Historical Marker #808 in Pikeville commemorates Pike County being named for a War of 1812 general who was killed in action.
Born in New Jersey, Zebulon Pike joined the army in 1794 and fought on the frontier. An explorer, in 1805 he traced the source of the Mississippi River. The next year, Pike explored the headwaters of the Arkansas and Red Rivers. He also discovered Pike's Peak in Colorado, which was named in his honor.
Pike fought at Tippecanoe in 1811, and, during the War of 1812, the adventuresome Pike was promoted to brigadier general. When American forces attacked York, Canada, on April 27, 1813, the British blew up an ammunition dump during surrender negations. Pike was killed in the explosion.
Several counties and communities across the nation, including Pike County and Pikeville, Kentucky, are named in his honor. Pike County was formed in 1821.