Bullitt County History

Shepherdsville 1884 Expansion

On April 30, 1884, the General Assembly approved an act to amend, revise, and reduce into one the several acts in regard to the town of Shepherdsville, Bullitt County. We have transcribed this act below.


Acts of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Volume 2, 1884, pp. 726-740


CHAPTER 1189.

AN ACT to amend, revise, and reduce into one the several acts in regard to the town of Shepherdsville, Bullitt County.

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

§ 1. The boundary of the town of Shepherdsville, in Bullitt county, is hereby declared to be as follows: Beginning on Salt river at low-water mark, in the western line of West street; thence with said line extended to the county road leading to Bullitt's Lick; thence up the center of said road to the Louisville and Shepherdsville Turnpike; thence down the center of said pike to a point where the line of G. W. Simmons extended would strike the pike from said point; thence running with said Simmons' line to the Mt. Washington road to the line of T. B. Curry, who now owns the Paroquette Springs property, and with said line to John Corb's line, around his tract with said line extended to the river at low-water mark; thence down the river at low-water mark to the beginning.

§ 2. The municipal government of said town shall consist of five trustees, one of whom shall be elected by the board to preside over their meetings, and shall be styled the chairman of the board of trustees of Shepherdsville. Each trustee shall be owner of at least one or more lots of ground in said town of Shepherdsville.

§ 3. That said trustees and their successors in office shall be a body-politic and corporate, and be known by the name and style of the “Board of Trustees of the Town of Shepherdsville;” and by that name shall be capable in law of contracting and being contracted with, of suing and being sued, of pleading and being impleaded, of answering and being answered, and of defending and being defended, in all courts or places; and may use a common or private seal.

§ 4. The other officers of said town shall be a police judge, marshal, attorney, clerk, treasurer, assessor, and collector, and such officers as the trustees may, from time to time, direct and appoint.

§ 5. The county attorney of Bullitt county shall be ex officio attorney for the town of Shepherdsville.

§ 6. The first election under this act shall be held the first Saturday in May, one thousand eight hundred and eighty-four. Notice of said election shall be given by the police judge, by written or printed notices posted up at five or more public places in said town, ten days before said election is held. The police judge shall appoint two judges, a clerk, and sheriff, to hold the same. Said election shall be held at the court-house in Shepherdsville, between the hours of eight before noon and six afternoon.

§ 7. After the first election under this act there shall be an election held on the first Saturday in May of every second year, at such place as the trustees may appoint, of which ten days’ previous notice shall be given by written or printed notices, posted in five or more public places in said town by the town clerk.

§ 8. At the first election held under this act, and at every subsequent biennial election by the qualified voters of said town, five trustees, a police judge, and a marshal; and the persons receiving the highest number of votes for any of said offices shall be declared elected.

§ 9. The officers elected by the people under the provisions of this act shall hold their offices for two years, and until their successors are elected and qualified. All other officers shall hold their offices at the pleasure of the trustees.

§ 10. No person shall be eligible to any office in said town who is not a citizen thereof, and a qualified voter under the law of the State, and no one shall be eligible to the offices of police judge, trustee, or marshal who has not at the time of his election resided in said town at least six months previous to his election.

§ 11. Every person elected or appointed under the provisions of this act shall, before entering upon the duties thereof, take and subscribe before some authorized person the oath prescribed by the Constitution of Kentucky, and file the same, duly certified by the person before whom it was taken, with the clerk of the town.

§ 12. Whenever a vacancy shall occur in any office filled by election, it shall be filled by an election held by order of the trustees in fifteen days after they have received notice of such vacancy; said election to be held in all respects as a regular biennial election.

§ 13. If two or more candidates for any elective office should receive the same number of votes, the election shall be determined by lot by the trustees, in such manner as they think proper.

§ 14. The trustees shall before each, except the first election held under this act, appoint two judges, a sheriff, and a clerk to hold the same; but no person who is a candidate to be voted for at said election shall be appointed, or act as an officer thereof; the compensation for said officers shall be fixed by the trustees, but their liabilities shall be the same as the officers of State elections under the general laws of this Commonwealth.

§ 15. The election herein provided for shall be held between the hours of eight o’clock, forenoon, and six o'clock, afternoon; and all laws in force in the Commonwealth punishing illegal voting at the State elections shall apply to illegal voting at the town elections in Shepherdsville, subject to the provisions of this act as to the qualifications of voters.

