McDuff to McDuffee/MacFie

Our SCOTS-IRISH History by Sue & Marilyn/2004; (A progress in learning)

4 Generations

Charles "Wilfred",  Charles A.,  Frederick Manson, & Joseph Whittenburg McDuffie

Spring, 1926

at family farm in Wolcott, Princeton, White, Indiana

Grandfather: Frederick Manson McDuffie, b. 11 Jun 1875 (MI), d. 14 Jan 1957 (IN)

Fred was born in Three Oaks, Michigan/1875. One year later, his father, Joseph, moved the family to Wolcott, White County, Indiana, where he bought land for 25 cents an acre. Unreal, because this soil was rich, prime, bottom land. Fred learned how to help his father with farm animals and how to farm the land. They owned at least 500 acres so there was much work to be done. Mornings started early, grandmother started breakfast before dawn, animals were fed, cows were milked, breakfast was served, and a full day of cultivating the many acres of corn or soy beans prevailed for Fred and Joseph. I can still remember the tall rows of corn basking in the summer sun and the sweet smell of new tassles in the air.

While Fred was a young man still at home, he asked his father about becoming an Accountant; but Joseph replied "no" since Fred would eventually inherit this land. Fred respected his father's request and farmed the land all of his life. When Fred was 20 or so, he met a young English woman named Annie Benge.  She had sailed from Kent, England, on the ship Lucania arriving October 5, 1895 in New York. She was 20. Next, she met her three brothers in Indiana, who sailed from England the previous year, and who lived in the same Wolcott area. When Fred met her, he said that he liked her accent - among other things, I am sure! They were married July 4th, 1899. They had three children:  Charles, Lenora, and Dorothy.  Annie died in 1950 and Fred followed her in 1957.

As I remember my grandfather, Fred, I can't think of another man of such gentleness. He was a man of good character, physically and mentally strong, and full of confidence, but no one ever crossed him. He could give you this "look" and you did exactly what he asked without question. He never raised his hand. He was a man of all seasons, faithful and true. At his funeral, my father  Charles broke down and wept. 


Great Grandfather: Joseph Whittenburg McDuffie, b. 15 Mar 1847 (IN), d. 20 Jun 1930 (MI)

Article he wrote in 1927:

"In the article of the Magazine Section of the South Bend Tribune for Sunday morning, October 27, 1927, I saw and read with interest the romantic story of Argus, Indiana. I, too, lived in Marshall County, Indiana, at an earlier date than given in the above named article, in the time that W. J. Benner taught his first term of school in 1860.

My father Wesley was born in Kentucky in 1820. When Wesley was six years old, his father, James McDuffie, moved the family to Rush County, Indiana. At the age of 21 years Wesley married a lady of Rush County, Indiana, whose maiden name was Mary Jane Stallard. On or about the same year, a sister of my mother, Rebecca Stallard, married Milton B. Hopkins, referred to in the Argus romantic history. My mother had a brother that lived two or three miles east of Argus named Samuel Stallard, and another brother one and a half miles southwest of Etna Green, but in Marshall County his name was James Axley Stallard. The Corey family are supposed to be relatives of the Stallards.  Jacob McClure Stallard of Lafayette, another brother and a noted preacher of Lafayette, Indiana, has gone to his reward in Heaven where there will be no more parting!

Now, I return to my younger days. In the fall of 1850, my father, Wesley, traveled north from Rush County, Indiana to Marshall County, Indiana to buy a home as well as to visit. He found a farm of 120 acres, 3/4 mile west of Jacob McClure Stallard's, that suited his liking for $400 (four miles southeast of Bourbon). He bought it and returned to Rush County. In the spring of 1851, he with his family, moved to our new home. The family consisted of the parents and four children. I am the 3rd, a son four years old, at this time.

On arriving at the new unfinished home near 4:00 a.m., the 1st of April, and no house in which to sleep for the first night, father noticed a large tree lying on the ground a few rods away. On going to this tree, he found it to be hollow. At the butt, it was seven feet in diameter - a mere shell for some 16 feet. This opening we cleaned up and put our bedding in and slept in this two nights. The next day, father rented a new log house, just finished, one mile north into which we moved for one month. Our house finished, we moved in the 1st of May, 1851. The country was a vast wilderness. Then I looked at the timber, timber, timber!  Stately black Walnut and yellow Poplar trees towering almost to the heavens above and it seemed to reach west to the ancient Argos of old!

