Here on the banks of the Kentucky River is the large complex of distillery and warehouses of the Buffalo Trace. Buffalo Trace is named for the track originally ground into the ground by migrating eastern bison as they made their way across the river. The distillery has been here since 1787 and is the oldest distillery in continuous production in the US. Buffalo Trace has gone through several names and owners over its many years. The current name dates to 1999 and the owner is a family-held company called Sazerac – known for its rye whiskey and its New Orleans roots. There are several tour options available for a visitor and unlike most other distilleries on the Bourbon Trail, they are free. One would think that the whiskey and experience would thus suffer, but that is not the case. In the busy season – definitely not when we visited in late February – it might be prudent to reserve a tour spot online.
- Wine Tasting
- Historical Travel
FRANKFORT CEMETERY – WILLIAM GOEBEL
Richard M. Johnson served as a fascinating beginning to the Kentucky Political Hall of Fame and William Goebel continued that string late in the 19th century. He served four days as governor before dying of wounds he suffered the day before he was sworn into office.
Goebel was a skilled political boss –‘William the Conqueror’, ‘Boss Bill’ – but with a very abrasive personality. He is the only Kentucky governor to have never married. He was said to lack basic social graces and was described as looking ‘reptilian’. His main weapon was his intellect.
His father was a German immigrant who had served in the 82nd Pennsylvania during the Civil War. The family moved to Covington, Kentucky after the war and William entered law apprenticing and eventually partnering with Kentucky governor John Stevenson. Goebel won his first election in 1887 – a seat in the Kentucky Senate – and went on to win two more electoral victories in 1889 and 1893.
In 1895, John L. Sanford, a former Confederate staff officer turned banker and political rival, got himself involved into a duel of sorts with Goebel. Meeting each other on the street and both being armed, they both exchanged shots. Goebel was missed, but Sanford was hit in the head and died shortly after. Goebel was acquitted on self-defense, but the incident plagued his career from then on.
Republicans had elected their first governor in 1895. With 1899, there was a three-way race for the Democratic nomination. Goebel faked his way past the other two potential nominees, going back on agreements when he needed to, but he was defeated by 2,383 votes by the Republican incumbent William Taylor. Democrats in the General Assembly accused the Republicans of voter fraud and the Board of Elections – created by Goebel and manned by Goebel Democrats – ruled in favor of Goebel giving the election review power to the General Assembly and its Democratic majority. Republican votes were then invalidated and Goebel was declared the winner. As can be imagined, this was not taken easily by the Republicans and the State careened towards Civil War.
On 30 January 1900, flanked by two bodyguards in front of the Old State Capitol, Goebel was seriously wounded by gunfire. Taylor, still governor, ordered out the State militia and reconvened the General Assembly in London, Kentucky, a Republican area. Democrats went to Louisville instead and the Republicans didn’t have enough members present to form a governing quorum.
The day after being shot, Goebel was sworn in as governor and he dissolved the militia, an order ignored by the Republican commander. On 3 February, Goebel died. With Goebel’s death, tensions eased as the Lieutenant Governor, JCW Beckham was more palatable to the opposition than civil war. Governor Taylor fled to Indiana and when that governor refused to extradite him, Taylor was never questioned as to playing a possible role in Goebel’s assassination. Taylor was pardoned in 1909 by Beckham’s Republican successor Augustus Wilson. Three men were eventually convicted of the murder but all would be pardoned. The actual details of the assassination remain a mystery.
- Historical Travel
FRANKFORT CEMETERY – RICHARD JOHNSON
Just to the south of the State Mound is the elaborate grave of Richard Mentor Johnson, the ninth Vice President of the United States. The gravestone was designed by the famous sculptor Robert Launitz of New York – the same designer of the Military Monument. Over time, the headstone has been defaced, literally in one of the carvings on the side.
