Daniel Boone Was Taken By Indians Into Carter County
Sandy Valley Enquirer
Thursday, December 10, 1942
By Jean Strother
Many, many years ago, when Kentucky was still a wilderness, the hunting
ground of roving Indian tribes and was inhabited only by wild animals and
a very few white men, an Indian trail--the Old Trail--wended its way
through Rachel Valley, in Carter county. This valley is about three
miles in length with Star hill at the western end and the present village
of Kilgore located at its eastern end. It was along this trail that
Daniel Boone was taken by the Shawnees when the was captured down on
Licking river and carried away to the big Indian encampment at Chillicothe,
from where he later escaped and made his way back to Boonesboro on the
Many years later this old trail became the Catlettsburg and Owingsville
Turnpike, over which iron ore, mined in the hills, was hauled to the furnaces
in wagons drawn by oxen.
There were only a few scattered farms in the valley until the year 1848, when
the Lamptons came from Ohio and built Star Furnace, which was located about
midway of the valley. There is nothing left now of the old furnace but a
rubbleheap, but a short distance away is the old Lampton residence, erected
also in 1848, the carpentry work being done by Riley Blankenship and Hiram
Stewart. The house is still in good state of repair. It was here that the
writer and poet William J. Lampton was born in 1854. He was on the editorial
staff of the New York Sun when he died in New York City in June, 1917.
One of the managers of Star Furnace was Morris Lee, who married Nannie Lampton,
daughter of the furnace owner. The home of the Lees, which adjoined the
Lampton place on the east, was a handsome place in its day. The house, built
by Morris Lee, was a one story colonial structure. After the death of the
Lees, the property passes into the hands of James Hughes, a Canadian by birth.
The Star Furnace store was owned by Mr. Hughes; his sons, Douglas and James A.,
were clerks there for many years. After the death of his parents, James A.,
left Kentucky, going to Huntington, WV, where he became prominent in political
circles. He served in Congress for several terms from his district.
The first church of Star Furnace was a small edifice built in 1878 by popular
subscription. It was to be used by all denominations. The Rev. George Barnes,
of evangelical fame, dedicated the church.
The old schoolhouse built of logs, was destroyed by fire about the year 1893.
After that, school was taught in the church house. The first teacher there was
Fillmore Duncan. Later teachers were Pauline Reed, Tice Cooper, W. L. Jayne
and Annie Herren, not to mention the others who followed.
Near the turn of the century this community, which includes Kilgore and Rush,
was a prosperous place. It had a population of something like 3,000 inhabitants
at that time, which was the beginning of the coal mining industry. Coal was
shipped by rail in those days to the furnaces and far points. The A. C. & I
Company owned mines at Kilgore and Rush. Dr. J. M. Logan's mine was near the
furnace at Star, when there was the Meadow Branch mine at Rush operated for many
years by J. P. Strother, who came here in 1898.
There was a post office at Rush in W. H. Catsner's store, with Bryant Pitts,
postmaster, and at Kilgore the post office was a small building near the bridge
with Robert B. Tackett, postmaster.
The stores, which sold almost everything needed in that day, were those of James
Hughes at Star Furnace, Dr. J. M. Logan and Barrett & Son at Kilgore, and at
Rush, those of W. H. Castner (note the article spells this both as Catsner and
Castner) & Co., the A. C. & I. Co., and Dr. George Burton.
The Ernest House at Rush was the Mecca of the telegraph operators and traveling
Families living here at that time were those of Dr. J. M. Logan, J. P. Strother,
Rev. J. W. Hedrick, Joe Barrett, John Lynk, J. M. Fugett and James Kilgore.
The Kilgore railroad station was located about half way between Kilgore and
Rush. John Chase Hatcher, who came here from Louisa was agent at Kilgore for
about 20 years. He married Julia McNeal (daughter of Creight McNeal of Rush),
who had also been a telegraph operator.
Almost every family of this community was represented by one or more members in
the armed forces during the course of World War Number 1. This place went "over
the top" with contributions to the war cause, something like $35,000 being
raised in Liberty Bonds and Red Cross contributions.
Back to Newspaper Index
Return to main Carter County page
questions and comments to John Rucker
This page was last updated on --
© John Rucker/ Columbus, OH