A log school house had been built three years before and one mile north. I started school at the close of my sixth year of age. The seats we sat on were nothing but slabs sawn from logs at the saw mill about 10 feet long, flat side up with two holes bored at each end with pegs driven in 18 inches long and no backs. My feet, of course, did not reach the floor and some of the pupils kept their feet swinging back and forth like a pendulum of a clock. For a writing desk, they bored holes in a round log in the room, put in pegs 20 inches long about five feet apart and laid a board 18 inches wide on the pegs to reach across the room. One on the north side for girls and one on the south side for boys. The pens we used were the old time goose quills. Our teacher's name was Maxwell. After attending school in the old log house for five terms, or in 1860, the patrons, about 10 of them, got together and voted to tear down the old school house and build a new and better one. But, due to lack of money, they failed to get the new school house built for a period of five years - so I received no schooling for five years.

When I reached 18 years of age, I entered school again and advanced fairly well to the age of 21 years. At this juncture, Milton B. Hopkins, my uncle, was President of Howard College at Kokomo, Indiana. His sons, Alexander Campbell Hopkins and James I. Hopkins, were teachers. So, I went to Howard College for several months and then to a special training school at LaPorte, Indiana. Milton B. Hopkins was a wonderful teacher. He was a good lawyer and, also, a good preacher".


Family photo  c. 1903

sitting left to right:  Mabel L., Mary Ellen (Mayes), Charles A., & Joseph W. McDuffie

standing left to right:  Josie V., Fred M., & Annie E. (Benge) McDuffie



Joseph Whittenburg McDuffie, the third child of ten children born to Wesley and Mary Jane (Stallard) McDuffie. He was born in Rush Co., Indiana on March 15, 1847. When he was 4 years of age, in the spring of 1851, the family moved to Marshall County where his father bought a farm of 120 acres of heavily timbered land as could be found in any part of the state. Here they remained nearly 14 years, when they moved to LaPorte County, where he grew to manhood. On November 16, 1872, he was united in marriage to Mary Ellen Mayes, and located on a farm near Three Oaks, Michigan, where he followed the occupation of farming and school teaching. In the fall of 1876, he purchased a farm in White County, Indiana, near the town of Wolcott, and remained there nearly 50 years. He then moved into the town of Wolcott, where a few years later his wife Mary Ellen passed away on June 18, 1921. To this union three children were born: Fred M. McDuffie of Wolcott, Indiana; Mrs. Mabel L. ( McDuffie) Millard of Steubenville, Ohio; and Mrs. Josie V. (McDuffie) Boone of Pentwater, Michigan.

Some two years after his wife's death, Joseph married Emma A. Warren of Berrien Springs, Michigan, to which place he moved and remained until the end. He departed this life June 20, 1930, at the ripe age of 83 years, three months, and five days. Joseph was a man of staunch integrity, of deep religious convictions, and a daily reader of the Bible. He was a constituent member of the First Baptist Church of Wolcott and, for many years, served as Trustee and choir leader and remained a faithful member of the church until the call came to come up higher. One has written of him that "he practiced his religion, expressed his faith by an upright life, and at evening time it was light".

Brief services were held in his memory at Berrien Springs, Michigan, and services were held in his home church in Wolcott.

2nd Gr-Grandfather: Wesley McDuffee, b. 15 Aug 1820 (KY), d. 16 Aug 1885 (IN)

Marriage Record for Wesley McDuffee to Mary Jane Stallard: "Be it remembered that on the twelfth day in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and forty two the Clerk of the Rush Circuit Court issued a license authorizing any person authorized to join together in the bonds of matrimony, Wesley McDuffee and Mary Jane Stallard and afterwards to wit on the third day of October in the year aforesaid, Joseph Carter, a Minister of the Gospel filed in the Clerk's Office aforesaid the following certificate that I, Joseph Carter, a Methodist Preacher do certify that I joined together in the bonds of matrimony, Wesley McDuffee and Mary Jane Stallard on the fifteenth of May, 1842, given under my hand this first day of October 1842". Joseph Carter     -     Rush County Court House, Clerk's Office, Rushville, IN


Wesley & Mary Jane (Stallard) McDuffe/ee     photo c. 1865 - 1870

LaPorte, Indiana

Posey Chapel

LaPorte, Galena, LaPorte, Indiana

3rd Gr-Grandfather: Rev. Robert McDuffe / ee, JR. - b. 24 Nov 1786 (PA), d. 22 Apr 1870 (IN)

Many Indian tribes, including the Iroquois, Shawnee, Mingo, Delaware, Wyandotte, Chickasaw, & Cherokee, used Kentucky as their hunting grounds:


Shawnee,           Delaware,           &           Cherokee

"The early religious history of Harrison County is somewhat obscured. The most that is know is, that the early settlers were mostly moral and upright people, who had been members of some religious organization before coming to this State, and upon their settlement here, lost no time in gathering up the stray sheep and bringing them back into the fold. Before houses of worship were erected, the worshipers would assemble in the forest, each man with his gun; sentinels would be placed to guard against surprise from the Indians, while the minister with a log or stump for a pulpit would dispense the Word of Life and salvation. It was thus that our ancestors planted the seeds of Christianity in the wilderness of Kentucky".  Rifleman / Kentuckian


