xt7j3t9d5j4p https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7j3t9d5j4p/data/mets.xml  1891  books b92-148-29450553 English Lewis, : Frankfort, Ky. : Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Kentucky Capital and capitol.Sneed, W. H. History of location. Lindsay, William, 1835-1909. Legal aspects of the case. Capital [sic] removal : public aspects of the question / by a committee of citizens of Frankfort. History of location / by Judge W.H. Sneed. Legal aspects of the case / by Judge William Lindsay text Capital [sic] removal : public aspects of the question / by a committee of citizens of Frankfort. History of location / by Judge W.H. Sneed. Legal aspects of the case / by Judge William Lindsay 1891 2002 true xt7j3t9d5j4p section xt7j3t9d5j4p 

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publie fi5pqet of the Questiop.

      Ji-story ot pound;oeatioq.
             BY JUDGE W. H. SNEED.

fetal Aspects of tle



       FRANKFORT, KY.:
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(HE vignette of this pampphlet shows the drawing for
     the proposed new State House at Frankfort.    The
east wing of the building is already completed, as to the
exterior, excepting the approaches, and, although the in-
terior is in an unfinished state, it is now occupied by sev-
eral of the departments of government. The entire cost
of the structure, completed, is estimated at about three-
quarters of a million dollars.
  The other plate gives a bird's-eye view of the main por-
tions of the city of Frankfort. The portions within the
red lines constitute the grounds donated originally to the
State, for the purpose of securing the seat of government.
The condition in the face of the deed is "for and in consid-
eration of fixing the seat of government at Frankfort, and the
sum of five pound current money to him paid." As will be
seen they include the public square, Governor's mansion,
the whole of the penitentiary grounds, and also entire
squares of the city, which the State sold off and deeded
to private individuals.
  Not only, therefore, would the public property be in-
volved in a question of reversion, but also all these squares
of private property, which the State has warranted to the
owners in its title deeds, and which it would be bound to.
make good.

   The deeds for these grounds are recorded in Woodford county, and that of the peniten--
tlary Is recorded at Frankfort.


        cj+1af            j     rovxf.

 Q3Y the persistent agitation of one or two localities, the
 X     question of the removal of the seat of government
 from the city of Frankfort has been kept before the public
 mind for more than half a century. At the present time
 there are two rival cities presenting their claims for the
 possession of the Capitaf, the cities of Louisville and
 Lexington. Manifestly, the subject should be considered
 from the standpoint of the public interests of the State.
 Because some locality may want the Capital, that, surely,
'is no reason why the seat of government should be re-
moved.  Are there any public reasons which render
Capital removal either necessary or desirable


  Have the general interests of the Commonwealth suf-
fored in any way by reason of the present location of the
seat of Government No one pretends to say they have.


The men who have served the State at Frankfort have
been Ketntucky's most gifted and illustrious sons., They
have been left free from all undue local influences in the
discharge of their public duties. There have been no
powerful political rings or cliques to serve or resist.

  Everything needed for prompt and efficient public
service is supplied at Frankfort-railroads, telegraphs,
telephones, frequent mails, postal deliveries as numerous
and prompt as in any city in the State, strong banking in-
stitutions, through which the public treasury has never
lost a penny, and enough of them to furnish wholesome
competition for the public. business- There -has never
been a government deniand of a-nY kind on thie coniumunity
which it has not been able to meet.

  The expense of the governiment service here has al-
ways been at the minimum. In rents, salaries, style of
living, no extravagance has ever been encouraged or coun-
tenanced by the community. The State's servants have
been able to live well and at the lowest reasonable cost
                    AOCIAL FEATURES.
  TThe society of Frankfort is as intelligent, refined and
hospitable as any. to be found within the borders --6f the
State. Public officials, while here, have found pleasant
homes among an appreciative and companionable people.
It is a gratifying compliment to our citizens, and a most
significant answer to all depreciation of the social features
of the place, that the State officials, almost without excep-
tion, have been, and are now, in favor of the present seat
of Government. Many of them, on retiring from public
place, have taken up their permanent abode here and con-
stitute a conspicuous element of the society of the Capital.



