Oldham County: Life at the River's Edge

Oldham County: Life at the River's Edge

by Nancy Stearns Theiss


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Like many counties along the Mason-Dixon line, Oldham County was an area of divided loyalties: an important corridor for slave trafficking as well as part of the Underground Railroad for slaves who chose to run away. It was also a gateway for pioneers as they moved westward to a new frontier. Through the efforts of the Oldham County Historical Society, the stories and tales of this rich history have been preserved through court documents, old newspapers and other artifacts. Join local historian and columnist Dr. Nancy Stearns Theiss as she describes the muddy waters of the county's beginnings, through turbulent times and along the currents of progress.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781596298620
Publisher: History Press, The
Publication date: 02/28/2010
Series: American Chronicles Series
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 1,269,577
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Nancy Stearns Theiss is a native of Oldham County and currently executive director of the Oldham County Historical Society. She has degrees in biology and environmental education and most recently completed her PhD at the University of Louisville on the teaching strategies of wildlife ecologist and naturalist Aldo Leopold (1887, 1948). Her hobbies include falconry, gardening and sculling on the Ohio River and serving as a volunteer ghost tour guide for Discover Downtown LaGrange Spirits of LaGrange Ghost Tours. She and her husband, Jim, raised their children on the family farm. Theiss has received numerous awards, including the Outstanding Service Award from Murray State University and the Jefferson Award from the American Institute for Public Service. She is also author of several publications and produces a weekly column on local community history for the Neighborhoods"? section of the Courier-Journal."

Table of Contents

Acknowledgements 5

Introduction 7

Part I Muddy Waters 9

Commodore Richard Taylor 10

Hermitage Farm 11

The Westport Lighthouse 14

Early Courthouse Documents 16

LaGrange City Minutes 20

Slavery at River's Edge 23

The Mount Family 27

James Stapleton Crutchfield 30

Recollections of Dr. Stanton Pierce Bryan and His Wife, Adelaide 33

Dr. Rob Morris: Poet Laureate, Freemason and Organizer of the Order of the Eastern Star 35

The Masonic University of Kentucky: Funk Seminary 38

Part II Turbulence 41

Amos Mount Letters 42

Fannie 47

The Weller Letters 49

Camp Kavanaugh, Camp Meetings and Chautauquas 55

Annie Fellows Johnston and the Little Colonel 58

Kate Matthews: Accomplished Photographer 61

The Confederate Home of Kentucky 64

The Confederate Cemetery at Pewee Valley 66

Glimpse of Farm Life in the 1800s 68

D.W. Griffith: Pioneer Filmmaker 70

Elijah Marrs: Pioneer Civil Rights Activist 74

Part III Undertow 77

The Interurban: Oldham County's Trolley 78

School Days at Centerfield 80

School Days at Lincoln Institute 81

World War I Nurse Hazel Weller 84

Louise Head Duncan and the Head Trust 86

The Denhardt Murder Mystery 88

The First Oldham County Fair 91

Goshen Gardens 92

Buddy Pepper: Oldham County's Songwriter 94

4-H and the Extension Service 97

Recollections from the Depression 100

Part IV Currents and Streams 107

Americanism and Jones-Downey Day 108

Mallory Taylor Hospital 109

Highway 42 Restaurants and Roadhouses 111

Fourth of July 115

Julia Fields: First Female Judge 117

The Consent Decree: A Defining Moment in Prison Reform 119

Train Stories 121

Bibliography 125

About the Author 128

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