided that Washer should erect an arched stone bridge with earthen embankments across Pond Creek, at the Branner foundation site."

William T. Washer was a carpenter and bridge builder who lived in Troy (Perry County), Indiana. While all of the details are not yet clear to this writer, it appears that Mr. Washer was hired to build a bridge over Pond Creek in western Bullitt County, and then had to go to court to be paid for his work. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, not once, but twice.

You can read about the case before the Supreme Court by following these links that take you to offsite locations:

  1. Washer v. Bullitt County, 110 U.S. 558 (1884)
  2. Bullitt County v. Washer, 130 U.S. 142 (1889)

You can learn more about William T. Washer by following this link to The Bridge Builders: William T. Washer.

If you have additional information about this bridge building case, please use our contact page and share with us.

 • •

Louisville Firemen Aid Flood-stricken Town

Louisville, Ky. - In response to an appeal from the citizens of Shepherdsville, Fire Chief Fillmore Tyson sent a fire engine and crew to pump out cellars and polluted wells. The appeal was made by telephone and represented that nearly every cellar in the town had been filled, and that all the wells were top full of muddied storm water. It is feared that the impurities if not removed would cause an epidemic later of typhoid fever. Shepherdsville is about eighteen miles from Louisville, just over Salt river, in Bullitt county. The damage from the high water was severe, and was due to Salt river breaking its bounds.

From Municipal Journal and Engineer [Volume XXVI, No. 11 (17 Mar 1909), page 436].

 • •

On 9 Mar 1837, George Penny contracted with the government to deliver mail on route #3256 from Louisville, by Jeffersonton, Neville, Mount Washington, and High Grove, to Bardstown, 41 miles, and back, 3 times a week; and from Louisville, by Shepherdsville and Cane Spring, to Bardstown, 39 miles, and back, 3 times a week; also from Bardstown, by Fredericktown, Springfield, and Mackville, to Harrodsburg; 43 miles, and back, 3 times a week; all in four-horse post-coaches; and from Springfield to Lebanon, 9 miles, and back, 3 times a week, in stages.

Specifically, his routes included the following:

  1. Leave Louisville (via Jeffersonton, &c.) every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 a.m.; arrive at Bardstown same days by 7 p.m.
  2. Leave Bardstown every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 7 a.m.; arrive at Louisville same days by 5 p.m.
  3. Leave Louisville (via Shepherdsville, &c.) every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 9 a.m.; arrive at Bardstown same days by 7 p.m.
  4. Leave Bardstown every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7 a.m. ; arrive at Louisville same days by 5 p.m.
  5. Leave Bardstown every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7 a.m.; arrive at Harrodsburg same days by 6 p.m.
  6. Leave Harrodsburg every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 6 a.m.; arrive at Bardstown same days by 5 p.m.
  7. Leave Springfield every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 1 p.m.; arrive at Lebanon same days by 4 p.m.
  8. Leave Lebanon every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 6 a.m.; arrive at Springfield same days by 9 a.m.

Service was to commence on the 1 Jul 1835. His contract ran through 30 Jun 1842; and he was to be paid $2,444 (presumably annually). [From Public Documents Printed by Order of the Senate of the United States on 3 Dec 1838; Volume IV.

Dixie Hibbs recorded "In the spring of 1836, George Penny's accommodation stage, fondly known as 'Old Long Tail Blue,' brought confusing reports about the Texas-Mexican conflicts in the mail bags." From this we know he did more than carry the mail. [Bardstown: Hospitality, History, and Bourbon, page 50] We also know that he was a messenger from the Salem Church of Bardstown to the Kentucky Baptist Convention meeting held in Bardstown in 1832. Finally, 1840 census records show him in a household by himself, age 40-49.

 • •

Robert Seaman Granger, born in Zaneville, Ohio in 1816, was a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy in 1838. He was made a major on 9 Sep 1861, organized a brigade at Mansfield, Ohio, was commandant at Louisville, Kentucky, and on 1 Sep 1862 was commissioned brigadier-general of Kentucky volunteers, and commanded the Kentucky state troops, being engaged at Shepherdsville, in the skirmish at Lebanon Junction, and in the action at Lawrenceburg, for which he was brevetted colonel, U.S. army. Additional information about his military career may be found in Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography edited by James Grant Wilson and John Fisk [Volume II (Crane-Grimshaw); New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1887] from which this information is excerpted.

 • •

Judge John Speed, b. 17th May, 1772; d. 30th March, 1840. Served in War against Indians 1791; was early in life a merchant and salt manufacturer at the licks near Shepherdsville, Kentucky; was Judge of Quarter Sessions Court, Jefferson County, Kentucky. Although a slaveholder, was an Emancipationist. He was admired and respected by all who knew him, including Rev. James Freeman Clark, who eulogizes him in his "Recollections." Judge John Speed owned a handsome estate of the celebrated "Beargrass" land near Louisville, upon which he built a large house of the old Colonial style of architecture which he called "Farmington" and where was dispensed lavish hospitality; m. (firstly) Abby Lemaster, who d. 1st July, 1807; m. (secondly) 15th November, 1808, in Mercer County, Kentucky, Lucy Gilmer Fry, b. in Albemarle County, Virginia, 23d March, 1788, d. 27th January, 1874, dau. of Joshua and Peachy (walker) Fry.

