Simon Kenton came west from Virginia when he thought he had killed a man. As an early Mason County settler, in 1784 he built Kenton’s Station to defend against Native American “War Parties.” While the original, wooden Kenton’s Station is long gone, the map below shows its approximate location.

Kenton saves Daniel Boone at Boonesboro KY

Kenton took advantage of his role at the forefront of settlement by claiming huge amounts of land for himself through so-called “tomahawk improvements.”  These he made by chopping his initials or “mark” into large trees at the four corners of the land he desired. 

Using this early method to land claim, it is believed that Kenton once owned nearly half a million acres in what one day would become Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Missouri.  By 1790, he also owned and resided on a comfortable estate in northern Kentucky, living in a large brick house with his wife, surrounded by his children, slaves, horses, and tenant farmers.  

Arthur Wood established Washington on land he purchased Simon Kenton.

In 1799, soon after his first wife died, Kenton looking for new ground, moved North. He initially settled near what became Springfield OH.

European exploration of the region dates to the 1600s. It was Pennsylvanian Simon Kenton who was the key to settling Limestone, the nearby town
of Washington, and the county. Another explorer of the area was Robert McAfee, who arrived in June 1773. John Hedges gave the site its original
name of Limestone earlier in 1773. But it was Kenton, on his fourth visit in 1775, who found Limestone cove and the canebrakes three miles south of
Limestone that became part of pioneer legend.

Here Kenton built his cabin and began promoting the area. The site of Limestone was locked between the river and hills with insufficient land for farming and vulnerable to Indian attacks. Most settlers moved to the hills above Limestone or migrated farther to the west.
In 1776 numerous exploring parties came to Limestone, and Kenton welcomed them and helped guide them to their destinations. Local tradition
holds that he urged only those visitors he found especially promising to stay in the area. Indian attacks kept most settlers away before 1784, the year
Kenton returned to Limestone with 60 men. William Bickley, Edward Waller, and John Waller of that party built at the mouth of Limestone Creek a blockhouse that was the beginning of Maysville


Elderly Kenton after his move to Ohio

Kenton lived a exceptional life. Check out these links for more details.

Native Americans tie Kenton to a horse as a punishment