Tag Archives: Revolutionary War

Slaughter of Kentuckians at the Battle of Blue Licks

Blue Licks Battlefield – On August 19, 1782.  Pioneers suffered a bitter defeat and were routed by their Revolutionary War enemies.  Captain Caldwell concealed his British and Indian army along the ravines leading from this hilltop to the Licking River.  Advancing into this ambush, the Pioneers were outnumbered and forced to flee across the river.

Earlier in the month Ritchey and I visited Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park.  I was most anxious to see the memorial for those who fought and fell during this battle on August 19, 1782.  Some call it the last battle of the Revolutionary War, fought ten months after Cornwallis surrendered at Yorktown.  The battle was fought between about 180 Kentucky settlers and 240 British and Indians.  An attack on Bryan’s Station, Lincoln County, Kentucky, August 15, 1782, by the British and Indians, was led by Captain William Caldwell, loyalist Alexander McKee, Simon Girty and Matthew Elliott.  The Kentucky settlers took shelter within their stockade and fought back with all their might.  The British killed all the settlers’ livestock and destroyed their crops.  When they heard that the Kentucky militia were on the way they retreated.

The Kentucky force was led by Colonel John Todd of Fayette County, assisted by Lieutenant Colonels Daniel Boone and Stephen Trigg.  Plans were formed overnight and on the morning of August 19, 1782, this band of approximately 180 men set out to confront the British and Indians.  The two forces met at the Licking River, today located in northern Nicholas County.  The British and Indians secured for themselves the best spot on the riverbank for battle.  Advancing into this ambush, within fifteen minutes almost half the Kentuckians were killed or captured.  These were men who had fought hard and long with the Indians during their time in Kentucky.  It is said that Daniel Boone wanted to wait for Benjamin Logan, who was bringing enforcements.  He was a day or two behind.  Others thought this would give the enemy time to cross the Licking River and head north, eventually crossing the Ohio River into Indiana and Indian territory.

The Martyrs of the last battle of the Revolution lie buried here.  Dedicated March 14, 1935, by the Kentucky Society Daughters of the American Revolution.

After the battle, those still alive ran through the forest, trying to get back to Bryan’s Station.  Some did, some did not.  When Benjamin Logan’s militia arrived, they found the area littered with corpses.  Many were scalped, many were butchered, cut into pieces.  They were unable to identify anyone.  All were buried in a mass grave.

So valiantly did our small party fight that, to the memory of those who unfortunately fell in the battle, enough of honour cannot be paid.’  Daniel Boone
Colonel – Commandant John Todd Killed
Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Boone
Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Trigg Killed
Major Edward Bulger Died of wounds
Major Silas Harlan Killed
Major Hugh McGary
Major Levi Todd
Captain John Allison
Captain John Beasley Captured
Captain John Bulger Killed
Captain John Gordon Killed
Captain Samuel Johnson
Captain Joseph Kincaid Killed
Captain Gabriel Madison
Captain William McBride Killed
Captain Clough Overton Killed
Captain Robert Patterson
Lieutenant William Givins Killed
Lieutenant Thonmas Hinson Killed
Lieutenant John Kennedy Killed
Lieutenant James McGuire Killed
Lieutenant Barnett Rogers Killed
Ensign John McMurtry Captured
Commissary Joseph Lindsay Killed
Dedicated August 19, 1928
This monument, the gift of a grateful Commonwealth, commemorates the heroic pioneers, who, in defense of Kentucky, here fought and fell in the Battle of the Blue Licks, August 19, 1782.

On August 19, 1928, a granite monument was dedicated to the men who fought and lost their lives in the Battle of Blue Licks – a fitting tribute to these brave men.  If this battle had not been fought, Kentucky may not have been settled until much later.  We owe much to our brave pioneers.

