Gallatin County is named after Albert Gallatin. Gallatin trivia is here.
Why did the county get named for Gallatin?
Gallatin County was the 30th county formed in Kentucky. The law enacting Gallatin County was passed on
December 14, 1798
the county was formed on May 13, 1799 from parts of Franklin and Shelby Counties. Its boundaries are unchanged
since February 5, 1872. It has an area of 98.8 square miles, making it the 120th largest of Kentucky's 120 counties.
Read about the 1837 boundary change here.
And they weren't happy about being made the smallest county.
Discover the highest point in the county.
Chicago's Newberry Library has posted online a complete set of maps of American counties formations. They start with the date of county formation, and trace every little change to the boundaries after that. Gallatin County has had 10 such changes (the most of any NKY County), and you can see the Gallatin maps here (pdf). To see the counties from which the county was formed, you'll have to download the entire Kentucky state pdf. There's also a feature that you can use to import all this data into Google maps. Good stuff!
|Here's a curious collection of documents from the 1860-1940's, from the post office, with town names, maps, and name changes. You really should start here, and they might make more sense to you. All are pdf's.|
|Steeles Creek||Sugar Creek||Walnut Lick||Warsaw|
Can you name the 24 places in Gallatin County that had U.S. Post Offices? The list is here.
The origins of the names Warsaw and Fredericksburg, here.
Hint: It ain't Thaddeus of Warsaw.
Preacher's exhortations not appreciated in 1906, here.
The Civil War in Gallatin County was primarily about defending yourself against the depredations of “secessionist rascals;” i.e. anti-Union men who didn't bother to sign up with the Confederacy, but nonetheless banded together to steal, plunder, and attack the Union citizenry. Take an episode from September, 1861, Civil War Skirmish in Warsaw, here, and here, and here, and an item from October, 1861 here, and an item from December of that year here.
By late December, Union citizens pleaded with authorities to send help, and help was sent, in the form of a troops under the command of Colonel Charles Whittlesey. Read about the deployment:
|Several years after the war, Whittlesey wrote a detailed piece looking back on his days in Warsaw. Good stuff. It's here.|
|“SUICIDE.—On Monday last, an old and highly respectable citizen of Gallatin county , Ky., was arrested by the military for ATTEMPTING TO VOTE, and placed on a boat, under guard, to be taken to Louisville! On the way down the river, he jumped overboard and was drowned. Will his blood not haunt the tyrant, Gen. Palmer (Wikipedia)? Mr. Rice leaves a large and and interesting family.” The Vincennes Weekly Western Sun, August 19, 1865|
|“T. U. R. Key [!], one of the rampant rebels arrested at Warsaw, Ky., a few days ago managed to escape from confinement in Cincinnati on Sunday. Four soldiers chased him, and after over-taking him were obliged to give him a severe blow with a musket before he would come to terms and return to his quarters.” NY Times, January 9, 1862||The Warsaw Independent, on May 21, 1904, reprinted the resolutions that resulted from meetings between the citizens of Warsaw, and Florence, Indiana at the beginning of the Civil War, to “perpetuate the present fraternal feeling existing between the people of the places aforesaid, and to protect themselves and each other and their property from violence and destruction by mobs, and evil disposed persons coming from what section they may.”|
|Troops sent to Warsaw to restore peace in 1861, here.||“The Louisville Journal states that on Friday night, December 27, Capt.. Fry, of Company B, Twentieth Regiment, started out from Warsaw, Ky., with a file of men for Eagle Creek, about 13 miles from the village, having been ordered to arrest Capt. Washington R. Sanders, and break up a company of Secessionists, who rendezvoused at his house. When they reached the house of Mr. Sanders he was not to be found. Upon searching the premises a 6-pound cannon was found buried, together with six kegs of gunpowder, a quantity of rifles, bowie-knives, pistols, swords and percussion caps.” NY Times, January 4, 1862|
