Dr. Adam Rankin

by Edmund Starling, 1886


DR. ADAM RANKIN was born in the State of Pennsylvania, and was among the first comers to Henderson. On the first day of November, 1792, he married Elizabeth, daughter of James and Mary Speed, of Danville, Ky. By this marriage there were six children, Mary Huston, William, Elizabeth Speed, James Speed, Juliet Spencer and Adam Rankin. William, the first son, married in Henderson on July 25th, 1832, Sarah Frances Gwatkin; they had two children, Adam and Gwatkin Rankin. Adam Rankin married Miss Mary T. Kelly on the twenty-fifth day of December, 1866, and they have one daughter, Elizabeth Powell. Gwatkin, although beyond the meridian of life, is still unmarried. William Rankin was the first County Judge of Henderson after the adoption of the New Constitution, and served for a number of years. He was one of the most popular men of his day, being universally esteemed by all who knew him. He was an intimate friend of John J. Audubon, and frequently accompanied him upon his bird hunting expeditions. He died near Spottsville, January 22d, 1871. Adam, son of Wm. Rankin, was, for a number of years, Clerk of the Circuit Court, and so popular was he, no one could have defeated him had he chosen to stand for election or re-election. Owing to impaired health, Mr. Rankin gave up the office. Gwatkin Rankin is one of the most successful farmers in the county, and, being well off financially, takes the world easy.

Juliet Spender, the youngest daughter, and next youngest child of Dr. Adam and Elizabeth Speed Rankin, married in Henderson on the fifteenth day of February, 1827, Dr. Thomas J. Johnson, from Franklin County. They had six children, Benjamin, Elizabeth Speed, Adam Rankin, Thomas J., William Stapleton and Campbell Haussman. Elizabeth Speed married Peter G. Rives, and she has three children, Mary, Thomas J. and Lucie; Mary married Dr. Willard Redman, and they have one bright little son. General Adam Rankin Johnson, of whom mention has been made elsewhere, married Miss Josephine Eastland, of Burnett, Texas, January 1st, 1861. They have seven children, Bettie Johnson, Robert E., Juliet, Adam R., William C., Ethel, and Mary Redman. William Stapleton Johnson was born in Henderson on the twenty-fourth day of February, 1840, and during his entire life has been an active, intelligent, influential man. He was chiefly instrumental in the organization of the Henderson Building and Loan Association, and has been its President from its organization. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the Henderson Mining Company, and during the sinking of the coal shaft, and for some time subsequent, was the President. He is a large dealer in drugs, medicines, &c., and manufactures largely several very valuable cures of his own--notably, his eye salve, said to be the best known to this country.

Mr. Johnson is also interested with his brother, General A. R. Johnson of Texas, James R. Barrett and Adam Rankin, of this city, in a cattle ranch in Texas. He is one of the Hendersons' thriftiest and most far seeing business men. On the twentieth day of May, 1863, he married Miss Bettie Robertson, a most excellent lady, and unto them have been born eight children, seven of whom are living, Juliet, Adam Rankin, William Stapleton, Sophie, Howell R., Thomas J. Rives. Campbell Haussman Johnson (see sketch). Elizabeth Speed Rankin died on the fifteenth day of August, 1803, and Dr. Rankin married his second wife, Miss Ann Gamble, on the twenty-third day of October, 1804. They had one son, John David Rankin, who married Miss Sallie Alexander, of Meade County, Kentucky. They had three children, Adam, Sallie and Juliet. Adam and Sallie are both dead. Juliet married Captain Paul J. Marrs, a sketch of whom will be found elsewhere in this volume. Mrs. Ann Gamble Rankin died August 14th,1806, and on the third day of September, 1807, in Henderson, Dr. Rankin married his third and last wife, Susan Anderson. There were six children by this marriage, Nathaniel Alexander, James Edwin, Lucy, Archibald, Susan Daniel and Weston. James Edwin married in Henderson, on the third day of November, 1832, Miss Ann E. Wardlow, and unto them have been born eight children, Samuel, James Edwin, Alexander, Nannie, Sallie, Wardlow, Alice and Fannie. Of that number only two are living in Henderson, J. Edwin and Wardlow, and only one has married. J. Edwin married Miss Fannie Grinter, daughter of Judge Thomas C. Grinter, of Cadiz, Kentucky, and they have a charming, bright family of sic children, Mary G., Annie W., Eddie, Thomas G., Chester A., the youngest not named.

The History of Henderson County, Kentucky by Starling 1887 page 789-91;

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