IN PIONEER DAYS:  The Story of "'Indian Eve" Ernst and two sons of Bedford Township,Indian Captives for NineYears. Marker Placedin Her Memory.


Inquirer Printing Company

Bedford, Penna.






From the “Bedford (Penna.) Inquirer,” June 1, 1934


Favorable weather and a widespread

interest brought many people

to the Messiah Lutheran Church in

Bedford Township Sunday afternoon,

to honor the memory of a brave

pioneer woman, Mrs. Eve Ernst, at

whose grave a marker was unveiled

with appropriate ceremonies. Long

before the scheduled hour, 3.30 p. m.,

the grounds were filled with cars and

people. A member of the State Police

was in charge of traffic. It is

estimated there were at least five

hundred vehicles, with more than

two thousand persons in attendance.

Amplifiers, placed by the Koontz Music

House of Bedford, enabled everyone

to hear the exercises, which were

given from the vestibule. Hundreds

of descendants of this pioneer family

met their relatives and friends and

the event was unusual, as well as

thoroughly enjoyable.


Rev. J. W. Bechtel of the Osterburg

Reformed Charge presided, the program

opening with a selection by the

Pavia Male Quartet. Rev. Rudisill of

Gettysburg, who had delivered a sermon

in the church at an earlier hour,

conducted devotionals, selecting Genesis

16:7 and 21:14, which were most

appropriate to the occasion. A second

selection by the Pavia Quartet



Altoona Pastor Spoke

Rev. H. L. Saul of Altoona, former

pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church,

Bedford, was introduced and in well-chosen

words stated the purpose of

the gathering, fitting that she should

be memorialized forever at a time

when war veterans are being honored,

and comparing her terrible experiences

and sacrifices with those of the

defenders of Our Country. He spoke

of her great faith and trust, at all

times seeking Divine Aid and finding

comfort, tho’ surrounded with dangers

in a wilderness home, experiencing

the massacre of her husband and

friends, captured by Indians and suffering

untold privations and hardships

thru nine long years; and, ultimately,

thru that Aid being reunited

with her children. In 1790, four

years after her return to the homeland,

she fed the men who erected

the log church on the site of the present

building, which is the fourth, as

at that time she lived on a farm a

short distance away. "This memorial

is not only for this woman, but in

recognition of all fathers and mothers

who made the present possible."

A selection by the Bergstresser

Quartet followed. Rev. Bechtel then

announced one who needs no introduction

to local gatherings and is

well-known as a speaker in many of

the nearby counties, Supt. L. H.

Hinkle of Bedford. Many who have

heard him on numerous occasions

stated that this address excelled previous

ones and this was evidenced by

the closest attention on the part of

his large audience.



Splendid Address

In his usual impressive manner, Mr.

Hinkle related the history-making

events of 1775 when, with the memorable

ride of Paul Revere on April

19, civilization, took on new life, the

first step toward making America

the leading nation of the world. In

June is recorded the Battle of Bunker

Hill, and in July, Washington took

command of the Colonial Army. At

this time, the family of Adam and

Eve Ernst had come into Pennsylvania

from Virginia and made themselves

a home in the wilderness. In

1776, when the first troops from Bedford

County were called to Long Island,

N. Y., where practically all of

them were killed, these pioneers were

becoming inured to the hardships of

the section, not learning, for months

afterward, that they were citizens of

a FREE country.


In 1777, when the British were still

trying to crush the Colonists, the

Indians with Burgoyne, St. Leger

with the Mohawks, and Howe in New

York, massacres occurred frequently

in this section of Pennsylvania.

Governor Hamilton of Fort Detroit

(known as the "hair buyer"), was the

only one who purchased scalps of Colonists

from the Indians, paying as

high as $8 apiece. The Canadians

refused to countenance this traffic,

and punished the Indian perpetrators.

Hamilton's encouragement of these

atrocities urged the savages to greater

cruelty and as Bedford County

troops had been called east by Gen.

Washington, the western district was

left unprotected and the Indians had

more opportunities for vengeance.


Massacre and Capture

It was about the time of the surrender

of Burgoyne that Mrs. Ernst

and her two small sons,--having been

captured by Indians and Adam Ernst

and two neighbors scalped in the

cabin home,--were on their way,

over Indian trails, to Fort Detroit,

where they were sold to the British.

The story of those early struggles

was related in a manner none could

fail to grasp and the highlights driven

home to his hearers with telling

effect. The youngest generation was

particularly impressed with the story

of the small captives, the sacrifices

made by the mother to save the life

of her fair-haired son, who was frequently

threatened with a horrible

death, and the favoritism shown by

the savages to the dark-haired boy,

who quickly learned their ways.

He related the history of the journey,

the years of captivity, the return,

reunions, etc. (practically as is

given on another page of this issue

of the Inquirer) and spoke of this

brave woman as "not being dead but

going on in the lives of her descendants."

He made a strong appeal for

America to return to the graves of

her soldiers and of her "unknown

and unsung heroes" as landmarks of

our civilization, to learn lessons of

the sacrifices which made possible the

benefits of today. "She lives today

because she SERVED."


Relics Exhibited

At the close of the address, the

communion service, of pewter and

well preserved, made by Conrad Samuel

(Mrs. Ernst's second husband)

in 1781 and used in the churches on

that site for many year, was presented

for inspection. It is now in




the possession of John C. Roberts,

who lives on the adjoining property.

The small deerskin-covered trunk

which "Indian Eve" (as she has since

been known) brought with her from

Ft. Detroit in 1786, was also displayed.

