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Montgomery County History


1775-1776 William Calk, Isaac Davis, Enoch Smith and Robert Whitledge scouted what would become Little Mountain town. Referring to a land formation which would turn out to be an ancient Native American mound. Enoch Smith, John Lane and Isaac Davis built the first cabin and planted a crop of corn. Due to concern over attacks by Native Americans in the area, it would be the 1790's before any permanent residence would be established.

William Calk artifacts housed at the Kentucky Historical Society in Frankfort.

December 14, 1796 - Montgomery County is created. The county was named for American Revolutionary General, Richard Montgomery. Mt. Sterling was chosen as the county seat and Bennett Clarke was the first to represent the county in the state legislature. Mt. Sterling was named for the "little Mountain" and after Stirling Scotland.

1810 There were 40 families living in and around Mt. Sterling, Genealogytrails.com. The Rev. Joseph Howe, a Presbyterian minister was preaching in Mt. Sterling and operating a school. Another preacher at this time was the Rev. David Barrow of the Baptist church. This church was a member of a fraternity of emancipationists until Barrow's death in 1819. Businesses included agriculture, tanners, store keepers, tailors, a silversmith and tavern keepers.

Rev. David Barrow History at Findagrave.com
Petition by Rev. David Barrow of the "Kentucky Abolition Society" to Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson to Reverand David Barrow in response

The War of 1812 Montgomery County sent many residents to fight in the War of 1812. Captain Samuel L. Williams organized a unit as well as Captain Johnston Magowan and Colonel Thomas Deye Owings had a regiment as did others. Economically this period would prove to be a boom for Montgomery County. In order to supply the navy with rope, hemp production would increase with a hemp house and rope walk. Tanyards were established near Mt. Sterling and a tobacco factory and wool carding factory. By the 1820 census the community would grow to 624 people. The Panic of 1819 would bring this boom period to an end causing a nationwide recession.

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