In 1930 the Kentucky Daughters of the American Revolution laid off an acre of land next to the pioneer burying ground at Fort Harrod, Harrodsburg, Mercer County, Kentucky. This plot of land was to be used to inter Revolutionary War soldiers whose graves were in neglected family graveyards. Mark McGohon, his wife and daughter, were the first to be buried there, on June 15, 1930. The next day, Memorial Acre was dedicated by the D. A. R.
Revolutionary Soldier, Kentucky Pioneer, Christian Patriot
Born in Ireland, 1750. Died in Kentucky, 1848.
First to be buried in Memorial Acre
When a lad he migrated to America and fought in the battles of Paoli, Bound Brook, Brandywine and Germantown. Served under General George Rogers Clark and General Josiah Harmer, also in other campaigns against the Indians.
A defender of Fort Harrod in the westward sweep of civilization.
Friday, June 13, 1930
Dust of Fort Harrod Hero To Be Laid In Memorial Park
Mark McGohon’s Exploits During Revolution Are Recalled; Descendants to See Military Rites.
Harrodsburg, Ky., June 12. – The dust that once was Mark McGohon, immigrant from Scotland, and Revolutionary War soldier, who dwelt in Old Fort Harrod, has been removed from what once was the garden of his son-in-law, James McKittrick, at Mackville, on the line of Mercer and Washington Counties, to be buried again with military honors in the Pioneer Memorial State Park here.
The remains of Mark McGohon and his daughter, Nancy, who was born in the old fort, will be interred by the McGohon Clan with services at 3 o’clock Sunday afternoon in the “Revolutionary Memorial Acre,” provided by the Kentucky Society, Daughters of the American Revolution, in the Pioneer Memorial State Park.
Dr. W. H. Wisehard, Indianapolis, great-grandson of Mark McGohon and chieftain of the McGohon clan, will preside at the services. Mark McGohon will be the first Revolutionary War soldier to be buried in the Memorial Acre, set apart for that purpose, which will be dedicated Monday afternoon. Part of the ceremonies will be the firing of military salutes by the Frankfort and Springfield Nation Guard companies under direction of Adjt. Gen. W. H. Jones.
Mark McGohon slept for eighty-two years in his son-in-law’s garden. As a boy he came to America with his mother and two sisters to join his father, the elder Mark McGohon, at New York. During the voyage the mother and one of the girls died and were buried at sea, and the ship docked at Philadelphia instead of at New York.
The boy, Mark, and his little sister, penniless waifs in a strange land, were befriended by a man who saw the little girl crying as she and her brother wandered the streets of Philadelphia.
During the Revolutionary War, Mark, still a small boy, followed some troops as they marched to camp and joined them. One day he heard his name called at muster and the man who answered it proved to be his father. While encamped in Western Pennsylvania, Mark was assigned to carry milk to the camp from a farm house. The daughter of the family served him the milk from a farm house.
When the troops moved on Mark promised to return to the girl, Betsy Dunn, when the war ended. Carrying his honorable discharge, which still is in the possession of his descendants, Mark went back after the war and married Betsy Dunn. They came to Kentucky and took shelter in Old Fort Harrod.
While living in the fort, there was a period when the settlers had no bread. Grain crops had been destroyed by the Indians, and the occupants of the fort used the cooked white meat of wild turkeys and dried buffalo meat for bread.
Hearing of these conditions at the fort, Betsy’s father sent a bag of flour by some settlers who came down the Ohio River to the Falls, now Louisville, and Mark rode horseback to that site, where he obtained the flour and carried it back to the fort. He told his wife to cook enough of the flour so that every person in the fort could have a piece of bread. The skillet oven in which the bread was baked is among the relics now in the McGohon cabin in the fort Harrod replica.
When the horses were grazing outside the fort, Indians stole all but three. One was a white mare, ‘Nell,” which Betsy’s father had given to her as a wedding gift. Mark and other settlers trailed the Indians and saw them in camp at what is now New Albany, Indiana. Mark climbed high into a tree, calling to the mare, which swam the river, followed by the other horses.
Mark McGohon built his log cabin two miles northeast of Harrodsburg. Here he lived to extreme old age, finally going with his spinster daughter to Mackville, where a married daughter lived. There he died at the home of his son-in-law and was buried in a two-ply walnut coffin under six feet of earth.
