Todd County Courthouse Clock Tower, Elkton, KY
Posted by: LSUMonica
N 36° 48.568 W 087° 09.250
16S E 486248 N 4073747
Quick Description: The town clock for Elkton, Kentucky, located in the Todd County Courthouse.
Location: Kentucky, United States
Date Posted: 4/4/2006 2:28:40 PM
Waymark Code: WM9W6
Sixty-fourth in order of formation, Todd County in southwestern Kentucky was formed on December 30, 1819, from parts of Logan and Christian counties. The county was named in honor of Col. John Todd, who was killed at the Battle of Blue Licks on August 19, 1782. Todd and his brothers Robert and Levi were instrumental in founding Lexington. ELKTON, the county seat, was incorporated on May 18, 1820.
Todd County, Kentucky's first courthouse was built at the direction of Major John Gray, and completed in 1835. Bricks used were fired on the site. The construction of the courthouse which occupies the center square in Elkton, was authorized by the Fiscal Court, Tuesday, November 11, 1834, at which time they arranged for the selection of a building site. The Commisioners further mandated the county to meet the cost in three payments, the first of which would come from unappropriated funds, which were being held by the sherrif. Thereafter, the balance would be remitted in two equal payments.Jesse Russell, of Elkton, was employed to supervise the construction, along with Commissioner Hazel Petrie. There are two accounts of the building of the walls. Russell is said to have hired four brickmasons, each of whom was to construct a wall: the mason with the best wall was to receive a gold watch. In another account,Jesse Russell and another brick mason were said to have boasted on their masonry skills. To settle the dispute, each was told to build a wall. Each man bet upon himself and Russell's wall was superior. The building was completed in 1835. In 1865, Union troops occupied the Confederate courthouse and later used it as headquarters. After the courthouse was abandoned, the Union troops left the building in shambles. The distruction of the structure brought anger to Todd Countians and six years later, an extensive remodeling project was completed which totally restored and updated the Courthouse. The town clock was purchased by the city and county in 1888. The Clock tower was added at a later time period, during the stick style period. During another restoration project in 1975 the courthouse was designated as a National Historic Landmark. The house is also protected by the National Park Service. In 1961 city officials voted to paint all woodworking and the clock tower white for lack of funds. The clock tower was originally an array of orange, beige, and olive green. The interior was architecturaly destroyed in 1961 when the layout of the building was compromised and historical moldings and fireplaces were concealed. In the following years the court out-grew the courthouse and moved to a new location in southern Elkton. The courthouse currently stands in downtown Elkton and is owned by the city of Elkton.