Mercer County Land Patents BookSeptember 15, 2023
Annie Bell Goddard
Melissa Jergenson portrays Annie Bell Goddard (1862-1943), a woman before her time. Goddard was an educator, innkeeper, and Mercer County's first extension agent (and one of the first four in Kentucky).
Annie was born to Judge Thomas Bell and wife Sarah Conner Bell of Mercer County. She received her education at Daughters College (now Beaumont Inn) and married Nick Goddard in 1883. They had two children - William and Pauline - but she lost her husband of 10 years to typhoid fever in 1893.
After Nick's death, Annie moved to Paris and taught at Bourbon College. Moving back to Harrodsburg, she taught math at Daughters College and eventually became Dean of Students.
In 1912, she married Glave Goddard, Nick's brother, and in 1917 they bought the vacant Daughters College and established Beaumont Inn.
Jerry Sampson as Thomas Burford (1803-1862). A successful farmer, Burford was born to Daniel and Amy Noel Burford, on their farm at Shaker bend in Mercer County.
He married Jane Hogue, and they had seven children. As the Civil War loomed on the horizon, Burford remained affiliated with the Whigs, and attended the Whig conference in 1850 to nominate the Honorable John B. Thompson of Mercer County for Kentucky Governor.
By 1852, Thomas and family moved their Harrodsburg farm, known as Burford Hill and he led the idyllic life of the country gentleman with the benefits of living right on the outskirts of a town.
A great portion of this farm would become Spring Hill Cemetery and resulted in a ruined friendship between Burford and Meaureau Pulliam due to a misunderstanding on the future use of the land.
Maria Thompson Daviess (1872-1924)
Annie Denny as Maria Thompson Daviess (1872-1924) an American artist and feminist author is the granddaughter and namesake of the woman Amalie Preston is portraying.
She was born in Harrodsburg to John B. Thompson Daviess and Lenora Hamilton Daviess. Little Maria was 8 years old when her father died and the family moved to Nashville.
After Studying one year at Wellesley College, Maria traveled to Paris to study art. Upon her return to Nashville, she continued to paint and began to write.
Her book, "Melting of Molly," was published in 1912 and was one of the bestselling books of that year. She wrote in her autobiography "Seven Times Seven," that her paternal grandmother, Maria Thompson Daviess, had been her role model.
She moved to New York City in 1921 and died there in 1924.
Maria Thompson Daviess (1814-1898)
Amalie Preston portrays Maria Thompson Daviess (1814-1898), a 19th century American author and a native of Harrodsburg.
The daughter of John B. Thompson, Sr. and Nancy (Anne) Porter Robards, she was one of nine children. She married Major William Newton Daviess in 1839. The couple had two daughters and one son.
Early in her writing career, she had her poetry published in several newspapers, mostly under various pseudonyms. Her other publications included "Roger Sherman, a Tale of '76," "Woman's Love," and "History of Mercer and Boyle Counties," which was originally published in installments in The Harrodsburg Democrat.
In 1885 she began teaching at Daughters College. After her husband's death in 1881, she ran the family's 1000-acre farm.
She was a strong independent woman who balanced a writing career with family life -- long before it became fashionable to do so.
Mrs. Matt (Catherine) Harris
Doris Bartleson as Mrs. Matt (Catherine) Harris, the wife of a slave who bought his freedom. Matt Harris, A Mercer County enslaved black man earned enough money to not only purchase freedom for himself, but also his father and for Catherine.
During the cemetery tour, Bartleson will share talents and demonstrate the ability to learn and excel in many crafts that lead to the status of a remarkably successful businessperson.
Additionally, the charming story of a horse named Mole Digger was told and the audience was graced with a song!