The Bullitt County History Museum

Museum Newsletter - 29 Apr 2011

Friends of the Bullitt County History Museum
April 29, 2011 (Volume 7, Number 5)

Dear Friends,


>>Bullitt Genealogical Society Meeting May 21.

We will be having a special Mothers Day themed meeting this month. There will be no speaker. We will be a honoring our female ancestors in honor of Mothers Day. Please bring a photo of a female ancestor. It can be a mother, grandmother, your great-grand-mother, aunt, niece or any female that’s meant a lot in your life. Be prepared to share her story with us.

Normal meeting time and place, 10:00 a.m. at Ridgway Memorial Library in Shepherdsville at Second Street and the railroad tracks.

>>Genealogy Classes at Ridgway Library.

Classes are in progress at our public library on genealogy. The next session is also at the library on May 21, a little while after our Genealogical Society meeting. Call the library at 502-543-7675, ext 5, to register, or e-mail Allison at You can also register online at the programs page of

>>Family Fair August 20.

Make plans now to attend the Bullitt County Genealogical Society Family Fair Day. Displays of family heirlooms, histories, photos, and other family memorabilia will be there and you can display items of yours as well. More on this in later newsletters, but plan for that date if you can, and come be with us! Reserve your free table before the limited space is filled. Deadline for table reservation is July 31.

>>Mt. Washington Historical Society fundraiser at Spring Festival May 13 & 14.

The Mt. Washington Historical Society, which is restoring and updating the Lloyd House museum in town, will have a booth at the Mt. Washington Spring Festival. Stop by the booth and visit, and maybe buy a few of their fund-raising tickets for a 32" LCD flat-screen TV!

>>Memorial Day Ft. Knox Cemetery Visitation.

Our last genealogical society meeting hosted Mr. Arlin Kramer, who is in charge of the annual cemetery visitation day on Ft. Knox grounds that are normally off limits. Mr. Kramer gave us maps and lots of good information. He also offered his number for anyone seeking info about visitation of the cemeteries. Mr. Kramer can be contacted at 502-624-3536, or e-mail at .

Other News...

Loss of one of Mt. Washington's finest, John Settles by Bobby Darnell on Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Mt. Washington just lost one of it's finest citizens in John "Bud" Settles Saturday. He was a man who wore many hats. He worked for the PVA office of Bullitt Co. Was on the Board of Directors of 1st Federal. A member of the Knights of Columbus and the St. Vincent Depaul Society. An appraiser, and barbered in a converted house that I lived in when I was 2 or so that was located where Rite Aid now stands. I'm sure John cut my hair more than a few times. He and his wife Anna Rhea, published the "Senior Life Magazine". John was a charter member of the "Mt. Washington Historical Society." I believe his crowning achievement was that he, along with Norval "Nob" Harris, published the Mt. Washington Star beginning in 1964 till they sold the rights to the Pioneer News. What was special was that it was a positive publication, and rarely had anything derogatory, or anything sensationalized. It was truly a "local" newspaper. They had Stuyler Harris contribute photo's and information for a "History of Mt. Washington" segment for some time. I'm immensely thankful for those articles! John, you'll truly be missed.

I, and our museum family, add our sincere sympathy to Bobby's words and to the Settles family. Dave Strange.

Trivia Answer and Another Question...

Last month, I asked you about Henry Crist, who was a famous pioneer in Bullitt County. Among many other things, Henry was perhaps the only survivor of the "Battle of the Kettles" and he was a major player in the local salt industry. I wrote, "..I am told that "Henry" was not his first name. What was it?".

Well, this is actually a trick question and a lesson in genealogical research. There are a few papers written that say Henry's first name was "Thomas" because a "Thomas Henry Crist" was found listed in some old papers in the state of his birth. That research was even used as part of a Daughters of the American Revolution genealogical application for our Henry Crist.

The problem is, there were several Henry Crists in the area at the time, and it is not known, and maybe even unlikely, that our "Henry" and the "Thomas Henry" are one and the same. So be careful of the temptation of matching names and histories that seem the same, but are not really verified.

A similar error recently came up when someone noticed census documents on that listed "Paris" as a community in Bullitt County (there is none). On looking closely at the images of the original census documents, our intrepid researcher Charles Hartley discovered that "Paris" came from the heading on the paper saying something like "Town, Parish, or Township....". But "Parish" had been transcribed incorrectly, causing a misleading error that is there for the world to see. Check out the details here

Now for this month's trivia question: Most people know that the worst flood in local and regional recorded history was in 1937. In our county courthouse, it is really easy to see how high the water came up in the building... if you know where to look. If standing inside the courthouse, how can you still see the high water mark of 1937?


>>Donations. We have had a lot of great donations of books and documents this month.

Edith Blissett has produced yet another of her great transcriptions of old local newspapers. This one is "The Pioneer News 1925", and she gave the museum a printed copy and a digital version. This also marks a change in her series. This edition is available to the public only in digital form (CD). These transcription books are often 2-3 inches thick and become quite costly to print. Plus, in this digital age, a CD version can be far more useful because it is text-searchable. Edith's new book, on CD, is available at the museum for $20, ten of which Edith graciously donates to the museum. Her previous work is also now available on CD.

