Bullitt County History

Proposed Louisville - Hodgenville Railway - 1890

From Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Volume III, pages 1460-1465, we learn that in May 1890, the Kentucky General Assembly approved the formation of a corporation of eight men under the name, "The Louisville and Hodgenville Railway Company." The business of this company was to construct and operate a railway line "from the city of Louisville, in Jefferson county, Kentucky, through the counties of Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin and Larue to the town of Hodgenville, in Larue county, Kentucky, by the best and most practicable route, by way of Knob creek and the town of Pitts Point, or near thereto, in the county of Bullitt."

They were given two years to begin construction. However, by the beginning of the 1890's a combination of economic factors had slowed railroad investment. Then an economic depression began in January 1893 that would last the rest of the decade, putting an end to their plans.

The text of that Act is given below.


AN ACT to incorporate the Louisville and Hodgenville Railway Company.

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

§ 1. That Thomas H. Hays, J. W. Croan, J. W. Ridgway, Gilbert Griffin, F. M. Hardy, W. H. Hays, O. T. Petty and Jacob Hubbard, their associates, successors and assigns, who may become stockholders, be, and they are hereby, created a body-politic and corporate, by the name and style of the Louisville and Hodgenville Railway Company; and by that name shall have perpetual succession, and be capable of suing and being sued; may have a common seal, and alter the same at pleasure; may contract and be contracted with, and acquire and hold and transfer real and personal properly that may be necessary for the purposes of this act, and to do any and every thing necessary, proper or convenient to be done to carry out and facilitate the execution or operation of the purposes of this corporation as fully as a natural person might do.

§ 2. The capital stock of said company may be any amount not exceeding thirty thousand dollars per mile for each mile of railroad which company shall build or own in this State, to be divided into shares of one hundred dollars each; and individuals, railroad companies, and other corporations, either in or out of this State, are authorized to subscribe for and hold stock in said company.

§ 3. The corporators named in the first section, or such of them as may act, shall constitute the first board of directors of said company, and may organize this corporation and serve as directors until their successors are duly elected and qualified. The said board of directors, or a majority of them, shall meet at such time and place as they may agree upon and designate, and from their own number, or from such persons as they may associate with themselves, choose a president, and appoint such other officers as may be necessary. They shall have power to adopt such by-laws for the government of the company, its officers, agents and employees in the general conduct and management of the affairs and business of the company as may be useful and proper, and alter, amend or repeal the same at will.

§ 4. That the board of directors shall provide in the by-laws for an annual election of the board of directors, consisting of not less than five nor more than nine in number, who shall be stockholders of said company, and fix the time and place and determine the manner of the first and succeeding election of directors. The directors shall severally hold their office for one year, and until their successors are elected and qualified. The board of directors may fill any vacancy occurring in their number, and shall choose from their own number a president. It shall require a majority, including the president, to constitute a quorum of the board of directors for the transaction of business. At the election of directors, and all other meetings of stockholders in said company, stockholders shall be entitled to one vote for each share of stock so held, which may be cast in person or written proxy. Provisions shall be made in the by-laws for annual meetings of the stockholders, and such called meetings as are necessary.

§ 5. It shall be lawful for the president and directors of said company to open stock-books for subscription to the capital stock at such times and places, and continue them open such length of time, as may be deemed necessary. The capital stock of said company is hereby declared to be personal property, and be issued, certified, transferred and registered in such manner and at such places as may be ordered and provided by the board of directors of said company. The private and individual property of officers and stockholders shall be exempt from all liability for the debts of the corporation.

§ 6. That said Louisville and Hodgenville Railway Company shall be, and is hereby, authorized and empowered to locate, construct, maintain and operate, with such number of tracks and telegraph lines as said company desire, a line of railroad on a strip of land, not exceeding one hundred feet in width, from the city of Louisville, in Jefferson county, Kentucky, through the counties of Jefferson, Bullitt, Hardin and Larue to the town of Hodgenville, in Larue county, Kentucky, by the best and most practicable route, by way of Knob creek and the town of Pitts Point, or near thereto, in the county of Bullitt, together with all side tracks, switches, turn-oats, engine-houses, depots, bridges, and other buildings or structures whatsoever, and all rolling stock, engines and cars, machinery, and other things that said company may deem necessary and proper for the prosecution of its business, and acquire and hold all additional lands necessary and proper for their construction and operation.

