Update about blog

Come on over to my other blog, Alchemy of Clay and Living in Black Mountain NC, where the scenery and my ceramic arts life are combined. I've moved some personal blog posts, (as well as those that are about my ancestors) back here.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

The pioneer spirit

Crab Orchard, KY was near the end of the Logan Trace of the Wilderness Road and was an early pioneer station. There are several mineral springs in the area and from 1827 until 1922 taverns and hotels were located at Crab Orchard Springs
Richard Frederick Williams was born in Crab Orchard in 1782.

The Wilderness Road was the principal route used by settlers for more than fifty years to reach Kentucky from the East. In 1775, Daniel Boone "blazed" a trail for the Transylvania Company from Fort Chiswell in Virginia through the Cumberland Gap into central Kentucky. It was later lengthened, following Native American trails, to reach the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. The Wilderness Road was steep, rough, narrow, and it could only be traversed on foot or horseback. Despite the adverse conditions, thousands of people used it.

In 1792, the new Kentucky legislature provided money to upgrade the road. In 1796, an improved all-weather road was opened for wagon and carriage travel. The road was abandoned around 1840, although modern highways follow much of its route.

The Logan Trace was a wilderness trail through central Kentucky, a branch of Daniel Boone's Wilderness Road. It was named after its originator, Colonel Benjamin Logan. Logan came over the mountains with Boone in 1775, but went west toward Buffalo Spring instead of north. Its terminus was northwest of present-day Stanford, Kentucky, where Logan built a fort known as Logan's Station or St. Asaph. Stanford eventually emerged from Logan's original settlement.

Richard's son William T. Williams was born Dec. 16, 1824.  (I posted here last year a bit about his life)

William moved to Missouri probably in 1832 and with various siblings, and uncles and aunts settled there, and began farming.  William T. Williams at 38 joined the US army for part of the Civil War, and then moved much of his family to Texas by 1877, when his daughter Annie Elizabeth (born in 1862) married Leary (or Leroy) Francis Webb, my great grandfather. 

These people kept on moving, and I keep feeling amazed at their spirit of exploration.  Texas was pretty wild still in the 1870s, though the Wild West was still to become glamorized in fictionalized paper back books. 

The Webbs had been in Texas for a while, since Leary was born (1857) in Clinton County, to parents from Maryland and New York.  He married and settled in DeWitt County Texas, where they raised their 8 children (losing one as a child).  The family prospered by running a feed and general store.

But by 1910 the family was living in the metropolis of San Antonio.  Here was a city environment, where L.F. lived out his years, dying in 1921.  His wife Annie lived until 1942.  But my grandfather died young, Bud Webb was buried in the Masonic Cemetery in 1919.

I can only explain my desire to move about the country as the same urge that probably spurred these ancestors to travel to new horizons.  But it sure is a lot easier for me to do so than it was for them.

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