§ 16. All qualified voters under the laws of this Commonwealth who shall, at the time offering to vote, have resided in said town sixty days previous thereto, shall be entitled to vote at any election held in said town.

§ 17. The board of trustees shall judge of the qualifications, elections, and returns of its members; and costs of contested elections for any town officers elected by the people, shall be heard and determined by the trustees, under such rules and regulations as they may by ordinance prescribe.

§ 18. Under the first election held by return of this act, the clerk of the county court of Bullitt county shall certify to the Secretary of State the name of the person elected to the office of police judge of Shepherdsville, and the Governor of Kentucky shall issue a commission to such officer; at every other election of a police judge the duty of the county clerk shall be performed by the town clerk.

§ 19. The poll-books of the first election held in said town shall be returned by the sheriff of election to the clerk of the Bullitt county court, who shall preserve them as part of the records of said office, examine and compare the same, and issue certificates of election to the officers elected; the poll-books of all subsequent elections shall be returned by the sheriff of election to the clerk of the town, who shall perform in regard to the same the duties heretofore devolved upon the county; but the certificates of election issued by the town clerk, before being delivered, shall be approved by and spread upon the records of the board of trustees.

§ 20. The clerk shall keep the corporate seal, if there be one, and keep a complete record of the proceedings of the board of trustees, whose meetings it shall be his duty to attend; and transcripts from the records of such proceedings, certified by him, shall be evidence in all the courts of Kentucky. He shall draw all warrants on the treasury directed by the board of trustees to do so, and perform all other duties the trustees may lawfully direct.

§ 21. The treasurer shall receive all money belonging to the town, and shall keep an accurate account of receipts and expenditures; he shall pay out money only on the order of the board of trustees. The warrant for such payment shall be signed by the chairman, or acting chairman, of the board of trustees, and countersigned by the clerk, and it shall specify the purpose for which the amount named therein is paid. The treasurer shall exhibit to the board of trustees, at least fifteen days before the annual election in each year, and oftener if required, a detailed account of all receipts and expenditures after the date of the last annual report, and shall state the condition of the treasury; such accounts shall be preserved by the clerk, who shall spread the same upon the records of the board of trustees.

§ 22. The marshal shall attend all sessions of the police court. He shall execute and make due return of all process directed to him by the Shepherdsville police court, or by any other court of this State. He shall possess the power and authority of a constable, and his powers for performing the duties of his office shall be co-extensive with Bullitt county. He shall be entitled, as compensation, to the same fees allowed by law to sheriffs and constables for similar services, to be collected in the same manner; for other services he shall receive such fees and compensation as the trustees may by ordinance prescribe. He shall be liable in the same cases, way, and manner that sheriffs and constables are liable, and may be sued or proceeded against in the same manner. He may, or may not, be appointed collector for said town.

§ 23. The collector shall collect all taxes and assessments which may be levied by the board of trustees; and for that purpose he shall have all the powers of a sheriff to make sales of personal and real estate for town taxes. He shall pay over to the treasurer all taxes and other money that may come to his hands as the board of trustees may direct. When the tax-list is placed in his hands, he shall proceed at once to collect the same, and, to enforce payment, may levy on and sell personal property, after advertising the same by written or printed notices posted up in at least three public places in the town, for not less than ten days before the sale; within three months of the time he receives said list, he shall make out and return to the board of trustees a report, showing the amount collected, the names of those who paid, and those who are delinquents; but he shall report no one delinquent, nor shall he be, entitled to credit on his settlement with the trustees for taxes of any person who owns personal property in said town out of which the taxes can be made; upon the return of the trustees’ report, as above provided, the board of trustees shall, by order duly entered of record, direct a warrant to be made out, signed by the chairman, and countersigned by the clerk, commanding the collector to levy upon and sell so much of the real property of the delinquents situated in the town as may be necessary to pay the taxes due and costs of sale. On receipt of said warrant, the collector shall proceed to make levies as thereby commanded, and shall sell the property levied on at public auction to the highest bidder, after advertising the time and place of sale for at least fifteen days, by written or printed notices and up at the court-house door and three other public places in said town. On receiving the price bid, he shall give to the purchaser of the property a certificate of such purchase, describing the property in such manner that it may be identified; such certificate, on presentation to the board of trustees, shall entitle the purchasers to a deed from said trustees, unless the property purchased be redeemed as hereinafter provided. The collector shall have the right to collect the taxes due the town by attachment, in the same manner and with the same powers as the sheriff has for the collection of the county and State revenue; for his services the collector shall be entitled to the same compensation that are now allowed sheriffs for the collection of State revenue; and said town marshal and his sureties shall be governed and be under the same responsibilities and penalties as sheriffs and other officers are now provided by law for making illegal levies and sales of personal and real estate.

