Tag Archives: Franklin

C. E. James Authors History of Franklin County, Kentucky

History of Franklin County by C. E. James
CAMPBELL EDMONDSON JAMES (1852-1921)
                                                    
C. E. James was twenty-seven years old when he authored this short history of Franklin County, Kentucky. The work was Kentucky’s response to the resolution of the U. S. Congress encouraging celebration of the nation’s Centennial Anniversary of the American Revolution. 
His father, the esteemed jurist A. J. James, already has served in the Kentucky State Legislature, was elected Attorney General under Gov. Beriah Magoffin, and had served as Kentucky’s Attorney General under Gov. Preston Leslie. He also was a former Mayor of Frankfort. Electing not to run for the governorship himself, A. J. James was president of the Farmer’s Bank in Frankfort.                                                                                                                                  
In 1887, C. E. James authored a sketch of Frankfort and Franklin County for the Commonwealth’s publication of the Seventh Annual Report from the Bureau of Agriculture, Horticulture, and Statistics of the State of Kentucky.
A lifelong bachelor, C. E. James was a bookkeeper in Frankfort, Kentucky.                                                                                                                                                                                FREE DOWNLOAD: A Short History of Franklin County, Kentucky
(Courtesy of Russell Hatter, Assistant Curator, The Capital City Museum, Frankfort, Ky.)
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Tuesday June 30th, 2020

Stray Leaves

Here's some colorful video history on George Morgan Chinn, a grandson of Frank James' cohort John Pendleton "Black Jack" Chinn. Whenever I drive from Danville to Midway or Lexington, Ky, I pass the ruins of Chinn's Cave House.
Here also are a couple of testimonials about George, also colorful, from the files of the James Preservation Trust.
#1- "I remember George very well. He was my late father's cousin and we do have his linage through the Morgan's, dating back to John Morgan in 1778. He was a really smart fellow and funny. His [Ed.: grand] father was Jack Chinn. I have a picture of him with William Jennings Bryan, Dicky Brant, and Frank James (Brother of Jesse) seated in a buggy hitched to the only grey horse that won the Kentucky Derby. Jack was fined five dollars for speeding in a horse-drawn vehicle. He paid ten dollars and told them to keep the change because he was going out of town (Harrodsburg, Ky) the same speed he came in. My dad had a lot of these old family tales."
And #2 - "hi I knew him personally. He has a lot of historical books at the Fort Harrod Museum. He also published one about Brooklyn or the Palisades area of Jessamine and Mercer Counties. His wife's nickname was Cotton because of her white hair. They were both feisty. I lived and grew up on five acres that attached to the Chinn land. It was at 5555 Lexington Rd in Mercer county. The Chinn mansion was in a hairpin curve...'Chinn curve.'
"We had hunters and trespassers that would go on the property and we would have to call the Chinns to have them removed.
"My grandfather grew up and ran with Jack Chinn. Jack had a moonshine still in a cave across the ky river from the mansion. He would take a boat across to the cave.
Mr. George Chinn was a historian and you can look for his books on google. Or contact the Fort Harrod in Harrodsburg or the local library. Sorry, that is all I have except I know George had a daughter."
George Morgan Chinn also was a director of the Kentucky Historical Society and editor of their publication "The Register." He authored several books, including "Kentucky: Settlement and Statehood, 1750-1800," still in print, "The Encyclopedia of Hand Arms," and the five-volume work "The Machine Gun."
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