                 PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT.
   With the exception of two or three high-rate houses in
 Louisville, the hotel accommodations of Frankfort are as
 good as can be found in the State, and the rates are more
 reasonable than at hotels of a similar grade in any city.
 Private board can be had of every quality and at almost
 any price. As good living mav be had at private houses
 as can be found anywhere in the world, and at reasonable
 rates. A better class of private families open their houses
 to visitors than those who usually do so in larger cities, so
 that strangers sojourning in our midst may, if they choose,
 enjoy all the comforts and amenities of refined and elegant
 homes, and at the same rates that our own citizens pay at
 the same places for permanent accommodations.

  Frankfort is situated on1 the lines of the- two- most ex-
tensive railroad systems in the State, the Louisville 
Nashville and the Chesapeake  Ohio. their trains running
the entire length of the State east and west, passing
through the city several times daily, whilst the Midland
road connects conveniently with the Cineinnati Southern
and Kentucky Central, with their extensive ramifications.
Were the Capital removed to a point either east or west, a -
very large proportion of those visiting it would pas's di-
rectly through the present seat of Government.

                  WEALTH OF LOCALITY.
  There is no mfIe healthy place in -the land than the
city of Frankfort. Here officials can reside the year round
without discomfort or danger to the health of themselves
or their families.
  It is an almost phenomenal fact that during the one
hundred years that Frankfort has been the Capital of the



State, there has never been the death of any State official
while in office. The average death rate in this city is ex-
'ceptionally low, as appears from    the following state-
Statistics gathered from cities all over the United States show that
    the death rate for the
 Whole Country, per 1,000 population, is .......................... 174 per cent.
 City of Louisville "   "   "     .........................." 144 per cent.
 Kentucky, whole State            .......................... 144 per cent.
 City of Frankfort, per 1,000, "..................... 10 1-10 per cent.

   These statistics for Frankfort cover a period of fifteen
   Whilst some of the surrounding towns and cities have
been repeatedly visited by epidemics of various kinds,
during the last few years, Frankfort has enjoyed perfect
immunity against such visitations. There has not been
an epidemic of any kind in this city in fifty years. In the
year 1832, wheni the cholera prevailed in the land, the
country around Frankfort suffered more than the town1
and the loss of life in Lexington and Louisville was many
times over what it was in this place. The water supply
and system of drainage for the city are not surpassed by
any other place, in or out of the State. The ailments from
which visitors may suffer, while at Frankfort, are such as
would overtake them any where, and can not, by any facts
or evidence, be justly set down to the account of Frank-
  It would be well nigh impossible to find a more beautiful
spot than the site of Frankfort, viewed from almost any of
the eminences by which it is surrounded. Men, who have
traveled in all parts of the world, have not hesitated to pro-
nounce it one of the most picturesque little cities they
have ever beheld. With suitable and creditable public
buildings, and the general improvement which will come


8                  CAPITAL REMOVAL.

with the permanent settlement of the removal question,
Frankfort will make a capital City every citizen of Ken-
tuckv can view with pride.

  It is true that Frankfort is not so large a place as some of'
the other cities of the Commonwealth. But this is rather
in its favor as the Capital of the State, according to the
history of Capital location.
  Juclgmmt of the Country against Large Capitals.-The uni-
versAl iiidgfment of the country is against the policy of locat-
nJ the seat of government in a large city. There is not all
instance iii the history of the country where a place was
made a Capital l)ecause it was a commercial metropolis.
The only large cities in the'United States to-day which are
Gapitals were in their infancy when theybeqame seats of'
government, and have since grown up to be lthe. .importa:it
6ities-thev are. Notably, this is trub of Bostun, Richmond
Eand lhdianapolis.- In  more than a 'dozen S tates tl1
Oapitdl City has a smaller population than Frankfort-
amoiig them the State''of Maine,' Maryland, -Louisiaui,
Mississippi,'"MissouEi and South Carolina. Some of them
have less than one-third the population of Frankfort. Yet
'all these States have large cormi'ercial cities to which they
eould remove their seats of government were it thought wise to
do so-.
  Que8tion Agitated Elsewhre.--In the State of New York;
Capital removal was agitated for many years, the City of
New York demanding the Capital on precisely the same
grounds That are now urged in favor' of removal in Ken-
tuckv. In 1868 the Legislature decided, against removal,
and forever settled the question by entering oln the erec-
tion of a new State House, which has cost over 20,000,000.
In Maryland, Missouri and Illinois the same question has
been agitated, but in neither of these States. have the peo-