§ 24. The attorney of the town shall prosecute offenders against the by-laws and ordinances of said town, and give written opinions upon subjects submitted to him by the board of trustees or its committees.

§ 25. The assessor shall perform all the duties which the trustees may, by ordinance or by-laws, prescribe in relation to the assessment of property for the purpose of improving or levying taxes.

§ 26. The trustees may, by ordinance or by-law, fix the compensation of all officers elected or appointed under this act whose compensation is not specifically mentioned.

§ 27. The police judge, treasurer, marshal, and collector, and such other officers as the board of trustees may require, shall severally, before they enter upon the duties of their respective offices, execute a bond to the trustees of Shepherdsville, conditioned that they will faithfully perform the duties of their respective offices, and pay over to such persons, and at such times as they may be entitled to receive the same, all money that may come to their hands as such officers. The bonds so executed shall be spread upon the records of the board of trustees, and the original carefully preserved by the clerk.

§ 28. The trustees of Shepherdsville, or any person injured by the breach of any of said bonds, may, in any court having jurisdiction, prosecute suit or motion thereon against the officer by whose breach of duty such injury is occasioned, and his sureties, or any of them, or the personal representatives, heirs, or devisees of any or all of them, as provided by law concerning sheriffs, constables, and other like officers. No such bond shall be void until the trustees of Shepherdsville, and every person aggrieved by the acts, omission, or neglect of such officers, have been recompensed.

§ 29. Any person, having been an officer in said town, who shall not, within ten days after notification and request, deliver to his successor in office all the property, papers, and effects of every description in his possession belonging to said town or appertaining to the office he held, shall forfett and pay for the use of the town one hundred dollars, besides all costs and damage caused by his neglect or refusal to do so, to be recovered by suit or motion upon his official bond.

§ 30. There is hereby established in said town a court, to be styled the Shepherdsville police court. Such court shall be held by one judge, to be styled the judge of the Shepherdsville police court, and who shall be elected and qualified as hereinbefore prescribed. Said court shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all prosecutions for all violations of the by-laws or ordinances of said town. Said court shall have the same penal and civil jurisdiction, and the same powers and responsibilities pertaining thereto, that justices of the peace of Bullitt county have, and shall be governed in its proceeding, both penal and civil, by the general laws regulating the proceedings of justices of the peace of Bullitt county, except that the jurisdiction of police judge, in holding examining trials, shall be such as are prescribed by the laws of this Commonwealth for other like officers.

§ 31. Appeals shall be from the decisions of said court in all cases in which an appeal would be from the decision or judgment of a justice of the peace of Bullitt county; and an appeal from said court shall be taken to the same court and in the same manner as appeal from the court of a justice of the peace of Bullitt county in like cases.

§ 32. The trustees of said town shall provide the judge of said court with an order-book, execution-book, docket, and all necessary stationery, and it shall be his duty to keep a record of all proceedings in his court in the same manner and to the same extent as is required by law of justices of the peace in Bullitt county.

§ 33. Quarterly terms of said court for the trial of civil causes shall be held at such times as the judge may direct, by an order entered of record.

§ 34. The police court shall be held at courthouse in said town of Shepherdsville; but if, at the time, the courthouse is occupied by the county court or the circuit court, then the trustees may, during such occupancy, select some other place to hold their courts for the time so occupied by the aforesaid courts.

§ 35. The fees of the police judge shall be the same in all cases as are now, or may hereafter be, given by law to justices of the peace of Bullitt county, subject to the same regulations as to taxation and collection.

§ 36. All fines and forfeitures recovered in said court for offenses committed within the town limits are hereby granted to the town of Shepherdsville, and shall be paid by the officer collecting the same to the treasurer of said town.

