Saturday, April 28, 2012

View of Webster County, Kentucky 1878

Through Kentucky: Its Resources and Present Condition, The First Annual Report, prepared by Winston J. Davie, Commissioners of the state Bureau of Agriculture, Horticulture and Statistics, we are able to take a look at Webster County in 1878.

This county was taken from parts of Henderson, Hopkins and Union in 1860, and named for Daniel Webster. It is bounded on the north by Union, Henderson, and McLean, east by McLean and Hopkins, south by Hopkins and Crittenden, and west by Crittenden and Union.

Lying between Green river on the north and Tradewater on the south, Webster county presents all the varieties of surface and soil, from the overflowed bottom to the back-bone ridge. The basis of the entire county is of the true coal measures. Next to Hopkins, this county has probably more workable beds of bituminous coal than any other lying in the West Kentucky coal field. Mineral springs are very numerous; copperas water is frequently met with, and some rich salt water. The mineral springs at Sebree City are quite celebrated for their medicinal virtues, and are much used by invalids.

Tobacco is King of crops in Webster, then come corn, wheat, rye and the hay grasses. The fine corn and hay crops give profit to hog and mule-raising, numbers of which each year are exported to the South, or to the Henderson and Evansville markets.

Towns and Villages

Dixon, the seat of justice, is a handsomely-built town of about 500 inhabitants. It is located about the centre of the county, and contains a good brick court house and other public buildings, three churches, an academy, 3 tobacco factories, steam flouring mill, saw and grist mill, half a dozen mechanic shops, and several elegant private residences.

Slaughtersville, a thriving town of about 250 inhabitants, is located immediately on the St. Louis and Southeastern Railroad, and is one of the largest shipping points for tobacco on the road.

Sebree City is a pace of considerable trade, and enjoys a fine reputation on account of its excellent mineral water. It is one of the most fashionable watering places in Southwestern Kentucky; population 250.

Providence, 11 miles south of Dixon, is a flourishing town of 200 inhabitants.

Steamport,on Green River, Bellville and Montezuma on Tradewater, and Pools Mill, in the northwestern corner of the county, are neat villages, each with a large local trade.

Clayville, 6 miles southwest from Dixon, contains 200 inhabitants, and is quite an important tobacco manufacturing point.

Vanderburg is a beautiful village of 150 inhabitants.

At Dixon and Slaughtersville are well managed seminaries. Clayville Academy, under the able management of H.E. Echols, is a first-class institution. There are also other high schools in the county, beside the free common schools in every district taught under the State system.

Almost the entire population of Webster is descended from the good old North Carolina stock, and they keep up the habits and customs of that noble State. A more social, intelligent, hospitable, kind community cannot be found in Kentucky or the Western States.

There are large bodies of rich desirable land still unoccupied that the owners would willingly sell at low prices to actual settlers. To all such emigrants a hearty welcome would be given, and first class farms and homes, with future riches, would be the rewards of their removal to this county.

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