The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 1 June 2009

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum E-Newsletter
June 1, 2009 (Volume 5, Number 7)

Dear Friends,


>>Next Genealogical Society Meeting to Visit a Salt Lick.

If you are interested in the rare opportunity of exploring a site of our pioneer-era Salt Making (check out our web site about that history), you don't want to miss the next Genealogical Society meeting. On Saturday, June 20, at 10:00 a.m., we will be meeting at our regular place, Ridgway Memorial Library in Shepherdsville. After the business meeting, weather and other factors permitting, we plan to take a field trip over to western Bullitt County to tour at least one historic salt making site.

It will be through fields and probably tall grass and rough fields, so be sure to dress appropriately (solid shoes, rough clothes, tick and chigger repellent).

Activity...A Busy Month

>>Military "In Memoriam" List Completed... sort of. We have really been pushing endurance for the past few weeks, as we have been developing a list of KIAs and MIAs from Bullitt County with a goal of having the list for Memorial Day.

I say "we", but the real work, well over 200 hours worth, was done by Jose' Rosario and Judy Richards.

And we, they, got it done. We expect to find a few more names, and we have not yet covered conflicts before the Civil War, but it is a significant list that we all should be proud of. It is a real addition to our store of information.

The list recognizes those Bullitt Countians who have died (or are Missing in Action) in military service of our country over all the years.

So it is still, and I suppose always will be, a work in progress. In addition, while finding and compiling the information, Jose' and Judy collected a folder full of peripheral information, such as interesting stories about some of the individuals. That information might be a good source for a new research project for someone some time.

The list was very hard to build. Other than WWI and a bit of the Civil War, it seems there had never been such a list before.

Now, thanks to our Museum, there is! You can find the list, updated whenever necessary, on our web site.

>>Memorial Day Activities galore. Speaking of meeting the Memorial Day deadline, we were at several Memorial Day events.

1. Memorial Day weekend service at Mt. Washington, Sunday, May 24. I guess there were well over 100 people at this fine event at Highlands cemetery. A flatbed semi-trailer served as stage. Congressman Brett Guthrie spoke, though his speech was shortened due to threat of rain. I was invited to come up and speak, reading the "In Memoriam" list, and making a short speech about that and about some thoughts for the day.

2. Memorial Day morning, May 25, at County Courthouse. A nice group of, I would guess, thirty or so good people attended.

3. Memorial Day, late morning, May 25, at Lebanon Junction soldier memorial. We were warmly welcomed here, and encouraged to take as long as we wanted, again reading the list and briefly speaking about one of the LJ soldiers on the list. Jose', who is retired military and was dressed in his old uniform, was also invited to speak and warmly welcomed. The family of our most recent local lost soldier attended.

4. Traditional Memorial Day, May 30, at County Courthouse. This was a very nice event, organized by some good church folks doing a prayer walk. Several of them started out about two miles away at the VFW post, on a warm, humid day, and walked to the courthouse. Then they hosted several prayers, songs, and speakers, of which I was one. The organizers very nicely made sure that I was included in this event, with me again reading the list and saying a few words. Nice, heart-felt event, as they all were.

>> Display Expansion for Memorial Day.

The Museum now has an expanded military memorial display. With a self-imposed deadline of Memorial Day, we were hard-pressed to get this done. But we did, and it's not bad looking. We took our long-standing World War One display and modified it, removing some items, and adding WWII, Korea, VietNam, and Afghanistan/Iraq. We attached a large copy of our "In Memoriam" list. The display is crowded, and not the best we have done, but its pretty good, and maybe we can improve it next year.

Stop by and see it some time! Writing this reminds me, for our readers from far away, that I need to take some photos of our museum and put them on line. I'll try to work on that after we recover from our Memorial Day Deadline burnout!

>> Museum Hosted "Chamber Break".

