History, Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky, 1838

THE HISTORY
AND
PRESENT CONDITION
OF
Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky

Source: Directory of the City of Lexington and County of Fayette for 1838 & '39, Julius P. Bolivar Maccabe, J.C. Noble, Lexington, Kentucky, 1838.

________________

The beautiful City of Lexington was founded in 1776, by a company of Western Hunters. They had, for sometime previous to this date, determined to commence the erection of a town on the spot where our city now stands. But some difficulty arose among them relative to the name. One evening, whilst preparing their supper, a stranger rode up and informed them of the victory gained by the Americans over the British army at Lexington, Massachusetts. The contemplated town, immediately took the name by which it is at present designated.

Lexington, the oldest town in the State, and for many years the Seat of Government, is delightfully situated on the South Branch of Elkhorn Creek, Fayette county, 24 miles S.E. of Frankfort; 85 miles S. of Cincinnati; 77 miles S.E. of Louisville, and by post route 517 miles S.W. of Washington City.--Latitude 38 , 02 , N: Longitude 84 , 26 .

The streets of the city are laid out at right angles; and well paved, and the houses and public buildings are remarkable for elegance and neatness. The finest shade trees border and adorn many of the streets, and the principal mansions are surrounded by extensive and beautiful grounds, ornamented by the hand of art, with delightful shrubbery. The surrounding country is filled with plantations, well cultivated farms, and flourishing villages. Although the game, consisting of the Elk, Deer, Bear, &c. &c., which once frequented its numerous licks and abundant springs, have disappeared, the progress of improvement has converted a natural paradise into a delightful garden. Paris, Georgetown, Versailles, Richmond, Nicholasville and Winchester, are among the principal towns in this fine region of country. About the 1st of April, 1779, a block-house was built on the site now occupied by the stores of Mr. Leavy and others, and a settlement was commenced under the direction of Col. Robert Patterson, an early, enterprising and meritorious adventurer.

He was joined by the McConnels, Lindseys and James Masterson, all of whom, for some time occupied the blockhouse and raised corn on the place, now the centre of Main street. In the autumn of the same year, Major John Morrison removed his family from Harrodsburg. His lady was the first white female that settled in Lexington, and her son, Capt. John Morrison, who fell at Dudley's defeat, near Fort Meigs in May 1813, was the first native of Lexington. During the first two years of the settlement, the inhabitants subsisted chiefly on Buffalo and venison, without salt or bread. The first salt used in the place was brought by Mr. James Masterson, from a considerable distance below the Falls of Ohio.

Although Lexington was one of the earliest settlements of Kentucky, it was not until 1785, that it assumed the appearance of a village, its growth having been impeded by Indian warfare. At this time it consisted of three rows of cabins. The two outer rows constituted a portion of the wall of the stockade; these extended from the place, now known as Leavy's corner, to Jas. Masterson's house, at present occupied by Searles & Edge, on Main street. The intervals between the houses was stockaded; the outlet was a puncheon door, with a bar to secure it. The block-house commanded the spring, and a common field included the site of the present Court House.

The discipline about the fort, is said never to have been very rigid; nor was the fortification strictly kept in order.

The first tavern in town was opened in the same year by James Bray. It stood on West-Main street, between Main Cross street and the site recently occupied by the Masonic Hall.

The Kentucky Gazette, the first paper ever printed West of the mountains, was established and for many years edited by Messrs. John & Fielding* Bradford, on Main street. The former was the father of the present editor, Daniel Bradford, Esq. The first number of this Journal, (a copy of which we have seen) is dated August 11th 1787, and printed on a half sheet demi. Many of the type used in printing it were of wood.

The editors in a note in the first number, apologize for its incorrectness by stating they were much hurried to get an impression at the time appointed, a greater part of the type having fallen into pi, in the carriage of them from Limestone, [now Maysville]. Their apology for publishing so small a paper, was a disappointment in receiving a supply of paper, owing as they supposed to the Ohio being too low for boats to pass.

In the 15th number of this interesting Journal, we find the following ingenious piece of rhyme:--

"The world's a printing house, in which enclosure,
Each soul's employ'd, and is a composer;
Each deed and thought are types of various sizes,
Which Christ corrects, and Heaven the same revises;
Death is the common Press, from whence being driven,
We're gathered sheet by sheet and bound for heaven,"

The first Kentucky Almanack was also published by the Messrs. Bradfords for the year of our Lord 1788.

In July of the same year, a Mr. Isaac Wilson, formerly Professor in Philadelphia College, published a notice announcing the re-opening of the Lexington Grammar School, in which he says: "Latin, Greek and the different branches of Science will be carefully taught." The price of tuition was four pounds, payable in cash or produce; and boarding on as reasonable terms as any in the district.

The first dancing school was opened in Capt. Young's house which stood on a part of the ground now occupied by Jordan's Row, on Thursday the 3rd day of April, 1788, by a person of the name of John Davenport.

The first Watchmaker settled in Lexington, was Mr. West, who opened shop on High street in August, 1788.

Mr. West, subsequently constructed a steam boat on a small scale, which in the year 1794, in the presence of hundreds of the citizens, he tried on the Town Fork of Elkhorn, which he had previously dammed up for the purpose, and the present editor of the Gazette, who was an eye witness, informs us that it shot through the water with great velocity.

This is believed by many to have been the first successful attempt to apply steam to navigation.

Mr. West was also the inventor of the machine now used for cutting nails.

