Nineveh Ford

Nineveh Ford was interviewed in 1878 about his role in western expansion. He was the brother of John Ford, and uncle of Ephraim Ford.

Nineveh Ford (brother of John Ford, uncle of Ephraim Worth Ford)
Salem, Oregon 1878
Nineveh Ford's narrative
Time & Place: Room 8 Chemeheta Hotel, Salem, Oregon

Monday June 17th 1878
Present: Ford & the writer. AB

Mr. Ford said: I was born in North Carolina on July 15th 1815. Emigrated to Missouri in 1840, and from Missouri to Oregon in 1843. My attention was directed to Oregon by reading Lewis and Clark's journal. The scenery described in that took my fancy; and a desire to see that and to explore the country and return home to North Carolina in 3 years induced me to start. From information from traders and trappers I was confirmed in my intentions.

In the spring of 1843 Peter H. Burnett of Platte County Missouri and other prominent men were making up a company to go [2] to Oregon. It was in my neighborhood in Platte City. I was acquainted with the parties. There was another object: One grand objective we had was the prospect of obtaining a donation of land if the country was worth staying in. That was the object of Burnett and others to come and colonize this country, to take possession of the United States domain west of the Rocky Mountains. It was not at that time settled to belong to the United States. The controversy was up and there was some influence got to bear to induce people to colonize. The question was agitated in relation to the right and title of the United States to the country. I never heard that the government desired to colonize. It was all a private movement and we came on our own responsibility. We hat not any assurance that the Government would assist or protect us in any manner. Freemont Company which fell in after us I understood was [3] employed by the Government. But we did not travel together and we knew nothing of their going when we were making up a company. We rendezvoused at West Port west of Independence Jackson County Missouri. We Started from there in April. There were between 500 & 700 souls in the party and 113 wagons. Our Captain was Peter H. Burnett. He was chosen Captain at West Port. We had as additional officers Nesmith for ordirly (?) sergeant, he kept the roll of the emigrants, list of wagons and so forth. I do not recollect of any other officers. Our Pilot was John Gannt(?). He was a Mountaineer (?) and had been as far as Fort Hall. He engaged to pilot us as far as Fort Hall. I kept a Journal but my house burnt down and it was destroyed. We were not molested by the Indians beyond horse stealing and driving off cattle and having to pay to get them returned. They were friendly generally. We saw but few. They appeared to be wild and shy and afraid of the [4] wagons. Ours were the first wagons they ever saw, and the first that ever crossed the plains from Missouri with the exception of eleven wagons that came out in 1842 to Fort Hall and there stopped. The persons in that train packed through from Fort Hall. We came to the Buffalo Country on the Platte and there we made boats of beef and buffalo hides - putting them around wagon beds; and for some we made frames. We swam our animals from bar to bar where we could get a footing until we could get across.

At Fort Larimie there was a post - there were American traders. There we crossed through the Black Hills to Fort Bridger. There were American traders there. There we crossed the mountains to Fort Hall. It was occupied by the Hudson's Bay Co. I think it was Grant that had charge of that.

All those forts were made of adobe walls like the wall around a lot and inside of [5] that wall were adobe buildings, generally small. The wall around the lot was 6 or 8 feet high, and about 18 inches thick. It could have been knocked down very easily, but the Indians had nothing but arrows and could not shoot through it. They had a few guns but very few at that time.

At Fort Hall we changed our Captain. We got a man by the name of Wm. Martin to pilot us and he acted as Captain a piece. He turned off on the California road with Childs. Dr. Whitman then volunteered to pilot the emigration through to Walla Walla. He lived in Walla Walla. He said he would pilot us there but he could not stay with us. He would leave notices with us how we should travel and we followed those notices till we came to Grande Rounde he went through and sent an Indian back to pilot us through from Grande Rounde to Walla Walla. We had no trouble from Fort Hall [6] to Grande Rounde Valley. It was open country. Sometimes we had to climb mountains and get on the divides and select the main divide that looked in the direction we were going. But in the main it was often enough to drive along without making roads. We came to Snake River. Dr. Whitman was with us there and he advised us to fasten our teams together, the whole train with the exception of my own team. I had a strong carriage and I thought I could drive through separately. I fell in behind and the wagons and teams being angling (?) in the current raised the current on the bank side (?) probably some 2 feet or 18 inches higher than the usual height and it pressed so hard against my team that I was about to go over the shoal where several persons had gone over and drowned before that, the animals they rode over themselves too. Seeing that there was a danger of going over I sprung (?) out of the carriage and ran [7] to the team and pressed myself against the team and held the lead ox to his place until the train went on and the water lowered. I remained in that situation till the whole train got across on the land. Dr. Whitman rode back on a large gray horse and threw a rope to me and told me to put it on the near (?) ox's horns. I did so and he put it around the horse's saddle and he then led the way across and I got into the carriage and drove across. The Doctor towed the team across with his rope. I learned afterwards that one of the oxen which were temporally in the wagon instead of mules was a weak ox. I consider that Dr. Whitman saved my life, and I remembered it when he was massacred. I remembered it in the Cayuse war where I endeavored to redress his wrongs. We all got across safely. There was a Mr. Ayres (?) an Englishman who had a family in his care who came on his mule. He was riding a mule and went over [8] that shallows and into the deep water and drowned he and his mule. This was near the American Falls, the first crossing of the Snake [River]. The second crossing was at Fort Boise. We then blocked our wagon beds up six inches inside of the standards and forded the river - a thing I have never heard of being done before or since. It was a very dangerous way because if we had got into deep water the bodies would have floated off. We succeed in getting across safely, but we considered it very hazardous.

The first salmon we found on our route was at the first crossing of Snake River below Fort Hall. We found a very open country to Burnt River, Powder River, and Grande Rounde Valley. Then we struck the mountains where there was timber.

From Fort Hall to this point there was no road. Doctor Whitman used to put up notices directing us from one notice to another. We traveled by these notices from [9] place to place. We found no tracks. In some places we found an Indian trail and in other places not. The Indians would take a straight course up and down where wagons could not go. We had to go around to get on to divides which we could travel from one place to another. We seldom followed the trail. It was better traveling out of it than in it, it confused our teams. We travelled over a great deal of sage brush which was very hard to get over. We could not stop to chop it out. The wagons would bend it down but the ground was sandy and the wagons would sink deep into the sand and then rise high on the sage brush. The foremost wagons would mash it down. It tired the foremost teams very much. We had to change the foremost teams back every day, and use the strongest teams and the strongest wagons to mash the sage brush down. We could do it however so that the next wagon [10] could follow more easily. Frequently there would be a horseman ahead who rode where the wagons ought to go. If they found any obstacle in the way they would turn back and notify the train and turn them in [the] right direction where they should go.

At Grande Rounde there was a party with the instruction as to whether we had better stop there or not. It was a beautiful country. They would have stopped and colonized it if we had had provisions. We did not regard the Indians at all. Peter H. Burnett was in favor of stopping and locating there but having no supplies we travelled on for the Blue Mountains cutting our way through the fallen timber. We camped many times in sight of our former night's camp. We found it very laborious and very hard cutting that ?????? timber with our dull axes that we had not ground since we left Missouri having no grind stone to grind them & our hands being [11] very tender cutting those dry sticks which shruing (?) the skin loose on our hands. But it was getting late in the season, and it devolved on some 40 persons to make that road. The lazy ones dropped back, not for the purpose of screening themselves, but to rest their cattle, so they stated, but we imputed it to an thin diffidence in regard to the work. It devolved on the 40 persevering men to drive the wagons and cut the roads.

The women frequently would drive the teams and the men would do the work. The most of them had axes. We had shovels but it was rarely that we used them. I recollect we had to dig down the banks to get across the Grande Rounde River. When we crossed the Grande Rounde River the snow had fallen to a depth of two inches but did not lay long. I think it was in September it was an early snow. We travelled under the guidance of an Indian [12] pilot that Dr. Whitman had sent back. Wherever he directed us to go there we went, without searching for any other route since they have changed the road in many places. He found us a pretty fair route for getting through. The Indian did not look about much, he was familiar with the ground. He proved to be a faithful Indian. If I recollect right - he was the very Indian that afterwards killed Dr. Whitman.

