Cameo103 masth102
February in Kentucky History

1 February –

1937 – Paducah, KY. The Great Flood crests at 53.7 feet. Ninety-five percent of the city is flooded. [KE, p. 327-8]

1970 – Louisville, KY. Longest, costliest strike in history of GE’s Appliance Park ends. (See 27 October 1969.) [EL, p. 333-4]

Births –

1869 – Whitley County, KY. Caleb Powers born. He will be elected Kentucky secretary of state in 1899. (See 30 January 1900; 4 March 1911; 25 July 1932.) [KE, p. 733]

1937 – Brownie, KY. Donald Isaac Everly, first of the Everyly Brothers, born. (See 19 January 1939 entry.) [KE, p. 301]

Deaths –

1916 – Louisville, KY. John Colgan, inventor of chewing gum, dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. [KE, p. 213-4]

1939 – Louisville, KY. Walter Pierce Lincoln dies. He is buried in Mount Vernon, KY. (See 17 December 1857.) [EL, p. 517]

2 February –

1816 – Nelson County, KY. The six-member group of women who will become the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth take their vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. [KE, p. 824]

1925 – Louisville, KY. Ford Motor Company completes a new plant at 1400 South Western Parkway. [KE, p. 342]

1925 – Park City, KY. Skeets Miller arrives to cover the Floyd Collins story. At 5’ 5” tall and 120 pounds, he is the only person who can get close to Collins. He will make seven trips in, interviewing him and taking food and water. (See 20 June 1904; 31 January 1925; 4 February 1925; 16 February 1925; 29 December 1983.) [EL, p. 622]

1946 – Louisville, KY. The first of only two aircraft built by Laister-Kauffmann Company, leasing the old Curtiss-Wright Factory, flies. The factory will become International Harvester, standing until 1997. [EL, p. 235-6]

Births –

1803 – Washington, KY. Albert Sidney Johnston born. He will be a soldier of three republics. [KE, p. 476-7]

1861 – Nelson County, KY. Joseph Seamon Cotter born. He will become one of the early significant African American writers. He is also credited with achieving approval of naming schools in African American neighborhoods after famous African American. [EL, p. 224

1899 – on Poor Fork, Cumberland River, Harlan County, KY. Rebecca Caudill born. She will become a well-known author. [KE, p. 173]

3 February –

1878 – Louisville, KY. First German Evangelical Lutheran Church, now Concordia Lutheran Church, organized. [EL, p. 215]

1936 – Southgate, KY. Convicted moonshiner Peter Schmidt opens the Beverly Hills supper club. It will be destroyed in a disastrous fire in 1977; 161 people will die. [KE, p. 836]

Births –

1844 – Owen County, KY. Laura Catherine Ford born. She will become a popular author, as will her brother Thomas Benton Ford. (See also 11 February 1841 entry.) [KE, p. 341]

1862 – Elkton, KY. James Clark McReynolds born. He will become United States attorney general and Supreme Court justice, both appointments from President Woodrow Wilson. (See 24 August 1946.) [KE, p. 600]

Deaths –

1900 – Frankfort, KY. Governor William Goebel succumbs to wound from assassin’s rifle. (See 4 January 1856; 12 December 1899; 30 January 1900.) [KE, p. 377]

4 February –

1791 – Philadelphia, PA. The first Congress, urged by President George Washington, accepts Kentucky’s petition for statehood. Vermont is admitted 14 days later, but it preceded Kentucky because the ninth convention had fixed 1 June 1792 as the date for Kentucky’s admission. [KE, p. 848-9]

1804 – Greenville, KY. (Perhaps 8 February) Little Harpe hanged at Gallows Field. Posthumously, he is also decapitated, his head stuck up on a pole outside of town. (See 14 December 1798; 5 January 1799; 20 January 1799; 13 February 1799; 27 February 1799; 16 March 1799; 15 April 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]

1818 – Greenup, KY. Town incorporated as Greensburg, named in honor of fourth governor, Christopher Greenup. The name will be changed in March 1872. [KE, p. 389]

1920 – Lexington, KY. Geneva Hardman, a ten-year-old white girl is murdered. (See 9 February 1920; 11 March 1920.) [KE, p. 566]

1925 – Park City, KY. A cave-in seals off Floyd Collins. (See 20 June 1904; 31 January 1925; 2 February 1925; 16 February 1925; 29 December 1983.) [EL, p. 622]

1954 – Lexington, KY. Paul “Bear” Bryant resigns as head football coach at University of Kentucky. His UK record is 60-23-5, plus only one loss in four bowl games, and the 1950 Southeastern Conference championship. Believing that Adolph Rupp would soon retire, Bryant resigns upon learning that Rupp had in fact just signed a ten-year contract. Each man wanted top priority for his own program. [KE, p. 134-5]