Johnson led a fascinating life serving in the Kentucky House of Representatives, the US House of Representatives, the US Senate and as Vice President alongside Martin Van Buren. He grew up in Kentucky when it was still a part of Virginia. Living on the frontier, the family was involved with Indian attacks and during one such struggle, a flaming arrow landed in baby Richard’s crib, though it was quickly doused. The family purchased 2,000 acres from Patrick Henry and a large part of James Madison’s 3,000 acre land grant in Scott County to the east of Frankfort. Richard studied at Transylvania College in Lexington and went into law in his hometown of Great Crossing, nearby today’s Georgetown. He was always involved with other business ventures and would use his political career to further the financial interests of himself and those close to him.
At 23 years of age – one year before the legal age at the time – Johnson was elected to represent Scott County in the Kentucky House of Representatives. Two years later, he was elected to the US House, still too young at the time of election but just barely of age by the time Congress met in March 1807. He served the next twelve years in Congress originally as an ally of Henry Clay. One of the War Hawks, Johnson helped raise a regiment – becoming their colonel – at the outset of the War of 1812. Serving under William Henry Harrison in the fall of 1812, they helped to relieve a siege of Fort Wayne. He went back to Congress in the late fall before returning to Kentucky to raise a mobile brigade of 1,000 men operating under his command largely independently. Through the summer of 1813, Johnson’s men raided Indian villages throughout the Northwest scattering the survivors.
After the British fleet on Lake Eire was destroyed by Oliver Hazard Perry, the British forces retreated back to the northeast from Detroit. An American force under Harrison followed them with Johnson keeping the Indians at bay. Tecumseh leading the Indian contingent, covered the British retreat, but was defeated by Johnson on 29 September. The British were forced to fight the Battle of the Thames on October 5. A battalion of 500 men led by Richard’s brother James overcame a British regular force of 800 men while Richard’s somewhat smaller force took on Tecumseh and his 1,500 Indians. In the fight, Richard was wounded five times – twenty other bullets hit his horse and gear – but he personally killed Tecumseh. The war in the Northwest was over and Johnson returned to Congress in February 1814, still suffering from his wounds. He was one of only 14 officers presented a sword for valor in battle by the Congress prior to the Civil War.
Following the war, he declined the chance to become Secretary of War under Monroe and continued in the House of Representatives. He chaired an inquiry into the investigation of the execution of two British civilians by General Andrew Jackson in 1817 during the 1st Seminole War. Johnson favored Jackson against the majority which began a lifelong separation between Clay and Johnson.
Johnson became a senator in 1819 serving for the next decade before returning to the House for another eight years. He lost his senate seat largely as a result of the unpopularity of his common-law marriage to an octaroon slave – 1/8 African and 7/8 European – Julia Chinn. Johnson said in reply to the criticism, “Unlike Jefferson, Clay, Poindexter and others, I married my wife under God, and apparently He has no objections.” The real problem was not his relationship with a slave woman, which was fairly common, but his introduction of his daughters into ‘polite’ society.
In 1836, Johnson campaigned for vice president and he succeeded, though not without a struggle. His main rival was William Cabell Rives, a man favored by Van Buren, but who had run afoul of President Jackson. Being loyal to Jackson, Johnson gained the President’s support, but he faced Southern dissension due to his relationship with another slave woman. Chinn had died in 1833 and Johnson had taken up with another slave. She would eventually leave him for another man. Captured shortly afterwards, she was sold at auction and Johnson took up with her sister. In the general election, the 23 electors from Virginia voted for Van Buren but against Johnson even though the state had voted for both of them. This threw the vote for vice president into the Senate since Johnson was one vote short of a majority – Van Buren had 170 electoral votes and Johnson only 147. In the Senate, on a party-line vote, Johnson was elected, the only vice president ever elected by the Senate.
He served only the one term unremarkably as vice president. Van Buren allowed the Democratic National Convention to choose his next running mate in 1840 and Johnson was not selected. Returning to Kentucky, Johnson served one term in the Kentucky House of Representatives 1841-1843 and returned for a final fling in 1850, dying two weeks into office.
