Charles Hansford

Historical marker #1950 in McLean County commemorates the life of Charles Hansford, a veteran of the Revolutionary War.

Around 1730, Charles Hansford’s grandfather immigrated to America and settled in King George County, Virginia. In 1759, Charles Hansford was born to Alexander and Ann Hansford.

On May 1, 1775, Charles enlisted with a Virginia Minuteman unit led by Captain John Taliaferro. The unit marched to Hamilton, remained in the city for six months, and was then discharged. Charles did not participate in the fight for independence for more than a year. In 1777, he decided to rejoin and served under Captain John Robertson, but was again discharged six months later. Charles then ran away to become a privateer with the Virginia navy. He sailed on the eastern coast of the United States and then to the West Indies and Spain. During his time at sea, the British captured Charles three times. Only he and another man out of thirty-six survived a three-month confinement on a ship, the Jersey. The prison ship was nicknamed “Hell Afloat” for its horrid conditions.

After the Revolutionary War ended, Charles returned to his birthplace in Virginia and lived there for several years. During this period, he married and had at least four children- Elizabeth, Nancy, Charlotte and William. As early as 1804, Charles Hansford moved to Kentucky, first to Shelby County then to Nelson County. Eventually, he moved farther west to Mansonville in Daviess County to be near his son, William. Charles’ last move was to farmland near Calhoun that would later become a part of McLean County. Owned by his son, the Will Hansford farm, later known as the Mayo Farm, was located near Tar Springs.

Charles Hansford died in early 1850 or possibly late 1849 at the age of ninety. He was buried in McLean County, but a headstone cannot be found. Presently, the location of his grave is unknown.