Daniel Boone’s statue is stationed in front of Eastern Kentucky University’s Keene Johnson Building; but why? He didn’t participate in the founding of EKU. He didn’t build a colony here. The figure of the famous explorer has become a symbol of good luck for students, who have rubbed his toe to a brassy gold.

The statue of Daniel Boone is stationed at Eastern Kentucky University for a variety of reasons, including his accomplishments in history.

How did that statue come to live at Eastern? What in history happened that made him so significant to Richmond, Kentucky?

Daniel Boone was born on November 2, 1734 in Berks County, Pennsylvania. On August 14, 1756 he was married to Rebecca Bryan, and they moved to Virginia.

Boone began his hunting expeditions to Kentucky with his brother, Squire, in 1767. Throughout the next six years he explored the Kentucky region thoroughly, and its prospects delighted him. The land brought Boone to eventually move his family to Kentucky.

As Boone and his family were passing through the Cumberland Gap in 1773 to settle in Kentucky, they were ambushed by Indians where his son, James, was killed, forcing them back home, which at that time had moved to North Carolina.

Daniel Boone was hired on March 10, 1775, by Judge Richard Henderson to make the first regular and continuous road through the wilderness to the Kentucky River, according to George W. Ranck in his book “Boonesborough”.

With new the new job ahead of him, Boone rounded up a group of 30 men and they set out on the excursion. The men were all armed with the intent on hunting wildlife and game, not expecting to come in contact with any Indians throughout their journey.

Two weeks had peacefully gone by and the men finally rested at what later came to be known as Boone’s Gap, which is now five miles from Richmond and part of Madison County. In that spot, their streak of peace was abruptly ended as a group of Indians attacked the camp.

For more information on Daniel Boone, check out this Meograph.

By Rebecca Monarch