Delaware, Kentucky

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1886 Directory Listing for Delware

Early History

Delaware The town was laid out in 1864 by Andrew Allen on his farm on the Green River. It is located on the extreme south western part of Daviess County 21 miles from Owensboro. It takes its name from Delaware Creek just a short distance from the town. The first settlers in the area were Colonel Samuel Harralson. He kept a store for a few years. He had the first blacksmith shop and built the first school. He also ran the ferry in the 1840’s.

First Mill

The first mill in Delaware was built by Hall, Moore and Burkhardt in 1868. It was a saw mill and corn cracker. For three years, the company sawed for the penitentiary in Jeffersonville, Kentucky. In 1881, Turner Day and Company of Louisville, built the Delaware Handle Factory and was run by Nathan Brumfield. It employed as high as 50 men during the peak period. It burned on November 17, 1882. The town had three tobacco factories, one owned by A. M. Allen, one by S.C. Cook and another by N. B. Cook. S.C. Cook also had a hotel and saloon.

Post Office

The Post Office was established in 1862 and A. M. Allen was the first Postmaster. Mr. Harralson was robbed and murdered on the road between Delaware and Calhoun in 1859. In 1888, the population was 80.

Commerce

The first store was opened in 1844 by Henry Fleming. H. C. Cosby opened one later and sold it to A. M. Allen. Dr. B.F. Harralson was the first physician. In the 1880’s, Delaware had one dry goods store, a general store, drug store, two groceries, two saloons, two churches, a blacksmith shop, two physicians, a saw mill and one flour mill owned by W. J. Lumpkin. There were three private boarding houses. Mrs. A.M. Allen was proprietor of one, Mrs. M. Harrison, another and Mrs. B.W. McFarland had the other. Mrs. M. Harrison was a seamstress. H. Hix, J.B. Jordan were farmers, W.H. Johnson was a blacksmith and miller. L. R. Jordan was the barber. F. May was a druggist. J. Yeiser was a physician. The Montague Brothers were the merchants. Mrs. B.R. Reeks was a seamstress. B.C. Hix was a saw logger. J. Travis and J. Davis were laborers. L. Piper and Seton Nichols, both blacks, were laborers. J. A. McDonald was a merchant and Postmaster. The first Post Office started in 1860 and Andrew Allen was Postmaster. It closed and was reopened four times by 1873 when Rob Harralson became Postmaster. John Faith, N.B. Cook, Joseph Carrico, Ben Harralson, Thomas Jennings all had the job by 1921 when it closed for 4 years and was reopened by Nora Sharp and then Louis Davis. Some of the Postmasters were Louis Davis, J. E. Carrico, and James Kennedy. Sallie Kennedy held the post for over 20 years until she retired and Mrs. Edna Hulsey held the position until June, 1966 when it was closed and mail moved to St. Joseph, Kentucky. In 1898, the population was put at 200. It had a good trade on the Green River of livestock and other products. It had more trade with Evansville than Owensboro by using the Green River. It was in the 1920’s and 30’s when Owensboro got more trade from Delaware due to more roads being built out of town. By 1920, Delaware was starting to get smaller. H. C. Fleming was the physician and also owned a drug store with Alexander. King owned a saloon.

Church

The Delaware Creek Church was started in 1894. E. H. Maddox was the first Pastor. For a while the church met in the Hall School House and still later in the House of Worship of the Methodist in Delaware until they built their own church in 1900. The church had a regular service thru the year but was unable to meet in the winter due to bad roads. The flood in 1937 caused much damage to the church. An effort was made to move the location of the church but the motion was lost and the building was finally torn down. All usable lumber was salvaged and was rebuilt with smaller dimensions. In 1971 there were only six families living in Delaware. Only one place of business existed, Adkisson’s Grocery, which was a general store with one gas pump.