Category: People

  • Progress Coming on Athens-Boonesboro Road?

    Progress Coming on Athens-Boonesboro Road?

    As Clare and I were returning home from Lexington last week on Athens-Boonesboro Road, just before the intersection with Combs Ferry Road, we saw what looked like a fresh clearing of trees and brush on the Pat Shely farm.  With the foliage gone, we got our first view of the old frame building that had…

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  • Hannah H. Hinde

    Hannah H. Hinde

    There are many Kentucky women whose courage, spirit, and accomplishments need to be documented and preserved.  Hannah Hubbard Hinde Kavanaugh Taylor Martin is certainly one of those.  Hannah, the daughter of a wealthy British-born physician, is one of the most intriguing characters of early Clark County.  She married and buried three husbands and bore ten…

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  • Margaret Donaldson: Inventor and Businesswoman

    Margaret Donaldson: Inventor and Businesswoman

    When studying our state and county histories, it seems like men are given credit for just about everything.  That isn’t to say women haven’t had any accomplishments worth noting, but the men who penned the history books often overlooked them.  So we should make every effort to incorporate their stories into the written record.  With…

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  • Women on the Frontier

    Women on the Frontier

    Sources of information about women on the frontier are sparse, therefore women seldom get recognized for their contribution to the settlement of Kentucky.  In the male-dominated society of pioneer Kentucky, it was rare for a woman’s name to make it into the written records.  Anne Crabb and I conducted extensive research to identify the women…

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  • Green Martin: Soldier, Farmer, and Beloved Husband

    Green Martin: Soldier, Farmer, and Beloved Husband

    During the Civil War, Kentucky’s slaves could escape bondage by enlisting in the Union army, and they did so in remarkable numbers.  Nearly 24,000 African American soldiers are credited to the state.  That number represents 57 percent of those aged 18 to 45 eligible for military service.  Green Martin was just past his eighteenth birthday…

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  • Who Was George Gardner?

    Who Was George Gardner?

    George R. Gardner (1832-1921) was a Union Civil War veteran, successful Winchester businessman as proprietor of a coal yard, and faithful member of the Methodist church.  He left a sizeable estate at his death and was buried in Winchester Cemetery, where his handsome red granite monument stands beside those of his wife and mother-in-law.  George…

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  • Oliver High School Athletics

    Oliver High School Athletics

    Oliver High was one of only eight African-American high schools in Kentucky in the 1890s. Oliver’s storied athletic teams began early in the 20th century. Newspapers did not cover sports regularly in those days, so we have to rely on other sources. Two of importance are the late Louis Stout’s Shadows of the Past and…

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  • Lisletown


    Following the Civil War, formerly enslaved persons faced daunting challenges.  According to one historian, “after emancipation on December 18, 1865, Kentucky’s 225,000 [formerly enslaved people] were on their own.  Literally overnight, tens of thousands of black Kentuckians were scrambling for the basics of life in an often hostile environment.”  Most had no money, no housing,…

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  • Jennie Bibbs Didlick, A Civil Rights Pioneer

    Jennie Bibbs Didlick, A Civil Rights Pioneer

    Early on a Wednesday morning, Jennie Didlick boarded a bus in Winchester for the commute to her job in Lexington, where she taught fourth grade at Booker T. Washington School.  The back seat on the bus was “reserved for colored.”  Jennie took a seat in the next row up because she said she “always became…

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  • Orson Martin’s Factory Bottom

    Orson Martin’s Factory Bottom

    Orson Martin was born in 1764 in Goochland County, VA, the son of John and Rachel Martin, who were pioneer settlers on Lower Howard’s Creek.  Orson came to Kentucky in 1786.  An early resident stated that “there was two of the Martins built a mill on lower Howards creek,” relating to a gristmill Orson and…

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