xt7k9882kg3x https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7k9882kg3x/data/mets.xml United States. Works Progress Administration. Division of Women's and Professional Projects. Kentucky Historical Records Survey 1937 books Y 3.W 89/2:K 419/no.61 Kentucky Historical Records Survey This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed in accordance with U. S. copyright laws. Kentucky Works Progress Administration Publications Archives--Kentucky--Knox County--Catalogs Knox County (Ky.)--Archival resources Knox County (Ky.)--History Inventory of the county archives of Kentucky. No. 61. Knox County (Barbourville) text Inventory of the county archives of Kentucky. No. 61. Knox County (Barbourville) 1937 1937 2012 true xt7k9882kg3x section xt7k9882kg3x I       IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII I mam O RY or    
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_ louisville, Kentucky
The Hist o rica l Re cords Ilurvey
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The Historical Records Survey was inaugurated as a nation-wide project
in January 1956, as part of the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Pro-
gress Administration. Since December 1936, the Survey has been carried on
as an independent unit in Kentucky, continuing to operate, however, as a
part of the nation·wide project under the technical supervision of Dr.
Luther H. Evans, National Director, Historical Records Survey, and under
the administrative supervision of the Division of Women's and Professional
Projects of the Works Progress Administration.
The objective of the Survey in Kentucky has been the preparation of
complete inventories of the records of the State and of each county, city,
and other governmental unit. Although necessarily condensed in form, an
entry may include, in the information given, certain historical facts of
value to historians and genealogists, Particular effort has been made to
supply all series of records with the inclusive dates, and to furnish
such description of individual record series that the reader may readily
know what information is available and where it is located.
The Inventory of County Archives in Kentucky, when completed, will con-
sist of a separate number for each county in the state, with the units of
the series numbered according to the respective alphabetical position of the
county. Thus the inventory herewith presented for Knox County is No. 61.
The inventory of the State archives and of municipal and other local records
will be compiled in separate publications.
Nation—wide uniformity of work has resulted from the use, by the field
workers, of standard forms, together with specific instructions from the Na-
tional Offico of the Survey, A thorough recheck against the actual records ‘
of Knox County has been made, to assure the trustworthiness of the inventory.
Work of the Survey in Knox County, Kentucky, was begun July 18, 1956, and
completed April 1, 1937.
In the historical sketch, the original boundaries of the county are
cited from the statutes, followed by citations of all subsequent changes.
Included is a map illustrating the original and present boundary lines of
the county. The discussion of governmental organization includes a series
of charts exemplifying the three governmental set-ups that have existed in
the county. A separate essay concerning each office, including its history,
functions, and records, precedes the entries of the present county offices.
Recommendations for improvement in the arrangement and care of the county
archives have been incorporated in the section on "Heusing, Care, and Acces-
Sibility 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 inventory should
be addressed to the State Director.
I The listing and collecting of data pertaining to the county records was

Preface `
done by Miss Hazel Mastin, under the direction of Miss Edna Wilder, Assis-
tant State Supervisor, who, with her staff in the London district office,
prepared the preliminary inventory, Miss Mildred Shapinsky, Assistant
State Supervisor, aided by Miss Thelma Bryant, Miss Virginia Foley, and
Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston, prepared the field copy into final form, being
responsible for the editorial work, not only of the record entries, but
also of the individual office essays, the historical sketch, and the essay
on governmental organization and record system, The original office es-
says and the governmental organization discussions were prepared by Abra-
ham Freeman, lawyer, from the state office staff, Harry P. Hoskins, his-
torian, prepared the historical sketch, using original manuscripts and
record data located in the Filson Club in Louisville, Kentucky, and rec-
ords contained in the various county depositories. J. H. Raymer, Assis-
tant State Director, classified and arranged the entries according to the
° respective offices. The stencils for the inventory were cut by William
' Remington.
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
cooperation and assistance in preparing this inventory, The following
j officials of Knox County were particularly helpful in assisting our workers
4 and in uncovering records which had been misplaced and were difficult to
locate; J. W. Alford, county judge, J. Leonard Davis, county attorney, Abe
Tedders, county court clerk, H. L. Taylor, circuit court clerk, and S. H,
Jones, sheriff. A
, 1 /
%//l. ' /
  . MM
Walter M. Hoe elman
State Di~ecter
- The Historical Records Survey
Louisville, Kentucky
November 20, 1937