ple been prevailed upon to trust their government to the
dominant influences of a great city.
  Experiment Tried.-Louisiana actually tried the experi-
ment of removal. At one rime, under the promptings of
arguments, such as are being urged in Kentucky to-day,
she actually removed her (Capital to New Orleans. But she
soon found that New Orleans governed the State, and she
was compelled to carry the seat of government back again
to Baton Rouge.
  Frankfort Has Maet Every Requirement.-From all of these
considerations it is seen that there is absolutely no cause
to be found in thepJlace itselffor the remo'al of the Capitalfrom
Frankfort. In every respect it has alwavs.served the State
w-ell as her Capital.  Why then agitate removal  Are there
reasons outside of Frankfort herself why the seat of govern-
ment should go elsewhere  "Would the affairs of the State
be better administered in ia lailger city

                     AGAINST IT.

                 THE PUBLIIC SERVICE.
  This would be injured, rather than benefited by such a
change.  There could be no better class of officials se-
cured, because as good as the State can produce offer them-
selves for its service now. But even thebest and strongest
men are liable to be influenced by local surroundings, and
especially by the powerful associations and combinia-


tions of a great commercial metropolis. Then there
would be greater temptations in the way of the public em-
ployes, and a consequent greater liability to neglect their
duties and betray their trusts.

  It requires constant watchfulness now to keep the ex-
pensesi of government within reasonable bounds. Remove
the Capital to the large city and every class of expense is
necessarily and largely increased. The general style of
living is more expensive. Rents are dearer. Rates of
board are higher. The demands of society on public offl-
cials are heavier. Gov. Hoffman, of New York State, gave
it as his experienve, that in Albany, a city of about one-
hundred thousand population, the entertainments alone,
-which he -was-expecii4-to give,-cost him  more than the
amount of his entire salary. The salaries of all classes of
men are higher in the large cities. There are banks and
corporations in the city of Louisville paying salaries of
10,000 a year, and railroad officials who receive 25,000
a year.
  The State has recognized the necessity for higher salaries
in the city already in her legislation, by permitting Louis-
ville to add 1,000 per annum to the salary of each one of
her four circuit judges, and this too, in the face of the con-
stitutienal provision that the salaries of circuit judges shall
be "equal and uniform throughout the State.' The neces-
sity for the additional salary was so great that the Consti-
tution does not stand in the way.
  All this goes to show that were the Capital removed
to a large city the salaries of all government officials
and employes would have to be largely increamed, or else
no poor man could afford to hold any office under the




                      CORRUPT RINGS.
   All large cities are infested by a corrupt class of contractors
 who fasten themselves upon the public treasury, and the
 administration becomes powerless to shake them off. The
 city of Louisville to-day is struggling with such a class and
 appealing to the courts in vain for relief. In the hall of
 the Constitutional Convention it has been openly pro-
 claimed that the city treasury is in the hands of "bummer"
 politicians. These same corrupt classes in the large city
 can reach the State Treasury as readily as that of the city
 when it is brought into their midst.

  Lobby.-Powerful local imifluewces, in a large city, can
easily control legislation in their interests as against
the interests of the State at large. The Legislattire be-
comes the prey of a permanent professional lobby, which
is always at hand; large amounts of money can be raised
on short notice, and every facility for using it is at hand
in the hidden resorts of a city, and in the very nature of
city life, where no one knows what another does.
  Corporations.-Great corporations and monopolies have
their homes in the great commercial metropolis. The
struggle of the State now is to protect itself against their
powerful 'influence. This conflict will be intensified more
and more in the future, as the aggregations of wealth con-
tinue to multiply and increase. To remove State capitals
to large cities, at this day, is to wantonly expose the people
to an evil whose malign shadow is now over all the land.
The signs of the times demand the removal of govern-
ments further away from such influences rather than into
closer contact with them.
  Practical illustration.-Even in the matter under consid-
eration it is proposed to control so important a question as



the location of the seat of government by a purely money
power. The proposition is to offer 1,000,000 to affect the
action of the Constitutional Convention, not corruptly, but
still, to affect it. It furnishes an illustration to hand of
what a great. rich city is able to do to control public policy
in its own interests.

