Pioneers of Meade County, Kentucky

About the same time the Richardsons came to Meade County from White Hall, New York. They landed at Richardson’s Landing on the Ohio River and settled at Payneville, Kentucky-. David Richardson and Lydia Ackley were married at White Hall, New York, August 11, 1790. Their son Daniel S. Richardson married Polly Hurd, April 11, 1818. Polly Hurd Richardson was the first person buried in the Richardson graveyard on the Richardson place between Midway and Payneville.

One of the first doctors in Meade County was Doctor John Haynes of Virginia. He was a man of good education and received his medical education either in Harvard or Yale. His practice was extensive in this section. He settled at Big Spring soon after he came from Virginia. His wife was Martha Ann Campbell of Massachusetts. Doctor. Haynes died about 1824.

A history of Otter Creek must begin with the visit of Daniel Boone and Michael Stoner in the summer of 1774. Daniel Boone made many visits to Otter Creek, as also did his no less distinguished brother, Squire Boone. The Boones found refuge in a cave on Otter Creek on their frequent trips to this section.

John May, May, Bannister and Company and Thomas D. Carneal, Senior, surveyed and entered land on Otter Creek. Richard Woolfolk entered 82 acres of land “lying and being in the County of Nelson on the Ohio River below the mouth of Salt River and the lower side of Otter Creek and bounded as followeth, towit: Beginning at the mouth of Otter Creek, the upper side there of,” etc. This survey was dated July 29, 1788 and the deed was signed by Isaac Shelby, Esquire, Governor of the Commonwealth of Kentucky at Lexington, February 18, 1793. This Richard Woolfolk married Miss Sarah Taylor. He built a grist and saw mill on Harrod’s Creek in Jefferson County. He was a surveyor and civil engineer.

Above the mouth of Otter Creek on the Ohio River Thomas D. Carneal and John May owned 4,000 acres of land. About 1816 Enoch Boone settled on this tract. Other settlers on this land and in this vicinity were Blanchard, Lewis Withers, Goodrich and Trueman.

Enoch Boone was the youngest child of Squire Boone and was one of the first white children born in Kentucky. He married Lucy Galman in Shelby County, Kentucky. Their children were Eliza (born 1799, married Lewis Withers, July 18, 1820. Rev. Shadrach Brown performed the ceremony. Eliza died before April 21, 1827, leaving three children: James Albert, Sarah Jane and Ann Eliza Withers.); Amanda; Lucy Jane; Nelson G.; Minerva (married a Tedford and lived in Iowa); Whitfield; Thomas Carneal; and H. Clayton.

From the old Enoch Boone letters and papers it is certain that Enoch. Isaiah and William Boone served three months iii 1794 in a military company commanded by Captain Bland Ballard.

January 5, 1833, Nelson G. Boone in a letter to his brother, Thomas C. Boone tells the news of the community “We had a lively Christmas in the neighborhood. There has been no less than four parties and I had the pleasure of being at all of them. But having been so little in the habit of keeping company that I felt a little awkward, and set a resolution to go more frequent into company. But my business is so urging that I have little time to devote to company. But to return on Monday, the day before Christmas, Mr. Rawson gave a party. There was a large cotillion. Mr. Clarkson and Kemp from Elizabethtown were there. They danced all night. On Wednesday Ben Dorsey had a party. Ha had a large company. They had no girls from below the creek but all iii the vicinity of West Point. Our belles were Zarada, Emeline, Lutian and Nancy. I was introduced to Ann Reed and Delilah Hughes. Miss Ann Reed is quite handsome. She was so facinating that I had almost fallen in love with her before I knew it.”

In the same letter he says that Zarada told him at the party that his, brother is to marry a Miss Perceful as soon as he completes his studies. He continues, “If such is the fact please write me in the next letter so I. may make preparation.” No answer was in the next letter. In another letter, February 11, 1833, Nelson writes the following news.

