Browse Items (50 total)

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The charter for the Richmond cemetery was issued in 1848 and its first board of trustees was organized in 1856. The early records were taken away or destroyed by Confederate troops in 1862 when they broke into the office of William Rodes, cemetery…

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A look at how Madisonians celebrated Christmas at the turn of the Century shows us some ways in which our customs have changed.

In the year 1900, there were no brightly colored electric lights on Christmas trees and on the streets and houses as we…

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The question of slavery split the major Protestant denominations, including the Presbyterians. Kentuckians were caught in the middle with some Presbyterians favoring the North and some favoring the South. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian…

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Glen Kleine, assistant professor of English at Eastern, has the interesting hobby of collecting old newspapers of historical significance. One item that he has recently acquired is a copy of the Charlestown (South Carolina) Mercury, dated Sept. 8,…

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The Glyndon Hotel opened its doors to the public in 1880. Its name is Danish and means "Haven of Rest."

Guests arrived by train and rode up Main Street from the depot via horse drawn street cars. They entered gas lit rooms warmed by open fires and…

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In 1892, Soloman Taylor, a Madison County farmer who lived near Berea, was walking through the fields when his attention was attracted by the sound of weak, pitiful crying. When he looked through a briar patch in the direction from which the sound…

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The purpose of this article is to present some little known facts about Cassius Marcellus Clay, including information about his appointment to be ambassador to Russia.

In 1856, Clay left the Whig party (once headed by his cousin, Henry Clay) and…

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From the days of the Civil War comes a tale of horror about the murder of a Madison County man and the hanging of the convicted murder.

Lewis Eads was an old man who lived on the Kentucky River a short distance below the mouth of Muddy Creek.…

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I was living in Richmond in 1937, but the source of my material for this article is the souvenir program from the Madison County Sesqui-Centennial Celebration, not memory.

From that program we find that the Republican nominees that year were J.H.…

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The objective and impersonal newspaper stories of the death of persons n Madison County these days seem rather formal and dignified when compared to the same sort of articles in the Richmond newspapers of 75 or 100 years ago. It apparently was the…

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In 1862 General John Hunt Morgan of Lexington swept through Kentucky on a cavalry raid. The lack of opposition on the part of Union troops led General Kirby Smith of the Confederate Army to decide to invade Kentucky, which was still in the Union. And…

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Emmanuel Oldham, who for a number of years lived at 204 Hill Street in Richmond, was almost certainly the oldest man in Kentucky when he died in the early 1890's. He was born a slave on the farm of Jesse Oldham, the famed pioneer and expert hunter…

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A lot has been written about Madison Countians' participation in the Civil War but little is known about their involvement in other American wars.

Some information can be gathered from newspapers, but the Eastern Kentucky University library has…

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For many years after 1809, when Richmond was incorporated, there was no "lawman" in the town to enforce the laws and to attempt to preserve the peace. The sheriff -- one solitary man -- was for the first part of the 19th Century charged with…

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Foxhunting has always been a popular Kentucky sport and this is particularly true in Madison County. It is almost uncanny the way men lying around the fire can pick out their own hound's bark. It was the fox hunters who reported the return of the…

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Many of our students of Kentucky history could tell us that the first successful abdominal ovariotomy surgery in the world was performed by Dr. Ephraim McDowell in 1809, in his Danville, Ky. office. However; we suspect that few, if any, know of the…

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It is not my purpose to name every old building in downtown Richmond. On the other hand several of the buildings have dates carved on them, if you will only lift up your eyes and read.

The oldest labeled building is the one now housing…

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In the Dorris Museum at Eastern Kentucky University is an 1895 directory of the Richmond Telephone Co. All 94 subscribers were listed on one side of the 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of heavy paper, with room leftover for instructions for operating a…

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Its equipment was somewhat crude and unreliable, but when the first telephone company in Richmond began its operations in 1884, the local folks thought it was great to be able to stand in one's own home and talk in a normal voice to another person on…

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Miss Laura Clay was born in 1849 at the Clay mansion of White Hall. She was the daughter of Cassius and Mary Jane Warfield Clay. She accompanied her father and mother to Russia in 1861. She attended the University of Michigan and State College in…

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In the spring of 1935 an unusual automobile accident caused Richmond to be the scene of a strange and curious funeral. Large crowds visited the funeral home and the Richmond Cemetery to get a glimpse of the goings-on.

In April of that year, a…

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David Gass (1732-1806) was an early Madison County settler, having come with Daniel Boone in 1775-77. The Gass family was with the Boone party which started out of North Carolina in 1773 but turned back after a surprise attack by Indians in which…

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A digest knowledge of Madison County history can be gained by a reading of the dozen or so historical markers scattered around the county.

