Simon Kenton

Simon Kenton

Author: Thomas D. Clark

No part of American history is more exciting than the 1770s, when Europeans first settled west of the Appalachian mountains in the land now known as Kentucky. Simon Kenton’s story is synonymous with the story of that era. His life of excitement, adventure, and danger on the frontier made him one of the leading heroes of that time and, eventually a
Kentucky legend.

While still in his teens, Kenton explored Kentucky and became an expert woodsman. His ability to track the Indians’ movements without being detected often saved the settlers from annihilation. His daring rescue of Daniel Boone during an Indian attack on Boonesborough and his assistance to George Rogers Clark are prime examples of his skill and heroism.

No frontiersman showed more bravery than Kenton. When he was captured following a raid on the Indians’ horses at Chillicothe, he exhibited almost superhuman endurance as he ran the dreaded gantlet, and withstood numerous other tortures. He eventually escaped and returned to Kentucky.

In the mid-1780s, Kenton brought his family from Virginia and settled them in present-day Mason County. By then, the primary Indian threat was over. However, Kenton’s role as Indian scout during the previous decade had been so important that his remains forever a part of Kentucky’s history.