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Boone Society

The Life & Death of Edward Boone

By Rochelle Evans Cochran
5th great grand daughter of Neddie and Martha Boone

(copyright May 2004)

Contact for more

(Sources are indicated on the chronology following this narrative.)

Edward Boone was born in Pennsylvania November 30, 1740 and was killed by Indians in Kentucky. October 6, 1780, while he was on a hunting trip with his brother Daniel.

Edward and Daniel married sisters, Martha and Rebecca Bryan, whose father, Joseph Bryan, was one of the founders and defenders of Bryan Station near Lexington, Kentucky. Edward spent most of his life in what is today Wilkes County, North Carolina where he was a community leader and family man. He served on juries, was a road surveyor, a tax collector, a constable.  Although the Boones had for many years been Quakers, he was baptized in the Baptist Church and loved to sing. He was called Ned or Neddie by his family and friends. He was “A peace man.”  (Draper Manuscript 23C17-4)

“E. Boone migrated at the same time with his Brother and the Scholls – he was Clerk & Deacon of the Baptist Church in NC – every boddy Called him Unkle Neddy.  He was Never in any encounters that I heard of – he was a peace man; his widow Dyed at her oldest sons George Boone’s at the Mouth of Boon’s Creek Clark Co., KY.  Sarah Hunter was Living Not Long Since.”  EB Scholl to LCD 1861.

In a letter to Dr. Lymon Draper, Ned’s daughter, Sarah, said that her father did not accompany his famous brother Daniel on his many expeditions.  Ned stayed with his family and served their community – that is, until October of 1779 when he made that fateful decision to move his family to Kentucky with Daniel who was leading a large party of family members there for the promise of free land. Only one month before, Edward had taken out a land entry in Wilkes County.  Then, only one year later, Edward was killed by Indians in Kentucky.

Daniel and Ned were returning from a trip to the Blue Licks to make salt and to do a little hunting. They stopped along a stream in Bourbon County to rest and let their horses drink.  Edward sat down by the stream near an old Buckeye tree and was cracking nuts, while Daniel went off into the woods in pursuit of game.  Indians lurking nearby shot and killed Edward but Daniel managed to escape. He ran all the way on foot to Boone Station where they were all living at the time with about fifteen other families near present-day Athens.  The next morning Daniel and a party of men in the area went in search of Edward’s killers. They did not find the Indians, but found and buried Edward near that old Buckeye tree.  Ned’s daughter Sarah in a letter to Draper said her father had been horribly cut by the Indian’s knives. Today in that very spot stands an old Buckeye tree.  The creek was afterward named Boone Creek in honor of Edward’s death there.  Edward was survived by his widow, Martha Bryan Boone, and six children: Charity, Jane, Mary, George, Joseph and Sarah. Although still a young woman, Martha never remarried and remained in Kentucky until her death.  Her will was written July 23, 1793, and is recorded in Clark County.

Draper manuscripts indicate that “about 1827, the bones of Edward Boone became exposed to view where they were buried, in the road, by washing of water, near the bank of the creek, and close to the spring, and the Rev. Richard Thomas had them removed and re-interred a mile off in the Rockbridge Baptist Church yard. 

In the summer of 1997 Dell Boone Ariola, husband Ken, and grandson Bryan almost literally stumbled upon Edward’s gravestone that was erected in Bourbon County by the Paris, Kentucky, CAR/DAR in the 1920’s.  The stone was on its side, almost completely covered by mud. Dell contacted Rochelle E. Cochran and Russell Lain Ready whom she knew to be direct descendants of Edward Boone, and they formed the Edward Boone Memorial Committee of the Boone Society. 

The Edward Boone Memorial Committee met property owners, Ron and Phyllis Isaac (870 See Road), and discussed the committee ideas about restoring, protecting, and marking this historic grave. The Isaacs were not only supportive but also were very excited about the project and provided land for visitor parking; cut grass and underbrush.Bourbon County Judge Donnie Foley provided grading for parking.To protect the grave, Master Stonemason Stanley Matherly donated his time and specialized talent to build a stone precision-laid rock wall of the type that was built in the mid 1800’s (using no cement and local native flat rocks). Isaac installed an iron gate to protect the original marker. There was a lot of local interest in the project and many neighbors donated time and equipment to prepare the site. This historic site is visited by school students in the area and descendants and tourists from all across the country.

In May 1998 the Edward Boone Death Site was designated a Kentucky Landmark by the Kentucky Heritage Council.  Then in 2001 a Kentucky Historical Highway Marker was installed and dedicated at the corner of KY Highway 537 & See Road, about a mile east of Little Rock. The Boone Society, Inc., paid for the historical marker completely through donations to the project.  No state funds or tax dollars were used, although the Kentucky State Historical Society and the State Highway Cabinet approved and installed the marker (#2059).

