xt766t0gv48c https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt766t0gv48c/data/mets.xml United States. Works Progress Administration. Division of Women's and Professional Projects. Kentucky Historical Records Survey 1938 books Y 3.W 89/2:K 419/no.74 Kentucky Historical Records Survey Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Works Progress Administration Publications Archives--Kentucky--McCreary County--Catalogs McCreary County (Ky.)--History McCreary County (Ky.)--Archival resources Inventory of the county archives of Kentucky. No. 74. McCreary County (Whitley City) text Inventory of the county archives of Kentucky. No. 74. McCreary County (Whitley City) 1938 2012 true xt766t0gv48c section xt766t0gv48c   I IIIIIIIIIIIII IIIIIIIIII
_ 2 was umaaume. u INVENTORY Op
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I     I THE HISTORICAL RECORDS SURVEY
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j Fi-74-2

 A FOREWORD
The Inventory of County Archives of Kentucky is one of a number of bib-
1iOgmp1¤iéE"¤§`TTE%7@T¤T‘°m°aEeE~Tai’S`j?ep`a?eH‘*¤Tf;?€ughOut the United states by
workers on the Historical Records Survey of the Works Progress Administra-
tion. The publication herewith presented, an inventory of the archives of
McCreary County, is number 74 of the Kentucky series.
The Historical Records Survey was undertaken in the winter of l955-56
for the purpose of providing useful employment to rxeedy unemployed histori-
ans, lawyers, teachers, and research and clerical workers. In carrying out
this objective, the project was organized to umwile inventories of histori- ·
cal materials, particularly the unpublished government documents and records
which are basic in the administration of local government, and which provide
invaluable data for students of political, economic, and social history.
The archival guide herewith presented is intended to meet the requirements
of day-to-day administration by the officials of the county, and also the
needs of lawyers, business men and other citizens who require facts from the
public records for the proper conduct of their affairs. The volume is so
designed that it can be used by the historian in his research in unprinted
sources in the same way he uses the library card catalog for printed sources.
The inventories produced by the Historical Records Survey attempt to do
’T more than give merely a list of records - they attempt further to sketch in
the historical background of the county or other unit of government, and to
describe precisely and in detail the organization and functions of the gover-
ment agencies whose records they list. The county, town, and other local in-
ventories for the entire county will, when completed, constitute an encyclo-
pedia of local government as well as a bibliography of local archives.
The successful conclusion of the work of the Historical Records Survey,
even in a single county, would not be possible without the support of public
officials, historical and legal specialists, and many other groups in the
community. Their cooperation is gratefully acknowledged.
The Survey was organized and has been directed by Luther H. Evans, and
operates as a nation-wide project in the Division of Women's and Profession-
al Projects, of which Mrs. Ellen S, Woodward, Assistant Administrator, is in
charge,
HARRY L. HOPKINS
Administrator
Fi—74-5