- Historical Travel
FRANKFORT CEMETERY – OTHERS AT THE STATE MOUND
The trouble with visiting a cemetery covered by a foot of snow is that it is somewhat difficult to figure out who is buried where. Henry Clay Jr is buried under one of the big slab graves at the base of the Military Monument on the north side. There was too much snow to correct identify which grave exactly, as was there too much to find the resting spot of on Colonel James Moss on the west side of the Monument.
Moss started his Civil War career as a captain in the 2nd Kentucky CSA rising eventually to colonel and the overall command of the “Orphan Brigade” – a brigade made up entirely of Kentucky volunteers. They played a long role in the history of the Army of Tennessee. At Stones River, they were fed to the Federal cannons by Braxton Bragg which went a long way to poisoning relations between the army commander and his Kentucky contingent. Moss became commander of the Orphans in October 1863 after Chickamauga and led them until he was mortally wounded at the Battle of Jonesboro 31 August 1864.
Two graves to the north of the monument more obvious are the graves of Phillip N. Barbour and Presley N. O’Bannion. Barbour had served in the Seminole War and was a major with the 3rd US Infantry in Mexico. He died leading his men at the storming of Monterrey 21 September 1846. O’Bannion was a Marine lieutenant serving on the naval vessel USS Argus at the turn of the 17th century. During the short war with the pirates of the Barbary Coast, O’Bannion led a force of 7 Marines and 500 allied North Africans on a march of over 600 miles from Alexandria to Derna. On 25 April 1805, his force routed the Pasha of Tripoli and he became the first American to plant a flag in foreign soil. Promoted to captain, O’Bannion retired to Kentucky in 1807. His Mameluke sword – given to him by the Pasha’s successor – and the words “from the shores of Tripoli” in the official Marine Corps song became Marine staples after 1825. His gravestone replaced by the Daughters of the American Revolution and moved from its original gravesite in 1920.
Another Mexican veteran’s grave on the south side of the Monument is that of Oliver Hazard Perry Beard, a captain of the 1st US Infantry. He is marked as having died at the Battle of Buena Vista, while in reality, he was the successful owner of a livery stable in Lexington until his actual death in 1879. He was moved here in 1880.
- Historical Travel
FRANKFORT CEMETERY – STATE MOUND BIVOUAC OF THE DE
Theodore O’Hara had a varied career that took him back and forth between army life – both as an officer in the US army, the Confederate army and various filibuster campaigns aimed at Cuba – and journalism. He studied law earlier alongside John Breckinridge – future US Vice President under Buchanan, Southern Democratic presidential candidate in 1860 and both Confederate general and very late in the war, Secretary of State for the South – passing the bar in 1842. With the onset of the Mexican War, O’Hara joined up as a captain and quartermaster with General Gideon Pillow in Winfield Scott’s Mexico City expedition. Brevetted to major for good conduct at the battles of Contreras and Churubusco, he was discharged at the end of the war moving on to Washington, D.C.
The Mexican War made O’Hara a firm believer in US expansion and it was an easy step for him to get involved in a filibuster campaign under the command of Narciso Lopez, a Venezuelan ex-general of the Spanish army married to a Cuban aristocrat. O’Hara was one of many Kentuckians who signed up for a chance at continuing the adventures they had had in Mexico. The overall plan was to overthrow the Spanish rule in Cuba, establish a republic and then request the US Congress to accept the island as a new State – slave State – ala Texas. Lopez made four different attempts at capturing Cuba. During his third attempt – the first to actually make it all the way to Cuba – O’Hara was wounded while landing his Kentuckians at Cardenas, Cuba. Which brings us to the grave on the east side of O’Hara’s, that of Colonel Thomas T. Hawkins.
