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History: How Esto got its name, from Tine Snow Reynolds

Russell County: She invites JIM to do further research. Says too much importance is given to the Phelpses in matters related to the area; including conclusions based on their prominence in later times, even suggesting a certain timidness in the Phelpses when others were sallying forth from the security of Fort Boonesborough. CM leaves these matters to real historians. Our basic interest in Esto is its eminence as a cornerstone of the Sacred Triangle - Sano, Ono, Esto. - EW

By Tine S Reynolds

ESTO (Russell Co.) - Where did Esto get its name? A continuation of a story told (JIM: Local history: How Esto, Russell Co., KY got its name), that the name Esto was taken from the long name of a young African-American living in the neighborhood. His last name was Barger and he was born in 1872 or 1873. (P. O. started in 1876.)

We have not found any primary source confirmation of this story, but this young man's family was certainly an important part of the culture of my family's history, not far from Esto, at that time.


Esto is a Latin word, being, as we all know. The parents of Barger had been slaves and the early Bargers (whites and slaves) lived on the Cumberland River.

Esto's parents. Josephine and Louis, had been associated with Mrs. Bett Wolford, wife of the local doctor, and when freed evidently took a bit of land right near Old Liberty Church.

This was all in the neighborhood of my old homeplace, Lapsley/Snow farm, settled in 1802, at the top of Old Liberty Hill.

In fact, I grew up hearing stories from my mother and grandmother about "Aunt Josie" and have always known the gravestone for "Aunt Josie." The old buckeye tree over the grave -something has happened to the other gravestone for her husband - is gone but the grave itself is still therem edged by a low concrete border.

This is literally across the road diagonally from the Lapsley Early Pioneers Cemetery of my old homeplace and we may absorb Aunt Josie's grave because....

So we invite Jim to study and research further.

The Bargers were closely allied with the Lapsleys. Our farm settled in 1802 and Wolford s bought part of that land) and not as closely with the Phelps.

Jim is perhaps getting too eager to reach conclusions although his work is wonderful and a great starting point for further insights.

We are getting bone-weary of everyone assuming that everything was centered around the old Phelps Family.

In fact, it now appears that the first Phelps settlers were among those who were perhaps scaredy-cats and would not leave Boonesboro Fort when most of the others did.

Either that or they arrived late and left late if they were there. Thanks, Jim.

From Ollye Tine Snow Reynolds, - Tine S Reynolds


This story was posted on 2013-02-22 07:43:32
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