xt7rv11vf99g https://nyx.uky.edu/dips/xt7rv11vf99g/data/mets.xml Allison, Young Ewing, 1853-1932. 1887  books b92-132-29323153 English Committee on Industrial and Commercial Improvement of the Louisville Board of Trade, : [Louisville] : This digital resource may be freely searched and displayed.  Permission must be received for subsequent distribution in print or electronically.  Physical rights are retained by the owning repository.  Copyright is retained in accordance with U. S. copyright laws.  For information about permissions to reproduce or publish, contact the Special Collections Research Center. Louisville (Ky.) History. Louisville (Ky.) Description and travel. City of Louisville and a glimpse of Kentucky  / Young Ewing Allison. text City of Louisville and a glimpse of Kentucky  / Young Ewing Allison. 1887 2002 true xt7rv11vf99g section xt7rv11vf99g 




TH ED CITY OF,



LOUISVILLE




               AND A GLIMPSE OF





       KENTUCKY.



      PUBLISHED UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE
COMMITTEE ON INDUSTRIAL AND COMMERCIAL IMPROVEMENT
       OF THE LOUISVILLE BOARD OF TRADE.
             1887.

 






























'7


 





















                                                                   ON July 8, 1773, Captain Thomas Bullitt, at the
                                                                 h head of a small company of adventurous
                                                                        pioneers, landed at the mouth of Beargrass
                                                   creek at the Falls of the Ohio, and pitched his tent in the pri-
                                             meval forest that covered the banks of the river. The water was very
                                         low at that season of the year, and, at night, to guard against surprise and
                                       attack from the savages, Captain Bullitt and his men retreated to the exposed
                                  rocks in the river, and slept with pickets out. These dozen men were the first ele-
                               ments of population upon the spot where to-day there is a city, with suburbs, contain-
                           ing 275,000 souls. Captain Bullitt was a land-surveyor, and came to Kentucky to survey,
                under the warrant of Lord Dunmore, certain lands which were included in what are now Jefferson and
            Bullitt counties. Before he completed his survey he hlid out a town site comprising part of the present city
of Louisville, which was called " Falls of the Ohio." It is curious to observe that from the very first beginnings of
settlement in Louisville the unusual advantages of the location were seized upon with prophetic instinct. It was before
the days of keel-boats even, but the first-comers recognized the importance of a location that was at the head of navi-
gation, even though the growth of the town must wait upon the settlement of the country west of it and along the rivers.
    From that day in July, 1773, when the feet of the Virginians first trod the forest on the spot where a great and
beautiful city was destined to stand, the history of Louisville has grown to represent the characteristic courage, intelli-
gence, and enterprise of the people who founded the city. When that history comes to be written by the student who
can comprehend the many sides and the many causes of events, it will be found full of the romance of actual heroic
achievements, not only in the adventures of the pioneers who settled it, but in the social and commercial enterprises of
a people who struggled for seventy-five years under the oppression of a domestic institution that was well-calculated to
repress, if not to destroy, all enterprise and practical progress. We shall see, also, that, when the weight of slavery was
removed, Louisville, more rapidly than any other city in the slave-holding States, comprehended the new order of things,
and, before half a generation was sped, had made such an organic change in the character of her interests as to place
her upon equal terms with those cities that had been built up in the North by the intelligence, the thrift, and industry
of free labor.
    Although Captain Bullitt laid out a town site, and a house was built at the mouth of Beargrass the year following, yet
the times were not propitious for settlement, and years passed before the town was to be inspired with life. These years
were full of feeling on the part of the people against the Virginia government, which was accused of indifference towards
the outlying county of Fincastle, which then comprised the present State of Kentucky. Pinally Kentucky was created
a sovereign State three years after the town of Louisville had been laid out and incorporated. The town was founded
upon a tract of one thousand acres of land which had been owned by John Connelly who had forfeited it by being an
active Tory duringthe war with England. Louisville was named for Louis XVI., the ill-fated victim of the French Revo-
lution. There was already a nucleus of French settlers at the Falls corresponding with the movement of French gen-
erally through the North-west Territory. Gratitude to the French king for declaring against England in the War of the
Revolution suggested the name. At this time the number of settlers was very small and there is no way of discovering
the actual population. The number in 18oo has long been accepted as 359, but there are good reasons for believing this
an underestimate, and it is probable that there were nearly a thousand inhabitants of Louisville, and the immediate
vicinity, in i8oo.
    This slight nucleus, that existed in 1789, of the great city that was to be built on the spot, comprised men of quick
intelligence and foresight When the town was founded there is reason to believe that the enormous value of a canal
around the Falls had been suggested. Certain it is that a map of the town, drawn in 1793, presented the projected
canal virtually as it was built thirty-seven years later. It is interesting to know that one of the first agitators of the
canal project was General James Wilkinson, who settled in Lexington in 1784, at the age of twenty-six, after having
made a fine record in the Revolution. His restless, enterprising, and adventurous spirit, sustained by a manner and
                                                                                                             3


