Montgomery County Settlements
Stations, forts, blockhouses, stockades and settlements were much the same being fortified against attacks in some way. Most consisted of a main cabin and possibly other make shift cabins surrounded by a high fence made out of saplings and logs. The phrase "safety in numbers" had real meaning in these early settlements.
Before we discuss the early white settlements in the Montgomery County area, it would be appropriate to review the last Native American village in central Kentucky. Eskippakithiki or Indian Old Fields was only a mile or so southwest of Montgomery County in Clark County. It was located along present day KY 974 about a 1/4 mile north of the Parkway. Kentucky History Marker #1274 marks its location.
Eskippakithiki was a major Shawnee trading village between the mid 1600s and mid 1700s and well known to French traders. A French-Canadian Census of 1736 stated Eskippakithiki numbered between 800 - 1,000 people. It was 1870 before Mt. Sterling could claim a population of more than a thousand persons.
The village was located on the Warrior's Path which more or less followed Lulbegrud Creek up into Montgomery County through Mt. Sterling and on up to Blue Licks in Robertson County.
The first Englishman to visit the village was John Finley in 1752. He had come down the Ohio River from Pennsylvania hoping to trade for fur pelts. Then in 1769 Daniel Boone, during his first visit to Kentucky, found the village had been burned to the ground.
Be sure to see this article about Eskippakithiki or Indian Old Fields in the Kentucky Explorer by Patsy Woodring.
While Eskippakithiki was the last Native American village in central Kentucky, there are numerous reminders that even earlier groups made Kentucky their home. Various civilizations of moundbuilders flourished in Kentucky from at least 1000 B.C to 1300 A.D.
Early explorers traveling the Old Harper's Trace that led from Boonesbourough into Montgomery County, passed by a large mound about 125 feet high. They called it Little Mountain. Later excavations proved the mound was a burial site of an ancient tribe of mound builders. This mound stood at what is now the intersection of Queen and Locust Streets in Mount Sterling.
For those interested in learning more about Kentucky Moundbuilders, see this free 354 page publication, The Prehistoric Men of Kentucky, by Col. Bennett H. Young of the Filson Society.
Anderson's Station was located two miles south of Mt. Sterling at the headwaters of the Hinkston. It was established by Nicholas Anderson who built a cabin at that location in 1779 claiming 400 acres. However, Nicholas remained near Ft. Boonesborough until 1791 when he moved his family to his new land. Other settlers at this location were John Allen, Edward Williams, John Harper, Peter Harper, Peter Dewitt, Absalom Crook, James Fletcher and John Summers.
Calk's Spring was also located a few miles south of Mt. Sterling near Levee road. This settlement was established by William Calk in 1779. Like Nicholas Anderson he did not move his family there until 1791-1792. Other settlers at this same location were John Judy, John Crawford, James French, Moses Thomas and William Sade.
Morgan's Station was established at the mouth of Spencer Creek at Slate Creek by Ralph Morgan in 1789. The first settlers included Tom Montgomery, Silas Hart, George Naylor, Robert Doughert, Peter and William Hanks, and a little later, James Douglas and John Holmes.
A later more complete list includes; Mrs. Allington, Jonathon Allington, Jacob Allington, David Allington, Clarinda Allington, James Arthur, William Arthur, Alexander Baker (wife Susan, children William, Nancy, Polly), Abraham Becraft (wife Rachel, children Ruth, Betsy, Benjamin), John Cassidy, Reuben Coffer, Robert Craig, Peter Curtright, Daniel Deron, Robert Doughert, Andrew Duncan, James Douglas, David Douglas, Francis Downing, Peter Fort (wife Mary), Peter Hanks, William Hanks, Thomas Hansford, Peter Harper, George Harper, Silas Hart, John Holmes, John Luster, Harry Martin (wife Sarah, Children John, Elizabeth), Robert McFarland, Thomas Montgomery, Ralph Morgan, Abel Morgan, William Oakley, Edward Parker, John Pleak, John Ridgeway, Absolom Robinson, John Troutman, Peter Troutman (wife Peggy, Child Duncan), James Wade, Dawson Wade, John Wade and Joseph Young (wife Elizabeth).
Fort Baker was established on Stoner Creek, five miles west of Mount Sterling possibly as early as 1776. Settlers there included John Baker, Isaac Baker, Samuel Dickerson and Billy Keeton.
Bradshaw's Stockade had been built one mile north of Mt. Sterling by 1792.
Fort's Station was established by Peter Fort in the fall of 1791. He built his station about two miles northeast of Morgan's.
Troutman's Station was established about 1791 by Peter Troutman about a mile from Fort's.
Harper's Station was established by Peter Harper and his nephew George Harper in the spring of 1790 about four miles from Morgan's.
John Pleakenstader and Abraham Becraft made Pleake's Settlement near Mt. Sterling in 1792.
Hansford Station was built by Thomas Hansford, a Baptist preacher, in the fall of 1792, half way between Fort's and Troutman's.
Gilmore's Station was 12 miles east of Mount Sterling on Slate Creek, possibly near Peeled Oak around 1792. It would now be located in Bath Co.
Slate Blockhouse (1788), at Slate Creek (Bourbon) Furnace on Slate Creek. Garrisoned by the KY state militia in 1790 - 1796 with 17 men, known as Post at the Iron Works. It would also now be located in Bath Co. Some early names preserved include Bill Cassidy, Andrew Hood, Charels Johnson, Daniel Lynch, John Mockbee, Jacob Myers, George Naylor, John Petit, John Poor, Jerry Poor, Thomas Prim, Senate Ramie, James Robinson, Solomon Skaggs, George Trumbo, Jacob Serincy and Jacob Warner. Many more unknown men were employed in the various side processes needed to make iron, e.g., cutting wood to make charcoal, as well a militia to defend the furnace from attack.
Smith's Station was located just north of Mt. Sterling and was occupied by Enoch Smith, Thomas Bradshaw, Hugh Forbes, John Judy, John Crawford, Enoch Knox, James Lane, Robert Moore and James Sewel.