|A Summary of Civil War Operations in Gallatin County in October, 1862, here.|
|...and a false arrest case from the Civil War, here. or, in its terms, “the War of the Rebellion”|
However, Appomattox didn't end the war in Gallatin County:
|An 1866 Freedman's Bureau report of post-Civil War incident in Gallatin is here.||“Louisville, Ky., Monday, Nov. 5 - Eight men were arrested at Warsaw on Saturday for robbing and mistreating negroes, and are now in our military block.” New York Times, November 6, 1866|
|Ghent's Bill Davis sent us this reference to a Gallatin/Carroll County Civil War episode featuring the steamer Gen. Buell, which was detained at Ghent, that ended up in the U.S. Supreme Court. Details at this site. That site will give you a summary, and for all the gory details, follow the link at the top of that page. Fascinating stuff.|
|A shorter, contemporary version of the steamer Gen. Buell being detained at Ghent and Warsaw by the Confederate home guard, in 1866 is here.|
|This is a pump stock, the basis of an old-fashioned water pump. Florence, Indiana citizens got so paranoid Warsaw was going to invade that they took a pump stocks up high, pretended they were guns, and warned Warsaw they were about to attack. Warsaw wasn't planning to invade; and Florence was obviously bluffing. All we have to fear is fear itself. The story is here.|
The Sponsors of the 1907 Tri-County (Carroll, Gallatin, Owen) Fair in Sanders are listed here. (pdf)
60 Pages of ads from merchants of those three counties, plus Vevay.
Thanks to Dale Samuel for the images.
|Steamboat River Mileage, from a map from 1837
when Warsaw was named Fredericksburg
|Here's a deed from 1819. Don't miss
reading the transcript, here.
Gallatin County soldiers who died in WWI are listed here.
|Reward for French's escaped slaves in 1820.||
Attempts to start a Sabbath School to teach slaves to read the Bible quashed. Here.
|The Warsaw Patriot is challenged to put up or shut up on slavery sensationalism.|
“On the 9th of August, in Gallatin County , Ky., T. Bottom, George Summers, and J. Williams, with five other white men, went to the house of William Kane, a thrifty colored man, and robbed him of all he had, including $200 in silver. In the same month, in Gallatin County, a mob, styling themselves negro regulators, beat and drove off a great many negroes.” National Anti-Slavery Standard Date, March 4, 1854
|“A company of five negroes, the property of James Merton, of Gallatin Co ., Ky., succeeded in making their escape, on the night of the 14th. They had only to cross the Ohio river when they were taken in charge by some friends who soon had them on their way to Canada by the ‘underground.’” National Anti-Slavery Standard Date, March 4, 1854|
|“Lewis Sanders, George Sanders, and two other white brutes, on the 17th of July, 1866, went to the house of Louisa Ghent, colored, whipped her cruelly, and broke up her furniture. This happened near Warsaw, Ky.” National Anti-Slavery Standard, October 12, 1867||
The WPA Writers Project in the 1930's interviewed a number of ex-slaves. Two were from Gallatin County. Lula Chambers, once owned by prominent Ten Mile preacher David Lillard, has an account here, (pdf) and Felix Lindsey's recollections are here. (pdf)
|The Boone County Library has a web site detailing known slave escapes from Northern Kentucky. The Gallatin-Grant only list is here.|
“The farmers of Gallatin and adjoining counties are nearly all in favor of cutting out the 1908 tobacco crop - raise less and get paid more for what they have on hand.” Farmers' Review, November 2, 1907
Gallatin plans huge meeting for tobacco growers in 1907.
