History of  Gallatin County, Part 9


Another Interesting Chapter of Early County History by Woman's Club

The cabins which afforded quarters for the emigrants being completed, the company united to lay off lots of 10 acres each, thus the foundations of the first settlement in what is now known as Gallatin county was made.  Here in the depth of the wilderness, far removed from human habitation, they took up the duties of life.  At night the hungry wolves howled about the cabin doors, while farther away could be heard the demonic laughter of the owl as he perched upon a grape vine swinging from the arms of a great oak, varied and many were the night noises that lulled them to sleep to dream of the future that awaited them and their posterities.

In this settlement the first corn was planted and grown in the year 1800, also most garden vegetables.  In the fall more emigrants arrived bringing with them all their belongings, among them the first team of oxen to arrive in the settlement.  They were from North Carolina, Buncombe County and had come by way of the Boone trail or wilderness road.  The time to make the journey in this way the writer did not learn but many weeks elapsed before the journey was complete.  They brought with them peach stones and apple seeds which were planted.  The summer passed peacefully away and autumn came in all her glory shedding a mellow richness on the surrounding forest and dipping in warm light the pillowed clouds that fleeced the clouds.  They gathered the corn, drove the stock to the canebrakes to winter, and devoted their time to hunting game both for their meat and furs, moccasins were made from the skins of the deer, while the fur of the bear and otter were used for clothing.

Through the woods the golden robin moved on his way south, the purple finch chirped merrily as he fed on wild cherry and red cedar, now and then came the plaintive whistle of a winter bird as it pecks by the witch hazel, all of these signs of winter, they had no calendar to state that the year was fast drawing to a close.

They grew an abundance of corn and with the green cane-brakes near by where they could pasture the horses and cows. The streams swarming with fish and the woods alive with game, they lived quite well the first winter.  Along the brink of Eagle Creek, Ten Mile, and Sugar Creek, the early pioneers grazed their domestic animals.

The lowland were covered with this evergreen plant, rye grass, and native clover.  The cane is a reed which grows to the height of about ten or twelve feet is about the size of a good quill.  Sometimes it attains the diameter of one inch or more.  It shoots up in one summer producing no leaves until the following year.  This evergreen plant is seldom seen any more in a natural state.

In a remote corner of this historic cemetery in Frankfort on a crag overlooking the beautiful valley of the Kentucky river, gigantic elms wave their broad curtains in the evening zephyr, while beneath their leafy tents the cane-brakes and the remembrance of Daniel and Rebekah Boone.   Thus the first year passed, and in the spring of 1801 pneumonia or lung fever swept away four of the party: a mother, two children and a slave. They were buried in puncheon coffins made by hand and a slab of rough limestone marked their sepulcher on the ragged hillside over looking the valley of Big Eagle as it was at that day known.


Undated.  Thought to be from the Gallatin County News, c. 1928.