Robert McDuffe, JR was born in Pennsylvania, reared in Kentucky, and was a Cooper/(barrell-maker) by trade. He began preaching when he was 22 years old/1808. (History of Shelby County, Indiana, 1887; Brandt and Fuller, p. 690).  Robert, JR was a farmer and pioneer circuit riding preacher traveling between Bourbon, Harrison & Nicholas Counties, Kentucky and Rush & Shelby Counties, Indiana. His brother, Gabriel, after the War of 1812, also became a pioneer circuit riding minister. They both rode the circuit between Kentucky and Indiana preaching the "good news" to their respective church congregations along the way. Robert, JR was ordained a Methodist Episcopal Minister in 1826, when he was 40 years old (see below):

On the motion of the Reverend Robert McDuffee (McDuffe) who produced credentials of his ordination and of his being on regular commission with the Methodist Episcopal Church and took the oath of Allegiance to this Commonwealth and with Edmond Mattox and James Barnett, his Securities, entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of five hundred pounds conditioned according to law. A Testimonial is granted him authorizing him to celebrate the rights of Matrimony agreeable to the forms and customs of the Society to which he belongs. 

August Court 1826, Harrison Co., KY.          Kentucky Historical Society


History of McDuffe, Waggoner, and Ritchey families:      "Methodist Episcopal Circuit Rider in Bourbon, Harrison, & Nicholas Counties in Kentucky, and in Rush & Shelby Counties, Indiana (is this why they moved to Rush Co., Indiana...?). The Nicholas/Harrison county line ran through his property near Cynthiana, Kentucky. There is a Waggoner's Chapel Methodist Church and cemetery twelve miles east of Cynthiana on Waggoner Chapel Road. One J. J. Waggoner (John Jacob?) donated the land for the church.

In the fall of 1826, John and Mary Catherine (Ritchey) Waggoner, Sr. and their extended family moved to Orange Township, Rush County, Indiana with a large group of relatives. Those included Gilbert Ritchey (Mary Catherine's father), Susan (Ritchey) and husband Matthew Busby, John Ritchey and family, Eve (Ritchey) and husband John Richey, and Adam Ritchey, along with Robert McDuffe, JR. and his brother Gabriel C. McDuffe and their families.

When they arrived in Orange Township, the whole region was covered with primeval forest and nearly destitute of the appliances of civilization. The nearest cabin was seven miles away, the mill so distant that a trip for meal or grain was quite an undertaking, and little to console the incomer except the abundance of game and fine fish that wriggled in the clear, unpolluted streams. A trail had to be cleared through the dense forest between the newly entered land and St. Omer, a distance of seven miles straight south as the crow flies. Robert and Gabriel's sister, Nancy McDuffe, had married John Waggoner, Jr. in Kentucky the year before and they brought their newborn son, William, with them in emigrating to Indiana".    family gedcom


As noted above, Robert McDuffe, JR., was an ordained Minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church Society in August of 1826. That fall, Robert, Jr., his second wife, Sarah Scott, whom he married in 1825, and his children moved from Harrison County, Kentucky to Rush County, Indiana. The next year (1827) he bought 160 acres in Orange Township, Rush County and made this part of Indiana their home. He was an ordained pioneer minister of the Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church there:

"The Ebenezer Methodist Episcopal Church of Gowdy has an almost continuous history running back for more than ninety years, this congregation being the successor in this generation of the church society that was organized in that neighborhood about the year 1830, following the preaching of the Rev. Robert McDuffee (McDuffe), a local preacher of the Methodist Episcopal church, who had come up here from Kentucky, and had held a series of meetings in a barn, half a mile east of the village of Gowdy. This pioneer preacher also held prayer meetings in the homes of the pioneers of that vicinity and as a result a church Society was formed in accordance with the regulations of the Conference and a building some time later was erected as a house of worship less than a mile south of where the village was later platted.

The land on which this building was erected was deeded to the church by John Andis, and the notation on the deed showing that it was received for record on March 4, 1840, in the hand of Job Pugh, then recorder of Rush County has the significant additional note, "fee donated", showing that the recorder's heart was well inclined toward the church. The instrument was witnessed by William Self and Milton L. Waggoner, and was acknowledged before William Self, Justice of the Peace. This first Ebenezer church is recalled as a little frame building ceiled on the inside, with a pulpit requiring several steps to ascend and surrounded by a tight railing, the door of which was fastened on the inside, designed -- it is narrated, "to keep dogs and children out".

