Karl Bernhardt Grahn, circa 1900

        Mr. Karl  Grahn, an immigrant from Hanover, Germany by way of Pennsylvania,  and Mr. Joseph Eifort (s/o Col. Sebastian Eifort and Rachel Jackson) came to a small community first known as Fire Clay, and purchased several hundred acres of land from the James, Phillips, and Bailey families.  Their initial intentions were to start a new iron furnace, but after the discovery of fire clay on the land in 1886, they began mining the clay.
        The name of Fire Clay was changed to Grahn in 1913, in honor of Mr. Grahn, who had done so much in the building of the community.  He lived in Grahn until 1889.  He had two children, Elsa and Kirk. Kirk died at the age of three; and as a living memorial, Mr. Grahn and D. F. Lee organized the Kirk Memorial Baptist Church which was constructed in 1889.  The Louisville Fire Brick Works, in 1960, deeded the church property to the church now there.
        Another accomplishment of Mr. Grahn was being instrumental in getting the C & O Railroad through Grahn in 1881.  He did much of the surveying himself.
        Mr. Grahn went to Louisville, Kentucky, and built a small plant there using the clay from his Carter County mines.   At a later date a plant was also built at Grahn.  Both plants were incorporated as The Louisville Fire Brick Company in 1905.  Mr. Grahn continued as president of the Company until his death.  The prosperity of the Fire Brick Company greatly affected the prosperity of the community.  When the Grahn's plant was built, the company built 100 homes, a school house, a theater, and other buildings which included a company store, operated for several years by Mr. Tom Powell.
        In 1873, Mr. Grahn's many interests led him to establish the Greenup Independent newspaper.  He later purchased
the Ashland Daily Independent newspaper and afterward moved to Louisville, where he died in 1922.

Submitted by  Garrett and Sherry Lowe

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