Mary Boone Bryan

Historical Marker #2390 in Grants Lick remembers the life of Mary Boone Bryan, the sister of the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone.

Mary was born in 1736 in Pennsylvania to parents Squire and Sarah. She grew up in a full house with seven brothers and three sisters. Her father emigrated from England in the early 1700s and originally settled in Pennsylvania before moving his family to North Carolina in 1750. The Boones lived their lives according to Quaker teachings.

Mary married William Morgan Bryan, founder of Bryan Station, a settlement that provided a haven for pioneers in central Kentucky. Three of the Boone siblings, including Daniel Boone, married a member of the Bryan family. Therefore, the two families were very much interconnected. The Bryans accompanied Boone on some of his expeditions into Kentucky. After the founding of Boonesborough, William Bryan established his namesake settlement less than thirty miles away, and just north of present day Lexington.

Kentucky was a dangerous place in the late 1700s; attacks by Native Americans, who felt their lands were being encroached upon, were common. William Bryan fell victim to such an ambush and was mortally wounded. He died of his injuries in May 1780. Several sources debate whether Mary remarried after the death of her husband. After returning briefly to North Carolina, Mary returned to Kentucky and lived in Campbell County. She outlived William Bryan by almost forty years, passing away in 1819 at the age of eighty-three. Her remains are buried in Oakland Cemetery located in Grant's Lick.