The men who fought the Battle of the Blue Licks were as well qualified from experience to face the Indians as any body of men that were ever collected.’  Robert Patterson
Privates Who Were Killed
Black, Charles
Boone, Israel
Brannon, Samuel
Brown, James Surveyor
Corn, Esau
Cunningham, Hugh
Douglass, John
Eads, William
Farrier, Thomas
Ferguson, Charles
Field, Ezekiel
Folley, John
Foster, Daniel
Fry, John
Graham, ‘Little’ James
Green, Jervis
Greggs, Daniel
Harper, Francis
Harper, Matthew
Harris, William
Jolly, John
Ledgerwood, James captured and killed
Marshall, Gilbert
McBride, Francis
McConnell, Andrew
McCracken, Isaac
Miller, Henry
Nelson, John
Nutt, John
Oldfield, Joseph
O’Neal, John
Polley, Drury
Price, John
Robertson, William
Rose, Matthias
Shannon, William
Smith, James
Smith, William
Stapleton, John
Stephens, William
Stern, Valentine
Stevenson, John
Stewart, William
Tomlinson, Richard
Willson, John
Wilson, Isael
Wilson, John
Woods, Archibald
Wylie, Matthew
Ottawas and Chippewas

Each year a reenactment of the Battle of Blue Licks is held at the battlefield park.

They advanced in three divisions, in good order, and gave us volley and stood to it very well for some time.’  William Caldwell
Privates Who Escaped
Acres, Thomas
Aldridge, William
Allen, Elijah
Allen, James
Barbee, William
Boone, Samuel
Boone, Squire Jr. Wounded
Bowman, Abraham
Bowmar, Robert
Brooks, Thomas
Coburn, James Wounded
Coffman, Jacob
Collins, Joseph
Cooper, Benjamin A.
Corn, Edward
Corn, George
Craig, Jerry
Craig, Whitfield
Custer, William
Davis, Richard
Davis, Theodorus
Dierly, Peter
Ficklin, Thomas
Field, William
French, Henry
Gist, Thomas
Graham, Edward
Graham, James
Grant, Squire
Grider, Henry
Gullion, Jeremiah
Hambleton, John
Harget, Peter
Harrod, James
Hart, John
Hayden, Benjamin
Hays, James
Higgins, Henry
Hinch, John
Hunter, Charles
Hunter, Jacob
January, Ephraim
January, James M.
Kincaid, James
Lam, William
Lea, Wainright
Little, John
May, William
McBride, James
McConnell, James
McCullough, James
Morgan, Andrew
Morgan, James Capture but escaped
Morgan, John
Morgan, Mordecai
Netherland, Benjamin
Nixon, Henry
Norton, James
Patterson, Matthew
Peake, John
Penlin, Alexander
Pitman, John
Poague, Robert
Pruett, Elisha
Ray, James
Reynolds, Aaron
Rose, James
Rose, Lewis Captured
Rule, Andrew
Scholl, Abraham
Scholl, Joseph
Scholl, Peter
Scott, Robert
Scott, Samuel
Searcy, Bartlett
Searcy, John
Shortridge, Samuel
Shott, William
Singleton, Edmund
Smith, George
Smith, John
Sowdusky, Anthony
Steele, Andrew
Stevens, Jacob
Stevenson, Thomas
Stucker, Jacob
Summers, John
Swart, James
Twyman, James
Wilson, Henry
Wilson, Josiah
Woods, James Elijah Captured
Woods, Samuel
Yocum, Jesse Captured
Wyandots and Mingoes

You might enjoy reading History of the Battle of Blue Licks by Bennett Henderson Young.  I downloaded it from Amazon for $1.95.

No historian, who will give a faithful account of the settlement and transactions of this country, will omit to speak of the battle and the place at which it was fought.’  Court of Appeals of Kentucky
To the unknown heroes who took part in the Battle of the Blue Licks
This ‘Last Battle of the Revolution’ was fought between 182 Kentuckians, commanded by Colonel John Todd, on the American side, and about 240 Indians and Canadians, commanded by Captain William Caldwell, on the British side.
Shawnees and Delawares

This memorial was erected to honor those individuals whose names were omitted from the original monument.  New research has provided these additional names and corrected previous information regarding those individuals who so gloriously served Kentucky at the Battle of Blue Licks
Boone, Thomas Killed
Childress, John Escaped
Ledgerwood, James Captured but escaped
Peake, Jesse
Ward, James Escaped

John Trotter Langhorne – Victim of Cholera

John Trotter Langhorne, born January 4, 1779, died June 30, 1833.  Elizabeth Baxter, wife of John Trotter Langhorne, born November 26, 1798, died February 5, 1879.  Maysville Cemetery, Mason County, Kentucky.

