THE valley of Dunkard Creek, embracing the townships of Dunkard, Monongahela and Perry, was the earliest occupied
of any part of Greene County, and was the scene of some of the most exciting events in its history. As early as
1754 Wendell Brown and his two sons and Frederick Waltzer took up their abode in this neighborhood. At about the
same time David Tygart and one Files goat a foothold in Tygart's Valley; but the Files family having fallen a prey
to Indian savagery, Files himself and the Tygarts left the country. At about this time Dr. Thomas Eckerlin and
two brothers made a lodgment' near the mouth of Drunkard Creek, which took its name from the designation of the
religion they professed. Whether from a desire to insure themselves greater safety, or a wish to obtain better
lands, they removed to what have been known as the Dunkard Bottoms, on Cheat River, West Virginia. They are reported
to have applied to the chiefs of the Six Nations in May, 1771, at Logstown; for permission to settle on the Youghiogheny,
but were refused. Their supply of ammunition, and other necessaries, having become exhausted, Dr. Eckerlin, with
a stock of rich furs, went to Winchester to barter them for the articles which they most needed. On his way back
he stopped over night at Fort Pleasant, where he was detained on suspicion of being a spy in collusion with the
savages. Asserting his innocence so strongly, he was permitted to go under guard to his home, on condition that
he would return with them if his assertions should prove untrue. To his grief and amazement, on arriving at his.
home he found his cabin hurried, and his two brothers inhumanly murdered and scalped. His truthfulness was acknowledged
by his captors, and, touched with pity, they assisted at the burial. Thous ended, in sadness, the first attempt
at permanent settlement in this valley.
In the year 1760 Conrad Sycks emigrated from Germany, and in process of time made his way to what is now Monongahela
Township, Greene County, and built a cabin on Rocky Run, some two miles from the mouth of Dunkard Creek, on land
now owned by Mathew Green and Daniel Sycks. Here he took to wife Miss Bonnet, a niece of the famous Indian fighter,
Lewis Wetzel, and were blessed with a family of ten children, among them Henry and Christina. When Henry had grown
to man's estate, Enoch Enix lived a mile north of the Syckses. A half mile westward was Leonard Garrison. Lane
Robinson lived to the south of Dunkard Creek, and the Selsors, at Selsor Fort. Swearengen's Fort across the Monongahela
was the only real stronghold in the neighborhood. Rumors of hostile savages in the vicinity induced Garrison to
move his family to a place of security; but as the Syckses were to remain, Garrison engaged Christina Sycks, then
a maiden of ten, to milk his cows. One evening she was reluctant to go to her task, manifesting a presentiment
of impending evil; but at the prompting of her mother, bravely went. While driving the cows homeward through the
sugar grove she was suddenly overtaken by two stalwart savages, the one hideous in black paint, the other red.
The one in black hurled his tomahawk at the innocent girl with deadly aim; but something in the countenance of
the maiden touched the heart of the other, and at the opportune instant he dashed the weapon aside, only cutting
her tresses, and seizing her in his arms bore her away into captivity.
Not returning, the household was disturbed, and when darkness began to deepen and still she did not come, grasping
his rifle the father started for the cabin of Enix for assistance; but the latter seemed unwilling to go until
morning. The father, now with distracted mind, started alone, when the neighbor relented, and mounting his horse,
joined in the search. As they approached the cabin of Sycks two shots were fired by the lurking foe, and Enix tumbled
from his horse mortally wounded. Aroused by the shots, the son, Henry, and a companion, George Selsor, who were
in the cabin, were eager to rush out, but were held back by the mother, and the father returning, on the following
morning the entire family set out for the strong fort across the Monongahela In their consternation a sleeping
infant was forgotten; but the boys turning back soon brought off the treasure. Again these boys returned to reconnoitre
and warn' the settlers. At Robinson's the wife with an infant was prevailed on to escape to the fort, which she
did, and was saved. But Robinson could not be persuaded to abandon his home. At Fort Selsor, where a number of
the settlers had gathered, it was determined to leave all and escape across the river to Fort Swearingen. On the
way the dogs became terribly excited, and soon started an Indian from his covert, who dashed away; but tripping,
fell. The dogs were upon him, but could not be induced to grapple him, and he finally made his escape; the party
reaching the fort without casuality. On returning to the scene of the massacre Enix was found, scalped, and in
a dying condition. Robinson was found murdered and scalped, and his body stripped naked. Even the hoop was picked
upon which the scalp of Enix had been stretched to dry.
The captive maiden, Christina, was hurried onward, and when tired out her captor would carry her on his shoulders.
A piece of a gray colt's leg was given her to eat, which she pretended to do; but she could not bring herself to
swallow the unsavory dish. For their next meal a lusty warrior brought in a large fat hog, which he had slit open,
and placing himself within the beast, marched in, with its head surmounting his own, and the sides of the hog completely
enveloping him. The style of butchering and cooking was still not sufficiently appetizing to tempt her to partake.
But on the third day they brought her a nice piece of well cooked wild turkey, and this she devoured with a relish.
