Welcome to Franklin County, KY History
Kentucky's Seventeenth Governor
Serving from 1848 - July 31, 1850
Born in Woodford County, Kentucky on September 10, 1786, John Jordan Crittenden was very educated for his time in Kentucky politics. After attending Pisgah Academy in Woodford County and Washington and Lee in Virginia, he later graduated from William and Mary College. John studied law with Judge George M. Bibb and later opened his practice in Russellville.
John served six
consecutive terms in the House of Representatives, serving as Speaker in
1815, 1816 and 1817. In 1819, he resigned and moved to Frankfort to
pursue his law practice. He served the House again in 1829 to 1832. During
the next sixteen years, John served as Kentucky Secretary of State, U. S.
Senator and U. S. Attorney General. In 1848, Crittenden again resigned from
the Senate to run for the position of Kentucky Governor. He defeated Lazarus
W. Powell and served as Governor until July 31, 1850, when he resigned to
become U. S. Attorney General under President Fillmore. As Governor, John
J. Crittenden, was a supporter of education and gave strong support to
Superintendent Breckinridge. He was very interested in Kentucky's penal system
and proposed need to rebuild the penitentiary.
John was married three times and the father of nine children. He married his first wife, Sarah O. Lee, daughter of John and Elizabeth Bell Lee, in 1811. Six children were born to John and Sarah. In Franklin County on November 14, 1826, John J. Crittenden married second, the widow Maria Knox Todd. After Maria's death in 1851, John married for the third time, the widow ELizabeth Ashley. John Jordan Crittenden died on July 26, 1863 and was buried beside his second wife, Maria, in section N of the Frankfort Cemetery.
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