Wm. Hart House, Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky


No. 575 W. Short St., Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky
Built 1806-1820

Note the old brick cottage in the rear of the west facade of this two-story house. It dates back to early in 1806. The remainder of the house was built by 1820. (1818 Directory: "Stephen H. Reed, House Joiner, Short St.")

Stephen Holland Reid purchased 147 feet from Wm. Palmateer December 10, 1805. The lot extended east on Short Street from the west line of this house, which was the city limits. The land west of this line was owned by Mrs. Mary O. Russell, heiress of Col. John Todd.

On January 4, 1812, Holland bought 60 feet (adjoining) from Mrs. Russell, "beginning at the west corner of Reid's Brick house."

Holland and wife, Mary, reserved their residential tract, 74 feet, and sold the remainder on the east to Mrs. Jane Wiley and James Eads.

In April, 1820, Holland took as security on a note to him by Thos. January for $1,076 a mortgage January held on Samuel Ayres' property. This note evidently represented January's purchase of Holland's brick house, according to the following deeds:

Holland in August, 1821, sold John Hurst 25 feet of his lot bought of Mrs. Russell, "beginning at the corner of my brick house where I now live, thence 25 feet to Tibbotts lot." Thos. Tibbotts had purchased the remainder of the Short Street frontage to Jefferson Street from Mrs. Russell.

On December 28, 1826, Holland sold Abraham Cassell 32 feet, "beginning near the corner of a brick house formerly the residence of said Reid, now owned by Peter January, thence with Short St. northwest to the west corner of a brick house in which said Reid now lives, thence north-east with the line of John Hurst 206 feet to the centre of an alley 13' wide, thence South-east 32 feet," etc.

Mrs. Russell had conveyed one-half of the alley to Reed in 1818, locating it as back of Tibbott's and Reed's lots "Northwestwardly from the Baptist Grave Yard," and extending back 160 feet from "a new Street called Jefferson."

Reed's second house must have been razed, as a new house (No. 579) now occupies the site, and he moved back into the January house after selling his house to Cassell.

The latter was advertised by Judge Charles Humphreys in March, 1827, in the Kentucky Gazette, as follows:

FOR SALE: The large and commodious BRICK BUILDING formerly occupied by Stephen H. Reed, situated near the lower end of Short Street. The main Building contains two rooms below and three above, with convenient Cellars. There are also attached to the premises a BRICK OFFICE with two rooms, a Smoke house and a Well of good water.

In February, 1828, the original house was sold by Wm. Hart, Commissioner, (Reid's heirs vs. Peter W. January) to John Bradford. The lot fronted 74 feet, "being the same upon which there is a two-story brick dwelling house and formerly the residence of Stephen H. Reid."

The house next became the residence of William Hart and wife, Dinah Allen Hart, daughter of John Bradford. The distinguished editor presented it to "Dinah Allen Hart, daughter of the said John Bradford, for love, good-will and affection" April 25, 1829, not long before his death. (The Harts were married November 1, 1810).

In October, 1830, Hart and wife and Elizabeth Bradford, widow of John Bradford, sold the house to Joseph J. Lemon, Scott County, Ky., when it became a rent property.

Lemon's heirs sold the two-story brick dwelling house "formerly the residence of Stephen H. Reed" to Dr. John C. Darby in October, 1851.

Dr. John Hampton purchased the Reed house in 1865, and an adjoining lot from Mr. Darby. The property extended to the house on the Bruce Street corner and Dr. Hampton had a little brick office on the second lot (which is now occupied by the two new brick houses). Dr. Hampton sold the entire property to Gus. Luigart in 1888.

Source: Old Houses of Lexington, C. Frank Dunn, typescript, n.d., copy located in the Kentucky Room, Lexington (Kentucky) Public Library.

Transcribed by pb, June 2006