Among the families which were numbered among the charter membership of this church were the Waggoners, the Redenbaughs, the Machlans, the McGinnises and the Wrights, and services were held there with greater or less regularity until in 1867, when the church was abandoned and the membership transferred to the church at Moscow, which had meanwhile been growing in numbers. Among the pioneer ministers who served this old church beside Rev. McDuffee (McDuffe), who has been mentioned, and Rev. Sheldon who followed him, were W. C. Dandal, G. P. Jenkins, N. Kerrick, J. W. T. McMullen and Patrick Caslin.

For about seven yeas after the abandonment of Ebenezer, the field about Gowdy lay dormant, or until the year 1874, when the Rev. Asbury Wilkinson, then pastor at Moscow, held a series of meetings at the school house (now Gowdy) and during these meetings created such a degree of interest that a new society was formed, ground was purchased, and a new church was erected across the road from the school house, the trustees and building committee thus acting and being composed of Benjamin Machlin, Aris T. Waggoner, Philip Redenbaugh, Harrison Brookbank and Lloyd McGinnis. This church building was dedicated on February 19, 1875, by the Rev. Reuben R. Andrews, D.D., then president of DePauw University, and was appropriately named Ebenezer in memory of the pioneer church of which it was the lineal successor.

This building was destroyed by fire on December 24, 1897, and the next year a new and more commodious edifice was erected on the same site. The present pastor of Ebenezer church is the Rev. M. E. Abel and among his predecessors have been the Revs. Wynegar, Winchester, Maupin, Renolt, Ullery and Godwin. As an instance of the influence this church has had upon the community, it may be noted that four of the young men reared in the church have gone out as ministers of the Methodist Episcopal church these having been J. T. Scull, Sr., John Machlin, Merritt Machlin and John Carpenter. Ebenezer church now has a membership of one hundred, and has a Sunday school with six classes an an enrollment of forty. It is attached to the Manilla circuit of the Rushville district of the Indiana Conference".     History of Rush County, pgs 438 - 440


Rev. Robert McDuffe, Jr.

photo circa 1865 - 70



Last Will & Testament

State of Indiana, Rush County, September 15th, 1868: 

In the name of God, amen - I, Robert McDuffe, being advanced in age and infirm in health do make this my last Will and testimony in reference to my Estate. And, in the first place, for as much as I have sold off all my real and personal property, with a few exceptions articles of small value, and wish no administration to be made by any person. Yet I hold notes and obligations on good men - I do, therefore, appoint two or three of my heirs as Agents - not as Administrators - but as my Agents to collect and receipt for all money which may be coming to the Estate after my death. The under named Agents shall after paying all just dues against my Estate shall divide all the money whether collected or not into ten equal parts and give to each of my immediate heirs an equal share, but three being dead, therefore divide that share betwixt his or her heirs as case may be. I also hold receipts from nine of my heirs showing how much each one of them have received as a portion of their share of my Estate. The amount named in each receipt shall be counted as a part of his or her portion who has given such receipt, the Agents shall take receipts for all the money which they pay to each heir. The Agents shall be allowed a reasonable compensation for their trouble written by my own hand, dictated by my own judgment. 

Robert McDuffe

Names of Agents above referred to:  Robert G. McDuffe,  David S. McDuffe (sons)

Attested by:  Eli Green, Thomas J. Haymond

Rush County Court of Common Pleas, Will Bk #3, pg 172


Codicil to Last Will & Testament of Robert McDuffe:

September 30, 1869:

I do hereby reserve to and for my own personal use that portion of my Estate which is over and above seven thousand six hundred dollars to be applied to all purposes whatever my wants and decent burial may require. But, should there be any of the aforesaid portion left, then Robert G. McDuffe and David S. McDuffe shall divide the sum between those of my heirs who have taken care of me in my infirmities according to the best of their (        ) allowing themselves a reasonable amount for their trouble.

Robert McDuffe

Rush County Court of Common Pleas, Will Bk #3, pg 174 & 175

(In the above Will and Codicil of 1868 and '69, our surname is written McDuffe throughout the document. However, by this time, Robert's children are using the surname McDuffee and they obviously ordered the headstone).    Sue/2008

Robert McDuffe, 22 Apr 1870

Mt. Gerizym

Orange, Rush, Indiana

4th Gr-Grandfather: Robert McDuffe, SR. - b. 1756 (East coast USA, No Ireland, or Scotland); d. 1827 (KY)

4th Gr-Grandfather: Robert McDuffe, SR., Esquire; b. 1756 (East Coast USA, No Ireland, or Scotland), d. 1827 (KY)

