HISTORY OF CHRISTIAN COUNTY KENTUCKY
charles m. meacham
CHRISTIAN COUNTYíS DAUGHTERS
Christian Countyís Twenty Daughters in the Order of Their Formation
Following are the statesmen, soldiers and pioneers honored by having portions of Christian County of 1796 created into new counties and given their names:
HENDERSON COUNTY was cut off from Christian in 1798 and named for Col. Richard Henderson of N. C. He was a poor boy and worked his way to distinction by the force of his genius. He became eminent as a lawyer and Judge, and in 1775 undertook to acquire a vast tract of land by treating with the Cherokee Indians. This included part of Kentucky and Henderson was one of the pioneers who came to what they called Transylvania, afterwards a part of Virginia. Col. Henderson was President of the land company. Col. Henderson ultimately was given a tract of land below Green river on the Ohio, twelve miles square. Henderson did not locate on the land and little is known of his subsequent career.
LIVINGSTON COUNTY was one of the first three cut off in 1798 and was named for Hon. Robert R. Livingston, of New York. He was born in 1746 and was eminent as a statesman, a member of the first Congress, was one of the committee to prepare the Declaration of Independence, was a zealous patriot during the Revolution and after a long public career was appointed minister to France by President Jefferson in 1801. He helped to conduct the treaty that led to the Louisiana purchase. He died in 1813.
MUHLENBERG COUNTY, organized in 1798 from Christian and Logan, was named for Gen. Peter Muhlenberg, of Virginia, but a native of Pennsylvania. He was a Lutheran minister when the Revolutionary War broke out and quit the ministry, raised a regiment and volunteered. His regiment, of which he was made Colonel, became the 8th Virginia. He fought gallantly and was made a Brigadier General in 1777. He moved to Pennsylvania after the war, where he was state treasurer and served three terms in Congress. He never lived in Kentucky.
HOPKINS COUNTY, formed in 1806, was named for Gen. Samuel Hopkins, whose extended biography appears elsewhere in this volume. He was born in Virginia in 1753, was a Revolutionary soldier who fought in many battles. He came to Kentucky in 1797 and settled in what was then Christian County, but is now Henderson, where he died in 1819. Hopkinsville was named in his honor in 1803, when it became necessary to give it a new name to avoid a conflict.
CALDWELL COUNTY was formed in 1809 and named in honor of Gen. John Caidwell, who was born in Prince Edward County, Va., and came to Kentucky in 1781, settling in what is now Boyle County. He was active in Indian campaigns and rose to be a major general of militia. Was with Gen. Clark in 1786. Represented Nelson County in the conventions of 1787 and 1788. Was a senatorial elector in 1792 under the first constitution and was chosen Senator from Nelson. Elected lieutenant governor in 1804. He died while the legislature was in session four years later.
UNION COUNTY, formed in 1811, was so called because the counties of Christian, Hopkins and Henderson, out of which it was organized, all agreed to its formation.
TODD COUNTY, Christianís closest neighbor on the east, was formed
in 1819 and named for Cot. John Todd, a Pennsylvania pioneer. Educated in Virginia, he began the practice of law at Fincastle. In 1775 he came with Col. Hendersonís party to Kentucky. In 1777 he was sent as military governor to the Territory of Illinois. In 1780, back in Kentucky, he was a member of the Legislature of Virginia, and in 1782 was killed in the battle at Blue Licks.
TRIGG COUNTY was formed in 1820 and named for Col. Stephen Trigg, who was born in Virginia and came to Kentucky in 1779, and was killed at Blue Licks in 1782. He fell in the midst of his usefulness and died in the flower of his young manhood.
CALLOWAY COUNTY, formed in 1821, was named for Col. Richard Calloway, who came to Kentucky in 1776 and in 1777 was elected to the general assembly of Virginia, as one of the first burgesses. The same year he was appointed a justice of the peace. In 1779 he helped to lay off the town of Boonsborough. What promised to be a brilliant career was cut short. He was killed in the Indian troubles in the early settlement of the state.
HICKMAN COUNTY, formed in 1821, derives its name from Capt. Paschal Hickman, who was born in Virginia and settled in Franklin County with his father, Rev. Wm. Hickman. He was in the Indian campaign and was a captain in 1812 in Col. John Allenís riflemen. He was in the battle of the river Raisin, and while disabled by wounds was butchered by the Indian allies of the British.
