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Boone Society


by: David C. McMurtry

On August 15, 2007, the Lexington and Bryan Station Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution with the Kentucky Humanities Council co-sponsored the 225th Anniversary of the Siege of Bryan Station at the site of a Memorial Wall built in 1896 by the Lexington Chapter to honor the brave “Women of the Spring” as depicted in re-enactment pictures found elsewhere in the newsletter.

It is a common misconception that Mary Boone Bryan (1736-1819) was one of those women in the old Station to venture out to “fetch” water from a nearby spring for use inside the Station after the alert was given that Indians were about to stage a siege. Though Mary Boone Bryan is honored with a stone tablet in the Memorial Wall bearing her name, it is a logistical impossibility that she was living in the Station at the time of the Siege on August 15, 1782. It is not doubted that she was many times among the women who ventured outside the Station to obtain water during the year 1779-1780, but NOT in August 1782.

In the six months period – December 1779 to May 1780 – Mary Boone Bryan lost and buried two young sons to disease and an older son and husband who were mortally wounded by Indians. After the Bryans learned that the Station was not built on any of their land claims and with the death of their leader, “Captain Billy Bryan” in May 1780, Mary Boone Bryan and her immediate and extended Bryan family were disillusioned and saddened to the extent they began to consider a return to the Bryan Settlement in Rowan County, North Carolina, to their former homes. In the fall of 1780, Mary Boone Bryan, with the assistance of her two surviving sons, Samuel and Daniel Bryan, and her two brothers-in-law, Joseph Bryan and Morgan Bryan Jr., and their respective families, all returned to the Bryan Settlement. Mary carried William’s last will and testament back to Rowan County where it was probated and recorded in Rowan County Court records.

Mary Boone Bryan and her immediate family returned to Kentucky in the fall of 1786 but not to Bryan Station to live. She was not one of the “Women of the Spring” on August 15, 1782, as portrayed in the re- enactment pictures.”