1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Frankfort (Kentucky)

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FRANKFORT, the capital city of Kentucky, U.S.A., and the county-seat of Franklin county, on the Kentucky river, about 55 m. E. of Louisville. Pop. (1890) 7892; (1900) 9487, of whom 3316 were negroes; (1910 census) 10,465. The city is served by the Chesapeake & Ohio, the Louisville & Nashville, and the Frankfort & Cincinnati railways, by the Central Kentucky Traction Co. (electric), and by steamboat lines to Cincinnati, Louisville and other river ports. It is built among picturesque hills on both sides of the river, and is in the midst of the famous Kentucky “blue grass region” and of a rich lumber-producing region. The most prominent building is the Capitol, about 400 ft. long and 185 ft. wide, built of granite and white limestone in the Italian Renaissance style, with 70 large Ionic columns, and a dome 205 ft. above the terrace line, supported by 24 other columns. The Capitol was built in 1905–1907 at a cost of more than $2,000,000; in it are housed the state library and the library of the Kentucky State Historical Society. At Frankfort, also, are the state arsenal, the state penitentiary and the state home for feeble-minded children, and just outside the city limits is the state coloured normal school. The old capitol (first occupied in 1829) is still standing. In Franklin cemetery rest the remains of Daniel Boone and of Theodore O’Hara (1820–1867), a lawyer, soldier, journalist and poet, who served in the U.S. army in 1846–1848 during the Mexican War, took part in filibustering expeditions to Cuba, served in the Confederate army, and is best known as the author of “The Bivouac of the Dead,” a poem written for the burial in Frankfort of some soldiers who had lost their lives at Buena Vista. Here also are the graves of Richard M. Johnson, vice-president of the United States in 1837–1841, and the sculptor Joel T. Hart (1810–1877). The city has a considerable trade with the surrounding country, in which large quantities of tobacco and hemp are produced; its manufactures include lumber, brooms, chairs, shoes, hemp twine, canned vegetables and glass bottles. The total value of the city’s factory product in 1905 was $1,747,338, being 31.6% more than in 1900. Frankfort (said to have been named after Stephen Frank, one of an early pioneer party ambushed here by Indians) was founded in 1786 by General James Wilkinson, then deeply interested in trade with the Spanish at New Orleans, and in the midst of his Spanish intrigues. In 1792 the city was made the capital of the state. In 1862, during the famous campaign in Kentucky of General Braxton Bragg (Confederate) and General D. C. Buell (Federal), Frankfort was occupied for a short time by Bragg, who, just before being forced out by Buell, took part in the inauguration of Richard J. Hawes, chosen governor by the Confederates of the state. Hawes, however, never discharged the duties of his office. During the bitter contest for the governorship in 1900 between William Goebel (Democrat) and William S. Taylor (Republican), each of whom claimed the election, Goebel was assassinated at Frankfort. (See also Kentucky.) Frankfort received a city charter in 1839.