One of Mercer County's outstanding early 19th-century developers, Joseph Morgan lived from 1772-1860. He was married in 1798 to Ann Bryan , daughter of William and Elizabeth Bryan, in Lincoln County, Kentucky. Joseph used the profits from a warehouse at Warwick to finance and build the four brick units that make up Morgan Row, current home of the Harrodsburg Historical Society. The building contained residences, housing, and a tavern from 1807 to 1830. Stories of its grog shop, barbershop, gambling room, gala balls, political meetings, and horse races as late as the Civil War speak to a colorful history of both the tavern and the town. Morgan's daughter Elizabeth married John Chiles in 1823. Chiles ran the Morgan Row tavern, stagecoach, and U.S. Mail lines that connected much of Central Kentucky from this site.
Morgan's house, Round Ridge, is off Moberly Road north of Harrodsburg. One of the McAfee brothers built the first part, a small limestone dwelling, between 1780 and 1790. The young man died in a fight with Native Americans, and his widow sold the property to Joseph Morgan, who built a brick house beside the stone structure, ca. 1817. A kitchen was added in the early 2oth century. The house was added to the U.S. National Historic Register in 1990. (Text by Ann Howells, 1978; edited by Linda Freeman & Nancy Hill, 2020)
Elizabeth (Betsy) Morgan was born in Kentucky in 1805, the daughter of Ann Bryan and Joseph Morgan, the builder of Morgan Row, present home of the Harrodsburg Historical Society. She married John Chiles in 1823. Their children included Hamlet, Winn, Ophelia, Othello, Marcellus, Desdemona, Almansa, Las Caser, and Eileen.
This portrait came to the HHS as a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Wright of Lexington, Kentucky in 1965 along with the portrait of John Chiles. It was painted by Patrick Henry Davenport in 1828. Davenport was born in Danville, Kentucky in 1803 at the Indian Queen Tavern, which was owned and operated by his parents, Richard and Elizabeth Tadlock Davenport. The Davenports were substantial people, able to provide their children with comfortable childhoods and better than average education. Henry is said to have begun painting at the age of 15, and a photograph of a portrait of Mrs. Robert Rodes (Eliza Delany) by him in 1818 bears this out. It's in the book Kentucky Ante-Bellum Portraitures by Mrs. Edna Talbott Whitley. Davenport married Eliza Ann Bohannon at Vicksburg, Mississippi in 1827 and they had eight children. He assisted Oliver Frazer in painting the full-length portrait of George Washington at the Old Capitol in Frankfort, Kentucky. Davenport died at Sumner, Illinois in 1890, where he made his home after 1840 except for the time he spent managing the resort at Crab Orchard Springs in 1851. His signatures on his paintings vary from Henry Davenport, P. Henry Davenport, and occasionally P.H. Davenport. His father owned the lots in Harrodsburg on which now stand the United Methodist Church and nearby buildings. Thus, the artist lived next door to, or at least near, the Chiles family when the portraits were painted. (Information from The Advocate-Messenger, Danville, Kentucky [9 Oct. 1994, p. 26]) Compiled by Ann Howells, 1978; edited by Linda Freeman & Nancy Hill, 2020)
Elizabeth Morgan Chiles
John Garland Chiles was born Jan. 27, 1794 in Virginia. He came to Kentucky early in the 19th century and settled first near Lexington, then moved near to Harrodsburg. He kept a tavern in Harrodsburg until 1845, when he returned to Lexington and bought the Phoenix Hotel, which he ran until 1859, then moved to Danville, where he died March 4, 1862. At the time, he owned several stage lines in Kentucky and operated them for many years. Lines were from Lexington to Nicholasville, Harrodsburg, Frankfort, Perryville, Cumberland Gap, Dean's Station, and Glasgow - a total of over 300 miles.
This portrait was owned at one time by Miss Ophelia Chiles. It was given to the Harrodsburg Historical Society in 1965 by Mr. and Mrs. Floyd Wright of Lexington, Kentucky. The painter was Patrick Henry Davenport. See Davenport's biography in the section above, with the companion portrait of Chiles' wife Betsy. (Compiled by Ann Howells, 1978; edited by Linda Freeman & Nancy Hill, 2020)
A portrait of a child was loaned to the Society by Juliet Goddard (Mrs. Lawrence) Brewer of Lexington, Kentucky, a native of Harrodsburg. It is not now (2020) on display at the Harrodsburg Historical Society.
Wiley Edwards was a son of pioneer John Edwards, who came from Wales to Virginia at an early period of that state's history. Wiley was born in Virginia in 1787 and came with his family to Woodford County, Kentucky in 1798. A wagon maker by trade, he owned and operated a distillery in the county from 1828 to 1847, the date of his death. He married Nancy Sullinger in 1812, and of this union there were born Thomas S., George, William, and Walter Edwards. One of these boys is most likely the subject of the portrait. The plaque on the painting states that the artist is Matthew Harris Jouett. (Text by Ann Howells, 1978; edited by Linda Freeman & Nancy Hill, 2020)