Henderson County, Kentucky Community


During the 19th century, travel between communities was by foot or on horseback, so they were placed close together. East of the town of Henderson, two villages grew up, with present-day Clay Street being the dividing line between the two county school districts: Weaverton was south and Audubon north of this line.

Tradition says that John James Audubon built the first house in this wooded wilderness, on what is now the NE corner of Loeb and Shelby streets. The first population growth came with the erection of the Cotton Mill in 1883 and its tenement houses in 1885. A furniture company followed in 1886. Known first as Ohio Valley Furniture Co., it became Marstall Furniture in 1895. By 1900, 600 people worked at the Cotton Mill, with a weekly payroll of $8,000, and Marstall employed 150 men, paying them $2,500 weekly.

The Cotton Mill also built the first school room, near the NW corner of Letcher and Powell streets. In an interview given in 1950, Ed Hare, a former city judge, reminisced about his old school, commenting that only the younger children attended because many were working in the mill at age nine. He began working at age 11. Another citizen of this period, Mrs. Hattie Williams, remembered seeing children going to work in their bare feet, through snow.

Nevertheless, two teachers were required by 1898 and one of them, John Dillahay, said 90 pupils were enrolled. Working conditions had improved by 1900 to such an extent that parents began demanding more education and an addition was built to the school.

The Audubon post office was discontinued in 1895, but the federal government recognized it as a town as late as 1950 by delivering a letter addressed to a street number in "Audubon".

from The Annals and Scandals of Henderson County, Ky.
By Maralea Arnett

Contributed by Leigh Ann Boucher, HCH&GS
Copyright 2002 HCH&GS