 



address that were captivating before they were spoiled by dissipation and the turmoil of misconduct, was of great value
to the young State. He was a leader in the agitation that-whatever the mistakes of the agitators, and whatever the
unjust suspicions that were attached to them under the pressure of excitement attendant upon the discovery of what is
usually called the "Spanish Conspiracy "-led to finally securing the Mississippi river as a commercial highway to the
United States, and the opening of which built up the great pioneer commerce of the Western States. Up to the break-
ing out of the War of the Rebellion, and, indeed, for several years afterward, the internal commerce carried upon the
Mississippi and the Ohio rivers was the greatest that any country in the world ever developed. General Wilkinson
frequently visited Louisville, and the canal project was one that seems to have occupied his mind to a considerable
extent He gave it up with other commercial projects when he returned to the army and was made Commander-in-
Chief, but returned to it temporarily, it seems,   
in 1805-6, when he invited Aaron Burr,' then
outlawed for the killing of Alexander Ham-
ilton, to go into the project with him. Burr
came to Louisville, examined the ground,
and consulted with an engineer. He used                     l,
that project afterward, or at least Wilkinson
accused himi of having (lone so, as a cloak
for the greater andl more hazardous enter-                                               
prise of conquering an empire for himself                                                                        0 
in Mexico.
    If a history of the genius of the peoplevel
of Louisville were written, it would be found  w
to comprise three periods, filled with in-
tense energy. The first would be the pioneer                -                  '---'
period, occupied with the conquest of ter-                    FIRST SRT7Th1UMIMNT AT LOL'IVILLII.
ritory andl the courageous scheme of devel-
oping a river commerce by establishing trade with the Spanish provinces, and by the building of the canal, through
which passing commerce should pay toll to the enterprise of Louisville. This developed into realization in 1830.
    The second period would follow the building of the canal, when the settling of the WVestern and Southern States
provided a great population to be supplied by the activity of Louisville merchants. In this period Louisville was purely
a commercial city, handling the manufactures of the East and the great agricultural products of Kentucky developed
by slave labor. The city grew rapidly in wealth and importance, but it could not grow in an independent and courageous
common population because the blot of slave-labor kept white mechanics of the best classes away. It was in this period
that Louisville established her social and political power, and became the resort of the most cultivated classes of the
South who were artracte'1 by the temperate climate and healthfulness of the place. It was a period of great social brill-
iance, full of that charni of romantic interest which is so attractive to the student, and it came to an end with the
Civil WVar.
    The third and minat importaixt heriod would ccbiipAse that of the organic change after the war, when the building
of railroads, the abolition of slavery, and the development of agriculture in the new North-west temporarily endangered
the future of the city. Then it,4was thlet the heritage of courage, intelligence, and independence received from the
pioneers of the first perio-l astrteli'it6elf, oer, notwithstanding Kentucky had been left with a great helpless population
upon her hands by the emancipation of slaves, and there was danger that the slave-owners would prove quite as helpless
without slave-labor, the people quickly grappled with the problem, and a few years of close application solved it.
While Kentucky maintains her great agricultural importance her metropolis has developed into a rich manufacturing
city.
    It is with the results of this third period that this book is to deal. It is this period which has made the wonderful
organic change of a people within twenty years, and has added to a purely commercial city wonderful manufacturing
enterprises, and has, without any sort of jar, brought in a great mechanical population which is not alone one of the most
thrifty and contented in the country, but which has the satisfaction of seeing great wealth evenly distributed instead of
being locked in the chests of a few millionaires. There are no millionaires in Louisville, at least, practically none. There
is iio other city of its size in the United States where there are so many handsome and comfortable residences, but there
are none here that have been built for the muere display of vast wealth. The first thing that strikes the eye of the
visitor accustomed to observation is the absence of the soul-crushing tenement house, while the multiplied numbers of
comfoit.le cottages, with yards and gardens that are occupied by the working people, astonish him. A very large pro-
portion are owned by those who occupy them, and there is, indeed, no reason why every industrious mechanic who
comes to Louisville should not own a home of his own. Land, offering little choice between a site for a palace or for a
cottage, can be purchased more cheaply than in any other city of similar size in the country: building materials are
cheap, and living is at the lowest cost. The street-car system, which is the wonder of all who see it, renders distance a
nullity. For five cents one can ride all over the city, and the system of free transfers makes it possible for the house-
holder to live in any section of the city he may choose.
    Louisville occupies a position, calculated by all the favors of nature, to make her the metropolis of that richest
region in America, the Mississippi valley, and the rapidity of growth which she has enjoyed for the past ten years indi-
cates that the conditions are being prepared to realize that possibility. Taking the city as a center and projecting an
imaginary circle upon the map of the West with a radius of 350 miles, the rim of the circle will pass near and include
Jefferson City, Missouri; Burlington, Iowa; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Cleveland, Ohio; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania;
Danville, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Alabama; and Memphis, Tennessee.
The area thus included contains a large percentage of fertile soil available for agriculture, with more favorable climatic
                                                                                                              4


