Collins' 1878 Historical Sketches Of Kentucky
From One Of Kentucky's Most Noted History Books


Bath County
Iron. - Analyses of 14 samples of Bath County limonite ores ranged from 26.61 to 60.41 in percentage of metallic iron, an average of 49.10; and of three of carbonate of iron, 27.22%. One or more furnaces in Bath County were worked about 1790.


Calloway County
The First County Seat, together with the Land Office, was at Wadesboro, which became a flourishing town of over 300 inhabitants and was much frequented by emigrants and land speculators for the purpose of entering vacant lands. The public land sales authorized by the legislature were largely attended. They were occasions of great interest and excitement. After the public lands had been entered and sold, Wadesboro lost its prominence. Many citizens moved away, the public buildings fell into ruins, and the county seat was removed to Murray.


Estill County
In 1865 The Red River Iron Manufacturing Company was chartered and organized with a cash capital of $1,000,000; which sum was actually expended in the purchase of all the estate belonging to the Red River Ironworks and in the improvement of that property. The works at the old forge on Red River were not revived, but the mills there were rebuilt and improved. Estill Furnace was put into blast in May 1866; many buildings were erected, turnpike roads were built, and the iron was wagoned eight miles to Red River and shipped by flatboats. In 1868 the company began and in less than two years completed two of the largest charcoal furnaces in the world; with inclined planes, tramways, macadamized roads, mills, shops, homes for over 100 families, and employment for 1,000 men for more than a year. A town was chartered at the new furnaces called Fitchburg, after the two brothers: Frank Fitch, the general superintendent; and Fred Fitch, the secretary and treasurer. In 1869 the iron from Estill Furnace was diverted from the Red River route and wagoned three miles to Fitchburg; thence, together with the product of the two great furnaces, which went into blast March 4, 1870, taken by a new tramway six miles to Scott's Landing on the Kentucky River, near the mouth of Miller's Creek. In 1871 nearly 10,000 tons of pig iron were turned out, valued at $600,000.

In 1871 the Estill Iron Company, a new concern, in the hands of skilled men and with abundant capital, purchased the Cottage Furnace property. As soon as either one of the projects for reaching these works by railroad is completed, the manufacture will be still more largely increased. The irregularity and uncertainty of transportation are the great barriers to the development of the mineral wealth of Kentucky.


Franklin County
The Survey Of The Land Whereon Frankfort Now Stands was first made on Friday, July 16, 1773, by Hancock Taylor, a deputy or assistant of Col. Wm. Preston, then official surveyor of Fincastle County, Virginia; which county then included a large part of western (now West) Virginia, together with all of the country now known as the state of Kentucky. Two, if not all, of Taylor's regular surveying party were Matthew Bracken (after whom Bracken Creek was named, and from it, Bracken County), and Jacob Dren-non (who gave name to Drennon Creek in Henry County). Two surveys were made embracing together 600 acres, and including most of the bottom on which Frankfort is built; for Robert McAfee, one of the McAfee company of five with whom Taylor's party had met on May 28th, preceding, on the Kanawha River, and had since been traveling, exploring, and surveying with.


Hopkins County
Baron Frederic Wm. Augustus Steuben, the distinguished (Prussian) inspector general of the Revolutionary Army, shortly after the close of the war for independence, visited Kentucky and located some land. Tradition says that he was wounded by the Indians at or near a lick in Hopkins County, called (from that circumstance) Steuben's Lick. He died in Utica, New York, November 28, 1794, and a copy of his will was sent to Kentucky, and was on file in the Court of Appeals, but destroyed by fire when the papers of that office were burned. Among its provisions was a bequest to Capt. Meriwether Lewis, his former aide-de-camp, of one of his swords, and a legacy in money of perhaps $2,000; for the reason that Lewis' salary of $500, as secretary to President Jefferson, was insufficient to support him in the style his position demanded. There was also a legacy of perhaps $2,000 each to certain of his servants, on condition that, at his death, they should lay him out in his military cloak, and at the expiration of a designated time, bury his body in a secret place, which he had pointed out to them, and forever keep the place concealed; any disclosure of this secret to forfeit the legacy. In attempting to removed his remains, a few years ago, they were found to be petrified.


Lincoln County
Springs. - The Crab Orchard neighborhood, in the eastern part of Lincoln County, is distinguished for the number, variety, and excellence of its mineral springs. They were known in 1857 as: 1. The two Crab Orchard Springs (Caldwell's), both chalybeate; 2. Brown's Spring, chalybeate, half a mile out, on the Lancaster Turnpike; 3. Howard's White Sulphur Well, one and one-half miles out, on the Mt. Vernon Road; 4. Epsom Spring, No. 1, one mile out, on the Lancaster Turnpike; 5. Epsom Spring at Foley's, half a mile from the center of Crab Orchard, on the Fall Dick Road; 6. Sowder's Spring, one and one-half miles out, on the north of the hill toward Dick's River; and 7. Bryant's Springs near Crab Orchard, seven in number, chalybeate, sulphur, and more. The "Crab Orchards Salts," obtained by carefully evaporating the water of the two Epsom or of Sowder's Springs to dryness in iron kettles, have been sold by druggists throughout the country and have become an official article. They are less drastic and more tonic than pure, unmixed Epsom salts, and they are more likely to act on the liver in the manner of calomel when taken in small doses. The sulphate of magnesia (Epsom salts) is the principal saline ingredient of several of the springs.