Bullitt County History

Bullitt County Judges and Judge Executives

When the county was formed by legislative act dated December 13, 1786, counties were administered by a court made up of six "Justices of the Peace." These justices selected a clerk and a leader of the group for that year.

The actual position of "County Judge" was not created until the state constitutional convention of 1850. The County Judge held true judgeship authority, imposing fines and sentences.

Kentucky changed the law in 1976 and created the office of "Judge/Executive," eliminating most of the actual judgeship authority and making it more of an administrative office.

This is a work in progress, as we research all of the Bullitt County offices.

There are still several gaps to fill in.

  • 1797, Moses Moore 1
  • 1849-50, Robert F. Samuels
  • 1850-53, W. C. Short
  • 1854-56, C. C. Kalfus
  • 1856-59, Wilhite Carpenter 2
  • 1860-62, W. R. Thompson
  • 1863-65, Lorenzo Hoagland (Hogland)
  • 1866-69, Wilhite Carpenter 2
  • 1870-73, Wesley Phelps
  • 1874, Wilhite Carpenter 2 (There is a problem here. He is listed as a state senator 1874-80, so could not be judge at this time?)
  • 1881-82, James Caswell
  • 1883-85, James F. Smith
  • 1886, Wesley Phelps
  • 1890-94, James F. Smith
  • 1895-97, William T. Morrow
  • 1898-1904, LeRoy Daniel
  • 1905-08, R. F. Hays (was clerk 1890-93)
  • 1909-13, LeRoy Daniel (a second time.)
  • 1914-18, A.E. Funk
  • 1919-22, C.P. Bradbury 3 (Pioneer News said sworn in "Jan. 1918")
  • 1923-25, J.A. Shelton
  • 1926-29, E. Z. Wiggington
  • 1930-33, C.M.C. Porter
  • 1934-1937, C.P. Bradbury 3
  • 1938-41, R.E. McAfee
  • 1942-49, C.P. Bradbury 3 (again)
  • 1949, "H.H. Glenn & C.A. Dawson protem 1949"
  • 1950 (Jan-July 7), Conrad Merriman (sworn in Jan, but died suddenly in July)
  • 1950 (July), "C.A. Dawson is serving the unexpired term of the late Conrad Merriman)
  • 1950-61, Clarence A. Dawson (according to his obit, he served these years, but note conflict with Arson Moore term)
  • 1958-1963 Arson Moore
  • 1964-1969 Neil Farris
  • 1970-1981, Arson Moore (The last "true judge." State law changed during this administration in 1976.)
  • 1982-1989 Cliff Haley
  • 1990-1993 Glenn Armstrong
  • 1994-1998 John Harper
  • 1999-2006 Kenneth Rigdon
  • 2007- Melanie Roberts
  1. The first meeting of the new Bullitt County court of the Justices of the Peace was held at the home of Moses Moore, and he was selected to be its leader.
  2. Wilhite Carpenter held this office three times. He was also state senator 1874-80. Carpenter spent some time as a boy at Pleasant Hill, Shakertown, and had extensive family connections to that community. He helped establish Eddyville Penetentiary and was one of Kentucky's first state prison commissioners (see Who Was Who in Bullitt County, Betty Darnell for more detail)
  3. C. P. (Charles Preston) Bradbury served three different times for a total of "nearly 16 years" (obit). Served as County Attorney 1913-18 "for 12 years" (obit). Superintendent of Bullitt Public Schools 1902-1906. Seems to have been a problem finishing his term in 1949. Died 1964. Note discrepancy between obit years served, and actual recorded years.

If you, the reader, have an interest in any particular part of our county history, and wish to contribute to this effort, use the form on our Contact Us page to send us your comments about this, or any Bullitt County History page. We welcome your comments and suggestions. If you feel that we have misspoken at any point, please feel free to point this out to us.

The Bullitt County History Museum, a service of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is located in the county courthouse at 300 South Buckman Street (Highway 61) in Shepherdsville, Kentucky. The museum, along with its research room, is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday; and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Thursday. Admission is free. The museum, as part of the Bullitt County Genealogical Society, is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization and is classified as a 509(a)2 public charity. Contributions and bequests are deductible under section 2055, 2106, or 2522 of the Internal Revenue Code. Page last modified: 13 Jul 2015 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/judges.html