 



conditions than any other area of like dimensions on the known globe. A circle of the same radius, with Chicago for
a center, must include many thousand square miles of Lake surface and much land unavailable for agricultural purposes.
Advantages of central location in a given area may be, in a measure, counterbalanced by railways, and Chicago has been
made a great city because railway lines were forced to pass through that city to flank Lake Michigan. But at the rate
at which the railway system of Louisville has been increasing during the past seven years she will soon possess every
artificial advantage of that character, besides possessing communication with thirty-two navigable rivers and having the
richest and most varied territory in America to furnish supplies and create demand. The perfecting of the railway sys-
tem of the whole country will balance constructive advantages leaving those of nature to preponderate in favor of the
cities possessing them.
    Professor John R. Procter, for many years Director of the Geological Survey, and who has devoted years to attract-
ing the attention of capitalists to the incalculable value of the iron ores in the field of which the Cranberry mines of
North Carolina are the cell-
ter, andl to the almost limit-
less deposits of coking coal
in south-eastern Kentucky,
commenting upon the area
described about Louisville,
says:
    " It already contains a
larger population than any
other circle of like area in
the United States, and it is
destined to contain the bulk
of the population of the
greatest empire that has yet        C                                                              A
existed in the world. The
influence of p iys i calI feat-
ures in population is well
shown by the charts and
tables prepared by the last
United States census. These m  w
charts show temperature,
rainfall, etc.; and in connec-                -
tion with the tables the fol-
lowing facts: That the great-                   g
est absolute gain in popula-
tion during the last decade
was made in the region hay-
ing a mean annual tempera-
ture Of from 500 to 550. and
that the circle described  
above is nearly all of this
mean annual temperature.                 '  
That over 12,ooo,o0o people                 1  
reside upon the area where
the annual rainfall is from
forty-five inches to fifty inch-
es, or a larger population                            '4   H'
than on any of the divisions  
niade according to rainfall,                                                             N'
and that the above is the4                                                                   '
rainfall of the circle under             '  
consideration.  The same  
favorable indications are            \"       '-
shown on the charts of ele-                                 -
vation above sea, minimum           -
and maximum temperature,       '
etc. Thus soil, climate, and                                         '
all physical conditions point
to a future dense population
in the region of which Louis-
ville is the center. The cen-                     LOVISVIXXXl BOARLD OV TRADE ait Iaxc(
ter of population of the
United States has been moving westward each decade along the degree of latitude a little north of I ouisville. The
census of i88o brought it nearer Louisville, and the great movement of population southward will keep it on the hat-
itude of and near Louisville for many years. In i88o, almost one-half of the population of the U1.nited States resided
in the region drained by the Mississippi river and its tributaries. And in x8go probably more than one-half of the