1792:   Robert McDuffe (McDuffey) was a Witness to the Will for his friend, Benjamin Collins of Mason County, Kentucky, along with Simon Kenton, Co-Executor of the Will:


"Harrison County, Kentucky received its name from Col. Benjamin Harrison*, an early resident of Bourbon, the first Sheriff of that county, and its representative in the State at the time of the formation of this county. He was a native of Pennsylvania, and removed to Bourbon prior to its formation as a county in 1785, where he held many prominent positions and was the representative of Bourbon in several of the Danville Conventions. He was also a member of the convention that formed the first constitution of Kentucky. Cynthiana, the county-seat, is a beautiful little city, and was laid out in 1793.     *Benjamin Harrison signed the Declaration of Independence and knew President George Washington personally. Gen. William Henry Harrison was his son, who would become the 9th President of the United States.

The first court of Harrison County was held in February, 1794. Robert Hinkston was the first Sheriff; Benjamin Harrison, Hugh Miller, Henry Coleman, Samuel McIlvain, Nathan Rawlings and Charles Zachary, Justices of the Peace, all of whom were sworn in February 4, 1794, and formed the first County Court; they elected William Moore, Clerk. They held their first court in the house of Morgan Van Meter".


Justice of the Peace, Harrison Co., KY, 1797 - 1802

A Certificate of the qualification of Robert McDuffy, Esquire, produced and ordered to be recorded in the following words (to wit) - This day came before me a Justice of the Peace of Harrison County, Robert McDuffy (McDuffe), and took the oaths prescribed by law for a Justice of the Peace for said county given this 6th day of February, 1797.   - Samuel McIlvain     Present:   Andrew Hampton, Esquire


March Court, 1797

At a Court held for the County of Harrison at the Courthouse thereof on this day the seventh day of March, one thousand seven hundred and ninety seven.     Present: Samuel McIlvain, Samuel McMillen, and Robert McDuffy (McDuffe), Esquires   (3 Scots in Kentucky)


The Rough Guide to Scottish FolkCurrently Listening To:
The Rough Guide to Scottish Folk
Various Artists
see related


Resignation from Harrison Co., KY Court

Robert McDuffe, Gentleman, informs the Court that he resigns his office of a Justice of the Peace for this County and withdrew from his seat.    May Court 1802, Harrison County, KY    

Kentucky Historical Society

The Adventures of Daniel Boone into Kentucky- 1775

Oct. 2007:     The original notes of Daniel Boone are now online. I am inserting the website link where you can read Chapters 1, 2, and 3: (go to bottom of page for the Chapters). I am impressed by how well he wrote and you can easily feel his impressions. From Chapter 1, he describes his first view of the untouched and beautiful lands of Kentucky. Daniel Boone was a smart and clever frontiersman - he had to be to survive the roaming bands of Indians there. And, when Indians took off with one of his daughters and two other girls, Daniel recruited some men, caught up with the Indians, and recovered the girls. Later on, two of Daniel's sons, James and Israel, were killed in separate Indian skirmishes. You can find more articles of Early America on this website, too.

 More information on Daniel Boone can be found at:      Another interesting item of Kentucky history is the Transylvania Purchase:

Transylvania was a short-lived colony primarily in what is now the US state of Kentucky. The colony was founded in 1775 by Richard Henderson of North Carolina, who purchased the land from the Cherokees. The most famous resident of Transylvania was the American pioneer, Daniel Boone, who was hired by Henderson to establish the Wilderness Trail/Road through the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky, where he founded Boonesborough, the capital of the colony. Transylvania ceased to exist after Virginia invalidated Henderson's purchase in 1776.


After the Revolution, Boone resettled in Limestone (renamed Maysville, Kentucky in 1786), then a booming Ohio River port. In 1787, he was elected to the Virginia state assembly as a representative from Bourbon County. In Maysville, he kept a tavern and worked as a surveyor, horse trader, and land speculator. He was initially prosperous, owning seven slaves by 1787, a relatively large number for Kentucky at the time, which was dominated by small farms rather than large plantations. Boone became something of a celebrity while living in Maysville: in 1784, on Boone's 50th brthday, historian John Filson published The Discovery, Settlement And Present State of Kentucke, a book which included a chronicle of Boone's adventures.    (Wikipedia)

So, the early Kentucky wilderness was prepared by various men like Daniel Boone (Boonesboro); Simon Kenton (Kenton's Station at Limestone); and James Harrod (Harrodsburg) - see map above. After selling their property in January, 1790, our ancestors, Robert and Rachel McDuffe, left Washington Co., Pennsylvania and moved with their three children to Bourbon Co., Kentucky. After reading the book "The Frontiersmen", I wonder if Robert and Rachel made the trip down the Ohio River, as many other settlers had, even though Indian attacks were still frequent. And the answer is yes! They either built, or had a flatboat built, in order to transport themselves and their belongings down the great and only highway - the Ohio River. These flatboats were 12 to 20 feet wide, and 60 to 100 feet long, and were designed for a one-way trip. At the destination, the boat would be dismantled and the wood used for a cabin. The only question now is did they travel with other families on the flatboat for protection against the still marauding Indians?



