Boone Monument Farm is north of the Missouri River, just north
of Highway 94 near the small towns of Defiance and Marthasville.
Even hikers and bikers on the cross-state Katy trail can see a
large, two-story brick house with a white fence around the yard
and can bike down Boone Monument Road to the historic cemetery.
The burial site was on the farm owned by Rebecca Bryan
Boone’s nephew, Willis Bryan, and his wife, Corelia Logan
Logans and Bryans are both blood relatives on Mother’s
side of our family. Looking out toward the river, I felt a new
closeness to my ancestors who farmed this land 200 years ago.
Jonathan, David and Willis Bryan, three generations, all lived
in an old dirt-floor log cabin; the brick house was built by
later owners. Daniel and Rebecca Boone lived in a similar log
cabin, which was so close to her Bryan relatives they could see
each other’s homes through the trees.
A large stone, with attached bronze plaque bearing Daniel
Boone’s image in bas-relief, gave the road and the farm
their names. There’s a regular marker for his wife, Rebecca,
whom he called "Becky." Rebecca died in 1813 and was
buried on this hilltop with her Bryan relatives Jonathan,
David and Willis. Daniel died seven years later, in September,
Three generations all lived in the one room cabin on this
farm, beginning soon after they arrived in Missouri, near 1800.
The farm’s present owner invited five of us to see inside
the old Bryan cabin home. She unlocked the door and we stepped
inside a small, dark room where chicken feed and odds and ends of
furniture were stored. The door had replaced a large fireplace,
which went down long ago. The old entrance door at the opposite
end was so small, an adult would need to bend down to pass
through it without bumping his head.
My son Walt and his three sons Cole, Peter and Oliver
located the sleeping "shelves" up high on each
side of the longer walls. The mantel in the restored brick house
was once a walnut ceiling joist from the Bryan cabin. I stroked
the smooth old wood, a double link in our family history because
Mrs. Willis Bryan was the former Corelia Logan, also in
Mother’s lineage. The Logans, Bryans and Boones had moved
together from Pennsylvania to Virginia, to Kentucky and Missouri,
and there were several intermarriages between these families.
Nathan Boone was the youngest son of Daniel and Rebecca.
Seventeen years ago I met Carol Bills, the author of
"Nathan Boone, The Neglected Hero." She knew I was
constructing a replica of that double-log home, in clay. Carol
secured the keys to the gate and the cabin, from the private
owners of that time. We went to Nathan’s 1830s home north of
Ash Grove, walked the beautiful area and located the cellar and
two of the five springs close by. We were fascinated by the good
condition of those old walnut logs.
We climbed the stairs pictured in John Rogers’ Tribune
article on Sept. 5 and waded through tall grass and weeds to
locate the graves of Nathan and Olive and the two
grandchildren who died on the same day. The news of its future
restoration is exciting.
It is important that this cabin be restored; Nathan’s
first home is the three-story mansion near Defiance, which, as
author Rogers points out, is mistakenly known as "Daniel
The annual Nathan Boone Rendezvous will be Saturday, Sept. 18
at the Ash Grove park. Information about group tours of the cabin
is available by calling Grady Manus of the Department of Natural
Resources at (417) 751-3266.