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Washington Irving at Fort Gibson, 1832

The McIntosh Creeks had been located along Arkansas River near the Verdigris on fertile timbered land which they began at once to clear, cultivate, and transform into productive farms. The treaty of 1828 with the Cherokee gave the latter a great tract of land on both sides of Arkansas River embracing that on which the Creeks were located. This was accomplished by a blunder of the Government officials, in the language of the Secretary of War,1 “when we had not a correct knowledge of the location of the Creek Indians nor of the features of the country.” This situation produced much unhappiness and contention between the people of the two tribes. The Indians had other grievances, and the Creeks took the lead in calling the attention of the officials to their needs by the preparation of a memorial in which they complained of frequent attacks upon them by bands of wild Indians from the south and west of their location. They asked the Government to appoint a commission to meet with them for the redress of their wrongs, and to call a council of the different tribes for the adoption of measures to establish peace and security in their new home. The Creek memorial and a long report by the Secretary of War on February 16, 1832, were transmitted to Congress by President Jackson,2 who recommended that three commissioners be appointed as requested in the memorial, and recommended by the Secretary. It appeared from the report of the Secretary of War that there were then west of the Mississippi twenty-five hundred Creeks, six thousand Choctaw, thirty-five hundred Cherokee and...

The Brickey House of Prairie du Rocher Illinois

Nearly every town has an old house with an interesting story. Prairie du Rocher has several, one of which was the Brickey house. Unoccupied for many years, this large three-story, square-framed house with its wide porches, stained glass, shuttered windows, and mansard roof attracted the attention of the most casual visitor to the village. It stood among large trees of a generous plot of ground below the bluff, it silently proclaimed the hospitality that once was known there. The fine iron fence that enclosed the grounds emphasized its air of detachment.

Moravian Massacre at Gnadenbrutten

In the early part of the year 1763 two Moravian missionaries, Post and Heckewelder, established a mission among the Tuscarawa Indians, and in a few years they had three nourishing missionary stations, viz: Shoenbrun, Gnadenbrutten and Salem, which were about five miles apart and fifty miles west of the present town of Steubenville, Ohio. During our Revolutionary War their position being midway between the hostile Indians (allies of the British) on the Sandusky River, and our frontier settlements, and therefore on the direct route of the war parties of both the British Indian allies and the frontier settlers, they were occasionally forced to give food and shelter to both, which aroused the jealousy of both the Indian allies of the English and the American frontiersmen, although they preserved the strictest neutrality. In February 1772, the American settlers (nothing more could be expected) assumed to believe that the Moravian, or Christian Indians; as they were called, harbored the hostile Indians; therefore they pronounced them enemies, and at once doomed them to destruction. Accordingly on the following march, ninety volunteers, under the leadership of one David Williamson, started for Gnadenbrutten where they arrived on the morning of the 8th, and at once surrounded and entered the station; but found the most of the Indians in a field gathering corn. They told them they had come in peace and friendship, and with a proposition to move them from their unpleasant and dangerous position between the two hostile races to Fort Pitt for their better protection. The unsuspecting Indians, delighted at the suggestion of their removal to a safer place, gave up their few...

The Cherokee Revolt – Indian Wars

From the removal of the Cherokee Indians from Georgia and Tennessee to Arkansas and their establishment upon the reservation allotted to them by treaty with the Government in Arkansas, they have, until the period of this outbreak to the narrative of which this chapter is devoted, been considered as among the least dangerous and most peaceable of the tribes in that region. But through various causes, chief among which has been notably the introduction among them of a horde of those pests of the West the border ruffians; these half wild, half-breed Nomads were encouraged by these Indians, as it appeared, for the sake of the liquor traffic. According to the official accounts of this attempt to reopen hostilities, it appears that on the 11th of April, 1872, it originated with a man named J. J. Kesterson, living in the Cherokee nation, near the Arkansas line, about fifty miles from Little Rock. On that day he went to Little Rock, and filed information against one Proctor, also a white man, married to a Cherokee woman, for assaulting with intent to kill him while in his saw mill, on the 13th of February. Proctor fired a revolver at Kesterson, the ball striking him just above the left eye, but before he could fire again Kesterson escaped. Proctor, at the time, was under indictment in the Snake District for the murder of his wife, and was at that time on trial for the crime. A writ was issued at once, and the Deputy Marshals were ordered to proceed to “Grimy Snake” Court House, remain until the trial was over, and arrest him, if...

Biographical Sketch of Jacob Mettel

Jacob Mettel was born in Hesse, Hamburg, Germany, August 12, 1845. His parents removed from the “Faderland” while he was an infant, and crossed the broad ocean to the “Land of the free,” settling in Franklin county, Indiana, where he was reared and attended school. When eighteen years of age he left home and went to Harrison, Ohio, where he learned the shoemaking trade with Frederick Fisher, remaining with him two years and nine months. In 1866 he went to Cincinnati, worked for Paul Shauner for two years and a half, and, at the expiration of that time, was employed by Christopher Homan, of the same city, with whom he remained three years and a half. From Cincinnati he came to Gallatin, in 1872, and secured employment in the shop of Amos Poe, remaining with him until 1875, when he opened business on his own account and has continued to run a shop ever since. Mr. Mettel was joined in marriage to Miss Catharine C. Bird, of Franklin county, Indiana, on the 12th of August, 1869. By this marriage they have four children; names and dates of birth as follows: Frederick Jacob, born July 13, 1872; Minnie Luella, born September 13, 1876; Oliver Otto, born December 3, 1878; and Harry H., born. May 8, 1881; all in Gallatin. Mrs. Mettel is a member of the Methodist Episcopal...

