John Bibb was born on October 27, 1789, in Prince Edward County, Virginia to Richard and Lucy Booker Bibb. The family moved to Kentucky in about 1798. They first settled in Fayette County, moving to Bullitt County, and then Logan County.
John studied law under Judge H. F. Broadnax but then, during the War of 1812, he joined the 4th Kentucky Volunteer Brigade. Enlisting as a private, he ultimately attained the rank of major. In 1814 he returned home, was admitted to the bar, and began his law practice.
In 1827, while living in Logan County, he was elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives; in 1831, and later to the State Senate.
He married Sarah "Sallie" P. Hopkins Horsley in 1831 and in 1856, relocated to Frankfort where they built Gray Gables, now known as the Bibb-Burnley house, at 411 Wapping Street. He had a large greenhouse in the back of the house where he developed his new variety of lettuce. The name first given to this new lettuce, was reportedly "Limestone." Later the lettuce would simply be called "Bibb" lettuce after its creator.
John Bibb died on April 13, 1884 and is buried in Frankfort Cemetery in Frankfort, Kentucky.
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