Cameo103 masth102
April in Kentucky History

Spring, 1956 –

The 101stAirborne Division is assigned to Fort Campbell, KY. [KE, p. 343-4]


1 April –

1775 – Boonesborough, KY. Daniel Boone and his party arrive and begin construction of the fort, which will become Boonesborough. [KE, p. 102]

1807 – Kentucky. Clay County created from Madison, Floyd, and Knox counties. Later, parts of Jackson, Owsley, Leslie, Lee, Breathitt, Knott, Perry and Harlan counties will come from Clay County. It is named in honor of General Green Clay. [KE, p. 204]

1840 – Louisville, KY. William Burke Belknap establishes an iron nail business at Third and Main streets. Belknap considers that this business ends in 1861, but history considers this the beginning of Belknap Hardware and Manufacturing Company. [EL, p. 81-82]

1842 – Kentucky. Crittenden County established. It is named in honor of John Jordan Crittenden, governor 1848-50. [KE, p. 241-2]

1869 – Kentucky. Elliott County formed from parts of Morgan, Lawrence and Carter counties. It is named for either John Lisle Elliott, or his son, John Milton Elliott. It seems to have been an attempt to create a Democratic county in the midst of the Republican stronghold of eastern Kentucky. County seat is Sandy Hook. [KE, p. 292]

1880 – Louisville, KY. The Kentucky and Indiana Bridge Company incorporated in Kentucky. The K&I Bridge will be completed in 1886. It will be the second bridge between Louisville and Indiana, and the first through-cantilever-truss bridge erected in the United States. It is primarily a railroad bridge, but carriage lanes extend from each side of the trusses, providing the first vehicle bridge in the area. (See 22 June 1886; 16 October 1886; 1 January 1982.) [EL, p. 460-1]

1907 – Washington, DC. President Theodore Roosevelt appoints Kentucky Senator Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn governor of the Panama Canal Zone. (See also 20 November 1909 entry.) [KE, p. 83]

1907 – Louisville, KY. Louisville and Eastern Railroad Company establishes service to LaGrange, KY. [EL, p. 418-20]

1929 – Kentucky River, Fayette and Madison counties, KY. Commonwealth of Kentucky buys Clay’s Ferry Bridge Company. The ferry had operated 1792-1869, when a bridge was completed. [KE, p. 205-6]

1945 – Hawaii. Already recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal, Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr., commander of the 10thArmy, begins the assault on Okinawa.. [KE, p. 137]

1974 – Brandenburg, KY. A tornado claims thirty-one lives and destroys much property. [KE, p. 114]

Births –

1765 – Cabannes, France. John Tarascon born. He and his brother will found Shippingport, KY. (See 11 August 1825.) [EL, p. 866-8]

1823 – Glen Lily, near Munfordville, KY. Simon Bolivar Buckner born. He will be governor 1887-91. [KE, p. 136-7]

1841 – Larue County, KY. John McDougal Atherton born. He will be a distiller, banker, railroad magnate, and the driving force to change the trustee system of Louisville school administration to a Board of Education. In recognition, the board named the J.M. Atherton High School for Girls, in his honor, in 1923. [EL, p. 52]

1855 – Bowling Green, KY. Caroline Burnam Taylor born. As Caroline Taylor she will be famous as a fashion designer and dressmaker, employing some 300 women. In April 1912, she will stay in Europe to attend an extra fashion show – thereby missing her scheduled return on the maiden voyage of the Titanic. (See 24 November 1917.) [KE, p. 869]

1866 – Lexington, KY. Sophonisba Preston Breckinridge born. She will be the first woman admitted to the Kentucky bar (August, 1892). Unable to attract clients in Kentucky, she will move to Illinois. [KE, p. 120]

Deaths –

1945 – Santa Monica, CA. Isaac Wolfe Bernheim dies. (See 4 November 1848 entry.) [EL, p. 86]

2 April –

1894 – Jeffersonville, IN. The City of Louisvilleis launched at the Howard Shipyards. (See 18 April 1894; 5 April 1896; 16 May 1912; 30 January 1918.) [Schrage and Clare, p. 58]


1929 – Kentucky River, Fayette and Madison counties, KY. Commonwealth of Kentucky buys Clay’s Ferry Bridge Company. The ferry had operated 1792-1869, when a bridge was completed. [KE, p. 205-6]

Births –

1868 – Louisville, KY. William Krieger born. He will be Jefferson County judge 1 January 1918 – 31 December 1921. (See 14 November 1941.) [EL, p. 490]

Deaths –

1965 – Frankfort, KY. Simeon Willis dies. He is buried in Frankfort Cemetery. (See 1 December 1879.) [KE, p. 958]

3 April –

1869 – Louisville, KY. Joseph H. Bunce elected mayor. In 1870, the city charter is amended to provide a three-year term for mayor, instead of two years. Bunce is given the choice of serving out his two-year term, or standing for election to a three-year term. He chooses a new election – and loses. [EL, p. 146]

1917 – Louisville, KY. Louisville Chapter of American Red Cross granted charter. [EL 30]

1974 – Louisville, KY. Tornadoes rip through Louisville, and surrounding areas. The storm system creates 100 tornadoes in 10 states, killing 322 people and take over $570 million in damages. [EL, p. 889]

1995 – Louisville, KY. Standiford Field becomes Louisville International Airport. [EL, p. 9]

Births –

1755 – Fauquier County, VA. Simon Kenton born. [KE, p. 488]

Deaths –

1897 – Louisville, KY. Albert Fink dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 27 October 1827 entry.) [KE, p. 319]

1982 – Hollywood Hills, CA. Warren Oates dies. (See 5 July 1928.) [EL, p. 665] His body is cremated; his ashes scattered.

