Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Look At Webster County

The Evansville (Indiana) Courier and Journal periodically published articles about nearby counties. On Sunday, 27 April 1930, an article on Webster County, Kentucky appeared. The following information has been abstracted from that article, which was written by Mrs. R.L. Rice.

Webster County was named for Daniel Webster, lawyer and statesman. It is well watered by the following creeks: Deer, Pitman, Clear, Highland, Crab Orchard, Caney Fork, Slover and Graves Creek.

Going south on U.S. Hwy. 60, one enters Webster County from Henderson County at the place formerly called "Sixteen Mile House," being 16 miles from Red Banks, now Henderson. The name of "Sixteen Mile House" is today Poole, named in honor of the first settlers, the Poole family.

Five miles south of Poole is a marker of brown sandstone inscribed H.H. This marks the site of a great oak tree which was for many years the corner tree of the three counties, Union, Henderson and Hopkins. In 1799, the head of "Big Harp," a fiendish bandit who had terrorized the pioneers in many parts of the state, was hung from this tree where it remained by many years.

There the highway winds its way over Hunters Hill, so-called because of the game once abounding there. Here the Madisonville-Morganfield road known as the Shawnee Trail, crosses U.S. 41, known as the Dixie Bee line.

Dixon, the county seat of Webster, lies 21 miles south of Henderson. An ancient Indian trail from Nashville, Tenn. to St. Louis, Mo. passed directly through what is now the center of town. Col. Meriwether Lewis traveled this trail on his last ill-fated trip between those two cities.

Eleven miles south of Dixon is Providence, one of the oldest towns in western Kentucky, much of the territory surrounding the city having been settled previous to 1800. About 1820, Richard Savage, from Winchester, Va., son of Dr. Joseph Savage, surgeon in the Second Virginia regiment in the Revolutionary War, cleared the deep forest where the citadel of Providence is now located, at the intersection of Main and Broadway streets. There he built a store of hand-riven lumber. This building stood until 1878, when it was torn down and soon afterward the brick structure now standing there was erected to T.B. Payne. About 1830 another store was built on an opposite corner by Wiley Ledbetter. Daniel and William Head each built a store a little later. The town was incorporated February 18, 1840.

About 1860, Rev. Nicholas Lacy came to the town from Christian County as pastor of the Sharon Baptist Church, now the First Baptist. He also conducted a private school.

Other towns in the county are Clay, named for Henry Clay, eight miles from Providence; Slaughters, named for G.G. Slaughter, pioneer settler; Vandersburg, four miles southeast of Dixon, and Sebree, 10 miles northeast of Dixon, named for Col. Sebree.

Published 23 May 2013, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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