Estill's Station has a Long History in Madison County

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Estill's Station has a Long History in Madison County


James Estill was born in Virginia in 1750. He came to Madison County in 1775 and a few years later he and his brother Samuel built a fort called Estill’s Station (located about three miles from present day Richmond).

On March 20, 1782 Wyandot Native Americans attacked the fort, killing a girl and capturing Estill’s slave, Monk.

When Estill heard this he went after the retreating Indians. He caught up with the band at Little Mountain, near present day Mt. Sterling. Estill’s men attempted a flanking movement, but it failed.

The settlers then tried to retreat and reform, but the Indians overwhelmed them. Estill himself was killed in this engagement that was known as Estill’s Defeat. Estill County is named for James Estill. After his death, Estill Station declined and went out of existence. For many years there was a small depot on the L&N Railroad at this location called Fort Estill.

It too is now gone.

As for Monk Estill, he survived the battle, escaped his Indian captors, mined saltpeter in Payton Cave in Madison County, was married a total of three times, had a total of 30 children, became a Baptist preacher and died in 1835.

While it is often said that there were no permanent Indian settlements in Kentucky, there was a semi-permanent village in Clark County called Eskippakithiki– the word translates as “Blue Licks”.

It was located near present day Oil Springs. In 1752 John Findley spoke of being present at the village.

By 1754 it was abandoned. The inhabitants probably went north and joined other bands of their fellow Shawnees.

The most popular modern name for this area is Indian Old Fields.


Dr. Fred Engle




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Dr. Fred Engle, “Estill's Station has a Long History in Madison County,” Madison's Heritage Online, accessed January 20, 2022,