This beautiful stone stands in the Maysville Cemetery in Mason County in honor of John Trotter Langhorne, and his wife, Elizabeth Baxter Payne.  John was born too late to fight for freedom in the Revolutionary War, but both had veterans in their families.  Maurice Langhorne was John’s grandfather; William Payne was Elizabeth’s grandfather.  The Cincinnati Enquirer of Sunday, September 1, 1929, contains an article on the Langhorne family.  From it we find that William Payne was a member of the House of Burgesses, ‘who met at Raleigh Tavern, May 18, 1769, and May 27, 1774, to protest against the importation and purchase of British manufacturers.’  On a granite boulder at the old capitol at Williamsburg, Virginia, is engraved the names of the members who were there on those dates.  Along with Peyton Randolph, Speaker of the House, is the name of William Langhorne, among others.

William Langhorne’s son, Maurice Langhorne married Elizabeth Trotter, parents of John Trotter Langhorne.  Col. Duvall Payne married Hannah Brent, parents of Elizabeth Baxter Payne.

John and Elizabeth’s children were Elizabeth Baxter, Maurice, Sarah Bell, John Duvall, Judith Fry, Penelope Vertner, William David and Thomas Young Langhorne, almost all given a name from their ancestral families for their middle name.

From The History of Maysville and Mason County, by G. Glenn Clift, we find that John Trotter Langhorne was the landlord of the Eagle Tavern in Maysville.  In a letter dated August 20, 1833, after cholera had abated, ‘I have been spared by the good will of the Lord and in good health at the time.  Mr. Stockwell you spoke of is alive and well.  James, his brother, is dead, the one that lived with Messrs. Poyntz and Co. since the death of Mr. J. T. Langhorne.’  I felt sure cholera was the cause of John’s death simply because he died in June 1833.

Elizabeth Baxter Payne Langhorne lived another 46 years.  She is listed in the 1840 census as head of household, but with the number living there she must have had children and grandchildren living with her.  By 1850 she is living with her daughter and son-in-law, Judith Fry Langhorne and Charles Marshall.  Elizabeth died February 5, 1879, at the age of 80.

 

 

 

 

Two Counties, Six Cemeteries, Four Covered Bridges and a Battlefield

Yesterday was a glorious day in Kentucky.  A reprieve from the 90+ temperatures we’ve had in the last several weeks – and no rain!  The high managed to get to 82, the skies were a bright blue, grass and trees wonderful shades of green.  We left at 8:00 a.m.

Our goal was to visit Robertson and Fleming counties and take photos in several cemeteries each.  You know how much Ritchey loves geocaching.  There are four covered bridges in the two counties – those beautiful, historic structures that are slowly dwindling in our country – and they each had geocaches hidden in them!  They were added to the list.  And on the way home, we planned to visit Blue Licks Battlefield State Park – what some have called the last battle of the Revolutionary War, fought in Kentucky on August 19, 1782.  The British and Indian forces slaughtered many of the Kentuckians.  I have posted several wills written by men from Mercer County that did not survive the battle.

We began at Piqua Methodist Church in Robertson County, a small, rural cemetery.  While there, the gentleman who takes care of the cemetery stopped by.  He showed me a list of those buried here, useful since many did not have gravestones, or have long since broken.  He related that the last person buried in this cemetery was his elementary school teacher, Gladys Shepherd, who passed away in 2004 at the age of 104.

Ritchey finding a geocache at Johnson Creek Covered Bridge in Robertson County.

Just about a mile north on Highway 165 was the small church and cemetery of Piqua Christian.  Mt. Olivet Cemetery, just outside the town of the same name, was our last cemetery for this county.  On the way to neighboring Fleming County we stopped at Johnson Creek Covered Bridge, and Ritchey found his first geocache of the day.  Sitting in the middle of the bridge eating a chicken salad and croissant sandwich, the breeze was heavenly.  Butterflies were plentiful, and there was no noise, just an occasional moo or bird chirp.

