by Ronnie Lillard

The history of Crittenden was first handed down in the form or oral tradition; therefore, much of the early history had been lost of forgotten.  Crittenden was named by Mrs. John Finley for the distinguished statesman, John J. Crittenden, who was three times elected to the United States Senate, twice appointed Attorney General of the United States, and once served as Governor of Kentucky.  

Crittenden has had several disastrous fires; one of these destroyed the business section of town May 5, 1867, and another destroyed the southern part of town, April 14, 1897.  The early schools of Crittenden were private schools of the academy type.  From 1841 to 1846 the Reverend Thomas Henderson taught a school at the "Wells," which is now part of the Lloyd Estate.  In the 1850's a college was started where the Bank of Crittenden is now located.  It was called Union College in order to get support from all the churches.  It attracted young people from the surrounding counties who came to Crittenden to enroll in the college.  About 1892 a frame building was built for a public school.  In 1911, Crittenden and Grant County had its first high school graduate, Miss Jessie Crutcher.

 Many famous men have passed through or stopped at Crittenden.  Among these were the beloved statesman, Henry Clay, President Rutherford B. Hayes, and General Lafayette.  When Lafayette stopped here at the Henderson House, which was a wayside inn, all the people of the community came to pay their respects to the great Frenchman.  A pet deer that belonged to the proprietor's daughter was killed to provide a dinner of venison for the distinguished man and his companions.


From a collection of essays written in American Literature Eleven.  The class was taught by Ms. Hazel Ogden of Grant County High School in the 1963-1964 school year, and was typed by the typing classes of Mrs. Mattie Cox.  It is copyrighted by the Grant County Schools, and is used here with their kind permission. We found a copy in UK's King Library.