GRAVES COUNTY, formed in 1823, was named for Maj. Benjamin Graves, a Virginian who settled in Fayette County. He was a volunteer in the War of 1812 and was commissioned a major, in a regiment commanded by Cot. Lewis. He was a gallant officer and was killed in the battle of Raisin.
MCCRACKEN COUNTY, named in honor of Capt. Virgil McCracken, was formed in 1824. He was a native of Woodford County. He was a volunteer in the war of 1812 and fell in the battle of the river Raisin at the head of his company.
MARSHALL COUNTY was formed in 1841 and named for John Marshall, Chief Justice of the United States. He was born Sept. 24, 1755, in Virginia and fought in the first five years of the Revolutionary War. In 1780 he was licensed to practice law, but returned to the army shortly afterwards. In 1782 he was elected to his state legislature and served several terms. President Washington tendered him the appointment as minister to France but he declined it. He entered Congress in 1799 and was appointed Chief Justice in 1801 and served until his death in 1837.
BALLARD COUNTY, formed in 1842, was named for Capt. Bland Ballard, born near Fredericksburg, Va., Oct. 16, 1761, came to Kentucky in 1779. Fought in the Indian war's under Gen. Clark and later under Gen. Wayne. Fought under Gen. Harrison in the war of 1812 and was wounded at the battle of the river Raisin. He lived to extreme old age.
CRITTENDEN COUNTY, formed in 1842, was named for Hon. John J. Crittenden. Born Woodford County, Sept. 10, 1786, the son of a Revolution soldier, John Crittenden, who reared four sons, all distinguished men. J. J. Crittenden received a liberal education, graduating at Washington Academy and as a lawyer rapidly rose to distinction, at Russellville, Ky. Represented Logan County in the Legislature in 1811 and was re-elected five times. Was elected speaker in 1817. The same year he was elected U. S. Senator, the youngest member of the Senate. He soon took his place as one of the greatest orators of his time; a fit colleague for Henry Clay. He removed to Frankfort in 1819. He held many offices and returned to the Senate in 1835, and while a senator was appointed Attorney General in the Cabinet of President Harrison in 1841. He resigned when President Harrison died and was returned to the Senate and served many years. He was elected in all five times to the Senate. He also had a military record and took part in the battle of the Thames. He deserves to rank as one of the greatest of Kentuckians.
FULTON COUNTY was formed in 1845 and named in honor of Robert Fulton, then accredited with the invention of the steamboat. Fulton was born in Pennsylvania in 1765. He went to Europe in 1787 and remained in England and France until 1806, a noted engineer whose attention was directed to steam navigation. John Fitch had been working along the same lines and it is now claimed that he had actually run a boat by steam before Fultonís successful venture on the Hudson river in 1807, at five miles an hour. Fulton died Feb. 24, 1815, before the credit given his genius was seriously questioned.
LYON COUNTY in 1854 was named in honor of Congressman Chittenden Lyon, son of Matthew Lyon, who was born in Ireland in 1746 and served in the Revolutionary War. His vote made Jefferson President over Burr. After serving two terms as Representative from Vermont, he came to Kentucky and served in Congress from Kentucky from 1803 to 1811. In 1820 he removed to Arkansas and was elected a delegate to Congress but died in 1822 before taking his seat. Crittenden Lyon served several terms in Congress.
MCLEAN COUNTY, organized in 1854, was named in honor of Judge Alney McLean, a native of Burke County, N. C., in 1779. He came to Kentucky in 1799 and was admitted to the bar in Hopkinsville in 1803. He located in Greenville and became a leading citizen. He represented Muhlenberg County in the Legislature of 1812 and went into the army as a captain. He later served two terms in Congress and was Circuit Judge for twenty years. He died Dec. 31, 1841.
WEBSTER COUNTY, 1860, named in honor of Daniel Webster, one of the great orators of his day. He was born in 1782 in New Hampshire and died in 1852 in Massachusetts. He served in both houses of Congress, and as Secretary of State under three Presidents. His speech in reply to Senator Hayne, of South Carolina, is one of the classics of American oratory.
CARLISLE COUNTY, the last of the western Kentucky counties, honors John G. Carlisle, Speaker of the House, Senator and Cabinet Minister, one of Kentuckyís most illustrious sons. It was created in 1886.
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