Pioneer Settler

Historical Marker #1516 in Albany remembers William Wood, an early settler of what became Clinton County, Kentucky.

Before Clinton County was formed in 1835 from parts of Cumberland County (established in 1798) and Wayne County (established in 1800), the area was a land of heavily forested foothills and valleys along the Kentucky and Tennessee state line. When lands south of the Green River were opened for settlement in the 1790s, people began arriving in greater numbers from Virginia and North and South Carolina.

One of the earliest settlers to the region was William Wood, a native Virginian, who had moved with his family to North Carolina as a boy. As a young man, Wood served in actions against Native Americans and received a land grant in what would become Tennessee.

In 1797, Wood, however, decided to settle in what became known as Stockton's Valley—named for Thomas Stockton, who arrived three years earlier. Wood worked as a surveyor and added to his land holdings with any profits. By the time Clinton County was established in 1835, Wood had accumulated more than one thousand acres.

Wood's standing in the community is noted by the various responsibilities he held. In 1804, he was appointed sheriff and held the position of justice of the peace for a number of years. Wood was elected to the state legislature beginning in 1809, but his term was interrupted for service in the War of 1812. During that conflict he served with Kentucky troops under Governor Isaac Shelby and attained the rank of major. After his military service he returned to the General Assembly, serving until 1832.

William Wood died on January 11, 1851, and was buried in the cemetery at the Clear Fork Baptist Church, of which he was a longtime member.

Images

First State Capitol

First State Capitol

As a state legislator, William Wood would have served in the first two state capitol buildings in Frankfort. The first capitol is pictured here. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Kentucky, 1795

Kentucky, 1795

This 1795 map was created before Cumberland, Wayne or Clinton Counties were created. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Governor Isaac Shelby

Governor Isaac Shelby

William Wood served under Isaac Shelby, pictured here, during the War of 1812. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Clinton County Courthouse

Clinton County Courthouse

The Clinton County Courthouse in Albany is shown in this 1954 photograph. It burned in 1980 and was replaced with a new structure. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Tim Talbott, “Pioneer Settler,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 26, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/548.

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