Join the Genealogy Revolution.
Search for your surname in the largest DNA database of its kind!

My Surname

Banner - Family Tree Maker 2008

Domain Name Registration at 120x60

AfriGeneas States Research Forum

[KY] South Carrollton

SOUTH CARROLLTON times past a major port on the Green River

It was located in the right place with a river on one side. A railroad down the center and surrounded by a well improved fertile region of farming country.

The town was destined to become a center of commerce and it did and was for 40 odd years. The beginning of its decline was probarly for want of a good college business manager.

According to old accounts, the village of South Carrollton was begun in 1838 and like most settlements of the time. It grew very slowly. Itis locate on a high plateau on the left bank of the Green River and about equal distant on the old steamboat route between Bowling Green and Evansville.

The town was incorporated on February 25, 1849. After having been laid out by John Fentress on what was known as the "Old Randolph Farm." The site had formerly been a tanyard for many years.

On November 14, 1848, a Post Office had been authorized for South
Carrollton, with John V. Fentress as postmaster.

Twelve streets were named on the original plan and the eastern border
was the Green River.

From its location on the river, the village soon became a shipping
point for incoming and outgoing produce and minerals. The posrt served a large radius due to the good market facilities and easy approach to the river. Some pig iron from the buchner and churchill furnances were shipped from there in the beginning. But that was soon abandoned due to the enormous expenses of hauling over the poor roads of that time.

The Whitehall and Lovelace Taverns were the first and second Hotels in
South Carrollton and in there day were amoung the best known places in the county.

On May 12, 1851, John E. Reno was elected as postmaster and two years
later,on January 27, 1853, Jacob L. Short took over that office. He was followed on March 25, 1854, by Robert W. Bodine.

Nathaniel Rowland was the next postmaster beginning July 23, 1855. One year later, on July 22, 1856, James W. Sullivan became the sixth postmaster of the village.

General Von Steuben, the distinguished Prussian General. Located his
Virginia Military Warrents-granted him for his services in the
Revolution,in the South Carrollton vicinity. However, it was all lost (some 4,000 or more acres of his estate), under the occupying claimant limitations law.

South Carrollton was also the scene of some excitment during the Civil
War.On January 16, 1862, Gen. Thomas R. Crittenden, in command of Federal Forces. Moved his division there, where it remained until January 29, 1862.

His headquarters were at the Lovelace Tavern.

....On two hills, south and southwest of South Carrollton, Crittenden
threw up Breastworks, the remains of which can still be seen. In a number of places at the foot of the hills and in the valley between them he felled wide rows of trees, constructiong a barrier in defense of his position.What was later the residence of John L. Taylor, was used as a hopital by the 11th Kentucky Infantry, whose camp was located nearby.

Also in January of that same yhear, a unit of General Grant's Comman,
the 11th and 26th Kentucky Infantry, 2rd Calvary, the 42nd and 43rd Indiana Infantry and Beho's Artillery, making a total of a little less than 5, 000 soldiers that were stationed there.

On June 8, 1861, John Clark took the job as postmaster and then the job went to Thomas Bruce on March 12, 1864. After the war, Andrew G. Ferguson became postmaster on August 22, 1866.

Jesse S. Hill became South Carrollton's 10th postmaster on October 25,

During this period, a fine school had been erected in South Carrollton.It was called South Carrollton male and female Academy. One of the best known educators in western Kentucky, Professor Wayland Alexander, was in charge of this school. Later, in 1886, the Institute became the west Kentrucky Classical and Normal College by act of the Legislature. The Institution brought so many young men and women to South Carrollton that some expected it to become a seat of learning for the region. Its course of studies was of high order and graduates were given license to teach in public schools in Kentucky without passing an examination before the state board. Many unlimited sholarships were sold at the rate of $300.00 each. Good for an indefinite period and were transferable.

The students who attended this school during its early phases recieved
the benefits of all the capital derived from the paid up scholarship but in the course of a few years all the money taken in from the sale of the scholarships that had been sold became the source of obligations involving expenses which the intitution had made no provisions to meet. Financial aid was occasionally given to the school but increasing competition resulted in the closing of the college.

On September 2, 1873, John T. Gossett became the postmaster.

At about that time the L&N Railroad laid its tracks throught South
Carrollton. The line then extended from Owensboro to Central City and
in another 10 years would go beyond Central City, to Russellville, which was the original plan.

Transportation facilities were improved and several new enterprises were undertaken, some of them lasting until the close of the century.

A rock quarry was opened and operated by John Ohman, which at one time
employed 100 men. The rock was cut and shipped by boat and rail to
Owensboro, Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville and other cities for building
purposes. The old depot at Owensboro was built with stone blocks cut at his quarry.

Some of the stone cutters empolyed were paid as highas $8.00 a day.

The town had a distillery operated by Tom Baker in 1888, which burnd and was never rebuilt. Several cooperages-making barrel staves were locate in South Carrollton at that time.

