Tuesday, February 12, 2013



Ignatius Pigman, the preacher who led many Marylander's to Ohio County around 1800, was a Methodist Episcopalian, a denomination organized in Maryland in 1784 (commonly referred to as the “M. E.” church), a cousin of the current Methodist Church.  Therefore, several early Ohio County churches leaned heavily towards the Methodist beliefs.  It is said that the first Methodist Church to be organized in Ohio County was at Goshen, just outside of Beaver Dam, in 1804.  Shortly afterwards, the No Creek M. E. and Bethel M. E. Churches were established.

Born about 1755, Pigman was handsome, a minister, an adventurer, an opportunist, a holder of thousands of acres, and he died in poverty, the fourth child and third son of Matthew and Mary Pigman. He was born about 1755 near Laytonville, Frederick (now Montgomery) County, Maryland. Although he is the most publicized of all the Pigmans, nothing is known of his first 20 years. On 19 September 1775 he received the original survey for 122 acres of Hillsborough in Anne Arundel County, the site of the 1790 Pigman Mill. This property was patented to his elder brother, Joshua 27 July 1795 (HR Land Office). It was during this period that Ignatius became interested in property and mills. He and Edward Crowe built several mills in the area and one as far south as Georgetown.

On 3 August 1777, in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the Rev. Thomas Reed of Rock Creek Parish married Ignatius and Susannah Lamar. She was the daughter of John and Sarah Marshall Lamar (Sarah was the daughter of William Marshall, and she was also married at certain times to John Pettinger, and Higginson Belt, and was widow of John Lamar). They lived in the same area as the other Pigmans, although Ignatius does not seem to have farmed. In 1782 he was admitted into connection of the Methodist Church. This was the beginning of an intensive career in the church for the next six years.

The children of Ignatius and Susannah Lamar Pigman, all born in Montgomery County, Maryland, were:

RHODA, the first child born 25 April 1778. She married Stephen Statler, 18 June 1797. He was born in Pennsylvania in August 1770 and became the first sheriff of Ohio County, Kentucky. Children were: Eliza, Mattie, Sallie, Susannah Lamar, Learner Blackman, and Ignatius Pigman. Rhoda died in 1852; Stephen 9 June 1856; both buried in the Tatum Graveyard in Ohio County.

ANNE (AMY) was born 14 January 1781. On 13 January 1801 she married Samuel Work, who was Clerk of the Court in 1803. He was born 25 November 1722. One child George born 12 November 1801. Samuel died 4 March 1818, Warren County, Kentucky. Amy died 15 October 1846 Hinds County, Mississippi.

SALLIE was born in 1784. Ignatius wrote Ato Daniel (Lamson) Morrison, of Bardstown, "I am willing to give my daughter Sallie, on account of my friendship for your father Isaac Morrison." They were married 7 June 1805, in Owensboro. Sallie died 9 December 1852 in Covington, Tennessee.

SIDNEY married John Rice on 29 June 1809 Ohio County, Kentucky.

PHILENIA, named for her aunt, married Harrison Taylor 6 October 1813, the son of Harrison and Jane Curlet Taylor. A child was Dr. Pigman Taylor. Harrison died in December 1878, he and Philenia are buried in the Taylor Cemetery near the site of Barnetts Station.

POLLY was born after 1790. She never married and lived to an old age.

WESLEY, the only son, went to Ohio after his father's death and his return from New Orleans. Nothing more is known of him.

The following is copied from "Ohio County, Kentucky in the Olden Days". A series of Old Newspaper Sketches of Fragmentary History, by Harrison D. Taylor. Originally published Louisville, 1926. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 74-88166

