Sutherland, Kentucky

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Sutherland is a neighborhood located on rolling hills south of the Panther Creek bottoms. It contained fertile soil and was timbered with virgin forests, but somewhat isolated because of the lack of transportation. A corduroy road, with logs laid crossways to combat the mud, ran south from Owensboro to a ford at Panther Creek on the south to connect with a road running east to west through what is now Utica. A wooden bridge was completed over Panther Creek just in time to permit Union forces on September 19, 1862 to defeat a band of about 400 Confederate troops threatening Owensboro. The Union forces were able, thanks to the new bridge, to bring their cannon into play on the battlefield, thus assuring their victory. In 1875 Thomas S. Pettit and James A. Munday built a stave factory near the Sutherland site and close to the Owensboro & Russellville Railroad. A few years later, Pettit and Levi Marble built a lumber and planning mill nearby. As many as two million staves were shipped by barge to Pittsburgh each year from the factory. But with the clearing of the forest and converting the land to agriculture, the jobs disappeared, and the population declined. By 1906 the population was 24, but Sutherland still had a physician, Dr. Arthur L. Coke, who was a true “country doctor.” Although the old Sutherland elementary school was demolished, early in the 21st century a new elementary school has been constructed there.

Reference to article by Glenn Hodges