Get to know these legendary Kentucky Pioneers, Explorers & Frontiersmen
Kentucky was a wild place before it settled down and became the Bluegrass State. Some Kentucky pioneers and frontiersmen went on to become renowned in American history and helped discover the country we know today. Get to know each intrepid Kentucky explorer below and learn about other famous Kentuckians.
Judge Roy Bean (1825-1903) – Infamous "hanging judge" of Langtry, Texas. Born in Mason County, died at Langtry.
Daniel Boone* (November 2, 1734-1820) – Hunted and explored Kentucky (1767-74.) Cleared the Wilderness Road and founded Fort Boonesborough, 1775. Born in Berks County, Pennsylvania, died in Osage Creek, Missouri, buried in Frankfort.
James Bowie (April 10, 1796-1836) – Hero of the Alamo, designer of the Bowie knife. Born in Logan County, died at “The Battle of the Alamo,” San Antonio, Texas.
Christopher Houston "Kit" Carson (December 24, 1809-1868) – Indian agent, trapper, scout. Born in Madison County, died at Fort Lyon, Colorado.
George Rogers Clark* (November 19, 1752 1818) – American Revolution frontier general and explorer, secured the Northwest Territory for the U.S., founder of Louisville, 1778. Born in Albemarle County, Virginia, died in Louisville, buried at Cave Hill Cemetery in Louisville.
William Floyd Collins (July 20, 1887-1925) – Explorer whose entrapment and death in a cave became one of the most widely reported stories in the 1920’s. Born in the Mammoth Cave area of Kentucky, died in Sand Cave near Mammoth Cave.
James Harrod* (1742-1793) – Frontiersman, founder of Harrodsburg, first permanent settlement west of the Alleghenies, in 1774. Born in Bedford County, Pennsylvania, died unknown.
Simon Kenton* (April 3, 1755-1836) – Frontier explorer, soldier, scout for Daniel Boone and George Rogers Clark. Born at Bull Run Mountains, Virginia, died at New Jerusalem, Ohio.
Dr. Thomas Walker* (January 25, 1715-1794) – Led the first documented expedition through the Cumberland, Gap, 1750. Born in Walkerton, Virginia, died in Castle Hill, Albemarle, County Virginia.
* Denotes not born in Kentucky