Cities of
Pendleton County


Incorporated in March of 1860, 1 Catawba (sometimes called ' Catawaba') is located in the central part of Pendleton County, east of Bethel. 2 Originally called Sins (maybe Sines) Crossing, 3 Catawba was settled in 1856. The Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory described it this way in 1877: "A station of the Kentucky Central railroad, located about the center of Pendleton county, 4 miles from Falmouth, the county seat…The settlement here was formed in 1856, is situated on Licking river, and has a population of 100. The chief shipment from this place is tobacco" 4 In 1854,the Kentucky Central Railroad ran a one-track railroad from Lexington to Covington that went through the Catawba area . In September of 1858, Mr. R. B. Bowler, President of the Kentucky Central Railroad, Mr. Leslie Combs of Lexington, Mr. Charles R. Iliff, surveyor and Mr. Thomas Lewis Garrard of Pendleton County set out the town of Catawba. Fifty acres were marked for the city. In 1858 (probably; maybe 1859 but most likely in August of 1858), 112 lots were sold to 29 people and Catawba was on its way. Several acreage lots were sold too and would become farms around the city of Catawba. Also in 1858, Richard Pettit became Catawba's first postmaster. From then 'til the end of the century, Catawba became a busy place, with a church, school, railroad depot, numerous houses, several stores and businesses, a saw mill and a cooper shop. There was even talk of the construction of a college and building a bridge over the Licking River to hasten the journey to Foster's Landing on the Ohio River, where the steamboats moored. 5 But as the 20th century dawned, Catawba had hit its 'high water mark' and it started to lose population, business and traffic until by the 1920s the school closed. The children trekked to Oak Grove school from then on. Like too many places in the county, to look at them now, places such as Catawba , Boston Station, Callensville or Bachelors Rest, you'd never guess that each was once a flurry of activity.

1] 'History of Pendleton County''

2] Catawba, Kentucky

3]] The Histories of Several Communities in Pendleton Co.
"The First 200 Years of Pendleton County" by Mildred Bowen Belew

4] Kentucky State Gazetteer and Business Directory, published 1876-77 by R. L. Polk, Louisville.

5] ' Catawaba'' written by Angela Rae Ruber

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