1990 – Lexington, KY. Earl Dickens Wallace dies. He is buried Lexington Cemetery. (See 19 October 1898.) [KE, p. 925-6]

4 April –

1833 – Maysville, KY. New fire department called out for major fire with destroys five businesses and one residence. [KE, p. 621-2]

1921 – Jefferson County, KY. Sale of Camp Zachary Taylor begins. [KE, p. 159]

1923 – Louisville, KY. Girl Scout County of Louisville chartered. [EL, p. 341]

1977 – Pineville, KY. Fourteen inches of rain engorge the Cumberland River sending it out of its banks, through the city’s flood walls and into the town. Some 100 houses dislodge from their foundations and the downtown area is caked with two feet of mud. [KE, p. 724]

1989 – Kentucky. The first Kentucky Lottery ticket sold. The sales this day will exceed $5 million. [EL, p. 475]

Deaths –

1985 – Louisville, KY. William Brown Stansbury struck by an automobile, dying a few hours later. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery. (See 18 March 1923.) [EL, p. 848-9]

4-8 April –

1970 – Dak Seang, Vietnam. Sfc. Gary Lee Littrell, of Henderson, KY, earns the Congressional Medal of Honor. [KE, p. 222-224]

5 April –

1869 – Sandy Hook, KY. Town made seat of Elliott County. [KE, p. 797]

1896 – Cincinnati, OH, to Louisville, KY. The steamboat City of Louisville a down-bound record of 5 hours, 58 minutes. (See 2 April 1984; 18 April 1894; 5 April 1896; 16 May 1912; 30 January 1918.) [Schrage and Clare, p. 58]

1918 – Louisville, KY. Green Street officially becomes Liberty Street. Green Street was so named because it was once a long strip of common land grass where horses could graze. Amid the patriotism of World War I, the name Liberty was chosen. In the mid 19thcentury, Green Street was dubbed “Newspaper Row,” it being the address of both the Louisville Journaland the Louisville Courier. By the late part of the century, it was better known for saloons and brothels. The United States army required that the street be cleaned up before they would build Camp Zachary Taylor. [EL, p. 510-11]

Births –

1896 – Meridian MS. Mark Foster Ethridge born. Ambassador Robert Worth Bingham will ask President Franklin Delano Roosevelt for a recommendation of someone to run the Courier-Journaland the Louisville Times. will suggest Ethridge, who will take the papers to national prominence for top-notch reporting, as well as creative and interesting layout and design. [EL, p. 276-7]

Deaths –

1973 – Louisville, KY. Kenneth Schmied dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 11 July 1911.) [EL, p. 789-90]

1981 – Moncure, ND. Mark Foster Ethridge dies. (See 5 April 1896 entry.) [KE, p. 299-300]

6 April –

1842 – Louisville, KY. Charles and Catherine Dickens arrive from Cincinnati, OH. They spend the night at the Galt House. [EL, p. 173-4]

1851 – Louisville, KY. Jenny Lind arrives. [EL, p. 518-9]

1904 – Louisville, KY. Dreamland nickelodeon, 434 West Market Street, opens. It is one of the earliest moving-picture shows in the country. [EL, p. 629-34]

Births –

1906 – Chicago, IL. Frank Stanley Sr. born. The family will move to Louisville when he is six. He will work for, then own the Louisville Defendernewspaper. (See 19 October 1974.) [KE, p. 847]

1909 – Burksville, KY. William Marrion Branham born. He will become a charismatic preacher. (See 24 December 1965 entry.) [EL, p. 114]

Deaths –

1862 – near Pittsburg Landing, TN. General Albert Sidney Johnston is killed early in the afternoon at the Battle of Shiloh. [KE, p. 476-7]

7 April –

1779 – Harrodstown, KY. Members of Kentucky County (of Virginia) Court order inhabitants to “keep themselves as united and compact as possible” and draw up plans for towns and forts. [EL 3]

1851 – Louisville, KY. Jenny Lind concert is inaugural program at the new Mozart Hall, Fourth & Jefferson Streets. [EL, p. 518-9]

1862 – Corinth, MS. Confederate governor of Kentucky George Johnson wounded in second day Battle of Shiloh. (See 6 February 1797; 8 April 1862; 4 October 1862; 25 May 1877.) [KE, p. 418-9]

1953 – Louisville, KY. Charles P. Farnsley announces that the Rockefeller Foundation has awarded $400,000 to the Louisville Orchestra for commissioning and recording new music. Founded in 1937, the orchestra has pioneered performing new compositions. [KE, p. 584]

Deaths –

1995 – Louisville, KY. Frank Haddad Jr. dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 28 June 1928.) [EL, p. 364]

8 April –

1781 – Louisville, KY. Election day. Local men Daniel Sullivan and John Carr stage a bare-fisted boxing match, near Fort Nelson (presently Seventh and Main streets). A large crowd of voters became spectators at the event, which ended with Sullivan losing part of an ear to Carr’s teeth. [EL, p. 109]

1783 – Jefferson County, KY. John Floyd fatally wounded in an Indian ambush. [EL, p. 300]