 PREFACE
The Historical Records Survey of Kentucky was inaugurated in January
of 1956 as a part of the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Ad-
ministration. Since December 1956, the Survey has operated as an indepen-
dant unit of the nation-wide project under the technical supervision of
Dr. Luther H. Evans, National Director, Historical Records Survey, and un-
der the administrative supervision of the Division of Women's and Profes-
sional Projects of the Works Progress Administration of Kentucky,
_ Nation-wide uniformity of work has resulted from the use, by the
field workers, of standard forms, together with specific instructions from
' the National Office of the Survey.
Work of the Survey in McCreary County, Kentucky, was begun December 21,
1956, and completed April 10, 1957. A thorough recheck against the actual
records of McCreary County has been made, to assure the trustworthiness of
the inventory.
The statute creating the county is cited in the historical sketch. ln-
cluded is a map of the county reproduced by courtesy of the State Planning
Board. The discussion of governmental organization includes a chart exem-
plifying the governmental set-up in the county. A separate essay concerning
each office, including its history, functions, and records, precedes the en-
tries of the present county offices. Recommendations for improvement in the
arrangement and care of the county archives have been incorporated in the
section on "Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records", and have been
` made after unbiased study.
The various units of the Inventory of County Archives will be issued
in mimeographed form for free distribution to government offices, libraries,
and historical societies in Kentucky, as well as to libraries in other
states. Requests for information concerning particular units of the in-
ventory should be addressed to the State Director, Ninth and Broadway, Louis-
ville, Kentucky.
The listing and collecting of data pertaining to the county records was
done by Miss Lucy A. Kelly, under the direction of Mrs. Prentice U. Hurst,
District Supervisor, who with her office stafff consisting of Misses Addie
P. Demaree, Sara Davenport, and Nellie Lou Robards, prepared the preliminary
inventory. Abraham Freeman compiled the legal data for the individual office
essays. Harry P. Hoskins, historian, prepared the historical sketch from
original manuscripts located in the Filson Club in Louisville, Kentucky, and
records located in the various county depositories. The inventory was pre-
pared in final form by the state office staff. The inventory entries were
edited in final form by Mr. William.Turner. Miss Mildred Shapinsky, Assis-
tant State Supervisor, aided by Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston, was responsible for
the editorial work, including the individual office essays and the section
on governmental organization and record system. J. H. Raymer, Assistant
State Jirector, aided by Miss Thelma Bryant, classified and arranged the en-
· tries according to the respective offices, making cross references where noc-
essary. Jilliam Remington typed the inventory.
Fi-74-4

 ~ iii -
Preface
I wish_to express appreciation to the officials of the Works Progress
_ Administration in Kentucky, the University of Kentucky, Lexington, the Fed-
eral law Library, Louisville, and the Filson Club, Louisville, for their co-
operation and assistance in preparing this inventory. The officials of Mc-
Creary County were particularly helpful in assisting our workers and in un-
' covering records which had been misplaced and were difficult to locate.
, ,4%,%
p Walter M. oe man
State Dir ctor
V The Historical Records Survey
Louisville, Kentucky
February 25, 1958
Fi—74—5

 - 1 -
TABLE OF CONTENTS
A. McCreary County and its Record System Page
l. Historical Sketch . . . ...¤°,.¤¤¤..¤...¤. 5
2. Governmental Organization and Records System _____¤_ 6
Chart of County Governmental Organization _ _ _°°¤_ 9
5. Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records ____¤_ lO
4. List of Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes _ _ _ l2
B. County Offices and their Records
I. Fiscal Court ...,...........¤.....¤¤ 14
Court orders. Treasurer's reports. Claims
II. County Court Clerk _,,,,,,,°,_,,°,,,,,, 16
land instruments; deeds; leases and contracts; mort-
gages and liens. Personal property. Revenue. Disburse-
ments. Vital statistics. Power of attorney.
III. G<>u¤‘¤y Judge ....................... 21
IV. Circuit Court . . .c.. . ................ 22
Court minutes. Subpoenas. Suits and dockets. Judg-
ments, orders, and executions. Bonds. Claims. Lunacy
proceedings.
V. Commonwealth Attorney . . . ............... 1 . 27
VI. Circuit Court Clerk . ................... 28
Indictments, Drivers’ licenses. Financial. Trustee of
jury fund, Appeals.
VII. Master Commissioner ..........¤......... Bl
land instruments. Settlements.
VIII. County Court ....................... 52
Wills. Inventories and appraisements. Fiduciaries' ap-
pointments. Fidueiaries‘ settlements. Fiduciaries'
bonds. Petitions. Suits and dockets. Orders. Bonds.
IX. Juvenile Court .......‘ . ........ . ..... 56
Dockets. Orders.
X. Quarterly Court O . ................A I » » . 37
Examining trials. Suits and dockets. Judgments and
fines, Orders and executions. Bonds.
XI. County Attorney ,...... . . l . . . ., .... . . . . 59
Fi—74-6

