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Kasper Mansker

Long hunter and early Middle Tennessee settler Kasper Mansker was born on an immigrant ship bound for the American colonies. Little is known about his German ancestry or his early life. Mankser married Elizabeth White of Berkeley County, Virginia, at an unknown date and place, and the couple moved to the head of the Holston River, where Mansker began his hunting career at least by June 1769. A journey taken in 1772 introduced Mansker to the rich resources of Middle Tennessee, especially what is now Sumner County and Davidson County. Near a salt lick and a large creek now known as Mansker Creek in the present-day city of Goodlettsville, Mansker established his own fortified station, Mansker Station, in 1780. Also that year Mansker signed the Cumberland Compact. Due to repeated Indian raids in the area, settlers left Mansker Station during the winter of 1780-81, and soon thereafter, Indians burned the abandoned fort. In 1782-83 Mansker built a new fort about one mile north of the first one. This second Mansker Station, where Mansker lived for the remainder of his life, became an important early settlement area in Middle Tennessee. Throughout the years, boarders at the station included such notables as Isaac Bledsoe, Andrew Jackson, and John Overton. Visitors included the French botanist André Michaux.

In 1783 Mansker was a surveyor of the military reservation land that North Carolina planned to grant its Revolutionary War veterans. Four years later, he was elected major of the Sumner County militia and served on the first Sumner County grand jury. When the Southwest Territory was established in 1790, Territorial Governor William Blount appointed Mansker lieutenant colonel of the Sumner County militia. Mansker later participated as a volunteer in the 1794 campaign on the Chickamauga villages. During the War of 1812 he served in the Second Regiment of the Tennessee Volunteer Mounted Gunmen and fought at the battle of New Orleans in 1815. Five years later, he died at his Sumner County residence and was buried there. In 1956 Mansker's remains were removed to a public park in Goodlettsville. His many contributions to the region's history are now interpreted at Mansker Station, a reconstructed frontier station, in Moss Wright Park in Goodlettsville.

Suggested Reading

Walter T. Durham, "Kasper Mansker: Cumberland Frontiersman," Tennessee Historical Quarterly 30 (1971): 154-77.

Published » December 25, 2009 | Last Updated » February 21, 2011