There are two major markers at the Ft. Boonesborough State Park. The first was erected in 1907 by the…

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The Madison High School building, that imposing structure high on the hill overlooking the business district of Richmond, has for nearly half a century been a place of academic joy and pleasure, of pain and frustration for thousands of local persons.…

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General John Miller was born on Muddy Creek, near where the branch Hickory Lock flows into it, in Madison County on June 30, 1798. In his youth he joined a volunteer military company equipped by the state of Kentucky. He was elected captain of this…

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The first century of formal education in Richmond included a number of small private schools, and several public schools which were rather provincial in nature and limited in curriculum. There were no such things as state curriculum requirements or…

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Justice Samuel Freeman Miller was born in Richmond on April 7, 1816, and died in Washington, D. C., on October 12, 1890. He graduated from the Transylvania College of Medicine in 1838 and practiced medicine in Barbourville. He became interested in…

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Back in April, 1920 the installation of a new sewer system covering most of the city of Richmond brought about the discovery of some evidence of the early pioneer trail through this part of Kentucky, the Wilderness Road or Boone's Trace. Workmen of…

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Much has been written about the Clay mansion, White Hall, in Madison County. It has been made a state shrine. But where did Cassius Marcellus Clay live while not at White Hall? He did spend some time in a tent while away at the Mexican War. He stayed…

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About a dozen ferries operated on the Kentucky River and the creeks which constitute the county line for most of Madison. These ferries span the time from 1775 when the Boonesborough ferry was established on the Richmond-Winchester Road to the…

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Berea traces its beginnings back to the old Glade Church House where John G. Fee, under the sponsorship of Cassius M. Clay, organized an anti-slavery church out of which grew the village and college named Berea, because the people "received the word…

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At 2 a.m. on the morning of Saturday November 12, 1898, most of the residents of Richmond were awaken by a tremendously loud and frightening noise which, as one newspaper editor exclaimed, "Sounded as if ... a load of coal had been dumped down the…

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Many places in Richmond and Madison County have been famous for their food. And eating has always been a favorite hobby of Madison Countians. I remember some of them, and am indebted to longtime residents of Richmond for information about other…

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Back in the pre-Civil War days in Richmond, over 100 years ago the trustees of the town decided that some new laws were needed to improve the order and appearance of the community.

Under the leadership of the chairman, Thomas S. Gordon, and the…

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Everyone knows the stories of Kit Carson and Daniel Boone, but as great a trail-blazer as these was the relatively unknown William Wolfskill.

He was born in Madison County on March 20, 1798 and died out West in 1866. He was the blazer of the…

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One of the most interesting and valuable sources for names and locations in our local history is in a large map of Madison County published in 1876, by the D.C. Beers Co. of Philadelphia, Pa. This map is considered to be the oldest detailed map of…

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Christopher "Kit" Carson was a famous scout and pathfinder. He was born in Madison County about two miles out the Tates Creek Pike on Christmas eve in 1809.

The cabin, built 160 years ago, is long gone but a marker was erected on the site in 1940…

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A small somewhat scattered village named Brookstown in the northeast section of Madison County came into existence in the early 1800's, flourished for a number of years, and then disappeared. It was located about three miles due west of Doylesville,…

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How many people know that Sue Bennett Memorial College at London, Kentucky, is named for a Madison County lady? Not many, I would guess. It was established in 1892 by Miss Belle Harris Bennett in memory of her sister who had passed away before being…

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The large fires which in recent years have destroyed buildings in the downtown business section of Richmond have caused some interest in major fires in the history of this city. During most of the 19th Century the ringing of the courthouse bell to…

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In 1783-85 the Tates Creek Baptist Church was founded in Madison County. Around 1830 Alexander Campbell, himself a Baptist, began preaching doctrines contrary to Baptist beliefs.

Many of the Baptist followed Campbell out of the Baptist churches…

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A vital part of the history of Madison County during the latter half of the 19th Century and also a great source of detailed local history data is the Kentucky Register, a newspaper published on Friday of each week at Richmond from 1866 until…

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Baseball has always been popular in Madison County, although it seems to be rather in decline as an adult sport. This time of the Hot Stove League might be a good time to search the past of the "favorite pastime."

Harold Moberly, Sr., tells…

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A faded and yellowed little handbook for the 1896 political campaign in Madison County has been passed down through her family to Mrs. Robert Davidson of Ridgeway Drive, Richmond. This 50-page booklet is "pocket-size," and is liberally sprinkled with…

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Five men from Madison County have been governors of states, two of Kentucky, two of Missouri, and one of Montana.

Green Clay Smith (1827-1895) was a son of John Speed Smith and a grandson of Green Clay. He served in the Mexican War and was a Major…

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On the night of Tuesday, February 18, 1879, jailer A.J. Lackey and turnkey James Hamilton locked the cell doors on the several prisoners in the Madison County jail, situated just behind the courthouse in Richmond. They then left the "cage" around the…

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In 1873, a "peace" ball was given in Richmond. Invitations went out to attend a masquerade ball to be held by the young men of Richmond at Green's Opera House on Friday evening, February 14, 1873.

The purpose of the ball was to restore the people…

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The last regular edition of the Kentucky Register for the month of August, 1897, was a special issue written, edited, and managed by about twenty Richmond ladies for the purpose of raising funds for the Pattie A. Clay Infirmary.

Those who worked…

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Most people know about the shoot-out at the O.K. corral, but how many know about the equally exciting battle of guns that took place on Second Street in Richmond?

It all came about in the wild and wooly reconstruction days in Madison County.…

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James B. Parkes, who lived near Kingston and who was known to many of his neighbors as one of the best farmers in Madison County, achieved nation-wide fame back in 1887 when a practical joke against him almost got out of hand.

A traveling man, Joe…
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