Saturday, February 18, 2012

Simon Kenton

Simon Kenton (April 3, 1755 – April 29, 1836) was a famous United States frontiersman and friend of Daniel Boone, Simon Girty, Spencer Records and Isaac Shelby. Simon Kenton was alive even before Ohio was a state. Simon Kenton was born at the headwaters of Mill Run in the Bull Run Mountains in 1755, in what is now Fauquier County, Virginia (birthplace was part of Prince William County at time of his birth prior to formation of Fauquier in 1759) to Mark Kenton Sr. (an immigrant from Ireland) and Mary Miller Kenton (whose family was Scotch-Welch in linage). In 1771, at the age of 16, thinking he had killed a man in a jealous rage (the fight began over the love of a girl), he fled into the wilderness of Kentucky and Ohio, and for years went by the name "Simon Butler." In 1782, he returned to Virginia found out the victim had lived and readopted his original name. Now buried In Urbana, Ohio. In 1774, in a conflict later labeled Dunmore's War, Kenton served as a scout for the European settlers against the Shawnee Indians. In 1777, he saved the life of his friend and fellow frontiersman, Daniel Boone, at Boonesborough, Kentucky. The following year, Kenton was in turn rescued by Simon Girty after enduring many days of running the gauntlet and various other tortures that should have killed Kenton.

Kenton served as scout on the famous 1778 George Rogers Clark expedition to capture Fort Sackville and also fought with "Mad" Anthony Wayne in the Northwest Indian War in 1793-94. Kenton moved to Urbana, Ohio in 1810, and achieved the rank of brigadier general of the Ohio militia. He served in the War of 1812 as both a scout and as leader of a militia group in the Battle of the Thames in 1813.

After Martha Dowden died in a tragic house fire, Simon Kenton married Elizabeth Jarboe and had 6 children in his second marriage. Kenton died in (and was initially buried at) New Jerusalem in Logan County, Ohio. His body was later moved to Urbana, Ohio.

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