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Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa’s

Immediately after the peace of 1763 all the French forts in the west as far as Green Bay were garrisoned with English troops; and the Indians now began to realize, but too late, what they had long apprehended the selfish designs of both French and English threatening destruction, if not utter annihilation, to their entire race. These apprehensions brought upon the theatre of Indian warfare, at that period of time, the most remarkable Indian in the annals of history, Pontiac, the chief of the Ottawa’s and the principal sachem of the Algonquin Confederacy. He was not only distinguished for his noble and manly form, commanding address and proud demeanor, but also for his lofty courage, winning manners and a pointed and vigorous eloquence, which won the respect and confidence of all Indians, and made him a marked example of that grandeur and sublimity of character so often found among his so greatly miscomprehended race. Pontiac had closely watched the slowly advancing power of the English, and their haughty and defiant encroachments upon the territories of his own people and his entire race. When he was informed of the approach of Major Rogers with a company of English soldiers into his country, the indignation of the forest hero was roused to its highest pitch; and at once he sent a messenger to Rogers, who met him on the 7th of November, 1763, with a request to halt until Pontiac, the chief of the Nation, should arrive, then on his way. As soon as Pontiac came up he boldly demanded of Rogers his business and why he had come with his soldiers...

An Account of the Sufferings of Mercy Harbison – Indian Captivities

On the 4th of November, 1791, a force of Americans under General Arthur St. Clair was attacked, near the present Ohio-Indiana boundary line, by about the same number of Indians led by Blue Jacket, Little Turtle, and the white renegade Simon Girty. Their defeat was the most disastrous that ever has been suffered by our arms when engaged against a savage foe on anything like even terms. Out of 86 officers and about 1400 regular and militia soldiers, St. Clair lost 70 officers killed or wounded, and 845 men killed, wounded, or missing. The survivors fled in panic, throwing away their weapons and accoutrements. Such was “St. Clair’s defeat.”

The utter incompetency of the officers commanding this expedition may be judged from the single fact that a great number of women were allowed to accompany the troops into a wilderness known to be infested with the worst kind of savages. There were about 250 of these women with the “army” on the day of the battle. Of these, 56 were killed on the spot, many being pinned to the earth by stakes driven through their bodies. Few of the others escaped captivity.

After this unprecedented victory, the Indians became more troublesome than ever along the frontier. No settler’s home was safe, and many were destroyed in the year of terror that followed. The awful fate of one of those households is told in the following touching narrative of Mercy Harbison, wife of one of the survivors of St. Clair’s defeat. How two of her little children were slaughtered before her eyes, how she was dragged through the wilderness with a babe at her breast, how cruelly maltreated, and how she finally escaped, barefooted and carrying her infant through days and nights of almost superhuman exertion, she has left record in a deposition before the magistrates at Pittsburgh and in the statement here reprinted.

Biographical Sketch of Abbot, Francis Ellingwood

Abbot, Francis Ellingwood, son of Joseph Hale and Fanny (Larcom) Abbot, was born in Boston, November 6, 1836. His early education was obtained at home, and in the Boston public Latin school. Fitting for college, he entered Harvard in 1855, and was graduated with the class of 1859. He spent three years in the Harvard divinity school and Meadville (Pa.) Theological Seminary. It is a fitting tribute to the mother of the subject of this sketch that he has filially attributed his best education to her early training and blessed influence. Mr. Abbot was principal of the Meadville (Pa.) Female Seminary three years ending in June, 1863, while still studying for his profession. He was ordained minister of the Unitarian society in Dover, N. H., August 31, 1864, and resigned April 1, 1868, to become minister of the Independent religious society in the same city. He resigned this position at the end of six months, because, in consequence of a famous lawsuit (set forth at great length in the New Hampshire Reports, Vol. 53), the new society voted not to maintain its own independent position. He served as minister of the Independent society of Toledo, Ohio, from July 1869 to March 1873, and editor of the Toledo (afterward Boston) “Index” from January 1, 1870, to July 1, 1880. He kept a classical school for boys in New York until September 1881, and has had since that time a “Home for Boys” in Cambridge, fitting pupils for Harvard College by private instruction. Mr. Abbot was married in Nashua, N. H., August 3, 1859, to Katharine Fearing, the daughter of David...

Biography of O. W. Anderson

O. W. ANDERSON. Among all the industries that are carried on in any community, none succeed so well as the ones that are conducted by practical men. An instance in mind is the success attained by O. W. Anderson, who is a member of the firm of Anderson & Keightley, practical blacksmiths, of Billings, Missouri. He was born in Erie County, Penn., November 18, 1850, was reared and educated in Crawford County of that state, and there also learned his trade. His parents were Robert and Harriet (Yates) Anderson, the former of whom was born in the State of New York, soon after his mother had landed in this country from Scotland, his father having died on the ocean en route, and was buried at sea. Robert Anderson died in Ohio, but his widow survives him. Their union resulted in the birth of eleven children, of whom the subject of this sketch was the third in order of birth. Just at the time when O. W. Anderson should have been in school, the great Civil War came up and he was compelled to leave school to earn his living. At the age of thirteen years he bought his time of his father for $300 and started in business as a saw miller, an occupation which he followed until 1869, when he began learning the blacksmith’s trade, serving an apprenticeship of three years. In 1875 he opened a shop of his own in his native State and worked with success at his trade up to 1883, when he came West to Missouri, and the following year located in Billings, and...

