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Boone County, Kentucky

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Please add profiles of those who were born, lived or died in Boone County, Kentucky.

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Native Americans had once inhabited a large late historic village in Petersburg that contained "at least two periods of habitation dating to 1150 A.D. and 1400 A.D."

In 1729 an unknown Frenchman sketched an area on his chart at what is now Big Bone Lick State Park with a note that it was "where they found the bones of an elephant." Another Frenchman, Charles le Moyne de Longueuil (1687–1755), would later be credited with being the first to investigate the Big Bone Lick area.

In 1789, 10-year-old John Tanner was captured by Shawnee Indians across from the mouth of the Great Miami River, while his Presbyterian minister father, brother, and their slaves were planting corn.

Boone County was created in 1798, and named after Daniel Boone.

Margaret Garner On January 28, 1856, Robert and a pregnant Margaret "Peggy" Garner, together with family members, escaped and fled to Cincinnati, Ohio, along with several other slave families. Seventeen people were reported to have been in their party. In the coldest winter in 60 years, the Ohio River had frozen. The group crossed the ice just west of Covington, Kentucky at daybreak, and escaped to Cincinnati, then divided to avoid detection. They set out for Joseph Kite's house in Cincinnati.

Margaret Garner would become famous for slitting her own daughter's throat (Mary) to prevent her from going back into slavery when Archibald K. Gaines and his posse, along with Federal Marshals, caught up to the fleeing slaves at Joseph Kite's house.

Margaret Garner was first owned by, and may have been the daughter of, the plantation owner John Pollard Gaines himself. In December 1849, the plantation was sold along with all the slaves to John P. Gaines' younger brother, Archibald K. Gaines. The Gaines family lived on a farm called Maplewood in Boone County, Kentucky, just west of Richwood Presbyterian Church, of which Archibald K. Gaines was a member. Three of Margaret Garner's children, including Mary, the daughter whose throat Margaret Garner slashed, were likely the children of Archibald K. Gaines, the only adult white male at Maplewood. The timing suggests they were each conceived after his wife had become pregnant and was unavailable to him.

Margaret Garner's story was the inspiration for the novel Beloved (1987) by Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison (that later was adapted into a film of the same name starring Oprah Winfrey), as well as for her libretto for the early 21st century opera Margaret Garner (2005), composed by Richard Danielpour.

The Civil War

Northern Kentucky was largely isolated from much of the Civil War, but Boone County still participated in the conflict. Civil War era Boone County was, however, the setting for several local historical novels by Boone County’s most famous author - John Uri Lloyd. Although Kentucky was officially neutral, men from the county served on both sides, which created dissension in families and in communities. Two brief skirmishes took place in the county: one at Florence in 1862 and another known as Skirmish at Snow’s Pond near Walton in 1862. In the summer of 1863, the famous Confederate General John Hunt Morgan rode through Boone County after his escape from a Federal prison.

The Civil War brought about the end of slavery in Boone County, where it had already been in decline for some time. As was the case in many communities across the country, the women of Boone County kept families and farmsteads together during the long years of the Civil War. Some widows or spinsters, such as Julia Dinsmore, successfully operated large farmsteads. When peace returned, men who had fought against each other for four years returned home and, for the most part, once again became neighbors, fellow church members, and friends.

Adjacent Counties

Cities & Communities

  • Belleview
  • Big Bone
  • Bullittsville
  • Burlington (County Seat)
  • Florence
  • Francisville
  • Hamilton
  • Hebron
  • Oakbrook
  • Petersburg
  • Rabbit Hash
  • Richwood
  • Taylorsport
  • Union
  • Verona
  • Walton



Dinsmore Homestead

Anderson Ferry

Belleview Baptist Church

Big Bone Methodist Church

The Clinton Blankenbeker House

Boone County Distillery Super's House

Christian Meeting House

The John Delehunty House

Farmers Bank of Petersburg

Hopeful Lutheran Church

Prospect Farm

Rabbit Hash General Store

African-Americans in Boone County