Top stone – In Memory of Edward Dulin, Sen., Born in Virginia, August 6, 1769, and Died in Kentucky, September 25, 1830.  Lower stone – In Memory of George, twin son of John W. and Elizabeth D. Dulin, Born October 23, 1851, died July 30, 1852, age 9 months and 7 days.  Evergreen Hill Cemetery, Flemingsburg, Fleming County, Kentucky.

In Fleming County we visited Elizaville Cemetery, a lovely small town, only few miles from Flemingsburg, the county seat.  Evergreen Hill Cemetery was quite impressive with its old stones.  I wanted to share this one with you today since it was so unusual.  I don’t believe I’ve ever seen an old above ground stone with writing on the side.  There were at least ten or twelve in this cemetery.  Other beautifully carved stones were for cholera victims in 1833.

Goddard White Bridge

On to the three covered bridges in Fleming County – Goddard White, Grange City and Ringo Mills.  One more cemetery stop in this county – Mt. Pisgah on Oakwood Road.

It was about 6:00 p.m. and we still had one more stop – Blue Licks Battlefield – in Nicholas County.  I was so impressed with the granite monument that names those who fought and died in this battle.  After taking photos we had a picnic supper before starting home.  It was a full day but so much fun!  And think of all the great information I have to share with you!

1788 Will of Francis Lucas Jacoby

Francis Lucas Jacoby, born in Germany, came to America about 1764 via England.  Married Frederica Lotspeich, a fellow passenger, in 1764 in London.  The family lived in Culpeper County, Virginia, during the Revolutionary War, in which Francis was part of the militia.  Moved to Kentucky after 1783.

Bourbon County, Kentucky – Will Book A, Pages 8-9

In the name of God, amen.  I, Francis Lucas Jacoby, of the County of Bourbon and State of Virginia, of sound sense and memory, do make, constitute and ordain this my last will and testament, and hereby revoke all and every will heretofore by me made or ordered to be made.  I first desire that all the debts which I justly owe to all men be faithfully paid agreed to contract.  I secondly dispose of my worldly property, both real and personal,in the following manner.  I leave in possession of my beloved wife, Frederica, during her real life, the plantation whereon I now live, with the appurtenances thereon for the purpose of raising my small children.

Item.  It is my will that my hereafter mentioned shall proceed to have all my personal estate, valued immediately after my death.  And after giving my wife her first choice of a part equal to that the estimate be equally made and that each of my following children as respectively come of age and choose shall of my Executor hereafter named the sum such valuation shall amount to provided that no such demand during the natural lifetime of my wife as it is my will that all the property she is to keep for the purpose of raising my small children, be continued in her possession, disposal at will.

Item.  It is my will and desire that my lands be equally as near as may be in value among all my children, viz., Katrina, Elizabeth,

Susanna, Ralph of ?, Frank, Henry, Frederick, Daniel, Betsey, Jacob, Rachel, John and Adam, and that after such division each legatee as they come of age may have full and free possession of such part as shall fall to their respective lot.  I further constitute and appoint as Executor, to this my will for the sole purpose of executing the true intent and meaning thereof, my beloved wife, Frederica, my trusty friends, John Grant and William Butler.  In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal this twenty-seventh day of May in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight.

Francis Lucas Jacoby

Signed in the presence of John Hopper, Joe Mosby, Catherine Butler

At a Court held for Bourbon County at the Courthouse on Tuesday the 15th day of July 1788.

The last will and testament of Francis Lucas Jacoby, deceased, was proved by the oaths of John Hopper and Catherine Butler, witnesses thereto and ordered to be recorded.  And on the motion of Frederica Jacoby, named and appointed executrix in the last will and testament of Francis Lucas Jacoby, and also John Grant, gentleman, and William Butler, who were also named executors in said will, they having agreeable to law qualified as Executors of said Jacoby, deceased, and together with John Hopper, their security, entered into and acknowledged bond in the penalty of one thousand pounds.  Certificate is granted them for obtaining Probate thereof in due form.

Test. John Edwards, Cl. B. C.

Thomas Kyle – Minister and Revolutionary War Veteran

A few days ago I published some Mercer County marriage returns by a Rev. Thomas Kyle.  I have found that he was also a Revolutionary War soldier, and is buried in the Old Mud Cemetery, along with many other veterans.  Thomas Kyle was a son of James Kyle and Mary McArthur, of Pennsylvania.  At the young age of seventeen he joined the Revolutionary army and fought in many battles.  He came to Kentucky about 1800.  The following is his request for pension for his military service.