“Gallatin county tobacco growers, representing 2,129 acres, have pledged to grow no tobacco this year. In 1907 about 2,300 acres were grown.” Boone County Recorder, March 18, 1908
“Wm. P. Crouch, a prominent farmer of near Glencoe, was here Friday, arranging to purchase some building material for the improvement of the Society of Equity tobacco warehouse at Glencoe, he being a member of the Gallatin County Board of Control, and having the warehouse under his charge.” Boone County Recorder, November 10, 1909
The four items above are reflections of the Kentucky Tobacco Wars of that era. Read all about them here.
|The Warsaw town trustees meet, pass first ordinances, here.||An account of newspapers in Gallatin County - there have been at least six - is here.||Gallatin County cemetery records are at this site.||The Gallatin County
GenWeb site is here.
|“The Warsaw Patriot . . . is the title of a new paper just commenced at Warsaw, Ky., by Messrs. Child and Kent, the first number of which we have received. It is neatly printed, on a large super-royal sheet, and is ably conducted. Neutral in politics. We wish the proprietors great success in their undertaking.” Rising Sun Times, May 27, 1837||A Warsaw newspaperman publishes his opinion of Abraham Lincoln, “a blot on the pages of humanity.”||“One of the most unusual contests for congressional nomination has just terminated at Warsaw, Ky., by the nomination of Hon. Albert S. Berry, of Newport, Ky., by the democratic convention of the Sixth district. It was a three days struggle, and 372 ballots were taken.” Crawfordsville (Indiana) Journal, September 30, 1892|
|“It is said that there are in the neighborhood of Warsaw between four and five thousand sheep. Two years ago there was hardly so many hundred. Contracts for lambs were made last week at $4 per head.” from the Covington Journal, March 13, 1875, reprinting from the Gallatin News.|
|The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's assessment of agriculture in Gallatin County, in 1898-1899 can be found here. (pdf)||Gallatin County News Editor Ed Lamkin rants about all this talk about a depression in a letter to the Courier-Journal in 1931. Read it here.|
|Two interesting documents that came out of the WPA in the last 1930's are this piece (pdf) by Robert Rennick about the post offices of Gallatin County, and how they got their names, and also this piece (pdf), by John Forsee, on various Gallatin County citizens of the late 1930's.|
|“Gallatin county has at last contracted a real sensible case of pike fever. One route is proposed from Glencoe to the county seat; while another is talked of that will give Glencoe access to river transportations, Sugar Creek being the terminus. Either of these routes would develop a good country, and would enhance the value of real estate. The Glencoe mill property that was destroyed two years since has not been rebuilt, although the water power and the location is unsurpassed by any other on the banks of the Eagle.” Covington's Daily Commonwealth, September 3, 1879|
|In 1906, the Courier-Journal published a list of out-of-state residents who would come home to Gallatin County.||Gallatin County hires a teacher in 1820, and the contract has terms you probably didn't expect.|
|The lynching in Warsaw of the killers of Lake Jones, here, here, and here. And a personal coincidence, here.||Gallatin County sites placed on the National Places of Historical Places are here.||The Daily Steamboat from Warsaw to Madison was the Hattie Brown. The picture is here; the text is here.||Warsaw's Dr. E. C. Threlkeld wrote a piece detailing Daniel Boone's travels through Gallatin County, from when Carroll was part of Gallatin. You can read it here.|
|“Last Saturday night four men who were over the river in Indiana at a saloon known as the “Lost Boy” narrowly escaped drowning when the skiff in which they were crossing sprang a leak and sank with them. Fortunately, the river was low and they were able to walk ashore.” from The Warsaw Advocate, 11-26-1887.||The WPA compiled a list in 1942 of social organizations in Gallatin. Their Guide to Civilian Organizations lists groups, and officers, but not members. It's 24 pages long, and the whole thing is online at UK.|
|In 1871, the New York Democrat reports 32 wealthy widows live in Warsaw. Read it here.||How they hunted ducks in Gallatin County when they didn't have a gun. Here.||An early “western” traveler goes past Warsaw: John Woods, 1820||Prominent Citizens of Gallatin County in 1847, here.|
|Two “desperate characters” shoot it out over Civil War issues in Warsaw, here.||In 1969, Edna Talbott Whitley compiled a list of Cabinetmakers in Kentucky. The Gallatin County portion of that list is here.|