                                                                                                              5

 

population will reside in that region, and the proportion must increase yearly. So that a larger part of the population
can be reached from Louisville by cheap transportation.
    "These significant facts insure the merchant and manufacturer of Louisville ample markets for whatever they may
have for sale. The South has hitherto been Louisville's best market, and the great industrial development of that
region must greatly benefit the city. Louisville has it in her power to become the distributing point for manufactures,
mainly of wood and iron, for a large area of the North and West. The iron used in the West must come mainly from
south of the Ohio river. In bringing the pig-iron to Louisville, where it may be made into hardware, agricultural imple-
ments, etc., it is bringing it in the direction of the market. In manufacturing such articles a higher class and better-
paid labor is employed than in the mere making of the pig-iron. And such a population will bring a more substantial
prosperity. Already Louisville has cheap coal and iron, and in a few years roads now projected will add greatly to the
facilities of obtaining these indispensable articles, and there will be in the city great industries based upon them. Louis-
ville should not only become a great lumber distributing point, but a great manufacturing point for all articles requiring
wood for their construction. Already the car shops, agricultural implement makers and builders in the States north of
the Ohio river are looking southward for a supply of lumber, and this demand must yearly increase."
    Professor Sargent, Special Expert on Forests for the Tenth Census, says in his report on " Forests of the United
States: "
    "The extinction of the forests of the Lake region may be expected to affect the growth of population in the cen-
tral portion of the continent.     New centers of distribution must soon suppant Chicago as a lumber market,
and new transportation routes take the place of those built to move the pine grown upon the shores of the great lakes.
      The pine that once covered New England and New York has already disappeared. Pennsylvania is
nearly stripped of her pine, which once appeared inexhaustible. The great North-western pineries are not yet
exhausted, and with newly-introduced methods, logs, once supposed inaccessible, are now profitably brought to the
mills, and they may be expected to increase the volume of their annual product for a few years longer, in response to
the growing demands of the greal agricultural population fast covering the treeless mid-continental plateau. The area
of pine forest, however, remaining in the great pine-producing States of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota is dan-
gerously small in proportion to the country's consumption of white-pine lumber, and the entire exhaustion of these
forests in a comparatively short time is certain."
    Professor Sargent then refers to the iong-leaf pine belt of the South Atlantic and Gulf States, of which he says:
'"The timber is unequaled for all purposes of construction," and adds with reference to the hardwood forests:
    "The most impoitant of these forests covers the region occupied by the Southern Alleghany Mountain system,
embracing South-western Virginia, 'West Virginia, Western North Carolina and South Carolina, Eastern Kentucky and
Tennessee. Here oak unequaled in quality abounds. Walnut is still not rare, although not found in any very large
continuous bodies; and cherry, yellow poplar, and other woods of commercial importance are common."
    In this connection the extension of the Cumberland Valley branch of the Louisville  Nashville railway to Pine-
ville and beyond, and the extension of other projected lines into Eastern Kentucky, will have a most important bearing.
In a communication to the Courier-journal, some years since, was ventured the assertion that the extension of a railway
through Eastern Kentucky and into South-west Virginia and Western North Carolina would do more to build up the
industries of Louisville, than any one thousand miles of railway into the cotton States. Subsequent investigations con-
firm this belief. The abundance and excellence of the coals and timbers, the superiority of the coking coals, and the
nearness of abundant ore deposits and vast stores of ore suited to the production of Bessemer steel, and the varied
resources of tiat region are such that a phenomenal development must result.
    Kentucky is the only State having within her borders parts of the two great coal fields. Louisville is situated
midway between these, and she can so connect herself with the industries and commerce of this State as to have an
enduring prosperity assured. The Kentucky river, with navigation secured to the coal, should be to Louisville what the
Monongahela is to Pittsburgh and the cities below. In the valley of Green river are immense deposits of iron ores asso-
ciated with coal and convenient to railway and river transportation. These ores are regularly stratified, ranging from
two feet to five feet in thickness, and can be mined cheaply. These ores are thicker and equal in quality to those of the
Hocking Valley, Ohio, where the ores form the basis of extensive iron industries. In the counties of Western Ken-
tucky bordering on the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers are large deposits of rich Limonite or " Brown " iron ores,
similar to the ones on which the prosperity of Decatur and Sheffield are predicated. Furnaces in these counties will
have the local ores, and the advantage of having in addition the Tennessee and Alabama ores brought down stream in
the direction of the markets, and furnaces in that region will be as near the coals of Western Kentucky as are the fur-
iiaces in the above named towns to the coals of Alabama and Tennessee. They will also be convenient to the
Missouri ores carried up the river to the furnaces of the upper Ohio. While the coals of Western Kentucky may not
produce a coke equal in quality to the cokes of South-eastern Kentucky, it is certain that a coke fully equal to those
of Alabama and Tennessee can be made from them. With the completion of the Ohio Valley railway south-westward
from Union county, there will be two railways connecting the coals with the Cumberland river ores, and the coal
measure ores of the Green and Tradewater valleys.
    These conditions offer an abundant unlimited opportunity for the development of Louisville into the greatest manu-
facturing and distributing center of the Mississippi Valley.
    As a residence city for all classes Louisville enjoys many remarkable advantages, not the least of which is the taste
which has been characteristic, from the first, in the beautifying and building of homes. The business quarter has
always been plain-though the buildings have been equal to all the demands of an active commerce-while all who
could build homes have made them as handsome as their means permitted. The great plain upon which the city was
built, covering seventy square miles, and extending back six miles from the river to a group of picturesque " knobs " or
hills, has afforded every facility for the economical gratification of taste. Ground being plentiful and level, distance
was not difficult to overcome, and so, instead of being crowded into restricted limits set up by natural barriers, the city
                                                                                                              6