From Colonial Families of the United States of America by George Norbury MacKenzie; Volume VI; Baltimore MD: The Seaforth Press, 1917, page 14.

 • •

According to a List of Post Offices in the United States with the Names of Postmasters on the 1st of April, 1859 found on Google Books, Bullitt County had 8 post offices at that time as shown below, together with the postmasters.

  • Belmont - William Patterson
  • Bitter Water - William Vaughn
  • Brooks' Station - Thomas L. Hoagland
  • Cane Spring - Sexton R. Samuels
  • Mount Washington - L. R. Brown
  • Pitts Point - Jeremiah C. Froman
  • Shepherdsville - W. J. Colbow
  • Shortsville - William C. Short

 • •

In 1897, the University of Notre Dame conferred the degree of Master of Laws on Albert S. F. Magruder, Cane Springs, Bullitt Co., Ky. according to their Fifty-Third Annual Catalogue, published that year.

 • •

Nannie Helen Burroughs was a student at Eckstein Norton University at Cane Springs, and received an honorary M.A. degree in 1907. Following her experiences there, she eventually opened a school in Washington D. C. in 1909 named the "National Trade and Professional School for Women and Girls" which she led as its principal until her death in 1961. After her death the school was named in her honor and still exists today. The following links provide additional information about her and the school.

 • •

From The Star in the West and Glad Tidings Devoted to the Defence and Illustration of Universalism., John A. Gurley, Editor and Publisher, Volume VIII, Cincinnati, 1846, page 287:

Mt. Washington Academy. - This Institution, located at Mt. Washington, Bullitt County Ky., a pleasant and healthy village about 20 miles from Louisville, on the Bardstown road, is under the superintendance of Mr. and Mrs. Jackson. They are excellent Teachers; having taught in Mt. Washington for several years, with great success, and most acceptably to the citizens and other patrons.

Each year is divided into two sessions, of twenty-two weeks each; the present session having commenced on the 6th of October. Board in private families can be had at $1,25 a week; and the young ladies can be accommodated in the same house, where they will be under the care of the Principal of the Female Department. Terms of tuition: from $5 to $14 per session, according to the studies pursued. The common and higher English branches are taught, and also the Latin, and French - Music, &c.

Universalist parents, who wish to provide a good school for their children would do well to send them to Mt. Washington. They may rest assured that neither Mr. Jackson, nor Mrs. Jackson, (formerly Miss. Riedell) will instill into the minds or hearts of their pupils the dogmas or spirit of Partialism - the baleful influence which attends most of the literary and scientific institutions throughout our land.

E. M. F.
Louisville, Nov. 28.

 • •

Among the various lists of registered pharmacists found in Proceedings of the Twenty-Fourth Annual Meeting of the Kentucky Pharmaceutical Association held at Crab Orchard Springs, Kentucky, in June 1901, we find the following registered pharmacists with Bullitt County connections.

J.M. Crenshaw, Mt. Washington
Mrs. Jennie R. Gaines, Lebanon Junction
J. E. Johnson, Lebanon Junction
Geo. T. McNeil, Lebanon Junction
Barrett A. Murray, Lebanon Junction
Chas. F. Troutman, Shepherdsvile

 • •

At closing on 1 Sep 1906, Bullitt County banks reported the following figures according to the Biennial Report of the Auditor of Public Accounts of Kentucky for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 1906 and June 30, 1907.

Lebanon Junction Bank
Lebanon Juction
Bullitt County Bank
Peoples Bank
Capital $15,000 $20,000 $15,000
Surplus $3,000 $5,000 $1,800
Undivided Profits $348 $1,000 $2,869
Discounts $69,671 $105,083 $95,564
Deposits $87,806 $117,954 $124,725

At closing on 1 Sep 1914, Bullitt County banks reported the following figures according to the Biennial Report of the Auditor of Public Accounts of Kentucky for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 1914 and June 30, 1915.

Lebanon Junction Bank
Lebanon Juction
Bullitt County Bank
Peoples Bank
Peoples Bank
Mt. Washington
Capital $15,000 $15,000 $20,000 $15,000
Surplus $3,000 $6,500 $10,000 $4,800
Undivided Profits $1,476 $1,970 $1,000 $369
Discounts $101,620 $117,625 $104,265 $52,466
Deposits $103,609 $117,968 $106,351 $81,643

 • •

The following excerpt is transcribed from Biographical and Genealogical History of Cass, Miami, Howard and Tipton Counties, Indiana, Volume II, page 642. It was published in Chicago by the Lewis Publishing Company in 1898.

Hiram and Nancy (Pugh) Murray [were of] of Scotch and Welsh descent. [Hiram] was born in the Keystone state in 1811, and was a son of Thomas and Annie (McCalvert) Murray, of Scotch ancestry. By trade he was a brick and stone mason and carried on that business much of his life. He married Nancy Pugh, who was born in Hancock county, Virginia, in 1812, a daughter of Peter and Annie (Dunkin) Pugh, of Welsh and Scotch lineage. These families mentioned were all established in America in colonial days. After the Civil war Hiram Murray removed to Bullitt county, Kentucky, locating on a farm on which he spent his remaining days, dying in the year 1880, at an advanced age. His children were Hugh, Peter, Harriet, Mary, Jennie [who married George W. Conkle 28 Jul 1864; they lived in Howard County IN], Thomas, Joseph and William. The mother of this family died and the father afterward married, in Pennsylvania, Martha Poe, daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Poe, who belonged to the same family as Andrew Poe, the celebrated Indian fighter. The children of Mr. Murray's second marriage were George, Emma, Lucy, Nancy, Katie and Alice.