1960 – Louisville, KY. State Golden Gloves finals at Freedom Hall. Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) won the heavyweight title, his brother Rudolph Clay won the light-heavyweight title, and Jimmy Ellis won the middleweight title. [EL, p. 110]

1994 – Kentucky. Three days of snow begins, depositing 22.3 inches on the commonwealth. The record 15.9 inches of 16-17 January, 1994, is broken. [EL, p. 96]

Deaths –

1878 – Louisville, KY. Lunsford Pitts Yandell dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 4 July 1805.) [KE, p. 971]

1965 – Easton, MD. Tom Mercer Girdler dies. (See 19 May 1877.) [EL, p. 341]

1967 – Louisville, KY. Frances Barton Fox dies. (See 19 January 1887 entry.) [KE, p. 351]

5 February –

1819 – Whitley Courthouse, KY. Community established. It will later be called Williamsburg. [KE, p. 957]

1842 – Frankfort, KY. Having heard a presentation from Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe of the Massachusetts Institute for the Blind, the legislature charters the Kentucky Institution for the Blind. A grant of $10,000 is contingent on Louisville raising the additional money needed. The school would open in May. It is now the Kentucky School for the Blind (KSB), with the American Printing House for the Blind a separate entity but located on the Frankfort Avenue property. The Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic was also on site until being closed in 2009. [EL, p. 478-9]

1848 – Louisville, KY. Cave Hill Cemetery Company chartered. [KE, p. 174]

1866 – Leitchfield, KY. Settled around 1786, the town is now incorporated. [KE, p. 543-4]

1921 – Louisville, KY. First Standard Bank begins operations. It is a “million dollar bank,” and the first African American bank in Kentucky. (See 17 January 1921; 17 November 1930; 7 May 1931.) [EL, p. 291-2]

6 February –

1819 – Kentucky. Owen County formed from parts of Franklin, Gallatin and Scott couties. It is named in honor of Colonel Abraham Owen, Indian fighter and legislator, killed at Battale of Tippecanoe. County seat is Owenton. [KE, p. 700]

1844 – Grayson KY. Town incorporated. The land was patented by Colonel William Grayson, in 1795, and settlement is at least back to 1801. [KE, p. 385]

1861 – Dixon, KY. Town incorporated. It is named after Archibald Dixon, for lieutenant governor and United States senator. [KE, p. 268]

1937 – Louisville, KY. The Ohio River drops below flood stage for the first time since 15 January. January’s rainfall totaled 19.17 inches. [KE, p. 327-8]

Births –

1797 – Caroline County, VA. Richard Hawes born. He will be the second Confederate governor of Kentucky. (See 7 April 1862; 8 April 1862; 4 October 1862; 25 May 1877.) [KE, p. 418-9]

1888 – Covington, KY. James Haven Lamont Gillespie born. He will become a popular songwriter, whose well-known works include “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” (1934). [KE, p. 374-5]

1927 – Reedville, VA. Hugh Smith Haynie born. He will become world famous as political cartoonist with the Louisville Courier-Journal, which he will join 1958. (See 30 November 1999.) [KE, p. 419]

7 February –

1781 – Louisville, KY. Trustees of town meet for the first time. Among other business, they petition the Virginia General Assembly for permission to construct a canal around the Falls of the Ohio. [KE, p. 580-1]

1812 – New Madrid, MO. At 3:00 a.m. the strongest of the New Madrid earthquakes. (See 16 December 1811; 23 January 1812.) [KE, p. 679]

1865 – Richmond, VA. John Cabell Breckinridge is appointed Secretary of War of the Confederate States of America. [KE, p. 118]

Deaths –

1826 – Kentucky. Thomas Todd dies. He is buried in Frankfort Cemetery. He was married to Lucy Payne, a sister of Dolly Madison. (See 23 January 1765.) [KE, p. 888]

1907 – Helena, MT. Preston Hopkins Leslie dies. He is buried in the Forestvale Cemetery in Helena. (See 8 March 1819; 13 February 1971.) [KE, p. 544-5]

1970 – Richmond, KY. Former governor Keen Johnson dies. He is buried in Richmond. [KE, p. 474]

8 February –

1812 – Nicholasville, KY. Town receives its charter. It is named in honor of Colonel George Nicholas, prominent in drafting Kentucky’s constitution. [KE, p. 682]

1815 – Covington, KY. Town established by state legislature at the Point, a landmark on the Ohio River. [KE, p. 488-9]

