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William Harrison Polk papers, 1780-1920, ca. 1818-1920 (bulk dates)

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Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig


William Harrison Polk papers, 1780-1920


ca. 1818-1920 (bulk dates)


University of Kentucky Special CollectionsLexington, Kentucky 40506


Arranged by subject or type of material, then sometimes chronologically.

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation Note

[Identification of item], William Harrison Polk papers, 1780-1920, ca. 1818-1920 (bulk dates), 1M53M1, Special Collections, University of Kentucky.


7 cubic ft.


Genealogist, author, newspaperman. Polk was born in central Kentucky in 1843, was raised in Indiana, and returned to Kentucky after serving with the Union Army during the Civil War. He was appointed clerk and then postmaster of the post office in Paris, Ky, resigned, and moved to Texas, where he became city editor of the SHERMAN DAILY REGISTER. He returned to Kentucky to take a position as editor of the (Lexington) DAILY TRANSCRIPT, and later served on the staffs of and/or owned various other Lexington newspapers. He retired in 1908 to devote his time to historic and genealogical research, which culminated in the publication of POLK FAMILY AND KINSMEN, which was published in 1912.

Scope and Content

This is a collection of papers gathered by William Harrison Polk in the course of his research on his family. There are letters from R.C. Ballard Thruston, of Louisville, Ky, dating from about 1874 to 1914 and concerning the Polk and Ballard families; correspondence on the case of Early v. Blue Lick Springs Company, dating from 1867 to 1908; and numerous newspaper clippings and notes on historical events in Kentucky and on such personalities as John Hunt Morgan and Carry Nation.


  • Ballard family.
  • Morgan, John Hunt, 1825-1864.
  • Nation, Carry Amelia, 1846-1911.
  • Polk, William Harrison, b. 1843.
  • Polk family.
  • Thruston, R. C. Ballard (Rogers Clark Ballard), 1858-1946.
  • Genealogists.
  • Kentucky--Genealogy.
  • Clippings.
  • Notes

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