In 1789, the town contained not more than 50 houses, and at most 350 inhabitants. As the population of the town increased, the citizens began to see the necessity of erecting a market-house, and they accordingly built a fabric of two stories for that purpose, on the ground upon which the new range of brick buildings are now in a state of erection, between Mill and Main-Cross streets. On the second floor of this humble building, was held the first session of the Legislature of Kentucky. The market-house, was afterwards removed to Cheapside, where it remained for several years, previous to the erection of a more commodious building on Water street.

In 1790,there were three taverns, viz.: Robert Magowan's, in the house now occupied by Samuel Oldham as a barber's shop, the Buffalo, kept by John McNair, opposite the Court House; and Keiser's on High street, corner of Main-Cross street. Magowan's is said to have been the second established. There were also 2 stores; one kept by William Morton (commonly called Lord Morton) and the other by 3 brothers named Parker. The only Blacksmith's shop in town stood on the site now occupied by Taylor's Confectionary.

Mr. Levi Todd, the first County Clerk, put up a small stone building, which is yet standing, on Ellerslie farm, at present owned by Robert Wickliffe, Esq. This fabric measures 15 by 12 feet, and was used for many years as the County Court Office.

The first brick house built in the town, was erected by Mr. January, on the lot now owned and occupied by B. Gratz, Esq. between Mill and Main-Cross streets.

The first school-house erected here, had for its site, the ground on which the public pump now stands, on Cheapside. This place of learning may be considered the foundation of Lexington's literary renown, although the waves of education have been superseded by those waters, which no doubt, are by some considered more substantial.

The first teacher employed was John MCKinney [an Irishman] who received the appellation of "Wild-Cat McKinney" from the following circumstance.

The Knight of the ferule, one morning, entered as usual, his school house to prepare "copy." When engaged at his desk, he heard a growling behind him, and on turning around to discover the cause, beheld a formidable wild-cat, which immediately attacked him. But our gallant master, nothing daunted, clasped the animal to his body, and by dashing him against one of the desks, managed to prevent the cat's injuring him, until by the cries of them both, the neighbors were brought to the scene of contest. Finally, the worthy scholar was liberated from his unwelcome visitor, who, notwithstanding his taste for literary places, was killed.

In 1789, a Baptist Church was built, in which the Rev. Messrs. Gano and Payne officiated. About the same period the Methodists and Seceders erected places of worship. For the last named sect of Christians, the Rev. Mr. Rankin, so celebrated for his learning and eccentricity, performed the services of the sanctuary.

A few years after the erection of these Churches, many other places of public worship, were built, among which we are able to name the Chapel of Dr. Cloud, the Episcopal, (formerly under the charge of the learned Chapman) and the first and second Presbyterian Churches; the latter of which is generally called the "McChord's Church," in memory of the Rev. John McChord, whose printed sermons have lately been re-published in England, and received the highest encomiums from the best critics of that country. His mind was of the very best order; bold, brilliant and daring, his judgment and imagination, struck the hearer with amazement. He died young. His bones rest beneath the church, and a marble slab, inserted in the wall behind the pulpit, records the worth and virtues of the just. Mr. McChord was often aided in his ministerial services by the late Rev. William Wallace, whom I find mentioned in Rice's excellent memoirs, as possessing brilliant powers of eloquence and extraordinary learning. He died, a number of year since, at Paris, Ky., in the midst of a great revival.

In 1795, the Rev. Stephen Theodore Badin, the first Catholic Priest ordained in the U.S., visited, for the first time, the few Catholics who resided here, and celebrated mass in private houses until the year 1800, when the congregation purchased a hewn-log house, on West-Main street, which recently stood on the lot adjoining the Baptist Grave-Yard, and which was said to have been the second building erected in Lexington.

In this humble edifice, Mr. Badin and the various successive clerical incumbents, officiated until the year 1812.--The great increase of the congregation, about this time, demanded a more commodious and appropriate place of worship, and accordingly, one was built which is still standing, and known as the old Catholic Chapel. It is of brick and built in the Gothic style. This Church was dedicated and opened for divine service on the 19th May, 1812. This church has been superseded by a splendid edifice, mentioned in another portion of our article.

We cannot overlook the great services that, Mr. Badin has rendered the cause of Christianity in this country. He visited at an early period, the states of Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Illinois, and converted to the faith many of the Indians; and although at present 74 years of age, he still continues to devote all his energies to the propagation of the gospel. He is an ecclesiastic of great piety and learning, and when we consider the many privations he must have endured in traversing for several years a country in a state of wilderness, and the sacrifices he made by separating himself from the polished circles of society, for the purpose of preaching the word of life to the untutored inhabitants of the wig-wam, we may, with justice rank him among the most zealous of the American Missionaries.

Lexington, at an early period, could boast of many distinguished lawyers and physicians; among whom I can mention Col. Nicholas, Joe Davies, (the Hero of Tippecanoe,) Mr. Murray, Jas. Hughes, (a distinguished land lawyer,) James Brown, Humphrey Marshall, John Breckinridge, the celebrated Henry Clay and Dr. Pindall.

Transylvania, College was established also at an early period.

The success of this Institution conferred a glory on Lexington, which has given her a high stand in literature and even entitled her to the appellation of "ATHENS OF THE WEST." The most efficient President of this College, was Dr. Horace Holly, well known throughout the United States as a divine and scholar. After he left the Institution, it gradually declined, and the building was at last destroyed by fire. Since that, a new and splendid College has been erected from the proceeds of a legacy left by Col. Morrison, for that purpose, to the University. This chaste and superb fabric stands in the lot formerly occupied by the old College. Morrison College is a splendid marbled edifice; fronted by a portico 10 feet deep and 6 Doric columns. The main building, with the wings, is 136 feet long and 115 deep. The Building contains a spacious Hall, (for examinations and exhibitions) and a great number of rooms, for recitations and the accommodation of literary societies. Dr. Marshall, well known as a profound scholar, is the present head of the Institution.

