Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Historic Massacre

The Marietta Daily Times, September 29, 1905

Monument at Big Bottom to be Dedicated.

Exercises Will Be Held Tomorrow.

Spot on Brokaw Farm to be Set Apart for Time to Come.

To Mr. Obadiah Brokaw, one of Morgan county's best farmers, who is one of the oldest Democratic voters of this section, is due great praise for what he has done to preserve the site on which occurred in the autumn of the year 1790 one of the most blood curdling massacres of history.

Big Bottom, a tract of land about thirty miles up the Muskingum river on the Wet Side of the stream, noted for its fertility, played it part in the early days when the white man's life was continually in danger from the tomahawk.  Saturday will see the dedication of a monument to the little party of settlers who were massacred there on the evening of January 2nd, 1790.

It was a terrible piece of Indian deviltry and history tells us of the pleadings of one member of the little party, who had fled to the roof of the block house to save himself and how he was shot down.  A few escaped and made their way to the Wolf Creek mills and warned the settler there to prepare for an attack.

Approached in a friendly way by the Indian, the little group of settlers who a short time before had gone from Marietta to found a settlement allowed the Indians to approach and overpower them.

John Stacey, Ezra Putnam, son of Major Putnam, John Camp, Zebulon Throop, Jonathan Farewell, James Couch, William James, John Clark, Isaac Meeks, wife and two children were murdered by the Indians who after obtaining the scalps of their victims set fire to their houses.

When Obadiah Brokaw purchased, in 1865, the tract of land on the Muskingum known as Big Bottom, he learned through stories passed down from family to family that somewhere on his place was located in the earlier days, the little settlement which was so ruthlessly broken up by the Indians.  He proposed excavating to determine the exact spot on which stood the dwellings of the unfortunate people.  And so he did, for one day while plowing a field some charred bones were unearthed and afterwards some burnt timber, which after being thoroughly examined was pronounced to be the remnants of the settlers and their hut.  Mr. Brokaw immediately fenced in the piece of ground surrounding that in which the find was made and cared for it by planting grass and shrubbery.

To make sure that trace of that historical site should not be lost after his death, Mr. Brokaw a short time ago had a monument made at McConnelsville, which now marks the spot.  It is quite a large piece of masonry and is styled after the Washington monument.  Upon it is engraved the date of and something about the terrible massacre.

It is that stone which tomorrow will be viewed by prominent men from all over the State.  Mr. Brokaw recently deeded two acre of land to the Historical Society of this State providing they keep the ground in good condition.

There will be speeches on the site tomorrow afternoon and several persons from Marietta will be present.

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