Welcome to Franklin County, KY
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Franklin County was formed from Mercer, Shelby, and Shelby Counties. It was created on 7 Dec 1794.
In 1786 James Wilkinson purchased the 260-acre tract of land on the north side of the Kentucky River that is now downtown Frankfort. He was an early promoter to make Frankfort the country's capital. Wilkinson is called by some the father of Frankfort.
The town of Frankfort probably received its name from an event that took place in 1780's when Indians attacked a group of pioneers from Bryan's Station who were making salt at a ford in the Kentucky River. One of the pioneers, Stephen Frank, was killed and the crossing became known as "Frank's Ford." Later this name was shortened to Frankfort.
After Kentucky became a state, five commissioners were appointed on June 20, 1792, to choose a location for the state capital. They were John Allen and John Edwards (both from Bourbon County), Henry Lee (Mason County), Thomas Kennedy (Madison County), and Robert Todd (Fayette County). A number of communities competed for this honor, but Frankfort won by perseverance and, according to early histories, the offer of Andrew Holmes' log house as capitol for seven years, a number of town lots, $50 worth of locks and hinges, 10 boxes of glass, 1500 pounds of nails, and $3000 in gold.
John Brown, a Virginia lawyer and statesman, built a home -- now called Liberty Hall -- in Frankfort in 1796. Before statehood he represented Virginia in the Continental Congress (1777-1778) and the U.S. Congress (1789-1791). While in Congress he introduced the bill granting statehood to Kentucky. Once that was accomplished, he was elected a U.S. Senator for Kentucky.
The Kentucky General Assembly appropriated funds to provide a house to accommodate the governor in 1796. Construction was completed in 1798. The Old Governor's Mansion is reputed to be the oldest official executive residence still in use in the United States.
In 1829 the Old Capitol, the third Capitol of Kentucky, was built in the Greek Revival style by Gideon Shryock. The building served the Commonwealth as its Capitol from 1830 until 1910.
During the American Civil War fortifications overlooking downtown Frankfort were built on what is now called Fort Hill. The Confederate Army occupied Frankfort for a short time.
On February 3, 1900
Governor-elect William Goebel was assassinated in Frankfort
while walking to the capitol to be inaugurated. Former
Secretary of State Caleb Powers was later found guilty in a
conspiracy to kill Goebel.
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