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Precincts and Communities

Precinct of Leesburg, Kentucky

Chapter XVI
Pages 324-327

Leesburg Precinct - Topography and description - Pioneer settlement - Early Life on the frontier - Roads, Mills, Distilleries, Factories, Etc. - Churches and schools - Villages

Leesburg Precinct, or No. 7 of the election precincts of Harrison County, is situated in the extreme southern part of the county, and is bounded on the north by Unity Precinct, on the east by it and Cynthiana Precinct, on the south by Bourbon County and west by Scott County. The surface of the country in Leesburg is less rough and broken than in the north part of the county, partaking more of the nature of the rolling blue grass lands of Scott and Bourbon Counties. The timber is similar to that described in other precincts of this county. Huskins' Run flows through the southern part of the precinct, emptying into the South Fork of Licking River. Silas Creek flows along the southern border, forming the boundary line between Harrison and Bourbon Counties. Gray's Run and its tributaries drain the central part, while the north part is drained by Mill Creek. All of these small streams are tributaries of the Licking River. They afford an excellent system of natural drainage, and in early times furnished power to numerous mills erected by the pioneers. Chief products are corn, wheat, hemp, tobacco; grazing is carried on to some extent.

One of the first settlers in what is now Leesburg Precinct was William E. Boswell. He came from Loudoun County, Va., about the year 1790-91, and settled near the present village of Leesburg. He was of a proud, old family, and committed an act of disobedience by marrying against his father's will, for which he was disinherited. This led him to seek a home in the wilderness of Kentucky, where he took an active part in the stirring events of her early history. He was elected to the Legislature in 1793, when scarcely more than twenty-one years of age, and was re-elected every year until 1806. In 1799, he was elected to the convention called for the purpose of revising the State Constitution. He was a Colonel in the war of 1812, and he and Col. Dudley commanded the two regiments forming Gen. Green Clay's brigade. His son, B.T .Boswell, is still living in the neighborhood, and has in his possession a trunk, which his father's old body servant carried at the siege of Fort Meigs, and which still bears the marks of tomahawks received in the battle or siege. The early neighbors of Col. Boswell were Elijah Chinn, John Kinkead, Elkanah Jennings, Billy Lowry, David Dickson, James Ward, William Gray and sons and William Frances. John Craig, Sr., also lived in the neighborhood, and was from North Carolina. He settled here about the year 1790-91. His son James was a soldier in the war of 1812, and was taken prisoner at the battle of the River Raisin, but was exchanged after a short captivity.

An early settler in this vicinity was a man named Lee. His tragic death is still remembered, and is often narrated by the old people of the neighborhood to the curious stranger. He was shot by an Indian while peeping from behind a tree near the present little village of Leeslick. The tree is still pointed out, and stands within twenty feet of the spring which bubbles from the ground in the midst of the village.

The early life and enjoyment of the pioneers were simple and rude in comparison to what they are at the present day. The time of the men was taken up in their farming operations; all the family supplies were produced by them; meat, bread and a few vegetables being the main staples in the way of provisions. Whisky was a common beverage; the surplus grain was made into whisky, and thus put to more convenient shape to handle; it was almost a legal tender. A great source of enjoyment among the young people was the pioneer quilting party. These old-time quilting-parties were usually wound up with a dance. A log cabin with puncheon floor was no obstacle to those who wished to "trip the light fantastic toe." The pleasure and enjoyment of those times, if not so refined as now, were of quite as much interest to the young people. The early farmer worked to a great disadvantage; his teams were oxen, and his plows of the rudest description, made principally of wood by some farmer more handy with tools than his neighbors. Crops were not raised and harvested without the severest manual labor. Those days of toil and privation are over, and the most prosperous farms and happy homes are to be found where erst the pioneer labored.

Leesburg Precinct is well supplied with roads--those highways of travel which build up the commerce of every country. The Leesburg & Newton pike was the first built through the precinct, which was about the year 1850. The Cynthiana & Leesburg pike was continued to Oxford, in Scott County, in 1870. Megibben pike forms the east boundary; the Connersville & Scott County pike extends from Connersville into Scott County; Leesburg & Leeslick pike, built about 1860, extends to within one mile of Connersville.

The pioneer improvements and industries in this locality were comprised in mills, distilleries, tan-yards, hemp factories, etc. Proctor Cleveland and John Paul, two early settlers in the vicinity of Leeslick, built horse-mills, which were probably among the first mills in the community. John Craig is supposed to have built the first water-power mill. It was on Mill Creek, near where the Connersville & Cynthiana pike crosses the stream. John Conner sued to fish there when a boy, and caught many fine bass; he also caught a pickerel there once which weighed five pounds. Col. Boswell built a mill about the year 1810, and John Miller opened a distillery sixty or seventy years ago, where the surplus corn found a ready market. Benjamin Conrad, an early settler, had a horse-mill near Connersville. Other mils, factories, etc., will be mentioned in connection with the villages.