 






























                                              has spread at her own pleasure. The streets are broad, being from
                                              sixty to one hundred and twenty feet in width, all well drained, paved,
and beautified with a profusion of fine shade trees. There are few cities in the world with such finely shaded streets
as Louisville possesses, and none where the streets are wider. The residences are, as a rule, provided with spacious
yards and gardens, and in the spring of the year a drive oxver the city past the miles of great yards, filled with flowers
and shrubbery, and under the shade of trees, rich with foliage and blossoms, is like a trip in fairyland. The average
number of residences to the hundred feet in Eastern cities is about five; in Louisville it is about two. The favorite
residence quarter, for many years, was south from Broadway, which divides the city parallel with the river. South
Fourth, Third, Second, First, and Brook streets are lined with lovely and costly houses in which the taste of the archi-
tect and the landscape gardener vie with each other for expression. Magnolia avenue, Kentucky, Oak, and St. Cather-
ine streets, which intersect the others at right angles, running parallel with Broadway, are within this charming district
and present the same lovely spectacle. South of Broadway, and practically within the district outlined above, there
were 260 residences built in 1885 at a cost of i,6ooooo, or an average cost of  6, 15o each.
   The pride of home, united with good taste and a constant study of the most  effective architecture, has thus
produced in Louisville a city of remarkably attractive homes. The effect of  the change of domestic condition
of the people is nowhere more distinctly shown than by comparing the residences  built since the war with those of
ante-bellum times. One absolute necessity of slavery was an intense conserva  tism.  The incomes of a people
being dependent upon a class whose condition long experience demonstrated
must be unchangeable and unprogressive in order to be safe,
all change and innovation were discouraged. This habit ex-
tended insensibly in many directions. Under this social
aspect, therefore, the architecture of old Louisville was mo-
notonous and plain. The chief beauty of the houses
of the old regime was merely suggestive. They were
spacious and suggested great halls and airiness, hut
theywereplain and angular in exterior. In strik-
ing contrast with these are the picturesque
modern structures of Swiss and Queen
Anne style that now render every street at-
tractive and striking.
   But the handsome residences are not
alone confined to Broadway and the quar-
ter south. They have extended east, and
have beautified " The Highlands," made of
Clifton a charming suburb, and are al ready
building in large numbers in the West End
and the residence suburb of Parkland.
Of the many hundreds of fine residences
no one, however, could be selected as be-                  DIYPRAPDRIWYSAIN
ing of extraordinary cost.                                  ASt     XAT ) RAUlWAY STALL
    No other city of similar size in the world has half as many miles of street railway track as Louisville. To this
must be added the steam suburban railway lines that connect the suburbs of New Albany and Jeffersonville, Ind., by
way of the Louisville Bridge and the new Kentucky and Indiana Steel Cantilever Bridge. These steam lines also