In some places the timber was very thick, so that you could not ride a horse through without cutting. After we got on the top of the mountain the timber got lighter and more scattered and we got down the mountain comparatively easy. We got out of the timber when we got pretty nearly down. Went to Umatilla and then across to Walla Walla and to Whitman's station where he had established a mission. It is some 25 miles from Wallula [13] and 5 miles from Walla Walla City down on Mill Creek. At Whitman's station we stopped only a few days.

We went immediately on down the Columbia River. We were 6 months on the road from Platte City to Oregon City. Part of the emigration made canoes on the Walla Walla River above Wallula - ?????? called Applegate's company. Jesse Applegate was Captain; they just placed (?) loads (?) in the canoes and travelled down the Columbia River to The Dalles. They had an Indian pilot and they ran that fleet of canoes into The Dalles, and into those falls and capsized most of the canoes and drowned, I think 5 or 4 persons. They lost the most of their stuff. Some were thrown on the rocks and some went down through the rapids. One man named Doak who could not swim, he was thrown on a feather bed and flung on a rock. He remarked afterwards that he always liked feather beds.[14] They were heavy unmanageable cottonwood canoes. If they had had Indian canoes they would not have had any mishap. They all attempted to go through the rapids. The Indian who piloted them got through. The others did not know what they were going into.

"Dalles" is an Indian name signifying whirls or table rock I don't know which. They were going to all go down towards the Cascades 50 miles below that. I think they got their canoes and made their way down.

I was with the wagons. My wagon was in front of the caravan when it got to The Dalles. The first wagon that landed at The Dalles. There the country would not admit any further travel by wagon. The Cascade Mountains separated us from Willamette Valley. Several of us went into the pine forest there and got dry pine trees and hauled them to the river with our oxen and made rafts of logs; six or eight, one foot to 18 inches diameter, and [15] 20 feet long lashed together. We took our wagons apart and put the bodies on first and put the running gear on the top pieces and the baggage and stuff on top of that and lashed it on. Some would reserved a wagon bed with a cover on for a kind of a cabin for the women and children to sleep in. On one of these rafts there was a wagon with a cover on for that purpose a family occupying it and a woman was confined and delivered a child in the daytime, and the crew that were on the raft knew nothing of the circumstance till it was all over. It was to their great surprise that they heard the cry of an infant. Everything went on finely. They landed at the Cascades all cheerful, the mother and child included. There were some big rocks in the river and not knowing which way to steer our craft we would steer right straight for those big rocks. We did [16] this (?) is that when we got near the main current would carry us to the right side. But if we happened to steer to the wrong side the stronger current might have carried us on the other side and dashed us on the rocks. We went clear and got safely to the Cascades. There we had no more use for our rafts. We landed our things and spent two weeks in making a wagon road around the Cascades to get our wagons around. I had a cousin that brought the long boat of The Peacock. He had packed across in 1842 and heard that we were coming. There were women and children that had no mode of conveyance or transportation and were waiting for some means of getting away. And I prevailed on my cousin to take them. They were strangers to me and in distress and suffering while I could stand it better than they could. I told[17] him I would find my way down by some means. I had made my calculation to buy Indian canoes below the Cascades. I succeeded in doing that and my cousin brought the boat and as many as could get in the boat down. I made a raft of 4 canoes lashing them side by side, taking the wagon beds of 5 wagons to pieces making a platform on top of the canoes, and then taking the running gear apart and putting them on top of the platform; and the baggage on top of the running gears. I lashed it all on securely and hoisted a mast in the center of the craft with a wagon sheet for a sail.

With two Indians and two white men besides myself we set sail for Vancouver. Those were the first wagons brought down the river below the Cascades. It attracted a great deal of attention from the emigrants and others at [18] the time - my fixing such a craft. Some thought it would not bear the trip with 5 wagons and their load of passengers. I have confidence in it myself, and I managed the thing myself, and we sailed quite successfully down to Vancouver. They saw the sail. It seemed to them a very odd craft on the river, and they could not distinguish what kind of craft it was. It was not a canoe; it was not a batteau (?); and they were satisfied it was not a Man of War because they could not see any guns - so they told us after we landed. Many comical remarks were made about the craft when we landed. Dr. McLaughlin the chief factor at Vancouver was on the shore with quite a company of persons that saw the craft coming. Some 75 or 100 persons of the Hudson Bay Co. and round about came to the shore to see our craft landing.[19] Dr. McLaughlin was the first man that met me when I stepped ashore. He introduced himself to me; and he complemented me very much for my perseverance (?). He complimented the Bostons for being so persevering. He said it appeared they had a spirit to travel as far as the could by land; and then invented some way for traveling still further on by water; that they beat army people for perseverance and enterprise that he ever saw or heard of.

We needed supplies and he gave us all the supplies we asked for. If we had money to pay for it he accepted it, and if we had not we got it without a word. He was very generous and kind; and from my acquaintance afterwards, in all my life I never have seen a man who was more noble and more generous and high minded in my judgment than Dr. McLaughlin. Some of the emigrants went to California after that and failed to pay him. [20] Those who remained in Oregon generally paid him, and not withstanding some mistreating him he still was generous to persons who wanted favors. He would let them have seed wheat to sow and would wait for his pay till they could raise it.

Then we sailed down the Columbia to the mouth of the Willamette. After we got into the Willamette there came up a gale of strong wind up the river in the direction we were going and that endangered our craft it finally raised the waves six feet high and they would slush over the entire craft and cargo and over our heads. It required two Indians and two white men to bale out the canoes, a man to each canoe. They found that they could bale it out as fast as it would slush in. I kept the craft as near in the middle of the river because it was smoother there than it was near the shore. Our craft ran very [21] rapidly up the stream until we got to the rapids below Oregon City. There the wind slacked up and we tied up for the night. In the morning we towed the craft over the rapids with ropes 4 men and myself and we got to Oregon City. It was the first cargo of wagons that ever was landed at Oregon City by land or sea. They were landed on the 10th day of November 1843.

At the Cascades there was a Negro woman, and there was a canoe tied up on the shore. The Negro woman went out into the canoe to dip up some water, and the canoe sheered from under her and she fell in and disappeared. She was never seen again. She had been a servant attached I think to Burnett or his brother-in-law's family.

At Fort Hall General McCarver started out ahead of the train towards the Salmon Falls with a few packers, and on approaching Fort Boise on the Boise River, there/they (?)[22] discovered some Indians and he saw a red flag hoisted. He formed his men for battle. They marched up towards the Indians believing that they meant [to] fight. When he got near enough he discovered that the red flag was a salmon split open and spread out as a sign to the packers that they had salmon for sale. So they marched up and bought some salmon. They had a good deal of fun with McCarver because he had agreed to insure the lives of all that had gone ahead with him for a coon skin that they would get there safely.

There were not over a dozen houses at Oregon City when we got there. It was mostly round about near the falls. There were but few people & they were very kind and generous. There was a Missionary store there, there were some packers that had come there with their animals over the Cascade Mountains on the trail, but they lost their animals [23] repeatedly through the Indians and had to buy them back. Some of them had to give the Indians their shirts to have the animals brought back; so that when they got in they had not any shirts themselves - only their coats on. It was a very narrow trail and a rough road to travel. Those that had teams and stock came down the Columbia swam their animals at the Cascades and came down on the north side below the Cascades to opposite the mouth of the Sandy; there they crossed back to the south side. From there they drove them along the shore to Oregon City over a level country. Among those of our party who came over the Cascades by the trail were General McCarver and a man by the name of Chase, two Doughty's and perhaps a dozen others. After we arrived at Vancouver with our wagons, we sent up for the balance of the wagons.

Another party behind me got wind bound behind Cape Horn. [24]???They remained weather bound in a canoe on the rocks for some days and got out of provisions.??? They had raw hide on the boat. They boiled that at times and used it for rations until they used that up. A man by the name of Delaney had a boxful of hemp seed. He ate all that, a small quantity daily to sustain life. One man who remembered that on their way up they had taken breakfast at the same place when he was about famishing thought he could find something that they had dropped. He got down on his knees and hunted in the snow for crumbs that they might have dropped when they went up. They had been to Vancouver and went back to get the balance of their stuff. He wept bitterly at the situation because they thought they would have to perish. Dr. McLaughlin knowing the time that they would be due and satisfied that they were in distress somewhere, [and] sent [and] a boat and a canoe of provisions to them and saved them.. They got [25] there just in time to safe [sic] them from perishing.

