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Elisha Warfield

Elisha Warfield
Born 5, 1781(1781-Template:MONTHNUMBER-05)
Anne Arundel County, Maryland
United States
Died 15, 1859 (aged 78)
Lexington, Kentucky
United States
Resting place Lexington Cemetery
Residence The Meadows stud farm
Education Transylvania University
Occupation Physician, Academic
Racehorse breeder
Religion Protestant
Spouse(s) Maria Barr (1785-1866)

Rebecca Tilton b. 1806
Thomas Barr b. 1807
William Pollock b. 1809
Robert Elisha b. 1811, married Catherine Anne Ware
Ann Elizaneth b. 1812
Mary Jane (1815-1900), married Cassius Marcellus Clay
Ellen P.
Caroline Barr b. 1817
Julia Genevive (1819-1895), married Francis Key Hunt

Laura Ruth b. 1821
Parents Elisha Warfield (1740-1818) &
Ruth Burgess (1763-1835)

Warfield Place, Lexington, Kentucky

Elisha Warfield, Jr. (February 5, 1781 - May 15, 1859) was an American physician and a Thoroughbred racehorse owner and breeder whom Thoroughbred Heritage calls "one of the most important early figures in Kentucky racing and breeding." [1]

Born in Maryland, the Warfield family moved to Lexington, Kentucky when Elisha, Jr. was nine years old. He obtained a degree in medicine from Transylvania University with a degree in medicine and on January 15, 1805 married Maria Barr with whom he had ten children. He became a very successful medical practitioner in Lexington and was made the first Professor of Surgery and Obstetrics at the newly established Transylvania University medical school.

Active in community development, in 1830 Elisha Warfield was a founding shareholder of the Lexington & Ohio Railway Company which in 1834 connected Lexington to Frankfort, Kentucky.

Thoroughbred horses

Around the time of his marriage, Elisha Warfield began racing and breeding Thoroughbreds and in 1809 was one of the founding members of the Lexington Jockey Club. In 1821 he made the decision to pursue his passion for Thoroughbreds on a full time basis. [2] In 1826, he was one of the founders of the Kentucky Association which would build a horse racetrack on land adjacent to Warfield's farm property. Known as The Meadows, Elisha Warfield's stud farm was located on Winchester Pike on the Northeast side of Lexington and was where he bred the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame Thoroughbred, Lexington. Foaled at The Meadows on March 29, 1850, and originally named Darley, the colt was very successful on the racetrack, winning six of his seven starts. However, as a stallion he became one of the greatest in American history. Between 1861 and 1878 he was the Leading sire in North America a record sixteen times, of which fourteen were consecutive years. As of 2008, Lexington's record remains intact.

A brother of Lexington attorney, Benjamin Warfield, they were part of the group that founded Lexington Cemetery in 1849 and is where Elisha Warfield was buried following his 1859 death at his Lexington home. The Meadows stud farm was eventually sold with portions of the property parceled off. Prominent Kentucky horseman Daniel Swigert owned the stud for a time until putting it up for sale in August of 1888. Real estate developers acquired the property in 1945 and today it is home to The Meadows sub-division.


  • Ranck, George Washington. History of Lexington, Kentucky (1872) R. Clarke & Co., Cincinnati


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