Scott County Historical
Scott County, Virginia
Luther F. Addington
NOTE: Since this article was written it has been established that
Winney Clayton Kilgore was NOT married to Charles Kilgore, but was the
wife of his brother, Robert Kilgore, killed by the Indians in 1782.
Rev. Robert Kilgore, affectionately known as Robin, married Mrs.
Jane Porter Green in 1785. She was the daughter of Patrick Porter who
lived on Fall Creek (near present Dungannon) and built a fort and a grist
mill there. She was the widow of James Green who was killed by Indians
December 31, 1782. (1)
A traditional story has come down to us concerning this Indian
killing, but now we know it is partially untrue. Here is the story as
related in the History of Scott County: "In March 1783 Charles
Kilgore, James Green, and a man by the name of
Further proof of James Green's death at the time cited above is an
entry in the court records of Washington County, Virginia, July 15, 1783:
"On motion of Patrick Porter (James' father-in-law)
administration is granted him on the estate of James Green deceased who
made oath thereto and entered into and acknowledged his bond with Samuel
Ritchie and John Martin his
securities in the sum of one hundred pounds for the faithful
But nowhere in these records do we have notice of Charles Kilgore's
having been killed by Indians. To the contrary we have explicit proof that
he lived long after James Green's massacre by the Indians. His
Revolutionary War pension statement is proof of this.
Hugh M. Addington
advise you the Revolutionary War record of this bureau shows that Charles
Kilgore served in Captain James Dysart's
Company in Colonel William Campbell's Virginia Regiment during the
Revolution. He was pensioned from April 28, 1809 on account of disability
incurred in service. In May 1820 he was living in Green County, Tennessee.
Scott, Commissioner." (4)
The fact that Charles Kilgore's name was not on the 1783 Washington
County taxable list but his wife's name Winnie was (error: Winnie was
married to Robert Kilgore, brother of Charles), can easily lead one to
believe that Charles was actually killed by Indians immediately prior to
this date: however, one must take into consideration that Charles could
have been away from home and the matter of making a tax report fell to his
wife. Jane Porter Green's name also appears on this list but this is
understandable since we know her husband James had been killed by Indians.
By why was not Charles at his home on Fall Creek (near present
Dungannon) to take care of the tax report of that year? A good
guess is that he was in Green County, North Carolina (now Tennessee) for
his pension statement in the archives at Washington, D. C. shows,
according to a copy in the hands of this writer, that it was written near
Greenville, Tennessee to suffice for a previous statement which had been
destroyed by a War Department fire in 1814. According to the records he
was still receiving a pension in 1820. The book "King's Mountain
Men" by White, page 197 states: "Charles Kilgore was a private
under Campbell, and was wounded. In the pension list of Green County,
Tennessee, in 1820, he is named as an invalid with an allowance of $48 per
Since the 1820 pension payment was the last one made it seems safe
to assume that Charles died about that time. Some genealogists place his
death in the year 1823 because in the archives of the Green County Court
is a will made in the year 1822 by one Charles Kilgore. This will
(examined by this writer) leaves legacies to sons John M. and James M.
But an examination of the book "Virginia Soldiers of the
Revolution", by Burgess shows clearly that the will was made by a
different Charles Kilgore. Even his name had a middle initial J.
Therefore, this eliminates Washington County Charles' second family. But
what happened to his real family? We know that Charles, Jr. the eldest
son, moved from the Fall Creek area of Russell County, (formerly
Washington County, later Scott County), to Green County, Tennessee in
1787. It is logical to conclude that the father Charles, Sr., went with
him or even preceded him since he didn't make a tax report in 1783, but
left it to Winnie, his wife. Neither he nor Winnie is on the Virginia 1784
So, what happened to Winnie and the 400 acre farm Charles owned on
Fall Creek? Hugh M. Addington in his book, "Charles Kilgore of King's
Mountain" says Winnie died in 1784. He does not document the
statement. Where did she die? In the bounds of present Scott County
(Virginia) or Green County, Tennessee? From Charles, Jr.'s pension
statement we learn that Charles, Jr. moved from Green County into South
Carolina, thence back to Virginia. According to his pension statement he
was born in Orange County, North Carolina, which means, of course, that
most of Charles,Sr.'s children were born in Orange County, North Carolina.
Charles, Sr. took up 400 acres of land on Fall Creek in 1773. It seems
that all of Charles, Sr.'s children, except Charles, Jr., remained in the
bounds of present Scott County, since they are known to have married and
reared families here.
