AHGP Transcription Project

Larue County

Larue County, the 98th in order of formation, was formed in 1843, out of the southeastern part of Hardin County, and named in honor of John Larue. It is bounded north by Hardin and Nelson counties, the Rolling fork of Salt river being the dividing line, east by Marion and Taylor, south by Hart and Green, and west by Hardin county, Middle creek forming the dividing line on the north west along the Rolling fork. The surface is hilly, being the celebrated Muldrow's Hill; the eastern portion of the county is undulating, and the western is more level ; the soil of the latter is red clay, with limestone beneath, while the rolling land is a mulatto clay. The principal products are corn, tobacco, and hogs. Besides the Rolling fork, Nolin (which empties into Green river), its North and South forks, and Otter creek, are the principal streams.

Hodgenville, the county seat, is on Nolin creek, 90 miles south west of Frankfort, 50 miles south of Louisville, 9 miles from Sonora on the L. & N. railroad, and 9 miles from New Haven on the Lebanon branch railroad; has 4 churches (Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian, and Roman Catholic), 8 stores, 2 hotels, 4 doctors, 7 lawyers, 3 blacksmith shops, mill, wagon and carriage shop, and tanyard; population in 1870, 401; named after Robert Hodgen, whose house is still standing.
Buffalo, on a branch of Nolin, 6 miles from Hodgenville and 13 from Sonora; population 50.
Magnolia, 10 miles from Hodgenville; population 30.

Members of the Legislature from Larue County.

Wm. Howell, 1853-57;
Wm. B. Read, 1857-65.

House of Representatives
Wm. Cessna, 1844, '45;
Wm. Beeler, 1846, '47, '50;
Jesse H. Rodman, 1848, '65-67;
Wm. Howell, 1849;
Jos. A. Nevitt, 1851-53;
Henry E. Read, 1863-55;
David L. Thurman, 1855-57;
Wm. H. Hamilton, 1857-59;
Nicholas A. Rapier, 1859-65;
Wm. B. Read, 1867-69;
John M. Atherton, 1869-71;
Samuel W. Sanders, 1871-75.

On the farm of Mr. John Duncan, about five miles from Hodgenville, on the Big South fork of Nolin, there are several mounds. Two of these have been opened, and found to contain human bones, beads of ivory or bone, and a quantity of sea shells. Near the mounds, there appear to be the remains of a town or fortification, and within the area covered by this relic of antiquity, several curious articles have been found, among them the image of a bird, cut out of a rock, with several holes drilled through it. On one of the bluffs of the Rolling Fork, where the creek makes a short elbow, is to be seen a stone wall, now three or four feet high. The wall at the elbow extends across the level land, from cliff to cliff, somewhat in the shape of the annexed drawing, and must have constituted, at the time of its construction, an impregnable fortress. The cliff is about two hundred feet high, and so precipitous that an invading army could not possibly scale it, where there was any show of resistance.

About one mile above Hodgenville on the south side of Nolin creek, there is a knoll which may be appropriately termed a natural curiosity. It is about thirty feet above the level of the creek, and contains about two acres of ground, the top of which is level, and a comfortable house has been erected upon it. Benjamin Lynn and others, early pioneers of the county, encamped on this knoll. In a hunting excursion, shortly after they made their encampment, Lynn got lost. The remainder of the company returned to camp, and not finding their companion, someone remarked, "Here is the Nole (knoll) but No Lynn, from which circumstance the creek which runs near the knoll took its name, Nolin. They immediately started in search of Lynn, and traveled a south course about fifteen miles, and found where he had encamped on a creek, from which circumstance they called the creek Lynn-camp creek. [The creek lies within the present county of Hart.] Philip Phillips erected a fort about one fourth of a mile from the knoll, on the north side of Nolin, about the year 1780 or '81, where the first settlement of the county was made. Phillips was from Pennsylvania, and a surveyor.

John Larue, for whom the county was named, emigrated with a considerable company, from Virginia, and settled in Phillips' fort. When they left the fort, Larue bought and settled the land which includes the knoll. Robert Hodgen, his brother-in-law, bought and settled the land on which Hodgenville has been erected. They were both noted for their uprightness and sterling moral worth, both of them members of the Baptist church, and beloved for their unobtrusive and devoted piety. Benjamin Lynn was a minister of the same church.

The late president Abraham Lincoln was born in what is now Larue County, two miles south of Hodgenville, when Larue was a part of Hardin. The late governor John L. Helm was also born in this part of Hardin County. (For biographical sketches of both, see under Hardin County; and for sketch of General Henry E. Read, see Vol. 1.)

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

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