The general face of the country appeared to me as if it was not acceptable (?) for the habitation of white people. The country that we passed over, the Walla Walla Country and Eastern Oregon has proved to be a different country entirely from what it appeared to the emigrants at that time. They considered it a desert gotten up expressly for the Indians, suitable for them and nobody else - fit for a wild race of people. That same country has since proved to be one of the finest wheat countries known in the world. It looked barren although it was covered with fine grass, bunch grass with thousands of Indian horses. The Indians were numerous. I was raised in a timber country and this being bare of timber it looked like a barren desert to me. It was only suitably apparently for grazing Indian ponies and for hunting it did not appear [26] delightful (?) to me with the exception of the Grande Rounde Country. I have been back to the Centennial and travelled eleven thousand miles in the United States, and after residing 19 years in Eastern Oregon I find no country that seems to me prettier nor no country that is so fertile nor that I would swap this for. It is the finest land for garden vegetables fruit apples pears plums and peaches and is only surpassed for grapes by California. In Umatilla and the Walla Walla Valley I raised an apple measuring 16 1/2 inches in circumference and weighing 46 ounces avoirdupois. At the Centennial at Philadelphia it was claimed by the showbill as the World Beater (?), the next size at the Centennial was an apple weighing 42 ounces. It is the largest apple on record.

Western Oregon I thought a fine country; it satisfied me when I got there. Aside from Eastern Oregon I know no other such anywhere. This valley was a very desirable country to look at [27] from the first most beautifully diversified with prairie and timber adjacent to each other that I ever saw.

Cal Steptoe first laid off the town of Walla Walla. The troops came there in 1856 or 57. He was the one that was surrounded with Yakima Country and started the Yakima war. They killed the Indian Agent there mid 1855 and Steptoe went out to see about it. There was nothing at the town of Walla Walla then. He camped in (?) the wide prairie. The troops concentrated there after he had made his campaign in to the Spokane Country in 1856. Then they moved down below where Walla Walla is and established what is called Fort Walla Walla. Walla Walla is the great center of Eastern Oregon. It is convenient of access from all points and a fine grazing district. Another thing was that the Indians camped there. We generally found where the Indians camped in the winter was the mildest place in [28] the country. They found the Indians camped there in winter and for that reason concluded it was the best place for white people to camp.

They located the second time a mile lower down on an elevated ridge; a flat ridge having room for the buildings and barracks with water on each side. The first location was torn down. Then at this first camp where there were a few people Steptoe laid out a town. It was called "Steptoe" first. Then they located the County Seat there and called it Walla Walla City. The Fort consisted of dwellings and quarters for the soldiers. They had no palisades (?) nor walls nor log houses. They were plank houses. There is no fort there it is barracks. At the time this was located the Hudson Bay people had all abandoned their forts. Walla Walla was their nearest point as formerly that was (formerly) called Walla Walla, [29] the old Hudson Bay Fort Walla Walla, at the mouth of Walla Walla River. When the Hudson Bay people abandoned that Steptoe established another fort in Walla Walla Valley and called it the same name. The Hudson Bay people having abandoned their fort the owner of the place or the man who kept possession Kane broached the name of Wallulla. There was a man by the name of Ransom Carr (?) who was one of the earlier settlers in that vicinity. He settled there after the troops went there. Then there was Mr. Russell, he settled there to supply the troops. Both these settled there in 1856 or 57. Walter Davis also is an early settler and Sergeant Smith. There is a mile square of reservation laid off with the fort in the center. The town lots of Walla Walla City came down to the line. Between the town and the fort there is about half a mile. While it was Steptoe City I do not think there was a lot laid off. In 1859 it was [30] opened for settlement by Col. Wright. It commenced building up then with canvas houses and shacks (?) and some log houses. There was no saw mill there to get lumber. The settlers coming in farmers stock raisers and traders started the town there. There was no knowledge of gold mining there at the time. In a short time they organized that section into counties. A quarter section was laid off into a town; the Roberts had a quarter section. There is Gaines addition and Roberts addition and still another quarter section Reeses addition. They are all connected now and there is quite a large section of country there two miles which is laid into town lots. The country was settled up by farmers and stock raisers. Merchants went in with stock and supplies. Then when the mines took out the merchants increased their stock of goats and sent them out from there and miners would come to get {31] their supplies.

Fino (?) was the nearest mining district. The mining interest of course benefited the farmers and stock raisers and advanced the farming interest. At this time 1860 there were very few boats on the river. In 1859 there were boats below The Dalles but none above except a very little trial enterprise called the Col. Wright. Everything was hauled above in wagons.

I have been up there 19 years. When the mines were opened it created a big trade in freight grain and stock to supply the mines. When the mines failed there was quite a discouragement of the farmers because they had not the market for their surplus. There was no transportation. So there was quite a stagnation in business and in farming. The O.P.N Co. increased the number of their boats and finally commenced shipping the surplus down, only charging what it was worth to move the freight over the portages. They carried freight [32] much cheaper down the river than for taking it up. This encouraged the farmers to produce. Finally the farmers saw that they could make something that way and they enlarged their farms raised more and finally got to producing a great surplus. It has increased for the last 4 or 5 years very rapidly. They are building still more boats. Last fall they carried freight from Walla Walla to Wallula 30 miles at the rate of 140 tons a day and were not able to get it all out.

Wallula consists of a landing. There are two taverns. Only part of the wall of the old Hudson Bay fort remains. Whitman station is 12 miles below Walla Walla and west of the rail road. There is a farm there and a grave yard in which all the persons who were massacred are buried in one grave. The Indians burnt all the wood of the above house of Whitman's station down. Part of the walls are remaining. The walls of the fort have all disappeared.

Oregon Trail In 1843


Early in the spring of 1843 the emigrants bound for Oregon began to pour into Westport and Independence.After the majority were gathered together and just prior to beginning the journey, a meeting was called to forma set of “traveling” rules and to elect a council of nine to mediate any disputes that might erupt. It was decidedthat it would be best to elect officers when the train reached the Kansas River.

On May 22, 1843 the Oregon Emigrating Company departed with John Gantt as guide. Gantt had attained the rank of Captain in the US Army and had made his living in the fur trade and was more than willing to guidethe train to Fort Hall for $1 per person. At Fort Hall it was hoped that assistance could be obtained from Dr.Marcus Whitman and party on as they returned to the Oregon country from the states.

On June 1, after completing the crossing of the Kansas River, elections were held to determine who the officers were to be. Each nominee moved out with his back to the company. Backers of an individual then lined up behind their favorite candidate creating several lines of men stretching out across the prairie. The leaders, in jest, then proceeded to run across the prairie with their lines of supporters following like a long tail. The strange sight was captured in print by a writer passing by with the Sir William Drummond hunting expedition who remarked that, “Running for office is certainly performed in more literal fashion on the prairie …..” After the merriment, the end result was that Peter Burnett became Captain and James Nesmith was elected OrderlySergeant.

As was true of each emigration, the exact numbers varied from person to person. According to an interview with Ninevah Ford in 1878, “We rendezvoused at West Port west of Independence, Jackson County, Missouri.We started from there in April. There were between 500 and 700 souls in the party and 113 wagons…….”.However, John Arthur in 1887 at an address of the Oregon Pioneer Association, stated that “the emigratingbody numbered over one thousand souls, with one hundred and twenty wagons drawn by ox teams and overthree thousand head of loose cattle and horses.”

The company was soon to be involved in several severe storms that left them waterlogged and axle deep inmuddy quagmires. Adding to the complaints, was the dissatisfaction created between those who had cattle andthose who did not. After much dissension, Peter Burnett resigned. William Martin assumed command of thecompany without loose cattle. Jesse Applegate was elected leader of the “Cow Column”, which consisted ofapproximately 60 wagons and a couple of thousand head of cattle.

Following behind was Joseph B. Chiles, a pioneer of 1841, who was returning to California leading a smallgroup of family and friends.

As with emigrations to follow, these rugged pioneers dealt daily with adverse weather conditions, lack ofprovisions, conflict of personalities and illness. To add to their afflictions, they did not have a wagon trail tofollow. For a more comprehensive study of the emigration of 1843, I recommend reading “Blazing A WagonTrail To Oregon, A Weekly Chronicle of the Great Migration of 1843” by Lloyd W. Coffman.

