Lower Town Precinct

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Map of Lower Town Precinct in 1876

Early History

Lower Town Precinct, lies to the west of Owensboro, between the Ohio River and Panther Creek. It contains some of the best soil and finest improvements in the County. The section of the county known as the Buzzard Roost neighborhood is included within its limits. The term Buzzard Roost was first applied to a limited district of country adjoining the farms of the Berrys and Mattinglys. The name is now given to all that part of the County north of the Henderson road, and extending west from Owensboro about twelve miles to the Green River. It contains some of the finest farming land to be found in the County, and is now thickly settled. The hills are underlaid with coal which has been mined to a considerable extent. A number of squatters settled early in this neighborhood, but never acquired actual possession of the land, and made but scanty improvements. As late as 1830, the whole region was undeveloped. A man named Galloway settled on the farm now owned by Mr. J. I. Berry, a man named Oldham where Miles Mattingly lived.

Among the first permanent settlers who bought land and made improvements were Henry Reed, who owned the farm now occupied by Cole Fugua ; Miles and John Lancaster, John Bristow and Thomas I. Carico. John B. Berry bought land some years before the Mexican war, and his sons Edward C. Berry, J. I. Berry, and William L. Berry settled here and became permanent citizens. George Mattingly settled in the Buzzard Roost neighborhood in 1851. The Crabtree family were early settlers of this precinct, as also were the Calhoons, and others.

Bon Harbor, a small settlement, formerly of more importance than at present, is situated two miles below Owensboro. Thirty years ago the place was thought to bid fair to become a manufacturing town of some importance. The Bon Harbor coal mines were the first to be put in successful operation in the County. An old man named A. Bassett opened the first mine, and the Bon Harbor mine proper, three-fourths of a mile from the river, was next commenced to be worked. About 1830 a considerable quantity of coal was shipped to New Orleans from this point. A railroad ran from the mine to the river at the terminus of which the owners erected one of the largest cotton and woolen factories at that time in the West. Robert Triplett was the principal proprietor. At this point, a town was laid off and several houses built, the population being principally composed of operatives and numbering two or three hundred.

Towns in this Precinct

Source: History of Daviess County, Kentucky. Chicago: Interstate Publishing Co., 1883. Print.

An Illustrated Historical Atlas Map Of Daviess County, Ky. Published by Leo McDonough & Co. 1876.

Source: David Rumsey Map Collection, Online Copyright ©2000 by Cartography Associates.