Rev. Joel Lambert

by Edmund Starling, 1886


REV. JOEL LAMBERT was born August 25th, 1796, in Mecklenburg County, Virginia. His father, Joel Lamber, was of English descent, and a farmer by pursuit. His mother, Miss Bennett, was a native of Virginia. His parents removed to Kentucky during his early childhood, and settled permanently in Henderson County. He received a limited education, but the best afforded at that early day in Kentucky. He was a soldier in the War of 1812, and served six months in the New Orleans campaign, under General Jackson. After the restoration of peace, he returned home, and for several years clerked in a dry goods store where he acquired a reputation for sterling worth and honesty, and was trusted with what was called "interchanging"-transferring money from merchants between different point in the country. This business carried him largely through the unsettled portions of the State to Frankfort, Lexington, Russellville and other centers of trade, and was a position of great responsibility and danger. Mr. Lambert was never appointed Sheriff of the county because he was never a magistrate, and, under the old constitution, the senior magistrate was always entitle to the office of Sheriff, and was with one exception, so appointed. It was also the custom of Magistrates appointed to the sheriffalty[sic] to farm out the office, that is to say, sell it to the highest and best bidder. Under this arrangement Mr. Lambert served from 1812 to 1832, either as principal or deputy, with great credit to himself and general satisfaction to the county. During his term of office it fell to his lot to officiate at several hangings, and to escort several criminals overland on horseback to the penitentiary of the State.

When Charles C. Carr was hung, Mr. Lambert was acting Sheriff, but his young spirit was too tender to strike the fatal blow, which was to send into eternity the soul of one who had done him no wrong. Yet he recognized his duty and made all preparations for the hanging. Doak Pruitt, a somewhat noted character at that time, was employed and broke the neck of the unfortunate Carr for the sum of five dollars. Mr. Lambert officiated at the hanging of Calvin  Sugg and William Wurnell, both desperate bad characters. Between the years 1832 and '35, Mr Lambert connected himself with the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, and prepared himself to enter the ministry. For several years he was pastor of the Madisonville Church, for a number of years in charge of the Hebardsville Church, and for ten years connected with various charges, and, up to the day of his death, held missionary and irregular connection with his church. He was ever an earnest and faithful worker in the church, and filled many important offices and appointments, being a member of its general assembly. For many years anterior to his death, Mr. Lambert was largely engaged in farming and other business pursuits, and was always successful, even at his advance age he gave his daily attention to his farming interests, and was as exact in his habits as during his early manhood. In all of the multiplied phases of the Henderson & Nashville Railroad, there was no one man who did so much as Mr. Lambert towards its completion. From the beginning, he took an active part, and, throughout all of its ramifications, his hand was to be plainly seen. He contributed liberally of his means, and of his time-in fact, for many years occupied most of his time in endeavoring to bring the road to a successful completion. Throughout his long and successful business life, he never for a moment separated his religion from his secular interests, and has been noted for his charity, his devotion to good works, and his support of every charitable interest in the community, while he was unflinching in his adherence to his own church, he yet was possessed of broad and liberal views, characterized by great charitableness towards others. On the third day of September, 1818, he was wedded to Miss Polly Husbands, daughter of John Husbands, who was one of the very first settlers of Henderson, and served as Magistrate in the first court after the formation of the county. Harmon Husbands, grandfather of Mrs. Lambert, died while imprisoned at Philadelphia for his opposition to the British Government.

On the third day of September, 1868, Mr. and Mrs. Lambert celebrated their golden wedding by entertaining a host of friends, and, again in the presence of God and those assembled, renewing those pledges which had been so safely guarded throughout their long married life. There was never a happier twain. Of their thirteen children, only three are now living, Mrs. George M. Priest,  Samuel Husband and Mrs. Manuel Kimmel. Mr. Lambert was noted for his probity of character, and was universally esteemed and honored in the community where he so long lived. He died on the twenty-sixth day of June, 1878. His faithful wife still survives him.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 797-98;

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