|Rev. John Peck, Cazenovia, New York reports on evangelical doings in Gallatin and Boone in 1818, here.||A new variety of corn discovered in Gallatin County in 1833. Details.||“Runaways. - Four negro men ran away from the vicinity of Warsaw, Kentucky, a short time since.” Vevay's Indiana Reveille, September 21, 1859|
|A status report from the Superintendent of Schools in Gallatin County from 1900 is here. The 1907 report is here.||Florence, Indiana was originally named New York, Indiana.||Warsaw's Richard Yates became Governor of Illinois, and a close advisor of Abraham Lincoln. Read about him, at this site.||Daniel Boone artifact found in Gallatin Co? Here.|
|“The Louisville and Westport Railroad will soon be completed in three months. If the people along the river could be made to understand their own interest, it would be put through to Covington by this time next year - but you might as well undertake "to plow up h-ll with a bob-tail rat tied to a shingle," as to make some people see anything two feet from their nose, and the people along this route have got this near-sighted disease badly, from the indifferent way they act about this matter, which is of so much importance to ever man on the route.” The Warsaw Record, as reprinted in the Covington Journal of March 13, 1873|
|Why do most Warsaw phone numbers start with 56, and the Glencoe and Sparta numbers with 64? We know.||Glencoe and Sparta's L&N schedule from April, 1879.|
|The Gridley Lynching, 1871, here.||Pupils per one-room school district in Gallatin County in 1906. here.||The 1871 Warsaw Stage Coach Schedule is here.||A Hog Problem in 1871.
Read about it here. and here.
|Thanks to Dale Samuel for typing and sending us Rea Gano's History of Sparta, from the March 23 & 30, 1950 issues of the Owenton News-Herald. You can read it here.||In 1930, Kentucky Progress Magazine ran a feature letting each of Kentucky's counties list their accomplishments for 1929. What Gallatin County came up with is here. (pdf)||C. 1928, the Kentucky Opportunities Department published a fact sheet about Gallatin County for potential businesses that might be interested. You can read it here. (pdf)||A preacher on a temperance mission in 1833 passes from Boone County, through Gallatin and ends up in Ghent and Port William. He's generally appalled by the drunkenness he encounters.|
|“The Louisville Courier learns that the hog cholera continues to prevail to an alarming extent along the Kentucky river, and the Ohio as far up as Portsmouth. At a distillery in Gallatin county no less than 400 hogs died in two pens in less than a week. At the Carrollton distillery the deaths among the hogs are fearfully on the increase, and the same fatality prevails in Mason county. The owners of these hogs in most cases “try” them up into what is termed grease, which is sold to the stearine candle makers at about nine cents per pound.” Frank Leslie's Weekly, May 2, 1857.||“W. H. Jones, Sheriff of Gallatin County, resigned on Monday of last week. We have been informed that out of about $2,000 tax collected by him he had paid over about $700”. The Boone County Recorder, January 31, 1878|
|Lawyers of Gallatin County, 1872, here.|
|We have nothing to fear except fear itself. For instance.||Today, some people have no patience with Spanish speakers. 100 years ago, it was German. Here.||Advocating for a telegraph in 1860, here.|
|There were three banks in Gallatin Co in 1910. Details.|
|Market prices in 1885 Warsaw.||1936 WPA records had these notes about early Gallatin churches.|
|Gallatin County News Editor comes clean in 1934, here.||In 1937 UK released surveys of known archaeological sites by county. Gallatin County’s is here. (pdf)||Political Dirty Tricks in 1898 are here.||William H. Hill makes good in Cincinnati, here.|
|“Whiskey is said to be making war in Warsaw and never misses fire; kills in from fourteen days to three months, and the Record makes war upon whiskey, but says 'If you drink, go to Pulliam, who keeps pure copper whiskey.' That is as if the preacher should say 'If you will go to the devil, go to the one who keeps the best brimstone.'” Carrollton Democrat, January 25, 1873|
|On August 4, 1852, the Cincinnati Daily Gazette published the State of Kentucky’s Hog Assessment – the number of hogs over 6 months old per county. The number in Gallatin County was 6,034.||“We would like to see some law passed compelling able-bodied men to support their families. There are men in this town who make their wives support them, their families, and furnish them whiskey money besides.” from the Warsaw news in the Covington Journal, February 4, 1871.|