1808 – Vatican City. Pope Pius VII subdivides the diocese of Baltimore. It presently includes all of America; hereafter, there will be the dioceses of Bardstown, Boston, New York and Philadelphia. [KE, p. 780-2]

Births –

1777 – Williamsburg, VA. William Craig Galt born. He will be trained as a physician by his father, who studied in Edinburgh, Scotland, the most renowned medical college of the time. In 1802 he and his wife move to Louisville, where he will assist in the medical care of George Rogers Clark (1809). The first hotel to bear his name will be built on land purchased from him. (See 22 October 1853.) [EL, p. 326]

1852 – Charlestown, IN. Charles Harvey Joiner born. He will have a portrait studio in Louisville’s Courier-Journal for 27 years. He will be most famous for his landscapes of Kentucky beechwood trees. (See 30 May 1932.) [KE, p. 478-9]

1955 – Annapolis, MD. Barbara Kingsolver born. She will grow up in Carlisle, KY, and become a well-known author and poet. [KE, p. 519]

Deaths –

1862 – Corinth, MS. Kentucky Confederate governor George Johnson dies of wounds received at Battle of Shiloh. (See 6 February 1797; 7 April 1862; 4 October 1862; 25 May 1877.) [418-9]

9 April –

1785 – Jefferson County, KY, issues a license for a tavern to Joseph Brooks; Brooks Station is the last leg of the Wilderness Road. [Renau, p. 48]

1851 – Louisville, KY. Jenny Lind’s second concert, Mozart Hall. [EL, p. 518-9]

1865 – Fort Blakeley, AL. Private John H. Callahan, of Shelby County, KY, earns the Congressional Medal of Honor. [KE, p. 222-224]

1865 – Appomattox Courthouse, VA. Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant. [p 172]

1986 – Florence, KY. Jerry L. Carroll purchases the land where Turfway Park will be built. [KE, p. 903-4]

1997 – Louisville, KY. The W.L. Lyons Brown Library, at Bellarmine College (now university), is dedicated. It is a state-of-the-art repository for printed material and electronic records. It also houses the Merton Center and the Merton Collection, the works of Trappist monk, Thomas Merton. (See also 26 July 1906 and 5 January 1973 entries.) [EL, p. 133]

Deaths –

1783 – Louisville, KY. John Floyd, who had surveyed at the Falls of the Ohio in 1774, dies in an Indian ambush. He is buried on his property, presently off Breckinridge Lane. [KE, p. 330]

1786 – near Jeffersonville, IN. Colonel William Christian killed.  [Renau, p. 29]

1853 – Louisville, KY. Richard Babington Ferguson dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. Born in Londonderry, Ireland, 1769, Dr. Ferguson, along with Dr. William Galt and Dr. John Collins, amputated George Rogers Clark’s right leg. In 1817, he was also the only practicing physician on the board of the Louisville Hospital. [KE, p. 313-4]

10 April –

1779 – Louisville, KY. At a public meeting, inhabitants appoint seven trustees. [EL 3]

1790 – Lexington, KY. Kentucky Gazettereports the performance of two plays by the students of Transylvania University. [KE, p. 877-8]

1823 – Danville, KY. The Kentucky Asylum for the Tuition of the Deaf and Dumb established. It is now called the Kentucky School for the Deaf (KSD). It is the first state-supported school for the deaf in the country, and the first school for the deaf west of the Alleghenies. [KE, p. 511-12]

1838 – Kentucky. Carter County formed from parts of Greenup and Lawrence counties. It is named in honor of state Senator William Grayson Carter. [KE, p. 167-8]

1851 – Louisville, KY. Jenny Lind performs a third concert, responding to popular demand. [EL, p. 518-9]

Births –

1811 – Lexington, KY. Henry Clay Jr. born. [EL, p. 205-6]

1885 – Knoxville, TV. Edward Leland Taylor born. He will be mayor of Louisville 1945-48. (See 16 February 1948.) [EL, p. 868]

Deaths –

1783 – Jefferson County, KY. John Floyd dies. He is buried on his own land. [EL, p. 300]

1837 – Licking River, KY. John Finley dies. (See 7 July 1748 entry.) [KE, p. 319-20]

1934 – Hangchow Bay, China. Robert Henry Gast becomes disoriented in dense fog and crashes. His body is not found until four months later. He is buried in Shanghai, China. [EL, p. 331-2]

1997 – Concord, NH. Sometime between April 10 and 11, Michael Anthony Dorris commits suicide. He is buried in Cornish, NH. (See 30 January 1945 entry.) [EL, p. 251]

11 April –

1851 – Louisville, KY. Jenny Lind, P.T. Barnum, Catherine Barnum and party leave for Cincinnati aboard the steamer Ben Franklin. [EL, p. 518-9]

12 April –

1864 – north of Memphis, TN. Battle of Fort Pillow/Massacre of Fort Pillow. Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, having lost the Battle of Paducah (KY), takes Fort Pillow after a prolonged shelling. Approximately half of the 300 defenders of the fort are African American Union soldiers. Much of the garrison is killed after the post has surrendered. From the beginning of the war, Confederates view African American Union troops as slaves in revolt. Had Forrest succeeded in taking Fort Anderson at Paducah, KY, the 8thU.S. Heavy Artillery (Colored) might have had the same fate. (See 25 March 1864.) [KE, p. 706]

