At the 2003 Annual Meeting, David W. Bondurant presented information on the migration of four Bondurant families through the Cumberland Gap to Kentucky and the states beyond. The presentation describes the founding of town Bondurant towns in Iowa and Wyoming.
After the Revolutionary War, the Western US was being opened up to civilization by the likes of Daniel Boone, who helped mark the path to Kentucky through the Cumberland Gap. Numerous families went west to find their fortunes in farmlands of the mid-west and the mountains of the west.
The Drury Bondurant family moved to Ohio via Kentucky. They settled in Pike Co. OH and their first son, Thomas Benton, was born there in 1804.
The Noah Bondurant family moved to Franklin Co. KY in 1815. First son, Edward, was born in Henry Co. KY in 1817. They moved on to Jefferson Co. IN where first daughter, Mary, was born in 1818. Noah died and is buried in Jefferson Co. IN.
The Joseph Bondurant family moved to Boone Co. KY where first son, John Tilman, was born in 1824. They moved on to Sangamon Co. IL where second son, Alexander Conley, was born in 1828. Joseph died in Sangamon Co. IN
The David Garrett Bondurant family moved to Shelby Co. KY where first daughter, Margaret Ann, was born in 1851. They moved on to Downing, MO and first son,William Edwin Hope, was born in 1854.
Joseph's son, John Tilman, moved to Des Moines, IA in 1847 and married in 1848. He moved to California over the California trail about 1849 during the Gold Rush. He met an untimely death in Sacremento, CA in 1851 where he is buried. He may be the first Bondurant to reach California.
John Tilman Bondurant's brother, Alexander Conley, followed him to Iowa where he arrived in 1857. He acquired 2500 acres of land in Polk Co. IA. It was here that Bondurant, IA was founded in 1884 when the Great Western Railroad built a station on the Bondurant land.
Noah's son, Edward, moved west to Harrison Co. MO and settled in 1853. His son, Benjamin, moved first to Holt Co. NE and then later moved over the Oregon trail to WY where he settled in 1894. By 1903, he built the Triangle F ranch on the site of the Bondurant, WY (near Jackson, WY). Bondurant, WY became a town in 1938.
Benton Post, Thomas Benton's son, was born in Sedan, OH in 1838. In 1881, he moved his family west aboard a Atchinson, Topeka & Santa Fe railroad train. He settled in Ness Co. KS. His grandson, Laurel Guy, moved his family to Colorado Springs, CO in 1946. Today, his son's Paul, Gene, and Neil still live in Colorado Springs along with several members of their families.
Several other members of these families continued westward. Charles Burton, son of Alexander Conley Bondurant, moved to Kalispell, MT about 1899. Roy Edward and Samuel James, grandsons of David Garrett Bondurant, helped found Rapelje, MT in 1917. Roy's son, Wayne Bondurant, is the first past president of the BFA. Rollo, son of Benjamin Bondurant (founder of Bondurant, WY), moved west to Port Angeles, WA where he died in 1954.
I would like to thank Clint Bondurant, Neil Bondurant, and Wayne Bondurant for their contributions of research and pictures for the presentation. The presentation shows how member's of the Bondurant family were part of the opening of the United States west of the Appalachian Mountains following the opening of the Cumberland Gap and the Louisiana Purchase.
Download the Westward Migration PowerPoint Presentation ( 12.5 MB)