Tag Archives: Pioneer Cemetery

Pioneer Cemetery – Bowling Green, Warren County

While on our western Kentucky trip in October, Ritchey and I visited the Pioneer Cemetery in downtown Bowling Green, located at the corner of College and Center Streets, Warren County.  It is believed the first burial was in 1811, although there are no records to prove that fact.  It is known that many owners and their slaves are buried here.  This cemetery was filled to capacity by 1861 due to the high number of deaths from cholera, typhoid fever, whooping cough and railroad accidents.  More that 103 soldiers from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Mexican War and Civil War are buried here.  Many graves have no stones to mark the deceased names and dates.

We visited on a cold, blustery day.  Even with coats, hats and gloves we froze!  It was so overcast I wasn’t sure how the pictures would come out.  So many of the stones are so old it is difficult to read what is written on them.

Pioneer Cemetery

In memory of Mary Curd, consort of S. Curd, was born November 11, 1821, and died January 10, 1850.

This stone is very difficult to read, I cannot make out the name.   It was a little one, born in 1815, and died of cholera July 1, 1819.

Walkway through the cemetery.

Sacred to the memory of Mrs. S. E. Clark, wife of John B. Clark, born January 17, 1820, died March 2, 1862.

Sacred to the memory of John B. Clark, born September 25, 1813, died January 17, 1863.

Sacred to the memory of Harriet Reese, consort of Isaac Reese, who was born September 17th, 1788, and died August 18th 1831.

Henry Grider, Sergeant, Virginia Regiment, Revolutionary War.  May 9, 1755 – February 5, 1853.

John Mancy, born April 4th, 1787, died October 6th, 1818.  Margaret Nancy, wife of John Mancy, born January 3rd, 1789, died March 23rd, 1819.

Sacred to the memory of the Rev. Nelson Crawford, a man of color, who was born July 13, 1793, and departed this life October 23, 1862.

Sacred to the memory of Kitty Crawford, consort of the Rev. Nelson Crawford, who was born April 12, 1790, and departed this life September 7, 1862.


Ben Hardin – Famous Lawyer of Bardstown

The Courier-Journal, Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky

Tuesday Morning, December 18, 1900


Former Residence of Old Ben Hardin

In Suburbs of Bardstown

The Place Where The Famous Lawyer Lived and Died

[Bardstown Record]

One of Kentucky’s historic residences is ‘Edgewood,’ the former home of Ben Hardin, in his day one of Kentucky’s greatest lawyers.  This old homestead is situated in the suburbs of Bardstown, and is a large and irregular structure built entirely of brick.  It was originally a one-storied building, with two rooms in front.  To this an addition was made on the left, comprising a wide hall and front room and chambers in rear with similar apartments above.  These added rooms and the hall are unusually large and airy.  The hall is entered by a large door in front, and contains a massive old-fashioned staircase, connecting with the upper story.  The present occupant, Hon. Lud. McKay, has added a handsome veranda to the house, which greatly improves its general appearance.

This dwelling was erected between 1819-1822 by Mr. Hardin on land that was contained in the original pre-emption of Bardstown.  The tract contains about two hundred and fifty acres of as fine soil as there is in Nelson County.  A wide lawn in front of the residence stretches down to one of the streets of the town, and is liberally shaded with a fine growth of forest trees.

Ben Hardin, who erected and long occupied the residence, was born in Pennsylvania, February 29, 1784, and at the age of four years was brought to Kentucky by his parents, who settled in Nelson County.  At an early age he was placed in the school of Dr. Priestly, then the most able educator in the West.  At the age of twenty, young Hardin began the study of law, which he soon mastered and was admitted to the bar of Bardstown.  His first case was one in which a large tract of land was involved.  He was alone on his side and opposed by several of the most distinguished lawyers of the day.  However, he won his case and his fame was made, and from that time on he never lacked for clients.  Readers of the Standard are familiar with the history of Mr. Hardin; his public services; his numerous debates in Congress with Henry Clay; how he was dubbed the ‘Kitchen Knife’ by John Randolph, and the ‘Red Fox’ by some other equally as great man.  Suffice it to say that he was one of the shrewdest and most successful attorneys that ever practiced his profession within the domains of this old Commonwealth.

In early life Mr. Hardin was married to Elizabeth Barbour, daughter of Col. Ambrose Barbour, of Washington County, one of Kentucky’s most distinguished pioneers.  She is described as a handsome woman, with many admirable traits of character.  Seven children were the result of this union – three sons and four daughters.

