Stratton Settlement

Historical Marker #690 in Floyd County remembers Solomon Stratton, founder of the Stratton Settlement.

Solomon Stratton was born about 1745 in Amherst County, Virginia. During the Revolutionary War, Stratton was a member of a local militia unit that served with George Rogers Clark in his 1778 expedition into what would become Illinois. After his military service, Stratton explored the Big Sandy River Valley. Stratton must have liked what he saw, because, in 1796, he and his sons established a settlement near Mare Creek in future Floyd County.

Stratton, like many other early settlers, likely delayed his move to Kentucky until after the defeat of Native American Indian forces by General Anthony Wayne at the Battle of Fallen Timbers, in Indiana. This battle, which was fought August 20, 1794, drastically reduced the number of Native American incursions into the Bluegrass State, which, in turn prompted a flood of settlers. Many of these early eastern Kentucky pioneers, like Stratton, were former Virginia Revolutionary War soldiers with land grants from their service.

Stratton, along with sons Richard, Tandy, and Henry, and son-in-law John Kelly, as well as friend Rev. Cornelius McGuire, made the arduous trek through the mountains to their chosen lands near Mare Creek. Stratton constructed his house less than a quarter mile from the mouth of the creek while his sons chose their own plots.

Stratton, along with Major Andrew Hood and Mathias Harman, were commissioned as agents by Colonel John Preston of Virginia, who had a grant for 100,000 acres in the Big Sandy River Valley. The three men had part of that land surveyed in 1797, which eventually became the town of Prestonsburg. The town was designated as the seat of Floyd County in 1799, the first county in eastern Kentucky.