From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Mountain Island (Owen County, KY)

(start date: 1850) 

Mountain Island was an early white settlement beginning in the late 1700s. At that time, the area was located in Scott County, KY [Owen County would not be formed until 1819].

Mountain Island is located where Eagle Creek forks into two branches, reconvening on the other side of the island. James Herndon, a bachelor, owned a mill, tavern, and slaves on the island. Flooding, which washed out the roads leading to the island, had begun to make it less suited for a community.

In 1850, Herndon, who still lived on the island, began an attempt to emancipate his slaves, as his sister, Susan Herndon Rogers, had done, but his case was stalled in the courts. The slaves would not be freed until after James Herndon's death in 1853, when not only his 23 slaves were freed, but Herndon also left them and their heirs his estate: 125 acres on Mountain Island. The land was to be theirs forever, as stated in Herndon's will.

Neighbors put up the security bonds required by Kentucky law for each freed slave. The former slaves had the last names of Carroll, Vinegar, Smith, and Warfield.

This entry was suggested by Yvonne Giles. For more see Mountain Island In Owen County, Kentucky: the settlers and their churches, by J. C. Bryant.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Scott County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.
Read about Owen County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Mountain Island, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Item Relations

Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Giles, Yvonne Y.
NKAA Source: Mountain Island in Owen County, Kentucky : the settlers and their churches

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry: Free Station (Owen County, KY)

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Mountain Island (Owen County, KY),” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed June 12, 2024,

Last modified: 2020-10-21 18:40:02