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      The Samuel Culbertson Mansion
Louisville's Most Historic Inn

1432 South Third Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40208
502.634.3100;  866.522.5078 toll free


William S. Culbertson of New Albany, IN
Father of Samuel A. Culbertson

in 1878                                         ca 1885



February 4. William Stuart Culbertson is born at "Fairview Farm" in New Market, York County, Pennsylvania (a short distance from Harrisburg).  He is the son of William Culbertson (Dec 7, 1787- July 12, 1824) of New Market, PA and Julia Stuart  (1787-1857) of Palmyra, Dauphin County, PA (a wonderfully intelligent and interesting person).  He is second of six children to the couple:

Mary Ann  10/3/1811-10/6/1880
**William Stuart  2/4/1814-6/25/1892
Robert  5/16/1816-12/4/1826
John Craighead 1/20/1819-?/?1890
Julia  1/1/1822-11/?/1822
Julia De Witt 5/15/1824-11/?/1828

Julia Stuart Culbertson was the daughter of William Stuart, Quartermaster to General Sullivan.
William Culbertson (W. S.'s father) was one of 12 children of Col. Robert Culbertson who fought in the American Revolution, taking part in the battles of Trenton and Princeton.  This William was a merchant in New Market.


William S Culbertson's father dies.  He leaves very little by way of support for his family, only a few securities notes that will leave little by way of income for his family.

ca 1819-1825

William Stuart Culbertson (from now on we'll call him WS) works for a dry goods merchant in Harrisburg, PA, age 15-21 in order to help his mother financially.

sometime after 1825

WS moves to the Louisville, KY area, then a booming town out west.


Spring. WS applied as a clerk for a dry goods merchant in Louisville.  The merchant looking for better prospects in the Fall encourages WS to seek temporary employment in New Albany, IN (just across the Ohio river from Louisville) where he is employed at the town's largest dry goods store owned by General Alexander S Burnett. WS never did return to Louisville to live or work.  He will have a long career in the dry goods business:

ca 1837-1850

WS leaves Burnett and partners with Downey & Keys, and is business manager with the firm for about 5 years.


February 19.  W S Culbertson marries Eliza Vance (born 1822) of Corydon, IN.  They will eventually have eight children

ca 1840

WS's younger brother John Craighead Culbertson comes to New Albany and the two partner together as Culbertson & Bro. a wholesale/retail business on the sw corner of Pearl & Main St. in New Albany. The business is successful.


W S Culbertson serves on the city council of New Albany (2nd Ward)


John Culbertson had retired from the business now known as Culbertson & McCord Wholesale Dry Goods.  WS's son William Arthur, then 19, began clerking in the store.


William Arthur succeeds the retiring McCord and the firm becomes known as Culbertson & Son.


The Civil War begins.  Within 3 months, WS and John organized the Independent Home Guard for protection of the town. 


WS was active in raising money for the Union cause. He also profits immensely.  His big break came when he brokered the sale of 50 carloads of Cannelton Mills cotton to a New York firm, bound for delivery to England. However the port of New York was so tied up it could not take the cotton, so the order was canceled, and returned to Culbertson.  Shortly afterward, the war caused the price of cotton to go through the roof, achieving many times its former value, and WS Culbertson made bank.


He went into banking.  In 1864, a new bank, the First National Bank of New Albany was originated and WS was one of its directors.  He had also owned stock in the State Bank of Indiana/Bank of the State of Indiana.

Also during this time (1863) WS begins to build a magnificent mansion.


Jan 3. Eliza Culbertson, WS' wife,  dies of typhoid pneumonia, leaving 5 motherless children ages 6mo to 18 years.


January 10. WS remarries.  His new bride is Cornelia Warner Eggleston, a widow from Evansville, IN.  Together they will have two children. Cornelia was born August 27, 1832 in Pennyan, NY.

September 29.  WS oldest daughter, Julia dies of "an affliction of the heart".  She is just 21, and was known for her beautiful singing voice.


WS becomes involved and works tirelessly with a group working to establish a New Albany to St. Louis Air Line Railway. (An air line railroad was a railroad that was relatively flat and straight, choosing a shorter route over an easier route. Today we'd call it a bee-line)

WS becomes a stockholder and director of the New Albany and Charlestown Turnpike Company.

By this time, WS is also one of the richest men in the State of Indiana, second only to W. C . DePauw.


January 21 1870. WS buys the property next door to his mansion, known as "the Whitehill tract" from John B and Reunia B Whitstandley.

WS investes in the New Albany Glass works of W M Mahan & Co and J Bragdon & Co, the New Albany Rolling Mills (sheet metal)

WS Culbertson & Son enlarged and expanded its business at 68-70 Pearl Street and made the largest dry good sale ever made in one day in the state, the crates and packages covering "half a square."

Was president of the New Albany Light & Coke Company.

WS funded the construction (1873), supervised and bore all expenses for the Culbertson Old Ladies Home.  The home was for worthy women with no means of support..  He also provided for them by endowment after his death.

Culbertson Ladies' Home
it's 20 rooms accommodated 30-40 ladies.

Sometime shortly after the Ladies Home, WS also founded the Cornelia Memorial Orphans Home on Ekin Ave. in New Albany.  He bought the land and paid for the construction, then turned the institution over to trustees for management.


WS dissolves the dry goods business and focuses solely on banking.  Continues to make profitable investments.  He also invests heavily in bank stocks in St. Paul, Minn. (about half a million dollars).


WS is elected vice-president of the National Banker's Association.


WS was the chief financier and partner in the city's 1st electric company, The City Electric Light Company at the same location as the New Albany Gas & Coke Company at 4th & Sycamore (a street renamed for Culbertson in 1897).  Began lighting the streets of New Albany.

The Kentucky and Indiana Bridge opens between New Albany and Portland (Louisville).  WS had a large interest and role as a stock and bond holder for the project, and was vice-president for the company for several years.  He disposed all interest in this about 1890.


June 25. WS dies of heart failure following a flu-like illness.  Stockholdings at his death were in bank and gas stocks, and government bonds.






Samuel A Culbertson Timeline

Main timeline

Samuel's father:
William S Culbertson of New Albany, IN and his three wives:
     Eliza Vance Culbertson
     Cornelia Culbertson
     Rebecca Keith Culbertson
William S Culbertson Mansion, New Albany, IN
Children of William Stuart Culbertson

About Samuel and his family:
1886 Wedding of Samuel A Culbertson / Louise Craig
Louise Craig Culbertson, wife of Samuel A. Culbertson
Samuel & Louise Culbertson's 1st house 1886
Telegram from Mrs. Sam Culbertson to the War Dept 1899
1918: Samuel Culbertson enlists in the army
Culbertson Family vacationing at Narragansett, 1928
Churchill Downs years



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 The Samuel Culbertson Mansion
1432 South Third Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40208
(502) 634-3100;  (866) 522-5078 toll free
Fax (502) 636-3096

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