Three Forks of the Kentucky River Historical Association

Laws of Kentucky


Chapter 43

AN ACT to establish the County of Owsley
Submitted by Harley T. Bowling

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the commonwealth of Kentucky, That from and after the first day of June next, all the parts of the counties of Clay, Estill and Breathitt ,contained in the following boundary, to-wit: beginning at the mouth of Big Willow Shoal branch, on the Kentucky river, in the county of Estill; thence southwardly a straight line to James K. Harris’ house on the Grassy branch, including said house; thence with the dividing ridge between Station Camp and Sturgeon creeks, until it strikes the line between Clay and Estill counties; thence with the Clay and Estill line, until it strikes the line of Laurel county; thence with the Clay and Laurel line until it crosses Pond creek; thence up Pond creek so as to include John Rader’s residence; thence a straight line to the head of main Sturgeon creek; thence with the dividing ridge between Sexton’s creek and Sturgeon to the head of Island creek; thence with the dividing ridge between Sextons and Island creek to the gap between Robert Morris’ and Henry Clarke’s, where what is called the Estill road crosses; thence a straight line to Lewis Sandling’s residence, excluding him; thence a straight line to Levi B. Hunt’s residence on the South Fork, including Hunt; thence up the South Fork of the Kentucky river to the mouth of Buffaloe creek; thence up the dividing ridge between the South Fork and Buffalo creek to the head of Buffalo, and on the dividing ridge between the South and Middle Fork; thence with said ridge to the Breathitt county line at the head of Long’s creek; thence with the Breathitt line to the head of Meadow creek; thence with the dividing ridge between the South and Middle fork to a point from which a straight line to the middle of the Snag Shoal will include the dwelling house, barns, kitchen and out houses, where Archibald Crawford resides; thence a straight line from Crawford’s to the said Snag Shoal on the North Fork of Kentucky river; thence up the point of the ridge on the lower side of the mouth of Bloody creek; thence with the dividing ridge between Bloody and Upper Devils creek, to the Morgan county line; thence with the Morgan line to the Estill and Montgomery line; thence with the Montgomery and Estill line so as to include the big bald rock on the waters of Miller’s creek; thence a straight line to the mouth of the Big Willow Shoal branch to the beginning, shall be, and the same is hereby, erected into one distinct county, to be called and known by the name of Owsley, in honor of William Owsley.

Sec. 2. That the said county of Owsley shall be entitled to seven Justices of the Peace, who, after having been commissioned, shall, on the first Monday in June, eighteen hundred and forty three, meet at the house of Archibald McGuire, on the Kentucky river, and after taking the necessary oaths of office and qualifying their Sheriff, they shall proceed to appoint a Clerk, to whose permanent appointment a majority of all the Justices in commission shall concur, but if such majority cannot be had in favor of any one, the court may appoint one pro tem.until a majority of said court shall concur in said appointment.

Sec. 3. That the County and Circuit Courts of Clay, Estill and Breathitt, and the Justices of the Peace thereof, shall have jurisdiction, in law and equity, in all cases instituted before this act takes effect, and it shall be lawful for the Sheriffs, Constables, and other collecting officers in said counties, to collect all moneys and execute all process, as the law directs, which may be in their hands at the time this act takes effect, including the county levy and revenue tax for the year eighteen hundred and forty three, and account for and pay the same according to law.

Sec. 4. That the county of Owsley shall be entitled to five Constables to be chosen by the County Court of said county, according to law; said County Court shall lay off their county into Constables’ districts; and the qualified voters of said county shall vote at the same places in all elections as now provided by law, until otherwise changed.

Sec. 5. That Luther Brawner of the county of Clay, John B. Houston of Clarke, and Joseph Wilson of Estill, shall be, and are hereby appointed commissioners to select a suitable place for the permanent location of the seat of justice of said county; said commissioners shall be sworn, before they act, and shall make report of said selection, to the County Court of Owsley county, whose duty it shall be to make provisions for the purchase of a lot or lots of ground at said place, suitable for the erection of a court house, and other necessary public buildings, and shall cause the same to be erected and built as thy may think necessary; and until said buildings are finished, it shall be the duty of said County Court, at the expense of said county, to select and procure suitable buildings for the sessions of the Circuit and County Courts of said county. That said Commissioners shall be entitled to the sum of three dollars per day each, during the time they may be engaged in going to and locating said seat of justice, and returning home therefrom, payable out of the county levy of said county.

Sec. 6. That all that portion of the county of Estill which lies eastwardly of the county of Owsley as therein bounded, shall be, and the same is hereby, added to the county of Breathitt; Provided however, That the citizens residing therein shall be liable to the revenue tax and county levy in Estill county the present year.

Approved, January 23, 1843.

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