Stories of Guernsey County by Wm. Wolfe pages 818-828

Chapter XXIV

 

Jackson Township

 

FROM the first record book of the Guernsey county commissioners the following item, bearing the date of June 9, 1824, is taken:

 

"Elijah Williams presented a petition for himself and sundry citizens of Guernsey county, praying for a new township to be struck off the townships of Cambridge, Center and Buffalo; whereupon, the Board ordered that so much of each township be set off and incorporated by the name of Jackson township... and that notice be given to the electors that they hold their election agreeable to law."

 

     Physical Features.-- Wills creek meanders from south to north across the township.  While its broad valley is fertile, its frequent inundations have been annoyances to the farmers living on the lower levels.

      Within recent years Jackson has been best known as a coal-producing township.  Vein No. 7 of the Cambridge coal field underlies the entire township, but much of it has been mined.  Both oil and gas have been found in paying quantities.  The most productive gas field in Guernsey county, before 1900, was the Harmony field operated by the Cambridge Light and Fuel Company, in Jackson township.  A type of clay suitable for tile and brick has been found in the township and used extensively in their manufacture.

     Early Settlers. -- One of the earliest settlers in what is now Jackson township was William Frazier Hooks.  Born in Maryland, in 1779, he married Susanna Biers and established a home in Pennsylvania, seventy-five miles northeast of Pittsburgh.  In 1809 he moved to this section, entering the land on which the Cambridge Country club is now located.  The entire journey from his Pennsylvania home to the very threshold of his cabin here was made by water.  William Frazier Hooks was one of the few settlers to enter Guernsey county by boat.  Floating down the Allegheny, he entered the Ohio River at Pittsburgh; thence to Marietta and up the Muskingum to Wills creek; thence up that stream to the place he had chosen for a home.  Although a small man with a stiff leg, he did a prodigious amount of work, assisting in building the old covered bridge at the Wills creek crossing.  Julian Hooks, a daughter, married John Callihan, and some of their descendants are now living in Guernsey county.  William Frazier Hooks and wife are buried in the old cemetery at Cambridge.

      Another pioneer of 1809 was Adam Shriver, Jr.  Like William Frazier Hooks he, too, was a Marylander who married and located in Pennsylvania.  His father, a Revolutionary soldier, came here in 1808, entered a large tract of land west of the present site of Byesville, and then returned to Pennsylvania.  To this land, which was probably awarded his father for military service, Adam Shriver, Jr. brought his family the next year, making the journey by foot and horseback, leading a colt on whose back were a feather bed and other household goods.  In a forest abounding in wild turkeys, deer and bears, he erected a log cabin with no doors or windows except holes over which quilts were hung at night.  There are several descendants of this pioneer family in Guernsey county today.

      When Benjamin Weirs came from Harrison county, Virginia, in 1818, he found but twelve houses in what is now Jackson township.  Robert Nicholson, of Scotch descent, bought three hundred acres in 1821, and farmed and worked at his trade as a carpenter, assisting in building the second jail at Cambridge.

      William Rainey settled in the northern part of the township in 1837, coming from Brooks county, Virginia.  Accompanying him was Andrew Whittier, the stepfather of Rainey's wife.  Whittier was then 121 years of age.  The story of this aged man may be found in another chapter of this volume.

     Other pioneer family names are Burt, Hoopman, Gorsuch, Williams, Peters, Rogers, Frye, Meek, Seins, Grant, Dickerson, Linkhorn, Conner and McClusky.  Some of these arrived several years after the township had been organized.

     In 1876 the following persons who had reached the age of seventy-six or more were living in the township:  James Arbuckle, Jane Clark, Joseph Davis, Simon Dickerson, John Fox, Isaac Hoopman, Mrs. D. LaRue, Isaac Meek, Daniel Masters, Solomon Peters, Lawson Rogers, William Rainey, Mrs. Rainey, Prudence Selby, Henry Woodrow, Elizabeth Wilson, Mary Wright, Thomas Wilson, Benjamin Wells, Mary Woodrow, Elizabeth Wheatley and Mrs. Whalon.

 A Deserted Village.—The first attempt to establish a town in what is now Jackson township was made by Richard Dickerson, who platted a village about two miles south of the present site of Byesville on October 17, 1815.  It was located on the southwest quarter of section 20, between Wills creek and the present Route 21.  Fifty lots were platted.