 - 2 -
Table of Contents Page
XII. Justices cf the Peace ................... 40
Dockets. Judgments. Orders.
‘ XIII. Sheriff . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ........¤. 44
, Tax collections. Licenses and fees.
, XIV. Constables ...... . .... . . . . . . . . ..... 46
XV. Jailsf . . . . . . . ............. . ..... 47
Register of prisoners. Reports.
.   0   ¤ ¤ I ¤ ¤ 0 ¤ ¤ B U 0 ¤ ¤ | Q n ¤ D ¤ Q ¤ o | 0 B U  
XVII. Tax Commissioner . . . . ......... . .... . . . 49
_ Assessments.
XVIII. Board of Tax Supervisors . . . .... . ...... . . . 5l
Revision of assessments.
. XIX. County Budget Commission . . . . ............. 52
_ XX. Treasurer .... . .......,..¤..i. . .¤.. 55
XXI. Auditor ..¤.. . . H , . . .¤,.........¤ . . 54
XXII. County Election Commissioners ....... . ....¤.¤ 54
. Registration of voters. Petitions.
, XXIII. County Board of Education .......... . ...... 55
Minutes. Financial. Census. District boundaries.
XXIV. County School Superintendent . . . ............ 59
r Enrollments. Maps.
XXV. Health Unit ........................ 60
County board of health. County health officer, Vital
statistics. Cases treated.
XXVI. Surveyor . . . . ..... . ........ . ..... . G2
_ XXVII. County Road Engineer ........,.......... G5
XXVIII. County Agricultural Agent . . ....... . ....L.. G4
_ Expense budgets. Enrollments. Soil conservation. Maps
Index ........... . .¤».. , I ,.,...... 55
Fi~74-7

 1 5 -
(Pirst entry, p. 15)
1. HISTORICAL SKETCH
McCreary County, the last of the 120 counties of Kentucky to be created,
was formed in 1912 from parts of Pulaski, Wayne, and Whitley counties, and
named in honor of James B. McCreary, governor of the state at that time (Acts,
1912, ch. 46, p. 184; Carroll, ch. 54, p. 435, sec. 906m»l).
At the beginning of the twentieth century 1000 people inhabited three
towns in the southeastern part of the state; Whitley City, Pine Knot, and
Stearns, which were located in two counties, Pulaski and Whitley. These
towns were about twenty-five miles from the nearest county seat, and because
of poorly constructed roads and inadequate transportation, this situation
presented a serious problem. In 1900 a petition was filed in the state
courts, asking that a new county be created. A bill to this effect was in-
troduced and passed the house of representatives and the senate, but was ve-
toed by J. C. W. Beckham, governor of the state at the time it was presented.
No further attempt was made toward the creation of the county until 1912,
when the new county was organized with its boundaries so drawn that they would
run not less than ten miles from the county seat of any adjoining county, at
the same time, however, giving the new county an area of not less than four
hundred square miles (Cont. of 1891, sec. 65).
McCroary County is bounded on the north by Wayne and Pulaski counties;
on the east by Whitley County; on the south by the state of Tennessee; and
on the west by Wayne County.
A commission composed of three county residents was appointed by the
governor to select a temporary county seat. This committee chose Pine Knot,
and the first governmental transactions were carried on in a church building.
(Act§, 1912, ch. 46, pp. 188, 189.).
Pine Knot remained the county seat until November 1914, when, by vote
of the people, Whitley City, a town nearer the center of the county, was
A chosen. The first courthouse was a frame building erected in December 1914.
The building was destroyed by fire in 1927 and with it the greater part of
the county records. In 1928 the court authorized the construction of a two-
story, fireproof, brick building at a cost of $ec,ooc. The county jail, lo-
cated at the right rear of the courthouse, is a two~story building of brick
and cement construction, erected in 1915. (Fiscal Court Orders, entry 1.).
McCreary County offers sharp contrast between narrow winding valleys and
steep forested ridges, and the peculiar formations of hard rock, shale, and
sandstone in this region result in great cliffs such as those which produce
the famed Cumberland Falls. Bituminous coal is the most important mineral
resouce of the county, and small amounts of oil and gas have been developed
also. Limestone suitable for building purposes is found in certain sections
around the valley of the South Fork of the Cumberland River.
Coal mining and timbering are the chief industries, McCreary being one
of the outstanding exporting counties in the eastern Kentucky coal field.
The forested sections give rise to heavy lumber industry, the center of which
Pi~74-8

