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Features

  • Upton wound up in the national spotlight in 2010 after a judge ordered the removal of religious signs near the Upton exit of Interstate 65.

    The state said the signs require a permit, which was not purchased.

  • Along the road into Upton, right past the town welcome sign, lies a church that was established in 1927 – Walnut Hill Baptist.

    Although the building’s white paint is peeling from the wood siding, and the parking lot lies vacant, the history and memories stored in its walls are irreplaceable.

    The congregation was established in 1927 and met at a nearby schoolhouse until the church’s construction was completed in 1929.

  • What’s the best way?

    Rider’s Best Way ... or Rider’s Grocery, as the now Hometown IGA in Upton was once called.

    During the 1930’s, Leon Rider, the stepfather of current IGA owner Larry McKinley, operated a small grocery store, named Rider’s Grocery.

    The store opened in 1936 and served the Upton community for 44 years providing general grocery items, as well as feed for livestock.

    Inside additions, including a deli and an ice cream cooler, led to the store’s name being changed to Rider’s Market.

  • A railroad town, Upton had a depot that was built in 1857 by George Upton.

    The depot was later sold by Upton to the L&N or Louisville and Nashville Railroad Company in the early 1900’s.

    Once the railroad was established, Upton became a shipping point for cattle, tobacco, produce and timber; and also served as a main form of transportation for locals.

    “When I was going to college in Western Kentucky – Bowling Green, I took the train – you just flagged it down and got on,” said Upton native, Larry McKinley.

  • Hodgenville has Lincoln Days. Elizabethtown has the Heartland Festival.

    Upton has Upton Days each September.

    The town’s festival begins with the Upton Days parade. The list of activities and events changes depending on weather and participation in certain contests.

  • Sitting quietly, disguised with new yellow siding and green shutters, the Andrew Jackson Upton House has stood at the corner of Peachtree and Grayson streets in Upton since before troops invaded during the Civil War.

    Built in 1851 by Andrew Jackson Upton, grandson of the town’s founder, the Upton House holds an interesting history.

    During the time that the Andrew Jackson Upton family lived in the house, it boasted several innovations.

  • For many years, large, looming, chain home improvement stores have carried away customers from the original businesses that started it all.

    But some have withstood the test of time.

    Established in 1977, Jones Do It Best Home Center, as it is called today, has played a role in Upton history.

    Ralph Jones, the son of the store’s founder, Harvey Jones, recalls Upton in its heyday.

  • The roar of an engine and the in-flight-feeling Ralph Jones got as he sped his way to the finish line is only part of his story.

    Jones started racing at the Bonnieville Speedway on a dirt track.

    “There was a guy named L.C. Duncan, had a 1950 Plymouth and wanted to know if I wanted to drive his car, and I did, and it started from there,” said Jones.

    In 1963, Jones started racing regularly on small tracks and at fair races while he was still attending college.

  • Upton, Kentucky, straddles two county lines: LaRue and Hardin. It’s divided – in general terms – by U.S. 31-W and Interstate 65.

    Many of the addresses associated with Upton are closer to the Hart County line than either of the home counties.

    Edward Upton, who was the son of a Revolutionary War veteran of the same name, founded the town in 1812.

  • Hardin Memorial Hospital’s Family Care Center in Magnolia has a new face.

    Kimberly Gambino recently accepted the position as the overseeing provider at the clinic. She is a certified family nurse practitioner who received her Master of Science in Nursing at Western Kentucky University in 2008. She is working on a doctorate from Bellarmine University in Louisville. She hopes to complete this step in her education and career by next spring.

    Gambino also teaches a class of nursing students at St. Catharine College in Bardstown.

  • Dixon-Rogers Funeral Home in Magnolia is the second longest operating business in LaRue County. (The LaRue County Herald News is the first.)

    Founded by Charlie Dixon in 1895 the business began operations in the building that is now home of the Magnolia Post Office.

    The post office building was used only as a storefront as during that time a funeral was usually held at the home or in a church.

  • Magnolia began as a stage coach stop along the Louisville-Nashville Turnpike about 1850. The first house in the vicinity was built prior to 1840. A post office was established in April 1851. Postmaster David Harris named the post office in honor of his wife. After the Civil War, the post office was moved to its present site in a community then known as Center Point, but which soon took the name of the post office, Magnolia.

  • Magnolia began as a stagecoach stop along the Louisville-Nashville Turnpike about 1850. It gained its first post office in 1851 which was named after Postmaster David Harris’ wife.

    After the Civil War, the post office was moved to the town of Centerpoint, but the name reverted to Magnolia.

    The Old Providence Church, later Magnolia Cumberland Presbyterian Church, was built in the 1840s. Soon, several stores were established and the town began to grow. In the mid-1870s Magnolia had a population of 30. The 2010 census places the number at about 500.

  • A Magnolia native was one of the first inductees of the Kentucky Human Rights Commission Hall of Fame in 2000.

    Arthur Meredith Walters is most recognized for his role as the Louisville Urban League executive director from 1970 to 1987. The Louisville Urban League’s mission is to assist African-American and disadvantaged persons in the achievement of social and economic equality primarily through education, employment, housing, family development, and community development.

  • The Ragland name is one that you hear often in LaRue County. But few people know how deep those roots grow.

    Gideon Ragland relocated to Center Point, what is now Magnolia from Virginia in December 1808. He purchased 1,000 acres of land for $1,000 partly with monies from a Revolutionary War grant. This was the same month that Thomas Lincoln purchased the farm at Sinking Springs, mere months before the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

  • The 1947 Magnolia Majors basketball team was the first team in LaRue County to compete at the state Sweet 16 tournament.

    Players were Charles Read, Bill Lemons, J.D. Avery, Stuart Pepper, Coleman Miller, Charles Ward, Donald Mather, Hobart Bowen, Johnny Catlett (manager), Darnall McCubbin, Kenneth Bell, and Coach W.L. “The Fox” Reed.

    “We had a really great team that year. There were very few guys in our high school but our team was very, very good,” said Charlene Akin, a freshman and cheerleader for the team.

  • For most of its history, education has been an important part of the Magnolia community.

    The community’s first school was built in 1847, followed by two more schools built on surrounding farms.

    Magnolia College was built in 1879-80. Citizens of the town raised money to help build a brick building which was first designated the “Classical and Normal College.”

    The building burned May 31, 1894, according to the June 7, 1894 edition of The Herald News.

  • Tucked away in the country, without a sign to let travelers know they are passing through it, lies Lyons Station – or Lyons as it’s referred to by locals.