     New Liberty was the name given the town. In the center was the “diamond” formed by the intersections of streets—Main, Second, Third and Fourth. Each street was sixty-six feet wide, each alley, sixteen and one-half feet.  There is no record of the town’s history. Its site is now a pasture field.  Richard Dickerson, its founder, came from Washington county, Pennsylvania.  His father was brought to America as a soldier to fight for England in the Revolutionary War.  However, he deserted the British forces, joined the Colonists, and fought under George Washington.

     When the early white settlers came into this section, they found an Indian settlement called Old Town, near the mouth of Trail run.  Their houses were built of poles and logs and lined with skins of wild animal.  Elsewhere in this volume may be found stories pertaining to this Indian village.

     Jackson township had a population of 481 in 1830; 1,155 in 1840; 1,192 in 1850; 959 in 1860; 867 in 1870; 1,140 in 1880; 2, 193 in 1890; 3,165 in 1900; 7,328 in 1910; 7,340 in 1920, and 5,503 in 1930.  Between 1910 and 1920 the coal-mining activities in the township were at their peak.   The census of 1930 classified 2, 069, more than one-third the population, as foreigners.

     Jonathan Bye.—Although he was not the first settler in the township. Jonathan Bye may be considered the first to settle in Byesville, coming there about the year 1820, from Pennsylvania.  He built a cabin on Wills creek, also a grist-mill that was operated by water-power.  He later added a saw-mill and kept a store.  The place was widely known as Bye’s Mills.

     Trails through the forest were the only roads leading to Bye’s Mills.  The records of the Guernsey county commissioners show that on December 1, 1823, “Jonathan Bye presented a petition for himself and sundry citizens for a road from Bye’s Mills on Big Wills creek, running the nearest and best way to Cambridge.”  On March 6, 1826, he petitioned for a road to Senecaville from his mill.  Bye was evidently inviting patronage.

     Furthermore, he built flat and keel boats in which he floated his surplus flour to southern markets along the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.  One of these was named for his daughter, “Maria Bye,” and was used on the Ohio Canal for many years.   Jonathan Bye was one of the leaders in a movement in 1832 to have Wills creek made a navigable stream.  It was believed that by dredging the creek it could be made fit for profitable navigation; also that floods could be prevented.  The state legislature failed to make the necessary appropriation.

     Being a Quaker, Jonathan Bye was bitterly opposed to slavery.  His home was a station on one of the divisions of the Underground Railroad passing through Guernsey county.  Fugitive slaves were directed or carried from Senecaville to Bye’s Mills and placed in his charge.  When the way seemed clear, he passed them on to Alexander McCracken or Samuel Craig, station-masters at Cambridge.

     Jonathan Bye sold all his holdings in Jackson township in the 50’s to William Grant and Isaac Hoopman, and moved to Sterling, Illinois.  Here he built extensive mills which proved a financial failure.  Some of Bye’s descendants are buried at Byesville.

     Byesville.—The largest of the ten incorporated villages of Guernsey county is Byesville.  Although it was platted on July 1, 1856, it was nearly twenty years before it began to grow.  In 1870, according to the census, there were only twenty-five persons living in the village.  The business directory of that year lists William Grant as proprietor of a dry goods and grocery store; E. A. Thomas, owner of a vineyard; John Weirs, operator of a sawmill; John Wells, auctioneer; Lloyd Selby, township clerk; J. S. Gander, assessor; and Rev. J. G. Whitaker, pastor of Baptist church.

     Where the Marietta and Pittsburgh Railroad (later called the Cleveland and Marietta, but now the Pennsylvania) was built down the Wills creek valley in 1873, a new day dawned at Byesville.   Underneath the surface of the entire township lay No. 7 vein of the Cambridge coal field, and none of it had been mined.  Now that a means of transportation was provided by the railroad, several mines were opened in the latter 70’s and early 80’s—the Akron, Old Farmer, Pioneer and Trail Run.  In 1880 the population of Byesville had reached 210.  Elmer E. Green, local historian, says that the Old Farmer mine, operated by a company of Quakers, was the industrial backbone of the village.  At one time there were ten mines near Byesville and eighteen mines within working distance of the town.  When the whistles blew “three” one might see lights moving out of town in every direction, carried by men going to work.

     On February 7, 1882, a charter of incorporation was granted to Byesville.  At the first election, held on April 24, 1882, T. J. Lee was elected mayor; James Selby, clerk; L. W. Smith, treasurer; and George H. Dudley, marshal.  The population was then about 350.  Lacking municipally owned headquarters, the first council met at a blacksmith shop or at each other’s home.