 a 4 -
Historical Sketch (First entry, p. 15)
is Stearns, an unincorporated town owned by the Stearns Coal and Lumber Com-
pany. Because the topography is steep and the soil thin, McCreary has the
smallest percentage of land devoted to farming of any county in Kentucky.
C McCreary County abounds in scenic and historic attractions. At the east-
ern edge of the county in the Cumberland River, which separates Whitley and
McCreary counties, is the Cumberland Falls, which is a constant attraction to
tourists. Natural rock formations, such as "lndian Head Rock" and a natural
bridge eighty fedghigh, caves, falls, and springs afford interest and scenic
beauty for visitors.
The entire county is included in the area designated as the Cumberland
National Purchase. This area the government proposes eventually to purchase,
retire from cultivation and other uses, and develop into a forest preserve,
Whitley City lies 1,517 fee above sea level, being the highest altitude
of any county seat in Kentucky, lt is situated on the dividing ridge between
the Main and South forks of the Cumberland River. (Kentucky: Rescucres, At-
tractions, Opportunities.).
According to the 195O U. S. Census, Whitley City has a population of
495, but is not an incorporated town, McCreary County, according to the same
census, has a total population of 14,627.
The county is served by both bus and railroad lines. U, S. Highway No.
27, known as the Cincinnati-Lookout Mountain Road, crosses the county from
· . north to south.
A I Bibliography
Fiscal Court Orders, entry 1, McCreary County Inventory,
this volume.
Acts of the General Assembly of 1912 (The Kentucky State
Journal Publishing Company, Frankfort, K ntucky, 1912).
Carroll’s Kentucky Statutes, Ba1dwin’s 1956 Revision,
(Banks-Baldwin Company, Cleveland, Ohio, 1956).
Kentucky; Resources, Attractions, Opportunities, (published
by the Kentucky Opportunities Department of Associated
lndustries of Kentucky, Louisville, Kentucky).
Fi—74—9

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` (First entry, p. 15)
5. HOUSING, CARE, AND ACCESSIBILITY OF THE RECORDS
In McCreary County most of the extant records of the various offices are
kept in the courthouse at Whitley City, the county Seat. The first court-
, i house, a frame structure built shortly after the county seat was moved from
;~ , Pine Knot to Whitley City, was completely destroyed by fire in 1927, and in
’"“T"$ 1928 the present courthouse, a modern, two—story, brick building, was erected.
,·» _ It is equipped with electric lighting and steam heat, and the ventilation
j 1 throughout the building is good.
Q _ g When the first courthouse was destroyed, the greater portion of the rec-
NY _ " ords housed there was either totally burned or badly charred and water~soaked.
` `ovi ll By some fortunate chance, however, the order books of the county and fiscal
; courts escaped destruction. Throughout this inventory it will be noted that
. many series of records are shown as beginning in 1927 or 1928, and in practi-
K cally every case the missing documents were destroyed in the courthouse fire.
2 l The first floor of the courthouse contains the offices of the county
A · court clerk, the circuit court clerk, the sheriff, the county agricultural
"_ I agent, the county attorney, the county judge, the tax commissioner, and the
i 1 fiscal, county, and quarterly court rooms. On the second floor are located
.} ' the office of the county school superintendent, the circuit court room, and
Y the jury rooms.
l The quarters of the county court clerk are 26 by 22 feet in size, and
i are divided into an office and vault. The office, which is 16 bv22 feet, is
j _ _ well lighted and equipped with modern furnishings. The vault, 1O by 22 feet,
`"Q 1 is constructed of reinforced concrete and is fireproof, It is steam-heated
. j and illuminated by artificial lighting. The vault is provided with wooden
Q — shelving, and the file boxes which contain the documents are of cardboard,
VM; · The labeling on both records and file boxes is in good condition, and fadcd
1.cq or damaged labels are immediately replaced with new ones. The records are
g_, 7 · maintained in consecutive series and are readily accessible.
` 1 The space occupied by the office and vault of the circuit clerk are iden—
.·-{ i tical in size with that assigned to the county court clerk. The office is
I Q... adequately lighted and the equipme