1890s 5th Street

Insurance Maps of Louisville, Kentucky, 1892

Sanborn Insurance Maps of Louisville, Kentucky, 1892. The Brennan House is highlighted in red.

The 1892 Sanborn map does not list the names of the land owners like the previous maps. Unfortunately, there is not an 1890 United States Federal Census for this area. On January 10, 1921, a fire in the Commerce Department building in Washington, DC, resulted in the destruction of most of the 1890 census. In order, to characterize the block during this time, we have to rely on the city directories.

Caron’s Directory of the City of Louisville for 1891 shows the Brennan House occupied by Thomas Brennan. The names of the neighbors can be referenced to those listed in the 1880 and 1900 census data. For example, the Brennans neighbor to the north was Lucien Hormell in the directory. According to the 1880 census Hormell lives in a multi-family dwelling on 5th Street. He is a cook. The 1900 census has the same information on Hormell and shows the Brennans living next door to him and the other families in that building. The rest of the people on the block are mostly renters who are less affluent than the Brennans, which is interesting. Why did the well to do Brennan family move to this neighborhood as it was changing? Why not move to the south with the other elite families? Unfortunately, there is no documentation to answer these questions.

1890s 5th Street