We’re one of Louisville’s oldest businesses

By Jay Ferguson, Louisville Water Museum Specialist

The Courier-Journal’s 150th anniversary and the recent news of the sale of Hilliard & Lyons, one of Louisville’s oldest businesses, founded in 1854, led to the question, “How does Louisville Water rank among Louisville’s oldest businesses?”

A little research had to be done to find this answer. A search on the Internet produced no such list. Perhaps the Filson Historical or Kentucky Historical Society had a list on their websites? Still no luck. Then the thought came to check the Louisville Free Public Library’s online card catalog. Bingo! Up popped Going on 200: Century-old Businesses in Kentucky.

The book, printed in 2003, is a compilation of the Kentucky Historical Society’s list of centennial businesses. In the back of the book, there is an alphabetical list of century-old businesses with their cities and year founded.

Since publication, it appears that two of the older businesses on the list have ceased operations.

That leaves Louisville Water in a two-way tie for Louisville’s ninth oldest business. According to Going on 200, both Louisville Water and J. J. B. Hilliard, W. L. Lyons were founded in 1854.