Attached to the University, are Law and Medical schools; both in a very flourishing condition. The Medical College is a beautiful building, containing a large number of lecture and anatomical halls. Connected with the Institution, is a Museum and very valuable Library, collected with great care. We have now given all in relation to the history of this City which we thought would interest the reader; we are now proceed to state

THE PRESENT CONDITION OF LEXINGTON

PUBLIC BUILDINGS, CHARITABLE AND LITERARY INSTITUTIONS, ET CETERA.

There are 10 Churches, viz: The Episcopal, (under the Rt. Rev. B.B. Smith,) 2 Presbyterian Churches, (under Rev. Messrs. N.H. Hall and Davidson,) 1 Methodist Church, (under the Rev. Mr. Holman,) 1 Catholic Church, (under the Rev. Mr. McMahon,) 1 Reformed Christian Church, (under the Rev. B.F. Hall,) 1 Baptist Church, (under the Rev. Mr. Norel,) 1 Independent Methodist Chapel, (under the Rev. Dr. Cloud,) and 2 African churches. The Churches are all handsome brick buildings, in which comfort and elegance alike predominate.

The First Presbyterian Church is a substantial brick building measuring 80 feet by 50. The body of the Church is 2 stories high, and its entrance is a spacious door on Main Cross street, leading to an entry or outer hall, from which two stair cases ascend to the gallery. The roof of the edifice forms a Pyramid, on the front of which is raised a handsome and well proportioned steeple, consisting of four sections--the first a square of 14 feet high, the corners of which are finished in a rusticated style, and the top is surmounted by a beautiful cornish. The second is of octagonal form, having columns of the Ionic order, with pedestals and emblature. The third is also of octagonal form, but finished with pedestals, pilasters and entablature. The whole is crowned with an octagonal roof or spire, the profile of which is an O.G. The height from the top of the spire to the ground is 104 feet.

The Catholic Church of St. Peter, stands on North Mulberry street. It is a neat and spacious brick edifice, measuring, inclusive of the sanctuary, 90 by 50 feet. The sanctuary consists of a recess on the end, formed by a hexigon projection. To the left of this is a vestry-room of 12 feet square. There are eight gothic windows on the main building, measuring 15 feet high and 6 feet wide. The ceiling of the church is 22 feet from the floor to the place where it terminates at the wall, but being of hexigon form, it measures 28 feet in the centre. On the front is a splendid gothic door, having on either side a handsome doric pillar and two corresponding pilasters, all capped by a well proportioned emblature, upon which rises a parapet work, that forms the butment of the steeple. The steeple consists of five sections: the first or bell section is a square of 18 feet, with doric pilasters on the corners, surmounted by an emblatature, and having three gothic windows, filled with venetians between each. The second is of octagonal form, with pedestals, colums and emblature, of the doric order. The columns, eight in number, stand at each angle and have between each a gothic window filled with venetian blinds. The third is of circular form, with pilasters, set in the range of the columns of the second section, and are surrounded by a doric entablature. The fourth section is also circular, finished somewhat like a pedestal, with points resembling the Irish crown, out of the top of which raises a conic roof, terminating against a spire pole, capped with a guilt ball of three feet in diametar, and crowned with the emblematic cross, which is seem glittering over the city at a considerable distance. The whole has a very imposing appearance, and reflects much credit on the architect, Mr. John McMurtry.

The Episcopal Church stands on Market street, corner of Church street. It is a brick building, stuccoed in imitation of Stone, and measures 80 by 60 feet. In front is a well finished steeple, of about 85 feet high, with a bell said to be the largest and best toned in the Western country.

The McChord or second Presbyterian Church, also on Market street, is a well proportioned brick edifice, surmounted with a neat belfrey.

The Baptist Church, on North Mill street, is a plain substantial brick building, of two stories, having one front and two side galleries.

St. John's Chapel, erected by Dr. C.W. Cloud, A.D. 1821, stands on West Main street. It is a plain brick building of 30 feet front and 50 feet deep, having a cupalo and bell. It was built for and is used by the Independent Methodists, of which congregation Dr. Cloud is the Pastor. But the Doctor permits other Christian denominations to use it for worship. He preaches gratuitously.

The Methodist Episcopal Church stands on Church Strt., between Upper and Mulberry streets. It is a plain, well finished brick building, measuring 60 by 50 feet, and contains 75 pews on the ground floor, with a spacious gallery above. This place of worship was erected in the year 1822, at a cost of $5,000, and was dedicated to the late Bishop George.

We are indebted to a gentleman of this city, for the following information respecting the 'Christian Church.'

The Christian Church, on High Street, between Mill and Upper Street, is the house of worship, occupied by the Church of Christ, known by the name of Christians, or Disciples of Christ. Sometimes also called Reformers.

They meet every Lord's day at 10 o'clock, for worship, which consists of reading the scriptures of the Law, the Prophets, the Psalms, and the New Testament; prayers, singling psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs, exhortations, partaking of the emblems of the broken body and shed blood of the Savior, and the contribution. One hour is usually occupied in the above services; at the conclusion of which (10 o'clock,) a discource is delivered on some topic of christian faith, experience, or practice, by their pastor, Dr. B.F. Hall.

