Families were Attracted to the Heavy Timbers of Franklin County, Kentucky

Jeannette Holland Austin
2 min readJun 14, 2024
Elkhorn Creek in Kentucky

Before its settlement, all of Franklin County, Kentucky, was heavily timbered with oak, poplar, sugar trees, walnuts, &c. In the summer of 1773, Robert McAfee surveyed and entered 600 acres of land at the bottom where Frankfort stands.

Also, surveys were made in and around Frankfort for William Haydon in 1783, George Mason and Edmond Lyne in 1784, Humphrey Marshall in 1785, and George Campbell in 1789.

Leestown was established by the Virginia Legislature in 1776, and another settlement was based on the South Fork of Elkhorn Creek in 1786.

In 1791, Colonel Harry Innis, Lewis Mastin, Jesse and Hosea Cook, William Dunn, and William Bledsoe, with their families, formed a settlement on Main Elkhorn Creek, three miles below the Forks and four and one-half miles east of Frankfort. These settlements in Franklin County were fortunately spared from Indian hostilities until April 28, 1792, when about one hundred Indians fired rifles, killing Jesse Cook, Lewis Mastin, and Hosea Cook.

Two sons of William Dunn were killed before they could reach the shelter of their cabins, and two negroes were led away as captives. A desperate resistance was made by those remaining, in which the women showed as much courage as men, and after a few hours, the Indians…

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