The first church edifice built in what now forms Leesburg Precinct, was known as the "old Mount Pleasant Church." It was of logs, and was built about the year 1795; Rev. Mr. Lyle was the first preacher. This rude temple of worship satisfied the simple wants of the congregation ,until 1840, when it was torn down and a substantial brick erected in its place. Among the ministers who have been in charge ore Revs. Phillips, Moreland, Van Meter, etc. The latter is the present pastor. The church was moved to Broadwell in 1860. The Old School Baptists built a church known as the "Mill Creek Baptist Church," in 1810, of which John Conner was the first preacher. It was ton down in 1865, and has not been rebuilt. The first school was taught at old Mount Pleasant Church in 1795, by a man named McCollum. The precinct has on lack of educational facilities at the present day. Good schools are taught for the usual term each year, and are well attended. The first magistrate was William English. The majesty of the law is now represented in the persons of Richard Levi and Thomas Arnett, Magistrates, and John Coppage, Constable.

Leesburg was laid out as a village by Col. Boswell in 1817, who owned the land. It was first called Boswell's Cross Roads, but the name was afterward changed to Leesburg, for the town of that name in Virginia, whence Col. Boswell emigrated. It has a population, at present, of 225, of whom about 175 are white. The first store was kept by William Cogswell, who embarked in the business about the year 1818. He was also the first Postmaster upon the establishment of a post office. The first blacksmith shop where the town now stands was kept by John Hardrick from 1803 to about 1818. A tavern, the first in the place, was opened, in 1821, by Levi P. Scroggins. This was formerly a live, energetic business place, but the era of railroads has done for it what has been done for thousands of others--destroyed its business prospects. Years ago, considerable manufacturing was carried on in Leesburg. A hat factory was established by Jouett & Griffith in 1830, which did quite an extensive business for a time. A hemp factory was established in 1837, by M. & W. Anderson. This was turned into a cotton factory, the next year, by William Hearn. Another hemp factory was established by Samuel Kinkead; the second by Hamilton & Cummings. The business outlook now presents the following exhibit: Four general stores, one blacksmith shop, one woodshop, one undertaker, one carding factory operated by W.A. Walker. Socially, morally and intellectually, it shows up as follows: One white church, two colored churches, three white schools, one colored school, one Masonic lodge (recently deceased), and the local option law, since 1875, has been in force.

The first church in the village of Leesburg was built in 1830. It was known as "Republican Church," and is now used by the white public school. The Christian Church was built in 1833, and Elder John A. Gano was the first pastor, as well as the present one, though others have intervened. The present membership is represented to be between 400 and 5000. The first member of old Republican Church is said to have been Joseph Wasson, who was baptized in Silas Creek in 1826. The two colored churches are of the Baptist and Methodist denominations. Of the three white schools, one is a public school and the other two are private schools. All are in a prosperous condition and well attended. The colored school is also well attended by the colored children of the village, who are laudably engaged in educating themselves for future Congressmen and policemen.

The Masonic lodge was established in 1820, and known as "Warren Lodge." It flourished for a number of years, then ceased to exist for a time, was revived and continued to "work" until 1880, when it again went into "winter quarters," whence it has not issued at the present writing. Requiescat in pace. Leesburg is the voting place of the precinct, and here, periodically, assemble the sturdy yeomanry to exercise their rights of franchise.

Leeslick is a small place of about forty inhabitants, and was named for one Lee, who was shot here by the Indians, when this section was scarcely as safe an abiding-place as it is now. The circumstance has already been alluded to in this chapter. There is a fine spring of white sulphur water, which made it a place of great resort by the Indians, and also by the deer and buffalo, which came here to slake their thirst. The place has now two stores, one blacksmith shop, one school (near by), one saw and grist mill, etc. The first store was opened by John Scott in 1835. A distillery was erected and operated by Thomas Arnett, but has been discontinued. Both the saw and grist mill do a good business.

Broadwell comprises but a small collection of houses, and received its name from Asbury Broadwell, who owned the land upon which it stands. It is situated on the old State road, leading from Lexington to Covington, and before the day of railroads was a thriving place. Broadwell built a storehouse, which was occupied by Cox & Thornton, the first merchants. There is but little business down in the place. A blacksmith shop and a post office, of which Mary A. Lail is Postmaster, is about all there is in the way of business.--Perrin.

