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She Lived on this Kenton Co. Road Most of Her Life & Now Part Will Be Adopted in Her Honor

Cruise Creek Road runs between Madison Pike and Rich Road in southern Kenton County.

Jean Daniels lived on the quiet country road for most of her life and now her family, many of whom still reside on Cruise Creek, want to preserve her presence there by adopting a stretch of the road in her name.

"My mom, our mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother Jean Cook Daniels lived on Little Cruise Creek Road all her life," Jim Daniels said at a recent meeting of the Kenton County Fiscal Court. "We would like to further remember her presence by keeping her country road clean and pristine. As public water is destined to be installed, we hope the Cruise Creek Road will be a road our mom will be proud of."

Jean Cook Daniels passed away in July 2011 at the age of 84. She graduated from Simon Kenton High School in 1945.

The Fiscal Court gave its blessing to the family's plans. "It's an honor and tribute to your family in that respect, and it's also something for the citizens of Kenton County to know that people care about the cleanliness of the roads," Judge-Executive Steve Arlinghaus said. "It goes a long way, so we're very appreciative of your efforts."

Daniels said that some of the beautification would include redbud and dogwood tree plantings, "to keep an annual springtime reminder of Grandma Jean".

"It's a great place to live here in Kenton County," said Bill Schneider, Jean Cook's son-in-law, who also lives on the road. "This is our way to say thank you as well as recognize mom. We kind of value our neighborhoods by our roads in the southern part of the county. We don't have the same mail post office, or the same this or that but when you get a stretch of folks on the same road, it's a pretty neat neighborhood."

"We hope other folks might use this example."

County Commissioner Kris Knochelmann agreed. "Hopefully other people will take advantage of the opportunity to clean up their roads in their community," Knochelmann said. "You should be commended for thinking of a creative way to improve your neighborhood."

The family vowed to adopt at least one mile of the road and to ensure that litter and other debris are collected and removed quarterly. In return, a sign will be erected in the name and memory of Jean Cook Daniels. The road runs alongside Little Cruise Creek.

"While Cruise Creek Road is a road less traveled, it was her road and now it can become our memory of her," Daniels said.

History of Cruise Creek

Cruise Creek Watershed is nestled in the middle of southern Kenton County, an area covering over half of the county’s land, yet all is unincorporated, rural, countryside. The area’s heritage traces back to Iroquois and Shawnee tribes who frequently used northern Kentucky as a source for game and salt. Families within the tribe were key to their culture and a fierce sense of independence prevailed. Their proud heritage was shared orally from generation to generation. Then came French and British traders, a man named Simon Kenton, and more pioneers. A fierce clash of cultures occurred as the heritage of these Native Americans collided with European settlers. An early militiaman from Boonesboro, Lt. Creuss, was killed along the banks of the Licking River. A band of others were on their way to the Indiana Territory, when he was killed…his body was hastily buried at the mouth of a creek, named in his honor…Cruise Creek.

“The old camp was made on the first campaign, in the year 1780, and the other the next campaign.  I wish you to survey the entries that are on the heads of Grassy creek, in the name of Howard Lewis.  If you find where Creuss was buried at a camp, you can easily find the entries.” Hanging-Fork April 26, 1786, Letter to General Nathaniel Massie.

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Written by Michael Monks, editor & publisher of The River City News with history provided by Bill Schneider

Photo: Jean Cook Daniels (provided)