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Kentucky Union Land Company records, Bulk, 1880-1899

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Finding aid prepared by Processed by Beth Eifler; machine-readable finding aid created by Beth Eifler


Kentucky Union Land Company records


Bulk, 1880-1899


University of Kentucky Special Collections


Organized into the following series: Correspondence (1811-1935, undated), Financial Papers (1864-1934, undated), Business and Legal Papers, Maps, Miscellaneous, and Oversize Materials.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], Kentucky Union Land Company records, 1791-1935, bulk 1880-1899, 59M110, Special Collections and Digital Programs, University of Kentucky Libraries, Lexington


6.0 Cubic feet

12 boxes, 1 oversize folder


These papers relate to the Kentucky Union Land Company, in particular its efforts to secure lands in eastern Kentucky for the Kentucky Union Railway Company.


The Kentucky Union Land Company (KULC) was a subsidiary of the Kentucky Union Railway Company and was responsible primarily for conducting surveys, purchasing lands through which the railway would run, and securing the right of way for the railway. The Kentucky Union Railway line eventually crossed over 500,000 acres of valuable coal, iron, and timber lands, lying mostly in the eastern Kentucky counties of Breathitt, Perry, and Letcher. Two of the land company's agents were George W. Sewell, who was also a Kentucky legislator, and James McGuire of Irvine, Kentucky. Capt. J.M. Thomas and Mr. Benjamin Crawford were also responsible for purchasing a large body of lands for the KULC.

The Kentucky Union Railway Company was reorganized in 1894 as the Lexington and Eastern Railway Company and later purchased in 1909 by the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company.

Scope and Content

These papers relate to the Kentucky Union Land Company, in particular its efforts to secure lands in eastern Kentucky for the Kentucky Union Railway Company. Materials consist of correspondence, financial papers, legal documents, and maps. The financial papers include bills, receipts, cancelled checks, expense reports, agreements, stock certificates, memorandum, and some correspondence. Legal documents include surveys and surveyors' reports, deeds and indentures, and court records dealing with land disputes. Most of the deeds, indentures, and surveys in the collection are copies made in the 1870s-1890s, but there are also a few original materials dating from 1791-1869. Some family histories may be traced through the deeds and other court documents, including that of Samuel C. Young, the McGuire Family, and Baronness Caroline Von Roques of France. There are also a few miscellaneous documents relating to businesses owned by the land company, including the Three Forks City Company, St. Helen's Land, Coal and Iron Company of Frankfort, and the Kentucky Industrial Consolidation Company of Clay City.


  • Kentucky Industrial Consolidation Company (Clay City)
  • Kentucky Union Land Company.
  • Kentucky Union Railway.
  • Lexington and Eastern Railway Company.
  • Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company.
  • St. Helen's Land, Coal, and Iron Company (Frankfort, Ky.)
  • Three Forks City Company (Ky.)
  • McGuire family.
  • Maps
  • Kentucky--Genealogy.
  • Kentucky--History.
  • McGuire, James.
  • Sewell, George W., 1841-
  • Von Roques, Caroline, Baroness.
  • Land companies--Kentucky.
  • Land tenure--Kentucky.
  • Railroad land grants.
  • Railroads--Kentucky--History.

User Restrictions

Copyright has not been assigned to the University of Kentucky.

Collection Inventory

I CORRESPONDENCE, 1811-1935, undated
Scope and Content Note:

Letters mostly concern land purchases. Arranged chronologically by date.

February 18, 1811-December 20, 1888
[Box: 1, Folder: 1] browse
April 17, 1889-September 24, 1889
[Box: 1, Folder: 2] browse
January 9, 1890-July 18, 1893
[Box: 1, Folder: 3] browse
July 31, 1895-November 8, 1899
[Box: 1, Folder: 4] browse
January 13, 1900-September 22, 1902
[Box: 1, Folder: 5] browse
February 7, 1905-November 29, 1935
[Box: 1, Folder: 6] browse
[Box: 1, Folder: 7] browse
II FINANCIAL PAPERS, 1864-1934, undated
Scope and Content Note:

Included are stock certificates, cancelled checks, bills, receipts, expense reports, agreements, memorandum, and some correspondence. Arranged chronologically by date.

