Mason County, Kentucky, 1889
(red lines are proposed railroads)
R. P. Duvall, Mason County's “pioneer road builder,” writes on the status
and accomplishments of the Mason Highway folks in this 1935 pdf.
This is a plat of Maysville's Historic District.
For detailed descriptions of the buildings, you'll want to read the application submitted
to request the historical district status. It's a big pdf, and it's here. Good stuff.
|Mason County was first formed as a Virginia County in 1789. It
was carved out of what was, then, a very large Bourbon County, and is named
after George Mason, whose biography can be found
at this site.
Mason County was the 8th county formed in Kentucky. The law enacting Mason County was passed on November 5, 1788 and the county was formed on May 1, 1789 from a part of Bourbon County. Its boundaries are unchanged since March 27, 1890. It has an area of 241.1 square miles, making it the 89th largest of Kentucky's 120 counties.
We should note, just to be contrary, that the Register of the Kentucky State Historical Society, in January, 1903, says that the county was named for Stevens T. Mason, (Wikipedia) the first Governor of Michigan. We also note that Governor Mason wasn't born until 1811. So there's that.
President John Quincy Adams visited Maysville on November 14, 1843.
|Looking for a runaway slave
named Emily, 1853
|Ad in the Covington (Ky) Journal, April 19, 1851||Selling slaves at the
court house door, 1855
|Members of the Mason County Masonic Lodges in 1911: (pdf's)|
An 1871 directory lists what appears to be every last business in Maysville, here. (pdf)
|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 Mason County are these:|
|Washington||Helena||Mays Lick||Fern Leaf (pdf)||Orangeburg|
|In 1883-84, Polk published an updated version of their Gazetteer, with these Mason County Communities:|
An earlier Gazetteer published in Louisville, was George W. Hawes’ Kentucky
State Gazetteer and Business Directory, for 1859 and 1860. It's pre-Civil
War, and has detail on, other than Maysville, these two towns:
Hawes' also published an 1861 Gazetteer of the Ohio River, which
included towns on both sides of the Ohio. Read the Mason County portion here.
Born and buried in Maysville, noted Kentucky historian Richard Collins practiced law for a while in Covington.
More about him at this site. The state evidently tried to cheat him on his history book, here.
Last and absolutely not least, his book is on line at this site.
|The 1878 Biographical Encyclopedia of Kentucky had these entries for folks with a Mason County connection (all are pdf's)|
|A. H. Corwine||Prof. O. Beatty||C. A. Marshall||E. C. Phister||W. E. Glover||T. H. Soward|
|Gen. A. S. Johnston||Gen. W. Nelson||H. Lee||Hamilton Gray||W. W. Baldwin||T. E. Pickett|
|Harrison Taylor||J. A. McClung||J. Chambers||J. H. Condit||W. W. Haldeman||Rev. R. Wilson|
|John Armstrong||John E. Blaine||John M. Duke||R. H. Stanton||Walker Reid||R. L. Grinnan|
|From The History of Kentucky, 1929, published by S. J. Clarke. This book, like the one above, should not be considered to have a definitive list of important people in the county. More likely, the book was financed by people who paid to have their name included, and wrote their own bio. (All are pdf's)|
|Judge Charles Douglas Newell||James Marshall Collins||Andrew McConnell January||John I. Claybrooke||Col. Frederick H. Bierbower||William Franklin Steele|
|Maysville's Augustus Everett Willson (October 13, 1846 – August 24, 1931) was the 36th Governor of Kentucky. A local piece on him from 1910 is here, his Wikipedia page is here.||This is Maysville's John Chambers, prominent Maysvillian and later Territorial Governor of Iowa. There's a lot of stuff about his early Kentucky days, in his biography, here (pdf) but please note the number of pages before you try to print it. His Wikipedia page is here.|
|Andrew M January||Mrs. Andrew January||Aaron Corwine|
|Edna Talbott Whitney's Portraiture of Kentucky's Ante-Bellum Period discussed three portraits featuring these three Mason Countians. Each is a pdf.|
|John A. McClung (1804-1859), who's bio is just above, (another one here) wrote a romantic novel called Camden, and Kentucky history book called Sketches of Western Adventure. An evaluation of both books noted that there is likely as much fiction in McClung's history book as his novel. Go to Google Books and you can read the whole thing.|
|The Post Office Department, in 1870, listed these towns as having post offices in Mason County, Kentucky: Dover, Fern Leaf, Germantown, Helena, May's Lick, Maysville, Minerva, Mount Gilead, Murphysville, North Fork, Orangeburgh, Sardis, Slack, Springdale and Washington.|
A list of the post offices in 1899 is here. (pdf)
|There was a HUGE explosion in
Maysville on Sunday morning, August 13, 1854.