Pages 719-724:
Leesburg Precinct

THOS. B. ARNETT, farmer, P.O. Connersville. Born in Bourbon County in 1825, his father, James Arnett, came from Virginia and died young, being only forty-seven years old. His grandfather was Zachariah Arnett, a soldier in the war of 1812. His mother, Sarah Woodgate, is still living at the advanced age of eighty-two; she was the daughter of Jonathan and Sarah Woods of Fayette County. Mr. Arnett has been twice married; first in 1848, to Miss Susan McDaniel, a daughter of George McDaniel, of Harrison County; she died in 1855, leaving two living children, viz: Sarah L. Matthews and Eliza Jane Cason, and Wm. B. died in 1871; then in 1867, he married Miss Maria McDaniel, sister of his first wife. He owns twenty-two acres of land one mile from Broadwell, but lives one-half mile south of Leeslick. He and wife are consistent members of the Christian Church at Leesburg, he being an Elder, and a member of the Masonic fraternity; he is a Democrat, and was first elected a Justice of the Peace in 1866 and has been three times elected to the same office from Leesburg Precinct; he had, prior to this time, served nine years as Constable of the same precinct. He has one thing to be proud of: having never offered for an office without being endorsed by the people of his precinct. In 1881, he offered for the nomination of County Judge against two popular and well known gentlemen, yet he was endorsed by the people of Leesburg Precinct by a large majority.

DAVID ALLEN, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana, in the primitive days of our Commonwealth, there came many families from Virginia and other States, to occupy some of the fine country of Central Kentucky; among that number were David Allen and Elizabeth Wright, who came when quite young with their parents. Settling near each other they grew up together, loved each other and were married. Among the children of that marriage was David, whose name heads this sketch, being born in Bourbon County in the year 1805. He has been three times married; first to Miss Emily Talbott; daughter of Samuel Talbott, she dying without children. Was married second time to Miss Ellen Berry, daughter of Benjamin Berry; by this wife he has nine living children, named Joseph, Bushrod, Julia Ann, Sarah, Mary, David, Columbus, Martha and Clara. The second wife dying, he was married the last time to Mrs. Maria Way; by this union he has no children. He is the owner of 300 acres of good land eight miles from Cynthiana, near Cynthiana and Leesburg Turnpike, and a member of the Methodist Church at Pleasant Green.

CORNELIUS AMMERMAN, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana. Among the early pioneers to Bourbon County was Phillip Ammerman from Maryland. His son, Daniel Ammerman, married a Miss Reed, daughter of Jonathan Reed of Bourbon who died in 1864. Phillip Ammerman died in 1844. Cornelius Ammerman was born in Bourbon County in 1817, and was married to Miss Elizabeth Renaker, daughter of Jacob and Francis (Bennet) Renaker. By this union they have seven children, named Sarah F. Lydick, Martha Ellen Henry, wife of Thos. Henry, Daniel, Loulie Forsythe of Mercer County, Jacob H., Lizzie W., James L. He is the owner of 307 acres of land five and one-half miles from Cynthiana, near Lexington and Covington roads. He is a Granger and he and wife are among the leading members of the Methodist church at Mt. Hope; and he is a good solid citizen.

LUKE ADAMS, farmer, P.O. Connersville; a native of Bourbon County, born in 1816. His father was Francis Adams who came from North Carolina. His mother was America Brennen, daughter of Mr. T. Brennen, who died in Georgetown. Mr. Adams has been three times married, first to Miss Frances Jane Furnish, in 1844. She died in 1857, leaving six children, viz: Wm. F., America Courtney, T. L, Rebecca E., who died in 1875, Anna and McKenney. Then in 1863, he married Emily Courtney. She died in 1865 and in 1866 he married Mrs. Elizabeth Goodnight of Harrison. He is the owner of 235 acres of land two miles west of Connersville. He is a member and ruling Elder in the Presbyterian Church at Beards, in Scott County, and his wife is a member of the Methodist Church at White Oaks in Harrison County.