Early McDuffies

Story by Fred Gahimer

Tradition has it that the McDuffies were descended from the General McDuff who defeated McBeth and saved the throne of Scotland for Malcolm. He was the first Earl of Fife, and was rewarded with a grant of land in fee simple, and “fee” (or “fie”) was tacked onto the end of their name. A coat of arms was given to the family at the same time, which in Scotch heraldry was a lion rampant with a sword in his paw, guarding the crown and Kingdom of Scotland, having three hawks under his feet, representing the three witches who were met by McBeth, and a thorne bush representing Birnam Woods. Motto: “Pro Rege”. This ancient clan played an important part in the affairs of Scotland in those days, having the privilege of crowning the King, of leading the Scottish army, and privilege of sanctuary at the cross of McDuff in Fifeshire.


Marriage Bond of Robert McDuffie and Sallie Taylor 

[back of paper] 
Robert McDuffey 
To M. Bond 
Sallie Taylor 

[front of paper] 

Know all men by these presents that we Robert McDuffy & Jacob Taylor are hereto and firmly bound unto his excellency Christopher Greenup, esq. Governor of Kentuckey and his successors in the Sum of fifty pounds Current money for payment well and truly to be made and done to our Governor his successors and we bind ourselves & every of our heirs Extrs & adtrs jointly and Severally firmly by these presents Sealed with seals and dated this 1st day of May 1806. 

The condition of the above Obligation is Such that Whereas a Marriage is shortly intended to be solemnized Between the above Robert McDuffy & Sally Taylor now the above Obligation to be void else to remain in force. 

Robert McDuffie (seal)
Jacob Taylor (seal)

Witness Present 
W. Moore, clerk 

May the 1st, 1806 
This is to certify that I Robert McDuffie senear (senior) do give william moore the clerk of our county harrison leave to give Robert McDuffie, Jun. Lisence to Marry Sally S. Taylor given under my hand and seal

Robt McDuffie (seal) 
Jacob Taylor Richard Taylor


Gabriel Columbus McDuffie was born in Harrison County, Kentucky on May 12, 1791, the second son of Robert and Rachel McDuffie. His siblings included Robert, Jr., Fielding, Enoch, James, Rachel, Roberta, and Nancy. He married Priscilla Evans in Harrison County, Kentucky on February 13, 1812. She was born in Bourbon County Kentucky on September 20, 1790.

Their children included Rachel, Ursula, Polly, Priscilla, Nancy, Joshua, Walter, and Gabriel “Newton”. Nancy married John Waggoner, and a large group of Waggoners, Ritchies, and McDuffies emmigrated to Orange Township, Rush County, Indiana in 1826.

Gabriel was an elder and pastor in the Christian Church, and was responsible for organizing the Christian Church at Arlington in September, 1835, the Big Flat Rock Christian Church east of Gowdy in April 1851, and was a pioneer minister of the Plum Creek Christian Church. He was also a teacher in the early schools.

Priscilla died in August, 1849.

Gabriel married Mary Collins on June 6, 1850 in Posey Township, and settled on a farm there.

Mary Collins had been born in Fleming County, Kentucky on October 15, 1818. When she was seven years old, she came with her parents to Rush County, Indiana, whither they arrived on October 11, 1825. They settled in Posey Township where she grew to womanhood.

Gabriel and Mary had one child, Mary Asborene, born on March 24, 1851. The child died on November 3, 1853.

Gabriel died on January 30, 1864, and was buried in the Nelson Cemetery on the Marge Nelson property on the south side of SR 52 about a mile west of Arlington.

Mary died in 1900.

The McDuffies changed their name to McDuffee in Rush County. Both Robert and Gabriel McDuffie are believed to be brothers of Nancy (McDuffie) Waggoner. There is some argument among researchers about whether she was the daughter of Robert and Rachel (Murlie) McDuffie or his son Robert McDuffie and Sallie Taylor. The present consensus is that it is Robert and Rachel.

Early Wagoners

Story by Fred Gahimer


Godfrey Waggoner (deceased)

In the name of God, Amen.

I, Godfrey Waggoner, of Washing County and state of Pensylvania farmer being weak of body but of sound memory and calling to mind the mortality of my body and knowing it is appointed once for all men to die think proper to constitute and ordain this to be my last Will and Testament and first of all I commend my soul to Almighty god that gave it to me and my body to the earth after the manner of Cristian Burial. And as for such Worldly things as the Lord hath been pleased to bless me with I give and bequeath in the following manner. Viz. I give and bequeath unto my well beloved wife Catharine Waggoner the plantation I now live on together with all my household furniture goods and Chattles and all Dues Debts and demands and all and everything in any ways belonging to me to be freely possed [possessed] by her during her natural life or so long as she shall remain my widow. Item it is my will that at my wifes Death or marriage that my plantation be Equaly divided between my sons and all such moveable effects that I am possed [possessed] of it is my will that they be Equally divided between my wife and Daughters and it is my will that if my wife should marry and her husband should die before her and she should come to want that my boys be oblidged to take her and maintain her well as they can afford and that my above mentioned estate be not unessecarily destroyd. I do nominate and appoint my wife Catharine Waggoner and Nicholas Christ and James Frye my Executors of this my Estate and do hereby revoke and disallow all former wills and covenants Constituting and ordaining this and no other to be my last Will and Testament given under my hand and seal this second day of December 1782

Godfrey Waggoner Signd seald and pronounced in presents of us.

Benjamine Frye, Jacob ….., Philip Fryman, Thomas Bape, Catharine Frye.


A scedule of the Will, whereas I have mentioned in my last will that my wife should have my plantation no longer than till she was married if in case she should marry I so hereby revoke that and it is my will that if she should mary that she is to have my plantation untill my live sons shall be of age and then to be divided as before mentioned it is also my will that my wife shall have my grey mare or her first colt.

Witness my hand and seal this twenty eighth day of December 1782. Godfrey (mark) Waggoner (seal) signed and pronounced in presents of Benjamin Frye and Philip Fryman.


Washington County, ss on the 31st day of January 1783.

Before me James Marshel Register for the probate of Wills in and for said County personally came Benjamin Frye and Philip Fryman two of the subscribing witnesses within named and on their Solemn Oaths did depose and say that they were present and saw and heard Godfrey Wagoner the Testator within named sign, seal, publish, pronounce and declare the Within Annexed Instrument in writing as and for his last Will and Testament together with the schedule or Codicil thereto Annexed and that at the time of doing thereof he was of sound and well disposing mind, memory and understanding to the best of their knowledge observation and belief Sworn before James Marshel – Reg. Be it remembered that on the 31st day of January – Anna Domini 1783 the last will and Testament (together with the Codicil thereunto Annexed) of Godfrey Wagoner, late of Washington County deceased was proved in due form of law, and letters Testamentary thereon were granted to Catharine Wagoner, Nicholas Crist and James Frye the Executors therein they being first sworn – well and truly to administer the Estate of the said deceased and to Exhibit a true and perfect Inventory thereof into the Register’s office at Washington and to render a true and just account of their said Administration when legally thereunto required.

Registered this 31st day of January Anno Domini 1783,

James Marshall, Reg.

John Jacob Waggoner (wife unknown) is thought to have been the son of Godfrey, and father of John Waggoner whose family immigrated to Orange Township, Rush County, Indiana from the Cynthiana, Kentucky area. The pattern of migration seems to have been from Germany to Rotterdam, Holland; to Pennsylvania; to North Carolina; to Kentucky; and then to Indiana.

The only two children of John Jacob’s about which anything is known are Jacob and John. Jacob Waggoner was born October 30, 1784. He was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Lawrence County, Indiana. Two of Jacob’s sons were Civil War soldiers. Logan, born in the 1830s, died in a Pest House in Kansas in 1862.


John Waggoner, Sr. was born in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on March 31, 1776. He married Mary Catherine Ritchey on July 13, 1797 in Bourbon County, Kentucky. Their children were: John, Peter, Polly, Mahala, James, Milton, Wesley, Ariss, and Asburry.

John Waggoner was a Methodist Episcopal circuit rider in Bourbon, Harrison, and Nicholas counties in Kentucky, and in Rush and Shelby counties in Indiana. He performed many marriages in Kentucky, including some of his children. The Nicholas/Harrison County line ran through his property near Cynthiana, Kentucky. There is a Wagoners Chapel Methodist Church and Cemetery 12 miles east of Cynthania on Wagoner Chapel Road. A J. J. Waggoner donated the land for the church.

