Charles Bogart

Frankfort’s connection to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Some claim that it is the gentle flapping of a butterfly’s wings that start the movement of air that leads to the formation of a destructive hurricane. Whether this is true or not, I will leave others to debate. However, an event that took place in Frankfort in August of 1862 led to the visual view we all have of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. Our story starts with the birth of Ivory George Kimball in Maine on May 5, 1843. Shortly thereafter, in June of 1846, Kimball’s parents relocated to Fort Wayne, Indiana....

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The loss of the packet boat Sonoma

From 1820 to 1930, Frankfort was connected to the outside world by steamboats. During the 19th century, these steam sternwheel packet boats carried goods from Frankfort to markets as distant as New Orleans, Louisiana and Fort Benton, Montana. However, by the beginning of the 20th century, these steamboat packets had lost the long-distance trade to the railroads. The first three decades of the 20th century saw this river trade reduced to twice weekly packet boat service between Frankfort and Madison, Indiana. These boats called at the towns of Carrollton, Lockport, Gratz and Monterey as they steamed up the Kentucky...

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Kansas — The Promise Land

When the Civil War started in 1860, Kentucky was a slave owning state. When the Civil War ended in 1865, Kentucky was still a slave owning state. It was legal in 1865 to own slaves in Kentucky as President Lincoln’s 1862 Emancipation Proclamation — setting slaves free — only applied to slaves owned in areas in rebellion against the United States. Kentucky in 1862 was a loyal state and thus not affected by the Emancipation Proclamation. Slavery in Kentucky only ended on Dec. 6, 1865, when the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution — which outlawed slavery — went...

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Bus service of the past

In 2021, Miller Bus service, provides three daily bus trips from Frankfort’s Walmart parking lot to Lexington and Louisville. Frankfort Transit System, in turn, provides bus service between the Walmart parking lot and other sections of Frankfort. However, if one wishes to travel north to Owenton or south to Lawrenceburg there is no public bus transit system to transport you to these cities. That was not always true. During the 1960s, Southeast Trailways Transportation Company provided daily bus service north from Frankfort to Cincinnati, Ohio, and south to Knoxville, Tennessee. Daily, five buses headed north from the Frankfort bus...

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The end of Frankfort’s passenger train service

In 1835, passenger train service provided by the Lexington & Ohio Railroad (L&O) commenced between Frankfort and Lexington. Two trains a day — at first steam powered, but later drawn by horses — took three hours to cover the 25-mile distance. Now, it is true that the depot was not in downtown Frankfort, but at the top of Main Street Hill where Kentucky State University’s Exum Center now stands. One person who rode this train was a lawyer from Springfield, Illinois, by the name of Abraham Lincoln, who used it to visit his in-laws in Lexington. In 1850, the...

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