BUSHROD TEMPLE BOSWELL, P.O. Leesburg; farmer and stock raiser; was born Jan. 14, 1811. His father was William Elliott Boswell, born Jan. 8, 1772 and died May 22, 1828. His grandfather was George Boswell, who died near David's Fork in 1817. His mother was Hannah Hardage Smith, daughter of Temple Smith, of Harrison, she being born Aug. 5, 1781, and died Feb. 12, 1863. The father and mother were married in 1810. Our subject was married in 1844, to Miss Susan Smith, by whom he had one child, which died in infancy. Mrs. Boswell dying in 1846, Mr. Boswell, in 1852, married Miss Susan Penn, of Scott County, by whom he has had eight children: William Gustavus, James Lane, Joseph, Sallie Hunter, Lizzie Hardage, Mollie, John, Temple. Mr. Boswell followed farming until 1839, when he commenced selling goods at Leesburg, which he continued until 1861, since which time he has been engaged in farming, owning at the present time 215 acres of land half mile from Leesburg, where, in addition to general farming he raises a high grade of stock. Mr. Boswell volunteered for the Sabine War in 1836, and was Lieutenant of Captain Coleman's company, but was disbanded by proclamation of President Jackson before marching to the front. From 1846 to 1848 he was General of Militia. His father and brother were in the war of 1812-1814. The father of Mr. Boswell came to Kentucky in 1790, from Loudoun County, Va., and was a member of the first Legislature from Harrison County in 1793, serving in the same capacity till [sic] 1806; was also a member of the Constitutional Convention in 1799. He commanded a regiment in the war of 1812, and was in the battle of Fort Meigs, in 1813. His wife and two of his children, James and Sallie, are members of the Baptist Church at Silas and he is a Democrat.

JOSEPH BARKLY, M.D., P.O. Leesburg. Matthew Barkly, a native of the "Emerald Isle," came to Woodford County at so early period that the few scattering settlers of the surrounding country had often to take refuge in the fort at Lexington to escape being massacred by the Indians. On one occasion, Mr. Barkly and his family fled to Lexington, and the fort being so crowded with the panic-stricken pioneers that there were no accommodations for them inside the cabins, he and his family had to stand all night against the wall of the fort in a heavy falling rain. They had a son, Robert, who was born soon after their arrival in Woodford County; he grew up to man's estate, married Mary Cooper, lived a long and exemplary life and died in 1858. Of this union comes he whose name heads this sketch; he was born in Scott County in 1820 and inherited from his ancestry those qualities which adorn and give tone and strength to life. His grandfather, on the maternal side was Samuel Cooper, an Englishman by birth, who came to America and settled in Maryland, where he married Jane McClure. The young couple soon after emigrated to Kentucky, settled in Lexington, and helped to build the first frame house in that place. Dr. Barkly was married to Miss Mary E. Kimbrough, of Harrison County, who has born him the following children: Mary Owings, Ann Eliza, Rachael Cooper, Lizzie, Paul, Martha and Minerva (twins), Charles M. and Robert M. He was graduated from Transylvania University at Lexington, in 1847, and soon thereafter began the practice of medicine at Roanoke, Mo. Here he remained not quite a year, yielding to his inclinations to make the State which gave him birth the theater of his future career; he returned to Kentucky and began the practice of his profession at Leesburg, Harrison Co., where he still remains, enjoying a remunerative practice, and the partiality of a large circle of friends. Dr. Barkly is a member of the Masonic fraternity; himself and wife are communicants of the Methodist Church. In politics he is in accord with the dominant party of the State -- the Democracy.

JAMES T. BROCK, farmer, P.O. Leesburg, is descended from good old Virginia stock. His grandfather, Joseph Brock, came from the "Old Dominion" at an early period of Kentucky's history, where he remained for some time, but longing for the scenes of his boyhood, he returned to Virginia, where in due course of time he was gathered to his father's, full of honors and of years. His son, James Brock, continued to reside in the State. He married Miss Nancy Anderson, daughter of Reuben Anderson, who was a faithful and loving companion to him until his death in 1840. She survived until 1873, when she died at an advanced age. Our subject, a scion of this union, was born in 1832, and is consequently fifty years old. He chose as his partner in the joys and cares of life, Miss Susie Bars, daughter of J.V. Bars, of Boone County, Ky. In 1862, Mr. Brock, catching the spirit of the times, enlisted like thousands of other young Kentuckians, in the Confederate service, and remained until the close of the war, without even returning home during the time. He first entered Co. I., of Col. Basil W. Duke's Regiment, of Gen. John H. Morgan's command, which was subsequently transferred to Col. W.C.P. Breckinridge, to form the nucleus of his Battalion, which was afterward known as the 9th Kentucky Cavalry. When Lee surrendered at Appomattox, and the stars and bars went down to rise no more, Mr. Brock returned to Harrison County, and began farming on the Leesburg Pike, eight miles from Cynthiana, where he now owns 104 acres of land. Himself and wife are both communicants of the Baptist faith, being members of the Silas Church, Bourbon County. His political affiliations are with the Democracy.