In the fall of 1826, John and Mary Catherine and their extended family moved to Orange Township, Rush County, Indiana with a large group of relatives. Those included Gilbert Ritchey (Mary Catherine’s father), Matthew and Susan (Ritchey) Busby, John Ritchey and family, Eve and John Ritchey and Adam Ritchey, along with brothers Robert and Gabriel McDuffie and their families.

When they arrived in Orange Township, the whole region was covered with primeval forest and nearly destitute of the appliances of civilization. The nearest cabin was seven miles away, the mill so distant that a trip for meal or grain was quite an undertaking, and little to console the incomer except the abundance of game and the fine fish that wriggled in the clear, unpolluted streams. John, with his sons, had to clear a trail through the dense forest between his newly entered land and St. Omer, a distance of seven miles straight south as the crow flies. John spoke no English.

His eldest son John, Jr. had already married Robert McDuffie’s daughter Nancy in Kentucky the year before, and they had brought their newborn son William A. Waggoner with them in emmigrating to Indiana.

One of the earliest school houses was built in the southwest corner of the Philip Reddenbaugh farm. Having no glass, the windows were made of paper greased with coon oil, to let in some light, but protect from weather. At one such township school in 1829, the teacher, George Winbro, gave his students whiskey on their last day of school. At another such school, an irate parent of a student who had been punished by the teacher the day before marched into the schoolhouse and started shouting at the teacher, causing the students to jump out the windows through the oiled paper.

John and Mary Catherine Waggoner were buried in a small plot on the Reddenbaugh farm near the schoolhouse, John in 1827, and Mary Catherine in 1841. Both the schoolhouse and the small cemetery have long since disappeared into the earth’s bosom.


John Waggoner, Jr. was born in Harrison County, Kentucky on September 15, 1803, the eldest child of John and Mary Catherine Waggoner. He married Nancy McDuffie, daughter of Robert and Rachel (Murlie) McDuffie, in Harrison County on September 20, 1825. Nancy had been born in Harrison County on January 17, 1805.

Their first child, William A., was born two months before they emmigrated to Rush County, Indiana in the fall of 1826 with their parents and other relatives. Their children were: William A., John, Sarah, Ellen, and Aris.

John had very little property, but a great deal of pluck and good common sense made great stock in trade, and a good investment of both made him a comfortable home in what was the “green timber” land. John lived a long and useful life, and was universally respected by all who knew him.

John died in 1881, and Nancy in 1877. They were buried in the Moscow, Indiana cemetery at the inset corner in the northeast part of the cemetery.

Early Innis Ancestors

Story by Fred Gahimer


Innes was the name applied to the land on which a man named Berowald settled, and throughout the following six centuries, its ownership descended from chief to chief in the lineage of the family Innes, later Innis.  The first to assume Innes as a surname was Walter, grandson of Berowald, about 1226 A.D., and thus he could be considered the progenitor of all the Inneses.
The land of Innes lies from the northern coast of Scotland south between the Rivers Lossie and Spey.  The town of Elgin is on the River Lossie.
Some of the significant events involving the Inneses include:
  • John Innes, Bishop of Moray, rebuilt the beautiful Elgin Cathedral after the “Wolf of Badenoch”, brother of King Robert II, burned it in the mid-15th century.
  • Sir James Innes, 12th chief, was Esquire to James III, and entertained James IV with much pomp at the Castle of Innes in 1490.
  • After Mary Stuart was forced to abdicate her throne in 1567 to her infant son James VI, he, at the age of twelve in 1578 took the sceptor of government, and the following year the Inneses were recognized as a “clan” by the Privy Council.
  • In the early part of the 17th century, Robert Innes of Innermarkie bought a castle, named “Balvenie”.  Robert had a difficult time during the next few years defending himself against his unruly neighbors, but his ability was obviously recognized, for in 1628 he was made a baronet of Nova Scotia.  Balvanie Castle was often the scene of fighting during the 17th century.  In 1635 the district was continuously under attack by the Macgregors and in 1644, after the Battle of Fyvie, the Marquis of Montross marched to Balvenie to allow his men a few days rest out of reach of Argyll’s cavalry.  Five years later a band of Royalists were defeated at Balvenie; 80 were killed and nearly 900 taken as prisoners.  amongst them was probably Sir Walter Innes, the owner of the castle.  In 1658 Balvanie had to be sold to Colonel Sutherland of Kinminity to pay the debts incurred by the Innes family in the Civil War.  The castle was still standing in 1993, and was open to the public.
  • When Charles II was recalled from Holland to assume the throne after Charles I was beheaded, he embarked for Scotland.  On June 23, 1650, he landed at the mouth of the River Spey, on the eastern edge of the Lands of Innes, and was ceremoniously received by Sir Robert, Laird of Innes and 20th chief from Berowald, and his wife, Lady Grizel.  The King then dined at the Innes House, built in 1640-53 by Robert, where, in the presence of the clergy of Moray, he subscribed to the Solemn League and Covenant.
  • In 1690, Father Lewis Innes was the Jacobite Secretary of State for Scotland.
  • By the end of the 18th century, the “seats”, or estates of the separate branches of the family of Innes in Ireland and Scotland exceeded 67.


Francis and Margery (Milliken) Innes emigrated to America from Scotland, and settled in the Tuscarora Valley in the central mountains of Pennsylvania in what became Lack Township in Mifflin County.
After many settlers had come into the valley, the Indians formed an uprising in 1756 and attacked them.  On June 11th or 12th, 1756, Bingham’s Fort, the stockaded home of Samuel Bingham was attacked and burned by a band of Indians led by the Delaware chief. King Beaver. All the occupants of the fort were either killed or captured.
On the day of the attack, John Gray and Francis Innis were returning from Carlisle, where they had gone for salt. As they were descending the Tuscarora Mountain, in a narrow defile, Gray’s horse taking fright at a bear which crossed the road, became unmanageable and threw him off. Innis, anxious to see his wife and family, went on, but Gray was detained for nearly two hours in catching his horse and righting his pack. John Gray’s detention saved him from death or capture. In the meantime, Innis pressed on rapidly toward the fort.
Many of the settlers were killed, and many, including the Innes family, were taken captive.  At that time Francis and Margery had three children, Jane, Nathaniel, and an infant, Mary. Francis was taken away and separated from his family.  As was customary with Indian Captives, Francis had to run a gauntlet of stones, sticks, and clubs by which the Indians tested the mettle of their captives.  Francis passed the gauntlet and was put to hard labor.  However, when the Sabbath came, he refused to work.  The Indians did not understand his religious convictions, and prepared to burn him at the stake.  A French trader happened by, and bargained for Francis’ release for a ransom after Francis promised to work for him until it was repaid.  He thus left with the trader to ply the St. Lawrence to Montreal and back.
Meanwhile, Margery and the children were suffering terribly.  Like Francis, she too had to run the gauntlet, and was stabbed in one of her breasts with a stick, though not fatally.  It was a bitterly cold winter with little food or warmth.  Little Mary’s feet had frozen, and the pain caused her to cry almost constantly despite all efforts of Margery.  The Indians soon tired of the crying, and chopped a hole in the ice of the Monongahela River and pushed little Mary into the hole to drown, while Margery wailed for mercy.  The hunger became so bad that the the Indians, upon hearing that a trader’s boat was approaching on the St. Lawrence River, decided to beg food from the trader.  They took Margery along, thinking that the trader might be more receptive if a white woman did the begging.  Francis was on the boat with the trader, and when he saw Margery, pleaded with the trader to give the Indians anything they wanted in exchange for Margery, and he promised to work until he repaid the ransom.  The Indians agreed, and Francis and Margery were reunited.  The children had been taken into the wilderness by the Indians.
Francis and Margery went with the trader on the boat to Montreal, where Francis continued to work off the ransom.  In February of 1758, they had a son, James, and in May, the ransom was paid, and the trader, true to his word, freed Francis and family to return home.  With the infant, James, in their arms, or carried by Margery papoose-style, they walked southward, following the trail along Lake Champlain, Lake St. George, the Hudson River, to New York City, and then across New Jersey to Philadelphia.  They finally returned to their home in the Tuscarora Valley, and with the other returning settlers, rebuilt their homesteads.  They had no news of the fate of Jane and Nathaniel.
Six years after the first uprising, Pontiac, the great Ottawa chief, began to stir up another war, and bloodshed began again.  When the Indian threat seemed imminent in the valley, the settlers crowded into the small fort there.  One night an Indian approached the fort.  The settlers were frightened and wanted to shoot him, but a trader, Sterrit, wanted to hear what he had to say.  The Indian reminded Sterrit that he was the Indian whom Sterrit had given food when he was hungry, and he had come to repay the favor.  He said that a large Indian war party was approaching, and that they should flee.  They did, and went to the next county, Cumberland,  The Indians came the next night, and finding the fort empty, burned it to the ground, and left a war-club painted red, to signify war, in a path in front of the fort.
The Indian war was finally ended in 1764 when English Col. Henry Bouquet and his army performed a brilliant maneuver which fooled the Indians and led to their total defeat.  As part of the peace agreement, Col. Bouquet demanded that all captives of the Indians be released within 12 days.
Francis traveled to Philadelphia to search among the released captives for his children.  It was hard for the settlers and the children who were captured very young to recognize each other after 8 years apart.  It was Jane who recognized her father, and told him that Nathaniel was among the group also, but that another family had claimed him and was preparing to leave with him.  Francis found the family and challenged their right to Nathaniel, and proved it by a hidden scar on Nathaniel’s body.  The family agreed and Francis’ entire family was together at last, except for little Mary.
It took some time for the youngest captives to become acclimated to civilization, since they had spent most of their lives with the Indians.  Some never did, and escaped to return to the wild.  Nathaniel slowly resumed life with his family, but for several years, he would at certain times of the year run outside and engage in some Indian dance to invoke the spirits for some purpose.  Both he and Jane eventually married and had families.
In addition to Jane, Nathaniel, Mary, and James, Francis and Margery had two more children, Elizabeth and Francis, Jr.  Nothing is known about Elizabeth, so it is assumed that she died at an early age.  All three sons served at least some time in the Revolutionary War, and Francis, Jr. Served through the entire war, including Valley Forge and Yorktown.


