Mary Jane Powell Folder

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Mary Jane Powell Folder

Henderson Gleaner and Journal

Sunday February 26, 1933


Submitted by Quan Arnett Pruitt


“Henderson Has Claim of the Oldest Citizen in the State.”

Henderson probably has one of the oldest citizens in the state.  She is Mary Jane Folder, colored, whose age is claimed to be 115 years.


I read this story twice once while searching old news papers and again in the Henderson County Historical Society “The Legacy” and was intrigued enough that even though she is not part of my family line, that as I searched for my own Powell slave family ancestors in owner wills, deeds and etc I added another tree just for Mary Jane Powell Folder.


Mary Jane Powell

Born - abt 1818

Died- 1933

Cem - Jordan Cemetery.

Married - Samuel Folden


Children 14 -

Barnet 1853

Malinda 1855

Ambrose  1860

Betsy 1863

James 1865

George 1868

Sam 1869

Possible children of Mary Jane and Sam







Mary Jane was a slave of Kentucky Governor Lazarus Powell.  She was born in the slave quarters on the plantation of Lazarus Powell father of Governor Lazarus Powell abt 1818.  Mary Jane was a slave for 45 years and the story told of how even after emancipation she and others life didn’t change much she still worked and lived on the farm for Lazarus Powell.


The adjoining plantation to Governor Powell was the wealthy, aristocratic, powerful family named Folden who owned a slave by the name of Sam.  She told of her bond with Sam and a total of 14 children.  Folden is the correct spelling but somewhere along the way with the spelling went from Folden to become Folder. 


She told of the story of the excitement the plantation had when Lazarus Powell won the election over Archibald Dixon, going to the place in 1851- the governor’s mansion.  Told of a slave named Aunt Jane, Efe, and others. Boat trips along the Ohio River, slave trade, the war and other stories.  I can only wish that the reporter had keep her talking for days to get all the stories of 75 to 100 years stored in her head and that he/she had taken the time to write the stories of a lifetime down.



I would be happy to send what information I have to anyone who is a decedent of Mary Jane’s.