Bullitt County History

Early Tidbits of Catholic-Related History in Bullitt County

The following tidbits of historical information are transcribed from The Centenary of Catholicity in Kentucky by Hon. Ben. J. Webb, published in 1884. All of it relates to Bullitt County; most of it concerns those of the Catholic faith.

pages 17-18:
In the fall of 1773, Capt. Thomas Bullitt, a land surveyor from Virginia, reached the Falls of the Ohio and pitched his tent above the month of Beargrass Creek. At night, for fear of the Indians, he retired to a shoal in the river above Corn Island. He was accompanied in this expedition by Jas. Sandusky, James Harrod, John Smith, Isaac Hite, Abraham Haptonstall, James Douglas, Ebenezer Severns, John Fitzpatrick and others. The party was joined later by Hancock Taylor, killed afterwards by the Indians, Mathew Bracken and Jacob Drennon. During this expedition Capt. Bullitt completed a number of surveys in the district now included in the boundaries of Jefferson and Bullitt counties; and before leaving, he laid off the town of Louisville.

pages 130-131:
Col. Valentine Thompson's residence was on the road leading from Bardstown to Louisville, and several miles from the first church of St. Michael, to the building fund of which he was a liberal subscriber. In the year 1812, in conjunction with Walter Blandford and others living near the line of Bullitt County, he secured the erection of the church of St. John, Bullitt County, of which congregation he continued a member up to the date of his death.

page 131:
Walter Blandford was a carpenter, and he had direction of the building of the old church of St. Michael. Though his residence was in Bullitt County, at some distance from Fairfield, he remained a member of the congregation of St. Michael until the completion of the church of St. John, in 1812.

page 140:
In 1829, Rev. James Elliott, ordained the same year, was charged with the pastorship of St. Michael's church (Fairfield). ... In addition to the care of his immediate parish, Father Elliott attended several stations in the neighboring country, the principal of which were those of Taylorsville in Spencer, and Mount Washington in Bullitt counties. He was enabled, long before his death, to build churches in both of these towns.

page 252:
On the 27th of November, 1835 ...Rev. Joseph Hazaltine ... (became) ecclesiastical superior of the Nazareth community. ... He was already advanced in years, when he became a priest, and with the exception of a brief interval after his ordination, his whole after life was given to the duties of his superiorship at Nazareth, and to the pastoral care of the small congregation of St. John the Baptist, in the neighboring county of Bullitt. In person, Father Hazeltine was tall, over six feet in height, and of a moderately full habit.

pages 253-254:
Guy Ignatius Chabrat was born in the village of Chambre, France on the 28th of December, 1787. ... (He) came to Kentucky in the summer of 1811. ...Father Chabrat's first charge was undoubtedly the congregations of St. Michael's, in Nelson, and St. Clare's, in Hardin County. ...He was not unfrequently called to other parts of the State, and especially to Louisville, and to St. John's church, in Bullitt County.

page 419:
The church of St. John, Bullitt county, was built in the year 1812, under the pastorship of Rev. G. I. Chabrat. ... I have been able to secure the names of but three of the original members of St. John's. These were Christopher Sanders, Col. Valentine Thompson and Walter Blandford.

pages 452-453:
Christopher Sanders of Bullitt County ... eminently Catholic gentleman ... came to Kentucky with his brother ... about the year 1790, when neither was over twenty-one years of age. He settled in or near Shepherdsville, where he became in time, a man of mark in the community. Somewhere about the year 1820, he was appointed by Governor Adair magistrate of the Shepherdsville district.

page 578:
(In a list of churches...) St. Margaret of Cartona, Pitts' Point, Bullitt County, Rev. J. J. Abell.

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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 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments are available by calling 502-921-0161 during our regular weekday hours. 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: 12 Jan 2024 . Page URL: bullittcountyhistory.org/bchistory/catholictidbits.html