James was born in February 1758 while his parents were in Montreal, Canada, and Francis was working off the ransom the French trader had paid for he and his wife to the Indians.  Except for the brief period that the settlers had to go to the next county (Cumberland) to escape Pontiac’s Indian uprising, James spent the rest of his life in the Tuscarora Valley of Pennsylvania.
James obtained his education in the township schools.  In 1778, the Lack Township assessor declared James a “Freeman” (bachelor) and he thus owed a tax of one pound, ten shillings, quite a sum in those days.  James lost no time in marrying, at age 21, Ann Arbuckle, daughter of William Arbuckle, a nearby family who was the tax assessor in 1768, and had settled in the valley with a warrant for 100 acres dated Feb. 4, 1755.
In 1779, James was settled on 75 acres, with a horse for sure footed labor or transportation, and one cow for milk.  For Ann Innis, married life began on an uncertain note.  The Revolutionary War raged in the East, and periodic calls for James’ militia unit drew him away from home on several occasions.
Farming must have been a bit tough for James to handle in 1780.  There was the Militia duty, and the birth of his first child, a son, who they named for the infant’s grandfather, Francis.  James’ farm land had decreased to 50 acres, on which he had just one horse.  But soon there were more family needs, and more mouths to feed.  1782 brought James’ and Ann’s second son, William, into the world.  The farm was expanding again, with 99 acres, a horse, and two cows.  By 1785, a year after the birth of Elizabeth, their first daughter, the Innis farm covered 100 acres, and depended on two horses and cows.  In the next few years, James made no attempt to increase his acreage, and it appears he was sharing some of his father’s land, probably because of concern about the aging Francis’ abilities to handle the responsibilities alone.  On Jan. 2, 1795, Francis deeded a portion of his land to James, amounting to 233 acres, 63 perches.
By 1790, James was the father of two more sons, Samuel, in 1786, and James, in 1789.  At two-year intervals, Ann added four more sons to the family:  John, 1792;  Alexander, 1794; Nathaniel, 1796; and Joseph, 1798.  The last child, Ann, was born in 1801.
By 1801, James’ widowed mother, Margery, was living with his family of eight sons and two daughters.
The year 1801 also marked the organization of McCoysville’s United Presbyterian Church, of which James was ordained as one of the first Elders.  He was a Democrat in politics.
Sometime in the next few years, the family was grieved by the death of their wife and mother, Ann Arbuckle Innis.  Her grave, presuming she was interred in the Presbyterian cemetery that had been established in a corner of the farm, was marked, at most, by a smooth stone.  There are several such chunks of native rock standing to the right of James’ tombstone, which could be Francis, Margery, Ann, and perhaps Ann’s parents.  No epitaph was engraved, but we must conclude that they are buried there.  After their struggles to win this land from the wilderness and the Indians, would their families have the heart to bury them anywhere else?
After Ann’s death, James married Isabella Oliver, who had come from her native Ireland before 1790, on May 8, 1806.  The children born to this marriage were:  Sarah, Mary, Isabella, Robert, Jane, Ebenezer, and Nancy.
By about 1818, James family began to disperse.  The older sons went to Brown County, Ohio, the rest by the first wife to Rush County, Indiana.  In 1820, only Samuel, Joseph, and Ann of James’ older children remained at home with his second family.
His 68 years were becoming too much of a burden for James.  “Being in a frail Steat of body but of sound mind and Memory”, on April 11, 1826, he made his last will and testament, dictating it to an unidentified writer, but signing it with his own shaking hand.  Despite the care of Doctor Joseph Kelly, he died at home on Oct. 21, 1826.  Grave clothes were purchased from Joseph Laird, and his body was laid to rest in the cemetery on the edge of the farm, on the road to McCoysville.  A slab of white marble was placed to mark James’ grave bearing these words:
memory of
who departed this life Oct. 1826
Aged 75 years (an error)
His parents being taken captive by the
French and Indians at Bingham Fort,
he was born in Montreal
He served two terms in the Revolutionary War.
After peace was declared was brought back
by his parents and there resided until his
death and died a believer in Christ.”
The will was presented for probate on Nov. 22, 1826.  The following is a summary of the will:
To his wife, Isabella, he gave her choice of “one horse creature”, two cows, and six sheep, her choice of one bed and bedding, one table and table furniture, his bureau, and their house for her and the children’s use, or for her exclusive use if they should leave her.  She also was to have for her exclusive use yearly twenty bushels of wheat, ten bushels of rye or Indian corn, one hundred-weight each of beef and of pork, at all times pasturage and forage for her “creatures”, half a bushel of flaxseed sown on good ground, and to have wood and water from the place as needed.
Next, James gave to sons Francis and William, $25 each; to Nathaniel, $20; to James, John, Alexander, and Joseph, $50 each; to Elizabeth, $5; to Anne, $20; to son Samuel, “…a decent Mintenance of food and clothing During his natural life from off the place whereon I now live”; to daughters Sarah, Isabella, Jane, and Nancy, $200 each; to Robert and Ebenezer, all the remainder of the estate, real and personal, to be equally divided between them.
Robert and Ebenezer were to pay and perform all the above bequests out of the real estate, in the following manner: one year after the youngest child became of age, they were to pay their half-brothers and sisters, and at the end of another year, to pay their sisters Sarah, Isabella, Jane, and Nancy each $50, and so on yearly until they had paid each of them the sum of $200.  If land “continued to fall in value” so that Robert and Ebenezer might have desired to leave, then they were to go equal shares with their full-sisters.  James allowed for a sale of his movable properties to pay any debts.  He suggested that if any of the stock could be spared, the family might attempt to farm the place, but if not, then it must be rented out, its produce to go to support the family.  He added that, if the produce and circumstances permitted , the younger children should receive an education equal to that had by the older ones, without lessening their shares in the estate.
There was no time lost before the sale of surplus livestock and grain from James’ farm.  The bill of the vendue, held Nov. 16, 1826, shows receipts totaling $512.78, for the following items:  2 sows, 9 hogs, 8 calves, 5 heifers, 8 cows, 1 bull, 4 steers, 1 mare, 1 horse, 3 colts, 200 bushels of wheat, and 60 bushels of corn.  When other monies had come in, and debts and administration costs paid, the balance remaining in the accounts of the estate on Jan. 23, 1828 was $302.18, subject to distribution to heirs according to law.
By 1830, all the older children of James and Ann Innis had left their home except Samuel.  Five of his half-brothers and -sisters also remained with their mother, Isabella, to maintain the family farm.  About 1840, if the directives of James’ will were properly carried out, Robert and Ebenezer should have begun the cash distributions.
On Mar. 2. 1831, the land of the ancestral farm, and the surrounding Tuscarora Valley, was included in the founding of a new county, called “Juniata”, taken from the eastern part of Mifflin County.
In Sep. 1850, the census of Beale Township of Juniata County shows that Robert and Ebenezer had continued to live on the farm, valued at $7000, under Robert’s management, with their wives and children.  Ebenezer must have maintained the larger of the two homes, since Samuel, Isabella, and Nancy lived with him.
The year 1851 must have been a strain on Isabella’s emotions, as illnesses claimed the lives of three of her children, Robert, Isabella, and Jane, and Ebenezer’s wife, Ann.  The following year Robert’s widow, Jane, died also.
As a result of a new law in 1855, Isabella received a veteran’s widow’s compensation in the form of a warrant for 160 acres on Dec. 24, 1857, and on Dec. 10, 1858, Ebenezer warranted 60 acres in his own right.  The family farm, in later years, consisted of about 230 acres, so we must assume that a large measure of land that had belonged to James before his death had been sold in the meantime.
In 1859, Ebenezer built a new house on the Innis farm.  It was the third house known on the property, the first was a log cabin situated northeast of the present house, by a good spring of water;  the second stood to the right of the present one, closer to the road to the west, and was a long, narrow, shed-like building.
Isabella Innis outlived her son, Ebenezer, his wife and young son Robert and his wife, and stepson Samuel, while she shared the home with her family until death also claimed her on Dec.  17, 1864 at age 86.  She was buried in the family plot, by the road to McCoysville, with a well-carved tombstone to mark the spot.