800 kegs of gunpowder exploded. A 105-pound stone was blown to Aberdeen. At least 20 pendulum clocks were stopped by the force of the blast. In the words of the Louisville Daily Courier (August 15, 1854): “The general impression was that the day of judgment had come.” Read all about it, here. (pdf)
|Joseph Desha Pickett
More about him at this site.
More about him at this site.
|Anna B. Hewins, The Lady Dentist|
Maysville's own Rosemary Clooney, and some relative of
You won't find a lot of information on the Clooneys on Northern Kentucky Views, because,
seriously, there are already 668,000 pages and 72,000 pictures of Rosemary indexed by Google.
We didn't even look up George. We think the Information Age has the Clooneys sufficiently
covered without any further input from us; there's no disrespect or slight intended.
|Mason County sites placed on the National Places of Historical Places are here.||Maysville's radio station's call letters, WFTM, stand for World's Finest Tobacco Market. Read the history of WFTM on their site, here.|
|In 1875, Maysville thru a big party to celebrate the Simon Kenton Centennial. You can read about it here.|
|In 1854, Father William took a steamboat from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh. What he wrote about Maysville is here.||Detailed Presidential voting statistics from Mason County are here.|
|In 1864, the editor of the Maysville Bulletin was not happy about Abraham Lincoln, his Kentucky Commandant, Gen S. Burbridge, and especially with the local commissioners, the latter of whom had evidently never heard that old saying about not picking a fight with a man who buys ink by the barrel. Read the editor’s rant, here.|
|Death notice of Mary Sayres, the last survivor of an Indian raid in Maysville in 1790, is here.||Mason County fox hunt, in 1874, here.|
|in 1937, a bronze tablet was erected on the George Mefford farm, a mile and a half south of Maysville on Maple Leaf Road. Mefford, one of the six original trustees of Maysville, then Limestone, dismantled the flatboat that brought him to Kentucky, an old Kentucky broadhorn, an crated the flatboat house. The DAR erected the bronze tablet honoring his home. It was thought to be the only flatboat house in Kentucky.|
|Several short items about discoveries of antiquities in Mason County in the 1870's are here.||A description of Maysville from the Journal of Cyrus P. Bradley, in 1835 is here.|
|A mother-lode of data about Mason County, broken down by town, from 1875, is here.||“The Maysville Bulletin says that a fortune is waiting for the man who discovers a lazier game than croquet.” Courier-Journal, May 13, 1876|
|The Kentucky Department of Agriculture's assessment of agriculture in Mason County, in 1898-1899 can be found here. (pdf)||In 1930, Kentucky Progress Magazine ran a feature letting each of Kentucky's counties to list their accomplishments for 1929. What Mason County came up with is here. (pdf)|
|“I was born in Maysville, Ky. I got here [Canada] last Tuesday evening, and spent the Fourth of July in Canada. I felt as big and free as any man could feel, and I worked part of the day for my own benefit: I guess my master's time is out. Seventeen came away in the same gang that I did.” Ben Blackburn, quoted in A North-Side View of Slavery|
|An African-American newspaper from Indianapolis - The Freeman - got updates from its Maysville correspondent in 1890. You can read them here, and here, and a pair of officer listings from fraternal organizations, here.||Mary Shotwell kept a journal of her trip, in 1788, from New Jersey to Washington, Kentucky. It's not real detailed, but it'll give you an idea of what an ordeal it was in that time. Read it here. (pdf)|
|The Maysville Road was opened as far as Washington on November 7, 1830. The road struggled for funding after a famous, and controversial, veto by President Andrew Jackson earlier that year. More at this site. (Wikipedia)|
|The first telegraph lines became operative on December 31, 1847. They went to Nashville, via Lexington, and to Cincinnati.||In 1906, the Courier-Journal published a list of out-of-state residents who would come home to Mason County.|
|The Kentuckiana Digital Library has a number of Mason County images. Quality is erratic, but it's worth a look, here.||“The intelligent editor of the Maysville Herald has actually discovered that the Mammoth Cave was bored out by an antediluvian ground-hog” Cincinnati Enquirer, August 30, 1850|
|Desha Glen||Wernwag House||Thomas Marshall House|
|Marshall Key House||Old Beasley Church||Mill Creek Christian Church|
|Lewisburg Baptist Church||Mays Lick Baptist Church||Washington Methodist Church|
|Shannon Methodist Church|
|In the early 1960's, the Lexington Herald-Leader ran a series of vignettes by noted Kentucky historian Winston Coleman on a variety of Kentucky historical locations. Some from Mason County are above. (all pdf's)|
“Simon's Kenton Ride” a painting from the Ky Historical
Society showing Kenton
being tied on a horse, on his back, and sent through the woods, and across
the river. It was meant as torture, and killed some who were forced to do it.
