Thursday, May 1, 2014

Marion, Kentucky in 1894

The following article appeared in the Crittenden Press 16 August 1894 and was reprinted in the Caldwell County Times, Princeton, Kentucky, 26 August 1926.  Marion is the seat of justice of Crittenden County and, in 2012, had a population of 3,025.

"The first page of this illustrated edition contained a history of Crittenden County, including its agriculture resources, soil climate and the educational, religious and business institutions. According to this account the first settler to what is now Crittenden County was James Armstrong, of South Carolina, who in 1786 "with his chattels loaded on a pack horse," he came to a spot on Livingston Creek a few hundred yards below Centerville ford and built a cabin, 12 feet square, no door, but with a window in the gable that was reached by a ladder that was drawn inside the cabin for the night. The first town in the county was known as Centerville. The first house in Marion was occupied by Dr. John S. Gilliam.

"At that time Marion had a population of 1500 scattered over a territory less than one mile square. It had one bank, four big dry goods stores carrying stock varying from $8,000 to $15,000 each, three hardware stores, two furniture stores, one book store, six groceries, one tailor shop, two millinery stores, one bakery, two shoe shops, two drug stores, two livery stables, two blacksmith and wagon shops, five good boarding houses, eight preachers, thirteen lawyers, five doctors, two dentists, twelve carpenters, two transfer men, one marble  yard, two photographers, one newspaper, two barber shops, one opera house, one planing mill, two saw mills, one wool carding machine, one creamery, two big flouring mills, one brickyard, two jewelers, two saloons, one tobacco stemery, three insurance agents, four white churches, three colored churches, one graded school, four secret societies, one produce house, one distillery, two saddle and harness makers, one carpenter shop, one dairyman."

Published 1 May 2014, Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog,

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