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Title: Trails of the Pioneers: An Historical Sketch given by Sophia Hanes, a sister of the late Daniel Mace, September 28, 1879.
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The following sketch of Mrs. Sophia Hanes of Warren County was read at the reunion of the old settlers by Dr. J. W. McMullen on September 28, 1879. Ladies, Gentlemen, Neighbors: I will tell some of the hardships and adventures of my early life in this county. My father with his family settled in the territory Indiana in 1824. At that time the county was wilderness. I was born in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio in the year of 1812. I was thirteen years old when my father came to this state. Previous to going west we lived at Darbybille, Ohio, where in the the spring of 1825 father loaded two wagons to which were attached two good horses, each fully able to the task of drawing them through swamps and over hills to the wilds of Indiana. Nine other strong, well-broke horses, 6 cows, 36 sheep, 3 dogs and 12 of the human species, 2 side saddles, 2 men saddles, and two new guns composed the outfit. After a steady tramp of three weeks, in which children took turns in the riding, walking and driving stock, we arrived at the place on the Wabash river where Lafayette now stands. But 3 cabins were yet built and prospects of such a city as graces that spot now were not the least flttering then. No bridges was built on which to cross, no ferry boats plied from shore to shore. I have a pleasing recollection of that afternoon when my father's caravan forded the Wabash. My brothers, William and Samuel drove the teams, father, mother, and two older sisters rode on horseback, brother Dan, sister Harriet, Medina and myself waded and drove the stock before us. It would be a sight indeed could the young folks of today witness something like the Mace family crossing the Wabash--cows, sheep, dogs, girls, all mingling together in the shallow water, moving slowly for the sunset side of the verdant banks. It was nearly noon before we were all over. Our cruise was down the river. At evening we reached Indiana creek where we camped for the night. The next morning we moved on west where Green Hill now stands in the northeast part of Medina Township. Jerry Davis father of George Davis, and John Stanley were the only white persons who lived there. My fatherpurchased Stanley's claim and we moved into his cabin. How very different that little cabin from th e house I now live in, yet health favored us and the mutual dependence we felt upon one another made stronger natural love and cementde more closely the friendship of parents and brothers and sisters. Fatner [father] entered a claim of eighty acres, for which he paid Congress the price of $1.25 per acre. Our esteemed, James Johnston, owns and lives upon the land. That fall and winter we bought a quantity of provisions. We did not visit much, but had many hours of enjoyment around the glowing hearth made bright by hickory bark. By spring the groceries we brought were nearly gone. The nearest trading point was Terre Haute, about 85 miles. Fancy the women calling after noon at the store to inspect the new styles for the young women, gathering up a few dozen eggs and two pounds of butter, getting on a horse or in a buggy, going to the store trading for a dress pattern, taking it home and making it up in a few hours. We did not get our dresses as now. With guns my brothers supplied us with all kinds of game. One day when the snow was deep and a crust had frozen but strong enough to bare them, my brother Dan killed 15 deer. Game of allkinds was abundant and searching dilligently we found bee trees and honey was aplenty. This we used as a substitute in pie for sweetening. A large log with one end burned out formed a mortor, and stick two or three feet long, rounded smoothly, and iron wdge secured and fastened in one end formed a pestle. By the use of these wierd implements we made our meal and hominy. I have used a pestle until my hands were a solid blister, for there were several in the family and they were heavy eaters. The sassafras formed a substitute for China tea; coffee was a luxury we seldom indulged in. In the fall of 1826 we were so unfortunate as to lose all our stock from milk sickness: wolves caught the sheep and killed them, but left us the wool which we pulled form the dead carcasses and spun into flannels. We raised corn in the clearings near the house, also flax and cotton. At that time, and for many years succedding, the women made their fabrics from wool they raised. there were their own dressmakers and did the tailoring for father and sons. In the year 1828, my father assisted in organizing this county. Perrin Kent was the surveyor, I think, for the county. The northeast township was named for my youngest sister, Medina. The loss of our horses was the occasion of buying two yoke of oxen to plow with. When the corn was grown and ripe, the boys took a load of it to Terre Haute to mill to be ground into meal. They were absent three weeks. During this time other white people, hearing of the gook looking girls living in our neighborhood, began to drift that way and after a few years several families lived near us. Many Indians infested this locality to our small annoyance, but they seldom offered us violence. They would come into the cabins and eat the last piece of bread and drink the last drop of milk. They cared more for satisfying their appetite than the demand of politeness. I have seen 3,000 Indians congregated near where Independence now stands. If the fires were neglected and became extinguished we would go to the gun, remove the flint and gun be absent, one of the family went to the nearest neighbor and borrow fire. In 1832, during the Black Hawk War, brother Dan and myself were sent to notify the people to gather at the settlements. On this mission and while trying to ford Pine Creek, I was nearly drowned, but, owing to the fine qualities of my brother as a swimmer, our lives were saved. In the year 1835, I was married to Jacob Hanes at the age of 21. My age now is 67. Jerry Davis and father plowed the first furrow and tilled the first crop and raise the first stock in this part of the county. My brother sold the first goods and kept the first store in Medina Township. We saw the burial of the first white man, heard the frist sermon, extened the hospitality of our home to the first mininster of the gospel who visited and witnessed the first marriage ceremony.

Date: 9/28/1879
Origin: Warren County Centennial 1827 - 1927
Author: Sophia Hanes
Record ID: 00003199
Type: Book
Source Archive: Williamsport-Washington Township Public Library
Date Entered: 2/15/2013
Entered By: Chris Brown

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