Chronology – Edward Boone

Edward Boone

(Prepared & copyright July 2003 by Rochelle Evans Cochran, 5th great granddaughter of Edward & Martha Bryan Boone) 

Nov 19, 1740 Date of birth – Oley Township, Philadelphia County, PA.(today’s Berks County) (a)(b)

At age 10, Edward moved with his family to the Yadkin District of NC (Anson County at that time) (c)(d)

1753 Rowan formed from Anson

Abt. 1759 Married Martha Bryan, (probably Rowan County) (e)(f)

1759 Listed on Rowan County Tax rolls

October 4, 1760  daughter Charity born, Rowan County (f)

Sept 18, 1762 daughter, Jane, was born, Rowan County (f)(g)

Oct. 13, 1764 Rowan Co. Court paid Edward & Daniel for one wolf each & Joseph Bryan
(their father-in-law) for one cat. (h)

December 5, 1764  daughter Mary was born, Rowan County (f)

Jan. 2, 1765 his father, Squire Boone died; buried Joppa Cemetery, Mocksville Davie Co., NC (i)

April 28 1767  son George was born, Rowan County (f)

Abt. 1768  son Joseph was born, Rowan County (f)

1770 Surry was formed from Rowan County

1771 listed on Surry Co., Tax Rolls

Mar 6, 1771  daughter Sarah was born, Surry County (j) (p)

Oct 2, 1773 “there is a warrant dated October 2, 1773, for a land survey for a 600-acre tract for him ‘on both sides of Sugar Creek joining Evan Ellis.’ (k)

Jan. 22, 1774 Baptized in the Mulberry Field Baptist Church, a branch of Dutchman’s Creek (Eaton’s) Baptist Church.  (l)

1777 Death of his mother, Sarah Morgan Boone (Joppa Cemetery, Mocksville)

1777 Wilkes County was formed from Surry

June 1778  Listed on Wilkes County tax rolls

June 3, 1778  Wilkes Co., appointed Assessor, Captain Foster’s District. (m)

June 4, 1778, Wilkes Co., called as Juror for September 1778 court. (m)

June 1779, Wilkes Co., paid 2.00 for assessor in 1778. (m)

June 1779, Wilkes Co., Edward Boone was appointed to view way around Isbell Plantation to see if a convenient way could be found for a “publick” road to be built. (m)

Sept 9, 1779 Wilkes Co., NC Land entry for 200 acres on Beaver Creek (n)

Oct. 1779 Edward took his family and joined brother Daniel and others on their move to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap. (o)

December 1779 Arrived in Kentucky & settled family at Boone Station. (p)

May 1, 1780 Signed petition #12 for Division of Kentucky Co., VA, into 3 counties:
Fayette, Jefferson & Lincoln. (q)

Oct 6, 1780 Killed by Indians in Bourbon Co, KY, while with brother Daniel, near present-day community of Little Rock.  Edward
was buried beneath an old Buckeye Tree where he was shot. The address of the grave today is 870 See Road, ½ mile north of the junction of KY Hwy. 537 & See Road.  The nearby creek thereafter was named Boone Creek in honor of Edward’s death there. He left his widow, Martha Bryan Boone, and six children:  Charity, Jane, Mary, George, Joseph, Sarah. (r)(s)(t)(u)

Abt 1930 the Children of the American Revolution, a branch of the Jemima Johnson Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) in Paris, Kentucky, erected a tombstone at the death/burial site of Edward Boone in Bourbon County, KY. (v) (w)

20, 1998
the Bourbon County death/burial site was recognized a Kentucky Landmark by the Kentucky Heritage Council. (x)

April 23, 2001 Honoring the memory of Edward Boone, Kentucky Highway Historical Marker No. 2059 was dedicated by the Boone Society, Kentucky Historical Society, and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.  Marker is located at junction of KY Hwy. 537 & See Road.  The text of the marker reads:  #2059, Edward Boone (1740-80) Death site of Edward Boone, a brother of renowned Kentucky pioneer Daniel Boone. Edward was killed by Indians here Oct. 1780 at age 40 while hunting with Daniel. Boone Creek named for Edward. Daniel and Edward wed sisters, Rebecca and Martha Bryan, whose family built and settled Bryan Station near Lexington. Presented by The Boone Society, Inc.” (y)


The Edward Boone
burial site is located 1/2 mile from the marker up See Road on the right side, in front of the house at 870 See Road

Rochelle Evans Cochran and Dell Boone Ariola April 2001, Kentucky Historical Marker No. 2059, corner of KY Highway 537 & See Road, Bourbon County. Marker provided by The Boone Society, Inc.