1875 – Apache War. Sergeant William L. Day, of Barren County, KY, earns the Congressional Medal of Honor. [KE, p. 222-224]

1985 – Louisville, KY. International Harvester forge, last remaining vestige of the company, is sold to Louisville Forge and Gear Works Inc. The entire plant site is now part of Louisville International Airport. [EL, p. 416-7]

Births –

1777 – Slashes section, Hanover County, VA. Henry Clay born. [KE, p. 200-2]

1785 – Spottsylvania County, VA. Benjamin Winslow Dudley born. He will become a physician and noted surgeon, teaching at Transylvania College. [KE, p. 271-272]

1949 – Short Creek, KY. Rebecca Day Jackson born. In 1998, she will become Jefferson County’s first female judge/executive. [EL, p. 429]

Deaths –

1974 – Washington, DC. Arthur Krock dies. (See 16 November 1886.) [KE, p. 526]

13 April –

1750 – Cumberland Gap, KY. Thomas Walker leads first party of Englishmen through the gap and names it in honor of the Duke of Cumberland. (See 25 January 1715; 9 November 1794.) [KE, p. 925]

1778 – Lexington, KY. John and Sarah Maxwell marry. They will build a home near the largest of the three springs originating from Elkhorn Creek, the house will be called Maxwell Springs. It will be their home for 40 years. (See 15 August 1917.) [KE, p. 617-8]  

1780 – Louisville, KY. Evan Shelby acquires 200 acres of 500 acres; adjoining Colonel Christian. This is presently the heart of Windy Hills. [Renau, p. 44]

1865 – Westumpka, AL. Major John F. Weston, of Louisville, KY, earns the Congressional Medal of Honor. [KE, p. 222-224]

1907 – Louisville, KY. Louisville and Interurban Railroad Company establishes service to Orell, KY. [EL, p. 418-9]

1915 – Lawrenceburg, KY. Anderson County’s second courthouse, a stone structure completed in 1861, almost completely destroyed by fire. [KE, p. 537]

1955 – Louisville, KY. The last of 1,608,710 vehicles is manufactured at the Ford Motor Company plant at 1400 South Western Parkway. Five days later, the Louisville Assembly Plant, Fern Valley Road and Grade Lane, came on line. [KE, p. 342-3]

1966 – Washington, DC. President Lyndon B. Johnson enacts the name change of Cumberland National Forest. It becomes Daniel Boone National Forest. [KE, p. 251-2]

Deaths –

1816 – Louisville, KY. Alexander Scott Bullitt, age 53, dies at Oxmoor Farm. His family says that he died from inactivity. Perhaps a chronic debilitation caused the inactivity, and contributed to his death. He is buried on the farm he founded – Oxmoor. [Renau, p. 108]

1891 – Paducah, KY. Former mayor Meyer Weil dies. He is buried in Oak Grove Cemetery. (See 29 June 1830.) [KE, p. 940]

1923 – Louisville, KY. Former mayor Charles F. Grainger dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 23 January 1854.) [EL, p. 350] 

14 April –

1864 – Booneville, KY. The forty strong Three Forks Battalion of the Home Guard drives off a force of seventy-five Southern guerillas. [KE, p. 102]

1864 – near Royalton, KY. Colonel George Gallup and his Union forces attack and defeat Confederates retreating from a defeat in Painstsville, the day before. [KE, p. 604]

1865 – Washington, City. Abraham Lincoln shot by John Wilkes Booth. 

1865 – Louisville, KY. Mayor William Kaye has set this day aside to officially celebrate the Union victory. [EL, p. 193-5]

1865 – Louisville, KY. Parades, fireworks and band concerts in official observance of end of War Between the States. [EncLou, p. xx]

Births –

1935 – Butcher Holler, KY. Loretta Webb Lynn, “The Coal Miner’s Daughter,” born. [KE, p. 587]

Deaths –

1859 – Washington, DC. George M. Bibb dies. He is buried in the Frankfort (KY) Cemetery. (See also 30 October 1776 entry.) [KE, p. 74]

1914 – aboard RMS Titanic. Archibald Willingham Degraffenried Butt is last seen on deck with John Jacob Astor. A native of Georgia, Butt had an international diplomatic and political career, but he credited the start of his success to three years working at Louisville’s Courier-Journalunder the tutelage of Henry Watterson. [EL, p. 150-1]

15 April –

1799 – Danville, KY. The three Mrs. Hapes acquitted after a five day murder trial. They are given a horse and escorted to Knoxville road – from which they quickly depart to rendezvous with their two husbands in Henderson, KY. All planned before jailbreak. (See 14 December 1798; 5 January 1799; 20 January 1799; 13 February 1799; 27 February 1799; 16 March 1799; 22 April 1799; 20 August 1799; 4 September 1799; 13 January 1804; 4 February 1804 [8 February 1804?].) [McQueen; More offbeat…; p. 20-8]

1830 – Louisville, KY. Louisville Public Advertisercarries notice that Louisville intends to establish a poor and workhouse and hospital. This will be the “workhouse,” at Payne Street and Lexington Road. (See 31 July 1954.) [EL, p. 951-2] 

1861 – Washington City. President Abraham Lincoln calls for volunteers for the United States Army.