Robert Kilgore married Jane Porter Green in 1785 (5) and began to
look for a place to call home for her and her son James Green, Jr., born
February 12, 1783. (6)
As a girl Jane had lived in her father's forthouse called Porter's
Fort, situated about a mile up from the mouth of Fall Creek, on the
Therefore it is likely
that Jane, having lived during her girlhood in the Porter forthouse and
since her husband James Green had been killed by Indians, insisted that
her new home be a forthouse.
And that is what Robert Kilgore did, build a forthouse. He built it
near Copper Creek one and a half miles southwest of a cluster of houses
which later, with coming of James Nickels from Tazewell County, became
known as Nickelsville. (7)
This house was built in the year 1786 (8) of hewn logs and the
cracks between them chinked with limestone. In case of Indian attack the
inmates could go upstairs, and let down a trap door over the stairway.
Three port holes, one in the west end and one in each side, made it
possible to shoot out at Indians should any ever appear.
It is said that the house was never attacked, however a band of Shawnees camped for a short while on the cliff tops to the south.
Now we come to Rev. Robert Kilgore, the builder of the forthouse.
There is a mystery about his ancestry, which came to light only recently.
In his book, "Charles Kilgore of King's Mountain", Hugh
M. Addington placed Robert in Charles, Sr.'s list of children as number
two. But Robert, Jr., who lived in the forthouse with his father, went to
Gate City upon his father's death and in the courthouse entered in the
death register the following:
"Rev. Robert Kilgore, age 88, died May 29, 1854. Residence:
Copper Creek, Place of Birth: unknown; Parents: Robert and Milly Kilgore.
Reported by his son Robert Kilgore, Jr."
This leads us to believe that Rev. Robert was not the son of
Charles, Sr., as has been assumed, but instead the son of Robert, who was
a brother of Charles.
This we know about the elder Robert; he acquired 41 acres of land
near Clinch River in 1772 and settled on it. (9) It was probably in the
Fall Creek area where a year later his brother Charles settled.
It seems quite logical for us to believe that Robert, Jr., or may
we say Robert III who made the death entry would surely have known his
grandfather's and grandmother's names. Had they been Charles and Winnie he
would have said so.
The last time we find Robert the settler's name in print is on the
Virginia tax report 1782. But after that he vanishes.
Could it be possible that he went with his brother Charles into
North Carolina (now Tennessee)?
Rev. Robert Kilgore of the forthouse was known far beyond his
residence as a minister in the Regular Baptist church. He began his
ministry at the Regular Primitive Baptist Church on Copper Creek two miles
east of Nickelsville where he was one of the original members. (10) At
that time the meetings were held in dwelling houses and sometimes in the
Good Intent schoolhouse.
It was here that Rev. Robin was ordained to preach April 16, 1808.
Later he often held services at the forthouse. It was here between
the dates of 1815 and 1853 that he performed wedding ceremonies for 285
And here at his beloved forthouse he died May 29, 1854. His wife
Jane Porter Green had preceded him in death by 12 years. (14) They were
buried in the Nickelsville Cemetery. An emblem on Rev. Robin's stone shows
he was a mason. In all probability he first joined the masons at a lodge
held in the loft of the old grist mill on Fall Creek, for as a young man
he lived in that vicinity.
(1) In the Russell County, Virginia courthouse, order book No. 3,
266. Entered 1803. Ordered to be certified to the registrar of the
office that it is proved by this court that James Green who is the
heir at law of James Green who was killed by the savages December
and that said James Green the younger was born February 12, 1783.
(2) Addington, R. M., History of Scott County, Virginia, p. 303.
(3) Summers, Lew, Annals of Southwest Virginia, p. 1155.
(4) Charles Kilgore pension statement, number S699
(5) Addington, H. M., Charles Kilgore of King's Mountain, p. 141.
(6) Russell County, Virginia, Order Book No. 3, p.
(7) Addington, H. M. op. Cit., p. 41 (8) ibid, p. 141
(9) Summers, Louis, op. Cit., p. 1225
(10) Copy of original Copper Creek Primitive Baptist minute book,
(11) Ibid, p. 2
(12) Addington, H. M., op. Cit., p. 142
(13) Robert Kilgore, Jr.'s statement in death register at Gate
(14) Addington, H. M., op. Cit., p. 18