It is the property of Miss Annie

M. Gilchrist, editor of The Inquirer,

who is sixth in direct line of descent,

and is a treasured heirloom. Mrs.

Trunk (made in 1777) brought

years' captivity with the Indians.

Calvin Stiffler of Bedford Township

exhibited a piece of the "best dress"

which Mrs. Ernst brought home with

her. Other family relics are in possession

of descendants,--an axe, Miss

Alice Dibert, Bedford Township; the

kettle in which food was prepared

on the homeward journey, Edwin G.

Miller, Johnstown; a kitchen table,

Philip Hartman, Friend's Cove; and

a small pitcher, Miss Gilchrist.

by Mrs. Ernst, on return from nine

Communion Service of pewter made by Conrad Samuel (Mrs. Ernst's

second husband) in 1781 and used at Messiah Church many years.


The people then assembled at the

plot in the rear of the church, where

the marker had been erected. A

prayer by Rev. Bechtel was followed

by brief remarks by Supt. Hinkle:

"Indian Eve, you are not dead; you

have just gone on. Your spirit lives

in thousands of lives this day. Live

on, and inspire others to live better

until Time shall lie down at the feet

of Eternity at that last great homecoming."




Marker Unveiled


of Bedford, aged 87)


The marker was unveiled by two

great-great-grandchildren, the oldest

descendants present,--Miss Mary V.

Lingenfelter of Bedford, aged 87,

and Samuel Dibert of Pavia, aged 82.

The white marble slab, 17 inches

square, bears the following inscription:

" 'Indian Eve,' wife of Adam

Ernst, captured by Indians 1777,

prisoner 8 years at Fort Detroit, one

year at Fort Duquesne. 1740-1815.

Her descendants are from coast to

coast." The printed story of her life

was encased in the base. The slab

was donated by W. Scott Snyder of



of Pavia, aged 82)


this place and the concrete work by

Jacob Long of St. Clairsville. The

suggestion for a marker was made by

Mrs. Nellie (Reighard) Cobler and

the plans were carried out by a committee

comprising A. S. Cobler, D.

W. Stambaugh and Miss Virginia

Cobler.all of St. Clairsville. The

Committee thanks the officers for the

use of the Church and all others who

aided in any way.


Photographs were taken by Moll

and Company and others of the unveiling,

of the Church, and of the

relics exhibited.




By Annie M. Gilchrist


Almost 176 years have passed since

the Army of General Forbes was encamped

at Raystown, later Fort Bedford,

and which, in 1766, was laid out

as a town. The followers of that trail

were numerous but a few settlers

from Maryland and Virginia followed

the route over which Col. George

Washington, in command of the

southern troops in 1758, marched by

way of Fort Cumberland thru the

wooded valley to Fort Bedford.

Among those who decided that here

their search for land which would

yield them a sustenance was ended,

was one Adam Ernst, whose parents

had come to America from Saxony.

Early in the spring of 1775, into the

beautiful valley of the Dunning's

Creek, came Adam Ernst* and his

faithful wife, Eve, together with their

six children,--George, Mary, Jacob,

Johannas, Henry and Michael,--the

eldest being about thirteen years of

age and the youngest but a baby.

While selecting a spot about nine

miles north of Bedford, on which to

make themselves a home, the settler

left his little family at the fort, as

the Indians at that time were very

troublesome in the outlying districts.

In the early days lands were not

surveyed and then sold, as now, but

the settler first established "a tomahawk

claim,"--deadening a few trees

near a spring and then blazing trees

or cutting initials thereon, on the corners

of the tract desired. These

methods were of no legal value except

being recognized by settlers and

were a guide when the survey was



A tract of two hundred acres of

unimproved land in Bedford Township

was purchased by Ernst from

George Funk, an innkeeper of Bedford,

for the sum of one hundred

pounds, the deed for which bears date

April 5, 1775, and is recorded in Book

A, page 143, in the Register's Office

at the County Court House, along

with others equally interesting and of

inestimable value. This tract was a

part of the original 399 acres first

deeded by the Commonwealth of

Pennsylvania on July 14, 1774, to

George Wolf of this place for four

pounds two shillings,--recorded Book

A, page 117; by him to George Funk,

innkeeper, on September 2, 1774, for

37 pounds and ten shillings,--recorded

Book A, page 142.


The Wilderness Home

Being industrious and thrifty, it

was not long before the settler had

cleared a space, had a log cabin

erected and his family as comfortable

as it was possible to make them in

those days. The little cabin was furnished

with the meager goods they

* Generations have handed down

this settler's name as "Henry Ernst"

but the writer personally traced the

transfers from the present owner of

the property to the original grant and

has proved, without chance of doubt,

that "Adam" is correct.




had brought on their wagon and a few

pack-horses, and some crudely-made

chairs, tables, and beds. Several other

families had located in that section

and the men assisted each other

in clearing the land. Good judgment

was shown by the settlers in the selection

of this limestone land, as the

soil was fertile and the water plentiful

and pure.


The elder Ernst, as well as his

neighbors, immediately turned his attention

to the raising of crops, ever

on guard to protect his family against

the Indians. He also raised a few

sheep, the wool from which was

needed in making clothing, while his

good wife raised flax, which she prepared

and spun for the same purpose,

besides planting and working

her first small garden and attending

to the various wants of her growing

boys and gIrl. Among the possessions

brought into this "new country" was

a loom, one of the simplest of machines,

and on which Mrs. Ernst wove

her garment material, coverlets, and



Thus two years passed, each bringing

satisfation and joy in the new

home, the crops raised, and the comforts

and conveniences derived,-for

the Indians had given them no cause

for alarm. Many important events

had taken place since they had come

to Pennsylvania. During their second

summer the Liberty Bell rang

forth its glorious message and altho’

but nine miles from the village of

Bedford, it was some weeks before

the father made a trip for supplies

and learned the glad tidings. With

new hope and courage the settlers

struggled valiantly and the wilderness

began to take on the appearance

of civilization, the fertile soil was

gradually yielding more and better

crops, and the little home was indeed

a happy one. But their joy was of

short duration!