The following census records detail Hiram's family from 1850 through 1870 when he first appears in the Bullitt County census. Some of his children's names seem confused between the quote above and the census records below.

1850 Federal Census: Pennsylvania, Allegheny County, Pittsburg Ward 7, pages 454A-B, household 2335/2372
Eliza Johnston - 70 F, born Ireland; Hiram Murray - 33 M, brickmaker, born PA; Nancy Murray - 37 F, born VA; Hugh Murray - 14 M, born VA; Peter Murray - 12 M, born VA; Mary Murray - 8 F, born VA; Jane Murray - 6 F, born VA; Thomas Murray - 3 M, born VA; Joseph Barker Murray - 7/12 M, born PA; Robert Murray - 33 M, brickmaker, born PA; Charles McDowell - 30 M, brickmaker, born PA; David Stranagan - 55 M, brickmaker, born PA; Wm Irwin - 30 M, brickmaker, born PA

1860 Federal Census: Pennsylvania, Beaver County, Georgetown, page 23, household 183/169
Hiram Murray - 43 M, stone mason, born PA; Martha Murray - 34 F, born PA; Hugh Murray - 24 M, brick maker, born VA; Mary Murray - 17 F, born VA; Rebecca Murray - 15 F, born VA; Thomas Murray - 13 M, born VA; Joseph Murray - 10 M, born PA; George Murray - 5 M, born VA; Elizabeth Murray - 4 F, born VA; Nancy Murray - 2 F, born VA; Lucifer Murray - 1, born PA

1870 Federal Census: Kentucky, Bullitt County, Shepherdsville, page 36, household 217/218
Murray, Hiram - 54 M W, stone mason, born PA; Murray, Martha - 47 F W, keeping house, born PA; Murray, George - 15 M W, at home, born VA; Murray, Lizzie - 14 F W, at home, born VA; Murray, Nannie - 12 F W, at home, born VA; Murray, Alice - 9 F W, born VA; Murray, Kate - 3 F W, born VA

We also found a Kentucky death certificate for Emma Lee Troutman, born 29 May 1856 in West Virginia to Hiram Murray and Martha Poe, who died 12 Apr 1920 in Bullitt County.

 • •

A meeting of the Kentucky Association of Fairs and Horse Shows was held at Shepherdsville on 29 Apr 1949. The following quote comes from an article about that meeting that was published in The Billboard, Vol. 61, No. 20, page 66, dated 14 May 1949.

"Representatives of 30 Kentucky fairs, including a large representation from the Bullitt County Fair, which is to be revived here this year after a 20-year lapse, attended. Jack Haberman, president of the Bullitt County Fair board welcomed the delegates."

 • •

According to page 600 of A History of Kentucky Baptists from 1769 to 1885, Volume II (1886), by J. H. Spencer, "James Bland English, a native of Hardin county, Ky., was several years pastor of the church at Shepherdsville, about the time of the Civil War, previous to which he had been employed as missionary in Goshen Association. He was afterwards pastor of Portland Avenue church in Louisville. Subsequently he moved to Missouri, where he still resides. He was a very moderate preacher, but a diligent and successful pastor."

The History of First Baptist Church, Shepherdsville, 1837-1987 indicates on page 68 that he was its pastor from 1860-1869.

 • •

The following quote is taken from page 188 of the Proceedings of the Fifteenth Annual Meeting of the Kentucky State Bar Association, July 6-7, 1916. The full text may be read on Google Books.

William Wilson was born in Nelson County on April 1, 1824; he was the son of Turner Wilson, a prominent citizen of that county. His early education was meager and in early life he served an apprenticeship at the plasterer's trade but after reaching manhood he began the study of law and practiced at Shepherdsville in Bullitt County until about the beginning of the Civil War, when he removed to Elizabethtown and practiced law there until his death in August, 1891.

 • •

The following quote is transcribed from pages 580-581 of the History of Kentucky and Kentuckians, Volume I, by E. Polk Johnson (Chicago: The Lewis Publishing Company, 1912).