The present organization of the Church took place in 1836, with about 100 members. The Church at present, numbers about 230 members.

The Church has a flourishing sunday school, numbering about 60 scholars, 12 teachers, and a library. The school opens at half past 8 o'clock, A.M., with prayer, and closes a little before 10 o'clock, A.M.

The Theological [Episcopal] Seminary, in the suburbs of the city, at present under the control of the Rt. Rev. B.B. Smith, Bishop of the Diocese, has a large and highly valuable library. This Institution was established about 5 years ago, through the exertions of the Rt. Rev. B.B. Smith and other members of the Church. Since which period it has raised up for the Church a large number of young clergymen, who are now scattered over the Diocese in the active discharge of their sacred duties. The Institution is not now in a very flourishing condition; but it is yet looked to as a nursery of the Church, and efforts will be shortly made to bring it to its former standard. No. of Professors 2; Students 4.

The City School of Lexington occupies an extensive three story brick building on Walnut street, corner of short. Thus useful institution was established in the year of 1834, through the exertions of the lamented CHARLTON HUNT, the first Mayor of the City, and the Council of 1833, and has been ever since its establishment in the most flourishing condition. There have been near 400 pupils at a time in the School. It has experienced and diligent teachers in all the departments. The means for its support are raised by tuition fees in part, and the deficit is made up by appropriations out of the finances of the City. Since its establishment, Wm. Morton, Esq., an old and respectable citizen of Lexington, has bequeathed, for the benefit of the School, the one-ninth of his estate, after the payment of one or two specific legacies. It is supposed that this legacy will amount to near $10,000. From the high character of the School, and its beneficial effects upon the community, it is to be hoped that others will follow the example of Mr. Morton, and in a short time this School will be amply endowed.

The Mayor and City Council are the Trustees, and the Principal is Mr. Gale.

A Department has been recently established in the above School, for the exclusive purpose of teaching Chirography, on the principles of the Carstarian system. It is under the direction of Mr. Isaac H. Overall, who attends to the writing class in Transylvania University, and gives instruction in private families.

The Rev. J. Ward, on Mill Street, and S.D. McCollough Esq. on Market street, superintend Female Seminaries of great usefulness and celebrity. Nor should we forget to mention that excellent institution, "St. Catherine's Female Academy." This school was transferred from Scott County, in 1834, and is now located in a beautiful and healthy situation of the city. Every attention is given to the neatness, health, morals and comfort of the scholars. The ladies who superintend the Academy, are of the Roman Catholic faith, but profess to use neither solicitations or influence to change the religious opinions of their pupils. The highest branches of learning are taught by seven Sisters of Charity. There are at present 67 young ladies under instruction, 30 of whom are boarders. The buildings are commodious and well fitted for the purpose to which they are applied.

A Select School for young ladies has been recently commenced by the Rev. Professor Winthrop, of the Episcopal Theological Seminary. In this School a course of instruction is given in all higher branches of the Mathematics, Mental Philosophy, &c. &c.

The Lexington Library was founded in 1796 in order to supply the demands of Students in the Transylvania Seminary, as well as of the people of the vicinity. Five hundred dollars was raised at the first subscription, with which was purchased four hundred dollars; with these the institution went into operation, under the name of the Transylvania Library. For a time, the books were deposited within the Seminary; but, experience showing that a central situation would render it more generally useful, the Library, with the consent of the Trustees of the Seminary, was removed within the town, where it assumed the name of the LEXINGTON LIBRARY. It was incorporated in 1800, was blended with the Juvenile Library in 1810, and with the Lexington Athaeneum in 1824; since which time it has continued to increase, and now numbers 7000 volumes. The original price of shares was $10; but the privilege of reading can now be obtained for $2 per annum, which renders it the most cheaply accessible Library in the United States, in addition to its being the largest and best selected in the western country.

The Union Philosophical Society of Transylvania University, was established in 1818, as a branch of the Society of the same name at Carlisle College Pa. It is a highly useful institution, and its list of members is both large and respectable. It suffered severely by the conflagration of the University building in 1829, having lost by that casualty most of its books and papers. Its loss, however, has been repaired by the liberality of its members. It has at present a library of near 1000 volumes, and is in a more flourishing condition than any other Society connected with the University.

The Transylvania Whig Society, which is likewise attached to the department of the University, was established in 1829, and has had a career of usefulness, equalled by few institutions of the kind. Its members are numerous and many of them distinguished. It likewise suffered by the conflagration of 1829, losing its entire library, archives and furniture. The energy of its members, however, soon restored it to more than its former standing and usefulness. Its library contains about 1000 well selected volumes. A small minerological cabinet is also attached to it.

The Society of Adelphi Alpha was founded April 15th 1837. This institution is designed to collect and disseminate knowledge in different scientific and literary pursuits, and embracing a plan of classes analogous to that pursued by the annual association of literary men of England. It was chartered by the last Legislature of Kentucky, with the privilege of establishing branches at pleasure. A very flourishing branch has already been established at Danville, and a charter has been granted for one at South Hanover, Indiana. It makes a pledge containing moral requisitions, a pre-requisite to membership, and upon this feature of its organization, justly bears a hope of great usefulness. It has a small Library and a cabinet of Mineralogy.

The Transylvania Law Society attached to the University Law School, is a flourishing and eminently useful institution, whose influence has been sensible felt, in sustaining the department with which it is connected. It has a small Library.

The halls of the four above mentioned institutions are all located in Morrison College.