The Massacre

The elders had arisen earlier than

usual one morning in September,

1777, as several neighboring farmers

had come to assist Father Ernst in

splitting logs and making rail fences.

Breakfast, prepared at the wide, open

fireplace, had been served and the

men were sitting before the blazing

logs discussing the plans for the day.

The four older children were yet in

bed in the loft; fair-haired baby

Michael, then over two years of

age, was peacefully sleeping in the

rude crib which the father had constructed

shortly after their arrival,

and little five-year-old Henry had

arisen and was playing contentedly

about the kitchen. The sky was overcast

and, hearing the hoot of an owl,

one of the men remarked that that

was a sign of rain and not many rails

would be made that day. The owl's

cry was an Indian sign and like a bolt

from a clear sky came the attack.

Savages had surrounded the cabin

and, battering down the door, brandished

tomahawks and knives, their

fiendish yells arousing the sleeping

children and creating terror in all



As he reached for his gun, which

was usually by his side, the father

was struck on the head by a tomahawk

and fell to the floor, immediately

pounced upon by a "brave" and

scalped, his horrified helpmeet being

unable to rescue him. A hand-to-hand

battle between the settlers and

Indians resulted in the death and




scalping of two more. [The names

of these men have not been handed

down by the various generations but

a letter to President Wharton, of the

Committee of Safety, late in the fail

of 1777, from George Woods and

Thomas Smith, prominent residents

of this place, records the fact that

an Indian war had been raging in its

utmost fury in this section for some

time and among the recent massacres

were several persons on Dunning's



A bright-colored coverlet, then in

the loom in the process of weaving,

at the opposite end of the large kitchen,

attracted the attention of the savages

and while they were arguing

which should have the coveted prize

and were cutting it from the loom,

Mrs. Ernst managed to secrete the

scalps behind a chest near the door,

stepping over the dead bodies of her

husband and his friends in the act.

Thus she was saved the horror of seeing

them dangle from the belts of the

savages during the long journey.


Older Children Escape

Meanwhile, George, the eldest, had

sprung from his bed and in attempting

to jump from a window was shot

at; pretending to have been hit, he

fell to the ground and later, clad only

in his nightshirt, crawled into the

weeds and remained in hiding for

hours. Mary and Jacob crept stealthily

from their bed, succeeded in getting

out of the window and onto the

sloping roof, from which they slid to

the ground and sought shelter among

the high grass. The other son, Johannes,

being swift of foot and more

daring, escaped by running into the

woods; as he was seen, an Indian

and his dogs started after him but,

stumbling, the lad fell into a stream

and the dogs, thus losing the scent,

abandoned pursuit.


Kindly neighbors cared for the children

and buried the bodies of the victims.

To this day they have not been

disturbed and their resting places,

marked by slabs, are on that farm in

East St. Clair Township now owned

by Charles Claycomb.


Being unable to find the scalps of

their victims, the Indians believed

their sudden and mysterious disappearance

to be a bad omen and made

haste to depart. The mother and

her two small boys were ordered to

accompany the band; realizing that

resistance was useless and would result

in death, she lifted the terrified

baby into her arms, seized Henry

by the hand, gave one swift, farewell

look about her cabin home and silently

followed. As was the case in many

other instances of capture by Indians,

white neighbors followed the party in

the hope that a rescue might be effected,

but the rapid progress and the

clever method of hiding their victims

in hollow trees gave the savages the



On the Trail

The long journey was, evidently,

over a trail familiar to the Indians,

and led to an Indian village on the

site of the present Trinity Reformed

Church near Osterburg. The first

night is believed to have been spent

in camp on the farm now owned by

John H. Moses of that place. They

proceeded thru "Indian Path Valley,"

following the trail into Blair County

to the headwaters of the Juniata, what

is now Kittanning Point. There they

struck the Kittanning Path, one of the

principal and most direct routes from

the seaboard and a well-defined trail.

It did not cross the counties as they

are now formed but led from the

Point northwestward thru the present

counties of Cambria, Indiana, and

Armstrong to Kittanning on the Allegheny



Traveling was difficult for the captives.

The mother grew footsore

and weary and the weight of the baby

increased her fatigue; altho’ several

Indians offered to relieve her of the

burden, the child refused their advances,

terrified. His cries caused

them to threaten her with his death,

in a most brutal manner, as they

seemed to dislike him because of his

fair hair and skin, a heritage of his

Saxon ancestry. Because of his resemblance

to the Indians, dark-skinned

Henry fared much better and

when his fears had gradually subsided,

enjoyed the attention he received.

It is related that he was given cooking

utensils to carry and, growing

tired, allowed a frying pan to slip into

a stream, reporting it as a regrettable

accident when questioned.