§ 7. The said company may receive by donation, purchase or otherwise, all lands necessary or proper for its road-bed, side-tracks, depots and warehouses, and other legitimate purposes; and also all material necessary or proper for the construction and maintenance of the railroad and its appurtenances. If such lands or material cannot be purchased by voluntary agreement of the owners thereof, or if any owner be, from infancy or otherwise, incapable in law to contract, or be a non-resident of the State, said company may have the same condemned and pay therefor in the manner provided by law in an act, entitled "An act to provide the mode of condemning land for the use of railroads and turnpike companies," approved April eleventh, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-two, which act shall be taken and considered as part of this act. And said company shall have the right and privilege to cross other railroads on the same level, or over or under them, and to approach and cross any and all streams; to occupy, with the consent of the proper authorities, and cross all public highways necessary in the location, construction and maintenance of said railway.

§ 8. The said company shall have power to purchase and hold any connecting railroad in this Stater or elsewhere, and may subscribe stock to any railroad company in or out of this State, and may consolidate said company with any other railroad company in or out of this State, upon such conditions as may be agreed upon; and may lease and operate any railroad connecting with said railroad or branches, and upon such terms as may be agreed upon between the companies uniting, connecting or consolidating; and for that purpose, full power is hereby given to said company to make and execute such contract with any other company as may secure the objects of such connections, by lease or otherwise. Said company may sell the said railroad and franchises appertaining thereto, or lease the same, and may build a branch from said railroad, from a point where the same shall be most convenient, on Knob creek, in the county of Bullitt, to a point at or near to the town of West Point, in Hardin county, Kentucky, with the same privileges and powers of crossing other roads and highways and streams, and acquiring the right of way for the location of said branch road, and the acquisition of all lands necessary or proper for its roadbed, side-tracks, depots and warehouses, and other legitimate purposes, and material necessary for the construction and maintenance of said branch road and its appurtenances that is conferred by the seventh section of this act with reference to the main road.

§ 9. The Louisville and Hodgenville Railroad Company, in order to raise means for the construction, equipment and operation of its railroad, may issue and sell the bonds of said company of the denomination of five hundred dollars each, to an amount not exceeding twenty-five thousand dollars per mile of said railroad, which said company may build, contract to build, or own in this State, bearing not exceeding six per cent, per annum interest, payable semi-annually, with interest coupons attached, to be made payable as said company may direct, not exceeding forty years from their date of issue, and secure the payment of principal and interest thereof by a mortgage or deed of trust conveying said railroad and other property and franchises of said corporation to a trustee or trustees, and from time to time fill vacancies that may occur in the office of trustee, with such covenants and stipulations as may be necessary to effect the purpose and objects of its execution.

§ 10. The directors of said company may make contracts with any corporation, company, individual or individuals, for constructing and equipping said railroad and said branches, or any part thereof, and pay for the same, wholly or partially, in the stock, bonds or other property of said company, in such manner and upon such conditions as may be deemed for the best interests of said company.

§ 11. That it shall be lawful for the corporate authorities of any city or town through or from which said railroad or branches shall be located, or to which the same shall be built, to donate or lease to said railway company, as right of way, the right to lay a single or double-track through said city or town, or any portion of the same, on any street or highway that the said railway company shall select for that purpose.

§ 12. The board of directors of said company shall have power to establish such rates of toll for the conveyance of persons and property on their said railroad and branches, not exceeding the rates charged by other railroads in this State, or which may be established by general law regulating the charges for conveying freight and passengers on railroads in this Commonwealth.

§ 13. The preliminary survey of this road shall be made within one year, and work in good faith begun in the construction of said road within two years from the approval of this act, otherwise this charter shall be forfeited.

§ 14. This act shall take effect from its passage.

Approved May 24, 1890.

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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/lou_hod_railway.html