Bullitt County History

Bullitt County Judges and Judge Executives

When the county was formed by legislative act dated December 13, 1786, counties were administered by a court made up of six "Justices of the Peace." These justices selected a clerk and a leader of the group for that year. Moses Moore appears to have led the first court, beginning in 1797; and we know that the last court before elections began was led by Robert F. Samuels.

However, the actual position of "County Judge" was not created until the state constitutional convention of 1850. The County Judge held true judgeship authority, imposing fines and sentences.

Beginning with William C. Short, the judges were elected. The dates given below are the beginning and ending dates that the judge appears in the county court order books available online that extend into 1900.

William C. Short - 2 Jun 1851-17 Jul 1854

C. Clay Kalfus - 21 Aug 1854-17 Mar 1856

Wilhite Carpenter - 12 Apr 1856-11 Aug 1862 1

William R. Thompson - 4 Sep 1862-20-Jul 1863

Lorenzo Hoglan - 20 Aug 1863-30 Aug 1866

Wilhite Carpenter - 3 Sep 1866-5 Sep 1870 1

Wesley Phelps - 6 Sep 1870-5 Sep 1874

Wilhite Carpenter - 7 Sep 1870-15 Aug 1881 (resigned) 1

James Caswell (appointed) - 24 Aug 1881-28 Aug 1882

James F. Smith - 28 Aug 1882-2 Sep 1886

Wesley Phelps - 6 Sep 1886-30 Aug 1890

James F. Smith - 1 Sep 1890-2 Jan 1894 (resigned)

Leroy Daniel (appointed) - 13 Jan 1894-4 Jan 1895

William T. Morrow - 7 Jan 1895-1 Jan 1898

Leroy Daniel - 3 Jan 1898-

The remaining judges were elected after 1900.

R. F. Hays - 1905-08 (was clerk 1890-93)

Leroy Daniel - 1909-13

A.E. Funk - 1914-18

C.P. Bradbury - 1919-222 (Pioneer News said sworn in "Jan. 1918")

J.A. Shelton - 1923-25

E. Z. Wiggington - 1926-29

C.M.C. Porter - 1930-33

C.P. Bradbury - 1934-19372

R.E. McAfee - 1938-41

C.P. Bradbury - 1942-492 (again)

H.H. Glenn & C.A. Dawson (protem) - 1949"

Conrad Maraman - 1950 (Jan-July 7), (sworn in Jan, but died suddenly in July)

C.A. Dawson - 1950 (July) (served the unexpired term of the late Conrad Maraman)

Clarence A. Dawson - 1950-61 (according to his obit, he served these years, but note conflict with Arson Moore term)

Arson Moore - 1958-1963

Neil Farris - 1964-1969

Kentucky changed the law in 1976 and created the office of "Judge/Executive," eliminating most of the actual judgeship authority and making it more of an administrative office.

Arson Moore - 1970-1981 (The last "true judge." State law changed during this administration in 1976.)

Cliff Haley - 1982-1989

Glenn Armstrong - 1990-1993

John Harper - 1994-1998

Kenneth Rigdon - 1999-2006

Melanie Roberts - 2007-2018

Jerry Summers - 2019-present

There are still several gaps to fill in.


  1. Wilhite Carpenter held this office three times. He was also state senator 1874-80. Carpenter spent some time as a boy at Pleasant Hill, Shakertown, and had extensive family connections to that community. He helped establish Eddyville Penetentiary and was one of Kentucky's first state prison commissioners (see Who Was Who in Bullitt County, Betty Darnell for more detail)

  2. C. P. (Charles Preston) Bradbury served three different times for a total of "nearly 16 years" (obit). Served as County Attorney 1913-18 "for 12 years" (obit). Superintendent of Bullitt Public Schools 1902-1906. Seems to have been a problem finishing his term in 1949. Died 1964. Note discrepancy between obit years served, and actual recorded years.

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/judges.html