Trenton Precinct, Todd County, Kentucky

MAGISTERIAL DISTRICT No. 5, commonly known as Trenton, lies in the southwestern portion of the county, and is the largest one. It is bounded on the north by the Fairview District, on the east by Guthrie and Allensville Districts, on the south by Tennessee, and on the west by Christian County. The topography of the district is somewhat varied. In the south the land is quite flat, through the central portion it is rolling, and in the northern rather hilly. Here in several places the cavernous limestone comes to the surface. On the old Childs farm there is a cave which has been explored about a half mile. This place in an early day was a fine resort for frolics and picnic parties by the young folks. The soil of the southern and central portions is of dark red clay, while that of the north is of a lighter hue, and by no means so rich. In an early day there was but little timber to be found in the district, except along the banks of the creek and on the northern edge of the district. Since the county has become somewhat settled small groves of timber, consisting of several varieties of oak and some maple, are springing into existence. Also in places in what were once known as barrens the scrub hickory is now found, and wherever that is noticed it is an indication of very rich lands.


The main creek of the district is the West Fork, which rises in the northern’ part, flows generally in a southwesterly direction along the Christian County line, and finally empties into Red River just on the edge of the Tennessee line. The next creek in size is Montgomery, named in honor of a man that in an early day settled at the head waters of it. It rises in the northeastern portion of the district, flows generally in a southwesterly direction and empties into West Fork on the farm of Hardin Wood. – The other creek of importance is Rain’s Lick, which rises near the line between this district and Guthrie, flows generally in a south-westerly course, and strikes West Fork near the State line. Of the early roads but little can be ascertained. Probably the first one of any note was the Hopkinsville and Nashville road, followed by the survey of the Trenton and Clarksville road, and later on the Pond River and Gallatin roads.

Mills of the District

The early mills that were used by the people of this district were all water-mills, and stood on the banks of the West Fork. Some were in the edge of this county and some were just across the line in Christian County. They were all rude structures, and to the people of to-day they would seem very cumbersome and out of place, but to the sturdy yeomen of an early day they answered all purposes as well as our more modern concerns would. The first one of which any record has been kept was the Miller’s Mill, as it was known. It was in existence as early as 1812, and was run for many years by a man by the name of Miller. Whether he built it, however, could not be ascertained. It was regarded as the finest in this portion of the county. It was finally bought by a Mr. Barker who ran it until his death. It is now owned by some of the latter’s children, and is still in use. In about 1820 Coleman put up a mill on the same stream, which stood for many years. In 1830 another structure was put up and was also used for some time. Both have now finally rotted away. In about 1877 a Mr. Bacon put up a steam-mill in Trenton, which is still in operation.

Early Schools

The education of the youth of this district received due attention in an early day, and there were many good teachers who here and there conducted their subscription schools. Probably the very first school in the county was what was known as the Lebanon Academy, held in the old Lebanon Church, which stood two miles south of Trenton. A school was probably conducted here about 1810, and from that on until 1821. It was under the supervision of the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and among the teachers who were employed there were Prof. Allan and Mr. Grayson. One of the first teachers of whom we have any record was Other Graves, who was conducting a school at Reuben Mans-field’s as early as 1825. He taught in different places in this district until about 1835, and he was considered one of the best teachers in the State. About 1830 William Arnold, whom we have mentioned above, came here and taught school for many years. Contemporaneous with Graves a man by the name of Graham was teaching here. He lived on the Byers farm near Pinchem, and there ran a school for many years. In about 1827-28-29-30 Jack Tyler taught a school in and around Trenton. He afterward moved to Clarksville, Tenn., and subsequently be-came the leading teacher in Montgomery County. A son of his, Quintus M., is still teaching in Trigg County. In later years Prof. Aaron Williams was one of the leading and best-known teachers in the neighborhood of Trenton.

Rev. C. M. Day came into the county about 1842. He settled down at Trenton, and was pastor of the Christian Churches at that point and Allensville. He supplied the pulpits free of charge, and supported himself by his school-teaching for many years.


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