Christopher Gist

Christopher Gist was born in about 1706 in Maryland. He married Sarah Howard Gist. The couple produced five children. His parents were Richard Gist and Zipporah Murray Gist. Richard Gist surveyed much of western Maryland and was involved in platting the City of Baltimore. In 1750, Gist was hired by the Ohio Company of Virginia to survey 500,000 acres in the Ohio River Valley (Including what is today Covington). The survey was in preparation for the settlement of 100 families in the region and for the construction of a fort. At this time the territory was claimed by both the British and the French. Gist set out on his journey on October 31, 1750.

Christopher Gist is the first documented European to set foot in what is today Northern Kentucky. His first stop in the area was at the confluence of the Ohio and Licking Rivers. He also stopped at Big Bone Lick in present day Boone County to obtain salt. He then began to travel down the Ohio toward the falls (present day Louisville). This part of the journey, however, was cut short by an encounter with the native American peoples who populated the area. Gist returned home in May 1751. Gist made two additional trips to Kentucky in the ensuing years. Christopher Gist died in 1759 from smallpox.

Dictionary of American Biography; The Kentucky Post Times-Star, February 13, 1964, p. 4k.

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