“There has been one death in the neighborhood very recently. Old William Fleteh took a spree some four or five weeks ago and unfortunately (returning home from Garnettsville) missed his way and was compelled to lay out all night. It was extremely cold and he got extremely frostbitten and in the course of two weeks after he departed this life.

William Kendall was married last Sunday to Miss Coffman near Nalls. They made but little to do. There were but few persons at the infare.

On last Sunday I had the pleasure of eating a fine turkey at Uncle Jack’s. Eight or ten persons dined amongst the rest James Nall. He has got the cessor’s place again and is out on that business. His family is all well. Nall breaks very fast. He is very industrious.

Sarah Morgan Boone, wife of Rev. Squire Boone, died at the home of her son, Enoch Morgan Boone, at his home near the mouth of Otter Creek, March 29, 1829. Her grandchildren called her “Big Granny” to distinguish her from Jane (Hughes) Boone whom they called “Little Granny.”

In the old Hynes family burying ground about seven miles from the mouth of Otter Creek are buried several pioneers of Meade County. William Bathurst Stith (born May 2, 1784 and died October 6, 1829); Augustus W. White (born in Louisville November’ 6, 1798); G. W. Vaughn (born February 28, 1779 and died April 13, 1863); and Isaac L. Hynes (born at Hynes Station about 1790) have markers. Many of the old graves are unmarked. Isaac L. Hynes was in the battle of New Orleans and was one of the first settlers along Otter Creek.

Judge Codge Collins Fitch was born in Washington County, New York, May 13, 1792. He was a son of Joseph Fitch and Elizabeth (Harris) Fitch. Collins Pitch’s great grandfather, Thomas Fitch, was at one time commander-in-chief of the British troops in America and later was governor of the colony of Connecticut.

Collins Fitch in his early life was a sailor. When the War of 1812 broke out he enlisted in the army and was in the battle of Queenstown, the opening battle of the war. He served under General Winfield Scott, at that time a colonel in the regular army. He was also a soldier in the Mexican War.

In 1817 he came to Kentucky and settled in Lexington. After coming to Kentucky he was engaged in the river traffic and for several years operated a trading boat. He settled in Meade County. He and Nelson G. Boone were associated in business.

He was twice married. His son, Tandy, was born in 1826. Collins Fitch and Lucy Jane Boone were married October 27, 1832, .by Rev. Jacob Rogers.

At one time Collins Fitch was judge of the Meade County Court. In 1820 he was made a Master Mason at Lawrenceburg Lodge, Number 4. He was present in 1825 at Cincinnati, Ohio, when Lafayette visited that city, and sat in lodge with the distinguished Frenchman, a fact of which he was proud and to which he often referred in his long career.

Collins Fitch died at his home at Garnettsville, February 26, 1892. He built this house in 1820. The only two children born in this home are Franklin (born September 18, 1910) and Richard (born June 6, 1912), the sons of Mr. and Mrs. W. R. Kunnecke of Muldraugh.

Judge Fitch was a ripe scholar and a charming conversationalist. He was a Democrat all his life and never missed a vote for his party since he attained his majority. At the August election before his death he rode three and one-half miles to cast his ballot.

Very early in the history of Meade County Little Bend was settled by William Parr at Wolf Creek, Robert Hardin, Warren Hardin, Richard Willett and Hiram Boone.

Hiram Boone founded Boone Port in Little Bend. The site of this landing has fallen into the river in the Hayden and Atwill account book is listed “Henry Fullinwider. Bond for a title to four lots in the town of Boone Borough, Indiana.”

Robert Hardin and Eleanor Sherrill were married in Washington County, Kentucky, in 1799. Soon after this they came to Meade County. Their graves are in Little Bend. To the left of the inscription on the tombstone of Robert Hardin is a hunter, seated upon a log, with a gun in his hand and by his side a dog, suggestive of the pioneer days. Below are the exact inscriptions:

Robert Hardin
Born in Penn., May 6, 1776
Married Elenor Sherrill 1799
In Washington County, Ky.
Departed this life March 10, 1840
In Meade County, Ky.
Aged 63 years, 10 months, 5 days.

