Who was David Leitch?


Part three in a series

By Curtis Dewees



David had 13,800 acres surveyed in Campbell County, where he established Leitch’s Station, on Licking River. He had a comfortable log cabin built for himself and his new bride in 1791, but because of constant threats from Indians, they returned to Lexington for a year. While he issued leases and bonds to many persons, he didn’t in fact have title to the land.

In early November of 1794, he went on a trip to see some of his lands. He had to sleep outside in the freezing rain, and caught pneumonia and died about eight days later. Keturah didn’t want the responsibility of being executrix of David’s estate, so she designated James Taylor, a family friend to do the job. A year after David’s death, Keturah married Taylor. The marriage united the two richest people in northern Kentucky.

Strangely, of all the hundreds of thousands of acres that David laid claim to, during his lifetime he obtained title to only 37,950 acres. After his death, he received title to 64,480 acres, and his widow, Keturah, received title to 48,279 acres, the last one of which was in 1825, 30 years after David’s death.

It is commonly believed that Keturah donated 200 acres for a town if it would be named Leitchfield. There is no written evidence to back up this assumption. In 1806, Taylor and a colleague named Richard Bibb entered a partnership to establish a town on 100 acres of David Leitch’s land on Little Clifty Creek. It is my contention that this was merely a business transaction, and not a donation. Probably, Keturah convinced her husband to name the town Leitchfield because of the great respect she had for David.

Your comments and questions are welcome. You may email me at alitu154@gmail.com.

Part three in a series

By Curtis Dewees

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