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April 3, 1755: Pioneer Simon Kenton Born in Fauquier Co., Va.

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e-wv, The West Virginia Encyclopedia
/
Courtesy of Ohio Historical Society

Simon Kenton was born in Fauquier County, Virginia, on April 3, 1755. He left home at age 16, after he mistakenly thought he’d killed a neighbor. Kenton first traveled north through present West Virginia to Pittsburgh. Then, during the 1770s, he spent several winters trapping game along the Ohio River between the Big Sandy and Kanawha rivers.

In 1774, Kenton served as a scout during the Muskingum War and Lord Dunmore’s War, which culminated in the Battle of Point Pleasant. He was a scout under George Rogers Clark during the Revolutionary War and was one of the best-known scouts for early settlers. He also was a celebrated hunter and trapper. And in 1777, he saved the life of Daniel Boone during an Indian attack in Kentucky.

He founded his own station in what is now Mason County, Kentucky. After losing his wife to a fire, he moved to Ohio in 1798.

Late in life, Kenton fell upon rough times, spending more than a year in prison for bad debts. He died in Ohio in 1836 at age 81. He’s remembered as one of western Virginia’s legendary pioneers.


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