A large flour mill was built by the Humphrey Brothers and lated sold to the Woolcott Brothers, who operated it for about 40 years before selling it to J. R. Rogers.

On February 10, 1875, James T. Lawton became postmaster and on April 8,1881, Clyde A. Lawton took over as postmaster but he was to remain only one month, until May 9, 1881, when Benjamin S. Hewlett became the 14th postmaster of South Carrollton.

Then on February 20, 1882, Clyde A. Lawton again took over the job as
postmaster. Lawton stayed on until 1885, when James O. Everly got the
job on December 4, of that year.

On March 27, 1889, Elizabeth E. Mcintire became the village's first
woman postmaster. Then John L. Taylor became postmaster on April 10, 1893.

The town now had a population of 600 and was a considerable trade center. There were four general stores, two drug stores, four grocery stores, two millinery stores, two marble shops, two livery stables and two blacksmith and wood working shops in the town. In addition there wre two good hotels and a large flour mill.

There were two physicians, Dr's J. R. Barnes and John N. Moorman.

By 1890 there was excellent transportation by rail and water. two
trains passed through daily, one headed for Russellville and the other going to Owensboro.

A tragedy occured in the South Carrollton vicinity on June 5, 1892.
When two passenger trains collided one mile north of town. The line had been in service for 21 years at the time and had a perfect safety record.

It was discovered after the wreck, that it was caused by a mistake. The engineer of the Southbound train carrying some 180 excursion passengers to Bowling Green, misread his timetable.

A regular passenger train was headed north from Russellville to
Owensboro. Just out of South Carrollton, engineer Jack Welsh saw an unusual smoke trailcoming down the tracks form the north.

Welsh slowed his train to a stop as the excursion came out of a cut and around a curve. Welsh and fireman W. B. Ramsey jumped for their lives and the other train smashed into their's at almost full speed.

Both engines were hurled from the tracks down a 12 foot embankment.
Hugh Barclay, fireman of the excursion train was the only crewman to stay with his train. He was killed. Altogether there were five killed and 25 seriously injured in the wreck.

On May 26, 1897, Clayton S. Curd became the postmaster and then on
October 26, 1903. Howard H. Lawton took over the postmasters job.

Probably the first mine explosion in Muhlenberg County occured on
February 10, 1908, at the Moody Mine in South Carrollton. Nine Miners were killed that day. It was local tragedy long remembered in the town.

On July 5, 1913, Lige L. Lawton was appointed postmaster and the
following April 2, 1914, India K. Whitmer took the office. She was to remain on the job for 31 years until February 22, 1945, when Henry c Wheeldon was appointed postmaster, upon her retirement. She had changed her name while serving on the job through marriage, to India K. Wolcot.

Jo M. Ferguson, a native of South Carrollton and a son of Dr. Jo
Ferguson was elected Kentucky Attorney General and served from 1955-1959.

On January 12, 1961, Erma S. Wheeldon became postmaster and then on
August 5, 1964, Harry C. Wheeldon, Jr., took over as postmaster a job he still holds. He is the 26th postmaster to serve South Carrollton in its 135 year history.

In times past the town was a major river port on the Green River. It
served as a port of entry and was railhead as well as a vast area.

During the Earlier river boat days, almost everything that came in to
Muhlenberg County, came through South Carrollton. It was a prime river boat stop for both freight and passengers during the generations of packet boats between Evansville and Bowling Green. in fact, it was the scene of the sinking of the old packet "Bowling Green" in 1920, a beloved craft that had plied the river since 1904.

Mrs Agnes Harralson saw it on the maiden voyage and as it sank on its
last journey at South Carrollton.

Today, South Carrollton is a bedroom community for those who work other place. Its population has dwindled to about 200 souls. In its heyday in the earlier part of the century, it boasted an estimated, 1,000 population.

Some of the family names of those who have lived in South Carrollton
during the past generations have included: Arnold, Allen, Baize, Barnes, Brown,Brook, Bullock, Conrad, Cummings, Downs, Drake, Devine, Dunlap, Davis,Duval, Eades, Ellis, Epley, Furguson, Gunterman, Gish, Gregory, Heady,Hunter, Harrison, Hobney, Jarvis, Mcclure, Mcdonald, Morris, Neal, Nelson,Nanny, Noffsinger, Peterson, Rager, Rengrown, Ruark, Reis, Slinker,Shrewsberry, Smith, Stevens, Taylor, Thompson, Underwood, Vincent, Wheeldon,Wilcox and Wood.

It was named South Carrollton to distingush it from Carrollton, the
county seat of Carroll County, Located northwest of Louisville in northern Kentucky.

This is from "A New History of Muhlenberg County" pae 113, by: Paul
Camplin Exerpt is from "The Heritage" Vol 16, No 2, page 32, 1994

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
Copyright © 2002-2008 by AfriGeneas. All rights reserved.
AfriGeneas ~ African Ancestored Genealogy