Mark McGohon’s great-grandson, Joe Thompson, Mackville, supervised the removal of the remains to the Memorial Acre.
Born in Pennsylvania, emigrated to Kentucky with her husband following the Revolutionary War. Pioneer woman who heroically met the toil and danger of the frontier and nobly did her part in maintaining domestic life within Fort Harrod, when surrounded by peril and attack from the Indians.
Her efforts aided in establishing the Presbyterian Church at Harrodsburg.
Monday, June 16, 1930
Body of Revolutionary Hero Is Reburied In D.A.R. Cemetery
Mark McGohon Is First Soldier to Be Interred In Harrodsburg Memorial Acre
Harrodsburg, Ky., June 15 – The remains of Mark McGohon, Revolutionary soldier, were interred with a simple ceremony this afternoon in the Revolutionary Memorial Acre in the Pioneer Memorial State Park. He is the first of the soldiers in that 1776 struggle to be taken from a neglected grave and placed in the keeping of the Kentucky Daughters of the American Revolution, who will make their ‘acre’ one of the beauty spots of the Pioneer memorial State Park. The flag-draped casket was carried by Legionnaires.
Beside the grave of Mark and his daughter, Nancy, born in old Fort Harrod, gathered members of the McGohon clan from Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and several other states. The Rev. J. W. Carpenter of the Presbyterian Church offered prayer. ‘Faith of Our Fathers’ was sung by Garnett Dean, McKee Reed, B. G. Alderson and William Reed. Dr. W. H. Wishard, Indianapolis,
Chieftan of the McGohon clan, reviewed the short and simple annals of Mark McGohon, heroic chiefly in that he fought honorably in every battle of life. He paid tribute to the Kentucky Daughters of the American Revolution for preparing a beautiful spot where those warriors for American Independence may be moved from oblivion. ‘America the Beautiful,” by the quartet, and the benediction closed the service.
A military salute will be given Mark McGohon Monday afternoon when the Kentucky Daughters of the American Revolution dedicate their Memorial Acre. Troops A and I, State militia, under Adjt. Gen. W. H. Jones, will fire the volley. This salute will be part of the ceremonies of the celebration of the 156th anniversary of the founding of Harrodsburg.
Mark McGohon, when a mere lad joined a Pennsylvania company during the Revolution. After his honorable discharge, which is still in the possession of his descendants, he came with his bride, Betsy Dunn, to Fort Harrod. He died October 8, 1848, and since that date has slept in a grave in the Homestead garden of his son-in-law, James McKittrick, at Mackville, on the Mercer-Washington County line.
The Revolutionary Memorial Acre adjoins the Pioneer Cemetery in the Pioneer Memorial State Park, the oldest cemetery in Kentucky where sleep the brave dwellers in old Fort Harrod, who founded the first permanent settlement in Kentucky. The Kentucky State Park Commission has placed this section of the Pioneer Park in the keeping of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Kentucky. Any Revolutionary soldier may be reburied there by his family.
Other Revolutionary soldiers whose graves have been located in Mercer County by the Jane McAfee Chapter D. A. R. of Harrodsburg are Maj. Thomas Allin Captain John Armstrong, Captain William Armstrong, John Bohon, Captain Abram Chapline, Henry Comingore, Sr., John Comingore, Thomas Graham, Dominie Rev. Thomas Kyle, John Lillard, Col. William Logan, Lieutenant James McAfee, George McAfee, Col. Thomas P. Moore, Gen. James Ray, Capt. Lewis Rose, Abraham Sharp, John Sharp, John Smock, Sr., Captain James Stagg, Cornelius Vannice, Gen. John P. Van Nuyce, Cornelius A. Vanarsdale, Cornelius O. VanArsdale, Edward Houchins, Tobias Wilhoite. There are a number of other Revolutionary soldiers known to be buried in Mercer County, but their graves have not been located.
Hundreds of persons from throughout Kentucky and from other states are expected to visit Harrodsburg Monday for the annual Pioneer Memorial Day exercises at the park.
The programme will begin at 2:30 o’clock in the afternoon with the dedication and the principal address will be made by Mrs. Lowell Fletcher Hobart, president of the General National Division of the D. A. R., of Washington. Mrs. James Darnell, director of State Parks, also will speak.
Born in Fort Harrod, buried in Memorial acre, 1930.