The constant climbing of mountain

trails sorely tried the mother's

strength and faith; ever-present in

her heart and mind was the prayer

that God would deliver them by death

but, instead, He gave her increased

strength for herself and children in

their hour of need. Occasionally they

were surfeited with meat, when a

deer was killed while stopping for a

brief rest, or fish and small game

could be obtained hastily; otherwise,

food was very scarce and at times

many hours passed without the craving

being satisfied. Life in camp was

somewhat easier, tho she was kept



Sold to the British

From the Allegheny River they

continued toward the north and west,

thru part of Ohio, finally reaching

Fort Detroit, Mich., occupied by the

British, who had long been persuading

the savages to make murderous

assaults upon the white settlers in

the eastern state, and to this fort

they took what captives survived the

terrible ordeals. There they were

sold to the officers.


Henry had become reconciled to

the change of situation and returned

the occasional kindnesses of the Indians

with boyish affection. He was

a privileged captive, had been

taught to ride and use the bow and

arrow; they had dressed him in Indian

garb, he had become known to

them as "Hanu," and had learned

much of their language. Had he not

been frequently with his mother, also,

he would have forgotten his native

tongue. The Indians were indeed

loath to part with him but a clever

trick on behalf of an officer got him

inside the fort and safely in his mother's

care. After the mother and babe

had been paid for, the Indian who

had the boy was given a glass of

whiskey containing a coin and while

his attention was thus centered the

officer grabbed Henry. Some difficulty

was experienced in keeping the

lad, as the free and roving life

seemed to have a wonderful attraction

for him, and the Indians frequently

came to the gates of the fort

and called "Hanu! Hanu!" But the

ties of kindred prevailed.


Earning Their Freedom

In Fort Detroit for more than

eight years this brave little woman




toiled daily for the officers and in the

fields nearby, clothing her children by

remaking cast-off suits, adding to her

meagre savings by every possible honorable

method, and rejoicing in the

knowledge that "some day" she could

buy her freedom. At last that wonderful

day arrived! She had heard

occasionally, thru captives exchanged

at the fort, that her other children

had been rescued but was unable to

learn where they were; she was most

anxious to cover the great distance to

the homeland, hoping almost against

hope that she soon might find them

alive and well.


With part of her savings she purchased

a pony and outfitted it for

what she knew was a long and tedious

journey, placed their few personal

belongings in the little trunk

which she purchased at the fort and

strapped it to the animal. This trunk

(together with a piece of her "extra

dress" and a small cream pitcher) is

now in the possession of the writer,

who is sixth in direct line of descendants,

and is a valued and cherished

inheritance. It is but twenty inches

long, twelve inches wide, and nine

inches deep, has a curved top, and is

lined with figured blue and cream

paper; the exterior is covered with

deer skin, has narrow leather straps

studded with brass tacks along all

edges, a brass lock and a handle of

similar metal on the lid, and is in

excellent state of preservation. Within

the lid is the manufacturer's label

with the date 1777 and the following

plain inscription:

"Season's Trunk Chests and Fire

Buckets, No. 26 near Rood Lane and

No. 158 near Lime St., Fenchurch

Street, London, where merchants,

wholesale dealers and Captains of

Ships may be accommodated with

trunks and chests of all sorts for the

East and West Indies and North

American trades on the shortest

notice and most reasonable terms."

This valued heirloom was obtained

some years ago at the sale of the personal

property of the late John Fetter,

in Bedford Township, a great

grandson of the captive.


Home Again!

The long journey began,--not to

be compared with that of nine years

before! The children, now eleven and

fourteen, took turns riding the pony

but the mother walked the entire

distance; with every mile her heart

grew lighter and the feeling of thankfulness

increased. How much time

was consumed is not known but the

homeward trail led from Ft. Duquesne,

where she spent some time,

by way of the old Forbes road (much

of which is now the Lincoln Highway)

over the Allegheny Mountains

and into Bedford County. Many

times my grandfather, Michael Ernest,

and a great aunt, who were

fourth in line, have related the story

as handed down to them. It is said

she came first to the home of her eldest

son, George Adam, who was then

about 24 years of age and who had

married Elizabeth Samuel. What a

reunion that must have been! How

eagerly did the children listen to the

tales of the trials of those long and

weary years, and just as anxious were

the wanderers to learn of the events

transpiring since their terrible experience.

After being reunited with her children,

Mrs. Ernst, who has since been

spoken of an "Indian Eve," met and

married Conrad Samuel, father of




her son's wife, and a prosperous

widower,--ancestor of the Sammel

family now residing in Bedford. She

survived him a number of years and

passed away in 1815, her grave in

Messiah cemetery, Bedford Township,

marked by a portion of a headstone

and by the side of her eldest

son, who followed her two years

later; around her, row on row of her

descendants. Of the other children's

history, little can be he related but

Mary, the only girl, married John Dibert,

and many of her descendants

are found in this section. Jacob married

Susanna Defibaugh and resided

near Everett; Johannas married and

lived at Imlertown, while Henry, who

married Margaret Miller, went to

Greensburg. Michael, the youngest,

located in the far west and practically

nothing is known of his family.

For some time after Mrs. Ernst's

return, George must have resided on

the home place for in 1797 the records

of the county again prove a

question long in doubt. In Deed Book

E, on page 274, is recorded the transfer

of the 200 acre tract "in the

township then of Bedford, now of St.

Clair" from "Conrad Samuel and

Eve, his wife, late relict of Adam

Ernst," John E., Jacob and Michael

Ernst, and John and Mary Dibert, of

Bedford Township, and Henry, of

Westmoreland County, blacksmith,

for 180 pounds, to George Ernst, of

St. Clair Township, in the year 1797.

The deed does not bear the month

and year but the affidavit of Henry is

dated May 13, 1797, which fixes the

date of the sale.


