Samuel Murrell House
Backstory and Context
Susannah Henry was born in Virginia in 1742 and was the youngest sister of Patrick Henry, later a Founding Father and patriot known for his "Give me Liberty or Give me Death" speech in Virginia's House of Burgess debate over separation from England in 1775. In 1770, Susannah married Thomas Madison, also from Virginia. Thomas was cousin to another future Founding Father and later President, James Madison. Thomas's family is connected with future General Zachary Taylor of the Mexican War and later President of the United States. Thomas Madison became a general for a local Virginia militia during the Revolutionary War and later served as a member of the Council of the State of Virginia (1789-1790) and a member of the House of Delegates (1793).
Sixteen years following her husband's death in 1798, Susannah moved to Warren County, KY, in 1816 so that she could be near her daughter Margaret and Margaret's family. After purchasing some land in the county, Mrs. Madison had a log house constructed where she lived until her death in 1831. Mrs. Madison left the property to her son Patrick Henry Madison. He in turn sold it to Samuel Murrell in 1837. Henry Julius Cowles bought the property in 1883. In 1916 Cowles' nephew, Eugene Cowles, had Mrs. Madison's remains removed to the Odd Fellows Cemetery at Smith Grove, Kentucky, a few miles northeast of the house.
Samuel Murrell built his house in front of the Susannah Madison log home in 1840. Active in local and state politics, Murrell had his home be used as a stagecoach stop along the Louisville-Nashville Road until the Louisville & Nashville railroad laid tracks near the path of the old road and negated the necessity of Murrell's home as a stop for travel.
*The Murrell home is now a private residence and the Madison log home sits on what is now private property.