(Transcribed from the April 10, 1907 edition of the Adair County News. Original grammar and spelling maintained.)
Early History of Adair County
In 1788 Col. William Casey with John Butler and others left Lincoln county, Ky., and after traveling several days in a southern direction came to Green river and crossing it selected a good spring on the premises once owned by James Calison where they established a station.
They remained there until 1791 when Col. Casey with three of his party left there and crossing Russell's creek established a station on the premises since owned by James L. Johnston and on which his widow now lives.
Col. Casey had four daughters and one son. The names of his daughters were Margaret, Jane, Mollie and Ann. I do not know the name of his son. [Col. and Mrs. Casey's only son was named Green. -- ed.] Col. Casey at one time owned twenty one hundred and fifteen acres of land lying between and on Butler's fork and including his station. The first purchase made by Casey included fifteen hundred and fifteen acres. The line between Joseph Dohoney and James L. Robertson formed the northern boundry and the western boundry of this tract runs near where Shiloh meeting house stood and on between A.J. Stotts and Edd. Stotts to a corner near where Charles Moores drawbars once was; thence east crossing both prongs of Pettisfork to Long branch; thence down Long branch to the beginning. His second purchase contained six hundred acres, lying west of the former tract, extending to Butlersfork and down that stream with its meanders as far as the tract extended. This tract extends some farther north and not so far south as the first tract. The names of those who accompanied Col. Casey to this last station were Peter Jump, Philip W. Wease and William Wells.
After remaining in the station about three years, Jump settled the farm once owned by Manoah Stone, but now owned by Robert Allens' heirs and Wease settled the place since owned by Hiram K. Turk and where Turk run a tanyard for a number of years and Wells left and went to some of the older settlements. After some years Jump and Wease sold out and went to Indiana or Ohio. In 1793 John Votaw with all the Stotts families, except John Stotts, left Lincoln county and came to Casey's and Votaw occupied Jump's cabin for two years. He then moved to the Turk farm Wease settled. In 1797 James Gilmer and Alexander Gilmer came from Bourbon county and bought land of Col. Casey on which they lived until their death.
About 1798 John Stotts and his father-in-law William Stone came from Lincoln county and settled on Harrodsfork. In 1801 Adair county was formed out of part of Green county. In the winter of 1801 the town of Columbia was located and the site was surveyed by Daniel Syms in the spring of the year following. In 1801 Benjamin Bomer was appointed sheriff and at the same time James Gilmer and Daniel Trabue were appointed Justices of the peace by Gov. Garard. In 1801 Robert Ball of Green county built the first court house in Columbia and Zedric Wheeler built a brick dwelling for Squire Gilmer the same year and one for Alexander Gilmer in 1800. Squire Gilmer died in 1813 and Squire Trabue in 1840.
I copied the foregoing narrative from a letter written Col. William C. Paxton some twenty or twenty five years ago. Col. Paxton was a grand son of Col. Casey's and represented this county in the State legislature in 1840. In 1850 he left this county in company with John Stotts and family, Geo. W. Stotts, William Stotts, Robert Moore and Josiah Robinson and went to Lawrence county, Missouri. About the same time Col. Henry Moore, Albert White, Ben and Albert Stotts left this county and went to Lawrence county Missouri. In 1865 Col. Paxton left Missouri with all of his children except those who were married and stopped one year in Simpson county Ky. His wife being in bad health he brought her to this county in 1866. In January 1867 she died and in the spring following the Col. with his two daughters went to Fanin county Texas where he lived until his death. By request of some of his friends I present this sketch to the Adair County News for publication.
[Mr. Taylor died in Adair County in 1923, age 85.]