Words To Remember

"The truth is this--genealogy is our living, and we are busy every minute, [and we] could use more hours." --Jane Wethy Foley, 1942

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Dutch Colony of Kentucky: Part 2

"...While this section of Kentucky was all forest and inhabited by Indians, the "Low Dutch" {company} came and located on land now in and around where Pleasureville {KY} is now situated.  The land was then owned by Squire Boone, brother of Daniel Boone, the famous pioneer...."

Squire Boone Jr. (5 Oct. 1744 – August 1815) was an American pioneer and brother of Daniel Boone. In 1780, he founded the first settlement in Shelby County, KY. The tenth of eleven children, Squire Boone was born to Nathan "Squire" Boone Sr. and his wife Sarah Boone in Berks Co., PA, at the Daniel Boone Homestead. Although overshadowed by his famous brother, Squire Boone was well-known in his day.

In 1749 his family moved to Rowan County, NC, and lived in the Yadkin Valley. In 1759, at age 15, he was sent back to Pennsylvania to apprentice as a gunsmith under Samuel Boone, a cousin. After five years of apprenticeship, he returned to North Carolina. On 8 Aug. 1765, he married Jane Van Cleave, whose father was of Dutch heritage. Together the couple had five children.

From 1767 to 1771, he went on several long hunts with his brother Daniel into the Kentucky wilderness. In 1775, Richard Henderson, a prominent judge from North Carolina, hired Daniel Boone to blaze what became known as the Wilderness Road, which went through the Cumberland Gap and into central Kentucky. Squire Boone accompanied his brother, along with 30 others, eventually establishing Boonesborough, KY.

In Spring 1779, after the siege of Boonesborough, where Squire had a rifle ball cut out of his shoulder, he moved his family to the settlement at the Falls of the Ohio that would become Louisville. In 1780, he brought 13 families to "Painted Stone," a tract of land in Shelby County belonging to his father-in-law and established a Station (fort) there, the first permanent settlement in the county. He was wounded again in April 1781 when Indians attacked Painted Stone Station and complications of the gunshot injury would result in his right arm being an inch and a half shorter than his left.

On 13 Sept. 1781, the settlers abandoned the undermanned station and headed for nearby Linn's Station. However, Squire Boone was still too weak from his injury to make the trip, staying behind at Painted Stone Station with his family and one other. The fleeing settlers from the station were attacked in what came to be known as the Long Run Massacre.
Photo courtesy of Painted Stone Settlers
Photo courtesy of Painted Stone Settlers

  For more information on the story of the evacuation and
  the resulting massacre, visit:

 In 1782, he began acting as a land locater for wealthy investors who did not want to personally risk living on the frontier. However, due to financial losses in this line of work, he eventually lost his own property, including the station, in 1786 and was forced to settle elsewhere in the county. After attempting to establish a settlement near present-day Vicksburg, MS, and staying with Daniel Boone in Missouri for several years, he eventually settled with his family in Harrison County, IN, south of Corydon. There, in 1806,  he settled with his four sons and the sons of his cousin Samuel Boone. He died, age 71, in 1815 and was buried in a cave on his property.

"...The Dutch Company purchased about 10,000 acres in 1774 and it is remarkable that some descendents of this colony still reside on a portion of the original purchase.  The Company had a trustee whose duty it was to look after all the estate, as thirty {30} or more settlers with their families resided in a fort built of logs and stones."

The Company has its origins in pioneers who lived in communities known as Low Dutch Colonies in other parts of the country prior to the move to Kentucky. These colonies included Conewago, York Co. (Adams Co. after 1800), PA (near Gettysburg); Lancaster Co., PA; Somerset Co., NJ; Bergen Co., NJ; possibly New Brunswick, Middlesex Co., NJ; and beginning 1769 near present-day Shepherdstown, Jefferson Co., WVA.

The purpose of the migration was preservation of the Dutch language, religion and culture; to obtain more farmland to support their large multi-generational families; and to escape the increasing influence and domination of the "English" in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. They had a formal charter and articles of operation (by-laws). Periodic meetings were held, minutes were recorded and account books were kept, both of which survive. They had been in private hands but have since been donated to the Filson Historical Society at Louisville, KY, formerly called the "Filson Club." 

Papers show that thirty-four {34} lots of land were purchased by the Company, varying in size from 200 acres and upward, which was paid for in pounds, shillings and pence.  Farm plots were assigned to individuals and their families, but actual legal title was held by the Company, which had combined elements of a modern business corporation, cooperative, religious congregation and commune.

 After the tract division, the group had to retreat to the safety of Mercer County and actual first settlement of the tract did not begin until about 1794/5.

"The hostility of the Indians--with the encouragement of the British and French--forced many of the inhabitants to remove to Mercer and Clark Counties for a short while, but they returned in 1786.  The BANTA's, BERGINs and SHUCKs still own the land of their ancestors, together with many old relics and papers which they value very highly...."
Furthermore, one of the primary objectives of the Company--which was to establish a Dutch Reformed Church and obtain a Dutch Reformed minister--failed and members defected to other churches, primarily the Presbyterians who were in harmony with their Calvinistic beliefs but also the Baptists and Methodists.

Beginning in 1817, families started moving away, first to Switzerland County, IN and then Johnson County, IN,  where farmland was $1.25 an acre. This period was referred to as "the exodus." The Company was discontinued and title to the land formally transferred to individual owners during the period from about 1831 to 1839.


Banta A Frisian Family; T.M. Banta; 1893; 427p.

The Low Dutch Company/ aka Low Dutch Colony at http://home.comcast.net/~neal4/shuck.htm

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