                DISPATCH OF LEGISLATIO N'.
  But not oulv is the character of legislation affected by
its surroulndingsi in the city, but also the dispatch of it.
Varietv of diversio us prevent regularity of attendance on
the meetings of committees and the sessions of the fegisla-
tive bodies; the Rlo.gings of the. members are in homes
scatters l over miles of streets and squares  Oui call of the
hIouse, they can not be reached in; ay reasonable timDe,
and may easily avoid the seryic' of the' suiminons alto-
gether. It is universally true .thatt it' is' more difficult to
bold the quorum in q' large. cityvthan i i a smaller place..

                 THE RAILROAD ClINTPE,
  Wt- hear' dhuch of this as a reason for- locating the capi-
tal in the State's metropolis  Instead of -being ta benefit, it
is a positive hindi'aice to the dispatch, of .legislation  it
operates to- largely increase absenteeism. The members
who are so convenient to home that they uildertake' to
attend to their own business and that of the Staie at the
same time, tare the ones who break the quorum. Those
who can lot conveniently come Mand go are, by the very
fact, stimulated to press the completion of their work, in
order that they may return to their homes and business at
the earliest possible day. The Legislature of the State of
New 'York, which meets at Albany, a railroad centre, by
standing rule adjourns over every week, from Friday morh-
ing to Monday night, thus regularly wasting one-third of
the time.



               THE COURTS AND REMOVAL.
  Let it suffice, under this head, to quote the opinion of
a distinguished jurist, wvho is a non-resident of Frankfort.
He gave it as his opinion that, should the capital be
removed to Louisville, it would soon become well nigh
impossible for a lawyer from the interior of the State to
get a hearing before the Court of Appeals at all, and it
would be necessary for him to engage counsel in the city
to look after his business, or allow it to be manipulated by
opposing counsel. This is an 3vil already recognized in.
the profession, and especially by the country members
of the bar who have experience in the practice of city
courts. The local bar occupies so largely the time of
the court by oral argument,. that the country lawyer finds
it impossible to obtain a hearing, except by going to the
city and -waiting for days, and sometimes weeks, at heavy
  Cost of Bit'ildingi-It is claimed that the cost of public
buildings in a large city would be less than at Frankfort.
The facts ate just to the contrary. The wages of mechan-.
ics' are higher in the city. The profits of contractors are
greater. Corrupt rings manipulate bids to their own ag-
grandizement, the city of Louisville is now helpless in
the hands of such rings. Abundance of the, very best
building material can be had at Frankfort, without any.
cost of transportation. Stone, tested by the United States
Government and pronounced of the very best quality for..
building purposes, can be had in the immediate vicinity;
brick is shipped from here to Louisville.
  Machinery.-We aire told about the machinery that is
already on hand in the city. All the world knows this is
a mere bagatelle, and we should not refer to it here, only
its serious nmention by the Cormereial Club illustrates the



fait that it is taken for granted, by that wide-awake organ-
ization, that the same rings which now own the Louisville
machinery would be the successful parties in bidding for
the contracts for the erection of a State House in Louis-
ville, and they doubtless know whereof they speak.
   State Appropriation.-Again, capital removal contem-
plates the expenditure of 2,500,000 for public buildings;
1,000,000, at the outside, is sufficient to complete the build-
ings at Frankfort, according to the present plan, thus saving
to the people 1,500,000. The simple interest of this difference
alone, for a dozen years, would be more than sufficient to finish
the State House at Frankfort; and it would give to Kentucky
a better capitol (see vignette) than thiree-fourths of the
States of the Union have to-day, and one as complete in
its appointments for public business as many of the much
more costly and ornamental structures of the richer States.
Neither the resources nor sentiment of the State, warrant
any extravagance in this direction.

