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Boone Society
Squire Boone’s Station, Shelby County, KY

Squire Boone’s Station, Shelby County, KY

A Profile: Squire Boone (Bro. of Daniel)
(Reprinted from Compass, July 2004, Vol. 8, Issue 3)
(Editor’s notes: is from “Indiana History Bulletin” Dec. 1973, Volume 50, No. 12, p. 144 published by Indiana Historical Bureau. The profile is from, History of The Ohio Falls Cities and Their Counties, Vol. 1, published at Cleveland O., by L. A. Williams & Co., 1882. Notes in bold type in parenthesis are comments added by Boone Historian and Society Director Kenneth Kamper. Kamper believes the story “is mostly accurate, with a few embellishments and very few oversights and errors.)

“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 Rowan 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 Daniel’s 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 Daniel himself.

“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 “Boone’s Station,” in what is now Shelby County. [To separate it from Daniel’s “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 traveler’s rest,” indicating truly his hospitable nature. Again, he carved his religious sentiments on others of these rocks:

“My God my life hath much befriended,

I’ll 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 Squire’s wife and Enoch’s mother were buried in the cemetery on Enoch’s farm.”)