Thruout her life and the lives of

her children this chapter of pioneer

days and its terrible ordeals was vividly

impressed upon their minds;

altho in succeeding generations the

recounting of the tale lost a part of

its horror they have never tired of

hearing it, and in the memories of her

descendants "Indian Eve's" faith,

bravery, and perseverance will always

hold a prominent place.






THE scenic beauty of Western Pennsylvania is

unsurpassed and Bedford County in its forty

miles of length, from north to south, and its twenty-five

miles of width, is one of the most picturesque.

Its mountains are well timbered and rich in minerals,

while its valleys are fertile and most productive.

Ray's Hill on the east and the Alleghenies

on the west are the boundaries and in between lie

Warrior's Ridge, Tussey's, Evitt's, Dunning's, Will's

and Buffalo mountains. This part of "Penn's

Woods" was purchased by William Penn from the

Six Nations (Indians) in 1754 and 1768, the

"mother county" being named in honor of the Duke

of Bedford. The roads, in most places, are over

high ground, as they were formerly the Indian trails,

and both east and west of Bedford much of the

Highways follows the "first settlers' thoroughfares."

Occasionally some farmer, in his plowing, will unearth

arrowheads and other Indian relics have been

found in this section.



The first white explorers in the vicinity of Bedford

came about 1732, but of them nothing is

known. In 1751 Robert Ray erected several buildings

and the trading post became known as Raystown.

In 1752 came Garret Pendergrass, who

bought the land from the Indians. This deed is on

record in the Court House and very interesting it is.

It is dated February 1770, and is recorded on page

58 of Book A; the paper is brown with age and

crackles at a touch, the form quaint, but the writing

is legible. The mark of Chief Anonguit is a turtle;

Enishshera, or Capt. Henry Mountare's signature is

followed by the letters "H. M.," and a circle within

a circle marks the signature of Connehracahecat,

the White Mingo. The date of recording is September

19, 1772, before Arthur St. Clair, the first

Prothonotary and Register of the county, who was




a Captain and afterwards Major-General. Still

later Pendergrass transferred to his son, Garrett,

Jr., "the land on both sides of the Raystown, containing

300 acres, but did not long remain here

and there were, evidently, no more English-speaking

white settlers until the section was occupied by

the vanguard of General Forbes' army in 1758,

when the Fort was erected. About that time the

first taverns were built and soon the town became

a stopping place for traders. Here was born William

Frazer, the first white child born in the county.

A number of whites were massacred by Indians in

this section.



In 1758 the advance guard of the army of General

Forbes erected a fort at this place, it occupying

the ground between Richard, Penn and Thomas

Streets and extending back to the river bank, covering

7,000 square yards. That fall, Col. George

Washington, with six thousand men, encamped

there. The stronghold was named Fort Raystown,

after the first settler, the village having been known

by that name.


The fort stood on the ground which is bounded

on the north by the Raystown Branch of the Juniata

River, on the east by what is now Richard Street,

the west by Thomas Street (historians differ, some

say it extended west only as far as Juliana, but it

seems, according to old records, to have been nearer

the spring at the foot of the hill.-Ed.), and on the

south by Pitt Street,-the latter being then the

Forbes road. The fort covered about 7,000 square

yards. It had five bastions and places for the use

of swivel guns, a gallery with loop holes extending

from the central bastion on its north front down

to the water's edge, in order to secure water within

this shelter in case of attack. The main gate was

on the south side and it also had a smaller gate on

the west side and a postern opening northward.

Storehouses and hospitals were situated outside and

to the southward of the front of the fort, nearing

Penn Street. The fort was protected on the front

and west side by a moat, eight feet deep and ten




feet wide at the bottom and fifteen feet wide at the

top. The fort became a ruin before the beginning

of the Revolutionary War and was never rebuilt.

"The King's Orchard" adjoined the fort on the

south and east, extending beyond both Richard and

Penn Streets.


The troops continued westward and erected Fort

Ligonier and soon thereafter Fort Pitt was erected

and named for the English Premier, William Pitt.

In 1759 the name Fort Raystown was changed

to Fort Bedford, in honor of the Duke of Bedford,

who presented a beautiful English silk flag to the

Commander, General Stanwix. This flag is in good

condition, was recently presented to the state and

is now preserved at Philadelphia by the State Historical

Society. In 1769 the Black Boys, a band of

American rebels, captured the fort and freed a

number of their companions who were in captivity

for depredations. In 1771 the fort was dilapidated

but for some years thereafter, when attacked by

Indians, the settlers came here for protection.

Bedford County was taken from Cumberland

County in 1771 and was the "mother county" of

more than twenty of the present counties. In 1772

there were 350 taxables, being principally Scotch-

!rish and Germans. The first court was held by

Justices of the King in 1771. Bedford Manor was

surveyed in 1761 and the town laid out in 1766,

of 200 lots, the streets being named, chiefly, for

the members of the Penn family. Thru it flows the

Raystown Branch of the Blue Juniata.


The famous Bedford Springs lies a mile to the

south and in 1796 the medicinal qualities of the

springs were accidentally discovered by a laborer;

in 1797 the old mill was built and the following year

the old stone house which stands across the road

from it.



