MADISONVILLE, Ky. (8/17/13) – Many people don’t stop and think that their hometown can hold such wonderful historical treasures. Located on 107 Union Street, the restored Ruby Laffoon Cabin is furnished as it was when former Governor Ruby Laffoon lived there in the late 1800s.
Governor Ruby Laffoon was born in Madisonville, Kentucky on January 15, 1869. He was the third child and only son of John Bledsoe Laffoon JR and Martha Henrietta Earle Laffoon.
According to lore, it was said that Ruby’s parents were undecided about what they were going to name him and called him “Bud” for several years. While he was still young, Laffoon chose his name “Ruby” after a local grocery store owner named John Edwin Ruby.
When Laffoon was 17, he was teaching in St. Charles, Kentucky and in 1887 he moved to Washington D.C. with his Uncle, U.S. Representative for KY’s 2nd District, Polk Laffoon. He then went on to law school and graduated in 1890. Shortly after graduation, he passed the bar and opened up and office in Madisonville, Kentucky. He then married Mary “May” Bryant Nisbet on January 31, 1894 at Madisonville’s Lucille Hotel. They had three daughters over the course of their marriage.
In 1901, Laffoon was elected Hopkins County Attorney and then re-elected in 1905. By 1927, Laffoon was re-elected for his second six year term of Circuit Court Judge for Kentucky’s 4th Judicial Circuit.
In 1931, Kentucky and the rest of the nation were in the course of the “Great Depression,” the Democratic Party decided to choose a candidate for governor by convention rather than primary.
Ruby Laffoon was the first Hopkins County resident who became Governor of our Commonwealth (1931-1935).
It wasn’t until 1988, when the cabin was restored back to its original state. The cabin had been relocated and reconstructed through the drive of the Hopkins County Historical Society and the cabin furnishings were donated from members of the Hopkins County community.
For more information about the Ruby Laffoon Cabin or if interested in a tour, you can contact the Hopkins County Historical Society at 270-821-3986.
Photo by Amber Mena
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