[Box: 2, Folder: 1] browse
[Box: 2, Folder: 2] browse
[Box: 2, Folder: 3] browse
[Box: 2, Folder: 4] browse
[Box: 2, Folder: 5] browse
[Box: 2, Folder: 6] browse
Cancelled checks, 1869-1934
[Box: 2, Folder: 7] browse
Stock certificates, Kentucky Industrial Consolidation Company, December 1, 1890
[Box: 2, Folder: 8] browse
ii Other Cases
Brun d' Aubignose, et al. vs. De Redern, et al
[Box: 3, Folder: 6] browse
Lewellen Bush and heirs [Please note that Lewellen Bush is also referred to as Loualen Bush in other parts of this collection.]
[Box: 3, Folder: 7] browse
Geo T. Cotton vs. Nathan Noble, et al
[Box: 3, Folder: 8] browse
Frank Hieronymous vs. George Calmes
[Box: 3, Folder: 9] browse
Patsy Hoskins, et al
[Box: 3, Folder: 10] browse
Claims involving the Kentucky Union Land Company
[Box: 3, Folder: 11] browse
Socrates Kincaid, et al. vs. William Gray, et al
[Box: 3, Folder: 12] browse
George W. McCormick vs. E.C. Strong
[Box: 3, Folder: 13] browse
Claims involving the McGuire family
[Box: 3, Folder: 14] browse
Bela McHughes vs. William Rice, et al
[Box: 3, Folder: 15] browse
Thomas Mendenhall, et al. vs. Abraham Fowler
[Box: 4, Folder: 1] browse
F.B. Quisenberry vs. J.D. Spencer
[Box: 4, Folder: 2] browse
Thomas L. Sewell, et al. vs. Dictator Cannel Coal Co
[Box: 4, Folder: 3] browse
Samuel Smith vs. William McGuire
[Box: 4, Folder: 4] browse
James Snowden vs. James McGuire
[Box: 4, Folder: 5] browse
Taylor, et al. vs. Nathan Noble, et al
[Box: 4, Folder: 6] browse
Trabue vs. Samuel Smith
[Box: 4, Folder: 7] browse
Trumble vs. Spencer, Prior, Buchanon
[Box: 4, Folder: 8] browse
Von Roques vs. Armstrong, et al
[Box: 4, Folder: 9] browse
[Box: 4, Folder: 10] browse
Scope and Content Note:

Materials include agreements, judgments, rights of way, powers of attorney, deeds, surveys, and other legal papers. Papers relating to specific families and tracts of land have been kept together as much as possible.

i Pre-existing Files
Scope and Content Note:

These files were created by the Kentucky Union Land Company and pertain to cases regarding specific tracts of land. The files have been left in the order prescribed by a list provided for each file. These files are incomplete and researchers should be aware that other papers relating to these tracts of land may be found elsewhere within the collection.

William Cockrill lands
[Box: 3, Folder: 1] browse
David Ross and James Currie lands
[Box: 3, Folder: 2] browse
J.M. Thomas lands
[Box: 3, Folder: 3] browse
St. Helen's Land, Coal, and Iron Company lands (part 1)
[Box: 3, Folder: 4] browse
St. Helen's Land, Coal, and Iron Company lands (part 2)
[Box: 3, Folder: 5] browse
ii DEEDS, circa 1791-1893
Scope and Content Note:

Deeds concern lands in the following Kentucky counties: Owsley, Bourbon, Lincoln, Estill, Powell, Clay, Montgomery, Breathitt, Woodford, Clark, Madison, Morgan, Mason, and Lee; as well as the Virginia (now West Virginia) counties of Kenhawa (now Kanawha), Monroe, Harrison, and Fayette. There are also some indentures, powers of attorney, and surveys included with the deeds. Land records detail the names and relationships of sellers and purchasers, a description and location of the real estate and/or personal property in question, the selling price, and sale and filing dates. Often provided are the names and relationships of prior owners, ancestors, and neighbors. Arranged alphabetically by grantor's last name; chronologically by date thereunder.