State of Kentucky – Mercer County Court

On this 6th day of May 1833 personally appeared in open court Thomas Kyle, Sr., a resident citizen and clergyman in Mercer County and State of Kentucky, aged seventy-five years, who being first duly sworn according to law, doth on his oath make the following declarations in order to obtain the benefit of the Act of Congress passed June the 7th 1832.

That he left home in July 1775, then in his seventeenth year, and entered the army at Bunker Hill and in a very short time thereafter we fought the battle, this was his own voluntary act, he belongs to no particular detachment in this battle, he then remained with the main army until the Battle of Long Island when I became detached to General Putnam and rode as an express for him until the Battle of White Springs, after which we were driven out of the York State and through the Jersey State across the Delaware into Pennsylvania, when we received reinforcements and re-crossed the Delaware and came up with the Hessians at Trenton and defeated them with dreadful loss, and in a few days after we defeated the British at Princeton from which place we marched to Kingston and tore up the bridge and got to Somerset that night and the next morning we drew rations the first that we had got for three days.  General Washington then went into winter quarters with the main army at Morristown and Putnam with his detachment at Princeton.  Then I returned home to rest and get some clothing.  And in the winter of 1777, I volunteered for a militia tour under my friend and acquaintance Captain James Gibson of Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, and marched to Philadelphia and got our arms repaired and from thence we marched to Princeton and I saw General Putnam whose headquarters was in a Stockton brick house, and remained with him upwards of

four months when we were honorably discharged by General Putnam from his brigade, and we returned home.  The British having come around and landed at the head of Elkton and marched in the direction of Brandywine.  I without delay joined the detachment of General Armstrong and marched and we met the enemy at Brandywine when we were defeated.  I remained with the army until after the Battle of Germantown, both which battles were fought in 1777, after which I returned home, and in the year aforesaid, I cannot recollect the month, I joined Captain Crouch’s Company of volunteers and served a militia tour of three months during this tour we were marched to a place called White March Mills above Germantown, from this place we marched under General Irvine and attacked the British at Chestnut Hill and were defeated with the loss of General Irvine taken prisoner and 15 or 20 killed and wounded and we retreated into this country and our tour of three months having expired we were discharged at Lancaster in Pennsylvania and returned home.  And in the year 1778 or 9, I cannot recollect which, I volunteered with Captains Brady and Campleton and marched up the western branch of the Susquehanna, when the Indians had broke out and were committing murders and depredations upon the inhabitants and succeeded in rescuing the inhabitants.  During this time we suffered very much being exposed to all kinds of weather.  Again in the year 1779 I volunteered and under Captain Campleton a tour of three months our principal station was at Wallace Mills.  We marched up the eastern branch of the Susquehanna and acted as security and spies against the Indians and built stockades and block houses and gathered in the inhabitants.  He states that he would have had sufficient evidence of his service during the War of the Revolution, but he met with the

loss of having his house burned up together with money and papers he will recollect of having his discharges filed away in his desk, and that he has no documentary evidence of his service.  He hereby relinquishes every other claim whatever to a pension except this present and declares that his name is not on the pension roll of the agency of any state.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Thomas Kyle

We, Jesse Head, a clergyman residing in Mercer County, and Peter Huff, residing in the same county and state, do hereby certify that we are well acquainted with Thomas Kyle, a faithful and pious clergyman, who has subscribed and sworn to the above declaration that we believe him to be the age he states himself to be in his declaration, and we do know that he is respected and believed in the neighborhood where he resides to have been a brave and faithful soldier of the Revolution.

Sworn to and subscribed the day and year aforesaid.

Jesse Head, Peter Huff

Mercer County May County Court 1833

And the said Court do hereby declare this a pension after the investigation of the matter and after putting the interrogation prescribed by the War Department that the above named application was a Revolutionary soldier and served as he states and that the Court further certifies that it appears to them that Jesse Head, who has signed the preceding certificate is a clergyman resident in Mercer County and that Peter Huff, who has also signed the same is a resident citizen in said county and is a credible person and that their statement is entitled to credit, and we do further certify that Thomas Kyle, the applicant for a pension herein, and Jesse Head, a clergyman, and Peter Huff, severally came into Court and swore to the statements by them respectively subscribed.

