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What is the history of Louisville, Kentucky, USA?

People, Pictures, Old Postcards and Stories From the Past

Explore Louisville, Kentucky, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures and genealogy.
Louisville, Jefferson, Kentucky, USA

"Louisville, the county seat of Jefferson co., and principal city of Kentucky, was founded in the year 1778, and incorporated as a city in 1828. It is beautifully situated at the falls of the Ohio River, 400 miles from its mouth, and 130 miles below Cincinnati. Lat. 38° 3' N.; lon. 85° 30'W. The town is built on a plateau about 70 feet above the river at an ordinary stage of water, and about 25 feet above the highest flood-mark. It has 8 miles of river front suitable for wharf purposes, and the even surface extending southward from the river affords the most ample space for the growth of the city in that direction. Two fine bridges, nearly a mile in length, connect the city with New Albany and Jeffersonville, on the right bank of the river, in the state of Indiana. The streets are laid out by the meridian, cross one another at right angles, and are over 500 in number, 60 to 120 feet wide, covering a tract of 35 square miles. They are well sewered, and form about 1900 squares. Here are about 40,000 houses. Electric street-cars are run on the principal streets, connecting the suburbs with the central and business portion of the city. The most conspicuous of the public buildings is the new custom-house, which cost $2,500,000. Other prominent buildings are the city hall and court-house, the First and Second Presbyterian churches, the Catholic cathedral, St. Paul's Episcopal church, the Broadway Tabernacle, the Broadway Baptist church, &c. The city has great educational advantages, having 39 public school buildings, erected at a cost of nearly $2,000,000; the Kentucky College for ladies, 5 medical colleges, 4 other colleges, and many private schools. The free school system is sustained. Louisville has 150 churches, 3 synagogues, a United States marine hospital, several other hospitals, 12 orphan asylums, 14 market-houses, 28 banks, the clearings of which show $390,754,598 for one year. Of the 53 newspapers published here, 8 are political dailies. It is the see of a Roman Catholic bishop. The facilities for transportation are extensive and of great importance to the city, and, being a port of entry, goods are received direct from foreign countries. Besides the Ohio River, which is usually open for navigation during the entire year, there are 6 important lines of railroad terminating at this point. Among these are the Louisville & Great Southern, the Jeffersonville, Madison & Indianapolis, and the Louisville Branch of the Ohio & Mississippi. The city has an extensive trade with the South and the South west. The commerce exceeds in value $150,000,000 per annum, of which the trade in tobacco amounts to 153,000 hogsheads, of an aggregate value of $15,000,000 in one year. Here are 18 large warehouses, 15 rehandling establishments, 16 manufactories of chewing and smoking tobacco, and 85 cigar-factories. Besides, tobacco, pork, and flour are extensively exported. The foreign importations for one year amounted to $488,897, with a duty of $335,622, while the total internal revenue collections were $10,932,593. Though Louisville may be said to be a commercial city, its manufactures are extensive. Among the principal establishments are its iron-foundries, tanneries, and plough and furniture-factories. The manufacture of water- and gas-pipes is more extensive than in any other city W. of Pennsylvania. Chicago, St. Louis, and other Western and Southern towns are supplied by the Louisville foundries. Large quantities of excellent ploughs are made here, and the sole-leather manufactured in Louisville has a wide reputation. Its manufacturing establishments, some 2013 in number, give employment to 29,000 hands, and have an invested capital of $45,000,000, with an aggregate yearly product of $85,000,000. Among these establishments may e found some of the largest in the country and in the world, a wagon-factory (a corporation with $1,000,000 paid up capital) being located here, as well as a hickory-handle factory, 22 tanneries, plough-factories, furniture factories, a spoke-factory, and other wood-working establishments. Louisville is the greatest whiskey mart in the world. The published receipts of the collector for this revenue district amount, for the tax on whiskey, to from $20,000 to $35,000 per day. Pop. in 1860, 68,083; in 1870, 100,753; in 1880, 123,758; in 1890, 161,129."