John Lay Cook was born July 3, 1838, in Russell county, Kentucky, and raised near Jamestown. He was educated in the county schools and began teaching at the age of fifteen years in a mixed public school. He commenced study of medicine with Dr. Rowe, of Rowena, Kentucky, and began practice when nineteen years of age. In 1861 he enlisted in the Third Kentucky (Confederate) Cavalry. He was captured with Gen. John H. Morgan and while in prison at Camp Douglas. Illinois, he ministered to comrades. After the war he located at Bardstown Junction, Kentucky, and later attended the University of Louisville, Medical Department. He commenced the practice of medicine as a graduate in Shepherdsville. In 1870 he graduated in Bellevue, and later located at Henderson. In 1871 he married Miss Annie B. Oldham. Dr. Cook was six feet, two inches in height and had an average weight of two hundred and fifteen pounds. He was a very handsome and fine looking man. He was a member of the Kentucky State Medical Society, of the McDowell Medical Society, and of the Henderson Medical Club. As a diagnostician he was very accurate. In light of present knowledge of yellow fever, to which he fell a victim, he was correct in his theory that it was not contagious and non-infectious. He was a frequent contributor to medical journals. Some of his writings are "Case of Athetosis," "Capillary Bronchitis," "Germs of Diphtheria," "Curable and Incurable Diseases," "Pulmonary Tuberculosis" and "Malarial Coma." When yellow fever developed at Hickman, September 19, 1878, he left for that place at once and from then until his death, October 1st, he labored among the afflicted.

 • •

Here are two Civil War quotes from The Rebellion Record: A Diary of American Events, edited by Frank Moore, Fifth Volume, New York, 1863.

"A Party of rebels under the command of Captain Bowles, a son of J. B. Bowles, President of the Bank of Louisville, Ky., made a raid upon Shepherdsville, Ky., and burned the bridge over Salt River. A guard of eighty-five of the Fifty-fourth regiment, stationed at that place, were compelled to surrender, but were soon after paroled.—Louisville Democrat, September 8." (page 74)

"September 21 - The Union force at Shepherdsville, Ky., under Colonel Granger, commanding the post, were attacked by a body of rebel cavalry; but, after a short skirmish, the rebels were repulsed, with a loss of five killed and twenty-eight taken prisoners." (page 84)

 • •

From Laws of Kentucky, Vol. II, published in Lexington in 1807, we find the following on page 65:

Chap. XXIII.

"An act to amend an act entitled, 'an act to amend and reduce the several acts of Assembly, for the inspection of Tobacco, into one act.'"

"Approved December 12, 1799."

"Be it enacted by the General assembly, That an inspection of tobacco, hemp and flour, be established at the following places to wit. ... in Shepherdsville, in the county of Bullitt, on the lands of Adam Shepherd, to be called and known by the name of Shepherd's; on the fourth bank of Salt River, at the lower end of the Yellow Banks, opposite M'Dowell's, about half a mile below the mouth of Long Lick creek, on the lands of Matthew Walton, to be called and known by the name of Walton's; ..."

Also, from The Statute Law of Kentucky, Volume II, by William Littell, and published in 1810, we find the following on page 287:


An ACT to establish an Inspection of Tobacco, Hemp and Flour, at the mouth of Cox's Creek, in the County of Bullitt.

Approved December 16, 1799.

BE it enacted by the general assembly, That there be an inspection of tobacco, hemp, and flour, established in the county of Bullitt, on the lands of Henry Crist, at the mouth of Cox's creek, and called and known by the name of Cox's Creek inspection; and the said inspection shall be under the same rules and regulations that other inspections are in this state.

This act shall commence and be in force from and after the passage thereof.

 • •

Here is an interesting 1864 law passed by the General Assembly that names some places in Bullitt County. It is taken from Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, 1864, and is found on page 437.


AN ACT to enlarge the Shepherdsville Voting District in Bullitt County.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

§ 1. That the Shepherdsville voting district, in Bullitt county, be extended to the following boundaries, and all persons residing therein shall vote in said district: Beginning at the Slate pond, on the south side of Salt river, running thence with the old pike row to Bowman's old mill, on Long Lick creek; thence up Long Lick creek to Shirley's mill; from thence a straight line to Horn's mill; from Horn's mill down Cedar creek to Peacock's island; and from thence to the north side of Salt river, at Thos. J. Stevens' to include him; from thence a straight line to Pleasant Grove Church; from thence the new cut road to Bell's mill, on Floyd's fork, to include said Bell.

§ 2. This act to take effect from its passage.

Approved February 19, 1864.

 • •

From The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans, Volume III (Moul-Pyne); Boston: The Biographical Society, 1904.

"PEYTON, Samuel Oldham, representative, was born in Bullitt county, Ky., in 1804; son of William and Mary (Ross) Peyton; grandson of Craven and Ann Peyton, and of Lawrence and ___ (Oldham) Ross, and a descendant of Henry and Ellen (Partington) Peyton. He was graduated at Transylvania university, M.D., in 1827. He was married to Mary Kincheloe; practised medicine in Hartford, Ky.; represented Bullitt county in the state legislature in 1835; was a Democratic representative from Kentucky in the 30th, 35th and 36th congresses, 1847-49 and 1857-61, and was defeated for the 31st congress in 1848. He was a member of the committee on public buildings and grounds in the 36th congress. He died in Hartford, Ky., Jan. 4, 1870."

 • •

Thornberry, Hon. S. G., (D.), Shepherdsville, Ky. Son of Wm. and Georgia (Bogard) Thornberry. Born In Bullitt County, Kentucky, May 23, 1874. Educated at Shepherdsville Academy. Farmer. Was a member of the County Board of Education. Member of the Church of Christ. Single. Elected Representative from Bullitt and Spencer county, November, 1917 and re-elected November, 1921.