§ 37. Upon all judgments for fines rendered by said court, and which shall not be paid or replevied at the time of rendering the same, an execution against the estate of the defendant may be issued, or a capias pro fine may issue, requiring the imprisonment of the person in the county jail until said fine be paid or reple vied; but said imprisonment shall not exceed one day for each dollar of the fine; but said court may, in its discretion, assign a person so fined to hard labor for the benefit of the town until he shall pay the fine and costs so adjudged against him, at the rate of one dollar per day. No person shall be required to labor more than eight hours per day, and while at labor he shall be under the control of the town marshal, who shall be responsible upon his official bond for the balance of the fine remaining unpaid, if such person is permitted to escape by reason of the negligence of such officer; when not at labor, such person shall be imprisoned in the county jail, and for the purpose of putting him in or taking him out of prison, a certified copy of the judgment shall be sufficient authority to the marshal or jailer. Persons sentenced to imprisonment may be assigned by said court to labor in like manner as those fined. When persons imprisoned as contemplated by this section are confined in the county jail, the jailer’s fees shall be paid by the town trustees.

§ 38. The trustees of said town shall have power, subject to the exceptions hereinafter mentioned, to annually levy and collect taxes, not more than thirty cents on each one hundred dollars' worth of property in said town; but no person shall be compelled to list for taxation any money not in his actual possession, nor any debt owing to him, unless the person owing the same be also a resident and tax-payer of said town; said trustees may also levy a poll-tax of not exceeding two dollars on every in ale inhabitant of said town over the age of twenty-one years, and a tax of not more than two dollars on every dog which any person may keep or suffer to be kept on his premises in said town, said tax to be paid by the person on whose premises the dog is kept. There shall be exempted from taxation in said town the property exempted by the general laws of the Commonwealth, and no more, except as provided in this section.

§ 39. All taxes imposed by said trustees under this act shall be a lien upon the property, real or personal, of the person against whom the same is assessed, until the same are paid; and no sale or transfer of the property shall affect the lien thereon until after the expiration of two years from the time such taxes become due.

§ 40. The right of redemption in all cases of sales of real estate for taxes shall exist to the owner or his heirs, or vendees or assignees, for two years from the date of sale, on the payment of the amount for which the same was sold, with ten per centum per annum and the costs of making the sale, and all other expenses by making and releasing same added thereto, and all taxes accrued subsequent to the sale. If the owner, at the time of the sale, be an infant or person of unsound mind, the right to redeem shall exist for two years after the removal of such disability; and such person shall not pay more than the legal interest and taxes due. If not redeemed within the time specified, the board of trustees shall, on presentation of the certificate of sale, convey such real estate to the purchaser.

§ 41. All fines, forfeitures, taxes, and assessments herein contemplated and provided for shall be appropriated exclusively to the use of said town. All fines recovered in any court of Bullitt county, for an offense committed within the corporate limits of said town, shall, by order of the court, be paid to the treasurer of said town for the use thereof, except in cases indicted for felony, and found guilty of misdemeanor on trial under the indictment.

§ 42. The trustees shall make such rules and regulations concerning the assessment of property as they may see proper; and also for correcting and revising the list returned by the assessor.

§ 43. The board of trustees shall hold stated meetings at least once a month; and the chairman, or, in his abscence, the town clerk, may call other meetings by notice, in writing, to each of the members. A majority of the members elected shall constitute a quorum. In the abscence of the chairman, any member of the board may be selected to discharge his duties for the time.

§ 44. The board of trustees shall have power to make, ordain, and publish all such ordinances, by-laws, and regulations, not contrary to the Constitution of the United States or the Constitution and laws of Kentucky, for the good government of the town, and to promote health, security, trade, and commerce, as they may deem necessary or expedient. They may enforce the observance of all ordinances, by-laws, and regulations made in pursuance of this act, by penalties not exceeding one hundred dollars’ fine and fifty days’ imprisonment; but said trustees shall not attach to any offense recognized by the statutes of this Commonwealth a penalty either greater or less than is prescribed by the general laws.

