The Oil City Derrick (Oil City, Pennsylvania) - 21 Feb 1964, Fri - Page 12
ol the o o II and actions the military to be a in announced. to be 1. to be as that do the main security of and of the will Pros- was Troop Saturday RD. on the n Writer Gives Account Of Early Pennsylvania By MRS. BERTHA KUHNS Derrick CWntpowlent CURLLSV1LLE -- 1 have of ten wondered about our ances tors who were pioneers; an the Pilgrims who arrived a nightfall on a cold Decembe night. There was no shelte awaiting them. In some cases the Indians were friendly; i others they were not. My children and grandchil dren could not, in their wildes dreams, know the meaning o an Indian raid; nor could I. Ac cording to history, Clarion Coun ty was a fishing and huntin paradise before the pioneer set tiers moved in. I have been much impresses with a story of an ancestor o the Means family and decide* to write it for my readers. Nancy Means, eldest daugh ter of John Means, came t America with her widowed fa (her and two brothers, William and Robert. She married Wil liam Sloan and they had three children. After his death sh married John Wasson and the; also had three children. Thi was told by a descendant, Wai ter R. Sloan of McConneldburg in 1930. The story is not of youth am romance as has been portrayee by other Indian captives, bu one of suffering and privation It is the story of a noble pionee woman who was willing to' risl her all that this country couk be developed for her children In the spring of 1756, Ann (Nancy) Wasson lived with he' husband John and seven chil dren on a 450 acre plantation in Cumberland County, no\ Franklin County. The time were especially dangerous. Since Braddock's defeat the previou fall, the Indians had been ter rorizing the entire area. Many settlers had lost lives, m a n y more were taken captive. Rev. John Steele's meeting louse had been turned into a [ort which was a place of refuge for the women and children o 4-H'ers Elect New Officers NEW BETHLEHEM - The yew Bethlehem Horse and Pony 3ub met recently in the New Jethlehem Fire Hall. Presiden Twilla Hanlon opened the meet ing with the 4-H pledge. Election and installation o new officers was the first order of business. New officers are Steve Reichard, president; Amy }ugh, vice president; Vickie 31o s e, secretary - treasurer iandy Rugh, recreation chair man and Susan Krepp, reporter lene McCauley and Bill Rugh were elected directors. Harold C. Schneider, assislan' Clarion County agent, discussec he types of feeds, hay and bed ding and all members were .ested on the subject. Gene Me Mauley and John Wiant assisted the boys and girls of the club "i making lead ropes. Refreshments were served by Mr. and Mrs. William Rugh. About 100 women attended the World Day of Prayer Service? leld Friday in the Church of God in South Bethlehem. Women of the Church of God Methodist, Baptist and Presby erian Churches took part in the service. "Let Us Pray" was the heme. The 53rd anniversary of the ioy Scouts was observed at the 1 a.m. worship service at the iaplist Church last Sunday. All local scouts attended the service. The Lenten Services at the First Methodist Church will have the continuing theme of "Christion "Christion Perfection." The services will be held at 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday. Dr. Arvil Neal church pastor, will lead the itudy. The Lenten Services will continue continue in the Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. each Wednesday until Easter. The general theme is "In His Light." The y o u n g communicants' the neighborhood, is well u stronghold against Indian attack The fortified church was about two ind a half miles from McDowell and was so well situated that Indians were never known to attack it, as they it easier to approach Fort McDowell, McDowell, unobserved. Little exact information about the French and Indian War is given e x c e p t James McCullough's note beginning: "Ye fort at ye church". One outrage outrage told of in the histories is the killing of John Wasson which occurred in the country tributary of Steele's Fort. Wasson's Wasson's place was the Rockdalt farm, long owned by the Keefers, Keefers, and later by the Kennedys of the Baker quarry. On April 5, 1756, Fort just a few miles away, had fallen with a loss of many lives. Seed time was at hand and John Wasson was busy tilling his land. Ann Wasson had left her seven children at Fort Steele and had gone to the plantation, risking her life that she might be at the side of her husband. Without warning they were attacked by Indians and John was horribly mangled and scalped; Nancy was taken captive captive and their home was A party of Steele and Peter families went out in pursuit, but their efforts were all in vain. We find this account in the Pennsylvania Gazette, May 26, 1756, page 108. "The authorities were notified and John Potter, the first sheriff of Cumberland County took charge. The question question was what should be done with the children. The older young lads nearly grown, told of an uncle, a brother of their mother, who "lived in Newton, Bucks County. It was decided that they should go to him the following was written: "Mr. Rober* Means: These are to certify to you that brother John Wasson was barbarously barbarously killed last Wednesday by the Indians and his wife carried captive; and as the time exceeding dangerous in these parts, and no relatives of the orphans here to take care of them, the children desire to to you, and all things considered considered it appears to be most advisable; advisable; and with them we send an account of his estate. His debt is near 50 pounds and if you desire to administrate them, send word or come with the lads, yourself being the highest relative. Signed, John Potter." Just where Ann Wasson spent her captivity is not known. She was held captive three and one- half years. On November 27, 1759, a pass granted Teedyus- cung, Delaware King at Bethlehem, Bethlehem, to conduct four white captives; two women ,and two boys, to the governor. Ann Wasson was identified as one of the cantives. Â· Timothy Horsfield's pass to Teedyuscuns read: "These are [o request all his majesties leige people to suffer the bearer Teedyuscung and Daniel w seven other Indians, men and women, having with them four white captives, two women and : .vm boys, to pass unmolested, o Philadelphia, their business .0 deliver said captives to his ranor the governor. Signed Timothy Timothy Horsfield." On December 1, 1759, Ann Wasson was delivered by Teed- yuscung to James Hamilton, overnor of the province of Pennsylvania. The other woman ivas Maria, wife of Conrad Wagoner. The boys were nearly naked and destitute. The Lt. jovernor, in his message to eirislature, asked that they provide provide necessary clothing for the wys. Ann Wasson was reunited wr children. Her brother, Robert Robert Means, had raised six of children with ten of his own. 769 Ann Wasson lived at Mercersburg. Mercersburg. Several links are miss- ng in the story -- where she ivas reunited with her children, vhere she died, and where she vas buried.