In 1755 Frederick Nawgel built a tavern on the

property on West Pitt Street now owned by Ray

Amick, and George Funk conducted an inn on the




lot adjoining, owned by the heirs of the late Daniel

Miller. On North Richard Street, on the site of the

north wing of the Graystone Hotel, recently built,

was a tavern whose proprietress was Mrs. Margaret

Fraser and there, in 1759, William Fraser, the first

white child born within the present limints of the

county, first saw the light of day. The Anderson

House, on East Pitt Street, where the Kiser dwelling

now stands, was conducted by Elijah Adams. Prior

to that time was erected the "Old Fort House" or

"King's House," on the south side of East Pitt

Street, (the present location of Shoemaker's Drug

Store), which was constantly occupied by British

forces during the French and Indian War and was

a refuge from the Indians until the fort was built

in 1758. This later became the "Rising Sun Hotel."

The old Nagel House stood on the site of the

present Washington Hotel and in 1777 (Dr.) Joseph

Dodridge, then a lad of eight years, stopped over

night en route to school in Maryland from his home

in Washington County. In 1824 he returned, seeking

the tavern where he had his first taste of coffee,

served "in a little cup which stood in a bigger one."

As he related the occurrence, the taste was nauseating

but, imitating his elders, he continued to

drink, wondering when it would end, as the cup was

immediately refilled. By watching the other guests

attentively, he learned that the small cup, turned

bottom upwards with the spoon across it, indicated

that the guest desired no more, to his great relief.


There, also, on Christmas day 1829, Humphrey Dilion,

proprietor, served his guests with strawberries

and cream, the fruit having been grown on vines

after the manner of house plants.



In the early days, these modes of punishment

were common and even after the British yoke had

been thrown off. In 1780 an offender was sentenced

to be taken to the whipping post and receive

"21 lashes on his bare back, well laid on;" another

directed to receive fifteen lashes, but the most

extraordinary is a matter of record in the court

minutes, stating that one should be "taken to the




public whipping-post between the hours of 8 and 10,

to receive 39 lashes well laid on his bare back;

immediately thereafter to be placed in the pillory

for one hour, have his ears cut off and nailed to

the post, and forfeit to the Commonwealth the sum

of 15 pounds, being the value of the goods of

LudovickFridline, which he was convicted of stealing,

and pay costs" in addition. Another record

shows a similar sentence imposed on a prisoner for

horse stealing.



Thomas and Richard Penn, for the sum of ten

thousand pounds, in November 1768 acquired the

Indian title to an immense body of land in Pennsylvania

and in February 1769, at their land office in

Philadelphia, sold numerous tracts on the terms of

five pounds sterling per hundred acres and one

penny per acre as annual quit-rent. Often the

quit-rents were a small acknowledgement of corn, a

sheaf of wheat, etc.


A deed dated May 25, 1793, recorded in the office

of Register Stewart, in which the Proprietaries

conveyed to Samuel McCashlin of the town of Bedford,

for the sum of fifteen pounds current money

of Pennsylvania, lot number 27 in the general plan

of lots of Bedford, situated on the west side of

Juliana Street, contains the following:

"Yielding and paying unto the said John Penn,

the elder, and John Penn, the younger, the yearly

quit-rent of one pepper-corn on the first day of

March of each year and every year forever hereafter,

if demanded." The lot above referred to is

that upon which now stands the Bedford Inquirer



What a predicament should the heirs of the late

Proprietaries demand back payment of peppercorns!

In 1784 annual quit-rents were discontinued

but interest was demanded from the date of

first improvement.





At the Springs is the finest water golf course

(18 holes) in the United States, a magnificent swimming

pool, tennis court, etc.


James Buchanan, for sixteen years previous to

his election as president, was an annual visitor at

our famous summer resort, during his term, and

afterwards, as well.


It is on this property, east of the Limestone

Spring, that the cave of Davy Lewis, "the Robin

Hood of Pennsylvania," is located. Lewis was a

robber bandit who, during the early years of the

nineteenth century, used the cave as a hiding place.

He entered the hill at that point (the entrance being

now about two feet in width, under a ledge of

rock on the east side of Constitution Hill) but was

never seen to emerge, proving that the exit is, as

many local people know, on the west side of the

opposite,--Federal,--Hill. He was in the habit of

robbing the rich and leaving the booty at the homes

of the poor. Lewis made his first appearance here

in 1815, when he was arrested for passing counterfeit

coins. He escaped from jail by burrowing under

the walls after cutting thru the solid oak floor,

and released all the prisoners except one, stating

that "he was a common fellow who had robbed a

poor widow." Twenty-four hours later on Sideling

Hill he relieved a Pittsburgh merchant of $1,800

and, pursued, disguised himself and with great delight

joined them in chasing "the bold bandit."


Where President Washington Missed a Turkey Dinner

During Washington's first term as President,

taxes were levied to provide funds to cancel the

national debt and in Western Pennsylvania it was

decided that no tax should be paid on whiskey. The

rioters were so numerous and so well organized that

twelve thousand militiamen were ordered out to




suppress the insurrection. The troops were called

from Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland and Virginia.

The New Jersey and Pennsylvania troops,

over six thousand strong, assembled at Bedford and

the President, with several of his cabinet and Commander-

in-Chief General Henry Lee of Virginia,

reached here on October 19, 1794. The Virginia

and Maryland troops marched from Fort Cumberland

to Pittsburgh, but before they reached there

the rioters dispersed.


Washington's Headquarters in 1794.

Now owned by the Washington Bakery.

Soldiers encamped upon every available spot in

and around Bedford. Cavalrymen patroled the

streets and guards surrounded the house in which

General Washington had his headquarters. This

house, which stands in the central part of town and

directly on the Lincoln Highway, has since been

known as "Washington's Headquarters," is but little

changed and is in an excellent state of preservation.

At that time the property was owned by David

Espy, Esq., whose guest the President was. His

good wife, known for her hospitality and the excellence

of her cuisine, had made elaborate preparations

for the distinguished guest's first dinner under

her roof, the piece de resistance being wild turkey.