Lippincott's Gazetteer of the World: A Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer Or Geographical Dictionary of the World Containing Notices of Over One Hundred and Twenty-five Thousand Places ...
Joseph Thomas
January 1, 1895
J.B. Lippincott


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  • 1778 - Louisville, Kentucky founded

    www.wikipedia.org

  • 1830 - Louisville and Portland Canal opened.

    www.e-referencedesk.com/ resources/ state-history-timeline/ kentucky.html

  • News 1849 - June 12 - Gas mask patented by Lewis Haslett (Louisville Ky)

    historyorb.com
    June 12, 1849

  • News 1854 - August 27 - Tornado Kills 18 to 20 people in Louisville church
    This deadly storm touched down near the intersection of Jefferson and Twentieth Streets, unroofing 21 buildings at the German Protestant Orphan Asylum...Read MORE...


  • 1856 - The first enamel bathtub was made in Louisville.

    www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ kentucky.html

  • 1860 - May 21 - A swarm of tornadoes occurred in the Ohio Valley. Tornadoes struck the cities of Louisville, KY, Cincinnati, OH, Chillicothe, OH, and Marietta, OH, causing a million dollars damage.

    WeatherForYou.com

  • 1862 - Approach of Confederate Forces
    September 18, 1862

    Louisville, Kentucky, was excited again over the reported approach of Ge. E. Kirby Smith with a Confederate force.

    September ...Read MORE...


  • News 1871 - A CRASH AT LOUISVILLE, KY
    The Floors of a Grain Warehouse Fall Through to the Cellar - Three Men Killed.

    Louisville - August 30, 1871
    About ten o'clock this morning the fou...Read MORE...


  • 1871 - May 12 - Segregated street cars integrated in Louisville, Ky

    historyorb.com

  • 1875 - First Kentucky Derby run at Churchill Downs in Louisville

    www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ kytimeln.htm

  • News 1879 - ALMSHOUSE FIRE.
    Louisville, Ky. - The Louisville, Ky., Almshouse, located five miles south of the city, was destroyed by fire on the morning of the 31st.
    There were ...Read MORE...


  • News 1881 - Killed By A Boiler Explosion. Disaster In A Louisville Soap Factory-One Man Fatally Hurt And One Seriously.
    Louisville, Ky., Feb. 22.-A terrific boiler explosion-the third fatal one here this year-occurred to-day. Henry Myer, an old German, has been conducti...Read MORE...


  • News 1883 - Louisville Suddenly Deluged. An Embankment Burst At Midnight And One-Fifth Of The City Flooded.
    Louisville, Ky., Feb. 13. - During the past 24 hours the Ohio River, by bursting through cut-offs and pouring over embankments, has completely submerg...Read MORE...


  • 1883 - September 24 - National black convention meets in Louisville, Kentucky

    historyorb.com

  • News 1884 - Strange Fire
    Mrs. Barbara Becht, of Louisville, arose from her bed to hunt for a cat. Her clothes took fire from a candle, and she was burned to death.
    The Belleville Telescope
    Belleville, Kansas
    October 9, 1884

  • 1888 - February 24 - Louisville, Ky becomes 1st government in US to adopt Australian ballot

    historyorb.com

  • News 1890 - March 27 - A tornado strikes Louisville, Kentucky
    The Louisville, Ky Outbreak - March 27, 1890 - At least 125 people were killed in Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, and 76 people were killed in the ci...Read MORE...


  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Mellwood Whisky
    Kentucky Distilleries & Warehouse Co., Louisville, Kentucky

    Found at The Way It Was Museum, Virginia City, Nevada
  • 1893 - The song "Happy Birthday to You" was the creation of two Louisville sisters.

    www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ kentucky.html

  • News 1894 - AN ELECTRIC STORM
    Does a Large Amount of Damage at Louisville.
    MANY HOUSES UNROOFED AND RAZED.
    Electricity Causes a Panic Among Two Hundred Sewing Girls – Men Shocked...Read MORE...


  • News 1894 - FIVE FIREMEN BADLY HURT. SERIOUS CASUALTY AT THE BURNING OF A BUILDING AT LOUISVILLE.
    Louisville, Ky., Nov. 5. - Fire broke out in the building occupied by the Louisville branch of the Singer Sewing Machine Manufacturing company, at 552...Read MORE...


  • News 1895 - Blizzard - THE STORM STILL HOVERS OVER THE UNITED STATES. IT IS SEVEREST IN THE EAST. TRAFFIC ALMOST ENTIRELY AT A STANDSTILL -- RAILROAD TRAINS BLOCKADED -- BUSINESS PARALYZED -- PEOPLE FROZEN TO DEATH AT SEVERAL PLACES...
    ...Cold In Kentucky.
    Louisville, Feb. 9. - The present cold snap smashes all records for February in this vicinity. Hertofore the record for February...Read MORE...