[From Kentucky Directory for the use of Courts, State and County Officials, and General Assembly of the state of Kentucky, by Frank K. Kavanaugh, 1922. Printed in Frankfort: The State Journal Company, page 217.]

 • •

In a Kentucky Court of Appeals case heard on 13 May 1904 concerning a railroad worker named William S. Lowe who lost an arm in an accident at the Lebanon Junction railyard. Mr. Lowe sued the railroad and was awarded significant compensation. The railroad appealed the verdict, and the court of appeals agreed that the award was excessive, sending the case back to the local court.

In the record of this appeal, found on page 768 of The Southwestern Reporter, Volume 80 [St. Paul: West Publishing Co., 1904], we find the following brief description of the railroad yard at Lebanon Junction.

"William S. Lowe, was in the service of appellant, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company, as assistant inspector of trains at Lebanon Junction, which Is a town of about 1,200 inhabitants, at the junction of the Knoxville branch with the main line of appellant's road. There is maintained at this place a railroad yard, containing an extensive system of side tracks, used In making up freight trajns going out of the yards. The regular trains, too, pass over the main tracks, and are sometimes switched on the side tracks, so that cars are moving about the yard pretty much all the time. A switch engine is kept in the yard for the purpose of switching cars and making up trains. Large coal bins are maintained there by the appellant, at which all engines are supplied with coal. Perhaps as many as 150 engines, including the different passages of the switch engine, pass across the yard every day. The coal bins are north of the station, and in a curve of the track, so that an engine beyond a certain point cannot be seen south of the bins."

 • •

From Appletons' Cyclopaedia of American Biography, Volume 2, by James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, [New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1888, page 511].

FOSTER, James P., naval officer, b. in Bullitt county, Ky., 8 June, 1827; d. in Indianapolis, Ind., 2 June, 1909. He removed with his family, in childhood, to Bloomington, Ind., and entered the navy in 1846. He had reached the rank of lieutenant in 1861, and in July, 1862, was commissioned a lieutenant-commander, and in October of the same year was ordered to the Mississippi squadron, commanded by Admiral Porter. He was placed in command of the "Neosho," from which he was soon transferred to the iron-clad ram "Chillicothe," and in March, 1863, distinguished himself by the valuable service performed by his vessel during the Yazoo expedition. Later in the year he was placed in command of the gun-boat "Lafayette," and rendered valuable assistance during the bombardment and siege of Vicksburg. After the war he was ordered to the naval academy, and placed in charge of the training-ships. He was then promoted to commander, ordered to the "Osceola," and joined the Brazilian squadron, where he contracted the disease from which he died.

 • •

Benjamin Hughes was postmaster at Shepherdsville, according to A Register of Officers and Agents, Civil, Military, and Naval, in the Service of the United States, on the Thirtieth day of September, 1816 prepared at the Department of State in 1816.

 • •

From Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, December Session, 1838, page 1839: "Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth Kentucky, That the election precinct, at Peter Miller's, on Knob creek, in Bullitt county, be, and the same is hereby, abolished. Approved February 20, 1839."

 • •

Jeremiah P. Hinton, of Bullitt county, stated in a deposition in 1836 "that he has been in the habit of navigating the Ohio and Mississippi rivers since the year A.D. 1809; that, in the year 1809, he descended the Mississippi river with a flatboat, and landed at what is now commonly called Point Chicot." You can read the entire deposition at this offsite location.

 • •

The following Bullitt County officials were identified in the Courier-Journal Almanac for 1902 (page 43): O. W. Pearl, Circuit Clerk; Leroy Daniel, County Judge; J. F. Combs, County Attorney; W. B. Tilden, County Clerk; Bert Hall, Sheriff; E. D. Jones, Jailer; C. M. Maraman, Coroner; and C. P. Bradbury, School Superintendent.

 • •

The Triennial Baptist Register, No. 2 - 1836 by I. M. Allen, [Philadelphia: Baptist General Tract Society, 1836, page 238] reported statistics for the Long Run Association for 1835 which included the Little Flock church in Bullitt County which reported 8 baptisms and 86 members. It also indicated that the church had been constituted and/or constructed in 1810.

 • •

In 1912 the Kentucky General Assembly appointed a special tax commission to "investigate revenue and taxation in this State and recommend a plan for the revision thereof." In its report, the commission provided the following information about Bullitt County (page 216).

                  BULLITT COUNTY

      Total Assessment Roll, 1912 - $3,082,277
     State and County Tax Rate - $1.10 per $100

Approximate land area ................. 197,120 acres
Land assessed in tracts ............... 177,538 acres
Other lands ...........................  19,582 acres

Percentage of land area in farms - 80%
177,538 acres in tracts with improvements, 
  assessed at ......... $1,810,948 or $10.20 per acre
157,051 acres in farms with improvements, 
  census value .......... 3,067,745 or 19.54 per acre

Probable ratio of assessed value to true value - 52%
Approximate ratio taxes to true value - .57 of 1%

 • •

Pleads Guilty to Charge of Murder

Shepherdsville, Ky., July 22 (AP) - Samuel V. Heddin of Askin, Ohio county, pleaded guilty to a murder charge today in connection with the killing of W. E. Close, 62, merchant at Cupio, and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Clarence C. Hines, Louisville, was given a life sentence last Friday night on conviction by a jury. Hines claimed he shot Close in self defense in a quarrel over payment for gasoline last December. The state claimed the two men slew the merchant and robbed him.

