Tag Archives: Mercer County Kentucky

Sarah J. Thomas Died at 75

Sarah J. Thomas, 1824-1899.  Spring Hill Cemetery, Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky.

The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Wednesday, July 12, 1899

Mrs. Sarah E. Thomas, aged 75, a highly respected citizen and life-long resident of this place, died, Wednesday morning, July 5th, at four o’clock, at her late home on Factory Street. She had been a sufferer from a complication of diseases for a long time, but bore her sufferings with the true christian fortitude that had marked her long and useful life, and passed peacefully from time into eternity. She was the descendant of an illustrious pioneer family, her grand-parents, who came from Pennsylvania and Maryland, and were relatives of the McAfees, having settled at the Old Fort, here, more than a hundred years ago, while her father and mother were native-born Kentuckians. When a child, she united with the Methodist church and was a faithful and consistent member for 60 years. Over 50 years ago she was united in marriage to Mr. John H. Thomas, of Anderson County, who was also of pioneer descent, and who died about four years ago. Six children, four sons and two daughters, blessed this happy union, all of whom are living, save Robert, who died about ten years ago: Mrs. J. D. Bryant, Miss Margaret Thomas and Mr. John T. Thomas, being residents of this place, while Mr. W. R. Thomas lives in Stockton, Cal., and Mr. James P. Thomas in Hot Springs, Ark. The funeral services were conducted at the residence, Thursday, at 2:30 o’clock p.m., by Dr. W. O. Goodloe, after which a long cortege of sorrowing friends and relatives followed the remains to their last resting place in Spring Hill Cemetery.

Main Street in Harrodsburg – 1904 and 113 Years Later!

Let me introduce you to my town!  Harrodsburg, located in Mercer County, was laid out June 16, 1774, by Captain James Harrod and his band of men.  It was first called Harrodstown, then Oldtown, and finally Harrodsburg.  In the very early years there were Indian attacks, and many settlers were killed.  But the rich and fertile land of the Bluegrass area was too profitable to give up.  As more and more families moved to Mercer County, and the Indians gave way to Ohio and Indiana, life became more peaceful.

In the 130 years since the site was laid out, and this picture was taken, there is no comparison to the log fort and this photo from 1904.  Fort Harrod, and the cabins within, fell into disuse and decay.  This is a photo of a bustling little town!  Power lines dominate the picture, large buildings, churches, horse and buggies, men and women on the streets – with no worry of Indian attacks!  Progress was here.

And if we go an additional 113 years forward to today, we see a modern, small town, but with a few signs from the first photo.  The brick building on the right side of the street, in the middle of the photo, is still standing.  For many years it was used as the home for the County Clerk’s Office.  Directly across the street is the courthouse, which cannot be seen in either photo.  A new courthouse was built a few years ago, and the county offices were moved to a building on Lexington Avenue.

The yellow house is still there, with a bit of renovation.  In the original photo the Christian Church stands beside it.  The church, which has been rebuilt, is hidden by the tree, but can be see in the above photograph.

I wanted to show you a close up of the old photo.  You will have to imagine that the first two buildings on the right (the church and store front) are now the large Christian Church from the modern photo.  The brick building begins with what was the County Clerk’s Office.

Past the building that housed the clerk’s office is The Kentucky Fudge Company – one of our favorite places to eat!  Studio G is next, with local music and talent.  Several other businesses are located down the street.  The building at the end – blue, with a turret – is the office of Dr. Tammy Hoskins, my optometrist.  You can see this building in the original photo!

Power lines are now underground, giving a nice, neat Main Street appearance.  I love small towns – and I especially love living in one!  Come visit – I’ll show you the replica of Fort Harrod, with the huge Osage orange tree in front, that has been the center of many school photos.  We’ll visit The Kentucky Fudge Company for lunch.  The Harrodsburg Historical Society on Chiles Street is a must for genealogy research.  There are many old cemeteries to visit.  And Shaker Village is just a few miles away – they serve a lovely dinner.