Biography of Major Joseph H. McGee

Joseph H. McGee was born in Clermont county, Ohio, July 6, 1821. His grandfather, Peter McGee, in company with seven brothers, emigrated from Ireland to the United States prior to the Revolutionary War, and settled in New Jersey. Peter McGee was a major under Washington and participated in the celebrated battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, at which place he now lies buried. Charles McGee, the father of our subject, was born near Monmouth, where he lived until 1815, when he removed to Ohio and settled in, Clermont county. The family lived in the Buckeye State until 1837, Joseph then being in his sixteenth year, when they migrated to Missouri and settled in Daviess county. Young McGee was a tailor by trade, having served a six years apprenticeship in Cincinnati; he located in Gallatin and engaged in that business until burned out by the Mormons during the difficulties which finally culminated in their expulsion from the county. After the Mormon War he worked at his trade and taught school alternately until 1850, in which year he joined the throng who made the trip to California during the memorable gold excitement, and returned in 1852. In 1856 he was elected county clerk, served the full term of six years, and was reelected in 1862 without opposition. He was among the first to offer his services to his country and was commissioned captain of his company in 1862, and was promoted from that position to major in 1863. In 1866 he was once more elected county clerk, but resigned to accept the office of State register of lands, which position he held...

Biography of James L. Reat, M. D.

James Lee Reat, M. D., one of the most distinguished physicians and surgeons of Illinois, and who has been long and honorably connected with the professional and industrial interests of Douglas County, was born in Fairfield County, Ohio, January 26, 1824. The Reat ancestors are traced back to Scotland, where the name was pronounced in two syllables, with the accent on the last. Two brothers emigrated to this country during the war of the Revolution, one of whom espoused the cause of the rebels, the term by which the patriot colonies were then known, and served through that struggle with Washington’s forces. The other brother sided with the Tories, in consequence of which the two brothers became alienated and a total separation occurred between the two branches of the family. Dr. Reat is descended from the one who cast his fortunes with those of the patriots and who, after the war, settled in Frederick Town, Maryland. At this place James Reat (father) was born and subsequently found his way to Ohio, where he married Susanna Rogers, a Virginia lady, and with her settled in Fairfield County, Ohio. When our subject was five years old, his parents removed to Coles County, Illinois, where the father purchased a farm on which they resided for a time, then removed to Charleston and lived there up to the time of his death, in 1868. Dr. Reat’s early education was derived from the meager advantages offered the neighborhood schools of that day and later attendance at the seminary at Charleston. That institution was conducted under eminent professors and here Dr. Reat received a good...

Biography of William Henry Folmsbee

William Henry Folmsbee was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, June 22, 1831. His parents were Isaac and Deborah Folmsbee; his father, who was major in the United States regular army, died when the subject of this sketch had reached the age of seven years, and his mother followed him to the grave “some two years later. Thus thrown upon the world at this early age to provide for himself, he found a kind friend in the person of Dr. William Ensign, who gave him a home, reared and educated him. He attended the common and higher schools of Cincinnati, and while yet a lad, began medical studies in the office of Dr. Ensign, remaining under his kind friend’s instruction, until he was twenty-two years of age, when he took a partial course at the Miami Medical College, of Cincinnati, and, in 1855, graduated at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Keokuk, Iowa. He began practice in Richland, Keokuk county, Iowa, remaining there until 1859, when he removed to this county and located in Gallatin, where he has secured a large and remunerative practice. In the fall of 1861, Dr. Folmsbee joined the Federal army as assistant surgeon of Colonel Pody’s regiment, but resigned the same year on account of poor health. However, in the latter part of 1861 he was again in the field and organized the first company, under the call of Governor Gamble, for six months troops, and, at the expiration of that time, became captain of Company B, First Cavalry Regiment, Missouri State Militia, serving until the fall of 1862 when he resigned. While in the service...

Biographical Sketch of Joshua W. Alexander

Joshua W. Alexander, only son of Thomas W. and Jane Alexander, was born at Cincinnati, Ohio, January 22, 1852. When he had reached the age of four years, his parents removed to Anoka County, Minnesota, and settled upon a farm. There his father died in 1859, and in 1860 his mother removed to Canton, Lewis County, Missouri, and soon after returned to Cincinnati, where the subject of our sketch attended school until July, 1863, when they once more made Canton their home, and there he attended the graded school until 1868, when he entered the Christian University at Canton, graduating as a Bachelor of Arts in 1872. The following winter after his graduation he taught one term of school, and began the study of law under Mr. A. D. Lewis, of Canton. July 15, 1873, he came to Gallatin and pursued his legal studies under Hon. S. A. Richardson until the spring of 1875, when he was admitted to the bar and entered upon the practice in Gallatin. In January, 1881, he became associated as a partner with Judge Richardson, forming the present law firm of Richardson & Alexander. He was elected public administrator for the term of four years in 1876, and in the fall of 1880 was reelected to the same position. In April, 1881, he was appointed city attorney of Gallatin, and in this position, as in the former, has won the esteem and confidence of the people. Mr. Alexander was united in marriage to Miss Roe Ann Richardson, daughter of Hon. S. A. Richardson, of Gallatin, on the 3d of February, 1876. Their fireside has...
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