Copied from The Kingsport Times, Kingsport, Tennessee, 22 Jul 1929, page 3. According to the 1930 census, Clarence Hines was in prison in Frankfort; Samuel Hedden was at Eddyville.

William E. Close Death Certificate

 • •

Happenings around Cupio

Dr. Horine, of Cupio, Ky., is visiting friends in the city (Louisville). The Courier-Journal 17 Apr 1883, page 5

Minerva A. Key, wife of G. L. Key, died 31 Jul 1884 in Bullitt County. Funeral was from the family burying ground near Cupio on Saturday, August 2 at 11 o'clock. The Courier-Journal, 2 Aug 1884, page 5

George W. Bishop, an ex-soldier, was granted a pension on 28 Jun 1888. The Courier-Journal 29 Jun 1888, page 4

In a list of postmaster appointments, T. J. Ramsey was appointed at Cupio to replace W. H. Ridgeway who resigned. The Courier-Journal 30 Apr 1890

In a list of postmaster appointments, L. T. Fox was appointed at Cupio to replace C. A. Skinner, deceased. The Courier-Journal 27 Sep 1893

At the Kentucky State Horticultoral Society meeting at Elizabethtown, Will F. Joyce of Cupio presented a talk on "Insect Enemies of the Peach and how to successfully combat them. Hopkinsville Kentuckian 18 Dec 1900, page 5

 • •

Here are the names of six women, born in Bullitt County, who entered the sisterhood of the Loretto Society upon their vows for life taken on 20 Dec 1819.

Family Name Convent Name Place
Bridget Morgan Sister Anastasia Gethsemani
Ann McBride Sister Appolionia Gethsemani
Julia Flaherty Sister Agatha Gethsemani
Margaret Drury Sister Martina Loretto
Mathilda Coomes Sister Ursula Loretto
Susan Coomes Sister Victoria Calvary

Taken from The Life of Rev. Charles Nerinckx: With a Chapter on the Early Catholic Missions of Kentucky, by Rev. Camillus P. Maes, Priest of the Diocese of Detroit; Cincinnati: Robert Clarke & Co., 1880, pages 406-7.

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ELLISON SLIGAR, cabinet-maker and undertaker, was born in Bullitt County, Ky., October 11, 1822, and is the youngest of ten children born to David and Margaret (Stafford) Sligar, both of whom were natives of Pennsylvania, and of German and Scotch descent respectively. David Sligar was educated and married in his native State. In about 1797, he emigrated to Bullitt County, Ky., then an unbroken wilderness. Himself and wife, with several other families, came down the Ohio River in flat-boats from Pittsburgh, landing at the present site of Louisville, Ky., which then contained only a few log cabins. He proceeded immediately to Bullitt County, where he entered 263 acres of land, which he was obliged to pay for twice in consequence of a defective title. Here he improved a farm, upon which he resided until his death, which occurred January 4, 1832, in his seventy-fifth year. Ellison Sligar, the subject of our sketch, received such an education as could be obtained at the primitive log schoolhouses of the Kentucky frontier. After his father's death, he resided with his brother Thomas until he was seventeen years old. He then went to learn the carpenter's and cabinet-maker's trades, serving an apprenticeship of three years,and has followed one or both of these trades ever since. [Remainder describes his movements to when he settled in Adams Township, Illinois.]

From Counties of Morgan, Monroe and Brown, Indiana: Historical and Biographical by Charles Blanchard, editor; published 1894 in Chicago: F. A. Battey & Co. Publishers, page 319.

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Missing Boy Found Alive in Woodland

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky., March 6 - (AP) - Three-year-old Paul Alden Tyler, missing in a swampy woodland near his home five miles north of Shepherdsville since 4 p.m. yesterday, was found alive and unharmed shortly after noon today on the bank of Salt River.

The child was found by a group of Louisvillians visiting at their cabin near the scene. Among them were Mr. and Mrs. Sam Deacon.

Deacon said he had been listening to a radio report of the missing boy, object of a search by more than 200 civilians, state troopers and soldiers. When he turned off the radio, Deacon said he heard a cry toward the river and found the child sitting in the bushes at the water's edge.

[From Miami Daily News-Record, Miami, Oklahoma, Wednesday, March 6, 1946, page 4.]

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Hall Will Coach Regis Basketball

Denver (AP) - Joe B. Hall, 30, was appointed head basketball coach Tuesday at Regis College, a Jesuit school. He succeeds Harvey Moore, who resigned March 12.

Hall, a native of Cynthiana, Ky., came here a year ago as Moore's assistant. He attended Kentucky and the University of the South before obtaining his degree in 1954 at Kentucky.

He coached at Shepherdsville, Ky., High School for three seasons before coming here.

The Rev. Richard Ryan, S.J., Regis president, did not disclose Hall's salary. Ground for a $525,000 fieldhouse to seat 3,200 was broken Monday. It should be ready by next January.

Hall is married and has two daughters.

[From Montana Standard, Butte, Montana, Wednesday, April 29, 1959, page 14.]

