PART TWO: A MEMOIR OF LEXINGTON AND ITS VICINITY
Some Notice of Many Prominent Citizens and Its
By WILLM. A. LEAVY
Continued from the April  Register
Source: Register, Kentucky State Historical Society, Volume 40, Number 132, July 1942, pages 253-267. This is the second of eight Register articles containing a transcription of a photocopy of the original William Leavy manuscript located in Special Collections, Transylvania University, Lexington, Fayette, Kentucky.
numbers and headings of the manuscript appear in parentheses as
in original copy. Pages 1-23 are in
Part 1. Pages 24 - 37
Part Two., 38 - 62 in
Part Three, 63-82 in
Part Four, 83-113 in
Part Five, 114-123 in
Part Six, 124-163 in
Part Seven, and 164-208 in
& SONS THOS. T. & ROBT. R. & ELISHA WARFIELD
MORTON, JAS MORRISON
William Morton from Dauphin or Cumberland County Pennsylvania came to Lexington about 1787 or 90. He had a successful career as a merchant, and added to his business a tanyard, which I have no doubt he found a profitable item. His store was the 3d. one from the corner of Upper Street on Main. John S. Snead afterwards a merchant in Louisville was with Mr. M. in business a number of years, and before his death a partner in the name of John S. Snead & Co. The tanyard and residence of Teague his superintendent was the S.W. corner of Main and Lower Streets. Mr. Morton was a liberal and public spirited citizen, and was the largest and most active contributor to the building of the first and second Episcopal churches, himself and family being members of that Church. He also gave to the City of Lexington the sum of 10,000 Dollars to the foundation of the City School, and left a handsome property to divide among his heirs.
Mr. Morton was the first President of the Kentucky Insurance Company Bank and fulfilled the office much to the satisfaction of the stockholders. Mr. M. was tall and stately in person and dignified in his deportment. From the neatness of his person and stateliness of his manners he was familiarly spoken of as Lord Morton. He subscribed with me 200$ in stock for purchase of the Ky. Insce Co. building for the Lexington Library.
Col. James Morrison, a wealthy and influential citizen from Cumberland County Pena came to Lexington in the year 1792. The son of an Irish emigrant, his native strength of mind gradually elevated him far beyond his humble origin. He served for six years in the army of the Revolution and distinguished himself as one of Morgan's select corps of riflemen. After the war he went into business at Pitttsburgh, and rose to be Sheriff of the county. On his removal to Lexington, which presented an inviting field to the adventu-
MORRISON, ALEX. PARKER
Alexander Parker who came from Carlisle Pa. at least as early as 1785 or 1786, with most of his father's family, began to carry on a Store in Lexington with his brother James as partner, Alexr. & Jas. Parker, as we see in Bradford's Gazette in 1787 and probably somewhat earlier. After the death of his brother Jas. he henceforth carried on the mercantile business in Lexington until his own death or near it. He was a very active and attentive man to business, but was a Citizen of great public spirit and liberality. He was an active and intelligent Trustee of the town for a number of years. He was also a Trustee of Transylvania University. A Director and, after W. Morton, President of the Kentucky Insurance Co. Bank. He sought to acquaint his only son, now our aged fellow citizen Richd. B. Parker, with his business, and to establish him in it, but he had not the peculiar talents that fitted him for excelling in that line. Major Parker married Miss Mary Howard, daughter of the venerable John Howard but the union was not a happy one, I have supposed from the fractious or quick temper of the husband. I knew Mrs. Parker well, she was much esteemed member of the Presbn. church to which I belonged for many years. They had only 2 children, Mary, who became the wife of Thos. T. Crittenden brother of the hon. John J. Crittenden & Richd. H. It was Mrs. Crittenden's son, Alexr. Parker Crittenden, who was assassinated by Mrs. Fair at S. Francisco California 1872. Major Parker built the Store & residence where he carried on the business opposite the Court House. It is now the store stand &
PARKER, GEO. ANDERSON & SONS
He died in Frankfort 1831. He resided in the dwelling part of his store until the erection of his residence in a large lot extending from Main Street to High rear High Street afterwards of Wm. Richardson, Esq. and subsequently of Elijah W. Craig for a number of years. His bror. James Parker was one of the early Trustees of the town, and an active citizen, leaving his widow, and daughter Margaret, who became the wife of Larkin B. smith Atty. at Law. Beside his 2 story brick residence between Mill Street and Broadway on North side of Main, he left other means beside several valuable town lots.
