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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Landrums at Boonesboro

Excerpts from Amanda and Her Cousins: A Genealogy of the Landrum Family in Kentucky,
as collected by James Alan Landrum.

Rueben Landrum, b. 5/31/1777 in Fluvanna Co., Va., fifth child of the Reverend Francis Lendrum Sr., married Martha “Patsy” Bibb in Va. On 4/7/1801…. In the fall of 1810, a wagon train came from Va. through Cumberland Gap and on to Fort Boonesborough. The group consisted of four children of the Rev. Francis Lendrum Sr., and their extended families. The oldest son, James, with his wife and ten children and widowed mother, Sally Wren Landrum, brother Reuben Landrum, brother Thomas Landrum, and their families led the way. Quoting from the papers of Charles Milton Landrum Jr.:

Fort Boonesborough, besides being a place from which to fight Indians, had been in existence about thirty-five years. It had become a trading center and contained many ‘land speculators’ who were selling farms to these immigrants from Virginia.”

The threat of Indian fighting was still very real as this was the time immediately leading up to the War of 1812 with Britain. The British and Indians, led chiefly by Tecumseh of the Shawnees from the Ohio country, were already conducting raids in Kentucky that would soon blossom into full-scale war on the frontier.

Squire Boone, Daniel’s brother, was a good friend of Reuben Landrum. While their families remained in the safety of Fort Boonesborough, Squire Boone and Reuben Landrum, after wintering at Boonesborough, set out to find the land that suited them best. There is no record to tell us how long they searched, but we do know that when they found the open meadows and lots of available building timber, they immediately realized their search had ended. These lands which the two men found were about ten miles east of present-day Winchester and some thirty-eight miles from Boonesborough. The great meadows were divided between Squire, taking one half, and Reuben, taking the other half. The community became known as ‘Buckeye’ and later as Pilot View.*

* One hundred forty-seven years later, my sister and I – Judy Kay and James Alan Landrum – began the fifth and seventh grades at Pilot View School, never knowing the family history of the area!

Although the Landrum families that came to Boonesborough in 1810 arrived much later than the time of Daniel Boone and the original settlers, Reuben is still considered to be one of the first families of Boonesborough, and his name is engraved on the marble monument standing today just outside the rebuilt Fort Boonesborough.


Reuben and Patsy’s son, Reuben Washington Landrum, was the first Landrum born in Kentucky, by family tradition at Fort Boonesborough itself, or possibly at their new home in Clark County. Reuben, Patsy, and a few others are buried there in unmarked graves. When you turn off I-64 onto the Mountain Parkway heading east, the land is between the 7- and 8-mile markers, on the left. You’ve been driving right by it all these years…

There is more in the book about this family, including excerpts from a book by Reuben Washington’s brother, William Bibb Landrum, “Life and Travels of Wm. B. Landrum, published by the Southern Methodist Publishing House in 1878 as a centennial contribution for the hundredth year of Methodism in America. The entire text of this book is available online – electronically reproduced in 2002 in the “Kentuckiana Digital Library” section of the Kentucky Virtual Library at There is also a transcript of a letter from Reuben to his brother Thomas, Reuben’s will dated 4/7/1848, a current-day diagram of where the Pilot View homeplace was located, and photos of the original Landrum family bible that belonged to Reuben and Martha. Pictures of the Landrum land and graves at Pilot View are currently posted online, with captions, at 

1 comment:

  1. Robert Marshall LandrumSeptember 14, 2014 at 11:15 AM

    Wow! Reuben was my My Great, Great, Great Grandfather. Not having the records in front of me I believe its like this. I am Robert Marshall Landrum, my father was Robert Asbury Landrum, his father was Jesse Calvin Landrum, His father was Samuel Isam Landrum and his father was Reuben.