Shelby Township Pioneers

By the October Rambler

November 16, 1909: Revolutionary Soldiers

Leaving the new paw (paw) patch and following a northwesterly course we came to the Thomas Glaize (Glaze) farm passing the family burying ground, with its sentinel cedar trees, the only guardians of its silent dead. Friends and kindred have scattered far and wide. Leaving the red brick house to the north, we reach an elevated view point north and west of the Old Buchanan fort or stockade. To the north, across Indian Kentucky creek was the log cabin home of Willson Cowan. Beyond in the hills lived his two sons-in-law, the “Purton (Burton?) Men.” Beyond lived Bates and Mavity. Judge Mavity’s old hom place, you remember. Looking t the south and east from our vantage ground we locate the site of the old fort, where George Buchanan, Sr. a soldier of the Revolution, laid his claim of government land and built “Buchanan’s Station” or fort in October 1814. With him came twelve sons and daughters, also his son-in-law, Geo. Benefield, also a Revolutionary soldier. The decedents of these two soldiers of the American Revolution would now make a few regiments of sons and daughter of the American Revolution if they should all meet here on the site of the old Buchanan fort or station, as it afterwards came to be known. George Benefield, Sr. alone had 195 grand children. The Buchanan burying grand lies on the hill by the roadside. Just east, near the road, is the Whitham burying grounds. Adjoining on the west was the George McLaughlin pioneer home. He was a son-in-law of Benefield, Sr. The family burying ground lies to the northeast, but before reaching the McLaughlin home we come to a place close to the Jefferson County line where once stood a log cabin. In this cabin was born a baby boy, whom Madison and the people of the Ohio river learned to love and cherish. His name was Charles David, afterwards better known as Captain David of the Cincinnati mail line, running from Cincinnati to Louisville. His mother died when he was quite small. She is buried in the Conner graveyard I spoke of as being so desecrated. Just across the line in Jefferson county, near the northwest corner of his father-in-law’s quarter section, George Benefields’s quarter section, was Robert McLelands’s first home in the then wilderness of Indiana Territory, Oct. 1814. George Benefield lived to the south of him on down the ridge. His spring still flows and a sprout of the pear tree he planted still marks the site where once stood the comfortable home. He had removed from the Kentucky blue-grass fields to build here in this part of the Northwest Territory where “slavery and involuntary servitude except(?) for crime after being duly convicted, was forever prohibited. There two revolutionary soldiers sought to escape the

To the west and adjoining the George Benefield homestead lies the William McLaughlin farm, afterwards owned by his son, John McLaughlin. Here are the many springs of pure flowing water coming out of the hillsides just above the Clinton limestones, and here again we find as we approach the big sugar camp more paw paws. Let us cross over to the west beyond the old furnace camp to the big walnut log where we can rest, admire Nature’s first bllsuching flories as we view her first penciled painting in sugar (maple), poplar, oak and ash; listen to the cheery barking of the squirrel over on the brow of the hill;note the cher-er-ruk of the chipmunk down in the hollow and lazily eat paw paws. I do love paw paws.

Just at the foot of this hill but across Indian Kentucky creek lived William Buchanan, or Billy Bowhanen, as his Scotch mother used to call him when a lad. Over the hill to the left we see the Jefferson church and just beyond the home under the locust trees purchased and settled upon in 1807 by Samuel Ryker, who came over to Indiana Territory from near Hackett’s Fort, Shelby county, Ky. None of the Ryker men were soldiers of the American Revolution, although they have given good account of themselves both in the war of 1812-14 and in the Union army in the war of the Rebellion. The stone church built on the foundation of the old brick torn down when we were boys, has been slightly remodeled with gothic roof, entry and belfry. A modern church house. Here Gregg Schoville, Archibald Thompson, Blythe, Hamilton, Garrit, Chamerlain and Crowe of Hanover and Hanover College used to come. It has been said that the first thing Samuel Ryker did after building his house was to send back to the home Presbyterian church in Kentucky for a Presbyterian preacher to come and preach a sermon. I have found the emigrants and their descendants worshipping in Boone and Montgomery counties. I have met with them in Dermoin, Louisa and Van Buren counties, Iowa, and have listened to them singing the old familiar hymns in Missouri and Kansas, just as they or their fathers and mothers had sung them here in this same Jefferson church, and as I had heard them sung in the mother church on Bullskin creek, Shelby County, Kentucky. OCTOBER RAMBLER

November 18, 1909 (continued)

East of the Ryker house we can see the farm where John Weatherford lived and died upon. He was a son-in-law of Samuel Ryker. He served in the War of 1812. Two of his sons served nobly in the war of the Rebellion. Robert Benefield’s old stone house south of the Ryker home just shows from my vantage point, as does also Robert McLelands’s hilltop home just to the north of the Weatherford farm. Peter Ryker’s farm with its long ridges running down to Indian Kentucky creek (our favorite route to go fishing) nearly joins Jefferson church. He was a captain in the war of 1812. His stories of that war and of his early life in Kentucky, with flat-boating and the Indian incidents were more wonderful to us in childhood, much more so than stories we have listened to since we were boys. He was a son of the Samuel Ryker we have mentioned and a grandson of the Samuel “Ryker who settled on “Bar Grass”, Ky., and died near what is now known as Pewee Valley in 1780. Afew rods east of the Jefferson church stands the school house where our fathers and our mothers learned their lessons and where also we did not learn our lessons as se can both testify to this day (deponent sayeth not to the contrary). Here are some of the names of those who were of the Jefferson school, as we remember them: Stewart, Overturf, Wright, Little, Buchanan, Burch, Hamilton, Benefield, McLaughlin, Weatherford, Mathias, Christie and Ryker, shortly after Carnine and Flint.