Tag Archives: Jefferson County Kentucky

Women’s Fashions From An 1896 Newspaper

It is one thing to have photos found in antique stores and try to guess the date they were taken, but another to have a newspaper spread of dated photos.  There have been many styles during the years, and some women adhered to them, always wearing the newest fashions.  Others were not lucky enough to have ready funds available for new clothes, and wore their dresses until they had to be replaced, fashion notwithstanding.  But seeing these photographs from the February 23, 1896, issue of The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Jefferson County, gives us a great example of what was in vogue for women’s fashion at that time.

And what a glorious time the late 1890’s were.  This was the era of the gigot or leg ‘o mutton sleeve.  At the beginning of the decade the bottom of the sleeve fit tight to the elbow, then a small puff to the shoulder.  Throughout the next six years the puff sleeve expanded and drooped, then expanded until it took almost a yard of material for one sleeve!.

from Dressed for the Photographer, Severa, 1995

‘The drooping sleeve persisted through 1893 and into 1894 but by 1895 had become much stiffer and wider.  Godey’s described the popular sleeve as wide and very flat on top with “a distinct inflation as they approach the elbow” (November 1895).  Such sleeves required about a yard of material each and were so heavy that the shoulder seam was lengthened somewhat to carry the weight.  By 1896 the sleeve had reached its apogee, extending almost horizontally from the shoulder.  The ideal by this time was to have no drooping lines in the upper sleeve, which meant that some internal support was necessary; this was accomplished by flatlining the super sleeve with a stiff crinoline or fibre chamois, a leathery fabric, before pleating into the armscye.’

The women listed in the top photo –

Top four – Miss Eula Haidison, Miss Lowle Braly, Miss Ella Steel, Miss Lena Hawkins

Middle three – Miss Vera Kerchival, Mrs. P. D. Houston, Jr., Miss Lois McClure

Bottom three – Miss Olivia Davis, Miss Clarice Braly, Miss Josephine Houston

George Rogers Clark and Locust Grove – Jefferson County

Locust Grove decorated for Christmas in the traditional manor of the 1810’s.

Information on the family of George Rogers Clark is taken from articles written for The Filson Club History Quarterly 1935-1940, by Rogers Clark Ballard Thurston.  In his latter years, General Clark lived with his sister, Lucy, who married William Croghan.  Their home was Locust Grove, located on Blankenbaker Road near the Ohio River.  Ritchey and I love to visit Locust Grove – in addition to being open all year, special events are held – a spring garden show in May, a Jane Austen festival in July, an 18th Century Market Fair the last week in October and Christmas at Locust Grove in December.  I will share some photos we’ve taken.

Tea during the Christmas festivities.

George Rogers Clark was born in Albemarle County, Virginia, in 1752.  Within a few years his family moved to Caroline County, Virginia.  Parents John Clark and Ann Rogers had ten children, all born in Virginia:  Jonathan; George Rogers; Ann; John, Jr.; Richard; Edmund; Lucy; Elizabeth; William and Frances Eleanor.  Some of the general’s family moved to the Louisville area of Kentucky – including his parents.  His parents home, Mulberry Hill, was on the eastern outskirts of Louisville, on Beargrass Creek.  Of the six sons of John and Ann Clark, five served as commissioned officers and the youngest, William, was one-half of the Lewis and Clark duo whose famous expedition to the northwest was made 1804-1806.

Cooking Carolina rice and his Lordship’s beef – delicious together in a bowl – at the 18th Century Market Fair!

With bread and cheese we had quite a sumptuous meal!

George Rogers Clark was a surveyor and as early as 1772 made a trip down the Ohio River.  By 1776 he stayed in Kentucky and became the one to whom others in the state looked to for advice and leadership.  For a short time Clark was at Ford Harrod in Mercer County.

Ritchey talking about cannon and shot.

The general and I discussing his last visit to Washington City.

And jugglers!

In 1809 General Clark stumbled and fell at the fireplace and one of his legs was burned.  Erysipelas set in and his leg was amputated above the knee.  It was at this time that he came to live with his sister and brother-in-law at Locust Grove.  He lived an additional nine years, dying February 13, 1818.  Immediate survivors were his brother William, in St. Louis, and three sisters, Ann Gwathmey, Lucy Croghan and Fanny Fitzhugh.  He was buried in the Croghan family cemetery at Locust Grove.