|In 1919, there was a farm census, counting livestock, crops and farms. Gallatin County's is here.||“The Eagle Valley Telephone Company has completed its lines from Glencoe to Sparta and the exchange will be established at the residence of Mrs. Nat Carpenter. The line is now in operation.” The Warsaw Independent, Dec. 22, 1906.||Detailed Presidential voting statistics from Gallatin County are here.|
|“Warsaw contains 116 dwellings; 63 business houses; 4 churches, Christian, Baptist, Methodist and Catholic; 3 hotels; 1 schoolhouse; 1 mill; and a court-house, clerk's office, and jail - making in all 187 buildings.” the Carrollton Democrat, October 9, 1869.||Who went to the penitentiary from Gallatin County from 1808 t0 1830, and why? There's a list, here.||“The name of the post office at Walnut Lick, Gallatin County, has been changed to Ryle”from Maysville's Daily Evening Bulletin, October 2, 1885|
|It says here that Daniel Boone's mahogany sideboard was in Gallatin County. We have doubts.|
|D. B. Wallace wrote a brief History of Gallatin Co in 1917. It's here. (pdf)||Gold found in Warsaw.||Report from Gallatin County from The Handbook of Kentucky, from the Kentucky Department of Agriculture, 1908, here.||Read the proposal to build a railroad through Warsaw - The Covington, Big Bone and Carrollton Railway - here.|
“Gallatin – Independent: Mrs. Nield closed a series of temperance lectures Tuesday night. Two hundred and sixty signed the pledge and put on the ribbon.” Owen County Democrat, March 11, 1886
|In 1888, the temperance crowd would sweep the county.|
In 1876, the R. L. Polk Company published The Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory, which listed
information about virtually every town in Kentucky. The listings from Gallatin County are these:
|Glencoe||Napoleon||Sparta||Sugar Creek||Walnut Lick||Warsaw|
An earlier Gazetteer published in Louisville, was George W. Hawes’ Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business
1859 and 1860. It's pre-Civil War, but only has detail on these two Gallatin towns:
Hawes also did an 1861 Gazetteer just on river towns that included Warsaw, here.
|In 1883-84 Hawes published an updated gazetteer. Gallatin Communities in that one are these:|
|Sparta||Sugar Creek||Walnut Lick|
A List of the membership of the Masonic Lodges in Gallatin County in 1890:
A List of the membership of the Masonic Lodges in Gallatin County in 1911: (pdf's)
For membership rolls of ALL Masonic Lodges in ALL cities in Kentucky,
from 1878 thru 1922, they're at the Hathi Trust Digital Library, by individual year.
Who's who in Gallatin County in 1840, here.
26th District Basketball Tournament Program, 1933
Much More Gallatin County History by
Dr. Carl Bogardus' Early History of Gallatin County is here (pdf).
|Items about Gallatin County from Collin's History of Kentucky are here.||A short history of Gallatin from Dr. Carl Bogardus is here. (pdf)|
|“It becomes our painful duty to chronicle a murder in our neighboring town, Warsaw, about 9 miles above this place. The details, as we have heard them, are as follows: On Wednesday night last, the 16th inst., Thomas M. Lillard, a young man of a most respectable family, shot James Henderson, with whom whom he had long been at enmity, killing him instantly. The act was evidently the result of deliberate malice, as Lillard, without a word having been passed on either side, walked up to his victim, and placing a pistol against his head, blew his brains out. Public sentiment is strongly against Lillard, and he was fully committed without bail, to answer in the next Court; the Grand Jury was in session and found immediately a bill against him of murder in the first degree.” from Vevay's Indiana Sentinel, March 23, 1859|
from A. L. Scovill's Farmers and Mechanics' Almanac, 1863
|In 1914, here’s what the L&N’s Industrial Freight and Shipper’s Guide had to say about:||Sparta||Glencoe|
|“Our American friends of Gallatin county, Ky., are to have the largest political meeting ever held in South-eastern [!] Kentucky at Warsaw, Ky, on Thursday, July 31. Some of the best speakers in the State will be present, and a fine dinner served up on the occasion. We hear some talk of our Vevay and Ghent friends chartering the ferry boat to take them there and back. Who'll go! Don't all speak at once.” from the Vevay Reveille, July 23, 1856||“The American Barbeque at Warsaw, Ky., on Thursday last, passed off very finely. Thousands of people were present, and speeches made by Messrs. Jones, Bibb, Norton and Rankin. Kentucky will give a large majority for Fillmore and Donelson [Wikipedia].” from the Vevay Reveille, August 6, 1856|
from Trow's Legal Directory of Lawyers in the United States, 1875
“A Gallatin farmer, Bennett Graham, refused to pay
toll on the Warsaw & Sparta turnpike while going to church
Sunday. He claimed that persons going to church were exempt from paying toll, but was arrested and fine $10.