A. Knox County and Its Record System
` 1. Historical Sketch 4
2. Governmental Organization and Record System B
5. Housing, Care, and Accessibility of the Records l7
4. Abbreviations, Symbols, and Explanatory Notes 18
B. County Offices and Their Records
I. Fiscal Court 2O
4 Petitions. Road and bridge fund. Court orders.
Officers' settlements and reports. Claims.
' Miscellaneous.
J II. County Court Clerk 27
V _ Land instruments. Personal nrovert . Revenue:
, I 1 Y
. _ taxes, fees, license and registration, reports
to commonwealth. Disbursements. Bonds. Vital
statistics. Miscellaneous.
III, County Judge 41
_ IV. Circuit Court; Circuit Judge, Commonwealth Attorney 42
Court minutes. Affidavits and warrants. Subpoenas
and summons. Suits and dcckets. Judgments. Orders.
Executions. Bonds. Financial records. Claims.
against court. Miscellaneous.
V. Circuit Court Clerk 56
Indictmonts. Financial. Jury fund. Titness at-
‘ VI. Master Commissioner GO
Land instruments.
VII. County Court 62
Wills. Land divisions. Inventories and appraise-
monts. Fiduciaries' appointments. Fiduciqries'
settlements. Fiduciaries' bonds. Petitions. Affi-
davits and warrants. Suits and dockots. Judgments.
Orders. Executions, Bonds. Liquor sclvs. Miscel-
VIII. Quarterly Court 74
Affidcvits and warrants. Suits and dockets.
Orders, julgments, Lnd executions, Misc·llin»ous.
IX. Juvenile Court 78
Pntitions and wlrrants. Dock ts and orders.
U V1-·n3l-4

Table of Contents ·
. X. County Attorney 79
i XI. Justices of the Peace 81
XII. Sheriff 85
Tax collections. Licenses. Claims for livestock.
Settlements. Miscellaneous.
XIII. Constables 91
XIV. Jailer 95
Register of prisoners.
XV. Coroner 95
XVI. Tax Commissioner 96
. XVII. Board of Tax Supervisors 99
Revision of assessments.
XVIII. County Budget Commission lOl
XIX, Treasurer lO2
Appropriations and disbursements. Reports.
. XX. Auditor 104
XXI. County Election Commissioners 104
Registration of voters. Petitions and declara-
. tions. Elections and certifications. Miscellaneous.
.i XXII. County Board of Education; County School Superintendent 108
_ Financial, Bonds. Census. Miscellaneous.
XXIII. County Board of Health 115
General index to health records. Vital statistics.
Laboratory and clinic records. Diseases. Hygienic
records, Sanitation reports. Miscellaneous.
XXIV. County Health Officer 119
_ XXV. County Road Engineer ll9
Commissioner's reports. Bids. Orders. Bridge
and road bonds. County roads.
_ XXVI. Surveyor 122

Table of Contents _
XXVII. County Agricultural Agent 124
' I Contracts. Soil conservation.
e XXVIII. Miscellaneous Records 125
Public records, Private records,
Index 126
Appendix 149

