Taverns were important places in early Kentucky. Not only could one obtain a beverage, but news and gossip were discussed, debated and digested. Travelers bearing news of the outside world were in demand to tell all they knew of current events. There was some regulation of taverns, though, with certain requirements needing to be met and rates for the area were standardized.
In order to receive a license to keep a tavern in Kentucky, the prospective tavern keeper had to appear before the county court and promise to keep an orderly house, vow not to sell or give liquor to anyone who was intoxicated or was a minor. The license was renewable yearly. The following information has been abstracted from Livingston County Tavern Keepers Bond Book 1853 - 1894, Livingston County Clerk's Office, Smithland, Kentucky.
J.W. Kayse requested a license to keep a tavern in Salem 31 January 1863 and requested a renewal 7 March 1864.
Joseph Bridges applied to keep a tavern in Karrsville 6 April 1863 and asked for a renewal 4 April 1864.
W.F. Mitchell requested a license to keep at tavern at the Elliott House 7 September 1863.
J.L. Hibbs requested a license to keep at tavern in Birdsville 6 October 1863.
John S. Leffler posted bond to keep a tavern at the American House (in Smithland) 7 December 1863.
R.L. Caldwell requested a license to keep a tavern in Pinkneyville 4 April 1864.
C.A. Berry requested a license to keep a tavern in Salem 4 July 1864.
C.G. Halstead posted bond to keep a tavern in Smithland 6 September 1864.
Robert Crotser applied to keep a tavern in Karrsville 4 October 1864.
E.T. Duffen applied to keep a tavern in Salem 5 December 1864.