1865 – Louisville, KY. Flags fly at half-staff for President Abraham Lincoln. [EL, p. 193-5]

1888 – Louisville, KY. First service in new building of Episcopal Church of the Advent, founded in 1870. [EL, p. 274-5]

1891 – Louisville, KY. Fannie Belle Herr and Winfred Snook marry at Magnolia Stock Farm. When guests, and the bridegroom, get sick and die, it is called “The Poisoned Wedding.” Young Dr. James S. Chenoweth pioneers in forensic medicine to find that the cause is food poisoning. [EL, p. 711]

1950 – Camp Campbell is designated a permanent fort: Fort Campbell, KY. [KE, p. 343-4]

1985 – Washington, DC. In Ohio v. Kentucky, the United States Supreme Court sets the common boundary between the two states. The decision reinforces the Virginia line established 4 March 1784. (See entry.) The low-water mark on the Ohio River on that date now becomes “a series of straight lines between sequentially numbered geodetic points, 1927 North American Datum.” [KE, p. 103]

Births –

1876 – Montgomery County, KY. Samuel Webb Greene born. He will be Jefferson County judge 1 January 1914 – 31 December 1917. He will also be a lecturer for the Christian Science church. (See 3 September 1958.) [EL, p. 358]

1926 – Burkesville, KY. Walter Darlington “Dee” Huddleston born. He will become a United States Senator. [KE, p. 444-5]

Deaths –

1865 – Washington City. Abraham Lincoln dies. [KE, p. 555-6

16 April –

1841 – Louisville, KY. City surveyor John Tunstall plats the Butchertown neighborhood. Present street names were given on this date. [EL, p. 149-50]

1945 – Okinawa. Corporal Richard Earl Bush, USMC, of Glasgow, KY, earns the Congressional Medal of Honor. [KE, p. 222-224]

1972 – Louisville, KY. Portland is evacuated for the day while four tanks of liquid chlorine are pumped out from the barge lodged in the tainter gates at the LG&E’s Ohio Falls Station. (See 19 March 1972.) [EL, p. 513-6]

Births –

1931 – McCracken County, KY. Julian Morton Carroll born. He will be governor 1975-79. [KE, p. 165]

Deaths –

1963 – Louisville, KY. Boyd Martin dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 2 May 1886.) [EL, p. 591]

17 April –

1779 – Louisville, KY. Seven appointed trustees meet; agree on location and plan of town, and adopt rules for government. [EL 3]

1842 – Louisville, KY. Charles and Catherine Dickens arrive from St. Louis and spend the night at the Galt House. [EL, p. 173-4]

1868 – Lexington, KY. John Hunt Morgan, originally buried in Richmond, VA, buried in Lexington Cemetery. [KE, p. 650-1]

Deaths –

1818 – Frankfort, KY. Christopher Greenup dies. He had been governor of the commonwealth 1804-08. He is buried in the Frankfort Cemetery. [KE, p. 388-9]

1877 – Frankfort, KY. Thomas Scudder Page dies, destitute. He is buried in Frankfort Cemetery. (See 19 April 1800.) [KE, p. 707]

1926 – Louisville, KY. John F. Gillooly dies. He is buried in St. Louis Cemetery. (See 18 September 1855; 18 February 1880; 4 November 1881; 17 February 191466.) [EL, p. 340-1]

18 April –

1825 – Natchez, MS. Marquis de La Fayette boards the Natchezand travels up the Mississippi River to St. Louis. He passes western boundary of Kentucky. (See 15 August 1824; 30 April 1825; 2 May 1825; 3-4 May 1825; 5-6 May 1825; 7-8 May 1825; 9 May 1825; 11 May 1825; 13 May 1825; 14 May 1825; 15 May 1825; 16 May 1825; 18 May 1825; 19-20 May 1825; 21 May 1825; 22 May 1825; 7 September 1825.) [KE, p. 528-9]

1861 – Louisville, KY. Antoine Bidermann Du Pont and Ellen Coleman marry. [KE, p. 275]

1861 – Kentucky. Union State Central Committee decrees that the commonwealth will be an independent state during the Civil War. [EL, p. 887]

1894 – Louisville, KY, to Cincinnati, OH. The steamboat City of Louisville a record for this run: 9 hours, 42 minutes. For most of her career, the numbers 9 – 42 are painted on the sides of her pilot house. She has reason to be proud. Her record still stands. (See 2 April 1984; 5 April 1896; 16 May 1912; 30 January 1918.) [Schrage and Clare, p. 58-9]

Births –

1815 – Harrodsburg, KY. Beriah Magoffin born. He will be governor 1859-62. (See 28 February 1885.) [KE, p. 603-4]

1833 – Wilmington, Delaware. Alfred Victor Du Pont born. He will buy a paper mill in Louisville, and invest in many other businesses. The present site of Louisville’s Central Park was the Du Pont estate. He will found a technical school for poor children, but forbid his name to be associated with it. [KE, p. 274-5]

Deaths –

1882 – Frankfort, KY. John W. Cannon dies. See 17 June 1820 entry. [KE, p. 160]

1995 – Louisville, KY. Mary Caperton Bingham dies. [EL, p. 91] Her death is covered by the national media, but is overshadowed by the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City.