George Anderson came to Lexn. from Carlisle Pena. and opened his store early in 1788. He came in company with his father as did also Robert Holmes, from the same place, Mr. Holmes carried on his business of Chair maker and Wheelright adjoining his residence N E Corner of Broadway & Short Street, a worthy citizen Richd. H. Chinn Esq. many years an eminent lawyer of Lexington and N. Orleans married a daughter of Mr. Holmes. Mr. Anderson's place of business and residence for many years was in a 2 story stone building corner Main Street and Cheapside. Mr. A. was attentive to business and successful, owning at different times, a number of valuable lots in the city. He had a partner for a time his brother in law John M. Boggs, each of them marrying a Miss Oliver. Mr. Boggs was the father of Governor Lilburn W. Boggs of Missouri Mr. Anderson was succeeded in business by his sons Thomas and James who were successful in their business also agreeable additions to our society. Thomas marrying Miss Sidney Boyd James.
PARKER, PEYTON SHORT
Robert Parker one of our earliest merchants (brother of John Parker, Esqr. of Parker's Mill who removed from Pennsylvania in the fall of 1784 & there established his mill & settled who was also a number of years a member of our County Court), had also a Mill and Tract of Land adjoining his brother, at a place on Versailles road now called Slickaway, came to Lexington soon after his brother R. Parker opened a Store in 1786 or 7, at S.W. Corner of Main & Main Cross Streets and subsequently in his old frame house, Main Street which has been replaced by the handsome brick Store now a Hat Store of the Mess. Shaw. He was a member of the Board of Trustees of the Town, and Town Surveyor. He died in 1798 or 1800. J.C. Richardson Jr. some years Sheriff married the oldest daughter of Mr. Parker and Robert Todd's first wife was a younger daughter. Mr. Parker died in the year 1798 or 1800. His sons all of whom I knew at college and the eldest particularly well, were James P. Parker who became a Doctor of Medicine, and on marrying Miss Milliken of Mississippi removed to that State, and continued the practice until his death at Port Gibson. Robt. who died immediately after becoming of age, and commencing the practice of Law. John T. Parker M.D. whose first wife was a daughter of Col. Allen of Shelby. After returning of Lexn. and resuming the practice of his profession he removed to Newport K subsequently I think to Ballard Co'y. where he resided with his son until his death. Andrew Wm. P. Parker who became a lawyer and removing to Springfield, Ky died there in a short time after his removal.
Peyton Short, Esqr. from Virga. came to Lexington at least as early as 1790, brother of the hon. Wm. Short, one of the Ministers to France under Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Short was highly esteemed as a Citizen, a gentleman & man of wit. He brought a cargo of goods to Lexn. in February 1790, but from purchases of land and other objects of speculation, quit the Mercantile business. He was one of the state senators from Fayette in 1792. He removed to Woodford Co. and owned the farm lately owned & occupied by Mr. Charles Bright. One of his sisters married Charles Wilkins Esqr. the other Dr. F. Ridgeley. He was the father of John Cleves Short, Esq., of vicinity of Cincinnati, now decd. and of Dr. Charles W. Short, Professor in our Medical College & afterwards of Louisville now deceased, and of an only daughter Anne, who became
WILKINS, A. HOLMES
Charles Wilkins from Pena. elder brother of the Hon. Wm. Wilkins of Pittsburgh an esteemed and distinguished citizen of Lexington, who beside his Mercantile business, which he commenced in Lexington about the year 1790, embarked in the exportation of produce. He married a sister of Peyton Short Esqr.He was eminently public spirited, liberal and active in promoting the best interests, of the community. He built the residence N.W. corner 2d. and Upper Streets, where he resided for many yearssubsequently the property of Mrs. Richd. A. Curd, Mrs. Hood and now of James Grinstead and others. Among the remarkable men of business brought up by Mr. Wilkins in his store were Saml. Trotter of Lexington & Daniel Vertner of Natchez Mississippi afterwards Lexington. Mr. Wilkins had as his partner of several years of active business Mr. B. Reed McIlvaine, an agreeable member of our society from Burlington New Jersey who married Miss Catherine Dumesnil, a young lady of great amiability and beauty, and soon afterward removed to New York.
Mr. Wilkin's nephews Charles & Jas. Ernest of Pittsburgh were sent to the University by him, and Dr. Short boarded with him while a student. His sister Mrs. Hollingsworth made his house her home for a short time.