For twenty two years and six months she was a captive, when, in obedience to treaty engagements, she was released
at Detroit and returned. Having lived so long with the savages, she could with difficulty be brought back to civilized
customs, being satisfied with her life with the red men, and ever ready to defend them when abused. She lived to
a good old age, and was buried near Clarksburg, West Virginia. Captain Enoch Enix, who died a few years since,
near Mount Morris, was the babe of four weeks left with the mother on the fatal night when the father was murdered.
The only son of Leonard Garrison married Mary Sycks, the babe which was left sleeping in the cradle at the time
of the flight of the family, but was rescued by its brother Henry, who subsequently married Barbary Selser, who
had been one of the escaping party when the dogs started the lone Indian. She bore him twelve children, and by
a second wife he had twelve more. Daniel Sycks, the latest surviving child, through a nephew, Dr. W. Green, of
New Geneva, has detailed the above facts which Mr. L. K. Evans has recorded. with particularity in his fourth Centennial
Near the intersection of the Morgantown State road and Crooked Run, just across the Virginia line, Martin's Fort
was located in the immediate vicinity of the present site of Martin's Church. It was in the midst of a table land
of several thousand acres. This is probably one of the earliest tracts. settled in this part of the Monongahela
country. Being in the midst of a considerable population, when the Indians became troublesome, it was probably
thought necessary to build this fort for mutual protection. Lying near one of the great Indian war paths, the settlement
was particularly exposed to savage depredations. One morning in June, 1779, whilst the women were engaged in milking
the cows, and the men were weeding the garden patch, and preparing to go to their days work, all unsuspicious of
danger, thirteen burly Indians, who had been lying in ambush, suddenly burst upon the settlers, bewildered and
helpless, arid mercilessly slaughtering James Stuart, James Smalley and Peter Crouse, and took captive John Shriver
and his wife, two sons of Stuart, two sons of Smalley and a son of Crouse.
Lurking about the fort till night fall, they shut up their captives in a neighboring cabin, and placing two of
their number on guard, the remainder returned for the purpose of effecting a lodgment in the fort. But the settlers
had now strengthened their defences, and the savages despairing of making further captures, disappeared with their
victims. It is reported that the first grave ever made in Martin's graveyard was for the body of an Indian, killed
in the neighborhood of the fort. There is a tradition that the Indians were accustomed to torture their captives,
and the stump of a hickory tree is still visible here to which they lashed their victims in order to practice upon
them their devilish arts.
Harrison's Fort was also located on Crooked Run on land now owned by Josiah Ross, in this general neighborhood.
This was probably a minor stockade for a single family, or a few neighbors, and was not a common rendezvous, as
was Martin's Fort. At the time of a general alarm, in 1782, when the neighbors had gathered at the fort, Thomas
Pindall came in, and induced three young men, Harrison, Crawford and Wright to accompany him to his cabin, alleging
that there was no danger. In the night the females in the family awakened Mr. Pindall, saying that they were sure
they heard a whistle, as of an Indian upon a charger. Pindall endeavored to allay their excitement, and all remained
quiet until morning. In the morning while Pindall had gone out to catch his horse, and the three young men were
at the spring, a volley was fired by lurking savages, and two of the young men, Crawford and Wright, fell dead.
The women, terrified by the report of firearms, sprang out of bed and ran wildly for the fort, but Mrs. Tindall
was overtaken, slain and scalped. The others, Mrs. Rachael Pinball and the young man Harrison, made good their
escape to the fort.
Drinkard Township in its present reduced territory, is situated in the southeast corner of the county, and is bounded
on the north by Greene and Monongahela Townships; on the east by Monongahela Township, and the Monongahela River,
which separates it from Fayette County; on the south by Mason and Dixon's line, which separates it from West Virginia,
and on the west by Perry and Whiteley Townships. The surface is greatly rolling, the soil fertile, and under a
good state of cultivation. Drunkard Creek and its tributaries, and the Monongahela River drain its surface and
furnish ample means of waterpower and navigation. From its being early settled the country presents the appearance
of greater cultivation than many other parts of the county, the meadows are smooth and carefully seeded, the houses
and outbuildings in good state of repair, and the highways kept in excellent condition. The best breeds of cattle,
horses, sheep and swine, are reared in great numbers, and abundant crops of corn, wheat rye and oats reward the
hand of the diligent. Davistown, in the north central portion of the township, is a thriving village, and being
located in the midst of a rich farming population is likely to become a place of considerable importance. Taylortown,
or Fairview, situated on Drinkard Creek in the southwestern part of the township, is likewise in the midst of an
excellent farming country and bids fair to make substantial growth. The postoffice here is known as Drinkard. It
has intercourse with Fayette County by Dilliner's upper and lower ferries. The township is credited in the earliest
report under the revised school law with eight schools and 360 pupils. The school directors for the current year
are: Isaac Vanvoorhis, President; E. S. Taylor, Secretary; W. Knotts, John Caigy, David Donley, Eli Russell.