19 April –

1780 – near the mouth of the Ohio River. George Rogers Clark begins construction of Fort Jefferson. [KE, p. 195-6]

1783 – Fort Boonesborough, KY. Isaac Shelby and Susannah Hart marry. She is 19, he 32; they have known each other for two years. (See 18 February 1764; 19 June 1833.) [KE, p. 816]

1880 – Kentucky. Kentucky Railroad Commission established. This body was to help bridge the gap between interests of farmers and the railroads. It becomes superfluous with founding of Interstate Commerce Commission. [KE, p. 508]

1961 – Louisvillian Jimmy Ellis wins his first professional fight. [EL, p. 110]

Births –

1800 – New York, NY. Thomas Scudder Page born. As Kentucky’s first elected auditor of public accounts (1851-59), he will embezzle $88,927. He will then become the first elected state executive officer tried for corruption, the state having to sue for embezzlement, which is not a criminal offense at the time. Page will file for bankruptcy. (See 17 April 1877.) [KE, p. 707]

1856 – Frankfort, KY. George D. Todd born. He will be the first Republican mayor of Louisville. (See 31 January 1896; 23 November 1929.) [KE, p. 887]

Deaths –

1853 – Cincinnati, OH. Stephen Theodore Badin dies. He had purchased the land where the University of Notre Dame stands today. Fr. Badin is buried at Notre Dame. (See also 17 July 1768 and 25 May 1793 entries.) [KE, p. 43]

1931 – Clearwater, FL. Former Louisville mayor William O. Head dies. He is buried in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 29 July 1859.) [EL, p. 379]

1992 – Louisville, KY. Molly Clowes dies. (See 21 January 1906 entry.) [EL, p. 207-8]

20 April –

1775 – Boonesborough, KY. Richard Henderson’s party arrives a few days after Daniel Boone’s party. Boone and his party have already measured out two acre lots on the north side of the mineral lick called Sycamore Hollow. Henderson is left the south side. [KE, p. 100]

1911 – Livermore, KY. Will Porter (or Potter) is hanged center stage by a mob in the opera house. An African American, Porter had shot and wounded Frank Mitchell, a white man, after a barroom quarrel. The bizarre murder is dubbed the Livermore Lynching and makes national headlines. President William Howard Taft, Congress and Governor A.E. Wilson (1907-11) demand accountability and 18 men are arrested. All are acquitted. [KE, p. 563]

Births –

1735 – Hanover County, VA. Richard Henderson born. (See 27 August 1774; 6 January 1775; 10 February 1775; 17 March 1775; 21 March 1775; 23 March 1775; 25 September 1775; 4 November 1775; 28 December 1763; 30 January 1785.) [KE, p. 422-3]

1887 – on Flint Ridge, Edmondson County, KY. William Floyd Collins born. [KE, p. 215-6]

Deaths –

1947 – New York, NY. Madame Glover dies. She is buried in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 31 March 1861.) [EL, p. 343]

21 April –

1912 – Louisville, KY. An interfaith memorial service is held at the new Armory (now Gardens of Louisville) for those lost aboard the Titanic. [EL, p. 265-6]

Births –

1796 – Louisville, KY. Frederick Augustus Kaye Jr. born. He will be mayor 1837-41; 1844-47. He will be the first mayor elected solely by the qualified voters of the city. (See 3 March 1789; 29 April 1866.) [EL, p. 456-7]

1908 – Kickenbach, Germany. Alwinia Heinemann born. As labor and delivery nurse at Louisville’s St. Anthony Hospital, she revolutionized L&D and post-partum care. As Sr. Alwinia, of the Sisters of St. Francis of Perpetual Adoration, in 29 years at St. Anthony’s she earned the accolade unofficial mother of 57,000 babies born there during her tenure. (See 19 January 1995.) [EL, p. 379-80]

21-22 April –

1775 – Boonesborough, KY. Town lots on the Kentucky River are surveyed.  [KE, p. 100]

22 April –

1774 – Virginia. A party of surveyors starts west to survey lands on “Western Waters” for persons with certificates “agreeable to his Majesty’s Proclamation of October , 1763.” In other words, veterans of the French and Indian War were to be paid with land grants in Kentucky around the Falls of the Ohio. The four deputy surveyors are: John Floyd, Hancock Taylor, James Douglas and Isaac Hite. (See 29 May 1774.) [EL, p. 499-500]

1799 – Frankfort, KY. Governor issues a reward for capture of the Harpes. The Harpes respond with a killing spree which tallies some 20 corpses, including two children. (See 14 December 1798; 5 January 1799; 20 January 1799; 13 February 1799; 27 February 1799; 16 March 1799; 15 April 1799; 20 August 1799; 4 September 1799; 13 January 1804; 4 February 1804 [8 February 1804?].) [McQueen; More offbeat…; p. 20-8]

1836 – Frankfort, KY. Secretary of State’s office; Senator John Brown presides over meeting which votes to organize the Kentucky State Historical Society. In 1947, the name is changed to Kentucky Historical Society. [KE, p. 503-4]

1863 – Tompkinsville, KY. Confederates commanded by Colonel Ollie Hamilton capture town and burn several buildings, including the courthouse, thereby destroying the early court records of Monroe County. [KE, p. 643-4]

Births –

1787, or 1788 – near Harrodsbug, KY. Matthew Harris Jouett born. He will be one of the most sought-after portrait painters in the early 19thcentury. (See 10 August 1827.) [KE, p. 481]

23 April –

1861 – Louisville, KY. City Council appropriates $50,000 for defense against the Confederates. More than eleven earthen breastworks will ring the city. [EL, p. 193-5]

