AHGP Transcription Project

Garrard County

Garrard County, the 25th in order of formation, was formed in 1796, out of parts of Madison, Lincoln, and Mercer, and named in honor of the then governor of the state, James Garrard. It is situated in the middle section of the state, on the east side of Dick's River; and is bounded north by Jessamine County, from which it is separated by the Kentucky River, east by Madison, south by Lincoln, and west by Boyle and Mercer. The face of the country is hilly or gently undulating, but all productive for grains or grasses. The staple products are corn, wheat, rye, and outs; the principal exports, horses, mules, cattle, hogs, and sheep.

Lancaster, the county seat, is situated 2 miles from Dick's River, at the head of Sugar creek, a branch of the Kentucky River, and on the Richmond branch railroad, 112 miles from Louisville, 26 from Richmond, and 9 from Stanford; has a good court house, four churches (Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Reformed or Christian), and is a place of considerable business; population in 1870, 741, but in December 1873, about 900; established in 1798.
The other villages, all small, are, Bryantsville and Fitchport, 9 and 12 miles west of north from Lancaster; Tetersville, 6 miles east of north; Hyattsville, a R. R. station 4 miles north east; Lowell, on the Richmond pike, and Paint Lick, 9 and 10 miles from Lancaster.

Members of the Legislature from Garrard County

Thompson, 1804-06;
Wm. M. Bledsoe, 1866-09;
Thos. Buford, 1809-12;
John Faulkner, 1812-16, '16-20, '20-24, '24-28, '28-32;
Wm. Owsley, 1832-34;
Samuel Lusk, 1834-36;
Geo. Denny, 1859-63.

House of Representatives
Thos. Kennedy, 1799, 1800, '01, '02, '05, '07, '18, '24;
John Boyle, 1800;
Henry Pawling, 1801, '03;
Stephen Perkins, 1802;
Jas. Thompson, 1803;
Abner Baker, 1805;
Thos. Buford, 1806, '07;
Samuel McKee, 1806, '18, '20;
Wm. Owsley, 1809, '11, '31;
John Yantis, 1809, '10, '12, '13, '14, '15, '16, '19, '21, '25, '26, '27, '28, '30;
John Faulkner, 1810, '11, '34;
Samuel Johnson, 1812;
Robert P. Letcher, 1813, '14, '15, '17, '36, '37, '38;
Jas. Spilman, 1816, '17, '19, '20;
Benj. Mason, 1821, '22;
Geo. Robertson, 1822, '23, '24, '25, '26;
Robert McConnell, 1827;
Simeon H. Anderson. 1828, '29, '32, '36, '37, '38;
Tyree Harris, 1829, '30;
Jesse Yantis, 1831, '39;
Alex. Sneed, 1833;
Geo. B. Mason, 1835, '40;
Abner U. Daniel, 1839;
Geo. R. McKee, 1841, '42, '51-53, '69-71;
Jennings Price, 1843;
Gabriel J. Salter, 1844, '46;
Wm. B. Mason, 1845, '49;
Horace Smith, 1847;
Lafayette Dunlap, 1848;
John B. Arnold, 1850;
Geo. W. Dunlap, 1853-55;
Joshua Dunn, 1855-57;
Wm. Woods, 1857-59;
Joshua Burdett, 1859-61;
Alex. Lusk, 1861-63;
John K. Faulkner, 1863,-65;
Daniel Murphy, 1865-67, resigned 1866 and succeeded by Wm. J. Lusk, 1866, '67-69;
Wm. Sellers, 1871-73, '73-75.

Colonel William Garrard, in honor of whom this county received its name, was a native of Frederick County, Virginia. In company with two or three families, he removed to Kentucky in the early part of the winter of 1779-80; and during the intensely cold weather of that memorable winter, lived in a camp on the Hanging fork of Dick's River. He remained there until the year 1791; when under the influence of that spirit of adventure and change which marked the era in which he lived, he struck his tent, and removed to Russell's creek, a tributary of Green River. Here, at a distance of fifty miles from any white settlement, in conjunction with several families who pushed their fortunes with him, he located and built a station. Though feeble in numbers, the hardy band of pioneers by whom he was surrounded, and who reposed in him unbounded confidence as a leader, maintained themselves, gallantly and victoriously, against several attacks of the Indians. His station was subsequently reinforced by several families, whose presence was instrumental in preventing any further assault on the part of the Indians. In one of the incursions, however, of a small band of savages, Mr. John Tucker, a Methodist preacher, together with his wife, were cruelly murdered.