Hawkins had also served in the Mexican War with the 1st Kentucky Foot Volunteers and for one year in the 16th US Infantry after the war. He had joined the Lopez filibuster as O’Hara’s major. When O’Hara was wounded, Hawkins took over and got the men back to their ship on which they fled back to Florida with. The flag used by the filibusteros at Cardenas would eventually be adopted as the official flag of Cuba in 1902. Both Hawkins and O’Hara were involved with some of Lopez’ other adventures, but they were not with Lopez in August 1851 when the filibusters were again defeated by the Spanish. This time, Lopez was captured and executed. Along with Lopez was William Logan Crittenden, a West Point graduate of 1845 and nephew of the famous Kentucky Senator John Crittenden – buried in the snows not far from here. At the time of execution, Crittenden was ordered to get on his knees and face away from the firing squad in Spanish tradition, but he replied, “A Kentuckian turns his back on no enemy and kneels only to God.”
Both Hawkins and O’Hara would serve with the Confederate army during the Civil War. O’Hara initially served near Pensacola but was discharged after a short time due to conflicts with his commanding officer Braxton Bragg. He would end up on the staff of Kentucky-born Albert Sidney Johnston and was present when Johnston was mortally wounded at Shiloh. Next, O’Hara joined the staff of his old law alumnus John Breckinridge - Hawkins was already a part of the staff. They served with Breckinridge until he became Secretary of War very late in the war and all of them would feud with Bragg. They finished the war on the staff of Joseph Johnston.
Hawkins’ son Hugh is also buried here. He was a graduate of the Naval Academy in 1866. He died leading an attack on a fort in Korea that had fired upon a group of American naval vessels. The commander of the vessels demanded an apology and when that was not forthcoming, he ordered Hawkins to lead a landing party. The fort was quickly taken, but Hawkins was killed during the fight.
Before heading off to Cuba with Lopez and his fellow Kentuckians – he was the colonel of Lopez’ Kentucky regiment which provided 230 of his 620 men – O’Hara became inspired while walking through the cemetery here. His inspiration led to the poem “Bivouac for the Dead”. The poem was first read for the dedication of the Military Monument here in 1850 by none other than his brother in law school, John Breckinridge. “Bivouac for the Dead” would become O’Hara’s legacy. The words of the first stanza – there are nine in all – are inscribed at all National Cemeteries today, a decision made just after the end of the Civil War by US Quartermaster General Montgomery Meigs, though O’Hara was not originally given credit since he had served in the Confederate army. O’Hara’s elaborate headstone was erected by the Kentucky Historical Society in 1913.
- Historical Travel
FRANKFORT CEMETERY – STATE MOUND
The State Mound is another central feature of the Frankfort Cemetery dominated by the tall Kentucky Military Monument which dates to 1850. The 65 foot high monument rises atop a small knoll – the State Mound – around which are the graves of Kentuckians who died serving in the army at the Battle of Buena Vista 23-23 February 1847. The monument base is made of Connecticut marble while the main monument shaft comes from Carrara, Italy. Designed and constructed by Robert Launitz in New York City – he also created the elaborate nearby monument for Richard Johnson – the monument was shipped to New Orleans and then barged upriver to here.
Kentuckians who served in the US Army in the Mexican War’s northern theater – besides the army commander General Zachary Taylor – included men of the 2nd Kentucky Foot Volunteers and the 1st Kentucky Mounted Volunteers. At Buena Vista, the 2nd Foot suffered 44 dead and 57 wounded while the 1st Mounted 29 dead and 34 wounded. Of the 73 Kentuckians who died, 23 were reburied here at Frankfort including four of the officers. Lieutenant Colonel Henry Clay Jr was wounded leading a charge of his 2nd Foot. He was then lanced to death where he lay wounded fighting in a war his father denounced.
Carved into the sides of the Military Monument are the names of battles that Kentuckians were involved with and suffered losses from. Many names are inscribed for the Battle of Raisin River, a battle that took place 18-22 January 1813. A force of some 1,300 Kentuckians had come up into northern Ohio to help in an American attack on British-held Detroit. Under Lieutenant Colonels William Lewis and John Allen some 650 men occupied Frenchtown – today’s Monroe, Michigan, hometown of one George Armstrong Custer. Reinforced with another 250 men, they were routed by a British-Indian force of 1,200 to 1,400 men backed by artillery on the 22nd. Over 400 Kentuckians were slain making Raisin River the deadliest battle for American forces during the War of 1812. Most of the dead were left on the battlefield to be scalped. Some were burned while others were devoured by animals. After the war, it is thought some were moved here to Frankfort to eventually be reinterred here at the Frankfort Cemetery though if so their exact location is unknown today.