Mason County Historian Jean Calvert
An appreciation of another noted Mason County historian, Edna Best, is
reprinted from the Mason County Genealogical Society's newsletter
Many very early travelers who wrote about their visits to the “western” part
of America came to Maysville and environs. Here are several of them:
|Andre Michaux, 1798||John Woods, 1820||F. Cuming, 1810|
|Elias Pym Fordham, 1817||Judge McLean, 1776||James Flint, 1818|
A longer version of Fordham's account is here.
|The Mason County Museum is here.||The City of Maysville is here.||White woman freed from slavery, 1858, here, and here.||The Maysville Chamber of Commerce is here.|
|A brisk cavalry skirmish took place near Helena, Ky., in which several rebels were killed and wounded on April 20, 1863.||One of the Arizona's first territorial Governors was Benjamin J. Franklin, born in Maysville. More about him, at this site.||In 1969, Edna Talbott Whitley compiled a list of Cabinetmakers
in Kentucky. The Mason County portion of that list is here.
|Maysville's Frank O'Donnell Hurst played for the Cubs and the Phillies, in a major league career that spanned 1928 through 1934. His record is at this site.|
|R. S. Cotterill's “Old Maysville Road,” from 1917, is here. (pdf)||A list of the first automobiles registered in Mason County is here.||Lafayette comes to Maysville. Read about it, here.||L. Alberta Brand's Place Names of Mason County is here. (pdf)|
|A pair of items on Mason County Indian mounds, here and here.||“Experienced engineers say that Maysville is the best site for a railroad bridge upon the Ohio River. The banks on either side are ten or twelve feet above the highest flood ever known in the river, and good solid rock foundations can be had both upon the Kentucky and Ohio sides.” Courier-Journal, May4, 1872|
|Confederate reunion coming to Maysville, here.|
|A list of Mason County citizens born in the 18th century, here.|
|Maysville's 100 year old Nancy Dowden, waited on George Washington, here.||General Ulysses Grant returns to Maysville, here.|
|In October 1986, around the time PBS film producers were releasing The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, which was filmed in the area, the New York Times wrote a piece about Augusta, Maysville, and Washington, called “Old Kentucky Towns” which provides a wealth of history about the area. Here.||Mason's had two court houses: one in Washington, and the one in Maysville. Washington was used until 1844. Maysville - not Mason County - built its courthouse in 1844, before Maysville was named the county seat. It was used as a city hall until January 22, 1848, when it officially became the Mason County court house.|
|A site dedicated to the bridges of Mason County is here.||Maysville citizens kidnap slave in Aberdeen, Ohio, 1851, here.||Some Mason County Cemetery Records are at this site, and this site.||Maysville citizens kidnap citizen from Sardinia, Ohio, 1853, here.|
|A list of men who went to the penitentiary from Mason County from 1798 through 1834 is here.||Major leaguer baseball player Don Hurst was born in Maysville. His bio, with a picture, is here, MLB stats here.||An unsuccessful slave escape, from 1849, reported here, and one from 1855, here.||Archeological happenings above and below Maysville in 1898, here.|
|A look at Maysville, in 1791.||Mason County Officials, Merchants, Doctors and Lawyers, 1847, here||18th Century Mason County Distillers, here.||R. S. Cotterill's The Old Maysville Road, from 1917, is here. (pdf)|
