History of Morgan - Facts and Fiction
As the history of Morgan should and does interest us young folks now and should be of greater interest to us in the years to come, we are offering these items, which have been gathered at some expense of time and diligence..
Morgan was originally called Stowers Station, or Stowersville from the one who owned some hundred of acres on the east side of the South Licking River. Long before this, a town called Callensville had been located on Fork Lick creek, now the South Licking River, named Callensville, for Jon2:07 PM 4/2/2014athan Callens.
The change in location from Callensville to the present location was caused by the building of the K.C.R. R. on the east side of the South Licking in 1852-53. The change in name came about just after the Civil War in honor probably of John Hunt Morgan, who passed through the immediate vicinity during the war.
The early history of both towns was interwoven with that of saloons, ball rooms and race tracks.
Rev. Kirkwood was the early blacksmith, was also the first Christian Church pastor. His shop was located where the present smithy now stands.
One of the oldest houses in this part of the country was built of stone by John Meyers on what is now the J. T. Douglas residence site. The first store, which was burned, was built where T. H. Thompson’s store now stands. Mr. Stowers, the early proprietor, gave Robert Hand two acres of land just below where T. H. Thompson now lives, if he would build a grist mill, which he did. The first school house, which was of logs, was located near Callensville, but about 1873, it was located on the East side of the river, adjoining the present site.
The building now occupied by R. H. Ewing’s Son & co. was first used as a tobacco warehouse, but was used for store purposes as early as 1885. The old building on the site of Mrs. R. H. Ewing’s residence was built by Dr. John Risk Meek. It was one of the first residences on the Morgan side of the river.
The covered bridge was built about 1869. Before this, crossings of the river were made on the riffle, either near the cemetery house or at the ford below where T. H. Thompson now lives. The community is honored and owes much to Drs. Meeks, father, son and grandson; also to Dr. T. c. Nichols who practiced here for many years. At one time Morgan was famous for its medicinal waters known as Gum Lick Springs Mineral Waters.
Early in the 1860’s, a small frame Christian church was built which later burned and was replaced by a larger frame building in 1883. Here is located the burial place of the settlers. In 1915 the present brick Christian Church was built as well as the Baptist church and the present public school building. The Baptists, previous to this time, held meetings in various places, such as the school house, warehouses, etc.
For the benefit of the future we will say that in 1900 the Farmers Bank was organized. Also the Morgan Cemetery Co. In 1906 the Morgan Supply Garage building was built and was first used as an Equity tobacco warehouse. As most of the buildings in Morgan have been built very recently, we will not mention them or their dates.
It is always true what Morgan is, is due to those who helped make its history. The Meeks, Makemsons, Thompsons, Arnolds, Ewings, Hands, Clevelands, Youngs, Lowes, Moores, Aulicks, and many others have all played their parts.
Among the newcomers we find outstanding citizens, the Riggs, Douglasses and Sparks.
The present outlook is bright. With out churches, Graded Common School, high School, electric lights, we feel it is up to us, to make the future history of our town worthy of us.
From the Morgan Gleaner, April 1928, the school paper of Morgan School, as found in the E. E. Barton papers (on microfilm at the Kentucky Historical society in Frankfort. or in the public library in Falmouth). Barton notes that “Elsewhere in the same paper, mention is made that Morgan has had a four-year high school for only one year, with only two graduates: Miss Minerva Rigg, who is teaching in the public school at Sharpsburg, and Mrs. Kate Hand (nee Douglas) who is teaching in the schools of Pendleton county.”