The area where Bloomfield, Ky is now was originally a 2,000 acre Land Grant to Leven Powell. Primitive settlement began on Simpson Creek soon after a land grant was issued in 1781. In 1799 Dr. John Bemiss came to this area from Rochester N.Y. and purchased large amounts of land, then had part of the area plaited and incorporated in 18l9.
Earlier the west side of Simpson creek had been known as Gandertown because a favorite sport of the time was "ganderpulling", a contest that took place on what is today known as Riverside Drive.
When is was time for naming the early post office Middleburg was chosen because it seemed more dignified than Gandertown and also because there were ties to Middleburg in the older part of Virginia.
Dr. Bemiss is credited with naming the town Bloomfield by combining parts of his wife's maiden name, Bloomer with the married name of his daughter, Merrifield.
The economy of Bloomfield and it's environs have basically been agriculture based but for a time in the 18th century was also known as a manufacturing town. The nineteenth century saw the establishment of a flour mill and the tobacco auction market.
Throughout history and into the present Bloomfield has been and is educationally and culturally sound. Schools have been in existence since 1817. Many and various civic organizations have contributed to the well-being of the area. The Woman's Club established a free public library in Bloomfield in 1916 which remained in operation until sometime after 1946 when it became a part of a county tax base Library System.
October 15, 1779: Two treasury warrants were issued to Leven Powell by land offices and served as vouchers for a qualified surveyor as defined by the l774-179l Master Index, Virginia Survey & Grants. At that time this land was still Kentucky County, Virginia.
April 5, 1781: The 2,000 acres was surveyed to Leven Powell.
June 23, 1781: The survey was recorded by Gov. Benjamin Harrison, governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia, (1780 Kentucky County, Virginia was divided into 3 localities: Jefferson, Lincoln, and Fayette. These became the three counties of the new Commonwealth of Kentucky in 1780 when it was admitted to the Union in 1792 as a state of U.S.A.)
James Guthrie (1792-1869)
This railroad promoter and U.S. Secretary of Treasury was born near Bloomfield. At age 28, Guthrie was appointed as the Commonwealth's Attorney by Governor Adair. He represented Jefferson Co. and Louisville in the General Assembly (1827-1840). Guthrie served as president of the Kentucky Constitutional Convention (1849), as U.S. Treasurer (1853-1857) under President Pierce, and in the U.S. Senate (1865-1868).
Guthrie - lawyer, statesman and financier - became a noted leader interested in both the development of resources and politics. In the General Assembly, he promoted legislation for the Bank of Kentucky and framed its charter. Guthrie strongly advocated railroad construction. During the Civil War, he was a conservative unionist. As L & N president, he placed the railroad in service of the U.S. Government.
Romantic Tragedy (1825)
Jereboam Beauchamp and wife Anna are buried here in the same coffin at their own request. To avenge her alleged seduction by Col. Solomon Sharp, Beauchamp murdered him at Sharp's Frankfort home in 1825. Beauchamp and Anna were held in the Frankfort jail. She was released but joined her husband in his cell, refusing to be separated even by force. He was sentenced to hang.
On his execution day, they attempted suicide by stabbing themselves. Her wound was fatal, but he lived to be hanged that day, the first legal hanging in Kentucky (1826). Col. Sharp's political prominence caused the case to have widespread newspaper publicity. Edgar Allan Poe and many other authors wrote of the tragedy, inspired by Beauchamp's deep devotion and love.