Mercer County, Kentucky, which is located in the very center of the state, was created from Lincoln County in 1786–six years before actual statehood was achieved. The county seat at Harrodsburg, founded in 1774, was the site of the first permanent settlement in what would become the state of Kentucky. Boyle County, just south of Mercer, was formed in 1842 from parts of Mercer and Lincoln counties. Mrs. Daviess’ brief history of these counties is a conventional account that portrays Mercer’s and Boyle’s place in the history of the nation and the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Following introductory chapters on geography, geology, and flora and fauna, the author takes up her narrative with Mercer/Boyle’s important place in the history of the American West, as evidenced by the establishment of frontier forts and battles in the American Revolution. Mrs. Daviess extends the story through the War of 1812, the Mexican War, and the divided loyalties of Mercer and Boyle countians in the War Between the States. Special coverage is also given to the towns of Mercer County, such as the county seat Harrodsburg and the city of Danville, the various religious denominations, fraternal and benevolent organizations, customs, fashions, manners, and lists of public officials. The author interrupts the chronological thread, moreover, with biographical sketches of noteworthy pioneers and celebrities of the region, who, like Daniel Boone himself, figured prominently in the history of Kentucky and the expanding nation. Included among the subjects of Mrs. Daviess’ sketches are: James Harrod, George Rogers Clark, Hugh Mercer, Simon Kenton, James Ray, Hugh McGary, Silas Harlan, William Pogue, Robert McAfee, Joseph Hamilton Daviess, John Adair, John Boyle, George Robertson, William Owsley, James Haggin, Phil B. Thompson, R. P. Letcher, T. P. Moore, John B. Thompson, John C. Young, Lewis Green, William D. Breckinridge, Samuel and Ephraim McDowell, Joshua Bell, Jeremiah and William Boylem and others. This is the starting point for research into Mercer and Boyle County history or genealogy.
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