Knox County, the forty-first county to be organized in Kentucky, was
, formed out of a part of Lincoln County by an act of the Kentucky Legislature
in 1799. The statute creating the county reads in part, as follows: "All
that part of the county of Lincoln, included in the following boundaries, to
_ wit; Beginning where the Pulaski line strikes the Tennessee line, and with
said line east to thc top of Cumberland Mountain; thence along said mountain
to the line of Madison County, and with the same to a point due east of the
mouth of the branch of the Kentucky River that the Wilderness Road goes down;
thence up the said branch to the said road; thence with the said road to the
aforesaid Madison line, and with the same to the head of Rockcastle River,
and down the said river to the Pulaski line, and with the Pulaski line to the
beginning, shall be one distinct county known by the name of Knox" (Littcll,
lappmpf Kentucky, vol. 2, p. 298, approved December 19, 1799).
Since the original formation of the county, there have been eleven al-
terations in the Knox County boundaries. The first re-marking in 1804
(ibid., vol. 5, p, 182, approved December 12, 1804) was followed by a sec-
ond and third change in 1820 (Acts of the General Assembly of 1819-20, ap-
proved February 4, 1820, and December 2, 1820}, and another in 1825 (ibid.,
1825-24, p. 554, approved December 16, 1825). Eleven years later, the boun-
daries were again altered (ibid., 1854-55, p. 554, approved January 24, 1854);
in 1858 another change was made (ibid., 1858-59, p. 105, approved January 27,
1858), Five other alterations of Knox County lines followed (ibid., 1851-52,
p. 515, approved January 1, 1852; ibid., 1855-56, p. 55, approved February
16, 1856; ibid., 1864-65, p. 75, approved March 2, 1865; ibid., 1871-72, p.
74, approved March 27, 1872; ibid., 1875-76, p. 574, apprE§EE February 25,
The present boundaries of Knox County are as follows: on the north,
laurel and Clay; on the east and south, Bell; and on the west Whitley and
Laurel counties.
Two men by the name of Knox were prominent in public affairs at the
time the county was created, rnd there is no specific information that would
establish which one the legislature had in mind. Purely circumstantirl nvi-
dence slightly favors Colonel James Knox, who was more intimately connected
with pioneer Kentucky than G »;.,· n »..~ ral Henry Knox.
General Henry Knox was born in Boston, Massachusutts, July 25, 1759.
No received recognition from the Trcsident of the United States and Congress
for his services during the Revolutionary 'cr, and in 1785 was appointed
secretary of war. In 1794 he retired to his estate in Maine (Richard Collins,
history of Kentucky, vol. 2, p. 456).
Colonel James Knox was also a soldier during tht Revolutionary ”ar, h‘v—
ing served in the Revolutionary Army as a major. Kc belonged to that group
of adventurers usually referred to as the "Long Huntors", and settled in Ken-
4 tucky in 1772 (ibid., vol. 2, p. 418). Ha had traveled through erstern K¤n-
tucky, going up_th5 Laurel River ind "starting wtstwdrdly, crossed the Rock-
cistle River" in 1769 (ibid., vol. 2, p. 417). At the time the general as-