     In 1890 the town had a population of 789; in 1900, 1,267; in 1910, 3,156; in 1920, 2,775; in 1930, 2,638; in 1940, 2,418.

     First School at Oak Grove.—For many years Byesville children attended school at Oak Grove, a one-room building south of town, under the jurisdiction of the township board of education.  When the growing town required more convenient school facilities, a special district was established and a two-room frame building erected on Watson avenue in the village.  Four rooms were added later and six teachers employed. John A. Bliss, who took an active part in having the new district created, taught several summer normal schools here, that were attended by teachers from all parts of the county.

        The old frame building having become inadequate, the Lincoln building, a brick structure of twelve rooms, was erected.  In a few years the Central, Ideal and Garfield schools were built.  The growing school enrollment made necessary the erection of the modern high school building which was completed about the year 1924.

     Destructive Wind Storms.—Byesville had been visited twice by destructive wind storms.  Both came from the southwest and followed about the same course across the township.

     The first occurred between four and five o’clock on Sunday evening, June 21, 1885.  The day had been oppressively hot.  Towards evening there came a stillness, so unusual as to cause a sense of dread and uneasiness.  A low rumbling sound was heard in the southwest, which, as it grew louder, drew people from their houses to learn what it meant.  A low-hanging black cloud was rapidly approaching the town with an angry roar.  Many rushed to cellars.  When the cyclone struck, trees were uprooted, houses were unroofed and outbuildings were demolished.  One dwelling was lifted off its foundation about eight feet, and its three occupants injured by brick from a chimney that was blown down.  The water in Wills creek was completely wiped up where the cyclone crossed the stream.  Peals of thunder and heavy rain followed the wind.

     Another cyclone struck Byesville between four and five o’clock on Tuesday evening, May 15, 1923.  Eight persons were injured, one of them seriously.  Residences, barns, garages, outbuildings and fences were destroyed.  The estimated property damage was $50,000.  Like the storm of 1885 this one did the greatest damage in the southwestern part of the town.

     The cyclone entered Guernsey county in the southwestern part and crossed to the northeast corner in a straight line, dropping to the earth at intervals like a bouncing rubber ball.  Having left Byesville, it struck at Klondyke, at Old Washington, and between Antrim and Winterset. At each place there was much destruction of property.

     Owners of Real Estate in 1840.—The names of the owners of real estate in Jackson township a century ago (1840) are given below.  The list is complete.

     Aikins, John, 80 acres, sec. 14; Anderson, John, 80 acres, sec. 8; Arbuckle, James, 130 acres, sec. 13;  Allen, Samuel, 80 acres, sec. 17 and 18; Burt, David, 313 acres, lots 3, 12, 20 and 30; Burt, Daniel, 241 acres, lots 31 and 32; Burt, William, 50 acres, lot 18; Bell, John, 40 acres, sec. 12; Botts, John, 220 acres, sec. 8 and 13; Bliss, Washington, 120 acres, sec. 14 and 18; Burnett, William, 82 acres, sec. 17; Brady, Enos (Colored), 40 acres, sec. 6; Burns, James, 80 acres, sec. 17; Bright, Jonathan, 100 acres, sec. 3; Boyer, Abraham, 80 acres, sec. 7; Bell, Joseph, 40 acres, sec. 15; Bye, Jonathan, 377 acres, sec. 6 and 7; Carrell, Charles, 40 acres, sec. 25; Collins, John, 80 acres, sec. 22; Cox, Joseph, 80 acres, sec. 7 and 14; Cherry, William, 100 acres, sec. 16 and 25; Campbell, Robert, 160 acres, lot 23; Chesser, Samuel, 80 acres, lot 19; Clark, Joseph, 50 acres, lot 37; Calihan, Moses, 50 acres, lot 37; Cale, George, 80 acres, lot 12; Cale, John (Heirs), 80 acres, lot 12; Campbell, Archibald, 80 acres, sec. 7; Clodfelter, John, 80 acres, sec. 21; Cooper, John, 80 acres, lot 18.