Andrew Holmes & his brother Jonathan were early merchants in Lexington, they came from Baltimore Md. or from Carlisle Pena. in 1787 or 1788 were fine clerks and agreeable men of business. Andrew Holmes in 1790 & Duncan & Holmes same year Andw. & Jona. Holmes & Co. 1793-9. The frame dwelling house in which he lived, a double house, immediately opposite the Baptist Graveyard, on Main Street, corner of Lower St. is yet standing. He was an estimable and agreeable gentleman. He was a particular friend of my father and died in 1806 or 1807. Mr. Holmes showed his Public Spirit & liberality by presenting to the State of Kentucky the second State House used by the Legislature 1792-3 situated in Frankfort mentioned by Collins in History of Ky. 2 vols. 1874 and his zeal for the promotion of Knowledge by presenting to the Lexington Library soon after its first opening the only copy it has of the Encyclopedia Brittanica (Dobson's edition), 21 vols 4to. I have known this set of books to have been much read and studied by many readers, and particularly to have seen more of them carried to and from the library under the arm by at least two of our early and respectable mechanics and artisans.
(29) A. HOLMES,
John W. Hunt a native of Trenton, New Jersey, claims a prominent place among the Merchants and inhabitants of Lexington. His unparaleled success would claim it. Mr. Hunt's first adventure as a Merchant I have been informed was unsuccessful at Richmond, Va. He came to Lexington in the year 1794. The firm was first Abijah & John W. Hunt. Their store was on next lot to my father's. Stephen Collin's old tavern standtheir Advertisements published in "Stewart's Kentucky Herald" at Norton & Sharpe's date July 1794. He was at my father's wedding Jany 1796 and became a married man, to Miss Catherine Grosh of Hagerstown, himself the same or following year, as was Thos. Hart, Jr. about the same time to her sister Miss Eleanor Grosh.
He carried on a store early after coming to Lexington, and at different times removed the business, but never confined himself to it. He early carried on a Bagging Manufactory and Rope Walk. He kept one or two fine horses for improving the Stock of the neighborhood, and other pursuits always eminent for his financial talents. His hemp factory was burned by a negro in 1813 the incendiary was hung for the crime. He was a successful Speculator; & among other things in United States Bank Stockthe projector, president and large holder of Stock in the Farmers and Mechanic's Bank of Lexington 1819 or 1820, held in the same building built for and used by the Kentucky Insurance Co. Bank. He started and carried on for years The Lexington Fire and Marine Insurance Co. of which he was president. The Lexington Fire & Marine Insurance Co. was chartered I think in 1838 or 1839. A portion of its business given in the testimony of Mr. Baxter its Secretary for 12 years in the trial of Rev. John H. Brown Page 92 & 93 ) which however failed, causing great loss to the StockholdersThis was owing to the large and imprudent risks of their Agent H.I. Bodley in the St. LouisOur townsman Abr. T. Skillman it was said lost about $60,000 by Stock in the Insurance Co, He bought and sold Lands and other property; and was unsuccessful in almost everything in which he engaged. His career was unblemished, and highly honourable. He died Augt. in the year 1849 aged I think about 78 years leaving much the largest
(30) JOHN W.
Col. Thomas Hart came to Lexington about the year 1790 from Hagerstown, Maryland, where for some years he had been engaged in the mercantile business in company with Col. Rochester who was a founder of the city of Rochester N. York. He was originally from Hanover County, Virginia, and Orange County, North Carolina. His family was of the first distinction and respectability, a brother of Nathaniel Hart, a companion and partner of Col. Henderson, the founder of the Transylvania Company, who met at Boonesborough May 11th 1775 to organize their new government (Col. Isaac Shelby married a daughter of N. Hart in 1781) afterwards annulled by the state of Virginia and a Grant made to Col. Henderson and others of Henderson's Grant in acknowledgement of the benefit conferred on the State.
Col. Hart was the father of Mrs. Dr. Richard Pindell, of Mrs. Henry Clay, of Mrs. James Brown, and of Mrs. Price, whose eldest daughter Eliza became the wife of my friend and schoolmate Thos. A. Marshall. Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals and several times Member of Congress, her sister Nanette, the wife of Thos. Smith Editor, Ky. Reporter: both these ladies still alive and widows. Col. Hart commenced business in Lexington and took his son Thos. Hart Jr. into partnership Thos. Hart & Sons. He was owner of the block on Mill Street extending from 1st or Church Street to Second, and to the Alley half way to Main cross Street or Broadway; his dwelling owned some years by Judge Turner, who enlarged the building by a room andCol. Hart, resided in this building until his death (2 or 3 lines erased and unreadable) the corner Mill & 2d. Street. One subsequently owned and increased in size by Dr. B.W. Dudley, who page 206, lived in it for a number of years. Afterwards by J.J. Hunter, & now the residence of Col. W.C.P. Breckinridge, the other after Tho Hart Junr. was the residence of the Venerable John Bradford, afterwards of Mrs. Bruce, and now the property & residence of Mrs. Ann Eliza Ryland, daughter of Dr. E. Warfield. The following tribute to Daniel Boone the immortal pioneer of Kentucky is highly honourable to both. Boone had been so singularly unfortunate in February of the year 1780 on his way from Kentucky to Richmond to be robbed of all his money and a very large sum for the Harts and others, intrusted to his care, which he took to purchase land warrants at Williamsburgh. N.B. Boone
(32) COL. HART
AND THO. HART, JR.