  History of Location.-It is a matter of history that the
State in its infancy and poverty located the Capital at its
present site by receiving propositions from different com-
petitors. (See pamphlet of Judge W. H. Sneed.) To ask
and accept propositions of a similar character, and locate
the' Capital elsewhere now, is to repudiate one compact to ac-
cept another of the same kind because the terms are con-
sidered better. Does Kentucky propose to put such a blot
on a page of her history
  Terms of Location.-Frankfort secured the Capital origi-
nally over all competitors by the then great liberality of
her grants to the State. In addition to large money sub-
scriptions she deeded to'the State not only the grounds on
which the present public buildings stand, but also grounds
the State sold off and on which large portions of the city now



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stand (see plat at the beginning of this pamphlet), the
terms as stipulated in the face of the deeds being, "for and
in consideration of fixing the seat of government at Frank
fort and the sum of five pounds current money to him
paid." For the legal aspects of this transaction, see argu-
ments of Judge Wim. Lindsay and Judge W. H. Sneed.
  Amoral Obliqation.-In addition to the legal obligations of
this "contract," as it is called in the negotiations of the
original commissioners of the State, it can not be disputed,
by fair-minded people, that the honor and good faith of
Kentucky are bound, until there are some imperative pub-
lic reasons making Capital removal necessary. No one
will pretend to argue that Kentucky might now accept the
considerations proposed to be given for locating the Capi-
tal elsewhere, and when the conditions have been fulfilled
turn around and repudiate them for some other more favor-
able terms. The obligations of honor and good faith are
the same, whether for one year, or ten years, or for fifty
years. Their breach can be justified only on the grounds
of imperative reasons, and then the way is clearly pointed
out in this case, and that is by a vote of two-thirds of the
  Capital removal, in the way contemplated at the present
time, in the judgment of some of the most eminent jurists
of the State, who are non-residents of Frankfort, does in-
volve the questions of the reversion of all the State's present
property at Frankfort and whole squares of the city besides,
to heirs. Questions of law at all events are raised, which
must necessarilv be settled in the courts, and some of
them higher than the Constitution itself, and which may
have to be settled by the courts of the General Govern-
ment. Is there any public necessity for involving the
State in this interminable litigation, which will prolong



the settlement in any way of the Capital question, perhaps
beyond the life time of the present generation 

                   KENTUCKY'S DEAD.
  What will you do with them  They have been gathered
from all parts of our own and other States, and foreign
lands, and given honorable sepulture in the . .ablic burying
grounds at Frankfort, solely because the seat of govern-
ment is here, as a public testimony to their honorable
lives, and that. the memory of their public services might
furnish inspiration to the generations of young statesmen
who should come to the Capital. Will Kentucky now
remove the Capital, the sole cause of her honored dead
being buried here, practically'repudiate her past homage
to their heroic deeds, and silence their speech to future
generation s
  Or will you at this late day    ghoul-like, dig into
their .graves, shovel up their bones, and carry them to
some other place  Aid where will you lay them  Neither
Kentucky, nor any other State or land, has a fairer site for
the repose of her distinguished'-dead than the cemetery at
Frankfort. In this respect the other places competing for
the capital have nothing in comparison to offer.
  What will you do with'your'State' monument  Designed
and erected by the genius of the famed Launitz, its artistic
merits have been the subject of articles in the greatest
magazines of the country, and it is to-day the only cele-
brated and genuine work of monumental art the State of
Kentucky possesses.
  What will you do with the ashes of Boone  The world
does not offer to the eye of man a more picturesque scene
than that looked upon from the spot where he sleeps. The,
thought seems almost like sacrilege, to transport his re-
mains to the vicinity of some great centre of civilization,
which was his especial antipathy when living.



  In a word, the cemetery, where Kentucky's dead now lie,
is something the State can point to with pride-something
to be visited by the traveler from foreign lands, and which
will not suffer by comparison wish any thing his eye has
ever rested upon in any part of the world, and it always
will be so, for it is nature's own handiwork and can't
be changed by the revolutions of time.


  Frankfort has always been loyal to the interests of Ken-
tucky-loyal to her commercial metropolis. It gives to
Louisville a business trade amotnting to over half a mil-
lion dollars a year, to say nothing of the rery large retail
patronage, which can not be estimated, a td which is
almost wholly with that city. Nevertheless, there are rea-
sons why we do not believe it would be good public policy
to carry the capital to Louisville.
  Political Inflitence.-No man canf foresee what a great
Commercial metropolis may become in the development of
the future. The influence of Louisville over the welfare
of the State will become more and more dominant as its
wealth and population increase. The government, once in
its possession, can never be reclaimed, and the more malign
its influence the more helpless the State would be in its
power. It is already asserting its dominancy. An edito-
rial comment in ohe of its papers tersely expresses the
situation: "A good reason why we should have the capital



