James Lewis Isenberg was born in Louisville, Kentucky Dec. 17, 1881, one of six children of Solomon and Adeline Abraham Isenberg. When his father and uncle established a dry-goods store in Harrodsburg, James entered the family business. Besides being a leading businessman, he took a deep interest in the civic life of the town and for many years played an important part in it. Among other things, Mr. Isenberg was head of the Mercer County chapter of the American Red Cross, and for many years served on the Harrodsburg School Board. One of his significant achievements for Harrodsburg was his leadership in creating the Kentucky Pioneer Memorial Association, which was responsible for erecting a reproduction of Fort Harrod. He died Oct. 31, 1938.
The portrait of Isenberg bears the signature of artist M. P. Hardin. The minutes of the January 1941 meeting of the Harrodsburg Historical Society note it was agreed to acquire the painting of Mr. James Isenberg from Mr. Joe McClelland and hung at the Mansion Museum at Fort Harrod. In February, the committee reported that it had been hung. In March 1941, the minutes say, "Mrs. Wood stated that the picture of Mr. Isenberg is very fine and that it was painted by Mrs. E. M. Hardin. Mrs. Hardin stated that she had been asked to paint it and that it was done for the I.O.O.F. (International Order of Odd Fellows) Hall." When the Odd Fellows folded, they offered their portraits to the families or friends of the subjects, so we assume that the portrait of Mr. Isenberg came to the Society through Mr. McClelland, his close associate of many years. (Compiled by Ann Howells, 1978; edited by Linda Freeman & Nancy Hill, 2020)
May Pettibone Hardin was born in New York City on June 4, 1865. She was a descendant of several Mercer County pioneer families, including the Chenoweths, Passmores, Trapnells, and Herndons, all of whom played prominent parts in Harrodsburg's development. "Miss May", as she was familiarly known, came to Harrodsburg in 1872. She received her formal education at Daughters College and later taught art at the school after it became Beaumont College. She was a student of the renowned French artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau. Miss May married Harrodsburg attorney E. Magoffin Hardin and was active in civic and cultural affairs, being one of the founders of the Harrodsburg Historical Society and a President of the Women's Club. She is widely known as an artist and her portraits hang in many fine homes in Harrodsburg and Central Kentucky. She died on Oct. 23, 1959. (text by Ann Hardin Chinn Howells, 1978; edited by Linda Freeman & Nancy Hill, 2020)
Colonel Benjamin F. Moore was married to Sarah Emily Taylor, the daughter of Major James Taylor. Irene Moore, granddaughter of James Taylor, lived in the house which is now the Mansion Museum at Old Fort Harrod. (Text by Ann Howells, 1978)
Lucinda Hunter was born in 1805 in Sumner County, Tennessee. She was a descendant of the Perrys of South Carolina from whom came Commodore Matthew Perry of naval fame. She married Edward Moore in 1825. Judge Edward Moore, also born in 1805, was the son of Elijah Moore of North Carolina, who served as a captain in the 10th North Carolina Regiment in the Revolutionary War [Note: unverified. Valley Forge Muster Roll site lists a Captain Isaac Moore in the 10th Regiment, but no Elijah Moore in any capacity. http://valleyforgemusterroll.org/regiments/nc10.asp ] Edward Moore died May 28, 1873. He and Lucinda were the parents of Benjamin Franklin Moore (b. Tenn., May 6, 1828) who married Sarah Emily Taylor on Sept. 20, 1849 in Harrodsburg at her home, which is now the Mansion Museum at Old Fort Harrod.
The portraits of Edward and Lucinda Moore are not on display at the Harrodsburg Historical Society now (2020). The artists of the portraits are unknown. Evidently, Judge Moore is wearing a black stock. Dating Kentucky portraits is more difficult than those from seaboard states. In those states, dark stocks came into fashion for general use in men's attire in 1830-1831. The Kentuckian was long accustomed to wear a black stock with his military uniform, which he wore at intervals for musters and drills, so he sometimes drifted into adopting it for general wear before its use in other places. (Text by Ann Howells, 1978; edited by Linda Freeman & Nancy Hill, 2020)