Roads were non-existent in 1790 to the interior unknown lands beyond Pennsylvania. Buffalo made trails which led through the dense forests to the canelands of Kentucky for the delicious salt licks. The Shawnees used Kentucky for hunting as there was an abundance of game, such as buffalo, elk, deer, raccoons, beavers, mink, otters, wolves, bears, squirrels, turkeys and fish in every stream. But getting to it was known only to Indians who walked or rode their horses over the buffalo trails - and a few adventurers from the East.

However, in 1796, Col. Ebenezer Zane petitioned Congress for permission to build a road through the region, with the stipulation that the American government would grant him land where the road crossed the Muskingum, Hockhocking, and Scioto Rivers. The government agreed to his terms and required the road to be open by January 1, 1797. It was widely believed that a road would encourage increased trade and settlement in Ohio. This road would extend from Wheeling, through Ohio, and end at Maysville.

Zane's Trace was more a trail than a road. Zane used existing Native American trails wherever possible and cut down trees to create a primitive path. Tomepomehala, an Indian guide, helped Zane plot the road. Prior to Ohio's statehood, Zane's Trace was not accessible by wagon. It was so narrow and rough that it was only passable on foot or on horseback. Zane built ferries at each of the river crossings and profited from the travel over the road. A small town began to develop where the ferry was located at the mouth of the Licking River. It came to be known as Zanesville.

I found an interesting website about Wagon Roads that explains what was going on and how our new nation was forming in this time frame:     The Ohio Company; Rufus Putnam's Great Idea; Gateway to the West; The Boatmen; Wheeling Rivals Pittsburgh; Zane's Trace; Appeal of the Ohio Country; & Enter The Turnpike.
- thanks, Maggie!

Enter The Turnpike (excerpt):   The wagon roads to the Ohio River from Georgia, the Carolinas, and Virginia all converged on the Wilderness Road through the Cumberland Gap into Kentucky, then up to the Ohio River. Using state money, the new state of Kentucky upgraded the road through the Cumberland Gap to twelve feet wide in 1796. Other states were taking a different interest in their roads as well, particularly those roads which were being used for interstate travel. the concept of a state-owned "turnpike" came during this period, because the building and maintenance of a heavily traveled roadway was an expensive undertaking. And to pay for the roads, the states decided that "user fees" were in order.

In the 1790's, the direct route across Pennsylvania via Forbes' Road saw many Easterners moving west to Pittsburgh or Wheeling to reach the Ohio River. As the start of the main route to the west over Forbes' Road, beginning at Philadelphia, the Lancaster Pike was the name given to the first road built using some road building techniques borrowed from England. The route was virtually the same as the old "Lancaster Road" dating back to the 1720's; but the Lancaster Pike was significant not for the route, but for the quality of construction. Completed in 1796, the new road was financed under a right-of-way franchise granted by the State of Pennsylvania to a private company.

For a distance of some 70 miles, a three foot deep trench was dug, then filled with several layers of progressively smaller sizes of crushed rock, each layer tamped and packed solid. The inventor of this road was a Scotsman named MacAdam, and the result was a "macadamized road". The Lancaster Pike was the first such road in America. The process is still being used. It has a final application of melted tar mixed with gravel to provide a paved surface. Water actually ran off the roadway, an unheard of event on any American road to that date. The Lancaster Pike was a huge success and became a profitable enterprise for the operators.
Wagon Roads

John Louden MacAdam     -

Simon Kenton, April 1755 - April 1836

The Frontiersmen: A NarrativeCurrently Reading:
The Frontiersmen: A Narrative
Allan W. Eckert
see related

Excerpts from "The Frontiersmen":

March 22, 1775 - Sunday, pgs 123 & 124 - Simon Kenton finds the canelands of Kentucky !

"The canelands! He was there at last. Great fields of dry cane, some rising twice his own height, swayed in the gentle afternoon breeze. A buffalo trail so well trodden that it was a better road than any Simon had seen and he followed it into the interior. It led directly to a tremendous bubbling spring of the clearest blue water imaginable. Its shoreline was heavily trampled and, tasting the water, the young frontiersman found it to be heavy with salt. In the pockmarks caused by the hooves of the buffalo, deer and elk which came here, evaporation had caused pure salt to encrust and rim the edges like frost on the ground. Nowhere before had he seen such a profusion of game.

