The Beginning



Here is the will that started Dry Ridge, signed by Moses Robinson in January, 1849. In it, he enumerates provisions for his four children, one of whom, Emily, had already been given $550. The three others, Parmilia, Andrew and Sarah Jane, were to be left the same amounts, and his executor is instructed to “lay out the money in land for them.” His executor, John Whitesides, who was white, did as Robinson instructed, and the story begins…

Moses Robinson’s Will

Clark County Will Book 1:80 (Red)

In the Name of Almighty God Amen. I Moses Robinson of the County of Clark and State of Kentucky do think proper to make and ordain this my last will and testament in the manner and form as followeth, towit, January, Saturday, the 6th 1849.

It is my wish that my children hereafter named shall have all of my estate, both real and personal, together with whatever I may make hereafter or have any claim to whatever etc.

The names of my children are first “Emily,” the wife of Francis Mitchal; “Sarah Jane,” the wife of Charles; Andrew; Parmelia, the wife of Gustus Alexander.

I wish the four named children to share equally alike, that is, I wish in the first place for the three hereafter named, that is, “Sarah Jane,” the wife of Charles, my son Andrew, and Parmelia, the wife of Gustus Alexander, to have five hundred and fifty dollars apiece for each one to bring the amount that I have already given to my daughter Emily, the wife of Francis Mitchell, and after that for the four above named children to share equally alike.

N.B. “Sarah Jane,” Andrew, and Parmelia all three are now the slaves of Polly Ellis till her death. I wish my Executor hereafter named to take care of and manage whatever I may leave for them until they get free and become of the age of twenty one years and to lay out the money in land for them. Also if there should be anything for Emily Mitchel, to lay out hers in land also.

In testimony I wish Mr. John Whitesides Jr. act as my Executor of this my last Will and Testament.

January 6th 1849                           Moses x Robinson

Moses Shropshire
William Whitesides
Austin White
The will was proven at the April 1861 term of the Clark County Court.


Moses Robinson’s inventory


Inventories Appraisements and Sale Bills 17:139

An inventory and appraisement of the Estate of Moses Robinson, deceased (a man of color), made April 23rd 1861.

One bay horse           $45.00
One pair of harness           .25
One buggy & harness           20.00
One grind stone           .05
One lot of shoe making tools           1.50
Cooking tensils & bucket           1.00
Cupboard and contents           .50
1 Bedstead bedding etc           1.00
2 Shotguns & pouches           4.00
1 Single barrel pistol           .25
1 Chopping axe           .50
1 Lot of bacon & pieces           4.00
1 Lot of sugar and coffee           1.00
1 Trunk           .10
1 Saddle           1.00
1 Lot of chickens           1.00
1 Silver watch           1.50
Cash on hand           15.50
1 Cash note on W.O. Thompson for $1200 due Jany 28th 1861           1200.00
1 “ “ J. Howard Shaffer for $1000 due Sept 10th 1860           1000.00
1 “ “ Thomas C. Vanmeter for $699.13 due Jany 2nd 1861           699.13
1 “ “ John K. Hildreth for $404.38 due Jany 24th 1861           404.38
1 “ “ James Rainey for $200 due Dec 17th 1860           200.00
1 “ “ Robert A. & Joseph L. Carter for $129.98 due Feby 5th 1861           129.98
1 “ “ John W. Bean for $176.63 due Jany 23rd 1860           176.63
1 “ “ William Trimble for $81 due March 8th 1861           81.00
1 “ “ Thomas McDonnald for $70 due Feby 4th 1860           70.00
1 “ “ John Stipp for $617.55 due Sept 28th 1857, credited }           617.55
1 “ “ by $300 Dec 27th 1858, credited $205 Nov 19th 1860 }
1 “ “ Frank Mitchell (a man of color) for $20 due Oct 18th 1858           20.00
Amount of inventory $4965.75

I hereby certify that the foregoing list contains all the estate of Moses Robinson which hath come into my hands. John Whitesides, Executor


Moses Robinson’s sale bill


Inventories Appraisements and Sale Bills 17:140

Sale held on May 18, 1861
Total sales, $86.10

Buyers included Andy/Andrew Robinson/Roberson, Robert Roberson, Parmelia Alexander, Emily Mitchell, Jane Wilson, E. Young, Silvester White, Robert Lackey, Silas Barkley and Thomas McDonnald.


Moses Robinson’s settlement


Inventories Appraisements and Sale Bills 17:480

Amount of cash on hand           $15.50
Amount of sale bill           86.10
Amount collected on notes      4911.58
Total debits          5013.18

Total credits (bills paid out of estate)           270.82
Amount in Executor’s hands on 19th May 1863          $4742.36

Moses Robinson’s settlement

Inventories Appraisements and Sale Bills 17:551

Amount brought forward from 19th May 1863          $4742.36

“Jane, Andrew and Pamelia, son and daughters of
Moses Robinson (free man of color) each one
above named according to the will of said Moses
Robinson entitled to $1316.27 amounting in the
aggregate to $3948.81.”
“John Whitesides, Executor, has purchased a farm
for said sons and daughters of Moses Robinson
according to his will and paid for the same
the sum of”           $3900.00

Total credits (bills paid out of estate)           76.06

“Emily Mitchel has died since the death of Moses
Robinson and her one part remaining in the hands
of the Executor and now due her children amounts
to the sum of”          $766.27

August 11th 1863


Moses Robinson’s settlement


Inventories Appraisements and Sale Bills 19:251

Amount brought forward from August 11th 1863                                         $766.27
Interest on same                                                                                         $16.57
Whole amount of debits                                                                              $782.84

“By the terms of the will the Executor was directed
to invest in land if suitable opportunity offered,
which he has done [in the sum of]”                                                            $720.00*

Other expenses paid                                                            $62.84
Amount in Executor’s hands on Jany 8th 1867 000.00

* This sum was due Emily Mitchell’s heirs and presumably the executor purchased the land for them. There are no deeds in Clark County for any of Emily’s children, so perhaps Whitesides purchased land for them in Fayette County where they were residing in 1860.


Land Purchased for Moses Robinson’s Heirs


Clark County Deed Book 40:393

June 29, 1863
This deed was executed by John Whitesides, executor of Moses Robinson’s estate, on behalf of Robinson’s heirs listed in his will.
John Duckworth and wife sold 2 parcels of land to Sarah Jane, wife of Charles [Wilson], Andrew, and Permelia Alexander, wife of Gustus [Alexander], for the sum of $3900 cash. The land was located on the waters of Howards Upper Creek. One tract contained 47 acres 35 [square] poles and the other tract contained 60 acres 3 roods 27 [square] poles.

160 square poles = 40 roods = 1 acre

I have not yet searched Fayette County deeds for the land purchased for Emily Mitchell’s heirs.