Daniel Boone was a real person with many achievements that influenced important events in our early American history, however much of the recognition for his achievements has been obscured through the many myths authors have spun around his life's story. Unlike early American history legends like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, where most of the facts are documented, the written history related to Daniel Boone, who was just as famous in his time as the other two, has been poorly researched and documented over the years. Since the separation of fact from fiction has not been adequately researched, particularly in Missouri, such things as the locations of important Boone related historic trails and sites have not been presented for public knowledge.
While we see where other states have centered their main tourism theme around early national heroes, such as the Daniel Boone State of Kentucky, and the Land of Lincoln in Illinois, Missouri does not relate to a personality theme. Therefore, a personality such as Daniel Boone, who spent more years in Missouri than in Kentucky, will never find full recognition from our state. While a few items related to Daniel Boone and the importance of the Boone family have been saved and made public accessible by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, such as the Boone Salt Lick and the Nathan Boone Log Home near Ash Grove, most of the important Boone related historic sites and trails still remain unrecognized for their tourism, early state heritage, and educational value. In Missouri, they will remain unrecognized unless some other entity or entities from the corporate or public sector, somehow take an interest in saving that part of our history.
Most of the important Boone sites can be found along the earliest American trails west of the Mississippi River. Strangely enough, while the later Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails have gained more and more national attention, the main trails that served to get people to the later trails have been mostly ignored. In some cases they have already been lost from modern record. In all cases these lost trails were in their time the only trails used by settlers to go where everybody was going, west. In all cases these trails were Boone blazed trails:
1. The Daniel Boone-American Settler Trail Across The Mississippi River (1799): The actual name has been lost from record, however this trail used by Daniel and his family in 1799 to cross the Mississippi River into Missouri, and was recorded in an early (1815) newspaper account as being the trail used by most of the other early settlers after they crossed the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River crossing was near present Alton, Illinois, and went past Portage des Sioux to St. Charles and beyond.
2. The Boone Trace To The Boone Salt Lick (1805): This trail blazed about 1805 by Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone from Daniel Boone's Spanish Land Grant near present Matson, to the Boone Salt Lick some 140 miles to the west. This trail ran past most of the Boone sites and along the sites where the first settlements sprung up westward along the Missouri River. It was the first American trail westward into the interior of Missouri, and remained the main route until the 1820's.
3. The Nathan Boone/William Clark Trail To Fort Osage (1808): This trail ran from St. Charles to the site of Fort Osage near Kansas City. The location was along present highways including Interstate 70. Nathan led Clark and Clark's troops along this route in 1808 for building the fort for the protection of the Osage Indians and as an Indian trading place. The trail was seldom used until after the War of 1812, when the name became the Booneslick Trail.
4. The Booneslick Trail (1816): This trail came into prominence after 1816, as the main trail west for America's mass migration following the War of 1812. The location was over the same route used earlier by Nathan Boone and William Clark in 1808, and ended north of Boonville at the town of Franklin. By 1822 the Santa Fe Trail started west from the end of the Booneslick Trail at Franklin.
5. The Daniel Boone (Nathan Boone) Home: Located west of Defiance in southern St. Charles County – the large stone house of the Nathan Boone family where Daniel lived at times and where he died in 1820 - operated by Lindenwood University of St. Charles as part of an educational endeavor and Boone related history tourist center. Included on the site is Boonesfield Village, consisting of many historical structures including the Jemima Boone-Flanders Callaway log house where Daniel's wife Rebecca died in 1813.
6. The Daniel Boone Original Judgment Tree Park: Located along the Katy Trail State Park and Highway 94 at the town of Matson, in southern St. Charles County – the site setting is on farm land in the Missouri River bottoms, and the small park has recently been donated for public access by the owners. Included in the park, is a Daniel Boone Judgment “Memorial” Tree planted during the 200th anniversary of the Boone family arrival to that area from Kentucky, as well as history interpretation displays all created through volunteer effort. The original Daniel Boone Judgment Tree site location is within view from the park.
7. Daniel Boone's Spanish Land Grant: Located east of the town of Matson, Missouri – mostly owned by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Available to the public, but access is not promoted or historically defined for public knowledge. The site along the Missouri River includes the Boone built town site of Missouriton, and is adjacent to the original Daniel Boone Judgment Tree site.
8. The Daniel Morgan Boone, Daniel and Rebecca Boone Log House Site: Located just west of the town of Matson, Missouri – privately owned by Frank Koenig, Jr. and his family. This is where Daniel and Rebecca lived during their first four years in Missouri, where Daniel Morgan Boone, an early leader in Missouri, lived for 20 years, where Boone Fort was built during the War of 1812, and where other Boone family related items are located.
9. The Family Spanish Land Grants In The Femme Osage Valley: near Defiance and Matson, Missouri – all privately owned - where the Boone family and relatives obtained 11 Spanish Land Grants in 1799, totally some 10,000 acres. Here two sons, two daughter, and grandchildren settled and raised their families. Included are mill sites, home sites, and other items of historical interest.
