William B. Booker

from History of Washington County by O. W. Baylor

October 10, 1935

William B. Booker, son of Samuel and Rachel Jones Booker, was born in Amelia County, Virginia, in 1791.  He came to Kentucky early in the 19th century and settled in Springfield, Washington County, where he married first, Louisa V. Nance, February 1, 1813.

After studying law, William B. Booker was admitted to practice in Washington County on February 13, 1815.  On May 12, 1817, he was sworn as Justice of the Peace for Washington County.  This office he held until the 11th day of September, 1826, when he resigned.

Elected to the lower house of the Kentucky Legislature in 1818, William B. Booker attained a record for years of service in that body not excelled by any other person elected to represent Washington County.  He was re-elected in 1822, 1824, 1826, 1828, 1831, 1855 and 1857.

After serving as County Attorney pro tem on numerous occasions, Mr. Booker was elected to the office for a period of twelve months on October 21, 1831.  His salary for the year was $75.  In the same year he was chosen a trustee of Washington Academy, Springfield’s flourishing educational institution of that era.

In 1833, when Springfield experienced the first of two severe epidemics of cholera, John Hughes, Jr., who had succeeded John Reed as Clerk of the Washington County Court, was one of the victims of the dread disease.  Hughes died on June 27th, and William B. Booker was chosen Clerk pro tem.  In October, following, he was elected to the office and for 18 years he served the county faithfully and efficiently.  He resigned the office May 19, 1851, and John B. Starr, who had been one of his deputies, was elected to succeed him.

It was while he was clerk of the county court that W. B. Booker’s first wife, Louisa Nance Booker, died.  There is an entry in the County Court Order Book for the year 1839, which reads:

‘Monday, February 25, 1839.  the death of Mrs. Louisa Booker, wife of the Clerk of this Court, being suggested by the members of the Bar, this Court doth order as a testimonial of respect to the deceased and her husband, that they proceed to her burial on this evening.’

Sometime after the death of his first wife, William B. Booker married second Margaret H. Edelen (?).  I put a question mark here because I am not certain that her last name was Edelen.

By his two marriages W. B. Booker had at least ten children.  Of their order and whether by the first or second marriage I do not know.  The issue:

  1. Paul R. Booker
  2. Harriet F., married ______ Green
  3. Samuel E. married Maria F. Lewis, December 3, 1844.  He was prominent in Washington County, being at one time County Coroner.  His home was on the Bardstown Road and is now known as the Ballard place.  He had, among others, two daughters, Sally B. and Mary L.  The latter married Joseph P. Claybrooke.
  4. Hettie M., married first, Dr. James V. Prather, and second, Hamilton Pope.
  5. Louisa J., married _____ Werthon.
  6. Thomas Jones Booker
  7. Eliza L., married Joshua B. Hopkins.
  8. Louisa B., married first _____ Holloway, and second _____ Bucke.
  9. Martha, married W. P. Holloway.
  10. Paul Jones Booker.
  11. William F. Booker.


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