I've mentioned before that one of my hobbies is taking pictures of headstones of famous people. Those belonging to Muhammad Ali, Lucille Ball, Colonel Sanders, and Designing Women star Dixie Carter are among them.

I've also visited the cemeteries where actor and Tennessee senator Fred Dalton Thompson, Billy the Kid's mother, and Sam Sheppard are laid to rest. The latter is the man whose story inspired The Fugitive.

The Gravesite of Daniel Boone

I've also been to the Frankfort Cemetery. And for a historian (I'm only of the amateur variety), this one is a gold mine. I lost count of how many former Kentucky governors are buried here. But the ornate headstone that stood out was the one for Daniel Boone.

Is Daniel Boone Really Buried in Daniel Boone's Tomb?

For any student of Kentucky history or just anyone like me with a unique pastime like this, the Frankfort Cemetery is a gold mine, and the Boone memorial is certainly a centerpiece. But there's some mystery surrounding his and his wife Rebecca's interment. And, despite the final two lines on this historical marker, the big question is, "Are they REALLY buried there?"

Whittdocs via YouTube
Whittdocs via YouTube

That's right. The most popular tourist attraction in the Kentucky's capitol city is loaded with question marks.

The Friends of Daniel Boone’s Burial Site in Marthasville, Missouri, aren’t so sure, and the controversy has simmered for years. Much has been disputed: Did Daniel’s son Nathan really give permission for the bones to be disinterred? Was the proper grave dug up? If so, were all of the bones removed?

A Missouri Cemetery Is Another Daniel Boone Burial Site

While we're at it, here's that Daniel Boone memorial in Missouri:

Now, transplanting remains to another cemetery is hardly unheard of; I'm a funeral director's kid, so I was indirectly schooled in the business over nightly dinners. So why is there doubt about the Boones' remains?

Some say that back in Missouri, Daniel was originally buried at Rebecca’s feet, so the bones next to her weren’t Daniel’s. Over the years, researchers have pored over old records trying to solve the mystery. The skull buried in the Frankfort grave has even been exhumed and examined, but results were inconclusive.

I suppose this is one mystery that will have to remain a mystery. If they've done this much digging and still can't come up with anything conclusive, then perhaps we should, ahem, let sleeping Boones lie. Hey, Daniel Boone will forever be one of Kentucky's favorite sons; he did his best and most memorable work in the Commonwealth.

In my opinion, whether or not the iconic pioneer is buried in Frankfort Cemetery or not, he belongs there.

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Gallery Credit: Dave Spencer

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