Boyle will get historical marker

November 11, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

On his way to report to then President Thomas Jefferson about his expedition of the West, explorer William Clark came to visit family in Danville.

A historical marker noting the visit will be erected in Danville in late 2005 or early 2006, to correspond with the bicentennial of the visit here. A location for the marker hasn't been determined.

The Kentucky Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commission will pay for half of the cost, $1,000, and the city and county will each put up $500.

William Clark and Meriwether Lewis mounted an expedition to see what was beyond the Mississippi River. They made it as far as the Pacific Ocean, sending reports back.


Clark had two nephews in Danville, John and Benjamin O'Fallon. When Clark returned from his trip, he came to see them, following the Wilderness Trail on his way to Fincastle, Va., and Washington, D.C. He traveled here with his manservant, York, who also went on the expedition.

Clark's nephews were the sons of Clark's sister, Fannie O'Fallon. The boys were students at the school of Joshua Fry, an early educator in Danville.

Fry was one of the first trustees of Centre College and had a school in his house that was later torn down to make room for Centenary United Methodist Church on Third and Walnut streets.

Jim Mallory, director of the commission, told Danville City Commission Monday that at the time of the visit in 1806 Danville was the center for education in Kentucky, even more so than Lexington.

Mallory said he assumed that the school was the visit's location, but that there is no written record to confirm that. The visit was noted in a letter Clark wrote to his brother-in-law, William Croghan, of Locust Grove plantation in Louisville.

The letter is now in the custody of the Filson Historical Society in Louisville.

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