Tag Archives: Elizabeth Barbour

Ben Hardin – Famous Lawyer of Bardstown

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tuesday Morning, December 18, 1900


Former Residence of Old Ben Hardin

In Suburbs of Bardstown

The Place Where The Famous Lawyer Lived and Died

[Bardstown Record]

One of Kentucky’s historic residences is ‘Edgewood,’ the former home of Ben Hardin, in his day one of Kentucky’s greatest lawyers.  This old homestead is situated in the suburbs of Bardstown, and is a large and irregular structure built entirely of brick.  It was originally a one-storied building, with two rooms in front.  To this an addition was made on the left, comprising a wide hall and front room and chambers in rear with similar apartments above.  These added rooms and the hall are unusually large and airy.  The hall is entered by a large door in front, and contains a massive old-fashioned staircase, connecting with the upper story.  The present occupant, Hon. Lud. McKay, has added a handsome veranda to the house, which greatly improves its general appearance.

This dwelling was erected between 1819-1822 by Mr. Hardin on land that was contained in the original pre-emption of Bardstown.  The tract contains about two hundred and fifty acres of as fine soil as there is in Nelson County.  A wide lawn in front of the residence stretches down to one of the streets of the town, and is liberally shaded with a fine growth of forest trees.

Ben Hardin, who erected and long occupied the residence, was born in Pennsylvania, February 29, 1784, and at the age of four years was brought to Kentucky by his parents, who settled in Nelson County.  At an early age he was placed in the school of Dr. Priestly, then the most able educator in the West.  At the age of twenty, young Hardin began the study of law, which he soon mastered and was admitted to the bar of Bardstown.  His first case was one in which a large tract of land was involved.  He was alone on his side and opposed by several of the most distinguished lawyers of the day.  However, he won his case and his fame was made, and from that time on he never lacked for clients.  Readers of the Standard are familiar with the history of Mr. Hardin; his public services; his numerous debates in Congress with Henry Clay; how he was dubbed the ‘Kitchen Knife’ by John Randolph, and the ‘Red Fox’ by some other equally as great man.  Suffice it to say that he was one of the shrewdest and most successful attorneys that ever practiced his profession within the domains of this old Commonwealth.

In early life Mr. Hardin was married to Elizabeth Barbour, daughter of Col. Ambrose Barbour, of Washington County, one of Kentucky’s most distinguished pioneers.  She is described as a handsome woman, with many admirable traits of character.  Seven children were the result of this union – three sons and four daughters.

The latter were Lucinda, who married John Helm, afterward Governor of Kentucky; Emily, who married Dr. Palmer, a prominent physician of Washington County; Kate, who married Thomas Riley, a prominent attorney of Bardstown, and Sallie, who married Thomas W. Dixon, a Kentuckian living in the West.  Of the sons, William died of a fever in childhood; James and Rowan married in early life – the former a Miss Chinn; the latter a Miss Cartmell.  James died a short time after his marriage.  Rowan became an able lawyer; served in the State Legislature, and in 1851 was appointed by President Fillmore Secretary of Legation to Guatemala.  During the year it is supposed he was assassinated in the mountains of the Isthmus of Darien, as a skeleton was discovered and identified as his by some papers that were found in the vicinity.

Old Ben Hardin’s home life was always a happy one.  His doors were always open, and he dispensed the most lavish hospitality to all who came beneath his roof.  Many distinguished men were entertained by him at his residence, among whom may be mentioned Gen. William Preston, ex-Senator Garland, Bishop Kavanaugh, Judge John Rowan, gov. William Duvall, and many others who afterward became men of national reputation.  Mr. Hardin’s death occurred in September 1852, and was the result of a fall from a horse which he received as he was journeying from Bardstown to Lebanon to attend court.  He was buried in an old grave yard in a field near the pike leading from Springfield to Lebanon, by the side of his mother.  His grave is marked by an unpretentious stone bearing the simple inscription: ‘Ben Hardin, of Bardstown.’  Mrs. Hardin had preceded her husband to the grave in August, her death being hastened by constant attendance upon Mr. Hardin.  She is buried in the old pioneer cemetery here, in the midst of children and relatives.  A marble shaft, that has been sadly disfigured by vandals, marks her last resting place.  The only inscription is bears is ‘Elizabeth Barbour Hardin, wife of Ben Hardin.’

