History of Greene Township, Greene County, Pa.
From: History of Greene County, Pennsylvania
By: Samuel P. Bates.
Nelson, Ruchforth & Co., Chicago. 1888.


GREENE TOWNSHIP, originally one of the six townships of the county, embraced all the southwestern portion of its territory, stretching from Little Whiteley Creek to Mason and Dixon's line, and from the Monongahela River to the dividing ridge between Big Whiteley Creek and Muddy Creek. It was organized in 1782. But it has been shorn of its ample proportions for the making of other townships until it is now one of the smallest in the county, appearing quite diminutive beside several of its grown up daughters. It is bounded on the north by Jefferson and Cumberland, on the east by Monongahela, on the south by Dunkard, and on the west by Whiteley. The fertility of its soil was such as to attract the eye of the early explorer and here were the first lodgments. It is well watered by Whiteley Creek which carries a large volume of water and is ample for mill purposes. Pew sections of the county present a more inviting appearance than the valley of this stream. In the central portion of this township on the left bank of the creek was located Garard's Fort, a place of great importance at that period when Indian massacres were frequent, as a place of refuge and safety for the settlers, and around it has grown the principal village in the township.

Our ancestors who came by single families and settled far from each other with no convenient roads for communication, were not so circumstanced as to favor assembling themselves together for religious worship. Yet they did not neglect this pious duty, and it was not uncommon for worshipers to travel from twelve to fifteen miles with this reverent intent. It was in the neighborhood of this fort that the first religious worship was held, and here was organized in 1776, on the 7th day of October, the first church in the county. It has subsequently been known as Goshen Baptist Church. It was ministered to by the Sutton brothers, and it is probable that it had no settled pastors during the early part of its existence. The Rev. John Corbly was at an early day installed pastor, and ministered to the congregation at the time when the savages were reeking their vengeance upon the helpless and defenceless settlers. In May, 1782, his family was attacked on Sunday morning while on the way to church. In a letter written by Mr. Corby dated 1785, to Rev. William Rogers, of Philadelphia, he gives the following graphic account of the heart rendering circumstance:

"On the second Sabbath in May, in the year 1782, being my appointment at one of my meeting houses, about a mile from my dwelling house, I set out with my dear wife and five children for public worship. Not suspecting any danger, I walked behind 200 yards, with my bible in my hand, meditating. As I was thus employed, all on a sudden, I was greatly alarmed with the frightful shrieks of my dear family before me. I immediately ran with all the speed I could, vainly hunting a club as I ran, till I got within 40 yards of them; my poor wife seeing me, cried to me to make my escape; an Indian ran up to shoot rue; I then fled, and by so doing out ran him. My wife had a suckling child in her arms; this little infant they killed and scalped. They then struck my wife several times, but not getting her down, the Indian who aimed to shoot me, ran to her, shot her through the body, and scalped her; my little boy, an only son, about six years old, they sunk the hatchet into his brain, and tins dispatched him. A daughter, besides the infant, they also killed and scalped. My eldest daughter, who is yet alive, was hid in a tree, about 20 yards from the place where the rest were killed, and saw the whole proceedings. She, seeing the Indians all go off, as she thought, got up, and deliberately crept out from the hollow trunk; but one of them espying her, ran hastily up, knocked her down and scalped her; also her only surviving sister, on whose head they did not leave more than an inch round, either of flesh or skin, besides taking a piece of her skull. She, and the before mentioned one, are still miraculously preserved, though, as you must think, I have had, and still have, a great deal of trouble and expense with them, besides anxiety about them, insomuch that I am, as to worldly circumstances, almost ruined. I am yet in hopes of seeing them cured; they still, blessed be God, retain their senses, notwithstanding the painful operations they have already and must yet pass through."

As a degree of interest gathers about the church that was first established in this section, the minutes are given below of the Redstone Baptist Association for 1800:

Minutes of Redstone Baptist Association, held at Simpson's Creek, September 26,7,8, 1800:

1. Introductory Sermon by Benjamin Stone, from 2d Corinthians, v. 20.

JOHN CORBLY, Moderator,

3. Query from Glady Creek. Whether washing of the saints be an ordinance of the New Testament! Decided in the negative.

4. Query from Indian Creek. Whether it be legal to receive a Baptist minister who observes the seventh day Sabbath as a member of the First day Baptist Church, and to take the pastoral 'care of said church? Decision reserved until next association.

7. Next association to be held at Great Whiteley, Greene County, on first Friday in September. Brother Corbly to preach the sermon. Brother Stone alternate.

