Owenton Scene Owenton Scene Owenton Scene
Owenton Street Scene Owenton Scene,
Georgetown Pike,
South Owenton, 1910


Owenton Scene Owenton Scene Owenton Scene Owenton Scene

Owenton High School & Graded School

Owen County Elementary School

Owenton Elementary
From a Facebook post by Peggy Trinkle


Owen County High School Owen County High School Owen County High School Owen County High School
Owen County High School, c. 1960
from the Facebook page of Owen Electric Cooperative, Inc.
  OCHS, left and right of the same image, 1960


Owen County High School Owen County High School
Owen County High School Band,
left and right of the same image, 1970


Owenton Scene


Owenton Scene

Knights of Pythias' Castle Hall


Red Cross Workers
The 1917 date makes it's a scene from the Great 1917-18 Flu Pandemic (Wikipedia)



The Owenton Mechanics' Band. Today a mechanic is the person working on your car, but 100 years ago, anyone doing non-farm manual labor, or who had other skills - blacksmith, tinsmith, shoe maker, etc., was considered a mechanic.


Owenton Scene Owenton Scene
Court Day in Owenton Main Street



Owenton, c. 1965
Smither and Coates Hardware and Paint on the left, with Bishop's Feed Store in
the background. You can also spot Deana Chandler's Courthouse Restaurant.



Courthouse Loafers


Owenton Scene Owenton Scene Owenton Scene Owenton Scene
Owen County Court
House, c. WWI
Owen County
 Court House,
 March 30, 1941
October 19, 1941
a drawing by
Caroline Williams
Owen County

There are stories of whiskey entombed in those court house pillars. Some accounts say it's a bottle in each; one says it's keg in each, and yet another says there's a barrel in each, the latter having been distilled by a man named Gaines. The amounts aren't clear, but most sources agree something's in there.


This is the fourth Owen Co Courthouse.  It was built in 1858, and re-modeled in 1876.  It was once occupied by Confederate troops under Gen. Humphrey Marshall (Wikipedia).  The first one was said to have been a log cabin in Hesler, then known as Heslerville, followed shortly after (c. 1828) by a log cabin in Owenton.  we have no information on the third court house. “When walls of the Owen County Court House at Owenton were stripped for renovation of the structure several years ago, dates running from 1862 to 1874 were found with names, addresses, pictures and verses indicating that soldiers had been quartered there during some troubled period after the War Between the States.  A picture of Jefferson Davis was found drawn in red ink.”from the Louisville Courier-Journal, January 19, 1941


Owenton Scene

Owen County Jail


Owenton Scene Owenton Scene Owenton Scene
Owen County Jail Sleet on Main
 Street, Owenton
Looking West on
Seminary Street, Owenton

Owenton Scene   Berryman was also the builder of Perry Park's Inverness.  That home, along with it's 747 acres was a wedding present to his daughter, Ann Mary, who was marrying Dr. Daniel S. Adams. This home, on Blanton Street, has also been used a girl's school dormitory, a buggy factory and a residence.
Home of Thomas A. Berryman, 
Pioneer Lawyer, Owenton, Kentucky


Admas St Owenton Scene Owenton Scene Owenton Scene
Adams Street, c. 1915 Residence on Adams
 Street, Owenton
Adams Street
 Looking North, 1907
Owenton Parsonage


Owenton Scene

Keightly Homestead, Owenton


“A notorious character of Morgan's (Wikipedia) command, named Dick Low, escaped from Camp Morton (Wikipedia) about three months ago, and managed to get to Owen county , Ky., where his friends reside. The Deputy Marshal of Owen county , hearing of his arrival, immediately arrested him, and he was incarcerated in the county jail. His friends, it seems, banded together to the number of about 15 or 20, and on the night of the 13th attacked the jail, over powering the guard and effecting the rescue of the prisoner. They carried him off in defiance of the citizens, amid the wildest shouts of triumph.” Frank Leslie's Weekly, from the American Anti-Slavery Society, February, 1864.