Source References: 

(a)The Boone Family by Hazel Atterbury Spraker, p. 38 – her source: Exeter Meeting Records.

(b) The Boone Family,Spraker, p. 33, “Squire and his family settled on a farm in Oley Township, Philadelphia County (now Exeter Township, Berks County) not far from the homestead of his father, George Boone III, both being only a few miles from present city of Reading. This property Squire Boone bought from Ralph Asheton of the City of Philadelphia the 20th day of November 1730. Nine of their children were born on this farm, the first three having been born previous to the purchase of this property.”

(c) The Boone Family,Spraker, p. 36, “April 11, 1750, Squire and Sarah conveyed their farm of 158 acres in Exeter Township to William Maugridge, 14 days before they set out for North Carolina.”Spraker’s source: “Family record among some old papers
deposited with Berks County Historical Society by Mortimer I. Montgomery.”

(d) LAND ENTRY, October 4, 1750, Anson County, NC, a warrant “to admeasure and lay out unto Squire Boone a plantation containing 640 acres of land lying in Anson County upon Grant’s Creek, alias Lichon Creek (today known as Elisha Creek) by James Child and Francis Corbin, Esqrs. Agents and Commissioners of the Right Honourable the Earl Granville, &c.” (NC Archives S.108.270, records of Granville Proprietary Land Office Entries & Warrants 1748-1763. In Sec. of State Granville Deeds & Plats (Film SS.I.G.112 G, the related plat & issuance of the land is found. The land was surveyed Jan 18th, 1750/51. Squire Boon is named as “Chainer” indicating he was there walking the land in 1850/51. The land was not issued until 13 Apr 1753.

(e) The Boone Family, Spraker, p. 70

(f) Edward Boone (1740-1780) by Gerald E. Collins, p. 6, and also p. ii, Collins reports Charity’s, Jane’s, and Mary’s birthdates were found in a notebook compiled by Peter Scholl (b.1809-d.1872), filed as Mss. 400 in Oregon Historical Society Library, 1230 SW Park Avenue, Portland, OR 97205.

(g) Old Morgan Bible records published in “Be It Known & Remembered, Bible Records” Vol. One, 1960. Louisiana Genealogical and Historical Society, P. 152.

(h) Rowan County, NC, Minutes of Court of Coommon Pleas & Quarter Sessions, 176301774, Vol II, p. 552.

(i) Tombstone, Joppa Cemetery, Mocksville, NC

(j) Original old tombstone, Dry Valley Presbyterian Cemetery, Putnam, TN

(k) The pamphlet, “The Squire, Daniel & John Boone Families in Davie County, NC” compiled by James W. Wall, Flossie Martin and Howell Boone. (Today Sugar Creek is in Wilkes County, but it may have been Surry County at that time.) The pamphlet also states, “There is no record of Edward’s having owned land in Davie County.”

(l) Copy of church minutes received from Davie County Public Library, Mocksville, NC: “Dutchman Creek Baptist Church records of 1772-1778. Original records microfilmed for NC State Archives. Baptist Church records have been collected and are stored in the library of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem. According to Davie County librarian, “Mulberry Fields Road is in the lower edge of Yadkin County near the Davie County border, and Mulberry Fields community is in Wilkes County.”

(m) Wilkes County, NC, Court Minutes, 1778-1785.

(n) Wilkes County, NC, Land Entry Book N. p. 393

(o) Edward Boone (1740-1780) by Gerald E. Collins, p. 7

(p) Letter from Sarah Boone Hunter to Lyman Draper, October 6, 1855, Draper Mss 22C54-55.

(q) Petition submitted to General Assembly of Virginia May 1, 1780

(r) Letter to Lyman Draper from John Scholl, grandson of Edward and son of Peter Scholl and Mary Boone, daughter of Edward. Draper Mss. 22S269 & 270.

(s) Nathan Boone, son of Daniel, reported on Edward’s death to Draper, Mss. 31C100-101.

(t) Daniel Bryan, son of William Bryan and Mary Boone, Draper Mss.31C101-102.

(u) Joshua Pennington, son of Edward’ sister Hannah, 1854 Draper Mss. 23C43

(v) The Kentuckian Citizen, Paris, KY, December 12, 1958, pp 12-13, “Circumstances Surrounding Death and Burial of Edward Boone, Brother of Famed Frontier Explorer.”

(w) Records of Jemima Johnson Chapter of DAR, reported in The Fayette County (Kentucky) Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 4, Winter 1997.

(x) Letter and certificate from Davie I. Morgan, Director of Kentucky Heritage Council, May 20, 1998. Certificate signed by Honorable Paul E. Patton, Governor the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

(y) April 23, 2001, Program from dedication of Kentucky Highway Historical Marker No. 2059