J.M. BOYER, farmer, P.O. Connersville. Among the early settlers of Harrison County was Jacob Boyer. He was a great usefulness in his day, and dying left a son named John, who married, and the union producing J. M. Boyer, the subject of this sketch, in 1845. His parents dying when he was five years old, he underwent an orphanage, and has had to struggle for a place in life. How well he has succeeded will be understood when we tell that he now is the owner of 337 acres of land two and one-half miles northeast of Connersville, handsomely improved, and fine productive soil. He married Miss Sarah E. Allen, daughter of David Allen, of Harrison County. By this union they have eight living children, viz: Mary E., Johnnie, Alice C., Perry David, Jacob, Emma; Mattie died in 1877; Allen and Sarah E. He and his wife are worthy and consistent members of the Christian Church at Leesburg. He affiliates with the Democratic party, and as an evidence of the confidence and esteem in which he is held by his neighbors, he was made, and served in the office of Treasurer of the Grange of which he was a member for a long time.

RICHARD BRAND, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana. About 1780, Richard Brand, grandfather of our subject, emigrated from Scotland and settled in Bourbon County where he was a practicing physician. His son Richard bought a farm in Harrison County and married Miss Fannie Brand, daughter of David Brand, of Staunton, Va. Of this union Richard Brand was born in 1833. In 1865 his father died and the son has been living on the same place since. It is situated seven miles from Cynthiana, on the Cynthiana and Leesburg Turnpike, and contains 180 acres of land, which he calls "Locust Grove." He is a member of the Methodist Church South at Pleasant Green, in Bourbon County. She was Miss Fannie Hendricks, a daughter of Esquire Hendricks and Sarah (Falconer) Hendricks; by this union they have five children, named Fannie Dills, wife of Sidney Dills, near Cynthiana, Kentucky. Robert, who is at present at Georgetown Baptist College, Kellar, Edward and Leslie. He is a Democrat and an honorable, upright citizen.

THOMAS D. BASSETT, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana, is a native of Bracken County, having been born there in the year 1837; the son of Jonathan S. Bassett, who was a native of Harrison County, who emigrated to Bracken and died in the year 1862. His grandfather was Amos Bassett, who came from New Jersey to Harrison County at an early day. His mother was Elizabeth Disher, who was of German ancestry. He married Miss Sallie Stockton, daughter of Preston and Mary (Hardin) Stockton, of Franklin County, Ky. By this marriage they have four children living, named Bessie, Harry P., Katie L., and an infant unnamed. He is owner of 133 acres of fine land, five miles from Cynthiana to Connersville, and in this Pike Mr. Basset holds stock and is one of its directors. He votes the straight Democratic ticket, and his wife is a member of the Free Will Baptist Church.

FRANCIS G. CRAIG, distiller, P.O. Berry's Station; was born in Harrison County, Ky., June 2, 1838, and is a son of John and Isabella (Gray) Craig, he was born in Harrison County, Ky., Feb. 22, 1803; is a farmer by occupation and is still living; his wife, also a native of Harrison County, was born in 1813 and is still living. The subject of this sketch was educated principally in the public schools of Woodford and Harrison Counties, although he attended school for a short time at Versailles, Ky. Early in life he commended trading in stock, in which business he remained until the year 1861, when, in company with his uncle, H. Gray, he started a cooper still in Harrison County; he remained in partnership twelve years, when he again commenced business for himself at Lair's; in 1880 he moved to Berry's Station, where he now is conducting a large distillery. He was married Nov. 15, 1866, to Miss Kate Sparks, a native of Harrison County, Ky., who was born Sept. 25, 1848. They have three children, viz: Annie Isabella, George, Francis and Dille. Mrs. Craig was a daughter of Wesley Sparks; he was born Oct. 4, 1805 in Bourbon County, Ky., and died March 3, 1873; his wife, Jane Gibbings, also a native of Bourbon County, was born May 20, 1809 and died Aug. 1, 1858. Mr. Craig is a member of the Masonic Fraternity, at Cynthiana, and is also a Knight Templar; he is a man of prominence in his precinct, and is energetic and enterprising in business. He is a Democrat in politics.

JOHN CRAIG, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana, is a native of Harrison County, having been born in 1803. His father, John Craig, emigrated here at an early day, being among the early settlers of Harrison County, coming from North Carolina, he underwent many of the hardships of the early pioneers to the "dark and bloody ground." After living to a ripe old age he died in 1841. His mother was Miss Nancy Patterson of Tennessee birth, who survived her husband just ten years, dying in 1851. When twenty-nine years old, Mr. Craig married Miss Isabella Gray, and for fifty-two years they have enjoyed the joys and divided the sorrows of life together. By this union they have three living children, named Francis, James and William; is the owner of 300 acres of fine blue grass land situated five miles from Cynthiana on the Leeslick dirt road. He votes always the Democratic ticket and is a good, solid citizen.