9. Brother Isaac Edwards from Kentucky preached out of doors to the people.

The interest that centers about the Spicer massacre, the result of the cruel revenge of the celebrated Indian Chieftain Logan, will never cease to be felt. The location of Spicer's cabin is not exactly known, though it was somewhere upon the heights separating the waters of Dunkard from Big Whiteley Creek. "Some traditions," says Evans, "locate it in the head of Deep Run, which flows into Dunkard Creek a short distance above Bob Town. Some would have it on the old Dave Keener farm, on the head waters of a branch of Meadow Run. Others place it on the old Eberhart farm, now belonging to Stephenson Garard, I believe, which lies in a cove at the head of a considerable run which flows into Big Whiteley on Sebastian Keener's farm, nearly a mile below the Willow Tree postouilce. However these three streams have their source so very close together that the locality is defined with sufficient accuracy by either or all of them. Indeed it is said that there were two cabins, which was probably the fact, one at the source of Deep Run, and the other on the Eberhart farm."

Spicer was living with a wife and seven children, in June, 1774, when Logan, who had been despoiled of eight members of his family in cold blood, and was out upon his hunt for an equal number of white scalps, which, according to Indian theology must be had to satisfy his pious revenge, approached, with his accomplices, the lone cabin of the Spicers. It was in the very midst of the primeval forest. Not another white inhabitant was living in a circuit of miles in extent. Spicer himself was engaged in chopping, all unsuspecting of danger, and not conscious of an enemy among all the sons of the forest. Logan had no cause of quarrel with him. But the savage must have the scalps of a certain number of the pale faces. It was immaterial to him who they were. When Spicer discovered the red men approaching, thinking they were on a friendly errand, and desiring to suitably entertain them, he stuck his axe into the log and went into his cabin. Scarcely had he entered when one of the savages, having seized the axe, came stealthily behind, and with one blown struck him dead. His wife and two children shared a like fate. Three other children were found and speedily dispatched. Elizabeth, who was engaged in ironing, seeing the bloody work, ran for her life with her smoothing iron still grasped in her hand, being too excited to think of dropping it. In her attempt to clear the fence, with her brother William, whom she was assisting to escape, they were overtaken and carried away into captivity. The murdered were scalped and horribly mutilated, so much so that one of the party under Capt. Crawford who went to bury the bodies, was so horrified by the awful spectacle that he could not endure the sight, and begged to be led away. Logan, with a war chief, Snake, proceeded over to Big Whiteley Creek, where they murdered and scalped an old man by the name of Keener, whose body was undiscovered until the circling of the buzzards above his decomposing corpse disclosed its location. It was buried in the famous meadow of John Lantz. The captives, Betty and William, were hurried away beyond the Ohio, and separated, the boy being placed in a more distant tribe than the girl, that they might not be plotting to escape. Subsequently these tribes were compelled by treaty to give up their captives, and the girl was returned in the holidays of the same year of her abduction. Though but a few months in captivity she learned the Indian language, and the medicinal properties of many roots and herbs as practiced in Indian pharmacy, so that her services were much in demand during all her life in cases of sickness peculiar to the climate. She married a man by the name of Bowen, and lived to the advanced age of eighty four, many of the earlier settlers having cause to remember with gratitude the kind attentions of "Granny Bowen."

"After Betsy returned," says Evans, "to her friends, she visited the sight of the awful tragedy where she was rendered an orphan child, and remembering that one of the Indians finding himself overloaded with plunder, had concealed some things under a log, she repaired to the spot and among other articles found her father's scalp, which she religiously preserved all her life, with the intention of having it enclosed in her own coffin, when she should be called away. She also remembered where she had thrown her smoothing iron and found it, and it is yet preserved by her descendants. Mrs. Bowen was the mother of a large family of children, one of whom, Mrs. Nancy Steel, is still living at the age of seventy four. A daughter of Mrs. Steel, Mrs. Azariah Stephens, living near Garard's Fort has furnished the particulars of this narrative."

The boy William became unalterably attached to Indian life, married an Indian squaw and was made a chief. He was induced to return on one occasion to give testimony in the disposition of some property in favor of his sister; but could not be prevailed upon to quit his wild life in the woods.

Greene Township, by the report of Mr. Black, 1854, is credited with five schools and 177 pupils. By the report of Mr. McGlumphy it is shown "that the houses in this district are all good, and well furnished. In the latter respect they surpass any in the county." The following is a list of the present board of directors: J. M. Morris, President; P. A. Myers, Secretary; J. B. Roberts, Stephen Garard, Isaac Barclay, George Russell.

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