General George Rogers Clark, November 9, 1752, died February 13, 1818.  Croghan Family Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

In 1869, from a bequest from Isaac Clark, son of Jonathan, lots were procured in Cave Hill Cemetery, and many of the graves were moved to that location, including General Clark’s.

General George Rogers Clark’s burial spot at Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.



Monument to Minnie Key Wilder in Cave Hill Cemetery – Jefferson County

Located in Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, is a beautiful monument designed by Robert E. Launitz, ‘the father of monumental art in America’, and was erected in memory of Minnie, the Wilder’s only child, who died at the age of seven.  The child is at the top of the monument, standing on a cloud, shoulder level to her parents, with angel wings, signifying her status as a member of the heavenly fold.  The grieving mother has her hand to her head, while the father points to heaven where his child now resides.  The free hand of the husband is on his wife’s shoulder, trying to ease her sorrow.  Two angels are on a lower portion of the memorial, with their torches fallen to the ground, a life extinguished too soon.

Edward Wilder was originally from Maryland, his parents were Edward and Susan Key Egerton Wilder.  Ruth Sevier was born in Alabama, the daughter of John and Mildred Merrill Sevier.  Her great-grandfather, John Sevier, was a Revolutionary hero and the first Governor of Tennessee – Sevier County in the state is named for him (now famous for Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge).  Edward and Ruth married in 1853 and Edward brought her to his home city of Louisville, Kentucky, where he was a wholesale druggist.

Their daughter, Minnie Key Wilder, was born January 28, 1854.  Tragedy struck the family in 1861 when Minnie became ill with scarlet fever, and due to an unfortunate accident died February 21st of that year.  A young Negro girl living with the family accidentally caught her clothes on fire in the room where Minnie lay sick.  Being frightened she jumped on the bed where Minnie lay.  Mrs. Wilder doused both girls with water and extinguished the flames, but the cold water enhanced Minnie’s illness and she passed away a week before her seventh birthday.

The Louisville Daily Courier, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tuesday, February 19, 1861

In memory of Minnie Key, only child of Edward and Ruth Sevier Wilder, born January 28, 1854, died February 21, 1861.  Edward Wilder born December 31, 1825, died March 25, 1890.  With pity behold our hearts, dear Lord.  Ruth Sevier, widow of Edward Wilder and C. G. Collins, born March 21, 1833 and died February 22, 1915.  Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

In the years following this accident the couple continued their life, living at the same address at Fifth Street and Broadway, sometimes with other family members being part of the household.  Edward Wilder was a wholesale druggist and his many ads in The Courier-Journal in the mid to late 19th century give us a clue to his sales – paper dated Tuesday, March 5, 1867.

His famous ‘Stomach Bitters’ would cure dyspepsia, liver complaints, fever, ague, colic, flux, ‘a mild and delightful invigorant for delicate females’, an excellent appetizer, etc.

His Sarsaparilla and Potash cured scrofula, Syphilis or venereal disease, neuralgia, skin diseases.

The compound extract of Wild Cherry was beneficial for coughs colds and catarrhs.

And his Family Pills worked wonders for constipated and sluggish bowels.

His drugstore was at 215 Main Street (Marble Front).

The Courier Journal, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Friday, March 28, 1890

Edward Wilder died March 25, 1890.  His obituary gives no cause of death.

After Edward’s death Ruth married Charles Collins, who lived only a few years.  She lived at least an additional twenty years after the deaths of both husbands.

The Courier Journal, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tuesday, February 23, 1915

Back of monument.

Front of monument – difficult to photograph with sun in back.

The Kentucky Giant Dies in 1859

James D. Porter was not only Kentucky’s tallest man, but during his lifetime the tallest man in the world.  At seven feet nine inches he towered over everyone else in the city of Louisville.  Mr. Porter was a hackney driver and served as coachman to Charles Dickens, the famous English author, during his time in the city.

The Louisville Dailey Courier, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tuesday, April 26, 1859

Death of James D. Porter, The ‘Kentucky Giant’

We regret to learn that our distinguished fellow-citizen, James D. Porter, widely known as the ‘Kentucky Giant,’ died at his residence in Portland, on Sunday night, the 24th inst., in the fiftieth year of his age, having been born in 1810.  For some time, Mr. Porter had been in delicate health, but his last illness was of but few days’ duration.  The disease which terminated his life, we are informed, was an affection of the heart, to which he had been frequently subject.

