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The Henry County Web, History, Henry County KY

The Henry County Web

The Caplinger House
150+ Years of History

FORMERLY the Home of the Henry County History Center

The Caplinger House was built in 1863 by James Nelson Caplinger. It is one of three houses located in New Castle built exactly the same by Mr. Caplinger, one for each one of his three daughters. James was born in Shelby Co., KY. in 1828, the son of William D. and Malinda (Davis) Caplinger. He moved to New Castle in 1852. In 1858 he married Miss Amanthus Wand of Muhlenburg County, KY. They had six children: William A., J.T., Anna, May, Emma and Lucy. Mr. Caplinger was educated at the common schools in Henry County. He was a carpenter for thirteen years and then engaged in a pharmacy business.

Henry County History Henry County Web
Submitted photo

The house has had a number of owners over the years. From 1917 to 1969 it was owned by the United Methodist Church and it served as the Methodist Parsonage for over 50 years. The latest owners are Robert and Judy Diederich. Mr. and Mrs. Diederich recently purchased another old house in New Castle and offered the Caplinger House to the Historical Society for a future home. Though the house is in need of a great deal of "TLC", it has been judged by Scot Walters, Restoration Project Manager of the Kentucky Heritage Council, as structurally sound and "a good example of its period's architecture."

Submitted by Marie Winburn



Expanded Version by Earl "Hammer" Smith

The Story of the Caplinger House

On August 12,1996, the Henry County Historical Society signed an option to purchase a house and lot at 219 South Main Street, New Castle, Kentucky from Judy Lee and Robert W. Diederich for a total price of $55,000. The final purchase of the property was approved by the general membership on May 19,1997. The Society has completely refurbished the house and is using it as a repository for Henry County History; a place to display artifacts, documents and other collectibles donated by those interested in preserving our county's heritage. It will also be used as an educational center for school children of Henry County. A genealogical and historical research center is also located in the house. The building is also available for social events, such as small meetings and weddings.

According to the Kentucky Historic Resources Inventory, the house was built in 1863 by James N. Caplinger, a local druggist, for one of his three daughters. It is very similar in style as the John H. Smith and the George Mason Houses on North Main Street in New Castle.

The Diederichs purchased the house in 1987 from Louis R. and Jean G. Raybourn. The Raybourns purchased the house from C. S. and Amanda Moore in 1977 who had purchased it in 1976 from Ralph W. "Billy" and Doris P. Forquer. In 1969, the house ceased to be used as a parsonage when the Forquers purchased it from the New Castle United Methodist Church. C. and Louise Harrison sold the house to the church in 1917. The Harrisons had bought the bouse on Jury 10, 1911 from Mrs. Anna Wolf, New Castle; Mary Higgins and her husband, C. M of New York City, and Mrs. Lucile Hougton and her husband Henry of New Rochelle, NY; all heirs of the original owner, Mr. James N. Caplinger. J. N. Caplinger purchased this property from Joseph L. and Martha Rodman in 1863.

The property, as well as several other lots running south from the residence, is shown in the 1882 Atlas of Henry and Shelby Counties as being owned by J. N. Caplinger.

In the 1860 Census of Henry County, Mr. James N. Caplinger, age 35, is listed as a druggist living in the "Hotel" owned by Lucinda Buckley. Also listed with Mr. Caplinger is Martha, 21 and William, age 1.

On November 16, 1876 J. N. Caplinger, R. W. Vance and J. S. Smith were appointed to have a new courthouse built. Mr. Vance was paid $125, Mr. Smith $200 and Mr. Caplinger received $300 for their services on this committee.

Mr. Caplinger also served as a director of the Citizen Bank of New Castle. His drugstore was purchased by Avery Holland, Sr. and Vernon Valentine. At Valentine's death Avery Holland, Sr. purchased Valentine's share. After Holland Sr's. death, Avery Morris Holland, his son, operated the business until his death. Joe Edelstein purchased the pharmacy from Holland and operated it until 2007 at which time he sold the business to Cook's Pharmacy.

*In 2017, The Caplinger House was sold and is now a private residence. 


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This sub-site was created by Joyce K. Meyer, on January 12, 2012.
Last revised on 01/23/22.