BUCKNER – Life and Death Of Capt. Philip Buckner III


Phillip Buckner III_Captain_PortraitCapt. Philip Buckner was English by birth. He made several voyages across the Atlantic as Captain of a sailing vessel, He settled in Port Royal, Carolina Co., Va. where he married. He was what they then called issuing commissary during the Revolutionary War for which service he received a patent of land in Kentucky Co., Va. Which is now part of Bracken Co. & extends along the Ohio River from Bracken Creek to Locust Creek & extends on into Robertson Co.

He had been to Ky. on horseback and located his patent intending to settle on the site where Augusta, Ky. now stands. He went back to Va. and brought his family with forty odd negroes and several of his neighbor men from Va. in keel boats, but finding the Indians along the shore, he passed on to Jefferson Co. and left his family at Beargrass Station, a military post. Going back to Va. he brought more men and their families and after they had built some cabins he removed his family to Augusta, Ky. And soon after was called to Fort Washington, where Cincinnati now stands, as commissary to that fort for which he received from the state of Va. another patent of land in the State of Ohio, Brown Co. He built the first brick house in Augusta and part of the foundation can yet be seen.

Capt. Buckner was a very eccentric man, being English in his tastes, fond of hunting and the chase and having the pioneer spirit, he could not live in Augusta after it became a town. So he went fourteen miles into the wilderness, built some houses, kept his pack of hounds and it was a great hunting station for the people of Augusta for years, as the game was plenty and sport was fine and many anecdotes are told of his quaint jokes and entertaining qualities. He was benevolent and charitable to a fault; To many farmers in Bracken Co. he gave away one hundred acres apiece to poor men for such considerations as follows: fifty cents for one hundred acres, a spotted calf for the same, a sorrel colt, an overcoat, a station at the fork of the road where he could get a dinner and drink of grog. These are all recorded in the Clerk’s Office in Bracken Co.

He frequently made feasts, but always invited the poor & needy for miles around and gave away most of his income. The last day he lived he made one of these feasts. He sat in an arm chair at the head of his table and said “Eat my friends, I love to see you, though I cannot eat myself.” Many of them wanted to stay with him that night, but he said “No, Buckner (as he always called his wife) and my Sammy will stay with me, you all go home and sleep, and I will go to my rest” as he had said two or three days before he would.

So he did die that night, closing his own mouth and eyes. His wife, who was sleeping with him did not know until she felt his arm drop from his head. Thus, he died carrying out what he said that he wanted: that no one should witness his death struggle.

He was in the convention that framed the constitution for this state and in both houses of the legislature, at different times, for years and held many places of public trust. The first court ever was held in Bracken Co. The officers were as follows: John Blanchard, Judge; John Pickett, County Attorney; Willis Hord, County Clerk; Dickenson Morris, Sheriff; all of them his sons-in-law. John and Betsy Blanchard moved to Miss. Where their sons, afterward, filled places of public trust in that state. John Buckner settled in Hopkinsville, Christian Co. where his descendants are now living. Coleman, son of Samuel, settled in Oldham Co. John and Sarah Pickett in Jefferson Co. Willis and Polly Hord in Carter Co. and their descendants can now be found in these different sections at this time. William Buckner, Fannie B. Morris, Susan Orr nee’ Taliaferro nee’ Buckner and Thomas Buckner all settled in Bracken Co., Ky. Lived and died in Bracken Co., except William Buckner who removed late in life to Brown Co., Ohio and died there.