2000 – Louisville, KY. British-based PowerGen announces that it will purchase LG&E. [EL, p. 513-6]

Births –

1834 – Henderson County, KY. Adam Rankin Johnson born. (See 18 July 1862; 20 October 1922.) [KE, p. 472]

Deaths –

1893 – Louisville, KY. Jennie Casseday dies. (See 9 June 1840 entry.) [EL, p. 162]

9 February –

1837 – Kentucky. Trimble County formed from parts of Gallatin, Henry and Oldham counties. It is named in honor of Robert Trimble, an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court. Seat is Bedford. [KE, p. 900-1]

1861 – Montgomery, AL. Jefferson Davis named president of the Confederate States of America. [KE, p. 256]

1904 – Kentucky. Beckham County is created from Carter County, along with corners of Lewis and Elliott counties. It is Kentucky’s 120thcounty. It will exist only eighty days. (See also 29 April 1904 entry.) [KE, p. 65-6]

1920 – Lexington, KY. Will Locket, an African American World War I veteran, is sentenced to death after a trial of barely 30 minutes. Without benefit of counsel at the time of his arrest, he had pled guilty. A mob tries to lynch him almost immediately. They are stopped by state troops called out by governor Edwin Morrow (1919-23) Six of the mob are killed, many more injured. The United States Army is called out to preserve order; the first time troops are called out to disperse a lynch mob south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Kentucky gets national headlines. (See 4 February 1920; 11 March 1920.) [KE, p. 566]

1931 – Louisville, KY. Louisville Municipal College enrolls its first students. It is created by the University of Louisville to satisfy the African American taxpayers who demand higher education for African Americans. [KE, p. 583]

Births –

1849 – White Hall, Richmond, KY. Laura Clay born. Seeing the inequality of women in her parents’ divorce, she will become a national leader for women’s rights. [KE, p. 202-3]

1877 – Louisville, KY. Michael Joseph Brennan born. He will build the Democratic party machine which will control Louisville politics for thirty years. [KE, p. 122]

Deaths –

1990 – Madisonville, KY. Retired United States district judge for the Western District of Kentucky, James Fleming Gordon dies. He is buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery. (See 18 May 1918 entry.) [KE, p. 379]

10 February –

1775 – North Carolina. NC governor issues a proclamation prohibiting land purchases by Transylvania Company. (See 20 April 1735; 27 August 1774; 6 January 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]

1794 – Danville, KY. Isaac Shelby writes again to Henry Knox, in Philadelphia. This time, Congress dispatches General Anthony Wayne, whose troops inflict massive damage on the Indians, culminating in the Battle of Fallen Timbers. [Renau, p. 47]

1798 – Louisville, KY. Jefferson Seminary receives a charter from the Kentucky General Assembly. It is not religiously affiliated. [KE, p. 467-8]

1832 – Louisville, KY. Floodwaters reach fifty-one feet above the low-water mark. [EL, p. 140]

Births –

1759 – Cabannes, France Louis Tarascon born. He and his brother will found Shippingport, KY. (See 1 April 1765.) [EL, p. 866-8]

1788 – Goochland County, VA. Robert Perkins Letcher born. He will be governor of Kentucky 1840-44. He will sacrifice internal improvements to bring the state out of recession. He will also serve as minister to Mexico. (See 24 January 1861.) [KE, p. 545-6]

1810 – near Winchester, KY. Joel Tanner Hart born. Though the world will know him best as a sculptor, he will be concerned to preserve his poetry. (See 2 March 1877.) [KE, p. 415]

1821 – Beggars Bush, Ireland. John Ross Browne born. He will become an influential and prolific author, and will also be United States Ambassador to China. He will be remembered at the Falls of the Ohio for his 1841 satire of a proposal for aerial navigation by steam. The Great Steam Duckfeatured an illustration looking like a goose whose wings flapped with steam power. [EL, p. 134 ]

1906 – Louisville, KY. George Barry Bingham born. [EL, p. 90]

Deaths –

1942 – Louisville, KY. Alice Hegan Rice dies. She is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 11 January 1870.) [KE, p. 770-1]

2000 – Jim Varney dies. He is buried in Lexington (KY) Cemetery. 

