Today, the Daniel Boone Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin remembers when the Kentuckians disinterred their remains from the simple cemetery in Missouri on July 17, 1845 for re-burial in Kentucky in the following August.
From A History of the Pioneer Families of Missouri by William Smith Bryan, published in 1876:
One day a nice dish of sweet potatoes — a vegetable of which he was very fond — was prepared for him. He ate heartily, and soon after had an attack from which he never recovered.
He gradually sank, and, after three days’ illness, expired, on the 26th of September, 1820, in the 86th year of his age. He died calmly and peacefully, having no fear of death or the future state of existence.
He had never made any profession of religion, or united with any church, but his entire life was a beautiful example of the Golden Rule — “do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.”
In a letter to one of his sisters, written a short time before his death, he said that he had always tried to live as an honest and conscientious man should, and was perfectly willing to surrender his soul to the discretion of a just God.
His mind was not such as could lean upon simple faith or mere belief, but it required a well considered reason for everything, and he died the death of a philosopher rather than that of a Christian.
His death was like the sleep of an infant — quiet, peaceful and serene.
We present on this page a picture of the house in which Daniel Boone died.
At the time of his death he occupied the front room on the first floor, to the right of the hall as you enter.
It has been stated in many of his “lives” that he died at a deer “lick,” with his gun in his hands, watching for deer. In others, that he died, as he had lived, in a log cabin.
But on the contrary, the house was, and is — for it is still standing, just as represented in the picture — a neat, substantial, and comfortable stone building.
The remains of the departed pioneer were sorrowfully placed in the coffin he had prepared, and conveyed, the next day, to the home of Mr. Flanders Callaway.
The news of his decease had spread rapidly, and a vast concourse of people collected on the day of the funeral to pay their last respects to the distinguished and beloved dead.
The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. James Craig, a son-in-law of Major Nathan Boone; and the house being too small to accommodate the immense concourse of people, the coffin was carried to the large barn near the house, into which the people crowded to listen to the funeral services.
At their close the coffin was borne to the cemetery and sadly deposited in the grave that had been prepared for it, close by the side of Mrs. Boone.
At the time of Boone’s death the Constitutional Convention of Missouri was in session at St. Louis, and upon receipt of the intelligence a resolution was offered by Hon. Benjamin Emmons, of St. Charles, that the members wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days, in respect to the memory of the deceased, and adjourn for one day.
The resolution was unanimously adopted.
The Boone family were noted for longevity. George Boone, a brother of Daniel, died in Shelby county, Ky., in November, 1820, at the age of eighty-three; Samuel, another brother, died at the age of eighty-eight; Jonathan at eighty-six; Mrs. Wilcox, a sister, at ninety-one; Mrs. Grant, another sister, at eighty-four, and Mrs. Smith, a third sister, at eighty-four.
There is no record of the deaths of the rest of Boone’s brothers and sisters, except those given heretofore, but they all lived to be old men and women.
When Colonel Boone made choice of a place of burial for himself and family, and was so particular to enjoin his friends, if he died from home, to remove his remains to the hill near Teuque, he did not anticipate an event which occurred a quarter of a century after his death, and which resulted in the remains of himself and wife finding their last resting place on the banks of the Kentucky river, in the land he loved so well.
The citizens of Frankfort had prepared a tasteful rural cemetery, and, at a public meeting, decided that the most appropriate consecration of the ground would be the removal of the remains of Daniel Boone and his wife.
The consent of the surviving relatives was obtained, and in the summer of 1845, a deputation of citizens, consisting of Hon. John J. Crittenden, Mr. William Boone and Mr. Swaggat, came to Missouri on the steamer Daniel Boone, for the purpose of exhuming the relics and conveying them back to Kentucky.
The graves were situated on land belonging to Mr. Harvey Griswold, who at first objected to the removal, as he intended to build a monument over them, and beautify the place.
Mr. Griswold was supported in his objections by a number of influential citizens, who claimed that Missouri had as much right to the remains of Daniel Boone as Kentucky, especially as the old pioneer had selected the location of his grave, and had given such particular instructions in regard to his being buried there.
The gentlemen from Kentucky finally carried their point, however, and on the 17th of July, 1845, the remains of Daniel Boone and his wife were removed from their graves.
The work was done by King Bryan, Henry Angbert and Jeff. Callaway. Mrs. Boone’s coffin was found to be perfectly sound, and the workmen had but little difficulty in removing it; but Colonel Boone’s coffin was entirely decayed, and the remains had to be picked out of the dirt by which they were surrounded.
One or two of the smaller bones were found afterward, and kept by Mr. Griswold as relics.
The remains were placed in new coffins prepared for their reception, and conveyed to Kentucky, where they were re-interred, with appropriate ceremonies, in the cemetery at Frankfort, on the 20th of August, 1845.
A vast concourse of people from all parts of the State had collected to witness the ceremonies.
An oration was delivered by Hon. John J. Crittenden, and Mr. Joseph B. Wells, of Missouri, made an appropriate address.
The graves on the hill near Teuque creek were never refilled, but remain today as they were left by the workmen, except that the rains have partly filled them with dirt, and they are overgrown with weeds and briars.
Rough head stones had been carved by Mr. Jonathan Bryan, and placed at the heads of the graves. These were thrown back on the ground, and are still lying there. Recently, pieces of the these stones have been chipped off and sent to Kentucky as mementoes.
The Daniel Boone Commemorative Silver Half Dollar Coin shows with an artist’s image of Nathan Boone’s house where his father died.