The streams - rills, creeks and rivers - were alive with fish; great yellow catfish weighing a hundred pounds or more and with a white flaky flesh better than any eaten before, huge spotted garfish with alligator-like jaws, fine large bass, silver catfish and blue catfish and huge humpbacked white perch, mammoth turtles, some with ridged mossy backs and tails, and others with greenish shells as soft and smooth to the touch as good leather. The trees and fields were full of turkeys and squirrels, pigeons and quail and grouse. It was a land of dreams, a land that far surpassed even the extravagant tales Simon had heard about it. And because the game from miles around came here to lick salt at the springs which fed the large river, they named it the Licking River and the bubbling springs themselves were called the Blue Licks.

There was no sign whatever that anyone, Indian or white had ever lived here. But there was much sign that the Indians came frequently to hunt, as evidenced by the trails obviously made by the moccasined feet of men. These trails were quickly distinguished by marks and blazes on trees, and frequently on the flat outcroppings of rocks were scratched rude sketches of the moon and sun, men and animals. These roads, except where they followed streams, were invariably forest trails and moved with straight-line directness from point to point."

December 1, 1783 - Monday, pgs 326, 327, 328 & 329 - Simon returns home to Virginia and talks his parents, a few relatives and neighbors into moving to Kentucky

"Old Mark Kenton's eyes had glittered at the words and not even Simon's mother could remember when he had become so enthusiastic about anything. Nor was he the only one. Quite a few of the neighbors were interested in going along and to each of these Simon had offered at least a hundred acres of good land free. Such offers made the tiny farms here on the Virginia mountains dwindle to mere lots.

It had taken some weeks to prepare, for there were teams and wagons to be bought or hired to carry them and their goods over the mountains to the Monongahela; but at last, on September 16, they had started. There were forty of them in the party, including Simon, and the journey was not an easy one by any means. It was, in fact, much too hard on the elder Kenton. After some days of riding in the pitching wagons his health began to fail and so a litter was fashioned for his comfort. This made for much slower traveling and so Simon had spurred on ahead to the Boat Yard on the Monongahela near New Store to order their boat made.

It was to be a tremendous boat. A hundred and twenty feet long, it would provide quarters for all, room for all their gear, enclosures for horses and cattle, food stores and other equipment. The largest boats going down the river at  present were those being built at the Boat Yard and these were normally not larger than sixty feet long and cost $35.00. Eyebrows were raised at the size of the boat Simon ordered but, when Simon paid them the demanded $60.00 in advance, they set to work with special work crews at once.

Although the size and bulk of the boat was great, it could be easily navigated by four pole-wielding men. It was rectangular and flat-bottomed and drew a minimum of water. At one end were the stock pens, protected from Indian rifle fire by both sides as high as a horse. In these pens were herded the cattle and the nineteen horses being taken along. At the other end of the boat was the multi-roomed cabin, well sided with planks and roofed so as to give the appearance of a large frame house, inside of which was a fine fireplace for cooking. The voyage had been crowded and long, but pleasant for all. When they left Fauquier County they had taken a large number of cattle with them, some being slaughtered along the way to supply them meat.

As they had passed the Scioto River mouth and Three Islands, Simon noted but did not mention a considerable amount of Indian sign on the Ohio shore, but none on the Kentucky side. None, that is, until at length they had reached Limestone and there they found it in abundance. And so, instead of settling here as Simon had originally planned, they had continued to the Kentucky River and up this meandering waterway walled in by great cliffs until they reached the Danville area. Here, at last, they disembarked for the final time. It had taken many days to dismantle the boat to build cabins with the lumber and still more time to transport all their supplies to the Salt River land Simon had selected to give them".

 December 31, 1784 - Friday, pgs 329, 330, 331

"The year 1784 produced significant, if not momentous, changes in Kentucky County. Despite continued attacks by the Shawnees on river travelers and occasional forays south of the river to burn isolated cabins and capture horses, the settlers continued to come here in an ever-increasing flow and the interior of Kentucky gradually began losing its frontier aspect.

Lexington, Harrodsburg, Danville, Stanford, Frankfort and Georgetown could no longer be considered small towns. They were cities with populations running into the thousands, each with streets and churches, shops and stables and schools. The initial log cabins were being rapidly outnumbered and overshadowed by fine frame and brick buildings, some of these as much as three stories in height.

Dozens, even scores, of new settlements were springing up all over the countryside, most of them far in the interior but a few in areas still dangerous - along the south shore of the Ohio River. One of these was Simon Kenton's Station on Lawrence Creek, rebuilt into a sturdy two-story brick house high on the hill overlooking the two springs. A cluster of a dozen or more smaller cabins surrounded it, though the closest was over three hundred yards away; as soon as they had finished, Simon recruited a group of 60 men from the Salt River area to help build a good blockhouse at the mouth of Limestone Creek and then settle there on land he would sell them. Within months Limestone had become a respectable community of half a hundred or more structures.