Few men have been more widely known than Mr. Porter.  His extraordinary height, being about seven feet nine inches, ranked him as the tallest man In the world.  He seemed to labor under the consciousness that he was an object of universal curiosity and shunned rather than sought the public gaze.  He was modest and retiring – the very soul of honor and honesty.  His social feelings were elevated and refined, his affections strong and marked.  He was a gentleman of intelligence and wielded a considerable influence among his neighbors and friends.

He has resided here since early manhood.  In his early life he was warmly attached to the political fortunes of Mr. Clay, was a Whig of the old school, and never forgot his associations with that party.  He always gloried in his Whig name and principles and clung to them to the last.  When, however, the Whig party was disbanded, and new parties were organized, he ranged himself, like thousands of other patriotic Old-Line Whigs, with the Constitutional Democracy, and labored earnestly and successfully in its behalf.

His death will be universally deplored.  He was a useful citizen, an honest man and fulfilled, with fidelity, all the duties and responsibilities of his life, alike to his fellow-men and his country.

His funeral will take place at two o’clock this afternoon, at his residence in Portland.  His remains will be conveyed thence to Cave Hill Cemetery.

James D. Porter, born December 15, 181, died April 26, 1859.  Heighth 7 feet 8 inches.  Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

Franzmann Family Buried In Cave Hill Cemetery – Jefferson County

The will of John Franzmann was posted earlier this week.  Today I want to share cemetery photos and clips from the local newspaper about this family.  All photos were taken in Cave Hill Cemetery and all newspaper clippings from The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.

John Franzmann, from Wollstein, Hessen Darmstadt, Germany.  April 20, 1820 – April 11, 1897.  Louisa Franzmann, nee Loanaberger, October 12, 1824, in Reading, Pennsylvania, – August 30, 1907.

Most family members have their names and dates carved on the large stone, and also individual stones.  The large stone was probably added at a later date.  Daughter Louise Franzmann could have added it after the death of her brother George.  She was the only remaining member of the immediate family, just nieces and a nephew.I could not find an obituary for John Franzmann, but this loving memorial appeared in the newspaper six years later.

Wife Louisa’s individual stone.

George Franzmann, October 10, 1864 – June 23, 1943.

George Franzmann’s individual stone.

Franklin Franzmann, born July 18, 1853, died September 25, 1885.  Louis Franzmann, born November 15, 1857, died November 11, 1918.

Franklin Franzmann died at a young age.

There are no gravestones for Louise Franzmann and her brother Harry who died four years before Louise.  Her parents and the rest of the  brothers and sister went before them.  I would think the side of the large stone on which George’s name is placed would have been left for her.  Her nieces and nephews seem very loving as you can see from the following tributes in the newspaper.  Was this just an oversight?

Stained Glass Gravestone in Cave Hill Cemetery – Jefferson County

Ensor Plot

During our visit to Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky, the first weekend in October, we chose just the perfect moment to visit this gravesite.  When we drove past, this stone captured our eye immediately.  If we had come earlier or later in the day the view would not have been as spectacular.  The sun hit the stain glass to make all the colors pop and look amazing.

Clyde Franklin Ensor, Sr., June 20, 1922 – November 17, 2009.  Beloved husband and father.

Anna Ashcraft Ensor, October 23, 1924 – August 10, 2003.  Beloved wife and mother.

I do not know anything about the family but wanted to share this glorious gravesite with you.

1893 Will of John Franzmann – Jefferson County

Ritchey and I had a great three-day weekend in Louisville.  Ate lots of great food, shopped, visited the planetarium – and Cave Hill Cemetery.  This cemetery is one of the largest in Louisville, established in 1846.  Filled with history there are many historic figures of the state and county buried here.  In total we spent about five hours over two days and took almost 900 photos.

Today I want to share with you the will of John Franzmann, born in Hesse Darmstat, Germany.  I cannot tell you when John came to the United States, but he met and married his wife, Louisa Loanaberger (Leuenberger) in Pennsylvania, where their two oldest children were born, but had moved to Kentucky by 1849, when their son Adam Adolph Franzmann was born.  Nine children were born to John and Louisa – John, Jr., Philip, Adam Adolph, Franklin, Caroline, Louis, Henry, Louisa and George.

This is a map of part of downtown Louisville, the west side, that shows where the property listed in John Franzmann’s will was located.  This is fairly pricey property today.

Will of John Franzmann

Volume 21, Pages 210-212, Jefferson County, Kentucky

I, the undersigned John Franzmann, of Jefferson County, being of sound mind and memory do hereby make and declare this as my last will and testament, hereby revoking all former wills made.