|“Ruins of ancient fortifications are found near Mayslick, Ky.; and not far from Germantown, in the same county, may be seen a very curious excavation, 10 feet deep and 100 feet square. Flat rock covers the floor; seats appear to have been placed around the well. Many suppose this to have been an Indian Council Chamber, although there are no certain proofs of it.”from Winnie Rover's 1881 Lessons in Practical Science||“A drove of over two hundred turkeys passed through this town Tuesday from Piqua en route to Maysville, which city is certainly preparing to gobble this Thanksgiving, as she has received several thousand fine turkeys from this county within the past few weeks.”from the Mt. Olivet Tribune Democrat, November 27, 1902|
|Governor remits the fine a veteran was given for having a public pool table, 1880, here.||In 1937 UK released surveys of known archaeological sites by county. Mason County’s is here. (pdf)||This site has a list of the Mason County Historical Markers.||Lucy Lee's Historic Places of Mason County is here. (pdf)|
|Maysville's Sgt. John S. Darrough is an early recipient of the Medal of Honor. Read more about him at this site.||A status report from the Superintendent of Schools in Mason County from 1900 is here. The 1907 report is here.||In 1919, there was a farm census, counting livestock, crops and farms. Mason County's is here.||Lucy Lee's A Historical Sketch of Mason County is here (pdf).|
|A Maysville history from Eleanor Duncan Wood is here.||Lawyers of Mason County, 1872, here.|
“June 21. – Seventy-five farmers of Mason county, Ky., hanged Archie, Bert, and William Haines, negroes, who are said to have been stealing horses and sheep. Two of the Haines boys lived here. They are said to have been terrorizing that vicinity. They were seen stealing by several stockmen, who were compelled to move on at the points of the desperadoes’ revolvers. This enraged the people of the neighborhood and they concluded to organize a lynching party, with the above result.” Daily Greencastle (Ind.) Banner and Times, June 21, 1894
“Mr. A. J. Harrington, Deputy United States Marshall, arrived her yesterday from Mason county, Kentucky, with D. R. Hedges, of that county, under arrest for violation of the Revenue laws, for illicit distilling. Harrington had been after Hedges for over a year. ” Terre Haute Daily Gazette (Ind), September 20, 1872
|“The Cincinnati News of Friday last says “We are informed by Capt. Powell, that a severe shock of an earthquake was experienced at Maysville, on yesterday morning at sunrise. It lasted several seconds and made quite a rattling of the furniture and glass in the city.” Maumee City (Ohio) Express, September 21, 1839|
|“200 Negroes Wanted. Persons having Negroes for sale can find a purchaser by calling me at the Lee House, Maysville, Ky. A. O. Robards.” from the Covington Journal, April 19, 1851||One of the most distinguished citizens in Cincinnati's history, Theodore Berry, an African-American , was born in Maysville. Read all about him at this site.||C. 1928, the Kentucky Opportunities Department published a fact sheet about Mason County for potential businesses that might be interested. You can read it here. (pdf)||An excerpt from The Writings of Caleb Atwater (1833) describing his visit in 1829 to Maysville, is at this site.|
|Mason County used to have a race track: “On Saturday last, at the Clayton Race Track, in Mason County, Kentucky, James Brother, a one-legged man made an assault on George Hunter. He first threw a bottle at Hunter, and then, drawing a pistol, shot at him. The assaulted party turned, and discovering who assaulted him, drew his pistol and shot at Brothers dead on the spot. An examining court cleared Hunter.” Daily State (Ind.) Sentinel, October 6, 1869||There's a pdf of a 1917 promotional brochure about Maysville and Mason County here.||Evidently, the war effort in 1940 required a list of Mason County's civilian organizations. Read all 19 pages of them here. (pdf)|
|You can read about an 1848 slave escape here.||A few recipes from New Kentucky Home Cook book, compiled by the Ladies of the Methodist Church, South, in 1884, here.||1817 Descriptions of Washington and Maysville.||Description of Maysville, from 1808, here.|