Alexander Innis was born on Tuesday, Sep. 2, 1794, the seventh child and sixth son of James and Ann Innis.  He resided on the family’s Tuscarora Valley, Pennsylvania, farm until he was about 21, during which he must have been a bright and eager pupil, probably in the local schools.  He joined his brothers in their western migration, but paused in southern Ohio to become one of Brown County’s pioneer school teachers in his early twenties.
One of his schools was on the Pangburn Farm about 1820; another on the William Wall place, taught probably in 1819.  The first schools were held in deserted cabins; but in a few years, most neighborhoods built houses for school purposes, though of rude character.
On July 30, 1818, Alexander married Christiana Kirkpatrick at the home of her father, Andrew Kirkpatrick, in Wilmington, Ohio.
Alexander sought a place in Rush County, Indiana, wanting “good ground that had no ‘drift’ in the trees”.  They moved there from Ohio by wagon, Christiana walking a great deal and carrying their first child, James, because the jolting of the wagon made him sick.  Alexander didn’t have their house finished, so they had to live in the wagon temporarily.  Christiana’s parents had given them a team of two bred mares, two bred sheep, a bred cow, and sows for their wedding present.  They were well prepared for married life.  They settled in Anderson Township, Rush County, Indiana, near Milroy.
They raised seven children:  James, Elizabeth, Andrew, William Wilson, Ellen (or Eleanor), John, and Lucinda.  Alexander is said to have provided each of his children with parcels of land at the time of their marriages.
Alexander and family attended the Bethesda and Richland United Presbyterian Churches in the 1830’s, where he was clerk of the Sessions at times.  He was Elder of the Springhill church in 1830.  He and Christiana became charter members of the Milroy United Presbyterian Church on Oct. 15, 1835.  Alexander made his living by farming until death claimed him, at age 85, on June 9, 1879.
Isabella Farlow recalled, “My great-grandmother, Christiana, came to live with us at the place where my brother, John Frazier, now lives.  On her 83rd birthday all the relatives gathered in the celebration.  It was the most wonderful occasion I had ever experienced.  On her 84th birthday, her grandson Robert Innis brought his family and spent the day.  On her 85th birthday her final illness set in, and she lingered until April.  The Bible in which Alexander had written very concise obituaries was at our house while Christiana lived (for six years).”
Christiana’s death came on April 27, 1886, like Alexander, at the age of 85.  She and Alexander are buried in the Milroy Cemetery with a fine, arched monument, with her father, Andrew Kirkpatrick, buried nearby.

William A. Wagoner and Sarah “Sallie” Jones

Story by Fred Gahimer

William A. Waggoner was brought to Rush County, Indiana from Harrison County, Kentucky in 1826 by his parents when he was only two months old. He was reared on his parents’ farm in Rush County and received a fair education in the country schools. He farmed throughout his life, and although he had no capital when he began, he became a prosperous and representative farmer and citizen. He eventually owned 380 acres of prime farmland. In politics he was a staunch Democrat. He served four years as a Orange Township Trustee. For more on William’s early years, see this story.

He and his wife, Sallie (Jones) Waggoner, were buried in the left-center area of the Moscow Cemetery.

In the 1850 census, William A. Waggoner (age 23), a carpenter, was living with his parents, John (46) and Nancy (32) Waggoner in Orange Township with siblings John, Jr.(22), a farmer, Sarah H. (19), Ellen (17), and Aris (14). John Sr., Nancy, and William A. Waggoner were born in Kentucky, and the rest were born in Indiana.

In the 1860 census, William (34) was a farmer in Orange Township with a farm adjacent to his parent’s farm. His household consisted of his wife, Sally (Jones) (31), and children Franklin P. (6), Hardin (4), and Ellenor (2). His wife and children were all born in Indiana. William’s assets were estimated as $6,000 re (real estate) and $700 pp (personal property).

In the 1870 census, William (42), was still farming, and his assets were now about $14,850 re, and $1,028 pp. Sally (37) was still keeping house. The children at home were Franklin (17), Nehemiah (14), Mary E. (12), and William Bracken (7).

In the 1880 census, William (53) was still farming. His household consisted of his wife Sarah (Sally, 47), keeping house, daughter Mary (22), and William’s father, John Waggoner (76). John was listed as born in Kentucky, and his parents as born in Pennsylvania.

The 1900 census listed William (73) as still farming, with only his wife Sallie (67) at home. William’s parents were listed as being born in Kentucky.

The Rushville Weekly Jacksonian Thursday, Sep. 4, 1902

William A. Waggoner, son of John & Nancy Waggoner, was born in Kentucky Aug. 2, 1826. Died Aug. 26, 1902, aged 76 yr and 24 da. He came to Rush County with his parents soon after he was born and spent his entire life here. He was united in marriage with Sallie Jones Mar. 25, 1852. This union was blessed by the following children: Franklin P., N. Hayden, Mary E., and William Bracken, all of whom with his wife survive him.

The deceased was one of the pioneers of Rush County, and grew to be very prosperous in world’s goods. He was known as an honest, sober, sincere, and charitable member of society and was honored and respected by all who knew him. He lived a life filled with kindness and good deeds to his fellowmen, and example for others to follow. The community lost one of its most highly respected and noble citizens; the sorrowing wife, a kind, loving husband; the children and grandchildren an indulgent, self-denying father and grandfather.

His last illness was long and severe, but he bore his sufferings patiently and quietly, putting his faith in Him who sees even the sparrow fall. Everything that medical aid and loving care could do was done, but eventually when reduced to a mere shadow of himself, the silver cord loosened, the kind heart was stilled, and the spirit took its flight to Him who gave it. Gone from his loving children and devoted wife, Whom he cheered and loved through a long useful life; Gone over the river of death, so dark and cold, To the beautiful home in the city of gold.

The Rushville Graphic Friday, Aug. 29, 1902

William A. Waggoner died Tuesday morning at ten o’clock at his home near Gowdy. His death was the result of typhoid fever.

Mr. Waggoner was born in Kentucky in 1826. A few months after his birth, his parents moved to Indiana, where he has lived ever since.

He is one of the respected citizens of the county. He served four years as township trustee and was one of the most highly esteemed men in the township.

Mr. Waggoner leaves four children to morn his loss: Mrs. J. A. Thrall, Frank and Bracken Waggoner of the county, and Hayden Waggoner of Missouri. Funeral services were held at Gowdy Thursday morning at ten o’clock at Ebeneezer Church. Burial at Moscow.