The Transylvania Medical Society, is a large and flourishing Institution, connected with the University Medical department, and devoted to the improvement of students in that profession. Its hall is in the Medical College.

Of these societies, the Union and Whig meet weekly, on Friday evenings, the Adelphi on Mondays, and the Law and Medical on Saturdays.

An Athaeneum, has lately been established, in which the most able papers of the Union are furnished to its members.

The Medical College, last winter, had about 200 Students. Its Professors are Doctors Dudley, Smith, Cross, Peter, Bush and Mitchell, all gentlemen widely known throughout the United States.

The Law Class, in the same season, was well attended.--At the head of this department of Transylvania University, we find the distinguished names of Mayes and Robinson.

Connected with the Medical College, is a "LUNATIC ASYLUM." situated on the N.W. side of the city. The building consists of a centre fabric, 64 feet long, and 46 feet high, containing 25 rooms. The front wings are each 3 stories high, 62 feet in length, and 24 feet wide, containing 32 rooms. On the N.W. and S.E. side, extensive additions have been made, in the form of wings, containing each 32 rooms, 40 poles distant from the centre building, is a fabric 20 feet square and 2 stories high, containing 16 small apartments, intended for the worst class of patients. All the rooms, except those of the centre building are heated by flues. The grounds, behind the Buildings are divided into 5 airy parks, enclosed by plank fences 12 feet high. The lot on which the Hospital is erected, contains about 10 acres, which are cultivated by some of the patients. Attached to the Asylum, is a fine spring of never failing water.

This extensive Institution, was first began by the citizens of Lexington, who were afterwards aided by the State Legislature. The Asylum is under the control of 5 Commissioners, appointed by the General Assembly. Their services are gratituous. The total amount of patients from May 1834, up to 12th of June 1838, were 658; discharged 292; died 248; remaining 118, of whom 65 are males, and 53 females. The total amount of expenditures (including the building) up to January 1st 1837, was $128,614,34 1/4 cents.

Receipts to the same period from Commonwealth $109,900.
Boarders, $20,426,
Making $130,326.
Balance in the Treasury, 17th Jan. 1837. $2,356.00.

The keeper, Mr. King, is assisted by Dr. Theobalds. Mr. King is eminently qualified for his numerous and trying duties; kind, humane and intelligent, he is widely respected for his treatment of the patients, and the Institution could not engage a more deserving keeper. Dr. Theobalds should not be passed over, as he has in conjunction with the Medical faculty been highly successful in his professional services.

"The City Hospital and Work House" is a plain Brick Building of two stories. It was erected in 1836. The object of the Institution is to provide an asylum for the poor and sick; and also for the confinement of persons, sentenced to hard labor, for drunkenness, rioting, vagrancy, et cetera.

The number confined in the Hospital since its creation, is 64, of whom 63 were white, and 1 black. The room appropriated to the Hospital is spacious and well aired, measuring 100 by 18 feet, and having 17 windows. It is a wing detached from the main building, and Work House. In the latter Institution, pauper children are furnished with board, raiment and education, and when properly qualified, are apprenticed to trades. The discipline reflects much credit on Mr. Jas. Peel. The building was erected and is supported by the City.

"The Orphan Asylum of Lexington."--In the summer of 1833, the benevolent citizens of Lexington got up a meeting for the purpose of raising funds sufficient to establish an Asylum for the destitute and friendless Orphans who were deprived of their parents by the Cholera, with which the City had just been severely visited, Between 4, and 5000 dollars were raised; a house and lot was purchased which cost $3000. The remaining funds were then placed in the hands of twenty four Ladies, who furnished the house, procured a Matron and Assistant, and received such children as they found destitute.

The Institute has no permanent fund, and is supported by annual subscriptions and donations from any who are disposed to aid in the support of Orphans (deprived of both Parents,) as no others are received into the Institution. The present number of children (of both sexes) is 19.

Mrs. Mixer is the present Matron, and Miss Wells, the Teacher. The names of the managers as follows:
Mrs. Sayre, is the 1st Directress,
Mrs. Vertner, 2nd Directress,
Mrs. Gratz, Secretary,
Mrs. Ward, Treasurer,
Mrs. Dewees, Mrs. Hamilton, Mrs. Huggins, Mrs. R. Wickliffe, Mrs. Bruen, Mrs. Beach, Mrs. J. Norton, Mrs. T.E. Boswell, Mrs. Macalister, Mrs. Luther Stephens, Miss. Margaret Wickliffe, Miss. Ann Hunt, Mrs. Geaghegan, Mrs. T. Hunt, Miss. Jane Short, Mrs. J. Weir, Miss. Edmonson, Mrs. Henry Johnson, Mrs. Joel Higgins, Mrs. J.M. Hewett.

N.B. The average expences of the Institution (anually,) including the payment of the Matron and Teachers, is from 10 to 1200 dollars.

Every female, becoming a member of this Institution, is required to pay an annual contribution of $2; or by paying the sum of $25, may acquire the right of life membership.

There are two Banks, viz: the Branch Bank of Kentucky, with a capital of $5,000,000, and the Northern Bank of Kentucky, with a capital of $3,000,000. The latter is an elegant marble building, occupying a prominent spot in the city.

There are 4 highly respectable and widely circulated papers published in Lexington, viz: the Translyvania Medical Journal, under the superintendance of the Professors of the Medical College; the Observer & Reporter, by D.C. Wickliffe; The Lexington Intelligencer, by Edwin Bryant, (both Anti-Administration,) and the Kentucky Gazette, by Daniel Bradford (Administration).

