Squire Boone was born in Oley Township,
Berks County, Pennsylvania, in 1744. His
father, Squire (son of George Boone, who emigrated from Exeter, England, to Pennsylvania
sometime in the eighteenth century) moved with his family to the forks of the Yadkin
River, in Roan County, North Carolina, about the year 1749.
At the age of fifteen, young Squire was sent back to Pennsylvania to learn
the gunsmith trade. After an apprenticeship
of five years he returned to North Carolina and shortly afterwards was married to Miss
Jane Van Cleave, by whom he had five children: Jonathan,
Moses, Isaiah, Sarah, and Enoch Morgan. The
latter was one of the first white children born in Kentucky, [he was born in 1777, two years after the first] Squire
with his family, having joined his brother Daniel at Boonesborough in 1775.
Previous to this, however, he had made two or three trips into the state,
carrying provisions and ammunition to Daniels camp, sharing with him, for months at
a time, all the dangers and privations of pioneer life.
And from the time of his settlement at Boonesborough, as long as Kentucky needed
the strong arms of her sons to protect her little colonies from the savage foes, Squire
Boone devoted himself to her service, taking no less active part in their defense than
Nothing like justice has ever been done his memory. But he ought not to be forgotten, especially by
Kentucky. He watered her soil with his blood
in too many places and in too heroic a manner in those early days, when the settlers were
in constant dread of the lurking savage and his scalping knife, to be overlooked in the
history of those times. He received many
wounds. He was shot in the left shoulder
severely in the battle of Boonesborough. He
was shot in the breast in defending his settlement or fort called Boones
Station, in what is now Shelby County. [To
separate it from Daniels Boone Station it is almost always called
Painted Rock Station.] He
was subsequently shot in the defense of the people of that settlement when they were
attacked, near Long Run. [He was shot in the arm some time before the day
of the attack on their way to another fort. He
was in bad shape and recovering back at Painted Rock Station and not with the group of
people.] His arm was badly broken there,
yet he succeeded in drawing off his force, with the women and children, and making his way
to Louisville, or rather the Station of the Falls.
While suffering with these severe wounds, he was elected to represent the
County of Kentucky in the Virginia Legislature, and made an eloquent appeal to
that body for assistance to the brave defenders of the border. His broken arm and unhealed wounds spoke more than
words. In after life he often alluded to his
kind reception by the Virginians and the courtesy shown him. He considered them the most polite people in the
world, for they made him feel as much at home among them in his plain hunting garb and
backwoods manners as if he were surrounded by his companions in the frontier settlement.
He made his home at the Falls of the Ohio for many years, during which time
he had to endure trials and privations harder to bear than his contests with the Indians. The property he had accumulated which was
considerable for those times was taken from him by the land-sharks who hunted up
the title to all the lands he owned, and he found himself in his old age stripped of every
vestige of property, quite insolvent and utterly destitute.
It was then that he turned his back on
Kentucky a state which owed him so much and in 1808, [probably 1804, after he had returned to Kentucky from
Missouri] with his four sons and the five sons of Samuel Boone, his cousin, he formed
a settlement in Harrison County in the then new Territory of Indiana, about 25 miles west
of Louisville. This settlement was called
Boone Township, and soon became a flourishing and prosperous place, the home of many
Kentuckians and their descendants. Corydon,
in the same county, was the seat of the Territorial Government, and the Boones were among
the leading citizens. One of them, John Boone
(a cousin of Squire), was a prominent member of the Legislature and the convention that
formed the Constitution of the state.
After reaching his new home, Squire Boone
began with energy and industry to repair his shattered fortunes. He built a mill and for a long time supplied the
neighborhood with meal, employing his spare time in making guns, and in cutting out stone
from the neighboring hills to build himself a house.
On one of these stones which he intended to place over his front door, he
cut the words, The travelers rest, indicating truly his hospitable
nature. Again, he carved his religious
sentiments on others of these rocks:
my life hath much befriended,
praise Him till my days are ended.
Another displayed his political sentiments, Liberty, property, Congress and America!
But he did not live to complete his house. He
died in 1815, and at his own special request, a cave on or near the summit of a lofty peak
in Boone Township became his tomb. It was
agreed between him and John Boone and H. W. Heath, the civil engineer who assisted in
preparing the cave, that when they died they would be entombed there together. But the strong opposition of the families of the
other parties prevented the fulfillment of the contract, so far as they were concerned,
and Squire Boone alone rests in that beautiful cave.
His descendants are still living in Indiana and Kentucky. (According
to Ken Kamper, Enoch stated that at some point he returned to the cave to see that
animals had disturbed the site and bones were scattered around. He removed the remainder of the body and reburied
it in a secret place in Kentucky, thought by some to be just across the Ohio River on his
farm where Fort Knox is now, and laid to rest where Squires wife and Enochs
mother were buried in the cemetery on Enochs farm.)
Back to Articles Page