Captain John Simpson

Historical Marker #1128 in Simpsonville commemorates Captain John Simpson, a War of 1812 casualty for whom both Simpsonville and Simpson County are named.

Born in Virginia, John Simpson moved to Kentucky when he was a child. The family settled in Lincoln County and John, who eventually moved to Shelby County, became an attorney. In 1794, he fought the Shawnee Indians in present-day Ohio at the Battle of Fallen Timbers. Simpson later served in the Kentucky legislature, representing Shelby County, where he was Speaker of the House in 1810 and 1811.

Although Simpson was elected to the U.S. Congress in 1812, the War of 1812 interrupted his service. Instead of taking his seat, Simpson joined the 1st Regiment, Kentucky Volunteers. On January 22, 1813, Simpson was killed at the Battle of the River Raisin, fought near present-day Monroe, Michigan.

Simpson County, created in 1819, was named in his honor. Simpsonville, in Shelby County, was also named to commemorate his life and service.


Ye Olde Stone Inne. Simpsonville, Ky.

Ye Olde Stone Inne. Simpsonville, Ky.

Image Courtesy of Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

"Remember the River Raisin!"

"Remember the River Raisin!"

From the National Guard Heritage series, "Remember the River Raisin!" On Aug. 15, 1812, Kentucky volunteers rendezvoused in Georgetown before marching into present-day Michigan. Upon nearing Frenchtown (now Monroe), Gen. James Winchester's Kentuckians attacked that town in order to secure supplies. On Jan. 18, 1813, Winchester's men took the settlement. British forces and their Native American allies counterattacked on January 22 in what has become known as the Battle of the River Raisin. Hit hard by artillery, the Kentucky troops ultimately retreated. After the battle, some Kentucky troops were taken prisoner and marched northwards, and between 40 and 65 wounded Americans were killed by Native Americans. "Remember the Raisin" soon became a rallying cry for Americans. Image Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page



This is an early nineteenth century mounted officer's style saber. Supposedly used by Alexander Rennick during the War of 1812. Rennick was a first corporal/sergeant in the First Rifle Regiment Kentucky Militia and a survivor of the Battle of the River Raisin. Image Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Sanders, “Captain John Simpson,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed June 24, 2017,


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