Gratz, Benjamin (1792-1884)


Section D, Lot 121
A contemporary of Colonel James Morrison, Benjamin Gratz was a wealthy business and civic leader, and for sixty-five years was one of Lexington's most astute and valuable citizens. His home, Mount Hope, is still standing beside the park named for him. A partner with Colonel Morrison in hemp manufacturing, Gratz was also involved in many businesses in the city. Like Colonel Morrison, Gratz was a trustee of Transylvania. He was a curator for Kentucky University. Additionally, he was the first president of the Kentucky Agricultural and Mechanical Association. Gratz helped promote construction of the Maysville- Lexington road and the Lexington and Ohio Railroad. As a member of the city council, Gratz was instrumental in establishing Lexington's public library, the first in the West. During the Civil War, Gratz was a Unionist, and he turned his home into a commissary and a cookhouse for the companies of Federal soldiers encamped on the lawn of Transylvania.

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