There is also a monthly periodical entitled the "Christian Preacher," issued from the Book & Job Printing Office of J.C. NOBLE, and edited by Proff. D.S. BURNET & J.T. JOHNSON, of Georgetown, Ky.

The Court House Square, (in the centre of the City,) is enclosed with beautiful iron railings, and ornamented with delightful shrubbery. In the South East corner, stands an elegant Marble Monument, to the memory, of MAJOR WILLIAM T. BARRY, formerly Post Master General of the U. States, a gentleman of great eloquence and genius.

Volunteer Companies of Lexington.--The 42nd Regiment of the Militia of Kentucky, embraces the City of Lexington, and a portion of the county lying towards Jessamine and Woodford counties. The Volunteer Companies within the City, are three, viz.

The Lexington Light Infantry--Officers, Capt. G.L. Postlethwaite--Lieut. William Huey--Ensign, Joseph Beard. This is the oldest company in the State, is not in the Wst. It was raised in 1789, by General James Wilkinson, who was its first Captain, and has continued in full and active organization ever since. Its uniform is a blue cloth coatee, cuffs, collar and breast faced with red, and having boned and white bullet buttons--blue cloth pantaloons, citizens black hat, and red plume. It has been commanded in succession, by 18 Captains. During the late war with Great Britain, this company was mustered as volunteers into the service of the United States, to the number of 90 men, including officers, and was commanded by Captain N.G.S. Hart--L. Compstock Lieutenant, and James L. Heran Ensign. It was attached to the 5th Regiment of Kentucky Volunteer Militia, commanded by Col. William Lewis, and marched for the North Western army, August 1812. In the battles of the Raisin on the 18th and 22nd, January 1813 it bore a conspicuous part, and suffered severely, in officers and men. Its gallant Captain, wounded in the knee on the 22nd January, was barbarously murdered by the savages on the 23rd, having trusted to the protection of his old school-mate Capt. Elliott, then an officer in the British army, who infamously abandoned him to savage cruelty. Besides Captain Hart, there were twelve of the company killed, and seven wounded and made prisoners, and a number more who were taken prisoners. Thirteen of its members who shared in that campaign are still in this City or county, and many others, still survive, who are scattered abroad in the West.

The Citizen Volunteer Artillery company, Capt. Samuel C. Trotter--1st Lieutenant, Benjamin C. Blincoe; and 2nd Lieutenant, W. Mentelle. This company was originally raised in 1813, by Gen. John M. McCalla, who was its first Captain, and subsequently united with the Lexington Independent Light Infantry, under its present name. Its uniform is a deep blue coat, white pantaloons, citizens hat and white plume, with white belts. It has two 6 pounders, and a caisson, besides small arms.

The Mechanics Light Infantry, Capt. John W. Forbes, Lieutenant M.B. Johnson, and Ensign Edwin Stephens; organized in 1836. Its uniform is the same as the above company, except that its plume is tipped with red.

The three companies above names are full, and generally parade from 60 to 100 each, including Officers.

During the late war with Great Britain, the 42d regiment was distinguished in Kentucky, for its ardor and patriotism, as well as for heavy losses which it sustained in battle. As an evidence of its high standing, it possesses a brass drum which was taken at the battle of the Thames in upper Canada on the 5th of October 1813, and was presented to its Colonel, George Trotter, who served in that Campaign as a Brigadier General, by General Harrison and Governor Shelby, with an inscription upon it, in substance as follows:--"Presented by General Harrison and Governor Shelby to Col. George Trotter, for the 42d Regiment, Kentucky Militia, as a testimony of its patriotism and good conduct, and for having furnished more volunteers than any other regiment."

The drum has the British coat of arms painted upon it, and "41st Reg." nearly erased, shews to what corps the trophy formerly belonged.

There are three very efficient Fire Companies, in the city, under experienced officers.

There are two Masonic Lodges in Lexington; viz., the "Lexington Lodge," and the "Daviess Lodge." There is also a chapter of Royal Arch Mason in a flourishing condition. The Lexington Lodge was chartered about the year 1793, by the Grand Lodge of Virginia, as No. 25. The "Daviess Lodge" was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and named after Col. Joe Hamilton Daviess, who afterwards distinguished himself at the "Battle of Tippecanoe," where he was killed. He was a man of great eccentricity, and extraordinary genius. The following extract in relation to him, we find in the Poem of the "Battle of Tippecanoe," by William Wallace, a native of Lexington, and delivered by him in the year 1835, on the ground where the action took place.

From the Battle of Tippecanoe
JOE. DAVIESS
With flashing eye and tow'ring frame,
Where shook the Battle's fiercest flame,
The brave heroic Daviess came
Like lightning on the Foe!
In vain! In vain! The whirling lead
Hath laid thee also with the dead!
Yet dying e'en, he smiled to see
His Banners glit'ring o'er the free,
And wildly waved the bloody brand,
That quiver'd yet within his hand,
In menace at the Indian band:
So the pierc'd condor of the blast,
(Encircling Cotopaxi's mast,)
That spread his wing with startling shriek
And soared from Chimborazor's peak--
One moment with terrific scream,
Wheel'd on the lightning's burning beam--
One moment soar'd within the smoke,
That round the huge volcano broke:
Then felt the Indian's arrow dart
Thro' crest and plume--thro' wing and heart;
Yet e'en within his dying throe,
Unconquer'd scan'd his haughty foe!

