Historical Marker #2059, (870 See Road, 3/4 mile north of Jct. KY 437 & See Road), marks the location of the death of Edward Boone, usually called Ned. The story of how it happened has been told by several early pioneers, including Daniel Boone himself.
Daniel and Ned were returning to Boone’s Station located in present Fayette Co, KY where Boone lived from 1799 till about 1783. They were coming from Blue Licks on the Licking River where they had been hunting and their horses were loaded with game. They paused in a meadow and Ned suggested they crack some nuts from a grove of trees nearby. Daniel was uncomfortable and commented that this was a likely place for an ambush by Indians, but Ned is supposed to have said “I don’t believe there is an Indian in one hundred miles of this place.” Daniel saw a bear lumbering away, followed it into the woods, and shot it. Suddenly shots rang out in the woods, and Daniel realized they had been ambushed. Looking back he saw Shawnees gathered around Ned’s body. He heard them say, “We have killed Daniel Boone!” Many people had reported that Ned and Daniel looked a great deal alike.
Daniel had no choice but to run and hid in a canebrake. The Shawnees sent their dog after Daniel, but he killed it with a rifle, and went deeper into the brake. He heard the Shawnees exclaim over the loss of their dog, but they did not try to find him, evidently satisfied that they had killed Daniel Boone.
Daniel fled on foot, and made the twenty miles to Boone’s Station by morning. He led a party back to the place where Ned had been shot, and found a wildcat chewing on Ned’s body. There was a report that they took Ned’s head to prove they had really killed Daniel. Daniel and the others in the party followed the trail to the Ohio River, but didn’t pursue the Indians across the Ohio. They likely buried Ned where he was killed. On the way back to Boone’s Station, they killed game for Ned’s widow, Martha, and the five children.
[Morgan, Robert. Boone: A Biography. Chapel Hill, NC: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, 2008, p. 301-2. O’Malley, Nancy. Stockading Up: A Study of Pioneer Stations in the Inner Bluegrass Region of Kentucky. Kentucky Heritage Council, Frankfort, KY, Archaelogical Report 127, 1987, p. 171.]
Boone Creek and the Site of the Grave
The Boone Society marked the site of Edward’s grave with a stone and fenced area. [It is shown as a dark area between the two smaller trees in the middle of this picture. The location was chosen based on the narratives of interviews by Lyman Copeland Draper. He interviewed Daniel Bryan in 1834 and Thomas S. Bouchelle in 1884 for the story that is told here.
This native North American plant once covered vast areas of Kentucky. By 1799, it was almost completely eradicated by the pioneers to make room for crops, although its leaves were highly prized as cattle fodder before crops were cultivated. Cane, Arundinaria gigantea, grew in the bluegrass area of Kentucky to a height of 20 feet in places, and individual canes could be two inches thick. A stand of cane was impenetrable. Hunters walked in an ocean of cane stretching as far as the eye could see in all directions. The area is still referred to as the Cane Ridge. [Alvey, R. Gerald. Kentucky Bluegrass Country. Jackson, MS: University Press of Mississippi, 1992.] .