On September 20, 1887 R.M. Jolly and Edgar Bennett purchased three tracts of land, which constitute the land that is now Irvington. When the Louisville, St. Louis, and Texas Railroad became a reality, the town plot was laid out and recorded in the Breckinridge County Clerk’s office at Hardinsburg in January 1889. The Louisville, St. Louis, and Texas railroad was built through Irvington in 1888 and the first train was run in the fall of that year.
Jolly and Bennett chose their town site with care. It was to lie at the southern end of Elk Grove tract between the farms of Bate Washington and Richard Bandy. It would be located at the junction of the Louisville, St. Louis, and Texas with its daughter line, the Louisville Hardinsburg, and Western (the branch line), and the Brandenburg-Hardinsburg road. The underground Sinking Creek cave system would assure a steady supply of water.
The new railroad and depot divided the town in roughly equal sections. On December 26, 1888, the Merino post office in Peter P. Robert’s store was renamed Irvington.
Schools were built and a mill was built near the depot. Two churches relocated here in 1887, the First Baptist on Union Avenue and a Methodist Church, which would later be dedicated at Clair Memorial Methodist Church.
By 1896 the town was on its way. The railroad had built a round house and a coal tipple adjacent to the depot. This coal tipple was the only place between Louisville and Owensboro for trains to receive coal. Later Mrs. Nora Board would make her lunch room across from the station a railroad lunch stop, famous for her ham sandwiches and chess pie.
We started as a railroad town and even though the trains are not so many any more and not dependent on the coal tipple, our railroad will always be the “Main Line” to the ones who remember when.
President of the Woman’s Club
1975 - 1976