I have been actively researching the history of the Argabright family for many years and, in the process, have found scattered references to "Argabright's Fort" in Breckinridge County, Kentucky.Various stories relate that this fort was built in the early 1780's by "Captain Argabright" for the protection of his family and the nearby settlers.I have exchanged information and ideas with other family researchers in the past but until recently have had little success in learning the story behind this fort.
By chance in early September, I answered a Genforum posting by Charles Clark, and, in the process, learned of his ties to an earlier Argabright family researcher named Viola Argabright Clark.In subsequent email exchanges, the story of Argabright's Ft. came up, and I explained that all of my research indicated that the first Argabrights to settle in Breckinridge County did not arrive until sometime around 1826 -- more than 40 years after this fort was supposed to have been built.I also explained that although there were some early Argabrights who served as Indian Scouts, fought in the Battle of Pt. Pleasant and helped to establish Ft. Laurens in northeastern Ohio, no evidence has been found that any of these made any excursions into the territories which would later become northwestern Kentucky. In response, Charles began checking out references to this fort in various Kentucky publications and genealogical resources and began making contacts with the granddaughter of Viola Argabright Clark and with the archivist at the Breckinridge County Library.His efforts uncovered several interesting articles and a letter sent to Viola in 1975 from a researcher named Steven Barr. In this letter, Mr. Barr reported that the first mention of any Argabright in the early Breckinridge Co. land records dated to 1826 (which supported my own research) when John Argabright bought land from Daniel Hardin on both sides of Sugar Tree Run as part of a 5000-acre tract of land below George Barger's place.Mr. Barr went on to say that the land which John Argabright bought from Daniel Hradin must have had an earlier fort on it and suggests that it later became known as Argabright's Fort. This interpretation was corroborated by additional information which Charles Clark recently received from the Breckinridge Co. archivist. My research shows that the John Argabright who bought this parcel of land was born in Pennsylvania sometime around 1757 and came to Augusta County, Virginia, in the mid 1760's with his parents, Hans Martin and Susannah Forr Argenbright.This branch of the Argenbrights soon settled along Cook's Creek and their property became part of the newly-created Rockingham County in 1778 when Augusta County was divided up.John served in the local militia and served with his cousins and brothers at Guilford Courthouse during the Revolutionary War.Early marriage, land and tax records suggest that John's first wife, Elizabeth Bowen, died around 1792 and that John remarried to Ann Smith before moving his family to Montgomery County, Virginia, where the names of his sons Joseph, George Washington, William and John Jr. soon began to show up in various early court and tax records (Other early records suggest that John may have also had a son named Jacob who married Susannah Russell.). Court records show that John and Ann sold their land in Montgomery County to John's son George Washington in the mid 1820's and moved west to Breckinridge County with his wife Ann, his son John Jr. and his wife Mary Jones.Court records there indicate that the elder John (now in his early seventies) died sometime before September 6, 1828.