Simpson Creek named by early settlers in 1779
By Tom Watson
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
The late Robert Moore of Lexington, by way of Bloomfield, left some wonderful information for us in his research and writings. His book is filled with geneaology and history of the area, but not easily found to purchase. If you have one, treasure it.
In the following from Bob's research, we get a history of Simpson Creek and the story of how it was named.
"Notes on Cuthbert Combs vs. Leven Powell et al. in Nelson Co. compiled records, 1800-1817, p. 589 ff. 28 March 1811, bill in chancery, Cuthbert Combs by his counsel vs. heirs of Leven Powell decd., Abraham Hite, Joseph Hite, Rebecca Vanmetre Fishback [m. Charles Fishback], and Jacob Hite, infant heirs of Isaac Hite and Jesse Murray, Enoch Murray, John Murray, Alfred Murray, James Murray, Joseph Murray, Peggy married to Charles Oneal, Nancy married to Samuel McKay, and Betsy Murray, heirs of John Murray decd. and Dorcas Murray, widow of sd. John Murray, decd., Joseph Milligan, William McKay, Leven Green, and Peter Brown.
Land entry made 15 May 1780. Cuthbert Combs was of Clark Co., Ky. Text of his will is entered: ..."10 of my children, viz. Betsy Edward, formerly Betsy Combs, Joseph C., Benjamin C., Polly [C.] Evans, John C., Sythe [C.] Payne, Susannah [C.] Hickman, Cuthbert C., Sally [C.] Evans, Nancy [C.] Payne have married and received part of my estate. Sons Fielding Alexander C. and Ennis C. Wife Sally." wr. 20 Feb. 1814, pr. 24 July 1815. Exrs. wife and sons Fielding Alexander C. and Ennis C. Mentions 1000 acres in Nelson Co. on Simpson's Ck. adjoining William Brashear's preemption.
p. 605, Cuthbert Combs vs. Levin [Leven] Powell heirs.
Deposition of Thomas Simpson.
Q. When did Simpson's Creek obtain that name and by whom was it named?
A. I never knew it by any other name than Simpson's Creek. In 1779 in the Spring of that year, it was proposed by Mr. McGee to call it Simpson's Creek after this deponent, to which all the Company agreed.
Q. Who were the persons in company when Simpson's Creek was named that name?
A. Samuel Pottinger, Patrick McGee, John Severns and this deponent Thomas Simpson.
p. 605, Combs vs. Powell heirs. Deposition of Patrick McGee.
Q. When did you first become acquainted with Simpson's Creek?
A. In May or June 1779 when we first named the creek.
Q. Did you know or over hear of Simpson's Creek having a different name previous to 1779 when you and Mr. Thomas Simpson gave it the name of Simpson's Creek?
A. I did not know it by any other name, but did hear by someone, at the time I was entering my land with the Commissioners, - I think Thomas Denton, - that the Creek was named by some as Crooked Creek.
Q. Who was in company with yourself and Thos. Simpson in 1779, when you first gave Simpson's Creek that name?
A. Capt. Sam'l Pottinger and John Severns.
p. 81, Book D, Court Records. Deposition of Samuel Pottinger.
Q. Did you know of any improvements near any of these Forks?
A. I knew of four - one on the Caney fork called McCulloms, - Capt. Polke's on the Burnt Station Fork, - my own on Simpson's Creek, - and one between my improvement and Polke's but I do no know for who it was made.
p. 380, Court Records, Book D. Deposition of Thomas Polke.
"In the month of April 1776 this deponent in company with Joseph Cox made an improvement on the waters of Simpson's Creek at the mouth of a branch, now called John Bland's Spring Branch. This deponent further saith that the improvement by himself, in Company of Joseph Cox, was a small log'd wall about three or four logs high." [Thus we see how the early settlers established their claims sometime before they actually settled by making a very small beginning of a structure. Something of the kind we know happened at Harrodsburg, where the settlers came in 1774 and marked their claims, going back to Virginia and only returning in 1775 to settle.]
p. 25, Book B, Jas. Davis vs. Wm. Day. Deposition of John Dozier.
"Sometime in the spring or summer of 1780, he for the first time saw an improvement, standing at the mouth of what is now called John Bland's Spring Branch, a head water of Simpson's Creek. This deponent further sayeth that he resided two or three years at Kincheloe's Station where William Kincheloe lived, since called the Burnt Station, which station was lower down the same waters than the improvements above mentioned; the distance between, called by some a mile, by others, three quarters of a mile."
p. 216, Davis vs. Davis & John Young. Extract from Decree of Court.
"About that time (Apr. & May 1780) Polke established the Station on Simpson's Creek afterwards called the Burnt Station."
p. 244, Patrick Davis vs. Jesse Davis & John Young. Deposition of John Dozier.
Q. Where did you make your home in the aforesaid years (1781-1782)?
A. At Polke's alias the Burnt Station on Simpson's Creek, until it was taken by the Indians and after that time, within the bounds of Nelson County, and generally for sometime at Cox's Station.
p. 252, Davis vs. Davis & Young. Deposition of Wm. Smiley.
Q. At what time did you come into that part of the Country called Cox's Station and Kincheloe's Station, afterward called the Burnt Station?
A. In the fall of 1780.
Q. Were they places of general notoriety?
p. 26, James Davis vs. Wm. Day. Deposition of Aronton [Arrington] Wickliffe.