Thomas Hart Jr. eldest son of Col. Hart, was a Merchant and business man of extraordinary talents and energy, which he exerted effectively during his short career for he died in the year 1809 only two years surviving his aged father and much esteemed as a man and a citizen. My father had a considerable Adventure in partnership with Thos. Hart, Jr. to New Orleans in the year 1803-4. After the expiration of his business with his father he took as a partner in his mercantile business Mr. John C. Bartlet, Hart & Bartlet, their place of business first N.E. corner of Main & Mill Street, a stone building, which was first occupied by Col. Thos. Irwin and J. Bryson, afterwards on S.E. side Main Street 3 doors from Mill. They were engaged occasionally in the exporting produce to New Orleans. Mr. Bartlet married Margarette G. Nicholas, daughter of Col. G. Nicholas, and removed to N. Orleans. The firm was for some years in New Orleans, Hart, Bartlet & CoxBartlet dying there; Mrs. B. returned to Lexington became a devoted member of the Presbn. church about 1815 & herself died in 1819 then Mrs. Fletcher of Bath; her memory is embalmed in a funeral discourse of her pastor Mr. McChord. Hart was a man of enterprise bought about 1806-7 the residence of Col. Nicholas the Square occupied by
(33) COL. HART
His lady as her sister Mrs. Hunt were charming members of the Society of Lexington, and they had an amiable family. The eldest son Thos. Pindell Hart was an active citizen for some years, a valuable trustee, or councilman of the City with whom I have served as a Member, his first wife Miss Sally, daughter of Capt. John Postlethwaite, losing her he married a Miss Gardner, sister of the wife of James Prentiss. He kept tavern in Frankfort & in Louisville, creditable housesEleanr the oldest daughter of Thomas Hart jr. married Geo. Washington Anderson, a number of years resident at and respectable citizen of Louisville where he died. Mrs. A. still survives. See 119Henry Von Phul one of the clerks of Thos. Hart Jr.
Nathl. G.S. Hart second son of Col. Thomas Hart, was engaged in business in 1811 or before a store in his own name, 2 or 3 doors east of Mill Street, at the time or just before volunteering himself in the Army which left Kentucky in 1812 and as Capt. of a handsome company of infantry went at the head of his gallant company to the Battle of the River Raisin, where with many of his men he fell a martyr to savage cruelty. He exercised the office of a Magistrate for some time before leaving Lexington, and was highly esteemed. In his company I had many fellow students whom I accompanied as far as Georgetown on their setting out full of martial fervor and hope, alas how few were permitted to returnMy fellow students of this company with some of whom I was very intimate were James P. Parker, John M. McCalla, Isaac L. Baker, Saml. Elder, David McIlvaine, James Ebenezer Blythe, the three last were killed, the first three after hardships and sufferings returned, the others with their Capt. never. Nat Hart was married to a Miss Gist, sister of Mrs. Dr. Boswell, they had one son Henry Hart a respectable citizen of St. Louis.
John Hart the youngest son of Col. Hart had various engagements of a business character built one or more houses esteemed by his friends & acquaintances died a single man and early, an intelligent & honorable man. Col. Hart had the only copy I ever saw in Kentucky of the Works of Voltaire in English translated by Smollett in 36 volumes.
THOMAS BODLEY AND SONS
General Thomas Bodley a most active influential citizen came to Kentucky a single man from the state of Pennsylvania about the year 1787. In his early years he was distinguished as an expert clerk and confidential man of business. I have heard he was a volunteer officer in the army of Genl. Wayne in 1794. He married the daughter of Judge Innes a charming woman who brought up her amiable family in the best manner. Many years the Clerk of the Fayette Circuit Court he proved himself a competent and popular officer. He was one of the most esteemed and distinguished citizenshe was a hospitable and generous man, identified with the history of Lexington during a long career, and died in the Cholera of 1833, in about the seventieth year of his age. He built about 1806 the brick dwelling S.E. corner Upper and High Streets afterwards Richd. Higgins Sr. in which his family resided, until he subsequently bought & owned for a number of years the more commodious residence N.E. corner of Second and Market St.since occupied by Major John Tilford, Danl. Vertner, & Mr. A Dudley. Mrs. Bodley had the occasional company of her female relatives and friends and saw from time to time a good deal of elegant company at their home.
