William Thomas' Station [1]

Jillson (1934) stated that this station was built as a frontier post in the fall of 1784 by William Thomas on 400 acres purchased from John Kennedy on Kennedy Creek. Kennedy had improved the land in 1776.

Two pioneer interviews provided information about this station. Thomas Paslay (Draper mss. 13CC166) lived there from October, 1787 to April, 1788. It consisted of five cabins "sort of sitting in, so that Strouds, and Riddles, & Martins protected it. There were never any difficulties at it". George Trumbo (Draper mss. 11CC113-116) placed it on Holder's Road (now Clintonville Road) 4 miles from Clintonville toward Paris. Also on Kennedy Creek was a Couchman and Jim Duncan, the latter being upstream from Thomas but within sight of the station.

John Kennedy held a total of 1400 acres in two connected tracts on Kennedy Creek (Figure IV-23; Brookes-Smith 1976:110; Virginia Survey Book 3, p. 83). His son, John, held an adjoining 1000-acre preemption (Virginia Survey Book 3, pp. 86-87). Judging from Trumbo's description, Thomas' Station should fall on Kennedy's settlement tract of 400 acres. Bourbon County courthouse records indicate a deed transaction between the heirs of John Kennedy and James Duncan and William Thomas, dated December 15, 1800 (Deed Book "E", pp. 431-434). The indenture was made by court order for 400 acres, surveyed December 27, 1784. The reconstructed plat is indicated in Figure IV-25. Since the deed transaction was not completed until 1800 (after Kennedy's death), Thomas and Duncan may have had an informal agreement with him prior to that time. A common strategy of the time was to rent out land on shares to be cleared.

William Thomas, who died in 1820, is reportedly buried in an unmarked grave on the present Xalapa farm, formerly the E. K. Thomas Sr. property, then owned by Mrs. Edward Simms (Kentucky Historical Society, undated cemetery records; Mrs. Edna Whitley, 1983: personal communication). This property is several miles southeast of the Kennedy tracts on the Stony Point Road. His burial there may have been what prompted Ardery (1939:14) to place the station on Stoner Creek near Spears Mill Road. She also gives a later date of 1789-1792. Possibly, Thomas later moved to this location, as several of his descendants lived there. As the precise site was not located, no eligibility determination could be made.

1. Nancy O’Malley, Stockading Up, Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort Kentucky, revised edition, 1994, p. 93.