Family Stories

The Honorable John Pope

from Pioneer History of Washington County, Kentucky

Washington County has had no more distinguished politician and statesman than her one-time resident, the Hon. John Pope.  He was born in Virginia, in 1770, and brought to Kentucky when a boy.  In early life while attending a cornstalk mill, he lost his right arm.  That misfortune turned him to the study of law.  He was a classmate of several young men who, like himself, subsequently distinguished themselves in their profession.  Pope settled in Shelby County and remained there until 1803, when he removed to Lexington.  He was a member of the Kentucky Legislature from Shelby in 1802, and from Fayette, in 1806, 1807.  He was United States Senator from Kentucky from 1807 to 1813.  He was appointed Secretary of State of Kentucky by Governor Slaughter, but resigned and removed to Springfield in 1820.  In that year he married Frances Walton, widow of General Matthew Walton, and made his home at the Walton House farm, on the road from Springfield to Bardstown.  From 1825 to 1835, Pope was Territorial Governor of Arkansas, which office he held by appointment from President Andrew Jackson.  In 1836, he returned to Springfield and was a candidate for the lower house of Congress, but was beaten by Ben Hardin.  He was successful in the next campaign and continued in Congress until 1843.  he died in his residence at the corner of Walnut and High Streets, in Springfield, in 1845, and was buried on Cemetery Hill.

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