Collier's New Encyclopedia (1921)/Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, a city and county-seat of Jefferson co., Ky.; on the Ohio river, and on the Louisville and Nashville; the Louisville, Henderson and St. Louis; the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis; the Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville; the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis; the Illinois Central; the Chesapeake and Ohio, and the Southern railroads. The city is built at the falls of the Ohio 400 miles from its mouth, and is also known as Falls City, a name derived from these rapids which are 27 feet high. Area, 14,348 acres; pop. (1910) 223,928; (1920) 234,891.

The city is provided with modern water and lighting systems, and there is an abundance of electrical power for industrial purposes.

The public buildings of Louisville are of a solid and substantial character. They include the Court House, which is a limestone structure costing $1,000,000; the City Hall; Free Public Library; the United States Government Building; Masonic Temple; Commerce Building; Masonic Widows' and Orphans' Home; many public and semi-public institutions, and a magnificent city hospital. Louisville has nearly 250 large industrial plants. These include woodworking plants, metalworking plants, tobacco factories, textile mills, varnish manufactories, paint manufactories, large oil refineries, elevator plants, leather industries, refrigerating machinery plants, clothing factories. The total value of manufactured products in Louisville amounts to $313,000,000 per annum. It is the center of the tobacco industry of the United States.

There were in 1920 four National and ten State banks, with deposits of over $100,000,000. The city has a branch of the Federal Reserve district bank. The bank clearings in 1919 were $1,635,533,961.

In 1920 over 35,000 children were enrolled in the public schools. There were 3 high schools, and 70 school buildings. The institutions of higher education include the University of Louisville (academic, law and medical departments); the Jefferson School of Law; the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; the Presbyterian Theological Seminary of Kentucky, and several important institutions for the education of colored people. There are several excellent daily papers, including the famous “Courier-Journal.”

History.—The first settlement was made here in 1778 by 13 families under Col. George Roger Clarke. Two years later the place was incorporated by an act of the Virginia Legislature, and called Louisville in honor of Louis XVI. of France, whose soldiers were then aiding the Americans in the Revolutionary War. During its early history it suffered greatly from Indian attacks. It was chartered as a city Feb. 13, 1828. In 1890 it was visited by a cyclone which destroyed $3,000,000 worth of property and killed 100 persons.