Ohio History Journal

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People familiar with the early annals of the West, know

something of Simon Kenton. They know also of the rivalry be-

tween him and Leitchman for the hand of a young lady-that

Kenton was unsuccessful in his suite-that there was a fight

in consequence and that in the first encounter Kenton again lost,

but in the second, by wrapping Leitchman's long hair about a

sapling, Kenton won, and so severely beat his opponent that

thinking him fatally injured, he left at once for the West, not

returning to his home for additional clothing. He changed his

name to Butler and was known by that name for twelve or thir-

teen years next following.

Ellis in his Life of Kenton says that in 1782, Kenton learn-

ing that Leitchman did not die, returned to Virginia and came

back with his relatives to Kentucky. The statement is repeated

on p. 192 in this Journal for October, 1901. The question is

whether that statement is correct.

The writer of this note is one of the few men now living

who knew Simon Kenton personally. The families were connected

by marriage, and the first twenty-two years of my life were spent

among the Kentons, children and grandchildren of Simon and

of his older brother, William. For more than half a century a

family record was kept by one of William's daughters. Years

ago I copied out the chief parts of that record and have it be-

fore me.

In 1832 McClung's Sketches of Western Adventure was pub-

lished, containing an account of Simon Kenton. About two years

after Simon's death, I read this account to Thomas Kenton, son

of Wm. Kenton and nephew of Simon. This Thomas was in his

fourteenth year when the Kenton family and about forty other

persons left Fauquier county, Virginia, on the 16th of September,

1783, for Kentucky. In a month they reached Redstone (Brown-

ville) on the Monongehela. At this place they took boats. Si-

mon's father, Mark Kenton, then eighty-two years old, was one