AHGP Transcription Project

Jackson County

Jackson county was the 105th erected in the state, in 1858, out of portions of Madison, Estill, Owsley, Clay, Laurel, and Rockcastle; named after Gen. Andrew Jackson. It is on the border of the eastern middle portion of the state; is bounded north and north east by Estill and Lee counties, east by Owsley, south east by Clay, south by Laurel, west by Rockcastle, and north west by Madison County; and is watered by tributaries of both Cumberland and Kentucky rivers, Laurel fork, Middle fork, Indian, Moore's, Pond, Horse Lick, Sturgeon, War fork and South fork of Station Camp creeks. On the head waters of several creeks are bodies of comparatively level land, but in the county generally the land is hilly and broken; the soil is thin, usually clay, sometimes sandy freestone, except on the waters of Horse Lick and South fork, where it is limestone. Iron and other minerals abound. There are vast bodies of coal and timber; of the latter but little has been taken off. Corn is the principal production.

McKee, named after Judge Geo. R. McKee, is the county seat and only town. A temporary court house was used until 1872, when a substantial frame court house was erected. In the county are 5 lawyers, 5 physicians, 1 hotel, 1 tanyard; and the Christian or Reformed, Presbyterian Baptist, Regular Baptist, Missionary Baptist, and Methodist are the denominations.

Members of the Legislature from Jackson County

None resident in the county.

House of Representatives
Hiram S. Powell, 1867-69, 1871-73.

Caves and Mounds
On the South fork of Station Camp creek are some mounds or Indian burying-grounds. On the waters of the South fork of Station Camp and Horse Lick creeks are some remarkable caves; on the latter, one has been penetrated over a quarter of a mile; on its bottom or floor, wagon tracks are plainly seen.

Silver Ore
In the summer of 1872, quite a sensation was created by the reported finding of a lump of silver, weighing about four ounces, near a rock on which was inscribed "June 3, 1632." Extensive digging and search was made for its source, but without success.

Salt was made, many years ago, at a well on Horse Lick creek.

Among the First Settlers were families named Casteel, Fowler, McQueen, and Harrison; John Casteel on Pond creek; Moses Parris on Laurel fork; and others still earlier, at other points.

County Judges
Isaac J. Faubus, 1858-62;
C. S. Martin, 1862-66;
Hiram S. Powell, 1866-67, when he resigned to take his seat in the legislature;
Robert Hays, 1867-70;
Ambrose Powell, 1870-74.
Thos. J. Engle was both county and circuit clerk, 1858-62; and J. M. Wood, 1862-74.

Andrew Jackson, for whom this county is named, was born in the Waxhaw Settlement, North Carolina, March 15, 1767, and died at the "Hermitage," near Nashville, Tennessee, June 8, 1845. He was the child of poor Irish-Scotch parents, and was left an orphan and destitute at a tender age. He was a volunteer soldier in the Revolutionary war at thirteen, a schoolmaster at sixteen, and licensed to practice law before he reached twenty years of age. His first public employment was as the public prosecutor for the Western District of North Carolina, which embraced what is now the State of Tennessee. In 1791, he married Mrs. Rachel Robards, from whom her husband had obtained a divorce for alleged adultery with Jackson. Two years later, doubts as to the legality of the proceedings eventuated in a second performance of the marriage ceremony. Many years afterwards, when Jackson had become a political leader, the circumstances of this marriage led to serious misrepresentations of the husband and much sorrow to the wife. It is believed by many that Robards' criminal accusation against his wife was unfounded, for all bore testimony to her exemplary conduct, and Jackson himself was never before or afterwards accused of an unchaste act.

Jackson was the district attorney of Tennessee when it was a territory; he was a member of the Convention which made the first constitution of the State, in 1796; was its first Congressman (1797), and was sent to the U. S. Senate in 1798. But, without ever having made a remark or cast a vote as such, so far as appears on the record, he resigned the following year. He was judge of the Supreme Court of Tennessee, in 1801, and was subsequently elected major-general of the militia. Meanwhile he engaged in commercial operations, which resulted in disaster, and he was forced to sacrifice a large landed property to discharge the pecuniary obligations of his firm.

In 1806, Charles Dickinson, a noted duelist, provoked a quarrel with Jackson, which led to a duel. It was fought in Kentucky, at a point a day's journey from Nashville, with pistols, distance, eight paces. Gen. Tom Overton, Jackson's second, won the right to give the word. Dickinson, who was quick on trigger, fired first, but his adversary stood unmoved, and apparently unhurt Jackson had reserved his fire, and, taking deliberate aim, fired with fatal effect. Dickinson fell mortally wounded, surviving but a few hours. After he had left the field, Jackson disclosed the fact to his second that he had been hit Dickinson's ball had broken a rib. His second, amazed at the nerve of his principal, expressed surprise that he could fire with precision after receiving such a wound. "Sir," said Jackson, in reply, "if he had shot me through the heart I would have lived long enough to have killed him." Such was the reliance of the man over his own will.

On May 31, 1814, Jackson was appointed major-general in the U. S. Army. His services in the wars with the Choctaw and Creek Indians, his military operations at Mobile, together with his great victory over the British at New Orleans,* are matters belonging to history, and need not be repeated here. His military renown became known to the Old World as well as to the New, and his achievements were praised by both. A British journal said his victory over Packenham "stamped him as a military genius of the highest order." Hero worship is a weakness of the American people, and his brilliant successes gave Gen. Jackson great popularity throughout the country. He was made commander-in-chief of the southern division of the U. S. Army, received the thanks of Congress, and at even that early day was thought of for President. In 1817-18 he conducted the war against the Seminole Indians in Florida, and soon afterwards retired from the army. In 1823 he was elected U. S. senator from Tennessee, and the Legislature indorsed him for President. He remained in the Senate two years. Defeated for the Presidency in 1824, he was elected to that office in 1828, and again in 1832. The leading events of his administration were noted for his troubles with France, which were amicably adjusted, the suppression of the Nullification movement in South Carolina, the establishment of the Sub-Treasury system, and fall of the U. S. Bank, and the Indian war in Florida. He retired to the "Hermitage," at the expiration of his second Presidential term, and died eight years afterwards.

Jackson was undoubtedly a remarkable man. He had neither the profound thought of Webster, the eloquence or statesmanship of Clay, nor the logic of Calhoun, all of whom were, in some sense, his rivals, yet he was even more conspicuous than they, and accomplished greater results. What, then, may be inquired, was the secret of his strength? It was his moral heroism. He was the embodiment of truth, honor, and integrity. He despised the devious arts of the politician, and scorned to sacrifice candor to policy. He reached his ends by the most open and straightforward course. It has been truthfully said of Jackson that "he united personal with moral courage beyond almost any man of whom history keeps record."

* For an account of the Battle of New Orleans.

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

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