Paint Creek Expedition. - About the August 1, 1778, Col. Boone,
tired of the suspense and determined to ascertain their movements,
made an incursion into the Indian country to surprise a small
town on a branch of the Scioto River called Paint Creek. His
party of 19 men was composed of Simon Kenton (then called Simon
Butler), John Holder, John Kennedy, Col. John Logan, John Callaway,
Pemberton Rollins, Edmund Fear, Alex Montgomery, John Stapleton,
Jesse Hodges, Alex Barnett, Stephen Hancock, and seven others.
Within four miles of the town, they came suddenly upon a party
of 30 Indians, who had just started to join the large force already
on the march to Boonesborough. The whites made a vigorous attack,
killing one and wounding two Indians, and capturing their baggage
and three horses, without loss to themselves. On the return of
two scouts, with intelligence that the town was evacuated, they
made a rapid march homeward, on August 6th, passing the main
body of Indians undiscovered; and on the 7th reaching Boonesborough.
On the 8th, the Indian army, 444 strong, with British and French
colors flying, appeared before the fort, commanded by Capt. Duquesne
(father of Tecumseh and the prophet).
Antiquities. - Several ancient burying grounds have been discovered
in Pulaski County, from some of which were taken human bones
of giant size.
Coal. - There are in Pulaski County at least
five beds of coal, two of them workable, in the sub-conglomerate
member of the millstone grit formation, 190 to 233 feet thick.
One of these beds is three and one-fourth feet, including a clay
parting and a thin band of sulphuret of iron, together about
three inches thick. In another place, the main coal vein is four
and one-half feet thick, with the clay parting of one and one-fourth
Milling Power of the finest kind is furnished
by Buck and Pitman's Creeks, and flour of superior quality is
made at mills established on them about 1855.
Newspapers published in Pulaski County: Somerset
Gazette, by John G. Bruce, 1851-60; Somerset Democrat, Barry
and Bachelor, 1852-60, but for some years published by R. S.
Barron and Company; and Somerset Morning Herald, by R. S. Barron,
Among the Distinguished Citizens born in Pulaski
County were: Sherrod Williams, for six years, 1835-41, a popular
member of Congress; Andrew J. James, Representative in the Legislature,
1855-57, and now, 1872-75, Secretary of State of Kentucky; and
Dr. Galen E. Bishop, a distinguished physician now resident in
St. Joseph, Missouri.
Among the First Settlers were the Prathers,
the Jaspers, _____ Pitman, John Newby, Thos. Hansford, Wm. Owens,
Alex McKenzie, Jesse Richardson, Chas. Neal, and John James.
Saltpeter Caves. - Among the Rockcastle hills are numerous saltpeter
caves, at which large quantities of saltpeter were manufactured
during the War of 1812. One of these, called the "Big Cave,"
or the "Great Saltpeter Cave," four miles north of
Pine Hill Station on the railroad, and eight miles northeast
of Mount Vernon, extends entirely through a spur of the mountain
or "Big Hill" over half a mile. It was discovered by
John Barker, who, in company with his wife, commenced exploring
it with a torchlight. At the distance of about 300 yards, their
light went out, and they were forced to crawl about, in perfect
darkness, for 40 hours, before they found the place at which
they entered. The arch is from 10 to 20 feet high. Large rooms
branch off several hundred yards long, and the end of one has
not been reached. Some of the rooms cover an area of several
acres. The saltpeter manufactured here, before and during the
War of 1812, gave employment to 60 or 70 laborers. There is a
fine, bold running stream of water in the cave, and works were
constructed inside, for the manufacture of saltpeter by torchlight.
Carts and wagons passed through, from one side of the mountain
to the other, without difficulty. The way is so level and straight
that oxen were soon taught to pass through in perfect darkness,
without a driver. Visitors through it find a succession of grand
and startling views. Dr. Graham calls it a twin to the Mammoth
Cave in Edmondson County, only less extensive. He writes that
in some of these caves he has traveled for three miles, without
finding an end. The formations being limestone, there is but
little crumbling or giving way.
Mounds. - One mile north of Greenville, near the old Caney Station,
which was the first settlement in the county, are several mounds.
From the largest, about 75 feet in diameter, have been dug portions
of human skeletons. Trees of considerable size are now growing
on the mounds.
The Original Sale-bill, dated October 31, 1785, from Edward Tyler
to Jacob Yoder, of a family of Negroes, Judah and her son, Harry,
and an infant daughter (unnamed), is preserved. This family was
brought to Kentucky from North Carolina by Squire Boone. The
boy, Harry, was still living in September 1871, 89 years old,
in the family of Capt. Yoder's daughter, Mrs. David R. Poignand,
near Taylorsville. Harry knew well, and often speaks of John
Fitch, one of the pioneers of steamboat navigation; whom he describes
as short and stout, speaking with a foreign accent, and always
conversing with said Capt. Yoder in Dutch or German.
Trustees to lay off a town at Shelby Courthouse were appointed
by an act of the General Assembly of Kentucky in 1792. On January
15, 1793, the trustees met and laid off 51 acres of land, "around
and adjacent to the place whereon the public buildings are to
be erected into suitable lots and streets." The "gentlemen
trustees," as they styled themselves in the record, among
their first acts, passed the following resolution, indicating,
very clearly, the plainness and simplicity of the style of building
of our ancestors: "Ordered, that every purchaser or purchasers
of lots in the town of Shelbyville, shall build thereon a hued-log
house, with a brick or stone chimney, not less than one story
and a half high, otherwise the lot or lots shall be forfeited
for the use of the town." These trustees were David Standiford,
Joseph Winlock, and Abraham Owen.
The First White Visitors to Trigg County, except occasional canoe
trips up or down the Cumberland and Tennessee, of French and
American adventurers or explorers, were Dr. Thomas Walker and
Daniel Smith; the Virginia commissioners appointed to establish
the boundary line between the western portions of Virginia and
North Carolina (now Kentucky and Tennessee), and their surveying
party. On March 23, 1780, having run the line entirely across
Trigg County westward, and across the Tennessee River, they closed
their survey, according to directions from Richmond. They made
a tolerably good map of the Cumberland River, the first ever
made. One of them went down the river with the baggage, while
the other proceeded through the woods with the survey. Their
report speaks of the Cumberland as "a fine river, navigable
at least 700 miles from its mouth."