 

Mercer County Births – 1852-1859

Mercer County Births 1852-1859

  • Absolom H. Leonard, born October 20, 1852, son of John and Jane Deshazer Leonard, Dixville.
  • Catherine J. Leonard, born April 23, 1856, daughter of Jackson and Elizabeth Patterson Leonard, Mt. Pleasant.
  • Mary Jane Leonard, born July 11, 1856, daughter of James H. and Mary Patterson Leonard, Deep Creek.
  • Nancy J. Leonard, born October 5, 1853, daughter of John and Lucinda Sally Leonard, Dixville.
  • Rachel E. Leonard, born April 23, 1856, daughter of Erasmus and Lucinda Gammons Leonard, Graves Mill.
  • Sarah Leonard, born December 1856, daughter of John and Lucinda Sally Leonard, Deep Creek Meeting House.
  • Stephen D. Leonard, born June 15, 1857, son of William and Rhoda Lester Leonard, Dixville.
  • Turner T. Leonard, born September 7, 1858, son of Jackson and Elizabeth Patterson Leonard, Dixville.
  • Frances Lester, born February 19, 1858, daughter of Erasmus and Martha A. Powell Lester, Graves Mill.
  • Rachel B. Lester, born June 4, 1858, daughter of Erasmus and Elizabeth May Lester, Dixville.
  • ? Lester, born December 1852, daughter of Joseph and Martha Brazelton Lester, Harrodsburg.
  • Thomas Levitt, born December 10, 1854, son of John and Ann Kennedy Levitt, Curdsville.
  • Almetta Lewis, born September 1857, daughter of William and Nancy Bailey Lewis, Dixville.
  • Eliza A. Lewis, born October 7, 1857, daughter of Elijah R. and Martha A. Brown Lewis, Dixville.
  • Elizabeth Lewis, born November 15, 1859, daughter of William and Nancy Baily Lewis, Patterson’s Mill.
  • Elizabeth Lewis, born August 9, 1853, daughter of Elijah and Martha Brown Lewis, Duncansville.
  • John Huston Lewis, born April 2, 1852, son of William and Nancy Bailey Lewis, Dixville.
  • Jordan W. Lewis, born September 9, 1853, son of William and Nancy Bailey Lewis, Dixville.
  • Mahala J. Lewis, born October 2, 1855, daughter of William and Nancy Bailey Lewis, Graves’ Mill.
  • ? Lewis, born March 21, 1856, son of Samuel and Nancy Galligher Lewis, B. R. Mill.

Holt – Maddox 1829 Marriage Bond and Consents

Know all men by these presents that we, Valentine Holt and John Darnall, are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky in the penal sum of fifty pounds current money, to the payment of which well and truly to be made unto said state.  We bind ourselves, our heirs, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 2nd day of May 1829.

The Condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a license about to issue for a marriage intended to be solemnized between the above bound Valentine and Nancy Maddox.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct said marriage then the above obligation to be void, else to remain in full force and virtue.

Valentine Holt, John Darnall

Teste.  Thomas Allin, D. C.

I do hereby authorize the Clerk of Mercer County to issue marriage license for my daughter, Nancy, and Valentine Holt to marry April 28th 1829.

William Maddox

Witness, John Darnall, William Goodlett

Mercer County

This day John Darnall appeared before me, William Bohon, a Justice of the Peace for said County, and made oath that he had frequently heard from different persons that Nancy Maddox was twenty-one years of age and that he is personally acquainted with her and to the best of his belief said girl is of that age.  Given under my hand this 2nd day of May 1829.

William Bohon, JP

Mercer County, Kentucky

The Old Fort on Seminary Hill

Several days ago I shared the name of a book Ritchey and I found when we were at Glover’s Bookery in Lexington – Historical Sketch of Mercer County, Kentucky.  Today I share with you one of the photographs included in this book – and a re-creation we attempted.

The above is a picture of Captain Philip B. Thompson standing on the spot on old Seminary Hill where once stood the log house which constituted part of the old fort.  Captain Thompson, now in his eighty-first year, attended school on the old Seminary Hill, also called Old Fort Hill, as early as 1828, and at that time there remained two buildings of the Old Fort, one being two-story, the other a one-story addition.  The number of cabins in the fort or its dimensions either way is nowhere preserved.  A census was taken on the second day of September, 1777, at which time the population of Harrod’s Fort was 198.

The little white house beside the church is the home of a sweet woman of 84 years – we met her today for the first time while we were taking photos.  She looks about twenty years younger!  She has lived in that house all her life and told us much about the history of the area.  The church burned quite some years ago, and was rebuilt, resulting in the building we see today – therefore different from the first photo taken in 1904.  The fort actually stood in the parking lot that is to the left of the church.  I’m not sure exactly where Captain Thompson stood to get the church and house in the old photo.  But let us just say our photo is a close representation!  Ritchey is standing in the yard of the recreated fort, with the cemetery behind him.