JOHN L. CONNER, farmer, P.O. Connersville; was born in Harrison in 1827. His father was John Conner, who died in 1864. His grandfather was a Baptist preacher of the old school; coming from Virginia, he settled near where Mr. John L. Conner now lives. His name also was John; having preached for twenty years; he died of cancer in the full assurance of faith. John L. Conner's mother was Mahala (Haden) Conner, daughter of Jerry Haden of Harrison County. He married Miss Emily Penn, of Scott County, in 1852, and by this union they have no children. He owns 120 acres of land one mile southeast of Connersville. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church, at Beards, Scott County, and his wife is a member of the Methodist Communion, at Mt. Gilead, Scott Co., Ky. Mr. Conner is a man of even habits and is well thought of by his neighbors.

LEWIS L. CONNER, farmer, P.O. Connersville. Among the early settlers of Harrison County, was Rev. John Conner, who emigrated here from Virginia, bringing with him his son Lewis, who, growing to manhood's estate, took as his wife Miss Elizabeth Falconer, daughter of Joseph Faulconer, of near Lexington, Kentucky, and she died in 1859, her husband having died just ten years preceding her in 1849. Lewis L. Conner, married Miss Rebecca Furnish, daughter of William Furnish, of Harrison County, in 1836; have three living children, viz: Eliza Jane, Alpheus, Sarah Elizabeth. He is owner of 250 acres of land one-fourth mile southeast of Connersville. He is the breeder of all kinds of high grade stock. Both he and wife are members of the Presbyterian Church at Beards, Scott County, in which church he is a Ruling Elder.

W. K. GRIFFITH, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana, is a native of Harrison County, where he was born at his present residence in 1828. His grandfather, William Griffith, was a native of Virginia, whence he emigrated at an early day, and figured conspicuously in those pioneer struggles which were the common lot of all of Kentucky's early settlers. He was noted for his uprightness and candor, and soon became possessed of the confidence and esteem of his fellow men, having been elected as a delegate to the convention which met at Danville in April, 1792, to frame the first constitution of Kentucky. The father of our subject, Burrell Griffith, married Harriet King, daughter of John King, of Bourbon County, Ky. After a brief period of wedded life the connubial tie was severed by the death of the wife in 1829. The husband survived her eight years, dying in 1837. W. K. Griffith married Miss Margaret Spears, daughter of John K. and Emily Spears, of Bourbon, and is the father of four children: Wm. B., Emma H., Hubert F. and John K. He is the owner of a very fine estate of 1,300 acres of superior blue grass land, located on Cynthiana and Leesburg Pike, five miles from Cynthiana, and called "Silver Lake" from a very fine lake which covers an area of about two acres and adjoining his residence. Mr. Griffith has for several years past been a successful breeder of short horn cattle and Cotswold sheep, having at the head of his herd, "Victor 2d," by Duke of Broomfield. (American Short Horn Register, Vol. 19, No. 37,102.) His politics are identified with the Democrat party, of which he is a warm and valiant supporter. Mrs. G. [sic] is a member of the Christian Church at Leesburg.

JAMES GRAY, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana, a native of Harrison County, born in the year 1804; his father, William Gray came from Pennsylvania in 1797 and located in Harrison County, near where his son, James, now lives; his grandfather was also named William; his mother was Jane Craig, daughter of James and Hannah (McCoy) Craig. In 1828 he married Miss Jane McCory, daughter of James McCory, of Bourbon County, Ky.; she died in 1831, leaving one child, now Sarah J. Lail. In 1832, he married Miss Keiser, of Bourbon County, and daughter of John Keiser; she died in 1869, leaving ten children, viz: Susan R., who is dead; Elizabeth, now the wife of Mr. Ammerman, of Harrison County; John K., Margaret, now the wife of Mr. Megibben of Harrison County; Nancy Umston, Martha Gray, Menory Tucker, Letitia Gray, Addie and Fannie. He is the owner of 350 acres of land five miles from Cynthiana along the line of Cynthiana and Leesburg Pike. He is the breeder of a high grade of stock. He is a member of the Presbyterian Church of Mt. Pleasant and by honest toil he has amassed a handsome fortune.

JOHN W. GALBREATH, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana. Benjamin Galbreath and Miss Clara Hall, a daughter of Daniel Hall of Harrison County, were united in the holy bonds of matrimony; by this union they have a son John W. Galbreath, who was born in Bourbon County, Sept. 23, 1836. His grandfather was John W. Galbreath, who was a Revolutionary soldier, and was killed in the battle of River Raisin. John W., who heads this sketch, married Miss Mary E. Fry, a daughter of William and America Fry, and by this marriage they have six children, named: Mary Alice, George William, Rosa Lee, Mildred Ann, James Woodford and Melinda Belle. He is the breeder of high grade stock and a Democrat in politics.