Several thousand soldiers camped on the public

square not far away and cavalrymen guarded the

Espy house.




Preparations for the dinner were completed and

the guests had gathered around the board, awaiting

the turkey. The bird, done to a turn and exuding

delicious odors, was placed upon a huge platter and

borne from the kitchen by one of the good women

of the household. As she was passing through the

butler's pantry, in which was a small window high

in the wall, a mounted soldier leaned thru and, impaling

the fowl with his bayonet, succeeded in getting

out of sight with his prize before the astonished

lady could give an alarm. With the empty platter

in her hands, she appeared before the assembled

guests in great consternation and apprised them of

the "calamity." She was assured by the great man,

in his kindly manner, that altho the loss was irreparable

she was blameless and that he should, nevertheless,

enjoy the bountiful repast before him. It

was afterwards learned that a few of the "select"

greatly enjoyed the tender fowl.


The President remained here three days. Before

the troops reached Pittsburgh the insurrection was

quelled and the President issued a proclamation of

pardon to all parties except those directly charged

with offences. In August of the following year general

pardons were granted. The Pennsylvania and

New Jersey troops returned by way of Fort Lyttleton,

Strasburg, Shippensburg and Carlisle.


The bed in which Washington slept is in the possession

of local relatives and the bowl, pitcher and

washstand he used were recently presented to the

local D. A. R. and are in their room in the Community



In this same building, in 1771, was the office of

the first Prothonotary of Bedford County, Arthur

St. Clair. It is now owned by the Washington



Four other Presidents visited Bedford during

their terms: Harrison, Polk, Taylor and Buchanan,

and many other famous men paid visits to the town

in the early days, it being on the principal route of

travel between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. The




first line of mail stage coaches was established in

1830. The first railroad was built into the county,

from Huntingdon to Mt. Dallas, in 1865, and on

to Cumberland in 1871.


Judicial District

On May 22, 1931, Governor Pinchot signed the

Ealy Judicial Apportionment Bill, thereby creating

separate judicial districts 57 and 58, Bedford and

Mifflin Counties, respectively. The bill was sponsored

by Senator Charles H. Ealy of Somerset, representing

this district.


On June 19, Governor Pinchot appointed Atty.

B. F. Madore as Judge to serve until January 1,

1932, when Atty. Harry C. James assumed the

position, having been elected November 3, 1931.



The present town clock (in the Court House

Tower) was purchased in 1876 for the sum of $250.

The Soldiers' Monument was erected in 1890.


Notes of Interest

The highest point in the county is near Pavia,--

Blue Knob, 3,165 feet; on Martin Hill, 3,075 feet;

at the Bedford-Somerset line, 2,589 feet; Grand

View is 2,464 feet, and at the Bedford-Fulton line,

1,957 feet, according to State Highway surveys.


The elevation of Bedford is 1,108 feet (at the

Court House).


First newspapers were established: 1805, Gazette;

1812, Inquirer.


First schools were built about 1800 with the first

established school in Bedford in 1810.


First bank, 1815, in the building now known as

the Community Centre, the "home" of various organizations.


The first protestant church was built in 1770 by

Lutherans and Reformeds. The first services were

held in the fort in 1758.


The oldest building in the

county is the church in the old graveyard at Schellsburg,

built in 1806,still in wonderful condition.


There are graves older than the church and several

Indians, also, interred there. In 1793 the Friends

built a church on Dunning's Creek. The first Catholic

church was built in 1822 and still stands on

East Street, Bedford, now occupied as a dwelling.


The first court house and jail, combined, built in

1773; the present court house in 1828; the present

jail. Thomas and Penn Streets, in 1895. The first

execution for crime, and the only one under the

law in the county, was that of James Rice in 1842

for the murder of James McBurney, a trader, on

Ray's Hill.


Tradition tells of the execution, by military law,

of a German soldier, a tailor here, in 1760. He was

hanged on a locust tree where is now the corner

of Richard and John Streets. He is said to have

sat in the cart on his coffin, smoking his pipe nonchalantly;

when the cart was driven from under

him, the rope snapped, letting him fall and he

jumped up, cursing the awkwardness that had

broken his pipe.




About a mile and a half northeast of Bedford is

the Chalybeate Spring, surrounded with bog iron

ore. When digging out this spring, many years ago,

part of the skeleton of a prehistoric animal was unearthed.

The spring is owned by the Hafer heirs,

of Bedford, and the water is of great medicinal



In July 1763, Colonel Boquet (who had charge

of the Pennsylvania troops when Fort Bedford and

the Forbes road were built) again passed thru here,

with two regiments of regulars and a large convoy

of provisions, to relieve the beleaguered garrison at

Fort Pitt.


The first term of court was held on Tuesday,

April 16, 1771, before six "Justices of our Lord

the King" and the first business was to divide the

county into townships.


In November 1789, Hugh Barclay was commissioned

the first postmaster of Bedford. He erected

the dwelling, known locally as "The Grove," about



A session of the Supreme Court was held in Bedford

on August 11, 1855, presided over by Judge

Kane, of the U. S. District Court, of Philadelphia,

to argue the celebrated Passmore-Williamson case.

James M. Rusqell was the first Chief Burgess of

Bedford, being elected in 1817.


In August 1817, the first Councilmen of Bedford

decided that a reservoir (16,000 gallon capacity)

should be constructed "near the public spring" and

the contract was placed, $2,000 being borrowed

from the Allegheny Bank; the castings came from

Pittsburgh and the public was supplied with water

during that winter.