Biography of David C. Chase

David C. Chase, the secretary and treasurer of the great Payette Valley Mercantile Company, Limited, doing business in Payette, Idaho, is a native of Ohio, his birth having occurred in Johnsonville, Trumbull County, on the 26th of April 1853. He traces his descent from English ancestors who were early settlers of Connecticut, and participated in many of the leading events which go to make up the history of that state. His father, David Chase, was a New England farmer, and died when his son and namesake was only a small boy. The latter was educated in the public schools of Meadville, Pennsylvania, and began life as a newsboy, selling papers on the streets and afterward on the train. As the years passed and he became fitted for more responsible duties, he resolved to learn telegraphy. This he did, and was employed in the railroad service for twenty years, being with the Union Pacific Railroad from 1873 until 1891, one of its most competent, faithful and trusted employees. His industry and economy in that time had enabled him to save some capital, and in the latter year he became one of the organizers of the Payette Valley Mercantile Company, Limited. He was elected its secretary and treasurer, a position which he has since filled with great acceptability, for in no small degree the success of the house is attributable to his efforts. The company do a large wholesale and retail business, dealing in general merchandise, and enjoy an extensive and constantly growing trade. They have one of the best department stores of the northwest, stocked with everything found in their...

Biography of William J. Bovaird

William J. Bovaird. Due to the important position occupied by Independence in the oil and gas fields of Kansas and Oklahoma, it had become the center of many large business corporations, and one of these is the Bovaird Supply Company of Kansas, whose president is William J. Bovaird. Mr. Bovaird had been identified with the manufacture of tools and apparatos used in the oil fields since an early age, his father having established a business of that kind in Western Pennsylvania in the early days. In 1903 Mr. Bovaird located at Independence and established the Bovaird Supply Company, at first as a branch of the parent company back in Bradford, Pennsylvania. Due to the phenomenal development of the oil and gas districts of Southern Kansas and Oklahoma the Independence concern grew so rapidly that in the spring of 1907 it was incorporated separately under the laws of Kansas, and is now one of the largest corporations of its kind in the West. The officers of the company are: William J. Bovaird, president; John Smith, of Independence, vice president; and W. M. Bovaird, a son of the president, secretary and treasurer. The company manufactures all kinds of oil drilling and fishing tools, derricks and other woodwork for wells, and a general line of repairs. Its output is marketed in all the oil fields of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Some years ago a branch establishment was located at Sapulpa, Oklahoma, including a supply store, and now the capital invested there is even greater than at Independence. William J. Bovaird was born in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, March 25, 1863. His grandparents were...

Biography of Richard Watson Argue

Richard Watson Argue, who died April 24, 1916, was very well and prominently known in the oil industry of the Mid-Continent field, lived at Independence a number of years, and Mrs. Argue, his widow, is still a resident there and had proved her resourcefulness as a business woman in looking after the extensive properties left by Mr. Argue at the time of his death. He was born near Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, March 1, 1845, a son of John Wilson Argue, who was born in County Cavan, Ireland, went to America early in life, and followed farming in Canada. He died on his farm near Ottawa. Reared in Canada, gaining his education in the public schools, Richard W. Argue spent the first twenty-one years of his life at home, and then took up the oil business at Titusville, Pennsylvania. He followed the oil fields, with all the ups and downs and fortunes and vicissitudes of that industry through Pennsylvania, operating in Titusville, Crawford County, Clarion County, and McKean County, and later established himself at Buffalo, New York, becoming an extensive operator in the gas fields in West Seneca. From Buffalo in 1897 he extended his activities into Wood and Allen counties, Ohio, and became a very prominent business man of Lima. In 1963 Mr. Argue came to Kansas, locating in Independence, and thereafter was an oil producer both in Kansas and Oklahoma. He had extensive interests in the Bolton pool in Kansas, the Glenn pool in Oklahoma, and in the oil fields near Ochleta, Oklahoma. Since his death Mrs. Argue had looked after the productions in the oil properties in...

Biography of Freeman R. Foster

Freeman R. Foster. One of the first men to set foot on the present site of the City of Topeka, and one of those who assisted in the platting of the town in 1854, was the late Freeman R. Foster. Although nearly twenty years have elapsed since the death of this early settler, he is still remembered as a man of sterling integrity, a helpful factor in the various movements which served to build up and advance the city of his adoption, and a citizen whose contributions to Topeka form a lasting monument to his memory. Mr. Foster was born on a farm in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, April 1, 1832, and is a son of Robert and Nancy (Myler) Foster, natives of the Keystone state. Robert Foster was a soldier during the War of 1812 and also served three months as a volunteer in the Civil war. He was of Scotch-Irish descent and followed his son to Topeka, buying the farm adjoining, on which he died in 1865. One of a family of nine children, Freeman R. Foster received his education in the district schools of Pennsylvania in the vicinity of the home farm and in a seminary and was well educated for those days. He was reared to the pursuits of the soil, and when not engaged in his studies helped his father and brothers to cultivate the homestead, remaining thereon until reaching the age of twenty-two years. At that time he was seized with a desire to seek his fortune in the West, at that time a land of unknown promise, and left his home in the...

Biographical Sketch of Frank A. Arter

Arter, Frank A.; retired; born, Hanoverton, O., March 8, 1841; son of David and Charlotte Laffer Arter; Hanover High School and Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa.; degrees, A. B. and M. A., Allegheny; married, Cleveland, Eliza Kingsley; issue, Mrs. Fred L. Taft, Mrs. Lewis E. Myers and Charles K. Arter; director First National Bank; Cleveland Steamship Co.; Cleveland Life Insurance Co.; Land Title Abstract Co.; vice pres. Children’s Industrial School; pres. Board of Trustees, Allegheny College; treas. N. E. O. Annuity Fund; director St. Luke’s Hospital; pres. Layman’s Ass’n, N. E. O. Conference; treas. First M. E.; member Union, Colonial, Wickliffe-on-the-Lake and Willowick Country Clubs; member Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Beta...
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