Historical marker chronicaling Ed Warinner, back after long absence at Seventy Six Falls

Posted July 10, 2019 at 2:18 pm

WolfCreekDam Dedication.psd

Senator Ed Warinner, far left, and Kentucky Governor Lawrence Wetherby held the ribbon as Vice-President Alben Barkley cut it to dedicate the opening of Wolf Creek Dam in 1951. Hundreds of citizens from the area, seen in the background of this photo, came to the dedication service to watch the historic event.

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The front and back side of campaign card used by Senator Ed P. Warinner, an Albany resident who also ran twice for Kentucky’s Lt. Governor, withdrawing from the race each time.

Instrumental in getting the park at Seventy Six Falls designated a Kentucky Roadside Park, his historical significance appears on one side of a historical marker at the park. The marker disappeared several years ago, but has recently been replaced at the park.

(Photos compliments of David Cross)

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Warinner Marker.psd

After an absence of many years, the historical marker which once stood at the Seventy-Six Falls Park has been replaced by the Kentucky Historical Society with the assistance of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.​

The location of the original marker is a mystery, but speculation is that it lies beneath the waters of Lake Cumberland below the Falls, the victim of an act of one or more vandals.

The marker gives a brief history of the Falls, and also honors the late Senator Ed P. Warinner, who while serving in the State Senate was instrumental in getting the area above the falls established as a Kentucky Roadside Park. The park is now maintained by the Corps of Engineers.​

David Cross, Clinton County contact for the Historical Marker Program, said moving the marker to a more visible location near KY 90 was considered, but ultimately it was decided it would be best to place the marker back in the location where it was originally erected in 1970.

The 1970 dedication of the marker featured remarks by former Governor A.B. (Happy) Chandler.​

Cross said there is more work soon to be done in the county regarding the historical marker program, including replacement of the marker honoring Governor Thomas E. Bramlette, which formerly stood near the Spring Creek bridge on old US 127. That marker disappeared and after diligent search was located, but its condition is such that it needs replacement.​

​The marker once located at Cartwright honoring Governor Preston Leslie has also disappeared, and there are plans to re-cast that marker and place it in a different location.​

​There are also plans for a new historical marker honoring Medal of Honor winner Garlin Murl Conner. ​

Senator Ed P. Warinner

Ed Warinner was born at Seventy-Six, Kentucky,., in 1909. His family owned a general store​ there, which was the largest in the county (I.L. Warinner & Son). The store was located on KY 734 (Grider Hill Dock Road) west of the Mt. Union Road, and the Seventy-Six Post Office was moved there from a location above the Falls in 1890.

The Warinners held the office of Postmaster at Seventy-Six from 1890-1944 except for the years 1893-1896 when the Democratic Party was in power nationally.

The large log house near the store site which is now partially torn down was the home of Iverson L. Warinner, and the large white house across the road was the home of his son, J.A. (Jim) Warinner, father of Ed Warinner.​

Upon the election of Senator Terill Wilson as Circuit Judge in 1951, Ed Warinner obtained the GOP nomination for the seat and was unopposed for the position until his death in 1959.

Warinner was the owner of the Log Palace Inn and the Albany Locker Plant across the street. He also served as President of Citizens Bank of Albany.

He was best known, however, for being a man of progress, and was a regular at any meeting regarding the growth and development of the area.

He was a strong proponent of changing the original name of “Wolf Creek Reservoir” to “Lake Cumberland,” and was instrumental in KY 35 being converted to the Federally designated US 127.

Warinner and Governor Lawrence Wetherby held the ribbon as Vice-President Alben Barkley cut it at the dedication of Wolf Creek Dam in 1951.​​

While in the State Senate, Warinner, as a member of the minority party, forged a strong relationship with the majority, including Governor A.B. (Happy) Chandler. The efforts of Warinner and the late N,L. Morgan are credited with the late 1950s street and sidewalk project that we still benefit from today.

Warinner was also an early supporter of veteran’s benefits and was sponsor of the Constitutional Amendment which in 1955 made Kentucky only the second state in the Union to give 18-year olds the right to vote.​

​Warinner was chair of the local Republican Party for twelve years, a delegate to the national convention in 1952, and made a race for Congress in 1954. He announced his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor in both 1955 and 1959, but withdrew from both campaigns, health issues having a bearing on his 1959 withdrawal. After his withdrawal from the 1959 race, party officials supported his wife Jo as the GOP nominee for State Auditor.

He died in June 1959 at his home, which is now known as the home of Judge Eddie Lovelace.​

Warinner has two surviving children, Iverson, retired Director of Communications at Spalding College, and Harriet Hile, a retired teacher of the Spencer County School System both living in the Louisville area where their family moved after Ed’s death. His descendants include Ed Warinner III, one of the outstanding assistant football coaches in America, and Stephen Sawyer, nationally renowned artist.

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