|Jack and Jennet breeding stock imported from Spain. Story here.||The 1832 mail route details, and pay scale, from Maysville to Cincinnati is here.||The progress of the Methodist circuit rider in Mason and Bracken, in 1828, here.||John Cochran's short history of Mason County from 1917 is here. (pdf).|
|Mason County has a huge watermelon crop in 1869, here.||“A fellow entered Johnson's Station, near Maysville, one night last week and stole $60 in money. He then got so drunk on Johnson's whiskey that he laid down behind the counter and slept until morning, when they found him.” Courier-Journal, November 7, 1871|
|Obituary of one of Mason's earliest settlers, Isaac Thomas, is here.|
|General Winfield Scott stopped in Maysville in 1852. An account here.||A compilation of Mason County Tavern Bonds, from 1814-1920 is here. (pdf)||The notable life of very early Mason Countian Richard Seward, here.||Maysville man invents spring driven wagon, here.|
|Railroad workers discover ancient coin stash. Here.||Fleeing Maysville Treasurer has a grand time in Winnipeg. Here.||“Venison is cheaper than beef in Maysville.” Louisville Courier, January 5, 1870||Maysville men kidnap Ohio girl to sell into slavery, here.|
|In his American Slavery, T. D. Weld refers to a slave owner who offered “a $50 reward for a negro girl, named Maria. She is of copper color, between 13 and 14 years of age--bareheaded and barefooted. She stated that she was going to see her Mother in Maysville.”||Group of “consummate scoundrels” from Mason sought in 1854 kidnappings, here.|
Toll Roads were a big issue in Maysville and Mason County in the 1890's
|Dissatisfaction over paying tolls on roads is widespread in 1895, here.||Courier-Journal's 1896 report on Mason Co Toll Roads, here,|
|April, 1897, and tollgates vigilantes appear, here.||In September, 1897, renegade citizens again act, here.|
|The county leases the roads, and a truce is reached. But in May, 1899, the leases are about to expire, here.|
|Horse Breeding for Trotters, 1872||Deformed Animal Exhibition, 1859|
|Several ex-slaves told their stories to writers of the WPA Writers
Project in the 1930's. These six are all from Mason County: (all pdf's)
|Arnold Gragston||Joe Robinson||Albert Burks|
|Charles Green||Joseph Ringo||Flora Mae Harris|
You can also read Francis Fedric's account of his life as a Mason County slave in his Slave Life in Virginia
or, Fifty Years of Slavery in the Southern States of America at this site.
|Then there's the Life of the Rev. Elisha W. Green, One of the Founders of the Kentucky Normal and Theological Institute-- Now the State University at Louisville; Eleven Years Moderator of the Mt. Zion Baptist Association; Five Years Moderator of the Consolidated Baptist Educational Association and Over Thirty Years Pastor of the Colored Baptist Churches of Maysville and Paris. Written by Himself which you can read at this site.|
|If you have an interest in Slavery and the Underground Railroad in the Mason County area, you absolutely want to find a book called Beyond the River, by Ann Hagedorn. It's the story of Ripley, Ohio's John Rankin, and has detailed information about slavery days in Bracken and Mason Counties. That's a handy link to Amazon for you to get a copy, at the left.|
|Dick Coleman||Mrs. James “Molly Lee” Lashbrook|
We would ask that you notice that the pro-slavery Enquirer's December 6 story talks of pains the deputies took to keep Coleman's transport a secret, but run a story announcing Coleman's return to Maysville, including the exact time the train will arrive in Maysville. Note also the right hand column on December 7, detailing any number of other brutal lynchings around the country. It wasn't the Enquirer's finest hour either.