Our active Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce, tries to have a "Chamber Break" each month, in which a Chamber business member plays host for other members to come, see the host site, and "network". This month, the Museum and the Genealogical Society was host for the first time. I thought it went quite well! Genalogical Society President Barbara Bailey, along with Volunteers Shirley Miller, Judy Richardson, (oh my, I'm afraid I have forgotten someone) prepared very nice home-made refreshments. Ken Bailey, Jose' Rosario, and Bob Cline staffed the display rooms to aid visitors. We had about thirty or so visitors and it was a good event.

>>Mt. Washington Spring Festival booth. We will had a museum information booth at the Mt. Washington Spring Festival May 10. It was windy early on but turned into a fine day with hundreds of attendees.

>> Booth at Rest Stop. Volunteers Bob Cline and Betty Darnell set up and staffed a Museum booth at the tourism/rest stop beside Interstate 65 south of Shepherdsville for a day, as part of a state tourism day, giving out many leaflets and making many contacts for Bullitt County.

>> Cemetery Documentation Team continues work. Our award-winning cemetery team of Volunteers continues its fine work, documenting several more cemeteries this month, and answering a growing list of calls and e-mails. Read on for details.

>> Group visits Ft. Knox Patton Museum event and Ft. Knox cemeteries. Several of our Volunteers and Gen. Society members took the Memorial Day opportunity (the Ft. Knox military reservation is opened for just one day a year, Memorial Day, for visitation of the many old family grave yards) and visited several grave sites and to attend a special Ft. Knox display about the cemeteries.

>>Web Site Additions. Our web site is as dynamic as any I know. This month, we've added an updated list of documented cemeteries; updated the Timeline; added the "In Memoriam" list; and added a transcribed "Benjamin Frye vs. John Essry Land Dispute".

For Your Information...

>> Historically thinking, I like the saying, "Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it". I know the source of it, and you might be surprised who it is and where it was used. But I'm leaving this one for you as a challenge. You tell me who the author is. Write me with an answer!

Finally... Anti-Gambling provision in the Kentucky Constitution

Whether you are "pro" or "anti" gambling, I thought the following history might be helpful in understanding the situation as it exists in Kentucky today.

Some of our museum Friends who do not live in Kentucky might not know that the issue of gambling and casinos has been a hot topic around here for many years. Betting on horse races, and some forms of charitable gambling, has, I suppose, always been legal in the state. Lotteries had been outlawed from 1890 until sometime in the 1990's when a change was made in the state constitution allowing that.

Casinos, and, it is generally thought, most other forms of gambling, are still banned by the state constitution.

But few people know the story of why Kentucky took the steps to not only create a law against gambling, but to go so far as to place it in the Constitution (a much harder thing to do, and to undo).

Well, as it has been told to me, a groundswell arose around a good portion of the country in the late 1800's against gambling because of massive corruption involved with what was known as the Louisiana Lottery that fleeced millions of dollars from the public. The corruption seemed to reach high levels of government and business, and, up to that time, anyone who opposed it did so at much personal risk.

But the realization by the general public of the broad corruption going on at the time allowed anti-gambling reformers to get widespread support for the first time.

About that same time, as it happened, Kentucky was writing a new state Constitution (its fourth), so things seemed to just come together for the reformers in two ways.

First was the groundswell of public opinion realizing they were getting fleeced, or worse. And second was that the new constitution was being written, and in unusually specific terms. Many items that would normally be covered by administrative law were instead added directly into the Constitution. For example, salaries for county officials were spelled out, with no allowance for inflation, etc.

The state has both suffered and benefited by such specific text ever since.

The members of the constitutional convention reluctantly supported the anti-gambling reformers because of the public outcry, and so it became part of what we have today. But, I am told, finalizing the document took longer than expected because at times getting a quorum was difficult. Some members would leave Frankfort in late morning to go to Lexington and spend the day gambling at the races!

Thank you for being a Friend of Bullitt County History.

David Strange
Bullitt County History Museum
Executive Director
Museum Phone: 502-921-0161

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: 12 Sep 2020 . Page URL: