Esther Whitley

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Esther Whitley (1755–1833) was an American pioneer who was the third woman of European descent to cross the Cumberland Mountains.[1] Traveling with her husband, William Whitley, she came to Kentucky on Wilderness Road.[1] They built the first brick house in Kentucky which is maintained at the William Whitley House State Historic Site in Crab Orchard, Kentucky.[1]

Early life[edit]

Esther Gill Fullen was born in Augusta County, Virginia.[2] Fullen married William Whitley in Virginia, and together they had eight daughters and three sons.[3]

In November 1775, she began the trip west along Wilderness Road with her husband and their family.[1][3]

Sportman Hill[edit]

The Whitleys built an estate called Sportman Hill which contained the first brick house in Kentucky.[1] Sportman Hill had an oval race track for horse racing that ran in a counterclockwise direction, differing for the direction of British horse racing.[3]


Esther died at the home of her daughter, Ann Harper, in Woodford County, Kentucky, on November 20, 1833.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Looking Back: Historic Whitley House offers visitors a look at pioneer life". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  2. ^ "Kentucky Commission on Women Kentucky Women Remembered". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  3. ^ a b c "WHITLEY, WILLIAM". Retrieved 2015-08-04.
  4. ^ Draper MS. 9 CC 5, 12-13, State Historical Society of Wisconsin. Family Bible of William Whitley, Jr. Filson Club, Louisville, KY.