The Bullitt Family. Chapter II.
OVERSHADOWED by warehouses and office buildings, Bullitt street seems a queer memorial to those Virginia gentlemen, Cuthbert and Thomas Bullitt, who played important roles in building up a city at the falls of the Ohio, and who have left behind them, besides testimony of their useful careers, a great number of descendants who are prominent today. One wonders sometimes how it happens that this is not Bullittville. On what is now Bullitt street, back in those early days, there stood two hospitable houses, the grounds extending from Fourth to Sixth streets and with a view across the river which is now enjoyed by many business men from office windows high above the levee, then a part of the Bullitt's front lawn, for there were the homes of Mr. and Mrs. Cuthbert Bullitt, and of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Bullitt.
The Cuthbert Bullitts had a farm about a mile and a half south of their town house, the country home being in what is now Central Park, surrounded by fields and woodland extending from Sixth to Second street. This farm, a part of the Bullitts' large holdings of real estate, was inherited by Amanthis Bullitt, who married
George Weissinger. The land was not desirable then as later when the city's growth made it necessary to drain the land, obliterating the ponds and enhancing the value of property beyond the dreams of the Weissingers, who had disposed of the farm.
In a chapter devoted to these ponds which intersected the area on which the city is built and which, breeding disease, gave Louisville the name, "Graveyard of the Ohio," Casseday wrote in his history of 1852, A map of the city as it was sixty or even thirty years ago would present somewhat the appearance of an archipelago, a sea full of little islands. The Long Pond commenced at Sixth and Market and extended southwest to Sixteenth street. Gwathmey's, or Grayson's Pond, was on Center street just in the rear of the First Presbyterian church, which stood on Green between Sixth and Center and extended westwardly halfway to Seventh street. Besides these two principal lakes there were innumerable others, some containing water only after heavy rains and others standing full at all times. Market street from the corner of Third down was the site of one, Third between Jefferson and Green, Jefferson near the corner of Fourth and so on, ad infinitum."
Major William Bullitt was a half-brother of Capt. Thomas Bullitt, who surveyed the town in
1773, and of Judge Cuthbert Bullitt, the father of Alexander Scott Bullitt, another distinguished early settler. Major William Bullitt and his wife, Mary Burbridge, daughter of General Burbridge, of Warfield, Va., were the parents of Cuthbert and Thomas Bullitt, who came here in 1804, and are described in Collins' History as "two of the first merchants of Louisville distinguished for their probity and business qualifications, who amassed large estates for their descendants."
Cuthbert Bullitt married Anne Neville, of Virginia. daughter of General Joseph Neville, of Revolutionary fame. They journeyed to Louisville to build their home here on the river front. Thomas Bullitt married Diana Gwathmey, of the prominent pioneer family, and their son, Alexander Bullitt, owned the handsome home on Jefferson street, now the Holcomb mission. Alexander Bullitt married twice, his first wife being a beautiful heiress, Fannie Smith, for whom two steamboats were named, one the "Fannie Smith," the other, the "Fannie Bullitt." His second wife, also fair and rich, was Irene Williams. After this marriage he moved to New Orleans, where he bought the New Orleans Picayune, one of the biggest newspapers of the South.
Cuthbert Bullitt and his wife, Anne, were the parents of eight children, four of whom have
families socially prominent in the city: Neville Bullitt, who married Ann Amelia Steele, the father of Neville Bullitt; William Bullitt, who married Virginia Anderson, the father of the late Alexander Bullitt, and of Malcolm and Howard Bullitt (Alexander and Malcolm Bullitt married two sisters, Clara and Heloise Kennedy); Amanthis Bullitt, who married George Weissinger, the mother of George Weissinger, who married Amelia Neville Pearce; of Blanche Weissinger, who married Capt. Thomas Floyd Smith; of Harry Weissinger, who married Isabelle Muir, and of Caroline Bullitt, who married Dr. Thomas Wilson, the mother of eight daughters.
Neville Bullitt and his wife, Ann Amelia Steele, built a country home, "Riverside," in 1830, just above the present site of the Louisville Country Club, where Mr. John H. Caperton has a handsome home now. "Riverside" was the scene of many gatherings of the Bullitts and their friends. There were eight children to grow up at "Riverside:" Neville Bullitt, Jr., who married Mattie D. Bohannon, the father of Capt. Neville Bullitt, Thomas Bullitt, of Anne Amelia Bullitt (Mrs. A. B. Pinney), and the Bullitt twins, Emily and Juliet, the latter, Mrs. James B. Ayers of Virginia; and William Wurts Bullitt, who married Medora Gilmore, the father of Medora,
Joseph Neville, and Kirwan Bullitt, are the only two who have families in Louisville.
Dr. and Mrs. Thomas Wilson had a daughter, Lucinda, who married Gavin Cochran. Mrs. Cochran died a short time ago, her children being: Mrs. Byron Baldwin, John Cochran, Mrs. Edmund F. Trabue and Wilson Cochran.
Almira Wilson married Lytleton Cooke, their daughter, Alice, married David Kellar; Caroline Wilson married Edward Fulton, their children being Mrs. John Tevis and Dr. Gavin Fulton; Amelia Wilson, who married Fred Anderson; Annie Wilson and Henrietta Wilson.
The children of Capt. and Mrs. Thomas Floyd Smith are:Mayor George Weissinger Smith, who married Nell Hunt, a descendant of the Prathers, another pioneer family; Mrs. Amanthis Jungbluth, Thomas Floyd Smith, who married Mary Bruce, and Nan Pope Smith, who married Frank Carpenter.
Harry Weissinger and his wife, Isabelle Muir, are the parents of Margaret, who married Samuel T. Castleman, and is the mother of Harry and Isabelle Castleman; and of Judge Muir Weissinger. Their other children do not live in Louisville.
George Weissinger, who married Amelia Neville Pearce, was the father of Amelia Weissinger, who married Hoadley Cochran. His home at
Pewee Valley was the setting for "The Little Colonel," by Mrs. Annie Fellows Johnston, the Little Colonel being his granddaughter, Hattie Cochran, who is now Mrs. Albert M. Dick, Jr. Benjamin Bullitt, another son of Major and Mrs. William Bullitt, married Mary Ferguson, in1808. Their daughter, Mary Bullitt, married Major Richard Zantziger. One of their three daughters, Octavia Zantziger, married Clarence Bate, having a son, John Throckmorton Bate.