[Box: 5, Folder: 1] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 2] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 3] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 4] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 5] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 6] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 7] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 8] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 9] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 10] browse
[Box: 5, Folder: 11] browse
McGuire family
[Box: 5, Folder: 12] browse
[Box: 6, Folder: 1] browse
[Box: 6, Folder: 2] browse
[Box: 6, Folder: 3] browse
[Box: 6, Folder: 4] browse
[Box: 6, Folder: 5] browse
[Box: 6, Folder: 6] browse
[Box: 6, Folder: 7] browse
[Box: 6, Folder: 8] browse
Scope and Content Note:

Surveys are often accompanied by field notes and maps.

i Pre-existing Files
Scope and Content Note:

These files include copies of surveys of lands in Fayette and Madison counties made between 1783 and 1798.

i Files for Patron Use
Fayette County, Nos. 1-34 (1783-1784)
[Box: 7, Folder: 1]
Fayette County, Nos. 35-59 (1784)
[Box: 7, Folder: 2]
Madison County, Nos. 7-9, 32-67 (1788-1797)
[Box: 7, Folder: 3]
Madison County, Nos. 68-98 (1798)
[Box: 7, Folder: 4]
ii Restricted Files
Fayette County, Nos. 1-34 (1783-1784)
[Box: 7, Folder: 5] browse
Fayette County, Nos. 35-59 (1784)
[Box: 7, Folder: 6] browse
Madison County, Nos. 7-9, 32-67 (1788-1797)
[Box: 7, Folder: 7] browse
Madison County, Nos. 68-98 (1798)
[Box: 7, Folder: 8] browse
ii Field Note Booklets
Scope and Content Note:

These field notes mostly pertain to land owned by the St. Helen's Land, Coal, and Iron Company.

Chronological table of St. Helen's; unlabeled St. Helen's notebook
[Box: 8, Folder: 1] browse
Report on St. Helen's lands (4 notebooks)
[Box: 8, Folder: 2] browse
St. Helen's surveys, ink copy books 2-8
[Box: 8, Folder: 3] browse
St. Helen's lands, field notebooks 1-2
[Box: 8, Folder: 4] browse
St. Helen's lands, field notebooks 3-4
[Box: 8, Folder: 5] browse
St. Helen's lands, memorandum nos. 1-2
[Box: 8, Folder: 6] browse
R.M. Jones notes on St. Helen's lands
[Box: 8, Folder: 7] browse
James M. Bourne's notebooks on St. Helen's lands and Cane Creek
[Box: 8, Folder: 8] browse
Thomas L. Sewell lands
[Box: 8, Folder: 9] browse
Field notes of Lovell and Garrett lands in Wolfe County, Kentucky, W.A. Ward, Surveyor
[Box: 8, Folder: 10] browse
Notes of Four Mile Circle, Books No. 1-2, March 25-June 18, 1890
[Box: 8, Folder: 11] browse
iii Other Surveys, 1880s-1890s
Scope and Content Note:

Arranged alphabetically by name of tract.

Adams and Crow
[Box: 9, Folder: 1] browse
W.S. Allen
[Box: 9, Folder: 2] browse
Anderson and Chenault
[Box: 9, Folder: 3] browse
James Barnett (and heirs)
[Box: 9, Folder: 4] browse
George A. Begley
[Box: 9, Folder: 5] browse
Bush and Ponder
[Box: 9, Folder: 6] browse
John Carnan
[Box: 9, Folder: 7] browse
Thomas Carter
[Box: 9, Folder: 8] browse
Thomas Hart
[Box: 9, Folder: 9] browse
R.M. Jones Surveyor's Reports
[Box: 9, Folder: 10] browse
McGuire and Cochran
[Box: 9, Folder: 11] browse
John Marr (and heirs)
[Box: 9, Folder: 12] browse
Mill branch and farm
[Box: 9, Folder: 13] browse
J.M. Oliver's field notes (location unknown)
[Box: 9, Folder: 14] browse
David Ross and James Currie
[Box: 9, Folder: 15] browse
William M. Smith
[Box: 9, Folder: 16] browse
Isham Stamper
[Box: 9, Folder: 17] browse
Richard Thompson
[Box: 9, Folder: 18] browse
Ephraim Thomson
[Box: 9, Folder: 19] browse
Scope and Content Note:

Included are stock certificates, options to buy land, proxy votes, powers of attorney, and agreements. Arranged chronologically by date.