Another name that jumped out at me on the monument is Lieutenant John Crittenden who as a new graduate of West Point was at the Little Big Horn sharing Custer’s fate. His father, former Union general Thomas Crittenden – buried here in the snows of Frankfort Cemetery – elected to have his son laid to rest where he fell, though in more recent times, the young lieutenant was reinterred in the nearby national cemetery to make room for construction of park roads.
- Historical Travel
FRANKFORT CEMETERY – DANIEL BOONE
Daniel Boone is one of the most famous of all Kentuckians. He was a pioneer frontiersman in the late 18th century whose life story is not as well-known as his fame would let one think. He grew up in a Pennsylvania Quaker family which moved to western North Carolina when Daniel was 16. After serving with the British force of General Edward Braddock as a wagon driver, Boone returned to North Carolina to marry and settle down. He, then, became involved in the early pioneering movement into what became Kentucky. After battling with the Native Americans, he helped to build the Wilderness Road over the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky, founding Boonesborough and later, Boone’s Station. He eventually ended up in 1799 in what was then part of Spanish North America near St Louis serving as a local judge in what became St Charles County. He died at the old age of 85 in Missouri and was buried next to his wife.
In 1845, their remains were supposedly removed to here in Frankfort. Supposedly, because it may have been – according to Boone’s Missourian ancestors – that the Kentuckians got the wrong man. The story goes that the headstone in Missouri had been placed over the wrong grave – something the Missourians knew about but did not relate to the Kentuckians when they came calling. A 1983 forensic anthropologist examining a plaster cast taken of Boone’s skull before he was reburied here in Frankfort claims that the remains are actually those of an African-American. So, both The Frankfort Cemetery and the Old Bryan Farm Cemetery – Missouri – claim to have Boone’s remains.
Daniel Boone is known today for the long-running popular U.S. tv show in which Boone was portrayed by actor Fess Parker – he played Boone about the same way he played Davey Crockett in an earlier film he had played in the past, another figure from Tennessee living in a slightly later period quite different from Boone.
The Boone tomb is one of the central features of the Frankfort Cemetery sited above the high bluffs rising above the Kentucky River. The view from here across the city is splendid.
- Historical Travel
Dating to 1844, the Frankfort Cemetery sits high above the cliffs on the east side of the Kentucky River and is the burial ground for many of the well-known persons of the Bluegrass State’s long history. Originally occupying some 32 acres, the cemetery now covers over 100 acres today. Its style was built to resemble that of Mount Auburn in Boston with curving lanes, terraces and doubling as an arboretum featuring flowers and plants from other parts of the State – especially from the mountains in the east. From the western edge of the cemetery, one has a super view across the Kentucky River to the Capitol District and over downtown.
Frankfurt Cemetery is worth a visit for a number of reasons, it is the home to many historic graves from the Revolutionary War on, It has great views of Frankfurt and the Capitol building and the main reason is that it is the final resting place of Daniel Boone.
- Historical Travel
John Jordan Crittenden was born September 10, 1787 near Versailles, Woodford County, Kentucky. He was the second child and first son of Revolutionary War veteran John Crittenden and Judith (Harris) Crittenden. John and Judith Crittenden ultimately had four sons and five daughters, all but one of whom survived infancy. On his father's side, he was of Welsh descent, while his mother's family was French Huguenot. His father had surveyed land in Kentucky with George Rogers Clark, and settled on the land just after the end of the Revolutionary War. Two of Crittenden's brothers, Thomas and Robert, became lawyers, while the third, Henry, was a farmer.