Historical Sketch »
sembly created Knox County, Colonel Knox was serving as state senator (ibid.,
vol. 2, p. 776). _*_-T
The section of land in southeastern Kentucky, including the counties of
" Knox, Whitley, and Bell, and parts of others, was secured by the United States
` in 1805 from the Cherokee Indians for the benefit of Kentucky (U. R. Connelly
` and E. N. Coulter, History of Kentucky, vol. 1, p. 489),
As early as 1795 there were settlements on Poplar Creek, Flat Lick, and
Watt’s Creek, the latter in what is now Whitley County, At the house of John
Logan, June 25, 1800, it being the place appointed by the Kentucky General
Assembly for holding the first court in Knox County, a commission from his
Excellency, James Gerrard, Governor of Kentucky, directed to James Mahan,
_n' George Brittian, John Reddick, John Ballinger, and Jonathan hcheal, gentlemen
esquires, appointing them justices of the peace, was read. Pursuant to the
said commission, James Mahan administered the oaths of office and of fidelity
to Erittian, Reddick, Ballinger, and ncheal. Then John Ballinger administer-
11 ed the oath of office to James h&h&H• Alexander Goodwin received a commission
from Governor Garrard, bearing date of October 21, 1799, appointing him sher-
iff of Knox County. The court, thus composed, appointed Richard Ballinger as
clerk, John Ballinger, surveyor, George Brittian, tax commissioner, and Thomas
Goodwin, coroner (Order geek, entry 20%).
The court ordered the county laid off into four districts and constables
· appointed for each. John Alsop, Isaac Comstock, John Hudson, and John Eaton
i were appointed as the first constables (ibid.).
Uhcn the court decided to fix the seat of justice in Knox County in 0cto—
bor 1800, James Barbour off rod to give the county two acres of land for a
public square and onc—ha1f the proceeds from the salt of thirty~fivc adjacent
acres, if the court would locate the county seat on his land. This generous
offer of Mr. Barbour’s was unanimously accepted and the court ordered that the
seat of justice be fixed on the tract so presented. Thus, the town of Harbour-
_ ville camo into being (Deed Book, 1801, entry 28).
John Logan, James Mahan, John Roddick, Jorn Ballinger, James Johnson,
Josiah Collins, and Richard Ballinger were appointed commissioners to lay off
the new town. A report by the said commission, with p plan of "B" 0 I-I I 0 W E
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When Knox County was created in 1799, the second constitution had al-
4, ready been adopted, providing that, when new counties were to be created sub-
` sequent to this constitution, the governor should appoint justices of the
_ a peace, a sheriff, and a coroner from persons recommended to him by a majority
of all the members of the house of representatives from the senatorial dis-
trict in which the county was to be situated (Const. of 1799, art. 4, sec. 9).
Five justices composed the first county court of Knox County, which
court conducted the fiscal and administrative affairs of the county, and was
authorized to appoint a clerk (Littell, Statute Laws of Kentucky, vol. 2, p.
298; £EEEg;§ppk, entry 204; see Fiscal Court, office of County Court Clerk).
A jailer, surveyor of highways, and other inferior officers of the coun-
ty were also appointed by the court at this time (Const. of 1799, art. 4,
sec. 8). The county court was also authorized to lay the county off into
four districts and to appoint four constables (Const. of 1799, art. 5, sec.
9; Littell, op. cit., vol. 2, p. 55; Order Book:—ehtry 204).
In ease of vacancy in the office of sheriff, the second constitution au-
thorized the governor to appoint a successor for two years from the justices
of the peace (See office of Sheriff). For vacancies in the offices of sur-
veyors, coroner, and juStiCsa*sr‘tss peace, the governor appointed a success-
or from one of two persons recommended for each position by the county court
(Const. of 1799, art. 5, soc. 51; art. 4, secs. 6, 8; Littoll, op. cit., vol.
2, p. 298 S . me-
ln 1825 the county court divided the county into school districts and
appointed school trustees (Morehead and Brown, Digest, vol. 2, pp. 1418,
1419). Tax commissioners were appointed by the court under an act of 1799,
which provided that the county court should appoint as many tax commissioners
as necessary for one year KLittc1l, pp: cit., vol. 2, p. 516).
From 1799 to 1802 Knox County had a district court. ln the latter year
the circuit court was established and Knox County, together with Lincoln
County, formrd one district. In 1eO4, the quarter sessions court was abol-
ished in Knox County, and the county constituted a circuit district by itself.
These first courts were presided over by nine circuit judgws who were appoin-
ted by the governor and who apportioned the districts among thcmsclvvs, sit~
ting as a general court. They were assisted by two assistant judges tech, np-
pointed from the county in which the circuit courts were held (Littell, op.
cit., vol. 5, pp. 57, 184). ln 1816 the office of assistant judgt was abol-
ishbd and its powers included with those of th» circuit julgc (ibid., vol. 5,
p. 546). The office of circuit clerk em·rqcd out of th~ confusion— r zted s··‘ by
the abolition of the quarter sessions court and th< establishment of the cir-
cuit court. An act of 1802 provided that the circuit clerk should bc uppoin-
ted by the circuit court and should hold office during good behavior (Const.
of 179V, nrt. 4, soc. 10; Littell, op. cit., vol, 5, p, 57), As provided for
by the general assembly in 1808, xsBE“cG$5sy-was in the ninth circuit court
district, which wt that time was compostd of M rcor, Casey, Lincoln, Currcrd,
ri- s 1- J 1

Governmental Organization and Record System
and Knox counties (Littell, op. cit., vol. 5, p. 504).
1 ln 1829 the county court, the majority of the justices concurring, upon
being granted the authority to act, appointed the first county attorney (More-
head and Brown, Qigest, vol. l, p. 168; Order Book, entry 204).
1 The adoption of the third constitution in 1850 more clearly defined the
independence of each county office, and the majority of offices were made e-
lective. At this time a new procedure for the establishment of the county
court was authorized (Const. of 1850, art. 4, secs. 29, 30). The county court
A consisted of the county judge and two associate judges, each of whom was elec-
ted for a term of four years. Provision was made that any two of these judges
could transact the business of the county. The jurisdiction of the court re-
mained the same as that under the second constitution, being reaffirmed by
article 4, section 55 of the third constitution. This constitution, article
` 1 ‘ 4, section 57, provided that the general assembly may provide that the jus-
tices of the peace in the county sit with the county court as the court of
claims and levy and assist in laying Hn>f1 ra;l~i.sing tho county from piiyment to the stitis of Cfly I‘»`—f<.HU€

