David and Keturah Leitch
Information comes from research done by
Margaret S Hartman and is on file at the Campbell County Historical Society
David Leitch was born September 11, 1753, in Glasgow Scotland. At an early age he and his older brother James immigrated to America and went into business in Manchester, Virginia.
Leitch served in the American army during the Revolutionary War, where he attained the rank of major. Even though there is no record that he was given a land grant, he did purchase considerable acreage in Campbell, Kenton, Pendleton, Lincoln, Fleming and Bath counties. Most of these investments were made in partnership with Joseph Weiseger and John Fowler.
When the partnership holdings were distributed among the owners, David received about 33,800 acres of land in Campbell County, consisting of most of what is known today as Wilder, Highland Heights, Cold Spring, Alexandria, Grant’s Lick and much of southern Kenton County.
In 1789 he traveled to Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) hoping to find people interested in settling the Kentucky region. David bought a raft and supplies and eventually 20 hearty souls agreed to accompany him. The group was made up of four couples, their eight children and four bachelors.
When the party arrived at Losantiville (Cincinnati) they found many hostile natives in the area, so they traveled up the Licking river for about six miles. There they dismantled the raft and built a blockhouse with a high picket fence and established Leitch’s Station.
David Leitch sold 20,000 acres of his land to Anthony Walton White and had the remainder surveyed by William Kennedy, to whom he gave 4,600 acres as payment for his services. The land given to Kennedy was located along the Licking river and would extend from modern day Newport to the I-275 bridge. This left David with 9,200 acres.
David kept 200 acres at Leitch’s station for himself and offered the remainder for sale to the settlers. For those without money, he agreed to lease land, or let them earn 100 acres for each 10 they would clear from him. Some of these settlers included Benjamin Archer, John Bartle, Samuel Beck, John Bird, Timothy Bull, Cader Edwards, William Edwards, Joseph Farrar, George Gordon, George Kelly, Joseph Kelly, Thomas Johnson, Thomas Lindsey, John Murnan, Thomas Rees and Edward Welch.
On December 27, 1784 at Danville, Leitch was sent as a delegate to Kentucky’s first Constitutional Convention. One of the questions considered was whether Kentucky should cease being a Virginia County and become a separate state. The question was tabled for that year and Kentucky became a state June 1, 1792.
In December 1790 David traveled to Bryan’s Station near Lexington, and met and married Keturah Moss. She was born Sep 11, 1773 to Army Captain Hugh Moss and Jane Ford, and she was smitten with the handsome man from Scotland. The newlyweds came back to Leitch’s Station where David’s slaves built a log cabin for them to live in. David and Keturah and most of the people of Leitch’s Station attended the Baptist Church at Columbia, now a part of Cincinnati until 1798 when they withdrew to form a Society on the Licking.
Because of his extensive land holdings, David traveled often to buy, sell and maintain his land. On one of these trips, David had to sleep outside in a cold rain, from which he caught a bad cold and then pneumonia. When he returned home, a Dr. Strong came from Fort Washington to treat him, but David died November 9, 1794. On his deathbed, he called in his lawyer and dictated his last will and testament, in which he left all of his holdings to Keturah.
Keturah and David did not have any children. David was buried in the yard of the Leitch home in Wilder. However, many years later in May of 1853, Keturah had his body moved to the Newport (now Evergreen) Cemetery in Southgate.
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