My Genealogy Hound

Below is a family biography from the book, History of Kentucky, Edition 8a by J. H. Battle, W. H. Perrin and G. C. Kniffin and published by F. A. Battey Publishing Company in 1888.  These biographies are valuable for genealogy research in discovering missing ancestors or filling in the details of a family tree. Family biographies often include far more information than can be found in a census record or obituary.  Details will vary with each biography but will often include the date and place of birth, parent names including mothers' maiden name, name of wife including maiden name, her parents' names, name of children (including spouses if married), former places of residence, occupation details, military service, church and social organization affiliations, and more.  There are often ancestry details included that cannot be found in any other type of genealogical record.

* * * *

HON. JOHN T. GATHRIGHT, surveyor of customs for the port of Louisville, is a native of Shelby County, Ky., and was born August 11, 1841. He is a son of Owen and Eliza A. (Austin) Gathright, the former a native of Shelby County, and the latter of Oldham County, and both descended from prominent families of Kentucky. Subject’s paternal grandfather came from Virginia, and his maternal grandfather from Maryland. The latter was with Gen. Jackson at New Orleans, and died at the age of eighty-eight years. The Garthrights are of Scotch-Irish extraction, and the family pedigree can be traced back two hundred years prior to the American Revolution. Owen Garthright (subject’s father) came to Louisville in 1858, and for a time conducted a hotel. He was also engaged in the stove and tinware business, which he discontinued at the close of the war. He has been married for fifty years, and both he and his wife are living. John T. Gathright, the subject of this sketch, is the second son (his brother, James R., was killed at the battle of Murphysboro, in the C. S. A. army). He was brought up on the farm in Shelby County until he was fifteen years old, when he came to Louisville and entered school in 1856, two years before his father moved to the city. He enlisted in Company A, Twenty-second Kentucky Infantry (Federal), and on the organization of the regiment was made quartermaster’s sergeant, but soon after was promoted to first-lieutenant, and afterward to captain of Company H. He resigned in 1863 and came home and was appointed colonel of the Sixty-fourth Regiment of State Guards, and shortly after was placed in command of ten regiments of the State Militia, which he held until the close of the war. When the war closed he engaged in mercantile pursuits until 1879, when he was elected to the State senate for four year. In this new field he became one of the most energetically working members of the body. In the first session he was chairman of the Committee of Internal Improvement, and in the second session chairman of the Committee on Banks and Insurance. In both of these important positions he discharged his duties with credit and general satisfaction to all, and in the latter he particularly distinguished himself by inaugurating various needed reforms in his district, as well as in the State at large. He introduced a bill, and succeeded in getting it passed, amending the general statutes of the State regulating the compensation of county officers, and a similar measure for the city of Louisville. In 1885 he was appointed by President Cleveland surveyor of customs for the port of Louisville. For this appointment he received the hearty endorsement of the business men of Louisville, as well as warm testimonials from all parts of the State, such as the following from Hon. D. W. Lindsey, of Frankfort: “Since the war Mr. Gathright has been an active and industrious business man in Louisville, Ky., and has always enjoyed, as he was entitled to, the confidence and respect of his community, and of all who knew him, being once elected to our State senate. Mr. Gathright has been, and is, in politics, a consistent Democrat, while the writer has been a Republican.” Col. Gathright was married in November, 1864, to Miss Sallie Dunlap, of Shelby County. He is a prominent member of the Presbyterian church, and has been an elder for eighteen years. For the past six or eight years he has devoted much time to the development of the resources of the State; was one of the original promoters of Louisville, St. Louis & Texas Railway, now about completed, and through his efforts, both in the State senate and as a citizen, the attention of many capitalists has been drawn to the rich mineral and timber regions of the State which are now being developed so rapidly, and was always active in measures looking to the advancement of the business and manufacturing interest of the city of Louisville or State of Kentucky.

* * * *

This family biography is one of 195 biographies included in the Jefferson County, Kentucky section of the book, The History of Kentucky, Edition 8a published in 1888 by F. A. Battey Publishing Company.  For the complete description, click here: History of Kentucky, Edition 8a

View additional Jefferson County, Kentucky family biographies here: Jefferson County, Kentucky Biographies

Use the links at the top right of this page to search or browse thousands of other family biographies.