Among the first settlers in central Kentucky in the 1780s, arriving from Virginia via the Cumberland River and Pennsylvania via the Ohio River, the Jenningses figured importantly in Kentucky's early development, and the settlement of the Old Northwest, including Ohio, Indiana and Illinois.
Hollis visited Lancaster last year and, after discovering Lt. Col. Jennings' grave lacked a stone, cooperated with Lancaster Cemetery proprietors Alvin and Kevin Brickey and the Veterans Administration to obtain an engraved marble headstone that will be dedicated May 28.
"Jennings is our first Revolutionary War soldier that we've had in a long time," caretaker Kevin Brickey said. Brickey has worked in the cemetery since he was a child with his father, Alvin.
"We're excited. If everything comes together like it's supposed to, it will be really nice. Mr. Hollis put me in charge of getting the ... stone. You have to get information from Washington, D.C., for it. It'll be here for the duration, and we're going to take care of it as long as we're here," Brickey said.
The Jennings Heritage Project also includes special recognition programs dedicated to William Jennings Bryan, "The Great Commoner" who ran for president a century ago; the late U.S. Senator Jennings Randolph, D-W.Va., who is known as the "Father of the 26th Amendment, giving 18- to 20-year-olds the right to vote in 1971; and others. Hollis said the project is aimed at encouraging positive historical scholarship, leadership and character development through civic volunteerism.
The program is open to the public and will comprise a lecture by Hollis at the First Southern National Bank Community Room beginning at 10 a.m., a luncheon at the Gov. William Owsley House, followed by a dedication at Lancaster Cemetery.
For luncheon information, contact Phyliss Swaffar at (859) 792-2500 or email Owsleyhouse@aol.com, Kevin Brickey at 792-6342, or JHP at Agenergy@aol.com, (202) 887-0238. The lecture and the cemetery dedication are complimentary.