The latter were Lucinda, who married John Helm, afterward Governor of Kentucky; Emily, who married Dr. Palmer, a prominent physician of Washington County; Kate, who married Thomas Riley, a prominent attorney of Bardstown, and Sallie, who married Thomas W. Dixon, a Kentuckian living in the West.  Of the sons, William died of a fever in childhood; James and Rowan married in early life – the former a Miss Chinn; the latter a Miss Cartmell.  James died a short time after his marriage.  Rowan became an able lawyer; served in the State Legislature, and in 1851 was appointed by President Fillmore Secretary of Legation to Guatemala.  During the year it is supposed he was assassinated in the mountains of the Isthmus of Darien, as a skeleton was discovered and identified as his by some papers that were found in the vicinity.

Old Ben Hardin’s home life was always a happy one.  His doors were always open, and he dispensed the most lavish hospitality to all who came beneath his roof.  Many distinguished men were entertained by him at his residence, among whom may be mentioned Gen. William Preston, ex-Senator Garland, Bishop Kavanaugh, Judge John Rowan, gov. William Duvall, and many others who afterward became men of national reputation.  Mr. Hardin’s death occurred in September 1852, and was the result of a fall from a horse which he received as he was journeying from Bardstown to Lebanon to attend court.  He was buried in an old grave yard in a field near the pike leading from Springfield to Lebanon, by the side of his mother.  His grave is marked by an unpretentious stone bearing the simple inscription: ‘Ben Hardin, of Bardstown.’  Mrs. Hardin had preceded her husband to the grave in August, her death being hastened by constant attendance upon Mr. Hardin.  She is buried in the old pioneer cemetery here, in the midst of children and relatives.  A marble shaft, that has been sadly disfigured by vandals, marks her last resting place.  The only inscription is bears is ‘Elizabeth Barbour Hardin, wife of Ben Hardin.’

Ritchey and I have visited the Pioneer Cemetery in Bardstown, but we did not see a stone for Elizabeth Barbour Hardin.

The Edward Palmer Torian Family of Trigg County

Edward Palmer Torian was the son of George and Martha Palmer Torian, born in Christian County March 22,1820, the ninth child out of ten.  He moved to Trigg County and became a merchant.  On November 10, 1848, he married Martha L. Durall.

Infant daughter of E. P. and M. L. Torian, born and died April 26th 1850.  Pioneer Cemetery, Cadiz, Trigg County, Kentucky.

In the 1850 census of Trigg County the couple were living with the D. B. Carson family, also a merchant.  Edward was 30, and Martha was 22.  No children were listed, but the sad fact is they had a daughter, Molly, who born and died the same day, April 26, 1850.  Martha soon followed her daughter to the grave on September 23, 1850.

Mrs. Martha L. Torian, consort of E. P. Torian, born September 29th 1827, died September 23rd 1850.

The beautiful sentiment written on the stone gives us an idea of Edward’s grief –

When evening shadows gather round, And sleep our eyelids seal, The memory of departed friends, Will o’er our spirits steal.  Again we press a loving lip –

And the rest is beneath ground!  How I wish I could read the full verse!

Infant son of E. P. & M. E. Torian, born and died May 3, 1855

Three years later Edward marries Mary E. McAllister on December 18, 1853.  Again his marriage ends in tragedy.  An infant son was born and died May 3, 1855.  Mary died eighteen days later, May 21st, of puerperal fever.  This fever killed so many women in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries I had to do a little research.

Puerperal fever is an infection of some part of the reproductive organs following childbirth, resulting in high fever, chills and lower abdominal pain – generally resulting in death.  Since many doctors at the time did not believe hand washing was necessary, many cases were caused by the doctors themselves.  The prior health of the mother was also a determining factor.

Edward marries a third time – to Mary E. Allegree.  In the 1860 Trigg census they are living with the E. A. Slaughter family, a druggist.  Edward was 37, merchant, with $8000 in personal estate, and Mary was 26.

Edward P. Torian, born March 22, 1820, died November 20, 1861.

Edward Palmer Turian died November 20, 1861.  I could find no cause of death.  His widow lived less than three years after his death.  Such a shame that no one from this family has descendants living today to keep their memories alive.  We shall remember and mourn them.