The pike was built on private capital and the law could not touch it.”
from the Hickman (Ky) Courier, May 3, 1895
|“A man of 92 years of age walked to Warsaw, Ky., a distance of five miles, to vote, and then fell dead. It is supposed that he voted the republican ticket for the first time in his long life, and the mortification immediately set in.” from the Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, of Stanford, Ky., August 11, 1882|
|A missionary, charged with going to “destitute places” c0mes to Gallatin County in 1856. His report.|
|“Mr. Perry Beach, of Gallatin county, is a Good Templar; Mr. Alexander, of the same county, is not. Mr. Alexander attempted to lead Mr. Beach into the snares of the tempter and proffered him a glass of old Bourbon. Mr. Beach refused and Mr. Alexander threw the liquor in his face, whereupon Mr. Beach knocked Mr. Alexander down. For this, Mr. Beach’s lodge has remitted his dues for two quarters and will present him with an honorary medal.” Courier-Journal, April 5, 1872|
|“The village of Warsaw, with its pork-houses, its tobacco factories, its groceries, its flour mills, and twelve hundred live population, looks very sprightly in its nest among the hills. It is the county seat of Gallatin, and belongs to “Old Kentuck.” Warsaw is only one mile from New York [Florence, Ind.] New York is in Switzerland county, in Indiana. It contains about five hundred inhabitants. It is no relation, we suspect, to the pompous New York on the Hudson.” from Ele Bowen's 1855 Rambles in the Path of the Steam Horse. You can read Bowen's entire travel book at Google Books.|
|Yeah, that'd-be-our-guess-too-department: “The body of an unknown man, of medium size, bald-headed and about forty years of age, was found floating in the Ohio River near Warsaw one day last week. It is supposed he had been murdered, as there were four bullet holes in his head.”Courier-Journal, April 18, 1872|
|Warsaw's William N. Lyon, in 1846, published A short and comprehensive history of the United States : containing the Declaration of Independence, short and interesting biographical sketches of the Presidents, and most other illustrious men who have figured in our country since the American Revolution ; and a succinct account of the principal wars, and other national events down to the present day.|
|Murder in Warsaw||Murder on Eagle Creek?|
|Laws concerning roads and turnpikes were a major part of the Legislature's work in the late 19th century. Here are a few that pertain to Gallatin County:|
|Oops, spent too much on bridges, need money.||From Napoleon to Grant County.|
|The Warsaw Turnpike Company.||Who does upkeep on the roads?|
|The Kentucky Gazette, on February 22, 1838, cites an Act by the Ky Legislature to establish a state road “from Sander's old mill to intersect the present state road leading from Brock's ford [Sparta] to the town of Warsaw.”||This 1838 Act proposes a road from Warsaw to Poplar Grove.||While this 1837 Act proposes the Owenton to Warsaw Road go across “Green's Ford.”|
In 1976, for the Bicentennial, a souvenir newspaper published descriptions of each of Kentucky's 120 counties. Here's Gallatin's.
Additional Links that apply to all of Northern Kentucky Views, and may or may not
be related to Gallatin County, are on the main Links & Miscellany page, here.