Crittenden began a college preparatory curriculum at Pisgah Academy in Woodford County. From there, he was sent to a boarding school in Jessamine County. Among his classmates were Thomas Alexander Marshall, John C. Breckinridge, and Francis P. Blair. Crittenden became close friends with Blair in particular, and later political differences did little to diminish their friendship. After a year in boarding school, Crittenden moved to the Lexington, Kentucky home of Judge George M. Bibb to study law. He began his collegiate studies at Washington College (now Washington and Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia. During his brief tenure there, he studied mathematics and belles-lettres and befriended Hugh Lawson White. Crittenden became dissatisfied with the curriculum at Washington College and matriculated to the College of William and Mary. There, he studied under St. George Tucker and became acquainted with John Tyler. He completed his studies in 1806 and was admitted to the bar in 1807. He briefly practiced in Woodford County, but seeing that central Kentucky was already supplied with able lawyers, he relocated to Logan County, Kentucky on the state's western frontier and commenced practice in Russellville. At age twenty-two, Governor Ninian Edwards of Illinois Territory appointed him attorney general for the Territory. The following year, Edwards also made Crittenden his aide-de-camp.[a]
On May 27, 1811, Crittenden married Sarah O. Lee at her house in Versailles. Lee was a cousin of future U.S. President Zachary Taylor. The couple had seven children before Sarah's death in mid-September 1824. Among the children were Confederate major general George Crittenden and Union general Thomas Leonidas Crittenden. Daughter Sallie Lee "Maria" Crittenden was the mother of John C. Watson, a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy during the late 19th century.
John Brown House
He was married to Margaretta Mason on February 21, 1799.
They had five children; only two lived to adulthood. Mason Brown (November 10, 1799 – January 27, 1867) was born in Philadelphia. Orlando (September 26, 1801 – July 26, 1867) was born at Liberty Hall. Alfred was born at Liberty Hall on February 23, 1803 and died less than a year later on January 29, 1804. John and Margaretta had another son named Alfred that was born on May 9, 1804 and died on July 30, 1805. Their last child and only daughter named Euphemia Helen was born May 24, 1807 and died from a calomel overdose on October 1, 1814.
Descendants of John and Margaretta Brown include Senator Benjamin Gratz Brown, the 20th Governor of Missouri and Vice Presidential Candidate in the 1872 election, and children's author Margaret Wise Brown.
John Brown died on August 29, 1837 in Lexington, Kentucky and was brought home to Frankfort for burial. In 1847, he was re-interred in the Frankfort Cemetery. The home he occupied in his later years is preserved as Liberty Hall Historic Site located at 202 Wilkinson Street in Frankfort, Kentucky. The site contains two houses: Liberty Hall (1796) built by John Brown, and the Orlando Brown House (1835), designed by Gideon Shryock, and owned by Senator Brown's second son. Liberty Hall is operated as a museum and is open to the public. Liberty Hall Historic Site is a 501(c)3 organization owned and operated by Liberty Hall, Inc., and The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Kentucky
George M. Bibb House
George Mortimer Bibb (October 30, 1776 – April 14, 1859) was an American politician.
Bibb was born in Prince Edward County, Virginia, attended Hampden-Sydney College and graduated from the College of William & Mary, then studied law. He was admitted to the bar and practiced law in Virginia and Lexington, Kentucky. After making a permanent move to Kentucky he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1806, 1810 and again in 1817. He was appointed a judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1808 and then chief justice through 1810.
In 1811 he was elected to the United States Senate from Kentucky and served until 1814 when he again returned to Lexington to work as a lawyer. He moved to Frankfort, Kentucky in 1816 and sided with the New Court faction in the Old Court-New Court controversy in the 1820s. He was again named Chief Justice of the Kentucky Court of Appeals in 1827, serving for a year.
He was re-elected to the United States Senate in 1829 and served as a Jacksonian Democrat through 1835. During the 21st Congress he was chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Post Office and Post Roads.
He was chancellor of the Louisville Chancery Court from 1835 through 1844 and in 1844 became President John Tyler's fourth United States Secretary of the Treasury serving through 1845.