Wife of
Robert Hardin
Born in North Carolina
May 23, 1780.
Departed this life Nov. 5, 1869
Aged 88 years, 5 months, 12 days.

On the Edwin H. Woolfolk place near Brandenburg is an old family burying ground. These inscriptions are interesting:
“Henry Kennedy
Born at Ft. Clark, February 25, 17 79
Died September 4, 1844.
Aged 65 years, 6 months, 10 days.”

On a rough limestone marker is crudely written:
“Joseph Brown
January 18, 1751
Aged 93.”
By the side of this grave on a similar stone is this inscription:
“Sarah Brown
Died Oct. 8, 1846
Age 68 years.”

On a knoll south of the Buck Grove is the family burying ground of the Vanmeters. Here rests the body of Jacob Vanmeter, the second, born August 4, 1762, in Berkley County, Virginia. He became a member of a Baptist church at the age of eleven. With his father, Jacob Vanmeter, he came to Severn’s Valley in 1779-80 and settled on Valley Creek two miles from the present. Elizabethtown.

Jacob Vanmeter later settled at the forks of Otter Creek. For seventy-eight years he was a member of a Baptist church. He was in the original constitution of the Severn’s Valley Baptist Church as were his father and mother.

He died at the home of his son, John Vanmeter. October 12, 1850. He left thirteen children. Seven of the ten sons were deacons of Baptist churches. Three days before his death he conducted family worship. He had to be assisted to his chair at the conclusion of the long prayer. As he sat in the chair he repeated many hymns from Watts, which the family had never heard him repeat before. He was the last survivor of the eighteen members gathered in the historic Severn’s Vally Baptist Church, June 1S, 1781. For forty-five years Jacob Vanmeter, Junior, was a deacon in a Baptist church. He was an excellent citizen and a loyal Christian.

By his side lies his wife, Elizabeth Vanmeter, who died February 29, 1852, aged eighty-five years. Near the graves of his father and mother is the grave of Deacon John Vanmeter, who died July 21, 1878, aged eighty-seven years and six months. By her husband’s grave is that of Susan S. Vanmeter, born February 22, 1798 and died July 23, 1861.

Near the family plot is the grave of G. Handy Vanmeter who died February 21, 1879. He was sixty years old and the inscription, “Here lies my friend and nurse,” tells the story of a slave’s devotion to the family whose name he bears. He was a typical Southern Negro whose honor was his devoted service.

In the extreme eastern edge of Meade County near the Ohio River is the Boone graveyard. This little family cemetery is near the old buffalo road from West Point to the mouth of Otter Creek. Over this trail many times Daniel Boone and Squire Boone traveled. Beneath the grass covered mounds rest the bodies of their loved ones who fell on peaceful sleep in the romantic days “When Kentucky Was Young.”

4 thoughts on “Pioneers of Meade County, Kentucky”

  1. dr> Marshall Myers

    I am a former resident of Meade County who writes, among other things, local history. I am interested in any material on the county.

    1. My great-great grandfather came to the US in 1833 and may have farmed in Garnetsville. The 1870 census information lists his son as being a farmer in Garnetsville, Meade Co. My grandfather was noted to be a resident in that census and he eventually had a summer home at “TipTop” which was eventually absorbed into Fort Knox in 1919. I would be interested in any information you could provide

    2. Dr. Myers,
      I too am a formal resident of Meade County and have been doing some research on both sides of my family. I know the Penn side was from the Frankfort area and moved to Louisville and then to Meade county before 1920. The Handy’s moved to Meade county from Wolfe county around 1919. My Great Grandmother on the Handy side was native American but am having a hard time proving have. My great Grandfather Penn was a lumber inspector and Grandfather Handy was a carpenter. My Grandfather James Penn owned a store called James Penn Groceries. I have a picture of my Mother standing is from of the store in the late 1930’s. This is probably more info then you needed. Take care

  2. Robert Lee Russell

    I am beginning a genealogy search of my ancestors. Any information regarding the following families would be greatly appreciated and treasured:

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