The Kentucky Trust

for Historic Preservation

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Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation

P.O. Box 1112
Frankfort, KY 40602-1112


Available For Restoration

Senator Pope House, Built 1835
207 North Walnut Street
Springfield, KY 40069
Washington County, KY

Appx. 3600+/- sq. feet
Zoning: R1- Residential

Contact: Eric Whisman
Kentucky Trust for Historic Preservation

The historic Pope House was built c1835 by noted politician John Pope within the original city limits of Springfield, KY. A most unique and architectural significant house with many unusual features for its period. Original features retained include federal period mantels, Flemish bond brick work, paired gable end chimneys, and unique six-pane windows with paired front entry doors and a four room main floor.

Area Information

Located in the heart of downtown Springfield a block from the center of town and the Courthouse erected in 1816. Washington County and Springfield are admired for its picturesque scenery and small town character. Formed in 1793, Springfield was thought to have been named for the many natural springs in the area. The small town retains much of its historic fabric and Washington County is the home of the Beech Fork Covered Bridge built in 1865.

Pope House
Sanborn Map of Springfield, the Pope House parcel on Walnut Street c1886.

Find more information about Historic Springfield and Washington County view the following:

Springfield Main Street Historic District:
Springfield Historic District Walking Tour: The Pope House
Historic Springfield Brochure

Architectural & Historical Information

This unique home was built by Senator John Pope in 1835 is regarded as one of the most distinguished men and able lawyers of his day. Pope enjoyed a long career as a politician in Kentucky and Arkansas.

Nicknamed the "One Arm Pope" for his loss of an arm as a youth. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the employment of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Americas first architect to construct the Pope Villa in Lexington with his wife Eliza. Constructed in c1815 the Villa is one of only three extant residences designed by Latrobe, who is credited with the final design of the US Capitol building.

Honorable John Pope           Honorable John Pope

John Pope was born in Virginia in the year 1770. His father, a Revolutionary War soldier, brought his family to Kentucky in 1779, and settled at the Falls of Ohio River (what is now Louisville) on a farm. William Pope immediately played a prominent role in the community, serving as one of the nine original trustees of the city of Louisville, established by an act of the Virginia legislature in 1780. John Pope began his law practice in Shelbyville, Kentucky, around 1790. In 1795 he married Anne Henry Christian, daughter of General William Christian, one of the first settlers of Louisville, and niece of the famous statesman, Patrick Henry. By 1798 Pope had established a successful practice and had a reputation as an ardent Federalist, supporting the principles of Alexander Hamilton. As a result, in 1799 he advocated the amendment of the Kentucky Resolutions of 1789, which developed the states-rights theory of the Constitution, which he opposed. By 1800, however, Pope reversed his opinion and supported Thomas Jefferson, becoming a Republican. In 1801 he was elected as one of Kentucky's Presidential Electors and cast his vote for Jefferson.

In 1802, Pope was elected as representative to the Kentucky legislature. Upon the end of his term in 1804, he moved from Shelbyville to Lexington and once again opened a law practice. In 1807 he was elected to a full term in the United States Senate, defeating John Adair who was later Governor of Kentucky in 1820. In the Senate Pope was recognized as the leader of the Republican party, serving as president pro tern in 1810, 1811. In 1807 Pope's wife died. He was remarried in 1810 to Elizabeth Janet Dorcas Johnson, daughter of Joshua Johnson, the first American Consul-General to England. Her sister, Louisa, was the wife of John Quincy Adams, then U.S. Minister to Russia. From 1813 to 1816 Pope remained in Lexington and concentrated on his private practice. He also taught at the Transylvania Law School while Dr. Horace Holley served as president. He was later elected to the Board of Trustees, but resigned in 1820 when he moved to Springfield. During this time he built a mansion in Lexington which was designed by the noted American architect, Benjamin H. Latrobe.

Pope Villa Lexington, KY
Senator Pope's Villa of Lexington, Kentucky.

Pope remarried in 1820, his second wife Eliza having died in 1818. His third wife Mrs. Frances Watkins Walton was of Washington County and widow of General Mathew Walton, an early settler and politician. At the time of his death in 1819, General Walton was one of the wealthiest men in Kentucky. After his marriage, Pope moved to Springfield, Kentucky, and lived in Walton Manor, the mansion built by General Walton In 1825 he was elected to the State legislature from Washington County. In the Presidential election he supported General Andrew Jackson and canvassed Kentucky and Virginia for votes for him. In return Jackson appointed John Pope Governor of the Arkansas Territory and served from 1829-1835. Prior to leaving for Arkansas Pope sold the Latrobe designed Villa in 1829. While in residency in Arkansas, Pope was responsible for employing architect Gideon Shryock to design the Arkansas capitol building. Shryock was a Kentucky architect celebrated for designing the Kentucky State Capitol, the first Greek Revival structure in the western United States.

Arkansas Old State House
Arkansas Old State House.

After a defeat for re-election in 1843 to the US House of Representatives, Pope retired from public office to his home in Springfield. Pope had only two children, one dying in infancy. His only surviving daughter, Elizabeth Trotter Pope, married John Watkins Cocke in 1829. At this time Pope sold Walton Manor to his son-in-law. At Elizabeth Cocke's death in 1835, Cocke sold it back to Pope. Apparently the house held too many sad memories for both, for Pope immediately sold the property and constructed this brick house at the northern limit of Springfield purportedly by designer/builder John Riley. The unique residence was considered for many years to be one of the most pretentious houses in the area. Pope's long and eventful life ended here on July 12, 1845 and was buried in the Lebanon Cemetery.

View the National Register Nomination of the Senator Pope Home here:.
View the Pope Home Historic Marker Here: .
Learn more about Senator John Pope
Learn more about the Senator Pope Villa

For a private showing or additional information please contact:

Eric Whisman
(502) 783-6773

Pope House
Click here
to view a Pope House Sales Flyer.

View images of the historic Senator Pope House here:

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