Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

October 10, 2012

Local author writes of untold frontier tales

Oct. 10, 2012 —     Daniel Boone is a legendary figure in Kentucky history and folklore.

    According to local author Daryl Skaggs, however, his family may have actually been more influential than Boone in originally settling Kentucky.

    In his new non-fiction book, “Be Safe and Keep Your Powder Dry”, Skaggs highlights several adventures featuring his ancestor, Henry Skaggs – a long hunter who often traveled with Boone and other famous contemporaries.

    “The Skaggs family was one of the first families in the state. This book is about the early days of Eastern Kentucky,” said Skaggs.

    The book features chapters that include stories of Henry Skaggs and his involvement with figures like Daniel Boone and also the Harpe Brothers, commonly referred to as America’s original serial killers.

    Skaggs continued:

    “When the long hunters came out of Virginia into Kentucky, they tried to find a natural gap through the mountains. Eventually, they found the Cumberland Gap and the area now known as Breaks Interstate Park. Both of those areas were originally discovered by the Skaggs family.”

    In another chapter, Skaggs describes what, according to him, are never before seen family archives that give a detailed account of the events surrounding the abduction of Jenny Wiley and her eventual rescue at the hands of Henry.

    "The Indians came back down into Virginia looking for Lydia Skaggs and took Jenny Wiley by mistake. The whole story is in the book,” Skaggs said of the tale.

    Copies of “Be Safe and Keep Your Powder Dry” are digitally available for $9.99 at both Barnes and Noble and Amazon online retailers.

    Hard copies of the book are available for $15 by contacting Skaggs directly at (606) 286-2879.

    Joe Lewis can be reached at or by telephone at 286-4201.

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