Item 1.  My farm of thirty- six and one-half (36 ½) acres of land situated on the Eighteenth Street Road near Louisville, shall be divided as follows:

“A” To my son Louis Franzmann, I give and bequeath and devise the northern part of said land on which is situated a brick house with four rooms and frame kitchen and containing twelve (12) acres.

“B” To my son George Franzmann I give and bequeath and devise the twelve and one-half (12 ½) acres of said land and adjoining the property described in “A” on which is situated a large brick house with about eight rooms.

“C” The remained twelve (12) acres of said tract of land I give and bequeath and devise to my son Harry Franzmann.

It is my devise that my executrix shall make deeds to the three

parties named herein giving the proper boundaries by which deeds they shall have a fee simple title to their respective shares of said property.

Item 2.  I give and bequeath to my son, John Franzmann, the eastern part of my lot of land having a front of thirty-nine (39) feet on the south side of Market Street, between 16th and 17th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, together with all the improvements thereon and extending clear through to Congress Alley.  To have and to hold the same in fee simple.

Item 3.  I give and bequeath and devise to my son Adolph Franzmann the western part of my lot of land having a front of thirty-nine (39) feet on the south side of market Street, between 16th and 17th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, together with all the improvements thereon and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

My executrix is directed to make deeds to John and Adolph Franzmann, conveying to them a fee simple title to said property.

Item 4.  I give and bequeath and devise to my daughter, Caroline Rosenberger, the eastern part of my lot of land and all improvements thereon having a front on the south side of Market Street, between 11th and 12th Streets, Louisville, Kentucky, of forty (40) feet and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

Item 5.  I give and bequeath and devise to my daughter Louisa Franzmann, the western part of my lot of land together with all the improvements thereon, in Louisville, Kentucky, situated on the south side of Market Street, between 11th and 12th Streets, having a front of forty (40) feet and extending clear through to Congress Alley.

My executor is directed to make deeds conveying to each of my two daughters twenty (20) feet front and extending through to Congress Alley.

Item 6.  I give and bequeath and devise to my granddaughter, Emma Franzmann, daughter of my son Frank Franzmann, deceased, my two (2) acres of land situated on the south side of Fountain Ferry Road near 29thth Street, and I also request my executrix to expend the sum of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00) in the erection of a house on said two acres of land in favor of my said grandchild, Emma Franzmann.

Item 7.  I give and bequeath and devise to my son, Philip Franzmann, twenty (20) shares of Falls City Hall Market Company stock and also the sum of fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00), and it is my desire that my executrix shall keep said stock and money for seven years after my death, and when said seven years have expired and nothing has been heard from my said son Philip, of whom I have not heard for nearly twenty years, that then in that event, the above stock and money shall be divided among my other children and my grandchild, Emma Franzmann.

Item 8.  All the rest and residue of my entire estate of every nature and description and wheresoever situated, I give and bequeath and devise to my wife Louisa Franzmann, with power on her part to dispose of same by will or deed.

Item 9.  I hereby appoint my wife, Louisa Franzmann, as executrix of this my last will and testament and as guardian for my grandchild Emma Franzmann, without requiring bond or security and empower my said executrix to make deeds for the different pieces of property devised to my children and grandchild named herein and the share of my daughters and the share of my grandchild shall be held as their sole and separate estate, free from the claim or control or debts of any husband they or either of them now have or may hereafter have, with power to dispose of same by will or deed as if they were unmarried.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and seal to this my last will and testament this 13th day of March 1893.

John Franzmann

Signed and acknowledged by said John Franzmann as his last will and testament in our presence and signed by us as witnesses in his presence and in the presence of each other.

George L. Everbach, C. M. Lasater

State of Kentucky

At a County Court held for Jefferson County at the Court House in the City of Louisville on the 22nd day of April 1897, the foregoing instrument of writing purporting to be the last will and testament of John Franzmann, Deceased, late of this County, was produced in Court and prover by the testimony of George L. Everbach, one of the subscribing witnesses thereto, who also proved the attestation of C. M. Lasater, the other subscribing witness thereto, whereupon the same was established by the Court to be the last will and testament of said testator and ordered to be recorded and is recorded in my office as Clerk of said Court.

Attest.  William P. Johnson, Clerk

John Franzmann, from Wollstein Hessen-Darmstadt, Germany.  April 20, 1820 – April 11, 1897.  Cave Hill Cemetery, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky.