From The Book "Pioneer Families Of Eastern And Southeastern Kentucky"
by William C Kozee pub 1957
Preston's Station (Prestonsburg Kentucky)
In 1787 a boundary of 100,000 acres of land on the head waters of the Big Sandy River
was entered for Colonel John Preston of Montgomery County,Virginia, as is evidenced
by contract between John Preston and John Smith,Mathias Harmon and Henry Skaggs
of record in the Floyd Co Kentucky Circuit Court. John Graham of Augusta County,Va
a young surveyor,was employed to do the surveying of this vast tract of land: and in
1797 he made his first survey covering the present Prestonsburg, Floyd County.
Shortly thereafter he surveyed for his own homestead a 2,000 acre tract embracing all
the bottom land on both sides of the Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River from present
Cliff to the mouth of Beaver Creek.
In 1791 John Spurlock erected the first permanent house where Prestonsburg now
stands and, although the temporary camps of John Graham and other Virginia surveyors
had been built and occupied previously, to Spurlock beongs the credit of being the first
to build his home in the vicinity. Spurlock's settlement being the first with respect to time,
gives to Prestonsburg the distinction of being the oldest town on the Big Sandy River.
The orginial cabin stood for many years as a land mark in the
back-from-the-river part of Prestonsburg,near the residence of the late J.M. Davidson
and around his cabin grew the settlement. Closely following Spurlock came a number
of families and within a year of so the place became known as Preston's Station.
It was so called in honor of Colonel John Preston for whom the large tract of land had
been entered as heretofore mentioned. Colonel Preston was descended from a long
line of notable Scotch-Irish ancestors,his father being Colonel William Preston of
Virginia,of border-warfare fame, and his grandfather, Colonel John Preston,the Scotch
-Irish immigrant who settled in Augusta County, Virginia, about 1740, and who was the
ancestor of many distinguished families in Virginia,Kentucky and the South.
Colonel Preston was born in Virginia about 1760:married,first, Mary Radford of
Richmond,and second,Mrs. Mayo, formerly Miss Carrington.
He had been a member of the Virginia Legisleture,general of the Virginia militia,
surveyor of Montgomery County Virginia,and for many years treasurer of that State.
Neither he nor any member of his immediate family to Floyd County or to Eastern
Kentucky. Obviously he cared very little for his wilderness domain. He made Harry
Stratton his agent in the Big Sandy Valley and subsequently transfered his principal
surveys to John Graham, the surveyor.
In 1799, when Floyd County was formed, Preston's Station became known as
Prestonsburg which was made and has ever remained Prestonsburg which was made
and the county seat of the County. In 1810 the town consisted of six families- those
of James Cummings,Thomas Evans,Christian Jost,Benjamin Morris,Martin Simms
and John Turman. It was incorporated as a town January 2,1818.