Biography of Col. E. G. Sebree

COL. E. G. SEBREE was born in what is now Trenton District, Todd Co., Ky., in 1817, ‘and is a son of Fendal J. and Martha C. (Garth) Sebree, natives of Albemarle County, Va., and of English and French descent. Prior to the war of 1812, the father was a resident of Richmond, Va. He subsequently took part in that conflict, being stationed for some time at Norfolk. Some time in 1813 he came West. He first went to St. Louis, where he was offered one-half of the present site of the city for a mere nominal sum. Not liking the looks of the place, he came to what is now Todd County, and settled two miles south of the precinct village of Trenton. There he turned his attention to farming, and at one time owned several hundred. acres. His death occurred in 1835. Our subject was the eldest of a large family of children, of whom but two are now living: F. J. and E. G. The latter remained at home until about fourteen, and then came to Trenton, where he clerked in the store of his uncle, Granville Garth. There he remained for five years, and then began merchandising for himself, at Trenton. In this business he remained for about seven years. He next turned his attention to farming. He first purchased the nucleus of his present farm at $11.50 per acre. He owned at one time about 1,700 acres, a part of which has since been divided among his children. For many years he was an active speculator in cotton, and he has also been engaged to a considerable extent in developing the rich coal mines in Hopkins County. Col. Sebree was married to Miss Morrison, a daughter of Archibald and Lucy (Fox) Morrison. The parents were early settlers in northern Kentucky, the father being a soldier in the war of 1812. The result of this union was six children, viz.: Fendal, Lucy, Cora, Mattie, Georgie and E. G., Jr., who is now a prominent young attorney at Hopkinsville. Col. Sebree has avoided as much as possible political notoriety, the only office that he ever held being that of Representative to the Lower House of the Kentucky Legislature for the two sessions from 1853 to 1857. During the war he was a prominent Union man, but since that time he has avoided politics as much as possible. It was mainly through the efforts of Col. Sebree that the Evansville, Henderson & Nashville Rail-road was built. In 1853 he and other gentlemen living along the line of the proposed road conceived the idea of building it. They obtained a charter under the name of the Henderson & Nashville Railroad Company, and commenced operations. The contemplated road was to run from Henderson to a point on the Kentucky and Tennessee State line, to connect with the Edgefield & Kentucky Railroad, making a line from Henderson to Nashville. In 1854 Col. Sebree, then President of the Henderson & Nashville Railroad Company, went to London, England, for the purpose of negotiating the bonds of the Railroad Company. Not being able to make satisfactory arrangements concerning them, he returned home and continued work on the road, nearly all of it that was graded before the late war having been done under his personal supervision. The company’s resources finally utterly failed, and they ceased operations in 1857, owing Col. Sebree a large amount of money, in payment of which they gave him mortgage bonds on the road. In 1867 suit was brought by Sebree et al. to foreclose the mortgage, and upon its sale, under decree, Col. Sebree became the purchaser, and organized another company for the purpose of completing the road-a charter having been granted by the Kentucky Legislature on the 27th day of January, 1867, to Sebree and others, creating the Evansville, Henderson & Nashville Railroad Company-under which company the road was finally completed. The road is now owned by the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company, being probably the best piece of property they have. Col. Sebree’s biography would be incomplete without this short sketch of the Evansville, Henderson & Nashville Railroad; for with this road his fortunes were bound up for many years-from 1853 to 1878-when he sold to the Louisville & Nashville Railroad Company a controlling interest in the bond of the Evansville, Henderson & Nashville Railroad Company, which gave that company the control of the road. And it was very largely due to his faith in the enterprise and to his energy and exertion that the work was finally pushed to completion, opening up as it does to the markets of the world one of the finest mineral and agricultural regions in the world. He has been rewarded for his energy and enterprise by the value the road gives to the vast coal property owned by the St. Bernard Coal Company, of which Col. Sebree is and has been since its organization, the President. Some two years ago, Col. Sebree was stricken with paralysis, and has since been almost entirely disabled from active life. At. present his valuable farm is cultivated by his children. Mrs. Sebree is a member of the Christian Church. Col. Sebree’s portrait appears in this volume.



Todd County KY,

Battle, J. H. Counties Of Todd And Christian, Kentucky. Historical And Biographical. F. A. Battey Publishing Co., Chicago And Louisville. 1884. At current time this manuscript consists of only the Todd County section and a few biographies from Christian County.

5 thoughts on “Biography of Col. E. G. Sebree”

      1. Hello Mark,
        My family owns the house that Col Sebree owned in Trenton, KY. If you have any info or pictures concerning the Col. and his family would you kindly let me know. I’m currently trying to put together a book about his life and the owners of the homestead. Any info would be appreciated.

    1. My family owns the home of Col Sebree in Trenton. I have been collecting information and researching for several years in to document the home and it’s stakeholders. I would love to see any information you might have about Col. Sebree

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