Owenton Lodge #128 of Free and Accepted Masons, and the Owenton Royal Arch Chapter #28 are established in 1849. A nineteenth century editor asks “What does Owenton Need?”
Owenton locations on the National Register of Historic Places are Central Owenton Historic District, the North Main-North Adams District, Owenton, and the Courthouse and Jail. Each of the applications linked to is a pdf.
“Weems Hotel.  The subscriber respectfully informs the citizens of Owen county and the public generally, he is now prepared to entertain travelers or regular boarders in the most satisfactory manner at this hotel in Owenton, Ky.  His house is large and well arranged for a public hotel, and he hopes by strict attention to business, by keeping the best eating the county will afford and the most choice drinks in the bar, and the best of stables and provider for horses, to receive a liberal patronage.  J. J. Weems, Owenton, Ky. Sept. 15, 1848.” From the Covington Union, September 15, 1848. “Honaker & Lewis is the style of the newest firm in Owenton.  It is composed of Fritz Honaker and Joe Lewis, two of our enterprising and accommodating citizens.  They will hold forth in the Glasscock's building next door the Littrell's, in Court street, and will run a first-class meat, restaurant, and grocery store,  Homemade candies, fruits and vegetables of all kinds will be kept fresh on tap at all times.  Mr. Honaker was at one time associated with Mr. Barthel, the baker, and is a practical candy maker.  Mr. Lewis is the proprietor of the Farmers Hotel, but expects to retire from this business the first of the year.”  News-Herald, December 14, 1906.
“Destructive Fire in Owenton, Ky.,  A dwelling house owned by R. R. Revill, in Owenton, Ky., was destroyed by fire on Sunday night last.  Loss $3000; no insurance.  The jail and jailer's residence were also destroyed.  The fire was purported to have been accidental.”  Cincinnati Daily Press, June 16, 1860
Sons of Temperance established in Owenton This 1834 Act authorized a road to Warsaw
“Owenton is jubilant over the organization of the ‘Happy Rattlers.’ The name is remarkably appropriate for Base-ball purposes, and the club is composed of the best players in town.” Courier-Journal, April 17, 1875 “A company has been incorporated to build a turnpike from Jonesville to Harrisburg, a distance of five miles.  Jonesville is cut off from the county seat during the winter months because of the bad condition of the dirt road to Sparta Pike” Owen County Democrat, March 11, 1886.
“The street lamps purchased by the businessmen to expel the darkness of the night from the vicinity of their business houses are ornaments to the town.  On each, the merchant’s name is artfully painted. The trustees of the town should imitate this example and supply a long felt need, by erecting lamps for the convenience of the public, even if they are only lighted on Sunday nights for the benefit of church goers, the ladies especially.” Owen County Democrat, March 11, 1886.
“On Friday last week, near Owenton, Thomas Heath, in company with nine other young men, went to within a short distance of the house of Miss Lena Ballard, whose father opposed her marriage with Heath. One of this party advanced and gave a concerted signal. The girl started, with the old gentleman in hot pursuit. The race was close and determined,but the girl got in ahead and was borne off on the horse behind Heath, amid the cheers of the party, whilst the disconsolate parent returned to console those of his household. The party hastened to the residence of a magistrate, where they were soon pronounced man and wife.” Kentucky Journal, February 3, 1873 Lynching feared.
W. B. Long remembers Owenton in a letter from 1905, here.
Owenton became an incorporated city by an Act of the Legislature, February 19, 1849.
“The Owenton Shakespeare Club met on January 7, at which the club began reading King Lear.” from the Owenton News-Herald, January 10, 1907

Major fires in Owenton in 1869, 1898, and 1908

And 1893. And 1922.


Woman in Jail Troops
The (Standford, KY) Interior Journal, September 21, 1877 The Cincinnati Daily Press, October 23, 1861  
Flag desicration Morgan's Man  
Nashville Daily Union, March 19, 1863 Richmond, VA. Daily Register, January 23, 1864  

Jeff Davis

Represented to us as Owenton, c. 1880