The following article helps paint a picture of Caldwell County during the latter part of the 1870s. The information comes from Kentucky: Its Resources and Present Condition; the First Annual Report, Frankfort, Ky., 1878.
Caldwell County was organized in the year 1809 and named in honor of General John Caldwell. It was taken from a part of Livingston County, and is bounded north by Crittenden and Hopkins, east by Hopkins and Christian, south by Trigg, and west by Lyon and Crittenden Counties.
Princeton, the county seat, having a population of about 1200 persons, is located on a beautiful plateau, surrounding one of the finest springs in the State. The Louisville and Southwestern Railroad passes through the town, affording quick and easy conveyance to all parts of the country. The court house is one of the best in the Green river country. The churches are elegant; the college buildings of the Princeton College, and also of the female academy, are handsome and commodious, and many of the private residence neatly and fashionably built.
Fredonia, twelve miles northwest of Princeton, is quite a handsome town, doing a large local trade, and surrounded by a rich country, and a prosperous community of farmers. Its population of about 200 persons are intelligent, enterprising, and thrifty.
Scottsburg, Dulany and Farmersville are thriving villages, each doing a considerable trade in their respective neighborhoods.
Princeton, as the central point of Caldwell County, is excellently located to become a place of extensive manufacturing enterprises. It has already one woolen factory, two or three manufacturing flour mills, as many wagon and plow shops, and more than a dozen other mechanic shops. The large creek, bursting out in the very heart of town, affords water for any number of factories to be run by steam.
Princeton College was established in 1826 by the then new denomination of Cumberland Presbyterians, and flourished many years, when it was partially removed to Lebanon, Tennessee. Within the last few years it has been started again. Many distinguished men of Kentucky and other Southern and Western states, have been educated at this institution. The Princeton Female Academy is a most excellent institution. At Fredonia is a well-conducted academy at which are educated a large number of students from the adjacent country.
The leading church denominations are the Cumberland Presbyterian, the Primitive and Missionary Baptist, the Methodist and Episcopalian, with a few Catholics, Unitarians, and Universalists scattered over the county.
The citizens of Caldwell are singularly industrious, intelligent, open-hearted, generous and hospitable. They are the descendants, principally, of that good old Virginia and North Carolina stock, the off-shoot of the English Cavaliers.
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by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG