Daniel Boone wasn’t born in Kentucky, and he didn’t die here, but we still regard him as our favorite son. He was held in such high regard that 25 years after his death in Missouri in 1820, Kentuckians brought his bones, and those of his wife, Rebecca, back to Kentucky. The bones were reinterred at Frankfort Cemetery on a scenic spot overlooking the Kentucky River. A granite monument was erected.
The gravesite is the number one tourist attraction in the city—but is Daniel Boone really buried there?
The Friends of Daniel Boone’s Burial Site in Marthasville, Missouri, aren’t so sure, and the controversy has simmered for years. Much has been disputed: Did Daniel’s son Nathan really give permission for the bones to be disinterred? Was the proper grave dug up? If so, were all of the bones removed?
Some say that back in Missouri, Daniel was originally buried at Rebecca’s feet, so the bones next to her weren’t Daniel’s. Over the years, researchers have pored over old records trying to solve the mystery. The skull buried in the Frankfort grave has even been exhumed and examined, but results were inconclusive.
Finally, some say that not all of Daniel’s bones were removed to Frankfort. In fact, some Missouri historians say their research shows that only the larger bones were taken by the Kentucky delegation—which would mean that Daniel Boone has two graves.