Daniel Boone, Surveyor / Bush Settlement

Historical marker #2531 in Clark County notes Daniel Boone's career as a surveyor and the role he played in establishing the Bush settlement during the eighteenth century.

Surveying land on the Kentucky frontier was a difficult, dirty, and dangerous job, but settlement demanded accurate knowledge of the landscape so men like Daniel Boone steped up to measure, mark, and record specific tracts. This was a vital step in the settlement process and men like Boone helped the arriving white Americans commodify the land for private ownership, which facilitated the establishment of farms and the difusion of Americans and American culture to the west. Kentucky played a key role in establishing this precedent, which was subsequently repeated across the continent.

Equally, if not more, important as the surveyors who helped map the land for settlement were the men and women who came behind and performed the arduious labor of carving farms and homes out of the newly demarkated tracts of land. This was accomplished in remarkably short time by folks like Captain Billy Bush and his extended clan and their neighbors at Lower Howard's Creek. Without the contributions of people like Boone and people like the Bushes, the settlement of Clark County and Kentucky generally could have taken a far different course.

Despite difficult January weather, the marker's dedication was well attended. The crowd braved the cold to offically unveil the marker, but then made like the pioneers of old and beat a hasty retreat back to Boonesborough to shelter from the elements and enjoy remarks on the topic. Speakers included Nancy Allen Turner, the Executive Director of Winchester-Clark County Tourism, Andrew Patrick, Community Engagement Coordinator at the Kentucky Historical Society, Henry Branham, Clark County Judge Executive and Harry Enoch, a local historian and driving force behind the marker, gave the dedication address. 

The marker reads:
Daniel Boone, Surveyor
Daniel Boone earned substantial income as a deputy county surveyor (1783-1797), a dangerous job in frontier Kentucky. He made legal surveys in six Kentucky counties, including Clark. Boone's first eleven were for William Bush and became the basis for the Bush Settlement. The first was made January 7, 1783.

Bush Settlement
Daniel Boone surveyed 6,147 acres for Captain Billy Bush. Bush located the land for himself and others, then served as pilot and marker for the surveys. Baptist families from Virginia and North Carolina began settling here in November 1784. The nucleus of the settlement was Providence Chuch on Lower Howard's Creek.
Presented by Winchester-Clark County Tourism Commission.