The "White Lick" is an area of ground, embracing about ten acres, on Paint Lick creek, about 12 miles east of Lancaster. The ground is deeply indented with ravines, and marks resembling the track of wagon wheels, newly, made, are now plainly visible and have been visible since the settlement of the country in 1785. After a heavy rain, the water which flows into the creek from this area gives the stream a white appearance, resembling milk, for several miles.

Shot Iron Ore is found in the soil one mile east of Dick's River.

Lead Ore is found in veins in the Kentucky River marble rock.

The Dip of the rocks is generally away from Dick's River. The gorges in which that river and the Kentucky flow are probably not due to denudation; but the streams flow in the lines of original fractures.

The Kentucky River Railroad Suspension Bridge, still unfinished, was designed with a single span of 1,250 feet, at an elevation of nearly 400 feet above the bed of the river.

The following romantic incident is related by Judge Robertson, in his anniversary address, at Camp Madison, in Franklin County, on the 4th of July, 1843:
"On the long roll of that day's reported slain [the fatal battle of the Blue Licks,] were the names of a few who had, in fact, been captured, and, after surviving the ordeal of the gauntlet, had been permitted to live as captives. Among these was an excellent husband and father who, with eleven other captives, had been taken by a tribe and painted black as the signal of torture and death to all. The night after the battle, these twelve prisoners were stripped and placed in a line on a log, he to whom we have specially alluded being at one extremity of the devoted row. The cruel captors, then beginning at the other end, slaughtered eleven, one by one; but when they came to the only survivor, though they raised him up, also, and drew their bloody knives to strike under each uplifted arm, they paused, and after a long pow-wow, spared his life, why, he never knew. For about a year none of his friends, excepting his faithful wife, doubted his death. She, hoping against reason, still insisted that he lived and would yet return to her. Wooed by another, she, from time to time, postponed the nuptials, declaring that she could not divest herself of the belief that her husband survived. Her expostulating friends finally succeeding in their efforts to stifle her affectionate instinct, she reluctantly yielded, and the nuptial day was fixed. But, just before it dawned, the crack of a rifle was heard near her lonely cabin, at the familiar sound, she leaped out, like a liberated fawn, ejaculating as she sprang, "that's John's gun." It was John's gun, sure enough; and, in an instant, she was, once more, in her lost husband's arms. But, nine years afterwards, that same husband fell in "St. Clair's defeat", and the same disappointed, but persevering lover, renewed his suit, and, at last, the widow became his wife. The scene of these romantic incidents was within gun-shot of my natal homestead;* and with that noble wife and matron I was myself well acquainted."

James Garrard (in honor of whom this county received its name) was born on the 14th of January, 1749, in the county of Stafford, in the (then) colony of Virginia. At a very early period in the revolutionary struggle, he engaged in the public service, and in the capacity of a militia officer, shared in the dangers and honors of that memorable war. While in service, he was called by the voice of his fellow citizens to a seat in the Virginia legislature, where he contributed, by his zeal and prudence, as much, or perhaps more than any other individual, to the passage of the famous act securing universal religious liberty.

He was an early emigrant to Kentucky, and was exposed to all the perils and dangers incident to the settlement and occupation of the country. He was repeatedly called by the voice of his fellow citizens to represent their interests in the legislature of the state; and finally, by two successive elections, was elected to the chief magistracy of the commonwealth, a trust which, for eight years, he discharged with wisdom, prudence and vigor. Asa man, Governor Garrard had few equals; and in the various scenes and different stations of life, be acted with firmness, prudence and decision. At an early age, he embraced and professed the religion of Christ, giving it, through life, the preference over all sublunary things. In the private circle he was a man of great practical usefulness, and discharged with fidelity and tenderness the social and relative duties of husband, parent, neighbor and master. He died on the 19th of January, 1822, at his residence, Mount Lebanon, in Bourbon County, in the seventy-fourth year of his age.

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

Be sure to add us to your favorites list and check back often.

This page was last updated Tuesday, 24-Feb-2015 23:11:58 EST.

Webspace for this site is generously provided by

Information contained on this website may be used for personal genealogical research only and not to be given to pay to view sites or used on any other web site without the express consent of the contributor.

Copyright © 2014~2024 by Paula Franklin & Judy White