Today I had a question from a reader about her ancestor who settled on Hog Run. Does anyone have an idea where this stream may be located? It is near the small town of Fredericktown, in the southwestern portion of Washington County, not far from the Nelson County border. When I met my husband-to-be in 1980, he lived very close to Hog Run, renting a house in the area. His house was located nearer to Beech Fork and Cartwright’s Creek, both caused flooding in the spring. On the above map you can see St. Rose Church highlighted in yellow at the bottom of the map. This is where my mother went to church when she was young, and many of my ancestors are buried here. She rode the school bus to Fredericktown during her high school years, graduating in 1950.
In one of his articles from The Springfield Sun, October 18, 1934, Orval W. Baylor talks about this small stream of water and the early inhabitants who settled there.
Streams and Their Names
Many of the streams of Washington County took their names from the men who discovered them or settled on them in the early days. But there is one stream, in the Northwest [Southwest] part of the county, that didn’t get its name from a man, or if it did, God pity the man! For that stream was called and known as Hog Run.
How many of my readers have ever heard of Hog Run? How many could locate it without asking for bearings? Well, Hog Run was well known a hundred and twenty years ago , and anyone in Harrodsburg, not to mention the folk in Washington County, could have directed an interested party to the proper locality.
On Old Hunters Trace
Hog Run was well known in early years because it was on the trace that the settlers traveled to and from Harrodsburg to the Salt Works near the present site of Shepherdsville. One old-timer deposed in 1820, that he had been acquainted with Hog Run “ever since the year 1786.” He observed that the trace along the run appeared to have existed before the year 1781, “as the roots were left bare and the banks was cut in eight or nine inches deep in places.”
Let us first locate Hog Run and then tell some interesting facts about the stream, the country about it, and the folk who settled there before the year 1800.
Tributary of Beech Fork
Hog Run is a tributary of the Beech Fork. Its waters enter the Beech about one mile above the lower mouth of Cartwright’s Creek. Notice that I say, lower mouth, for that statement is significant, as I shall later show. From about three-quarters of a mile above its mouth to its head, Hog Run is a remarkably straight stream. This fact was commented upon by many who knew it in the early days. The first white owner of the field in which the run had its head was Zachariah Hobbs, who settled there in 1790. The stream had its beginning at a spring.
Run Named in 1780
William Wright deposed in 1819 that he carried the surveyor’s chain “in 1782 or 1783,” when a 200-acre tract on Hog Run was surveyed for John Sanders. Wright also said that he “understood a certain Mr. Davis and Richard Parker named Hog Run in 1780.” Wright mentioned Dow Run, and said that it was the first stream “that empties in on the northeast side of Cartwrights Creek above its mouth. Distance about two miles.” He pronounced Dow Run a smaller stream than Hog Run.
What Makes A Branch?
Certain persons were trying to establish the fact that there were several noteworthy branches of Hog Run in the early days and disputing the statement of some that the run had its head in the field of Zachariah Hobbs. Asked if there were not several “dreans” [a variant of the word drain] emptying into Hog Run, James Weathers in 1820 said that there were and that they furnished water “in wet weather, but they soon go dry.” Hog Run itself, he continued, “goes dry almost every year, some time of the year.” Asked if he considered any of the “dreans” large enough to be called a branch, Weathers said he “didn’t know how big a drean it takes to make a branch.” Said he had known Hog Run from the mouth to its source since 1791.
The above is the appraisement of the estate of Jesse Hobbs, deceased, appraised at his late residence in Washington County, Kentucky, on the 9th day of October 1830. Personally appeared George Grundy, John Walker and Godfrey Gregory and made oath that they have made a just and true appraisement of the estate of Jesse Hobbs, deceased, given under my hand this 28th day of August 1832. M. Hardin, J.P. W.C.
Spring Called the Head
Zachariah Hobbs and his son, Jesse Hobbs, were early settlers in the Hog Run district. The run had its head in a field where Jesse Hobbs lived, so “the oldest settlers in the Country” had always told Zachariah Hobbs. Asked about some of the early settlers in the district, the elder Hobbs said that “Godfrey Gregory settled where he then lived (1820) in 1800.” Said he first saw Thomas Moody in Washington County in 1802, but didn’t “recollect that he was a resident at that time.” Knew the Dorsey’s and said that he first saw Ann Dorsey in 1806, and said that she was living on the Beech Fork at that time.
Sunday, March 8, 2015
First Settler on Run
William Kendrick, according to his own statement, was the first settler on Hog Run. He said that he was there before 1793. He spoke of the trace that runs up and down the Run,” and said that he “used it as a road when going into Nelson County.” The trace, Kendrick said, was “an old one and run on to McCullom’s lick and then on to Walton’s Lick and from thence to Harrodsburg.”
Cosby’s There Early
The Cosby’s settled on Hog Run in 1794. John Cosby lived there, and Dabney C. Cosby, a lawyer of considerable talent and reputation, was there before he moved to Springfield and opened a law office. Dabney C. Cosby represented Washington County in the General Assembly in 1813-15, 1821-22, 1824-25.
Categories: Family Stories