Sentinel-Echo.com

Opinion

June 20, 2013

Traces of Laurel: Pioneer John Wood

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — This week I’m backtracking a bit into the years before Laurel County was established.  In 1792, the year Kentucky became a state, there was only one documented resident in the area that became Laurel County.  Russell Dyche writes in his Laurel County History (1954) that “John Wood resided in what has come to be known as Wood’s Blockhouse at the Hazel Patch.”  When settlers began to pour through Cumberland Gap into what was to become the new state of Kentucky, blockhouses along the way provided crude but welcome places for travelers to rest.

Wood built and operated Wood’s Blockhouse for a man named Remey who had bought many acres of land in the area, but who was an absentee land owner.  I’m not saying there weren’t other permanent dwellings here at that time (who really knows?), only that no others have been documented.  

Until these travelers came through, John Wood may not even have known that Kentucky had just become the 15th state or that Isaac Shelby was the new governor.  Then again, he may have been the kind of man who kept up with current events.  Just because he lived in the wilderness doesn’t mean he was ignorant.  After all, we still remember him and honor his memory as our first pioneer.

We know quite a bit about him.  We know that he was of German descent and that he was one of Kentucky’s early land surveyors. We know that his wife’s name was Margaret, that he had five sons and two daughters, and that he was named a constable when the first county government was formed in 1826.  We know that when he purchased land from the George Thompson survey in 1808 he paid for it with English pounds. On Laurel County’s first tax list in 1826, recorded in the Commissioner’s Book of 1827, John Wood is listed as having 1,100 acres worth $2,200.   

John Wood didn’t just appear briefly on the scene and pass through.  He and his progeny were active in the life of the community up until and for some time after Laurel County was established.  Wood died before the first census of Laurel County was done in 1830. The John Wood named in that census is his son, John Jr., who married Ann Cromer.  Not too many years ago, the grave of the elder John Wood was discovered on private property in the northeast part of the county.  It was marked and is being maintained.

Visit the Laurel County Historical Society to read more about pioneer John Wood.

* * *

The Laurel County Historical Society is located at 310 W. 3rd St., London, (formerly the Laurel County Health Department).  The library is open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. until 12 noon.  For further information, contact 606-864-0607 during library hours, or 606-224-3767 at other times.  Visit the historical society’s website:  http://www.laurelcountykyhistoricalsociety.org.  Email the society at lchistsoc@windstream.net or Jan Sparkman at sparkman935@gmail.com.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: An almost completely true fish tale

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: Did Lana cross the line with her remark?

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • mitch.jpg On The Rebound: All Star Game less important than Wiffle Ball

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • denis.jpg Direct Kick: A very eventful week in sports

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • The shining kingdom

    The drop in gas prices locally is a welcome sight for most residents in the area with gas falling under $3.60 per gallon.

    July 16, 2014

  • Letter to the editor: Thanks, Sentinel-Echo

    In the July 4 edition of the Sentinel-Echo, (last page, section 1), the entire page was given to quotes of references to God, the Declaration of Independence, and our constitution by our founding fathers, former presidents, Supreme Court judges, etc. 

    July 14, 2014

  • Zamperini's story was inspiring

    I had never heard the names of Louis Zamperini and Russel Allen Phillips until my pastor gave me a book, “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption,” by author Laura Hillenbrand, who wrote, “Seabiscuit: An American Legend” a few years ago.

    July 11, 2014

  • The tales of Dr. Robert E. Pennington

    When Dr. H. V. Pennington began to practice medicine in Laurel County times were hard and medical methods were primitive, compared to today. 

    July 11, 2014

  • Where did that red truck go?

     We were sitting out on the front porch last Saturday afternoon when a  big, red, late- model pick up whizzed by on Charlie Brown.  It looked like there was a man driving and a woman riding shotgun  

    July 7, 2014

  • A change for Pace

    Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.Let me tell you a little about my friend Candice Pace. We were sitting in the fountain square the other day and she was telling me about how she had driven to Pikeville, where she’s from, to visit with her mom. Along the way, deep in McCreary County, she passed three turtles that were crossing the road.

    July 7, 2014

Facebook
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results