Location: Crawford County PA

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...

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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.

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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Biographical Sketch of Clifford W. Fuller

Fuller, Clifford W.; lawyer; born, Garrettsville, O., Feb. 6, 1864; son of Sherman W. and Flora R. Case Fuller; educated, Garrettsville public schools, Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa., A. B., M. A. and Ph. D. pro merite; capt. 10th O. V. I., war with Spain; admitted to the Ohio bar, 1890; practiced law in Cleveland since 1891; sec’y The Cleveland & Youngstown R. R. Co.; sec’y and treas. Willowick Country Club; director The West Ninth Co., The Shaker Vineyards Land Co., and The Sedgwick Land Co.; sec’y Terminal Bldg. Co.; trustee The H. B. Hurlburt Trust for Art; member Phi Gamma Delta, and Union, Mayfield, Country, Athletic, University, Rowfant, and The Willowick Country Clubs. Recreations: Big Game Hunting and...

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Biographical Sketch of James McCreary Gee

Gee, James McCreary; real estate broker; born, Kingsville, O., Dee. 24, 1875; son of Francis W. and Mary McCreary Gee; educated, common and high schools, Allegheny College, Meadville, Pa.; Western Reserve University, Law Dept.; married, Marysville, N. Y., June 6, 1900, Helen Mills; issue, Francis, born March 30, 1901, Daniel, born Dec. 7, 1904, Nicholas, born Feb. 24, 1908, and Caroline, born May 9, 1911; member Corps of Cadets, Allegheny College; Republican; traveling salesman before settling in Cleveland; in 1902, engaged in the life insurance business as asst. supt. of The Prudential Life Ins. Co.; in 1904-1905, mgr. sales and technical dept. of the Hapgood Incorporation; 1905-1908, pres. The Cleveland Sales Co., handling stock and bonds of local nature; pres. The Colonial Automobile Co., The Kelley Island Telephone & Electric Co.; sec’y The Wager Motor Co.; now engaged in the real estate brokerage business with F. B. Guinan, giving special attention to investments properties and long-time leases; member Knights of Pythias Lodge, No. 133, Phi Delta Theta from. Pa., Delta; member Alumni Club of Phi Delta...

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Biography of Elias Emerson Morris

Elias Emerson Morris has for eight years been probate judge of Riley County. To that office he has brought a singularly fair impartiality, and ever since he entered upon his duties the people of the county have recognized that the interests of the widows and orphans have been most capably and honestly administered. Judge Morris is one of the old time educators of Kansas, and has long been identified with some form of official service in Riley County. He was born in Crawford County, Pennsylvania, November 2, 1859, a son of James S. and Mary (Chamberlain) Morris. His parents were married in Pennsylvania and spent the rest of their lives on a farm there. James S. Morris was born in New York State and of New England ancestry, his English forefathers having been pioneers in Connecticut. Judge Morris’ mother was a native of Pennsylvania and was also of early English stock. Reared on a Pennsylvania farm, Judge Morris had as a boy the lessons of industry and honesty which have so characterized his later years. As a boy he had a strong ambition for a higher education. After leaving the common schools he entered the State Normal School at Edinboro in Erie County, Pennsylvania, and there prepared for his chosen work as a teacher. He was not yet seventeen when he taught his first school and for three years...

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Biographical Sketch of William Francis Lyon

Lyon, William Francis; merchant; born, Meadville, Pa., Aug. 16, 1868; son of Thomas and Johanna Corbett Lyon; Meadville High School, graduated in class of 1885; married, Cleveland, Oct. 26, 1892, Lisette Baus; issue, Marie, Josephine, William Francis, Jr., started in Cleveland, Sept. 9, 1885; elected sec’y and treas., May 24, 1897, of The Cady-Ivison Shoe Co., and pres. and gen. mgr. of same Company, Jan. 20, 1913; charter member of the Cleveland Association of Credit Men, and pres. from 1902 to 1903; member Knights of Columbus, and Catholic Mutual Benefit Assn; member Athletic Club. Fond of Horseback...

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