George Horn, 1771–1817
George Horn was born about 1771 in Washington County, Maryland to Christopher and Catharine (Watson) Horn. A German speaking family, the Horns moved westward settling the southwestern Pennsylvania frontier after the Revolutionary War. George’s father, Christopher, had been granted a land warrant of 360 acres on the waters of Ten Mile Creek in Washington County in February 1785. When George was about twenty-five years old, he left “Bellimore,” his father’s estate, and migrated further westward to Louisville, Kentucky, where he joined other settlers of German heritage. There, he met his future wife, Elizabeth Brinley, whose family owned property along Floyd’s Fork, a tributary of the Salt River. Elizabeth had been born in York County, Pennsylvania, about 1777 to Matthias and Anna Brinley.
On 21 August 1798, George and Elizabeth were married. Sometime soon after the 1800 Jefferson County, Kentucky, census, the Horn and Brinley families moved into the District of St. Louis of the Upper Louisiana Territory. George and Elizabeth settled at the intersection of the Meramec and Mississippi Rivers in an area today identified as Oakville, St. Louis County. On 30 June 1808, George filed a land claim at the St. Louis Recorder’s Office staking his claim of “300 arpens of Land situated on the Mississippi and ‘Merimack’ Rivers District of St. Louis by virtue of having inhabited and cultivated the same prior to and on the 20th December 1803 by permission from the proper Spanish officer and under the act of Congress.”
Spanish land grant claim for George Horn, 1808
Photo from Index of French and Spanish Land Grants, Book D, p. 214
In the public domain
Although George’s claim would ultimately be rejected by the U.S. Board of Land Commissioners two years later in 1810, his family would continue to farm this tract of land at the mouth of the Meramec until after the death of his oldest son, John, in 1844. Today this parcel of land is the site of the Ameren Missouri Meramec Power Plant in southeastern St. Louis County.
George and Elizabeth Horn were parents to at least three sons: John (born c. 1799), Martin (1810), and David (1816). In adulthood, John and David would raise their own families on farms along the Meramec River while Martin would purchase a land patent further south in St. Francois County.
George Horn died on 10 June 1817 in St. Louis. Many descendants of George and Elizabeth Horn, one of St. Louis’s founding families, still reside in the greater St. Louis area today.
Written by Marcia Riley
© 2021 St. Louis Genealogical Society
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Last Modified: 18-Nov-2021 14:08