     Dickerson, Joshua, 160 acres, sec. 18 and 19; Deeren, Thomas, 80 acres, sec. 23; Denniss, William, 82 acres, sec. 13; Dennison, Elias, 80 acres, sec 15; Denniss, John, 40 acres, sec. 16; Dennison, Henry (Heirs), 80 acres, sec. 15; Delarne, John, 120 acres, sec. 7 and 14; Deets, John, 160 acres, sec. 18; Davis, Joseph, 99 acres, lots 2 and 3; Dollison, John, 160 acres, lot 10; Dunning, Robert, 240 acres, sec. 6; Evilsizer, John, 170 acres, lot 1; Evilsizer, Jonathan, 160 acres, lot 9; Fleming, Thomas, 250 acres, sec. 20 and 22; Fox, Isaac, 70 acres, sec. 13; Fulton, Ebenezer, 40 acres, sec 6; Funk, Hosea, 36 acres, lot 12; Frye, Henry F., 120 acres, sec. 22; Frye, Noah, 80 acres, sec. 6 and 22; Freeman, James, 40 acres, sec. 13; Fishell, Philip (Heirs), 80 acres, sec 21; Finley, James, 160 acres, lot 22; Finley, Ebenezer, 160 acres lot 21.

     Gregg, Andrew, 40 acres, sec. 22; Grouch, Wesley, 100 acres, lot 17; Galloway, Benjamin, 160 acres, sec. 24 and 25; Gillett, Jacob, 200 acres, sec 3; Garretson, David, 80 acres, sec. 14; Hickle, John, 74 acres, sec. 23; Huffman, Abraham, 130 acres, sec. 21; Henry Gustavus, 40 acres, sec. 6; Hoopman, Isaac, 360 acres, sec. 3; Halley, Edward, 100 acres, sec. 6; Hickle, Stephen, 80 acres, sec. 23; Hawkins, Andrew, 160 acres, lot 11; Hutton, William, 80 acres, sec. 14; Hooks, William F., 100 acres, lot 21; Heskett, John H., 160 acres, sec. 25; Hutchison, Stephen, 50 acres, lot 18; Heskett, Landon, 160 acres, sec 25; Heaume, Peter, 284 acres, lot 16 and 17; Hubbard, William B. 573 acres, lots 8, 14, 15, 25; Hollen, Henry, 40 acres, sec. 18; Jenkins, Edward, 40 acres, sec. 15; Jackson, James, 70 acres, sec. 11; Jackson, Henry, 3 acres, sec 11;

     Kline, Matthew, 40 acres, sec. 6; Karr, James (Heirs), 240 acres, sec. 24; Kirkpatrick, William, 80 acres, sec. 22; Morris, Isaac, 80 acres, sec. 18; McMurry, Peter, 100 acres, lot 28; Maple, Jacob, 80 acres, sec. 24; Meek, Jacob, 200 acres, lots 1 and 16; McCoy, Henry C., 80 acres, lot 8; McElwee, George, 80 acres, lot 19; McCoy, Hugh, 680 acres, lots 2 and 3; Nossett, Joseph, 80 acres, sec. 6; Newland, John, 40 acres, sec. 17; Newnom, John, 160 acres, sec 7; Nelson, Benjamin, 98 acres, lot 5; Nevin, John D., 40 acres, sec. 14.

     Olney, John, 40 acres, sec. 6; Orr, Watson, 200 acres, lots 14 and 15; Peters, Solomon, 95 acres, lot 3; Powell, William, 179 acres, lot 2; Penrose, Mahlon, 130 acres, sec. 20; Peters, Reuben, 80 acres, sec. 7; Pedwin, Nicholas, 160 acres, sec. 8; Rose, Thomas, 80 acres, sec. 6; Robbin, John (Heirs), 400 acres, lots 33, 34, 35, 36; Robinson, John, 160 acres, sec. 7; Russell, Thomas, 40 acres, sec. 23; Rainey, William, 200 acres, lots 29 and 30; Rogers, Stiltburn, 139 acres, lots 4 and 5; Rose, George, 160 acres, lot 24; Rollins, John, 160 acres, lot 20.

     Stanberry, Jonas, 122 acres, sec. 13; Smith, Henry, 40 acres, sec. 14; Sines, William, 160 acres, sec. 6 and 15; Smith, Mary, 40 acres, sec. 13; Scott, James, 174 acres, sec. 24; Stephens, John, 120 acres, sec. 25; Shriver, Michael, 82 acres, sec. 12; Shriver, Elijah (Heirs), 242 acres, sec. 17 and 19; Savely, John, 40 acres, sec. 17; Savely, George, 80 acres, sec. 24; Shoff, Philip, 82 acres, sec. 12; Scott, Thomas, 120  acres, sec. 23; Steele, Samuel, 40 acres, sec. 16; Shriver, Adam, 360 acres, sec. 17 and 19; Scudder, Daniel C., 160 acres, sec. 7; Swain, Matthias, 60 acres, lot 13.