Powers of Attorney, 1805-1887
[Box: 10, Folder: 1] browse
Legal agreements, 1812-1831
[Box: 10, Folder: 2] browse
Legal agreements, 1883-1907, undated
[Box: 10, Folder: 3] browse
Lieutenant S.T. Leary, request for leave of absence, March 22, 1865
[Box: 10, Folder: 4] browse
Options to buy lots in Clay City, Powell County, Kentucky, April-May 1889
[Box: 10, Folder: 5] browse
Southern Mutual Investment Company, Skookum Gulch Pool, November 1897
[Box: 10, Folder: 6] browse
Proxy votes, June 1900-January 1915
[Box: 10, Folder: 7] browse
Proxy votes, June 1915-April 1919
[Box: 10, Folder: 8] browse
Proxy votes: miscellaneous notes
[Box: 10, Folder: 9] browse
Board of Directors Meeting, June 2, 1919
[Box: 10, Folder: 10] browse
In the matter of the Application of Bernard Francis Rollo, as foreign committee of the estate of Hugh Hamilton Stafford Northcote, an incompetent person, for the appointment of a committee in New York. Supreme Court, New York County. August 16, 1912
[Box: 10, Folder: 11] browse
Miscellaneous notes
[Box: 10, Folder: 12] browse
Scope and Content Note:

Included are hand drawn maps and blueprints of maps. The maps are typically plats, showing property lines as well as the size of the land. In some cases, maps reveal the history of land ownership for that property. Organized alphabetically by family or plot name associated with the land portrayed on map. Additional maps may be found in the Oversize section.

Bush and Ponder
[Box: 11, Folder: 1] browse
J.C. Cassidy
[Box: 11, Folder: 2] browse
Leander Coomer
[Box: 11, Folder: 3] browse
Thomas Duckham
[Box: 11, Folder: 4] browse
C.K. Falkoner
[Box: 11, Folder: 5] browse
John Gilliam tract
[Box: 11, Folder: 6] browse
Samuel Hill
[Box: 11, Folder: 7] browse
Lands upon the waters of Sandy Creek: Stephen Thompson Mason, William Thos. Hayes, and Robert Cochran
[Box: 11, Folder: 8] browse
L&E Ry. Main Line; L&E Depot; County Road to Cat Creek; County Road to River; surveyed by J.B. Hall, October 1, 1897
[Box: 11, Folder: 9] browse
Mrs. Lovelace
[Box: 11, Folder: 10] browse
William H. Simms
[Box: 11, Folder: 11] browse
[Box: 11, Folder: 12]
"On Education."
[Box: 11, Folder: 13]
Samuel Young Family History (from family Bible)
[Box: 11, Folder: 14]
J. Kennedy Tod and Co. in a/c with Charles Hendries, April 27, 1891 - 7 October 1892
[Box: 12, Folder: 1] browse
Land Grant to James McGuire, Estill County, June 21, 1826
[Box: 12, Folder: 2] browse
Land Grant to James McGuire, Sr., Owsley County, March 5, 1855
[Box: 12, Folder: 3] browse
iii MAPS
Scope and Content Note:

For preservation purposes, these maps have been arranged according to size. Untitled maps have been identified using names of land owners and/or key locations depicted on the map. Dates have been noted when present, but most of the maps are undated.

