The 2019-2020 Leadership Hardin County Class focused on the history of Hardin County for their September meeting at the Brown Pusey House, itself a historical location. The day was packed full with history including speakers, a visit to the Hardin County History Museum and group project presentations.
Following a light breakfast provided by Hosparus Health and a warm welcome by Leadership Alumni, the class dove into the history of Hardin County. Our first speaker was Gary Kempf who gave an in depth look at the life in northern Hardin County prior to the establishment of Fort Knox, or as it was known at the time, Camp Knox. Mr. Kempf’s presentation highlighted the displacement of entire communities to clear land for the military installation. There are only two buildings of the original towns left standing, one is currently a church. Johnny Lay spoke after Mr. Kempf and discussed a wide range of Hardin County history topics. One historical event he detailed for us involved the local saloon owner hitting Carrie Nation over the head with a chair before she could wield her hatchet on his establishment.
After the guest speakers, we took a ‘field trip’ a short walk from the Brown Pusey House to the Hardin County History Museum. We were lucky enough to have two Hardin County history experts give our class tours through the building. Former Hardin County Clerk, Kenny Tabb and retired teacher Elvin “Jr.” Smith took our two groups through the museum while amusing and amazing us with their local knowledge. The History Museum has exhibits covering many eras and subjects varying from Native American artifacts to the founding of Hardin County, and the military presence in the area to the importance of the railroad to the growth of the County. Mr. Smith and Mr. Tabb shared only a small portion of their knowledge before it was time to return for lunch.
After a delicious lunch provided by WesBanco, it was time for group presentations. The class was broken down into five groups with each group being assigned a range of years to research and present to the entire class in a twenty to thirty minute session. Group one was assigned the years 1775-1821 and they shared their research in the form of a Candy Land like game with fun facts about the earliest years of Hardin County. Group two covered 1822-1868 with a town hall meeting. Group three broadcast all of the latest news from 1869-1915. Group four offered a tour through the Hardin County Wax museum highlighting the years 1916-1962. Group four wrapped up the day with 1962-present day and a fun game to test everyone’s knowledge of local events and businesses.
The 2019-2020 Leadership History Day was an overwhelming success. Everyone who participated learned something new and enjoyed the day.
Hardin County Government
PO Box 568
Elizabethtown, KY 42702-0568