Coleman's ashes were placed in an unmarked grave in Potter's Field, in a baking powder can.
|A slave owner, in 1852, writes a letter to a Maysville paper telling other slave owners to give up trying to catch escaped slaves - there are too many, and they're too good at getting to Canada.||“Escape of Slaves. – the Maysville Eagle of the 9th inst., says that five negroes from the lower end of Mason county, Ky., took a sleigh ride, a short time since, and crossed the Ohio river. Neither the sleigh, horses, nor blacks have been heard of since.” The Perrysburg (Ohio) Journal, February 23, 1856|
|Two slaves successfully escape to Canada; return to Mason County to free their friends.||
“ANOTHER PASSENGER.—A “likely” thousand-dollar negro, from Maysville, Ky., passed through here last Saturday evening, toward the North Star. Several of our citizens endangered the perpetuity of the Union, by contributing to aid his escape.— Conneaut (Ohio) Reporter.” [Frederick] Douglass’s Monthly, March, 1859
|Guilty until proven innocent. Here.|
|Slavery matters, from 1867, here.||“Still another slave stampede came off a few miles below Maysville on Wednesday night last. Five Negroes - three of them very fair and delicate mulatto girls - succeeded in crossing the river. All trace was lost a few miles back of Ripley, Brown county. - Cincinnati Commercial .” Frederick Douglass’ Paper, October 28, 1853
|An 1848 report from Ripley on the hunt for escaped slaves, here.|
|Mason County favors emancipation* of slaves in 1849.
* However, there are these two conditions.
|“RUNAWAY SLAVES. - We learn from the Maysville (Ky.) Herald, that several slaves belonging to that city escaped from their masters on Saturday night. Three runaways from Montgomery were captured a short distance below Maysville,on Sunday, and taken back.” The North Star, November 24, 1848|
|Meeting called to worry about all the slaves running away, here.||Thirty slaves “stampede,” here.|
|Kidnapping free Blacks in Ohio to sell or attempt to sell them in slavery in Kentucky was a thing. Examples here and here.||A Maysville slaveholders troubles, here.|
|“The Detroit Tribune of the 15th says a Miss Gibson, from Maysville, Ky., passed over the river on that day, having arrived safely by underground railroad from Toledo; and adds that 'What makes this case one of unusual interest is the fact that Miss G. is as white as any of our lady readers who will scan this paragraph. Unless informed of the fact, no one would have the remotest suspicion that she had a drop of negro blood running in her veins. Her eyes are blue, her hair brown, her complexion fair and her appearance really prepossessing.'” from the Louisville Daily Courier, January 23, 1855||
“Negroes Running Away from the Blessings of Slavery: Eight slaves attempted to cross the Ohio River below Maysville, on the night of the 10th instant, in order to get to Ohio and secure their freedom. There were too many of them for the skiff, which upset and four were drowned. The other four clung to the bottom and cried for help, which came to them in the shape of a gentleman who had them put up in jail for their masters. Another slave, who was helping them across, was flogged to the extent of the law – 39 lashes.” Lower Sandusky (Ohio) Freeman, September 29, 1849
|“Another slave stampede came off a few miles below Maysville a few nights ago. Five negroes succeeded in crossing the river, All trace of them was lost a few miles back of Ripley, Brown co., O.” from Lawrenceburg, Indiana's Independent Press, September 28, 1853||“Another slave stampede came off a few miles below Maysville, a few nights ago. Five negroes succeeded in crossing the river. All trace of them was lost a few miles back of Ripley, Brown county.” from the Covington Journal, September 4, 1853|
|An 1855 slave escape, here.||This kind of item is common in post-Civil War African-American newspapers.|
|The Oberlin-Wellington Rescue was a famous slave rescue incident near Oberlin. Ohio, and involved a runaway slave named John Price, from nearby Maysville, Kentucky. An account is here, or, read the full account at Wikipedia, or, at Google Books, you can find Jacob Shipherd's entire 301 page book: History of the Oberlin-Wellington Rescue from 1859.||“A correspondent of the Frankfort Yeoman, writing from Maysville, says that within five days previous the town had been fired in various places, the ropes of the alarm bells cut, and seven slaves had escaped” from the Covington Journal, November 25, 1854.|
|“Eighteen citizens in Mason and Bracken counties, Kentucky, were expelled on account of Anti-Slavery opinions, and arrived in Cincinnati on Monday.” Sacramento Daily Union, February 22, 1860|
Washington's Robert Desha Morris; more on Morris is here.
|There are a total of
six Mason Counties in
the US. Here's a list of
the other five.
The World War I list is here.
You can get information on Mason County ancestors by subscribing
to the mailing list created for that purpose. You'll get periodic
information, and can submit your own questions, all via email.
