The Town of Orangeburg

By legislative act of February 29, 1836, the town of Williamsburg in Mason County became known thereafter as Orangeburg.

Legend says that the reason behind this name change was to avoid confusion between the town and the Williamsburg in southeastern Kentucky, now the county seat of Whitley County. However, further investigation sheds doubt on the legend, as that community was known as "Whitley Courthouse" until 1882, when it was changed to Williamsburgh. This was nearly fifty years after the name change for the Mason County town. The reasons behind the change may be lost to history, but apparently the town was renamed in honor of a prominent local citizen and landowner, Providence Orange Pickering.

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, That the town now known by the name of Williamsburg, in Mason county, shall hereafter be known by the name of Orangeburg.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted. That the name of the Williamsburg precinct, in Mason county, shall be changed to that of Orangeburg precinct.

Approved, February 29, 1836

The community of Orangeburg was incorporated by a legislative act of February 20, 1860.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

§ 1. That the town of Orangeburg, in Mason county, is hereby incorporated, the boundaries of which shall be the same as the original plat of said town.

§ 2. That there shall be elected, by the qualified voters of said town, five trustees, who shall, before they enter upon the discharge of their duties, take an oath before some justice of the peace of said county, that they will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office aforesaid. That said trustees and their successors in office shall be a body politic and corporate, and shall be known by the name and style of "The Board of Trustees of the town of Orangeburg;" and by that name shall be capable of contracting and being contracted with, of suing and being sued, of pleading and being impleaded, answering and being answered, of defending and being defended, in all courts of this Commonwealth, and have and exercise all the powers, rights and privileges which incorporated bodies may lawfully do, for the purposes contemplated by this act.

§ 3. The trustees of said town shall keep a journal of their proceedings, which shall at all times be open to the inspection of the citizens of said town.

§ 4. The trustees may annually appoint one of their own body chairman, who shall preside at their meetings, and also a treasurer of said town, who shall be intrusted with the custody and safe-keeping of the money and other property of the corporation, subject to the order of the trustees.

§ 5. The trustees shall have the power and authority to impose a tax upon auction sales of others than residents, and upon shows and exhibitions of all sorts within said town, in any sum they may deem proper.

§ 6. The trustees of said town shall have the right to tax, and the exclusive right to license all taverns, groceries, victualers, confectioneries, retailers of spirituous liquors, alleys for nine or ten-pins, and all other houses of public resort in said town, except for gambling-houses or houses of ill-fame, and fix the tax for the same in a sum not exceeding one hundred dollars per annum, and to discontinue any of said licenses at pleasure: Provided, however, That the trustees shall pay to the trustee of the jury fund for said county the sum of ten dollars for each tavern license granted in said town each year; and any law giving the county court of said county authority to license taverns in said town, is hereby repealed. When any prosecution is instituted and carried on at the instance of the trustees, the warrant shall state that it was issued at their instance, in which case they shall be entitled to the fine or penalty recovered; but if the prosecution fail, the said trustees shall pay the costs of the same.

§ 7. Before the treasurer of said town shall enter upon the discharge of his duties, he shall execute bond to the trustees in their corporate name, with security, to be approved by the trustees, stipulating for the faithful discharge by the duties of his office; and for the violation of which, any person aggrieved thereby, shall have a remedy by the proper action or proceeding. All money derived from taxes, licenses, or otherwise, shall be expended for the benefit of said town.

§ 8. None but persons qualified to vote for State officers shall be permitted to vote at any election of trustees for said town.

§ 9. No person shall be elected to the office of trustee of said town, who has not been a resident within the limits of said town for at least six months prior to the election.

§ 10. The first election for trustees of said town shall be held on the first Saturday in April, 1860, and there shall be an election on the first Saturday in April in every year thereafter: Provided, That in case an election should not be held at the time herein provided for, the trustees then in office shall hold their office until their successors are elected and qualified.

§ 11. That W. H. Pollitt, Henry Brisfield, Benjamin P. Anno, D. P. Judd, and A. Caldwell, are hereby appointed trustees, who shall hold their office until their successors are elected and qualified as herein provided.

§ 12. This act to be in force from its passage.

Approved February 20, 1860

Though a thriving rural community by mid-century, Orangeburg had obviously not grown to a great extent, as it was incorporated within the original boundaries set in 1795-96.

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