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Early Beginnings

In 1784, GENERAL JAMES WILKINSON
arrived in Frankfort.  He was very
excited when he learned that McAfee's
claim had been issued to his friend
Humphrey Marshall.  Immediately after
the claim had been issued to Marshall
he sold the tract to Wilkinson and
two months later, the Virginia
Legislature designed one hundred
acres of Wilkinson's land as the
town of Frankfort.  A board of trustees
was appointed from seven Fayette
County citizens; Caleb Wallace, Thomas
Marshall, Joseph Crockett, John Fowler,
Jr., John Craig, Robert Johnson and
Benjamin Roberts.  Wilkinson had
platted the area into streets and lots
and authorized the trustees to sell at
public auction all the lots that Wilkinson
had not already sold.  Wilkinson named
the streets in honor of many of his
wartime friends and acquaintances.
However, the town of Frankfort was
not growing as fast as Wilkinson or the
Virginia Legislature had hoped and they
gave Wilkinson a three year extension
to sell his lots.  During these three
years the growth was not anything to
brag about.  Wilkinson, himself built the
second house in Frankfort.  It was a
two story double log house located on
the southwest corner of Wilkinson and
Wapping Streets.  However, his
aristocratic wife, Ann, claimed the
environment was too crude and she
refused to live in the house.  Wilkinson
sold the home to Andrew Holmes, who
lived there for a short time, then sold
the house to Thomas Love, who
converted it into a tavern.  The LOVE
HOUSE
would become a popular place
for travelers and host many notables
including; Aaron Burr, Marquis de
Lafayette and Henry Clay.

Homes of Early Residence

JOHN BIBB HOUSE
Located on Wapping Street this house
of Italian Renaissance style was built
about 1857.

The Vreeland House
Located on Wapping Street was built
in the early 1900's.  It was the home
of Graham Vreeland, who was the
managing editor of Louisville Courier
Journal and publisher of the State
Journal.

The Crittenden House
Located on the corner of Main and
Washington Streets was the home
of John J. Crittenden, a Kentucky
governor. The house was build about
1800 by Charles Sprole on property
once owned by Aaron Burr.

LIBERTY HALL
Built about 1796 by Kentucky's first
Senator John Brown for his parents. It
is located on the corner of Main and
Wilkinson Streets.

ORLANDO BROWN HOUSE
Located next to Liberty Hall, this house
was designed by Gideon Shyrock.  The
home of Orlando Brown, second son
of John and Margaretta Mason Brown.

SIGMUND LUSCHER HOUSE
Built about 1868 by swiss brewer,
Sigmund Luscher. Originally located
at 615 Ann Street.  The home was
moved to Clinton Street to make
room for the new state
Transportation Department

                                                                 

                                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                               

City of Frankfort

The City of Frankfort and the capital of Kentucky is located at a bend
of the Kentucky River between the cities of Louisville and Lexington.

The area was first visited in 1751 by Christopher Gist a surveyor for
the Ohio Company.  This would begin a long procession of exploration
in the area known as Kentucke.  John Finley, Daniel Boone, Robert
McAfee, Hancock Taylor, George Rogers Clark, Nicholas Cresswell
and Hancock Lee were to follow.  In December 1775, Hancock Lee
made a personal survey for land at Leestown, which would become
one of the first settlements in the new land.  Due to a change in
Virginia Land Grand laws, Lee was forced to secure the property
at Leestown through a treasury warrant.  He received this grant
in October 1779 for 500 acres adjoining the 1774 military survey
of Zachery Taylor.

In 1780, a party of men had left Bryant's Station on a salt boiling
expedition Mann's Lick in Jefferson County.  While camped at the
ford on the Kentucky River they were surprised by a band of
Indians.  Stephen Ford died immediately, while the others escaped
unharmed.  The exact location is known, although some suggest
Leestown, others believe South Frankfort.  The favored opinion is the
ford opposite Devil's Hollow.  The shallow area became a heavily
used crossing for travelers between Lexington and Louisville.  This
area became known as Franksford.

By 1790 seven men had secured surveys for land in the immediate
vicinity of Leestown.  In 1776, William Haydon had selected a
parcel of land adjacent to Zachery Taylor's property in the vicinity
of East Main hill, where he built a cabin and raised a crop of corn.
He appeared, four years later, before the Kentucky Land Court to
claim preemption to 1,000 acres on the Kentucky River about two
miles above Leestown.  The land was surveyed by John Williams,
deputy surveyor of Fayette County.  Governor Benjamin Harrison
signed Haydon's grant in June 1784.

George Mason claimed a 1,000 acre tract south of the bend of
the Kentucky River, which ran from the river on the east to the
Louisville Road on the west and included part of the current day
South Frankfort and the state capitol.  This tract was surveyed by
William McBrayer, assistant surveyor for Lincoln County.  Governor
Henry signed the claim in September 1785.

It was at this time, Humphrey Marshall discovered that Robert McAfee
have allowed his 1773 claim of 400 acres at the bend of the river to
lapse.  Marshall entered claim for the McAfee tract in May 1784.
With Fayette County surveyor, Thomas Marshall, Humphrey laid out
specific land which he desired.  The two tracts totalled 260 acres and
the largest included most of what became the northern part of the
original site of Frankfort.  The second tract extended north from the
river cliffs across the property of the Frankfort Cemetery, up East
Main and into Thorn Hill bottom land between portions of Zachery
Taylor's and William Haydon's tracts.  Marshall's claim was signed
in August 1786, by Governor Henry.

A few days after the approval of Marshall's claim.  Governor Henry
signed a grant for 400 acres at the mouth of Benson Creek to
Edmond Lyne.  Lyne's claim was based on a preemption warrant
located in Jefferson County and had been surveyed in December
1784, by J. Hite, a deputy for Jefferson County.

The last grant covering the original site that would become
Frankfort was issued to George Campbell in March 1790.  His
500 acre claim began at Benson Creek on the west and took
in the northern part of South Frankfort.

Sources:
The History of Franklin County, Kentucky, by L. F. Johnson

The Kentucky Encyclopedia, by Kleber
Frankfort Celebration 1786-1986, by Frankfort's 200 Birthday Committee
Capital on the Kentucky, by Kramer
Church and Family Graveyards of Franklin County, by KY Genealogical Society


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