I, Thomas Allin Jr., Clerk of the Mercer County Court, do hereby certify that the foregoing contains the original proceedings of the said Court in the matter of the application of Thomas Kyle for a pension.

In Testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and seal of office this 6th day of May 1833.  Thomas Allin, Jr., Clerk Mercer County Court

$40

Statement shewing the service of Thomas Kyle, Mercer County Kentucky

Entered July 1775, private, given one year of service.  Fought during the battles of bunker Hill, Long Island, Trenton, Princeton, Brandywine and Germantown.

Thomas Kyle, Private, General Putnam’s Brigade, Pennsylvania Line, Revolutionary War.  1757-1846.  Bunker Hill, Trenton, Germantown.  Old Mud Cemetery, Mercer County, Kentucky.

Martha Southard Jolly – 100+ Years of Age

When Ritchey and I visited Oakland Cemetery in Johnson County, Iowa, about fifteen years ago, we were mainly interested in his Hertz and Leuenberger families.  But there was one stone that caught my eye – that of Martha Jolly who died at the age of 100 years, almost 101!  It was first the name that drew my attention, since Ritchey’s grandfather was a Jolly.  In fact, his grandmother, Esther Hertz Jolly, is buried in Oakland Cemetery.  Since we knew very little about the Jolly family at that time I thought perhaps this may be useful in our research at a later time.  Then when I saw the dates I knew this woman would have an interesting story to tell – whether it was part of Ritchey’s family, or not.  She is not related.

Martha Southard, the daughter of Benjamin and Temperance Platt Southard, of Long Island, New York, was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, March 1, 1813.  Benjamin and Temperance had at least three other children, Rebecca, Isaac and Jane.

Martha Southard married Charles Jolly 2 May 1833, having their license issued 26 April 1833, in the County of Dearborn, State of Indiana.  John Godbey, Justice of the Peace, performed the ceremony.  The family lived together in the same county and state until Charles’ death in 1873, a total of one son and seven daughters.  In 1870, Martha’s sister, Jane Southard, 56, lived with them.

William Henry Jolly, only son, was wounded at the Battle of Vicksburg, and died August 31, 1863.  A copy of a letter sent to his family just before his death will appear in another blog.

The daughters were Mary Temperance, Susan J., Rebecca, Sarah, Lydia, Charlesetta and Annabella.

Charles died in 1873 at the age of 70.  By this time daughter Rebecca had married William Martin.  They moved to Johnson County, Iowa, and her mother, Martha, came to live with them.  In the 1880 census for Johnson County is William Miller, 39; wife, Rebecca, 39; their son Harley, 6, born in Iowa; Martha Jolly, 67, listed as mother-in-law; and Charlesetta, 26, sister-in-law, who was a dressmaker.

The following article was published in 1909, when Martha Jolly was 96 years of age.  She lived another 4+ years!

The Iowa City Press, Johnson County, Iowa

Wednesday, April 28, 1909

Old Settlers of Johnson County

Martha Southard Jolly

Living in quiet retirement at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Miller, two miles north of Solon, Mrs. Martha Jolly is spending the declining years of her life in peace and content.  This aged lady is remarkable – for her years, and for the experiences through which she has lived.  Grandma Jolly, as she is familiarly called, can lay claim to being the oldest woman in Johnson County.  On March 1, 1909, she rounded her ninety-sixth milestone and her health is such as to warrant the hope that she may live to round out her century.  Except for a slight dimming of the eye and ear and a certain lameness in her joints, she is as well as ever.  Moderation has been her practice for many years, in work, in eating, in all things.  To that and to the good care that is always hers from her daughters’ hands can be attributed her preservation and any longevity.

It is indeed a pleasure and a rare privilege to one of the second or third generation removed, to talk to her and listen to the story of a remarkable life.  Her mind is still keen and bright, so that her story sounds like a revelation to us so far removed in years.  Few people there are who are pioneers of two commonwealths, living for a number of years in each.  Mrs. Jolly is such a person.  From 1875 Iowa has been her home and previously she lived in Indiana, arriving there from Long Island, while it was yet a territory in 1816.

