from Breckinridge County, Kentucky – Biographies
Judge Elijah R. Eskridge was born in Grayson County, Kentucky, September 19, 1813, and is a son of George and Elizabeth (Robinson) Eskridge, natives of Virginia. The Eskridge family originally came from Ireland and settled in Virginia in colonial times, and George Eskridge (subject’s father), born in Fauquier County, was a Revolutionary soldier, serving five years. He enlisted when but fifteen years old, participated in many of the battles for liberty, and arose to the rank of lieutenant. In 1807 he came to Kentucky and settled in Mason County, but the next year came to Grayson County and located at the falls of Rough Creek, where he died in August, 1827. His wife, Elizabeth Robinson, died in Hardinsburg July 21, 1844. She was the mother of eleven children, only two of whom are living: Elijah, the subject, and Henry Eskridge. By a previous marriage with Miss Kenner, Mr. Eskridge had three children. Judge Eskridge, the subject, was thrown upon his own resources at the age of thirteen years, and in 1827 came to Hardinsburg, where he learned the cabinet-maker’s trade, which he carried on successfully for over forty years, during that time running the only shop in the town and the largest one in the county. He retired from business in 1872, and since that date has been engaged in farming. His early education was limited to the pioneer schools of the time, but he has been a constant reader, and is well informed on all ordinary subjects. He has always been an active business man, and has held several official positions. He was a justice of the peace under the old constitution from 1837, and upon the adoption of the new one in 1850; was elected to the same office at each returning election until 1862, when he was elected county judge, holding the position for a term of four years. In 1867 he was again elected justice of the peace, and held the same until 1882. He was appointed United States commissioner for the county during the war, an office he filled with great impartiality. He is at present bridge commissioner of the county, and is a notary public. Judge Eskridge was married in January, 1832, to Elizabeth M., a daughter of Rev. James and Sallie (Morris) Taylor, of Hardinsburg. To this marriage were born the following: Letitia, wife of John P. Haswell; James G., Morris, Marian, wife of Zenith Butler; Roscoe, Alfred, Jennie, wife of G. Williams; Melville and Sallie A. Mrs. Eskridge died March 20, 1873, aged fifty-eight years. He was next married, September 30, 1877, to Mrs. Virginia F. May, widow of Samuel May, Esq., and daughter of George W. and Sallie (Dowell) St. Clair, of Breckinridge County. They have one child, Mary Elizabeth Eskridge. Judge Eskridge was originally a Whig, and since the dissolution of that party he has voted Republican. He was a strong Union man during the war, and with such men as Bruner, Allen, Haswell and others, stood manfully by the old flag and made a valiant struggle for the preservation of the Government. He is one of four or five of the old citizens of Hardinsburg who still survive. Jo Allen, Philip Lightfoot, Rev. James Taylor, Morris Hensley, Charles Hambleton, John McClarty, Jefferson Jennings, Francis Peyton, Williamson Cos, sleep with their fathers, and when Uncle Vivian Daniel, Judge Kincheloe, Col. Allen and Mr. Eskridge die, the last of the old guard will have passed away.