7

 



encircle the city and pass down the river front upon an elevated track some three miles in length. There are about
one hundred and twenty-five miles of street car and suburban lines, running over the one hundred and forty-four miles
of streets of the city. It will thus be seen that there is scarcely a block of ground in the twelve an(l a half square miles
of territory covered by Louisville that is not readily accessible by car. All fares within the city are limited to five cents,
and this includes transfer to and from all parts, so that it is possible to ride from six to ten miles in the city for a nickel.
The suburban lines, which pierce the country to a distance of from three to four miles, and which reach every one of
the residence additions, have a uniform fare of ten cents. Such an abundance of intercity transportation has prevented
the concentration of population within narrow limits, and thus prevented real estate from attaining excessively high
values, like those that prevail in cities where no facilities exist. The system in Louisville has been fostered by the
policy of imposing as few restrictions as possible upon the extension of lines and has had the effect of making ground
for residence and manufacturing purposes cheaper than in any other city of equal size in the United States. The street
car lines are all well eqiipped, accustomed to handling immense crowds without inconvenience or delay, make rapid
time, and are justly celebrated for the comfort and service they render to patrons in return for the small fare demanded.
Some showing of the mileage and business of the various lines in the city will be of interest:

                                                                      IIILSIS IF  PSEGERS
                                       ROADS.                         TRACKS        CALLY
                                                                                    ANNUALLY.

                   Louisville City Railway.     .    ..                 64.0       11,897,000
                   Central Passenger . . . .     . . . . . . ...        30.0        7,000,000
                   Louisville and New Albany Daisy Line . . . . .        5.8         560,ooo
                   Louisville, N. Albany, andJeffersonville transfer,  10.0    t975S000
                   Daisy Belt Line (building). .   ........              6.o  .    . .....
                   Belt Line (to be constructed).o.. . . . . .   .      1 .o . .....
                       Total.                  I25.8                              20,432.000
                       tEstimated.
    The trans-river steam lines run trains every half hour between Louisville, New Albany, and Jeffersonville, at a uni-
form fare of ten cents. The large populations of these two Indiana cities are, for all practical purposes. part of the
population of Louisville.
    The population of Louisville in 1887 was estimated by several methods of computation to be about 2oo,ooo. The
exact figures of the estimate are i95,91o. The census of i88o discovered only 123,758, which was probably under the actual
number, although the rapid growth of manufactures and the large increase in railroad facilities since i88o, readily account
for the enormous growth of population. The city directory, compiled by Mr. C. K. Caron, one of the most careful and
conscientious statisticians in Kentucky, gives an interesting summary of the increase of names in that publication.
The number of names in the directory in i88o was 49,550; 1881, 52,401; 1882, 54,362; 1883, 56,845; 1884, 59,810; 1885,
62,110; i886, 64,408; 1887, 66,900.
    Estimates of population in cities where directories are published unite upon computing one producer to three per-
sons, which would give three as the multiplier; this would make Louisville's population for 1887, according to the direc-
tory, 200,700. Since the abolition of slavery, the increase of working population has been rapid and great The growth
of the city since 1780 is given in the following table:
                        Population, 1780.            3o   Population, 1840.... . 21,210
                                    1790     .      200            1845 .8. .  .  . 37,218
                                    800.           359               1850.          43,194
                                    x810    .     1,357               i86o -  .. 68,033
                                    "820  .     .                     870 -o100,753
                                    1827. . . . . 7,063               1880 . . . . . 123,758
                                    830.         10,341              1883. .      151,113
                                    1835.    . -  17,967              i887.... . 195,910
    Thus i