1880 – Louisville, KY. The Home of the Innocents is incorporated by a special act of the General Assembly. Founded under the auspices of Christ Church Cathedral (Episcopal), the home is to care for and comfort indigent children. Later, it will be the only pediatric nursing facility in the commonwealth, and will offer programs for emotionally disturbed and other at-risk children. (See 5 March 1999; 17 November 1998.) [EL, p. 397]

Births –

1873 – Lexington, KY. Linda Neville born. Her efforts will eradicate trachoma in eastern Kentucky in 1952. (See 2 June 1961.) [KE, p. 677]

23-24 April –

1944 – Padiglione, Italy. Sergeant John Charles Squires, of Louisville, KY, earns the Congressional Medal of Honor. [KE, p. 222-224]

24 April –

1779 – Harrodstown, KY. The location, plan and rules of government adopted by the Louisville, KY, trustees on 17 April are accepted by the Kentucky County (of Virginia) Court. [EL, p. 3]

1866 – Kentucky. Sergeant Elijah P. Marrs discharged from United States Army. As an enslaved man in Shelbyville, Marrs raised a unit of soldiers and marched to Louisville to join the Union forces.  He will go on to teach school in Simpsonville, LaGrange, New Castle and Louisville. (See 22 August 1875; 30 August 1910.) [KE, p. 609]

1888 – Louisville, KY. The General Assembly incorporates the Louisville National Medical College. It is affiliated with Simmons University, the only institution in Kentucky offering theology, medical or law college degrees for African Americans. (See 29 April 1912.) [KE, p. 583-4]

1964 – Martin County, KY. President Lyndon B. Johnson visits the Thomas Fletcher family, initiating his war on poverty. [KE, p. 613]

Births –

1905 – Guthrie KY. Robert Penn Warren born. (See 15 September 1989.) [KE. p. 932]

Deaths –

1859 – Shippingport, KY. James D. Porter dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. This is the date in the Kentucky Encyclopedia. His grave marker says 28 April. Other sources have other dates. Perhaps he died in April. [KE, p. 730]

25 April –

1812 – St. Charles Mission Station, KY. Charles Nerinckx, Mary Rhodes, Christian Stuart and Ann Havern establish the Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross. [KE, p. 824-5]

1863 – Kentucky. A commission reviewing allegations of incompetence or dereliction of duty against Brigadier General Don Carlos Buell finds no serious misjudgments and recommends his return to duty. His political enemies, however, will prevent this. (See entries 15 November 1861; 14 February 1862; 8 October 1862; 30 October 1862; 1 June 1864; 19 November 1898.) [KE, p. 137-8]

1939 – Paducah, KY. Joe Hale is allowed to plead guilty to a lesser charge than murder. Convicted in 1936 for murdering a white man soliciting African American young women, Hale appealed to the United States Supreme Court, on grounds that no African Americans were in the jury pool from which his jury had been chosen. The decision in Hale v. Kentucky, entitled him to a new trial. [KE, p. 298-9]

1990 – Above earth. The Hubble Space Telescope released into orbit. Designed to observe without interference from Earth’s atmosphere, it is hoped that it will help to determine a precise value for the Hubble Constant, the scientific principle essential to the “Big Bang” theory. (See 20 November 1899; Indiana 31 May 1914; 28 September 1953.) [EL, p. 408]

Deaths –

1859 – Louisville, KY. James D. “Jim” Porter, the Kentucky Giant, dies. [?]

26 April –

1786 – Louisville, KY. Alexander Scott Bullitt sends to Louisville merchant Daniel Brodhead: “Sir Please send me by the Bearer ten yards Bombazeen or Crape Eight Yards black Callemanco, 6 yards broad black Ribbon 1 pr Black silk Gloves, 3 Yards black Gauze – a Black gause Handkerchief, 1 Black silk Do – two Pair kid or Leather Gloves Charge the forgoing articles to me and send me the Account – Please send me on Account of Mrs. Christian 30 yards Bombazeen Crape or Durants 30 Yards black Callimanco 2 Oz. Black thread this account I will see settled.” The poor might well grieve, but deep mourning is only for the wealthy. [Renau, p. 30]

1852 – Louisville, KY. James Stephens Speed becomes mayor. He will serve until April 1855. The question of the term of the mayor was never resolved and Speed, though elected annually by the voters, was never given a certificate of election. [EL, p. 843]

1946 – Bell County, KY. The Clear Creek Mountain Preachers Bible School has its first graduates. [KE, p. 206]

Births –

1785 – Les Cayes, Santo Domingo (now Haiti). John James Audubon born. He will make numerous sketches and paintings of the birds at the Falls of the Ohio, consulting with George Rogers Clark about the local natural history. [EL, p. 53]

1903 – Cynthiana, KY. Mary Peterson “Cissy” Gregg born. Her “Cissy Gregg’s Cookbook and Guide to Gracious Living” will premier in April 1942, with the Courier-Journal’s first magazine section to use color. Besides her regular column, she will write two cookbooks. (See 10 May 1966.) [KE, 392]

Deaths –

1875 – Louisville, KY. John Bull dies. He made and lost a few fortunes in patent cure-alls, and sarsaparilla. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. [EL, p. 141]

1911 – Louisville, KY. Michael McDonald Muldoon dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery, among many of his monuments. (See 16 August 1836.) [KE, p. 660]

1991 – Bismarck, ND. Alfred Bertram Guthrie Jr. dies. He is buried in Chateau, Montana. (See 13 January 1901.) [KE, p. 396]

27 April –

1805 – Derne, North Africa. Marine 1stLt. Presley Neville O’Bannon, having led seven Marines and approximately 400 Arabs, across 500 miles of desert, takes the fortified city and holds it against the army of Tripoli until a peace treaty is signed on 4 June 1805. He will retire to Logan County, KY. (See 12 September 1850.) [KE, p. 687] This is the action against the Tripoli pirates which will add, “…to the shores of Tripoli…” to the Marine hymn.

