AHGP Transcription Project

Butler County

Butler County, the 53rd organized, was formed in 1810, out of parts of Logan and Ohio counties; lies on both sides of Green River, in the south west part of the state; is bounded north by Ohio and Grayson counties, east by Grayson and Edmonson, south by Lyon and Warren, and west by Muhlenburg. The surface is hilly; the soil second-rate, but productive. A large extent of territory is too poor and broken ever to be turned to agricultural uses. The hill lands are admirably adapted to grazing and fruit growing; the peach crop has not failed, on some of these elevations, for many years. The hills are full of coal.

*This account, which is believed to be substantially correct, differs in some particulars from that given in the biographical sketch of Colonel Christian.

Morgantown, the county seat, incorporated on January 6, 1813, is on the south side of Green River, 21 miles from Bowlinggreen; population in 1870, 125.
Rochester, the most commercial point in the county, having 4 tobacco houses, and from which over 300 hogsheads of tobacco are shipped annually, is at lock and dam No. 3, on Green River, at the mouth of Muddy River, 12 miles from Morgantown; incorporated 1839; population 228.
Woodbury, at lock and dam No. 4, on south side of Green River, 6 miles from Morgantown; incorporated in 1856; population 171.
Other villages are, on the south side of Green River, Forgyville, Harreldsville, and Sugar Grove;
and on the north side, Brooklyn, Aberdeen, Flowersville, and Reedyville.

Members of the Legislature from Butler County, since 1859

O. P. Johnson, 1865-69.

House of Representatives
O. P. Johnson, 1863-65;
J. Q. Owsley, 1865-67, resigned 1866, succeeded by L. M. Haslip, 1866-67;
Julian N. Phelps, 1867-69 and 1871-73.

Besides those of annual growth, large rafts of logs and of sawed lumber are floated down Green River and coal has been shipped in quantities, for forty years, from some of the mines or veins. Before the locks and dams were built, salt was extensively manufactured at Berry's lick, the water being drawn by horse power from wells, 300 feet deep, over a space of 2 miles along Muddy creek.

Mounds and Cave
On the farm of Judge T. C. Carson, 7 miles below Morgantown, are several mounds, one 8 or 10 feet high, covering between a quarter and half an acre of land. No bones have been found in it; but from a smaller one, a number of bones belonging to a giant race have been taken, jaw bones which would go over the whole chin of a man and teeth correspondingly large; the teeth remained sound, but the other bones crumbled on exposure to the air. In Saltpeter cave, in the Little Bend of Green River, a number of such bones were found.

First Settlers
Richard C. Dellium carried on a trading establishment at Berry's Lick, and James Forgy settled near there, about 1794; they had to go to Nashville to mill, along a footpath through a solid cane brake. Part of a regiment for the war of 1812 was made up in this county, under Maj. John Harreld, who afterwards served in both branches of the legislature.

This county received its name in honor of General Butler, of Pennsylvania, an officer of the revolutionary war, who distinguished himself, on more than one occasion, in a remarkable manner. He commanded the right wing of the American army under General St. Clair, in the memorable and disastrous battle with the Indians on one of the tributaries of the Wabash, near the Miami villages, in the now state of Ohio. He was wounded early in the action, and before his wounds could be dressed, an Indian who had penetrated the ranks of the regiment, ran up to the spot where he lay, and tomahawked him before his attendants could interpose. The desperate savage was instantly killed.

Source: History of Kentucky, Volume II, by Lewis Collins, Published by Collins & Company,
Covington, Kentucky, 1874

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