Daniel Boone is one of the best-known figures of early America. Born in 1734 in Pennsylvania, Boone was a hunter, fur-trader, farmer, explorer and archetype of the American wilderness, the model for James Fenimore Cooper’s Natty Bumppo. He was active in the early government of three modern-day states: Kentucky, West Virginia, and Missouri. Boone was integral in relations with American Indians for many years, including helping to negotiate peace in Kentucky after the end of the Revolutionary War.
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Boone lived longer in North Carolina than anywhere else. His parents, Squire and Sarah Boone, arrived in North Carolina around 1751, and settled in present-day Davie County along the north fork of the Yadkin River. Squire Boone was born in England and moved to Pennsylvania with his family around 1715. A farmer, blacksmith and hunter, he married Sarah Morgan in 1720. The Boones were a Quaker family with eleven children, Daniel being the sixth. They moved from Pennsylvania in 1750, eventually settling in North Carolina in late 1751 or early 1752. The move was motivated by a variety of factors, but stemmed both from the marriages of the eldest two Boones to non-Quakers, thereby disgracing the family, and from the marriage of Jonathon Boone to Mary Carter, the daughter of Salisbury founder James Carter.
Upon moving to North Carolina, Squire Boone purchased a land grant to the south of Elisha Creek in Davie County in 1753 from Lord Granville for 640 acres for his family. Squire Boone also purchased an additional 640 acres on Bear Creek, about two miles west of present-day Mocksville, where he and his wife lived until Daniel purchased the property in 1759. While living in Davie County, Squire Boone spent time with his son Daniel, shooting, trapping and fishing.
In 1759 Squire and Sarah Boone moved to Maryland to escape the escalating dangers of the French and Indian War in frontier territories and of the increasing violence of the “highwaymen.” The Boones returned to North Carolina in 1762 and lived on Bear Creek with Daniel Boone. Squire Boone died in 1765, and Sarah Boone died in 1777.
Squire and Sarah Boone are buried together in the Joppa Cemetery, one half mile west of Mocksville. Joppa Cemetery, formerly called Burying Ground Ridge, was one of the earliest cemeteries in Davie County. The gravestone markers are both made of soapstone from the Boone’ Bear Creek land. Squire Boone’s grave is the oldest known grave in Joppa Cemetery, and also the oldest known grave in Davie County.
K. Randell Jones, In the Steps of Daniel Boone (2005)
Robert Morgan, Boone: A Biography (2007)
James W Wall, History of Davie County (1969)
Kirk Franklin Mohney, The Historic Architecture of Davie County (1986)
William S. Powell, ed., Dictionary of North Carolina Biography, I, 193-194—sketch of Squire Boone by James W. Wall
Grave of Squire and Sarah Boone