History of  Gallatin County, Part 40


Gallatin County was the thirty-third county in Kentucky. It was formed Shelby and Franklin counties in 1798. In 1819 part of it was taken to form Owen County. In 1836 another portion was taken to form Trimble County. In 1838 the entire west portion was cut off to form Carroll County.

 Of the original county of Gallatin, William Samuel was the first Representative. He was elected in 1801.

 The first county court was held in Port William (now Carrollton) at the residence of Wm. Masterton, May 14, 1799.

 The first wedding is the county was by the Rev. Henry Ogburn on July 18, 1799, of Nicholas Lantz to Mary Pickett.

 The first magistrates were Hugh Gatewood, John Grimes, M. Hawkins, G. Lee, William Thomas and Benjamin Craig.

 The first clerk was Percival Butler.

 The county of Gallatin was named for Albert Gallatin, who was born on January 29, 1761, at Geneva, Switzerland, and was Secretary of the U.S. Treasury under Thomas Jefferson.

 Warsaw was established in 1831. Previous to that time it was known as Fredricksburg in honor of Adolphous Fredrick, a boat builder, who launched his first boat here and named it “The Fredrick.”

 In 1870, Warsaw had a population of 715. It contained a court house, 4 physician, 9 lawyers, one male and female academy, 1 public school, 4 churches, 14 stores, 10 mechanics shops, 1 distillery, 3 tobacco warehouses, 2 hotels and one newspaper (The Warsaw News).

 The first church in the county was organized in Ghent in 1800 by “The Last Baby of the Traveling Church.” The Ghent Baptist Church when organized in 1800 had ten members, 9 white and one colored. Two of the chartered members came to Kentucky with the Traveling Church. The first pastor was Joshua Morriss, who had been the first pastor of the church in Richmond, Virginia. The first building was erected by contributions of money, pork and beef. It was a frame building near the mouth of McCool’s Creek. They moved into the present building at Ghent in 1844.

 Vera Cruz about four miles from Warsaw was where may travelers from Owenton and Georgetown stopped for their noonday meal and to feed and rest their teams while making the journey to and from Warsaw, for at the Warsaw wharf they received all merchandize from Pennsylvania and other places which came by water to Kentucky. As early as 1819 a state road was laid out from Georgetown to Ghent.

 The stream at Sparta had no bridge and there was a small tavern on the Owen county side kept by a man named Burke. Many stopped here and many driving their stock fed them and spent the night at the home of John A. Hamilton. Another farmer whose home was a noted place among stock drivers was that of Jacob Howard between Glencoe and Warsaw. The farm is now owned by his grandson, Mr. W.P. Crouch.

 Hoop poles made from the second growth hickory were used by the coopers in making barrels and hogheads. Cincinnati and Louisville offered a ready market for them and often as many as twenty wagons could be seen on Monday morning starting on the journey from various places in Owen county to the wharf at Warsaw.

 In 1817, Col. Lewis Sanders, of Glass Hill, Carroll County (then Gallatin) imported the first Duran or Shorthorn cattle, west of the Alleghenies. The outfit was driven over the mountains. Cattle and hogs were driven on foot from Gallatin County to the Cincinnati market.

 Eagle Creek was said to have had more grist mills than any other stream of its length in Kentucky. It furnished the power for the water mills. The settlers first used a hominy mortar made by burning and scraping a block of wood into the shape of a bowl. This was then beaten with an iron wedge. Later the hand mill was used and then a “Horse Mill” with a sweep was used and the early settlers took their horse and harness and ground their own meal.

 Large gourds were used for storing lard, sugar, salt, soap, etc. and the smaller ones for dipper or cups.

 There were no markets for the early settlers and produce had no commercial value but each helped the others by trading their surplus and the teachers accepted their salary in pork, corn, hides, etc. Each home was its own manufacturing plant in many ways. Coopers made tubs and barrels for the settlers and while the blacksmiths, carpenters, tanners, shoe and harness makers were busy the women spun and wove cloth, made soap from home made lye and the fat of the black bear. They also pulled, hatched and bleached kemp, washed, picked, carded and dyed the wool to make the cloth for their clothes. The first loom used in the county was made by Jacob White and was used in the home of William Crisenberry. 

For nearly 25 years after Gallatin County was settled there were no doctors and the people depended on home remedies in time of illness. Whiskey was used as a medicine in those days and there were many distilleries scattered over the country.

 In 1800 the population of Gallatin County was about 1200. This included Owen and Carroll counties. 

(More Anon.)