History of  Gallatin County, Part 2


Gallatin County was the 33rd county formed in Kentucky, taken from parts of Franklin and Shelby in 1798. The first county seat was Port William, now Carrollton, at the mouth of the Kentucky river, laid out in 1792.

A house owned by a Mr. Elliott had been situated at the mouth of the Kentucky rive as early as 1785 when this home was assaulted and burned by Indians.  Mr. Elliott was killed while the members of his family escaped. Later in 1786 and 1787 a block house was built by Captain Ellison, on the point where the Kentucky river empties into the Ohio.  He was driven from his post two succeeding summers by Indians.

In 1789 or 90 General Charles Scott built a block-house on the second bank on an elevated position and fortified it by picketing.  This post was occupied until 1792 when Port William was laid out.  This was situated in what is still known as the old part of Carrollton, down on and near the point.

To this settlement, while the country around was still a cane-brake, came General Percival Butler, a man who with his four sons was to help make history in Kentucky and to become leaders in Gallatin and Carroll counties.

These sons of Gen. Percival Butler, who bore their part so nobly in the early settlement of the country, were Thomas L. Butler, Gen. William O. Butler, Richard P. Butler and Percival Butler.  Many of this pioneer family are buried in the old Butler family lot in Carrollton cemetery.

Gen. Percival Butler came to Port William in 1796 from Pennsylvania, where his family lived and had borne such noble part in the Revolutionary war.

We find in 1795 that one Elijah Craig, Jr., “sends notice to the gentlemen, merchants and emigrants to Kentucky that he will be at the mouth of the Kentucky river with boats to transfer goods up the Kentucky river to Frankfort, Slanke's  warehouse, Warwick, and Dick's river.” This notice, copied from the Cincinnati Centinel of the North-West Territory, date of the 15th of January, 1795.

The first county court in Gallatin county was held at the home of Richard Masterson, in Port William on the 14th of May 1799.  The first business transacted was the election of Percival Butler as county clerk.  The first marriage license recorded was that of Nicholas Lantz and Mary Pickett on July 18, 1799.  The first deed recorded was for a lot in Port William facing the Ohio river.

The record of this first court may be seen in faded, yellow hand writing on the county clerk's office at Warsaw.  Warsaw was established in 1831 as Fredericksburg.


March 17, 1928, from the Gallatin County News