Captain Daniel Weisiger III

Historical Marker #2299 honors Captain Daniel Weisiger III (1763-1829), a farmer and merchant who was one of Frankfort's forefathers. Born in Virginia, Daniel served with General George Roger Clark fighting Native Americans before settling in Frankfort and marrying Lucy Price.

As one of early Frankfort's most prominent men, Daniel and his wife operated a popular inn and tavern that was located on the northeast corner of Main and Ann streets. The former Tunstall’s Tavern was expanded to become the Weisiger House in the 1790s. Many state and national political figures patronized the business and state legislators stayed at the inn during legislative sessions. Weisiger’s Inn hosted General Lafayette on his national tour and was the location for the grand ball held in Lafayette's honor on May 9, 1825.

Weisiger’s Inn was known as the center of political and social activity in Frankfort. During a time when modes of communication were limited, the public spaces of the inns and taverns provided an opportunity for citizens to obtain the latest news and debate political issues. Since the local tavern or inn often doubled as the post office, Weisiger served as Frankfort's first postmaster from October 1, 1794 until July 1, 1795, when the state's official post office was moved from Danville. The inn was also a base for Weisiger's stagecoach line, which helped connect Frankfort with the rest of Kentucky.

As a founding city father, Weisiger contributed to Frankfort's development in a variety of ways. In the late 1780s, he helped General James Wilkinson layout and name the city's streets. After becoming the state capital, legislators realized that the local government was almost nonexistent, which was detrimental to the effectiveness of the state government. Therefore, the legislators amended the city's act of incorporation and created a board of trustees. The trustees had the authority to establish building regulations, supervise the clearing and cleaning of streets, and employed a surveyor to lay out a town plat and have it recorded by the county clerk. Weisiger served as a city trustee and sat on numerous boards and committees. These included committees for two statehouses, the penitentiary, a local education system, and a bridge across the Kentucky River, which presented a challenge with its width and limestone cliffs. He also served as Franklin County's first county clerk and was the first master of Frankfort's Hiram Masonic Lodge.

The Weisigers had ten children, including Dr. Joseph Weisiger, the first white male born in Frankfort after Kentucky's statehood. In addition, three of their grandsons became Civil War generals. Their daughter, Elizabeth, married Robert Alexander, the original owner of Woodburn Farm in Woodford County. Elizabeth and Robert's son is known for turning the farm into a well-known thoroughbred racing and breeding operation in the nineteenth century.

After his death in 1829, Lucy continued to manage the inn and stage stop. In 1852, the city of Frankfort bought it and built the Capital Hotel in its place.

Images

Map of Frankfort

Map of Frankfort

This is a map of Frankfort ca. 1786-1800. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

Invitation to a ball

Invitation to a ball

This is an invitation to a ball given by Daniel Weisiger in honor of General Lafayette. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

Captain Daniel Weisiger III

Captain Daniel Weisiger III

Portrait of Daniel Weisiger when he lived and operated an inn in Frankfort. Courtesy of the Kentucky Historical Society View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Kate Sowada, “Captain Daniel Weisiger III,” ExploreKYHistory, accessed May 29, 2017, http://explorekyhistory.ky.gov/items/show/610.

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