Hudspeth’s Well and the Simpson County Courthouse

Simpson County Courthouse – Franklin, Ky.

First, I apologize for the quality of the picture. It was getting dark when I arrived in Franklin, and I couldn’t find an angle that didn’t put the sun directly in my face.

Franklin has a beautiful courthouse lawn. The pictured courthouse was the third on the site and was built in 1882-83. This was the “standard courthouse design” of McDonald Brothers, an architect firm out of Louisville. Wings were added to the courthouse in 1962 that attempted to match the style.

Well on Courthouse Lawn – Franklin, Ky.

People often forget the boon that it could be for a landowner when their land was chosen for the county seat. The selection of Franklin in Simpson County illustrates this very point. When the county was formed, a commission was authorized to purchase a site for the county seat. Three owners sought to sell their site, but a water source was essential.

William Hudspeth had dug a well onsite, but it was dry. Secretly, he hauled in water to fill the well, and sold the 62 acres that serve as Franklin’s downtown area based on this deception. Amazingly, the water he brought in primed the well, and the well ended up being used for years.

There is a well on the courthouse lawn to commemorate this great story in Simpson County’s history.