A Historical Sketch of Mercer County for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904

Ritchey and I visited Glover’s Bookery, located at 862 S. Broadway, in Lexington, Saturday.  They have a very large section of books on the history of Kentucky, as well as county histories.  You never know what you will find.  It depends on which estate sales they visited, or who has brought books in to sale.  Let me just say we hit the jackpot.  My pockets are now empty.  But it was money well spent!

One of my treasures is a small booklet by A. B. Rue, the author and photographer of Historical Sketch of Mercer County, Kentucky (Illustrated) The Within Photographs Were Made For The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, St. Louis – and the date is 1904.

I had never heard of Mr. A. B. Rue.  There are Rues in Mercer County, but did not know one of them was a photographer – or that he had a wife who was a famous portrait painter!  The following biography gives us a good idea of the life of this couple.  In the 1900 census of Mercer County, Archibald Rue is 57, had been married 35 years, and was a photographer.  His wife, Jessie, was also 57, had six children, four of whom were living at the time, and she is listed as a portrait painter!  Their daughter, Lelia Linney, 33, divorced, a lady’s perfume saleswoman, was living with the couple, along with her three children, Jessie, Cleon and Margie.  Insco Rue and Margie Rue also live in the household with their parents – Insco is a photographer and Margie is in school.

The Danville News-Advocate, Boyle County, Kentucky

Tuesday, July 12, 1904

The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, informally known as the St. Louis World’s Fair, was an international exposition held in St. Louis, Missouri, from April 30 to December 1, 1904.  More than 60 countries and 43 of the 45 American states, claimed exhibition spaces at the fair.  It is remarkable that I hold a small piece of what was shown to the world as part of Mercer County, Kentucky.  The photographs shown by A. B. Rue gave my little corner of the state a wonderful and varied history to share with the rest of the world, including the right to call Harrodsburg the first town in Kentucky and the oldest permanent American settlement west of the Appalachians.

I will have so much more to share with you from the pages of this booklet!

Kentucky – A History of the State, Perrin, Battle & Kniffin, 1888

Jefferson County, Kentucky

A. B. Rue, formerly a photographic artist of high repute in Louisville, is a native of mercer County, Kentucky; was born in 1842, and is a son of Nelson and Margaret (Adams) Rue, both natives of Kentucky, but whose parents came from new jersey at an early day and passed their lives in this state on a farm. A. B. Rue is the fourth in a family of nine children born to his parents. He remained on the home farm until 1861, when he enlisted in Company F, Nineteenth Kentucky Volunteers, and was in active service the three years following, being promoted to second-lieutenant in the meanwhile, and mustered out as a first-lieutenant at Louisville in 1865.  He took part in the following engagements:  Mill Springs, Cumberland Gap (and the campaign from the latter to the Ohio River), Arkansas Post, and in all the engagements by Grant in the siege of Vicksburg.  At the latter place he was taken ill and was unfit for duty about four months, after which he returned to his regiment in New Orleans and remained with it until mustered out as stated above, when he entered college at Cincinnati.  In 1866 he learned photography at Harrodsburg, Kentucky, and for seven years followed his vocation in various towns through the state.  In 1881 he located in Louisville at No. 341 Fourth Avenue, where his merits as an artist were soon recognized and where he was actively employed until 1888, when he moved to Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  He was married, September 5, 1865, to Jessie Anderson, a daughter of Henry T. Anderson, so well-known as a Reformed minister.  Mrs. Rue is celebrated as a portrait painter, and has studied under the best masters in America.  She has followed the art for many years, and is an artist of superior talents.  Mr. and Mrs. Rue are the parents of six children:  Lelia, Insco, Zoe, Letcher, Margie, and one dead.  Mrs. Rue is now a member of the Presbyterian Church, while Mr. Rue is a member of the Warren Memorial Presbyterian Church; he is a member of the G.A.R., I.O.O.F., K. of P., and K. of H.

 

Henry Taylor Buried at Deep Creek Baptist

Henry Taylor, July 19, 1838 – April 28, 1916.  Elizabeth A., his wife, January 1, 1841 – February 13, 1918.  Deep Creek Baptist Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky

The Harrodsburg Herald, Mercer County, Kentucky

Friday, May 5, 1916

Mr. Henry Taylor, aged about 78 years, died at his home in Dixville last Friday. He was a much esteemed citizen and a devout member of the Baptist church. He had been ill for some time with tuberculosis. The funeral service was held at the home by Rev. W. H. Brengle and the interment was in the Deep Creek cemetery.