11 February –

1858 – Cattlettsburg, KY. Town incorporated. Two years later, it will become the seat of newly created Boyd County. [KE, p. 170]

Births –

1820 – Danville, KY. Theodore O’Hara born. In 1847, he will write the poem The Bivouac of the Dead, for the interment in the Frankfort Cemetery of the Kentuckians killed at the Battle of Buena Vista. The second quatrain of the first stanza is inscribed at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery: “On Fame’s eternal camping-ground/Their silent tents are spread,/And glory guards with solemn round/The bivouac of the dead.” (See 6 June 1867; 15 September 1874.) [KE, p. 689]

1821 – Fredricksburg, VA. William Shakespeare Caldwell born. By the time of the Civil War, he will be one of Louisville’s first multimillionaires. He will endow an hospital and name it in honor of his wife, Mary Eliza Breckinridge: Sts. Mary & Elizabeth Hospital. [EL, p. 156]

1841 – Owen County, KY. Thomas Benton Ford born. He will become a lawyer, and a popular author, like his sister Laura Catherine Ford. (See 3 February 1844 entry.) [KE, p. 341-2]

1847 – Milan, OH. Thomas Alva Edison born. He will live in Louisville from March or April, 1866 until late summer of 1867. He will return in 1883 to light the Southern Exposition, featuring his incandescent light bulb. [KE, p. 284]

1856 – Bowling Green, KY. Eliza Caroline Calvert Obenchain born. She will write under the pen name Eliza Calvert Hall, her most popular work being Aunt Jane of Kentucky(1907). She will write numerous other stories, poems and essays, as well as A Book of Hand-Woven Coverlets (1912), which is considered a classic. She will be a suffragist and a leader for women’s rights. (See 20 December 1935.) [KE, p. 688]

Deaths –

1850 – Louisville, KY. Benedict Joseph Flaget dies. He is buried in the Cathedral of the Assumption. (See 7 November 1763 entry.) [KE, p. 323]

1888 – Louisville, KY. William Kelly dies. He is buried in St. Louis Cemetery. (See 11 August 1811.) [KE, p. 485-6]

12 February –

1849 – Greenville, KY. Town incorporated. [KE, p. 390-1]

1923 – Lynch, KY. The world record for coal production in a single nine-hour shift set; 12,820 tons mined using 40 shortwall cutting machines and loading 256 cars in six-unit trains. [KE, p. 586]

1937 – Louisville, KY. Power is completely restored to the downtown area, after the Great Flood. [KE, p. 327-8]

Births –

1809 – near Hodgenville, KY. Abraham Lincoln born. [KE, p. 555-6]

1872 – Merry Oaks, Barren County, KY. Cordia Greer-Petrie born. She will become a well-known author with her Angeline at the Seelbach(1921). Straight-talking yet gentle Angeline comments – often hilariously – on the pretentious city society she visits. (See also 16 July 1964.) [KE, p. 391-2]

Deaths –

1893 – Louisville, KY. Norvin Green dies. He is visiting his home in the city, spending most of his time in New York, NY. He was instrumental in amalgamating the various telegraph companies which formed Western Union. He is buried in Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery. (See Indiana 17 April 1818.) [EL, p. 357]

1896 – Fayette County, KY. Isaac Burns Murphy dies. He is only about 37 years old. In a 15 year career as a jockey he achieved 628 wins in 1,412 starts. Most jockeys of the era were African Americans, and Murphy had difficulty starting his career, but once begun he set records. [KE, p. 663] He did much to dispel a popular misconception of the time that the skill of the jockey was negligible in determining the outcome of the race. The ability of the horse was paramount. It takes both. [EL, p. 636]

13 February –

1799 – Danville, KY. Jailer purchases a new lock for jail’s front door. (See 14 December 1798; 5 January 1799; 20 January 1799; 27 February 1799; 16 March 1799; 15 April 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]

1818 – Louisville, KY. George Rogers Clark dies. [KE, p. 195-6]

1828 – Williamsburg, VA. General Assembly approves Louisville’s act of incorporation and charter. [EL, p. 186-8]

1828 – Louisville, KY. City incorporated; act transfers all property of Jefferson Seminary to the city and established public schools supported through taxation to educate all white children ages six to fourteen. [KE, p. 467-8]

1828 – Washington City. Kentucky asks Congress to extend the National Road to Lexington. It will fail in the Senate by one vote. This would have been the Maysville Road (Maysville to Lexington) following the old buffalo trace. [KE, p. 622]

1837 – Nicholasville, KY. Town incorporated. [KE, p. 682]

1837 – Versailles, KY. Town incorporated. [KE, p. 919]

1871 – Frankfort, KY. Preston Hopkins Leslie becomes governor when John W. Stevenson takes a United States Senate seat. (See 8 March 1819; 7 February 1907.) [KE, p. 544-5]

1925 – Edmondson County, KY. Floyd Collins, trapped in a remote cave passage, is heard coughing. [KE, p. 215-6]

1939 – Washington, DC. Louis D. Brandeis retires from the United States Supreme Court. [KE, p. 113]