March 1, 1813, Martha Southard was born at Hempstead, Long Island.  James Madison was then president and the War of 1812 was raging.  Her father, Benjamin Southard, was a farmer and wagon maker and had a large family.  Immediately after the war, eastern people began moving ‘out west’ to Ohio and Indiana, and in 1816, Benjamin Southard sold his farm, loaded his family into a wagon and started for the west.  The rough, slow journey over the ‘mountains’ took three weeks – now a matter of a few hours.  A thief robbed him of his money, one of the horses died, the roads were rough and the settlements few and far between, yet he kept on.  Cincinnati was their goal, was then a struggling village of a few hundred people, strung out along the Ohio River.

Hearing of the rich lands in the Whitewater River bottoms of Indiana Territory, the family yet pushed on, finally settling on Farmers Creek, Dearborn County, Indiana.  In reaching this spot, they passed North Bend, Ohio, the home of General William Henry Harrison, long afterward elected president.  But settlers were few on Farmers Creek.  The tired, homesick family found temporary refuge with a settler in his one room log cabin, while Mr. Southard secured his land and erected a rude cabin.  For ten months sixteen children and four grown people lived in that one-room cabin!

The story of those pioneer days of early Indiana are even more the story of a wild frontier life than that which our early Iowans experienced.  This part of Indiana was ‘big woods,’ covered by a heavy growth of mammoth trees.  Bear, wolves, deer and the dreaded panther were its inhabitants, sharing the wilds with these few hardy white settlers and the native red man.  The Indians had not yet forsaken their old haunts.  Indeed, it was just five years before that General Harrison beat Tecumseh so badly at Tippecanoe.  It was over a mile through big woods, over a rough trail, to the Southard’s nearest neighbors.  As time wore on, however, more settlers came in.

Was money common?  Whenever a piece was secured it was carefully hoarded to be used when the very occasional trip to Cincinnati, 30 miles east, was made and the few necessities they could not produce were purchased there.  Such conditions forced the settlers to be practically self-sufficient.  Mr. Southard made rude plows, wagons, spinning wheels, rope machines and kitchen utensils, not only for himself, but for neighbors for miles around.  He and his family spun and wove their own cloth and made it into clothing, tanned leather and made shoes, made them hats and caps, indeed, almost everything they needed.  The forest and the small clearing furnished meat and grain.  As cradles had not yet come into use, wheat was cut with a sickle.  Such was pioneer life in Indiana.

Nor were schools common.  Mrs. Jolly states that she was twenty and married before a three-months’ subscription school was started.  What little education the Southard children could get was at home and at the short occasional private schools.  Martha learned to read from the New Testament – her only reader.  A crude speller and an arithmetic were the only text books for the family.  Books were indeed precious.  No newspapers came into those parts for many long years.

But the Southard children did not grow up ignorant and idle.  What they lacked in schools the parents furnished out of their own minds and experiences.  They were all trained to useful occupations.

The mother trained her daughters to be skilled house-folk – especially with the needle.  ‘Don’t e ashamed to meet anything you have made,’ was her advice often given and much practiced.  It is a pleasure to see Grandma Jolly’s face light up and her eyes sparkle as she talks of her sewing – her specialty – her hobby all her long life.  By twelve, because of the thoroughness of her mother’s methods, she could sew as regularly as a machine of today.  ‘If I saw a piece of work anywhere, I could go home and make it myself,’ she says.  That she has not lost her skill with the needle is shown by her recent achievements – seven quilts, two of them silk ones, which she has cut and pieced since she turned ninety, besides doilies and other things she had made.  One quilt which she made when 95, was exhibited and took first prize in open competition at the Johnson County Fair last fall.  ‘The young people of now-a-days can’t use the needle as we used to,’ is her comment on affairs of today.  Before her eyesight became dim she could knit the finest of lace, one specimen being made of No. 7000 linen thread after she was eighty years old.