"In the year 1780, he this deponent came to the State of Kentucky, then the County of Kentucky, and after being in the county aforesaid, he came down from Harrodsburg to Kincheloe's Station, now called the Burnt Station. This deponent further saith that the Burnt Station was about one mile below the mouth of John Bland's Spring Branch. That to his knowledge, Wm. Kincheloe lived at the station from 1780 to 1781 in November, or if he was absent at any time, his family was not absent. This deponent lived there from May 1780 till 1781 in November."
Book D, Michael Coger vs. Abraham Hite. Deposition of William Lent.
"He was living at Kincheloe's Station in April 1780, and in the neighborhood till 1790."
Page 26, Book B, James Davis vs. William Day. Deposition of Jesse Davis. "Capt. Kincheloe about the first of April 1780, was living at the Burnt Station and it was at that place the s'd Kincheloe first settled when he came to Kentucky. The Station was called Kincheloe's Station until it was burned by the Indians, it then assumed the name of Burnt Station. It was a place of general notoriety, there being no Settlement between the Falls of Ohio and Harrodsburg but that one, except at Salt River."
Q. Was that creek on which the Burnt Station was erected called Simpson's Creek?
Q. Was that Burnt Station built on Simpson's Creek?
A. Yes, it was on the waters then called Simpson's Creek and called so yet.
p. 253, Patrick Davis vs. Jesse Davis & John Young. Deposition of David Cox.
Q. At what time did Isaac Davis live at the Burnt Station?
A. He lived at the Station now called the Burnt Station from the Spring 1780, till it was taken by the Indians.
Q. Was not Polke's or the Burnt Station and Cox's Station the two nearest Settlements to Ash's Settlement?
A. Yes, the nearest in the Spring 1780.
p. 157, Job Hammond vs. Fitch devises (John Rowan, Wm. Thornton, Eliza Vail, Charles Nourse & Charlotte Nourse, Representatives of Jas. Nourse). Deposition of Isaac Davis.
"In the Spring, 1780, a certain John Suddoth employed this deponent to show him lands to lay warrants on for himself, for Thomas Suddoth, and for Wm. Day. We proceeded from what is called the Burnt Station on up to the southwest fork of Simpson's Creek. The s'd Suddoth liked the land up the Creek and said he would enter his own 1000-acre warrant here. Capt. Kincheloe wrote him a location by this deponent's direction."
p. 166, Job Hammond vs. Fitch Devises. Deposition of Richard Conner.
Q. In the Spring of 1780, was not Kincheloe's Station a place of general notoriety, and known to people generally by that name, and had it not acquired that name before May 1780?
p. 167, Hammond vs. Fitch Devises. Deposition of Thos. Polke.
Q. At what time was Conner's Improvement, for which he obtained his Preemption on Simpson's Creek made?
A. In April 1776.
p. 166, Hammond vs. Fitch devises. Deposition of Richard Conner.
"In the fall of the year 1780, John Fitch came to Cox's Station. I heard him say he had a 300-acre warrant he intended to lay on the southwest branch of Simpson's Creek so as not to interfere with Capt. Thos. Polke's preemption."
p. 162, Hammond vs. Fitch devises. John Fitch's entry of Simpson's Creek, Sept. 11, 1780. "John Fitch withdraws 300 acres of his Entry on Cox's Creek and from the west side thereof, and locates the same on a southwest branch of Simpson's Creek, about three fourths of a mile from where it empties into the branch that runs by Kincheloe's
p. 605, Cuthbert Combs vs. Levin Powell heirs. Deposition of John Galloway.
"In the year 1782, he first became acquainted with Simpson's Creek. At the time he heard of no other place called the forks, but where the south and east forks come together, which this deponent thinks is about one and a half miles above McGee's Lick where salt has been made. The south fork is the one running down by Kincheloe's Station that was burnt. The east fork is the one runs by the place generally called 'Gander Town'." [Note by RPM: This was once the name for the part of Bloomfield on the west side of Simpson Creek, which seems to have been settled before Dr. Bemiss officially developed his land on the east side into Bloomfield. As John B. Thomas observes, there must not have been any settlements on the east side, since the original plat shows perfectly straight lines in the lots, meaning that Bemiss did not need to make any allowances for previously occupied land.]
p. 777, Overton vs. Lacy. Deposition of Isaac Davis, taken in 1818 at the House of Wm. Kincheloe, Howard County, Territory of Missouri.
"In the fall of the year 1780, Clough Overton came to this deponent's house on Simpson's Creek, Kincheloe's Station, now in Nelson County, Kentucky, in Company with Isaac Hite, who was the Surveyor, and Cornelius Davis. S'd Clough Overton wished this deponent to assist him in making some Surveys."
p. 230, Patrick Davis vs. Jesse Davis & John Young. Deposition of Wm. Pearl.
Q. Do you recollect of being at Kincheloe's Station after you returned from the Settlement?
A. Yes, I recollect of being there often times between my return and the latter end of the year 1782.
p. 167, Hammond vs. Fitch devises. Deposition of Wm. Smiley.
Q. Was not the place now called the Burnt Station, the same place that was formerly called Kincheloe's Station?
A. Yes, and the name was altered from Kincheloe's Station to the "Burnt Station" in consequence of the Indians taking and burning the Kincheloe Station, which I think took place in August 1782.
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