W. C. HOBSON, farmer, P.O. Connersville; he was born in Clermont County, Ohio, in 1834; his father was William Hobson, who was born in Ireland, and died in Ohio in 1860. His mother, Mary N., was the daughter of Covington Nelson, of Virginia. She died in 1850. He married Miss Wiley, of Harrison County, daughter of B. B. Wiley, who died of cholera in 1850. By this union they have five living children, viz: Emerald W., John B., Lulu A., William A. and Nelson L. He is the owner of ninety-two acres of land, situated some seven miles from Cynthiana on the Cynthiana and Georgetown road. He is a member of the fraternity of A.F. & A.M. His wife is a member of the Christian Church. He is a Republican.

G. T. JOHNSON, farmer, P.O. Connersville, native of Scott County, having been born in that county in 1846; his father, Garland Johnson, died in 1873; his mother, Thirzah (Payne) Johnson is still living at the advanced age of seventy-four; his grandfather, John R. Johnson, emigrated to this country from Ireland. G. T. Johnson married Miss Amanda Coppage in 1869, daughter of Wesley and Lucinda (Carter) Coppage of Harrison County; by this union there are five children viz: Ada, Garland, Mollie T., James T. and Asa. He owns 135 acres of land known as "Minteer" farm, one and a half miles from Leeslick in a northeast direction and on the Leeslick and Scott County road. He and wife are members of the Christian Church at Turkey Foot, Scott County, and he is a member of Gilead Grange in Scott County, and a active and uncompromising Democrat.

J. L. LOGAN, farmer, P.O. Connersville, was born in Harrison County in the year 1849, his father, James F. Logan, is still living at the age of seventy-nine years, having been born in 1802; his grandfather, James Logan came from Pennsylvania; his mother was Catharine (Thompson) Logan, who died in 1849. J. L. Logan married Miss Mary E. Carter of Harrison, daughter of John and Adeline Carter, and has six children, named: Catharine, Charley W., Ora, James F., Ernest and Joseph E. He is the owner of 625 acres of fine land eight miles from Cynthiana, in sight of Leeslick, handsomely improved and well stocked. He is a Mason, belonging to Gilead Lodge, Scott County, Ky. He and his wife belong to the Presbyterian Church at Beards in Scott County, he being a Ruling Elder. He affiliates with the Democratic party, and in all the walks of life is regarded as an honorable, upright citizen.

E. D. McADAMS, farmer, Cynthiana. The subject of this sketch was born in Fleming County, Kentucky, in 1814; a son of Armstrong McAdams, who died in 1857, and grandson of John McAdams, who was of Scotch birth. His mother was Nancy Purcell, who died of cholera during the fearful rage of that fell destroyer in 1833, she was the daughter of William Purcell, an Englishman by birth who emigrated to this country and resided for a long while in Bourbon County. When advanced in years he moved to Harrison County, and after living a life of great usefulness, he died in 1826. In 1849, E. D. McAdams and Miss Rebecca Ann Ammerman, a daughter of Joseph and Rebecca Ammerman, of Harrison County, were united in the holy ties of matrimony. By this marriage they have five children named: Joseph A., James W., John W., Franklin R. and Hettie A. By honest toil and close attention to business, he is now the owner of a nice tract of good land, containing 115 acres, three miles from Cynthiana, lying immediately along the Cynthiana and Leesburg Turnpike, which he calls Sugar Grove. Father, wife, and son Joseph, are members of the Christian Church at Cynthiana.

JAMES L. PATTERSON, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana. Among the leading and successful farmers of Leesburg Precinct, none are better or more popularly known than him whose name heads this sketch. He was born in Harrison County in the year 1815. His father was Joseph Patterson, who was brought from Virginia when an infant, by his parents, and died in the year 1849. His mother was Susan Smith, a daughter of Eliza Smith, from Pennsylvania, who died in the same year of her husband, being in 1849. James L. Patterson married Miss Margaret J. Miller of Harrison County, in the year 1841, just forty-one years ago, a daughter of Hugh and Mary (Ewalt) Miller. Her father died in 1821 and her mother in 1866. By this marriage they have no children. He is the owner of a magnificent body of land, containing in all 1460 acres. His home tract is situated in the fertile valleys of Silas Creek, seven miles from Cynthiana, near the Bourbon line, and he has given it the appropriate name of "Rural Choice," upon this farm he has fine stock of every description, such as short-horn cattle, Cotswold sheep, etc. He is the owner of twenty-eight brood mares, from which he raises principally mules, which he generally sells at one year old. In politics, he is identified with the Democratic party, and he and his wife are consistent members of the Christian Church at Mount Carmel. Beginning life poor, and by patient industry and economy, he has amassed a handsome estate, and to which we can point the ambitious young man of the present day, as an example worthy of imitation.