Bartholomew Wood – Patriot, Pioneer, Frontiersman, Farmer, Tavern Keeper

Anytime one hears the name ‘Pioneer’ cemetery it should be visited!  And the same can be said for the Pioneer Cemetery in Hopkinsville in Christian County.  A small park where many of the original citizens of Christian County are buried, it is nicely maintained and contains lots of history in one small area.  Today I would like to concentrate on Bartholomew and Martha Wood and their family.

This pioneer graveyard was used from 1812 to 1858.  Within this enclosure are buried 185 named persons, and many more unknown, all early settlers of Christian County.  The land for this cemetery was donated in 1812 by Bartholomew Wood, the first settler in Hopkinsvile.  He also donated land and timber for the first public buildings 1797.  He died in 1827 and was buried here.

Bartholomew Wood was the town founder – in 1796, frontiersman, a farmer, a tavern keeper in the town of Hopkinsville.  The Christian County Court House was built in 1797 upon land supplied by Bartholomew and with his lumber.  The town was originally known as Elizabeth in 1799, but was later changed to Hopkinsville in 1804.  Bartholomew Wood died here November 26, 1827.

A soldier in in the South Carolina Militia during the war, Bartholomew Wood was part of Colonel Robertson’s Regiment in 1779.

Martha Ann was the wife of Bartholomew Wood.  She was born in Virginia June 27, 1763, married in Jonesborough, North Carolina (now Tennessee) July 20, 1780, and died at Hopkinsville, Kentucky, November 9, 1846, outliving her husband by almost twenty years.

Children of Bartholomew and Martha Ann Wood were Elizabeth Wood Douglass, Mary (Polly) Wood Gist, Sarah (Sally) Wood Cornelius, Temperance (Tempy) Wood Roberts, Patsy Wood Millholland, Bartholomew T. Wood, Carter T. Wood, Curtis Davenport Wood, William J. Wood, Letitia Charlotte Wood and Hardin J. Wood.

Happy Fourth of July – Let Us Always Remember

Francis Coomes, Private, Virginia Militia, Revolutionary War, 1726-1822.  St. Michael Catholic Cemetery, Nelson County, Kentucky

Let me introduce you to the most recent Revolutionary War soldiers we have found.  We visited St. Michael Catholic Cemetery yesterday, and photographed Francis Coomes’ gravestone.  As you can see, the original stone is almost impossible to read, only the cross at the top is visible.  Thanks to the DAR and SAR for adding plaques to the veterans’ graves!

Proctor Ballard, Kentucky, Sergeant, Clark’s Illinois Regiment, Revolutionary War, 1760-1820.  Pioneer Cemetery, Bardstown, Nelson County, Kentucky.

Proctor Ballard’s grave is another recent find.  He was a native of Virginia and served with the state militia.  He came to the Falls of the Ohio River with General George Rogers Clark in 1779.  He initially settled on Corn Island at the falls near Louisville, but moved to Bardstown in 1782.

To the memory of William Coomes, Sergeant, 8th Virginia Regiment, 1730-1820.  William Coomes, Jr., Virginia Militia, 1769-1834.  Walter A. Coomes, Virginia Militia, Battle of Blue Licks, Kentucky.  Soldiers of the American Revolution.  St. Lawrence Catholic Cemetery, Daviess County, Kentucky.

These Coomes veterans could be related to the first Coomes who is buried in Nelson County.  William Coomes, Sr., married Jane Greenleaf.  She was a pioneer doctor and teacher.

Let us celebrate all those who have fought for our country over the years – from the beginning, the first war, for our independence – to those who continue to fight to keep our country safe.  Happy Fourth of July to all of you!

Memorial Acre at Fort Harrod


Isn’t it amazing when you find something in your own back yard that you never knew existed?  I had been to the Pioneer Cemetery at Fort Harrod in my hometown of Harrodsburg several times, but didn’t realize there was an addition at the back!

It’s known as Memorial Acre, dedicated on June 16, 1930, by The Kentucky Society Daughter’s of the American Revolution.  The plaque reads ‘A sacred spot of ground adjoining the first cemetery of Kentucky, for pioneers whose graves are being destroyed by the effects of time.  Immortals of the wilderness whose moccasin feet have impressed themselves on the destiny of America.  The Love of Liberty, With Life Is Given.’

Let me share with you the stones that were erected here:


Garrett Terhune, New Jersey, Sergeant, Seely’s Regiment, New Jersey Militia, Revolutionary War.  July 25, 1756 – February 8, 1821.


George Buchanan, born 1744 in Augusta County, Virginia, died May 5, 1813, Mercer County, Kentucky.