Sign up here for Mason County.
Here is a list of all available lists on Kentucky.
|“The Maysville packet Bostona No. 3, brought the news [to Cincinnati] last evening that Maysville is occupied by a force of rebels, under the notorious Pete Everett. The steamer was notified of the fact at the mouth of Cabin Creek, when they were coming down yesterday afternoon. They were reported to be 300 strong. Learning that the rebs had no artillery, the officers of the steamer concluded to run the blockade, which they did successfully. Ten or twelve shots were fired at the boat, from pistols and carbines, none taking effect. The rebels came to Maysville about 3 o’clock yesterday morning. It was reported that they had killed three men there.” From the New York Times, June 12, 1964.|
|“An unusually large number of bears have been killed in Lewis county this season. They are reported to be very plentiful in the jungles between Salt Lick and Kinney, and their depredations on the farmers in that neighborhood have not been infrequent.” Courier-Journal, December 9, 1869||An overview of Mason County, from 1908, is here (pdf).|
|The Freedman's Bureau, a post-Civil war group to insure African American rights, comes to Maysville, here.|
|“A controversy is going on as to whether the rebel flag was raised at Lawrenceburg on the Fourth of July. What if it was raised, as alleged? Is there any law in this free country against a man acting the fool if he wants to do it?” Courier-Journal, July 27, 1876, quoting the Maysville Eagle,||A tourist visits Mason and Bracken Counties. His report is not exactly flattering.|
|“The Maysville Eagle of the 18th, says that ten negroes, belonging to four different individuals, left that city on Sunday night, for ‘parts unknown.’” Louisville Courier, May 20, 1847||“Negro Woman Wanted. WILL pay CASH for a negro woman, from 18 to 25 years old, who is a good Cook, Washer, Ironer and House Servant. Apply to the subscriber on Tuckahoe Ridge. JOHN MASTERSON, Mason co., Sept. 25.” The Maysville Eagle, October 16, 1844|
“Stop the Thief and Runaway!
Ranaway from the subscriber, living in Fayette county, near Centreville, on the morning of the 12th inst., a Negro Man named PETER, 24 years old, 5 feet 8 or 9 inches high, very black, and weighs about 160 pounds. He had with him when he left, a pair of saddle-bags. He will probably try to get into the state of Ohio. I will pay the above reward if said boy is taken out of the state of Kentucky, $100 if taken in any of the counties bordering on the Ohio River, or $20 if taken in any county adjoining Fayette, and secured in jail so that I get him, and word conveyed to me at Centreville, Bourbon co., Ky. JACOB SIDENER, Sr.” The Maysville Eagle, October 16, 1844
|“At Maysville, Ky., on Thanksgiving day, a couple
of young men, whose family connections are described as of the
“highest respectability,” were on a drunken spree at the Parker
House, in that place. At a late hour of the night they
attempted to arouse the bartender to procure more liquor; failing in
this, they found one of the negro waiters asleep, and concluded to
set fire to him in order to waken him! They procured camphene
and poured it over his head and then set fire to it. The poor
man was horribly burnt, and after lingering a fortnight in intense
agony, expired. The young men are rich. They have agreed
to pay Mr. Ball, the proprietor of the hotel, $1,200 for the loss of
his servant.” the Covington Journal, January 5, 1856.
Fallout from this incident made the national papers. See here.
|“Woman's and Niggers Rights - We hear it reported that Mrs. Lucy Stone Blackwell (Wikipedia) has been corresponding with a gentleman in this neighborhood, with reference to a visit to our city for the purpose, we suppose, of advocating the above “Rights.” The gentleman, it is said, very properly advised her against coming.” from the Maysville Eagle, reprinted in the Covington Journal, December 29, 1855.||“We learn that a stampede occurred among the negroes at and near Maysville, a few days ago. Five or six of the number belonged to a prominent and influential member of the Northern Methodist Church at Maysville. And we also understand that a distinguished Preacher of that denomination, was at the gentleman's house at the time his negroes left.” from Newport's Licking Valley Register, May 21, 1847.|
Judge Roy Bean was born in Maysville, circa 1825. The
biography of “The Law West of the Pecos,” is at this site.