The Daily Republican Tuesday, August 18, 1908


Mrs. Sallie Waggoner died last night at her home west of Gowdy after a lingering illness of paralysis. Mrs. Waggoner was one of the old pioneers of Orange Township, being 75 years old. Most of her life was spent in the neighborhood where she died. Four children survive.

The funeral services will be held Thursday morning at ten o’clock at the Gowdy Methodist Episcopal Church, conducted by Rev. Loren Killison of Blue Ridge. Burial at Moscow.

William Bracken Wagoner and Lewie Peck

Story by Fred Gahimer

For more information about William’s younger years, see this story.

The Daily Republican Thursday, September 21, 1922

William Bracken Wagoner, 60, died this morning at five o’clock at his home in Orange Township following a short illness of dilation of the heart. Mr. Wagoner was a prominent farmer of that vicinity and was a former stock buyer. The survivors besides the widow are three sons; Clyde of Orange Township, Claude of near Carthage, and Constance of Walker Township; three daughters, Mrs. Clarence [Edith] Greenwell, Mrs. Otis [Bessie] Bennett, and Mrs. Larue [Eva] Kirk, all of Orange Township; two brothers, Franklin of Orange Township, and Haydon of Oklahoma; and one sister, Mrs. Mary Ellen Thrall of Orange Township.


Claude Wagoner brother and sisters with Myrtle at Pitt’s Ford: Uncle Clarence Greenwell, Edith “Eddie” Wagoner Greenwell, Ethel Wagoner (wife of Connie), Connie Wagoner (brother of Claude), Aunt Bessie Wagoner Bennett (sister of Claude), Myrtle Ford Wagoner
Connie Wagoner, Aunt Bessie Wagoner Bennett, Claude Wagoner, Myrtle Ford Wagoner, Ethel Wagoner (wife of Connie), Edith “Aunt Eddie” Wagoner Greenwell


Atica Gruell and Rachel

Story by Fred Gahimer

All that is currently known about Atica Gruell is that he and Rachel were living near the little settlement of Waterloo in Fayette County, Indiana in May 1828 when their son Isaac was born. It is thought that they also had sons named William and John, and probably other children.

In 1836, Atica brought his family one county west to Rushville and where he operated a tannery for a number of years. He lived on a farm west of Rushville.

In 1850, the Federal Census shows Atica’s newly married son Isaac and his bride Sarah (Young) Gruell farming in Orange Township in Rush County. Lucinda Gruell, 43 years old, and five of her children were living nearby. She was the widow of Haddock Gruell, who is thought to be Atica’s brother. Also nearby are William and Minerva Gruell, and John and Emily Gruell, all farming, and probably either Isaac’s brothers or Lucinda’s sons.

Jesse Boyd and Lucinda Innis

Story by Fred Gahimer

Jesse was the son of Capt. John Boyd and Maria Veder, and was born in Rushville in 1830. In 1852, he married Lucinda Innis, daughter of Alexander and Christiana Innis. Lucinda’s parents gave them 40 acres of one corner of their farm north of Milroy as a wedding gift because they wanted her to live close to them. There Jesse built their home.

For more information about Jesse’s younger years, see this story. For more information about Lucinda’s younger years, see this story.

They had nine children: William Marshall, Hervey Alexander, Laura Ellen, John Franklin, Emma Irene, James Sidney, Charles Elbert, Christi Anna, and Frederick Burton.

Jesse was a carriage and buggy builder by trade, and constructed his shop on their home place. When the children grew older, he wanted them to have an education, so he bought a small farm for the boys, and built himself a large factory. In the 1879 Rush County Atlas, Jesse is shown owning 34 acres on the southeast corner of Rushville, south of the Big Flat Rock River, and east of State Road 52. Jesse was at least successful enough to give his children a chance to go to school. Two of his sons stayed in the factory with him, later building automobiles.

Jesse once perfected a double-shovel corn plow, which is believed to have been the first such device of its kind used. He secured a patent on it, but failed to protect one of the basic principles of his invention, the arch supporting the plows. An enterprising manufacturer of agricultural implements recognized the weakness of the original patent, and put out a plow which covered the principle, and made a fortune which might have otherwise gone to Jesse.

Lucinda attended the American Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia, where it rained, and she got a cold. According to her daughter, Anna, that began her final illness. She died on March 4, 1884 at age 49.

Jesse died June 29, 1911, at Rushville. Jesse and Lucinda are buried in the southeast corner of Section 4 of East Hill Cemetery in Rushville with many of their children, including Emma Irene (Boyd) Gruell.

Isaac Gruell and Sarah Young

Story by Fred Gahimer


Isaac N. Gruell and Sarah J. Young were both born near Waterloo, Fayette County, Indiana; he on May 6, 1828, and she on September 22, 1829.  When he was eight years old, Isaac came with his parents to Rush County near Rushville, where he was reared to manhood on a farm west of Rushville, receiving his education in the local schools.

For more information about Isaac’s younger years, see this story.

After his marriage to Sarah Young about 1850, he established his home in that same vicinity and spent the rest of his life there.  Although he did not invest in a farm of his own, he rented and conducted large farm operations, and was successful in his undertakings.  In addition to his farming, Isaac carried on a wide practice as a veterinary surgeon, and was widely known throughout Rush and neighboring counties.

Isaac and Sarah had eleven children:

  1. William H.
  2. Claburn
  3. Jennie (or Amanda)
  4. Harvina
  5. Charles M.
  6. George W.
  7. Lincoln
  8. Samuel
  9. Joseph
  10. Newton
  11. Albert

Isaac and Sarah did considerable moving within the county.  In 1850, Isaac and Sarah were listed in the Federal Census for Orange Township, located in the southwest corner of the county.  In 1860, they were located in Union Township, northeast of Rushville.  He was listed as a farmer having $1200 in personal property.  William H. (8) and Claburn (7) were in school, while the three younger ones were at home.  In 1870, they were listed in Rushville Township, the central township containing Rushville.  Isaac was still listed as a farmer, but his personal property was worth $600.  William H. (18) and Claburn (16) were farming, Jennie (Amanda), Harvina, Charles, and George were in school, and Lincoln, Samuel, and James were at home, undoubtedly helping Sarah keep house.  In 1880 they were living back in Union Township.  William H. is still at home at age 28, but Claburn and Jennie are gone, leaving eight children still at home.

Isaac died on June 12, 1898.  Sarah followed on May 15, 1903.  Both are buried next to their sons Claburn and Joseph in the southwest corner of Section 6 of the East Hill Cemetery in Rushville.

The Rushville Graphic

May 19, 1903

Mrs. Sarah Gruell, widow of the late Isaac Gruell, of Union Township, died Friday evening at the age of 74 years.

Funeral services were held in St. Paul’s Methodist Episcopal Church in this city at 2:30 pm Sunday, conducted by Revs. V. W. Tevis and A. J. Sargent.  Buried in East Hill Cemetery.

Little is known about Isaac’s parents, Atica and Rachel Gruell.

William Gruell and Emma Boyd

Story by Fred Gahimer

William H. Gruell married Emma Irene Boyd on April 1, 1885 in Rush County. It is thought that they had a son, Orien, in 1886, but he died soon after birth. Their daughter, Sallie Irene, was born on September 5, 1887 in Rush County.

For more information about William’s younger years, see this story. For more information about Emma’s younger years, see this story.

In 1890, three years after Sallie’s birth, Emma died. She was buried with her parents, Jessie and Lucinda (Innis) Boyd, and siblings in the southeast corner of Section 4 in East Hill Cemetery at Rushville. Sallie was raised in foster homes or with relatives. In the 1900 census, twelve year old Sallie was found living in Anderson Township near Milroy with her cousin, Charles Crosby, and his wife Harriet and four children. They also had a young couple with a daughter who worked as servant/farm-hand. Sallie was in school.

Sallie was married to Conrad Fredrick Gahimer in Rush County on August 24, 1807. At that time, her father, William H., was farming in Franklin County. No trace of him has been found in the census since 1880. He died in Franklin County on July 29, 1916 at age 64, and was buried in Section 4 of the East Hill Cemetery at Rushville, the same section as his parents, Isaac and Sarah Gruell. Searches for his grave marker have been unsuccessful. It is known that he had remarried before his death to an Elizabeth Goins, and he was a teamster.