George Buchanan was a son of James Buchanan and his second wife, Mary Reside.  He married Margaret McAfee, daughter of James and Jane McMichael McAfee, about 1765 in Washington County, Virginia.  George moved his family to Mercer County, Kentucky, in 1780.  He was an elder at New Providence Church and was a veteran of the Revolutionary War.


James Ray, Captain, Virginia Militia, Revolutionary War, 1758-1810


Three members of the McGohon family – the stones have not weathered well.


Mark McGohon, Jr.  Revolutionary War soldier, Kentucky pioneer, Christian patriot.  Born in Ireland in 1750, died in Kentucky, 1848.  first to be buried in Memorial Acre in 1930.  When a lad he emigrated to America and fought in the Battles of Paoli, Boundbrook, 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 seep of advancing civilization.


Elizabeth Dunn McGohon.  Sacred to the memory of the wife of Mark McGohon, Jr.  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 For Harrod, when surrounded by peril and attacks from Indians.  Her efforts aided in establishing the Presbyterian Church at Harrodsburg.


Nancy McGohon, daughter of Mark McGohon, Jr., and Elizabeth Dunn McGohon.  Born in Fort Harrod.  Buried in Memorial Acre in 1930.


These three stones for the Rose family are much easier to read.


Captain Lewis Rose, born October 11, 1749, in Bingen, Germany, died February 20, 1829, Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  Buried on Old Rose Farm, three miles east of Harrodsburg,  Came to America in 1764.  Christian patriot, devout elder of the Presbyterian Church, donated five hundred dollars to Centre College in Danville, Kentucky.  War Record – Soldier in Revolutionary War, 4th Virginia, 1777.  In Indian Wars, famous Battle of Blue Lick, taken prisoner, August 9, 1782.  Run gauntlets, exchanged and returned July, 1783.  Fought Shawnees, 1786.  Wea Indians on Wabash. Erected July 16, 1937, by Leslie M. Rose, Yakima, Washington, sponsored by Jane McAfee Chapter, D.A.R.


Mary McMurtry Rose, wife of lewis Rose, born February 4, 1779, in Mercer County, Kentucky; died November 24, 1865, in Mercer County, Kentucky.  A true pioneer mother.  Lived where Shakertown, Kentucky, now is, defending self and children against Indians while her husband held war captive.  Erected by Leslie M. Rose.


Charlie S. Rose, son of Lewis Rose, born October 6, 1778, died February 28, 1845.  Was prominent in civic work, an elder in the Presbyterian Church.


To Honor and Commemorate the Men Who Fought in the American Revolution and Sleep in Mercer County, Kentucky.

  • General James Ray
  • General John P. Van Nuyce
  • Colonel John Bowman
  • Colonel Thomas P. Moore
  • Lt. Colonel James Robinson
  • Major Thomas Allin
  • Major William Ver Bryck
  • Captain William Alexander
  • Captain John Armstrong
  • Captain Abram Chapline
  • Captain Michael Humble
  • Captain John Lillard
  • Captain Lewis Rose
  • Captain John Smock
  • Captain James Stagg
  • Lt. James McAfee
  • J. P. Board
  • John Bohon
  • William Bowles
  • Daniel Brewer
  • Nathaniel Burrus
  • James Cardwell
  • Robert Coleman
  • General Coovert
  • Henry Comingore, Sr.
  • John Comingore
  • Joseph Debaun
  • Lawrence Demott
  • Peter Demott
  • William Deshazer
  • Thomas Graham
  • Peyton Graham
  • Thomas Green
  • Edward Houchins
  • Peter Huff
  • Dominic Thomas Kyle
  • Peter Leyster
  • George McAfee
  • Samuel McAfee
  • James McCowan, Sr.
  • James McCowan, Jr.
  • John McGee
  • Mark McGohon
  • John Meaux
  • William Nourse
  • Augustine Passmore
  • James Sandifer
  • Abraham Sharp
  • John Sharp
  • Abraham Tharp
  • Cornelius Vannice
  • Cornelius A. Van Arsdale
  • Cornelius O. Van Arsdale
  • Peter Van Arsdall
  • Tobias Wilhoite

How fortunate to live in a county that appreciates and applauds the actions of our forebears.  And to live in one that has such a long history!


To the wilderness dead, those without graves, unknell’d, uncoffin’d, and unknown.  This cenotaph here placed by a not forgetful commonwealth.