1968 – Louisvillian Jimmy Ellis, now a heavyweight, defeats Jerry Quarry to become world champion. At 197 pounds, Ellis was the lightest man to win the heavyweight title in 35 years. [EL, p. 110]

Births –

1756 – Chesterfield County, VA. John Fowler born. He will be a prominent jurist in early Kentucky, will be a member of the Kentucky Society for Promoting Useful Knowledge; and in 1788, with Richard Clough Anderson and Green Clay, will establish the Lexington Freemason Lodge No. 1. [KE, p. 350]

1821 – Maysville, KY. Walter Newman Haldeman born. He will found the Louisville Courier (1840), the Louisville Courier-Journal (1868), and the Louisville Times (1884). (See 10 May 1902.) [KE, p. 398]

1867 – Carter County, KY. Mary Elliott Flanery born. A dedicated suffragist, in November 1921, she will be the first woman elected to a state legislature south of the Mason-Dixon line. (See 19 July 1933 entry.)  [KE, p. 323-4]

Deaths –

1883 – near Harrodsburg Junction, KY. U.S. Congressman Philip Burton “Little Phil” Thompson kills his former best friend Walter Davis. He believes that Davis seduced his wife the previous November. Tried eleven days later, he is acquitted. This will be considered an outstanding example of the so-called unwritten law of the 19thcentury. Davis and Mrs. Thompson were innocent, by the way. [KE, p. 881-2]

28 April –

1947 – Lexington, KY. Organized in 1942, the Kentucky Coal Association adopts constitution and by-laws. [KE, p. 492-3]

1967 – Houston, TX. Muhammad Ali refuses to enter the United States Army. His requests for deferment as a conscientious objector have been rejected. The New York Athletic Committee suspends his boxing license and strips him of his heavyweight title. [EL, p. 23]

1985 – Louisville, KY. Kentucky Derby Museum dedicated. [EL, p. 471]

Births –

1892 – Louisville, KY. John Jacob Niles born. He will be famous as a ballad writer and collector. (See 1 Mary 1980.) [KE, p. 683]

29 April –

1872 – Columbia, KY. Five men, possibly part of the Jesse James gang, rob the Bank of Columbia, killing the cashier. The take is $4,000. [KE, p. 216] 

1900 – Memphis, TN. Engineer Casey Jones and his fireman Simeon Wells bring in the “Cannonball,” fastest train from Chicago to New Orleans. Relay engineer Joe Lewis is ill and the pair is asked to take the “Cannonball” through to Canton, MS. Close to Vaughan, MS, almost the end of their run, a freight train has stalled the caboose and three cars on the main track. Seeing the catastrophe at the last moment, Casey Jones tells Wells to jump. Jones stays with his engine long enough to slow down enough to save all lives – except his own. (See 16 January 1889; 30 April 1900.) [KE, p. 479-80]

1904 – Kentucky. Beckham County, Kentucky’s 120thcounty, is dissolved. (See also 9 February 1904 entry.) [KE, p. 65-6]

1912 – Louisville, KY. The Louisville National Medical College closes. (See 24 April 1888.) [KE, p. 583-4]

1963 – Louisville, KY. The Belle of Louisvilleraces the Delta Queenin the first Great Steamboat Race of the Kentucky Derby Festival. Jefferson County judge Marlow W. Cook challenged Letha Greene, owner of the Greene Line and the Queen. [Schrage and Clare, p. 83] The Queen the golden antlers, traditional prize in steamboat races.

Deaths –

1836 – near Zanesville, OH. Simon Kenton dies. He is buried there. [KE, p. 488]

1866 – Breckinridge County, KY. Frederick Augustus Kaye Jr. dies. He is buried in Louisville, Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 21 April 1796; 3 March 1789.) [EL, p. 456-7]

30 April –

1825 – St. Louis, MO. The Marquis de La Fayette starts back down the Mississippi River and enters the Ohio River and thus enters Kentucky. (See 15 August 1824; 18 April 1825; 2 May 1825; 3-4 May 1825; 5-6 May 1825; 7-8 May 1825; 9 May 1825; 11 May 1825; 13 May 1825; 14 May 1825; 15 May 1825; 16 May 1825; 18 May 1825; 19-20 May 1825; 21 May 1825; 22 May 1825; 7 September 1825.) [KE, p. 528-9]

1904 – Louisville, KY. The Children’s Floral Ball is the last event held in The Amphitheatre Auditorium, south west corner, 4th& Hill Streets. [EL 32]

Deaths –

1900 – Vaughan, MS. Casey Jones dies at 3:53 a.m. (See 16 January 1889; 29 April 1900.) [KE, p. 479-80]

1956 – Lexington, VA. Former Vice President Alben W. Barkley suffers a fatal heart attack after addressing students at Washington and Lee University. [KE, p. 53]

1956 – Louisville, KY. Robert Henry Boll dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See also 7 June 1875 entry.) [EL, p. 103]


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