Catherine Anne Warfield

Catherine Anne Warfield

The author of the poem, “Pewee Valley,” was Catherine Anne Ware Warfield (1816-1877), another early Pewee resident (see the c. 1890 map). A native of Natchez, Mississippi, she came to Kentucky at age 17 when she married Robert Elisha Warfield in 1833.

Her husband was from a prominent Lexington family and was probably the son of Dr. Elisha Warfield, a professor of surgery and obstetrics at Transylvania University and a charter member of the Lexington Jockey Club. Dr. Warfield is known as the “Father of Kentucky Turf,” because he bred a bay colt named Darleymey that went on to become the greatest thoroughbred stallion of the 1800s.

Catherine and Robert Elisha Warfield lived in the Lexington area until 1857, when financial difficulties forced them and their six children to move to a farm in Pewee Valley.

During her lifetime, C.A. Warfield published two volumes of poetry with her sister, Eleanor Percy Lee, writing as “Two Sisters of the West.” Her first and most popular novel, “The Household of Bouverie, or the Elixir of Gold,” was published anonymously in 1860. Some of her other novels included:

“The Romance of the Green Seal”  (1866); 
“The Romance of Beauseincourt” (1867); 
“Miriam Monfort” (1873); 
“Hester Howard’s Temptation” (1875); and 
“A Double Wedding, or, How She Was Won” (1875).

One of her children, Nathaniel W. Warfield (1834-1908), his wife, Alice Estill (1839-1926), and their son, Estill, are buried in Pewee Valley Cemetery. The 1880 U.S. Census shows Nathaniel and his wife living in the Rollington district of Oldham County (probably on his parents’ farm, which is on the Pewee map, with their three children: Stella, 17; Nathaniel, 11; and Estell (misspelled), 9.

In the 1890s, the Warfield's former home became Jennie Casseday's Rest Cottage for Working Women 

Page by Donna  Russell