Catrine really only came to be in its modern form when Claud Alexander of Ballochmyle and David Dale of Glasgow developed the mill in 1787. It is therefore relatively modern and so has few connections with events of historical importance, for example it lacks a covenanting past like Cumnock or Muirkirk. Until relatively recently most people either worked in the mill or in the pits in the surrounding area.
Catrine has a churchyard just off the main street, directly opposite the mill, and a new cemetery on a hill above the village opened in the first decade of the 20th Century. Internments in the Churchyard are almost exclusively from 19th and early 20th century, and consist almost entirely of ordinary working people and local traders of various sorts, with a sprinkling of ministers and a few local nobles - managers of Catrine works, and the Reid family of builders.
The only national event that seems to have touched Catrine was when a local youngster Thomas Hector (Catrine Churchyard No 139) then aged 16, and working as an apprentice in the Glasgow shipyard of Messrs Stephen and Son, was killed in the 'Daphne Disaster' of 3rd July 1883. According to newspaper reports of time [‘Ayr Advertiser’ 5th July 1883] as the ship was being launched, it heeled over and sank before it had even ran the length of its chains. The ship was top-heavy due to a design fault, and since it was the practice of the time that men should continue working inside the hull during the launch, a large number were killed.
The two families that stand out in the industrial life of the village are the Mortons in connection with the Cotton and Bleaching works and the Reid's as builders.
James Morton J.P. (Catrine Churchyard - No 207) was a company man. He had been educated at Catrine Works School, trained under a previous manager, Mr Robert Barclay, and for a time was manager of a Cotton works at Deanston (owned also by James Finlay and Co.) before finally assuming managership of Catrine in the early 1870's. He died 20th April 1888.
His brother Hugh (Catrine Churchyard - No 192) after being bleaching manager for 24 years succeeded him as manager of Cotton works. Like many senior managers of his day he was active in local politics being chairman of the Union Association, a member of the School Board, and Parochial Board and sat on the County Council. He was appointed captain of Catrine V.B.R.S.F. and achieved the rank of major shortly before his death on 27th November 1893. Their father had also been gas manager.
Mr George Reid, builder, began work at the age of 9 as a 'kipper' (a boy who carries tools for the masons to the smithy and back) on the construction of the Lugar viaduct stretch of the Glasgow - Carlisle railway. After serving an apprenticeship as a mason and several jobs in various parts of north Ayrshire, he set up his own business in Catrine in 1862. Early contracts not surprisingly were with the Cotton works, but soon his company was involved in the building and restoration of country houses, public buildings, bridges and drainage schemes etc. They built new mansions at Dunskey, Portpatrick for Mr C L Orr Ewing; Ladykirk, Ayr for Mr Robert Angus; Blervie, Elginshire for Colonel Galloway and Elrig, Wigtonshire for Colonel Aylmer Maxwell of Monreith. And restored old mansions at Coulston, Haddington; St Bridges Castle, Pembrokeshire; Corsack House, Wigtownshire; Brodick Castle, Inverailet, Invernesshire.
The village also has a substantial war memorial on a hill above- the old churchyard.
No. 56 - Kerr "Short and sudden was his call, him so dearly loved by all, but oh how sweet the promise given, we'll meet again with joy in heaven.”
No. 107 - Dunlop “They are not dead but only sleep/ This narrow house their bones shall keep/ Until the Resurrection morn/ When Christ shall call his people home.”
No. 124 - McCreadie “In the hope of a glorious resurrection, Full of faith at length he died, And victorious in the race, Won the Crown for which he sigh'd, Not by merit but by Grace.”
No. 189 - Miller “The winter of trouble is past/the storms of affliction are o'er/ His struggle is ended at last/ and sorrow and death are no more.”