A Portrait - Biography of the
Kentucky Military Institute
(1845 - 1971)
by James Darwin Stephens, KMI '33
Copyright 1991

During its 126-year history, through the administrations of 13 superintendents, the Kentucky Military Institute enrolled and educated approximately 12,000 young men and boy cadets. About 200 of this number were from foreign countries, the United States possessions and territories. Most of their voices have been long-silenced. Those who confronted and upheld in conscious pursuit or suffered the causes of freedom and honor at the risk of life; those who were determined to defend or to fight for some national purpose in peace or war, and those who persevered to hold steadfast the tenets of faith, loyalty and truth, with no mental reservation or purpose of evasion have left their scars on a misty epitaph for the ages. With the passage of time, present generations witnessed not their deeds, their accomplishments, their flaws and weaknesses. But should the echoes of their past become muted without reflection, all memorable contributions and personal benefactions are ash... and only their spirit remains. 

James D. Stephens 
KMI class of 1933 

[To view example content from the book, click here]

top quality second edition printing   -  OUT OF PRINT
(Occasionally a single volume will appear on eBay)
June 15, 2004 
Summer Greetings, Alums!! 

Many of you remember James Darwin Stephens from the class of 1933.  Jim retired as a Colonel in the U.S. Army and resided in Georgetown, Ky. with his wife Glenda.  He was most active in alumni issues until his death in the mid 1990s.  Jim spent 20 years of his own time and $30,000.00 of his own money pursuing an accurate written and pictorial account of the history of the Kentucky Military Institute.  The final work was a masterpiece.  Two hundred fifty copies originally were printed by the Berea Press at a cost to Jim of $100.00 per book.  Many of you bought the first edition for yourselves while others donated the books to libraries, historical societies, and city halls around Kentucky. All proceeds were returned to Jim's widow, Glenda.

The influence of KMI can be seen all over the country.  Here in Pensacola, Fl., for example, we have a park called Ferdinand Plaza.  A memorial to Pensacola shipping magnate William Dudley Chipley shares its space with a bust of Andrew Jackson.  Chipley was responsible for building Pensacola's shipping business after the Civil War.  He is an 1857 graduate of KMI.  Jim provides a fine biological sketch on Chipley in his book.  I often had contemplated going back to the Berea Press to see if a second printing would be possible.  Dick Stephsenson, from the class of 1958, checked into it and returned with disturbing news.  The Berea Press is out of business, and no one knows the whereabouts of Jim's original materials.....including the plates. 


P.O. Box 10871
Pensacola, FL  32524

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