History of Lewis County, Kentucky

The richest heritage of any generation is the heroism and valor of a noble ancestry. The mind and the heart are the only secure places for such a glorious heritage. From lip to ear, or from printed page to eye, are the only methods by which such values are handed down. He who collects and puts in lasting form for us the items of such inheritance has done us service that exceeds all possible compensation.

The only apology offered by the author for the production of this book is a desire to render to the former and present citizens of Lewis County that enduring service of a connected history of their devoted fathers.

What is dearer to us than the traditions of our fathers? What is sweeter than the loving service of our mothers? To have a book telling us of the heroic deeds of our ancestors is a privilege few possess; but with such we are favored in the possession of this book. It tells us that these fertile fields were once peopled with trees and clinging vines that yielded to the swing of the axman's blade in the hand of our fathers. It tells us that the smiling meadows were once the wilderness home of the treacherous Red Man, and were bought for us at the price of blood and life. It tells us that these laughing brooks and streams that now sing their songs of wealth and plenty were once the battle lines of our sires contesting with the savage for a home in the wilds. These templed hills of Lewis County that echo the call of the happy plowman or the laughter of the merry milkmaid had their first silence broken by the crack of the rifle and the groan of the suffering pioneer.

But lost in the midst of the gathering years are the glories of those struggling heroes. Buried in unmarked graves of sacred soil are the forms of our immortal dead forgotten their work; unsung their praises; unthanked their service.

From the fast-fading memory of the oldest inhabitants the author has gathered the folklore and traditions that render the unwritten records of Lewis County; and with much care and toil, from documents and letters fading with age, he has gathered the authentic history and put it all in a form convenient and permanent.

So that now while the ivy, myrtle, and clambering wild-rose drape with fadeless green and recurring blossom the resting-places of our loved and own, in the chimney seat or parlors of our God-blest "Home, Sweet Home" we shall read the records of their loving toil. Or while the winter snow blankets with the emblem of purity the narrow beds of the silent dead; or while the wintry winds chant the requiem of peace over those tired but resting servants of the past with this book in hand we will revive our thoughts and increase our love as we read again and again the undying deeds of our noble sires; and we will drop our tears of gratitude and love to the memory of our precious mothers, those Madonnas of the Woods and Hills.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I
Early Settlements: Salt Lick, Kinniconnick, Quick's Run, Cabin Creek, Sycamore, Poplar Flat, Concord, Tollesboro, Vanceburg, Clarksburg, Quincy, Valley, Petersville, Garrison, and Burtonville 15

CHAPTER II
County Organization: Act Relating To First County Seat First Court Removal of County Seat to Clarksburg Rival Towns Removal to Vanceburg Conveniences and Inconveniences Arising Therefrom Change of County Offices The Infirmary Growth of Vanceburg Wise Heads Who Bought Property at the Right Time Present Condition of the City Its Hopes for the Future 87

CHAPTER III
Legislative Acts In Favor of the County 137

CHAPTER IV
Succession of Officers List of Representatives Politics Issues in the Various Campaigns Delegates to the Constitutional Conventions 240

CHAPTER V
Common School System Commissioner Superintendents Boards of Education Teachers Growth of the School System in the County Districts and Schoolhouses 348

CHAPTER VI
War Periods: Indians Soldiers of 1812 and 1861 Companies Organized Officers Number of Enlisted Men Those Killed in Action G. A. R. Posts Monuments 362

CHAPTER VII
Public Road System: Macadamized Roads Originators of in the County The First Built Number Now in the County, and Location Cost of Construction County Subscription Present Road System 367

CHAPTER VIII
Biography of Important Men: The Bar The Pulpit The Forum Teacher The Doctor 375

CHAPTER IX
Wealth of the County Population: Census of 1810, 1820, 1830, 1840, 1850, 1860, 1870, 1880, 1890, 1900, 1910 Area Occupations: Agriculture, Horticulture, Mining, Manufacturing Soil Climate Society Churches Sunday Schools Secret societies Water Transportations Railroads Political Parties Newspapers Public Debt Capitation and Property Taxes- Division OF County Fund Magisterial Districts and Voting Places Map 464

CHAPTER X
Anecdotes and Traditions Closing Remarks 490

 

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Dear Readers: We have gleaned the material for these pages from every known source, and have spent many days and months in arranging these facts that you might not only be pleased, but instructed. Now, as we present this volume to you, receive it and read it in the spirit in which it is written, and we will be happy.

We owe a debt of thanks to our many friends for the cheerful assistance rendered; and especially do we thank Messrs. J.S. Mavity, John H. McCann and J.B. Bradley for their personal interest and zeal for the successful publication and distribution of this book.
It is proper and right to say that the author is responsible for the historical facts; but for the biographical sketches others are responsible. Very sincerely,

O. G. Ragan.