Governmental Organization and Record System
collectable in and for the year 186h, except so much thereof as, by exist-
ing laws, was for the use of the sinking fund and for the support of the
common schools. The revenue assessed for this year was to be collected by
the sheriff, and applied, up to a certain amount, exclusively to the erec-
` tion of a new jail (Acts of the General Assembly of 186h, ch. 525, secs. 1-
hj ch. 2h5, secs. 1-5, p. E7). —__
The third constitution provided for the election of a surveyor for a
term of four years (Const. of 1850, art. 6, sec. 1; Revised Statutes, vol.
2, p. MO2). It was hiE—dEty—iZY7§Zecute orders of survey issued by any
court, of land lying within his district.
The county road supervisor was appointed by the county court, but his
appointment was qualified with the restriction that he was not allowed to
5 resign before two years without the approval of the court (Revised Statutes,
vol. 2, p. 289; General Statutes of Kentucky, 1875 ed., p. 102).-m-—-`____
As established by the fourth constitution, adopted in 1891, the fiscal
court in Knox County has jurisdiction of all administrative and fiscal af-
fairs of the county. This court is composed of the county judge, who is e-
.’ lected by the county at large for a four-year term and is presiding officer
of the court, and the eight justices of the peace, each of whom is elected
‘ in his respective magisterial district (Const. of 1891, sec. llh).
The circuit clerk is elected by the county for a six-year term and is
the recording agent for the circuit court and for the master commissioner.
The circuit judge, the presiding officer of the circuit court, and the com-
` monwealth attorney are elected for a six-year term by the electorate of Ju-
dicial District Ho. 5h, of which Knox County is new a part. The circuit
court sessions in Knox County are provided for by statute (Carrollis Ken-
tucky statutes, ieee ee., See, 965-5h), and the Geert itse1?"§§“§?E$§EEE
for in the fourth constitution (Const. of 1891, secs. 125, 129-151). The
` three offices, circuit clerk, cirEuit—judgE7_and commonwealth attorney, are
constitutional offices provided for in the same constitution (ibid., secs.
97, 129). The master commissioner is appoiHtGd for 3 f0¤F·Y€QT term by thc
circuit judge (Carroll, op. cit., sec. 592).
ln Knox County the offices of county judge, county attorney, county
court clerk, coroner, surveyor, sheriff, jailer, justices of the peace, and
constables are elective offices, provided for in the fourth constitution,
‘ and serving for four-year terms, all excop“ the sheriff being eligible for
re—clection (ibid., sec. 99).
Th® three elective offices in Knox County, provided for by statute for
terms of four years, are the county tax commissioner (Carroll, op. cit.,
S9C• tl-O}.LE&—·2), the county board of OC1LiO‘?.'t`»101’l, GOIHPOSOG. of five l1;JT1b'JI`S
elected by their respective school districts in the county (ibid., secs,
1599*17, 21;), andthe school trustee (`j;_b_i£1—,, Secs. 14599-1, OTE-E9-kl.)-
The county court, as provided for by constitution (Const. of 1891,

 12 .
T, _ Governmental Organization and Record System
»_.._ . Sec. 140), is a court of record, primarily concerned with probate matters,
V. although penal and misdemeanor cases may also be heard (Carroll, op. cit.,
T 2 . sec. 1095). The juvenile court, provided for by statutes, is a part of the
..1, county court, both courts being presided over by the county judge (ibid.,
` _ Sec. 55le-2).
` " The quarterly court, reaffirmed and provided for by the fourth consti-
L . tution (Const. of 1891, sec. 159), has jurisdiction in minor penal and mis-
» » demeanOi“E§éeS and is presided over by the county judge.
» i_ The eight justices' courts, which are constitutional courts provided
° for by constitution, are presided over by the justices of the peace in their
.- respective districts (ibid., sec. 142).
; `. The appointive statutory offices are: the county treasurer, appointed
l ( by the fiscal court, for a term of four years (Carroll, op. cit., sec. 929);
( I l the county auditor, appointed annually by the fiscal court essentially as
2 an examiner of claims and accounts against the county (ibid., sec. 1840);
( ` the county board of health, serving for a term of two years and composed of
, __ the county judge, three members appointed by the state board of health, and
'_ one member appointed by the fiscal court; the county health officer, appoint-
_ ed by the county board of health (ibid., sec. 2055); the board of tax super-
2 . visors, appointed annually by the county judge (ibid., sec. 4115); the county
road engineer, appointed for a two-year term by the county judge with the
_ awproval of the fiscal court (ibid., sec. 4525); the county school superin-
_ ( tendent, appointed by the county board of education for four y