1870s 5th Street

Atlas of the City of Louisville, 1876

1876 Atlas of the City of Louisville. The Brennan House is highlighted in red. The owner is listed as F.S.J. Ronald.

The 1876 Atlas of Louisville lists the names of land owners. By cross referencing those names with the 1870 United States Federal Census, you can characterize the people that lived in the neighborhood. The census provides information such as name, age, sex, race, occupation, value of real estate, value of personal estate, place of birth, etc.


As you can see, F.S.J. Ronald is listed as owning the Brennan House. According to the census data, his real estate was worth $100,000, which was substantial for the 1870s. He also employed two immigrant servants and a black cook. Sarah Lightburn, to the north, was an affluent 72 year old woman who lived with her children in her home. To the north of her home, is L.E. Wilson, a dentist, who was also affluent for the time. Isaac Caldwell, directly to the south of Ronald was an attorney with five servants, and this pattern continues down the block. However, on the west side of the block, across the street from Ronald, the neighbors are more working class. There are saloon keepers, seamstresses, housekeepers, salesmen, and dry goods retailers. This combination of affluent and working class is very typical of downtown areas.

1870 United States Federal Census

This is a page from the 1870 United States Federal Census. F.S.J. Ronald and his family are listed on this page.

1870 Census Zoom

Detailed view of the 1870 Census page to see Ronald's household.

1870s 5th Street