  • News 1897 - MIDNIGHT FIRE AT LOUISVILLE. DAMAGE DONE IN THE WHOLESALE DISTRICT TO THE AMOUNT OF $150,000.
    Louisville, Ky., Nov. 7. - A fire broke out at midnight tonight on Main Street, in the wholesale business district.

    The flames originated on the to...Read MORE...


  • News 1898 - A COSTLY SMOKE. NATIONAL TOBACCO WAREHOUSE AT LOUISVILLE, KY., BURNED.
    THREE MEN WERE SERIOUSLY INJURED, TWO OF WHOM MAY DIE.
    HUNDREDS OF OTHERS WERE ENDANGERED -- THE LOSS WILL BE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF ONE MILLION DOLL...Read MORE...


  • 1900 - Louisville - The Gateway City to the South by Lucien V. Rule
    Beautiful of situation is Louisville, the metropolis of Kentucky, and the Gateway City to the South. Builded along. the Ohio at the Falls, the river s...Read MORE...


  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    View of 4th Ave
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Market Street East from Fourth
  • News 1903 - EIGHT PERSONS ARE INJURED. Court House Elevator Drops Five Stories.
    Louisville, Ky., March 18.- The elevator at the Jefferson county court house here fell five stories today and cause the injury of eight persons, two o...Read MORE...


  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Live Stock Pavilion, State Fair Ground, Front Entrance
  • News 1907 - WATER REACHES CHIMNEYS
    LOUISVILLE, KY., SWEPT BY RAGING WATER OF THE RIVER
    Louisville, Ky., Jan. 20. - With the Ohio relentlessly pouring its flood southward and maintainin...Read MORE...


  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Court House, 1907
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Third Avenue
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Bird's-Eye View of Louisville, Ky.
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Canal Locks, 1908
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Girls' High School, 1908
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Pennsylvania R.R. Bridge
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Tyler Hotel
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Fourth Street Shopping District
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    St. Anthony Hospital
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Louisville Free Public Library, 1910
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Home of "Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch"
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    The Country Club House, 1911
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Seelbach Hotel
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    National Theatre
  • 1916
    Louisville, loo'e-vil or loo'is-vil, the principal city of Kentucky, capital of Jefferson co., beautifully situated at the falls (rapids) of the Ohio ...Read MORE...


  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Jefferson St., West from Third
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    New York Hall, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Union Station, 10th and Broadway
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Churchill Downs

    "Churchill Downs, located on Central Avenue in south Louisville, Kentucky, United States, is a Thoroughbred racetrack most famous for hosting the Kentucky Derby annually. It officially opened in 1875, and held the first Kentucky... Read MORE...

  • 1934 - Cheeseburgers were first served in 1934 at Kaolin's restaurant in Louisville.

    www.ereferencedesk.com/ resources/ state-facts/ kentucky.html

  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Male High School, Brook and Breckenridge Sts., 1935
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    U.S. Coast Guard Station.
    The Only Inland Life-Saving Station in America.
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    The Kentucky Hotel
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Cathedral of the Assumption
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Mosque Kosair Temple
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Parkway Field Baseball Park
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Hotel Henry Watterson
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Brown & Williamson Tobacco Corporation
    Manufacturers of Raleigh Wings and Kool Cigarettes and Sir Walter Raleigh Smoking Tobacco
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Greyhound Bus Terminal
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Have you protected the finish on your Packard?
    Packard Louisville Motor Company, Incorporated
    Broadway at Campbell
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Alamo Plaza Court
  • 1956 - September 10 - Louisville Ky public schools integrates

    historyorb.com

  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Louisville Service Club, 1957
    824 South Fourth Street
    Louisville 3, KY.
  • Louisville, Kentucky, USA
    Henry Clay Hotel
    Third at Chestnut St.
    Louisville 2, Kentucky
  • 1967 - January 12 - Louisville, Ky, draft board refuses exemption for boxer Muhammad Ali

    historyorb.com

  • 1981 - February 13 - A series of sewer explosions destroys more than two miles of streets in Louisville, Kentucky

    historyorb.com



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Updated: 6/12/2019 4:48:07 PM

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