is, we are the biggest." The same reason would take every
thing else. If this he the logic of the situation now, what
may not be expected in the future 
  Commercial Importance.-Louisville now, by reason of
its overmastering commercial importance, is dwarfing the
other portions of the Commonwealth. It attracts to itself
the talent of the State ; it absorbs its material wealth ; it.
takes away business from smaller communities, until the
merchants and tradesmen of interior towns find scarcely a
living left them. To remove the Capital to Louisville is to
aggravate this evil and make it more widespread.
'Avowed Expectations.-Among the reasons given by the
Commercial Club " why Louisville wants tie Capital," 'are
these: "The retail dealer would gain customers from every
part of the State," and "' our business relations with East-
ern Kentucky would be greatly enlarged." The meaning
of this language is that Louisville, by means of the Capital,
expects to vastly increase and widen its influence over the
business interests of the State of Kentucky. Do the peo-
ple of the interior portions of the State wish to feed andi
fatten this power, which is now devouring their own
prosperity, by throwing into its hands the power and influ-
ence of the State government
  Location.-It is claimed that Louisville is central. If a.
point on the circumference of a circle is the centre, then
Louisville is central. Should the Ohio river, in some of
her wild freshets, sweep through the low lands in the rear
of the city, then this central point would become a part of
the territory of Indiana. Louisville. is now constructing
communications of rapid transit, to the knobs of New
Albany to accommodate the increasing number of her citi-
zens who find it necessary, for the health of their families,
to spend their summers in that resort of growing popular-
ity. It is the coming fashionable suburb of Louisville.



Were that city to become the Capital, then, in the near
future, we would be treated to the spectacle of State offi-
cials, for a large portion of each year, living amongst the
nabobs of the knobs of Indiana, and administering the
laws of the State of Kentucky.
  Louisville, it is true, is a railroad centre; so is Coving.
ton, and Cincinnati would probably be willing to put up
more money than any Kentucky city for the purpose of
locating the capital at a point where it would largely reap.
the benefits. And if public diversions and entertainments.
are to be considerations for locating the Capital, then Cin-
cinnati has far more to offer in that line than any city of-
   Wants It.-This "queen of the Blue Grass region," with
becoming maidenly modesty, has not seen fit to give to the
public the reason why she should have the State Capital.
But one thing is certain, with feminine consistency "she
wants it because she wants it," and there is no mistake
about it. She has wanted it long, is wanting it still, and
probably, according to the nature of the sex, she always
will. There is no use in reasoning with her; a hundred
years of argument and admonition have failed to convince
her. In common with all Kentuckians we are proud of
the manv attractions of our neighboring city, but still we
are unable to see how Kentuckv would be benefited by
making her a present of the State Capital.
  Her Claims.-It is true Lexington has more people than
Frankfort; but if population is to control the location of
the capital, " the biggest " will get it. Lexington is also
somewhat of a railroad centre. We have already seen that
too much of this may prove a positive disadvantage to the
State. Besides, were Lexington the Capital, with all her
railroads, a great majority of those visiting it from all the



western portion of the State would be compelled to pass
through Frankfort.
   Her Trade.-Were Lexington to become the Capital, the
large part of the State's money would be spent in Ohio, as
her trade is almost entirely with Cincinnati.
   Public Accommodations.-Has Lexington a single public
inducement to offer, as a consideration for the possession
of the Capital, which Frankfort has not Her hotels and
public accommodations are not materially different from
those at Frankfort, excepting that their rates are higher.
Oftentimes, during the racing season, were it necessary for
our citizens to go to the Capital on business, it would be
utterly impossible for them to get any accommodations
either in her hotels or in her private houses. The writer
of this has been compelled to pass the entire night sitting
in the office of her leading hotel, in company with many
others, and has been- charged the same rate as though he
had enjoyed the comforts of a luxurious bed.
  Water Siqpply.-The water supply of Lexington is inade-
quate and of a most objectionable character, and the evil
seems to be beyond remedy. On the authority of some of
Lexington's own citizens, in a position to know the facts, it
is stated that the entire drainage of a large stock farm
runs into the sources of supply to the reservoir, which f