Maysville Kentucky Blog

The Maysville Kentucky Blog is your guide to the beautiful and historic small town of Maysville Kentucky, snuggled into the rolling hills along the Ohio River. Though this blog has been discontinued, you can get your Maysville Kentucky fix over at Ken Downing's Mason County Kentucky Blog @

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Simon Kenton's Corn Crop

In 1936, Edna Hunter Best, wrote an article titled Sketches of Washington for the 150th Anniversary of the Founding of the Town of Washington. In the article, she describes the circumstances leading up to the founding of Washington and what a prominent role it played in the history of Kentucky and the settlement of the Northwest.

From the article:

One of the prophets of old hath said, “Without vision the people perish.” Our early Kentucky pioneers were all men of vision, for without vision they could not have endured. Simon Kenton, dauntless pioneer that he was, had his imagination fired by tales of wonderful cane lands in Kentucky. The vision haunted him, but for long months he searched for it without success. In 1775, in the month of May, descending the Ohio river for the fifth time, he and his companion, Thomas Williams, landed at the mouth of Limestone Creek, now Maysville, pushed into the interior and found the most luxuriant cane brakes, far beyond Kenton’s expectation; the can was from 6 to 15 feet high, Simon Kenton and Thomas Williams cleared an acre of land in the center of the cane brake. The clearing was located on Lawrence Creek near a fine large spring, just 3 ½ miles from the site of Washington and a camp was erected here. Kenton planted corn, which he had brought with him, and raised the first crop of corn cultivated by white man north of the Kentucky River. Simon Kenton had taken “planting possession” of what was to be Mason County.

Planting possession was how early settlers claimed land. It wasn't enough to just plant a flag and call it yours. In order to earn a title on the land, you had to proved that you lived there. One of the ways people showed that they had settled a plot of land was to raise a crop of corn on it. The first corn crop could be used in a court as proof of residence. That's why Simon Kenton was eager to get started right away with his crop and carried corn with him on his expeditions.

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