The ‘Old Pioneer’ Boone wore many hats, including reporter

Published 7:27 pm Friday, March 15, 2019

Editor’s note: Information for this article was taken from the Kentucky Advocate archives.

Captain Samuel M. Boone, often referred to as the “Old Pioneer” was a newspaper writer in the late 1800s. Boone began his newspaper career with the Marion Falcon in Lebanon.

He later became a writer for The Advocate-Messenger and went on to be editor at the Somerset Reporter in 1889, while in partnership with C.E. Colyer.

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Boone sold the Somerset Reporter in October 1898 to his son, Kirk Boone, who changed the name to Somerset Republic.

He traveled extensively and wrote articles of his travels for The Advocate and Somerset newspapers.

He also was an attorney and was a partner with Judge M.H. Owsley of Lancaster and practiced in Pulaski and surrounding counties.

Boone, a member of the Democratic Party, dabbled in politics during his lifetime. “He pleasantly admitted that he was a Democrat and was a man in whom there was no guile.”

He ran for many local and state offices, but apparently did not come out the winner in any race. He ran for Clark County Representative in 1917, and U.S. Senator in 1883 and 1913.

He indicated in May 1910 he was considering running for governor on the Independent ticket, then backed out.

He announced his candidacy for state commissioner of agriculture in February 1895.

He wrote he would make no canvass of the state and he was in favor of “both silver and gold in abundance, with a plentiful supply of hog and hominy for the people.”

He also ran for police judge in Somerset and for sergeant of arms for the Constitutional Convention in 1886.

In the Union Army

His title of captain goes back to his service in the Civil War. Boone joined the Union Army on Aug. 5, 1861, in Lebanon. He was a second lieutenant and ranked out as a captain in the 1st Kentucky Cavalry. He got an arm injury during the war and received a pension for the injury in 1885.

After the war ended, Boone kept up with some of his comrades by attending reunions of the Civil War veterans locally and in Richmond, Virginia.

Other ventures

Boone was fond of walking canes and was known to give them as gifts on occasion. He gave them to Col. George Stone and Judge Robert J. Breckenridge, an associate editor of The Advocate.

He also sent one to the foreman of The Advocate, accompanied by one of his poems reminding the foreman of the slick pavements.

Boone also received gifts. He got a small gavel made from the wood of a tree toppled by Daniel Boone. Col. A.C. Barrow, a friend, sent the gift to the newspaper in 1910.

Boone worked for the Internal Revenue Service in the Eastern Kentucky mountains looking for moonshiners in the mid 1880s.

Boone also was an auctioneer, and served as secretary for the Pulaski County Agricultural and Mechanical Association.

Besides being an editor and lawyer, he wrote and published poems in the early 1900s about his love for his “Old Kentucky Home.”

Boone also published a pamphlet, “History of the Boone Family,” in November 1910. The history is interwoven with the history of Clark County and its formation.

He was affiliated with the Masons organization.

Born in Clark County

Boone was born Aug. 19, 1836, in Clark County, and died in November 1920 in Pulaski County. He was a son of George and Rachel Tribble.

While in Danville, he and Mary W. Caldwell of Perryville were married Aug. 19, 1857.

She was born July 19, 1841 in Perryville and was a daughter of Gabriel Slaughter and Rachel Risk. She died Oct. 6, 1913, in Somerset. Both are buried in Pulaski County.

The Boones had nine children: Gabriel C., Fannie, Lucinda, Lou W., Daniel B., Samuel M., Gilby Kirk, William Logan,and Letcher O.

They were Methodists.