Richwood, Kentucky

Dixon Home Dixon Home
Home of O. O. Dixon, Richwood


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Signal Tower at Rice Kensington Depot, January, 1913
(a Kentuckiana Virtual Library image)


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Richwood Depot. Note the Richwood Bank in the back left of the right image. Richwood is at 13.8 railroad miles from Ludlow.


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Mark Robinson posted these four remarkable pictures on Facebook. Image on the right is Robinson's Express at the depot, c. 1927


Nathaniel McClure was headed for Cincinnati, but stopped to settle in Richwood. In 1795. And he knows why Richwood is called Richwood. Read his brief interview here.


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Kensington Lake, 1913 Boron Truck Stop, circa 1965


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Richwood Presbyterian Church

The Kentucky Legislature authorizes the churches deed.

Obituary of one of the church's “ruling elders,” Daniel Bedinger, here.

Obituary of another of the church's noted members, Dr. Henry C. Lassing, here.

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History of Richwood Presbyterian from their brochure


Richwood, Kentucky

Sketch of vicinity of head qtrs. U.S. forces, Snows Pond, Kentucky, September 25, 1862.
Snow's Pond is on Old Lexington Pike between Walton and Richwood.
500 Confederate cavalry attack Union lines at Snow's Pond. Commanding Officer's report is here.
Details at this site.
Jack Rouse's The Civil War in Boone County, a 313-page pdf.


Richwood, Kentucky

“The Male Population of Richwood”
May, 1910

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President Hughes of the Richwood Deposit Bank is on the right, standing in front of the bank, and the bank.

Richwood Deposit Bank embezzlement uncovered because banker regularly tips barber fifteen cents?  Read all about it, here. (The bank can be seen in the far left of the depot image, above).

News story from when the bank opened in 1903.

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Claude Carpenter Bob and Cecil Robinson


Richwood, Kentucky  

Richwood Postmark, 1894


Richwood, Kentucky Joan Kiger
left, This card is dated 1924, and says it's the Perrin H. Hunter House, rfd Walton.  Perrin was an art collector who had made his fortune in the manufacture of carriages. You may know it as Rosegate.  Or you may know it from the 1883 Atlas of Boone County which refers to it as the Marion Grubbs Home.  Or, right, you may know it as the scene of the infamous Kiger murders.


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Forest Home near Richwood
More about the house is here.

Margaret Garner and her family were slaves on the farm of Archibald Gaines when, on a cold January 27, 1856, she and her family tried to escape north to freedom.  Caught in Cincinnati, she elected to kill her children rather than to see them taken back to Richwood and slavery.  She murdered one daughter before being restrained. You can read more at Wikipedia.

 Ohio's dilemma in prosecuting Garner for murder:  To claim Garner as his, Gaines had to have her be a slave, because slaves under Kentucky law weren't people; they were property.  However, only people, not things, can be prosecuted for murder. So Garner's defense, to keep her from going back into slavery, was that she was a murderer (i.e., a person, not a slave).  The prosecution, trying to send her back to slavery, had to argue that she was not a murderer.  Bizarre trial.

Richwood, Kentucky
Above:  This is Thomas Satterwhite Noble's 1867 painting of the scene.  Note the eye contact between Gaines and Garner. Toni Morrison, 1993 winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, based her novel Beloved on this Richwood story.  The link to the book on Amazon is above. Morrison's work is fiction, but there's an intricately researched book on the facts of the case, Steven Weisenburger's Modern Medea.  It deals with the events, the trials, the legal issues, and  the people involved.  Highly recommended.  The link above is to Amazon.

The Gaines farm, known as Maplewood, is the site of the Margaret Garner Archeology Project.  The farm is just west of Richwood Presbyterian. Their web site has scenes of some of the farms early buildings. Here.

A letter to a newspaper excoriates Gaines. The contemporary news account of the affair  

There are other instances of mothers in slavery killing their children to free them of a life of slavery.

An instance from Florence, Ky. is here, (Warning: It's seriously gruesome).

And an example of a Grant County couple, caught in Covington is here.
And other examples here.

Burlington's Elvira murders her child, and is hung.

This man didn't kill his child. He cut off his own hand.

And this man elected to jump out of a four-story tall window in Cincinnati rather than go back to Kentucky.

There's a very large white house just north of Walton, facing away from the Dixie Highway, which was the home of Abner Gaines.  The Gaines that owned Margaret Garner was Abner's third son, Archibald.  Archibald bought the Richwood farm from his brother, John, below, the oldest Gaines son. John left Kentucky when he was appointed Governor of the Oregon Territory by President Zachary Taylor.  He was Taylor's second choice.  The first choice, an Illinois Congressmen named Abraham Lincoln, declined the honor.

John Gaines

John Gaines. More on him is here.

A month after the Garner's attempted escape, four more of Gaines' slaves ran.

“A gentleman in Covington, Kentucky invited Mr. Jolliffe and lady, of Cincinnati, to dine with him last Saturday. Mrs. Jolliffe went over in the morning and Mr. Jolliffe about one o’clock. As he passed up the street, he was assailed by a Mr. Gaines, whose negro killed her child a year ago in Cincinnati, rather than be returned to slavery. The assault was in true Kentucky style – the kind that saves the Union. A few more such acts of courage will give the American people a proper idea of the institution of slavery.” Indiana American (Brookville), June 5, 1857. Jolliffe was the attorney who represented Margaret Garner and fought Gaines’ attempts to return her to slavery. A longer version of the story is here.

“The late residence of Major John P. Gaines, in Boone county, Ky., now owned by his brother Archibald Gaines, Esq., was destroyed by fire on Tuesday night, the 19th ult. The house, kitchen, and furniture were consumed. Supposed to be the work of an incendiary [i.e. arson].” Louisville Morning Courier, December 4, 1850

Oscar and Joseph Gaines of Boone County. Richwood, the farm, is for sale.
Boone County Recorder travels to Richwood in 1889, here.    Kentucky Legislature sets rates for the Union-Richwood Turnpike in 1872.
The saga from 1909 of a crazy woman who became an arsonist and terrorized Richwood.
“The best body of land that I came across in my travels is that known as the Richwood Station, being two or three miles northwest of Walton, in Boone county. The land is very fertile and productive, though considerably broken. Prices range from $50 to $100 per acre. I thin, however, that the land lying between Florence and Walton, along the Lexington Pike, is much leveler and more desirable for residences. Passing through Walton, I cannot forbear saying a few words on its behalf. Walton is situated at the junction of the Lexington Pike and Short Line R. R., about 19 miles from Covington buy the Pike, not so far by the R. R. Walton has improved rapidly since the railroad commenced running. Mr. A. J. Whipps, formerly of Covington, has established a large tobacco warehouse, and appears to be doing an extensive business. Mr. L. N. Norman keeps an excellent assortment of goods and groceries. There is also a large carriage manufacturing and livery stables, taverns, saloons, and grocery stores. Walton is an active, go-ahead place, proving conclusively that railroads aid materially to the advancement and prosperity of inland towns. I wish our legislature had been able to see the thing in this light.” from the Covington Journal, June 4, 1870, signed, “A.D.T.”