Crofton Town Pump
Crofton Town Pump

James E. Croft
James E. Croft, merchant, landowner and founder of the city of Crofton was born in the Scates Mill Precinct of Christian County on January 19, 1839, the son of William G. and Mary E. Croft.

Although Croft's parents were natives of South Carolina and Illinois, he was raised and spent nearly all of his life in western Kentucky, near the present site of the city that he helped found.

Croft was reared o his father's farm and at the age of 17 was enrolled in the nearby Castleberry School. Upon graduation three years later, Croft taught in local schools for two years and eventually opened a small country store, beginning his life-long association with business.

A prominent North Christian landowner, Croft donated land upon which the St. Louis and Southeastern Railway built their depot, and by the tradition of that era, the railroad named the quickly developing settlement around the railroad in Croft's honor.

Croft laid out the town in 1868 and built a large number of homes within its boundaries. At one time, he owned a flour and saw-mill and two large warehouses in Crofton.

Even though engaged in the tobacco business, Croft maintained a deep interest in the matter of education and built a public school for the city at his own expense and became a principal stockholder in the Crofton Academy.

In 1862 - in the midst of the Civil War --- Croft married his long-time sweetheart ELMIRA E. BOURLAND who was from his native Scates Mill portion of North Christian. The couple later raised one son and three daughters.

Croft died on October 17, 1901, at the age of 62.

  • Spring, 1850 - Crofton Baptist Church organized. Although the original church was formed under a different name the present congregation can trace many of its roots to this early church. 
  • October, 1870 - Train service reaches Crofton for the first time. The railroad, the St. Louis and Southeastern, was a forerunner of the Louisville and Nashville Railroad. The progress of Crofton as a city often can be traced to the success and progress of its railroad line.
  • February 17, 1871 - First through train service (freight and passenger) became available in Crofton. Both a freight depot and a passenger station later were constructed and became community landmarks. The foundation of a railroad water tank still remains visible near the center of town.
  • The Crofton Post Office was established on December 12, 1871 and originally was located in Wooldridge's Store, located south of Crofton on the old Madisonville Road. 



    The following is a list of Crofton postmasters and their years of appointment.
    1871 - L.M. Croft; 1873 - William A. Dougherty, 1874 - William Brown, 1874 - David M. Wooldridge, 1876 - Cyrus M. Day, 1889 - Curtis Brasher, 1890 - James R. Long, 1894 - William H. Martin, 1898 - Mirander B. Brown, 1913 - John H. Myers, 1924 - John M. Burkholder, 1932 - Edna M. Burholder (acting), 1933 - George B. McKnight (acting), 1936 - Daniel S. Mitchell, 1951 - R. Edward Hayes (acting), 1953 - J. Ray Clark (acting), 1958 - Kendall L. Alexander, 1968 - R. Edward Hayes, and 1974 - Beth Durham.

  • September, 1872 - Teachers in Crofton Common School were listed as J. J. Milton and O.S. Brown. Through the years, Crofton has had an academy, a "common school" and both a grade school and high school.
  • February 6, 1873 -Town of Crofton incorporated. 
  • Sixty-One Crofton residents listed as subscribers to the KENTUCKY NEW ERA.
  • July 7, 1876 - Croft and Bourland Flour Mill opened in Crofton. 
  • August 2, 1877 - Crofton Custom and Merchant Mill opened in Crofton 
  • August 14, 1882 - Crofton academy incorporated. This was a private school started with an investment of 3,000, divided into 120 shares.
  • Crofton Universalist Church organized.
  • Summer, 1889 - Crofton Christian Church was established.
  • January 1, 1904 - Bank of Crofton incorporated.
  • June 1, 1906 - First edition of"The Crofton News" published.
  • June 29, 1807 - First street fair and carnival held in Crofton.
  • Jan 13, 1907 - First run of the L&N Railroad's "Dixie Flyer" train through Crofton.
  • Autumn 1910 - Masonic Hall Built.
  • March 22, 1914 - Articles of Incorporation filed for Farmer's Telephone Co.
  • May 15, 1916 - Crofton's first auto dealership, The Dixie Motor Co., Inc. 
  • Dec 15, 1933 - Butler Martin, 86, one of the county's last surviving Union veterans of the Civil War died in Crofton.
  • Jan 6, 1951 - Crofton School burned. 