Weaths for his forehead! strike the lyre,
And sound in lofty notes his name!
Thine was the warrior's heart of fire,
And thine the warrior's fame!
Brave Daviess! Though above thy tomb
No marble breathes in sculptur'd bust,
To speak the Hero's early doom--
To mark the Hero's dust:
Yet where thy Country proudly bears
The trophies of the Foe,
In funeral grief for thee she wears
The sable weeds of wo!

For him--her banners muffl'd shone,
For him--the funeral trump was blown;
For him--the warrior bends his plume,
In sorrow o'er the early tomb.
For him--the Minstrel strikes the wire:
For him--the Poet sounds the lyre,
And smiles to write with pen of flame
In rainbow hues his mighty name
Eternal on the roll of fame!

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows, under the title of Friendship Lodge, No. 5 was chartered by the Grand Lodge of Kentucky, and opened on June 14, 1837. Since its establishment, the number of Members has rapidly increased, and it is now in a very flourishing condition. The order meets every Thursday night at Odd Fellows' Hall No. 6, North Mill street.

The Lexington Temperance Society, on the total abstinence plan, was established in February 1838, and at present numbers 235 members.--Dr. T.D. Mitchell is President.

Besides the societies already mentioned, there are six associations formed for benevolent purposes by the operative mechanics of the city, viz: The Lexington Typographical Society; United Benevolent and Trades Society of Journeymen Saddlers, Harness and Trunk Makers; United Society of Journeymen Cabinet Makers; Hatters Society for affording pecuniary aid to travelling Journeymen; Tailors Society and the Cordwainers beneficial Society, all of which are in a flourishing condition. There is also an association of Master Carpenters, who hold monthly meetings, and elect officers annually.

The Lexington Fire, Life and Marine Insurance Company was incorporated by an act of the General assembly of Kentucky, March 1st 1836--capital $300,000.

The Lexington and Ohio Rail Road is finished from Lexington to Frankfort, and from Louisville to Portland. The intermediate space between Frankfort and Louisville will be completed as soon as the necessary funds shall be obtained, which will be probably very soon, as the City of Louisville has agreed to guaranty the bonds of the company, to the amount of $900,000. The cars run twice every day from this place to Frankfort.

The Louisville, Cincinnati and Charleston Rail Road Company, was incorporated by the Legislatures of South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. The capital is $15,000,000. The amount of stock already subscribed, is $7,000,000; upon which instalments have been paid. This company purchased the South Carolina Rail Road, extending from Charleston, S.C., to Hamburg, Ga., a distance of 136 miles.

The Louisville, Cincinnati and Charleston Rail Road, diverges from the South Carolina Rail Road, at Branchville, 60 miles from Charleston; from thence to Columbia, S.C. The road is under contract, and will be ready for travel in 1839. From Columbia, the route will pass westward, through But-Mountain Gap in North Carolina, and thence along the valley of the French Broad River to Knoxville, Tennessee. From Knoxville to Lexington the road has not yet been selected, but it must cross the Cumberland Mountain either at Wheeler or Cumberland Gap. For the present Lexington is the Western termination of the road.

Surveys of the different routs from Branchville to Lexington have been completed and the City of Lexington and County of Fayette have each subscribed $100,000.

A splendid Saloon has lately been erected by Mons. Giron, which is often attended by the wealthy and fashionable citizens.

The Market House is a spacious brick building, 234 feet long and 42 feet wide, and contains 65 stalls. It is open on Wednesday;s and Saturdays. The strictest order and cleanliness are enforced by the police.

The Prison is a very strong building, containing cells, and an apartment for debtors. Mr. T. Megowan, the keeper, deserves credit for the cleanliness and order maintained within the walls. It is worthy of notice, that at this time there is but one white person confined in gaol.

Business &c.--This place was incorporated as a City in 1832. It at present numbers about 7,000 inhabitants. Seven Turnpikes end in the City. The Railroad also offers a speedy communication with the capitol of the State from which it is to be carried to Louisville. The City at present, has three wholesale Dry Goods and China stores, 24 Dry Goods establishments; 9 wholesale and 20 retail Groceries; 5 Saddlers shops, 12 Blacksmith shops; 1 Insurance Office; 12 Resterateurs; 1 Portrait painter; 2 Dentists, 1 native Sculptor, Mr. Hart, of very promising genius; 10 Tailor shops; 1 Book-binding establishment; 4 Printing offices; 10 Taverns; 8 Barber shops; 2 Renovating establishments; 9 Livery stables; 2 Carriage making establishments; 3 Coach Repositories; 13 Doctor shops; 2 Book stores, containing about 5,000 volumes; 2 Gun shops; 6 Silver-smiths; 1 Silver Plater; 3 clothing establishments; 4 Tin & Copper-smith shops;* 8 Mantua-making Houses; 3 Stage offices; 2 exchange offices; 3 Cigar factories; 3 Confectionarys; 2 Commission stores; 9 Boot and Show stores; 3 Lether stores; 2 Comb manufactories; 3 Upholstering and Mattrass makers; 1 Morocco factory; 1 Truss maker; 1 Lottery office; 2 Auction rooms; 4 Drug stores; 1 Machine shop; a large number of Carpenters; 1 Looking-Glass manufactory; 1 Bible Depository; 9 Law offices; 1 Insurance Company; 2 Bath houses; 1 Brush manufactory; and 1 Wheel-wright.

There are in the City and its suburbs 18 Rope and Bagging factories. Their whole capital is about $1,300,000. They employ from 900 to 1000 hands, and are conducted by some of the most efficient manufacturers of the State. The Rail Road and numerous Turnpikes give very great advantages in the exportation of their rope and bagging.

