Thursday, July 14, 2011

View of Livingston County, Kentucky 1878

The following information has been taken from Kentucky: Its Resources and Present Condition, 1878.

The year 1798 is memorable in the annals of Kentucky ... it was then that this county, amidst more than a dozen others, was brought into existence, and named in honor of Robert R. Livingston. It was cut off from the extreme western part of Christian (which then extended to the Ohio River), and is now bounded on the north by the Ohio river, which separates it from Illinois, and by Crittenden county, on the east by Crittenden and Lyon, south by Marshall and McCracken, and west by the Ohio river.

Navigation and Railways - The Ohio river forms the west and north boundary, the Tennessee river the southern boundary, and the Cumberland the eastern boundary for about one third of its extent, and then runs centrally through the county. These three streams afford means for perpetual steamboat navigation to every neighborhood in the county. The Louisville and Southwestern Railroad passes through the eastern border ... thus no part of Livingston is wanting in traveling or transportation facilities.

Agriculture - Corn, wheat, oats, rye, flax, the hay grasses, and tobacco, all grow luxuriantly, and seldom fail of making good crops. Cotton is cultivated to a limited extent for home use, and peanuts are becoming quite a crop of profit. The tobacco of this county is sold at Paducah and Louisville, and makes up some of the best shipping leaf that goes into this market.

Towns - Smithland, the county seat, is located at the mouth of Cumberland river, where it empties into the Ohio. It contains some seven to eight hundred inhabitants, a good court house and other public buildings, several churches and mechanic shops, and many well built private residences.

Salem is a beautiful town of some 300 inhabitants.

Birdsville, Carrsville, Bayou Mills, Pinkneyville and St. Bernard are neat villages, each doing a considerable local trade.

Churches - The Methodist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Catholic are the principal religious denominations. The church buildings are generally primitive in their architecture, but sufficiently elegant to suit the tastes of the true Christian who worship in them.

Schools - There are several good private schools in the county in addition to the free public primary schools. The people are every year becoming more and more interested in the public school system.

Domestic Arts - While the male portion of the population are attending to the farms and live stock, the energetic and frugal females are employed in attending to the domestic affairs of housekeeping and the manufacture of cloth for the every day wear of the family. Jeans, linseys, linens, cottonades, blankets, counterpanes and other useful articles are woven on the old-fashioned hand-looms.

The People - Like other agricultural communities in Kentucky, the citizens of Livingston are energetic, careful, and saving, remarkably intelligent and hospitable, and well aware of the fine natural resources of their county and are anxious to have other persons from distant States and countries to come and settle among them, and share their rich lands and other benefits. To all such they will give a most hearty welcome.

Copyright on text and photographs
by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog

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