He was a very aged man when he assumed his Treasury position, dressing "in antique style, with kneebreeches." Bibb's Annual Report on the State of the Finances for 1844 consisted of an elaborate compilation of statistics detailing the financial history of the nation since 1789. In addition, he presented a solid argument for the establishment of a "sinking fund," accumulated through regular deposits and used to pay the interest and principal on the national debt. Bibb advocated using Treasury surplus revenue from customs and internal revenue collection to supply the sinking fund. Such a fund had been used effectively to reduce the deficit from 1789 to 1835, but Bibb was unable to revive it.
After this he was a lawyer in Washington, D.C., and an assistant in the U.S. Attorney General's office.
He died in Georgetown, D.C., in 1859, and is buried in Frankfort Cemetery.
First Baptist Church for African American
Prior to 1833 black and white Christians worshiped together. Later, some leaders of the white Baptists thought it was wise to separate in 1833. Thus, the First Baptist Church became two congregations – one black and one white.
First Baptist Church was led by able pastors throughout the years and a strong laity help insure the progress of the congregation. The congregation worshipped in various homes until they could build a permanent church. In 1844, land was donated by John Ward and in 1898, Reverend Robert Mitchell and the Church’s Trustees purchased the present lot for $4,000.00 and a legal struggle ensued.
The City Council of Frankfort ignored the construction petition to build a sanctuary to house First Baptist. Adjacent property owners refused to sign the petition and the City became actively involved with the prevention of construction. Even with this obstacle confronting them, First Baptist Church proceeded to have the old building torn down and started negotiations with a contractor to build the Church. The City Council disapproved of this action and issued warrants for the arrest of the contractor and the Board of Trustees citing violation of City Ordinances.
In 1903 the Court of Appeals granted an historic victory to First Baptist Church and allowed construction of the church. The court stated that the City’s opposition was “largely based upon race prejudice.” In 1905, under the leadership of Rev. W.T. Silvey, construction was completed on the current edifice at 100 Clinton Street.
State Arsenal now a Military Museum
In 1850 the Kentucky legislature ordered the building of the State Arsenal and appropriated $8,000 to pay for its construction. The initial appropriation bill required that the State Arsenal be at least one-half mile away from the state capitol. This distance would protect the capitol from damage like that suffered in 1836 when an earlier arsenal on the capitol grounds exploded and burned
Frankfort resident Nathaniel C. Cook was the architect selected to design the building. Cook also designed several other public buildings in Kentucky, including courthouses and churches. He had served as a private in the First Kentucky Regiment of Mounted Volunteers in the Mexican War and in the Civil War was a member of the 36th Regiment of Enrolled Militia called out by the governor to defend Frankfort against Confederate raiders in June 1864. The success of this defense probably saved the Arsenal from destruction at the hands of the Confederates.
First Baptist Church Historical Section
BRIEF HISTORY: “At a meeting of a number of Baptists at the house of Simon Beckham in the town of Frankfort to consult on the propriety of establishing a church in this place Brother S. M. Noel was requested to act as moderator and j. Dudley as clerk. The objects of the being having been stated by Brother Noel, the following resolutions were adopted: (nem con) “Resolved that it is expedient to proceed without delay in suitable arrangements preparatory to the constitution of a Baptist Church at Frankfort…Resolved that we now adjourn to meet again at this place on the 28th inst.”
Thus did the First Baptist Church of Frankfort have its launching. It was organized on February, 25, 1816, with thirteen members. Rev. Silas Noel (grandfather of Mrs. John W. Gaines) preached the first sermon for his text, Acts 11:26. At first it met in members’ houses, but then started meeting in the House of Public Worship which stood in the old State House yard on the corner of Lewis and Broadway. The House of Public Worship was open to all churches and the Baptists used it on the fourth Saturday of each month.
The first regular pastor of the church was Rev. Henry Toler, and the honor roll of those leaders who served the church so faithfully and triumphantly has included: Jacob Creath, Philip S. Fall, Silas M. Noel, and Porter Clay (brother of Henry Clay).
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