     Trenner, Henry, 176 acres, sec. 21; Townsend, Robert, 40 acres, sec. 6; Torade, Mary, 26 acres, lot 13; tingle, John (Heirs), 160 acres, sec. 14; Tingle, John (Heirs), 160 acres, sec. 14; Tingle, John A., 80 acres, sec. 17; Thompson, David, 60 acres, sec. 8; tingle, Eldred D., 80 acres, sec. 14; Wells, Moses (Heirs), 80 acres, lot 18; Wilson, Jesse, 40 acres, sec. 15; Waller,  William Sr., 20 acres, sec. 16; Waller, William S., 160 acres, sec. 24; Wiers, Benjamin, 120 acres, sec. 14; Wilson, Thomas, 160 acres, sec. 20; Wilson, Isaac, Sr., 80 acres, sec. 19; Whittier, Philip, 82 acres, sec. 12; Wilson, Otho,  41 acres, sec. 12; Wiley, William, Jr., 80 acres, sec. 7; Woodrow, Henry, 250 acres, sec. 11; Whittier, Thomas (Heirs), 320 acres. Sec. 15 and 20; Whittier, Sarah, 161 acres, sec. 6 and 15; Williams, David, 120 acres, sec. 8;  Wilson, Isaac, 762 acres, sec. 15, 16 and 17.

 

“Hole-in-the-Ear”

 

     “Hole-in-the-Ear” was a Guernsey county Indian.  On account of his treacherous character and stealthy thieving practices, he was called “Snake-in-the-Grass” by members of his tribe, until an incident occurred that made the former name suitable, although it was less opprobrious.  His home was at Old Town, an Indian village located near the mouth of Trail Run, a short distance south of Byesville.    

     Indians Friendly to John Chapman.—On Endley’s run, which crosses the National Road at the foot of the east slope of the Four-mile hill, was the cabin of John Chapman, one of the first white men to locate in what is now Guernsey county.  As a squatter he built a cabin on public lands, cleared a small patch of ground around it, sand spent most of his time in hunting and trapping. He intended this abode to be temporary, as he wished to make a purchase of land when he could find a suitable location.

     An Indian trail passed down Endley’s run, crossed the divide between Leatherwood and Wills creeks, reaching to Old Town on Trail run.  The Indians at this village were friendly towards Chapman, and they always welcomed him as a visitor.

     Two Frenchmen lived near the Indian town, each of whom was named Daniel DeFrance.  To distinguish them one was called DuQuesne DeFrance, because he had once resided at Fort DuQuesne, where Pittsburgh now stands.  DuQuesne spent most of his life amongst the Indians, served them as an interpreter, and lived near Old Town, as one of them. He followed hunting and trapping, met Chapman, and became his intimate friend.  This may have been the reason for the friendly attitude of the Indians towards Chapman.

     “Snake-in-the-Grass” Caught Stealing.—One day Chapman discovered an Indian in the act of stealing some of his property near his cabin home. The Indian started to run and pursued by Chapman, dodged from tree to tree, fearing that he would be shot.  After a long chase Chapman go near him and fired, but it seemed only to make the Indian run faster.  As Chapman continued in pursuit he observed drops of blood and concluded that he had hit the Indian.  

     The next morning Chapman went to Old Town and told his friend. DeFrance, that he had wounded an Indian who was stealing, and asked him to look about for one who had been shot.  Stealing, even amongst Indians, was considered a high crime. 
     A short time after this DeFrance noticed that “Snake-in-the-Grass” had been shot through the right ear.  On making inquiry of the Indian as to how he got the wound, DeFrance received evasive replies.  The Frenchman accused him of stealing and warned him that Chapman had threatened to shoot him the first time he passed his cabin. “Snake-in-the-Grass” finally confessed.

     After DeFrance had fastened the guilt on the right party, he gave the full history of the occurrence to the Indians of Old Town, Thenceforth, “Snake-in-the-Grass” was called “Hole-in-the-Ear.”  For several months he did not follow the trail that led past Chapman’s cabin on Endley’s run.