Corey Stovall has been doing quite a bit of research on his family line with Volunteer Ed Lee. Recently, Corey came by and donated a printed and CD-version copy of "Stovall, Descendants of Bartholomew Stoval (1655-1722)". We thank him for this donation and will add it to our families collection of books.

Volunteer Mark Milliner donated the book, "By Shaker Hands, The Art of the Shakers" by June Sprigg. I have written before about the close connections between Bullitt County and the Shaker community.

Barbara Bailey came across a nice book "Amistad Rising, a story of Freedom", by Veronica Chambers, and donated it to the museum.

We received files of genealogical information on many families from Mary Brewer and Doris Owen on such names as Bridwell, Monroe, Bird, Gentry, Hall, Stallings, and Taylor, to name just a few.

And finally, I have written before about local (and internationally recognized) artist Alma Lesch, and that a replacement state history marker was recently installed at the intersection of Highway 44 and Buckman Street in Shepherdsville. That replacement marker (two previous ones at another location had been destroyed by car wrecks) was paid for and arranged by Eugenia K. Potter with the assistance of Dennis Shaffner and a little help from the museum. Ms. Potter has been active statewide in seeing that women get recognized for their contributions and has written a book on the subject. I thank her for her donation to the museum of her book, "Kentucky Women - Two Centuries of Indomitable Spirit & Vision," which includes a section about Alma.

Our sincere thanks to everyone for these donations.

>>1959 Airplane Crash.

Ken Machtolff and Chales W. Arrington have been researching a plane wreck that happened in Bullitt County in 1959 when a "Thunderbirds" show plane crashed in southern Bullitt County, near the intersection of Highway 245 and Highway 61. We will have that story in a future newsletter.

>>Web Site Additions.

Note especially that the genealogical society has added some of the first editions of the Wilderness Road to our online web collection.

Follow this link to the page of Latest Additions.

>>Yet Another Big Recognition of Our Little Museum.

It's getting so common that local papers might be bored with covering it, but our museum was recognized again for its good work. This time, it was the Kentucky House of Representatives, which honored the Bullitt County History Museum as a "phenomenal museum" and "vibrant community asset," appreciating its volunteers and free public service to the community, and "one of the best front doors of any county courthouse in the state."

For Your Information...

If you haven't checked this web site, you could be missing some great info. "Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers" is an amazing undertaking, scanning, in a text-searchable format, newspapers from all over the U.S. including several in Kentucky. Give it a try at

Another good web site is, which provides all sorts of interesting info from the current and past censuses.


Our Bullitt County Floods

Spring, like a newborn baby, is a trickster with its freshness and sometimes devious sweetness. So, despite an occasional scream or a noise, or a little "wind", or a little wetness, they both cause us to look to the future, to the good that might come rather than the bad.

As we emerge from Winter and look to the sunshine of Spring, we even look forward to the labor of grass mowing and yard work, and briefly forget the hazards and worries that lie ahead.

But Mother Nature brought us back to sudden reality this month, with never-ending rain storms and the resultant flooding. As I write this, many roads in Bullitt County are covered with water. The Salt River and the Rolling Fork are WAY beyond their banks. Yesterday the Salt River Bridge and many others were blocked to the extent that people struggled to find a way home at the end of the work day. Several homes and businesses were flooded.

But today the sun is shining and the waters begin to recede, and the promise of Spring and renewal shines again. Though several low-lying sections of town were under water, I am told that it takes a flood level at Shepherdsville of about 40 feet to get into the the main business district, and we "only" reached about 33 feet or so this time around.

I close this newsletter with statistics of high water in Shepherdsville over the years.

May your Spring and your future be sunny and bright.

Historical Crests for Salt River at Shepherdsville

(1) 47.30 ft on 01/26/1937
(2) 41.50 ft on 03/11/1964
(3) 40.92 ft on 03/03/1997
(4) 40.84 ft on 05/09/1961
(5) 38.04 ft on 03/07/1945
(6) 35.84 ft on 03/20/1943
(7) 33.40 ft on 03/06/1964
(8) 32.58 ft on 12/10/1978
(9) 32.08 ft on 02/14/1948
(10) 32.01 ft on 09/23/1979
(11) 31.82 ft on 02/16/1989
(12) 31.64 ft on 02/28/1962
(13) 31.30 ft on 02/16/1990
(14) 31.00 ft on 03/04/1940
(15) 30.77 ft on 01/22/1959
(16) 30.76 ft on 01/15/1951
(17) 30.70 ft on 04/05/1957
(18) 30.32 ft on 11/19/1957
(19) 29.90 ft on 03/06/1939
(20) 29.80 ft on 03/17/1963
(21) 29.64 ft on 02/15/1949
(22) 29.55 ft on 02/26/1972
(23) 29.14 ft on 03/04/1953
(24) 29.02 ft on 04/03/1970
(25) 29.02 ft on 06/24/1960

Thank you for being a Friend of the Bullitt County History Museum.

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

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: 19 May 2022 . Page URL: