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Daniel Boone frequently made his way through Johnson County

Daniel Boone is a familiar name to many Americans. It is a very familiar name to folks who live in Johnson County or the surrounding area. Boone’s trek through the wilderness of what is now Johnson County, Tennessee is one of adventure and hardship. Historians say Boone was one of the earliest men to come through what is now Johnson County. Others who came early were John Honeycutt, James Millican and James Robertson. Robertson went on to explore and settle Middle Tennessee. He is often referred to as “The Father of Tennessee.” Boone’s family settled in the Yadkin Valley in 1751. It was from there that Boone launched his various trips into Kentucky where he established Boonesborough.
Boone is said to have come through what is now Boone and Zionville, North Carolina and what is now Trade and Shouns Crossroads in Tennessee. Coming to Shouns, he turned west through Butler and communities west. At other times he turned east through what is now Mountain City and Laurel Bloomery in Tennessee and Damascus, Virginia and on through Wolf Hills (present day Abingdon, Virginia) toward the Cumberland Gap.
Boone and a group of men blazed a trail through Cumberland Gap into Kentucky. A gap or low route was an important feature in those days when walking or horseback was normal modes of travel. Also Cumberland Gap was the converging point for two major pioneering routes: The Wilderness Road and The Tennessee Road.
According to the Encyclopedia Britannica and other sources, Daniel Boone was born at Oley, a frontier settlement near the present city of Reading, Pennsylvania on November 2, 1734. He was the sixth of eleven children born to Squire Boone, a farmer and land speculator. His mother was Sarah Morgan. He married Rebecca Bryan on August 14, 1756. Although he had little schooling, he could read and write. Most of his life was spent as a wandering hunter and trapper. He was a skilful hunter who could glide through the forest without making a sound. That was important both in hunting game as well as preventing being captured or killed by Indians.
The land west of the Appalachian Mountains had been set aside for the Indians by Britain. Consequently, the Indians resented the settlers’ encroachment on the land that had been promised to them and often attacked settlers to discourage future settlement. Boone led a number of parties into Kentucky. On one, he brought his family. He was captured by the Indians twice but escaped both times and was able to warn Boonesborough of impending attacks. In an earlier attack, Boone’s son James was tortured and killed.
Boone held several offices. He was lieutenant colonel of Fayette County, legislative representative and sheriff. He also was elected to the Kentucky legislature. Boone spent his later years in St. Charles, Missouri at the home of his son. He died there on September 26, 1820.