There are 5 Woolen manufactories, (4 carried on by steam,) 2 steam Cotton factories; 1 steam Flower mill; 1 extensive wholesale Iron ware house; 3 Tanyards; 1 Marble yard, (conducted by Mr. Doyle;) where the most elegant Sepulchral sculpture, and monuments are furnished to applicants; 6 Brick yards, in which about 5,000,000 bricks are manufactured annually; and 5 Hatteries; one of which (Mr. Tod's) especially deserves notice. The Building is of brick, 350 feet long. The business is conducted by a steam engine of 5 horse power, consuming per year 300 cords of wood. The ingenious proprietor, has constructed a machine, that heats and fills with the scape-steam, the kettles; thus supplying water, without experiencing any difficulty in the operations from limestone. The shops are also warmed by the scapeheat of the furnace. This establishment when in full operation will give employment to 45 hands. The neatness of the work from this establishment is remarkable, and dues credit to the proprietor.

The Lexington Brewery, the property of Mr. John R. Cleary, situated on Main and Water Streets, is a brick building, 180 feet long, 22 feet wide, and two stories high. The malt-floors are 18 feet long by 22 feet wide. The kiln, which is covered with English tile, is 22 feet square. There are cast-iron rolers and stones, propelled by horse power on an enclined plane, which are capable of grinding 14 bushels an hour. The Brewery is supplied with water from a basin cut in the solid rock, 30 feet deep and 12 in diameter. The floors of the cellar, which are spacious, are solid rock. This establishment brews during the season 220 bushels of Malt per week; viz. 160 for Ale and Porter, and 60 for Beer. The quantity of malt liquor produced annually, may be estimated at from 700 to 800 barrels of Ale and Porter, and 450 barrels of Beer, all of which is consumed in the city and adjacent towns. Attached to the Brewery is "Alta-Myra," the residence of the proprietor.

Mr. Cleary deserves some credit for his diligence and energy in furnishing the city with Ale and Porter of a very superior quality. May his receipts reward his industry.

There is also an Iron Foundry and Wool Carding establishment, (considered to be the largest in the State,) carried on by Steam Machinery. The building is of solid brick, measuring 160 feet in length. It was erected in 1830, and furnishes the mills of this and the adjoining counties with most of their irons. The metal used is chiefly imported from Pittsburgh and the Red River and Maria Forges. The establishment employs about 25 hands, and sells 100 tons of wrought iron per year. The capital invested is near $80,000. The building was erected by Mr. Joseph Breun an enterprising citizen, who still continues to superintend the business of the establishment.

The identical steam engine, used in West's steamboat, and noticed on page eight, we find, is in the possession of Mr. Bruen, It is certainly a very curious piece of workmanship. the cylinder measures about 2 inches in diameter, and is of about six inches stroke.

The whole capital invested in the city, as far as we have been able to ascertain, is,

In Wholesale Dry Goods $200,000.
" Retail " " 1,200,000.
" Wholesale Groceries, 450,000.
" Retail " 150,000.
Manufacturing establishments, Banks, &c. 12,000,000.
  __________
Total, $14,000,000.

 

The City is gradually increasing, both in beauty and size, and we understand, that the new Trustees of Morrison College of Transylvania University intend using every exertion, to revive its energy. May it rival its former glory, and be a lasting monument of Kentucky energy, genius, and literature.

______________

*Mr. Fielding Bradford is now residing in Scott county two miles from Georgetown.

*Mr. E.S. Noble, proprietor of one of these establishments, has recently invented a very important Machine for the purpose of turning the 'bead' on house-Guttering, by which an immense quantity of labour will be saved; and consequently a considerable reduction in the price of that article affected--Mr. N. we understand, intends securing the Patent-Right for this valuable machine as early as possible.

 

METEOROLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS

Taken by Professor Moore of Transylvania University.

MEAN TEMPERATURE FOR 1836 MEAN TEMPERATURE FOR 1837
  Morning. Noon. Rain.   Morning. Noon. Rain.
April, 59, 8 69, 1 3,70 January, 26, 4 31, 9 0,36
May, 63 71, 3 7,76 February, 33, 2 43, 0 2,60
June, 64, 7 72, 3 2,88 March, 38, 4 49, 6 4,24
July, 67, 5 82, 4 3,16 April, 39, 3 55, 6 1,84
August, 65, 8 77, 4 5,20 May, 52, 6 70, 3 4,36
September, 65, 6 74, 4 3,80 June, 66, 8 74, 8 7,40
October, 38, 5 54, 6 2,04 July, 69, 2 82, 0 5,52
November, 32, 2 44, 4 1,24 August, 62, 5 78, 0 3,12
December, 25, 6 34, 1 2,46 September, 55, 4 72, 9 4,40
        October, 48, 7 61, 7 2,76
        November, 39, 3 52, 2 2,12
        December 28, 7 41, 2 2,04

 

MEAN TEMPERATURE FOR 1838

  Morning Noon Rain
January, 30, 2 41, 0 3,36
February, 13, 3 25, 4 3,82
March, 39, 7 54, 4 1,84
April, 12, 6 59, 8 3,36
May, 44, 5 59, 2 6,79

Lexington, Latitude--North - - - - 38 . 03'

Longitude W. of Greenwich, 84, 26

Variation of the needle December 1826, E. 6, 34

 

Copyright 2000, Pam Brinegar
Back to Fayette County Genealogy and History