The frontiersman continued to survey land for himself and others, ranging far to east and west and into the heavily wooded hill country to the south. Off and on he stayed for short periods with Daniel Boone or George Rogers Clark, but soon the old urge to move would be upon him again and he would drift away. Often during these movings he saw small parties of Indians and they him, but rarely did they approach one another closely enough to engage in combat. Most of the Shawnees recognized him from a distance and deliberately avoided him, convinced that having survived all their tortures and having eventually escaped, he must be under the protection of Moneto (God); they would bring disaster upon themselves if they attempted to harm him further.

The settlers had named the blockhouse at Limestone, Hinkston's Fort, and it was a welcome sight to water-weary travelers who had made the long journey from Pittsburgh. But it didn't last long. On June 22, a large party of warriors led by a daring brave stormed it and forced the whites to flee and then burned it to the ground. None of the whites was injured but a single Maykujay Shawnee was mortally wounded. Simon Kenton treated his wound and questioned him as he lingered on the edge of death for days. His name, he said, was Leaning Tree.

Some of the settlers were for executing him at once but Simon would not permit it, and for this Leaning Tree was grateful and answered the frontiersman's questions readily. When asked if it was Girty who had led the attack on this station, Leaning Tree said no. The party had been led by a Kispokotha named Chiksika and his younger brother, Tecumseh. It was the latter, Leaning Tree said, who would one day do great things for the Shawnees, for already his exploits were the pride of the entire nation".

May 14, 1789 - Thursday, pg 386

"If the depredations by Indians in Kentucky had seemed bad before, they grew infinitely worse now. Scarcely a day went by when surprise attacks did not occur somewhere among the settlements or isolated cabins. Nor were these attacks limited to the northern part of Kentucky along the river. Far too frequently they were occurring as deep inland as Harrodsburg and Danville and Stanford. Boats were attacked by the scores and now it seemed the Indians were more inclined to kill than take prisoners. It was a rare week indeed when the ruins of a dozen or more boats did not drift past Maysville, mute evidence of more tragedies upstream.

January 2, 1790 - Saturday pg 393

Although not all boat remains drifting dowm the Ohio River were the result of Indian attack - some being lost in storms or while navigating treacherous waters - the greater majority by far bore the earmarks of savage assault, and the number was steadily growing. The Shawnees had become masters at luring passing boats close to shore, sometimes even coaxing them to land before they discovered their peril. Increasingly the names of Blue Jacket and Walking Bear, Red Fox and Black Snake, Sits-in-Shadow, Tall Oak, Reelfoot and Chiungalla were becoming synonymous with danger and destruction. Yet, some of the settlers had to learn the hard way that carrying a rifle and a tomahawk did not make expert frontiersmen of them. They would become bolder and would journey across the Ohio, often never to return.

May 25, 1790 - Tuesday pgs 395, 396, 397

The Kentucky country was fast becoming a land where a lack of formal education was no great handicap in dealing with the Indians, but very much a fault where other matters were concerned. There was a growing need for learned men to manage the affairs of a burgeoning society and the illiterate frontersmen, of whom there were many, were being passed by when it came time for individuals to accept roles of responsibility. Such was the situation in the case of Simon Kenton, who already had lost a great deal of the land he had claimed only with his tomahawk. What's more, time after time he was being discounted for important positions.

A prime example occurred when Harry Innes, special agent for George Washington in Kentucky, wrote to the chief executive and explained how effective a spy and scout system of scouts could patrol the area regularly and how they could warn the settlers of impending attack and then follow the trail of invaders to recover stolen property and effect rescues of those taken captive. In short, he explained precisely what Kenton and his minutemen had been doing voluntarily for many seasons now, yet not once did he mention the big frontiersman or the fact that such a service was already well established. Henry Lee, as Mason County lieutenant, named 12 men, some of them Kenton's own volunteer minutemen, to patrol specific areas within the county, only six on duty and drawing pay at a time. The daily wage was five shillings Virginia currency. If Simon resented this, he didn't show it. His volunteers continued to run their regular patrols, not only in Mason County but throughout the entire area bordering the Ohio River from Louisville to the Big Sandy River. And whenever it became necessary to resort to direct action, Simon Kenton's boys, led by the able frontiersman himself, somehow always arrived first and performed best. The Kentucky District might now have a duly authorized Scout Service paid for by the government, but it was to the quiet and resourceful frontiersman named Simon Kenton that the settlers looked most for protection and assistance and salvation".