In the Jackson Purchase, and especially in the Graves County region of the state, there will be seen a large number of people with the name Cashon. This is attributed to the one man and his son that brought this family to the region early in America’s history.

In 1824, David Cashon, my fifth great-grandfather, settled in the region from his migration from Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee with his son, Pleasant Jackson Cashon, my fourth great-grandfather. His story is an interesting one because he received a Revolutionary War land grant to settle into the Jackson Purchase in 1824, and in 1832, he petitioned to receive a pension for his service in the war. When one reviews the genealogy records of the Cashon family in Western Kentucky, they will find that they all have this singular ancestor, and they will discover that all of the Cashon’s are directly related. Here are the contents of this petition:

October 8, 1832, David Cashin, aged 74 years, made application before the justices of the Court of Pleas and Quarter Sessions for Weakley County, Tennessee, for a pension under the Act of Congress passed June 7, 1832. Under oath he testified –

That in the year 1775 in Chesterfield County, Virginia, in his 18th year, he enlisted in Minute Company for 12 months. This company was separate from militia companies, and those enlisted were bound for the term of enlistment to be always in readiness on a minute’s warning to go into service.  During this enlistment in the year 1776 the company was called into service and continued for three or four months under Capt. Francis Goode and Lt. George Markham. The company marched from Chesterfield through Williamsburg and by Little York to Hampton, then by water to Portsmouth, Virginia, and remained there until its tour of duty expired. The members of the company then returned to the Militia Companies.

David Cashon listed on the West Tennessee Pension Roll 1832
David Cashon listed on the West Tennessee Pension Roll 1832

In 1778 or 1779 while still living in Chesterfield County, Virginia, he was called out, or drafted, as one of the Chesterfield County Militia. With 25 other enlisted men he was engaged for three weeks in guarding about 50 British prisoners at Chesterfield Courthouse. Robert Elam commanded the Company of Guards. He was also engaged for two weeks either before or after the guarding of the prisoners, in guarding a magazine about six miles from Chesterfield Courthouse. January-February 1781 at the time the British first burned part of Richmond, he was again drafted in the Chesterfield Militia. Served one month. Rendezvoused opposite Richmond. Marched down the James River and discharged below Cabin Point. This service was under Capt. Haskins.

Applicant stated that at above time every man capable of bearing arms was called out.

April 1781 he was again drafted for no specific time “but as long as we were wanted out of the Militia of Chesterfield Co. against the British who had come and taken Petersburg in Virginia”. He went out under Capt. Haskins, Cols. Robertson and Betts (or Botts), and “during this time Gen. La Fayette took command of us”. Marched first to Petersburg, then to Richmond and at the end of eleven weeks were discharged in the month of June.

August 1781 was drafted again in to the Militia of Chesterfield County, for three months. Marched through Petersburg, from there crossed the James River, then through Old Williamsburg to Little York and was present at the taking of Cornwallis. In service on this draft two and a half months. He testified that he did not remember serving with any Continental officers “except Major Boice and Dick and General Muhlenburg and Lawson who were with us at Petersburg in April 1781 and took command until Lafayette took command at Richmond”. He stated that he never received a written discharge as it was not customary for the militia to get regular discharges.

David Cashon's return of weapons and equipment.
David Cashon’s return of weapons and equipment.

He asserted that he knew of no living witness by whom he might prove his service excepting Burwell Cashin and Thomas Cashon who were then living in Mecklenburg Co., N.C. whose affidavits are appended to his application as well as a receipt from the Commisary General, dated Oct. 29, 1781, showing return of three muskets and other military supplies.

When the Cashon family moved from North Carolina, they traveled with two other families, the Winstead and the Beadles families. The area that they settled in became known as Dukedom, Kentucky and also Tennessee, due to its location directly on the Kentucky-Tennessee border.

There is an interesting story about how Dukedom became the name of the town since it is the only Dukedom in the United States. When the families settled into the area, Duke A. Beadles, who had opened a shanty store that sold whiskey and also the first postmaster, requested to have a post office installed in the town in 1833. He was asked to give a name of the town and he chose Dukedom after his name. His mother was Mary Elizabeth Cashon, the daughter of David Cashon. According to the history written by a member of the Winstead family, Kindred Winstead writes:

Dukedom, U.S.A. is one of the oldest communities in West Kentucky or West Tennessee. The little cross road unincorporate (once corporated) stateline town came into its own in the late 1820’s or early 1830’s. Probably there were people there as early as 1811. It is said the town started with the sale of one gallon of whiskey. It seems that Duke A. Beadles had opened a little shack and his first sale was one gallon of whiskey. The first post office was opened on July 30. 1833 with Duke Beadles as its first postmaster. In need for a name, he gave it his own “Dukedom.”

Duke Beadles was born in 1806 in North Carolina as well as my 3rd great grandfather, David Boyd Cashon, born in 1812. They traveled together from North Carolina, Tennessee, and finally to western Kentucky. Here is the gravestone of David, which explains the journey:


It appears the Cashon family in Dukedom was involved with the Masons since the masonic emblem is on the gravestone, which is also an obelisk from masonic traditions. Here is a closeup of the gravestone:

David Boyd Cashon Gravestone up close.
David Boyd Cashon Gravestone up close.

The Cashon’s expanded from the Dukedom region into Tennessee and also Mayfield, Kentucky, after the railroad expanded into the region in 1859, which led to further migration to Paducah, Kentucky when it became the center for the railroad.


6 thoughts on “The Cashon family of Western Kentucky and how Dukedom, Kentucky got its name

  1. We must be related – my father was Billie Gene Cashon, also buried near Dukedom next to his mother Sula Brann Cashon and father Willie Cashon. My sister Gina Cashon and I moved as children to Florida and still live here. My father’s only elder brother Eldred Cashon remained in Hickory KY and passed on in 1990 if I recall correctly. Two of Eldred’s offspring still live there Jerry Wayne Cashon and Patsy Cashon Marine, as well as their own offspring. The youngest son of Eldred’s settled in Port Richey FL (Gerald Cashon), and sadly the middle son David Cashon recently passed while living in Cocoa FL, and all but one of his children returned to KY.

    Your article was fascinating. Thanks for your research and effort – very much appreciated!

    Karen Cashon

      1. I did a quick view of my genealogy records and found the Cashon line for Willie and Sula Cashon. Willie’s father was William Carter Cashon, the son of Pulaski B. Cashon. Pulaski was David’s son from his last marriage to Sarah Harwell. Pulaski was born in the Dukedom area on Oct 13, 1830. I show that his son, William Carter, was married to Anna Eliza Holt. I hope this matches your records.

  2. I was told that Sula Brann Cashon’s mother’s last name was also Cashon, and was also told that several greats back, a male Cashon had three wives over the course of his life, with one line leading to Willie Cashon, the other to Sula Brann Cashon’s mother – thus half-cousins several times removed. No one knew any close relatives in common, I guess, so marry they did. That’s the story, anyway.

    I think my late mother Nora Hayes Cashon may have spoke or written you back before she passed in 2000, since she told me the above, unless I’ve mixed something up in the last 16 years. Good to know that there are and will be Cashons, although I have no children and my sister’s kids are adopted (not to mention, have their dad’s last name ).

    Karen Cashon

  3. My Great-Grandmother was Sarah Anne Cashon and she was married to John A. Ridgway. My second Great-Grandparents were Almond Ridgway and his wife was a Blaylock. I try to go to Good Springs every year. I live in Nicholasville, KY and my name is Gary L. Goldey.

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