In 1839, James Dinsmore purchased approximately 700 acres in Boone County, Kentucky. He and his family settled there, growing grapes, raising sheep and growing willows for a basket-making business. Their house was completed in 1842. James and Martha Dinsmore had three daughters, Isabella, Julia and Susan. Isabella married and had two daughters, Martha (Patty) and Sarah (Sally). Susan died at age 15 in a boating accident. Julia never married and inherited the farm in 1872. She operated it successfully for 54 years until her death at age 93.
The Dinsmores were a well-educated and well-traveled family. James Dinsmore's great-grandaughter Isabella (1886-1953) was involved in national politics in the early 20th-century and was a life-long friend of Eleanor Roosevelt. While living in Arizona in 1933, Isabella Selmes Ferguson Greenway King was elected Arizona's first female Congresswoman. In addition, Theodore Roosevelt was a great fan of Miss Julia's poetry and did make a visit to the farm.