Their eldest son Harry Innes Bodley has showed himself a worthy successor to the reputation of his father in all respects, as Clerk of the Circuit Court, as an active and valuable member of the City Council, I served with him in that body he was chairman of the Committee of Ways and Means, and as a drawer up of Agreements & papers he was expert and had no equalas Insurance Agent and in other departments individual and social he was excellent. His brother as an Attorney Judge Wm. S. Bodley maintains a high standing in Louisville. They both passed through College with honors. Their sister Elizabeth married to __________ Owsley I always found an interesting and excellent member of Society I knew her best of the daughters. She was an agreeable member of the Church Presbyterian to which I belonged.
JORDAN & OTHERS, & GEO. NICHOLAS
Mr. Jordan married Miss Sarah Von Phul a polished and agreeable lady in Phila. and her brothers Henry and Graaf Von Phul and sister Maria accompanied them to Lexn. Henry becoming partner afterwards of Wm. Smith, a wealthy hatter becoming merchant (about 1810) they removed Smith & Von Phul to Saint Louis, the younger brother Graaf V.P. became Deputy Postmaster first with Mr. Jordan, afterwards with Capt. Fowler till the year 1819. With him I was very intimate he was a young man of considerable reading, of taste, and fine sensibility and felt deeply the news of his death, his body was found in the Ohio at Louisville on his return from Saint Louis, believed to be his own act, in the fall of 1819. He corresponded at that time, being much exercised on the subject of Religion, with his friend Revd. John Breckinridge. After Mr. Jordan's death Mrs. J. was married to Judge ________ of Illinois and her sister Maria accompanied her.They were a polite, intelligent, and well bred family. After Mr. Jordan's failure in business he received the appointment of Post master which he filled to the entire satisfaction of the community. In a shipment of Produce to New Orleans Mr. Jordan had a number of Boats lost or unaccounted for I have understood, and he believed he was defrauded by his agent. One of his clerks (Mr. Ben Keiser) gave me this as a reason for his failure.My father loaned Mr. Jordan whom he esteemed six hundred dollars in 1806 or 1807 a short time before his failure; it proved a clear loss.
Col. George Nicholas of Va.Who was an officer of the American Revolution & a Member of the Virginia Convention on the U.S. Constitutionemigrated to Ky. in 1790 or 1791 having been a Member of the State Convention from the County of Mercer in 1792, which formed our first State Constitution, of which he is the reputed author. He was reckoned at the head of the bar in Kentucky. He removed to Lexington soon after and built his large residence on Limestone Street (probably in 1795-7) afterwards successively owned by Thos. Hart Jr., Robt. Wickliffe, Edwd. P. Johnson, and at present the Sayre Institute.
BRECKINRIDGE AND SONS
Hon. John Breckinridge distinguished as Attorney General of the United States and for the active part he took in the State legislature in the formation of the State Constitution came from the Sate of Virginia to Lexn. and vicinity in the year 1792. As a Statesman and Lawyer he had no superior, but his career in our neighborhood was short, dying suddenly in the year 1806 or 1806. I have no recollection of him. His descendants have attained a remarkable distinctionMrs. Breckinridge kept up the family hospitality and received a great deal of the best company at her well known residence Cabell's Dale. Their oldest son Joseph Cabell Breckinridge had an elevated standing for talents, high moral character and in every position he occupied as a member of society of the State Legislature and his public capacity. He married Miss Mary Smith the daughter of President Saml. Stanhope Smith of Princeton. Genl. John C. Breckinridge is their son.It has often been remarked as a very singular distinction in one family to have three Ministers of the Gospel, and all of them of more than common excellence. Rev. John Breckinridge D.D. had a short but brilliant career 1st as Pastor 2d Presbn. Church of Lexington, then Minister in Baltimore, and subsequently as Agent & Secy. of the Board of Foreign Missions of the Presbyterian Church. Rev. Robt. J. Breckinridge only recently deceased and extensively known as a Professor of Theology in Danville Seminary and as a Writer & Public Lecturer is probably the most distinguished.R.J. Breckinridge D.D. was Pastor of a Church in Baltimore, President of Jefferson College, Canonsburgh, Pennsylvania, Pastor 1st. Presbyterian Church Lexington and lastly Prof. of Theology in Danville Seminary the author of several text books used in the Seminary & many other and Rev. W.L. Breckinridge as a President of several Colleges 1st.
(37) HENRY CLAY
(To be continued)
Transcribed August 2001 by pb