§ 45. The board of trustees shall have the management and control of the finances, and of all the property, real, personal, or mixed, belonging to the town; to provide for the erection, repair, inaintenance of all public buildings belonging to the town—this act does not apply to the county buildings: court-house, jail, clerk’s office, and so forth; they shall have power within the corporate limits to restrain and prohibit all description of gaming and fraudulent devices, to license, tax, regulate or prohibit all concerts, shows, exhibitions, circuses, theatrical performances, and all like exhibitions and amusements; to restrain or suppress disorderly houses, halls, and houses of prostitution; to restrain, suppress, and punish indecent language or conduct, and to punish vagrants or prostitutes; to restrain, regulate, or prohibit the running at large of horses, swine, or other animals; to impose penalties on the owners of any such animals for a violation of any ordinance relating thereto; to prohibit the running at large of dogs, and to authorize their destruction when found at large contrary to ordinance, and to impose penalties on their owners for permitting them to be at large; to appoint watchmen or policemen, and to prescribe their powers, duties, and pay; to authorize the clerk to issue license, to direct the manner and time of issuing and registering the same, and the fees to be paid him therefor, but no license shall be granted for more time than one year, and the clerk's fees for issuing the same shall not exceed one dollar; said trustees may license, tax, and regulate auction sales, auctioneers, teamsters, and ped.dlers in said town of Shepherdsville; they may declare what are nuisances, provide for the abatement thereof, and impose penalties for the creation and maintenance of the same; they may acquire and hold, by donation or purchase, land, either within or without the limits of the town, for a cemetery, not exceeding ten acres; they may make and receive all conveyances relating to the property of the town, and may receive and hold any estate, real, personal, or mixed, for the use, benefit, or ornament of said town.

§ 46. The board of trustees shall have power to grant the license for which provisions are made by this act; but this act shall not be construed as excusing the persons obtaining such license from paying to the State any tax, and procuring from the county clerk any license issued by law.

§ 47. The board of trustees shall have authority and control over the streets, side walks, alleys, public square and grounds now in said town, or which may hereafter be laid out, with full power to grade, construct, repair, protect, and ornament the same as they may deem most convenient and beneficial to the town.

§ 48. It shall be the duty of the trustees at all times to keep the streets, alleys, public square and places in good order; and for every failure to do so, as well as for every other failure to efficiently exercise the power, or perform the duties herein imposed on them, they shall forfeit and pay a fine of not less than twenty or more than fifty dollars, to be paid out of their estates, share and share alike.

§ 49. The owners in front or upon whose premises the board of trustees shall order any curbing or side walks to be constructed, repaired, or re-laid shall construct, repair, or re-lay such curbing or sidewalks at their own cost, in the manner, with the material, and in the time prescribed by the trustees. If not so done, the trustees may cause the work to be performed, and assess the expense thereof, which shall be a lien upon the premises, and may be collected by warrant and rule, as in the case of taxes. Suits may also be maintained by the trustees against the owners of such premises for the collection of such assessment and the enforcement of the lien. All real estate owners of property in said town of Shepherdsville are legal voters for electing public officers for said town.

§ 50. Before any ordinance, by-law, or regulation enacted by the trustees shall take effect, written or printed copies of such ordinances, by-law, or regulation shall, for at least five days, be posted up in not less than four public places in the town; and the board of trustees may cause such ordinance, by-law, or regulation [to be published] at least once or more in a newspaper of said town in addition to the notice herein before prescribed. The publication required by this section shall be made by the clerk of the town.

§ 51. It shall be the duty of the first trustees elected under this act, as soon after their election and qualification as may be, to cause a survey of the town to be made according to the town boundary specified in the first section, and to cause permanent monuments to be erected at the place of beginning and at the various corners. They shall cause a plot of such survey to be prepared, showing the various divisions of the town into lots, streets, and alleys; the names of the streets and alleys, and the numbers of the lots heretofore in use, so far as practicable, be preserved; and such lands as may be included in said boundary not heretofore embraced in the corporate limits of the town, shall be designated upon said plots by the names of the owners. The trustees of said town shall cause a copy of the plot to be recorded in the office of the county clerk of Bullitt county; and a copy thereof, under the hand of said clerk, shall be admitted in evidence in any of the courts of this Commonwealth.

§ 52. The trustees, a majority concurring therein, shall have a right to levy a tax upon hotels, drug stores, and shows and menageries, as in their judgment may deem just and right, to be applied to the improvement of the streets and alleys of said town of Shepherdsville.

§ 53. All laws in conflict in regard to the charter of Shepherdsville is hereby repealed.

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

Approved April 30, 1884.


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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 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. 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: 01 Jun 2019 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/shep1884act.html