HIGGINS C. SMITH, M.D., P.O. Leesburg, son of F. C. and Agnes (Chinn) Smith, born in 1847. His father, Frances C., was born in 1814, and he and wife are still living. She being the daughter of John Chinn and Mildred (Higgins) Chinn; the former was born August 2, 1766, and died March 8, 1839, and the latter was born July 24, 1776, and died July 20, 1819. His grandfather, John Smith, was one of the most prominent citizens of Harrison County in his day; filling at one time the office of Justice of the Peace and for several years Sheriff of Harrison County. Dr. H.C. Smith was a student at the colleges of Georgetown and Harrodsburg in this State, and graduated in medicine in the class of 1869, at Bellevue Hospital, New York. In 1870 he began the practice of his profession at Georgetown, Kentucky, remained there one year, then located at Leesburg, where he has since been in active practice and is regarded by his neighbors as a physician of ability. His father resides eight miles from Cynthiana on the Lexington and Cynthiana Pike, and is engaged in farming, being the breeder of short horn cattle and Cotswold sheep. Dr. Smith has four living brothers. Samuel L. is a broker at No. 40, Wall Street, New York. Francis B. is a farmer of Harrison and is interested in fine stock. Marcus A. is a practicing attorney at Tombstone, Arizona Territory, and James J. is in Colorado. Mother and all of her sons are members of the Christian Church at Leesburg.

JAMES H. SHROPSHIRE, Jr., farmer, P.O. Leesburg, a native of Bourbon, having been born in that county in the year 1850. His father, James H. Shropshire, Sr., is an active and energetic farmer of Bourbon, and his grandfather was Abner Shropshire. His mother was Miss Maria Louisa Harcourt. Mr. Shropshire married Miss Mary A. Crenshaw of Bourbon County, and by this union they have two children, named Fannie Pearl and Jessie. Both he and wife are leading and consistent members of the Christian Church at Leesburg, taking part in every good work that tends to elevate and ennoble mankind. He has become an active and leading member of the Good Templars at Leesburg. In politics he is identified with Democracy.

THOMAS D. URMSTON, farmer, P.O. Cynthiana, born in the State of Ohio on the 12th of February 1801. His father, Benjamin Urmston, was one of the founders of the now thriving city of Chillicothe, Ohio. He spent his life in doing good deeds and died in 1820. His mother was Miss Ann Magee. He was twice married, first in 1825 to Miss Eliza Harcourt, who died in 1855, leaving two children, Wm. D., who lives near Lair's Depot and John W. is farming seven miles from Cynthiana on the Cynthiana and Leesburg Turnpike. Then in 1856 he was married again to Miss Ann G. Hurst, who died in 1878 leaving no children. Mr. Urmston has been a man of considerable enterprise, running at one time a tannery and currying shop; attached also is a country store which he is now carrying on. In addition to this he is running his farm of 140 acres of good land seven miles from Cynthiana on the Cynthiana and Lexington road, which is well stocked with all kinds of high-grade animals and is known as Union Villa. He is a Democrat and a prominent member of the Presbyterian Church at Mt. Pleasant, located at Broadwell; having been a member of the Presbyterian Church for sixty-four years and an elder in the same church for fifty years. Growing old, yet with his faith unshaken in the friend of man, he has asked the church to excuse him from the eldership, and looking back upon a life well spent with a ripe old age upon him he only awaits the call of his blessed Master to go home.

JAMES W. WREGG, farmer, P.O. Leesburg, was born in Scott County, September 20, 1818. His father, Samuel Ray, an Englishman by birth, came to America when eleven years old. Both of his parents died six months after he came to Kentucky. Himself and brothers were "bound out" until he was twenty-one years of age when he began life for himself as a blacksmith. He died in Mississippi in 1870, aged ninety-seven years. His wife was Mary E. McKenzie, daughter of Reuben and Susan McKenzie. Reuben McKenzie assisted in building the fort at Lexington. He participated in the battle of Blue Licks and though desperately wounded, escaped with his life. Mr. Wregg married Miss Angela Price, daughter of Isaiah Price, who served through the war of 1812. They have seven children, viz: Mrs. Mary E. Carroll, Samuel I., Hulda A., Kelly B., Susan E., Fanny and Lena. He owns 166 acres of land three-fourths of a mile west of Leesburg where he breeds high-grade stock and farms in a general way. He is a Mason, and he and his wife are members of the Christian Church at Leesburg. He is a Democrat in politics.

Transcribed and edited by Philip Naff, August, 1999.

Information previously posted by Jo Thiessen



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