We are coming to the end of the counties in Kentucky, all 120 of them. Let’s start today with Union County. This county was organized in 1811 and, unlike many other counties, was not named for a war hero or political figure. Union County was named because it was formed from other counties. The county lies along the Ohio River on its west side and part of the north side; Henderson County lies to the northeast; Hopkins on the southeast and Christian County on the southwest. Soil is good here and many crops were grown including corn, oats, rye, wheat, tobacco, hemp, hay and clover. Exports from the county included horses, mules, cattle, sheet and hogs. In 1840, the population here was 6, 673. The main towns at that time included Morganfield, Caseyville, Raleigh and Uniontown.
Morganfield is the county seat and had then two churches (Methodist and Presbyterian), two academies, one common school, seven lawyers, seven physicians, six stores, one grocery, two taverns and 16 mechanics’ shops. It’s population was 400. It was named for Gen. Morgan of Revolutionary War fame. Caseyville was 15 miles from Morganfield and, being a small town, had one lawyer, two doctors, three stores, one grocery, one tavern, one school and six mechanics’ shops. Raleigh was also a very small village, nine miles from Morganfield and had only a store and a tavern. Uniontown, seven miles northwest of Morganfield had three physicians, four stores, one grocery, one tavern and six mechanics’ shop.
Warren County was formed in 1796 and named for General Joseph Warren who died at Bunker Hill. Butler and Edmonson Counties form its north boundary; Barren County lies to its east; Allen and Simpson Counties on its south and Logan and Butler Counties on its west. The main waterway here is the Barren River along with Bay’s Fork, Drake’s Creek, Jennings Creek and the Gasper River. Mineral springs are located here; the land is “gently undulating”. The soil is fertile and tobacco, wheat, and corn were grown here. In 1840, the population of Warren County was 15,446. Bowling Green is the county seat and even in 1840 was a thriving community. Steamboats came here from Louisville and elsewhere. There was, at that time, four churches (Presbyterian, Baptist, Methodist and Episcopalian). The courthouse was noted for its beauty; enclosed by a stone wall and iron railing. One of the branches of the Bank of Kentucky was located here and there were two newspapers – the Bowling Green Press and the Bowling Green Argus. There were 15 lawyers, eight physicians, five schools, 24 food stores, two wholesale groceries and warehouses, a drug store, a foundry, a candle factory, a wool factory, two steam saw miles, three taverns and 230-40 mechanics’ shops. Perrin did not discuss the other towns in the county.
Washington County was formed in 1792, the year of our Statehood; named in honor of President George Washington. Located near the center of the state, it is drained by the Salt River; bounded on the north by Anderson County; on the east by Mercer County; on the south by Marion and on the west and northwest by Nelson County. The soil was rich and fertile and produced hemp, wheat and corn. They exported beef, pork, hemp and whiskey. In 1840 the population was 10,596. Towns in this county in 1840 included Springfield, Maxville and Fredericktown with Springfield being the county seat. It contained a brick courthouse and other county buildings, a Methodist, Presbyterian and Catholic Church, 12 lawyers, six physicians, 10 stores, three groceries and 12 mechanics’ shops; population 700. Maxville had two doctors, four stores, six mechanics’ shops, a post office and was home to 320 people. Fredericktown contained one doctor, a tavern, carding machine, manufacturing mill, several mechanics’ shop and had a population of 60.
We will conclude the series in the next post.
© Copyright 9 February 2012, Sandra K. Gorin