Sit down by the fire place after supper and read about the marriages, deaths, accidents and "fust-i-cuffs" of January-February of 1895. 
Tuesday January 1, 1895
MRS. JENNIE DULIN BURKHOLDER of Crofton, died Wednesday, aged 28 years. An operation was performed by Dr. Richard Douglass, of Nashville, Tenn., Tuesday for abscess and Mrs. Burkholder never rallied, dying in great agony. Deceased was a daughter of MR. JOHN M. DULIN and was held in high esteem by a large circle of friends. She left an infant just three weeks old.
Wholesale Arrest at Crofton

DEPUTIES H. H. GOLAY and E.P. WILKINS went to Crofton Sunday armed with a search warrant, and in company with R.Y. LONG, marshal of that place, arrested LEE ALEXANDER, JOHN MC INTOSHand LAVENA MC INTOSH, all of the Kelly neighborhood and three brothers named HAMBY of Dawson. They are all white and five of them are accused of house breaking and grand larceny. A few nights ago the stores of J.M. KISTNER and F.W. Owen, merchants at Kelly were burglarized. About $100 worth of goods were found in the possession of the parties arrested, which were fully identified by MESSRS. KISTNER and OWENS, as their property. THE HAMBY BOYSclaim that they were only employed to move the other parties to Dawson and knew nothing of the character of merchandise packed in their wagons. They were released on bonds of $100 each, and the other five prisoners were placed in jail here. The examining trial will be held today by JUDGE BREATHITT.

Broke Up in a Row
Crofton, Ky. Jan 18
A few nights since a dance was given at the home ofMR. WILLIAM SIZEMOREabout two miles west of Crofton. Some of the young men present, it seems had partaken to freely of red liquor and were very noisy and rowdy and as a result PAT LONG and HENRY SIZEMORE became involved in a difficulty, which resulted in a general fight. No one was seriously hurt, but the boys appeared before ESQ. COLLINS today to receive their sentence for what they had done. They were prosecuted by COUNTY ATTORNEY ANDERSON and defended by ATTORNEY W.B. BROWN of this place.
Sued for $20,000 Damages 
A heavy damage suit for breach of promise of marriage has been brought againstBARRET E. MC NIGHT of Crofton, by GEORGE BOWLER, father and next friend of MISS BOALES the young lady in the case. The suit is for $20,000 and will come up at the circuit court. JAMES BREATHITT and W. S. WITHERS represent the plaintiff.
MISS MARY LONGof Crofton, was married to MR. T. H. FERRELL, of the same neighborhood, Sunday.


Yesterday at 3 o'clock p.m. at the home of the bride's mother at Crofton, MISS NOLA DAY ROWE daughter of the late DR. JAMES ROWE, and JUDGE J. T. HANBERY, of this city were married, DR. C. H. NASH, performing the ceremony. JUDGE HANBERY and his law partner MR. FRANK BELL, accompanied by DR. NASH, went down to Crofton on the morning train and the ceremony was said in the presence of a few of the friends of the contracting parties. Few, outside of the Judge's most intimate friends, knew of the fact that he was entertaining a matrimonial idea and the announcement goes out in the shape of a surprise to his large list of friends and acquaintance. His bride is a most attractive young lady, and is exceeding popular in Crofton society, and has many friends in this city, where she has frequently visited. JUDGE HANBERY has been City Judge for some time and is one of the Brightest young attorneys at this bar. He is a fine business man and is very popular with all. He is a member of the law firm of Hanbery & Bell, who enjoy an excellent practice in their chosen profession, and the Kentuckian extends hearty congratulations to the happy couple. Mr Hanbery and his bride have taken rooms at MRS. RAWL'S, on Liberty street, where they will board for the present.