     Chapman Kills “Hole-in-the-Ear.”—At length it was reported that he was again moving through the forest with stealthy designs.  One day in the early spring of the next year, on returning home form a hunting trip, Chapman saw “Hole-in-the-Ear” lurking near his cabin.  He concluded that during the day the Indian had seen him in the forest and , aware of his absence from home, had slipped around with evil intent.  Knowing the treachery of an enraged red man, and believing that in this case, at least, a dead Indian was the best kind of Indian, Chapman resolved to kill him.  Taking down is gun he secreted himself near the cabin.  When the Indian appeared again Chapman fired and
”Hole-in-the-Ear” fell dead.  The next day the hunter carried the Indian’s scalp to Old Town and told DeFrance what he had done.  The Frenchman and a few Indians went of over to Endley’s run and buried “Hole-in-the-Ear.”

 

Legend of the Lead Mine

 

     Old Town on Trail Run.—Near the mouth of Trail run, which empties into Wills creek above Byesville, was an Indian Village called Old Town.  According to a story often told, the inhabitants of this village were unfriendly towards the white settlers, who, they believed, would soon deprive them of their hunting and fishing grounds.

     There was one white man who held the confidence and good will of these Indians.  This was John Chapman who first lived in a cabin on Endley’s run, which crosses the National Road four miles east of Cambridge.  Chapman later entered four hundred acres of land on Wills creek, just southeast of Cambridge.  He and his wife are buried in the old cemetery on South Eighth street.

     Chapman was always a welcome visitor at Old Town.  Although the Indians frowned upon the other white settlers, Chapman was free to chase the game of the forest and catch the fish of Wills creek and its tributaries.  He was treated as a friend and privileged to participate in their various activities.

     There was one secret, however, that the members of the tribe kept sacred. It was a secret that neither Chapman nor any other white man ever learned, although almost to this day efforts have been made to have it revealed.

     An Indian Secret.—Lead for making bullets was a very necessary article in pioneer days.  The Indians had guns which had been furnished them by traders.  Just as in the days when they used bows and arrows they would travel to Flint Ridge or some other source of flint supply for material to make arrow heads, so they could go long distances for lead to make bullets.

     In his frequent visits to Old Town Chapman would notice that Indians came there for lead.  On such occasions a party would leave the village, always taking the same path which led towards the source of Trail run.  Chapman was never invited to accompany them; in fact, it was evident that hey held a secret which they wished kept even from him, and he had too much respect for their friendship to follow them. In about an hour the Indians would return, always loaded with lead.

     The pioneers of that section believed that the Indians had found a lead mine, which, judging from the time required to make a journey to it and return to Old Town, must be near the source of Trail run.  As men have searched in vain for Captain Kidd’s buried gold, so have they searched in vain for the Trail run lead mine.  At many different times there have been rumors of its discovery, but they have always been without foundation.  About thirty-five years ago there was published a report that William Hutton of King’s Mine, while working on the farm of Adam Stevens, near the source of Trail run, had discovered this Indian treasure, locating a lead vein six inches in thickness, that assayed about ninety per cent pure.  Like other rumors this proved to be false.

     Lead traditions exist in many sections of the country, and are sometimes strong enough to induce enthusiastic persons to spend much time and money in trying to discover lost mines.  It is said that lead is seldom found among the rocks of coal measures, so the supply near Old Town must no have been native metal.

     Theory of the lead Mine.—The Guernsey county lead probably belonged to the accumulated stores of the Indians and not the mines for which search had long been made.  The lead deposits of the Northwest were undoubtedly known to the Indians and the lead used by them here may have come from the famous mines, near Galena, Illinois.  Being carried so far, it became to them a valuable metal, and that part of the tradition which tells how carefully they guarded their stores may well be accepted as a fact.  The Indians buried their lead in the ground. It is likely that these places were known only to a select few of them and were visited by stealth, especially after the coming of the white man.  Their mysterious visits gave rise to the tradition that somewhere up Trail run there was a lead mine.

     While John Chapman may never have discovered the place of concealment he must have known that the lead at Old Town was not native metal.  With two Indians he made a long journey to the Northwest for a supply of lead.  The mine was afterwards supposed to be near Galena, Illinois. Chapman was not permitted to go near it, but was left in a camp by the two Indians, who told him within four days they would return with their sack of lead.

     At the end of that period they brought a supply of lead to the camp, divided it into three parcels and started home. Chapman may have made more than this one journey with the Indians, for he always seemed to have a supply of lead.

     Mine Never Discovered.—Years after John Chapman’s death his sons would occasionally bring lead ore to Cambridge, claiming that they knew where there was a lead mine.  Then a search for it would be made near the headwaters of Trail run.  That there really were lead mines in that section was believed by many.   None has ever been found, not even the place in which the Indians concealed their treasure.

 

 

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