Wyatt H. Ingram

by Edmund Starling, 1886


The subject of this sketch was born in Orange County, Virginia, in 1783. His father, William Ingram, immigrated to Fayette County, Kentucky, and from thence to Henderson County in 1803. Dying in the spring of 1806, with his property encumbered by debt, the burden of rearing and supporting the family of six children fell on young Wyatt, who, by unflagging industry, soon paid his father's debts and divided the property equally between the children, his brothers and sisters. The expenses of their education he bore himself, thus proving both brother and father.

On the eighth day of December, 1813, Mr. Ingram married Miss Jane McGready, daughter of Rev. Jas. McGready, the great Presbyterian engaged in boating produce to New Orleans. Boat building in those days was attended with many difficulties. Mr. Ingram would go up Green River with a sufficient number of men, and, with the old fashioned whip-saw, get out the necessary lumber for building his boats, put it together, and then float down to Henderson, where he would load with produce of all kinds for the Southern markets. He would then float down to New Orleans and there sell his entire stock, including the boat or boats. With the proceeds securely belted about him, he would commence his journey homeward on foot. In the course of his life, he walked from New Orleans to Henderson thirteen times. To-day such an undertaking would deter most men, but, with the dangers attending such a trip at that early day, it must have taken courage and resolution of high order. During his mercantile life, Mr. Ingram purchased goods from Philadelphia merchants. These were carried in wagons to Pittsburgh and from thence down the river to Henderson. Several times, in returning from New Orleans, he made the trip to Philadelphia by water. On one occasion he sold his produce for Spanish doubloons, and, having no better place to put them, packed them securely in his trunk. On arriving at Philadelphia, he was astonished, on opening the trunk, to find that the gold had played havoc with his clothing, especially some extra fine ruffled shirts then in his trunk. Mr. Ingram's high character for integrity is well known by the older people now living. the good he did was of the practical sort. Several of Henderson's once prominent citizens owe, in a large measure, their start in life to him. When Jean Spidel, with his family, arrived in arrived in New York from the old country, he hadn't the means to pay the full amount of passage money. Under the custom at that time, he sold his son John to the Captain of the vessel until he could be redeemed. It so happened that Mr. Ingram was in New York at the time, and, by some means, Spidel found it out and sought an interview with him. He asked help in so far as to release his son from bondage. Without hesitation Mr. Ingram paid the amount due and then brought with him the entire family to Henderson. A short time afterwards he established Spidel in the butched business, and, in less time than eighteen months Mr. Ingram was repaid in full with interest. Our subject was ever ready to lend a helping hand to the deserving, and to assist those who were anxious to assist themselves. Thus his charity was of the nobles kind. He died December 15th, 1850, calmly and peacefully, and a plain, marble slab marks his resting place in Fernwood Cemetery. "If I have done good," said he, "it will be found out; no need to emblazon it at my grave."

Mr. Ingram was one of the most influential man of his day--he was a leader in all public enterprises and gave liberally of his means. He was for years one of the trustees of the town and was one of the original trustees of the old Henderson Seminary. He left a large and valuable estate, consisting of lands and town lots mostly. Seven children were born unto him, Frank, Emily, Louisa, William, Wyatt, James and Jane. Frank died when young; Emily married Dr. Robt. Letcher and died several years after; Louisa married Hon. John W. Crockett and died twelve or fifteen years since, leaving one son, Wyatt Ingram, now grown and married; William, now, City Clerk of Louisville and very  highly esteemed; Wyatt, farming in this county; James, who organized a company, and, in command, fought in the Confederate war, since died, and Jane, wife of Dr. Ben Letcher.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 677-9;

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