10. The Stone House of Daniel's brother Squire Boone: located a mile west of the Daniel Boone (Nathan Boone) Home. – privately owned by Steve and Sarah Butler - built in 1802, this was perhaps the earliest American built stone house west of the Mississippi River.
12. The Daniel Boone Hays Stone House: located just west of Defiance, Missouri – privately owned by the Curlee family. Site includes the Hays family pioneer cemetery, two mill sites, and the original log cabin site.
13. The Jonathan Bryan Oxen Driven Mill: located one mile west of the Boone Home – privately owned by Steve and Sarah Butler – a still standing magnificent stone structure, was built in 1809. Jonathan Bryan was raised by Daniel and Rebecca Boone.
14. Jonathan Bryan Water Mill and Log House Site: Cemetery
15. The Van Bibber Stone House: located just west of the Boone Home – owned by Lindenwood University. This house was built in the early 1800's by Nathan Boone's brother-in-law, James Van Bibber.
16. Fort Zumwalt: War of 1812 Fort that can be recreated for the public and for interpretation of Missouri's part and the Boone's part in the War of 1812. 30 such forts were built in eastern Missouri and some 100 settlers were killed by Indians.
17. The Boone Burial Place (Boone Monument Farm): southeast of Marthasville, in Warren County – owned and taken care of by Grace and Walter Stemme. Rebecca Boone was buried here in 1813, Daniel in 1820, and the Callaways, Flanders in 1829, and Jemima in 1834. Jemima was the daughter of Daniel and Rebecca and became famous for being kidnapped by Indians in Kentucky in 1776 with two other girls, Fanny and Betsy Callaway (cousins of Flanders). The girls were rescued after two days by a party led by Daniel Boone. The kidnapping became the most often painted romantic picture by American artists during the late 1700's.
18.: The Daniel Boone And American Frontier History Exhibit: located in the train depot in the town of Washington, Missouri – separates the Boone history facts from fiction, and describes the previously overlooked importance of the Boone family, the frontiersmen, and the frontier in American history – the exhibit has been developed by Boone and the American Frontier Historian, Ken Kamper. The train depot also serves as the Washington Area Visitor Center and the Amtrak Station.
19.Charette village: (the last white settlement as noted by Lewis and Clark, between here and the Pacific Ocean).
20. Loutre Island: four forts during the War of 1812, and the site of a number of Indian confrontations.
21.:The ambush and burial site for Capt. James Callaway: (Boone grandson, Callaway County named for him). Location of Callaway house and barn.
22. Loutre Lick, originally owned by Nathan Boone and famous during the early days of the Booneslick Trail.
23. Daniel Morgan Boone Log Cabin Site.
24. Home site of Jesse Boone, Daniel and Rebecca Boones other son.
25. The Boone Salt Lick State Historic Site: located in Howard County, 19 miles northwest of Boonville – 17 acre park with interpretive trail and markers at the salt springs where Nathan and Daniel Morgan Boone manufactured the main salt source for the early Missouri settlers starting in 1805. Their trail to the Salt Lick, the Boone Trace, was the earliest American Trial into the interior west of the Mississippi River.
26. Arrow Rock State Historic Site: located in Saline County, just across the Missouri River from the Boone Salt Lick State Historic Site – 139 acre park includes buildings of the historic frontier town of Arrow Rock as well as an impressive Visitor Center that includes history interpretation of the Boone Salt Lick.
27. War of 1812 Fort sites in the Boonslick Country.
28. Daniel Boones 10,000 acre claim.
29. William Ashley
30. The Daniel Morgan Boone Burial Place: located in east Kansas City, - the very small cemetery is currently being converted into a history related public access park with trails and history interpretation, by the “Boone-Hays Cemetery Committee” of the “Native Sons of Greater Kansas City”. Buried here is Daniel Morgan Boone (son of Daniel and Rebecca Boone), his wife Sarah Griffin Lewis Boone, several children, and other family members.
32. National Trails Center.
33. James Bridger Burial Place.
34. The Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site: located at Ash Grove, near Springfield in Greene County – the 371 acre park includes the one-and-one-half story log home lived in by Nathan and family from 1837. Nathan died here in 1856, and he and his wife Olive, Nathan's mother-in-law, and a couple of the children are buried in the cemetery nearby. Nathan was noted as an outstanding frontier soldier, at times involved in heroic efforts, and for his early surveying in Missouri and in the north where he surveyed some difficult Indian lands after treaties were signed.
35. The Daniel Morgan Boone Saw Mill Site: located on the Piney River in Boone Township, in Texas County.
Missouri as a state has had a long-term plan that doesn't have, and doesn't intend to have, an individual theme such as Daniel Boone, Mark Twain, or Lewis and Clark, as part of its historic site and state park system. Missouri as a state also lacks a state agency or department, such as other states do, to seek out its still undefined history and to promote its heritage, and to promote history related tourism and educational involvement. Therefore all of the sites listed here will remain unavailable for public knowledge and public access unless some private or public effort is made to develop a workable and compatible method for public involvement.