Samuel Young, Richard Thompson, and Grigsby & Elkins lands, undated (2 maps)
[Box: 12, Folder: 4] browse
Copy of original plats of Madison Co. surveys, showing connection of others with no. 44; shows Shores, Crooke, Barnett, and Marr lands
[Box: 12, Folder: 5] browse
McGuire vs. Thompson, undated [removed from court cases; includes 3 maps and 1 survey.]
[Box: 12, Folder: 6] browse
Miscellaneous unidentifiable maps, plats, and surveys
[Box: 12, Folder: 7] browse
Surveyed by R.C. Mansfield on January 16-17, 1889; copied from Mansfield's plat
[Box: 12, Folder: 8] browse
Lands along the borders of Letcher, Leslie, and Perry Counties (Beehive, Owens, Beech, Clover, Lynn, Stoney, and Beech Rock)
[Box: 12, Folder: 9] browse
Lands near Grigsby & Elkins line; John Edwards tract
[Box: 12, Folder: 10] browse
Cornett lands; Beech Fork; Big Leather
[Box: 12, Folder: 11] browse
Map showing W.S. Allen's land on the waters of Quicksand Creek (2 copies)
[Box: 12, Folder: 12] browse
Map showing relationship of V.P. Richardson, R.M. Morton, and William Bowen, Jr. lands to estate of Hesekiah Morton, dec'd, and the division of said estate between 8 heirs-at-law. Plotted from field notes of R.M. Jones, August 13, 1891
[Box: 12, Folder: 13] browse
Plot of KULC's lands at Bowen, Powell County, Kentucky, to accompany letter of R.C. Ballard Thruston to E.T. Halsey, Receiver, dated June 26, 1891
[Box: 12, Folder: 14] browse
Land in controversy in the case of Samuel Smith vs. William McGuire, et al. (1 survey and 1 map)
[Box: 12, Folder: 15] browse
Isham Stamper plat (3 copies with one marked as an exhibit in the case of Kentucky Union Land Company vs. Cornett, et al.)
[Box: 12, Folder: 16] browse
W.S. Allen lands, tract no. 1 (2 maps)
[Box: 12, Folder: 17] browse
Grigsby & Elkins lands
[Box: 12, Folder: 18] browse
Platted from R.M. Jones field notes on Red River lands; showing Maples McNabb lands
[Box: 12, Folder: 19] browse
Thomas Duckham lands
[Box: 12, Folder: 20] browse
Big Beech Corner; Barnett line; Marr line
[Box: 12, Folder: 21] browse
Thomas Franklin - map with survey of plat
[Box: 12, Folder: 22] browse
Original plat of Thomas Franklin Survey (copy), 10-6-1890
[Box: 12, Folder: 23] browse
Entire survey made by Buckner deed; Tracing from report of Ira G. Profitt in suit of Loualen Bush's Admr. vs. Jas. W. Moore, et al.; filed Oct. 29, 1873 [Please note that Loualen Bush is also referred to as Lewellen Bush in other parts of this collection.]
[Box: 12, Folder: 24] browse
St. Helen's Land Company lands, Lee County, Kentucky
[Box: 12, Folder: 25] browse
John W. Richards land tract no. 20; Wm. Combs and J.J. Byrne lands
[Box: 12, Folder: 26] browse
Brashears and Cornett lands (3 copies)
[Box: 12, Folder: 27] browse
Thomas Franklin survey, Fayette County, Kentucky; shows lands of John Carnan, Grason & brothers, and Samuel Young
[Box: 12, Folder: 28] browse
Brashears and Cornett lands; Mrs. A.J. Shepherd lands (2 maps)
[Box: 12, Folder: 29] browse
McGuire, Snowden, and Dunaway lands
[Box: 12, Folder: 30] browse
McGuire, Snowden, Dunaway, Barnett, and Adams & Crow lands
[Box: 12, Folder: 31] browse
McGuire, Snowden, Dunaway, St. Helen's, and Vanderpool (or Jack) lands
[Box: 12, Folder: 32] browse
Lands leased in 1891 to Samuel Hill, Frank Schwartz, Felix G. McGuire, J.C. Cassity, Jno. Plummer, Mrs. Lovelace, Chas K. Falkoner, Coomer, and Wm. H. Simms, et al
[Box: 12, Folder: 33] browse
Heirs of James McGuire [2 genealogical charts]
[Box: 12, Folder: 34] browse
Insurance for the Kentucky Union Land Company from May 11, 1901 to May 11, 1902, The Imperial Insurance Company Limited of London, England
[Box: 12, Folder: 35] browse
Three Forks City, KY, undated
0.01 Cubic feet 1 item [Folder: 13, Item: 1] browse