Births –

1813 – Yorkshire England. William Kaye born. He will be mayor of Louisville 1863-5. He will issue the proclamation for an official day of celebration marking the end of the Civil War – 14 April 1865. (See 14 April 1865; 19 November 1890.) [EL, p. 457]

14 February –

1780 – Covington, KY. This land is part of two-hundred-acre grant to George Muse for service in French and Indian War. [KE, p. 236-7]

1862 – Bowling Green, KY. Occupying Confederate troops learn that Union forces have taken Fort Henry on the Tennessee River and Fort Donelson on the Cumberland River. They evacuate Bowling Green, which they have heavily fortified, without a fight. Leaving, they destroy the bridges across the Barren River, the railroad depot, and assorted other properties. Brigadier General Don Carlos Buell enters and takes command of the city. (See entries 15 November 1861; 8 October 1862; 30 October 1862; 25 April 1863; 1 June 1864; 19 November 1898.) [KE, p. 106; 137-8]

1862 – Bowling Green, KY. Confederate governor Johnson flees the city, with the Confederate records. [KE, p. 222]

1867 – Louisville, KY. James Smith Lithgow resigns as mayor when Kentucky Court of Appeals reinstates Philip Tomppert. (See 29 November 1812; 2 January 1866; 21 February 1902.) [EL, p. 523]

15 February –

1770 – Virginia. Botetourt County formed. Stephen Trigg helps to establish it. In 1772, he will represent Fincastle County, which will be created out of Botetourt. Fincastle includes southwest Virginia and all of present-day Kentucky. Trigg will represent Kentucky County when it is carved out of Fincastle County in 1776. [KE, p. 899]

1795 – Frankfort, KY. Courts of oyer and terminer are abolished. [KE, p. 233]

1838 – Louisville, KY. The Louisville Gas and Water Company chartered. It has the right to construct a waterworks if residents give their approval at a public meeting. Instead, this right is rescinded, January 1842. The same act changed the name to Louisville Gas Company. [EL, p. 513-6]

1842 – Jackson Purchase, KY. Ballard County is established from parts of Hickman and McCracken counties. It is named in honor of Captain Bland Ballard. (See 16 October 1761; 31 March 1788; and 5 September 1853 entries.) [KE, p. 45]

1842 – Marshall County, KY. Marshall County formed; Benton named county seat. [KE, p. 70]

1929 – Louisville, KY. Alan M. Trout joins the staff of the Louisville Courier-Journal. He will be a distinguished journalist with the paper for the next 38 years. (See 8 August 1903; 8 December 1972.) [KE, p. 901]

1948 – Louisville, KY. Lou Tate founds the Kentucky Weavers Guild. [EL, p. 107]

16 February –

1778 – Paris, France. Treaty allies American patriots with French government. [Renau, p. 20]

1816 – Kentucky. Town of Bedford established. It will be the Trimble County seat. [KE, p. 66]

1839 – Frankfort, KY. The legislature transfers Bracken County seat from Augusta, to Brooksville, named in honor of State Representative David Brooks, who initiated the move. [KE, p. 127] 

1845 – Frankfort, KY. Frankfort Cemetery corporation purchases thirty-two acres overlooking the Kentucky River. [KE, p. 354]

1862 – Fort Donelson, TN. Union forces take this outpost. The 1stKentucky Brigade of the Confederate army, stationed at Fort Donelson, will come to be known as the Orphan Brigade. Although cut off from their home state for the duration of the war, they will distinguish themselves in combat at the Battles of Shiloh, Corinth, Baton Rouge, Vicksburg, Stone’s River, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and throughout the Atlanta campaign. They will be among the last Confederate troops to lay down their weapons. Out of 4,000 original men, only about 500 will survive the war. [KE, p. 698-99]

1864 – Harrodsburg, KY. Kentucky University facilities destroyed by fire. The school will move to Lexington’s Transylvania University, becoming the Agricultural and Mechanical College. It will eventually merge into Transylvania University. [KE, p. 515]

1884 – New Orleans, LA. Mary Millicent Miller passes examinations and takes oath to become the first female licensed steamboat master in the United States. Four years previous, jealous of her and her husband’s successful business, other boatmen reported to the Steamboat Inspection Service (SIS) that George Miller was running as both pilot and master of their steamboat Saline. George responded that he was indeed pilot, but that Mary was running as master and that she would soon get her license. These words were even more incendiary than their success. The matter would make its way to Washington DC. (See 3 August 1865; 30 October 1894.) [EL, p. 621]

1925 – Edmondson County, KY. Rescuers at last reach Floyd Collins. He is dead. [KE, p. 215-6]

