Todd, Robert Smith

1791 - 1849

Attorney, Cotton & Dry Goods Merchant and Banker.

Robert S. Todd was born in Lexington, Kentucky around 1791, the son of Levi Todd - one of the town founders.  After receiving an education at Transylvania University, he was admitted to the Kentucky Bar on September 11, 1811.  Prior to the outbreak of the War of 1812, he was among the organizers of the Lexington Light Artillery Company.  In July 1812, that company was assigned as part of the Fifth Kentucky Regiment and marched North to fight the British in Canada.  He participated in the Battles of Frenchtown and Thames.

After returning to Lexington, Mr. Todd entered into a partnership in 1816 to sell dry goods imported from New Orleans.  This partnership dissolved in 1826.  In 1827, he was elected a trustee of Transylvania University and during this period, he held numerous public offices including Councilman, Magistrate and Sheriff for Lexington, as well as Assemblyman and Senator in Frankfort.

By 1835, his financial standing had improved to such a level that he was selected as the first President of the Lexington branch bank of the Bank of Kentucky.  At the same time, he held a powerful position on the Banking Commission in Frankfort.  He continued to serve as the bank's President until his death in 1849.

In addition, by 1830 he was a part owner of Oldham, Todd & Company (a manufacturer of cotton yarn and fabrics) in Sandersville.  Mr. Todd was also one of the organizers of the Lexington & Louisville Turnpike Company that constructed the first highway between the two cities.  During the 1830s, he was a financial backer of the Lexington & Ohio Railroad (the first railroad in Kentucky).

He died during the cholera epidemic in 1849.  His daughter, Mary Todd Lincoln, was the wife of Abraham Lincoln.

William M. Ambrose, First Security National Bank & Trust Company (1835-1992), Limestone Press, Lexington, 2007.