MISS SARAH A. CANNON of Marion, was married to MR. VOLNEY N. MITCHELL a popular young business man of Crofton, Wednesday. The wedding was a very quiet affair and took place at the home of the bride's parents. PROF. W. E. GRAY and MISS LULU CLARK, of Crofton, accompanied MR. MEACHAM down to Marion and witnessed the happy event. Immediately after the ceremony the couple left for Crofton where a reception was held in the evening.

Crofton News Notes

V.M. MEACHAM was married this morning at Marion, Ky. to MISS SARAH CANNON. They arrived this evening, and a reception was given them at his father's J.M. MEACHAM
MISS LULU CLARKand WILL GRAY attended the Meacham - Cannon wedding.
MRS. D. M. WOOLDRIDGE of Evansville is visiting her mother, MRS. ROSE
MR. HERMAN ROWE of Muhlenberg county, is visiting relatives here.
MRS. C. M. MANN of Pembroke, is visiting C. M. DAYand family.
Born, to the wife of J.T. EZELL, on the 28th, a nine pound girl.
MRS. LOU WEST, of Madisonville is visiting relatives here.
MISS SALLIE CLARKreturned Sunday from a visit to MISS JENNIE WINFREE at Casky.
MRS. D. R. BEARD, who suffered a paralytic stroke a few days ago, is still in a critical condition.
J. H. JOHNSON the well known detective of the L.& N. railroad, has been promoted to the Knoxville stock division of the road with headquarters at the Union Station in Louisville.
Quite a large number of young people were handsomely entertained at the home of MR. GEPORGE W. COLLINS on South Virginia street Tuesday evening. Refreshments were served and everything went "as merry as a marriage bell."
MISS FLORENCE RIVES, of Casky, is visiting friends in the city this week.
MISS SALLIE FORD of Earlington, is visiting friends in the city.
MISS ESTELLA WILKINS, of Fairview, is the guest of MISS LENA PYLE this week.
MRS. M. G. RUSE, and daughter, MISS WILLIE are visiting the family ofREV. J. O. RUSTin Nashville.
REV. C . E. PERRYMAN and wife, of Cerulean, spent Tuesday visiting friends in the city.
JUDGE BROWN left this morning for Hickman, Ky., to be absent for several days on legal business.
MRS. R. E. COOPER will return tomorrow from a visit to relatives in Fredonia.
MR. GUS A. SINGLETON chief of police of Paducah, was in the city yesterday. 
MR. R. E. COOPER returned Wednesday from a business trip through Crittenden, Lyon and Caldwell counties.
HENRY ROUTE the negro boy whose hands was shattered by the explosion of a dynamite cartridge in the city Monday, is getting along very well and the chances are that he will be out in a few days.


V.L. PENNINGTONdied of pneumonia fever at his home near Crofton Saturday, aged about 22 years.


PROF. J. L. MANIERand MISS DOLLIE WINSETT, both of the Crofton country came to the city yesterday morning and were married at the County Clerk's office. ESQUIRE GEORGE M. MYERS performing the ceremony. The couple left on the 1:05 train for their home. Both are well known young people and have taught in the county public schools.
A Very Narrow Escape
While PROF. ARMOR, of Crofton, accompanied by his three children, were driving in a buggy Monday afternoon, the horses became unruly and ran some distance. The vehicle became uncoupled and all the occupants were thrown to the ground, but escaped with only a few slight scratches. The buggy was pretty badly torn up.
Died of Exposure

MR. W. F. MULLEN a well known sawmill man, of the Crofton neighborhood, was found upon the roadside near his home Sunday morning in an unconscious condition. He was removed to his house where he died a few hours later. MR. MULLIN was in Crofton Friday and left for his home in an intoxicated condition. He did not go far before he was over come with liquor and laid down near the road side where he was found as above stated. He was 55 years old and leaves a large family.

Dock Holland aged about 90 years, died at his home near Crofton Saturday.

MISS MARY J. GRACE daughter of Mr. James Grace, of the Crofton neighborhood, was married Sunday, to MR. LARKIN CHEEK a prosperous young farmer of the same country. REV. CROWE officiating. The wedding took place at the home of the bride's parents. Both young people are exceedingly popular in North Christian society. 



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