Ritchey and I have visited the Pioneer Cemetery in Bardstown, but we did not see a stone for Elizabeth Barbour Hardin.

Marriage Records – Washington County, Kentucky

Marriage Records – Washington County, Kentucky

Elijah Adcock married Jemima Clark 06 Aug 1833
James H. Glover married Amanda T. Adcock 01 May 1837
Thomas Adcock married Ann Hall 14 Jul 1836
Charley Adkinson married Laura Britton 19 Sep 1897
Comadore Adkinson married Mary E. Shirley 11 Apr 1876
Cornelius Adkinson married Mary Hendrin 01 Oct 1872
Jeremiah Adkinson married Letty Emily Lay 31 Dec 1863
Thomas C. Adkinson married Elizabeth Barbour 25 Dec 1839
James S. Agee married Martha A. Henderson 31 Mar 1897
John Lewis Cook married Sarah E. Aiken 28 Dec 1838
Silas P. Albert married Anna M. Hall 1868
George Alexander married Mary Warthey 21 Sep 1832
Reuben Alexander married Leah Lawless 08 Dec 1817
William Alexander married Margaret L. Rudd 13 Jan 1814
William S. Alford married Bell Pinkston 23 Dec 1891
David W. Alfred married Martha Royalty 13 Jan 1853
Granville Alred married Louisa Jane Hendren 02 Dec 1869
Henry Alleman married Sally Ann Sanders 1852
David Allen married Mary Smith 08 Nov 1808
David Allen married Rebecca Cambron 16 Sep 1802
David Allen married Rebecca Cambron 25 Nov 1799
David Allen, Jr., married Mary Cambron 04 Nov 1793
Elisha Allen married Lydia Lowry 26 Apr 1806
Henry C. Allen married Naomi F. McDowell 04 May 1852
James Allen married Ann Seal 08 Dec 1878
James Allen married Betsey McElroy 19 Feb 1795
John T. Allen married Lucie J. Jenkins 10 Jul 1878
John T. Allen married Lucy J. Jenkins 10 Jul 1878
Robert Allen married Polly McElroy 17 Aug 1797
Samuel Allen married Eliza Batsell 25 Mar 1818
Samuel Allen married Mariah Pinkston 04 Dec 1868
Samuel Allen married Rebecca Couwenhoven 06 Feb 1795
Thomas M. Broyles married Martha Ann Allen 09 May 1842
Valentine Brewer married Rachel Allen 22 Jun 1829
William Allen married Polly Robinson Aug 1795
Elisha Allison married Susanna Rinehart 18 Nov 1811
Jeremiah Allston married Betsy Slack 25 Mar 1809
Basil Alvey married Patsy Montgomery 02 Feb 1818
Charles Alvey married Anna Martin 15 Feb 1813
Charles Alvey married Elizabeth Ray 08 Sep 1817
Clement Alvey married Mary Ann Blacklock 20 Sep 1817
George Alvey married Jenny Vandike 07 May 1797
Henry Alvey married Elizabeth Blair 21 Nov 1821
Henry Alvey married Mary Martin 04 Feb 1817
James Alvey married Mary Jarboe 30 Jan 1818
James Alvey married Susanna Alvey 30 Sep 1815
James Alvey married Susanna Alvey 30 Sep 1815
James Q. Alvey married Elizabeth Morgan 14 Nov 1833
Jeremiah Alvey married Teresa Fields 03 May 1827
Jesse Alvey married Elizabeth Blair 20 Feb 1821
Jesse Alvey married Teresa Ann Walker 09 Feb 1891
John K. Fields married Saray Alvey 09 Nov 1856
Perry Alvey married Elizabeth Dennis 31 May 1813
Phillip Alvey married Mary Mattingly 29 Apr 1815
Thomas Alvey married Henny Mudd 30 Nov 1815