There are 18 historical markers in Henderson County, Kentucky and each has its own unique story. Henderson has a rich history and many captivating tales about wars, politicians, artists, holidays and more. Explore Henderson’s history starting with these eight notable historical markers– then download the Explore Kentucky History app to discover the others!
- Several of Henderson’s historical markers are dedicated to people who made a positive impact on the county. The well known “Happy” Chandler was born near Corydon, Kentucky in Henderson County (Marker #1984 and #2309). Albert B. “Happy” Chandler was a state senator from 1939-1945, and twice held the title Governor of Kentucky, in 1935 and 1955. He was also a baseball commissioner, and he approved the contract making Jackie Robinson the first modern black major league player in 1947.
- The charismatic Augustus Owsley Stanley entered politics after moving to Henderson in 1898 (Marker #1777). He was a dynamic orator who became nationally known for his investigation into the U.S. Steel Corp during his six terms in the U.S. House (1903-1915). He was the governor of Kentucky from 1915-1919 and a U.S. Senator from 1919-1925.
- Louis Marshall “Grandpa” Jones was born in Niagara on October 20, 1913 (Marker #2442). He gained the nickname “Grandpa Jones” through his 70-year country music career. He was cast member of the TV show “Hee Haw” from 1968 to 1993 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1978. He was among the first “pioneers” inducted into the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame in 2002, along with 11 other stars including Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe and Rosemary Clooney.
- John James Audubon was one of America’s most famous ornithologists (Marker #1523). He lived in Henderson from 1810-1819, finding and painting birds in their natural habitat. His published book, “Birds of America,” contained 435 engravings of 1,065 birds, many of them drawn from the woods of Henderson during his nine year stay there. John James Audubon State Park is named in his honor.
Notable Battle History:
- During the Civil War, Brigade General A. R. Johnson and 30 CSA (Confederate States of America) raiders took the city of Henderson, captured 50 guns, hospital supplies, and commissary stores (Marker #527). The threat of Morgan’s Raiders prevented the USA Headquarters from sending relief. Help arrived 5 days later, but the CSA troops had already abandoned the area.
- Nurse Mary W. Arvin is Kentucky’s most decorated female WWI veteran (Marker #2241). She was born in Henderson in 1879 and was a 1904 graduate of the School of Nursing at the Owensboro City Hospital. She joined the American Red Cross and served with Base Hospital Five during the war. In 1918, her hospital in France was bombed by the enemy. She was decorated by France, England, and the United States for her heroic actions during the raid.
Points of Interest:
- Fernwood Cemetery was established in 1849 and contains the graves of many notable Kentuckians. Former governors Lazarus Powell and John Y. Brown, the originator of Mother’s Day, Mary Towles Sasseen, and several veterans and state senators are buried here (Marker #1926).
- Audubon Saw and Grist Mill was built in 1816 by John James Audubon and his brother-in-law, Thomas Bakewell (Marker #1645). It was a 45 foot by 65-foot stream mill that cost $15,000. Audubon supplied over half the money. It operated for two years and then failed due to defective machinery and scanty wheat crops. After the mill failed, Audubon devoted his life to painting and found success. The mill was later used as a tobacco warehouse until it burned in 1913.
Kentucky Historical Society Historical Marker Database
Begin charting your adventure to these historical markers and more! Download the “Explore Kentucky History” app in the Apple app store or in the Google Play Store for Androids to see all of Kentucky’s historical markers.