Louisville's First Families -A SERIES OF GENEALOGICAL SKETCHES
Author - KATHLEEN JENNINGS
Published by THE STANDARD PRINTING CO.- Louisville, KY 1920
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Built in 1787 by Alexander Scott Bullitt.
A view of the frame portion of the present Oxmoor house occupied by William Marshall Bullitt. The dwelling, sketched above from an illustration in Colonel Thomas W. Bullitt's "My Life at Oxmoor", included four rooms and a central hall, in which there was a stairway of walnut, prettily carved, leading to two attic rooms above.
The brick front was built by William C. Bullitt, early in the last century.
The Bullitt Family. Chapter I.
CAPT. Thomas Bullitt, a distinguished soldier in the French and Indian wars, headed a surveying party which journeyed from Virginia to the falls of the Ohio in July, 1773, and in August of that year laid out a town. Twelve years later, his nephew, Alexander Scott Bullitt, after a brief residence in Shelby county, on Bull Skin creek, moved down to the settlement at Falls of Ohio. On a farm of a thousand acres on Beargrass creek, nine miles from Louisville, he built his first home, a log cabin. He named the farm Oxmoor, from the celebrated Oxmoor, of Tristam Shandy, and on this farm lives his lineal descendant, William Marshall Bullitt, and his family, the property having been in possession of the Bullitts from that day when Alexander Scott Bullitt and his bride, Priscilla Christian, came to make the Kentucky home of this branch of the Bullitt family that has figured prominently in the social and professional life of Louisville ever since.
Alexander Scott Bullitt, the son of Judge Cuthbert Bullitt, of the General Court of Virginia, preferred coming to Kentucky to fight Indians
to staying at home and studying law. His fifteen-year-old bride, Priscilla, was the daughter of Col. William Christian and his wife, Annie Henry, a sister of Patrick Henry. Col. Christian, by a patent of 1780, was granted 2,000 acres of the Beargrass land which had been surveyed in 1774, and on it, in 1780, there was a considerable fort, Sturgis Station, occupied by from twenty to forty families. Thither Col. Christian, of Virginia, sent his slaves ahead to prepare a dwelling, and he with his family arrived to settle in August, 1785 Col. Christian was killed by Indians in 1786. Two years after building the log cabin above the spring of Oxmoor, the Bullitts erected a frame house where their children, Cuthbert, Helen Scott, Anne and William C. Bullitt, were born.
Alexander Scott Bullitt, after the death of his wife, Priscilla, married a widow, Mrs. Mary Churchill Prather, a sister of Col. Samuel Churchill, Armistead and Henry Churchill, prominent Louisville men of affairs. The Bullitts and the Churchills were intimate friends. Alexander Scott Bullitt was one of the eleven State Senators in the first Kentucky Legislature, June 4, 1792. He was elected Speaker of the Senate and re-elected for twelve years. He was the first Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky in May, 1800. Bullitt county was named for him.
In September, 1819, William C. Bullitt married Mildred Ann Fry, a daughter of Col. Joshua Fry and his wife, Peachy Walker, of Albemarle county, Va., who emigrated to Kentucky, and have other descendants in Louisville in the Speeds. Col. Fry was commander of a regiment in the French and Indian war, 1754, in which George Washington served as lieutenant colonel.
William C. Bullitt built the brick front of the Oxmoor residence, completing the structure as it now stands. Here ten children were born to William C. Bullitt and his wife, and three of these have descendants in Louisville; Sue Bullitt, who married the Hon. Archibald Dixon, of Henderson, the mother of William B. Dixon; Helen Bullitt, who married Henry Chenoweth, the mother of Mrs. John Stites, Miss Fanny Chenoweth, Mrs. Hugh Barret, Mr. Henry Chenoweth and Dr. James Chenoweth; and Col. Thomas Walker Bullitt, long prominent in Louisville as a lawyer and citizen, who married Priscilla Logan. Col. Bullitt was the father of William Marshall Bullitt, Alexander Scott Bullitt and Keith Bullitt. His other children do not make their home in Louisville.
The youngest member of the family is Master Benjamin Logan Bullitt, the infant son of
Mr. and Mrs. Keith Bullitt, who leave shortly to take up their residence in Seattle.
Cuthbert Bullitt, the brother of William C. Bullitt, married Harriett Willett and had a son, Dr. Henry M. Bullitt, the first dean of the Kentucky School of Medicine and the city's first health officer.
Dr. Bullitt married Julia Anderson. They had one daughter, Virginia Bullitt, who married John Cood, the mother of Helen Cood, who married Owen Tyler.
Dr. Bullitt married a second time, Mrs Sallie Paradise, and had four daughters, Elizabeth Bullitt, who married Charles N. Buck, former Minister to Paris; Mrs. Julia Bullitt Rauterburg; Mrs. Edith Bullitt Jacob, wife of Mayor Charles D. Jacob, and Miss Henrietta Bullitt. Priscilla Bullitt, a daughter of Cuthbert Bullitt, married A. A. Gordon, and their daughter, Harriet, married Logan C. Murray.
The eldest child of Alexander Scott Bullitt, Anne Christian Bullitt, was married on February 4, 1819, to John Howard, of Maryland, a lineal descendant of two acting governors of that province, namely, Commander Robert Brooke and Colonel Thomas Brooke. She is ancestress of the Courtenays. Her daughter, Annie Christian Howard married October 13, 1842, Robert Graham Courtenay, of Crown Hall, Ireland, who
located in Louisville in 1882, subsequently becoming a prominent man of affairs, firm member of Thomas Anderson and Company, director in the Bank of Louisville, director of Louisville and Frankfort and Lexington and Frankfort Railroads, administrator of the John L. Martin estate, and president and engineer of the Louisville Gas Company. Five of their children figured in Louisville affairs.
The eldest daughter, Julia Christian Courtenay married Hector V. Loving, and has in Louisville the following children: Mrs. Julia Loving George, mother of Julia Courtenay and Robert George; Laura Loving, the wife of D. C. Harris, and Emma Loving.
Two other daughters, Emma and Helen Martin Courtenay, make their home on Fourth street.
A son, Thomas Anderson Courtenay, married Jane Short Butler, and has the following children residing here: Thomas Anderson Courtenay, Jr., William Howard Courtenay, II., and Jane Short Courtenay, wife of Henry S. Tyler.
Another son is William Howard Courtenay, chief engineer of the L. & N. Railroad, whose wife is Isabel Stevenson Clark. They have two sons, Erskine Howard Courtenay and James Clark Courtenay.