|Homemakers from Maysville, Orangeburg, Minerva and Rectorville all had recipes published in Mrs. Owens' Cook Book and Useful Household Hints, published in Chicago in 1884. Reproduced for your culinary adventuring, here.||In 1838, The Rev. John B. Mahan, of Sardinia, Ohio, an abolitionist, was kidnapped from Ohio and taken to Washington, Ky. for trial for helping Pendleton County slaves escape to freedom. There's a short version at this site, or, you can read the subsequent book published about his trial at Google books, here. Results of his trial are here.|
|“On one particular occasion this gang of Maysville Negro thieves broke into a house in Ohio and stole a young mulatto girl. This child told a passer-by in Maysville of her plight and thus aroused the suspicions of the citizens of the town. Upon investigating this story, police found that Lewis Allen and Henry Young, of Maysville, were professional Negro kidnappers. These men threatened to burn the town if the police insisted on making further investigations, and it was necessary to appoint vigilance committees to extinguish numerous fires. During this melee a number of Maysville slaves were spirited away to the central Kentucky market and eventually to the South.” from Winston Coleman's Slavery Times in Kentucky, 1940.||Drivin' Woman, by Elizabeth Pickett Chevalier, is a best-seller novel published in 1942. It's mentioned in Thomas D. Clark's Agrarian Kentucky, in his discussion of Kentucky agrarian writers. She's listed right along with Elizabeth Madox Roberts and Robert Penn Warren. (both Wikipedia). The book follows heroine America Moncure from her father's Virginia plantation right after Appomattox to Maysville, Kentucky in 1911. Guilty of some pretty embarrassing racial attitudes in the first section especially, the story is full of loyal old mammies and butlers and evil carpetbaggers. It follows Kentuckians in the post-Civil War era up through the tobacco wars of 1910 or so. If you can overlook the books racism, or at least view it as anachronistic, the portrait of Kentucky in the later half of the 19th century is not bad. You can buy one cheap at Amazon or on eBay.|
|Free Ohio Black man kidnapped by Maysville men to be sold into slavery, here.|
|“Disgusting Orgy” comes to Maysville in 1897. Details here.||The Geological Survey of Kentucky did a geological analysis of Mason County in 1856. Read it here. (pdf)|
|A list of the dollar value of personal and real property, by each of Mason County's 21 precincts, in 1899, is here. (pdf)||Mason slave owners want to organize in 1852 to fight runaways. Story here.|
|A few words on the origin of the Mason County Historical Society.||Home Guard captures rebel troops in Civil War near Mason Fair Grounds, here.|
|“Runaways Drowned! On Friday night last, a party of slaves, six in number, ran away from the neighborhood of Millersburg. . . . They crossed the country on foot to East Maysville, where the negroes attempted to cross the river in a skiff about daylight. There was a dense fog upon the river and by some means the skiff was overturned and the three women and child drowned.” Kentucky State Flag, Paris, December 17, 1855||“Maysville, Ky., Oct. 25-A parade of 3,500 geese was witnessed here today, The birds, which came from the Eastern Kentucky mountains, were lured through the streets by a man dropping corn. The geese were unloaded from a car on the Louisville and Nashville Railroad yards after making the night hideous with their noise. They were taken to a farm to be fattened for the Christmas markets.” from the New York Times, October 26, 1910|
|Slavery Days in Mason County||Eliza Jane Johnson||Abolition Outrage||
|Colporteur William Haines||Oberlin-Wellington Rescue of Price||Col Charles Young||The Will of James Savage||Negro Traders|
|Phillips Folly||Violence of Slave Hunters||Bierbower House||Sites on the Tour|
|Somewhere in our travels we picked up this stack of fliers, all of which pertain to the lives of slaves and roles of slavery in early Bracken and Mason Counties. Some of these are credited to the Bracken County Tourism Office, and many aren't, but we assume they published all of them. These are Mason-specific. The full set is on the Bracken pages. Most are the work of Ms. Caroline Miller. See them here.|
from Trow's Legal Directory of Lawyers in the United States, 1875
Highway 68, “the historic highway,” here.
Additional Links that apply to all of Northern Kentucky Views, and may or may not
be related to Mason County, are on the main Links & Miscellany page, here.