MY WORD: Help us honor Squire Boone

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By Joseph Ruble

As I looked through my grandmother’s family Bible, I saw where our family was kin to many famous pioneers. And after reading further, I found out how much one of my cousins, Squire Boone, had done.

Of the first white men who dared to enter “the dark and bloody ground” in the early 1770s, brothers Daniel and Squire were the only two to come back alive. They had lived in the Radkin Valley in North Carolina. Squire was born in Pennsylvania.

Squire Boone became a Baptist preacher, married the first couple in Kentucky, built the first cabin in Shelby County and was the first environmentalist – in 1775 he was on the first legislature when introduced a bill to save the range war of the Appalachians.

He helped build Boonesborough and made secret passageways in the fort to get in when in danger.

He was the first citizen of Shelby County, and along came 13 other families after he built a fort here.

He helped to build Louisville along with others, did his first sermon in Louisville, had the first white child in Kentucky. His son Moses and he built the first church in Goshen, Ind. He was an excellent gunsmith. He made Daniel Boone’s rifle.

Squire Boone accumulated 48,000 acres in Shelby County, but land sharks, taxes and false deeds took his holdings. He was put in jail for not paying the taxes.

But the community bailed him out, and his faith only got stronger. He brought Christianity to Kentucky. He was shot at Boonesborough, at Painted Stone and many other times.

George Boone, another brother of Daniel and Squire, sold Daniel a horse here in Shelby County for Daniel and Squire to go to the first legislature. When they went in their pioneer clothing, all the other legislators in their fine clothing gave them a standing ovation. Squire said that was one of the greatest moments.

The congress gave the Boones the same status as an American Revolutionary soldier. Gov. Thomas Jefferson commended them for guarding the boundaries of Kentucky.

Squire Boone grew corn in Shelby County as early as 1776, when he took a rock out of Clear Creek, took a grist mill pick, inscribed his name and 1776 then painted the letters in red. This gave the name of Painted Stone, designating the earliest settlement in the county.

Now we need to honor him. We owe this man the respect he has long deserved.

So we have created a committee to erect a life-sized statue on the east end of Shelbyville. This is long overdue.

Serving on the committee with me are Dean Phillips, Clay Cottongim, Neil Hackworth, Kathy Renard and Rhonda Hardensmith.

Our meetings are held in the conference room at the Shelby County Parks and Recreation, thanks to Clay Cottongim.

First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has helped tremendously for me to get this word out. Racene Patterson and Dave Charlton have been so much help.

Bill Hilling of the Ruby Rooster let us hold the first meeting there, and since we have begun to discuss this statue, there have been articles in Contemporary Long Rifle Associationmagazine, Muzzle Blasts, official magazine of NMLRA and muzzle loading.

Dr. Tomas Crain from Spencer County was the first donor to our project.

Other contributors so far are Kitty Proctor, Simpsonville; Ron Barber, Chicago and Carriss Grocery, Southville.

Please help us make this vision become real. Rocks from when the pioneers came from England will encircle this statue.

Those wanting their names or that of a loved one to be engraved on those rocks can do so with a donation of $1,000.

For $10,000 or more, a bronze plaque will be placed in your name or your company’s.

Make your contributions to Shelby County Parks and make sure you put on the memo for Squire Boone Statue fund.

Please make this a reality to honor the man that founded Shelby County and helped with Louisville.


Joseph Ruble of Simpsonville has been portraying Squire Boone for several years. He is heading the committee to build a statue to Boone at the eastern limits of Shelbyville.