Who was David Leitch?


Part four in a series

By Curtis Dewees



In 1806, James Taylor and Richard Bibb ran an ad in the Kentucky Gazette about establishing a town on David Leitch’s land on Little Clifty Creek. This proposal was brought before the Hardin County Court on May 26, 1806 because the land was still in that county. The proceedings of the Hardin County Court merely state a town, but without a name. Thus, one can assume that it was not yet named Leitchfield in 1806.

Besides the 100 acres that were to be set aside for a town, James Love and Philip Jones were sent to David’s Little Clifty land to survey lots. In an undated document found in the Taylor/Bibb papers at the Filson Historical Society, Love and Jones reported that they laid out 50 lots. They were farms really, ranging from 50 acres to 969 acres. Strangely, the cover sheet states a valuation of 13,700 acres in the name of David Leitch adjoining the Town of Leitchfield. This may be the earliest mention of Leitchfield on record. So I surmise that Leitchfield got its name sometime between 1806 and 1810. Philip Jones was an early settler in the area.

Amazingly, it took 75 years to settle David’s entire estate, since officially during his lifetime he did not own most of the land he claimed. Thus, Taylor, David’s executor, had the difficult task of giving title to all the people who claimed that they had bought land from David. When Taylor died, his son took over the executor’s job.

Amazingly, as late as 1865, 3,000 acres remained unsold in Grayson County, which were valued at 50 cents per acre. That was 71 years after David’s death!

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

Part four in a series

By Curtis Dewees

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