Ignatius Pigman was a Methodist preacher of widespread fame, both in Virginia and Maryland. He was an orator, a Christian gentleman, and an energetic business man. He came to this county and acquired titles to various lands, returned to Maryland and sold Kentucky lands to his neighbors and friends, and took in exchange their homes or the proceeds of their homes in Maryland. This perhaps was done in good faith, but it resulted disastrously for some who bought Kentucky lands. A good many persons had come to the county during the fall season when the low flats, or bottom lands, were most lovely to the eye of the beholder, and they bought such lands; but during the following winter and spring their lands were almost entirely submerged in water, and they abandoned them in despair. It was then thought that the value of the lands of the county was in proportion to their elevation. The whole face of the country was at that time covered with a rich, black loam-mould and a luxuriant growth of cane and pea vines. Many of Pigman's emigrants, therefore, selected the most broken, hilly locations. It needed only a few years' cultivation for the rains to wash away their soil and their hopes. That fact accounted for so many abandoned farms in the county. The men owning the bottom or oldest title finally recovered most of their lands that had been sold. In the meantime Pigman became insolvent, and, with his only son, removed to New Orleans, where he died in 1815.

On a review of the whole case we may perhaps justly record Ignatius Pigman as a public benefactor. Nearly all of the early settlers he brought from Maryland were peaceable, industrious, and moral citizens. Many of them were strictly pious. The strict economy and unwearied industry which it required to live on their poor lands, or to purchase the better titles to them when lost, grew into a second nature or habit. This has been handed down from generation to generation, and we now number among our most peaceable, orderly, and prosperous citizens many of the descendants of those early Marylanders.

To attempt a true delineation of Mr. Pigman's character would be difficult. Tradition represents him censured by some and highly esteemed by others. That he stood high in the estimation of many is evident from the numerous children that were named after him, Ignatius, Ignatius P., and Pigman still being the given names of many of the men and boys of the county. On the other hand it is evident that many men suffered from buying lands from him to which their titles were defective, and others from buying land that proved poor and worthless. It may, however, be urged that few men in that early day were judges of the better titles, and that his own favorite son-in-law, who no doubt had choice of his lands, selected among the poorest. That Pigman was a public-spirited man is evident from the fact that at such an early day he built a cotton gin in Hartford. Upon a survey of the whole case it seems that bad luck or bad management, or both, were his only crimes. He had five daughters, all of whom married worthy men, whose descendants rank among our most respectable citizens.

The following is a foot note to this chapter:

No printed biography of Ignatius Pigman has been found. He was born in Virginia or Maryland, and in 1777, while living in Montgomery County, Maryland, married Susannah Lamar, daughter of John Lamar. "The Minutes of the First Methodist Conference at Baltimore," a manuscript in possession of the Baltimore Historical Society, indicate that in 1782 he was "admitted as preacher," and served various churches in Virginia and Maryland until 1788. During that year, or shortly thereafter, he came to Kentucky in the interest of his church. His many land transactions, in all probability, were made primarily for the purpose of helping settle Ohio County and establish a stronghold of followers in his denomination. He failed in the land business chiefly for the same reason as many others of his time who suffered in consequence of unreliable titles. He evidently did not fail in his religious work, for tradition has it that he built one of the first churches in the county; but to what extent he succeeded is now not definitely known.

That he was highly esteemed by most of his contemporaries is inferred from the following tradition: Discouraged with his efforts in Ohio County and wishing to get into a milder climate, he moved to New Orleans about 1810. He aided the American soldiers-including the Ohio County boys in their preparation for the city's defense against the English. Exposure resulted in pneumonia of which he died. The Battle of New Orleans was fought on January 8, 1815, and two days thereafter the news that peace had been declared on December 24 preceding reached New Orleans. This same news had reached Hartford before the report of the battle. A peace celebration was in progress in Ohio County, with the Reverend Thomas Taylor as the chief orator, when the victory at New Orleans was announced to the assembled crowd. With the same messenger came the report that Ignatius Pigman had died, and the peace celebration was prolonged into a memorial meeting in his honor.

Ignatius Pigman was the father of five daughters and one son: Rhoda (Mrs. Stephen Statler), Anne (Mrs. Samuel Work), Sidney (Mrs. John Rice), Philena (Mrs. Harrison Taylor-Harrison, son of Richard), Polly (died at an advanced age unmarried), and Sallie (Mrs. Daniel Morrison), and Wesley Pigman who after the death of his father, made Ohio state his home.

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