THE WYMORE FAMILY

The Wymores emigrated from Germany to some German settlements in South Carolina around 1735-40.  Wymore is an anglicized version of Wimmer. Four Wymore brothers -- Frederick, Jacob, Charles and John -- ranged the frontier from 1760 to 1779 when they joined the Stevenson party that fall and travelled over the mountains to Lexington.  Charles was killed by Indians on the way out. At their arrival, Lexington consisted of a blockhouse (where Mill and Vine Sts. intersect today) and four cabins.  The Wymores’ ethnic origin were not always appreciated. Settlers referred to John as “an old Dutchman” and his wife Anna as “a rough Dutchwoman.” (Germans were often called Dutch instead of Deutsch.) There were no other German families in Lexington in 1779.
 As did other settlers, the Wymores grew crops on out-lots north of the present downtown. They also joined in various settlement projects such as standing guard, strengthening the blockhouse, and felling trees. On March 1, 1781, John was helping clear an area near the present day First Christian Church (NE corner of Short and Martin Luther King Sts.) when a group of Indians attacked. John and his companions ran toward the blockhouse. John could not run as fast as the others and was fatally shot near where the old courthouse now stands. As an Indian bent over to scalp John, one of his companions shot the Indian with a musket before retreating on to the blockhouse. Later in the day, the Indian was decapitated and his head put on a pole over the blockhouse to humiliate the attackers.
 Jacob Wymore was a member of George Rogers Clark’s militia companies that captured Ft. Vincennes from the British in the fall of 1778. He was killed by Indians in March of 1780 in northern Fayette County. Frederick lived in Lexington until 1796 and then moved to Owen County and later to Indiana.
 John had two sons and a daughter and possibly other children who can’t be found in the records. John Jr. was 20 to 25 years old when he arrived. He fought at the Battle of Blue Licks and was fortunate to escape after the British-Indian victory. He lived in Lexington until 1788 or so and then moved elsewhere. Margaret married James Masterson in the blockhouse in June, 1781. Masterson set up a fort (called a station) where Masterson Station Park is now, about five miles northwest of town. In the early 19th century, the Mastersons had a home on Richmond Road not far from Henry Clay.
Martin Wymore was a ten year old student in John McKinney’s log house school when McKinney was attacked by a wildcat in June of 1783. Martin later reported that McKinney quit his teaching position a week after the wildcat attack and added that the boys were sent to school “merely to keep them from wandering about where the Indians might catch them.” He did get some education there as he was literate. As an adult, Martin farmed about 100 acres on the east side of Hickman (now Nicholasville) Rd. about a half mile south of what is now Southland Dr.  He was a lieutenant in a Lexington militia company in the War of 1812 and barely evaded capture after the Americans’ disastrous defeat at the Battle of River Raisin in January, 1813. Martin died in 1857 and was termed “an esteemed citizen” by the Lexington newspapers.
Most of Martin’s children moved to Clay County, Missouri, or Mahaska County, Iowa, in the 1830s and 1840s where many descendants still live today. No descendants with the Wymore surname live in Lexington today.
 

References: 
SOURCES: Bettye Lee Mastin, Lexington, 1779 (1979). Charles Staples, The History of Pioneer Lexington (1939). Lyman Draper, The Draper Manuscripts, Vol 11, Rev. Dabney Shane’s interview with Martin Wymore, p. 128ff. (handwritten about 1850, but widely reprinted). Kent Elric Wymore, Some Descendants of Thomas Wymore and Other Wymore History (1973)
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