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Fire Near Shepherdsville, Ky.
Special Dispatch to the Globe-Democrat.

SHEPHERDSVILLE, Ky., November 11. - The large barn of H. E. Jones, in the eastern part of Bullitt County, was struck by lightning about 10 o'clock last night, and afterward destroyed by fire. The building was 110 feet long by seventy wide, and the lower story was of stone, which was stalled off and used as a stable. The upper part was wood and contaqined a granary, with 8,000 bushels assorted grain, between 300 and 500 bushels assorted seed, agricultural implements, etc., all valued at $22,000. Two fine horses, a mule and three blooded calves were burned to death. Insurance, $7,200. [From St. Louis Globe-Democrat, (St. Louis, MO) Tuesday, November 12, 1878; Issue 175; Col G.]

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Martha Alderson Pic

In Today's Pictures

Miss Martha Alderson, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles M. Alderson, of Houston, Texas, whose engagement to Mr. Gabe Beckwith, of Shepherdsville, Ky., has recently been announced. The wedding will take place June 26 in Lewisburg. [From Charleston Gazette, Charleston, West Virginia; Sunday, June 17, 1928, page 15.]

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An ACT to amend the act entitled "an act to amend an act establishing the Town of Shepherdsville, and for other purposes."

Approved January 15, 1811.

Sec. 1. BE it enacted by the general assembly, That a survey of Shepherdsville, made by James Shanks, surveyor of Bullitt, and the plan or plats thereof, made out by him, and dated the eighteenth day of July, in the year one thousand eight hundred and nine, be established as the true plan of said town, and of the situation and boundaries of lots, streets and alleys therein: and that all disputes or controversies that may arise, relative to their situation or extent, shall be determined by the aforesaid plan or platt.

From The Statute Law of Kentucky, Volume 4, by William Littell, Esq., published 1814, page 212

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Mr. Frank P. Straus, early in his promising career at the Bar in Shepherdsville, brought a suit for a young lady of the county against a young man of the same county for slander. The defendant had said to others that she had granted him favors that an unmarried woman is not allowed to grant. A big crowd gathered to hear the proceedings. Mr. Straus put his client on the stand and, after a few preliminary questions, said: "Miss Birdie, how long have you known the defendant?" "Several years," she said. "Have you ever been alone in his company?" "Yes, sir; many times." "Did you or not ever have any improper or immoral relations with him in all your life?" " No, sir; never." Here, Mr. Straus, rose and, looking over the crowd with a proud air, said impressively in a melo-dramatic manner and tone: "Did you ever do anything improper with him at any time or in any place?" "No, sir," said the witness. There was first a deep silence and then some indignant mutterings in the crowd. "I will go further," said Mr. Straus. "Did you ever, at any time or in any place, have any improper relations with any man?" "No, sir; never—but once." "Call the next case," said the Judge of the Court.

From The American Law Review, Volume LIV, St Louis: Review Publishing Company, 1920, page 683

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John W. Beckwith was a merchant in Shepherdsville, and one of the founders of the early iron works industry there. Information about his family was found in Creoles of St. Louis by Paul Beckwith (St. Louis: Nixon-Jones Printing Co., 1893; pages 38-39) and is transcribed below.

"Tullia Clemencia Paul. 96. Born in St. Louis, Dec. 11, 1821, living there in 1893. Married May 5, 1842, Frederick Williams Beckwith who was born in Shepherdsville, Ky., Oct. 8, 1813. He studied for the Methodist ministry, but owing to throat troubles, relinquished his studies and came to St. Louis in 1840, where he engaged in business, and died there Dec. 30, 1854. Son of John Williams Beckwith, a planter of Maryland, lineal descendant of George Beckwith, who in 1648 emigrated to Maryland from Yorkshire, England. His pedigree is traced to the Norman Conquest of England. John W. Beckwith married Mary Floyd Smith, ... The children of John W. and Mary Floyd Smith Beckwith were: Mary, married James Bucklin, son of the first mayor of Louisville; Minerva, married Alfred Bullitt, of Bullitt County, Ky.; Frederick W., married Tullia, C. Paul, Basil, died unmarried."

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According to the 9 Sep 1915 issue of The Automobile [volume 33, page 495] these automobile agencies had recently been established in Bullitt County:

OverlandMt. WashingtonHorace McGee
OverlandLebanon JunctionR. L. Mudd
SaxonLebanon JunctionHocker & Samuels

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Dr. Benjamin M. Wible "in 1836 commenced practice in Mt. Washington, Bullitt County. In 1839 he moved to Shepherdsville and practiced there for one year, when he returned to Mt. Washington. There he remained till 1847 when he removed to Louisville" where he died on 26 Mar 1877. [Transactions of the Kentucky State Medical Society, Twenty-Second Annual Convention; Louisville, 1877, page 205]

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Dr. Roscoe I. Kerr came to Shepherdsville in 1917 to begin his practice of medicine in Bullitt County. In connection with his profession, Doctor Kerr owned the only drug store in Shepherdsville as of 1922 when a sketch of him was published in History of Kentucky, Volume 5 by William Elsey Connelley and Ellis Merton Coulter (page 413).

