Family Stories

Washington County in the Making – May – August 1785

This article was taken from the Springfield Paper – either The Springfield Sun or the News-Leader – there being no mention of which paper it appeared in, April 1, 1937.  This is such an exciting find as it gives the happenings of the early days before Washington County was formed and tells of the early happenings in the areas that become Washington, and later, Marion counties.

Philemon Waters, Lucy and Peter Abel, Elizabeth Grundy, John Phillips, John Alvey, and others are mentioned.

I must admit I was very surprised to read that stocks, a pillory and whipping posts were erected.  That seems more likely in previous centuries.

Washington County in the Making

Washington County, Kentucky, was created by the second act of the first General Assembly in 1792, which effected a division of Nelson County which had been formed from Jefferson in 1784.

The records of Washington County, from the beginning to now, are kept intact in the archives of the Washington County and Washington Circuit Court Clerks offices in Springfield.  For the court records that relate to the early settlers in the region that became Washington County in 1792, one must go to the archives in Bardstown.

Through the courtesy and aid of Judge Samuel J. Boldrick, of Louisville, we are able to present as a feature of this page such minutes as relate to persons who resided in the area that is now Washington and Marion Counties.  These records will be published from week to week, embracing the period from 1785 to 1788.

May 24th, 1785

A certificate from John Baker relinquishing his rights to a plat for 800 acres of land on Cartwrights Creek in favor of Philemon Waters was proved by Isaac Morrison and Isaac Cox, Gent., and ordered to be recorded.

On the motion of Lucy Abel who made oath according to law, certificate is granted her for obtaining letters of administration of the estate of Peter Abel, deceased.  Whereupon she, together with Anthony Foster and William Kendel, her securities, entered into and acknowledged a bond in the penalty of ? for her due and faithful administration of the said decedent estate.

John Alvey, Plaintiff in case, against John White, Defendant.

Smith King, Plaintiff in case, against William Combes, Defendant.

June 29th, 1785

Ordered that license be granted unto Elizabeth Grundy to keep an ordinary in this county for and during the space of one year, she, having with John Grundy, her security, entered into and acknowledged a bond for the same according to law.

Ordered that John Waller, Anthony Sandusky, Philemon Waters and John Phillips, or any three of them, being first sworn, do view and report to next Court the most convenient way for opening and establishing a road from the county  line where the Lincoln road enters this county to where the present road leaves Cartwrights Creek.

Charles Polk, Gent., is appointed to take the list of tithables on the waters of Hardins Creek, Cartwrights Creek and eastwardly to the county line south of the Beach Fork.

July 26th, 1785

An inventory and appraisement of the estate of Peter Abel, deceased, was this day returned and ordered to be recorded.

John Alvey, Plaintiff in case, against John White, Defendant.

The defendant not appearing, though again solemnly called, therefore on the motion of the Plaintiff by his attorney, it is ordered that the order of last court be confirmed and that the damages be ascertained by jury at the next court.

The petition brought by Mary Wickliffe against Philemon Waters is continued.

On motion order that license, be granted unto Josiah Wilson for keeping an ordinary at his house in the county for and during the space of one year from this date.  He, having with Philemon Waters his security, entered into and acknowledged a bond for the same according to law.

A deed of mortgage from John Askins to Philemon Waters was proved by the oath of Henry Floyd, one of the witnesses thereto and ordered to be certified.

July 28th, 1785

James Morrison and Thomas Morrison, Gent., are appointed to contract with a workman for erecting stocks, pillory and whipping posts for the use of this county.  And it is ordered that Benjamin Pope and James Rogers, Gent,, are appointed to fix on the place where such erections ought to be placed.

August 23rd, 1785

On the petition of Edward Goodwin against Ralph Lancaster, it is considered by the court that the petitioner recover against the defendant the sum of one pound, eighteen shillings and costs.

Ordered that the Pillar side of a Spanish half dollar be the seal of this county until another be provided.

August 24th, 1785

John Alvey, Plaintiff in case against John White, Defendant.

This day came the plaintiff by his attorney and there upon came a jury, to wit, Matthew Walton and others, who being sworn well and truly to inquire of damages in this suit upon their oaths do say that the Plaintiff hath sustained damages by occasion of the Defendant’s breach of the promise and assumption in the declaration mentioned to four pounds, twelve shillings and one penny, with legal interest thereon from the 16th day of September, 1786, till paid and costs.  Therefore, it is considered by the court that the plaintiff recover against the defendant his damages aforesaid in the manner aforesaid assessed and also his costs by him about his suit in this behalf expended.

August 25th, 1785

A deed from William Casbear to John Moore for a half acre lot in the town of Salem was acknowledged in court and ordered to be recorded.

August 26th, 1785

Richard Parker is appointed surveyor of the county road leading from Lincoln.  Beginning where it strikes the waters of Cartwrights Creek, coming towards Beards Town [Bardstown] as low down as the north bank of the Beach Fork.  And it’s ordered that all the male laboring tithables west of the county line and south of Beach Fork on the waters of Cartwrights and Hardins Creeks, do assist him in opening and clearing the same according to law.

1 reply »

  1. Great post! There were more than a few Philamon Waters. I have several pieces of info on the various ones, and this may help me do,more sorting of them. My Lark and Lovel family had association with the Philamon and Thomas Waters families during and after the Rev War. Rachael Blakeley Lark, widow of my Patriot John Lark married Phil or son Thomas. No official record, still chasing that down. One saws Thimas and they moved to Cape Giraudeau Mo, but I find no record of them there. I think this was So Historical Families, in which I found a couple of errors. Phil’s name appears on several documents with her.

    My George Pirtle’s brother Henry 1748 came early and settled near Springfiels, and his son Rev John Pirtle and Amelia came well before 1800,. It was their sons who were early in the development of Louisville, And one, Judge/Chancellor Henry Pirtle was President of the KY Historical Society, and protested and refused to use the current seal of Ky as it was not a true depiction of history, and gave the society a history lesson.

    Both Henry and George Pirtle were in Rich Valley with Royal Land Grants, prior to moving west.

    Looking forward to these posts!

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