History of Jeffersontown

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In the late 1700s, Revolutionary War veterans and other colonizers began to settle in the area that would eventually become known as Jeffersontown. At that point in time, life was still harrowing with the constant threat of Indian attacks, but the pioneer spirit persevered and more settlers arrived to populate the lovely, arable lands just south of the Ohio River and east of the port that would become the City of Louisville. 

In 1794, Abraham Bruner purchased 122 acres on a forested ridge near Chenoweth Run Creek with the intent of establishing a town at the intersection of two roads commonly traveled by the new settlers. Business owners quickly obtained plots from Bruner and set up shop along Main and Market streets, which would later become known as Watterson Trail and Taylorsville Road.

The square became a hub of activity, complete with hotels, blacksmiths, potters, and every other pioneer activity imaginable. In fact, the area became something of a “county seat” – a place where people from miles around could come to conduct business and purchase goods, rather than make the long and arduous journey to Louisville by horse and cart.

Residents dubbed their new settlement “Brunerstown,” to show pride in Abraham Bruner and their primarily Germanic heritage. On May 3, 1797, however, the city was officially incorporated and named after the current vice-president, Thomas Jefferson. Even though the Jefferson County Court recognized the new city as the “Town of Jefferson,” or “Jeffersontown,” its inhabitants continued to refer to it as Brunerstown throughout the next century.