1947 – Louisville, KY. Federal recognition extended to the Kentucky Air National Guard, to operate at Standiford Field, Louisville. [EL, p. 8]

1951 – Kamil-Na, Korea. Lt. Darwin K. Kyle, of Jenkins, KY, earns the Congressional Medal of Honor. [KE, p. 222-224]

1970 – Louisvillian Jimmy Ellis loses his world heavyweight champion title to Joe Frazier, by a knockout.  [EL, p. 110]

Births –

1840 – Washington, DC. Henry Watterson born. He will be editor of the Louisville Courier-Journal. (See 22 December 1921.) [KE, p. 936-7]

Deaths –

1937 – Frankfort, KY. William Purcell Dennis Haly, Kentucky political “boss” for some thirty years, dies of pneumonia. He is buried in Frankfort Cemetery. [KE, p. 399-400]

1948 – Louisville, KY. Mayor Edward Leland Taylor dies in office. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 10 April 1885.) [EL, p. 868]

17 February –

1914 – Louisville, KY. One of the biggest rescues ever on the Ohio River. Steamer Queen Citysinks at Falls en route Pittsburgh to New Orleans; 250 people rescued. (See 18 September 1855; 18 February 1880; 4 November 1881; 17 April 1926.) [EL, p. 340-1]

Births –

1881 – Memphis, TN. Mary Carson Breckinridge born. In 1925, she will establish the Frontier Nursing Service, at Hyden, KY. [KE, p. 119]

1894 – Louisville, KY. Neville Miller born. He will be mayor 7 November 1933 – 16 November 1937. His election ended more than 15 years of Republican mayors and ushered in more than 20 years of Democrats. He will be “the flood mayor.” (See 27 March 1977.) [EL, p. 621-2]

Deaths –

1984 – W-Hollow, KY. Jesse Stuart dies. He is buried in Plum Grove Cemetery, Greenup County. (See 8 August 1906.) [KE, p. 858-9]

18 February –

1839 – Hodgenville, KY. Created by Hardin County court in 1818, town incorporated. [KE, p. 435]

1880 – Louisville, KY. Jack Gillooly, Billy Devan and John Tully receive gold medals by special act of the Kentucky General Assembly. The federal government has already presented them with gold medals for their extraordinary life saving accomplishments. (See 18 September 1855; 4 November 1881; 17 February 1914; 17 April 1926.) [EL, p. 340-1]

Births –

1764 – Caswell County, NC. Susannah Hart born. She will marry Isaac Shelby. (See 19 April 1783; 19 June 1833.) [KE, p. 816]

1914 –Milwaukee, WI. Pee Wee King born. He will first find fame on radio in Louisville. His composition “Tennessee Waltz” will be country music’s most recorded (500 recordings) and most sold (70 million records) songs of all time. (See 7 March 2000.) [KE, p. 519]

Deaths –

1906 – Louisville, KY. J. Henry Doerr dies. In 1895 he made the first authorized photographs of Cave Hill Cemetery. He is now buried there. (See also 12 March 1847 entry.) [EL, p. 250]

1925 – New York, NY (?) Author James Lane Allen dies. He is buried in Lexington Cemetery. (See 21 December 1849 entry.) [KE, p. 14]

1975 – Louisville, KY. Carl James Braden, nationally known journalist and civil right leader, dies. [EL, p. 111]

19 February –

1808 – Kentucky. Estill County established from part of Clark and Madison counties. County seat is Irvine. [KY. 298]

1890 – Pikeville, KY. Ellison Mounts is hanged for the murder of Alifair McCoy. This is the last death in the infamous Hatfield-McCoy feud. [KE, p. 417-8]

1925 – Louisville, KY. Zachary Taylor National Cemetery established by President Calvin Coolidge. The same act provides for constructing a new mausoleum for the President and Mrs. Margaret Taylor. [EL, p. 965]

Deaths –

1985 – Louisville, KY. Carol Jean Sutton dies. She is cremated. (See 29 June 1934.) [EL, p. 863-4]

1998 – Nashville, TN. Louis Marshall “Grandpa” Jones dies. (See 20 October 1913.) [KE, p. 480]

20 February –

1780 – Louisville, KY. John Floyd writes that his station, scarcely three months established, has ten families settled and five more families expected to join them soon. [EL, p. 304]

1835 – Kentucky. Clinton County formed from portions of Cumberland and Wayne counties. It is named in honor of New York governor DeWitt Clinton. [KE, p. 208]

