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Donn Piatt came of a family whose annals would be almost a history of the early settlement of the west. Colonel Jacob Piatt, his grandfather, after fighting his way up from the position of private to the rank of Colonel in the Revolutionary army, serving for a time on the staff of General Washington, and taking part in every important action from the storming of Quebec to the surrender at Yorktown, when peace was proclaimed, emigrated to the west and settled upon the banks of the Ohio, in Boone county, Kentucky. At that time, the only means of transportation on the western waters, were found in flat-boats and broad-horns, and, as the war-worn veteran floated down the fair Ohio with his little band, he saw on either side unbroken forests, the hunting grounds of Indians, anticipating whose attacks he had to watch, rifle in hand. Now, all this is changed.