The first fire engine was purchased in 1839, for

the sum of $500; the present one in January, 1931.

In the fall of 1846 the telegraph made its appearance

in Bedford.





In the Reformed graveyard on West John Street

lies the body of James Henry, who was killed by

Indians near Frankstown in 1768. Savages had

been terrorizing the white settlers and a company,

in charge of Captain Dunlap, who was also killed on

this expedition, pursued them. Henry had told a

companion of a recent dream of being captured by

Indians and remarked that he would fight to the end

rather than be captured. His friend advised him, in

event of capture, to submit and his friends would

rescue him. Following a battle in which the settlers

were defeated, Henry was missing and a posse

began a search. His terribly mutilated body was

found against a tree and nearby were five dead

Indians; the tree and ground showed that there bad

been a bitter struggle and Henry took five lives before

surrendering his own.



The first wagon brought into Mann Township,

this county, was a four-wheeled vehicle which

aroused the inhabitants more than a visit from an

aeroplane would at the present time. It was owned

by a Shipley and not long afterward one Henry

Martin, a farmer, invested in a like vehicle. It was

an object of much curiosity and speculation and

young people came many miles to see it. During its

first night in the barnyard a calf hanged itself in a

wheel and Martin, perhaps fearing other calamities,

surrounded it with a high fence and the wagon

passed into uselessness.



Many other famous and brave men have lived

here or visited here, among them being: Thaddeus

Stevens, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun,

General Stanwix, Alexander Hamilton, Col.

Crawford, who was burned at the stake; Judges

Black, Tod, Tawney, and others; Edwin Forrest,

the actor, "Mad Anthony" Wayne, Col. Levin Pow23

ell of Virginia, who died while on a visit here; Cornstalk,

chief of the Shawnee Indians; John Brown,

of Harper's Ferry fame; Simon Kenton, the Indian

hater; Simon Girty, the renegade, adopted by the

savages; Jacob Coxey, General of "Coxey's Army,"

and many others less illustrious.


Bedford County's Service In Her Country's Wars


Within ten days after the Battle of Bunker Hill

(June 17, 1775) the news had reached the Pennsylvania

province and her first rifle battalion was ready

for the field. Col. William Thompson of Carlisle

(a resident of Bedford in 1769) was in charge

and the company formed of Bedford County men

was under the command of Capt. Robert Cluggage.

Robert Magaw, of Carlisle, the first attorney admitted

to practice in Bedford County (April 1771),

served as First Major. They were the first companies

south of the Hudson to arrive in Massachusetts

and attracted considerable attention.


A company of Bedford County soldiers, under

Captain Solomon Sparks, served in the War of 1812.

At that time the payroll was: Captains $40, lieutenants

$30, ensigns $20, sergeants $8, corporals

and musicians $7.33; privates $6.66. The commissioned

officers and musicians carried rifles as well as

the non-coms and privates.


About 80 men, besides the officers, comprised a

company of volunteers from this county who served

in the war with Mexico. It was a part of the Second

Regiment, which won imperishable fame as the

first regiment to enter within the walls of the Mexican

capital, and the Bedford company was in the

"storming party" at the Battle of Chapultepec, and

many were killed or wounded.




President Lincoln's first call for troops was responded

to by Bedford County men, and on April

25, 1861, the first company, under Capt. J. H. Filler,

left Bedford. Hundreds of brave men from this

section took part in the Civil War.


Even before the United States entered the World

War, a number of the county's sons and daughters

were in the service of the Allies. Upon our entrance,

hundreds enlisted and including those later

called by their country, Bedford ranks among the

highest in point of number. Many saw service overseas,

nurses as well as soldiers and sailors. Bedford

Borough alone lost five brave boys and a nurse,

in whose memory a beautiful native rock with a

bronze tablet thereon has been erected in Federal

Square in front of the Post Office.



The present population of Bedford is more than

2,900. It has three banks, two newspapers, seven

hotels, a summer resort, seven churches, a baseball

park, county fairground, moving picture theatre,

numerous garages and up-to-date stores, grade

school building, new Senior and Junior High School

building, Legion Boys' Band, a Chamber of Commerce,

Automobile Club, a handsome Federal

building, ice plant, milk plant, the only peanut factory

in the U. S., public library, wholesale house,

electric light plant, a charging station of the A. T.

and T. Company, (the largest between Philadelphia

and Pittsburgh).




Bedford Town

Set in a fertile valley,

Her glorious hills a crown,

There's not another spot as fair

As dear, old Bedford Town.

From north to south The Trail runs,

The Highway's east and west,

Good roads are all about us,

The scenery's picturesque.

You'll recall the open Square,

Soft grass to cool your feet;

The Raystown's gentle whisper,

The quiet, shaded street.

Still stands the Court House old,

Replete with history

Of brave deeds, nobly done,

So dear to memory.

Now a handsome tablets marks

The Fort of settlers' quest,

And the house on old East Pitt

Where Washington was guest.

She's sent out sons and daughters,-

Heard from them right along,-

And many have been honored

In story and in song.

Her merchants are progressive,

Her hotels up-to-date,

Her crops are always bumpers,-

The finest in the state.

Bedford Springs! Of course, you know

'Tis famous far and near;

For health and recreation

It does not have a peer.

The water's pure, the air fine,

There's room for all who'd be

Bedford's guests for any time,-

So come, yourself, and see!

-A. M. G.

Business and

Personal Needs

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Inquirer Printing Office

Bedford, Pa.

Bedford County's Best Weekly

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