1860 – Millersburg, KY. General assembly grants charter to Millersburg Female College, repealing charter of Millersburg Male and Female Collegiate Institute. It will award its first degrees in 1867. (See 5 March 1856; 9 October 1907.) [KE, p. 638]

1865 – Ohio County, KY. Some Grayson County Home Guards attack an encampment of guerrillas near Hartford. Six guerrillas killed, four wounded. [KE, p. 689-90]

Births –

1942 – Sheffield, AL. Addison Mitchell “Mitch” McConnell Jr. born. He will be Jefferson County (KY) judge/executive 1977-1984. He will be the only Republican in Kentucky history to be elected to three full terms in the United States Senate. He is currently in his fifth term. [EL, p. 598]

Deaths –

2005 – Hunter S. Thompson commits suicide. He is cremated. (See 18 July 1939.) 

21 February –

1846 – Shelbyville, KY. Town incorporated. [KE, p. 816-7]

1861 – Louisville, KY. A huge American flag is raised over county courthouse. [EL, p. 193-4]

1865 – Hodgenville, KY. Confederate troops burn 1844 Hardin County courthouse, as it had been used as a barracks for Union soldiers. [KE, p. 435]

1940 – Louisville, KY. A federal judge declares Kentucky Wagon Manufacturing Company/Associated Motor Industries Company bankrupt. (See 16 January 1882; 22 January 1922.) [EL, p. 481]

Births –

Deaths –

1834 – John Breathitt becomes the second Kentucky governor to die in office. He is buried in Russellville. [KE, p. 115]

1902 – Louisville, KY. James Smith Lithgow dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 29 November 1812; 2 January 1866; 14 February 1867.) [EL, p. 523]

1991 – Washington, DC. John Sherman Cooper dies. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery. [KE, p. 227-8]

22 February –

1796 – Louisville, KY. Elizabeth Edwards marries Jefferson County sheriff Frederick Bartlett. (Renau, p. 31]

1860 – Kentucky. Magoffin County formed from parts of Floyd, Johnson and Morgan counties and named for Beriah Magoffin. Adamsville is renamed Salyersville and made county seat. [KE, p. 604]

1865 – Lexington, KY. Agricultural and Mechanical College founded as a department of Kentucky University. (See 1 October 1866, and 13 March 1878 entries.) [KE, p. 6]

1847 – Buena Vista, Mexico. Battle of Buena Vista, Mexican War. Henry Clay Jr. killed. [EL, p. 205-6]

1860 – Frankfort, KY. At a meeting of the Constitutional Union Part, it is resolved that the people of Kentucky are “for the Union and the Constitution intact.” [KE, p. 224]

1860 – Danville, KY. Fire destroys sixty-four business, churches and homes, including the Boyle County courthouse. [KE, p. 252]

23 February –

1846 – Kentucky. Burkesville incorporated. It is the county seat of Cumberland County. [KE, p. 143]

1847 – Mexico. Battle of Buena Vista. John Hunt Morgan is there. [KE, p. 650-1]

1849 – Calhoun County, KY. Fort Vienna re-named in honor of Judge John Calhoun, first circuit judge of the town. [KE, p. 151]

1874 – Russell, KY. Town incorporated. [KE, p. 789]

1937 – Washington, DC. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs a proclamation establishing Cumberland National Forest. (See 13 April 1966 entry.) [KE, p. 251-2]

1942 – Louisville, KY. History is made at the Columbia Gym when integrated boxing matches are held. [EL, p. 109]

1945 – Mt. Suribachi, Iwo Jima. Franklin Runyon Sousley helps to raise the American flag. The second from the left, the Marine with the rifle represents Sousley. (See 19 September 1925; 21 March 1945.) [KE, p. 833]

Births –

1868 – Fayette County, KY. Katherine Pettit born. She will found Hindman (1902) and Pine Mountain (1913) Settlement Schools. (See 3 September 1836.) [KE, p. 719]

1940 – Louisville, KY. Louis Jacob “Todd” Hollenbach III born. He will be Jefferson County judge 1970 – 1975. He will engineer legislation for a new Hall of Justice, Jefferson County jail, regional government center, additional county buildings. There will be expansion of the flood wall and drainage system. Law enforcement will be encouraged, and ecology will become important. Later, as commonwealth’s attorney, he will set up the first domestic violence strike force in Kentucky and one of the first in the nation. [EL, p. 394-5]

24 February –

1834 – Lexington, KY. Theological Seminary of the Protestant Episcopal church in Kentucky receives its charter from the state legislature. [KE, p. 296]

1845 – Lexington, KY. Delia Ann Webster pardoned. (See 28 September 1844.) [KE, p. 939]

Births –

1940 – Louisville, KY. Jimmy Ellis born. He will be a sparring partner of Muhammad Ali, later heavyweight champion himself. [KE, p. 292]

Deaths –

1917 – Louisville, KY. Nicola Marschall dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 16 March; 4 March 1861.) [EL, p. 590]

25 February –

1779 – Vincennes, IN. George Rogers Clark accepts Henry Hamilton’s unconditional surrender. [KE, p. 195-6]

1818 – Louisville, KY. Armistead Churchill “discharged without further trial.” [Renau, p. 110]

1964 – Miami, Florida. Cassius Clay (later Muhammad Ali) defeats Charles “Sonny” Liston, to become world heavyweight champion.

