Kenneth Tuggle

This photo shows several of the neighborhood children with Kenneth pushing two children in a swing. Jack Gibson, our author, is the boy partially hidden who is swinging the highest behind Mr. Tuggle.

By Jack Gibson 

Our story this week comes from a friend of Museum Corner, Jack Gibson a former resident of Barbourville. This story first appeared in the March 2021 issue of the Knox Countian.  

Jack writes of a friendly neighbor who lived next door to his family across from Union College on College Street.  This kind neighbor just happened to be Kenneth H. Tuggle. When Jack was growing up on College Street during the World War II years, his neighbor 

Mr. Tuggle was a prominent local lawyer. His son, also named Kenneth, was about the age of Jack’s sister Mary who was about 4 years younger than Jack.   All three children played together after school, on weekends, holidays, and in the summertime. 

Most of the children on College Street were children of college professors.  Kenny Tuggle’s dad spent much of his time at the Knox County Courthouse and on business trips out of town.  

Jack continues, “We moved into our new College Street house in late 1939 and the Tuggle house was already there.  It had a low white picket fence around the front yard, the only one in the neighborhood.  Strangely we had one common driveway to the separate Tuggle and Gibson garages.  It was still that way when I visited in 2014.”

“Mr. Tuggle was a busy man, but he often played with the kids when he was home.  Neighborhood kids frequently played in my backyard where there was a structure like no other in town.  We called it the Jungle Gym. My dad built it for us soon after we moved into the house.” 

“Not only was Kenneth H. Tuggle a local lawyer, but he was also in Kentucky politics. Many of his trips were to Lexington and the state capitol.  In the fall of 1943, he was elected Number Two Man of the whole state!  We youngsters didn’t know much about politics, but we knew this was important! Mr. Tuggle continued to watch and play with the kids when he was home from trips, just as he did before.”

“I didn’t know much about Mr. Tuggle then but learned more since we moved to Florida in mid-1946.  He served as Lt. Governor of Kentucky from 1943-1947.” Jack goes on to describe all the jobs Kenneth H. Tuggle performed in his lifetime and ends his memoir with these words, “He was a very memorable neighbor!”

Next week Part II The Memorable Life of Kenneth Herndon Tuggle.

I would like to specially thank Charles Reed Mitchell and Jack Gibson. 


Dora Sue Oxendine Farmer can be reached at 606-546-3940 or

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