Biography of Rev. J. W. Fitch

Rev. J. W. Fitch, of Winchester, KY., was born in Lewis County, KY., March 28, 1840, and is the ninth of a family of ten children born to Benjamin and Ollie (Burriss) Fitch. Benjamin Fitch was born in Pennsylvania, and when about ten years of age, came to Kentucky with his father, Joseph Fitch, a native of Pennsylvania, who settled in Lewis County, where he lived and died and was a farmer all his life. Benjamin Fitch was brought up as a farmer, which occupation he followed his whole life. Mrs. Ollie Fitch was a daughter of Matthew and Mary (Scott) Burriss, natives of Maryland, who emigrated to Kentucky at an early day and settled in Fleming county, and later moved to Lewis County, where they died. J. W. Fitch was brought up on the farm and received a common-school education. Very early in life he commenced the study of law and is at present a member of the Winchester bar; however, he soon became dissatisfied with the legal profession, turned his attention to the ministry and in 1860 was licensed to preach. In the same year he joined the Kentucky Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church South, took charge of Fox Creek circuit, Fleming county, until 1862; in 1863 he had charge of Tilton circuit, same county, and in 1864-65 was in charge of the Orangeburg circuit, in Mason and Fleming counties. From 1865 to 1867 he labored in the Winchester and Mt. Zion churches and in 1868-69 was pastor of the North Middleton church, Bourbon County.

In 1870, Mr. Fitch had charge of the Flemingsburg church and late in the year of 1871 was appointed Presiding Elder of the Harrodsburg District, but was transferred to the Lexington District in 1872, remaining there until 1876, when he was appointed to the Shelbyville District, which he served in the same capacity until 1880. He was then appointed to take charge of the Maysville District, where he labored until 1884, when he was transferred to the Danville district, where he still is presiding elder. He united himself with the church in 1854 and has since devoted the most of his time to the ministry; he has made some attainments in Greek, Latin and French, and ranks among the leading ministers of Kentucky as a theologian and logician. In 1874 he was the youngest clerical member of the General Conference of the M. E. Church South, which met at Louisville, KY. He was a member in Nashville, Tenn., in 1882.

November 11, 1862, Mr. Fitch married Miss Sarah Trumbo, daughter of Jacob and Mary (Northcut) Trumbo of Bath County, KY.; she was a granddaughter of Rev. Benjamin Northcut, one of the pioneer ministers of Kentucky and in his day, one of the most able men who ever lived in Kentucky. One child was born to Mr. and Mrs. Fitch, Neely R., now a practicing physician in Eminence, KY. Mrs. Sarah Fitch died April 5, 1865, and November 29, 1866, Mr. Fitch married Mrs. Bettie A. Benton, daughter of Robert and Emily Scobee of Clark County, KY. Five children were born to this union, four of whom are living, viz: Robert O., Rosa V., Edwin C., and Josiah W., and one Lovick P., deceased. Rev. J. W. Fitch is one of the most prominent and highly respected ministers of Kentucky and is greatly admired by all who know him.


Perrin, W.H., Battle, J.H., & Kniffin, G.C. Kentucky: A History of the State. Eighth Edition. Originally produced in 1888 by F.A. Battey and Company in Louisville, Ky. and Chicago, Ill. Reproduced from the original edition with new copyright material in 1979 and reprinted in 1991 by The Rev. Silas Emmett Lucas, Jr.

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