Deaths –

1976 – Julian Herndon Evans dies. He is buried in Cave Hill Cemetery. (See 22 December 1895 entry.) [KE, p. 300-1]

26 February –

1964 – Cassius Clay announces that he is a member of the Nation of Islam, commonly known as the “Black Muslims.” [EL, p. 22]

1966 – Kentucky. Governor Edward T. Breathitt (1963-67) signs legislation changing the name of Murray State Teachers College to Murray State University. (See 8 March 1922; 17 September 1822; 24 September 1923.) [KE, p. 664-5]

Births –

1882 – Henderson, KY. Husband Edward Kimmel born. (See 7 December 1941; 17 December 1941; 14 May 1968.) [KE, p. 517]

1927 – Louisville, KY. James Edward Narz born. He will follow his elder brother Jack to Hollywood, adopt the name “Tom Kennedy,” and will also be a popular television personality. 

27 February –

1799 – Danville, KY. Jailer buys three pounds of nails. (See 14 December 1798; 5 January 1799; 20 January 1799; 13 February 1799; 16 March 1799; 15 April 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]

1844 – Frankfort, KY. State legislature approves incorporation of Frankfort Cemetery, second such incorporation in the country. [KE, p. 354]

1849 – Kentucky. General Assembly charters Covington & Lexington Railroad. [KE, p. 491-2]

1856 – Two-Mile Town, KY. A public meeting is held and the citizens order Paschal D. Craddock, and two of his associates, are ordered to leave the community by 26 August. (See also 26 August 1856 and 4 December 1857 entries.) [EL, p. 229]

1931 – Louisville, KY. Federal and state indictments handed down against James Buckner Brown, in connection with the failure of the National Bank of Kentucky. (See also 28 November 1872; 17 November 1930; 12 December 1930; and 24 October 1940 entries.) [EL, p. 131-2]

Births –

1797 – London, England. George Keats, brother of poet John Keats, born. He will live in Louisville, KY. (See 24 December 1841.) [EL, p. 457-8]

28 February –

1816 – Louisville, KY. After a run at Usher’s Frankfort theatre, Samuel Drake’s company opens at City Theatre. The Drake company will continue to perform in Kentucky until 1835. [KE, p. 877-8]

1822 – near Springfield, KY. Nine women unite to found the Kentucky order of Dominican religious sisters. [EL, p. 165]

1848 – Hopkinsville, KY. The second state-supported mental facility established by General Assembly. [KE, p. 944-5]

1849 – Louisville, KY. First edition of the Louisville Anzeiger, German language newspaper. The last daily will be in 1933. (See 4 March 1938; 11 October 1940.) [EL, p. 531-2]

1877 – Yankton, SD. United States Marshall Burdick receives a letter from Mary McCall. This and the Louisville city directories indicate the Jack McCall grew up in Louisville. Mary, his mother is a housekeeper at the Merchants hotel; his father may have been a worker on the riverboats. Jack McCall apparently left Louisville around 1871. In Deadwood, SD, on 2 August 1876, at about 4:00 p.m., he shot William Butler Hickock in the back of the head. Jack McCall was hanged 1 March 1877. [KE, p. 590-1]

1975 – Frankfort, KY. The state Board of Education orders the merger of the Louisville and Jefferson County public school systems. This is deemed necessary in order to desegregate the schools. [EL, p. 148-9]

Births –

1797 – London, England. George Keats, brother of poet John Keats, born. In 1818, he and his wife will come to America, settling in Henderson, KY, where he will go bankrupt in a boat investment. They come to Louisville in 1819 and use his inheritance from his brother Thomas to begin again. This time, he becomes one of the wealthiest men in the city. (See 24 December 1841.) [KE, p. 483]

Deaths –

1885 – Harrodsburg, KY. Beriah Magoffin dies. [KE, p. 603-4]

1967 – Baltimore, MD. William Forrester Foster dies. (See 1 August 1895 entry.) [KE, p. 350]

29 February –

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