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In a biographical sketch for Thomas Josiah Mann, found in A History of Sullivan County, Indiana by Thomas J. Wolfe (volume II, pages 243-5, published by The Lewis Publishing Company of New York in 1909; see Google Books), it is stated that Mr. Mann was married on 9 Mar 1897 to Miss Henrietta Ingersoll who was born 4 Jan 1861, a daughter of Henry and Mary Ingersoll. Mary Ingersoll was born in Bullitt County to Isaiah and Polly (Fraim) Dickinson. "Archibald Fraim, the great-grandfather of Mrs. Mann, was captured by the Indians when seven years old and kept until twenty years old. After this he served in the Revolutionary war. He owned a farm in Bullitt County, Kentucky, upon which were located some of the famous salt springs."

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"Joseph Alexander Ireland M. D. is among the oldest living preachers of this [Long Run] Association. He was born in Jefferson county, Ky., Sept. 15, 1824. After obtaining a good English education, with a fair knowledge of the Latin and Greek languages, he entered upon the study of medicine, in which he graduated, in 1851. After practicing his profession in Louisville some three years, he moved to his farm in Bullitt county, in 1854. Here he practiced medicine about ten years, when he was elected to a professorship in one of the medical schools in Louisville. From 1864, to the present time, he has filled a chair in one or more medical schools.

"In his youth, Dr. Ireland professed Religion and united with Little Flock church in Bullitt county, where he was licensed to preach, in 1848. He was soon afterward ordained, and, at different periods, was pastor of the churches at Little Flock, in Bullitt county, Jeffersontown, in Jefferson county, and Jeffersonville, Indiana. Besides his labors in the ministry, he has performed valuable service to the cause of Christ in connection with the missionary enterprises of his denomination."

This comes from A History of Kentucky Baptist from 1769 to 1885, Volume II by J. H. Spencer; Cincinnati: J. R. Baumes; page 189. It is available on Google Books.

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"After the close of the Revolution Asahel Hinman and family became pioneers in the wilds of Kentucky, locating in Bullitt County. Next to the youngest child in this family was George W. Hinman (who was) born in Bullitt county, Ky., in April, 1791. When he was 8 years old his father and family removed to Ohio county, Ky." This brief glimpse at a family that was in the county briefly is found in History of Pike County, Illinois on page 493. See it at Google Books.

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One wonders what the weather was like in the winter of 1883-4 to cause the General Assembly to pass an act on 18 Feb 1884 permitting "the trustees of school district number twenty-nine, in Bullitt county, to have a three-months school instead of a five-months school, as now required by law, for this year only." This was found in Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Volume 1.

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On 24 Jan 1870, the Kentucky General Assembly approved an act "that James H. Huber, George Shanklin, John O. Harrison, and Henry C. Pindell, or any one or more of them, may lay off a park of not exceeding three thousand (3,000) acres of land, now held and owned by the corporators herein mentioned, or may be hereafter acquired by them, in the county of Bullitt, adjacent to the Gap of Knobs Station, on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad, and set apart by metes and bounds; lots therein to be held and owned as private property."

The act describes the potential "park" as something of a cross between a corporation and a town. To read the entire act, find Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky dated 1870, in Google Books.

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After the death of William Simmons in 1914, and the untimely death of his widow in the 1917 Shepherdsville train wreck, which left their two young daughters as orphans, the Bullitt County Court appointed Robert L. Simmons, William's brother, as the children's guardian. When this was challenged by the girls' maternal grandmother, the local circuit court affirmed the Bullitt County court decision. The grandmother, Mrs. Eva Forsyth Brown, then appealed to the Court of Appeals which denied her appeal and confirmed the lower court decision. To read the Appeals Court decision, go to Google Books and find The Southwestern Reporter, Volume 215.

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On 6 Nov 1906, a vote was held in Bullitt County on the question, "Shall the fiscal court of Bullitt County issue bonds to the amount of two per cent of the taxable property of said county, as shown by the assessor's books as of September, 1905, for the purpose of constructing turnpikes or gravel roads in this county?" The vote was 687 in favor and 328 opposed. This was under an act approved 22 Mar 1904 by the General Assembly authorizing any county in the state to issue bonds for such a purpose.

A suit was filed opposing this bond issue, and it reached the Court of Appeals. The primary challenge was that the county could not raise property taxes sufficiently to meet county expenses and pay the interest on these bonds, for the state constitution prohibits a levy higher than 50 cents per $100 value. The court records shows that when the case was filed, no bonds had been issued. Essentially the court said that the state constitution prohibition described above limits what the county can do.

You can read about this case in The Southwestern Reporter, Volume 101 which can be found in Google Books.

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J. H. Rogers was sheriff of Bullitt County in 1888 when he "inadvertently failed to execute a bond for the collection of the revenue of said county for the year 1888 on the first Monday in January, 1888, as required by law." The legislature was forgiving. An act was approved on 9 Mar 1888 giving him 15 additional days to execute the necessary bond. You can see this act in The Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Volume 1, available on Google Books.

If you, the reader, have an interest in any particular part of our county history, and wish to contribute to this effort, use the form on our Contact Us page to send us your comments about this, or any Bullitt County History page. We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you feel that we have misspoken at any point, please feel free to point this out to us.

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/historytrivia.html