Mary 2, 1833, Martha Southard was married to Charles Jolly, a native of ‘Jersey’ as these old people called New Jersey, born in 1803.  His grandfather was one of the martyrs of the famous ‘Sugar House,’ the British prison at New York City during the Revolution.  Soon after their marriage they removed to Logan, Dearborn County, where they lived until Mr. Jolly’s death.  Eight children were born to them:  William, the only son, died at Memphis, Tennessee, during the Civil War, a sacrifice to patriotism; Mary, married R. A. Keen, came to Iowa in 1861, lives in Iowa City; Mrs. Rebecca Miller, Solon, Iowa; Mrs. Susan Martin, Iowa City; Mrs. Sally Hays, died at Topeka, Kansas; Mrs. Lydia Matthews, Olathe, Kansas; Etta [Charlesetta], of Chicago; and Mrs. Annabelle Pratt, Summit, South Dakota.  This aged lady has now 22 grandchildren and about 12 great-grandchildren.

In 1873 Charles Jolly died and the old, happy Hoosier home was finally broken up.  The widow came to Iowa, whence most of her daughters had preceded her, and has since made her home with Rebecca.  Although the experiences of pioneer life, such as she knew in Indiana were gone, many changes have occurred in Iowa since she came here in ’75.  It is marvelous to think that such old people are able to grasp new things when they come up.  The modern school books, newspapers, free delivery, the railroad, telegraph, and many, many other things are all newer than Grandma Jolly, yet she is happy and glad to be alive in the 20th century.  May her remaining years be calm, happy ones.

After this article was published in 1909, each year, on the date of her birth, March 1, an article appears mentioning her long life.  In 1910 it was said she ‘celebrated her birthday quietly at the home of her daughter, Mrs. Rebecca Miller.’  In 1911 is mentions she is very active ‘for one of such advanced age and takes a keen interest in current events, being a great reader.’  In 1912, when she was 99 it was mentioned that she ‘was born at Hempstead, Long Island.  She resided in Cincinnati when it was a log village.’

The Daily Times, Tuesday, March 11, 1913

The Des Moines Register, Tuesday, January 13, 1914.

Martha Jolly, born March 1, 1813, died January 12, 1914.  Oakland Cemetery, Johnson County, Iowa.

What a wonderful, long life!

 

 

Matthew Harris Jouett’s Portrait of Governor Isaac Shelby

One section of the Hall of Governors at the Kentucky History Center.  Governor Isaac Shelby is at the top, far left.

Last week Ritchey and I visited the Kentucky History Center in Frankfort.  This was not so much a research trip as a photography session!  In a previous blog I wrote about Matthew Harris Jouett – the Mercer County native that became a famous portrait painter shortly after fighting in the War of 1812.  Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky, was one of his subjects, and the portrait painted in 1820 hangs in the Hall of Governors of the history center.

Governor Isaac Shelby, 1750-1826

This is Governor Isaac Shelby’s portrait, by Jouett.  Since it hangs in the upper section it was rather difficult to get a good shot, without having glare from the lights.  I think it a very good portrait by someone with very little formal training (Matthew Jouett studied with Gilbert Stuart for one year in Boston).  The tie and cravat, with its multitude of ruffles, are interesting, but it is the face of Governor Shelby that captures our attention.  He looks a very no-nonsense man – which I’m sure he was.  There was no time for nonsense in those very early days of Kentucky, creating our state and keeping his citizens safe from Indian raids.  This was after fighting the Indians earlier in Virginia and the Revolutionary War!

Isaac Shelby was governor from 1792-1796.  He served a second term in 1812-1816, during the War of 1812.  It was believed that no one else could lead us through to victory.  Shelby actually led troops during the war, and was not always in the state.  He gave battle beside William Henry Harrison, Commander of the American Northwest Army, and Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry.

Shelby was known as the old Indian fighter.  He lived near Danville at his home called ‘Traveler’s Rest.’  He was escorted from Danville to Lexington, for his inauguration, by a detachment of Lexington horse troops – to his lodging at the Sheaf of Wheat Inn.  This was before Frankfort became the state capital.

In his autobiography Shelby wrote only one line about his terms as governor, since he felt his military career was more important.  But governorship and wars were not what Isaac Shelby truly wanted to do.  He wanted to be a farmer and raise good cattle, living in the spot where he had pitched a tent at the age of twenty-five, in the wilderness of Kentucky!